Photographs of Roald and Grant Bows

Transcript of 43rd Session between Charles Balis, M.D. and Ms. Sylvia Bows, Tuesday, June 17, 1997 at 4 pm.

Dr. Balis: Hello, Sylvia. How are you doing today?
Ms. Bows: Hello, Doctor. I'm well, thank you.
Dr. Balis: You look tired. Have you been getting enough sleep lately?
Ms. Bows: I go to bed at a reasonable time and the boys sleep through most of the night now.
Dr. Balis: That's good. But have you been sleeping lately?
Ms. Bows: No, not really.
Dr. Balis: Hmm. Why are having troubles sleeping?
Ms. Bows: I can fall asleep just fine.
Dr. Balis: Good. But?
Ms. Bows: I keep hearing the boys cry or some other noise wakes me up.
Dr. Balis: Is it real, the crying or the noise?
Ms. Bows: No, it's part of a dream.
Dr. Balis: How many times a night does this happen?
Ms. Bows: Seven? Eight? I'm not really sure. But I wake up in cold sweat with my underarms hurting from fear.
Dr. Balis: What are you afraid of?
Ms. Bows: I'm not really sure. Maybe of not hearing the boys when they do cry for real?
Dr. Balis: Are you afraid of not being there for them when they need you?
Ms. Bows: that.
Dr. Balis: Has it ever happened that you didn't wake up when either of the boys cried at night?
Ms. Bows: I don't think so.
Dr. Balis: I bet that never happened. So you are not really worrying about not hearing the boys at night, are you?
Ms. Bows: I wake up because I hear them cry. But when I'm awake, it's all quiet.
Dr. Balis: Do you mistakenly hear the boys cry when you're awake?
Ms. Bows: Yes. At work, all the time. I call home and Mary tells me that I just called half hour ago and yes everything is still fine. But if no one answers the phone at's so bad that I had to leave work three times last week.
Dr. Balis: I see. What do you think could happen to the boys when you're not around?
Ms. Bows: Oh, I know nothing's wrong, Doctor. I understand that, but it's on some abstract intellectual level. Emotionally, I panic and have to work hard to restrain the need to just rush home to them as fast as I can.
Dr. Balis: You didn't feel that way prior to Beverly taking Grant, did you?
Ms. Bows: I might have, but it was never this intense. Now, I can't resist it. It's blinding fear.
Dr. Balis: Where is Beverly now?
Ms. Bows: She's still in a psychiatric facility. She suffered a total nervous breakdown and they were worried for safety.
Dr. Balis: Did she try to commit suicide?
Ms. Bows: I don't know, I guess so. I have to admit that I have trouble relating when it comes to Beverly. I know Tom's parents are out here and, together with Tom, they've been dealing. But Tom has left me very much out of it, thankfully.
Dr. Balis: How's Tom doing?
Ms. Bows: He's being very strong about everything. But I know that he's having problems as well.
Dr. Balis: What did you notice?
Ms. Bows: He's been doing most of his work in the kitchen now. The kitchen is adjacent to the playroom, and Tom can easily keep an eye on everything that's going on there. He also doesn't allow our babysitters to take the boys on walks now. He insists that they are too young for that and that they can get all the fresh air and interaction with nature they need from our back yard. And I have to say that I'm very happy that he's made this rule...he's been enforcing it with a vengeance.
Dr. Balis: I see. Do you know if Tom also has been having difficulties sleeping?
Ms. Bows: I noticed that he's been up a few times that I've been up, but I'm not sure if it isn't my fault. I could be waking him up with my reaction to my dreams--I usually end up sitting up in bed with a sort of a start. Tom has always been a light sleeper and...
Dr. Balis: I understand. I think you are both having a lot of difficulties dealing with the post traumatic effects of Grant's kidnapping.
Ms. Bows: Except it wasn't really that.
Dr. Balis: You mean it wasn't a kidnapping?
Ms. Bows: I don't believe that Beverly would have hurt Grant in any way. I think she was telling the truth when she said that she just wanted to experience motherhood, if only on a limited basis and for a short time.
Dr. Balis: Beverly might be telling the truth about that, but it doesn't change the fact that she took Grant away from you for two days and only returned him when police came to get her and the baby. The time you and Tom spent worrying about the whereabouts of your son and his welfare cannot be negated by the fact that everything turned out all right in the end. You were both admittedly extremely worried.
Ms. Bows: I know, but...
Dr. Balis: You knew that Beverly was mentally unstable and...
Ms. Bows: And anything could have happened. I get sick just touching upon that thought. I think I have been actively not thinking about what could have happened for all this time.
Dr. Balis: But as soon as you fall asleep...
Ms. Bows: I lose control and panic at the realization that I could have lost my son.
Dr. Balis: And I think Tom feels the same way.
Ms. Bows: You know, we leave the door to our bedroom open at night now. This way we're sure to hear if anything...
Dr. Balis: You're taking precautions to minimize your risks in the future. That's perfectly normal.
Ms. Bows: I hope this anxiety gets better with time, Doctor. Otherwise I doubt that I'm going to be able to let my children go to school, far less go to the playground.
Dr. Balis: It will get better.
Ms. Bows: Poor Beverly. I bet she's freaked too. There are occasional bursts of sympathy that I'm capable of feeling for her.
Dr. Balis: I'm glad to hear that. Are you pressing charges?
Ms. Bows: No. That would bring too much pain to the family and all concerned. And she is not likely to do anything like this in the future. Even if she wanted to, there is no chance that she'll ever be alone in the same room with my sons.
Dr. Balis: I guess not.
Ms. Bows: You know, through all of this, Richard called and expressed his concern over Grant's safety to Tom.
Dr. Balis: Only concerns?
Ms. Bows: Tom thinks that he wants to use this incident to his advantage in the custody suit.
Dr. Balis: How?
Ms. Bows: We're incompetent parents with crazy relatives and all that.
Dr. Balis: I see. Do you think that Richard will do that?
Ms. Bows: I don't know. I haven't spoken with him in such a long time...but in any event, there's that concern as well.
Dr. Balis: I don't think that Richard's case has very much merit, so...
Ms. Bows: I know. It's just a nuisance. But it's just one more thing to wear me down.
Dr. Balis: I'm sorry, Sylvia.
Ms. Bows: I better go; it's getting late.
Dr. Balis: Okay, I'll see you next week. Please give me a call if you're still having problems sleeping in the next few days. I can...
Ms. Bows: I don't think so, Doctor. I'm still breast feeding, remember? Sleeping pills are right out for me. But thanks. I'll see you next week.
Dr. Balis: Goodbye, Sylvia.
Ms. Bows: Goodbye, Doctor. Oh, I almost forgot. I got you these. I thought you might be interested in how the boys look like now.
Dr. Balis: I am, very. Thank you, Sylvia.
Ms. Bows: Thank you for being interested. It's always a mother's guilty pleasure to inundate her friends and therapist with pictures of her babies. Goodbye, Doctor.
Dr. Balis: Goodbye. They're very cute.
Ms. Bows: Aren't they, though?
Arrow, Straight, Left, Earlier Arrow, Straight, Right, Later

Button to Dr. Balis' Notes Doctor Balis' Notes on this Session

Button to Sylvia Bows' Transcripts Transcripts of Sylvia Bows' Therapy Sessions
Button to Sylvia Bows' Patient File Sylvia Bows' Patient File

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