Explorations (**BD2 Movie Spoilers!**)

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Re: Explorations

Postby Violet Sunlight » Sun Jul 08, 2012 7:59 pm

Hello everyone, :wave:

I wanted to add a few comments to the subject of Bella's condition being more prone to becoming a vampire. After taking everything that has been said on the subject into consideration, I think the reason Bella seemed made for the vampire life is due to her experience with managing pain since her childhood. Whether it was due to a medical condition or a behavioral condition or both (which I’m starting to think), Bella has harnessed the pain in her life, whether physical or emotional, and has subconsciously mastered control of her reaction to it. Whether she is overriding it or compartmentalizing it, she is an expert at working at not letting pain control her and with the added bonus of being self-taught. Which is another reason she blended in so well with the Cullens as a human and in her vampire life as well. She was already living their lifestyle to a certain degree. Like she said, “that’s just how life is for me”. Bella was and is an expert at pain management. Consequently, in becoming a vampire and gaining even more strength to manage even more pain, it was kind of second nature to her. Her efforts remind me of the Hulk in the new The Avengers film. [Spoiler Alert]The secret to the Hulk controling his powers is he is ALWAYS angry. In Bella's case she is ALWAYS in some sort of pain, whether physcial or emotional or sometimes both. Though in the Hulk’s case, he manages his anger so he can control his strength/power consciously. Although, . . . . anger is a form of pain as well. Hmm . . . Maybe they are more alike than I thought. In any event, with all this being said, Bella’s realization of seeming to be accurately shaped and fitted to her vampire state as appose to her human state, “It was like I had been born to be a vampire”, sure seems like destiny and vampire-Bella meeting up with each other and both saying to one another “I’ve missed you”.

PS Isn’t it ironic how Bella lived, and lives, with the struggle of the sight and smell of blood while human and vampire?
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Re: Explorations

Postby Jazz Girl » Mon Jul 09, 2012 9:53 pm

Sorry if you all thought I'd dropped a discussion bomb and ran for the hills. A new work schedule and several family obligations have kept me lurking and not posting. Very interesting ideas, all. There are definitely a few "chinks in the MS argument" as Corona so names them. I just thought it a very interesting theory that perhaps there was a condition that might underlie all of the other things that complicate their lives.

smitten_by_twilight wrote:
corona wrote:Here I think is a chink in that MS argument. Bella is healed of all physical ailments during the transformation, and that would have made things simply worse for her, like when her spine is healed and the pain doubles. Toleration of pain based on a physical ailment (insensitivity) wouldn't have helped Bella there, it would have made things worse once the ailment was removed.

Brilliant! Yes, she would have experienced pain differently and more intensely after being of healed of such a thing during transformation.


The only reason I might not completely agree with this is the possibility that there comes a point in the experience of pain where the pain has reached such an intensity that increasing the amount of pain doesn't really make a difference. the increase registers, but the experience of it itself doesn't change because there's no way to register it.

Violet Sunlight~ That is a very interesting theory. It is a very astute observation that Bella's struggles with blood as a human might giver her at least some sort of preparation for the struggles she might have as a vampire. One of Bella's many talents as a human was denying her own distress to focus on helping others she perceived in more distress or danger than she was. Denying her own pain, turning away from it, was a gift of sorts of hers. So, as that characteristic would be one of the many things that strengthened through her change, it makes sense that she woudl continue that in many different ways as a vampire. Well played.
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Re: Explorations

Postby Violet Sunlight » Tue Jul 10, 2012 9:34 am

Jazz Girl wrote: Violet Sunlight~ That is a very interesting theory. It is a very astute observation that Bella's struggles with blood as a human might giver her at least some sort of preparation for the struggles she might have as a vampire. One of Bella's many talents as a human was denying her own distress to focus on helping others she perceived in more distress or danger than she was. Denying her own pain, turning away from it, was a gift of sorts of hers. So, as that characteristic would be one of the many things that strengthened through her change, it makes sense that she woudl continue that in many different ways as a vampire. Well played.


Thank you Jazz Girl and your friend and everyone who shared their input. You all did the hard work, I was just was trying to catch up to everyone. This really was a subject I had made a mental post-it and meant to get back to one day. I just knew there had to be a connection to Bella's struggles with blood as a human and as a vampire, I just couldn’t connect the dots without everyone’s help. Thank you all, again. :D
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Re: Explorations

Postby GrayceM » Sat Sep 22, 2012 2:29 am

corona wrote:The true king of self-control is Carlisle, able to withstand the initial onslaught of pain sufficiently to hide himself and then stay quiet throughout the entire ordeal. As far as we know, Carlisle is unique in that aspect.


I think that may have been more to Carlisle's nature than to the amount of pain one could withstand without screaming. Just thinking that they always described Carlisle to be more reserved and composed than the average person. He is a "deep thinker" and doesn't seem the type to react the same way others may. You know how some people scream or yell when they are startled and some people get really still and quiet? I think Carlisle may have been in that latter grouping and I picture him struggling without sound.

corona wrote:You could say the morphine makes the question moot, since by the time Bella could actually scream out her enhanced brain is capable of compartmentalizing the pain. I would assume she would have been screaming out at the beginning if she hadn't had the morphine in her system, as the pain was overwhelming.

