Transcript of 10th Session between Charles Balis, M.D. and Ms. Katherine Lippard, Wednesday, July 2, 1997 at 4:00 pm.

Dr. Balis: Hello, Katherine. Come on in.
Ms. Lippard: Hi, Doctor Balis.
Dr. Balis: Come in, come in. Sit down. Is everything okay?
Ms. Lippard: mean, I think so. Look, I'm sorry about how I acted last week.
Dr. Balis: Katherine, there's no need to apologize. It's all right to get emotional in here, that's part of the therapeutic process. In fact, I think I should commend you for it.
Ms. Lippard: Huh?
Dr. Balis: I don't believe that the Katherine Lippard I met two months ago--the corporate maven as you've called her--could have delved that deeply into her feelings. You were closed and controlled then, completely wrapped up in the corporate persona. It's great progress to be able to talk about issues that might be painful and that have a lot of emotions attached to them.
Ms. Lippard: Hmm. It may not be as much progress as you think, Doctor.
Dr. Balis: What do you mean?
Ms. Lippard: Two months ago, I was hanging on by a thread. You saw me...well, remember why I originally came in here?
Dr. Balis: You lost control when a particular seat at a sushi bar was not available to you. That broke your lunch routine.
Ms. Lippard: Yeah. I got all uncorked about it. But it wasn't an isolated incident. I mean, it was, but...oh, hell. Let me start again. That may have been the only time I really lost my cool about some little thing. But something like that was bound to happen. I was just barely hanging on to my composure most of the time. I've been so close to losing it so many times. I'm...well, it's scary.
Dr. Balis: And how long had this been going on?
Ms. Lippard: Well, it's been building ever since I moved here. I thought it was just being nervous about a new place and a new job, but it got worse instead of better. That's the real reason I came to see you, Doctor. It wasn't the incident at Kansai. I felt like I was losing my mind. Well, at least my composure.
Dr. Balis: I see. How have you been feeling recently?
Ms. Lippard: Better. Yeah, I'm calmer now. I'm still edgy, but I'm calmer. I think the Apple project, with the board meeting and all, really boosted my confidence. And working with you has helped. It gives me some breathing room--like it's not so urgent any more. I feel like at least I'm doing something about it now. So when my feelings get overwhelming and I feel panicky, I can think: "I'll talk to Balis about this." Or I can have an actual conversation with you, right then, in my head.
Dr. Balis: I'm glad you feel like therapy is helping. And I do think that you've shown a lot of progress in a short time.
Ms. Lippard: Thanks. That's good to hear. So, um...what should we talk about?
Dr. Balis: What's on your mind?
Ms. Lippard: Somehow, I knew you were going to say that. You're the doctor here. You have a better idea of where feelings come from. I'm just a CPA.
Dr. Balis: Okay. We left off last week talking about your father. Would you like to continue with that?
Ms. Lippard: And again, I knew you would say that. Okay, but I don't want a repeat of last time. I mean, I know it's okay to get emotional with you, but still it's not comfortable for me.
Dr. Balis: I understand.
Ms. Lippard: So I'll ease into it, okay?
Dr. Balis: Certainly.
Ms. Lippard: My father was a pilot. He was in the Air Force when I was born, in Charleston. But he quit soon after. My memories start in Charlotte...well, at the end of when we were in Charlotte--about the time we were going to move. I guess I was six or seven. We moved to Atlanta. Daddy got a job flying bigger jets. He worked for Delta. Mom tried to make it sound like a great thing--Daddy'll fly the big planes, we'll have a nice new house, and all that jazz. But I hated the idea. I had just started school. I had my friends in the neighborhood, and I didn't want to move. That makes sense, doesn't it? What six-year-old wants to move away from all her friends?
Dr. Balis: That's a common reaction, yes.
Ms. Lippard: So we moved to Atlanta, and Daddy was gone for days at a time. He used to fly commuters, so he was able to come home every night. Now, he was flying cross-country and spent many nights away from home. Toward the end, he even got some international flights, and we wouldn't see him for almost a week sometimes. So Mom got a job. All the kids were in school and Daddy was away most of the time--she got a job. No big deal, right? Philip and I went to the same school. I walked him to and from school and looked after him from the time school got out until Mom got home. We got close. My friends didn't like my little brother tagging along--they teased him and stuff--but I stood up for him. I wouldn't let them tease him.
Dr. Balis: So you've always been close to Philip?
Ms. Lippard: Yes, always. I don't remember any time when we had the normal sibling rivalry thing.
Dr. Balis: What about your older brother? Joey?
Ms. Lippard: Joey. No, Joey was Mama's little angel--doted on and above it all. That's something I never understood. He was the first born. He was named after my father. But Daddy had little to do with him. They were never really close. know, Mom really loved Daddy. I mean,she really adored him. I wonder if Daddy named Joey after himself or if it was Mom's doing?
