Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Last Contact with Craig W. Dye -- July 14, 1993

I submitted the following document about my friend Craig W. Dye to Suzanne M. Pitts, M.D., my then treating psychiatrist at The George Washington University Medical Center. The document contains Dr. Pitts’ handwritten note: Hand carried +o appt 7/19 [1993]. I had last seen Craig in early February 1992, when we had lunch together. The following document memorializes the last time Craig and I spoke to each other. We had originally  met at the law firm of Hogan & Hartson, where Craig started his employment on Monday October 6, 1986.

Here is a chronology that places the telephone conversation in the context of my mental illness:

1.  I filed a claim for Social Security Disability Benefits on April 20, 1993.

2.  I telephoned Craig Dye on July 14, 1993.  I mentioned to Craig that I had seen Stanley R. Palombo, M.D. in consultation in October 1992 and that Dr. Palombo said I was fully employable.

3.  I filed Complainant's Application for Reconsideration of No Probable Cause Finding with the D.C. Department of Human Rights on July 27, 1993.

4.  Dr. Pitts mentioned that she could have me hospitalized at the GW Hospital in August 1993, suggesting her assessment of the severity of my illness.

5.  SSA granted my claim for disability benefits in mid-August 1993.

6.  Dr. Pitts recommended that I take the anti-psychotic medication Haldol on August 26, 1993, days after I had filed a complaint against her with the D.C. Medical Board.

Dr. Pitts made the following threat on August 26, 1993: "If you don't stop sending out letters of complaint, the Medical Center might decide there's nothing more it can do for you." Dr. Pitts' statement suggests her abreaction of fears of abandonment. She seems to be saying, "Mr. Freedman, the termination of your treatment by GW would abreact my fears about losing my medical license." The same psychological dynamic emerges in the following telephone conversation.

The following are notes of a telephone call I had placed to Craig on July 14, 1993 together with interpretive comments and impressions. The sequence of the notes reflects the order in which I recalled the conversation and does not represent the real-time sequence of the conversation. While talking with Craig I was doodling, a copy of which is attached. Perhaps the Behavioral Science Department could interpret the significance of the content of the drawing.

CWD: Why are you calling me after all this time? [Craig’s comment seems to have a double meaning: On a conscious level, suggests his annoyance with my calling him at all; unconsciously, may suggest issue of anger at being abandoned--viewed in light of anger at abandonment, his refusal to go to lunch may have been motivated by retribution. A case of the abandoned person actively mastering his loss by becoming the abandoner. Also, note Craig’s reference to the issue of time, which he raises again in connection with his girlfriend.]

GF: I’ve been trying to call you for months now, Craig.

Avoids question about going to lunch. Later says he doesn’t take a lunch break anymore. Refuses to go to lunch with me.

Agrees to accept my resume and give a copy to legal assistant administrator at Hogan & Hartson and to friends who are attorneys.

CWD: Hogan has a new legal assistant administrator.

Asks me what law firm I was working for: “Arnold and Porter?” [This comment suggests an attempt to conceal his possible contacts with Akin Gump. How could he possibly have forgotten that I worked at Akin Gump? Not at all credible.]

GF: Are you going to law school?

CWD: Right now?

GF: No, not right now. Have you matriculated in law school?

CWD: You can grow hair on your hands from matriculating.  [Compare masturbatory/hair reference here with later reference to hair in connection with my allusion to homoeroticism. GF: “Are you still good-looking, Crag? CWD: “My hair is thinning.”]

Says he’s not going to law school.  I explain why I thought he was going to law school.  I explain that in Feb. 1992 he said he had taken a course in legal writing at Georgetown and was going to enter night school in fall of 1992. Craig says writing course was good. Craig states that at his age --”the ripe old age of 34”--he didn’t think he could put up with the [?] of law school.

I state disappointment that he’s not going to law school:

GF: Now I won’t be able to live out my fantasy through you of becoming managing partner of Arnold & Porter.

CWD mentions name of managing partner of Arnold and Porter. States that’s not his ambition.

CWD: Gar, just what have you done since I last saw you?

GF: I was waiting for the next time we could get together for lunch.

CWD: That’s what I was worried about.

GF: Aren’t you worried that if I were to get a job at Hogan, I would wait for chance encounter to chance encounter with you in the hallway.

CWD: That does concern me.

