Behind the Mask

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Supernatural: Coming Back From The Darkness Within

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Oh. My. Gosh. Season 13 man has had its surprises one after the other!  So, to be fair if you haven’t watched any of the episodes of this season’s Supernatural…I’d highly not recommend you continuing reading any further.

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But…..if you don’t care you and just want to read my post that’s fine. Just remember you’re reading at your own risk…

Okay, so like I mentioned earlier there has been great surprises…

First we see that Kevin Tran’s alive! Or…at least we think we do…

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But really, it’s an alternative universe. Damn.

Second, we see everyone favorite uncle, Uncle Bobby is alive!

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Wait…it’s the Bobby from that same alternative universe. Ugggh!

I know you’re probably wondering what ANY of this has to do with my title, but I’m building up….

Then in the recent episode 18 titled, “Bring ’em Back Alive” how Ketch and Dean are back in the alternative universe (with a special talisman that will can open a rift for 24 hours) bring back Samantha (Sam and Dean’s mom) and Jack from that horrible world. But as they prepare to go in, they see a group of angels escorting some humans for execution for going against Michael.  So the angels, kill off the three of the four humans. However…before the final human left was about to be executed, this scene happens:

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The hell??? This world has a Charlie Bradbury in this world too???? Aw damn… Of all the people I hope will come back with Jack and Sam of that world is Charlie and Bobby. No offense to Kevin. Is just that if you watch the earlier episode of the season 13, I feel because Michael has broken Kevin’s spirit that that world’s Kevin may do some more harm than good. Even if Kevin may not cause a problem himself that just his presence may attract a lot of bad guys or good guys with some not-so-good intentions. I would HATE it if Bobby and Charlie get killed off in this world, even if they don’t come back to our world. I don’t know if I could take it….I just can’t….

Now…Gabriel is back in season 13??? How the—he was killed off by Lucifer what…  about 8 seasons ago and just all of a sudden he’s alive??? I feel like this season is starting become more and more like a soap opera! They just keep coming back! Not that its a bad thing in Supernatural, but that’s what season 13 feels like…a soap opera.

But to be honest, I thought before I saw the picture (because when the episode “Devil’s Bargain” ended, I felt like it cut off so quickly), I thought that Michael from this world was back, but I guess not… Poor guy … still stuck in Lucifer’s Cage. Anyway, just like in the Bible, Supernatural mentions God’s four archangel: Gabriel, Michael, Raphael, and Lucifer. I don’t remember what happened to Raphael ’cause that was many seasons ago. But anyway, Sam and Dean needed an archangel’s grace as the final ingredient to open a rift between time and space to go back the alternate world to get back Samantha and Jack.  Gabriel was quite a surprise to see back and was just weird to see him in fear and cut up. The old Gabriel…well…he was an asshole because he always put Sam and Dean through so much crap to get them to do what he wanted. Gabriel once said people have called him many things like, “Loki” and “The Trickster”, which made me think can archangel’s be tricksters??? It was an odd twist for one of the respectable archangels in the Bible.

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This season’s villain was Asmodeus, one of the Lucifer’s 5 prince’s of hell…and one of the last one’s standing. Now in the earlier episodes of this season after Lucifer came back from the alternate world (his son, Jack booted him there and well…he took Sam and Dean’s mom him too), he lost his grace from Michael, because he was hoping he’d use another archangel’s grace instead of his own to open up a portal to our world and continue his regime of terror. Yes…strangely the Michael in this world is the bad guy…  Anywho, Lucifer escapes and is back the real world…with no powers. Hm. Interesting. In the search of trying to ways to regain his strength and his son, he had a partnership with Castiel. Asmodeus sensing Lucifer has return and weakened, he uses his powers to subdue Lucifer. Yeah…those two never had a chance in hell to work things out between them. Then Lucifer was surprised how strong Asmodeus (and it wasn’t because he didn’t have his powers) considering that he was his weakest creation. Then episode 18 all the pieces came together…it’s because Asmodeus milking Gabriel’s grace!

So in this episode, Gabriel, after being rescued by Ketch in the previous episode, is just an absolute hot mess…while his bruises were bad, his spirit was…broken. Gabriel might have been asshole, but he didn’t deserve this.

