Supernatural: Gods and Monsters (Part 2)

Resuming from my part 1 post, “Supernatural: Gods and Monsters“, Nick is still catching up with everything since his unexpected release from Lucifer. First, grappling with the fact Lucifer used his body and caused immense damage in it. Then finding out that his wife and newborn are dead and for some reason there is not a word about their death on the newspaper or how they died or who killed them.

Although Nick has returned to being Nick, everyone (Sam, Dean, Castiel, Jack, Sam, Bobby, Rowena) still see Nick as Lucifer. But to be honest…I don’t think Nick sees himself as himself anymore either. Remember Nick in a sense was Lucifer for a long time….since like season 1 or 2. Lucifer was power. He could instill fear into the hearts of me , demons, and angels…gods as well. As Lucifer or as Nick, he was able to influence anyone or anything to do his bidding…decimate anyone with the *snap* of his finger. Nick couldn’t influence anyone to answer to what happened to his family.

As being someone who was sexual assaulted, there’s nothing worse than when you feel powerless to do anything about a situation. Even though Nick wasn’t sexually assaulted, something more powerful than him took over his body. That’s how I kind of felt dealing with my situation and I’m upset wishing how come I wasn’t smart enough to see what happened? How did I let someone play me and use my body like that? He must have known that the only I knew about sex was vaginal sex and then tried to get me to the those other acts of sex. Hell…I didn’t know anal sex was a thing, because well…why would anyone want to have sex in the same hole you poop from? I mean what if you get E coli or other disease from that person? So here I was months after the event researching sexual assault, understanding what sex is…. You might say “How do you not know what sex is?” Well to be honest, I didn’t. I didn’t because I was never engaged in it until that point and to be honest, I don’t even think a lot of people know what sex is even though people “say” they do. We know a lot about the far negatives and far exuberant yesssses! (no puns intended) about sex, but a part from those two extreme views  about sex, nothing much. Because if people did, then people would able to know what sexual assault is (especially to say consent is at 16 or 17 years of age. That’s gross. I think it’s to protect the pervy men who are on top out of trouble), but then again most people don’t understand what harassment is in general either.

There is nothing worse than feeling you have to find yourself all over again after you have been assaulted. Think about it… You’ve spend your whole life trying to find yourself…and then some jackass ruins it, so now you gotta find what feels like bits and pieces of you  in the wind. Whether  the abuse lasted for a minute or for years, abuse is abuse. I mean your struggling to know who you are…again. Didn’t we struggle already to find who we were during puberty already? I mean Nick forget who he was. While Castiel knows Nick isn’t Lucifer (while knowing Lucifer’s true form as well)  how hard is for him? Yeesh…I remember when about two season ago Castiel was tricked by Lucifer (using Nick’s body) to possess him.

According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control), sexual assault can affect a person physically, psychologically, socially and can engage that person to take part in risky health behavior. I’ll stick to the the two we can kind of identify in Nick.

Psychological:

  • Shock
  • Denial
  • Fear
  • Confusion
  •  Anxiety
  • Withdrawal
  • Shame or guilt
  • Nervousness or Distrust
  • Symptoms of PTSD

-Emotional Detachment

-Sleep Disturbances

-Flashbacks

-Mental Replay of Assault

Chronic psychological consequences include:

  • Depression
  • Generalized Anxiety
  • Attempted or Completed Suicide
  • PTSD
  • Diminished Interest/Avoidance of Sex
  • Low Self-Esteem/Self-Blame

Social 

  • Strained Relationships with family, friends, and intimate partners
  • Less emotional support from friends and family
  • Less frequent contact with friends and relatives
  • Lower likelihood of marriage
  • Isolation or ostracism from family or community

Health Risk Behaviors

  • Engaging in high-risk sexual behavior
  • Using harmful substances
  • Unhealthy Diet-Related Behaviors
  • Delinquency and Criminal Behavior
  • Failure to Engage in Healthy Behaviors

Cas finds out that Nick has been affected by Lucifer than expected

My sexual assault affected me I know socially and psychologically. As for Nick assault by Lucifer, it has affected him (according to just those three bullet points I named) socially, psychologically, and eventually into him engaging into committing risky behaviors. Although, if you watch in the next one or two episodes of this season, the term “risky behaviors” is an understatement. Regardless, you understand how his possession by Lucifer affected him and lost his sense of self.

