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    The Intensity, The Emotion, The Honesty Chapter 20

    Tina let herself into Bette’s house with a bag of groceries.  It was her turn to cook Sunday dinner.  Tina had been looking forward to family dinner all week.  Her schedule had become more demanding and she was finding it more and more difficult to coordinate family time.  She called out Bette’s and Angie’s name as she walked into the kitchen and put the bag down along with her keys and purse.  She looked around and saw two boxes on the dining table and then her eye caught Bette sitting outside on a bench swing that had been set up for the view of the cityscape.  It was dusk and the lights across the city were just coming on as Tina walked out towards Bette.  Tina had come to understand that Bette would come out to this bench and sit when she had things on her mind.  Tina recalled how she had insisted on their 2nd home in Los Angeles having a view.  Bette had always been one to stare out in space when thinking and Tina had thought it as a must have for their new home. 

    ”Hey, you ok?” Tina asked as she sat down next to Bette.

    ”Yea,” Bette said as she took a drink of red wine. ”Just tired.”

    Tina furrowed her brows as she looked at Bette.

    Bette knowingly smiled, ”It’s been a long day. I am ok, really.” Bette paused, ”Angie called she is held up, so we have a little time before you need to start dinner.”  Bette looked out again across the cityscape.  ”What do you have planned?”

    Tina, trying to be humorous, decided to make stir fry.  Bette and Tina had a long history of burning stir fry and Tina thought her and Bette’s relationship had gotten to the point that this kind of humor would not cause any misunderstanding. 

    Tina got up as she said, ”stir fry.”  Tina paused held her breath and watched Bette’s reaction.

    Bette looked up at her from the corner of her eye and raised a smile.  ”Good choice, I haven’t had a good stir fry in a long time.” 

    Tina let out a breath and smiled, ”I am gonna go grab a glass of wine, would you like me to pour you some more?”

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    1. Wow! What an amazing chapter. I am a huge Bette fan for the very reason you so richly articulate in these pages. I always refer to her as seriously flawed but exceeding loyal and all due to her fear of abandonment. So very much about Bette is explained by this fear. With regard to this story and what we know about Bette she has lost her mother, her father, her son, her sister, and her wife. And soon Angie will be leaving. It was only a matter of time before the magnitude of the losses took their toll. As long as Bette was able to distract herself with the election and her quest to find some meaning in Kit’s death she was able to push down some of that loss. But losing Kit and Tina at the same time was always going to be more than Bette could handle.

      I am not sure how this will play out. I love Tina and want this couple together. Both have serious issues. Tina should have known what losing Kit would do to Bette and she needed to be at the funeral. This is going to be very hard for those two to get past. Bette will need some help to ever trust Tina not to leave her again. And poor James. Thinking he was doing an amazing thing for Bette. I am glad her fist didn’t go through the painting.

      You left us on quite the cliff hanger. Please post again soon.

      • I agree ???? with Billy!

        As soon when i heard the name of Maxine Porter and Bette saying more than once to Tina that she left it came to my mind this had to do with Bette’s deep feelings for being abondenment by the people she loved.

        You made me cry for Bette ???? Such a beautiful woman, so complex but with a golden heart. This was the final straw for Bette, the only way to heal is to let it out and talk with a therapist to help deal with her fear, incecurities and feelings of abondenment by the people the intensly loved.

        Tina needs to deal with her own shit and if she is really genuine in her decision to stay she has to prove that to Bette in words and deeds.

        Very good chapter SuperK, very emotional at the end.

        • Bibi

          I cried too, many times as I wrote this. That last scene was a tough one. Bringing it to life was a trick. I knew what I had in my head but to write what I saw was a challenge.

          I like to write for emotional response and working a scene to get it take a great deal of trial and error.

          So glad you were able to capture and feelings I was trying to bring across to the reader.

          More to come.


          • Wow! What a superb emotional Chapter to come back to the Site and read.

            Thank you for sharing your talent I cried for my lovely Bette and her loss as a child living with her throughout her life.

            Now it is up to Tina to deal with her relationship with Bette and heal some wounds.

