Posts Tagged Psychology

True Blood Psychology: What’s wrong with Sookie’s character?

Sookie is supposed to be our heroine and the main character of our show…yet… Many people have a difficult time understanding some of the reasoning behind Sookie’s actions/decisions and consider her to even be one of their least favorite characters despite her position on the show. Many audience members even also find Sookie “annoying” for a variety of reasons.  There must be a reason for this right? Well, let’s consider things from a psychological viewpoint…Shall we?

 

 

Sookie's parents were scared of her because of her ability (society rejected it as well)...

 

 

 

...And let's not forget that Sookie was molested as a child...

 

…There is no doubt that Sookie would be profoundly affected by being essentially rejected her parents and subsequent molestation psychologically. I believe that many of Sookie’s problems or actions stem from this event in her life.

Some people respond to childhood sexual abuse by being completely withdrawn when it comes to sexual activity. Sookie certainly was hesitant to engage in sexual behavior initially not just because her ability isolated her, but because of the trauma of past sexual abuse. She admitted this hesitation/anxiety to Bill after the first time they had sex as she told him the story of her molestation. This happens even as Sookie insists that she supposedly “does not blame herself” and downgrades the severity of the situation by saying “it was just touching, not as bad as what some girls go through…”

People who experienced sexual abuse as a child can be underemployed in comparison to their abilities for a variety of reasons related to the trauma, included a lowered self-esteem. Sookie’s difficulty in studying with her ability/disability and societal rejection only exacerbated this symptom. As a result, Sookie ends up becoming a waitress and initially doubts her abilities for a better career until vampires begin using her ability.

Victims of childhood abuse can develop a feeling that their lives are out of their control and can focus on things they can control such as their home. This is part of what made Maryann’s violation of her home so much worse for her.

If the victim of sexual abuse does not respond to the sexual abuse by withdrawing completely, physically and emotionally, the victim can have trouble understanding boundaries since their own boundaries were not respected. In regards to Sookie, it can refer to the times she consciously intrudes in the minds of others when it isn’t necessary (such as hearing Arlene’s fears of pregnancy, Tara covering for Jason, and Alcide’s personal thoughts regarding Debbie and their situation) and moving too fast in relationships, which she was obviously able to do with Bill.

Other than the pure psychological trauma itself, I believe Sookie has developed a case of Dependent Personality Disorder or (DPD) as a result of her molestation and rejection throughout her life, despite her seemingly strong will  and personal abilities.

 People with DPD are attracted to forceful and dominant people who come into their lives.

People with DPD can use sex to feel close to someone emotionally after loss and/or personal trauma (even if the personal trauma occurred with the sexual partner).

People with DPD can become submissive in romantic relationships.

People with DPD seek people in their lives they consider “protectors” and when one “protector” is gone, it is replaced with another “protector figure” in their lives.

People with DPD can be excessively naive and be hyper-sensitive or ignore criticism from others (easily perceive criticisms as personal attacks no matter how well-meaning the intentions behind the criticisms are).

People with DPD tolerate a lot of mistreatment from others, especially romantic partners or close friends, so that they can avoid being alone.

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People with DPD  can easily attach to new romantic relationships or the idea of a new romantic relationships when they feel vulnerable and/or alone.

There are further examples which could be explored but we can see a lot of the behavior that we have been frustrated with or were disappointed about stems from a personality disorder (Dependent Personality Disorder) Sookie developed as a result of childhood molestation and isolation that she also experienced as a child and into adulthood.

Sookie is obviously not a typical heroine who is always strong and independent and ready to conquer anything. In fact, Sookie is a better heroine than that because she is human (at least partly lol) just like you and I. She takes advantage of her strengths while also struggling with her weaknesses. Maybe, the heroic part of her story will be to either learn her personal strength and independence with a love like Eric that encourages that side of her or it will simply be her learning her independence. Sookie’s story will be inspiring because it will either be tale of overcoming personal struggles with love OR it will be a tale of learning personal strength and independence…

…or perhaps, IT IS BOTH!

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Sources Include: WebMD, “Psychology” by Myers (Publisher Worth Edition 9), and The Dependent Personality by Bornstein.

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True Blood Psychology: The Sociopathy of Bill

I have had the pleasure of reading books related to psychology during my current college studies. One of the many books that stood out to me was this entertaining and informative book about the disorder of Sociopathy or (APD: Antisocial Personality Disorder), “The Sociopath Next Door” by Martha Stout.

According to Martha Stout, 4% of the population could be defined as a sociopath. Of course, this is a shocking statistic because that translates to the idea that 1 in 25 people in world are in fact sociopaths. Therefore, you are more than likely to come across a sociopath everyday and anybody that you know could be one, ready to wreak your life for their personal gain. Sociopaths don’t have to be one of the famous murderous psychopaths, they simply have to have no conscience for their actions, no matter what they do.

