Apparently because Gadreel said that Sam wouldn’t die to save Dean specifically to rile up Dean that makes it true despite all evidence to the contrary and that makes Sam hateable.
But the bigger thing IMO is wtf should we want Sam to sacrifice himself for a man who is abusing him?
I usually don’t engage this kind of thing directly, but please, indulge me, I’m curious…
HOW is Dean TEXTUALLY Abusing Sam? Not your interpretation of the facts, whatever you have as head canon is your business and your business only, but, in TEXT.
Does Dean constantly and frequently punches or threatens Sam with violence if Sam doesn’t do what he says? No.
Does Dean forbid Sam to have friends outside a very short and Dean-approved list? No. The ONE time Dean disapproved Sam’s friendship with someone was Ruby. Since she was a demon hellbent into using Sam as a pawn to get Lucifer out… I think we can agree that there, Dean was right.
Does Dean constantly, relentlessly puts Sam’s effort down, mocks him for his achievements and never once says something good about Sam unless he wants something from him? No. There are many mocking instances, but Sam does the same. If we’re not allowed to call Sam abusive for never once telling his brother he is smart, no, the ‘princess’ comments are not abuse.
Does Dean in any way, form or shape controls what Sam does or doesn’t do, to the point that Sam can’t leave Dean’s side without permission? NO. We saw that just one episode ago.
You can interpret canon any way you want -hell, I’ve done it to paint Sam as the abuser - but you can’t say that is actual TEXT. Neither Sam nor Dean abuse the other, and that’s not what the writers are trying to say.
What Dean did was to disobey a DNR order, that’s it. Don’t try to paint it as something horribly wrong that completely undermines Sam’s personhood since the show itself has gone out of their way to ignore that point just as it ignores that Dean has no sense of self at all due to how he was raised. Those two are things that are interesting to talk about in meta, but we can’t claim they’re text because they aren’t. Textually, Dean will do anything for his brother because he loves him, and is not an abuser. Textually, at least until Season 7, Sam would’ve done the same. I have no idea where Sam stands right now in the heads of the writers -since they seem to think this is a healing situation- but if we are going completely by the co-dependant line? Sam is the one who gets the attention of Dean, so SAM cannot be the victim of abuse. Since he’s the one who sets the rules, the one who decides what happens.
Should Sam die for Dean? I don’t know. I don’t think so. And that’s a fair question. Should Sam die for ‘the man who abuses him’? Hell, first show me who that man is, in text, in the series without any interpretation, without using the word ‘subtextually’ or ‘we can assume’ or ‘we can infer’, and THEN, we’ll talk.
Since sweetsamofmine has already answered your post in relation to textual information on the abusive nature of the Dean/Sam relationship, I’ll address that in a separate post.
Good, then maybe you can link me to this textual proof as you’re at it, since she didn’t. She linked me to yet more of the old interpretation of Sam is a poor little wooby who can’t do anything wrong while Dean is the meanest mean who ever lived outside a Hallmark movie. I am going to dissect those two vile pieces of so-called meta in another post, but since you’re so eager to be used as an example of how Sam-stans work at demonizing every single character in the search of justifying other fan’s horrible meta… Let’s play. (To my usual readers, I warn you… this got long)
You know what? I was going to reply to this and all the points until I got to the point where you said that love and abuse are mutually exclusive. Because this right here is probably the main reason you refuse to accept any truth in the argument that Dean is displaying abusive behaviour.
And I am going to make this abundantly clear for everyone because I cannot tell you how important this is to understand. You don’t have to be an evil, twisted asshole who only appears nice or loving or caring to be abusive. Anyone can be abusive. It’s not about you. It’s not about the abuser. It’s about the effect your actions are having on someone else.
And I cannot stress how important that is to understand. THAT IS THE REASON SO MANY PEOPLE REFUSE TO SEE ABUSE AND THAT’S THE REASON THAT SO MANY PEOPLE HAVE TROUBLE LEAVING.
Take, for example a real-life situation. E and R have recently entered into a relationship of sorts, but some background is necessary - E is a fun-loving and hilarious person who has recently ended a very long-term relationship after discovering their partner was cheating on them for the entire duration of the relationship. The subsequent 2 relationships also ended the same way. It goes without saying that E has a lot of trust issues, and is quite paranoid about cheating.
