Transcript of 4th Session between Charles Balis, M.D. and Ms. Anna Green, Thursday, July 24, 1996 at 4 pm

Ms. Green: Hello, Doctor.
Dr. Balis: Hello, Ms. Green. How are you today?
Ms. Green: I'm not sure. I think I'm better. I had a long conversation with Caren about you.
Dr. Balis: Really? Do you want to tell me about it?
Ms. Green: I do and I don't at the same time. Caren said some things to me and I am just not sure.
Dr. Balis: Not sure about what?
Ms. Green: Not sure if I should tell you. But that's what I'm here for. And, it was all know, in fun anyway.
Dr. Balis: What did Caren say?
Ms. Green: She just said that it sounded to her that I have feeling for you, you know. She's just crazy. You are my therapist and I am supposed to like you, right? If I didn't, I wouldn't come to see you.
Dr. Balis: It's true. A doctor and a patient develop a relationship during their sessions together. But I don't think that this is what you mean.
Ms. Green: No. It's just that I'm beginning to have long imaginary conversations with you, just like I do with Bill. I guess it's perfectly normal. I'm not in love with you, or anything. I'm just talking and I think it's good for me. It's keeping me from talking with Bill. I mean having imaginary conversations with Bill. I haven't actually talked to him in weeks.
Dr. Balis: In these imaginary conversations, what do you talk to me about?
Ms. Green: Oh, endless stuff. On my way here, I was telling you about when I was a girl in 6th grade and everyone thought I was a geek because I was really good in math. I used to win all the math competitions in my school. But popular girls just aren't supposed to win those kind of competitions. They hang out with the boys and smoke in the bathrooms. And the boys also didn't like it when the girls were better than them, you know? Anyway, I always ended up being the brunt of a joke or people would make fun of me. My parents told me that kids always do that when they're envious of someone. I don't know, maybe it's true. But I would have liked to be noticed for...I don't know...for big breasts, or something, you know?
Dr. Balis: It's not the worst thing in the world to be noticed for your mental abilities.
Ms. Green: I know. But it always surprised me how some girls managed to wear the same basic school uniform as I did and look sexy and sophisticated. I always just managed to look like a dumpy schoolgirl. When I asked my parents for a new uniform, I always ended up with something that was too big so that I could "grow into it." I think other girls in my school did not go shopping with their mothers and some even did some alterations--shortened the skirts and fitted the tops. My uniform was down to my knees and baggy. No one could even tell I had any breasts let alone admire them.
Dr. Balis: But it sounds like your parents were very supportive of you.
Ms. Green: Oh, they were. My father a professor of Mathematics at U.C. Davis. So he would always play these math games with me when I was a kid. I guess that's how I ended up majoring in computer science in college.
Dr. Balis: You said kids made fun of you and played jokes?
Ms. Green: I guess I was an awkward child. I was very shy, you know. I would always speak very quietly so people would have to strain to hear what I had to say. I even went through a period when I would write everything in these tiny tiny letters. I tried to get the height of the letters as close to the width of the lines on my notebook paper as possible. I think I could fit five pages of typed text onto one of my miniature creations. I don't know how my teachers were able to read it. But I always was a good girl, so I guess they let me get away with it. And it didn't last very long anyway.
Dr. Balis: Did you just stop?
Ms. Green: You know, that's an interesting story. I remember that one day during the class break, some boys were playing with wet rags. You know, the ones you use to clean the blackboard with. Well, one of these wet rags landed right on my desk on top of my science paper. It was the whole paper fitted nicely just on one side of a notebook page. I thought it was very pretty written that way, you know. Well, the rag hit the paper, the paper got wet, and the understand. My paper was destroyed. I started to cry. It was my only copy and I was worried that now I didn't have my assignment anymore and I was wreck my perfect homework record. When the teacher walked into the room, she saw me crying and and saw my paper. She said it was okay. And I shouldn't worry about not giving her my assignment. She just assumed that it was good and gave me an A on it. That was really nice. But I had put in a lot of work on that paper and I wanted her to read it. I thought it was good, you know? So I guess it was the turning point. I never wrote in miniature again. I guess it's vain, but I just thought my work was too precious to take chances with. I was always proud of my work, even when it was just school work. By the way, those boys, the ones that destroyed my paper, they never even apologized, you know? I guess they thought it was funny. Somehow things always worked out like that for me.
