Dot Notes on Sylvia Bows, 7/15/96 to 3/31/97

Tuesday, April 1, 1997
4 pm. Thirty-Fourth Session with Sylvia Bows. I patched myself together as best I could and went to face my first patient after being laid out by the flu for the last five days. The contagion had passed, but the exhaustion hadn't. Sylvia commented on how charming I looked--I felt like a used dish towel. She gave me photographs of Roald and Grant. Roald, the older of the two, looks very healthy, if maybe a bit jaundiced. Grant has the frailty of a preemie newborn. The picture looks like it was snapped while he was inside his incubator. But he is home now and his mother says that he is gaining weight and doesn't have that preemie look anymore. The boys were with a nanny and I didn't get to see them during this session, but I didn't press the point with the remnants of my flu. After telling me that she is crying every night, Sylvia admitted that she had stopped taking the Sinequan I had prescribed for her. There were two issues--being in the hospital had disturbed her routine, and I also got a feeling that Tom wanted her to stop because he was worried that the drug would be secreted in her breast milk. I reassured Sylvia that the Sinequan was safe for nursing mothers and urged her to continue taking it. The edginess that I've been observing seems to be a result of her noncompliance. Sylvia wants to resume her sexual relationship with Tom, but Tom is trying to avoid any personal contact that doesn't involve the children. Sylvia is trying to seduce him through her dress and actions. It hasn't yet been successful. The one thing that Sylvia doesn't seem able to do is to talk to Tom. Tom isn't likely to let go of his anger and resentment without at least an acknowledgement from Sylvia of the damage that she has done to their relationship. If Sylvia would just open up to Tom and tell him how she felt, then I believe that Tom could express his turbulent emotions. After the likely storm, they have a chance for reconciliation. But playing games by provocatively showing her breasts, for example, is not going to solve this problem.

Monday, April 7, 1997
2:13 pm. Telephone Conversation with Mr. Tom Bows. I got a call from Tom who told me that a gossip columnist in the Sunday Chronicle had written a bad column about Sylvia and him. He seemed to be taking it well, although he said that he is losing his reserves of strength, but he is concerned about how Sylvia might take it. She doesn't know about the article yet--Tom hid the section from her. Tom wanted me to try to prepare her. Tom also said that Sylvia's seduction tricks, as he put it, only serve to remind him of her recent promiscuity. But he said that he is still very much in love with her. I sense that she might be getting closer to breaking through the wall of ice that remains between them. I got my hands on the newspaper article about Sylvia. It is horrendous! Catty and snide, but unfortunately fairly accurate, Ms. Prentiss applies a victorian sensibility to Sylvia's attempts to get pregnant. I have no idea how to prepare Sylvia for the impact of this article. But she's coming in tomorrow and I better come up with something. Addendum: Sylvia left a message with the service while I was at lunch. She is going out of town on a vacation with Tom and the babies. She apologized for missing the session and told the operator to let me know that Tom is really being a sweetheart. Obviously, Tom thought it better to get Sylvia away from whatever storm the article will bring.

Tuesday, April 8, 1997
4:15 pm. Fifth Session with Hal Mainor relating to Sylvia Bows. Hal went to the office today and was confronted with dozens of copies of the Sylvia Bows article. Apparently, it has made a big stir within the company, with Xerox copies proliferating everywhere. It's also the subject of general conversation. As far as I know, Sylvia hasn't even seen the article yet. Although the article didn't list him by name, Hal is certain that he has been named in Richard's lawsuit. That lawsuit, which is a public record, is just waiting for his wife to go look it up, or so Hal fears. His name is on a piece of paper as an adulterer and that paper sits in the same building that his wife often works. So Hal is beside himself. He also thinks his wife is having an affair because he's seen certain signs--she's in a good mood, has spent money on underwear, and changes her clothes when she gets home--that he's interpreted as her infidelity. Obviously, it's a projection phenomenon. Hal said something odd. He said that Nils Landor, Sylvia's replacement, had a fistfight with Richard. Hal assumed that Nils was one of Sylvia's lovers whom Richard had named, but I'm pretty sure that Nils and Sylvia never slept together. Actually, Sylvia told me that Nils was the gay lover of Lloyd Majors. So what's he doing in a fistfight with Richard Winters? He certainly had no interest in defending Sylvia's honor. As I recall, Nils led the witch hunt against Sylvia and would like nothing more than for Sylvia to resign her post at SII so that he could claim it as his permanent home.

