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    Bette’s Birthday

    Tina walked into their bedroom and smiled at her wife who was still sleeping, her arm thrown over her forehead. The sheets thrown off in the night. she looked peaceful. Tina had slipped out of bed and brew Bette’s favourite coffee and picked up the present that she had had delivered for her the day before.

    Tina walked over to the bed, putting the mug of coffee onto Bette’s bedside table and held the present in her other hand, she sat on the bed and looked at her wife, she moved forward and gently pushed a stray hair out of her wife’s face and gently kissed her lips to wake her.

    Bette licked her lips and slowly opened her eyes. She smiled when she saw Tina sat on the edge of the bed.

    “Morning baby,” Bette rolled fully onto her back and looked at her wife,

    Tina smiled back at her.

    “Happy Birthday,” Tina whispered, “I love you. You’re amazing. I know you’re just waking up but I want you to know that I love you, I’m grateful to you. You’re an amazing woman. I love you so much. you’re a great mother, you’re an amazing wife. I’m so in love with you. You’re my world. I got you this,”

    Tina passed Bette the box she was holding.

    Bette looked at her wife smiling, she pushed herself up and moved the pillows making sure she was comfortable. She opened the box, inside was an expensive watch. Bette’s breath as taken away she slowly took out the watch and looked at it. Seeing that it was engraved, ‘B love T’.

    “Wow Tina,”

    “Not every day your wife turns 40, I wanted to mark it with a nice gift. That’s from me and your sleeping son,”

    “Thank you so much,” Bette put the watch on and grinned.

    “Today is all about you, what would you like to do it?”

    “I’d like breakfast at the Planet, with my family and friends. I want to then enjoy the afternoon with my family and maybe we can fire up the grill,”

    Tina could tell that Bette was holding back,

    “B, what do you really want?” Tina asked softly.

    “I…” Bette stopped

    “Talk to me,” Tina reached out and held her hand and gently kissed her fingers.

    Page 1 of 3123


    1. I told one person about my bipolar diagnosis. When I came back to work, it was all over work and I worked at a hospital. I was pissed so I know where Tina and Bette are coming from. There is enough of a stigma around mental illness that gossiping adds salt to wounds.

      Great story

    2. Bette being protective about her wife is understandable. Tina being upset is understandable. This attitude that Tina’s mental illness is something that should be hidden is not the best way to live with the fact that Tina has a mental illness. Mental illness should be treated as any other illness – a fact which can be treated and often results in a normal successful life – just as cancer, heart problems and a multitude of other diseases. The fact that our society hides it, makes fun of it, uses it for potential blackmail does not make it easier for thoses who suffer and their family members. Mental illness is serious business and is a tough thing to live with. In my mind, it probably was not a good thing for Alice to talk about it. However, if the conversation was something like a question in which she merely acknowledge that Tina is ill, but was receiving treatment and seemed to be progressing well, then I would see no problem. But if it were a conversation which someone says “I heard Bette’s wife is loony tunes or crazier than a bed-bug.” Then joining in that conversation is dead wrong. When Bette responds to an outsider with “my wife’s illness is none of your business ” may seem like a logical response but to the listener, it indicates that she is hiding something that she does not want to talk about. Not wanting to talk about it is fine and well within her rights as a human. But the fact that she is hiding may show a sense of shame or guilt which is not good for her own well being and that of Tina’s either. Shame and guilt of having an illness do not help those who are ill get better. This is a good opportunity for the entire group to grow in their understanding of each other and their attitudes toward mental illness by acknowledging that it exist, its being treated and there is hope for a productive, beautiful future and to agree not to allow the diminishment of a person’s character or their family’s character as a result of having a mental illness – just as you would do with any other illness.

      Thanks for the chapter… look forward to more.

      • Sorry my dear friend but on this one I do not agree. It IS absolutely no one else’s business. Just as with any other disease. There is no requirement to shout it to the world. This is Tina’s life and Tina’s story to share in her own way and her own time. If ever. Alice is barely a friend. That Alice even showed up to the party is a disgrace. There is a huge difference between hiding and privacy. And if Tina would have wanted to hide it that is her decision. Tina and even Bette deserve their privacy. And that had been unjustly taken away. It really is that simple. It has nothing to do with shame or guilt or educating anyone. Who cares what words Alice used? It is about simple respect. Something that Alice knows nothing about. And frankly neither does Shane. That Alice and Shane watched what happened with Jodi and kept their mouths shut is despicable. Alice set the stage for the rumor mill. And it made its way long and far – total telephone gossip line direct to Matthew in London. And who knows where else. It is a total betrayal of Tina and Bette. And it could impact Tina’s career and set back her progress. Wondering who knows and what they know. Each version of the story a little more exaggerated. Wrong wrong wrong on every possible level. If Tina one day decides to become a poster girl for her illness that is her call. Her decision. Her business. Certainly not Alice’s. Not anyone’s.

    3. It really depends on how Alice told it. I completely understand where Bette and Tina are coming from. They should be the ones to control the narrative and not Alice. However, it’s not something that should be hidden either. There’s a stigma attached with it that makes people not want to discuss the topic at all. Hopefully, Bette will have calmed down a little before discussing it with Alice.

      Can’t wait for more!

    4. My reply above is pretty much my comment. That people like Jodi have already used the information to hurt Tina is all we need to know in judging Alice. Yes there is a stigma associated with mental illness but talking or not talking about her individual private situation is entirely 100 percent Tina’s right and decision alone. Not even Bette can make that choice for her. It is an incredibly thoughtless act with potentially life long repercussions. This is added and unnecessary pressure that Tina does not need. And no – Bette should not calm down. Time to take Alice to the proverbial woodshed once and for all.

      • Totally agree with you Billy. It’s 100% Tina’s decision who she tells & what she does.

        Alice is 1000% wrong & in every way.

        Agree also that Bette should not calm down. Alice has hurt the woman she loves & now put doubt in Tina’s mind as to how Bette’s so called ‘friend’ Alice really views her friendship with Tina & Bette.

        Bette should ream her a new one & then break the friendship once & for all. I think you all know my thoughts on Alice & all her meddling over the years in Bette’s life. Alice has shown her true colors in that she doesn’t value any friendship.

        Done & Gone!

      • Totally agree with you Billy on “privacy”. That is an area that we have a right to. Even in this FB/Twitter world!!

        Alice, flat out knew she was hurting Tina and for SURE, Bette when she gossiped. Feel like Jodi may have been pressuring the gang with “where is Bette, and “why” won’t she call me back? To which Alice supplied the answer that Bette was taking care of her “crazy” wife!!!

        Hate to be Alice or even Shane when Bette gets them alone, away from everybody to confront.

        Meanwhile, hope Tina can give herself fully to Bette in an intimate celebration so that they can heal together.

    5. agree with you Billy!
      My heart goes out to Bette though. There is SO much on her plate. I repeat my question of several chapters ago – who is taking care of Bette? Caring for someone with a mental illness is exhausting and overwhelming at times and they have an infant son who needs a lot of care. Makes me sad to think about it.

      • I totally agree. Yes, love involves sacrifice. Bette loves Tina so very much. She moved out of the City for Tina. And she did it via her own free will. But the last thing Bette needs is a new set of problems. She must be emotionally and physically exhausted. And she just ran her two oldest friends out of her house on her birthday. Collins is right – there is no going back for Alice. She crossed a big line. Not sure what to think about Shane. And yet Bette needs friends. Confidantes. Who will fill that need? Who will support Bette?

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