[Note how I respond to Craig’s refusal to go to lunch: repeated “needy” and “dependent” references. But the references are self-mocking caricatures of dependency. On a deeper level, note how I may actually be responding to Craig’s manipulation: because of his possible unconscious feelings of abandonment he may be trying to get me to profess how dependent I am on him. Thus, consciously: CWD--strong, independent, abandoner / Freedman--dependent, needy, abandoned; but unconsciously CWD feels he is the abandoned person who seeks gratification in my statements of neediness.

Note Craig’s expressions of anger when I used to ignore him when we worked together: “It was really nice spending the week with you, Gary [October 10, 1986].” Again, in November 1987, after I didn’t go to lunch with him: “It was really nice going to lunch with you, Gary.” Additional but related, interpretation: Craig has feelings of abandonment in connection with his girlfriend, and is acting out role of abandoner in connection with me (and possibly unconsciously soliciting statements of neediness from me). Compare lunch with Craig on November 14, 1989. At that time Craig’s girlfriend was in Paris for a year. It was at that time that Craig said to me: “You need to make an attempt to be friendly with people (Compare Craig’s comment in this conversation about his need to “push me out of the nest.”] “You can’t be worried all the time that people will  think you’re weird [compare Craig’s reference to 'freaks' in this conversation].” Craig had a noticeably standoffish manner at lunch on November 14, 1989.

SIGNIFICANT RECURRING INTERPERSONAL ISSUE: Others’ possible use of me as object of abreaction by means of displacement.  Compare my supervisor’s possible use of me to abreact her feelings of hostility toward the management of the firm: “Lightening rod of common anxiety?”.  One might offer the very tentative hypothesis that Chris Robertson’s termination of me allowed her to abreact her own fear of being terminated (again the issue of abandonment) by management. In the same way, Craig may be “terminating” me as a means of dealing with the anxiety of having been temporarily “terminated” by his girlfriend.  QUERY: Speaking metaphorically, if “abreaction by means of displacement” is a key part of certain persons’ outer shell, what is the structure of my outer shell that makes this bond possible? One might say that Chris Robertson is not mentally unbalanced--she is actually mentally unvalanced.

CWD: I’m surprised that someone with your intelligence has had such difficulty finding a job.

CWD states that it's time to push me out of the nest. [Compare Craig’s use of word “nest” and later use of term "nest egg” in a totally different context.] States that I need to make other friends. He doesn’t’ want to be friends with someone who has no friends.

GF: If you don’t have friends, then the first person you’re friendly with is always going to note that you don’t have any friends. Its hard to go from zero friends to one friend. Maybe I should befriend a pair of Siamese twins.

CWD: No, Siamese twins are freaks--you don’t want to be friends with freaks. You have to find people who don’t care whether you have friends.

CWD states that his Department has grown--there’s now a spin-off. Department is basically like it was when I was there, except for Tom MacIsaac, Mike Wilson, and Dan Cutler [daniel.cutler@lexisnexis.com or 303-681-0366] [peculiar reference to the personnel make-up of the Department; seems to be trying to convey the idea that the department is basically the same as when I left--but why? To arouse feelings of loss, nostalgia, and abandonment in me? In a previous conversation, Craig had mentioned how much the Department had changed. States that he’s still working on Chrysler and the “Ed” [education group. Is it mere coincidence that these were the two projects I worked on?]

GF: You fired Sandra Smalls.

CWD: Yes, I fired Sandra, racist pig than I am.

GF: Are you still good looking, Craig? Are you still a good-looking guy?

CWD: My hair is tinning. [Compare Craig’s earlier masturbatory/hair reference: "Matriculation will make you grow hair on your hands.” Here Craig refers to hair in response to my allusion to homoeroticism.]

GF: How about if I stop over your office?

CWD: No.

GF: I’ll leave my gun at home.

CWD: Guns are illegal in the District.

GF: That wouldn’t deter me. I might be disruptive, though.

CWD: Yes, you might be disruptive. I’m afraid that if you were to see me, after all this time [another reference to time], the shock might be too great for you.

Craig says I should be friendly with dead people. [I have an idea of reference here: to my dream of “Craig at Wanamaker’s"  and the issue of cemeteries (blocks of stone that symbolized grave stones and teeth). In fact, Craig later mentions his dentist. I never mentioned this dream to Craig.]

GF: Are you still seeing Alex?  [Craig's girlfriend, whom he later married, was Alexandra Zapruder.]

CWD: Yes. She’s in San Francisco for a year working on a project [note Craig’s reference to time.  Compare Craig’s statement to me:  "Why are you calling me after all this time?]. It’s a long-distance relationship [note Craig’s reference to distance; compare Craig’s statement to me “I don’t want you to schlep all the way from your apartment to U Street.” It’s a long time. . . [second reference to time].

