Transcript of 18th Session between Charles Balis, M.D. and Ms. Sylvia Bows, Tuesday, November 12th, 1996 at 4 pm.

Dr. Balis: Hello Sylvia. How are you this week?
Ms. Bows: Hello Doctor. I guess I'm all right.
Dr. Balis: You don't know?
Ms. Bows: I feel okay physically. I mean considering.
Dr. Balis: Well you are almost halfway through.
Ms. Bows: With twins seventeen weeks is halfway through.
Dr. Balis: So how are the boys?
Ms. Bows: Very active, thank you. They sleep when I'm awake and they party when I try to sleep. But we try to get along and that's more than I can say for Tom and me.
Dr. Balis: That was my next question. Did you stay with Richard last week?
Ms. Bows: Yes. I spoke with Richard right after our last session and he was delighted that I wanted to spend some time with him. I took a cab to work on Wednesday and we went to his apartment that night.
Dr. Balis: How did Tom react to all this.
Ms. Bows: I think it would be accurate to say that he did not take it well.
Dr. Balis: I see.
Ms. Bows: Basically I left him a little note saying that I would be out for the next couple of nights and that the gardener is coming on Thursday morning and he needs to leave the gate open for him.
Dr. Balis: So Tom wasn't pleased with that?
Ms. Bows: I heard from Kelly Wednesday afternoon around 4 pm. I guess Tom found the note earlier than I expected. I assume that he called his lawyer and his lawyer got in touch with Kelly.
Dr. Balis: I assume that Kelly wasn't pleased either.
Ms. Bows: No. Her recommendation was for me to go home immediately and to stay there until this whole thing is settled. I think she is worrying too much about this. I don't think any judge in the world would take Tom's demands seriously.
Dr. Balis: But don't you think that it would be better to play it safe? Just in case?
Ms. Bows: I feel that if I start giving in now it will never end. I don't know what Tom's goals are but they clearly not in my best interests. It makes more sense to me to counter his every move. I think of it as a chess game. Tom is trying to make me panic by taking my minor pieces in hopes that I will lose sight of the whole game. He is playing to win. But I have a different strategy.
Dr. Balis: What is that?
Ms. Bows: I think that his demands are outrageous. Not only are they outrageous legally, but they sound insane. With every new demand, Tom is sounding more and more like a raging lunatic. I don't think that his manipulations will play well in court. Do you?
Dr. Balis: I don't know. Law is not my specialty.
Ms. Bows: But I'm sure you've treated a lot of patients with marital difficulties, perhaps some even as part of a divorce case.
Dr. Balis: I do...I did have a lot of patients who experienced problems in their relationships. But as a therapist, I'm rarely put in a position to be part of the legal manipulations attendent in a contested divorce. For example, I've never testified in court for one spouse against another.
Ms. Bows: What about in my case?
Dr. Balis: I hope that it will never come to that.
Ms. Bows: I hope so too.
Dr. Balis: So that's all that Tom did? Call his lawyer?
Ms. Bows: He started that way. I told Kelly on Wednesday that I would be unavailable for the next couple of days and that she should just deal by herself. But Thursday I got a ton of messages from her, including e-mail. Friday she got hold of Rene.
Dr. Balis: Rene knew about you and Richard?
Ms. Bows: Of course. I gave Rene strict instructions not to give out Richard's phone number to anyone. But Rene called me herself. Apparently Tom and his legal crew decided that my behavior not only clearly exhibited irresponsibility on my part but it could also be interpreted as kidnapping.
Dr. Balis: Kidnapping?
Ms. Bows: I told you that Tom is beginning to sound more and more like he is losing his marbles. This is a clear example of it. Kidnapping! How could I kidnap unborn children? They are part of my body--everywhere that I go, they go. Is it kidnapping when I go to visit my parents? How about when I go to work? What if I go out for dinner? You see? I think I am playing it right. The more insane Tom makes himself out to be the better for me. Why should I cater to his lunacy? I have to stand my ground. That's the only way.
Dr. Balis: Did you explain your position to Kelly?
Ms. Bows: Kelly likes to play it safe.
Dr. Balis: So she doesn't agree with you?
Ms. Bows: She said that she sees my point but...I know I'm right, Doctor. You'll see.
Dr. Balis: I hope so. So how was it with Richard?
Ms. Bows: It was surprisingly wonderful. We finally had the talk that you kept insisting that I should have with him.
Dr. Balis: And?
Ms. Bows: I told him about what Tom did--the vasectomy and all. Richard thought that it was outrageous and that he never heard of such devious and extremely manipulative behavior.
Dr. Balis: I see. Did you mention you had cervical problems?
Ms. Bows: Maybe in passing. I don't quite remember.
Dr. Balis: Hmm.
Ms. Bows: I also explained that while my initial reaction to him was completely genuine--that first time we met at Starbucks, I was very attracted to him both intellectually and sexually--after our first encounter I saw the possibility of becoming a mother despite Tom's efforts to the contrary.
