Transcript of 2nd Session between Charles Balis, M.D. and Ms. Sarah Wright, Monday, September 23, 1996 at 2 pm.

Dr. Balis: Hello Sarah. Please come in. Have a seat.
Ms. Wright: Thank you. Would it be all right if I took my shoes off again?
Dr. Balis: Certainly, if that makes you comfortable. How are you feeling?
Ms. Wright: Better than I was last week. Sorry I had to cancel our appointment, but I had a nasty sinus infection and felt pretty bad.
Dr. Balis: That's okay, I'm glad you're feeling better. Last time you were here, we switched you from Ativan to Xanax. How does that seem to be working?
Ms. Wright: Right now it's hard to say. Since I've been sick I haven't noticed a lot of anything. I guess no news is good news.
Dr. Balis: In that case let's keep you on the Xanax and see how it goes. During your last visit we talked about your heart attack and your fear of having another one.
Ms. Wright: Yeah, well can we talk about something else for awhile? I'm really sick of discussing my heart attack. It gets old after awhile.
Dr. Balis: All right. Let's talk about the stress that led to the heart attack.
Ms. Wright: Stress. I hate that word. Everyone is always asking, "Are you under a lot of stress?" Gee, isn't everybody?
Dr. Balis: Yes Sarah, I believe everyone lives with some sort of stress, but it's a matter of how you deal with stress that's important.
Ms. Wright: I understand that, but I've been dealing with stress all my life, right or wrong, it's the only way I know.
Dr. Balis: Which way is that? How do you deal with stress?
Ms. Wright: It usually depends on what the situation is, but mostly I ignore whatever it is that's bothering me. Or at least I try to. I realize this isn't the best solution, but it's all I know.
Dr. Balis: Tell me about some things that were stressful at the time of your heart attack.
Ms. Wright: Well, I was working at one dental office full time, and another office part time. It got to be real confusing. When the phone would ring, I'd have to stop and think about which office I was at before I'd pick up the phone. Sometimes I made the mistake of saying the wrong doctor's name.
Dr. Balis: Did this cause trouble for you with the doctors?
Ms. Wright: No not really. Actually they were both pretty good about the whole thing. Well I take that back. Doctor Teynor, he's the one I worked full time for, he was kind of a jerk. Not just about answering the phones wrong, but about...well everything really.
Dr. Balis: If you didn't like working for him, why didn't you quit? Was it a financial decision?
Ms. Wright: No not really. I mean the money was nice, but it was just my own pocket money. Jeff brings home a good salary, more than most of our friends do anyway.
Dr. Balis: So why didn't you just quit?
Ms. Wright: I did eventually, about a month before my heart attack.
Dr. Balis: Why did you wait so long?
Ms. Wright: Well it's a long story.
Dr. Balis: I'd like to hear it.
Ms. Wright: I was afraid you'd say that. Okay, here's the deal. I knew Robby, I mean Doctor Teynor, before he was a doctor. Actually we dated for a few years in high school. He was two classes ahead of me, but he didn't decide to go to dental school until right before I graduated. I think he was afraid I'd want to get married and him going off to college would put an end to that.
Dr. Balis: I see. And did you want to marry Robby?
Ms. Wright: Yes I suppose so. I mean I just assumed we would get married. He was working at a decent job, going to school part time to be an accountant. I figured it was just a matter of time before we set the date.
Dr. Balis: So tell me what happened when he left for college.
Ms. Wright: Here's where it gets sticky. When Robby left for college, I was pregnant only I didn't know I was pregnant, so he didn't know either.
Dr. Balis: What did you do?
Ms. Wright: My first reaction was to call Robby and tell him. I figured he'd come home, we'd get married and live happily ever after.
Dr. Balis: Is that what happened?
Ms. Wright: No, not exactly. I decided to surprise Robby. I drove all the way to where he was going to school. When I got to his apartment, his roommate answered the door. I asked if Robby was home and he said, "Sure, come on in." Well it was kind of early and Robby was still in bed, so this other guy went to wake him up. They were in the bedroom for quite awhile before Robby came out and I overheard them arguing, though I'm still not quite sure what they were arguing about. Anyway Robby was definitely surprised to see me. He gave me a hug and a kiss on the forehead and said all the right things, but I knew in my heart something had changed.
Dr. Balis: What did you feel had changed.
Ms. Wright: I wasn't sure at the time. Things just seemed funny. He'd only been gone about 3 weeks, hadn't even actually started school yet at that point. Anyway Robby and his roommate, I think he said his name was Ben, they seemed very close if you know what I mean.
