“Sometimes I feel as though there are two me's, one coasting directly on top of the other: the superficial me, who nods when she's supposed to nod and says what she's supposed to say, and some other, deeper part, the part that worries and dreams... Most of the time they move along in sync and I hardly notice the split, but sometimes it feels as though I'm two whole different people and I could rip apart at any second.”
― Lauren Oliver, Delirium
ok so a lot of people call dean an abuser. i never thought dean was physically abusive but emotionally? yeah def. psychologically? yep. but like to call him an abuser out right seems harsh to me. what are your thoughts on this whole perception of him as an abuser? do you think he is?
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
All of this. Thank you, percysowner .
In my response I addressed physical abuse because that’s what was asked about, but the psychological and emotional abuse is equally deserving of the term “abuse,” it is more devastating in its effects in many cases and in terms of the dynamics of the Winchester family it is a more effective tool for controlling Sam.
Physical pain doesn’t seem to be a terribly significant motivating factor for Sam. Yes, he feels pain but he doesn’t seem to be afraid of pain. He’s not afraid to take a hit from Dean or his father (“You hit me all you want. It won’t change anything.”) This is the guy who faced down eternity with Lucifer with a smile on his face.
It isn’t harsh to call an abuser an abuser, regardless of which tools they’re using to commit their abuse. The evidence of the abuse can’t be seen on an x-ray (except of course when it can, as outlined in the original response). It can be seen in the way that Sam stopped fighting Dean’s control. It can be seen in the way that Sam stopped fighting pretty much everything, the way that he accepted Dean’s view of him. The way that he simply accepted that he had no value to the world except in his death by season 8. The way that even now the concern of the people who know them - and the majority of fans - is for the person who made the decision to violate his younger brother on every possible level instead of for the person who has to live with the violation. The fact that no one thought to ask Sam if he was okay after confronting the angel who possessed him and stole his life from him for twenty weeks, but Sam had to be responsible for the feelings of the person who made it possible for Gadreel to do so.
Yeah, all 220 of you. I love you. Like, seriously. A lot. I don’t know what you people find so interesting about this blog but it’s cool. SO yeah.
that frustrating time when your friends finally start reading your favorite book or watching your favorite tv show, but all you wanna do is tell them all these spoilers and begin fangirling / fanboying with them and you just sorta have to restrain yourself and
SURPRISE MOTHERFUCKERS THERES NO JOKE OR CLEVER COMPLAINT AT THE END OF THIS POST BECAUSE FUCK EVERYTHING. I BET YOU THOUGHT YOU WOULD SEE SOME STUPID FACE OR PAINFUL MEMORY FROM SHERLOCK HUH?? NOPE JUST THIS STUPIDLY LONG POST. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA ITS THE ULTIMATE FUCK YOU HAHAHAHAHAHA I HAVENT SLEPT IN 3 DAYS.
i’m convinced this post is the reason they put the reblog button at the bottom
what if the finale isnt crowley or abaddon winning the throne
what if its dean
Dean would rule hell. Cas would rule heaven.
And because of the love for each other everything would be balance.
And Sam could live a normal life on earth like he always wanted to be.
oH MY FUCKING GOD
Please please please
The Tale of the three Winchesters
"So the oldest brother, who was a combative man, asked for a wand more powerful than any in existence […].
Then the second brother, […] asked for the power to recall others from Death.
And then [the youngest brother] greeted Death as an old friend, and went with him, gladly, and, equals, they departed this life.” (x)
Concept//idea by - http://incestuousfricklefrackle.tumblr.com/
Can I just say how much I love this moment? Dean gives Kali the flirtatious smile, she says no, he tries to start a line, she says no again… and he shrugs and walks away. It’s possibly the only time in all of Supernatural that we ever see Dean Winchester being turned down by a woman (and hell, looking like that, it’s no surprise) but when he actually is turned down… he backs the hell off. Right away.
That, in my mind, is HUGE. Sure, Dean sleeps with a lot of women, and no, he doesn’t know most of their names the next morning, but on the rare occasion when someone tells him no, he immediately accepts that and walks away. That’s what sets him aside from all the other oversexed men I absolutely despise on modern television. Way, way too often television shows portray tough, studly guys repeatedly pursuing women who turn them down until eventually the women give in. And yet any woman who has ever been on the other side of that interaction knows how unbelievably obnoxious and even frightening it can be to be repeatedly pursued by a guy who clearly wants something and won’t take a hint.
News flash, men: if you want to be classy then take a hint from Dean Winchester, stud muffin and all around good person, and when a lady says no, accept that she means no and don’t push the issue. Don’t take it personally, don’t ask why. Just go.
If I could send this message retroactively to every guy from all of my dating experiences I would!