References

Center for Disease Control and Prevention. (2018). Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/sexualviolence/consequences.html

 

Further Readings

Rape’s Long Shadow: Dealing With The Personal Costs of Sexual Assault

Sexual Assault and Mental Health

Supernatural: Beat The Devil…Beat Your Demons

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Introduction

It’s been a LONG while since this episode aired, but after watching this past Thursday’s episode, had just HAD to get back into writing it again! Due to sooo much happening this past year, I almost forgot about this post.

Season 13 was filled with a lot of surprises and familiar faces. Relationships and hookups we didn’t see coming as shown below…

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Gabriel (Richard Speight, Jr) and Rowena (Ruth Connell) look like they’re having some sort of hanky panky.

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Dean (Jensen Ackles) and Sam (Jared Padelecki) are looking confused, yet looking reluctant to NOT figure out what’s happening between the archangel and the witch.

And yet the few earlier scenes, have made a lot of sex joke references. But for me what was funny was how the episode was mentioning the jokes without really trying to mention it.

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Referring to Gabriel’s grace to a man with erectile dysfunction disorder. So horrible!

Now To The Real Issue…

All jokes aside, for me, the episode was a tough episode. The thing was both Rowena and Gabriel have been hurt by Lucifer, however in order to help save and bring back Jack and Sam and Dean’s mom from Apocalypse World, they had to face their demon. Like, literally and figuratively had to face them, which was well the Devil himself. They had no choice. I mean well, Gabriel wasn’t able to produce any more grace (see my previous posts: Supernatural: Coming Back From The Darkness Within and Supernatural: Unfinished Business: Gabriel Strikes Back), so Team Freewill had to go to the next best source: Lucifer.

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Rowena and Gabriel trapping Lucifer

Speak of The Devil…

I couldn’t imagine trying to trap my assaulter. I mean…just thinking about filing a police report against him scares me. It’s not so much of the process that scares me, but having to see his face again. Having to see my innocence and vulnerability taken away…again. Now some of you may be thinking, it’s selfish of me not to report him, forget about the other women who may be hurt by him or why now and not three years ago? When you’re sexually assaulted, your assaulter doesn’t just take advantage of your body, but your mind too. Your self esteem is shot. You have to grapple with the thought about how could you have not seen this coming and/or what did you do or say or wear, that made them think it was okay to hurt you??? I mean speaking for myself, because until the time I was 28, I thought sex could have only been done vaginally. I never thought there were other ways and byways sex could have been done. I wasn’t sexually active and so interested about as most people were growing up.

Sam, Castiel, Rowena, and Gabriel have been violated by Lucifer…. Sam (who was originally supposed to be his vessel) was tortured by Lucifer, when he was stuck with him in “Lucifer’s Cage”. Next was Gabriel who we thought was killed by Lucifer (he later went into hiding in Monte Carlo). Then we have Castiel who was tricked by Lucifer, so he could have access to his body. And lastly, we have Rowena who was tragically killed by Lucifer. He has physically and mentally abused them, but fortunately the four of them have gained back some resilience.

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With a few ingredients and Pint (or pints?) of Lucifer’s grace, it powers the portal to take the boys to Apocalypse world)

So anyway, without Lucifer knowing Sam, Dean, Cas, and Gabriel were going to an alternate universe to save Jack (Lucifer wants his son back), the boys went on while  leaving Rowena alone with him. For a sec, I was kinda worried about that, because she’s in the room with the same guy who abused—no, killed her the first time. I can’t imagine how much strength she must have had (even with her full power restored. See post: Supernatural: Life After Assault)

Fight-Flight-Freeze

Lucifer: I’m just trying to have a good time with you like last time. Remember that? When I surprised you at your hotel room? Oh. I mean, I even wanted you to put up a fight. I wanted a little bit of a tussle, but [sighs] you froze. You choked. So I choked ya. What was that like, burning to death? You know, I can’t get that smell out of my nose, that…ashy reek of burnt up ginger! [Laughs]

We’ve all heard at some point this question, “Why don’t victims leave their abusers when they are being physically or sexually abused?” Apart from my own personal experience, it’s biology or called “fight-flight-freeze mechanism”. We’ve all heard about “fight or flight”, but when this situation occurs it’s not that simple. According the Psychology Today article, “Why Women Freeze During Sexual Assault” by Dr. Devon MacDermott, your body…your brain…is just focused on surviving the threat. The parts of the brain that responsible for example, reason and abstract thought, sensing your own body and mind, planning, and speech production is temporarily shut down. Using a less threatening example, recall a time you are giving a speech to large group of people. You may feel upset, unable to speak, or unable to speak articulately (MacDermott, 2018). That is a “fight-flight-freeze mechanism.”

