Transcript of 3rd Session between Charles Balis, M.D. and Ms. Anna Green, Monday, July 22, 1996 at 1 pm

Ms. Green: Hello Doctor.
Dr. Balis: Hello Ms. Green. Please sit down. How was your weekend? Feeling any better? Started a journal?
Ms. Green: Doctor you sound like you are in a good mood. All those questions. You are making me feel guilty, you know. I am about to make you depressed. I had a lousy weekend. Weekends are harder, you know. One stays home all day and no need to keep it together for other people. There are no other people. It's just you and your head. Simply awful! I spent most of the weekend trying to talk myself out of calling you. I dialed your number about a hundred times, you know.
Dr. Balis: What did you want to talk to me about?
Ms. Green: I don't know. Just about everything. I tried to start a diary. I even went out and got a pretty notebook, you know. It has a purple cover, that's my favorite color you know, and I thought I should get the kind that has removable pages just in case I screw-up. I would feel embarrassed giving you pages with corrections or bad spelling or something. When I was in grammar school, before I had my first computer, I always recopied my work so it would look pretty. Now with computers it is so much easier. I just write and spell check and edit and it always looks good and I can choose any font that I want depending on my mood. My own handwriting is not very good, you know. I remember in first grade, they made me make those little straight lines. Verticals and slanted. And also little circles. I was just the worst. I think I can't make a straight line if my life depended on it. Thank God I live in a computer age. In Victorian times I would have had to hire a scriptist to write my love letters.
Dr. Balis: You can use the computer, if it makes you more comfortable.
Ms. Green: No. It's not just that. I just couldn't write. Maybe I think so much faster. And my mind wanders. By the time I put down a sentence, I am no longer interested in its content, you know. I thought if I could somehow talk to you and let you know what I was thinking. But it wasn't that important. I mean each individual thought was sort of trivial, you know. And it wasn't like it was life or death.
Dr. Balis: Well we can talk now.
Ms. Green: I know. But somehow it's not the same. One just have to be in the right mood.
Dr. Balis: Why don't you start by telling me more about your relationship with Bill.
Ms. Green: Okay. As I said, in the beginning it was all great. He wanted to see me every day. When I said that I was busy, he would end up being with me anyway somehow. We were an item and everyone in the company knew about it. In retrospect there were signs even back than, I suppose. A few people tried to warn me about him.
Dr. Balis: What do you mean?
Ms. Green: Oh, just telling me that he had a lot of girlfriends in the past, and that he really liked women, and just stuff like that. But I didn't care. I had boyfriends too. So what? But there were other things, too. He told me that he liked making love to several women at once and thought it was very sexy. And that he did it several times before.
Dr. Balis: How did this make you feel?
Ms. Green: I had long conversations with Caren about it. We decided that five guys and one woman was a good ratio. I am sure you understand how we counted.
Dr. Balis: So it was okay for Bill to talk about multiple partners?
Ms. Green: It was okay to talk and think about it. I believe in a rich fantasy life as much as the next person. I remember how we would joke around about how it would be if know...well, joined us. As I said, it was fun talking about it.
Dr. Balis: Did Bill actually ask you to have sex with another woman?
Ms. Green: No. Not really. I think he was testing the waters, so to speak. And I think he knew that I would say no once it came down to it. It's just not for me. I hate to split my attentions that way.
Dr. Balis: What did you like about Bill?
Ms. Green: He was smart and funny and we got along well. We liked the same music and the same books. I thought we understood each other pretty well. He said that he never met anyone like me before. I told him that he must not have been around much. But it was nice to hear.
Dr. Balis: You mentioned that other people were trying to warn you about Bill?
Ms. Green: Yes. This one guy in my department said that he thought that Bill was having an affair with this woman from the art department. I didn't believe him. And it was common knowledge that he had a crush on me anyway. So I couldn't really trust what he was saying to me. He could have had other motives. But as time moved on, when I started to get serious about Bill, Bill started to get weird.
Dr. Balis: What do you mean?
Ms. Green: I don't know. Just little things. If I just say them they would sound so inconsequential. But it was just the overall feeling that was wrong, you know. Caren said that maybe when he didn't have to chase me anymore, he stopped being interested. Some guys are like that, you know.
Dr. Balis: You think that was true?
Ms. Green: Maybe. But I definitely did not want to believe it. I thought I was really in love with this guy, you know.
Dr. Balis: Are you now?
