In Treatment s03e08 Episode Script

Adele: Week Two

Ifeel that I'm growing intimate with your outgoing message.
Anyway, Gina, it's Paul.
I'm not certain if you got my last Well, why wouldn't you have gotten my last message? In any event, l I've yet to hear back from you.
And let's just say that you've made some pretty interesting character choices in your novel, which I wanted to talk to you about.
So could you call me back, please, so that l I Thank you for seeing me.
Of course.
I know that I was a bit difficult the last time.
A bit reluctant to engage in Anyway, my situation has changed.
My son Max is living with me.
I arrived home from our session last week and he was sitting on the doorstep.
He'd come up from Baltimore on the train by himselfwith his suitcase.
And he was saying that he wanted to live with me.
He's 12.
That is quite a change.
Of course, my ex-wife is furious with me for allowing him to stay, and for enrolling him in the wrong school, and who knows how many other transgressions.
How has it been for you to have Max living in your home? You spoke last time about feeling alienated from your children.
Well, it's been two years since I lived with them.
And when I did, I'd have to say that Kate was more primary in their lives, at least in the day-to-day stuff, yeah.
So this is the first time you'll be playing that part.
A critical age, 1 2.
They're just on the edge of everything really.
Does that feel like a lot of pressure? I do feel pressure, but not The other morning I was passing the cereal to Max, and my hand started to shake.
He didn't notice, but As much as I want to have Max with me, at some point very soon I'm gonna have to tell him about my illness.
That I have Parkinson's.
I just owe it to him to do it correctly, to discuss it with somebody and to do it right.
That's why I'm here.
That's why I came back.
I'm glad you did.
You had said you were seeing a neurologist I also have to admit that you were right -about something last week.
-Okay.
You asked me if I have someone to talk to, who I confide in.
Well, I don't really.
Wendy's becoming less and less that person.
And now that Max is living with me, I've had to ban her from staying over.
Well, what I mean is ask.
I've had to ask her not to stay over at my apartment.
Would she prefer to stay with you? She'd have her name on the lease on Tuesday if I'd agree to it.
And a fridge full of soy products.
She keeps asking to meet Max.
She says she loves kids.
But I had to say no.
You know, I just think that he's so disturbed from living with Kate and her fiance that I just don't think it's fair to put him in that position.
Has Max talked to you about being disturbed? He's been begging me for weeks to come live with me, saying how much he hates Steve.
-That's the fiance? Steve? -Yes, yes.
I'd actually expected my daughter Rosie to have a harder time living with him and Kate, but she hasn't.
Why did you expect Rosie to have a harder time? 'Cause we used to be close.
Well, certainly closer than we are now, yeah.
Are you equally worried to talk with her about your medical You were also right about something else last week.
-What's that? -About Gina Toll.
You questioned her professional judgment last week.
I defended her.
Now that I've been reading her new book, I have to say that you were right.
You're not enjoying the book? She's revealed herself to be completely indiscreet, utterly selfish.
In my opinion, she should have her license revoked.
So you were right.
Is it easier for you to justify coming here ifyou think of Gina as selfish and me as right? Excuse me? Last week you had real doubts about me, and this week you're telling me I'm right about quite a lot.
Jesus Christ, some people really have a hard time taking a compliment.
Look, you were right about her.
I don't know how else to say it.
It took you 30 minutes to discern something about Gina that I apparently was blind to for 25 years.
While I was chatting away about my problems, she was contriving the basis of one of the most miserable characters that I have ever encountered in a novel, Iike the demon spawn of Bartleby and Shylock, this depressive, groveling outcast.
It's just despicable.
She's despicable.
And now she's avoiding my phone calls.
She won't return my messages.
You seem quite convinced And if you read the book, it's perfectly obvious.
The guy is an associate professor at an East Coast college, repeatedly denied tenure by the chairwoman of the department.
Gina Toll famously denied me the opportunity to head up the Psychoanalytic lnstitute.
In the novel she describes this guy as obsessed with his students, their academic work, but their personal lives.
So much so that he ignores his real relationship, the lovely wife and the two kids.
In one bit she says that this guy is self-sabotaging, self-defeating, that he's in a prison of his own making.
She even calls the guy John, as if she needed to be more overt about who she's attacking.
John was my father's name.
-John? -Yeah.
You're reading this as a personal attack.
You don't believe me? I don't know what Gina's doing or not doing.
