Transcript of 13th Session between Charles Balis, M.D. and Ms. Katherine Lippard, Wednesday, July 30, 1997 at 4:00 pm.

Ms. Lippard: Hello, Doctor Balis.
Dr. Balis: Hello, Katherine. How was your week?
Ms. Lippard: Okay. Well...
Dr. Balis: Yes?
Ms. Lippard: Well, this is about Jake, and I came to talk about my father.
Dr. Balis: Katherine, we can talk about anything you want to.
Ms. Lippard: Okay, this is small anyway.
Dr. Balis: Go ahead.
Ms. Lippard: We went to the symphony--me and Jake and Phil, I don't remember her name, some knockout Phil brought. He has this way, I don't know what it is. He's a perfectly ordinary looking guy--a little skinny, poor most of the time, but he attracts these absolutely gorgeous women. Rich, attractive, smart, educated...
Dr. Balis: Sounds a little like you.
Ms. Lippard: Hmm, I guess so. Thanks.
Dr. Balis: You talk about your brother in glowing terms--you can see how appealing he is. These other women can, too.
Ms. Lippard: Hmm. I guess so. So anyway, afterwards, when we were alone, I told Jake I loved him.
Dr. Balis: How did that go over?
Ms. Lippard: Nothing.
Dr. Balis: He had no response at all?
Ms. Lippard: Well, he looked at me seriously and said, "Are you sure?" I said yes, and he smiled kind of sweet and then kissed me. We made out some, and then he went home. We didn't make love--I had to go to work the next day. He's not all about sex.
Dr. Balis: So you've said. How do you feel about that response?
Ms. Lippard: I kind of thought he'd say it back. That would have been great, you know? Then we'd both be in love, and comfortable, happily ever after, I guess.
Dr. Balis: Is that what you want?
Ms. Lippard: Oh, I don't know. I mean, I've never really seen myself married, and I'm not good with kids.
Dr. Balis: Does being in love mean having a husband and family?
Ms. Lippard: I guess so. Doesn't it?
Dr. Balis: Does it?
Ms. Lippard: What else is it for?
Dr. Balis: Maybe it's not for anything. Maybe feelings can just be feelings, for their own sake.
Ms. Lippard: Well, I know I don't want to end up like my mother.
Dr. Balis: What do you mean?
Ms. Lippard: Mama was in love with Daddy. I mean really, seriously in love. She couldn't get enough of him. Remember I told you about the argument when she said she couldn't stand for him to be away so much? I guess that's something we have in common--neither of us could get enough of Daddy. I even resented the time she got to spend alone with him. Hmm...I wonder if she felt the same way about me? If she was jealous of the attention Daddy paid me?
Dr. Balis: That could be.
Ms. Lippard: Yeah. So anyway, when Daddy left, my mother was just crushed. She was in love with him, and life was perfect. And then, he disappeared. I don't want that.
Dr. Balis: That's understandable. Are you afraid that will happen with Jake?
Ms. Lippard: Well, it's not like we're married.
Dr. Balis: No.
Ms. Lippard: Did you just say that it's okay to be in love and not do anything with it, not take it any farther? That I can just be in love and that's it?
Dr. Balis: Basically. What do you mean, "take it farther?"
Ms. Lippard: Well, promises. Commitment. I guess it's too soon to be talking about marriage, but maybe living together.
Dr. Balis: Katherine, it may be too soon for any of that. You've only known him what? Six weeks? Love can be a fleeting thing; you should give it some time to solidify, to get to know each other better. Plus, you don't really know how Jake feels about this.
Ms. Lippard: That's true. He never did respond.
Dr. Balis: Right. Give it some time. I know you're excited about the recent changes in your life, but it can't happen all at once.
Ms. Lippard: I guess not. But damn it, I've been alone for twenty years. I want it to happen now! Oh, well...
Dr. Balis: Jake is the first man you've dated seriously, right?
Ms. Lippard: Well, no. There was Andrew in Charlotte. He was a pilot.
Dr. Balis: Were you in love?
Ms. Lippard: No. That didn't last too long, a couple of months.
Dr. Balis: So you dated Andrew for a few months, years ago, and now Jake for even less time. You really don't have much experience, Katherine. I think you should take it slow, see how things develop. You may find you're not compatible.