Regardless of the trauma (i.e sexual assault, physical abuse) a person might have gone through, survivors may experience psychological and emotional, cognitive, physical and behavioral changes. Though for this post, I’ll just focus on some of the traits that I saw with Gabriel:

Psychological and Emotional

  • Heightened anxiety or fear
  • Restlessness
  • Feelings of helplessness or hopelessness
  • Feelings of detachment

Cognitive

  • Feelings are confused or distracted

Physical

  • Exaggerated startle response (tendency to startle easily at loud noises)

Behavioral

  • Hyperactivity
  • Heightened tendency to behave irritably
  • Withdrawal, social isolation

Being as Gabriel was too traumatized to talk, he wrote his trauma on the wall (in Enochian).

When I saw Gabriel shaking in fear and withdrawing from his friends, it was like looking at myself. I didn’t look as he did, but that’s how I felt like inside. I felt battered and absolutely terrified talking to people…particularly men (this after I was sexually assaulted). If you ever met me (although I might be reserved the first time meeting me; shy), I’m a social butterfly. I like to talk to people…I ask them how they feel, inquire about their week or their endeavors, listen to them when they are having a bad day… But now, I’m more hesitant.

I’m more hesitant to greet people…and I’ve been a little more judgmental of people. In the past, I would have given them a benefit of a doubt and believe that people deserve a chance in spite of their past. Now days, I’m more hesitant to do so or even tell them about my hobbies and interests. My assaulter used the very best of who I was and my hobbies and interests to take advantage of me. Any guy who even looks slightly like him (i.e. his skin tone, his long hair and shaggy looks) will cause my heart to race and I dash from wherever I am to avoid the guy, even though I find out it’s not him. There will be times his face and the disgusting image of him doing what he did/make me do, just makes my heart race and my anxiety worsens. I find myself going on his Facebook page just so I can look at has face. I know it’s strange to do this, but for some reason it gives my fear a face (because it’s literally his face) and it reminds me that he is only human. I guess you could say it’s “exposure therapy”, but I never saw it as that. I just knew  it gave my fear a “face” and it helped reduce my anxiety.

So, Sam tries to console Gabriel in time of his despair (as being that he had his own experience having Lucifer in his head) as shown below:

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Now I get it…as much as Sam and Dean happy Gabriel back…especially the fact that they need his grace to complete a spell that would help them bring back their mom and Jack from the alternate universe, but they have to be real….he just went through hell, both figuratively and literally.  He’s just trying to get himself back together!

When I went through my own recovery of my experience living with mental illness and overcoming sexual assault, it was annoying to here from my loved ones to tell me to just move past it. I was trying to overcome the pain especially from the assault that was eating me inside: self-loathing, helplessness, hopelessness, anger, sadness, regret… During this time of recovery, you’re not just processing the pain you went through and the disruption in your life, but you’re trying to remember you’re old self.

Although it took him awhile, he eventually to responded in his usual Gabriel self.

It’s important when our loved ones are undergoing trauma, that we are careful how we respond. No, it doesn’t mean you should feel like you have to walk around them like egg shells, but just take care to the words you say or even react to them. You might have good intention to helping them, but just don’t let it consume you that you forget that it’s about how they feel and not how you feel about their trauma. Because take from me, they don’t like they feel any more than you feel.

In an article titled, “10 Ways to Help a Friend through a Traumatic Event”, I will name a few of the examples and paraphrase them:

  • Chuck the Shoulda-Coulda-Woulda: Avoid language such as  “You shouldn’t take this so heavily.”, “You should be over this by now.” “You should go out more.” Speak out of unconditional love.
  • Take the back seat: Kinda in a sense, think before you talk. “If you’re going to open your mouth,” states Clinical psychologist Susan Silk in the article, “ask yourself if what you are about to say is likely to provide comfort and support.  If it isn’t don’t say it.”
  • Accept. Don’t judge: Basically just allow them express their feelings and their experience. Allow them to grieve and just be there to comfort and console them.

(Source: Taking Care of Yourself after a Traumatic Event)

It’s hard to see a loved one go through such an upsetting circumstance and then see them withdraw from themselves and their loved ones. But let me tell you something as being one who is overcoming their own trauma, it may take awhile (maybe not as quick as Gabriel did…then again he is an archangel…and perhaps the story needed to happen quickly as well), but you or your loved one will overcome the darkness within them. Just be there for them and they’ll come out alright.

Ugh! I’m so glad too that Gabriel took out Asmodeus. I couldn’t stand how cocky he was. When I saw him decimate Asmodeous, Gabriel reminded me how I viewed my own assailant, a lowly creature that was no longer your captor.

