Transcript of 15th Session between Charles Balis, M.D. and Ms. Sylvia Bows, Tuesday, October 22th, 1996 at 4 pm.

Dr. Balis: Hello Sylvia. How are you feeling today?
Ms. Bows: Hello Doctor. I'll let you decide.
Dr. Balis: That's not a good start. What happened?
Ms. Bows: The most inconceivable thing in the world.
Dr. Balis: I need a better hint than that Sylvia. You have one of the most improbable stories so far--I think it would be hard to surprise me.
Ms. Bows: I wish I could joke with you but...
Dr. Balis: I'm sorry Sylvia. I didn't mean to make light of your situation. Something bad happened? Are the babies all right?
Ms. Bows: The babies are fine. I even think that I'm beginning to feel them move and kick around in there.
Dr. Balis: You are at fourteen weeks now? It's very possible that you might actually be feeling some movement. Especially with twins. Soon you'll think that you have a couple of kick-boxers in there.
Ms. Bows: I can't wait.
Dr. Balis: No, no Sylvia. That's the good part.
Ms. Bows: Maybe they are just training how to escape their father.
Dr. Balis: What? You found out who the father is?
Ms. Bows: No. I know who the father isn't. Although that's not stopping him.
Dr. Balis: Sylvia you are talking in riddles today. What happened? Did Tom do something?
Ms. Bows: You can say that.
Dr. Balis: What did he do?
Ms. Bows: He was like a shadow all last week. I knew he was in the house. I could feel him. But I never saw him. Finally on Saturday, I was going to confront him about it. I gave him the papers, so to speak, and I want him out.
Dr. Balis: Well you never actually expected for him to go quietly, did you?
Ms. Bows: I was hoping he was going to be a gentleman about it.
Dr. Balis: Really Sylvia.
Ms. Bows: I was hoping. So on Saturday, I get up really early and I waited for him in his room--he was still taking a shower so I just came in. When he got out and saw me, for a moment dozens of expressions and thoughts moved quickly across his face and then it turned back to stone. He looked at me and then proceeded to go about his business as if I wasn't there.
Dr. Balis: Hmm.
Ms. Bows: He dried himself off and threw the towel on the bathroom floor. It was a long time since I'd seen him nude. It looked like he lost some weight. Actually he looked really good. As I was sitting in the chair, he proceeded to make the bed and pick out the clothes he was going to wear. He didn't even look at me after that first initial glance. I knew he cared and I knew that I surprised him. But he was all control. Finally I asked if we could talk. He turned to me--he was still completely naked--and asked if there was time for him to get dressed or if I preferred him as he was? I told him that I could wait and quickly left the room.
Dr. Balis: So that bothers you?
Ms. Bows: It wasn't that he was naked in front of me. That was my fault. What got me really uncomfortable is how he made me feel. If he caught me naked by surprise I don't think I would have maintained my cool the way he did.
Dr. Balis: If I remember correctly, that's just what you did. You told me about putting on a show for Tom. Letting him watch you take a shower and get dressed and purposely trying to arouse him.
Ms. Bows: That was different.
Dr. Balis: It seems the difference is who was putting on a show for whom, don't you think?
Ms. Bows: It was more about control. I was going to confront him. I came in to his room. He was surprised and naked. And he was in control. So completely in control.
Dr. Balis: You were in control when you were putting on a show for him.
Ms. Bows: Not in this way.
Dr. Balis: What is the difference?
Ms. Bows: I don't think my motivations were as evil as his.
Dr. Balis: Evil?
Ms. Bows: I was just trying to make him want me.
Dr. Balis: You were flouting the fact that he couldn't have you.
Ms. Bows: Yes. I was just trying to get back at him.
Dr. Balis: You don't think that that is what he was trying to do?
Ms. Bows: No. It was more than that.
Dr. Balis: Did you have your conversation with Tom?
Ms. Bows: Not on Saturday.
Dr. Balis: Tom did go back and find you after he dressed?
Ms. Bows: I got scared and left.
Dr. Balis: Sylvia!
Ms. Bows: I couldn't. I could feel that something horrible was about to happen. I started to get a panicky feeling as I was waiting for him in the kitchen. The next thing I knew I was in car driving across the Golden Gate Bridge.