Ms. Lippard: I guess so. So you're saying I should just date Jake for awhile, not push anything, and see what turns up?
Dr. Balis: That sounds reasonable.
Ms. Lippard: Hmm. Okay.
Dr. Balis: Do you still want to talk about your father?
Ms. Lippard: Yes. I promised, didn't I?
Dr. Balis: You did, and I think it's important. You mentioned how your mother felt when your father left. What about you?
Ms. Lippard: I think I covered that already. It destroyed my world. I didn't think I could ever be happy or feel safe, again. And Mama wasn't much help, although she was much stronger about it than I was. Once she pulled herself back together and went back to work, she pretty much gave all her attention to Joey. He became the man of the house, but he was 13? 14? He just got bossy and smart-mouthed, but my mother let him get away with everything and always came to his defense. I heard someone in school call him a mama's boy, and I thought, "Yeah, that's about right."
Dr. Balis: So your relationship with your mother changed after your father left?
Ms. Lippard: A little, I guess. I mean, Joey was always her child anyway, just like I was Daddy's. He just became more hers, and I was no one's. She pretty much left Phil and me alone, unless we got in trouble. That's when I started getting so close to Phil; I had no one else and no one was really taking care of him, paying him any attention. I guess Joey was Mama's child and Phil was mine. We had our own little world--our own little code so my mother and Joey wouldn't know what we were talking about. Phil's the only one that calls me Kate, or sometimes Katie, and I was the only one who called him Phil. I don't even know if they knew that. To this day, they still call us Katherine and Philip.
Dr. Balis: How is your relationship with your mother now?
Ms. Lippard: Okay, I guess. We speak. I visit sometimes. She has her life, and I have mine. I don't think you could call us close.
Dr. Balis: Is there any tension?
Ms. Lippard: Well, yeah, I guess. I mean, she could have taken care of me. Oh, I guess she did. I mean, she did pay for college and all--that's got to count for something. And Phil...I know he was an accident and all, Mama already had a boy, and Daddy had a girl. But Jeez, if I hadn't fed him, I don't think Phil would have eaten after Daddy left. And now he's the best adjusted of all of us, Mama included. Go figure.
Dr. Balis: I think you can take some credit for that.
Ms. Lippard: Huh? What do you mean?
Dr. Balis: It sounds like you were primarily responsible for his emotional upbringing, and you were only a child yourself in the bargain. And it was more than just the emotional support. You were feeding him, getting him to school, helping him with his homework. You must have done a remarkable job.
Ms. Lippard: Hmm. I guess so. I never looked at it like that.
Dr. Balis: It sounds like your mother was content to leave you and Phil to your own devices. You took on the role of a mother for Phil and took that responsibility very seriously. In fact, with what sounds like very little help from your mother, you raised Phil and yourself at the same time.
Ms. Lippard: Well, what choice did she have? She had to work two and three jobs to support her family; there wasn't much time left over.
Dr. Balis: She could have chosen to treat all of her children equally, rather than spoiling one and leaving the other two...
Ms. Lippard: Hmm. Spoiling. I wonder if that's why Joey's the way he is today? But you know what? There was one thing she didn't spoil him about. He wanted to become a pilot, like Daddy. Oh, she was having none of that! She absolutely put her foot down. There wasn't even any argument. I've never seen her treat anyone that way, least of all Joey. To this day she won't even let him take flying lessons.
Dr. Balis: How can she stop him? He's an adult now.
Ms. Lippard: But she's Mama, and he's Mama's Boy. He won't go against her; he won't risk losing her.
Dr. Balis: I see.
Ms. Lippard: We didn't get in much about Daddy, did we?
Dr. Balis: Oh, I think we covered a lot of ground. How your family relationships changed after your father left is very significant. Unfortunately, we're about out of time for today. Shall we pick up here next week?
Ms. Lippard: Yeah. Strangely, it feels good to talk about this. I don't feel like I'm really working through anything, though.
Dr. Balis: Well, we're doing the groundwork. We have to find out what the issues are before we can work on resolving them.
Ms. Lippard: And what are the issues?
Dr. Balis: We can talk about that next week. Good night, Katherine.
Ms. Lippard: Good night, Doctor Balis.
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