So E and R regularly go out together and text each other all the time, but R isn’t happy. E often, especially at first, made her feel good. The way E looked at her like they were turned on, the way E accepted her body boosted R’s self esteem. However, E also makes a lot of pretty nasty comments from time to time, about how E hates her when she’s drunk, about how her dress-sense isn’t great etc.
However, E cannot take any insults, even banter. E gets very upset whenever R makes any jokes about E, even things like how she can’t understand E’s text messages. They get into arguments all the time, and E has never once apologised for anything, only tries to justify themself or excuse themself. R always ends up being the one apologising, even when she’s done nothing wrong.
Eg - E looked through R’s phone without permission, and then got angry when they found some text messages of a friendly nature to one of R’s past flings. R ended up being the one to apologise. Again. (E continues to constantly flirt at work, when they’re out, and constantly texts all of their ex’s)
And whenever R gets angry (justifiably) E then gets angry that R is ‘angry over nothing’, and once again, even though E has done something wrong and R confronted them about, R ends up being the one apologising for making E upset.
There are a lot more subtle ways E manipulates R as well, by always referring blame from themself, and guilt-tripping R for anything she says. If R asks her if she’s upset (after they’ve just argued or R has just confronted E over something) E insists that they’re fine. Then E will minutes later tell R that they’re feeling really awful because they’re a terrible person and says ‘oh it’s just life i guess’ etc. By doing so, they’re referring any blame away from themselves (because if they admitted to feeling guilty or they feel like they’re a bad person because of the argument, then it’s synonymous to admitting wrong-doing) and still managing to make R feel bad for them.
This is emotional manipulation. This is emotional abuse. And were it to continue down this road, R would most likely end up in a very abusive and emotionally manipulative relationship. Except here’s the thing - I personally know E. They’re not a robot, they’re not a psychopath void of emotion and hell-bent on destroying R. They’re struggling with a lot of issues like trust, which leads to jealousy and even possessiveness, which is very unhealthy. So I completely understand why E is this way, but that doesn’t excuse their behaviour.
But E actually, truthfully likes R and genuinely has no idea that what they’re doing is abusive or harmful.
And until you can understand and accept that, you cannot understand or write in-depth about abuse. Because if you believe love and abuse to be entirely mutually exclusive, and not compatible, then you will never be able to reconcile your love for Dean (or any character or real-life person) with the pattern of abusive behaviour.
This is literally the problem that every single friend or victim of an abuser has. They see the abuser as a nice person, because they are a nice person and often a dear friend, and therefore refuse to accept that they could be abusive, because they have this image of abusers as sociopathic and awful manipulators who have no love or affection whatsoever, when that is just not the reality at all.
Also - the reason I’m talking about abuse in general and presenting several different kinds of abuse (romantic, sexual, parental, plantonic etc.) as examples is because the whole reason I engage in discussions about Sam/Dean and abuse is because it’s vitally important that people understand and recognise abuse. And if people can’t see it in fiction, then they’re not going to see it in real life either. You have a much better view of fiction, you see it from an aerial point of view, and if you still can’t recognise the pattern of abuse then, when you can see almost everything, you’ll likely miss it in real life too, even when it happens to you, where the consequences will be much more tangible.
And the fact that you think there’s something different about sibling/familial abuse and romantic or sexual abuse tells me that this conversation is already at a heavy bias. They may be different in the same way being raped by your boyfriend is different to being raped by a stranger,but neither is worse or better than the other. They’re all awful, and they’re all abuse. There are no excuses just because they’re brothers, or because they’re grown men.
This is the reason I talk about it so much even though it tires me out like nothing, because it affects me personally. It is only through tumblrs rigorous discussion of abuse and the many different ways it can present, and specifically, the discussion of Dean’s abusive behaviour towards Sam, that I’m able to recognise my abuse for what it was. And it’s only through this that I was also able to recognise E and R’s relationship for what it was, and what it will turn into as well.
i have become a bitter old woman who complains about everything i don’t like it
ok but a mute lesbian knight who kicks ass and slays 10000 men and is a star jouster and is loved by everyone in her village but has to lean up and whisper in her girlfriend’s ear anytime she needs to give instructions to her cavalry
Rumors start up about how her voice is too terrible and mighty to be heard by commonfolk, which is why her girlfriend serves as her official crier
I am in desperate need of a pirate ship that is a haven for those who’ve had to suffer life as a woman.