I am much more interested in how certain you seem to be that she's based one of her main characters on you.
Do you think I'm making this up? Can you tell me which part ofwhat she wrote is most upsetting? All of it.
The whole lot of it.
Everything.
There aren't specific passages in it that stand out for you? You mentioned in particular the phrases "self-defeating," "self-sabotaging.
" -Can you tell me about -No, I can't.
Listen, let's just move on from that.
There's nothing to be done.
It's not a question of whether there's something to be done or not.
Look, I just don't want to talk about Gina Toll anymore.
I'll finish reading the book.
And then ifyou like, we could get back to it next week.
-Can you explain one -Please, you know what? -ls your hand bothering you? -No.
Earlier you said you're concerned about how best to tell Max you have Parkinson's.
You mentioned last week you're seeing a neurologist.
Yes.
Did you see a neurologist? You seem reluctant to tell me what the doctor said.
I mean, you go to a top specialist, Cornell's fancy new wing, state-of-the-art, you'd think he'd at least order a CAT scan or an MRl.
He didn't do that? He asked me to touch my nose, walk down the hall, hop on one foot.
And? How was that? I touched my nose, I walked, I hopped.
Then he told me that Parkinson's is a hard disease to diagnose.
That they misdiagnose 30% of the time.
He said the scans can't really tell you anything until the later stages.
But for you, at this point, he thought He thought, after our low-tech encounter, that I'm not exhibiting enough symptoms for a positive diagnosis.
He said we'd have to wait and see.
You don't seem terribly relieved.
I was so fucking relieved I actually called up Wendy and asked her out for sushi.
She seemed shocked.
She kept remarking about how up I seemed.
So we sat down to lunch and I thought to myself, "Wow, here I am opposite this beautiful, fun woman.
" I found myself wondering why I ever doubted her.
Sounds as if the doctor's visit had a significant effect.
Yeah, it did for about 20 minutes.
And then the food arrived.
Ifyou're worried about your hand shaking, don't hold a piece of fish between two 10-inch sticks of wood.
I have an appointment in two weeks.
I'm gonna get a second opinion.
-You're seeing another neurologist? -Yes.
Well, I've had the symptoms for four months and they're not getting any better.
It runs in my family.
I think I owe myself a second opinion.
Don't tell me you disagree.
If it'll make you more comfortable to get a second opinion, that's probably something you should do.
You're genuinely frightened about being sick.
How has your sleep been this week? Do you wake up thinking about all this? I take a pill and Are you still waking up after several hours? -Are you still having the same dream? -Yes.
What, are you hoping for another compliment? -I'm sorry? -Another compliment to reject? I'm not sure l Are you hoping I'll tell you that your theory was right? That my dream contains images of entrapment and paralysis? That's what you asked me at the end of last week.
Does it? Not that it was such a terribly difficult guess to make, but yeah.
So, go ahead, make a note in your book.
"Patient continues to lionize therapist "to justify replacement of long-term analyst.
" I'll make a mental note.
Sounds good.
Will you tell me what you've been dreaming? I'm running along the outside of this tall wrought-iron fence.
I'm outside.
It's a field, daytime, really bright.
The fence starts to curve and I can sense this opening up ahead, gates.
And I have this tremendous feeling of excitement.
My heart is thumping.
I have this anticipation.
And then my legs just They get heavy and I'm slowing down as if I'm stuck in quicksand.
And I can't move.
I sense something behind me, and I turn my head, and it's my father.
He's walking towards me.
I'm paralyzed.
He's coming closer.
And he's lurching towards me.
And then I wake up with a start.
I just startle awake.
I've been having that dream for months, since just after the symptoms started.
I think I'm becoming my father.
I'm being overtaken by him.
I've tried my best to ignore it, the symptoms of the disease, the coming paralysis.
Then I have the dream again, and it's clear to me what it's communicating.
I just can't I can't ignore it anymore.
I woke up the other night, I went to check on Max.
I watched him sleep.
I just can't bear the thought ofwhat I might be passing on to him.
Besides the physical issues, are there personal traits you worry about passing on to your children? What, Parkinson's isn't enough? I asked you before, but you didn't answer.
How has your relationship been with Max since he arrived? It's been a full week.
Honestly, I've been worried about him.
He just has his head in this sketchbook eight hours a day.
He's got this leather-grade callus on his fingers from where he grips the pen.
What are his drawings like? Gloomy, abstract, vaguely violent.