Dr. Balis: Hmm.
Ms. Bows: I kept driving north for a while. I felt that I needed to get away as far as I could. I finally ended up somewhere near Fort Bragg and stayed in a little hotel there.
Dr. Balis: You are developing a pattern of running away in the face of confrontation. This is not the first time you chose escape rather than facing the reality of a situation.
Ms. Bows: I noticed that too. I think pregnancy is making me a lot more cautious.
Dr. Balis: Perhaps.
Ms. Bows: It's really not my style to run.
Dr. Balis: So when did you have your conversation with Tom?
Ms. Bows: I was trying to leave the house for work on Monday morning. Tom caught me just as I was leaving. He asked how was my weekend. I told him that it was fine and that I was sorry about missing him Saturday. He replied that it was no problem and it allowed him to get a few things settled anyway. As he was saying that I begun to feel the floor giving away from under my feet. I knew it was going to be bad. He asked if I could come into the office with him for just a minute. I felt like a cow being taken to a slaughterhouse.
Dr. Balis: What did Tom have in mind for you?
Ms. Bows: Custody papers.
Dr. Balis: What?
Ms. Bows: That was my reaction as well. Tom wants custody of the twins.
Dr. Balis: But they are not his.
Ms. Bows: Well legally they are.
Dr. Balis: But genetically they are not.
Ms. Bows: He doesn't care about that. He said that as long as the kids were conceived during the marriage, he is their father. And he wants full custody. He said that he has consulted a lawyer and, given my irresponsibility toward the well-being of these children, he is petitioning for full custody.
Dr. Balis: Can he do that? And what irresponsibility?
Ms. Bows: He mentioned the unknown biological father as one of the factors. There was a statement about my medical condition and the possibility of endangering the twins. Everything sort of turned gray after some point. I remember Tom giving me a glass of water and I was sitting behind the desk trying to read the papers. Finally Tom suggested that I should go and consult my attorney and then he left.
Dr. Balis: Did you speak with your attorney?
Ms. Bows: She was shocked that Tom would do that. She took all the papers and said that she'd get back to me soon. I haven't told anyone about this yet. I don't even feel like it is really real. Why would Tom want them. They are mine not his. He has nothing to do with them.
Dr. Balis: You were going to use the fact that they were conceived during the marriage to get Tom to pay child support and...
Ms. Bows: Sure. I was trying to get back to him for what he'd done to me. But what does he want? I know he doesn't really want the kids. He never wanted to have children. So this is just some sort of a game.
Dr. Balis: What do you think Tom is trying to gain by this?
Ms. Bows: The only thing I could think of is that he is trying to use the children as a bargaining chip--for me to give up all my claims against him and, in return, he will let me have my children.
Dr. Balis: Hmm.
Ms. Bows: It's a really low blow even for Tom. I know you like him Doctor, but don't you think it is?
Dr. Balis: I don't know Sylvia. I would be interested in getting more details about his position, claim, and motivation.
Ms. Bows: I can't really tell you more than I already did. After Tom left I was just too...everything gets me so tired lately. I just had no energy to deal. I gave the papers to Kelly and basically just left them for her to deal with. I suppose that she will get back to me.
Dr. Balis: I see. You don't seem too upset about all this.
Ms. Bows: I just don't think Tom can really get away with this, although it is very creative, I have to give him that.
Dr. Balis: Hmm. You know our time is up?
Ms. Bows: Time has a tendency to fly when we are talking about Tom. Should we schedule for next week?
Dr. Balis: Yes. Next Tuesday at 4 pm. That's October 29th.
Ms. Bows: Okay. I let you know how this all plays out. I assume it will be all over in the next couple of days. I wonder what he will do next.
Dr. Balis: It doesn't sound to me like this problem will go away so soon. Please call me if you need to talk.
Ms. Bows: I will Doctor. Thank you.
Dr. Balis: Oh and how is your mother?
Ms. Bows: We spoke on the phone a couple of times last week. No real content but I think it made her feel better.
Dr. Balis: Good. I'm glad she's feeling better.
Ms. Bows: Me too. Thank you for asking Doctor.
Dr. Balis: Goodbye Sylvia.
Ms. Bows: Goodbye.
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