Transcript of 25th Session between Charles Balis, M.D. and Ms. Katherine Lippard, Wednesday, November 12, 1997 at 4:00 pm.

Dr. Balis: Hello, Katherine.
Ms. Lippard: Hi. Okay, let's hit it. One: the board met yesterday and confirmed my appointment as the Chief Financial Officer of Silicon Impressions, Inc, a Fortune 1000 company. They also reaffirmed our intention to become a Fortune 500 company and charged me with much responsibility in that regard. My appointment becomes effective January one, the start of the next fiscal quarter.
Dr. Balis: Congratulations!
Ms. Lippard: Thanks. Frank will be on the payroll until December thirty-one, but basically he'll be persona absentia after Thanksgiving. He's pretty much cleaned out his office, introduced me to all his contacts, briefed me on how to treat every board member--I have a notebook on each individual's quirks and pet peeves. I have Jeff set to move into the assistant's job, and I'm leaving one accountant's position open for now. There's only one little snag.
Dr. Balis: What's that?
Ms. Lippard: Some of the staff think Jeff is gay. So he may have a problem exerting his authority.
Dr. Balis: More so than you did being a woman?
Ms. Lippard: Hmm. Good point. And there's always a rough period when a new boss takes over, particularly when he's promoted from the ranks and then has to supervise the people he used to work beside. There can be resentment.
Dr. Balis: Are there other accountants who wanted the job?
Ms. Lippard: Well, most of them applied for it, of course. Fortunately, Jeff is senior to all but one, and that one doesn't have the education. And I interviewed some outside applicants, but they all fell short.
Dr. Balis: So Jeff is clearly the most qualified and senior of the applicants?
Ms. Lippard: Yes.
Dr. Balis: Then there shouldn't be too much resentment. Is he gay?
Ms. Lippard: I don't know, I didn't ask. I don't really care. I'll back him up if there's dissension in the ranks, and my authority is well established. So, moving along. Two: Phil is loving his assignment at the college. He's started already, and the thing he's most excited about? He gets to use scaffolding. He says he feels like Leonardo da Vinci painting the Sistine Chapel. I'm going to go this weekend and watch him work. It's good to see him so engrossed in something he loves and to see him make a living at it. If this goes well, there may be other contracts, and he could have a more reliable income. You may soon see original Lippards all over town.
Dr. Balis: I'll be looking for them.
Ms. Lippard: Three: Jake continues to be adventurous. He's talking about snow-boarding this winter, which sounds like a good time, actually. I need to take a vacation, so I'm thinking we'll go north, or to Colorado maybe, for a week in January. I'll take lessons, and Jake will do his macho posturing thing, and we'll see who gets hurt first. I'll ski, of course; snow-boarding looks like the very edge of disaster. But that's the way Jake likes it.
Dr. Balis: Are you really interested in skiing?
Ms. Lippard: Yes, I've always thought I'd like to learn. And some ski lodge, far from civilization with nothing but majestic mountain peaks wherever you look, seems like a great vacation. Outdoor exercise in the daytime, romantic fires at night, and no contact with work for a solid week. I'm looking forward to it.
Dr. Balis: So you and Jake are doing well?
Ms. Lippard: Yeah, it's been good. We've settled into a real comfortable relationship. It's not going anywhere at the moment, but we're both okay with that. We've decided to enjoy what we have, to set no goals so there'll be no pressure, and to see what develops. Of course nothing may develop, but then again, maybe we'll decide later on that we want to spend the rest of our lives together. We'll see what comes up.
Dr. Balis: If you both really feel that way, that sounds like a healthy attitude.
Ms. Lippard: Thank you.
Dr. Balis: Do you find yourself being able to open up to Jake?
Ms. Lippard: What do you mean?
Dr. Balis: I remember that you've had some hesitation to reveal to Jake some details of your life and your feelings. I got the impression that you didn't trust him with the full depth of your emotions.
Ms. Lippard: You caught that, huh? Well, you're right, I don't always trust Jake with everything about me. I don't know that he can handle the extent of my neuroses or deal with the strength of some of my feelings. And frankly, I'm a bit embarrassed about what I'm going through with my father. I don't want Jake to think I'm a fragile neurotic who can't get over some disappointment twenty years ago. I'd like to be stronger than that.
Dr. Balis: I see. What are you afraid will happen if Jake learns of what you're going through regarding your father?
Ms. Lippard: I don't know. I'm afraid he won't respect me as much. But I don't think he'd leave.
Dr. Balis: Is his respect a serious issue between you?
Ms. Lippard: Well, he has to know I'm a strong and self-sufficient woman. That's a big part of why he's with me, he's told me so. He likes that I'll take charge sometimes, that I'm not one of these "oh, whatever you want to do" kind of women. And ordinarily, I'm not. There's just this one issue I get all weepy about, and the whole rest of me is what he thinks it is. And I'll be through this soon, anyway, so why blow his image of me when that image is, for the most part, correct?
Dr. Balis: I think it's important to be able to share all of your feelings and concerns with someone you love--to let him see a more complete picture, so he can know the whole you and know that he loves that part, too.
Ms. Lippard: You asshole! Do you have an answer to everything?
Dr. Balis: I've been a psychiatrist for some time. Katherine, Jake may develop more respect for you if he sees that you have a vulnerable, feeling side, too--if he sees that you're not afraid to confront your demons, that you're not afraid to cry. And he may find you more accessible and therefore easier to love.