            Look forward to more

    2. Wow… that was really emotional. My heart is breaking for Bette and for Tina right now. I knew that when the description of the painting was a vibrant colors in water color paint that this had to be a Maxine Porter painting. What did not expect was the emotional damn to burst releasing all the pain and hurt in Bette. Tina had days before disclosed to Bette that the some of the reasons (perhaps the main reason) was her own perception and discontent with herself and that Bette herself had very little to do with Tina’s actions. Bette was merely the person she blamed to justify her leaving to herself. But the accumulation of Tina leaving and Kit’s death so close together put Bette on the brink of mental and emotional total breakdown. The only way she moved forward was her responsibilities and love for Angie. Tina’s not coming to the funeral basically said to Bette that Tina no longer cared about Bette and that her leaving was truly a permanent decision.

      Bette’s backing away from Tina when she was trying to offer comfort has to be devastating for Tina. They have made several steps toward getting back together, however this emotional breakdown by Bette shows how deeply hurt the separation and divorce is for Bette. This clearly demonstrates to Tina the effects of her actions were on Bette’s ability to whole-heatedly trust that reconciliation is possible and can be achieved. Bette is going to need some serious therapy for her abandonment issues and Tina needs to continue with her own therapy but support Bette in every way she can.

      Tina – do not run from Bette now. She needs you now, more than ever. Angie needs you too.

      Thank you for this. Phenomenal writing…

      • Hi Martha,

        Excellent post. I was even thinking about when Bette was trying to adopt Angie and David betrayed her. to the social worker. Add David to my list of people who have abandoned Bette. Tina keeping the second pregnancy from Bette for so long is yet another type of abandonment. Where does Bette begin to peel back so many layers? This may also explain why she chose to drift from one woman to another prior to Tina. If you don’t give your heart you cannot be hurt. Clearly they love one another but do you think they can really work their way back to an honest and trusting and lasting relationship?

        • Absolutely…. they can. I am not sure how much evidence Bette will need that Tina has addressed the problems which caused her to leave, but she will requires some. It will then be a matter of faith in Tina to do the things she says she is going to do. It will take time and Tina will be on probation for a while and once Bette accepts her, there is still no guarantee. It a matter of Tina showing that the it is more likely than not that she will work toward a strong and forever lasting relationship. Its a matter of faith in the each other which will develop into trust. Communication is the key….

    3. Great chapter, SuperK. Yes, we have seen a little of Tina’s emotional responses, but not Bette’s. I knew as soon as Bette recognized the style that this had to be her mother’s work. This will be hard for her to make her way through, but it’s time that she had some kind of pressure release, even if it did boil over. Tina is going to have to really take care in her emotional response to Bette now. It is vital for them to move forward. I just hope that Bette doesn’t bottle back up and not let her in. A shame that the Ostin piece was damaged but James should have been a little more careful, especially with him knowing Bette so well and for so many years. I look forward to the next chapter. Thanks for posting!

      • SuperK! I made a terrible mistake. I tried to hit 5 starts on this post and it only registered a one star rating! Noooooooooooooooo! It won’t let me rate it again. It won’t let me fix it. I. Am. So. Sorry.

      • RiskyKitty

        I thought the only thing left to push her over the edge was the reappearance of her mother. Yikes!!!

        Poor Bette, so much emotional baggage that she has poorly dealt with over the years.

        Well she is about to deal with it, Hold on, as I told BK a couple chapters back, this is a roller coaster ride and we have just started to go down.


    4. Super K
      Wow. I had to read this twice. Still processing. Had a glass of wine. Now I can talk about it. Lovely Lovely start of opening up, some healing, some connecting and then WHAM. Never saw that coming. That is the hallmark of a good writer, surprising the reader with an unexpected but also meaningful twist that take the characters spinning off into another direction.

      Tina, girl…. stay put, Be present, run from this now and it is over. Stay … stay… and you might win her back.
      Write more SK, please. Thanks

    5. Went back and re-read earlier chapters. Feeling so heartbroken for Bette. Just a reminder:

      “NO!!! You don’t get to say that, if I was your home, then why did you abandon me and Angie? When Kit died and we needed you, you didn’t care enough to put whatever it was you were going through aside and be here. We’re not family, I’m not your home, we stopped being that years ago.” Bette choked the words out as the tears began to fall. Bette’s intense look was overwhelming, but Tina managed to maintain her eye contact. ”I don’t know what you want from me. I’ve tried over and over to reach you. I gave you space but it never seemed to be enough. I kept holding on through every hurtful blow, trying to be here for you, thinking we would make it through… but I can’t hold on anymore. The worst is,” Bette looked down, shook her head and then slowly regained Tina’s eye contact, ”I can’t share anything with you anymore.” Bette took a deep breath, ”you chose Carrie.”

      And there you have it… well written.

