Who is Dana Seavers? For those who haven't got a chance to watch the third episode of Season 11 of Criminal Minds, you may want to stop reading now, if you wish to watch it yourself. But if you're still curious, read along.
Dana Seavers (played by Ashley Fink) is the villain, an “unsub” (unidentified subject) with a dangerous psychosis. She is a florist at her late mother's bridal shop in Savannah, Georgia. Her mother has passed down the business to her much slimmer and prettier sister Nicole. Their best friend since childhood, handsome blond photographer Ryan Becker, also works there.
Ryan has always been Dana's one and only true love. They dated one summer back in junior high school before he turned to Nicole. However, in Dana's twisted mind (she's been suffering from severe depression and has to take medications, although she was refusing to do so of late), Ryan remains a true love to her. He professes her love to her all the time and claims that other ”skinny bitches” are trying to steal him away from her.
You may know what happens next: Dana starts her killing spree, specifically targeting young, slim, beautiful brides-to-be, all because the Imaginary Ryan keeps telling her to do it so they can be together forever. It starts getting worse when the real Ryan ends up proposing Nicole right in front of Dana. Heartbroken and angry, she refuses to give up on her fantasy and tries to kill her own sister too. Of course, the FBI profilers get there in time to arrest her.
Murder out of rage and jealousy like that is never justified. Still, to some people, female characters like Seavers may be a depressing reminder of how they used to be or perhaps still are. Sad, lonely, and insecure, even close to suicidal. Perhaps they also have been bullied since they were kids, subjected to cruel and unfair comparison. How come you’re so fat when your sister isn't? Your sister is definitely prettier than you. Why you're so different from her? Why don't you lose some weight? Don't you want to have a boyfriend?
In the minds of these women, guys like Ryan Becker are the only ones who notice them, who treat them kindly like a decent human being, who never mention nor make fun of their weight. And before they know it, they become too emotionally attached. It is understandable, knowing just how judgmental the patriarchal society when it comes to women's appearance and bodies. If the guy loves them back, then it's a beautiful thing. If not? Well, anything goes. Some may end up like Dana. Some may still be positive enough to keep their faith in love.
Others may turn dangerously cold, bitter, distant, indifferent and skeptical. They begin to fear that love is nothing but a mean joke to them. That L.O.V.E. stands for Long, Overrated and Vicious Emotions. It becomes harder for them to open their hearts again and let someone in, fearing they’d make the same mistakes again. You know what people say when a guy comes along and the girl misreads his true intentions:
"Come on, he's just being nice. It doesn't mean a thing."
"What makes you think that a guy like him will notice a girl like you?"
"He might be up to no good. Be careful!"
And when bad things do happen, you know who gets the blame first:
"You should've been more careful."
"Didn't you see that coming? Why not? Where was your head?"
"You're too confident. That's your problem."
It’s worse when one of the guys who seems interested asks in confusion and frustration:
"What are you so worried about?"
"Why are you being so paranoid?"
"I don't understand you. You think I want to hurt you?"
Of course, it's very difficult for these girls to just come out and say: "I'm sorry. I have trust issues. I don't expect you to understand, especially if you keep pushing me to do what I don't want!"
Will it ever get better? It depends.
Of course, you can't expect the whole world to understand how you feel, and what you're going through. It's impossible and selfish. All you can do is try your best to survive while reaching out to those who are willing to support you.
Hurting or even killing others won't make the sadness go away. If you see at least a bit of yourself in Dana Seavers, you might want to get some help. It's understandable to have expectations, just like it's okay to make mistakes like misreading someone's true intentions. You're only human. Nobody's perfect. If you misread any signs or get confused or feel tricked, that doesn't mean you're stupid, gullible, naive, or too hopeful. That can happen to anybody.
Hopefully, the voices of the people who really love you are much louder than bullies who try to put you down. Because you matter. You're loved.
Ruby Astari is an English teacher, freelance translator, and freelance writer. Her first novel "Reva's Tale" is already in stores. She enjoys being a sexy chub, hanging out with fellow writers, and wearing froggy shades in public!