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“Hello, Tina,” Julia said.
“I’m glad you set up an appointment. It’s been a couple of weeks.”
“Yeah, I’ve had a lot to think about.”
“And what have you been thinking?” Julia gently probed.
Tina didn’t want to get into her thoughts. So, she pivoted.
“I’ve been texting Bette.”
“Really?” Julia said surprised. Noting Tina changed the subject. “How has that been going?”
“Okay, I guess.”
“What does that mean?”
“She’s only texted back twice. But she hasn’t asked me to stop. So, there’s that.”
Julia could hear the sadness in Tina’s voice.
“What were you expecting from texting her?” Julia asked.
“I guess I was expecting more communication from her. I was expecting her to let me in. ”
“Yes, I know.” Tina threw up her hand. “She needs time. I’m giving her the time and the space. I told her that in one of the texts. But it doesn’t make it any easier on me.”
“Nothing worth having is easy. Is Bette worth it?”
“She is.” Tina said quietly. She is more than worth it, Tina thought.
“Then what do you think you need to do?”
“I have to be patient with her heart and wait until she’s ready.”
Julia reminded Tina how patient Bette was at the beginning of their relationship, how she didn’t pressure Tina, how she nurtured their friendship. Tina knew Julia was right.
“You want my advice?” Julia asked.
“Well, that is what I pay you for,” Tina laughed.
“No, Tina. You pay me to listen and to help you dig deeper and to help you understand how past traumas show up for you today and how to work through them instead of running away from them.”
“So, do you want my advice?” Julia asked again.
“Tina, the foundation of your relationship with Bette is friendship. That’s where it all started and that’s why it was so good for so long. When bumps along the way happen, people typically fall back on what they know which could mean unhealthy coping mechanisms especially if they haven’t taken time to work on their healing. Yours is running away…”
“…and Bette’s is hiding behind her walls. Both equally detrimental.”
Tina hated she was the cause of Bette’s walls. She was able to knock them down before but she wasn’t so sure about now. Before her walls didn’t have anything to do with Tina. Now, they were the direct result of Tina hurting her so badly. Bette was determined to protect her heart…from Tina, the one person who was supposed to safeguard it.