Following the release of Dr. Strange 2, we talk the Scarlet Witch, Wanda Maximoff! Chaos reigns throughout the episode, including an engaging discussion about the need to get help. You won’t want to miss this one!
- Shoutout to Mr. Stoto’s AP Psychology class at St. Joseph’s School
- Background (4:49)
- Scarlet Witch (Wanda Maximoff) created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby in The X-Men #4 (March 1964)
- Originally, she & her twin brother Pietro were members of Magneto’s Brotherhood of Evil Mutants in an effort to rule humanity
- Originally her power was merely “hex magic”, where she could manifest bad luck to those trying to harm her – later changed to chaos magic, which made her more powerful and able to control all manner of probabilities
- She later joined the Avengers, where she met and fell in love with Vision – listen to our WandaVision episode for more on that
- Her parentage has changed several times over the years – originally she & Pietro were Romani, born to human parents – then they were adopted by the Maximoffs from the High Evolutionary – then they were the children of the Whizzer & Miss America – then they were Magneto’s kids – then they weren’t mutants, and were the result of the High Evolutionary’s experiments – then they were the children of the previous Scarlet Witch, and their adoptive parents were actually their aunt & uncle #BecauseComics
- Had two children, Billy & Tommy, with Vision – later revealed they were magic creations using pieces of Mephisto’s soul, and they vanished – the memories later vanished, only to be triggered by Janet van Dyne – Wanda sought revenge against the Avengers, and this led to Disassembled and House of M, where she had a breakdown and used her chaos magic to eliminate almost all mutant powers from the world
- After several years as an outcast, she later joins with Hope Summers, and the two combine their powers to destroy the Phoenix Force and restore the mutant X-gene to the global population
- This led to her becoming an enemy of the state on Krakoa, although she later redeemed herself by sacrificing her life to enable Cerebro to find all mutants and bring them to Krakoa
- Issues (7:55)
- Her relationship with her children – how she kept losing them, and then when they’re there, physically, she feels uncomfortable around them
- Her relationship with Magneto & Pietro (19:36)
- Not so much an issue as it is a question – There’s a What If with Jessica Jones where she joins Avengers as a SHIELD liaison, and most of the major events happen as they would, except Wanda hides her children in a closet before Jessica showed up, and because of that Jessica gets her help, and so Disassembled never happens – talk about how hard it is to get help, or the right kind of help (29:35)
- Break (46:21)
- Treatment (48:15)
- In-universe – Give Wanda a fixed place that she can always go to
- Out of universe – Family therapy – use the chain/rope technique to help improve the dynamic
- Hello Wanda, I’m Dr. Issues. – Hello, Doctor. I want to be upfront: I understand the need to be here, and I even agree with the assessment that this will be helpful. But that doesn’t mean I’m eager to undergo a deep analysis on every single decision I’ve made over the course of my life.
- That’s understandable, especially since neither one of us would have time to do that. My job is to make sure you find out what works for you to deal with how those events have shaped who you are now. Unfortunately, that does mean we’ll have to talk about uncomfortable things once in a while. So, I’ll let you start with what feels most challenging for you. Anything come to mind? – Is it cheating to say everything? I’m not being flippant, but I have a litany of items that would fit that description, and to choose any individual one would feel like closing my eyes and tossing a dart. Sometimes I really feel like the personification of chaos, magic or otherwise.
- I can respect that. If I may suggest then, that we start by narrowing it down to a sphere of your life. For example, personal development, or a specific relationship? – Let’s stay away from the relationships to start. I have too many demons in too many relationships to jump into that at the beginning, and frankly, no offense, I’m not sure you could stomach some of the things I would describe to you.
- You’d be surprised at what I would be able to handle; and when it’s necessary, I also consult someone to make sure I process things as best I can. Anyway, I’ll take the lead then, since I suggested personal development. You mentioned chaos. Is it a matter of behavioral disorganization, inattention, procrastination, emotional disruption, or… – *interrupting* You could continue to give descriptions and I would just automatically say yes to everything at some point. So even narrowing it down that way does me no service. That’s my point, Doctor. The mere act of trying to pick a starting point is overwhelming. It’s like drinking from a fire hose.
- Whenever a patient tells me that, I know to start with basic needs. How are you sleeping? How’s your appetite? Are you able to manage your daily tasks for your own survival? -*Irritated* I’m not a simpleton, Doctor! I manage those things just fine! Maybe some bad dreams, but…no, that’s not something we should delve into.
- On the contrary, dreams can tell a lot! I will admit my limitations, but I may be able to help parse out what small tidbits could be beneficial to address. – The world of my dreams is far more dangerous than I could make you understand. The unconscious mind attempts to make sense of what the conscious mind cannot, but I fear it fares no better. In either case I am left confused and am no closer to an explanation.