Tuesday, April 15, 1997
4 pm. Thirty-Fifth Session with Sylvia Bows. Tom was able to shield Sylvia from the article for a while, but one of the guests at the inn they were staying at in Sonoma spilled the beans. So Sylvia came back to a certain degree of infamy. At SII, the lawsuit itself is being passed around, some sorority group has started an ersatz Sylvia Bows fan club called "FUCKS"--I've forgotten what it stands for--and Sylvia's parents are reacting with horror and scorn. Not surprisingly, Sylvia has also become a role model for some in this celebrity-crazy society of ours. I won't be surprised if she's invited onto the talk-show circuit soon. But the main issue is still Tom. He is remaining emotionally closed to Sylvia. She believes that she can break the ice with sex, but Tom, I think, needs a lot more emotional intimacy before he's going to be comfortable renewing his sexual union with Sylvia. I told Sylvia straight out that I thought that Tom loved her and that he is waiting for her to open up to him emotionally, and she said she'd try to make that happen, but there is some block in Sylvia--something that is preventing her from allowing herself to become vulnerable to Tom.

Tuesday, April 22, 1997
4 pm. Thirty-Sixth Session with Sylvia Bows. Sylvia is dealing with the turmoil in her life caused by her infamy. She is having anxiety dreams and associated waking feelings where she is out of control. She came up with an interesting image--that of trying to collect fleas on a plate. She grabs one, but the others hop away. Besides for the obvious anxiety, the dreams strike me as being about losing control, and Sylvia hates losing control. As to being in the public eye, Richard even went on a local radio program to talk about his lawsuit. He apparently knows that his legal action is doomed, but he claims that he is maintaining it to try to save his children from a loveless marriage. But really, Richard's conduct reinforces my suspicions that his actual goal is to break Sylvia and Tom up. I pointed out that her problems with Richard and her newfound celebrity were self-resolving over time. But then we started to talk about her relationship with Tom, which is one problem that won't resolve itself without a lot of work on both their parts. Sylvia told me that her previous feelings for Tom were so consuming that she lost herself to them. It was the great love. But when Tom had his secret vasectomy, the betrayal that Sylvia felt was so damaging to that love, that Sylvia said she almost felt destroyed. She said that she only managed to survive by squirreling away a piece of herself, building walls around that piece, and carefully nurturing it back to health. Sylvia won't allow that piece to belong to anyone else again, and she feels that since she is keeping that piece to herself, she will never truly be able to love Tom again with the same abandon. Over the last several sessions, I've noticed Sylvia's hesitancy in actually stating that she still loves Tom. Clearly, this is why. I pointed out to Sylvia that love can evolve and that even if she keeps that kernel of herself as hers alone, she can still deeply love him. She said that she felt that Tom would only accept her if she gave herself utterly to him, and yet I felt that it was more her sense that her love was now inadequate that was holding her back. I almost imagine that it as if Sylvia feels that she is betraying the old love, somehow, to love Tom on these new terms. It's almost as if the love Sylvia feels for Tom has to be all or nothing.

