This is his own term for himself, and he loves etymology. He can speak a little Latin (and has called me nasty words 😀 ) and can translate Latin text. Just recently, he invented a new word – and a word I think is fantastic:
Traumance: A traumatic violent abusive ‘romance’ story. Basically, a sub-genre of vampire fanfiction, featuring beings stronger than you beating the shit out of you until you love them.
I have come to the conclusion that those people who write these stories, 99% of the time, don’t live these sorts of lives. They don’t live in a world where violence has been done to them time and time again. They haven’t been in fear of their safety. They haven’t even done at least half of the things they have characters do. Their reviewers, by and large, don’t live in that world either, otherwise they’d be able to see the gaping holes in their stories. It seems that many of the writers of these stories don’t even have relationships at all – I’ve read elsewhere about them, and what they do, just because I was intensively interested in this sort of rare animal – the type I do not run across in my profession. Most of the people I run across are people who know about the effects of violence from one side of the fence or the other. I suspect that these writers can’t understand relationships in order to have ones with other people, and think you have to mash people together in order for it to work – at least on some level they believe that, otherwise they wouldn’t want to write this sort of fic.
Even if you love the paradigm of beating the shit out of the female character physically and emotionally – which I am not a fan of – then there’s some fundamental problems with the actual affects. In that they don’t have any. The female character is like teflon – except with the love. Only the ‘love’ has an affect (and yes, I write love as a “affect” detriment not an “effect” positive because that’s the point) on the victim/’girlfriend’.
When a person has a wound seeping blood for an hour after being bitten, it actually hurts. They feel great discomfort. They cannot hold a complex conversation because pain fucks with their thinking. They can go into shock and die, and it’s not something that you just forget as if it doesn’t make an impact. It’s kinda the reason why doctors get consent from family members to do things – they’re non compos mentis – they’re not fit to make decisions. Even if they haven’t lost enough blood to make no fucking sense, they will still be unfit to make decisions. Only a complete retard would make the idea up that you should have a relationship discussion during blood loss, and certainly someone who hasn’t been losing blood while discussing stuff. If someone tried to discuss their feelings while I was losing blood, and resolve our relationship, then I would assume that that person is a narcissistic arsehole, and I should not be with someone so selfish – once I’d healed of course and my brain was working properly again.
When a person has been raped, they don’t get over it in the next chapter because they’re horny and they don’t turn to their rapist for relief from said horniness. Jesus Christ, no matter what you have to say about CH and how she has Sookie deal with rape – and let me just point out that CH is a rape victim, and those I’ve notice complain the loudest about how CH dealt with it are not rape victims – Sookie hasn’t magically gotten over it. Sure, Sookie may not blame Bill, but she doesn’t get naked with him again either.
Rape victims don’t fall in love with their rapist, unless they’re suffering from serious trauma – and as long as they are “in love” with their rapist, it will affect other parts of their life. Certainly, in the narrative of a vampire story, it would affect them badly and get them killed. The same mechanism that has them thinking they “love” their abuser is the same mechanism that makes them either freeze or have what’s known as an exaggerated startle response. Next time that Sookie is attacked by someone, she’ll jump out of her skin, freeze and die. She won’t be calm and relaxed, and react as a person who isn’t being constantly traumatised by being forced to be with her abuser.
Rape victims don’t always want to talk about it, and they can’t get over it. They don’t become better. They don’t put it behind them – they put it aside and power on. Reporting rape to police is difficult and traumatic, and many rape victims say that the interrogation feels like a second rape – but by society. Court trials are completely and utterly horrifying. The defence aren’t going to take your word for it you were raped – they’re going to ask for every single last detail – where your hands were (as to why you weren’t fighting them off); whether your vagina was lubricated (as to whether you were sending mixed signals); whether you had a sexual response (to imply you really have buyers’ remorse, rather than being a victim). The sad thing is that physical response is something that happens all the time. But it also happens in children with paedophiles – and it cannot be implied that they wanted it, or it’s all good. It just happens to be a myth that serves as the source of a lot of guilt for victims – that rape is always painful and produces no positive response.
Being a witness to violence is also traumatising. People who witness violence all the time assume that they could be a victim at any moment. If the male character is liable to going around hurting people, as he often is in this sort of story – he doesn’t even have the balls to keep his hands off a woman – he’s producing trauma in his victim/’girlfriend’. She would then have no reason whatsoever to trust him. Witnessing violence makes someone feel vulnerable and unstable all the time. Nobody has to beat a person to make them fear. Being around a violent person will cause someone to feel fear, even if they never lay a hand on them – that’s why people who live in dangerous neighbourhoods don’t live as if there is nothing to fear, even if they haven’t been hurt.
Emotionally blackmailing and forcing is easily done. People can be convinced that their captors or abusers are the only way to do things. They can produce a great facsimile of love in the idea of acquiescence. That feeling is sometimes so similar to what love feels like, the victim themselves thinks that they’re in love. The abuser takes a girl with zero self esteem, and keeps it that way. Or he takes a girl with vulnerabilities and turns that into zero self esteem. Sookie is not the same character from the book – she’s someone without self respect and pride. She wouldn’t care about her safety – she’d care about doing what’s she’s told. When she does do what she’s told, then she’s all over the place when there’s no rule to follow. She doesn’t go out of her way to save her abuser, like book Sookie goes out of her way – because Sookie’s values are internalised. Your beaten down victim doesn’t have that – they’re in survival mode.
Honestly, there is enough of a theme of coercion in vampire fiction already, by their very nature. They bite, kill, glamour and overpower humans generally, and are already powerful enough – they do not in fact need more of an advantage. Eric could grind Sookie to a fine paste – he doesn’t need to be hurting her. He really doesn’t need to be abducting her, raping her and traumatising her to feel what he thinks are genuine feelings, but are instead faulty facsimiles produced by trauma. The very notion of the story is undermined by the underpinning realities of trauma.
Even as a human man – being that I’m the same height as Sookie, and have dated men who are the same size as Eric – they could seriously injure me if they so felt like it. Most of the giant men I’ve met have been extremely careful with me. They are mindful that they can hurt me. Take a good look – the bigger and taller a man is, the further back he’ll stand when approaching smaller women, because he’s already mindful that his size is intimidating alone. That is if he’s not a creep.
It would be nice if some of the people who write about this sort of thing to find out the effects, read up on the subject or talk to those who’ve actually experienced some of this stuff. But I suspect that that is asking way too much to actually do some sort of thinking that doesn’t involve your own stupidity and look at humans outside your own purview. It’s far easier to write some fantastical story where it all turns out right in the end, even using the most heinous manner to get there. Not people who haven’t had this happen to them, but live in a fantasy world, where they’ve never been hurt, and inflict hate on a character without thought.
Some would say “oh but it’s just fiction!” but it isn’t just anything. Writers are spreading misinformation. Every single time it’s written that rape is pleasurable, and thus isn’t rape, some real rape victim will suffer for the stupidity. They will read all over the place that society once again says that they wanted what happened to them. Every single time an abused woman reads about this treatment, she will assume the symptoms of trauma are in fact love, when they are not.