To read the other ways to console a loved one and yourself while consoling a loved one, click on the link below:

10 Ways to Help a Friend through a Traumatic Event

To read more on the forms of self-care, click on the link below:

Taking Care of Yourself after a Traumatic Event

The Fandom Menace: The Dark Side of the Star Wars Fanbase

I don’t know if you’ve heard about the recent news on Ahmed Best, the actor who played JarJar Binks on how he was considering to die by suicide due to harassment he faced after playing the character on the Phantom Menace.

To be honest, I liked the Phantom Menace and I don’t think it was THAT bad. I mean yeah did I feel (many years later) that Jar Jar Binks was an unnecessary character that was annoying, yes, but…that did NOT warrant Best to be harassed. I mean really??? Some people need to find God in their life. And now thanks to social media, ugly heads really show up.Due to the backlash on the character, Best had a hard time finding work.

I always what happened to Best all these years. To think though he faced 20 years of harassment…20 years… This is ridiculous. However, he wasn’t the first (nor will he be the last) Star Wars actor to have faced harassment from so-called “Star Wars fans”.

Not too long Marie Kelly Tran faced harassment, due to her character Rose Tico on “The Last Jedi”. In all fairness, she was a poorly written character in a poorly written story that just so happens to be called “Star Wars”. But the harassment again was COMPLETELY unwarranted! What the hell man?!?!

See, as one of the few women in Star Wars (movie) universe, she is also the first person of color who was Asian-American to take part in the franchise. I have to say it’s great that now we have many people of color taking part, because there are many people of color (this chick included) who love the Star Wars universe but feel left out because there was very little to no representation of ourselves. It made it feel like POC either didn’t exist or they did, but in little numbers. I mean after the portrayal of Lando Calrissian played by Billy Dee Williams in “The Return of the Jedi” back in like what…1983 there wasn’t another Black character 16 years later in “The Phantom Menace” in 1999 when Samuel L Jackson played Mace Windu.

It’s sad though for each segment of the Star Wars movies there has always been 1 Black character. Really??? Like there’s only one black person who exists in real life. But at least recently we’ve had two Asian characters to debut in the famous series: Chirrut Imwe played by Donnie Yen and of course, Rose Tico played by Kelly Marie Tran. Ooh! Don’t forget Óscar Issac who played Poe Dameron, Diego Luna who played Cassian Andor, Riz Ahmed who played Bodhi Rook, and Forest Whittaker who played Saw Gerrera.

In the end, cowards are those who follow the dark side.

Yoda

Anyways (sorry for digressing), the haters (I will say they are on the dark side of the Star Wars Fandom) then went further to throw racist and sexist comments at her. Then after Ms. Tran deleted her Instagram, so-called fans from the dark side of a Star Wars fandom group on Facebook bragged how proud they were of getting Ms. Tran off her Instagram page. They felt the diversity of characters was forced and they should have more of the “straight white hero”. Losers. But hey…not too long ago there was Anakin Skywalker who was portrayed by Jake Lloyd and Hayden Christensen…but their careers were destroyed by the fanbase. Looks like you can’t make ANYONE happy.

I love Star Wars…its characters, its alien people, its stories, its universe and of course…it’s charm, but I DON’T love the mistreatment of other human beings. Yes we are entitled to our opinions and dislikes, but don’t be an a**hole about it! It is very unreal to know there are people are real a**holes in the Star Wars Community; people who really need God in their life. I mean…these movies should be bringing people together not sending people away from each other. However in spite of the dark side the fandom, there is the good side of the fandom too. It’s amazing to see the outpouring of support to Ms. Tran and even Mr.Best in light of their harassment. People from all of the world and all walks of life in defense of the actors. Not too long ago, I read Mr. Best’s Twitter page and he was very thankful of the fans who were very receptive of him, especially after online articles saying how the harassment near led him to nearly take his own life.

In the end, love is what will heal the broken-hearted and what will take on the bullies of this world.

Even though what Ms. Tran did was sad by turning off her Instagram page, it’s a smart move. It’s a form of self-care, because you shouldn’t have to keep a page on just because you want to prove to bullies you are not phased by them. Strength is also knowing when you have to leave an environment that you feel is no longer safe and may threaten your emotional well-being. While we wish it was easier to just “turn-off” bullies in real life, at least we can do it online. So how do we protect our emotional well-being from cyber bullies? The picture below will explain:

News articles:

JarJar Binks actor Ahmed Best says media backlash was so bad he considered suicide