I want an escaped slave who’s found a whole nother level of freedom on the open sea, taking back what the slave-traders took from her with every voyage she takes, as she stands on the deck instead of crammed beneath it.
I want a chinese captain who ran away and stole a boat leaving behind a husband who she took off without because ugh men and family - who’s got time for that?!
I want a person who spent years binding themself, cutting their hair and dressing like a man to get by on the sea, only to find that they actually quite enjoy being desexed, and decide to keep keep binding and cross-dressing because fuck gender altogether, they’ll do what they want.
I want a lesbian maid who took to the sea to get some distance between herself and her mistress and all those painful, unrequited feelings, only to find that this is what she’s been missing her whole life
I want a boatload of women (and gender minorities) escaping the shitstorm of real life because pffft who wants reality when you can have a life of adventure out on the open water with so many others standing shoulder to shoulder right beside you, no matter what?
I want scallywags and mischievous little shits. I want family and bonding and fierce loyalty. I want women supporting and aiding other women. I want a bunch of misfits who said fuck you to their lives and the rest of the world and became the hero of their own story.
It really bothers me that even though Sam was possessed by an angel without his consent, even though he was violated by his brother, even though he is finally standing on his own two feet and refusing to back down, even though this character-arc could take us in the most interesting and important shift of relationship dynamic between the two protagonists of this show since it began… the focus is pretty much all on how hard this is for Dean.
It bothers me but it doesn’t surprise me. Not even a little bit, because that’s almost always been the narrative of the show - something happens to Sam, Dean reacts. And it’s not fair to either brother. And I’m tired of it.
Scientists discover most relaxing tune ever
Sound therapists and Manchester band Marconi Union compiled the song. Scientists played it to 40 women and found it to be more effective at helping them relax than songs by Enya, Mozart and Coldplay.
Weightless works by using specific rhythms, tones, frequencies and intervals to relax the listener. A continuous rhythm of 60 BPM causes the brainwaves and heart rate to synchronise with the rhythm: a process known as ‘entrainment’. Low underlying bass tones relax the listener and a low whooshing sound with a trance-like quality takes the listener into an even deeper state of calm.
Dr David Lewis, one of the UK’s leading stress specialists said: “‘Weightless’ induced the greatest relaxation – higher than any of the other music tested. Brain imaging studies have shown that music works at a very deep level within the brain, stimulating not only those regions responsible for processing sound but also ones associated with emotions.”
The study - commissioned by bubble bath and shower gel firm Radox Spa - found the song was even more relaxing than a massage, walk or cup of tea. So relaxing is the tune, apparently, that people are being Rex advised against listening to it while driving.
The top 10 most relaxing tunes were: 1. Marconi Union - Weightless 2. Airstream - Electra 3. DJ Shah - Mellomaniac (Chill Out Mix) 4. Enya - Watermark 5. Coldplay - Strawberry Swing 6. Barcelona - Please Don’t Go 7. All Saints - Pure Shores 8. AdelevSomeone Like You 9. Mozart - Canzonetta Sull’aria 10. Cafe Del Mar - We Can Fly
my muscles stopped functioning
I was so relieved this wasn’t a trick. Very soothing.
THIS IS IT, GUYS. This is the song I listen to when I’m feel a panic attack coming on or can’t sleep because of my anxiety. It has helped me more times than I can say.
just added most of those songs to a playlist. and SO glad to see barcelona on there, i love their music and that song is so nice but also pretty sad.
So the short answer is that Dean has shown himself to be willing to resort to physical violence to get his point across to Sam. He doesn’t do it all of the time; he doesn’t even have to do it often. He does it often enough that his willingness to employ that method is know to the audience. “Pilot,” “Bloodlust,” “Metamorphosis,” “You Can’t Handle The Truth” and “The Girl Next Door” are examples of times when Dean has lashed out physically at Sam.
The longer and more complicated answer (you knew there would be one) is that we see enough of the physical side of the abuse to know that it is a learned behavior. We see more of it in the early seasons. I’ve seen some people justify it as just normal brotherly interaction, because men of that generation are naturally physical with each other… And very often men of that generation - my generation, I’d add - will slug each other to express irritation. I’ve seen it happen but I want to point something out and that’s two words: each other. Sam doesn’t defend himself when Dean lashes out physically. He’s learned not to fight back.