Dr. Balis: What do you mean?
Ms. Green: I mean kids just being mean or bad to me, you know. There was this one boy...I've known him since second grade, when he transferred to our school. I guess I always liked him. He was very smart and was on the school's math team too. And I think he liked me too, but never really showed it. Maybe he was afraid of being made fun of for liking me, you know? Well one day in fifth grade, it must have been the beginning of a semester, our teacher gave out our seat assignments. I ended up sitting with Michael. I was very happy. But the girl behind me asked if she could switch seats with me because she hated the guy she was sitting next to. I hated him too, but I thought that if I don't change seats with her, everyone in the class would know how I feel about Michael, you know? So I changed seats. It was horrible. This guy was such a terrible creep. I hated even the smell of him. And the sad thing was that it was all my fault. I could have been sitting next to Michael all year long but I blew it. And later I found out that everyone knew that I liked him anyway and this girl, Lucy, just did it to make me feel bad. Everyone had a good laugh about it later. I know that this is all stupid and boring but it really hurt at the time. Doctor, I hope you're not just sitting there thinking that this ninny in your office is telling you some petty boring little stories from her childhood when you could be out curing schizophrenia or something, you know?
Dr. Balis: Ms. Green, please don't worry about how I'm reacting to the stories you tell me. They've all been interesting and important in my understanding more about you.
Ms. Green: Thank you, Doctor. I just...I my conversations with you...imaginary are always so nice and so understanding. Thanks for really being like that.
Dr. Balis: Please tell me more about these conversations.
Ms. Green: There really isn't that much to tell. I just like talking to you, I guess. It makes me feel good, you know. And I feel like I can tell you things that I couldn't tell anyone. Very private things. Even things that I am embarrassed about.
Dr. Balis: Do you feel like you could only talk to me so openly in your thoughts or do you feel like you can actually express things in my presence that you would otherwise not talk about?
Ms. Green: I'm not sure. I guess I've been telling you a lot of really private things about me already. If I told you about Caren, I guess it would be a sort of test.
Dr. Balis: I'm not sure I'm following you. You want to test your openness to me by telling me about Caren?
Ms. Green: That's right, Doctor. Remember when I came in today, I said I talked to Caren?
Dr. Balis: Yes.
Ms. Green: Well I didn't tell you all that happened last night.
Dr. Balis: Oh?
Ms. Green: Yes. You see, Caren also works for SII. You've got to understand, she is an administrative assistant there--all prim and proper in a business suit and everything, not like me. Well, last night she invited me for dinner over at her place after work. She lives on Nob Hill, so we just decided to walk there. It was such a nice evening. So we were walking up the hill, talking and holding hands. It didn't mean anything. Women just do that sort of thing with their friends. But I guess to all the tourists we looked like a typical San Francisco couple. And there were lots of tourists going by in cable cars that were stuffed to the gills. We were walking up California Street and there was a cable car every minute or so. And it didn't help that she was dressed in a suit, all business-like. I was wearing this long summer dress and a hat. I guess we really looked the part. As soon as we noticed that people were staring at us, we really put on a show, you know? We laughed and held each other around the waist. We felt, as citizens of San Francisco, it was our duty to support the tourist industry.
Dr. Balis: Sounds like you did a very good job.
Ms. Green: We did. I honestly think that those people will have a story to tell when they get home. Well, finally we got to Caren's place. She has a small studio right in front of the Cathedral. She went immediately into the kitchen to start preparing dinner and I wanted to check the news--the TWA crash, you know? It really upset me. I kept imagining how horrible it must be for the families and friends of all those people on board that plane. It just seems so empty and pointless. And all those kids. I'd just hate to lose someone close to me like that.
Dr. Balis: It's a terrible tragedy.
Ms. Green: Yes. Anyway, Caren came out and joined me for the news report. They showed a woman whose friend died on that plane. She said that it felt like a piece of her heart was torn away. Caren and I just looked at each other. I know we both thought the same thing.
Dr. Balis: You and Caren are very close.
Ms. Green: Yes we are. Actually, our relationship goes through these periods of being really close and then sort of drifting apart. I guess we are in the close phase now. But we had times when we wouldn't talk to each other for a month at a time. I think it usually happens when either of us just gets involved with a new guy--no time for socializing with friends in the beginning of a new relationship, you know. I guess that sounds really bad. But we've known each other for a long time and it seems to be our pattern.
