Transcript of 35th Session between Charles Balis, M.D. and Ms. Sylvia Bows, Tuesday, April 15, 1997 at 4 pm.

Ms. Bows: Hello, Doctor.
Dr. Balis: Hello, Sylvia. And how are you doing today?
Ms. Bows: How do you think?
Dr. Balis: Oh.
Ms. Bows: I found out about the article last Sunday morning--one of the guests at the bed and breakfast we were staying in recognized my name and asked if the story in the Chronicle was true. Imagine my shock: "What story?" Tom told me that he let you know about it the day we left. Now I know the reason for the romantic get-away--not very romantic.
Dr. Balis: On the contrary, Tom tried to isolate you from the article and all that followed. He whisked you away to Sonoma out of love. I think it's very romantic.
Ms. Bows: I have a bad headache.
Dr. Balis: I'm sorry.
Ms. Bows: It's not your fault. When we came back from the trip last night, we had over fifty messages on our voice mail. It seems the whole world saw the article and wanted to let me know. I got a message from my mother.
Dr. Balis: I wondered about that. Your parents never really knew, did they?
Ms. Bows: It's not the kind of thing you discuss with your mother and father. My dad doesn't want to talk to me. He said that he has to first be able to incorporate the information into his "life's framework."
Dr. Balis: What does that mean?
Ms. Bows: My mother said that he feels personally humiliated. She said that he is seriously considering selling the restaurant and going to France for awhile--"anywhere where no one knows about this."
Dr. Balis: I see. How is your mom taking it?
Ms. Bows: She doesn't understand why I did it. She said that she always expected things like that from Rene--but from her own daughter.... I think she'll get over it for the sake of the boys. She absolutely adores them.
Dr. Balis: That's good.
Ms. Bows: But our relationship, I'm afraid, will never be the same. She stopped by this morning "to visit with her little dears." She hardly said a word to me and never looked me in the face.
Dr. Balis: It's the initial shock. It will get better with time.
Ms. Bows: You always say that, Doctor. But look at my relationship with Tom: it's not getting any better.
Dr. Balis: I think you might be wrong about that. Tom keeps proving to you over and over just how much he really cares about you. I think you are just getting too lost in the day-to-day interactions to notice the big picture--Tom loves you. He's protecting you. He's taking care of both you and the boys. Ultimately, those are the important things.
Ms. Bows: I was so happy when he suggested that we take the boys and the nanny and go away, just the five of us, for a few days. I thought this would be our chance to really get back together...
Dr. Balis: Tom was very upset by the article, too.
Ms. Bows: I'm grateful to him for trying to hide it from me, if even for a short while. But I would rather he opened up to me, told me everything. If he would just drop his guard and let go. If he talked to me, showed me the article instead of hiding it, told me how he felt--angry, frustrated, humiliated, I don't care. Just talk to me! I feel all these emotions too. I'd understand.
Dr. Balis: Perhaps Tom is waiting for you to start opening up to him first.
Ms. Bows: I keep trying, but nothing. Tom's put up inpenetrable walls all around himself and I can't seem to be able to scale them. I think if we just made love again--got that close to each other--the walls would fall. But as hard as I try...
Dr. Balis: You're trying to use sex as a way of getting close to Tom again. But for Tom, I think, sex is just a reminder of a painful past. Tom thinks that you used sex as a tool to get what you wanted. How does he know that it's any different with him now?
Ms. Bows: Well, isn't it obvious? I never formed a relationship with any of the men I've been with. It's true, I used them to get pregnant. But I purposely tried to keep the identity of the father ambiguous. Tom should feel better that I had so many partners. It makes it less personal.
Dr. Balis: I don't think Tom sees it that way.
Ms. Bows: If Tom had an affair that lasted for years and was based on real feelings between him and the woman, I would be devastated. But a series of one-night-stands is clearly not about love. That's just lust. That I can understand and even forgive.
Dr. Balis: Even?
Ms. Bows: What I did wasn't about lust. It was about getting pregnant.
Dr. Balis: As I remember, you did enjoy your encounters at the time.
