Transcript of 39th Session between Charles Balis, M.D. and Ms. Sylvia Bows, Tuesday, May 13, 1997 at 4 pm.

Ms. Bows: Hello, Doctor. How are you?
Dr. Balis: I'm very well. Thank you, Sylvia. Happy belated Mother's Day.
Ms. Bows: Thank you very much, Doctor. I never thought I'd live to see the day.
Dr. Balis: You made it. How are the boys?
Ms. Bows: Well, I'm realizing that it's a lot harder than I imagined.
Dr. Balis: You mean working and being a mom?
Ms. Bows: Our social structure is just not set up to support parents. Grant wasn't feeling well last week. He caught a cold. And while it wasn't a major life emergency, I still felt that it was more important that I was by his side than attending Lloyd's VP meeting on his corporate take-over of Apple.
Dr. Balis: But Mr. Major didn't see it that way, I presume.
Ms. Bows: No. He is obsessed with his stupid plan to assimilate Apple into his empire. So instead of working less hours, I ended up working almost the full forty last week and then going home and staying up with Grant all night. I don't know how other people do it.
Dr. Balis: Work and have children?
Ms. Bows: I have all the help in the world available to me--nannies twenty-four hours a day, my mother dedicated to helping me out every way she can, a supportive husband ready to be there if I can't make it. I've got a house, and money, and servants. How does a woman living from paycheck to paycheck manage to have a family? Day-care centers won't take a sick child. At least they try not to. What is a woman with a sick baby supposed to do if she can't afford to stay home from work? I'm lucky, but it's fairly uncommon nowadays to live in the same town as your parents. You can't call your Mom to come and be an emergency babysitter for you if she lives on the other side of the continent. I'm surprised that there aren't more mothers than there already are on welfare, given our current society. There really aren't many other options.
Dr. Balis: When you talk with that kind of passion, I can see how it must have been when you were a journalist. I can almost see the feature story on family reform brewing.
Ms. Bows: Now, I'd rather spend all my available time with my boys, than invest it into the article calling for more social supports for mothers and children. That's scary. It's not how I'd have felt just a year ago.
Dr. Balis: It's not selfish to want to be with your family, especially when they need you so much. There are others who can write that article.
Ms. Bows: You're making it sound really bad. Now I feel guilty for...
Dr. Balis: For not trying to change the system? Relax, Sylvia. Concentrate on your family. There's time enough to change the world. How is your relationship with Tom progressing?
Ms. Bows: I think I feel less intimidated by him now.
Dr. Balis: Why were you feeling intimidated by Tom?
Ms. Bows: I was watching him being a great Dad, working to save his family from coming apart. And he still managed his own workload somehow. I was all wrapped-up in my feelings and emotions and sort of lost touch with reality. Going back to work really makes an amazing difference. It gives perspective to life that I can't see when I'm just at home. I guess work is really critical to me. People who choose not to work must suffer from chronic psychological ailments--they have too much time on their hands, so they must analyze and examine their lives in minute detail. All they would notice would be the little rough spots and imperfections in their lives. If you work, there's no time for that. You just hang on and ride it out, hoping that the big problems won't throw you. The little things are just background noise.
Dr. Balis: It's an interesting theory, Sylvia.
Ms. Bows: I think my relationship with Tom is improving.
Dr. Balis: Good. Do you want to talk about that?
Ms. Bows: Ironically, now that I'm not home as much, we seem to talk to each other more. Before, when I was home all day, Tom was around for all the action in my days. He was part of it. So all our conversations were about things we had experienced together; they tended to be just our feelings and opinions about those events. Or worse, we'd have conversations about the progress of our relationship. I hated those conversations. I dreaded them. Now, I'm in the office all day. I have a world outside my home and family. And that gives me something to talk about with Tom. I mean, I still talk about my feelings--mostly about how angry I am with Lloyd or Nils. But that's all outside the scope of our daily lives together and contains real news--something that Tom didn't have a chance to see and experience for himself. Now when I settle in to feed the boys at night, Tom stays in the room and I tell him about all the stupidity at SII, and he tells me about his day. He's been working with a few technology companies that were started up by ex-Apple employees--"out of the ashes of..." He thinks that Lloyd's takeover dreams are comical but still expressive of the current state of affairs at Apple.
Dr. Balis: So now that you're back in play, so to speak, you and Tom have more to talk about.
Ms. Bows: Exactly. He also seems less stressed about the whole SII lovers thing. I think that's because everything is so out in the open now and he knows the degree of scrutiny I have to face each day at SII. Tom's more relaxed about it. It seems clear to him that I have very little interest in pursuing any of those relationships.
Dr. Balis: Have you had sexual relations with Tom yet?
Ms. Bows: No. He still goes to sleep in the other bedroom. I tried raising the issue a couple of times, but he cut me off. But now that I know that our relationship is improving overall, I'm more confidant about waiting for him to come around.
