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…
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.
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.
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.
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)
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).
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.
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.”
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
Beat The Devil
Rowena: [Grunts] Defendatur!
Rowena’s spell propells Lucifer into the portal
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.
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
Haha! This is exactly what I’m going through with right after getting my meds again on the weekend! Yeaaaaa! I FINALLY with my psychiatrist last week, and created a new treatment plan where for the next two weeks I’ll start on lower dosages of my medications and then after that continue going on my original dosage again. Thought it would be a good way to ease my way BACK into it. I mean…I’ve been off my meds for a month and a half and THAT already had impact on me. Now I kinda feel like my me and my body are trying to get reacquainted with the meds as kinda indicated with Sam and Dean above😅
This season’s Supernatural has had many surprises one of them including one of God’s archangels, Gabriel. In the last post I wrote featuring Gabriel titled, Supernatural: Coming Back From The Darkness Within , we find he was a prisoner of Asmodeous for many years. While he destroyed Asmodeous, he made a kill list of those who put him there in the first place.
They Should’ve Known: Is Their Pain Justified?
While Gabriel took down one of the people that ruined his life, it didn’t come without a price. Fortunately, Sam and Dean were town (thanks to a locating spell by Rowena) to use his Grace for a spell to help them bring Jack and their mom. To their surprised, they see a bloodied Gabriel, who’d they thought would be able to heal himself by now. Sadly, he is still regaining most of his strength/grace back.
After the Winchester Brothers helped Gabriel dispatch of Slepnir and Narfi , they had a “heart to heart” talk with him. Gabriel explained to them it was because of those three (including Fenir) and their “dad” he was sold off to Asmodeous. Dean, being well–Dean, was trying to justify the situation that if Gabriel would have actually stayed and helped Sam and Dean put Lucifer back in his cage, that he wouldn’t have been that mess.
***Sigh*** Unfortunately, sometimes people can act the way Dean acted in such moments…they just think that if people would’ve just “done this” or “not have not that” that they “wouldn’t have gone through their situation”. It’s just ignorant, simplistic, arrogant and just a plain wrong way of seeing the world and seeing people. And it’s easier to say that when you never even been in that situation. Forgetting that it was by God’s grace you didn’t get in that situation in the first place. We get mad that if people had just think “listened to us” or “done things the same way we do”, they “wouldn’t have” gone through it. It’s important to just make sure we’re not thinking about ourselves even when we don’t like the fact the people we love suffering, because 1. you don’t know that and 2. they need love and support right now, not scorning and judgement.
Pain: Has It Become Another Blue Ribbon Event?
Also like Dean, it’s easy to forget that people have their own pains and hurts, that if we’re not careful, we can kick below the belt. He and Sam’s needs were more important than Gabriel’s and that’s another BIG mistake, because both of their needs ARE important.
One thing, I’ve been very grateful that no matter what social platform I’ve been using— whenever I’m following people that cater to sexual assault awareness or mental health awareness—no one and I mean no one has yet to belittle my circumstances—not by the level of it and not by how long I’ve had the issues. Like there could be someone has underwent sexual abuse as a child, compared to someone like myself who underwent sexual assault as an adult and none of the people I talk to judge my circumstance or say “well at least you went through it as an adult” (because I know some people would have made such similar stupid comments especially those who have NEVER experienced such situations). They just feel good that someone understands them and is willing to hear and receive their words and most importantly, their experiences. It’s sad to say, but I feel that I’ve found more supportive people online than in real life. Not that I don’t mind, but—what is up with that? The point I’m trying to make is we need to stop trying to “compete” over each other’s problems and just start learning to care about one another. Stop with the ridiculousness of trying to shame another’s pain and/or discount their experiences, it’s just plain petty. So am I saying that Dean is being petty right now with Gabriel? Yes…yes I am.
Revenge: Is IT BEST Served Cold?
Well…Gabriel certainly does. Who would blame him I mean…he went through hell, like literally for many years…having Asmodeous bleed him dry (that’s why Gabriel is bleeding out, he doesn’t have enough Grace to heal quickly). If you have either seen my blog or the episode “Bring ‘Em Back Alive”, you WOULDN’T have recognized Gabriel from the earlier seasons of the show. It was like looking a shell of what was formally Gabriel. Even though I couldn’t stand him in the earlier episodes of Supernatural, I didn’t like how he was treated like that. It wasn’t worth it. Whether it was a show or because Gabriel was an Archangel, he recovered (emotionally) quickly, but the pain still stayed. Like I mentioned in the previous section, Dean was trying to down play Gabriel’s anger and pain and well…revenge…
Gabriel: Every day, Asmodeous tortured me. Every…day! He fed off my grace for years! He used me, he debased me until I was…What I went through… you don’t forgive. Everyone who had a hand in it will die. Get me?