CWD: You have a sister in Philadelphia.

GF: Not far away, in Moorestown NJ, do you know that area?

CWD: I used to date a girl in that area.

CWD: Do you ever hear from that guy who went to Buffalo, he had blond hair? [Both Craig and Matthew Allender, a co-worker at Hogan, were graduates of SUNY-Buffalo; here, reference to “hair” and “college”--compare Craig’s other reference to “matriculation” and “hair”]

GF: Matthew Allender. No, I haven’t seen him since Friday afternoon, September 25, 1987.

Discussion of my memory for dates.

CWD: It’s a gift.

GF: It’s not useful except for annoying people.

GF: I haven’t been over your place since Wednesday March 8, 1989. I can remember that because it was the day before Eastern Airlines filed for bankruptcy.

CWD: That’s right. You used to work on Eastern.

Later, CWD states (apparently having checked a calendar): It was a Wednesday. Can you do that for the future?

GF: No, only the past: things I’ve experienced in the past.

GF: So you still live on U Street?

CWD: Yes.

GF: I’ll stop over your place.


GF: I’ll stop over tonight.


GF: What time do you get home?

CWD: 7:30, 8:00.

GF: I’ll be over at 8:00.

CWD: OK. You can see my fish [later says he no longer has tropical fish]; You can pet my dog. No, Gar. I can’t play this game with you. I don’t live on U Street. I moved to Virginia. The condo is being remodeled.

Explains that he was renting, but is now purchasing the condo on U Street. Will be out of the condo for the next few months May later rent condo for rental income. Staying with a friend in Virginia.

CWD: I don’t want you to schlep all the way out to U Street [note reference to distance]. You live some distance from U Street [note reference to distance--as with discussion of girlfriend]. When you got to the apartment, you’d press your face up against the glass and see an empty apartment . [Symbolic reference to feelings of emptiness? [as if Craig were saying:]: “Gary, if you were to see me, a mirror image of yourself  [“glass”], you would see an empty shell.”]  Compare Craig’s express statement: “If you were to see me, after all this time, the shock might be too much for you.”

Mentions that floor at the U Street condo is being refinished. Mentions possibility of slipping on newly refinished floor.

CWD: Maybe you should hang your own shingle. Open a law practice in family law, wills. Am I pressuring you, Gar? You sound like you feel I’m pressuring you. I don’t want to do that.


CWD: I may give this all up and move out west. (I have an idea of reference here: “Dream of Craig at Wanamaker’s” in which Craig tells me he is moving to California and will not tell me where I can contact him. I have the same feeling as in the dream, “Now, I am finally rid of him.” I never told Craig about this dream.)

GF: I’ll follow you out west Craig.

CWD: Do you still live in Cleveland Park?

GF: Yea, not on the street. Not on the street in Cleveland Park. In an apartment.

CWD: My dentist is in your neighborhood. [I have an idea of reference here: to my dream “Craig at Wanamaker’s" and the issue of cemeteries (blocks of stone that symbolized grave stones and teeth.) In fact, Craig previously mentions, peculiarly, that I should be friendly with “dead people.” I never mentioned this dream to Craig.

GF: Yea, Dr. Salvaggio.

CWD: Yes. That’s amazing. Is he your dentist?

GF: No. Does he use laser?

CWD: Laser?! Not that I know of. What’s that used for?

GF: I think it's only used for soft-tissue procedures

GF: This is another of our scintillating conversations.

CWD: Yes, another scintillating conversation, This will be remembered in history.

GF: I’ll remember this call. It’s Bastille Day. Today’s the 14th isn’t it? It’s Bastille Day.

CWD: Maybe I should call the Paris Office and wish the a happy Bastille Day [peculiar symmetry with his dropping the name of the managing partner of Arnold and Porter. Allusions to his importance?]

GF: I left Akin Gump in October of ‘91.

CWD: October of ‘91 That’s almost two years ago

GF: I was on unemployment for a while.

CWD: You must have quite a nest egg. [compare Craig’s statement about pushing me out of the nest.] (I have an idea of reference here to repeated used of word “nest:” nest = bird = raven = Raben - Dream of “Murder up the Lobby,” which, in fact I never showed to Craig.