Dr. Balis: Hmm. Did you ever actually tell Tom that you loved him?
Ms. Bows: I think so.
Dr. Balis: That sounds like you didn't really.
Ms. Bows: I told you how I felt about it. My feelings for Tom have changed. I'm still in love with him, but it's different now. In some ways, if I just came right out and told Tom that I love him, it would be a lie and he'd know it.
Dr. Balis: I think you're making a mistake, Sylvia, by not letting Tom know how you feel. If Tom believes that you are staying with him because it's convenient and not because of the love you feel for him, he won't let go of his barriers either. It's difficult enough to spend a lifetime with a person without the need to constantly guard and hold back your feelings.
Ms. Bows: Doctor, I will never let go of myself so completely again. Neither you nor Tom can make me.
Dr. Balis: I'm not encouraging you to abandon yourself to your relationship with Tom. I'm just encouraging you to let him know how you feel. It would help a lot if Tom knew that you're in this for the long haul.
Ms. Bows: I don't want to talk about this more now, Doctor. Let's move on.
Dr. Balis: As you wish. So the weather has been nice lately, don't you think?
Ms. Bows: Doctor! I didn't mean...
Dr. Balis: You're trying to avoid dealing with difficult subjects. Fine. How is the weather?
Ms. Bows: Let go, Doctor. I'm just too tired to talk more about my feelings for Tom. I get anxious just thinking about it. I'll need to drive for at least a half hour around the city before I go home tonight as it is.
Dr. Balis: Hmm?
Ms. Bows: It helps me clear my head. But I'm not trying to skip out on discussing difficult issues with you. Really.
Dr. Balis: Good.
Ms. Bows: I'm a good patient, really I am.
Dr. Balis: Then let's go back to work, Ms. Doolittle.
Ms. Bows: Yes, Professor Higgins. Bruce Redot called for me last week.
Dr. Balis: Bruce...forgive me, Sylvia, there were so many. Which one was Bruce?
Ms. Bows: He was the sculptor.
Dr. Balis: Oh yes, now I remember. He has a villa in Marin and was occasionally employed by SII to prototype casing designs for new hardware.
Ms. Bows: That's the one. You do have good memory, Doctor.
Dr. Balis: Thank you. So Bruce called?
Ms. Bows: He got Tom on the phone. Apparently, they had a very good conversation. Tom told Bruce about the twins and just how happy we were with them.
Dr. Balis: And?
Ms. Bows: And Bruce was bright enough to realize that Tom and I are back together. Bruce has been away living in Milan for the last eight months. He didn't know about the pregnancy or anything else for that matter.
Dr. Balis: Was he named in Richard's lawsuit?
Ms. Bows: No. Richard was only able to gather information about people who were currently employed by SII. He knew that there were others. But he never knew their names and was not clear on the dates--there was just so much I was volunteering even during pillow talk.
Dr. Balis: I see. So Tom didn't know...
Ms. Bows: That Bruce and He had a very pleasant conversation with him and was even invited to dinner, subject to my approval.
Dr. Balis: Are you going?
Ms. Bows: Bruce said that he would be extremely disappointed if we declined his invitation. Tom and I haven't really gone out since our trip to Sonoma with the boys.
Dr. Balis: That's when you learned about the article?
Ms. Bows: Yeah, it wasn't the best situation. And since then, a lot of Tom's friends and our mutual friends have been finding us too controversial to socialize with us or to be seen in public together.
Dr. Balis: I'm sorry, Sylvia. I didn't realize...
Ms. Bows: If that's the price I have to pay for Grant and Roald, then so be it. But Bruce's dinner invitation seems to me that Tom wants to go. And I feel strange turning it down. Tom may question that.
Dr. Balis: So Tom, Bruce, and you are having dinner together?
Ms. Bows: This coming Saturday. Fun, isn't it?
Dr. Balis: Sounds very awkward. Did you have a chance to speak to Bruce yourself?
Ms. Bows: Briefly. I brought him up to date on my current situation. He said that he was disappointed, but was happy for me and was looking forward to seeing Tom--"the lucky bastard"--and me.
Dr. Balis: I see.
Ms. Bows: Bruce is a good guy. I doubt he'd do anything to jeopardize my relationship with Tom.
Dr. Balis: I'm glad to hear that.
Ms. Bows: It's getting late, Doctor. I'll see you next week. Please don't be angry with me for trying to avoid some issues in my life. I have a lot on my plate right now.
Dr. Balis: I'm not angry with you, Sylvia. I want to help you work things out with Tom. I believe you'll be very happy if you do.
Ms. Bows: You're right, Doctor.
Dr. Balis: I'll see you next week, Sylvia.
Ms. Bows: Goodbye, Doctor.
Dr. Balis: Goodbye.
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