If you are in a relationship and someone is trying to convince you that they will kill themselves if you weren’t with them, that is emotional abuse. If you are in a relationship with someone and you have to check with them whether or not you can hang out with someone else, that is emotional abuse. If you are in a relationship with someone and they follow you when you go out with friends or come into your room at night and watch you sleep, that is stalking. These are all signs of an abusive relationship. And these are all things that Edward did to Bella.
Let’s talk about how Meyer tried to justify this, shall we? Bella is supposed to be Edward’s “personal brand of heroin”. She is compared to being a drug because he can’t seem to shake his dependence on her, but she causes him to experience indescribable thirst. Meyer’s justification for Edward’s abusive nature is to say, “well Bella started it”. Let me be clear to the people who are in these situations, you are not the reason that your abuser abuses you. This is a problem with him, not her.
But let’s also flip this post on its head. Bella is an abuser too. She participated in extreme sports and put herself in dangerous situations so that she could hear Edward’s voice after he left her. She created ultimatums so that Edward would do something that he has clearly not supported. And she used her friends and their families to get her way.
(Side note: I’m not going to be talking about the grooming stuff in this post. I have another post where I went into more details about my thoughts on that there, but this post is for essentially everything else).
There are so many examples of abuse throughout these books, so I want to be very clear. THESE ARE NOT HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS. Please, do not treat any of the relationships as something to look up to. Also for the record, here are other instances of emotional abuse throughout the books that I particularly took note of:
- Bella used the words that Renee said when she left Charlie so that she could go to Phoenix in Twilight
- Jacob telling Charlie that he is a werewolf in order for Renesmee to stay in his life in Breaking Dawn
- Jacob makes Bella say that she wants him to kiss her in order for him to still be her friend after her engagement in Eclipse
- Bella using Rosalie to be able to force Edward to let her keep the baby (and Edward pushing for an abortion)
If you or someone you know is being sexually exploited or assaulted, call 800.656.HOPE to contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline. Or you can text 741741 to get in contact with a crisis counselor.
If you guys have any thoughts or ideas, feel free to leave a comment, find me on the social medias at @elizabooksblog, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. And as always, I’ll see you all in the next book!