Jeannette Fromme - Session 01, Session Notes, 09/03/03
Jeannette made an appointment, earlier this week. Freshman, 14 years old.
She arrived on time, the beginning of third period, her study hall. Seemed
nervous, laughing awkwardly, not meeting my eyes at first. Said she was unsure
what she wanted to talk about, why she made the appointment. Seemed pleased
to hear that we could just talk. After initial nervousness, seemed to settle
into being somewhat morose. I asked about her family. She has a sister who
just left for college, mother and father. Asked her relationship with them.
Didn't really answer. Asked how high school seemed to be going. She feels
awkward, doesn't really fit in. Doesn't have any friends to speak of. Her
record indicates she does well in class, and she said there was never really
any difficulty there. She said she'd been feeling depressed since her sister "left
her". I asked why it felt like the sister "left her". After
a long silence, she said she meant left for school. Asked what she'd been
depressed about. She said she didn't know, she'd just been wondering if there
was anything in the world that was for her. Asked what she meant. She said
she'd just been feeling like there was nothing for her, nowhere she belonged,
nothing to keep her here. I asked what she meant, and she said she wasn't
talking about suicide, she just didn't know if there was anything for her
to hold on to. I asked her if there were any things she enjoyed, truly loved.
At first she said there wasn't, but eventually admitted she loved to read.
She seemed embarrassed. I asked what she liked to read, she said sci-fi books.
I told her it was nothing to be ashamed of. Told her I had read them too,
they offered an escape from reality. She agreed. I said that was good, reading
is a good thing, and sometimes everyone needs an escape. Said she does not
need to be afraid to embrace the things she cared about. If reading sci-fi
can help her stay in a better place, mentally and emotionally, it can be good.
Around that time she seemed to grow somewhat distant. Attempted to draw her
back, asking her what authors she liked, what else she enjoyed, but it didn't
seem to get her back. Told her not to worry, most people feel like they don't
belong when they first get to high school, not uncommon at all. Said if she
just does her best to get through, she'll be ok. I asked if she wanted to
meet again. She said no, she'd be all right. I said I thought it would be
good to see her again in a week or so to see if she was doing any better.
She dismissed it at first, then accepted, I think just to appease me.