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    Love and Time

    Tina sat, the large doors open onto the long garden of the treatment centre she was currently staying in. she was finally drawing. She had woken up that morning with an overwhelming feeling that she had to draw. She was drawing the Fall trees, using her colour pencils to melt the colours into the drawing. She wanted it to be perfect. The door opened and Bette walked in, pushing Xavier who was sleeping. Bette closed the door softly before pushing the stroller over to where Tina was, and sitting down.

    “Hey,” Tina said, softly her eyes still locked on the tree she was drawing.

    “Hi, did you sleep okay?”

    “Not really kept waking expecting you beside me,” Tina admitted softly. “I miss the soft noise you make as you sleep. I miss waking in the middle of the night and looking at you, with your hand under your face.”

    “I miss you too,” Bette smiled softly at her wife’s words.

    “How is Xavier?”

    “He is good, he has had his vaccines this morning that was hard to watch, then I had to sign some papers at the lawyers office.”

    “For his adoption?” Tina asked, she finally looked up.

    “Yes, the social worker has visited the ranch, they are happy with how I’m handling everything,”

    “I hate that you have to jump through hoops for him to be officially your son. He is your son, you’re certainly doing a better job of raising him that me,”

    “It’s not a competition Ti, I would rather you were at home, being the loving mother and wife I know you are. But I also know that you have to be here right now.”

    “I’ve let you and him down,”

    “No Tina, you haven’t.” Bette reached out and gently tucked a lose piece of Tina’s blonde curls behind her ear. Her fingers gently lingering on her wife’s smooth silk skin.

    “I have, I’m sorry.” Tina let a tear run down her face, “I was talking to Sims yesterday, she said that I have to stop blaming myself but I can’t help it. I mean Claire burnt my house to the ground, my parents hated me because I was gay and they  died in a car accident, I couldn’t carry my son to term and my wife…” Tina bowed her head.

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    Comments

    1. We are all rooting for Tina. She is getting the best help money can buy. She has her wife, son and the gang behind her. Shane is an outstanding friend. However Bette may require therapy as well. It’s all on her shoulders and she needs coping skills or she will break too.

      • Agree. Rooting for Tina. And Shane is amazing but this is all a little out of her lane. She is a supportive and wonderful friend and that is important. But… Wondering where this hospital is located. Bette lives quite a distance outside of LA. Have visions of her driving all over every day. Is she working? She has a lot of responsibilities and I am sure the hospital is expensive. And Xavier’s medical care would be costly. Xavier is too young and tiny for anyone other than a trained professional to ever watch him. Hopefully Bette has that in place. I suspect Bette will need some counseling. Especially as Tina gets closer to returning home. Bette has to have faith and confidence that Tina’s actions will not be repeated. Maybe Tina and Bette in couples therapy at the hospital? Then Bette can express her fears? Bette truly loves Tina and has given her everything. I believe Tina will get well. I definitely have that faith. I do believe she wants to be a wife and mother. I hope Bette is able to fully trust her again. With the right professional help I believe she can. I agree with other comments that a diagnosis is crucial. Need to know exactly what precipitated this episode and if there is an underlying physical cause.

    2. Finding a way for Tina to communicate her feeling is very important. If she cannot express herself in words, then maybe she can be assisted with her art. But sooner or later, she has to be able to communicate to Sims and to Bette what is going on in her mind. Only then can they help her. She has to share her burden with someone who can help her. It is obvious that she is improving. But until they discover what triggered this behavior and the origin of the problems, she is getting over the symptoms but there is no diagnosis of the disease. And with no diagnosis of the disease, there is no predictability of the future. Will this be reoccuring or is it a one time thing? With the life of an infant and Bette, there has to be some measure of predictability and control or they will live in fear that this will and can happen again at anytime. Tina had seizures in the past. Could this have some relationship as to what is going on in Tina behavior. Is it possible that there is some biological reason for this episode of mental breakdown? What about the meds she taking to control the seizures? She was recommended adequate rest, food and exercise. Were all of these being done in adequate measure? Is this possibly a postpartum syndrome which can be treated and overcome? Or is this a mental disorder which has no physical cure process which needs to be control since it cannot be cured? There are many potential causes and potential avenues to Tina resuming her life in a somewhat normal life.

      I would recommend that Bette insist a complete physical examination and a brain scan to make sure there is no biological reason for her behavior. There is no way to address the mental problems, if the physical one goes unaddressed.

      I still have hope that Tina will be able to get the help she needs to resume her family life. I am still in hopes that Bette will get the confidence from Tina’s treatment not to live in fear that Tina will have a repeat performance or that Xavier is in some kind of danger being with his mother. These are all the unknowns of this story….

      This is a very tough subject to address in this story. The answers are not simple. And sometimes life is not easy nor is it nice. You have a great deal of courage to address this. Thank you for this story. Look forward to more…

      • Good post Martha. I agree regarding the seizures. Tina needs a complete neurological work up. Perhaps that has happened. Bette is definitely present for Tina but has so much on her plate. Not sure how she is coping with all of this. I hope she has a nurse at home. Glad the adoption is on track. Painting may be good for Tina and should be encouraged but she has got to communicate with words.

        • Agree Billy 100%. Painting can be a way to connect with her routine and she clearly enjoys the activity but she can not hide from everything by painting, she needs to learn how to communicate verbally as well – especially when Bette and Xavier visit. Bonding with her partner and son is crucial to her own recovery and to theirs, especially to a premature baby as she is losing valuable time. It hurts my heart to see Tina so broken but it also worries me that she retreats to painting even when Bette visits. It was her pattern to paint when she was stressed even before this episode and I hope she finds a balance, a way to connect with others through talking as well as on paper.
          Looking forward to the next chapter.

      • oh geeze, forgot that we hadnt heard anything definitive on why Tina had seisures That needs to e addressed. Funny thata trained Sychiatrist woudn’t have inquired about such in her patient review.

    3. Agree with Jane and Martha per my replies to them. A complete physical work up is necessary. Painting is a great idea but it is not going to cure Tina. She needs to talk and articulate to her doctors and to Bette what is going on and what she was and is thinking. Not sure how Bette is handling all of this and think if she does not already have it she needs help in taking care of Xavier. Does she have help with her work? She needs to eat and sleep and I am sure that is not happening. Soon she will be running of fumes and that is not good. She needs to be at her best to give Tina and Xavier her best. Both of them need her.

    4. A tough subject UKendeavour but i am glad you are writing about it. There are so many people who struggles with their Mental health.

      Tina is getting the help she needs and drawing or painting will help to open up and deal with her demons, she will learn to deal with her insecurity and her sense of unworthiness. There are tools she can learn and use to prevent them from happening again. That is not to say that she can or will never have a relapse again. The first steps have been taken and she has Bette and her friends who support her.

      It is important that Bette takes good care of herself and seeks help when things get too heavy. She has a son who was born prematurely, her application for adoption, her job. Bette can help Tina by being her, supporting her, loving her, but also by taking good care of herself.

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