Transcript of 14th Session between Charles Balis, M.D. and Ms. Katherine Lippard, Wednesday, August 6, 1997 at 4:00 pm.

Ms. Lippard: Hello, Doctor Balis.
Dr. Balis: Hello, Katherine. How are you today?
Ms. Lippard: Okay, I guess. Major came in twice this week, wanting to look over some spreadsheets and forecasts. I think he may be up to something, but I don't know what. I hope he doesn't have some new scheme to take over IBM or General Motors or something.
Dr. Balis: He seems quite ambitious.
Ms. Lippard: You've met him?
Dr. Balis: You talked about him and the Apple merger deal quite a bit some weeks ago. And remember, I am the company's therapist--I have other patients from SII.
Ms. Lippard: Hmm. Very evasive.
Dr. Balis: Would you like to talk more about your work?
Ms. Lippard: No, I'm just a little antsy is all. Frank is doing less and less, and I'm taking more responsibility for the company. It's a slow but smooth transition.
Dr. Balis: I see.
Ms. Lippard: So, I suppose I should get started. Well, Jake still hasn't answered me. Not that I've pressed him on it. He did mention that his parents are divorced, his father twice. And his stepsister--his father's wife's daughter from her first marriage--is also divorced. So among the four people he can call his family, there are five divorces.
Dr. Balis: Jake is an only child?
Ms. Lippard: Yes.
Dr. Balis: What do you think of his family's history?
Ms. Lippard: It could explain his reluctance to commit. And I read some more of his poetry. Sad. It's all about darkness and tragedy, and how love always comes due in blood.
Dr. Balis: Hmm. Did you talk to him about that?
Ms. Lippard: Well, he doesn't actually know I've seen it. I read it while he was asleep Saturday night.
Dr. Balis: Oh. If you were curious, couldn't you ask him for it?
Ms. Lippard: I didn't know I was curious. I couldn't sleep, so I was just poking around and found this notebook. I read one--I knew I shouldn't--but I just kept going. It was fascinating. I knew he was deep and dark sometimes, but this was just amazing. It's so different from the way he acts usually. I mean he has such a zest for life--always on the go, doing things, nothing half way. And he chases excitement--the motorcycle, the bungee jumping, all that stuff. He's not depressed, not like the poems sounded.
Dr. Balis: Some people can express different aspects of their personalities in different ways. His poetry could just be a release for his darker feelings. And any artwork, poetry included, involves embellishment. While there are probably real feelings behind them, the poems may represent a substantial amplification of those feelings.
Ms. Lippard: Hmm.
Dr. Balis: Has this changed the way you feel about Jake?
Ms. Lippard: Not really. I think I actually have more compassion for him, knowing the pain he's had in his life. I'm looking at him a little differently, though.
Dr. Balis: In what way?
Ms. Lippard: Well, maybe it's just my perception, but I think he's treating me a little different lately. Since I told him, I mean.
Dr. Balis: Since you told him you love him?
Ms. Lippard: Yeah. He's...I don't know...cockier. Like he's not trying so hard to please me, like he's sure now that I'm attached to him. Maybe I'm just paranoid--I've been used so much as a trophy, like an accessory by men who need a pretty woman on their arm to go with their silk tie and their Rolex. I guess I'm overly sensitive to that.
Dr. Balis: That's understandable. Still, don't discount your perceptions. It's good to keep an open mind, and see if this behavior continues.
Ms. Lippard: Maybe he's just settling into the relationship. The real courting is over, and now comes the comfortable part. So he can't admit he loves me, so what? He treats me well, he obviously cares for me a lot. Can't that be enough?
Dr. Balis: Can it?
Ms. Lippard: What do you think?
Dr. Balis: I wonder if you're rationalizing just a bit.
Ms. Lippard: Hmm. So let's talk more about my father.
Dr. Balis: I'm not sure we're through with Jake yet.
Ms. Lippard: I am. I'm going to keep an open mind, see how he treats me, and try to get him to talk more about his family and how he feels about love. Now let's move on.
Dr. Balis: Okay. Enough Jake for today.