Tuesday, April 29, 1997
4 pm. Thirty-Seventh Session with Sylvia Bows. Sylvia went back to SII and met with a wave of awed silence and gossipy whispering. She saw Lloyd, who made an elaborate point out of being very nice to her. Sylvia wishes to return to work at SII part-time for a month and then start full-time beginning in June. Lloyd had no problem with that and vowed to help her transition back into her position. He even made a joke out of the recent controversy surrounding Sylvia, telling her that he'd find some way to take advantage of all her publicity. Lloyd shocked Sylvia by telling her that he was considering making a play for Apple Computer. It would be the story of Jonah swallowing the whale. Apple has at least eight times the annual gross sales of SII, but anything is possible these days with leveraged buyouts and the magic of investment bankers. Sylvia believes Lloyd is interested in the acquisition because it would thrust him into the public eye--she seconded my non-professional opinion that he was a megalomaniac. Anyway, Sylvia then went back to her department where she was accorded a warm reception. Nils Landor took her back to what used to be her office for a chat. Nils was trying to ingratiate himself with Sylvia and he apologized for being used as a pawn, as he put it, in a game between Lloyd and Richard. Apparently, the witch-hunt that Nils conducted was done on Lloyd's orders, and Lloyd did it as a favor to Richard. Richard turns out to be a bisexual who has had a relationship with Lloyd sometime in the past. Although now Nils is profuse in his apologies, Sylvia believes that he was a willing participant, trying to smear Sylvia so that he could take her job. But now Nils is jealous of Richard. Nils still believes himself to be Lloyd's boyfriend, so after seeing the information he dug up used in Richard's custody lawsuit, Nils initiated a fist-fight with Richard that cost Nils a broken nose. Sylvia told me that I was the only one to whom she had told this complex story, so I urged her to bring Tom into it. Tom strikes me as a strategic thinker and, of course, Sylvia is no slouch herself. Together, they should be able to come up with an interesting response to their detractors.

Tuesday, May 6, 1997
4 pm. Thirty-Eighth Session with Sylvia Bows. Sylvia went back to work part-time and is having some adjustment problems at SII and leaving the twins. Tom wanted her to stay at home with the boys, but Sylvia felt that she needed the intellectual stimulation of being back at work. Her mother, who is still frail, has virtually moved in with them. She scolds Sylvia for abandoning her grandchildren, but Sylvia believes that she is secretly delighted to find herself able to become so involved with them. When Sylvia returned to SII, she found her department in disarray. Nils has been playing corporate games in a big way--he actually got a restraining order against Richard and is trying to use that as leverage to get a bigger office and to reorder the company to his specifications. And Sylvia's staff has apparently been giving Sylvia a sort of celebrity status. When she was at a meeting, she heard a baby crying on the radio and her breasts reacted by "letting down" and soaking her blouse with milk. Although a completely normal and instinctive reaction, her staff took it as part of the Sylvia mystique. As we talked about the let down reaction, Sylvia's breasts started to react, so she asked to end the session early.

Tuesday, May 13, 1997
4 pm. Thirty-Ninth Session with Sylvia Bows. Sylvia is finding the life of a corporate mom to be very difficult, even with the help that she gets from a 24 hour a day nanny, her mother and Tom. Sylvia went into great detail about the social wrongs inflicted on mothers who don't have her resources. And she feels moderately guilty for not trying to do something about their plight. I urged her not to feel that she had to change the world, and that spending time with her family was not selfish. She finds that she has a better relationship with Tom now that she's out of the house. She feels that work gives her more perspective on her reality than she could get when she just stayed at home, and it gives her something to talk about that is new to Tom--not merely chewing over the events of the day that they had both experienced as they happened. Sylvia's theory is that people who stay at home have time to analyze everything in great detail, which leads to their unhappiness. I gather Tom has been working a lot at home. Sylvia has been drawn into Lloyd's Apple Acquisition plans, which she describes as ludicrous. And Tom is working with some ex-Apple employees in their new start-ups. So they are interested in what each of them has done during their workday. But when I asked if she and Tom had resumed sexual relations, she admitted that they hadn't. When I asked if she had told Tom that she loved him yet, she basically admitted that she had not. Sylvia is afraid to tell Tom how she really feels, because she feels differently than she did before. I think Sylvia is feeling real love for Tom, it is just that she is unwilling to lose herself to him now. She is afraid that he will interpret that as something other than love, and that she will lose him. So she maintains the ambiguity, not realizing that strategy holds more potential to destroy her relationship with Tom than would telling him the truth about how she really feels. Bruce Redot, the sculptor who had a brief liaison with Sylvia so many months ago, called and spoke to Tom. He wasn't listed in Richard's lawsuit, so Tom wasn't clued in to his past association with Sylvia. Apparently, Tom and Bruce hit it off and arranged to have dinner. Sylvia has lost much of her social life--apparently her friends and Tom's have avoided seeing them in public because of their newfound infamy. So Tom and Sylvia are going to have dinner with Bruce next Saturday, which should be quite uncomfortable for Sylvia.

