Transcript of 22nd Session between Charles Balis, M.D. and Ms. Sylvia Bows, Tuesday, December 10th, 1996 at 4 pm.

Dr. Balis: Hello Sylvia. It's nice to see you. You're looking very big today.
Ms. Bows: You're very chipper today Doctor. Is anything the matter? You look like a man who hasn't slept all night. You know I still remember how it was even though I don't get much practice nowadays.
Dr. Balis: Can't I be in a good mood without an implication of sexual activity?
Ms. Bows: Of course Doctor. Whatever you say. But in my opinion she is very good for you, whoever she is.
Dr. Balis: Sylvia!
Ms. Bows: Don't worry Doctor--if you don't want to talk about it, we won't. Now would you like me to tell you about my week?
Dr. Balis: Please.
Ms. Bows: You know Doctor, I do believe you were embarrassed. But to get back to my life, I talked to Lloyd last week about staying home.
Dr. Balis: Starting bed rest?
Ms. Bows: Yes. Doctor Malleson thought it would be best now. I'm wrapping up my affairs this week and...
Dr. Balis: You saw Doctor Malleson?
Ms. Bows: I had a check up yesterday. In fact here, you can have these, Doctor.
Dr. Balis: Baby pictures. Those are some very nice looking skulls Sylvia. They will be very handsome boys.
Ms. Bows: I think so too. Tom went to see Doctor Malleson with me.
Dr. Balis: And?
Ms. Bows: He got his copies framed.
Dr. Balis: Your ultrasound pictures?
Ms. Bows: I've been trying to tell you that that man is strange.
Dr. Balis: I see. What did Doctor Malleson have to say?
Ms. Bows: I'm progressing quite nicely. The boys seem to be okay. One is still quite a bit smaller than the other, but there does not appear to be other problems.
Dr. Balis: And what does Doctor Malleson think about your physical condition?
Ms. Bows: He thinks that I'm run down and need more rest. He also thinks that I'm a nervous wreck.
Dr. Balis: Is that why he is putting you on bed rest?
Ms. Bows: No. He felt that my cervix is being strained by the weight of the twins. He said that while he is not restricting me completely, he believes that it's time that my physical activity was cut way down. I mean way down--I'm allowed to walk to the bathroom and I'm allowed to take a shower. But the rest of the time I have to keep the weight of the uterus off my cervix. This means that I can't even remain in a sitting position for too long because, while that is easier on my legs, it still keeps the pressure on the cervix. It sounds like an absolute hell.
Dr. Balis: Some women have to spend their entire pregnancy in the hospital on medication and unable to even to get up and go to the bathroom.
Ms. Bows: I know that I'm lucky Doctor. I haven't forgotten that. But it will still be hard.
Dr. Balis: Did you come up with some kind of agreement with Tom?
Ms. Bows: Well, as you can see, I took your advice and didn't run away to France.
Dr. Balis: I was very happy to see you in my office today Sylvia.
Ms. Bows: I noticed that you were happy.
Dr. Balis: Sylvia...
Ms. Bows: Relax Doctor. I did speak with Kelly about our current situation. She promised to negotiate a compromise of some sort very soon. I also realized something last week.
Dr. Balis: What?
Ms. Bows: Tom has not gone away on a business trip in weeks. Please understand that this is very unusual for him. He travels all the time. At least once a week. And this has been his routine for many years now. But he hasn't left town, as far as I know, for more than a couple of hours in these last weeks. He is home every night.
Dr. Balis: Does it bother you?
Ms. Bows: This is part of the problem. Before our interactions have been few and far in between, although very intense. When he went away, I could forget about him. I had the house all to myself and I could relax. Now he is around all the time. I feel that I have to be constantly on. All the time. It's wearing me down physically and emotionally.
Dr. Balis: Did Kelly propose a solution?
Ms. Bows: Kelly thought that perhaps Tom could rent an apartment. Something really close to the house. That way we would both get our privacy and he could still keep his eye on me if he so desires.
Dr. Balis: If Tom moves, Richard would be free to visit you at the house. The restraining order is to keep Richard away from Tom not you. Do you think that Tom would want to move and...
Ms. Bows: I see your point. I don't know. I hope he will be reasonable. We're getting a divorce; there is no real reason for Richard not to see me. In fact it would probably play to Tom's benefit if he did.
Dr. Balis: Do you want to see Richard?
Ms. Bows: Richard provides me with a release. He allows me to relax for a few hours and not worry about everything. He takes on the role of a protector. Sometimes it's annoying. But now it feels nice. Richard creates an illusion for me that he is going to take care of everything, including me.
