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    My New York Life; Part II



    ”Candace became more controlling after that night. Though, I didn’t realize it at the time. She was so hot and cold that I would just soak in the moments she was sweet and attentive and then quiet myself and submit when she was angry.”

    ”What would she get angry about?” Tina asked.

    ”Small things first. If I’d burn dinner, forget to buy her favorite snack, things like that. She would rant about how I must not really love her to forget things like that, or I’m trying to hurt her by serving her inedible food. I was a pretty terrible cook Tina; I mean really bad; I only cook so well now because I took classes and bought a ton of cookbooks so that Candace would be proud of me.”

    Tina softly glided her fingertips over Bette’s arms that were tightly wrapped around her waist. ”I hope you know this now, even though you didn’t recognize it then, but you never needed her validation; you never needed her approval and love.”

    Bette takes several deep breathes. ”I wish I had known you then. I wish…”

    Tina grips the arms around her tightly, comfortingly. ”Shh, shh, don’t think of what could have been. Our experiences, no matter how terrible and harmful, contribute to who we are. You are such a thoughtful, caring, and protective person – truly, but maybe that would not be true if not for this experience. Don’t misunderstand me Bette, I’m angry about what she did to you, and I know I haven’t even heard the worst yet, and I want to tear this woman limb from limb; but just as I would not have met you on that bridge had I not been… brutalized… it stands to reason if not for this abuse you may not have been on that bridge anyway, and then I would not be here laying in the comfort and safety of your arms… and you would still be alone and feeling unloved. So, we cannot change the past, but from it we can mold our future.” Tina brings Bette’s hand to her mouth placing kisses in the palm before holding it lovingly to her cheek. ”Please continue.”

    Bette pulled Tina to her more firmly. “As time went on, I spent less and less time with Shane and Alice until I wasn’t communicating at all. In the beginning, they would point out Candace’s manipulation. I would take it into consideration and try to distance myself from Candace, but Candace would come to me crying. She’d say, ‘they’re just jealous; look how hard we worked to get here – are you really going to let them tear us apart?’ I would then distance myself from Alice and Shane. I felt… I was so afraid of being abandoned… when Candace came to me crying, I felt like I was doing to her what I’d fear she’d do to me.” Tina could feel her hair becoming wet with Bette’s tears. “I didn’t realize she was just manipulating me; that the tears were for show and she was saying what she said to isolate me further.” Bette rested her forehead to the back of Tina’s head, the tears falling steadily. “It worked Tina; I was so blind. Candace asked me to move in with her after 9 months together and I eagerly agreed. Of course, Shane and Alice protested, but I wouldn’t hear any of it. I eventually stopped talking to them altogether… and they stopped reaching out.”

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    1. Now this is a good story….The tenderness Bette and Tina show for each other is just wonderful. Will there be more? I hope so. Good job with this….still a lot of healing to do. I love your Shane as well. Love the compassion Bette and Tina show to Shane in her time of need. Shane is another lost soul who needs to be healed. Maybe Bette and Tina can help her with that once she gets her professional life on the right track.

      Keep these chapters coming… you are a wonderful writer.

      • Thank you! 🙏🏾

        There will be more. I’m posting 4 chapters tonight that I had already written when I began posting on a different site 2 months ago. Then, starting this weekend will be my regular weekly update. Sometimes the weekly update is more than one chapter, but it’s usually one chapter a week.

        I think the tenderness we saw in season 5, and especially season 6 between Bette and Tina was something that was always present in their relationship – we see it in glimpses throughout the series; though more fleeting in the earlier seasons. What I always thought to be a beautiful, and an accurate picture of their relationship, was the scene (season 5?) when Tina is holding Bette in their bed after Jodi humiliated her at the Hammer exhibit; Bette’s clinging tightly to Tina as she quietly expresses her hurt. For me, it showed the essence of why they are soulmates and why their relationship holds no comparison. Bette’s ability to confide in Tina and allow herself to be vulnerable and be comforted – something she can do with no other; and Tina’s strength to put her own stress and insecurities aside to be there for her. That scene also showed the depth of their growth as Bette laid herself bare and exposed her flaws while allowing Tina to “take charge” of her. The communication there was beautiful and earned!

        Sorry for the long response – I was a teenager growing up in a Christian community when I first watched the show during its original run. So, I never had the ability to discuss the show with anyone as I snuck to watch it late at night! So, I tend to express a lot of my thoughts when I respond to comments. 😂 Also, my parents were about 10-15 years older than most parents with kids my age, so I didn’t have a computer at home. The show went off air 10 years ago and I just began reading FanFiction last year – I didn’t even know it existed! Ive done a lot of reading over the past year, and I so wish IC had taken some of the FanFiction stories and incorporated them into the seasons. I’ve been so in love with what I’ve been reading that I just had to write my own! 😊

    2. Elizabeth. I am liking this story very much. It is obvious they both have post traumatic stress disorder and are working it out with cognitive therapy. I have it as well and have been hyper medicated because of it. I have MST from my military days as well as being victimized as a child by my father’s best friend who was a pedophile. I told my father and he never believed me. Anyway keep writing.and thanks for the story.

      • Hi Jane! Thank you for sharing your experience; I’m glad you’re in treatment.

        At this point, we don’t know what Bette has done in terms of treatment for the past 8 years since leaving New York, but we’ll see that soon.

        Tina, however, is not in any treatment. Tina’s attack occurred on Friday, we’re now at Sunday; she’s only been at Bette’s home since leaving the hospital – she hasn’t been evaluated or assessed. Tina is still in a state of shock at this point – she struggles to control her emotional responses, making her uncharacteristically aggressive, and then she vacillates to detaching herself from the experience; pushing the negativity aside to focus on caring for Bette. In my planned update for this weekend (Chapter 16) we’re going to see the results of her continued vacillation when finally faced with the object of her trauma.

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