You know who else Sam doesn’t fight back against? John Winchester, when John manhandles him in Dead Man’s Blood. Dean is a staunch defender of John’s parenting style toward Sam from the pilot on. Dean learned, at the same time that he was learning that Sam was his responsibility, that physical “correction” was one of the ways he was taught to keep Sam “in line.”
So I honestly think that it’s something that Dean learned as a child, both because it’s something that was done to him as a disciplinary tool and because he wasn’t taught that it wasn’t acceptable to express his anger and frustration that way. Kids will naturally lash out, it’s what they do, and if the parents or caregivers don’t teach them that it’s wrong they don’t learn that it’s not okay to hit.
Now again, I’m not saying that Dean sits there and looks for opportunities to beat the snot out of Sam on a daily basis. That would be a caricature. He is physically abusive, but physical abuse doesn’t mean that the person on the receiving end is covered in bruises and black eyes on a daily basis. The threat of abuse, the knowledge that the abuser is willing to use physical violence, is sufficient and those factors exist between Dean and Sam.
There is a tendency to see physical abuse as “real” abuse and psychological abuse as not really abuse. The OP frames the question this way. Some psychologists will say that psychological abuse is actually harder to overcome than physical abuse. After all, bruises, broken bones and an actual physical act are very concrete. The victim can point to observable injuries that validate the fact that they are being abused. Plus, although the fear and knowledge that they can be hurt at any time is always part of physical abuse, the bruises fade, broken bones heal, our minds tend to forget physical pain (ask any woman who has been in labor, what it felt like fades).
Psychological abuse stays with a person. Hearing over and over that you don’t love your family, you don’t care about saving people, you are weak because you got addicted, you are gullible and stupid because you got played, you can not be trusted because you can’t eventually works its way into a person’s mind and self image. If, as in the case of Dean, the abuser also controls the view the outside world has of the victim, the world starts reinforcing the idea that the view of the abuser is right and the victim “deserves” to be told about their many, many failings and that these failings are absolute truth. Bobby is a great example of this. Bobby did not even bring up the issue that Sam could die during detox until it appeared that Sam was actually dying. Then he bought Dean’s belief that Sam deserved to die because being an addict meant Sam wasn’t human. Later in season five, Bobby was stunned to see Sam saving the victims of Pestilence in the plant that was manufacturing the Croatoan virus. He was stunned even though he admitted that Sam had been running into burning buildings since he was 12. Even though he had worked with Sam in season three before the demon blood addiction. Bobby was able to hold two different versions of Sam in his head and to decide that DEAN’S version of a Sam who is unable to resist evil or do good was right. This continues to some extent into season six where Bobby rejects Sam after his soul has been returned. Yes, Soulless!Sam had tried to kill him, but Bobby still mistrusted Sam with his soul, in part because Bobby sees Sam as not good enough. After all, Bobby accepted and protected Karen, who had also tried to kill him and who was definitely a zombie, something he knew was dangerous and lethal. But Bobby believed she was good at her core. His treatment of Sam indicates that he did not believe that about Sam, even though his personal experiences showed him Sam was.
Basically, psychological abusers can make the world complicit in their abuse. They define who their victim is and what they are capable of. They convince the victim. This makes even recognizing that the victim IS a victim hard. After all the abuser is really just a put upon martyr who is doing their best to take care of and love a basically flawed and unlovable partner. Dean is just a martyr who is doing his best to take care of Sam, who was chosen by evil, succumbed to evil, never loved Dean enough and never appreciated that Dean gave up his LIFE to be with unworthy, unlovable, weird Sam. And Dean did it all while being abused by his father. Dean stood between Sam and John’s neglect and abuse even though we have seen time and time again that Dean DIDN’T. But Dean’s is framing the story. Sam has been cut off from outside contact and validation. Sam has been told “no chick flick moments” and Dean does not permit Sam’s emotions to be told to Dean. Dean is in control of the situation and Sam only has himself to rely on to see when he is being abused and Sam has bought into Dean’s view of Sam. It took being possessed against his will by an angel (like physical abuse and observable, concrete act that can’t be denied or explained away) to have Sam fight back against Dean’s control and abuse. It is why he still has trouble stating what was wrong about the possession, because Dean is still framing the argument.
