Transcript of 15th Session between Charles Balis, M.D. and Ms. Olivia Stillwell, Monday, May 18, 1998 at 4:00 pm.

Dr. Balis: Good afternoon, Olivia. Please have a seat.
Ms. Stillwell: Hi, Doc. Isn't it gorgeous today? Just a few clouds but no rain. I just might try to do some gardening when I get home today. I'd like to have things all nice and tidy before I go on vacation.
Dr. Balis: Vacation? Where are you going?
Ms. Stillwell: I'm going to head to the East Coast for a week. Steffy was supposed to go to Washington, D.C. last month for some meeting, but it was postponed. They've rescheduled it for this week. I'll be tagging along with Steffy. It'll be nice to do some sightseeing while she's in her meetings.
Dr. Balis: Sounds good.
Ms. Stillwell: Yeah, it should be fun. We've been collecting brochures for all the cheesy amusement parks and theme parks we can find in the area. We don't want to limit ourselves to D.C. only.
Dr. Balis: You might want to visit Luray Caverns. The stalagmites and stalactites are breathtaking.
Ms. Stillwell: Ooh! Thanks for the tip. I haven't told my father that I'll be going to the East Coast yet. I'm not sure how he'd take it considering that...well, considering everything that happened there.
Dr. Balis: What do you mean?
Ms. Stillwell: Birth, adoption. And with that nice segue, I put together my thoughts on issues that I need help with and my thoughts on them.
Dr. Balis: Good. Why don't we get started then?
Ms. Stillwell: Well, first on my list is that people don't seem to take me seriously. I'd like to try and figure out why people don't take me seriously. I want to see if maybe it's something that I do or say, and then I want to try to change that. Mostly, I feel like my father doesn't think I can do things on my own. When I tell him about projects I want to get involved in, he just kind of pats me on the head and sends me on my merry way.
Dr. Balis: Do you think that it's only your father who treats you this way or do other people do it as well?
Ms. Stillwell: Hmm. It's mostly my father, but sometimes it's other people, too. When I was in college, people either thought I was stuck up or a complete ditz. But I can't help that I'm a bubbly person, can I?
Dr. Balis: Do you feel that people treat you this way in professional circles?
Ms. Stillwell: I feel pretty good about work. We all work well together and are able to joke around and still tackle the projects effectively. Vinnie lets me work on my own most of the time. I get the feeling that some of the executives are a bit snobby, but I don't think it's a reflection on me personally--it's just a superiority thing, I guess. It was different when I was working for my father in his company. There I really felt like a clod. But my father was the big boss, and people didn't want to give me the benefit of the doubt.
Dr. Balis: I agree working for SII seems to have improved your sense of self-assurance.
Ms. Stillwell: Do you think? I'm sure it has on some levels. I do have more confidence in my ideas, and I definitely have more conviction when I feel that I'm right about an issue. I think that comes from increased skills as well as a new environment. I've learned a lot about project management, time and task management, organization, and prioritizing work since I started working for Vinnie.
Dr. Balis: What about family, Olivia? You seem to focus on work rather intently but rarely on your family unless it's unavoidable.
Ms. Stillwell: Well...I mean...I don't really have a family, Doc. My father and I aren't exactly the typical all-American family with two-point-five children, a dog, a cat, and a house with a white picket fence.
Dr. Balis: Do you want that type of a family?
Ms. Stillwell: Well, who wouldn't? I know that every family is dysfunctional to some degree or another. No one is perfect. But it would be nice to have a mother and a father. I think that if things had been different...well, things aren't different.
Dr. Balis: Do you think that it might be worthwhile to talk about your mother and the role she played in your life?
Ms. Stillwell: Her role? She's dead, Doc. She doesn't have a role in my life.
Dr. Balis: Hmm.
Ms. Stillwell: What? Whenever you give me that look, I know what you're thinking. You're thinking that there's more to it. Well, there isn't. I'm not heartbroken. I'm not devastated. I'm not trying to find the meaning of anything. I'm not trying to resolve why she died. It's a fact, and I've accepted it. End of story!
Dr. Balis: You seem to be expending a great deal of effort minimizing the impact your mother's death had on your life, Olivia. There's no need to feel defensive; my intent is not to attack you.
Ms. Stillwell: I know. It's just...uh. I don't really think about where I came from. It's just easier to deal with things as they come up, you know?
Dr. Balis: I see.
Ms. Stillwell: There you go again with that look. I swear! Can we please change the subject?
Dr. Balis: I think that this is something we should talk about, Olivia. However, I'd like you to take some time over the next two weeks to really think about your mother. Are there aspects of your life that are affected by her rape and her death? Those were very traumatic events. And I believe they have left an impression on you. I'd like to know what you feel and think about this.
Ms. Stillwell: Not much more than what I've just told you. Okay, okay! I'll think about it. Can we go on now please?
Dr. Balis: Yes. What else do you have on your agenda, Olivia?
Ms. Stillwell: Um, I think my dating standards are too high. Or maybe I'm just destined to be an old maid. Maybe I should buy stock in a vibrator company. Oh my God! I can't believe I said that. Oh God. I'm so embarrassed.
Dr. Balis: There's no reason to be embarrassed. Everyone has sexual feelings and desires.
Ms. Stillwell: Yes, but...well, that's just a very private thing for me. I...uh, I don't like to discuss things like that.
Dr. Balis: That's fine. Let's go back to your original point. You said that you were feeling destined to be an old maid. You mentioned in another session that none of the young men you met were able to draw amorous feelings from you. But what about Jordan? How do you feel about him?
Ms. Stillwell: Jordan is...he's like a dream. It's like he's not real or there's something wrong and I just haven't discovered it yet.
Dr. Balis: I see.
Ms. Stillwell: Sometimes, I think he's just too perfect. I like being around him and talking to him. We hold hands a lot and exchange soft kisses, but not much more than that. It's not that I'm looking to jump into bed with him right off the bat or anything, but...
Dr. Balis: Would you like to develop a deeper relationship with him?
Ms. Stillwell: I think I might. But I don't know. It's an awful lot of work to go through. And if it doesn't work out in the end...
Dr. Balis: It sounds like you are thinking of a relationship as an investment. Perhaps you should approach it as a learning experience. You can learn how to be vulnerable, how to give yourself to another. You can also learn what you might want in a life-long partner. These are all very important things...
Ms. Stillwell: I guess. I don't know. Maybe I'll be happy spending my life on my own with gentlemen friends from time to time like that one executive. What's her name? Katie or Cathy Lippen or something.
Dr. Balis: We're almost out of time, Olivia.
Ms. Stillwell: Doctor, I think it would be a good idea to continue with therapy.
Dr. Balis: I think so, too.
Ms. Stillwell: Can we keep it to every other week? Things are really busy at work.
Dr. Balis: That's fine. I'll see you in two weeks. Have a good time on your trip, Olivia.
Ms. Stillwell: Thanks, Doc! Ta ta!
Arrow, Straight, Left, Earlier Arrow, Straight, Right, Later

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