Dr. Balis: Sounds like you are getting tired of fighting your battles.
Ms. Bows: No, I'm holding my own. But even a good warrior needs some rest every now and then.
Dr. Balis: When you left my office last time, you were going to ask Rene to come and stay with you for a couple of days. Did you?
Ms. Bows: I just ended up staying at her house. It really helped. But I was good--I left Tom a note and asked Kelly to start negotiating for my freedom. I didn't just run away.
Dr. Balis: I'm glad to hear that.
Ms. Bows: You know at one point in my life, I thought I knew Tom. I thought we were as close as two people could possibly be and still remain in separate bodies. But now he is an enigma to me. I try to understand his motives and intentions but every time he does something or makes another move, I guess it wrong. If I wasn't developing such a fear of him, I would find him fascinating.
Dr. Balis: Why do you fear Tom?
Ms. Bows: I told you last time Doctor, I think Tom is the only person on Earth who could drive me into madness. I'm an open book to him. I feel like he could do as he pleases. That scares me. Yet...
Dr. Balis: What is it Sylvia?
Ms. Bows: I'm almost embarrassed to say it--I find that sort of exciting. It's sick, I know it.
Dr. Balis: You told me that you think of this divorce as a game of chess. Tom is a worthy opponent. You find the game exciting and thrilling. It's not sick. It's normal.
Ms. Bows: Maybe it is the thrill of a good game. You know I found him watching "The Miracle of Life" the other day. You know that documentary Doctor?
Dr. Balis: I've seen it.
Ms. Bows: I caught Tom watching it on Saturday. He put it in and got it started and then fast forwarded it through all the descriptions of human conception. He just watched the parts on fetal development. Strange isn't it?
Dr. Balis: It sounds like he is really getting involved in the pregnancy--visits to Doctor Malleson, video research.
Ms. Bows: He also ordered what appears to be a complete collection of books relating to pregnancy and child rearing. What am I suppose to make of that? It seems like over-kill to me.
Dr. Balis: What do you mean?
Ms. Bows: What's he trying to prove? How is this going to get him a better settlement? Or maybe it's just for the purpose of driving me insane.
Dr. Balis: I have to say Sylvia, from your descriptions of Tom's activities it sounds like Tom is genuinely interested in these children. It doesn't feel like his actions are motivated by revenge or a better divorce settlement.
Ms. Bows: Come on Doctor! This is the man who had a vasectomy so that he could avoid having children. And these aren't even his. Somehow I don't think it's Tom's biological clock.
Dr. Balis: Did you ever ask him why he stopped traveling?
Ms. Bows: I try to avoid starting conversations with him in general.
Dr. Balis: Perhaps it would be good if you could try to develop some sort of communication between the two of you. It seems like it will take a long time for your legal difficulties to get settled. For your peace of mind, it might be good to try to understand what Tom really wants. I'm not suggesting you become friends. Just try talking with him.
Ms. Bows: I feel if I talk with Tom, he will use what I say against me somehow.
Dr. Balis: That sounds a bit paranoid Sylvia.
Ms. Bows: I realize that. But it's like that t-shirt: "Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean that you're not being watched."
Dr. Balis: Just think about it Sylvia. You don't have to bare your soul. Just ask Tom why he is not traveling as much anymore. If he doesn't tell you, no harm's done.
Ms. Bows: I might ask him about that. It's so totally unlike Tom to stay in one place for so long.
Dr. Balis: So let's talk about next time. Do you want me come to your house?
Ms. Bows: I would like that very much Doctor. Do you have a car?
Dr. Balis: Yes.
Ms. Bows: Good. It's not that far. And I really appreciate you being willing to go out of your way to see me.
Dr. Balis: No problem. I'll see you in your house next Tuesday at around four.
Ms. Bows: I won't be going anywhere Doctor. Take your time.
Dr. Balis: Will Tom be there?
Ms. Bows: I don't know. But I don't think he would interfere with our sessions. Why would he prevent his crazy wife from seeking psychiatric help?
Dr. Balis: You certainly have a very particular point of view when it comes to Tom.
Ms. Bows: I've lived with him for a long time Doctor. I have experience.
Dr. Balis: Okay. I hope you will try to talk to Tom before long. Call me if you need to and I'll see you next week at your house.
Ms. Bows: Thank you again Doctor for being so flexible. I'll make sure that Tom stays out of your way when you come.
Dr. Balis: That's not necessary. I don't mind meeting Tom.
Ms. Bows: Goodbye Doctor.
Dr. Balis: Goodbye Sylvia. Take care of yourself.
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