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    Open Communication

    Bette and Tina continue to sit and stare at one another. Bette could feel the tension in Tina’s body as soon as she asked the question. She decides to push further, knowing they needed to be open and honest for their relationship to build, but even more so to spur Tina’s healing. “Baby? I spoke with Nurse Laura while she escorted me to you.” Tina’s eyes widen at the admission that she already suspected. “She told me you’re on suicide watch.” Tina tries to pull her hands from Bette as she drops her head in shame. Bette holds tight. “She didn’t give me any details; she said I should talk to you.” Bette takes her hand and lifts Tina’s head so she can see her eyes again. She gently tucks a blonde lock behind her ear. “Tell me Baby? Tell me what happened… tell me what’s brought back this hopelessness.”

    Tina presses her cheek into Bette’s palm, tears pushing through her eyelids as she blinks. Tina takes in the prying eyes around her before speaking. “Okay… okay. I’ll tell you, but… not here. I don’t want to feel like people are listening; I just want to talk to you.”

    “Why don’t we sit in the courtyard, hm? I think the fresh air will be nice.” Bette says before pressing a kiss to Tina’s forehead.

    “Yeah, fresh air.” Tina stares at Bette for several moments. “Thank you; thank you for coming. I’ve missed you so much.”

    They both stand up and Bette brings Tina into her arms. “There’s no other place I’d rather be. I’ve missed you too… you have no idea.” After Bette feels she has composed herself, she pulls back. “Come on Baby.” Bette says while grabbing Tina’s hand and picking up her bag. “Let’s go for a walk.” Tina holds Bette’s journal tightly to her chest. She drops Bette’s hand to, instead, wrap her arm around her waist pulling herself as close to her body as she can. Bette smiles with a wink as they begin walking. “So cute.” She whispers, but Tina hears her and blushes at the affection.

    Bette and Tina make their way to the courtyard; Bette nodding at Laura on the way. She guides Tina around the perimeter of the building to give them time to prepare for the impending conversation, but also to scope out the best spot to sit so they’re away from the nurses and other patients while remaining in the courtyard. Bette decides on a spot under a big oak tree instead of a bench, figuring it would be easier to sit closer and offer more physical comfort and support.

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    1. So thrilled that they were able to deal with the suffocating darkness that is “hopelessness”.

      We first must have H O P E, then self-talk that is full of lies, innuendo, blame, guilt and shame can be beat down & crushed by the light that is truth and unconditional L O V E.

      Will be fun to see how they help build each others self-confidence.

    2. Sweet…really sweet. At least they are now hopeful that life will improve. I’m sure they have a long way to go. So if Tina will make those daily calls, it will help both of them.

      Nice chapter, keep them coming.

    3. Thanks for the post! I love this story. But I’m worried for Tina. She has to want to live for her own sake, rather than just because Bette is in her life. I know that Bette loves her and will cherish her. But Bette is only human and she will falter. Tina needs to know Bette as a whole person. Right now I feel she views her as a savior. If you can’t tell, I’m really enjoying how this story develops. :)

      • I’m glad you’re liking the story! I’m trying to be as realistic and therapeutically sound in my approach as possible – especially in terms of Bette and Tina’s treatment. As far as Tina viewing Bette as a savior, that is definitely not the intent. My chapters have covered such a short amount of time (we’re on chapter 23 and the story has only progressed about 3 weeks from chapter 1 to now). With that, my intent may not be clear yet, but as we see more of Bette – and especially Tina’s – treatment over the next few chapters, I think it will be clear.

        Tina did not become suicidal because of her perceived rejection from Bette, but rather was suicidal over what that rejection implied. Tina has spent her life feeling used, rejected, worthless, unloved, etc.; and she was suicidal before the rape. The rape pushed her over the edge and moved her toward acting on her suicidal ideation. Meeting Bette that night on the bridge isn’t supposed to be this heroic, romanticized take on being saved; Bette’s act of compassion and care for a stranger was the first planting of a “seed of hope” within Tina which began the thought process of “maybe my negative self-view is not accurate.” That all crumbles for Tina – pushing her toward suicide again – when she feels Bette rejected her because that hope then felt false. However, Bette showing up again and showing her compassion and love has now helped that “seed of hope” root itself to grow. Again, Tina’s renewed hope is not based solely on Bette’s presence and offered love, but on the greater implications that her presence symbolizes to Tina.

        Again, I can understand your thought of Tina’s co-dependence – and if that was happening that would not be good, and would lead to a breakdown not healing – because you can only work off the little bit of information I’ve given you at this point rather than the whole outline of the story – beginning, middle, and end – that exists in my journal and the files of my mind. :-) However, I hope it will become clear, as the story moves on, that Bette is not a savior and Tina doesn’t view her as one. Bette is merely a conduit for which Tina begins to see her true self revealed.

        Tina has PTSD from the rape, but what has not yet been explored, and has only been hinted at, is the C-PTSD that she has from her childhood and growing up. That is what has initially caused her suicidality and will need to be addressed as well. Bette’s presence is important in that aspect because when dealing with negative self-views: feeling worthless, unlovable, useless, etc. those thoughts aren’t often defeated 100% until someone has showed you they’re untrue. Tina can go through therapy alone, learn coping skills, unpack her trauma, create a healthier self-view, but until someone affirms (by words and actions) the positive self-view she creates there may always be instinctual, negative thoughts. So, as Tina goes through therapy and begins dealing with her trauma and identifies, for herself, why she’s worthy and lovable, Bette gets to come alongside of her to bolster that view; while Tina gets to do that same for her.

        That was long, but I hope it made sense. I so much appreciate your interaction, and your care for authenticity in the storyline. Thanks for reading! :-)

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