Transcript of 9th Session between Charles Balis, M.D. and Ms. Sarah Wright, Monday, December 2, 1996 at 2:00 pm.

Dr. Balis: Hello Sarah. Please come in.
Ms. Wright: Hi Doctor B. How was your Thanksgiving?
Dr. Balis: Very nice, thank you. How was yours?
Ms. Wright: I lived through it, so I suppose that's the best I can hope for.
Dr. Balis: What did your family do for Thanksgiving?
Ms. Wright: We all went to Jeff's parents' house. I've always hated going to his folks' house for holidays. All his mother does is whine and complain, his sister is the bitch from hell, his brother is such a snob he won't talk to anyone else, and his grandmother sits in the rocking chair in the corner getting smashed on cranberry wine.
Dr. Balis: Sounds like an interesting bunch of people.
Ms. Wright: Yeah right. And lucky me, I get to spend Christmas there too!
Dr. Balis: You said all of you went to Jeff's parents. Does that mean Robby went with you too?
Ms. Wright: No, he went to his sister's house. I think she lives somewhere near Fresno. He left Wednesday evening and didn't get home until late last night. I'm curious to know if he told his family he has AIDS. I think he'll tell his sister and maybe his mother, but I know he won't tell the rest of the family. If he even hinted to his father he was gay, his dad would have a heart attack! I guess they'll find out soon enough. There was a guy in our church last year who contracted AIDS. It was really difficult on his family. They got two really big blows at once: their son is gay and he has AIDS. He only lived about 3 weeks after he told his family. The whole thing was really sad. I just hope Robby doesn't wait too long. I think he'll need his family toward the end.
Dr. Balis: What about Jeff?
Ms. Wright: What about him?
Dr. Balis: Does his family know he and Robby are lovers?
Ms. Wright: Hardly! Jeff's family is very unaccepting of anything not within a certain normal range of behavior. Being gay is not acceptable. And I don't really give a shit if Jeff tells his family. They'd find some way to blame it on me anyway, so I'd just assume they don't know. Besides, the fewer people that know, the better. I can't risk it getting back to the kids. They're just not ready for a load of information like that.
Dr. Balis: Yes I understand. How are the kids getting along given the situation between you and your husband?
Ms. Wright: Jeff is not my husband. He's the man I'm married to. That's it!
Dr. Balis: I'm sorry. I know how strongly you feel about that.
Ms. Wright: There's really nothing different for them. They know we had a fight, Jeff moved out for awhile, but now's he's back and everything is fine.
Dr. Balis: So you don't think the children will suffer because of the stress and strain between you and Jeff?
Ms. Wright: No. I'm doing everything within my power to keep things as simple as possible. If I need to talk with Jeff, we do it privately. Jeff knows he's on thin ice with me anyway. He's not going to do anything to jeopardize the arrangements we've made.
Dr. Balis: That statement brings to mind something you said in an earlier session, that while you were working for Robby at the office, you felt you were living two separate lives. Is that the way you feel now?
Ms. Wright: No, not exactly. I feel as though I'm finally getting to the place I want to be...the me I want to be. I'm one person who is dealing with two separate issues. But no, I don't feel the need to be one person for Jeff and another person for Robby. I'm Sarah. This is how I am and both of them can rot in hell if they don't like it. I've come too far to ever let things go back to the way they were. There may have been big changes on the inside, but I'm telling you, nothing has changed on the outside.
Dr. Balis: Nothing has changed except an old friend has moved into your home.
Ms. Wright: Actually the kids think it's cool having Robby live so close, especially Melissa. In fact, I've been a little worried about that. Melissa has always liked Robby a lot. And now that Robby knows she's his daughter, I think he's trying to get to know her better.
Dr. Balis: How do you feel about that?
Ms. Wright: On the one hand I feel elated about it. Melissa's father, the man I've been in love with since high school, is finally going to have a relationship with our daughter. Though it won't be a conventional relationship, I think it's wonderful that Robby wants to have a relationship with her in the first place. He missed so much as she was growing up. But I really don't know how he feels about her, either. When I told him he was Melissa's father, he was kind of surprised, but then later said that he had a feeling all along. I guess I thought he would have made a greater effort by now to get to know his daughter.
Dr. Balis: Do you think Robby will tell Melissa he's her real father?
Ms. Wright: No, I don't think so. But I suppose I should talk to him about it. I don't want to limit their time together. I want Robby to know Melissa and for her to know him. Someday I'll tell her and I want her to have good memories of her real father. I'm just going to have to be extra careful when it comes to dealing with my daughter. But I don't want to talk about Robby anymore today, okay?
Dr. Balis: Whatever you want Sarah. Why don't you tell me how you've been feeling physically?
Ms. Wright: Headaches mostly. And I think that's from grinding my teeth in my sleep.
Dr. Balis: How have your sleep patterns been lately?
Ms. Wright: Better than a few months ago. But sometimes I still can't sleep for more than an hour or two at a time. I get a lot of work done, though!
Dr. Balis: Anything else?
Ms. Wright: Well, I don't know if this is physical or not, but I'm lonely.
Dr. Balis: Loneliness can be a physical or emotional symptom of what's going on in your life right now. Can you explain how you feel about being lonely?
Ms. Wright: It feels like something is definitely missing in my life, but I can't explain what it is. It's like I have this need to be touched or held. I miss being close to someone. Even when Jeff and I had a physical relationship, it was better than nothing. Now there is nothing.
Dr. Balis: Are you trying to say you feel sexually unfulfilled?
Ms. Wright: Yes I suppose that's all it is. It will pass, I'm sure.
Dr. Balis: Have you tried...
Ms. Wright: Let's not go there, okay Doctor B? That's just a little too personal.
Dr. Balis: That's fine Sarah. We don't have to discuss anything you're uncomfortable with.
Ms. Wright: It's not that I'm exactly uncomfortable talking about sex. It's just that something happened last week that really caught me off guard and made me think.
Dr. Balis: What happened?
Ms. Wright: Can we talk about it next week? I'm kind of tired right now. I think I would like go home now.
Dr. Balis: Sure. Can you come in next week at the same time?
Ms. Wright: Oh yes. I'll be here. See you then.
Dr. Balis: Okay then. Goodbye Sarah.
Ms. Wright: Goodbye.
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