Those few words…they stood out to me. My assaulter took advantage of me and me for the moment feel less than. Thanks to continued therapy, blogging…I’ve been able to heal better. I mean I no longer look at his Facebook page. I know it’s weird, but I only did that because I was trying “desensitize” his face in my head. When I closed my eyes I saw him….whenever I saw a guy with a similar build, long hair, olive skin, I was terrified. I mean…I’ve gained more weight now from not going outside to exercise (which I use to love doing), because I’m afraid of bumping into him…I’m afraid of bumping into any man (which I while yes, I was always cautious of, I never had this immense fear of men before)…I’m relearning how to trust again and this is why having a therapist has been very essential for me. I’m relearning how to be comfortable in my skin, my re-found love of pop culture (you have any idea how long it took me to get in Naurto??? That’s a topic for another day), not to mention… in who I am. He didn’t only just debase me physically as a woman, he did it verbally too. He made me feel like I wasn’t enough, like I wasn’t smart enough. Never in my life while I have I’ve been too concerned of my gender (I already knew I was, so big deal), I did now. While yes I had a struggled in my self-esteem (due to family hardships,) if there’s one thing that in my heart that pissed me the hell off is my pride…I’m good person, who loves to love and care for others (though I’m still working on doing the same for myself) and try to do my best in everything I do…”dis” me and well… you won’t recognize that same person. So I feel the same as Gabriel…even just thinking of my assaulter boils my blood. I wish I could show retribution, but we all know how the justice system (especially now with our “assaulter” in-chief) will protect assaulters and not the victims. Regardless, how he invaded me emotionally and physically is NOT forgivable.
Dean: Okay, you went through it. We get it. All right? But killing Loki? Not gonna change any of that. It’s not. In fact, probably not even gonna make you feel feel better.
Gabriel: Well, agree to disagree, Dean-o. We all have our demons. Mine are here, in this town.
If you watch the show, demons don’t always look like demons. In fact some of those angels have worked alongside with demons, demons along side with humans and of course the casual demons working with other demons. And sometimes it’s not a demon, it could be an angel or some creature of ancient lore. Or you find that humans are worse than demons. Either way, it’s never quite “black or white”. And sometimes (although mostly in the mind), they have a tangible form or even body. The point is…wouldn’t it be nice to “kill” our “demons”? So you know when they are “dead” they are “dead”. I wish I could “kill” my memories of my assaulter; I’m tired feeling scared of these memories. Gabriel’s are of Nordic Mythology and living in a nearby penthouse. Huh…go figure.
15 Seconds of Lamelight: It’s NOT About You.
Yes I wrote that on purpose. It’s “lamelight” and not “limelight”. I’ve mentioned this numerous times but I grew up in a domestic household, but noone, not my teachers not my classmates knew about the ongoing turmoil in my life, ’cause well…I pretty much had a smile on my face. While sometimes people could kinda tell when I was “out of it”, everyone presumed my life was peachy keen. I remember one day in high school (I believe it was my sophomore year), I was feeling worse, because at the time things were getting heavy at home and so I talked to a group of friends at the time about it and I remember one off them saying my problems weren’t bad as because they were the youngest in their family and there were people who had it worst that mine. It took a lot of courage for me to tell “my friends” that I had a problem and instead they discounted it.
Look when people come to you with their problems, considers these possible things that are going through their head, when coming to you
- It’s an honor. It means they respect you.
- They were scared as hell to tell you in the first place.
- They need your support.
If they didn’t feel that way for you, they wouldn’t have considered you a friend in the first place.
Gabriel in his own way was asking for help and I believe he had those three things in mind when he talked to them. Again it was wrong of Dean to kind of minimalize Gabriel’s problems just because 1. he was still pretty pissed for Gabriel ditching them when they needed him the most and 2. he’s hellbent on saving their mom and Jack. What I think he should have done is to first put his own feelings/thoughts/experiences in the background and then listened. I feel many people like Dean (now days anyways) react/respond first and listen later. It’s a terrible that people do that. Regardless of whether you went through a situation or not, regardless of whether you’ve been through a similar situation or not, regardless of the situation you’re currently in or not….just don’t be a jerk. It’s just NOT worth it.
But I gotta say…it’s kinda hard to imagine an archangel asking for help, when they are the ones being prayed to, but it’s Supernatural. What do you expect?
Dean then pulls Sam aside and tells him that assisting Gabriel with his revenge isn’t worth the trouble, remembering how revenge had affected himself and their dad and how it led them to a dead end. Upon talking to Sam then, he then realized and said to Sam that he’s only doing this because of his experience dealing with Lucifer and wishes that he had the chance to kill Lucifer he would. Sam agreed, but reminded him it’s not about him, but about Gabriel.
