Transcript of 42nd Session between Charles Balis, M.D. and Ms. Sylvia Bows, Tuesday, June 10, 1997 at 4 pm.

Ms. Bows: Hello, Doctor. How are feeling?
Dr. Balis: Hello, Sylvia. I'm much better, thank you.
Ms. Bows: When I got the message that you had to cancel due to illness, I thought...well, I knew you must have been very sick.
Dr. Balis: I had a cold that turned into a bad sinus infection. I don't want to bore you with the details other than to say that I had a very unpleasant week. I was really glad to be in the medical field. Frankly, I don't know how people survive hospitals without having some sort of medical training.
Ms. Bows: I always believed that hospitals were not a place for sick people. Although, they did save my children and I'm extremely grateful for that.
Dr. Balis: Yes. And they also made you live in the lobby for a week with one newborn infant by your side and the other in the ICU.
Ms. Bows: That was charming. But I didn't realize that you were actually in the hospital, Doctor.
Dr. Balis: I wasn't responding well to the antibiotics and they needed to go in and remove some...don't worry, Sylvia. I'm fine, really.
Ms. Bows: You look tired.
Dr. Balis: It will take me some time to fully recover, but the worst is over and now I'm mostly suffering from low energy. Please, don't be concerned.
Ms. Bows: I've come to regard you as a personal friend, Doctor, and not just as a therapist. I can't help but be concerned. If there is something I can do for you...
Dr. Balis: You can. I'd like to feel like I'm able to do my job again. So please, I would like to start.
Ms. Bows: Of course. But let me know if you're getting too tired to continue. Okay?
Dr. Balis: I promise, Sylvia. So how was your last two weeks?
Ms. Bows: Are you sure you're well enough to do this?
Dr. Balis: Sylvia! I like being a doctor, so please let me.
Ms. Bows: You're asking for it. The last few weeks...actually last week I even thought that perhaps I should cut down on the number of sessions we have together. Please don't misunderstand, Doctor. I find your advice, support, and wisdom extremely valuable and important. But I feel like I need at least fifty more hours a week just to accomplish the minimum that I need to do.
Dr. Balis: I understand, Sylvia. And actually this is our forty-second session together and during that time we did managed to resolve together all the issues that you wanted to deal with when you first came to see me last summer. I've...
Ms. Bows: Doctor, I felt that way last Tuesday. Last Wednesday, my life changed once again and I would appreciate us continuing our sessions together for at least the near future.
Dr. Balis: Oh, Sylvia, what happened now?
Ms. Bows: Tom's sister came out to visit us for a week. She arrived last Saturday. I never had a particularly close relationship with Beverly, but I was glad she came. She was very good with the boys and I thought she'd enjoy the role of doting aunt. I think I told you that Beverly lost her child due to a miscarriage was very bad.
Dr. Balis: You told me. Beverly had a very bad pregnancy which ended with the loss of a child, followed by a divorce, the loss of her job, and...
Ms. Bows: A mental breakdown. You do remember.
Dr. Balis: You told me that Tom tried to use her story against you as a means of convincing your parents that his vasectomy was the right thing to do to protect you.
Ms. Bows: That was then, Doctor. I would rather not bring that up again.
Dr. Balis: Of course, please forgive me.
Ms. Bows: That's all right. Tom and I did a lot of things that I would rather never bring up again. That's all in the past and we have our present and future to concentrate on.
Dr. Balis: I understand. So what happened between you and Tom's sister last week?
Ms. Bows: It's not so much what happened between us. She was very pleasant when she arrived. As far as I could tell, she was happy to see us and she adored the boys. She even insisted that Grant looked like Tom. I tried telling her that it wasn't really possible, but she said that she didn't care about all that and, as far as she could see, Grant looked like the spitting image of Tom. I just let it go.
Dr. Balis: She knew about Tom's vasectomy, right?
Ms. Bows: I'm sure everyone knows--everyone who reads the papers. In fact, I think I was around when he told her and his parents. But she insisted on that point, so...I mean, it really didn't matter to me all that much. I was happy that she found them beautiful and charming and smart, even though I realize that those qualities are difficult to discern in three month old babies.
Dr. Balis: She was trying to be nice.
Ms. Bows: That's what I thought. We--Tom and I--had plans to take Beverly out for dinner on Sunday and to spend a nice evening out on the town.
Dr. Balis: You were being good hosts?
Ms. Bows: We were trying to be. I knew that I would have to work a lot the next week--there was a Board of Directors meeting about the Apple deal--and Tom was putting in long hours even thought he was working primarily out of the house. So our big chance to take Beverly out was Sunday. But she refused.
Dr. Balis: Refused to go out to dinner?
Ms. Bows: She said that she didn't have many opportunities to spend time with babies and she didn't want to engage in activities that excluded Grant and Roald.
Dr. Balis: And of course you were planning to leave them at home.
Ms. Bows: They're wonderful boys, but it would have been a mistake to take them to La Folie.
Dr. Balis: Sure.
