Transcript of 10th Session between Charles Balis, M.D. and Ms. Sarah Wright, Monday, December 9, 1996 at 2:00 pm.

Dr. Balis: Good afternoon Sarah. How are you today?
Ms. Wright: Not bad. How about you?
Dr. Balis: I'm fine thanks. I was reading over my notes from our last session. You mentioned feeling lonely, and at the end of our session, you said something happened that had caught you off guard. Do you want to start by talking about that today?
Ms. Wright: You know the more I thought about it, the sillier I felt. It was nothing, I'm sure.
Dr. Balis: Perhaps you're right, but last week you seemed quite affected by it.
Ms. Wright: Yes I was. I experienced something that left me feeling very guilty and a bit uncomfortable. My best friend Lisa--I've told you about her--well I had a brief encounter of sorts with her husband Glen. It was nothing really, but at the time I felt kind of strange about it.
Dr. Balis: Do you want to talk about what happened?
Ms. Wright: I stopped by Lisa's house the day before Thanksgiving. Her husband works swing shift and he was home alone. I had forgotten Lisa had a doctor's appointment, but he invited me in and we had a really nice conversation. He asked me how things were going with Jeff and Robby and that whole mess. He and I have always been fairly close. I mean, he's my best friend's husband, but he's also my friend too. When he and Lisa were having some trouble in their marriage, I was the one Glen turned to for moral support. He can't stand Jeff either, but that's beside the point. So anyway, we're sitting at the kitchen table having coffee, nothing unusual, and all of a sudden I feel an anxiety attack coming on from out of nowhere. That's what's so frustrating sometimes; they catch me off guard.
Dr. Balis: What did you do then?
Ms. Wright: Well, I didn't want Glen to get upset. He's been very touchy with me ever since I had the heart attack. I think it scared him as much as it did me! He must have noticed the look on my face because he says, "Sarah, what's the matter?" I reached for my purse right away to take an Xanax, and I started pacing the floor, hoping the anxiety wouldn't get out of hand. If it had gotten really bad, it would have been really embarassing to have him see me.
Dr. Balis: So it wasn't a terribly bad anxiety attack?
Ms. Wright: No, I've had much worse. Once I feel like I don't have to keep moving I always get extremely tired, so Glen had me lie on the sofa and he brought me some juice to drink. He was just making such a fuss over me--rubbing my arm, telling me it was okay, that sort of thing. Well I started to cry, as is the norm for me when I have an anxiety attack. He put his arms around me and started rocking back and forth. The movement seemed to calm me. It wasn't until a few hours later, after I got back home, that it occured to me the things he said while he was rocking me.
Dr. Balis: What did he say?
Ms. Wright: At first it was just calming things like, "Shh it's okay." But then I remembered him saying, "Poor sweet Sarah. She's too beautiful to cry. Who made sweet Sarah cry." Then later, when I had stopped crying, he kissed the tears from my cheeks. I knew then something had changed.
Dr. Balis: What changed?
Ms. Wright: I'm not sure what it was. I know that I was emotionally raw at the moment, but when he touched my cheek it felt good. It felt right. That's when I started feeling guilty and uncomfortable. I realized what time it was and told Glen I had to get home. He didn't want me to go, but as I put my coat on, he put his arms around me and whispered in my ear, "If you ever need anything, I'm here for you." And that was all there was to it.
Dr. Balis: Did you say anything to him?
Ms. Wright: I just said, "Thanks I appreciate that." Then I left. See? I told you it was silly. I'm sure he didn't mean anything by it at all. He was just trying to be caring and...
Dr. Balis: Are you sure?
Ms. Wright: Of course I'm sure. He's Lisa's husband. My god, we've be friends for years.... all right, I'm not so sure what he meant by what he said.
Dr. Balis: Here, would you like a tissue?
Ms. Wright: Thanks. I'm sorry, I don't mean to fall apart. It's just that this has been really agonizing for me.
Dr. Balis: Perhaps if you limit your time alone with him, this won't turn into a problem.
Ms. Wright: That's not what is bothering me.
Dr. Balis: Then what is bothering you?
Ms. Wright: I know this must sound awful, but I think I'd actually like to spend more time alone with him. I've been having dreams about him and I just can't seem to get him off my mind.