Dr. Balis: But now you and Caren have a good relationship.
Ms. Green: Well we do...or we did. Last night after dinner, Caren and I were talking about love and sex and stuff like that. We started talking about how it's important to try everything at least once. I mean sexually...not like hurting somebody or something, you know? I mean...some people hurt each other during sex but that's not what Caren meant. She was just talking about the good kind of sex, where everyone enjoys each other. There's a quote from somebody which goes, "Once a philosopher, twice a pervert."
Dr. Balis: I understand.
Ms. Green: Well, anyway, we were talking about the philosopher part. Caren was saying that she wanted to make love to a woman at least once in her life. She was saying that she wasn't gay, or anything, but that she wanted to know what it was like. It was something she wanted to try, like an exotic dish or something, you know? And I'm agreeing with her, saying that people were too limited by labels and fear to really try different things and that people should be more experimental, you know, stuff like that. We only live once, you know? So I am saying this to Caren and she starts looking at me sort of funny. And then it hits me. She means us! She wants us to try it with each other! Well, it's one thing to talk about it and to think about it. But I wasn't prepared to try it just yet. And definitely not with Caren, you know? You have to be attracted to the person you're planning to make love to and I just wasn't attracted to Caren at all. But I like Caren and I couldn't just tell her that I wasn't attracted to her. Do you understand?
Dr. Balis: You didn't want to hurt Caren's feelings?
Ms. Green: That's right. So she's leaning over me and kissing me while we're lying on her bed and I was trying to think of something fast. I just finished giving this long speech about hypocrites that only believe that love is possible between men and women and not between two men, or a woman and a woman. And now Caren is kissing my neck and face. I just finished telling her how I would like to try to make love to a woman someday. And I'm stuck because even though I don't find Caren attractive sexually, we had talked about her appearance a few weeks ago and she had taken off her top and showed me her small breasts and asked what I thought. I told her at the time that she was very attractive and had nothing to worry about. But now I was really caught in my lie.
Dr. Balis: What did you do?
Ms. Green: When Caren started kissing my lips, I kissed her back. I thought if I just give a little she'd stop. But she didn't. She kept on going. She was going to go all the way. I really didn't want to. When she started to touch my breasts, I gently pushed her away. She was clearly hurt and said that she just wanted to give me pleasure and that I wouldn't have to do anything to her, just enjoy it.
Dr. Balis: Did you try to tell Caren that you didn't want her to make love to you?
Ms. Green: It would have really hurt her feelings. She's my best friend, you know.
Dr. Balis: So what happened?
Ms. Green: Caren got up and took all of her clothes off. She did it very slowly so I could watch. But I wasn't watching, I was feeling hot and nervous, and my heart was beating really fast. I just wanted to run away.
Dr. Balis: Did you?
Ms. Green: No, I didn't. I let her reach under my skirt and pull down my panties.
Dr. Balis: Hmm.
Ms. Green: I just didn't have the heart to make her stop. And I mean I wouldn't have to do anything, you know? Caren didn't hurt me, she was really gentle and she was really trying to please me. I'm sort of embarrassed that it didn't feel horrible, you know? It did sort of feel good, but it didn't feel right and I was too freaked. Anyway, it was over quick.
Dr. Balis: What do you mean?
Ms. Green: I just pretended to have an orgasm, and she stopped. It's not the first time, you know.
Dr. Balis: Not the first time with a woman or not the first time you pretended to have an orgasm?
Ms. Green: No this was the first time with a woman. But I pretended to have an orgasm when Bill and I made love. In fact, I used to do it all the time. I thought that if I didn't have an orgasm that he would feel like he failed me somehow and get upset. So I know. He never knew. Men never know. They all want to believe.
Dr. Balis: But you knew.
Ms. Green: Yes.
Dr. Balis: I 'm sorry, Ms. Green, but we'll have to stop here. We're really out of time.
Ms. Green: It's no problem, Doctor. I'll see next week, okay?
Dr. Balis: Yes. I would like to meet with you next Thursday, August 1 at 4 pm. The same as this week, okay?
Ms. Green: Sure. I'll see you in a week, Doctor.
Dr. Balis: Please call me and talk to me if you need to. Okay?
Ms. Green: Sure.
Dr. Balis: Goodbye, Ms. Green.
Ms. Green: Goodbye, Doctor.
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