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“I can’t believe how close we came to losing you. I will never let you go back to that dark place where you felt so alone. I will always be by your side. My God Bette how could I have been so blind to what was going on around me? How could I not see or care how my actions and behavior were affecting you then and now?”
“Only you can answer those questions Tee. I didn’t tell you this for you to feel guilty so please don’t. It’s in the past. I survived. With Emma’s help and James’ support I was able to put my life back together. It took us a long time Tee, but we have the life that we’ve always dreamed of now. I’m not going to lose any of it. I’m going to fight for you this time Tee. I’m going to fight for me. I’m going to fight for our children. I’m going to fight for us. I am not going to just roll over and play dead. I will not give over my power or my will to Helena Fuckin’ Peabody or anyone else for that matter.
Emma helped me to realize that Helena was successful in destroying me because she attacked my sense of self-worth and self-esteem. I was already so down on myself because of everything that was going on between us. I couldn’t reach you. I couldn’t satisfy you. I couldn’t support you. I had to work so hard to become what you needed me to be that I lost myself. When I considered my worth, I measured it against how you saw me. When I lost value and respect in your eyes, I could no longer validate the person I was. That manifested into self-destructive behaviors. Helena knew the right buttons to push and having you in her corner against me was enough to put me over the edge.
When I started therapy the first thing Emma said was that I had to recognize my innate worth because my survival and sense of well-being depended on it. I was the one in charge of establishing it. I needed to project it and endorse it. I couldn’t let others take that away from me or depend on others to validate me.