Tuesday, May 20, 1997
4 pm. Fortieth Session with Sylvia Bows. Sylvia found out that there is a chance that one or both of her boys could inherit epilepsy. Bruce Redot, the very rich sculptor that Sylvia slept with in her search for motherhood, has hereditary epilepsy. Sylvia is terrified that Grant or Roald might also suffer from the same malady. I tried to put it into some perspective for her, but Sylvia will not be mollified. Sylvia found out about Bruce's epilepsy when Tom and she were dinner guests and Bruce suffered an epileptic seizure that sent him to the hospital. At Bruce's request, Tom and Sylvia stayed behind at his beautiful home and waited for him to come back. While Tom didn't know the real cause of Sylvia's distress, her emotional response to Bruce's seizure set the stage for a renewal of sexual intimacy between them. Tom and Sylvia finally consummated the resumption of their marriage. Unrelated to Sylvia, she told me a story that Bruce told them before his seizure. Apparently, Bruce knew Lloyd Major from his college days when he was known as Lenny Majedenski, a Hungarian/American student getting his biochemistry degree from Cal Tech. Interesting.

Tuesday, May 27, 1997
4 pm. Forty-First Session with Sylvia Bows. Sylvia has formed a bond with her husband Tom of the closest kind, overcoming all her fears of not being able to get truly close to him again. From Sylvia's reaction to Bruce's epileptic seizure, Tom apparently divined her previous sexual relationship with Bruce and her fears that Bruce's epilepsy might have genetically passed to Grant and Roald. With great tact, Tom contacted Bruce and discovered that Bruce had undergone a vasectomy precisely to avoid fathering children stricken with epilepsy. Bruce, who was in the awkward position of being questioned about his affair with Sylvia by the husband he had cuckolded, was so impressed by Tom's congeniality and concern for the children, that Sylvia believes they are going to be close friends in the future. And Tom and Sylvia used this as an opportunity to engage in some frank talk which ended with the two of them making love with a great deal of passion--Sylvia says that Tom touched her core. It was the first time that Sylvia unreservedly said that she loved Tom, and she went on at some length and talked about Tom in such flowery language that she left little doubt of her sincerity. I'm sure Tom feels that sincerity as well. I'm very glad that they have been able to thoroughly patch things up between them. Now they have to survive Richard's frivolous custody suit and more sniping from the gossip columnist, but they seem well on their way to a happy future together.

Tuesday, June 10, 1997
4 pm. Forty-Second Session with Sylvia Bows. Sylvia told me a horrendous story about her sister-in-law Beverly--who had mental problems stemming from losing her child to a miscarriage after a difficult pregnancy--kidnapping Grant and spiriting him away to Monterey for a couple of days. Lloyd Major surprisingly put up reward money and had his publicity machine spring into action so that Grant and Beverly picture appeared on many news programs across the country. A hotel manager in Monterey recognized Beverly from the news segment and reported her, and Sylvia got Grant back. Sylvia said that it was the worst 48 hours of her life. Beverly is now in a mental hospital--I forgot to ask if Tom and Sylvia were going to press charges. And I thought that I had a bad week. We also talked about the possibility of reducing Sylvia's therapy sessions--I told her that I thought we had resolved most of the issues that Sylvia had initially--but Sylvia desired to continue our sessions for the near future anyway, especially considering the events of the past week. I certainly acquiesed.

Tuesday, June 17, 1997
4 pm. Forty-Third Session with Sylvia Bows. Sylvia and Tom seem to both be experiencing post traumatic stress reactions to the recent kidnapping of Grant by Beverly. Sylvia can't sleep uninterrupted; she's suffering from nightmares and she imagines hearing the kids cry while she's sleeping. She also has the strong sensation that she is needed by the children while she is at the office, and if she can't raise the nanny on the phone, she needs to come home. Both Sylvia and Tom are taking steps to reduce the risk that something similar will happen again. Tom has stopped the child care providers from taking the kids out for walks further than his own back yard. And he has taken to working in the kitchen where he can keep an eye on the children. They are leaving their bedroom door open at night to insure that they'll hear the children if one does cry. Sylvia won't take any type of sleeping pills--she's still breast feeding. I asked about Beverly. Apparently, she suffered a nervous collapse and she's still being cared for in a mental health facility. Sylvia and Tom are not going to press charges. Sylvia said that Richard called Tom to express his unhappiness about Grant's kidnapping while that was going on. Tom said that Richard was probably going to try to use the incident in his lawsuit--incompentent parents with crazy relatives who let this happen--but Sylvia doesn't seem like she is sure she agrees.

