Like I said, I have no clue why this is happening. There's been no obvious trigger this time around, none of my usual coping mechanisms are working well, and I have no idea whatsoever how to fix it. So forgive me for being a little flaky yesterday.
So Anita and Jean Claude start discussing the ardeur, because it's not like we haven't covered that enough in this book. Jean Claude says that Anita was about to "bind Requiem" to her forever, and that the ardeur can look into someone's heart and give them their greatest desire. Because of course, that desire is sex. It's not like maybe you want, IDK, kids or a gold medal or a book contract or to not have to worry about bills, or have a dead loved one come back or something. Nope. Hearts desires are all about sex and getting more sex.
“When you first met Micah, what did you need in your life?”
To not be raped by a total stranger in the shower?
Oh, no. According to Jean Claude Anita needed help with her leopards, and also this part:
“You needed a man in your life who simply said yes, instead of arguing with you or running his own agenda. You needed someone to put your needs first.”And she got someone who raped her in the shower. Seriously. LKH is seriously saying that Anita asked for it. That the universe itself discovered that Micah was what she wanted and gave him to her, in the form of being raped in the motherfucking shower.
This goes on to say that the ardeur mind-fucks both people fucking into the perfect, ideal mates for each other and this binds them together, somehow. And Micah is all like 'Hey, yeah, it's all cool" because OF COURSE IT IS.
Anita actually does sum it up the best:
Nathaniel moved in, as if he’d hug me. I moved farther down the wall, out of reach. “But it’s all vampire powers. It’s a lie— doesn’t that ruin it for you? I trapped you. I trapped you both; it’s worse than what Auggie did to us. It’s not fake, it’s like real love. I made you both fall in love with me, that’s like evil.”
Yes. Yes it is evil to warp someone's mind like that. Thank you for coming clean.
And of course the guys are like "Oh NO WE ARE PERFECTLY HAPPY" and we take the time to mention that Micah's first girlfriend dumped him because of his enormous schlong.
He whispered the last few words against my lips. “You all love each other, isn’t that more important than how you fell in love?”No. No it isn't. Our brains are way, way too easily manipulated for "I love you now" to fly. Many women legitimately love their abusive husbands, and vice-versa, because loving an abuser is survival. If you love them, it's easier to subordinate yourself to the abuser, and subordinating in the short term migitates the abuse. Long-term, it'll just get worse (again, that's why your best option in an abusive situation is to get away from the abuser. Even if you have difficulties or barriers, remaining in the situation and placiating the son of a bitch will not change the situation. The abuse is not about you, you can't change it and you can't make it stop.) but our brains and bodies aren't wired for long-term survival. That's why how a relationship starts is just as important as how it progresses. If it starts with abuse, abuse will continue. And one again, boys and girls, Anita's relationship with Micah started with him raping her in the shower. Anita and Jean Claude started with JC forcing himself onto Anita using horrific emotional blackmail (She had to date him or else he'd kill Richard and/or anyone else she dated) until she finally broke. Nathanial consistantly and passive-agressively manipulated his way into a sexual relationship, and every other male in Anita's life is someone she has abused. She mind-fucked Damian, Requiem, London and Auggie. Admittedly Auggie helped with that one, but his people didn't, and she got them too. The ONLY character in this entire book whose sexual relationship with Anita started on a basis of mutual consent and respect is her relationship with Richard.
"I love you now" is how bad relationships survive for years. It's not constant and continual. There will be peroids, sometimes prolonged, where the victim and the abuser are nice to each other. Whatever triggers the abuse is either absent or sated, and the abuser has a real good reason to keep their victim happy--so that the next time they fuck up, the victim won't leave. I watched this happen. I had it happen to me. It is vitally important that you never, ever, ever minimize abusive behavior in a potential or current lover. Unless both of you are healthy enough to address that behavior and correct it, it will continue and it will escalate. If a relationship starts with abusive behavior, that behavior will continue.
Second point? Anita did not initiate the relationships with Micah and Nathanial. Nathanial manipulated his way from damaged submissive to bedmate over the course of several books. Micah raped Anita while leaning against the exit door. Jean Claude is further attempting to trap Anita into these relationships by stating that she did initiate them and that she asked for what Nate and Micah did to her. That being raped and manipulated were really what she wanted and that she should live with the consequences of her actions.
And that is the end of the chapter.