So either tumble is fucking with me again or I I’ve fucked up the reblog system…I’ve tried twice so anyway this is a response to Carlwritesbadsmut (on the discussion of representation of abuse in the storyline)
I’ve never personally seen anyone say that about Ste or Brendan (but with the ignorance in the world - I’m not surprised) I have to totally disagree on the opinion of how the show treated and showed abused. The problem is like most people you’re used to the representation being about the victim and not about and for the abuser. The representation was to show how some abusers become abusers how this system of silence inside a household is so deadly. One of my favorite scenes in the show is when Brendan’s grandmother confesses that she knew the whole time about the sexual abuse he suffered. Brendan breaks down and he tells her “when you sat back and let that happen you took everything away from me, you took my baby sister from me, you took decy away, you took ste away, you took my ability to love” “you made me a freak!” The storyline wasn’t for people who just wants to demonize abusers. It was people to realize what the hell they’re doing to children when they pretend like they don’t see what’s happening. It was for the victims who had to realize that yes what happened to them is fucked up and inexcusable and life changing beyond what anyone understands but that they can’t let that person continue to have power over them because that destructs them even more. Brendan’s story is powerful and real because that emotionalism is real because that that lesson is real. The things that happened to brendan happens to real kids and they all come out affected differently but it’s usually negative. They either learn to hurt because it’s all they’ve been taught or they learn how to self destruct because they incapable of fitting into the world and sometimes you have lucky ones who receive help early (they may live with triggers and such but it’s a mended life).
I take a film class and my teacher says when you watch something to understand it fully, you have to ask yourself who exactly was the intended audience for this piece? And doing that with the Stendan storyline helps one realize why it’s made the way it is. They NEVER treated the abuse as if it was okay and anyone acting as if it did is showing their own unstableness not the show. My teacher says that tv is the worst because usually stuff is dumbed down for the everyday man to understand because the everyday man hates to think. The Stendan storyline isn’t for everyone. It’s a land of complexity and layering (they did a great job layering these characters and their relationships). The Robron storyline is perfect example of the everyday mans entertainment. No complexity no need to think.
The show originally wanted to have a regular abuse storyline where the victim is victimized and the abuser is dehumanized and the victim overcomes. But because people actually like Brendan this gem was created. Instead of the cliche you got storyline that depicted the battle of an abusive relationship from the viewpoint of the abusee who loves the person who is abusing them and that struggle with them and yourself. It presented abuse as both a disease (Brendan/ste - the abuser who feels regret) and as a monster (Brendan’s dad - the abuser who has no regret). Humans have become so desensitized. We don’t believe in restoring we believe in destroying. It doesn’t matter to us what category you fit in, it just matters that you’re labeled. I saw this show once where a adult came in and told the cops that he was having indecent thoughts about a child. The cop looked at him like he was evil. She looked like she wanted to put him under the jail cell. He had came asking for help and she looked at him as if he’d already committed the crime. I cried because that’s how the world is. The infraction no matter how small is always bigger than the actual person it’s attached to. The system of prison isn’t even set up to rehabilitate people >.> and those who are locked up for a long time become desensitized to the “real world”.
I’ve far from the main story but I’ll just put it like this, a lot of people quote Brendan’s “so close” line but don’t get it’s over arching message. You have to first understand what Ste represented in that relationship (someone who was able to look at Brendan and saw what he was under the abuse - that out stretched hand of help) he was so close to what could’ve been, so close to happiness but Brendan didn’t get to reach it and that message is a warning don’t miss out. Don’t let the devil ride you so hard that you miss out on what can be. I say this story is powerful because it’s for the damaged those that need to realize that bad shit fucks us up but we have to take back that power because everything we do afterwards is out in us we have to take responsibility for our own actions. Even Brendan who Cheryl told “look at your hands! Those are your hands covered in his blood!” And the resolution ended with Brendan taking responsibility for the murders he’d committed. Like he says “the son shall not suffer for the iniquity of the father nor the father suffer the iniquity of the son [as we know this religious line is about man having to be responsible for himself]
(I didn’t touch on the "telling” someone element of the story and that’s also very important. Brendan had never told anyone how his fathers sexual abuse towards him because he felt like no one would believe him and the first person he tells (Walker, because at the time he actually thinks they’re both alike) doesn’t give a sit about him. And sometimes that happens in real life but that means tell someone else and eventually you’ll find someone that does.)
so danny is ste’s dad
and ste tries to sleep with danny
and danny has slept with john paul
and john paul has slept with brendan
and brendan has slept with ste (stendan!)
and ste has slept with doug
and doug has slept with john paul
I don’t know if I’ll ever upload the whole thing but these parts really stuck out to me. No one really believes in Brendan except for Ste and thats why he loves him so much. Ste’s the only person alive that can see good in him despite everything he’s done.