Monday, June 23, 1997
6:30 pm. Second Session with Lloyd Major relating to Sylvia Bows. I was expecting that Lloyd might want to talk about sinal claustrophobia, but instead he wanted to grill me on Sylvia. Freely admitting his homosexuality, Lloyd told me about Richard's lawsuit for custody of Sylvia's children. I had never understood why Lloyd would take Richard's side to the extent of allowing him to use the resources of SII and Nils to help Richard research the facts underlying his complaint. But he told me that he vowed to help when he found out that Richard was suffering from testicular cancer. The cancer has been removed and Richard is in remission, but he has no future ability to father children. Now Richard's only hopes for paternity lie in Grant and Roald. Of course I couldn't discuss these issues with Lloyd, and I didn't. But with Lloyd's help, Richard could be a formadible adversary, even though his lawsuit still strikes me as poorly grounded. Lloyd's argument is that Sylvia took Richard's parental contribution by stealth and guile and that now the children produced through the deception are the only ones that he will be able to have.

Tuesday, June 24, 1997
4 pm. Forty-Fourth Session with Sylvia Bows. Tom and his parents are having a disagreement about how to treat Tom's sister Beverly. Tom's parents want her to be released free of restrictions from the mental hospital that she's in. Apparently, she's stabilized there. Tom wants her to submit to a guardianship prior to being released, and he's enforcing his wishes by threatening to file criminal charges for Grant's kidnapping if he doesn't get his way. Sylvia is trying to stay out of it. She's arranged a family dinner to try to avert the crisis so that each can express their views in a homey setting--with Grant and Roald providing the backdrop to bolster Tom's argument. I asked Sylvia about Richard. Sylvia has grabbed hold of an idea of his about the cognitive tools used to remember and learn technical materials. She's enthusiastically implementing the idea at the same time as she wants to avoid any contact with Richard personally. She did mention that he looked poorly--he's lost weight and seemed somewhat withered and aged. But that's not surprising given what Lloyd told me about Richard suffering from testicular cancer. I didn't think it was appropriate to bring it up during this session, although I may do so in the future. And why doesn't Richard tell her directly?

Tuesday, July 1, 1997
4 pm. Forty-Fifth Session with Sylvia Bows. Tom's family crisis involving Beverly's mental state took a bizarre turn. Tom had talked his parents into becoming Beverly's conservators as a condition for her release from the mental facility. But Sylvia's mother took a dim view of Beverly's impending release. With Rene's malicious coaxing, Sylvia's mother, Margarite, set out to demonstrate that Beverly was not ready to be released. She and Rene visited Beverly at the hospital, armed with photographs of Grant. Margarite started out with humorous anecdotes about the child, and when Beverly was at her most vulnerable, Margarite started to excoriate Beverly with tales of possible calamities, including death, that could have occurred to Grant as a consequence of her actions. Beverly became highly distraught and couldn't be subdued by the hospital staff. So she was restrained and taken away, her release postponed indefinitely. It was a particularly vicious and manipulative story--I could easily picture Rene involved in such a course of action, but it didn't fit my image of Margarite, although I knew that she could act with an iron will. When I asked Sylvia about her project with Richard, she reacted quite sharply, in contrast to last week's session where she praised his idea. Here, she tried to distance Richard from what she was working on as much as possible. Then she caught herself and apologized. I wonder why this has become a sore point, when it wasn't last week?