On a biological level, your brain is trying to keep you alive, by redirecting energy into different parts of your body and brain (MacDermott, 2018). For example, the brain may be the blood flow and nutrients to the “safety parts” of your body or brain, instead of the “thinking parts”. Your input of from your five senses and your emotions and the output to your body get more attention than your abstract thought and problem solving (MacDermott, 2018).

According to the article, the most common mental symptoms of freeze are:

  • Your thoughts get cloudy or your mind goes blank
  • You feel panicky but without a sense of direction
  • You feel hopeless or trapped
  • You have a strong desire to get out of the situation or make something stop but you don’t know how
  • You feel that any action you take might make the situation worse and it seems better to do nothing

I’ve felt bullet points 2-5.

While  in terms surviving the wild, this mechanism of “fight or flight”  has been useful in avoiding attacks, unfortunately in terms of physical or sexual assault, it’s not. Also other forms of trauma are most like to build the “fight-flight-freeze” mechanism into your body like, body shaming, manipulation, frequent invalidation, or had repeated feelings of powerlessness over your body’s safety, sexual consent, or boundary violations (MacDermott, 2018).

Devil’s Advocate

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Rowena: You want to get inside my heat, twist the knife? Two can play that game.  Do you know what your grace is making possible right now? The heartfelt family reunion of Sam, Dean, Cass, Mary, and your very own son Jack. That’s right. Your wee boy’s over there, and he’ll be so glad to see his three fathers. Of course, as far as he’s concerned, they are his father. And you? You’re nothing to him. Or me. Or anyone now. Nothing.

I know sometimes if feels it’s best to taunt your assaulter or stand up to them, but you know what I’ve learned? Don’t. Just don’t. Speaking for myself, it’s not because I feel weak, it’s just I’m trying to protect myself from being taking advantaged of again.  I feel he’s already penetrated my mind, so he knows how to lure me back into his life by either giving or saying something I like or by trying to have me respond to something I clearly don’t like. I’m all for defending my honor and all, but defending my honor is also by leaving my ego where he is and walking or possibly running as far as I can from him. I can always regrow my ego, but entertaining him….hell no.

I use to have him as my instagram buddy (again at the time I had him as an IG buddy, I had no idea this whole time he was assaulting me). He sent me a direct message asking me how I was doing. As much as I wanted to respond to that, because I do to people I’m familiar with, I just felt I’d be stepping into a rabbit hole I just got myself out of. Innocent question, not-so-innocent guy. A couple minutes later, he wrote, “So I guess that’s a no.” And you know what? That’s fine. He answered his own question, but regardless, I wasn’t going to entertain him anymore. I already entertained him with my naivety about sex, I’m not giving him any more of me. F*ck that.

So if you want to face your assaulter, make sure you take your crew with you, because if not, they might screw with your head again. Never be alone whether in person or via social media. And you always…let me repeat…always remember you have a right not to talk or even be around your assaulter. Period. Protecting your physical, emotional, and/or mental well-being, should always come first.

Crocodile Tears

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Lucifer: Aw, Red, you shouldn’t have made me mad. Step into my office. You know…you and Gabe, kicked me when I was down. I didn’t have any fight. I didn’t have anything to live for. But you, you, you gave me something to fight for again. My boy. So for that, that I’m gonna be quick.

I can’t believe how Red—I mean Rowena, must have felt in those first few seconds that she was in Lucifer’s clutches. I mean, first of all he was back in his clutches again and two I’m sure those seconds felt like minutes.

Lucifer tried to make Rowena (and Gabe) look like THEY were the bad guys. Making them feel as if he was the one being kicked around (although he’s stronger than the both of them; Gabe is out of grace). He ignored the fact that he had hurt SO many people in his wake, that one person does him wrong or one thing goes wrong, he feels victimized.

