What Jessica Jones Can Teach Us About Abusive Relationships

Abusive relationships are a very real and very horrible problem in our society….Here is what Marvel’s Jessica Jones does to shine a light on this fact.

 

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So I’ve recently watched the TV show Jessica Jones and as I made my way through the show, I started to notice something about the antagonist of the show (played by actor David Tennant) I’ve seen signs on how the antagonist of the show, Kilgrave, though he has super powers, is actually an abuser.

 

Here is what I’ve noticed: In terms of abuse it seems her abusers approach was that of emotional abuse.

What is emotional abuse? It involves a regular pattern of verbal offense, threatening, bullying, and constant criticism, as well as more subtle tactics like intimidation, shaming and manipulation. Emotional abuse is used to control and subjugate the other person, and quite often it occurs because the abuser has childhood wounds and insecurities they haven’t dealt with — perhaps as a result of being abused themselves.

Yes, he has mind controlling powers but the way we have seen them being used, especially on this one character (and the side effects it all had on Jessica Jones) we have seen how he uses it to abuse and control people.

 

  • He is controlling in the sense of always needing to know where she is going, what she is going to be doing, taking her phone and making sure (by making threats he goes through with) she is back within certain time frames.

 

  • Her abuser also plays the victim. (common trait in most abusers) That the actual victim of the abuser is making them do things or something else made them do it. Like things are his victims fault. an example was a conversation in Episode 7 that Jones has with her abuser. (its a little later in the post) There was a time where he would make Jessica Jones hurt herself then make himself save her, pretending to protect her and be the hero or he would make statements such as: “You never appreciate anything I do for you.” making himself the victim and turning it around on Jones herself. Making her think he wasn’t doing anything wrong.

 

  • After her leaving him and getting out of his control, Kilgrave is dead set on finding her and has developed stalker like behaviors (which he probably had before to some extent). Taking photos of her, having others take photos of her and follow her (etc.) Which leads into my last point. Abusers isolate the victim of the abuse. In the scene I’m gonna share in a moment you see this play out in terms of the fact that her abuser is trying to isolate her from everyone she knows. (In this case, killing people close to her doesn’t stop this guy but this is a TV show and a super villain we are talking about in this sense.) In return he is telling her things, professing feelings for her and in result trying to make sure she is isolated and only hearing his words and his opinions.

*spoilers following as I am going to discuss the conversation in this specific scene*

Kilgrave: “I will admit to keeping eyes on you. Spies are easy to come by for me.”

Jones: “Do whatever you are going to do to me, but let them go.” (There is a hostage scene taking place here as Kilgrave is using his powers to hold a whole room of people hostage)

Kilgrave: “Well I have to protect myself so…”

Jones: “Then control me, not them.”

Kilgrave: “I have absolutely no intention of controlling you. I want you to act on your own accord.”

She (Jones) asks: “Act how? Suicide? Is that why you’ve been torturing me?”

Kilgrave, her abuser, then states: “*chuckles* Oh my God, Jessica, I knew you were insecure. That’s just sad. I’m not torturing you. Why would I? I love you.

 

The scene continues and Jones calls her abuser out on his actions calling them a ‘demented declaration of love.’ and how he ruined her life in this act. She couldn’t be any closer to the truth.

Her abuser then says he was trying to make her see “That I’m the only one who matches you… Who challenges you… Who’ll do anything for you.” – In any other case this might almost sound romantic because who doesn’t want to be with someone who will do anything for you or challenges you for the better? But as you can see its not romantic. Not in this sense. Not when he is stalking her, killing her friends and family (he killed a young man who claimed to love Jessica), and becoming obsessive….Trying to get her back.

He then becomes angry (he’s very short fused.) when someones cell phone rings and it interrupts his professing ‘eternal love’

 

 

 

Now sure, no one has superpowers either so this whole abusive situation might be over-dramatized for the show but I feel Marvel was clever in this sense. They took a mind controlling super villain and used him and his abilities to shine a light on abuse. What that looks like and how it might appear to the victim as well. You don’t have to have powers to control or harm someone. If you did this wouldn’t be a real problem, would it? But despite the fact that this character has powers it doesn’t change the fact that he is an abuser and I think Marvel did a really good job in conveying that and not portraying an antagonists actions as okay or somewhat acceptable as most media might convey things.

 

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Finally!…A Writing Post!

Hello Readers!

Finally, I am bringing to you another writing post. (Took me a while right?) I am glad to see that people are enjoying all my new post series so far, but I really need to be getting back to my normal writing posts, don’t you think?

But first, a little update of life just in general, sound good? I have had multiple reasons for not doing writing posts lately, one of the reasons being I have a lot of blogs to post on weekly so trying to find time for all these posts is getting a little hard. (But now that I’ve made a calendar of all my blogging days things should become easier/more smooth.) Even more so now that I have taken the first step towards a blogging career a couple weeks ago, and I am now blogging weekly for an amazing blog called The Bottom Line. Also, as you all know, NaNoWriMo is going on. Usually around this time one of two things happens.