Tuesday, July 8, 1997
4 pm. Forty-Sixth Session with Sylvia Bows. The schism between the Bows and the Wolfe sides of Sylvia's family has grown substantially wider after an ill-fated July Fourth barbecue at Sylvia's on Friday. Tom's mother wanted to bring Beverly from the mental hospital, but Tom refused--he had seen her that morning and did not think that she was well enough to attend. So Tom's mother arrived with a chip on her shoulder. She obviously knew something about Margarite's malicious visit to Beverly. So while Margarite was playing happily with Grant and Roald, Nina was getting drunk and stewing over her inability to have her daughter with her on the holiday. Nina became more personal, actually attacking Margarite over her accent and the fact that she was French. Finally, Margarite lashed back and told Nina that she would never understand because Grant and Roald weren't really her grandchildren. As Sylvia put it, Nina freaked out. She called Sylvia a whore, called the children fatherless bastards and lashed out at everyone in sight. Tom blamed Beverly's condition on Nina--apparently Nina's racism provoked her to insist on two abortions for Beverly when she was pregnant by Syd, the black man who would become her husband. It is still not clear whether Beverly's subsequent inability to get pregnant stemmed from those abortions or not, but clearly it could have been a factor. So Tom's parents finally left, but not before fracturing the already fragile relations that held the in-laws together. I urged Sylvia to try to take a vacation with the boys and Tom--they clearly need some rest. And Sylvia reminded me that she has been in treatment almost a full year. I met Sylvia on my first day of practice in California on July 15, 1996. It's hard to believe that almost a full year has passed since then.

Tuesday, July 15, 1997
4 pm. Forty-Seventh Session with Sylvia Bows. It has been exactly a year since I began practicing in San Francisco. And Sylvia was one of the patients I saw on that first day--Sylvia, Anna, and Hal. Sylvia arrived late for this session, citing the press of work and the demands of family. She pled that she seems to have so little time. I used the opportunity to suggest to Sylvia that we cut back on our sessions together. All of the issues that Sylvia came to me about initially have been resolved. While we are doing good work in helping Sylvia sort out the issues in her life, I think we could probably cut the sessions back to once or twice a month without substantial detriment. Sylvia reacted as if I was trying to abandon her--I was hoping she'd think of it more like graduating. But I'm allowing her to make the ultimate decision of how frequently to schedule our sessions together. If she feels that it is not essential, I would hate her to feel like she has to keep coming frequently out of some displaced loyalty to me. Sylvia told me that the pressing demands of her day frequently leave her too tired to engage in sexual relations with her husband. While she claims that she is still interested, she frequently refuses Tom's sexual advances. She has projected onto Tom a whole train of thought--essentially, that he must be thinking that she wasn't too tired when she was sleeping with four guys a week just a few short months ago. I told her that she shouldn't assume that her imaginings about what Tom is thinking actually represents his thoughts and concerns. Furthermore, I reiterated my belief that she and Tom and the boys, together with a couple of babysitters, should take a relaxing long weekend somewhere--Doctor's orders.

Tuesday, July 22, 1997
4 pm. Forty-Eighth Session with Sylvia Bows. We spent most of our session talking about my problems with my Dad and his stroke. Sylvia was very caring--it touched me that she seemed so genuinely concerned about the health of my father and how it affected me. She told me how she felt when she found out her mother had a heart condition--young and old at the same time. Young, because she felt like a little lost girl. Old, because she felt like she was losing the person who was above her in the generations--if her mother died, Sylvia would somehow take her place and lose her youth. Sylvia also told me more about Tom's mother. Apparently, she had aspirations for Tom to join New York high society. She wished that Tom would marry a New York socialite, but Tom chose Sylvia instead. Sylvia described her relationship with Tom's mother, prior to the July 4th barbecue, as merely civil. Sylvia noted a certain progression in her life. She used to go to many weddings. Then, she predominantly went to baby showers. Now, she fears, the majority will turn to funerals.

Tuesday, August 5, 1997
4 pm. Forty-Ninth Session with Sylvia Bows. Sylvia was obviously quite distracted, and I finally found out why. During the project that she worked on with Richard at SII, Richard told her that he was suffering from testicular cancer--something which Lloyd Major had already told me but which Tom had withheld from Sylvia. Richard was surprised that Sylvia didn't know; he had disclosed it as part of his lawsuit. In any event, the knowledge of Richard's motive for the custody suit quite affected Sylvia. Although Richard is using the courts to try to take her children from her, Sylvia now feels like she owes Richard something--a paternity test, perhaps, and an opportunity for him to get to know his progeny better. She is unsure and apparently Tom is not in accord with Sylvia on this issue. I urged Sylvia to carefully consider any such plans and particularly to avoid communicating her thoughts on this matter to Richard directly. I told her that she must go through her attorney. Otherwise, I'm afraid whatever she says to Richard is going to come back to haunt her.

