Sam Winchester: Lack of stability and motherlessness
This is the second of my conversations with Travellerintime:
You are pushing my buttons again!!! LOL
First of all, neurologically we are born with way more neurons in our brain than we get to keep. This is because infants are programmed to learn while adults are programmed to act.
At first all these excessive neurons are firing all over the place but in neurology we have a saying “fire together, wire together”. This means that neurons that gets activated at the same time starts to form stronger and stronger connections while the neurons that doesn’t get activated start to die off. This dying off process starts at around the age of four and continues for the rest of our life. The responses that are wired by this point, if they keep being reinforced are very hard to undo, if not impossible. It becomes normal. It becomes the base on which we build the rest of our emotional development. This is why it gets harder and harder to change the older we get.
Given what we know about Sam as a child it’s reasonable to assume that certain “truths” are hard wired into his system.
Like, Dean is the source of any comfort, consistency and security. Not men in general because his father isn’t really there, just Dean. Females are not a reliable source of anything (other than sex) and are redundant as long as Dean’s around. If Dean’s not there they are the next best thing.
Also a child raising a child will have consequences. A parents job is to teach your child how to handle emotions and any other difficult part of life. You teach them how to handle fear, anger, sadness etc by showing how it’s done and believing in their ability to do it themselves, even when they don’t think they can.
For example you say “See, there is nothing under the bed, there’s nothing to be afraid of. You can turn on the light if it will make you feel less scared” and then you tell them to go back to sleep and you walk away.
If you don’t, if you start to bring that child out of their room and into your bed or if you start spending every night in theirs you are actually telling that child that there’s a reason for fear and that you need to be there to protect them.
As far as we know this is what Dean did. As cute as Dean’s overprotectiveness as a child is, he didn’t actually teach Sam how to control and handle his fear/anger/sadness, he taught Sam that Dean is the reason bad things don’t get him which is something else completely. What must have gotten hard wired into Sam is that “No Dean = Danger. Dean = No danger”
And what’s worse is that since they both were children it is likely that Dean imprinted this truth on himself in the process thus creating the famous codependency. Dean’s idea that he is essential to Sam’s survival and well being was probably not helped by the fact that at age four, Dean managed to save his brother while his father failed to save their mother. In the mind of a four year old boy that can very easily turn into a hard wired belief that no one else can be trusted with his brother. Not even his father.
I would argue that this would create an adult man (Sam) who is very very bad at regulating his own emotions, that is dependent on his brother to ground him and bring him back from from the over-emotional edge. It also would create a man who is basically unable to function on his own because his emotions would quickly spiral out of control, thus prompting him so search out the next best thing (women) as soon as Dean can not be reached. Which is what Sam has done on more than one occasion.
bangingpatchouli responds: Yes, I see what I’ve done and it’s awesome. I need to push your buttons more often. The fandom lacks good meta on Sam in particular, but both boys relating to the consequences of how they were raised.
- Sam Winchester’s Shaky Relationship With Normal (spnmonster.wordpress.com)
- Sam Winchester Is Better Than You (spnmonster.wordpress.com)