My teenage patient, Jesse, happened to see him in the hallway outside my apartment.
He said he seemed sad, headed for a world of pain.
It's hard to hear him describe Max like that? Yes, it was.
Jesse's been trying to get me to ask his social worker out on a date.
He says she's sad just like me.
-ls that how you see yourself? -As sad? Why do you ask? What, do you think of me as chipper? Could that be what you're worried about passing on to Max? Well, I hope that he's happier than I am.
And healthier.
But, you see, you have to understand, that's a major part of it, being sick.
The burden I'll be placing on them.
Not so easy to be happy when you got that dragging you down.
"Dragging me down.
" That's very similar to how you described yourself in the dream.
You feel this weight in your dream is connected to the Parkinson's.
I'm being pursued by my father, overtaken by his illness.
That's one interpretation.
You described yourself as running along a wrought-iron fence in a field.
Do you have any associations with that place, where you might be? -The feeling you describe -I'm just running.
As I said, I feel excited.
There's this feeling of I don't know, possibility.
And my father stops me, just like he did in life.
And he's doing it now with my genetic inheritance.
I'm struck by the fact that you become stuck, begin to slow before you turn and see your father approaching.
What do you mean, "before"? Well, that's what you said.
I'm wondering if you have some agency in stopping yourself from moving forward.
I'm slowing down.
I'm dragged down.
Then I turn and I see it's my father who's doing it.
It angers you when I ask you about your role in this.
You were also disturbed by what you take to be Gina's account of you as self-defeating or self-sabotaging.
Look, any shrink will tell you that a patient is the author of his own life.
Of course.
Of course that's true.
You may now proceed to second-year graduate studies in human psychology.
But if you'll also recall some of your coursework in medical school, you'll remember that you can't deny the fact that certain diseases are inherited.
I've inherited this illness from my father.
It's been forced on me.
I didn't ask to have Parkinson's.
I didn't ask to be sick.
Do you think about what your life might become ifyou do have Parkinson's? Of course I do.
Every day.
What do you envision? What would your day-to-day life be like? I don't know.
Probably something very similar to what it held for my father.
I'd be less and less able to leave the house, Iess and less able to take care of myself.
Eventually I'd need care in my own home.
Then, in the final stages, I'd be lifted up and carried off to a nursing home, still in my fucking chair, given round-the-clock care Iike an infant in diapers and a bib.
Is there anything that feels comforting to you in that fantasy? "Fantasy"? Is that a joke? Does it seem significant to you that you chose the image of an infant being cared for as your notion of what it would be like to be sick? No, but it clearly does to you.
I am a grown man.
The idea of being swaddled and wiped and burped doesn't fall under the most attractive scenarios for the majority of adult men.
We're not talking about the majority of adult men.
-We're talking about you.
-Precisely.
Why the fuck would I want to have Parkinson's disease? Why on Earth would I find that comforting? This is why I should have been more diligent in finding a therapist with a bit of life experience.
You feel free to propose these absurd theories because you really don't have any idea about what aging feels like, watching your body fall apart.
You have no idea what that is.
And you have no idea that just around the next corner might be complete disability, might be the beginning of a very short road to death.
You're 57 years old, not 80.
You were told this week by a qualified neurologist that you probably don't have Parkinson's.
He said that we would have to wait and see.
And yet you continue to be invested in this possibility that you do.
I'm trying to understand why.
You've been to see two doctors this week, including me.
You have plans to see a third.
Do you find it comforting to be cared for, protected in this way? Can you tell me what it is you feel these doctors are protecting you from? I'm sick.
There are doctors out there who help you when you're sick.
I understand.
If it turns out you are ill, I'll be here for you as long as you want to talk with me.
Okay.
I think we're out of time.
Will you tell me something before we finish? In the beginning ofyour dream, you described it quite vividly, that excitement, the feeling of openness, possibility.
When was the last time you felt that? Can you remember? Truthfully, no idea.
-Will you tell me something? -Sure.
When I was talking about Gina's book earlier on, you seemed to know the reference I was making when I said that the character was like Bartleby.
Did you? -Why is it important to you to know? -Because I like to be understood.
I need to know that when I'm talking to somebody, that they understand me.
They understand what I'm saying.
Do you know who I was talking about? The scrivener.
I gave Wendy this book the first week that we met.
It's called The Memory of Running.
She hasn't read it yet, but she still thinks it's about running.
It's not? Have a good week.