Whether the assaulter is male or female this is one tactic these use: emotional abuse. So what is emotional abuse? Well emotional abuse is:

“any act including confinement, isolation, verbal assault, humiliation, intimidation, infantilization, or any other treatment which may diminish the sense of identity, dignity, and self-worth.”

(Tracy, 2016)

But remember…the whole point of emotional abuse is to discredit, isolate, and silence the victim (Gordon, 2018). They achieve this by:

  • Displaying unrealistic expectations
  • Invalidate you
  • Creating chaos
  • Using emotional blackmail
  • Acting superior and entitled
  • Isolating and controlling you
  • This form of abuse is by far the hardest one to identify. My guess is because when it comes some you know and/or love or from a respected person, THESE relationships makes it hardest to identify. For Rowena, at one point she respected Lucifer BECAUSE he was powerful…and she didn’t want killed by him. Now, because she respects him (in a way) because she knows he’s powerful enough to be killed by him again. Usually the last reason is why assault victims are more likely to feel hopeless or helpless by their assaulter because they don’t want to be put through the pain again. You’ll do ANYTHING to not be put through that pain again or to experience more pain.
  • Beat The Devil

  • After realizing what she had done

    Rowena: [Grunts] Defendatur!

    Rowena’s spell propells Lucifer into the portal

    Rowena: Bullocks

    Now unintentionally by Rowena (although perhaps antagonized by Lucifer) she used a spell that blasted them him into the portal where the boys were. Oopsies.

    But can I point out something here…I loved the same of Rowena’s spell, “Defendatur”. While it’s quite an obvious name to give a defensive spell, I wish I had a spell like that could work in the real life. While we don’t have spells to cast off villainous folk, there are ways we can defend ourselves from would be assaulter. Here are some of my suggestions:

    • Kick ’em where it hurts. Sounds violent, but whether your assaulter is a male or female or even a family member, fight. You deserve the right to protect and fight for yourself. When I was Ubering, I carried my pepper spray, but sadly I didn’t use it. Why? I was afraid of hurting the passenger. While I never though a man would dare put his hand on my thigh. I NEVER thought I’d have see someone be in pain. And I get it…it’s in my nature to be nurturing and caring, but there are times I have to be willing to fight and protect myself. Besides there’s a law that protects people for defending themselves right?
    • Take martial arts classes. There are all types: Kung Fu, Tae Kwon Do, Kickboxing, Jiu-Jitsu, boxing, Muai Tai, as well as just basic self defense practices. Take em’. It’s fun! Myself I’ve done Kung Fu and Tae Kwon Do.
    • Weapons. Carry a stun gun or pepper spray or gel.
  • Conclusion

  • Listen… whether you are a man or woman who has been abused, you deserve a right to be okay. You deserve a right to be safe. You deserve a right to fight and protect yourself. You deserve a right to be happy and be in a safe environment. I don’t care how long ago the abuse happened, whether you remembered or not, whether you were naive or not or a child or not, you deserve all those things I mentioned okay? Live your life and be happy.
  • References

  • Gordon, S. (2018). How To Identify and Cope With Emotional Abuse. Retrieved from, https://www.verywellmind.com/identify-and-cope-with-emotional-abuse-4156673
  • MacDermott, D. (2018). Why Woman Freeze During Sexual Assault. Retrieved from, https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/modern-trauma/201805/why-women-freeze-during-sexual-assault

  • Tracy, N. (2018). Emotional Abuse: Definitions, Signs, Symptoms, Examples. Retrieved from, https://www.healthyplace.com/abuse/emotional-psychological-abuse/emotional-abuse-definitions-signs-symptoms-examples
  • Supernatural: Gods and Monsters (Part 1)

    ***Warning Spoilers on “Supernatual” episode 2 and talks on abuse ahead***

    This second episode of the 14th season “Supernatural” I thought it was pretty awesome. For a quick recap,  in the last episode of the last season, with the help of Dean/Michael, Nick was released from Lucifer’s control, when they stabbed him with the archangel blade. Since Nick’s release from Lucifer’s grasp he has been struggling to deal with the death that Lucifer has caused with the use of his body.  There have also been a lot of other struggles since he has regained control of his body:

    • He’s trying to find the person who killed his wife and newborn
    • Sam, Bobby, Castiel and Mary have  found it hard to even look at him, even though he isn’t Lucifer anymore

    I thought Mark Pellegrino’s (who plays Nick and Lucifer) portrayal of what survivor’s go throughout after abuse…any type of abuse whether it is–child abuse, sexual abuse…emotional abuse. I wanted to write about the scene, but I thought it was better to show you the pics along with the captions. Somethings are best shown.

