Why I Hate Twilight Part II: Relationships are Toxic and Abusive
Section A: Edward Mentally Abuses Bella
Before I launch myself into an exhaustive rant, I want to take a look at some standard characteristics of people in an abusive relationship. I've highlighted the ones that are particularly similar to how Edward acts toward Bella.
|1. Charming. This person quickly smothers the other with gifts and praise. He/she immediately pushes for an exclusive relationship using phrases such as “I can’t live without you” or “I’ll kill myself if you leave.” A clear indication something is wrong.|
2. Jealous. He/she views others as a threat to the relationship and relentlessly accuses you of flirting. “I know you are having an affair.” The irony is that the abuser is usually the cheater.
3. Manipulative. Abuse and manipulation go hand-in-hand. This person easily detects vulnerability in others and uses it as a weapon to control, belittle and demean the victim. “You are weak and ugly; no wonder you were abused as a kid.”
4. Controlling. Constant checking on the whereabouts of the victim is a common trait for the abuser. “I check the mileage on your car. So don’t lie to me.” A male controller often refuses to let his girlfriend have a job, she might “meet someone.
5. A Victim. An abuser doesn’t take any responsibility for his/ her poor choices. They are never at fault. When she loses her job, or he gets into a fight, someone else is to blame. “You make me hit you” or “I drink because you stress me out.”
6. Narcissistic. The whole world revolves around the abuser and his/her needs. This person is invigorated by the fact that the victims “walks on eggshells” and live in fear of the next outburst
7. Inconsistent. Mood swings are a common trait for an abuser. One minute he/she is happy and sweet, the next they are pounding a fist or throwing a tantrum
8. Critical. Verbally assaulting others is a way of life for the abuser. “You are a stupid, fat, disgusting tramp. You can’t ever leave me; no other man would have you” or “Ha! You call yourself a man. You are nothing but a mama’s boy.
9. Disconnected. Isolation from family and friends is a key goal for the abuser because it forces the victim into total submission. “Your family causes too much trouble for us. I don’t want you seeing them anymore.
10. Hypersensitive. The slightest offense sends the abuser ranting. Everyone is out to “get him/her.” “My boss had it in for me; I bend over backwards on my job but I still got fired.
11. Vicious and cruel. A significant number of abusers harm children and animals as well as a partner. Intimidation and inflicting pain fuels his/her power. “If I can’t have you, no one will” or “I just pretended to love you so that you would sleep with me.”
After I read that list, I just had to laugh. Did Stephenie do any research before writing her four-book saga? What's that? Oh right. No she didn't. She dreamt it all. At this time I would like to go through the list and explain why each characteristic is relevant to my claim that Edward mentally abuses Bella (and relevant to the reason why Bella is slightly insane).
1. Charming. Oh wow. If I had a posy for every time Edward tells Bella that his life is irrelevant without her, I could stuff at least 9 pockets full.
"You are the most important thing to me now. The most important thing to me ever."
2. Jealous. How many times does Edward growl when Jacob comes near? 'Nuff said.
3. Manipulative. Edward reminds Bella she is weak. Everyday. How many times does he tell her that he could crush her with one blow? Accidentally smother her? Or how about this…lose control and suck all her blood? Yes, yes, he may not be doing this so he can manipulate her, BECAUSE HE "LOOOOOVES" HER. He could just be saying this because it's true and wants to warn her. Right. Okay. I get that. But no one really knows what's going on inside his head, and on paper, it doesn't look so good for him. And furthermore, it's not "cute." I don't think it's cute when a male figure has so much power over a woman, that he as to remind her of it every day. I don't think it's cute that she feels like a delicate little flower in his arms. It's sad. And demeaning. And, in my book, considered mental abuse.
4. Controlling. Possibly the most relevant and troubling of all his characteristics. She's his puppet. He controls every aspect of her life. Even when he wasn't there, he controlled her. She started purposefully putting herself in danger JUST TO HEAR HIM TELL HER NOT TO. But it wasn't him, it was her perception of him deep in her psyche. How messed up is that? She went up to a group of hardened criminal biker thugs because she felt compelled to hear Edward yell at her. She jumped off a cliff! None of this is okay. He watches her sleep! He cut her breaks! CUT. HER. BRAKES. All in the name of her "safety." Tell me this, Edward: How is it safe to purposefully leave your "one true love" in a forest for hours and hours? How is it safe to leave her when a vampire is stalking her? How is it safe to cut her brakes!!??
"It makes me... anxious to be away from you. I wasn't joking when I asked you to try not to fall in the ocean or get run over last Thursday. I was distracted all weekend, worrying about you."
"If you let anything happen to yourself - anything at all - I'm holding you personally responsible."
"Soon, as soon as I possibly can. I will make you safe first."
"Bella, would you please stop trying to take your clothes off?"
"But if you ever bring her back damaged again — and I don't care whose fault it is; I don't care if she merely trips, or if a meteor falls out of the sky and hits her in the head — if you return her to me in less than the perfect condition that I left her in, you will be running with three legs. Do you understand that, mongrel?"
In context, these all seem very "aww" worthy. Everyone just loves how overprotective Edward is. But you see these quotes void of all Bella's delusions, and you have what I call cold hard abuse. You call it protective, I call it belittling. The worst thing about his controlling nature, is that Bella doesn't seem to notice or mind. She just thinks it's "annoying". ANNOYING? How about murderously insane?
7. Inconsistant. Bella even mentions his mood swings.
"You know, your mood swings are kinda giving me whiplash." <--Yes from the movie, but it still proves my point.
One minute he wants her to leave him alone forever, the next he's telling her he couldn't live without her. One day he tells her how they could never "be" together and then a month later he's ripping off her clothes. He says he never wants to hurt her, and then he just leaves her in the forest. I mean, I would be confused.
In New Moon, Bella is so convinced Edward left because he doesn't love her, that she literally becomes brain dead. The blank pages in the middle of the novel symbolize her insanity. Everyone reading the novel was smart enough to know that he just said he didn't love her because he wanted to "protect her," but she was actually dumb enough to believe it. His inconstancies pop right out of no where. And it's driving her to be a vegetable.
9. Disconnected. How many things does Bella have to keep from her father all because of Edward? Basically her whole life has to be censored for him because she doesn't think he could handle it. Now that Edward and Bella are married, do you really think Charlie is going to be popping in to see them? Probably not. Because he's scared. His daughter is strangely pale and has birthed a fast-growing halfbreed in only a few months. In summary, Edward has caused further estrangement of a father and a daughter whose relationship could have used improvement from the start. The End.
As you can see, I take this subject seriously. And you may not understand why because, after all, it's just a book about fictional characters. And that may be so, but I have realized something in my research; the sites where I found all of these quotes, were all created by diehard fans. The comments in the threads all show how much they love this love story. They find the quotes endearing. They want their own Twilight love story. I find this extremely disconcerting. If they can't spot an abusive relationship when it is so plainly spelled out before them within the pages in their own hands, how are they going to realize when it's happening to them? Is it what they're actively searching for in a relationship? I woe the day when someone finds their own Edward Cullen.