When I was younger,
I held seashells to my ear
To listen to the voice
Of my first love.
When I was older,
You told me by telephone
That it was just the rush
Of my own blood.
I was relieved;
It was a part of me.
And my heart, like the moon,
Would pull me back to shore.
Would bring me back to you.
My family went to a cabin this past weekend. While perusing the bookshelves, I found The Bamon Shipper’s Handbook.
Okay, so I know we all wanted something light and fun to be Caroline’s ‘unusual form of therapy,’ but let me take a stab at explaining why, if done well, what the web clip revealed could be better than what we hoped.
If we look at some of the problems Stefan has faced the past four seasons (and now the beginning of S5) and how those closest to him respond to those problems, a pattern emerges.
One of Stefan’s overarching problems is his blood lust. Damon frequently states that rather than completely abstaining from human blood, Stefan should have spent his time building a tolerance. Elena tries to help him do just that by offering some of her blood each day. However, when Stefan turns ripper to save Damon’s life, it becomes apparent that striving for the middle ground isn’t going to be effective therapy. It’s only when Stefan goes back to abstaining that he begins to behave like himself again, and any of Damon’s interventions (well-intentioned or not) only succeed in bringing Stefan to the edge (and Damon himself notes that while he is able to walk the edge, Stefan is perpetually falling off it). If we compare Stefan’s blood lust to alcoholism (always the most obvious correlation in my mind), Damon’s method and Elena’s (and Stefan’s) adoption of it is actually the worst possible thing for Stefan. The vast majority of alcohol rehab programs stress abstinence-only solutions and recommend support groups and accountability. Enter Caroline. Caroline champions the Lexi/Stefan Clean-Living Campaign and signs up to be his personal sober sponsor. She accepts and respects his choices and makes it her personal responsibility to hold him accountable for them.
When Stefan emerges from three months spent drowning in the safe with his memory wiped clean, how do his loved ones respond? Damon adopts a reckless approach and trashes a car in a blaze of glory, and Stefan says, “I got it. You’re the fun brother.” Elena reenacts their love story and at the last moment, before they kiss, tells him she’s with his brother. They are reminding Stefan where he fits into their respective stories. They are reminding him of the role he plays in their lives. So it’s not really a surprise when we find Ripper Stefan asking a terrified Jesse, “What’s the point of being good?” What’s the point if all it gets him is a supporting role in someone else’s life? It’s Caroline who reminds him who he is: “This isn’t you. You may not remember, but I do. You’re better than this.” Because before Damon and Elena, this was a choice Stefan made for himself. Being good wasn’t about what he got out of it or how he was perceived. He didn’t want to be the Ripper. He wanted to be better. Caroline focuses on him, and by refusing to let him give up on what he wanted and who he is just because he can’t remember the why of it, she communicates that his goodness isn’t underappreciated. She values it so highly that she’s willing to protect it, protect him, from himself.
And now Stefan is suffering from PTSD. Where are Damon and Elena? What are they doing to help him? Do they even know? We know from the 5x09 spoiler that Stefan is trying to help Katherine while masking his own pain until Caroline shows up dragging his favorite safe in the name of therapy. At first this may seem like cruel and unusual punishment, but it’s an actual psychiatric therapeutic measure called exposure. Exposure therapy works by introducing the fear-inducing stimuli gradually and in incremental steps until no fear response is present. This is a method frequently used for those suffering from PTSD and has the best chance of curing Stefan.
So what’s the pattern? Damon and Elena offer up quick-fixes and play now-pay later plans as distractions from his problems (when they notice them at all). Meanwhile, Caroline kicks down the door and comes in, guns blazing with long-term, endgame strategies with contingency plans (color coded obviously because attention to detail) specifically designed to help Stefan work through and overcome his problems.
Caroline is proving time and time again that she understands him, cares for him, and is willing to put it all on the line to help him, even when she’s facing problems of her own. She won’t let him lose control- blood lust, amnesia, and PTSD be damned.
“When push comes to shove, you’re gonna want that girl on your side.”
If Steroline isn’t endgame, I don’t understand what the point of this show is.
I think the fact that Paul Wesley is confused as to whether or not he should be playing Steroline scenes as platonic explains everything.
Ways to torture a witch/wizard without using an unforgivable curse:
lock them in a room with a boggart and no wand
I like this idea.
Maybe it’s just because if I was JKR, I would have had Voldemort make his horcruxes out of people, preferably muggles. That way Harry & Co. would have to hunt down and murder innocents in order to defeat him.
Because there’s nothing like an antagonist who makes the protagonist, a whole culture’s personification of hope, into a mirror to reflect his own wickedness.
Tell me I’m alone in this and I’ll never bother you again.
I tried to speak beautifully so you would not hear my heart,
But beauty is not all caress.
The diamonds that fell from my lips have cut my mouth to pieces,
Leaving a bloody mess.
I tried to be soft as the coming dawn so you would not be afraid,
But you knew I was a sword unsheathed.
So what did you expect to find at your throat
Other than my bared teeth?
Alas, my love, we’ve come to an end.
I’ll kiss your lips and let you sleep.
I can’t take back the things I’ve said.
I’ll kiss your lips, but I won’t weep.
I know I have been wrong,
But darling, so have you.
And if you think you’ve suffered alone,
Just know I killed me too.