    That scene invoked a LOT of feelings due to my own experience with abuse. In my case, sexual assault. I felt that I was violated too, coerced into things that I should have NEVER done. I was NEVER that person. It was just because I was looking for love on an online dating website and he wasn’t honest about what he really wanted. I went through  “OkCupid” and on the things you did was to put if you were looking for a sexual relationship. I clearly defined that it wasn’t what I wanted with a guy I wanted to date, even though there were pleanty of men who were into a sexual relationship, wanted to date me. Although I turned them down, at least they had the courtesty to indicate that was what they wanted. But my assualter…he lied. He used my vulnerability—love—to take advantage of me. However at first, like Lucifer, he made it seem like I was special, because he “never met a girl like me” before. He used my other good qualities such as empathy to make me feel sorry for him.

    Also like Lucifer, he never said his real intentison was just so he could have sex with me. Lucifer never told Nick his real intention was and that he was the devil himself. Yes, he was an angel—a fallen angel—but he lied to Nick about who he was. My assaulter also used my naivety about sex. I didn’t know much about sex, except it was vaginal. That was all I knew. I was saving myself for someone special, so I had no interest in engaging in sex for sake of having sex. He had the audacity to show me his penis and like a child, I hid under a blanket. He kept urging me to touch his penis, that it “wasn’t” that he was trying to have sex with me; underneath the blanket, I kept shaking my head “no”. But it wasn’t until much later after I got away from him, I found that that a man exposing himself, espcially when a woman says “no”, IS sexual assault. I had NO freakin’ idea!

    I kept blaming myself: That I should have known dating online was a bad idea, that I should have known to walk out of the room…if I didn’t say “no” not enough times… Why me when I clearly said, I did not want a sexual relationship??? Was it because I was naive? Was it because I was looking for love? Why should I have to be shamed for looking for love? And would should I be shamed for being naive?  I said “no” many, many times, but it’s not like if I say “no” a forcefield is going to envelope around me. In fact saying “no” made me look like “a tease.” Just like Nick, it wasn’t my fault. That’s just what abusers do. They pray upon your vulnerabilities whatever they may be…your body, your age, your emotions, your expreiences (or lack thereof)…

    Anybody can be abused…anybody. You can think  “Sure, that’ll never happen to me. It only happens to people who are dumb or lack experience or desperate.” But let me tell you something…just like in the animal kindom, there will ALWAYS be someone bigger, smarter and faster than you. And as long as you have a need and you experience some sort of hardship, you can be taken advanage of. If you didn’t experience any sort of abuse or you were able to quickly detect or get out of one, consider yourself lucky. Consider yourself blessed, because who’s to tell how you’d handle things if you were in someone else’s situation. It’s ALWAYS easy to say what you “should’ve, “would’ve” or “could’ve” done when you’re not in that person’s situation. Or if you are fortunate enough to have people and other resources to help you overcome a situation. Castiel seemed to understand that.

    Castiel like Bobby, Sam, and Mary had a hard time seeing Nick as Nick, because well, Lucifer possessed his body. And like most survivors (because, Lucifer had possessed Castiel’s vessesl) it is hard to separate the fear from the person or a group people. In their case, it’s Nick. In my case it’s men. While I’ve always done my best to be careful, I felt I was never this hypersensitive around men before. It’s such an irritating feeling that paranoia creep up inside of me, without it overtaking me. I’m fortunate enough that I just get nervous, but still. At least like Castiel does, he uses his pain to sympathize with Nick (again because of his own experience with Lucifer), while himself trying not to think that just because Nick looks like Lucifer does not mean IS Lucifer. That’s what gives him the strength to talk to Nick in the first place (that and nobody else want to do it). That’s what I try to do when I’m around men…that not ALL men will try to hurt and take advantage of me like my assaulter did. It’s hard but it keeps me sane. But like Nick, there was that deep horror, that I allowed to happen to me and that it did happen.

    So that episode was sooo good, that I’m writing a second take on it in another post. Look for a part 2 soon!