1.) My frequent posts lag

or

2.) They’re all about NaNoWriMo. (Which reminds me, I am gonna be posting (hopefully this week) a fun little post where I show you my ‘NaNoWriMo Survival Kit’)

Right now I do not want to let these posts lag so my ‘Novel Time’ posts are currently just about my NaNoWriMo Novel and such, but once NaNo is done those will be my writing posts. This coming Tuesday (I know technically there is not supposed to be a post every Tuesday) I will be doing another linkup to tell you a bit more about my novel and characters! (Fun right?) and I have another post coming in a couple weeks that is gonna be great! Just think sneak peaks, more character quotes, An update on my novel, My playlist for my novel and Rowan’s character interview (feel free to pop on over and ask him some questions here. and thanks to those who have already asked questions) As for NaNo I am STILL behind but I kind of figure this was going to happen…why? Because I didn’t outline…again so I really don’t know what will be happening in the novel. (When will I ever learn? Have an outline for NaNoWriMo people! Saves so much time!) Oh well, as long as I work my hardest, it’s all that counts really 🙂

So, now that that little update is out of the way, it’s time for my post! *cue cheers from the crowd of bloggers*

Today’s post is about Writing Emotions in a Relate-able Way

Writing emotions in your novel can be hard. First of all you actually have to write realistic emotions but second of all, they have to be relate-able. So not only do you have to make the characters emotions and reactions real but you have to make them relate-able? Yes, yes you do.

I oftentimes struggle when it comes to emotion stuff (at least in the first draft…If you don’t believe me, ask Vanessa…It’s bad.) Anyways. My issue is that, yeah the emotion is there people are reading it but when it comes to feeling the emotion…meh. It’s okay. If you are a writer you might understand what I mean. Like, the emotion is up there, its in your head it’s killing your feels (You know that feeling you get where you’re heart feels like its being pulled in every other direction and then it feels like someone shot your heart then took a hammer to it.) but getting that emotion and feeling out onto paper (or your glowing white word document 😉 ) and helping the readers see and feel that emotion is tough work. I mean, sure, no one gets it ‘perfect’ or ‘right’ in the first draft but there are some element we as writers all struggle in. Some areas are good as others, but some aren’t.

Something else, when writing emotions, that is both a blessing and a curse (depending what it is) is trying to make something the reader might not have ever felt and making them feel it. Making them understand. Or helping them anyways. Because we all know that we can’t make a reader DO anything…

…but we can crush their souls beyond repair. Mwahahahaa-*cough* oh my. *cough* Did I just say that out loud?

Anyways as I was saying…As a writer, its our job to share things we have felt or are feeling and make those things come alive on the page. They need to be real to the reader whether or not they’ve experienced the said emotion. Now, I am not in any way saying that you should baby your readers or explain everything to them as if they were little kids who only know the words ‘Happy’, ‘Sad’ or ‘Angry’ when it comes to emotions. That’s not what I’m saying at all, what I’m saying is that as the writers of this story we can’t just tell them the emotion this character is feeling. We need to show them. (This is where the whole Showing vs. Telling thing comes in.) Here is an example.

In my NaNoWriMo Novel ‘Aimlessly Wandering’, My main character Claire suffers from depression. Now, I could just say in the novel somewhere that she suffers from depression but that isn’t really enough is it? I mean, I’m telling the readers but I’m not making it believable or relate-able am I? You, as the reader, can just take it for granted and if I say she had depression then she does, but that just isn’t enough! You have to show it.

So instead of just telling the readers I could put my character in a certain situation to amplify those feelings. I could put her in a room of people who she knows and is friends with but show how she still feels alone. I could show the numb feeling that’s slowly taking over her body little bits at a time and refusing to let go, or the fake smiles and conversations so people don’t know what she’s really feeling, or the empty alone feeling that has her in its clutches giving her that sensation that she just wants to go home and that she doesn’t belong. I could show this inner battle inside her mind to tell someone that she is close to that she needs help and show how she doesn’t say anything about it. (This is a very basic description but I am just trying to get my point across)

This really does, like most elements of writing, loop back constantly to the whole Show don’t Tell scenario and I really think that that is key in order to get the reader to see, feel or hear anything. Actually, I don’t think I know…

So, is there a way that you write certain scenes? Do you wait until you might feel something similar to the character in that scene so you can write it more effectively? (I know some people who do) Or do you use previous experiences? How do you do about it? Do you just write or do you have your own little technique?

Also, once again before I leave I wanna remind you to, if you haven’t already, maybe pop by and ask my MMC Rowan some questions? (Click here) He’s a cool guy and cannot wait to interview him! I think y’all will like him 😀

Well, that’s all until Next Time!

Adriana Gabrielle