Abuse is a complicated, difficult subject, but saying that it’s “harsh” to call Dean an abuser because the abuse he deals out is only psychological and emotional is misrepresenting abuse. ANY kind of abuse is abuse and anyone who abuses someone gets to be called an abuser
THANK YOU! Bless you. Everything about this post and reply is downright beautiful.
(TW: RAPE MENTION)
I have a strong distaste for the insinuation that emotional or psychological abuse is not real abuse or somehow less than physical or sexual abuse. And I’ve even argue that a huge part of what makes physical abuse so awful is the emotional and psychological affect it has on the victim. Like… if I someone hits me by accident and I have a huge bruise, the physical pain itself is no big deal. If I get hit by someone purposely, what I’d find difficult do deal with would be the emotional toll such an act would take. I’d be afraid of them hitting me again; I’d be upset that they had no regard for me or my physical well-being etc etc.
I also feel it’s really important to recognise that even though some forms of abuse are “milder” or “tamer” than others, they’re all still abuse and they’re all still awful, and they all still have a detrimental psychological and emotional effect on the victim.
Like… (TW: RAPE) when a young woman is snatched from the street and gang-raped in an alley is that rape? Of course it is. When a grown man is kissing his partner and his partner starts having sex with him and said man doesn’t really feel like he can say no and just sort of lets it happen even though he doesn’t want it because he doesn’t want to upset his partner, is that rape too? Absolutely. Because consent is necessary, and whether it’s brutal and physical, or a situation where the other party doesn’t even know they’re hurting their victim, it still lacks consent and is therefore still rape.
So, back to abuse - whether someone is beating their much younger female spouse unconscious every day, or whether it’s two adult brothers and for the most part subtle emotional manipulation, it’s still abuse. And it needs to be recognised.
"exceptionalism" excuses the violence of oppressive power. no exceptions.
Vocally political and liberal Steve Rogers
Fox News has no idea how to handle it because he’s Captain America and he’s literally from the 40’s like how do that handle that
He refuses to go on half of the news shows because they lie
Mostly ends up on the Daily Show, the Colbert Report, and the Young Turks
Starts charities that focus on kids and the poor
Donations to veterans charities go through the roof
Treatment for PTSD in veterans suddenly gets addressed after he admits to being diagnosised with it
Steve Rogers starting a twitter specifically for linking people to horrible news stories and calling news stations out on their lies and scare tactics
Using his twitter to complain about the state of public news and how it should be a space of change and value and honesty for the American public, and how he’s so ashamed of it all
He accidentally becomes like public face for the new generation of politically savvy people
They make of shirts like WWCD “what would Cap do?”
Tony is thrilled and proud and hires of team of lawyers exclusively to handle the news stations screaming about Steve
Fox news gets slapped with so many libel fines and law suits
Steve bringing attention to LGBT rights and the shit trans people have to go though, and then getting the fuck out of the way to let them talk about it. Like “look at the shit they go through…listen to them to find out how we can fix this.”
Steve using his “white cis male that goes by Captain America” status to draw attention to people that need help and situations that need changing but letting those people be the ones that voices get heard when people are actually paying attention.
Steve cockblocking Fox News pundits just by being Steve.
"How do you feel about the influx of illegals…I mean immigrants?"
"My parents were Irish immigrants. People aren’t illegal."
"I lived through the Great Depression and know exactly how it feels to not have enough food. Welfare is fantastic."
"But Black people…"
"Son, just don’t."
GIMME GIMME GIMMEE GIMMEE
Link 1 <Personal & Body Care
Link 2 <Emotional & Psychological Closeness
Link 3 <Sleeping & Other Spacial Closeness
Link 4 <Life Arrangements
Link 5 <Urgent Situations
More examples include:
- Being asked to open someone else’s mail
- Having someone’s mail forwarded to your house
- Being listed as someone’s emergency contact
- Accompanying someone to the doctor/ therapist
- Helping someone apply makeup (You’re given permission to touch their face and neck, especially the delicate area around the eyes, and to alter their presented identity.)
- Reading to someone
- Drawing someone (long periods of intense scrutiny)
- Folding someone’s clothes