Ms. Lippard: So my father sent a couple of postcards from Alaska: "Isn't this pretty? I'm discovering myself," that sort of thing. There was also one picture of himself with this old plane he bought. I can still see it--he was letting his hair grow and was beaming at the camera, like he owned the world. He looked so proud of that plane and of himself. God how I wished I could be there. I asked him when he called sometimes--well, twice, actually--if I could come live with him. He said there were no schools, no kids to play with. I didn't care, I wanted my Daddy. But he wouldn't let me come. I thought about running away, but I knew I couldn't make it all the way there. By the time I could, I didn't know where he was any more.
Dr. Balis: Here's the tissues.
Ms. Lippard: Thanks. Then after high school, I thought maybe he'd think I was old enough, but he didn't show up. So I got on with my life. I became a successful businesswoman. Soon I'll have my name on the banner of the up-and-coming computer company of the decade. We've had feature stories this year in Business Week and the Journal, did you know that? But the men who say they love me are jerks, and the men I love all run off to pursue their dreams. Dreams that don't include me.
Dr. Balis: All the men you love?
Ms. Lippard: Sure. Daddy went to Alaska, Andrew to the Coast Guard to do drug interdiction, and Phil to California for his art. Hell, I even subsidized Phil's trip.
Dr. Balis: But you're here with Phil.
Ms. Lippard: Well, someone had to take care of him. Poor starving artist. Besides, I got this great opportunity at SII.
Dr. Balis: Those are the reasons you left your job, friends, and family and moved across the country?
Ms. Lippard: Oh, you asshole. No, not really. I followed Philip to California because I was tired of losing people. Okay?
Dr. Balis: Okay. It's good that you recognize that and admit it.
Ms. Lippard: It's pathetic, is what it is.
Dr. Balis: Why?
Ms. Lippard: Because I'm no good without a man, be it my father or brother or lover. I can't make it on my own; I have to have a man in my life. Some feminist.
Dr. Balis: Katherine, everyone likes to feel connected, to love, and to be loved. It's not a weakness to want to hold onto your relationships, to want to stay close to people who mean something to you.
Ms. Lippard: But it's a strength to be able to function on your own, to be independent.
Dr. Balis: It is a strength, yes. But is it desirable?
Ms. Lippard: What? Of course it's desirable. Are you saying I shouldn't be able to function on my own?
Dr. Balis: Excuse me, that didn't come out just right. I agree that you should be able to be alone. Needing to have someone all the time fosters dependence; being able to function independently fosters self-reliance. But I also believe that you can be self-reliant in the context of a loving relationship. You don't have to be alone to be independent.
Ms. Lippard: Um, so just because I want to be close to someone, doesn't mean I can't take care of myself?
Dr. Balis: Yes. It's not a weakness to want other people in your life. It may be unhealthy to be unable to function without another person in your life. Clearly you can function well on your own, and that's good. You make a living, you feed yourself, stay healthy. But what about your emotional well-being? Do you feel incomplete without a relationship?
Ms. Lippard: Well, yeah, I guess. There's an emptiness, a loneliness. I can be content on my own, but I sure do get bored.
Dr. Balis: So you're content when you're not in a relationship?
Ms. Lippard: Yeah, mostly.
Dr. Balis: Are you happy?
Ms. Lippard: Sometimes. I'm lonely. Like there's a piece missing--a hole in my heart or something. I'm okay by myself, but I'd sure rather be with someone else.
Dr. Balis: It's important to be comfortable with yourself so that you don't jump into a relationship just to fill a void.
Ms. Lippard: Well, if I was comfortable with myself, I wouldn't have come to you in the first place, would I?
Dr. Balis: I suppose not. So you're doing the work you need in order to find that peace.
Ms. Lippard: Lately, I don't feel like I'm making any headway. I remember the feelings I had the first few weeks--everything was coming together. I don't have those any more. I feel like I keep talking about the same things over and over and not getting anywhere. I'm just spinning my wheels.
Dr. Balis: Katherine, I hate to bring this up again, but I did mention that there might come a time when you feel this way. In therapy there are ebbs and flows, and sometimes, it even feels like things are regressing instead of making progress. But we're always learning more about you and your issues. Stick with it; I'm confident you'll notice that there'll be progress again soon.
Ms. Lippard: Hmm. I do remember you warning me about this. I didn't want to hear it, as I recall. Thanks. I guess I needed that.
Dr. Balis: I'll see you next week, Katherine.
Ms. Lippard: Yes. Good night, Doctor Balis.
Dr. Balis: Goodbye, Katherine.
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