Dr. Balis: Please explain.
Ms. Wright: It was very obvious that Ben was gay and that he was upset by my presence there. Apparently Robby had told him about our relationship and he saw me as a threat. At first it didn't sink in what I was seeing; I just kind of ignored Ben and tried to talk to Robby in private. But Ben just wouldn't leave us alone. Finally I just asked Robby if we could go somewhere and talk and he told me that this was not a good time, that he and Ben had made plans and he didn't want to disappoint him. By the time I left their apartment, I was sure my relationship with Robby was over.
Dr. Balis: Had you told Robby you were pregnant?
Ms. Wright: No.
Dr. Balis: Did Robby tell you he was gay?
Ms. Wright: No, but I knew it in my heart. Then years later, of course, he confirmed my suspicions.
Dr. Balis: So what did you do after you left Robby's apartment?
Ms. Wright: First panic set in. I was totally freaking out. I was 18 years old, pregnant, and pretty sure the father of my baby was gay. The future didn't look very bright. I called Robby's best friend and told him what had happened with Robby, and that I was pregnant.
Dr. Balis: How did he react?
Ms. Wright: Not very well. He was absolutely disgusted by the very thought of Robby being gay. He ranted and raved for hours. When he finally calmed down, he asked me what I was going to do about the baby. I told him that I felt the best solution was to have an abortion.
Dr. Balis: Did he agree?
Ms. Wright: Well, he said the choice was mine and he would help any way he could. Actually he gave me the money for the surgery. So I made an appointment and went to the clinic, but then I couldn't go through with it. I decided to keep the baby. Robby's friend was really supportive. He knew why I didn't want to tell Robby about the baby so, in the end, he asked me to marry him and I accepted.
Dr. Balis: Your husband was Robby's best friend?
Ms. Wright: Yeah, Jeff, that's right.
Dr. Balis: I see. So you married your gay ex-boyfriend's best friend?
Ms. Wright: Yes. It does seem kind of odd, doesn't it? We got married in August of 1981 and Melissa was born in March of '82. Of course we caught hell from both our families, especially Jeff's mother. No one else seemed to think much of it. You know, woman's heart is broken, she runs off and marries his best friend. A classic case of love on the rebound.
Dr. Balis: And you and Jeff are raising the child you conceived with Robby?
Ms. Wright: Yes. I'm sure that now people realize what happened, especially when Melissa was born just 7 months after the wedding. And, to be honest, Melissa does look quite a bit like Robby.
Dr. Balis: How does Jeff feel about this?
Ms. Wright: Oh, he's been great about it. He doesn't treat Melissa any different than our other two.
Dr. Balis: Does Melissa know that Jeff is not her real father?
Ms. Wright: No, we've decided not to tell her, at least not yet. Maybe someday.
Dr. Balis: What about Robby; does he know he fathered a child?
Ms. Wright: Yes I told him, but it was several years later.
Dr. Balis: How did that come about?
Ms. Wright: Well, after we first started working together, before he told me he was gay, we were getting along really well. Thoughts of him being gay seemed silly at that time. I think I was beginning to fall in love with him again, so in order to seal our relationship, I told him about Melissa.
Dr. Balis: And how did he react?
Ms. Wright: At first he acted surprised, but then later he told me he had suspected it all along. When I came out and asked him if he and I could ever have another relationship, that's when he told me he was gay.
Dr. Balis: How did you respond?
Ms. Wright: I thought he was joking! In the back of my mind, I had the scene from his apartment from years earlier, but nothing was connecting. I guess I was in denial over it. I told him that if he didn't want a relationship with me, that he didn't have to make up such horrible lies.
Dr. Balis: Eventually you came to terms with his homosexuality?
Ms. Wright: Yes, but it was years before that happened.
Dr. Balis: But you and Jeff went on to have two more children of your own, is that correct?
Ms. Wright: Yes. Three years after Melissa, we had J.J., Jeff Junior, and then two years later we had Nicolas.
Dr. Balis: So you and Jeff have been married since 1981?
Ms. Wright: We just had our 15th anniversary last month.
Dr. Balis: It would appear that you two have a stable relationship.
Ms. Wright: Well we did, until Robby moved back to town. That seems to be when all the big problems started.
Dr. Balis: Perhaps we should save that for next week. Our time is up for today. Let's make an appointment for next week.
Ms. Wright: Sure. Monday's are better for me.
Dr. Balis: Okay well let's keep it at this same time. Monday September 30th at 2 pm?
Ms. Wright: All right, I'll see you then.
Dr. Balis: Goodbye Sarah.
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