Transcript of 38th Session between Charles Balis, M.D. and Ms. Sylvia Bows, Tuesday, May 6, 1997 at 4 pm.

Ms. Bows: Hello, Doctor. I'm very happy to see you.
Dr. Balis: Thank you. I'm happy to see you too, Sylvia. How are you?
Ms. Bows: There are days and there are days. I officially started to work part-time. Last Friday was my first day back in the office.
Dr. Balis: How's it going?
Ms. Bows: Actually, it's rough. Nils was so busy, first trying to smear my name through the mud to maneuver himself into a permanent position as the head of my department, and now manipulating corporate politics...the upshot is that nothing was really done there in the last six months. It's a total mess. No one really knows what projects they are assigned to. Everything is on the "this needs to get out now" basis--there is no planning and scheduling of projects ahead of time. I'm sorry, Doctor, I'm just venting. I don't really get to do that at home.
Dr. Balis: Why not?
Ms. Bows: Tom didn't think that going back to SII so early was a good idea. He'd rather I spent my time with Grant and Roald.
Dr. Balis: Did you talk to Tom about why you thought it would be important for you to go back to work?
Ms. Bows: He said that that's what you're for.
Dr. Balis: Hmm?
Ms. Bows: I used "emotional stability" and "having an outside perspective on my life" as arguments for returning to work. But Tom thought that that's what I see you for. He didn't really mean it. I know where he's coming from--when I see the boys--they are still so little--my chest tightens and I get these unbelievable feelings of love and protectiveness flooding over me. I've watched Tom's face when he's with Grant and Roald, I know he feels this too. When I'm with the boys, I don't want to leave their sight. It's when I'm alone that I realize that taking care of them is just not enough. I need my mind energized and buzzing with ideas to be happy, not only the feeling of emotional fulfillment that I get out of being a mother.
Dr. Balis: Do you think Tom understands this?
Ms. Bows: I do. He just wishes that I waited a bit more. My mother, on the other hand, does not understand at all. She thinks I'm a bad mother for abandoning "her little darlings."
Dr. Balis: How is your mom's health these days?
Ms. Bows: She's still very frail. She quit working in the restaurant all together. In fact, she pretty much moved in to our house.
Dr. Balis: Really?
Ms. Bows: She said that the boys need her now that their mother left them. They fill her days, and I think it's making her stronger. I mean, she's not really taking care of them on the need-by-need basis--we have a wonderful series of nannies who do that--but she lavishes them with attention and love and they all benefit from that.
Dr. Balis: Sounds like a very good arrangement.
Ms. Bows: Yes, it really is. My mother grumbles a lot about needing to spend all her time with the boys because their mother won't, but deep down she is thrilled at the opportunity to get so involved with them.
Dr. Balis: How does Tom feel about your mother being at your house all the time?
Ms. Bows: He's happy about. He can see it's good for all three of them. And our house is large enough that her presence doesn't interfere with his privacy when he needs it.
Dr. Balis: Good.
Ms. Bows: And Tom always had a good relationship with my parents, at times better then I had--they took his side when the divorce papers were first filed.
Dr. Balis: I never asked, is that completely off now?
Ms. Bows: The divorce?
Dr. Balis: Yes. I realize that you're no longer interested in going through with it right now. But...
Ms. Bows: We're officially back together. The only legal issue that's hanging over us is the child custody lawsuit from Richard.
Dr. Balis: How is Richard? Do you get to see him now that you're back at SII?
Ms. Bows: I haven't run into him yet, but I'm sure I will have that pleasure eventually. Oh, you'll love this, Doctor.
Dr. Balis: What?
Ms. Bows: Nils got a restraining order against Richard.
Dr. Balis: What?!
Ms. Bows: Remember Richard broke Nils' nose in that infamous office fight? As far as I know, Nils didn't file any charges, but he's using the incident to advance his position at SII. He's capitalizing on the fact that Lloyd doesn't want the whole world to know about what his relationship with Richard might have been.
Dr. Balis: Nils is blackmailing Lloyd?
Ms. Bows: That's my theory. I have to say that it did get very messy and Lloyd should have known better than to get Nils involved. If Lloyd wanted to do Richard a favor, he should have found other means than using his current boyfriend to do the leg-work for him. Now, Nils is busy drawing up elaborate maps and floor plans of SII building and dividing it into regions that are safe for Richard to be in without violating the restraining order--coming within 200 yards of Nils.
Dr. Balis: It sounds insane. How is Nils handling the lobby, for example? Does Richard have to use the back entrance now?
Ms. Bows: There's some sort of time partitioning that is involved in Nils' restraining order proposal. And he reassigned his own office to meet the necessary criteria.
Dr. Balis: I bet it's bigger and better than his old one.
Ms. Bows: Oh hell, if Nils thought that he could get Lloyd to move out of his, I'm sure he would...he's such a jerk. Do you see what I mean about not getting any actual work done? He's just too busy playing the corporate game.
Dr. Balis: And more. Usually, playing the corporate game means trying to ingratiate yourself or put down someone else. Nils seems like he's got a giant board, and dice, and little markers.
Ms. Bows: That's about it. I spent all day Friday in meetings. And yesterday was no better. I can see how this part-time thing could turn into 60 hour weeks in no time.
Dr. Balis: Is that what you want?
Ms. Bows: No, I'll try to be very careful not to let that happen. And my own body will surely remind me if I'm overdoing it.
Dr. Balis: I'm not sure I know what you mean by that? Are you feeling tired?
Ms. Bows: No. My mind might forget sometimes that I'm a mother, but my body doesn't. Yesterday, we were all in a conference room talking about the CD-Rom and web site materials that we'll have to generate for the next product release in June. The door was open and someone was playing a radio in a nearby office. I didn't even realize that you could hear it. Suddenly, my breasts tightened and swelled and the person next to me was asking if I was feeling well--my blouse was completely soaked with milk. There was a commercial on the radio with a baby crying and before I even registered that sound, my breasts exploded with milk. I was completely wet.
Dr. Balis: Sounds very unpleasant.
Ms. Bows: It was very embarrassing. Most of my staff is fairly young and very few are married and have children. My body's reaction to the radio commercial was completely alien to them. In fact, that's a completely normal response of a breast-feeding mother to the sound of a crying child--produce milk, lots of it, and feed the baby! It's completely instinctual. But at the meeting, I had to call it a day and leave for home in a hurry. My staff just took it as more proof of my strangeness--or insanity, depending on how kind they were.
Dr. Balis: Motherhood in the corporate world has its difficulties.
Ms. Bows: You know, just by talking about breast-feeding and milk, I feel my breast begin to ache and move into the production mode. I think I should go now, Doctor.
Dr. Balis: I understand. You do look substantially bigger than when you came in today.
Ms. Bows: Oh Doctor, I change two bra sizes between the feedings. It's amazing. I go from merely huge to Dolly Parton in an hour. In any case, I'll see you next week.
Dr. Balis: Next Tuesday at four. I'll see you then. Take care, Sylvia.
Ms. Bows: Goodbye, Doctor.
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