Ms. Lippard: Hmm. I don't know. Jake's not that good with feelings either, you know.
Dr. Balis: Well, you know him better than I do. But can you really have a long-term relationship with a man if you can't trust him with your true feelings?
Ms. Lippard: Look, I'm not convinced that this is a long-term thing yet. You said yourself it can take many months to get to know someone well enough to make that determination. I'm getting to know him. I have to hold something back, okay? I'm not going to give everything up just yet.
Dr. Balis: Okay. Fair enough.
Ms. Lippard: Okay. So. That's the update on my life, my present life anyway. It's time to move on to the pressing issue of the day.
Dr. Balis: Go ahead.
Ms. Lippard: I did my homework as assigned, Professor. You told me to think about whether I was angry at my father at all. I am, a little. I'm mad at him for leaving in the first place. When he decided to have kids, he made the commitment to be there until they were all grown up. I hardly think eleven years old qualifies. And I'm mad at him for allowing my mother to keep us apart. And I'm mad at him for not getting back in touch with me after I was eighteen and could decide these things for myself.
Dr. Balis: Okay. And what are you doing with all this?
Ms. Lippard: I was planning just to feel it, like you said. But what's strange is that I know I'm angry about all these things, but I just can't work myself up into a rage about them. It's more like I'm just a little peeved, not really pissed off. Annoyed, maybe. It's a legitimate anger, and I feel like it's justified. But it's just not as strong as I expected.
Dr. Balis: Do you feel like your anger should be more intense than it is?
Ms. Lippard: I don't know if "should" is the right word. I did expect it to be more intense than it is. It's just...well, the more I think about it, the less it seems to matter. I mean there could be a perfectly good explanation for all these things, even if all it is that he just couldn't stand up to my mother. I can certainly understand that! Maybe he was weak, maybe he cracked under the constant Mama onslaught, maybe he just made some bad decisions. Whatever it is, I can't hold a grudge for the rest of the man's life or, more importantly, for the rest of mine.
Dr. Balis: You can't?
Ms. Lippard: No! I can't. And I don't want to. Sure I'm mad, but that happened so long ago. And I know for a fact that he really didn't want to hurt me. I really do believe that he would have prevented that if he could. I think I could forgive him. In fact, I think I have. And forgiveness is a big part of healing, right?
Dr. Balis: Yes, it is. You've come to these conclusions just since last week?
Ms. Lippard: Yeah. I spent a lot of time on it. I thought about it almost every night. Plus, I got to talk to Phil about it some. It's like I'm doing therapy by myself now, every night. It's hard to get things done, you know--chores and stuff, after the sun goes down--and since it's getting dark earlier, I get more down time. I use that time to think about what we've talked about. Things seem much clearer in the night, don't you think? One of Jake's poems says something about that. Hold on. "Truth hides behind the rational activity of day, is revealed in night's quiet darkness," something like that. So when it gets dark, I sit back and ponder on what we've covered. You said everyone needs a hobby? I guess this is mine.
Dr. Balis: I'm impressed. Few people devote much time to therapy outside of this office.
Ms. Lippard: Maybe you should assign more homework.
Dr. Balis: Maybe I should.
Ms. Lippard: Yeah, so...I guess I don't harbor much resentment for my Daddy. I'd still like to talk to him, though, to know that he's happy, to tell him what I've been doing, to make him proud of me. So I'm looking for a private detective.
Dr. Balis: Are you sure you want to do this?
Ms. Lippard: Yes. I think I have to settle it all in my mind. I just want to tell him I made it, and that I still love him, and I don't resent him for what he did. Because, you know, it occurred to me he might think I hate him now, after all that's happened. And I want to tell him I hope he's happy and I wish him the best.
Dr. Balis: Are you prepared for what you might find? He might not even be alive, or the trail could be so cold that he's impossible to locate.
Ms. Lippard: I know. I'm ready for that. If he's dead, I'll visit his grave and talk to him there. If he can't be found...well, that would be disappointing. But at least I'll know I tried. And of course it could be that he's just not interested in hearing from me.
Dr. Balis: That could be.
Ms. Lippard: Well, that would hurt. Yeah. But I should hope he's mature enough to deal with his long-lost daughter looking him up, only because of the love in her heart. But if not...well again, at least I'll know I tried. But whatever happens, I feel like I have to get it settled in my head. I need to know what happened to him, where he went, who he is, and at least try to make a connection. Otherwise, it's still open like an unsolved case. It never ends.
Dr. Balis: You're looking for closure.
Ms. Lippard: Exactly. I was afraid you'd think this was a bad idea.
Dr. Balis: Well, I have my reservations, but it sounds like you've thought it through. I hope there's a happy ending. Our time is up for today, Katherine. Would you like some more homework?
Ms. Lippard: Yeah, I think that's a good idea.
Dr. Balis: Fine. You've given your anger with your father a lot of thought and decided you can forgive him. Work on your mother this week, okay? No goal in mind, just analyze your feelings, experience them without censoring, and see where it takes you. Okay?
Ms. Lippard: Okay. Thank you, Doctor Balis. You've been an amazing help to me.
Dr. Balis: I'm glad to do it, Katherine. Good night. See you next week.
Ms. Lippard: Good night.
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