      • Billy

        I am just gonna respond to all your posts at once, you have said so much and asked some really good questions.

        My whole approach to this story was history and context. I am the age of these women and I have a lot of life experiences under my belt, much like they do. One behavior cannot be taken out of context of all the others. Bette is deeply hurt, but Tina’s behaviors are only part of the issue, but reconciling her feelings for Tina may be the key to putting herself together and live her life authentically.

        Love is something every human being needs and seeks. But to fully realize it, we must be willing to put ourselves out their fully emotionally.

        Hence, Tina’s and Bette’s biggest obstacle to having a life long fulfilling relationship.

        The next chapters will help us see this process.


    6. Talk about an emotional climax!!! K, you captured the very essence of the core of Bette. As long as she has something to focus on, she buries her true emotions. Bette’s longstanding turmoil has been abandonment by those she loves. Now add Tina to that list. I understand Tina feeling it best to stay away when Kit died. However, Tina knows Bette better than anyone and in the time they’ve known each other, she definitely knew that not showing up for Kit’s funeral would cause a deep hurt for Bette, as deep for Bette as losing her sister. Bette needed this breakdown to begin dealing with her own issues of abandonment. That’s the first step in letting go of the hurt.
      Excellent writing and character development, SuperK!

      • Based on what I read from other comments, I caught you all off guard which made it even more of a climax to this story. I wanted the turn In their paths to be big and make sense. I wanted to show how hard the work would be to reconcile. I wanted them to earn it, but earn it together so we are celebrating their reuniting as much as the characters.

        So many issues and so many choices that have to be made by each in order to bridge the vast space between them so they can come together in a healthy manner.

        Tina is such a unique character when coupled with someone like Bette, so different but yet so the same. Neither dealing with their trauma effectively and both holding on to each other for dear life. Peeling back layers while soothing and supporting each other at the same time.

        No wonder we love these ladies and there story. Soap Opera drama at its best.

        Stay safe

    7. SuperK,
      Thank you for your outstanding writing. This story is quite amazing in all of its content, it’s history, it’s consequences and the healing process between Bette and Tina. You have captured so much of each person’s life and their experiences. You write Bette’s and Tina’s characters so well and now peeling Their lives back like an onion to assist them in processing their experiences and Their healing is what I’m excited to read about. Well done, well, done! Can’t wait for more to read!

      • Nice hearing from you Bumsue,

        This story has taken a great deal of research to adequately address the issues that have been at the root of our girls’ problems. TLW gave some context but it had so many holes that it was hard to fully understand why the characters were doing what they did. My goal, which I think I fulfilled, was to address the holes based on the series, fill in where needed in a manner that made sense all while taking in consideration age, maturity and life experience, so the behaviors in GQ made sense.

        Tina and Bette getting a divorce was shocking, upsetting and outright wrong in my opinion based on what they gave us. I hope now we understand and give them a foundation for a reconciliation. I still hate the idea of a divorce. That is such a big decision and for the most part pretty final for a relationship, I think that is why I and 99.9% of the TiBette fan base were so upset.

        Anyways, nice to hear from a new person.
        Stay tuned there is more to come.


    8. Hey Super K,

      I totally agree with all the previous comments & Yes – WOW!!!!!!!!

      Like many others – didn’t see this coming.

      The eternal hope is that Tina will stay & help Bette navigate through her emotions & prove to Bette that she has indeed changed & is ready to stay put for the rest of her life.

      They both have so much to work on, but this is the hard part. They have to see through to the other side.

      Thanks you so much for this installment & for your courage to write this.

      All my best


      • I have been humbled by the responses to this chapter. It was by far the hardest to write thus far. Funny as it sounds the whole breakdown idea came from an interview that JB did. I being so upset with GQ and the writing I decided to make it happen.

        Getting our girls to this point has been a challenge. There was so much to weed through and decide what to focus on at the onset. As Tina moved through her stuff, it became obvious that Bette needed to address her stuff before they could really look at a reconciliation that would really work and stick.

        As for the emotional intensity… Well the issues in my opinion needed the intensity to bring the depth of the hurt alive.

        Thanks for the read and comment. Looking forward to your story unfolding further and seeing how you deal with these issues. The most interesting thing about this site is having multiple stories going at the same time dealing with the same issues but approaching it from different perspectives.

        Stay safe

    9. Thanks! Brilliant to bring home the abandonment by Maxine. Tina and Bette both need healing in order for their love to survive, and grow so when they reunite it will be forever! You are truly making them work for it! Kudos!

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