Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Danse Macabre--chapter 31

So. Anita's big act of contrition is sex with Requiem.

Jean-Claude’s voice cut across the panic. “Requiem, your moment has come.” He looked at me. “If you fight him, they will die. Drop your shields, and let his power take you. Let him awake the ardeur, and feed.”
Yeah, JC's role is "fucking cult leader." Yeah. If somebody you know makes shit like "living your own life  how you want it" into a life or death situation that is detrimental to your own health?" It's NOT a good thing.

I did what he asked. I let go. Let go, and fell into eyes the color of sea water where it runs deep and clear and cold, and the blue dark glows with the cold light of phosphorescence, shining off the backs of creatures that never saw the light of day.

I like that paragraph. Too bad that 1. it's melodramatic as fuck because nothing about this paragraph is special and 2. It's describing something that is so. fucking. wrong.

Yeah. I'm still highly disturbed by the last chapter. That's not sex. That's not consensual, that's not cool. That's how abuse happens, and it's still how it happens. Guys, I am not kidding. We, as human beings, are hardwired to respond to pressure like this by submitting to our abusers. That's because we know on an instinctive level that this kind of pressure means the next move might mean the abuser tries to kill us. It's not a sign of weakness on the victim's part. Returning to an abuser is a last-ditch attempt to keep the victim alive. And it's a response that is absolutely fucking correct. I said it yesterday, I will say it again: The most dangerous time in an abusive relationship is when the victim is trying to leave. If you are an abuse victim and you're trying to get out, you CANNOT be careful enough. I know too many stories where the victim did everything "right", they followed the advice, they cut the son of a bitch off cold, and they still died in the end.  The problem is that humans are hardwired for short-term survival. We don't care about thriving in the long term; we just want to survive today.If you've left an abusive situation and you're still alive, you are an incredibly lucky human and you need to take a minute to thank yourself and your supporters for getting you out. And if you're still in one it is not your fault. You're not an idiot. You're not weak. You are fighting for your life on the most literal level and it is not right for you to be in that position.

 Nathanial takes a minute to tell Anita that he loves her for going back. Yeah, the smart abusers make a big deal out of the victim returning to status quo. Reward that behavior and you buy yourself time to set the victim up for a bigger fall the next time they try standing up for themselves. Get fucked, Nate.

He turned to Jean-Claude. “I cannot break her. I cannot get through!”

How the fuck do you write a line like "I can't break her" and think "this is romantic"?

I’d fed the ardeur a hundred times, and it had never been like this.
...you're going to make me research the Anita Blake timeline, aren't you?

For the record, the timeline for these books is broken beyond all hope of repair. The last three books, best case senario, all happened in the space of two or three months. That said, the best estimate for a timeline puts this book as little over a year from NIC, which is when Anita got the Ardeur. If she's had to fuck somebody every morning, that means she's "fed the ardeur" it well over three hundred and sixty five times. If that increased to twice a day, as it did in Incubus Dreams, that means she's done it a minimum of a hundred and twenty times in the last two months.

That is a lot of fucking.

And the best part, of course, is that Anita hasn't done any of it voluntarily.  Unless the dude in question is a broken mess (IE Asher) Anita does everything she can to get out of sex. Because it's very important we establish that Anita isn't a slut. Liking sex and enjoying sex and volunteering to have it are all things that icky sluts do and Anita isn't like that. She's not having sex because she wants it. She's having it because if she doesn't, the men in her life will die.

I kept my arms locked around his neck, and he reached out, and brought Requiem into view. “When you helped him raise need in yourself, you raised it in him, as well. Would you deny him?”
If I'd spent three chapters making it damn clear that the idea of fucking the dude made me uncomfortable? Damn straight.

Because that's the issue here. It's not that Anita is having sex, boys and girls. It's that she's gone out of her way to establish that she DOES NOT WANT THIS, and the men influencing her--Micah and Jean Claude--pounded her until they came up with a scenario she had to submit to. And again, in case I haven't pounded the subject into the ground enough, this isn't just sex with Requiem. This is Anita's act of contrition for trying to get out of the relationships. She has to fuck Requiem to make up for trying to get her own life back.

  • I had an instant of seeing so far into Requiem that I started to cry. Weeping not my tears, but his. He wanted the ardeur again, yes, but more than that, he wanted a place of refuge. A place where he could stop being afraid; he’d been afraid for so very long...I did the only thing that would keep him well and truly safe. I made him mine.

End of chapter. I want to puke. She doesn't even get to keep her own emotions. She has to cry REQUIEM'S tears.

Guys, seriously? You are no one's refuge. The only person who has any right to call you their salvation is yourself. You are under no obligation to save anyone else. If you want to try to help other people, that's great, but because the only person you can actively change is yourself, the only person you can rescue psychologically is yourself. You can point someone else to healthy behavior, but they have to do it themselves same way you have to do it yourself. If you want to be a savior, go get fireman training and pull people out of burning buildings. It'll be safer for all parties involved. If someone has tied their personal and sexual well-being to fucking you, it's not good, it's not healthy, and it's a huge red flag that you need to avoid that person while they seek actual help. And if anybody tries to tell you that you're "Saving" them by staying, all they're trying to do is guilt trip you into not leaving.

 I know I've gone a little off the handle the last couple of days. I don't know why this subject makes me see red the way the rape portrayals and the non-con and the misogyny and the racism don't, but I sincerely do not care. Personally, I don't think I can emphasize this enough. This shit is not okay. It's not normal. Abusive situations are literally life and death. Abusive relationships are terminal, and ending them is much, much more dangerous than perpetuating them. I don't want to trivialize it by saying that walking out makes everything better. Ending abuse isn't a case of staying miserable and being happy. It's a choice between a certain, long, drawn out death, and a risk of quick, violent death with a good chance of life afterwards. People only attempt to leave abuse when they become overwhelmed by the pain involved in the relationship. It's like a fox gnawing their own limb off to escape a trap. You will never be in as much danger as when you start trying to get out of abuse, there is no such thing as being too cautious in your attempts to end the relationship, and the ONLY way to make it stop is to either remove yourself or the abuser from the situation. If you are still in contact with the abuser, you are still being abused, and if you try to leave, you risk getting killed.

Stay safe, my blog readers. Please stay safe.

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