Dr. Balis: What did Richard think of that?
Ms. Bows: He said that he was flattered. He said that he never inspired motherhood before and that it was a very good feeling.
Dr. Balis: Did you talk about the other men on your list?
Ms. Bows: Well he knew that he was not the only one. If you remember I spent a weekend with a friend of his from the same department at SII.
Dr. Balis: I remember.
Ms. Bows: Richard said that now he understood my motivations and that he respected them. He also said that he wished that I had just settled on his services.
Dr. Balis: Did you explain to him that that's exactly what you tried to avoid?
Ms. Bows: Of course I did Doctor. I told him that he was just one of many and that almost any one or two of my lovers could have been the father of the twins.
Dr. Balis: Hmm.
Ms. Bows: But Richard surprised me.
Dr. Balis: How?
Ms. Bows: He made a guesstimate of my due date and extrapolated to the week of conception and decided that it was 87 percent likely that he was the father.
Dr. Balis: Of both?
Ms. Bows: Well that's where he went wrong. Nobody at work really knows that I have twins.
Dr. Balis: Why didn't you tell?
Ms. Bows: I thought that there were enough rumors already. Well Richard guessed wrong. He assumed that I was further along because of my size and naturally that would make him the most likely candidate for fatherhood.
Dr. Balis: But you are big because of the twins, so...
Ms. Bows: I gave him all the information I had--the due date for each of the twins and the most likely conception weeks. Of course these are just rough estimates but it's all I have. And it's all I really want to have.
Dr. Balis: Was Richard disappointed?
Ms. Bows: We had these discussion on Wednesday night. Richard made me a very elaborate dinner. He is quite an accomplished cook. In fact, he spent the rest of the week spoiling me with little culinary surprises and exquisite service--breakfast in bed, a four course lunch, evening snacks, just on and on. And all of this he told me was prepared with the nutritional requirements for pregnancy. You know if Tom really wants me to have a nutritional consultant and a caregiver, he couldn't find a better candidate than Richard. He was just terrific.
Dr. Balis: I'm glad that Richard was taking such good care of you.
Ms. Bows: But as I was saying, after he put me to bed and kissed me good night, Richard left me to do some work as he said. The next morning, he gave me a schedule which contained all our sexual encounters with their respective dates and even times. It also had the time range for the possible conception for each twin. He tried to include information about my other attempts at getting pregnant. He included David and Matthew and...
Dr. Balis: You told him about them?
Ms. Bows: No, I'm not heartless.
Dr. Balis: So it's SII's general information distribution system?
Ms. Bows: Yes, it's gossip. But the information he had was suprisingly accurate except for a missed date or two.
Dr. Balis: Richard was recreating a conception scenario.
Ms. Bows: And he was very thorough. I've been an executive long enough to recognize a carefully prepared numerical analysis. At the bottom of the list there were two numbers. They were the probabilities of Richard's paternity for each boy.
Dr. Balis: What were the chances of him being the father?
Ms. Bows: Quite high for both of them.
Dr. Balis: Was he happy about that?
Ms. Bows: Actually, he was thrilled. More than that, he asked me to marry him.
Dr. Balis: What?
Ms. Bows: He said that he had been thinking about this for weeks. That he never met a woman that he cared for more than me. That he loves the prospect of becoming a father. He is even more happy that he will be the father of two boys. That when he found out that I was pregnant it all came together for him--how much he loved me and how much he wanted me and a life with me and the boys. He even had a ring ready.
Dr. Balis: What did you do?
Ms. Bows: Under different circumstances, I would have been happy and would probably even had said yes.
Dr. Balis: Do you love Richard?
Ms. Bows: I don't know. I care for him. A lot. But it's all wrong now. I have a bunch to go through before I have the luxury of even considering offers like these. And I also have to be sure that it's for me and not just for the boys.
Dr. Balis: Well, we can return to that. For now you told Richard no?
Ms. Bows: I had to. I'm still married.
Dr. Balis: Did you give him a reason to hope?
Ms. Bows: I think it almost didn't matter what I said. He was prepared to interpret my answer to mean yes regardless. I just don't know. There is just too much to deal with right now. Richard will have to wait.
Dr. Balis: Do you want him to wait?
Ms. Bows: I honestly don't know. I thought I just wanted the twins and that's all. But now Richard...I don't know Doctor.
Dr. Balis: How did it turn out with Tom?
Ms. Bows: I came home yesterday night so I don't know about that either.
Dr. Balis: I see. We really need to spend some time on all of this. Shall we schedule an appointment for next week?
Ms. Bows: Yes. The same time would be good for me.
Dr. Balis: Okay. November 19th at 4 pm. I'll see you then. Have a good week.
Ms. Bows: Thank you Doctor. You too. Goodbye.
Dr. Balis: Goodbye Sylvia.
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