Ms. Green: I don't think so. I don't know. I don't think you can love someone who has been so horrible to you, someone who lied to you. Love is based on trust and if the trust is broken...well this is just my opinion. But I still can't get him out of my mind. Maybe it's a force of habit or something. It's like I said, I don't think I had as many meaningful conversations with Bill when we were together than now that we are apart. It's driving me insane.
Dr. Balis: What do you talk about?
Ms. Green: About everything. Sometimes I tell him about how beautiful the sunset is. Sometimes I tell him about this horrible guy Bill that hurt me so much. Sometimes It's about him begging me for forgiveness and stuff. Sometimes I tell him that I wished that I listened to all those people telling me how wrong he was for me. I even tell him about Martin.
Dr. Balis: Who is Martin?
Ms. Green: Martin is my only indiscretion during my time with Bill. Well, not a real indiscretion, we didn't really do anything. I would have never have done that to Bill, you know. In any case, I met Martin during one of the computer software conventions. We were both alone and did not know anyone in that city. That was my first time in New York. We met at the Fractal Painter booth. I was checking out its potential, you know, for the art department and stuff. Martin was a graduate student in Mathematics and was interested in some of their routines. He was working on a program involving scientific visualization and was interested in alternative ways of representing data. A way of providing scientists and researchers with an different perspective for looking at the world. We liked each other's questions. The ones we asked the presenters, you know. After Fractal's presentation, we went out for lunch together. We were on a mission to find good New York pizza. We found this one place that made pizza on a rye crust. It was great and it was huge. It was the size of when you put your arms out and let your fingers meet in the middle, the pizza slice was the area formed between your arms and your chest. See? Huge, right? We decided to do the convention together. For the next three days we spent all our days at the convention and in the evenings we explored New York together. I didn't lie to him, you know. I told him about Bill right away and how great we were together. But by the end of the third day, I remember we were standing in the Times Square subway station, and Martin told me that he thought that he was falling in love with me. I felt so bad for him, that I kissed him. Do you understand? I kissed him because I felt sorry for him. He did not have a chance with me and yet...I just felt so bad for him. But he really kissed me. He told me that he understood about Bill, but he thought that he was all wrong for me. He said that he listened to me talk about my relationship with Bill for the last three days and thought it was all wrong. That I was being abused and didn't know it. He said that what he was really sorry about was that when I finally broke up with Bill he would not be around. Funny that he had foreseen it all so well. Maybe it really is easier to see things from the outside, you know. Now sometimes when I lie in bed at night, I think of the things that Martin talked to me about.
Dr. Balis: What things?
Ms. Green: He said that he fantasized about me. He even described his fantasies to me. They were very sweet. Very romantic. Would you like me tell you about them?
Dr. Balis: If you would like to tell me.
Ms. Green: He, Martin, was going to school in Michigan. He had a small room on a second floor. His one window looked out on a big old oak tree. The kind full of knots and twists. A good climbing tree, you know. When you lie down in his bed, most of what you see is this tree and sky. Martin described how he wanted to take me to this bed so I could see how peaceful it makes you feel looking out of his window. He described how he dreamed about waking up in that bed with me. I would still be asleep, it would be really early in the morning. The sky would be just starting to turn light and big flakes of snow would be falling down. The big oak would be surrounded by this slow falling snow and he would hold me while I slept. I thought it was very beautiful.
Dr. Balis: I would really like for you to try writing some of your thoughts down. I think it might really help you to calm down and feel more in control.
Ms. Green: Well it does help to talk about it with you. I really feel better.
Dr. Balis: Good. Hopefully writing a journal would have the same effect. We're out of time now, but I would like to schedule our next appointment for this Thursday at 4 PM. Is that okay?
Ms. Green: It works for me. Thank you , Doctor. And I really will try to write this time. And I think I will use the computer.
Dr. Balis: That's fine. Okay then, I will see you on Thursday. Goodbye, Ms. Green.
Ms. Green: Goodbye, Doctor. I hope I did not depress or bore you too much with my stories. I hate to think that my therapist know.
Dr. Balis: Please don't worry Ms. Green. I am here for you. Okay?
Ms. Green: Yes Doctor. Goodbye.
Dr. Balis: Goodbye.
Arrow, Straight, Left, Earlier Arrow, Straight, Right, Later

Button to Dr. Balis' Notes Doctor Balis' Notes on this Session

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