ext_3369: (Default)
posted by [identity profile] radioreverie.livejournal.com at 03:21am on 21/07/2005
Sorry for not responding sooner. I'm a big procrastinator and I wanted this response to be a good one, so I've been thinking about it all day rather than writing it.
First of all, your apology is appreciated. I certainly can understand how feeling ill can contribute to a general irritability (I'm guilty of this myself... I think the vehemence of my posts often directly corresponds with how crappy I feel on a particular day).
I think, perhaps, what you're missing in my posts is that I'm really struggling to understand and sympathize with Chloe as a character. Her actions and reactions, for the most part, completely confound me. I don't get her. And whenever I start to think I understand her, she does something else that just completely fucks with my head. I won't claim to be an expert in psychology (a few college classes does not a psychiatrist make), but I do think that as written, she comes across as pathological. In particular, her deal with Lionel was written as so vile and of such magnitude that I don't think it's possible for her not to be considered pathological. It's just not something that mentally healthy people in her situation would have done, no matter how hurt they felt. And in struggling to understand what could drive someone to do that, I started to see a pattern of similar behavior from her on a much smaller scale. She started to click. I started to understand what drives her. And when someone linked me to that Exploring the Mind of the Spy article, everything really fell into place. I don't want to hate Chloe. And figuring out that she's actually had a consistent pattern of narcissistic behavior has actually helped me to hate her a bit less. Now I see where she's coming from, what deficiencies in her drive the behavior that I found so confusing before. I do wonder if this is all part of a larger plan to make Chloe the female equivalent of the future Lex Luthor, and if so, hats off to AlMiles (wow, I never thought I'd say that) for consistently writing her in such a way that I could see how she could travel down that path eventually. And to say that I think she's narcissistic is not to say that I think she's evil. Just that I see a continued pattern of behavior in her that can't be explained in the absence of a serious mental disorder (or some seriously wacked out writers).

I'm not trying to be flip in that diagnosis, nor justify my annoyance at her character by trying to fit her into the mold of that particular disorder. Nor am I trying to use the brush of mental illness to stigmatize her character (I suffer from serious clinical depression myself). I'm not saying what I said lightly or because I hate her, but came to the conclusion in my endeavor to understand her. I mentioned in the Chloe thread that I've dealt with my father's own (actually diagnosed) narcissism, and in her I see a lot of the same overreactions, manipulations, and rationalizations.

I don't take mental illness lightly at all. As I said, I struggle with it myself and I also grow frustrated with the idea that it is something that one should be able to "snap out of". It is serious and as real and debilitating as a physical illness or injury. If I knew someone like Chloe in real life, I would hope or suggest that she would seek treatment.



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