Ms. Bows: But Beverly refused to go. Finally, we had to order dinner in and spent the evening at home. It was nice but a bit strange. I should have realized then that Beverly was behaving strangely even for her. But I just attributed her peculiarity to just that--Beverly always did whatever she wanted to and this was not the first time I saw her throw a temper tantrum.
Dr. Balis: It was really that bad? Do you know if Beverly is currently taking any antidepressants or other medications?
Ms. Bows: I think she was given Prozac after her meltdown a few years ago. But I don't know if she is still taking it. The whole thing is sort of moot now.
Dr. Balis: Hmm.
Ms. Bows: Let me just quickly get to the gist of the story.
Dr. Balis: Go ahead.
Ms. Bows: Things were going okay and Beverly was acting as normal as she ever gets, and then on Wednesday I got a call from our nanny at around four in the afternoon--Grant was gone.
Dr. Balis: Gone?
Ms. Bows: Gone, gone. Mary, our nanny, said that she put the boys down for a nap around one and everything was okay before that--they spent the morning in the park and Beverly went with them as she had for the last few days. Mary said that she went up to check on them around three. Roald had woken up by then, but was lying in his bed quietly. Mary took him downstairs so he wouldn't wake up Grant who was still sleeping. But when she didn't hear anything for another forty minutes, Mary went up to Grant's bedroom again. That's when she discovered that Grant was missing.
Dr. Balis: She looked around the house, of course?
Ms. Bows: She asked Tom if he got him, but he was downstairs in the office all day and didn't know anything. Tom and Mary searched the entire house--they first assumed that Beverly got Grant and was playing with him somewhere in the house or garden. But neither of them was to be found. They called me to see if I had made plans with Grant and Beverly and forgot to inform them. But that was just out of desperation--by then they both knew that Beverly must have taken Grant and left.
Dr. Balis: What would Beverly want with Grant?
Ms. Bows: Mary said that she heard Beverly say a couple of times just how lucky we were to have not one but two wonderful children. I don't know what Beverly was thinking. I know she wanted to have children. She even applied to adopt a child, but was turned down due to a poor psychiatric evaluation--she was clearly still too unstable to be responsible for a child. She wasn't even doing well taking care of herself.
Dr. Balis: Sylvia, where's Grant now?
Ms. Bows: He's at home. We've got him back Friday morning.
Dr. Balis: Thank god!
Ms. Bows: Those were the worst 48 hours of my life.
Dr. Balis: I'm so sorry. I had no idea.
Ms. Bows: Actually, everything turned out remarkably well at the end. The manager of the hotel Beverly was staying saw her picture and the reward on the evening news. When she came down for breakfast the next morning, he called the police.
Dr. Balis: Where was she staying?
Ms. Bows: She stayed in one of the resorts in the Monterey area. I guess she figured that she could blend in with all the other guests better than if she stayed in some small obscure place. I think she knew that she wouldn't be able to get away with this for too long. She said that she just wanted to feel what it was like to be a mother even if it was just for a few short hours. She said that she was just borrowing him. I don't think she was really trying to be evil.
Dr. Balis: Did she realize the worry and stress that she was inflicting on you and Tom?
Ms. Bows: I'm not sure exactly just how much Beverly realizes about anything right now. She did take very good care of Grant. The hotel staff said that she seemed to be an extremely devoted mother and Grant didn't cry or appear to be upset being with her. If it wasn't for the announcement on the news, I don't think we would have been able to find her so fast. I'm very grateful to Lloyd for his generosity and support.
Dr. Balis: Lloyd?
Ms. Bows: Oh yes. When he found what was going on, he offered a $20,000 reward for any information leading to the safe recovery of my baby. And he turned on the publicity machine. I was amazed at how much television coverage he could generate--and so fast.
Dr. Balis: I'm surprised. I wouldn't have expected Lloyd to do that.
Ms. Bows: I'll be in Lloyd's debt forever. I do believe he got my baby back to me.
Dr. Balis: So Grant is fine?
Ms. Bows: He perfectly all right. I don't even think he knew what happened and, of course, he'll never remember this. Tom and I, on the other hand...and god, my parents! I couldn't tell my mother until it was all over, and even then I thought she'd have a heart attack. How Rene managed to keep her out of our house for that long, I'll never know.
Dr. Balis: I'm sorry, Sylvia. This nightmare should not be experienced by any parent.
Ms. Bows: I know it's hard to see, but I've got a lot more gray now.
Dr. Balis: How's Beverly?
Ms. Bows: She is in a mental hospital. I'm not sure what will happen to her next.
Dr. Balis: I see.
Ms. Bows: Look, Doctor, it's getting late. You look very tired and I need to get home. I'll see you next week, okay?
Dr. Balis: Yes, of course. Take care of yourself, Sylvia. And give my best to Tom.
Ms. Bows: I will. Thank you, Doctor.
Dr. Balis: Goodbye, Sylvia.
Ms. Bows: Good night, Doctor. Feel better.
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