Sooo…let’s relate Martha’s ideas and examples from the book toward Bill in True Blood so that we can prove his true nature.

We know that Bill was a procurer for a very long time as he told Russell (this suggests that Bill had chosen this as a career or a way to advance his own power and that it was not simply an order from Queen Sophie Ann in the way that Eric was forced to sell vampire blood for Queen Sophie Ann). Therefore, Bill is much more accountable for his actions. Wouldn’t you agree that someone must have no conscience to basically choose kidnapping as a career advancer or money making venture? I don’t know about you, but I think I would feel a little too guilty about it to do something like that for personal gain. Bill never expresses guilt or remorse in any way until he is caught, which is a trait of sociopathy. Of course, it isn’t true guilt or remorse, they just don’t want to deal with the consequences.

In fact, Bill is apparently conscienceless enough to allow a beat down of his kidnapping victim (Sookie) in order to make his job a little easier in the long run.

How many of you with a conscience could have someone brought to the point of death to make your “job” a little easier?

No matter what he had done, how many of you could kill someone that had wronged someone you cared about with absolutely no guilt and as easily as running any other errand? This does not include active in-the-moment self-defense.

How many of us would just say “damn” and keep moving if we had just found out that we had almost ACCIDENTLY (this is up for debate) killed someone we loved? All this after we had just acted like we desperately wanted to save that person?

(of course, there are more examples but these are some of the most extreme examples that show Bill’s lack of a conscience. Having a lack of a conscience automatically makes you a sociopath according to Martha Stout.)

In the book, Martha speaks of a woman who lies about her background in order to advance her career and  has no problems hurting people along the way. In a way, this sounds familiar, doesn’t it?


In the book, Martha talks about a sociopathic man that is willing to use anybody to get what he wants and the relationships in his life serve no purpose other than to advance his career. He even abuses his own mother and turns against the same bosses that helped advance him when it suits his purposes. Sound familiar?

In the book, Martha talks about a sociopathic man who is willing to kill anyone at the drop of a hat that threatens to expose his secrets to the community and the woman in his life or anyone that threatens his business in general. Sound familiar?

In the book, Martha discusses the dilemma a man has. Lose his job or leave his dog hungry in his house for days. Ultimately, the man decides to feed his dog because his conscience won’t allow him to leave the dog hungry for days. Stout is claiming that it is conscienceless to neglect your pets in such a manner. Therefore, neglecting your child would obviously be considered conscienceless behavior in Stout’s opinion as well. Sound familiar? Though Bill couldn’t help being away from Jessica a lot of the time, he neglected her when he had the opportunity to not neglect her. Bill dropped her off like an unwanted puppy at the shelter when he brought her to Eric and had no guilt about doing that. Bill neglected to teach her anything about being a vampire other than drinking Tru Blood , something he himself was not even truly doing.  Bill did not bother teaching her how to defend herself either until she was needed to help him fight the werewolves; before that, he once again tried to get rid of her like an unwanted pet and I don’t believe it was “for her own good” as some claim. She was uneducated about how to handle herself and not prepared for life on her own, because she was again, neglected. Jessica was basically “begging for scraps” when she went to Pam for help.  Stout would obviously consider Bill’s neglect of Jessica, his child, Sociopathic behavior.

However, nobody wants to believe they were manipulated by a sociopath so they go through a process of denial and Sookie and some audience members of True Blood were no exceptions so they make excuses that Stout says “are no where near the truth.”

Bill had to do that, it’s not his fault! ; Bill couldn’t help himself from killing Uncle Bartlett after hearing that! ; He couldn’t stop himself! ; Bill didn’t mean to neglect Jessica, he basically had to! ; Lorena made Bill do that! ; Bill has to protect Sookie from Eric, and incidentally, Pam, because he tasted her! ; etc….etc…etc.

My personal favorite is the claim that: “Bill loves Sookie so he would never hurt her on purpose or do anything that wasn’t with the best intentions toward her.”

News Flash: People with a conscience can love. People without a conscience are not capable of love. Bill has no conscience so he is not capable of love. Sure, people without a conscience can become attached to people or things because of what they may provide to them (delicious blood, sex with an attractive fairy, and supposed redemption in Bill’s case). But they cannot be truly selfless or truly love because they have no conscience.

People can continue to make excuses for Bill and decide that he’s the one for Sookie on their own, but they are continuing to be played by a Sociopath through the screen (which was Ball’s intention I am sure). However, the bottom line is that Bill is not worthy of Sookie’s love or capable of redemption because ACCORDING TO THE EXPERTS: Bill has no conscience, and is therefore, a sociopath.

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