An Eye for an Eye: Misplaced Anger
A few scenes later, we find later why Loki turn on him. Gabriel broke the promise of getting involved with his family’s ordeal (because as long as Loki allowed him to use his face to escape from family drama as a “thank you” for helping him break out of the prison that Loki was in eons ago), when he went to that hotel with all the world’s ancient gods and deities—Odin was among those beings that was killed by Lucifer who made a surprise appearance—in order to prevent the end of the world. While Loki and his dad didn’t always see eye to eye, Odin was still his father and was angry that Odin was killed because of Gabriel’s family. So to seek revenge, he turned on Gabriel when he went into hiding and sold him to Asmodeous.
Really??? I mean it wasn’t like it was Gabriel was the one who killed his dad. It was freakin’ Lucifer! *Sigh* While this post is mostly Gabriel, I’m gonna makes this a little bit about Loki. It’s understandable Loki is grieving, but selling someone to hellish conditions? His dad unfortunately the victim of Lucifer’s own rage, but it wasn’t on Gabriel. Why didn’t he just get back at Lucifer then??? What? He wants to take his anger on a “lesser” vessel???
So what IS misplaced anger exactly? I liked “WiseGeeks” definition: “Displaced anger is anger that has been routed away from a health expression through a coping mechanism.” The article also continues to say:
In most cases, displacement is the process of moving anger away from the actual target onto a target the mind feels may be safer. This person who bears the brunt of displaced anger may have no idea what happened to cause the anger, thus damaging his or her relationship with the angry person. Anger of this type is also problematic because it does not allow for resolution of the anger itself, and the effects of anger can build up over time.
Touché. I think this describes of the fractured relationship between Loki and Gabriel, because Gabriel should not have been at the blunt of his rage. And because of that EVERYONE got hurt… Gabriel and Loki’s children. Heck, Gabriel killed him. Was it worthwhile (for Loki at least)? No.
But now turning the post back to Gabriel, was it worth it? Speaking from being a survivor myself, not exactly, because if I still haven’t healed from the pain my assaulter (which I’m still healing from), then “no”. And I don’t think that Gabriel hasn’t truly healed, but because this is a show and you can tell it’s not gonna continue to focus on his pain, then “yes” I think it’s worth it and I’m happy for him.
This episode I could relate to cause I understand what it’s like to want to have revenge on the my assaulter. Another that thing interesting about that episode, was seeing this prominent being–an archangel—-going through the pain and asking for help. I admired this important person being able to have the courage to be vulnerable and ask for help. It was big, even for Gabriel to do, if you have watched him in previous episodes. It doesn’t matter WHO you are, you are NEVER too big to ask for help and your experiences DOES matter and your pain IS valid.
What Is Displaced Anger? (n.d.) Retrieved from https://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-displaced-anger.htm
Happy #supernatualday !😆😆😆
Just celebrating today with my Supernatural stuff. Funny enough, I remember Supernatural when I was beginning my first year of college, like what? 2005? Good gosh, that’s a LONG time ago! It took me a long time to get into the series, it was only when I discovered my mental health disorders, started my Instagram page (@theresilientezi) and I followed other mental health awareness pages there, I became interested in the show. But the show has so heavily been associated with a “Jared Padalecki”.
While I never got into the show till 2016, I’ve always heard of the name “Jared Padalecki” and while to admit, he was handsome, I never knew why he was so popular and his name always came up under the names of celebs who live with mental illness. The author of one page told me that he lived with depression…and my mind just exploded! How does this attractive guy have major depressive disorder??? He’s still been able to have a job in this show for over a decade??? I barely struggled to get out of bed! What he has a family??? So that means there’s hope for me too??? It was a sigh of relief that someone like himself was a high-functioning person with depression and was still able to become the best he could be. How he lived his life with depression, helped keep me encourage to do the same in my life and in my endeavors.
I didn’t get into the show until two years ago after the couple months I was sexually assaulted. I didn’t think I could be myself again, but this show helped me get through it. While the show has been doing well for over 10 seasons, it’s amazing how it has been able to capture–in a sense–life itself…it’s joys, it’s sorrows, it’s relationships…in like a decade. How this show has been able to capture of that it beyond me. And while this show is fictional, all the best and worst of humanity has been depicted very well. It has also been a “place” where people from all walks of life get together, in fact theirs a name that the fans and called it…the “SPN family”. Which it really is and sometimes I wish the real world would reflect that too…not only in conventions.
Supernatural has captured many of life’s themes that makes it easier to identify with. Heck I have too and I’ve often used the circumstances of what various characters have gone through to better explain my situations dealing with life before, during, and after discovering my mental health disorders and sexual assault:
So, I am very grateful for this show, the cast, and its fans for helping me getting back into good graces with myself and my life.
Books featured in the photo:
*Supernatural: Fresh Meat by Alice Henderson
*Supernatural: Heart of the Dragon by Keith R.A. DeCandido
*Supernatural: The Television Series: The Roads Not Taken by Tim Waggoner
*Supernatural Psychology: Roads Less Traveled Edited by Travis Langley and Lynn S. Zubernis
* Family Don’t End In Blood: Cast and Fans on How Supernatural Has Changed Lives Edited by Lynn S. Zubernis