Ms. Bows: When my children ask about what happened, I want to be able to tell them that I cared for and respected these men. The fathers of my boys had to be men I admired and thought had characteristics I would want to see in my children. Otherwise I would have just used a sperm bank. But I couldn't rely on the information that men who sold their sperm provided about themselves. Those men didn't care about where their kids would end-up--what kind of family would raise them; whether there would be enough resources to take care of them; or if they ended up in an abusive household. Men who care so little for their children shouldn't be allowed to procreate at all.
Dr. Balis: But what should families with infertility problems do?
Ms. Bows: I don't know. We each find our ways. I found mine.
Dr. Balis: Your way was to take what you needed without permission. How do you think all those men feel about this now?
Ms. Bows: I was hoping none of this would ever come out. I was legitimately married to Tom at the time and so the no one objected to not using condoms, Doctor.
Dr. Balis: You made Richard your confidant. If you never wanted him to get so involved, you should have kept your distance.
Ms. Bows: I was so angry at Tom then. I needed someone. Richard was there and for a while he was a good friend. I don't know what he is trying to gain by all this now. He must know that he can never win a custody battle against Tom and me. Why is he making my life so miserable?
Dr. Balis: Maybe it's Richard's way of trying to break you and Tom up. You have to admit that filing such a controversial lawsuit was bound to cause problems in your relationship with Tom.
Ms. Bows: Hmm. I heard that Richard got into a fist fight with Nils at SII.
Dr. Balis: I heard that too. The rumors were that Nils was upset with Richard for naming him in the lawsuit against you.
Ms. Bows: Nils? He wasn't in the suit. God, I would never have had sex with Nils. And I don't think Nils would been all that interested either. Nils and Lloyd are an item, remember? But in any case, it's a moot point now--the copy of the lawsuit has been circulated throughout SII.
Dr. Balis: Really? Somebody got hold of the lawsuit?
Ms. Bows: It's easy enough--just go to the courthouse. It's a public record.
Dr. Balis: I know. But I didn't think someone would take the trouble.
Ms. Bows: After that stupid article made its rounds through SII? Come on, Doctor, I'm surprised it hasn't been made into a web site yet.
Dr. Balis: I had imagined that you'd be more upset about this.
Ms. Bows: I knew there was a possibility that it would come out after Richard filed his suit. I'm surprised it took that long. But I still don't understand why Nils fought with Richard.
Dr. Balis: I don't know.
Ms. Bows: I'll check into it. That is after I deal with all the phone calls and e-mail I was bombarded with last week.
Dr. Balis: E-mail?
Ms. Bows: Someone made a transcript of the Chronicle story and it's circulating on the Internet now.
Dr. Balis: Oh god.
Ms. Bows: I'll be a genuine urban legend before long--you know, like that story of the guy who attached a solid rocket booster to the back of his car to see how fast he could go and supposedly slammed into a cliff at supersonic speeds.
Dr. Balis: I'm sorry, Sylvia.
Ms. Bows: I've been trying to sort through all the e-mail. It's really hard. Sometimes I get so angry I just want to smash my computer. I have messages from people who think that I'm Antichrist. But some wrote that they really admire me and hope things will work out for Tom, me, and the boys.
Dr. Balis: That's nice.
Ms. Bows: Some university sorority even started a fan club in my honor--Females for the Uninhibited Collection of Kilos of Sperm.
Dr. Balis: FUCKS--it's a bit of a stretch.
Ms. Bows: Hey, I would rather they weren't around. Look, It's getting late. I have to get back to feed the kids.
Dr. Balis: I would urge you to try to talk with Tom. I think if you told him what you told me about your feeling about sperm donors, Tom would at least try to understand it and see your point of view. I believe that Tom wants you to approach him, to be the first to open up.
Ms. Bows: I'll try. It will certainly be a lot more difficult to do in the upcoming days.
Dr. Balis: Perhaps the crisis atmosphere that you're both feeling could be a good common ground for both of you.
Ms. Bows: I said I'll try, Doctor. I'd better go.
Dr. Balis: Okay, Sylvia. I'll see you next week.
Ms. Bows: Goodbye, Doctor.
Dr. Balis: Goodbye.
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