Tuesday, August 19, 1997
4 pm. Fiftieth Session with Sylvia Bows. Sylvia's problems with Richard continue. He is dying--apparently his cancer has spread to his kidneys, a particularly horrible form of cancer. And he prevailed upon her to meet him for lunch. She agreed and listened to his demands. Apparently, he is seeking genetic testing of the twins to determine paternity. If Sylvia would be willing to allow the testing to go forward, he would be willing to drop the litigation. The deal was made even sweeter by Lloyd Major--he told Sylvia that he had set up a $1,000,000 trust fund to benefit Richard's progeny. But proof of Richard's paternity is necessary, and Richard's parents would have to be allowed "grandparent" access to the twins. I asked Sylvia how Tom felt about all these developments. She told me that she didn't think he would go along with it, although she made it clear that she hadn't told him about Richard's demands or Lloyd's offer of the trust fund. I urged her not to keep Tom in the dark about any of this. Their relationship is just starting to get back to normal and jeopardizing it like is simply stupid in my opinion. I also think that Tom might surprise Sylvia. Tom knows that the twins aren't his. He probably won't care overly about the results of the genetic testing, especially since Richard is on his way out. If it ends the legal entanglements and makes one or more of his children eligible for a million dollar trust fund, then why not allow the testing to go forward? Sylvia wants to play it differently. She wants to do the genetic testing without telling Tom. If the children turn out not to be the progeny of Richard, then she hasn't done any damage to her relationship with Tom and Richard will quietly drop the suit. If one or both twins do turn out to be Richards, then she can tell Tom. I think she's wrong and I urged her to carefully think through her actions. Given that it's Sylvia, I needn't have bothered. Sylvia is like a chess player--she'll think through all her moves in detail, and do exactly what she wants to do.

Tuesday, September 2, 1997
4 pm. Fifty-First Session with Sylvia Bows. Sylvia is playing a high stakes game of deception with Tom, against my strong advice. I wish she'd just take him into her confidence--I feel sure that she would be able to win him over to her way of seeing things. Instead, she's sneaking around, making dates with Richard to draw the kids' blood for secret paternity testing. If Tom finds out what she's doing, he's going to be naturally extremely upset. I know that he's been having issues about trust, and this will be a huge setback for their relationship. Even if a million dollar trust fund is at stake, Sylvia is playing this like a chess player, rather than like a loving spouse. Sylvia figures that she'll do the test in secret first. And if Roald or Grant do turn out to be the progeny of Richard, then she will invest the emotional energy in convincing Tom to allow the DNA test--the results of which she will secretly already know--in order to be eligible for the million dollar trust. If Roald and Grant are not Richard's offspring, then she won't have raised the issue with Tom at all. Essentially, Sylvia wants a guaranteed pay-off before she's willing to spend the emotional capital. But she did allow Richard to spend time with the children, and she fancied that she saw some emotional connection between them. Richard is obviously dying, and even if it creates a risk with Tom, Sylvia can't deny Richard the opportunity to spend a bit of his remaining time with the children--one or both of which may be his. She reminds me that Richard was the one man whom she really connected with on a deeper than sexual level when she was cutting a sexual swath through SII trying to conceive. So Richard has dropped the law suit, and Sylvia feels an increasing pressure of guilt, because of all the deception that she must practice in an attempt to allay Tom's worries.

