Transcript of 49th Session between Charles Balis, M.D. and Ms. Sylvia Bows, Tuesday, August 5, 1997 at 4:00 pm.

Dr. Balis: Hello, Sylvia.
Ms. Bows: Hello, Doctor Balis.
Dr. Balis: Come, sit down. How's your project? Did it ship on time?
Ms. Bows: Oh, more or less.
Dr. Balis: Hmm. How are the boys?
Ms. Bows: Oh, lovely. They're doing just lovely. Feeding times are a bit messy now, but other than that...
Dr. Balis: I guess they're on solid foods all ready, right?
Ms. Bows: Oh, we're just starting with mushed carrots, bananas--that sort of thing. But mostly it's still formula and breast milk.
Dr. Balis: Good, good. Sylvia?
Ms. Bows: Hmm?
Dr. Balis: You are in a very strange mood today--I can't even engage you in a conversation about your children. What's up?
Ms. Bows: I didn't know I was that obvious.
Dr. Balis: You're not. But what's going on?
Ms. Bows: Well, I told you about the project that I was working on?
Dr. Balis: The one based on Richard's recommendations?
Ms. Bows: Yes. As I told you, I've tried really hard to stay away from him during this project and only interacted with him in a very business-like manner.
Dr. Balis: Yes?
Ms. Bows: This last week, we had a real push to get this thing out of the door. We've all put in a lot of extra hours. I wasn't able to get home until way after nine on most days.
Dr. Balis: That must have been hard on you and the family.
Ms. Bows: Sure. But I've known that it would probably work out like that, and Tom knew. So we had it all figured out ahead of time.
Dr. Balis: Did Richard have to work late with you as well?
Ms. Bows: Yes.
Dr. Balis: I see.
Ms. Bows: No, I don't think you do, Doctor. Okay, let me explain what happened. We were finishing up late Wednesday night. At some point, it was just Richard and I taking a final look over all the materials we had prepared. And while it was possible to maintain a very business-like attitude and manner while we were surrounded by tons of people, when we were alone, I started to feel very uncomfortable.
Dr. Balis: How so?
Ms. Bows: At first, it wasn't even anything that Richard particularly did. He's passionate about this project and was very focused on getting it done. But somehow, he was always just a bit too close to me. Or his voice would sound different when he addressed me. I don't even know that anyone else noticed anything, but I felt very unnerved by him.
Dr. Balis: Did these feelings increase when you were alone together?
Ms. Bows: Oh, absolutely. I kept moving away from him, constantly trying to be on the other side of the table--I wanted a physical barrier separating us.
Dr. Balis: Hmm.
Ms. Bows: Finally, Richard called me on it.
Dr. Balis: What did you tell him?
Ms. Bows: I told him the truth--I didn't feel comfortable working with him. I told him that I thought it would be best if we called it a day. But as I started to put things away, Richard came over and took me by the shoulders. I almost screamed--it was shocking and his touch was nearly painful, burning.
Dr. Balis: What did Richard want from you?
Ms. Bows: He said that he found it remarkable that I could just discard him the way I did without any thought to his feelings. I told him that whatever it is, he should not be talking to me anymore. If he had anything to say to me, he should contact my lawyers. By filing a custody suit, he made it quite plain that our interactions could only be conducted through litigation.
Dr. Balis: That's very wise.
Ms. Bows: Tom and I have talked about this. We knew that it might be an issue if and when Richard and I would be working close together on a project. And, in fact, it was Tom's suggestion to cut off Richard if he ever started to talk about personal matters and to refer him to our lawyers.
Dr. Balis: Hmm.
Ms. Bows: But he was holding me so close--his face right up to mine. His eyes were burning right through me. I tried pushing him away...
Dr. Balis: And?
Ms. Bows: He told me that he knew that I was a tough bitch. In fact, he said, he admired me for it. But he said that he thought I would have understood once I knew that he was a condemned man.
Dr. Balis: Oh?
Ms. Bows: I didn't understand either and I told him so. He let me go and his expression changed. I asked him what he meant, and Richard said that he had cancer.
Dr. Balis: Hmm.
Ms. Bows: Doctor, he has testicular cancer! That's why he wasn't looking so well. And he explained that's his reason behind the lawsuit--Roald and Grant are his only shot at having children!
Dr. Balis: He doesn't know for a fact that your boys are his children.
