Anonymous asked: ok so a lot of people call dean an abuser. i never thought dean was physically abusive but emotionally? yeah def. psychologically? yep. but like to call him an abuser out right seems harsh to me. what are your thoughts on this whole perception of him as an abuser? do you think he is?
So the short answer is that Dean has shown himself to be willing to resort to physical violence to get his point across to Sam. He doesn’t do it all of the time; he doesn’t even have to do it often. He does it often enough that his willingness to employ that method is know to the audience. “Pilot,” “Bloodlust,” “Metamorphosis,” “You Can’t Handle The Truth” and “The Girl Next Door” are examples of times when Dean has lashed out physically at Sam.
The longer and more complicated answer (you knew there would be one) is that we see enough of the physical side of the abuse to know that it is a learned behavior. We see more of it in the early seasons. I’ve seen some people justify it as just normal brotherly interaction, because men of that generation are naturally physical with each other… And very often men of that generation - my generation, I’d add - will slug each other to express irritation. I’ve seen it happen but I want to point something out and that’s two words: each other. Sam doesn’t defend himself when Dean lashes out physically. He’s learned not to fight back.
You know who else Sam doesn’t fight back against? John Winchester, when John manhandles him in Dead Man’s Blood. Dean is a staunch defender of John’s parenting style toward Sam from the pilot on. Dean learned, at the same time that he was learning that Sam was his responsibility, that physical “correction” was one of the ways he was taught to keep Sam “in line.”
So I honestly think that it’s something that Dean learned as a child, both because it’s something that was done to him as a disciplinary tool and because he wasn’t taught that it wasn’t acceptable to express his anger and frustration that way. Kids will naturally lash out, it’s what they do, and if the parents or caregivers don’t teach them that it’s wrong they don’t learn that it’s not okay to hit.
Now again, I’m not saying that Dean sits there and looks for opportunities to beat the snot out of Sam on a daily basis. That would be a caricature. He is physically abusive, but physical abuse doesn’t mean that the person on the receiving end is covered in bruises and black eyes on a daily basis. The threat of abuse, the knowledge that the abuser is willing to use physical violence, is sufficient and those factors exist between Dean and Sam.
TW Ab*se TW
This has been bothering me for a while- at least the not fighting back thing, the way Sam just lets Dean do it. It’s…distressing. Please don’t get me wrong, I like Dean. I just think both of them need therapy from a responsible professional. Which sadly doesn’t look like an option.