Dr. Balis: You could ask your mother.
Ms. Lippard: Yes, I could. Do you think it's significant?
Dr. Balis: I don't know. But it sounds like you're interested. Tell me more about your family. Were you close to your father?
Ms. Lippard: Oh, yes. As much as Joey was Mama's boy, I was Daddy's little girl. He always hugged me first when he came home. I was always on his lap. When I skinned my knee or had a bad dream, I always went to Daddy. I hated it when he wasn't there. Somehow Mom's kisses never made it better, but Daddy's always did. I mean, not just the idea, but really. The pain actually went away when Daddy fixed it. I know it was all in my head, but it was real, you know? I can even remember a time when I had skinned my knee and Mom put that stuff on it she used to use--Witch Hazel or something, stings like mad--and then she kissed it to make it better, but it didn't get better. I remember crying to her: "it didn't work, your kisses never work, I want Daddy." But, of course, he was off in Timbuktu or something, and the knee was scabbed over by the time he got home. But I made him kiss it anyway.
Dr. Balis: What about Philip? Did he favor a particular parent?
Ms. Lippard: No, not that I can recall. Phil was an accident--they hadn't planned on more kids. I guess there was one for each of them, and that was enough. They kind of shared him, as best as I can recall. And of course, I took care of him a lot.
Dr. Balis: I see.
Ms. Lippard: Okay. So, we're in Atlanta, Joey's in middle school, Phil and I in elementary school, Daddy's gone a lot of the time, although he gets to spend days in a row at home not flying at all. And Mom's a bank teller--that bugged Daddy to no end. I remember them arguing about it. She said she couldn't take a vacation every time he happened to be home. He wanted her there more, she wanted him home more. I think Mama might have missed Daddy as much as I did when he was gone.
Dr. Balis: Hmm.
Ms. Lippard: Yeah. But he was my Daddy, and I was his little girl. Somehow that was more important to me.
Dr. Balis: That's understandable. Children have very little understanding or consideration for other people's feelings and relationships. They're only familiar with their own, and those are the ones they focus on.
Ms. Lippard: Hmm. Okay. And then one day, Mom announces that Daddy's leaving. Except he's not coming back this time.
Dr. Balis: How old were you then?
Ms. Lippard: I would have been ten? Eleven? Something like that.
Dr. Balis: Go on.
Ms. Lippard: Oh, I was upset. I cried. I held on to him. I told him he couldn't leave forever--he had to stay. It was a scene. He took me aside and tried to explain, but I was having none of it.
Dr. Balis: What did he tell you?
Ms. Lippard: He said he'd been thinking about this a long time, and that it was the right thing to do. Sometimes grown-ups had to make hard decisions, and one day I'd understand. That and all those placating, condescending things adults tell children when they're doing the wrong thing. But I think he really believed it all, I really do. And I know it was hard for him, too.
Dr. Balis: How do you know?
Ms. Lippard: Because he cried. That's the only time I ever saw my Daddy cry. You know, I just can't understand it...where are the damn tissues?
Dr. Balis: Here.
Ms. Lippard: Thanks. I don't get it, Doctor Balis. If it was so hard for him to leave me, why did he do it? If it hurt him so badly, certainly he must have felt it wasn't right? How could he do it? What was he thinking?
Dr. Balis: That's hard to know. Do you have any contact with him now?
Ms. Lippard: No. I haven't heard from him in years. I remember thinking every time I accomplished something, how proud he'd be, and how much I wanted him there. Graduation, CPA, the time I was in the school play. I even wanted to tell him about my first kiss, and about how much my first love was like him. But, by then, I wasn't even sure if he was dead or alive.
Dr. Balis: Wouldn't you have heard something if he died?
Ms. Lippard: I doubt it. Mom said he just abdicated everything--went off to Alaska penniless and free. No pension, no income, no insurance.
Dr. Balis: Hmm.
Ms. Lippard: Some people said that it must have taken some real courage to leave every thing like that. Courage, yeah. What kind of courage does it take to abandon your ten-year-old daughter for some crazy dream?
Dr. Balis: That would be a good place to start next week. Right now, our time is about up.
Ms. Lippard: God, already? Okay. Boy, this is hard. Does it get worse?
Dr. Balis: It's hard work. But you're doing very well. I'm very impressed by the work you've done so far.
Ms. Lippard: Thank you. I'm okay now. I'll go home, clean my house, and get on with my life. Oh, man. I never even got to tell you about Jake.
Dr. Balis: Something significant?
Ms. Lippard: No, I just wanted to tell you about our last date. But I guess it can wait.
Dr. Balis: Okay. See you next week.
Ms. Lippard: Good night, Doctor Balis.
Dr. Balis: Good night, Katherine.
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