Dr. Balis: I see.
Ms. Wright: I can't believe I just said that! What is wrong with me? I don't have enough problems that now I'm attracted to my best friend's husband? I need to be locked up somewhere.
Dr. Balis: Try to calm down Sarah. Let's look at this logically.
Ms. Wright: There is no logic to this.
Dr. Balis: Perhaps there is. You have been in a marriage that is less than satisfactory. You've been in love with a man with whom you can't have a physical relationship because he's gay, and now you find yourself physically attracted to a man you've been friends with for a long time.
Ms. Wright: So you think I'm transferring my feelings for Robby to someone else?
Dr. Balis: Could be. Tell me a little about Glen.
Ms. Wright: Oh he's such a really nice man. I've always teased Lisa that if she ever dumped him, I wanted first dibs. He's a wonderful husband and a wonderful father. He helps Lisa around the house, gives her everything he can. He's loving and that I think about it, he's everything Jeff isn't.
Dr. Balis: Let's stop there for a minute. You've been friends with Glen for quite a while. He has a lot of qualities that you'd like Jeff to have. And apparently you find him physically attractive, yes?
Ms. Wright: Yes absolutely! Tall, sandy blonde hair, beautiful blue eyes. And his body...well, it belongs on the cover of Playgirl.
Dr. Balis: Describe Robby to me, Sarah.
Ms. Wright: Robby? Well he's kind of tall. Thin but muscular. He works out a lot. Blonde hair, blue eyes, nice tan.... Oh my god, why didn't I see this before?
Dr. Balis: What Sarah?
Ms. Wright: Robby, Jeff....Glen...oh, I can't believe this. I'm attracted to Glen because he reminds me of Robby and he's the opposite of Jeff!
Dr. Balis: That's what it sounds like to me.
Ms. Wright: What the hell am I going to do? I certainly can't carry on a relationship with Glen. If Lisa found out, she'd kill us both! The best thing to do is just put him right out of my mind. I can't give this another thought!
Dr. Balis: Sarah I'm afraid it may not be that easy.
Ms. Wright: Yes, yes it will. I'll just forget the whole thing. This is nothing, honestly. Even if I wanted to--and I don't--I would never do anything to hurt Lisa.
Dr. Balis: I'm sure you wouldn't intentionally hurt anyone, but if you continue feeling this way about Glen, you may have bigger problems down the road.
Ms. Wright: You said yourself I'm probably just transferring my unfulfilled desires from one man to another. It will pass. I love Robby. I'll always love him. Nothing will change that. I just need to put my mind on other things, like making Jeff's life miserable.
Dr. Balis: How are things with you and Jeff?
Ms. Wright: Fine I suppose. We try to avoid each other as much as possible. He had to fly down to San Diego last Friday morning, just for a quick meeting, and he decided he wanted to take Robby with him and they would just stay for the whole weekend. I told him no way was he taking his gay lover anywhere! I threatened to call his mother and tell her what her baby boy has been up to if he went anywhere with Robby.
Dr. Balis: And Jeff agreed not to take Robby?
Ms. Wright: Of course he agreed. He's not a total fool.
Dr. Balis: Would you really have told his mother?
Ms. Wright: No, but if that's what works, I'll use anything I can against him.
Dr. Balis: Why didn't you want him to take Robby to San Diego with him?
Ms. Wright: Because....I'm jealous I suppose. If I can't be with Robby, I certainly don't want Jeff to be with him either.
Dr. Balis: But don't you want Robby to be happy?
Ms. Wright: Robby is happy. A trip to San Diego wouldn't make him any happier and it would only leave me feeling depressed, so why allow it?
Dr. Balis: Sarah, you still haven't accepted the relationship between Jeff and Robby have you?
Ms. Wright: I think I've done pretty damn well accepting it. Let's be real...I've let the two of them move into my home, what else can I do?
Dr. Balis: I still feel a lot of anger from you.
Ms. Wright: Maybe so, but I'm dealing with things the best I can right now.
Dr. Balis: Well we're out of time for today, but I'd like to see you next week at the 2 pm. Is that okay?
Ms. Wright: Sure that's fine. I'll see you next Monday. Goodbye.
Dr. Balis: Goodbye Sarah.
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