Tuesday, September 16, 1997
4 pm. Fifty-Second Session with Sylvia Bows. Roald is Richard's son. Sylvia received the results of the DNA test. Richard is dying. He's in the hospital, slipping away. He's too weak for chemotherapy and has declined radiation therapy. So Sylvia has been sneaking into the hospital with the kids, without Tom's knowledge, and giving Richard an opportunity to spend time with his son. Sylvia has met Richard's mother, who has flown out to be with her son, and Sylvia clearly empathizes with her pain. Sylvia is allowing Richard's mother to relate as a grandparent to Roald, which is bound to lead to immense difficulties later on after Richard's death. More importantly, Tom is still in the dark about all of this. Sylvia was planning her big lie about how Lloyd had offered the million dollar trust for Richard's progeny and how all they had to do was submit to a genetic test. But it came out wrong when she actually came to say it. Instead, she said that Lloyd was making her an offer that she wanted both of them to hear together--as if she didn't know about the million dollars or the results of the genetic testing. She's getting enmeshed in a tangle of lies, and Tom is certainly going to find out about it. It pains me to see Sylvia almost purposefully sabotaging her relationship with Tom for no good reason. I feel confident that if Tom knew all the facts and circumstances, he would understand and perhaps even support Sylvia's decisions. The worst thing that she's been doing really is lie. Whatever goodwill Tom might have toward the situation will surely evaporate should he find out that she has been deliberately deceiving him. Then he will surely think the worst. And Sylvia began to say that she was feeling some hostility toward Tom for making it difficult for her to tell him about Richard, but she stopped that tact--it just sounded too ridiculous even to herself when she began to try to consciously justify that emotion.

Tuesday, September 30, 1997
12:30 pm. Telephone Call with Sylvia Bows. Sylvia called me and told me that Richard died last night. She cancelled her appointment, and clearly didn't want to talk about it further.

Tuesday, October 14, 1997
4 pm. Fifty-Third Session with Sylvia Bows. Sylvia's deceptions began to unravel at Richard's memorial service. Tom had been told by a babysitter about Sylvia's secretive hospital visits to Richard with Roald and Grant. But although Sylvia thought that she was going alone to Richard's memorial service, Tom showed up as well. Tom stayed in the background until late in the proceedings, and Sylvia wasn't even sure that he was there until he revealed himself. At the service, Sylvia was treated as Richard's widow. She sat next to Richard's mother and, when Sylvia wept, she was comforted by his father. Sylvia was asked to help plant a redwood sapling exactly Roald's age next to Richard's grave. Suddenly, Tom was there. In a moment of cruelty, he asked Sylvia how it felt to be Richard's widow. Sylvia was already disheartened and she was further crushed by what Tom said. But Sylvia has difficulty seeing how this must have all played out to Tom. Just then Lloyd--whom Sylvia believes had been waiting for the most hurtful possible moment--interjected his little bit of emotional torment. Sylvia believes that he was playing some kind of sick game, trying to extract the last bit of human emotional trauma out of the situation. But Lloyd congratulated Tom on the million dollar trust that Roald had just inherited. Tom, who probably had not heard about the trust before, handled the situation smoothly and got Sylvia away before she completely disintegrated. Sylvia even says that Lloyd deflected some of Tom's anger away from her and onto him. But things between Sylvia and Tom are very strained--she believes that Tom has closed himself emotionally to her again. Richard's parents need to have access to Roald in order for the terms of the trust to be honored, and Sylvia is waiting for Tom's decision before she acts on that. But Tom said that he needs some time to work through his feelings. At the beginning of the session, Sylvia told me that she and Tom used to fanaticize horrific deaths befalling Richard. They would describe to each other scenes of Richard being killed in a car crash or being chewed apart by sharks, with Tom filling in some of the particularly graphic details. But Sylvia now has dreams which contain her last images of Richard--wasting away and in pain, but holding Roald in his arms, his eyes still shining with love for his son. Sylvia said that she can't sleep at night for the image. Richard's physical death has done little to remove him from the emotional landscape of Tom's and Sylvia's lives--in fact, the deceptions that Sylvia undertook in the last weeks of Richard's life are clearly going to have a strong influence over their relationship in the time to come. Tom has to be able to overcome Richard's heightened emotional presence--made palpable through Sylvia's altered feelings, the visitation rights demanded by Richard's parents, and by Roald himself, who tangibly represents Richard's biological posterity.

Thursday, September 24, 1998
4 pm. Ninety-Third Session with Anna Green respecting Sylvia Bows. Anna told me about her new work in the Futurist department at SII. Apparently, there is a very laissez faire attitude towards sex in her new department--the notion is that a high intellect somehow trumps old fashioned notions of conventional morality. [...] And Anna was apparently well briefed on the story of Sylvia Bows which is now common knowledge, apparently. She gave me quite an accurate rundown on the bare facts, including a little positive review on Sylvia's sexual prowess.

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