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It has been seven weeks since Bette’s first visit with Tina at the treatment facility. Both Bette and Tina have been making progress in their individual therapy. In fact, Tina has made so much marked progress that her treatment team feels confident in a 90-day treatment rather than 120 days – if she’s committed to weekly therapy appointments, they are sure she’ll do fine. Tina is scheduled to discharge in 3 weeks, so Bette is now able to see her every Saturday, plus two hours on Monday, and two hours on Wednesday.
Bette and Tina have grown closer, they’re bond growing stronger each day. As they continue to share their journals back and forth their knowledge and understanding of one another deepens. As Tina’s knowledge of Bette’s childhood grows: her Mother leaving, her sister’s addiction, her Father’s overbearing and controlling demeanor coupled with his lack of affection; it gives her an understanding as to how Bette could have fallen prey to a monster like Candace.
In the same vein, as Bette’s knowledge of Tina’s childhood broadens, she too comes to understand the way Tina came to view herself so negatively. During Bette’s visit with Tina three weeks ago, Bette had finally inquired about Tina’s sister. It was a raw, emotional conversation that eventually ended with the mediation of Tina’s therapist. Bette had been devastated to learn of Tina’s molestation at the hands of her sister. It had been a rollercoaster of emotions from shock, to anger, to soul aching sorrow. After the revelation, Bette’s next three sessions with Dan worked through her emotions about the knowledge of Tina’s childhood trauma and how that knowledge compounds her empathetic hurt over Tina’s rape.
Tina made a huge breakthrough after revealing her long held secret of her sister’s molestation. As she recounted to her therapist how the abuse began, how it progressed, and how it ended she was able to see how that trauma has been the genesis of a lot of her negative self-talk and fear of intimacy. Her therapist helped make the connection that her childhood abuse left her more vulnerable to future abuse, but it also helped her connect that it was the dismissal she received from her Mother about her sister’s abuse when she was young that kept her from reporting her boss to HR at the first sign of harassment at work. Tina has been struggling internally after the assault because of her prior lack of action. She’s been fighting with herself, thinking that maybe a part of her “wanted it” and that’s why she never sought help. Her therapist helped her see that because her Mother didn’t believe her when she told her about her sister; it unconsciously told Tina that no one would ever believe her or help her – it left her feeling that she had to fight the battle alone.