- That is quite literally what I can offer you. You want an honest external attempt at clarity, I’m your doctor. -Once again, with all due respect, but there may be some other doctor who can manage that realm…
- *interrupting* Without giving too much away, let’s just say we have a working understanding, albeit a bit…odd… – Odd? Or strange?
- You are perceptive. I guess that’s my coy way of saying…try me. What about those dreams? – OK, you want me to describe just one of my average dreams?
- For starters, yes. Just give me one that you recall vividly. – Fine. I am in a beautiful field, surrounded by mountains. There is a woman nearby with the head of a cow.
- Alright, that could symbolize – *interrupts* That’s not a symbol, that is Bova. She is the woman who raised me.
- Oh. OK, please continue. – She hands me two infants swaddled in blankets. I hold them, and the children smile at me for a moment. They are beautiful boys. Until they both point at me and begin crying.
- Interesting. Are the children yours? I didn’t ask you about that before so -*interrupts* I don’t…think we need to get to that right now. May I continue?
- Yes, go on. – They are crying, and then they start shouting at me that I am not real. That I don’t belong here. That this shouldn’t be happening. *sound effects begin* That dark forces are aligning because of what I have done.
- I want to know more, but could you keep the room the way it was, please? Because my office -*ignoring the doctor* The dark forces aren’t demons or magical creatures, they are my friends, or who I thought were friends and teammates. They are conspiring against me. They know what I can do, they are afraid. I am afraid. They are trying to stop this.
- Stopping this right now doesn’t sound too bad… – *ignoring again* My father is there. Or he’s supposed to be my father, but he has another face, and yet I recognize him as my father. He is leading the charge. I try to stop him, but my hands will not move. My fingers ball into fists, and instead of using them for magic I begin assaulting myself. I don’t want to, and yet I feel like I deserve it.
- Doesn’t take a degree to get that last part…but there’s a problem because it feels like something is hitting ME when you say that, so I think there’s some magic going on anyway. Perhaps in a DIFFERENT session we can… – My fists finally open, and so does the sky, and it begins to rain blood and screams. I can barely protect myself from this, and the screams get louder. I hear fallen teammates, I hear children, I hear my ex-husband. All of them asking things of me, making demands I cannot meet. The blood covers me and yet I am not wet. I begin to cry, and my tears also scream at me for releasing them.
- Getting a little exhausted here. I didn’t know walls could melt without LSD or psilocybin, but here we are. How am I supposed to paint with my own skin? Wait, that didn’t make sense. How do you stop this? – The screams reach a fever pitch, until they are so loud I cannot hear anything else, and that is when I wake up. *noises suddenly stop* And I am in my bed at home.
- *creeped out* But why am I there too? WHY AM I IN YOUR HOME?!! – What? Oh, I am very sorry doctor. *magic sound FX* As you can see, sometimes these things can be… overwhelming. But I answered your questions.
- *panting* Alright…regardless of a diagnosis, I’m prescribing something. Maybe I should get some enchanted SSRIs or voodoovalproic acid, maybe dopamine blockade with a 4 leaf clover…I have no idea, but I can’t ignore what I just experienced. I will agree with you for now that any deep analysis is too dangerous. – And you now see my reticence to engage in this with you. It is not out of fear of acknowledgement. I know I need to speak to someone. I know there are things that I cannot continue to leave unspoken or unaddressed. But I know that I am unable to go down some of these roads without potentially causing serious harm to whoever dares accompany me. Even if that person had abilities or powers, the risk of losing another person’s life for something I did is too much for me to bear.
- Absolutely makes sense…which is something I’m glad to say after all of that. Now, it’s time for some burpees, followed by deep breathing with stretches, and a mild sedative. -That sounds very forward of you doctor to prescribe such specific
- *interrupting* That’s not for you, that’s for me. I need to be sharp for any more sessions with you. I won’t give up. – I don’t understand. Why would you continue to risk everything for a possibility that I might make a slight improvement?
- Because that’s what I signed up for. I may not comprehend everything a person says or does, but I can be there for the experience, good or bad. And I can always make suggestions for improvement. A work in progress starts with work before progress. – That sounds like it should be on a coffee mug or other location where one would emblazon a mantra. *sound effect* Consider this, then, a gift for your next training session.
- I’m flattered! Um…why is there a giant crack in it? – It is flawed. Like both of us. But despite its outward appearance, it will not spill. It manages to hold everything inside, no matter what.
- I will cherish it well…including that sentiment, more than you know.
- Recommended reading: Scarlet Witch vol. 2 (James Robinson run)
- Next episodes: Beast Boy, Sue Storm, plus Mental Health Avengers somewhere in there
- Plugs for social
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