Ms. Bows: No, but there's a good chance that they are.
Dr. Balis: That's still no reason to try and take your children away from you, Sylvia.
Ms. Bows: No, it's not. But I finally understand why he's doing it. I always found it beneath him and it disturbed me not a little that I had so underestimated his character.
Dr. Balis: Sylvia, he's still trying to take your children away from you.
Ms. Bows: Sure, but now at least he has a good reason for doing so.
Dr. Balis: Are you sympathizing with Richard?
Ms. Bows: I don't know. I just understand him now. And he said that he disclosed the cancer in the lawsuit.
Dr. Balis: Yes?
Ms. Bows: But I never knew. Tom always handled it, and he never told me.
Dr. Balis: Perhaps Tom thought that you would...
Ms. Bows: React badly?
Dr. Balis: That's not how I'd put it, but...
Ms. Bows: Well, do you think I'm reacting badly? I did use this man to get pregnant, and now he might be dying and he'll never be able to have any more children. Grant and Roald are his only chances. Somehow, it was better when I thought of Richard as this slithering poisonous snake. But now that I know the truth, I feel differently.
Dr. Balis: Well, how do you feel?
Ms. Bows: I feel like I owe Richard something.
Dr. Balis: Like what?
Ms. Bows: I don't know. Perhaps just an opportunity to find out if either of my kids are actually his.
Dr. Balis: You mean like genetic testing?
Ms. Bows: Yes. At least then he would know for sure.
Dr. Balis: And then what?
Ms. Bows: I don't know. I don't want him involved with my family, but on the other hand, it seems like it would be the right thing to do.
Dr. Balis: What do you mean?
Ms. Bows: Oh god! Maybe he should be allowed to spend some time with the boys--to get to know his sons, if just a little. Don't you think?
Dr. Balis: It's not my decision to make. But I do think that it's important that whatever you do is the right thing for your family first. How does Tom feel about it?
Ms. Bows: Well, he obviously doesn't want Richard around, otherwise he would have told me about all this.
Dr. Balis: Do you feel strong enough about allowing Richard access to Grant and Roald even if Tom is against it?
Ms. Bows: I don't know. I want Tom to understand. Wouldn't he want that if he was in Richard's situation?
Dr. Balis: Tom deprived himself of the opportunity to have a genetic offspring to try to insure your physical and mental health. Remember?
Ms. Bows: And also to avoid having children.
Dr. Balis: I think his priority was your health, Sylvia. He obviously adores Grant and Roald and is happy being their father, right?
Ms. Bows: Yes.
Dr. Balis: Sylvia, Richard made his choices in life. And one of those choices were not to have children. If you didn't come along, he would be dying without any progeny. Grant and Roald are his miracle.
Ms. Bows: But he didn't know he was going to get sick. He could have just never met the right person to have children with yet.
Dr. Balis: No one knows what will happen in the future, Sylvia. He could have been hit...
Ms. Bows: By a bus, I know. But I still feel bad. I understand all of your arguments, Doctor Balis, but I still feel like I have to do something for Richard.
Dr. Balis: Hmm. Well, don't rush into anything. Think about all of the issues involved. Think for a long time, and then think some more. Talk to Tom about all of this--how you feel, and how he feels, and what's best for the boys. Think of possible compromises. And please don't do anything or make any ultimate decisions for a while. Don't communicate any of your proposals to Richard, either. You are still in litigation with that man, and it will come back to haunt you. You really shouldn't talk to Richard about any of these matters--that's what your attorneys are for, okay?
Ms. Bows: You're right. I'll try to figure out how I really feel about all of this, and then I'll talk to you about it during our next session.
Dr. Balis: That sounds good. And perhaps we could even have a session with both you and Tom. I might be able to help both of you understand each other's points of view and work out a solution.
Ms. Bows: Give me a couple of weeks just to think about it for myself, and we can discuss the possibility of Tom joining us during our next session. Okay?
Dr. Balis: As you wish, Sylvia. I'll see you not this next Tuesday but the one following that. Let's see, that's August 19th.
Ms. Bows: That's fine. Thank you, Doctor Balis.
Dr. Balis: Goodbye, Sylvia.
Ms. Bows: Goodbye.
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

TCT Bottom Bar Links to Top of Page Pipsqueak Productions © 1997. All Rights Reserved.