twilight, bella swan, edward cullen, vampires, abuse, bad relationships, twilight saga, films

The Twilight Saga: Deeply romantic or a dangerous message to our youth? You decide.

The Twilight Saga, billed as one of the best young adult movie/book tie in series of our time. Full of inspirational quotes, true love, loss, love conquering all. The movie verse alone taking a grand total of $3,317,470,739 to date, not counting Stephanie Meyer's book sales on top of that. Four books, five films, a million tons of merchandise. They are the love it or hate it area of the vampire fandom.

Most purists insisting that vampires do NOT sparkle in the sunlight, and are creatures of the night. Murdering without conscience, or regret. That the whole soulful vampire pining away for the love of a good person was over done after Buffy the Vampire slayer. Others that Anne Rice did the project far better and more adultly. Spawning endless jokes along the lines of 'Edward Cullen is what happens when Tinkerbell gets drunk at the christmas party and ends up in bed with Dracula'.

The teenagers swooning over how romantic Edward is, how they would love a man to love them the way he loves Bella. How amazing it is that she has not one but two gorgeous men fighting over her. Trying to win her heart forever. That their love is the stuff of legends. So strong that even death could not divide them.

Or is it?

Is Twilight as innocent and pure as everyone thinks?

Or does it have much darker overtones of violence?

According to Activebeat.com and echoed by many other sites as well. They class the following as being the top ten signs of an abusive relationship.

1: Humiliating your partner in public. Typically the sort that makes you feel worthless and controls your actions.

Several fights like this appear, mostly in the first book when they are at school and Bella is trying to find out more about who and what Edward is.

2: Verbal insults. About things you do, how you act, how you look and so on.

Mostly this is directed towards when Bella does things he doesn't deem safe. Such as when she is wandering around and he saves her from the gang of men. Or when he is talking in her head when she is trying extreme sports to feel alive. I find this most dangerous because Bella knows and understands in her head that Edward is violent yet still loves him and wants him back in her life.

3: Physical Violence. Anything from slaps, to punches, to full on beatings. Always your fault or an accident not theirs.

During the honeymoon this is seen to its best. Edward is deemed 'unable to control' his vampire side, leaving him hurting Bella and breaking furniture when they make love. There are scenes where you see Bella pulling up her shirt to find large bruises there. If I remember the book correctly (it has been some time since I endured reading it) I think she also had bruises across her neck and shoulders. Bruises that Bella hid from everyone because he told her he was sorry, and hadn't meant to harm her. Yeah sure, like every abuser hasn't said that and kissed the bruises better over the years!

4: Controlling behavior. Making you totally dependent on them, taking you from those you love.

Controlling and obsessive tendencies can be seen from Edward in all of the books. Where he constantly follows Bella, tries to stop her going places or doing things she wants to. Keeping her with him 24/7 at school, in her room afterwards, watching her do her homework. Not giving her a moment's breathing room to be alone or herself away from him. This total dependency on the other man is seen clearly in New Moon and we will expand on later.

5: Unpredictable mood swings. Going from loving, changing to violent within moments for no reason at all.

Although Edward does have a few scenes showing this, such as the violent love-making and a few threats when she tries to do things he doesn't approve of. Mostly his violence is put against people trying to harm Bella, even so he is far more violent than I would expect from the 'sweet' character they are trying to bring across.

6: Picking at faults. Constantly belittling you for tiny things.

One of the few he doesn't actually regularly do, but Edward certainly hits plenty of the others in great detail.

7: Alienating you from friends and family. Keeping you all to themselves allowing you zero outside contact.

Edward often pulls Bella away from friends and family. Taking up all her time, pushing out her human friends. Trying to force her away from Jacob when he finds out he is a wolf, even though Jacob stopped her from committing suicide when he left. The biggest part of when he keeps her away from everyone is while she is pregnant, faking that she is ill. Locking her up in the Cullen house like a prisoner. Refusing to let her speak to her parents or see her friends. Not even allowing her to see Jacob. All at the excuse that they wouldn't understand what was happening to her.

8: Placement of blame. Making out every bad thing in their life is your fault.

Read same as number 9. Can't remember which book, but I know there is a conversation between Bella and Edward where he says all the bad things in his life started when she came to Forks.

9: Manipulation. Making everyone believe their outbursts are your fault.

Mostly this is connected to how Edward freaks out every time Bella wants to meet Jacob as he feels the wolf could steal her love from him. Making her feel like she is wrong to see her friend just because he is insecure.

10: Calculated outbursts. Never attacking you anywhere you could be seen or gain proof.

Again read that as the violent love-making we already spoke about, along with several attacks when her blood became too much for him.

Not to mention the whole obsession part of New Moon, where Bella discovers that Edward has left her and all the Cullen's are gone. She has to make a life for herself alone, leaving her with drawn refusing to leave her room or even eat. Wanting to die because she can't be with her beloved. When she discovers she can hear Edward in her head (possible mental breakdown caused by stress) when she does crazy things bringing her closer to death, she does everything she can to bring herself close to dying to be with him. On the reverse side when Edward thinks she is dead, he does exactly the same. Trying to find a way to be killed by the vampire council so he doesn't have to live without her either. Glorifying suicide in some frigged up Romeo and Juliet plot line. News flash! Romeo and Juliet thought suicide was a good idea because they were 13 years old!!!! Bella is meant to be 16 plus and Edward several hundred years old, not pathetic little kids looking for an excuse to end it all. For those of us who live with depression and real suicidal thoughts we find their interactions on the subject very patronising.

Just to fully ice the cake of course is how Edward refers to Bella, his own personal brand of heroin. Oh that's appealing, refer to your girlfriend as an addictive halucanagenic drug! That's real love! I am with you because I am addicted to how you smell. That's a healthy idea! Through everything he put that woman through he held tight to his belief that it was for the best for her, and she loved him anyway. Even when he broke her heart and destroyed her. Charlie hated him for what he had done to his daughter, didn't think they should be around each other. I fully agree with Charlie over this matter!

These books/movies have left modern generations of teenagers thinking that it is normal for a man to stalk his girlfriend. That its sweet for a man to stand outside of your window and stare at you sleeping every single night. That you live in the pocket of the one 'you love' and should have nothing else in your life. That if they leave you then suicide is the only wise option, or hurting yourself to feel alive. Thats not love, that is obsession. Unhealthy borderline stalker obsession which one day could easily grow into mental problems. Even serial killer tendancies if the lover tries to leave them! No child of mine will ever watch or read anything to do with this francise. I do not think it wise to teach our young to expect an abusive relationship or that it is normal. We should be teaching our children to value themselves, to look for someone who brings the best out in them. Not the worst. Not someone who will make their life miserable!

Source credit Emily Lockhart Active Beat, article can be found by clicking here

www.activebeat.com/your-health/10-telling-signs-youre-trapped-in-an-abusive-relationship/

Sarah Beth

Editor/Co Owner

@wickedwitchgal

first posted on the cinemarks.com 2015