CWD: I didn’t return telephone calls.  When friends call, I don’t return their calls. I don’t like telephones. (I have an idea of reference here: I note Craig’s comment about his dislike of telephones and his seemingly gratuitous statement about slipping on the newly finished floor in his apartment.  Reference to my infantile oral injury?)

[note 10/4/11: Craig had a telephone answering machine at his home on U Street.  It is doubtful he was being sincere when he said he doesn't return telephone calls.]

CWD: What day were you born?

GF: On a Wednesday, Wednesday, Dec. 23, 1953.

CWD: You were a Christmas baby.

GF: Indeed I was. (Very low-grade inference here possible reference to “Dream of Greensboro,” which featured associations it my toy trains. Such a reference would fit in with Craig’s other seeming references to my dream interpretations.)

CWD: I’ve never known of a relationship like this before.  (Craig states words to the effect: "in the whole clinical literature there’s never been a relationship like this before."  I have an idea of reference here -- to my paper on Eissler/Masson (?), which, in fact, I never showed Craig.  Indeed, all of Craig’s seeming references to my dreams seem to allude to the paper, as if he were playing Fliess to my Freud. (I note that Craig has an interest in dream interpretation. One evening in about late 1988 or early 1989 I telephoned Craig at home and asked what he was doing. He said he was analyzing his dreams with his roommate, Sandra. He mentioned he was reading the book, The Portable Jung. I had said, “You mean the book edited by Joseph Campbell?” He said, “Yes.” Note the inherent contradiction in my mental approach: ideas of reference are not compatible with highly-refined memory and perceptiveness. A person who has ideas of reference on July 14, 1993 does not say, “I believe this because I can recall a conversation some time in late 1988 or early 1989 at which time Craig said he was reading The Portable Jung, a book that Craig acknowledged was edited by Joseph Campbell, which suggests Craig’s interest in dream interpretation.”

I tell Craig I’ll call him in September when he moves back to the condo. Maybe I can stop over then. CWD doesn’t object.

CWD: What have you been doing?

GF: Hanging out with my buddies

CWD: Cool.

GF: Cool.

CWD: Excellent [Craig’s use of “cool” and “excellent” seems to be sarcastic.]

CWD: Has the recession affected Akin Gump?’

GF: I left Akin Gump in October 1991. While I was there I heard that they had a problem with clients not paying their bills. [In fact, Malcolm Lassman had said this on Friday April 5, 1991]. Their securities practice is shot to hell.

CWD: What has Akin Gump been doing?

GF: Warding off law suits.

CWD: Warding off law suits.

CWD: Do you ever see Dr. Palombo?

GF: I saw him last October I had a session with him last October.

CWD: That was his name, wasn’t it, “Palombo?”

GF: He said he thought I was employable.


Gary Freedman said...

Letter to Dr. Georgopoulos dated January 22, 1996:

"My situation is desperate. On Friday October 2, 1992 I met with a previous treating psychiatrist, Stanley R. Palombo, M.D. Dr. Palombo advised me at that time that I was fully employable, without restriction. By GW's own admission I am now "incapacitated," a "psychological cripple." I continue to believe that I was subjected to a severe, pervasive, and degrading pattern of harassment at my former place of employment, the law firm of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld. According to Dr. Pitts, this belief was the product of a psychotic mental disorder. It is as if I have been destroyed, a victim of a psychological homicide."

Gary Freedman said...

The actual end of the friendship was particularly difficult for Freud, and later in his life he seldom spoke of Fliess at all. J. Moussaieff Masson, Introduction to The Complete Letters of Sigmund Freud to Wilhelm Fliess, 1887-1904.

Gary Freedman said...

Craig states: “You can’t be worried all the time that people will think you’re weird [compare Craig’s reference to 'freaks' in this conversation].”

Oddly, there is a passage in the book In The Freud Archives in which the psychoanalyst Jeffrey Massons seems to suggest that he struggled with feelings that people thought he was weird--not socially accpetable.

"'Then I met a rather attractive older graduate student and I had an affair with her. One day, she took me to some art event, and she was sorry afterward. She said, "Well, it is very nice sleeping with you in your room, but you're the kind of person who should never leave the room--you're just a social embarrassment anywhere else, though you do fine in your own room." And you know, in their way, if not in so many words, Eissler and Anna Freud told me the same thing. They like me well enough 'in my own room.' They loved to hear from me what creeps and dolts analysts are. I was like an intellectual gigolo--you get your pleasure from him, but you don't take him out in public. . . .'" In the Freud Archives 38.

Was Craig projecting his social fears onto me?

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