Her true accomplishment was remaining absolutely still during the last half of her transformation. I'm not sure if even Carlisle did that, but there does seem to be additional control added once the brain catches up with the body and is able to actually think again.

But without that morphine, what would have happened? She does scream out in the first book. A lot.

    "My hand is burning!” I screamed, finally breaking through the last of the darkness, my eyes fluttering open.

    "The fire! Someone stop the fire!” I screamed as it burned me.

    I writhed in the grip of the fiery torture, the movement making the pain in my leg flare sickeningly.
    “Edward!” I screamed.

    At first the pain was worse. I screamed and thrashed against the cool hands that held me back.


P.S. Personally, I see a contradiction in Bella's description of the transformation and Carlisle's experience of it, although I don't dispute the canon. According to Bella the pain is overwhelming and bewildering to the point where you eventually lose all sense of self except for the desire to have the pain stop, that death is actually preferable. During that period of time nothing else existed for her (not even Edward) except pain. If you lose all sense of self, then self-control goes with it, meaning that Carlisle couldn't have prevented himself from screaming and thrashing around. He might even have preferred being found and destroyed rather than go through it, if he could have been conscious of such a thought.

I went back to BD to confirm, and found that Bella tells us she definitely would have been screaming, had wanted to scream, during that initial period, it was only being paralyzed by the morphine that prevented that.


I'm wondering if the difference is the unexpectedness of the pain. I mean, in the book Alice tells her "It takes a few days for the transformation to be complete, depending on how much venom is in the bloodstream, how close the venom enters to the heart. As long as the heart keeps beating, the poison spreads, healing, changing the body as it moves through it. Eventually the heart stops, and the conversion is finished. But all that time, every minute of it, a victim would be wishing for death."

I tend to think that Bella hearing that version of how the transformation happens did little to prepare her for that first time actually feeling it. But after having suffered that previously, though a short length of time, she had also discussed with Carlisle and the others what to expect. I think that in combination with her brief experience may have prepared her slightly more than the rest. I mean, really, her situation is so vastly different from everyone else's. Carlisle stayed quiet to survive, Rosalie screamed, I don't know if it ever explained what Edward went through...I may have to go back and read some stuff though. But my point being that she was prepared and had good reason not to scream. Yes, she may have screamed at the beginning if she had been capable but I think as quickly as she realized why she couldn't, she was grateful that she couldn't until she was capable of staying quiet by her will alone.
For her, the morphine kept her from reacting in the same manner she did the first time from the shock of pain. Everything happened so quickly that there's a while where I'm sure she didn't even know that she was being changed. She actually did die so coming back to the light and that pain, she would have reacted similar to the first time. The difference being she had the morphine to give her time to realize what was happening and what she needed to do to be true to her self and allow her suffering to effect the others.

marielle wrote:I always thought that she was genetically different. One of my main reasons was the fact that she was able to smell blood.


I thought it was odd that everyone thought Bella was odd for being able to smell blood... or is it just me and most people really can't actually smell blood? I can smell blood...but I've worked in a lab before and have drawn blood so maybe I have been subjected to it a little more than most people. I have that reason for being able to smell blood so I wonder if it was just Bella's clumsiness and frequent injuries that gave her that ability or if as marielle suggested, there's a genetic reason. She certainly seems to adapt to it more easily than anyone we've read about. If that is Bella's true nature, then perhaps she should be able to adapt from what was unatural to her. Being clumsy and awkward and constantly being injured was Bella's "adaption" to being human. So being changed into a vampire she's able to embrace her true nature and thrive...

I had another thought though...it would almost seem as though there would be a wave of relief once the venom changed and healed you. You know, if it changes and heals then the burning should have started with the changing process, and then immediately stopped once it was through changing that cell or section. Though, granted, the venom did start out in her heart and had to work out to her nerves...but you would think that once her body was changed and the venom is racing back to her heart, it would have stopped hurting...I'll have to think on that one some more.
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Re: Explorations

Postby MoonlessNight » Sat Sep 22, 2012 8:13 pm

Hello Everyone,

I'm glad this topic is active again, as I've always enjoyed reading your thoughts.

On the topic of screaming during transformation, it makes me think of childbirth. I wasn't a screamer, and I didn't know why women screamed, because (to me anyway) it doesn't take away the pain. But many women do it, so I guess everone is different. Rosalie's comments are based on the fact that she thinks her way to do something is the only way. In some ways she reminds me of a three year old, who thinks the world revolves around them.

GrayceM wrote:I had another thought though...it would almost seem as though there would be a wave of relief once the venom changed and healed you. You know, if it changes and heals then the burning should have started with the changing process, and then immediately stopped once it was through changing that cell or section. Though, granted, the venom did start out in her heart and had to work out to her nerves...but you would think that once her body was changed and the venom is racing back to her heart, it would have stopped hurting...I'll have to think on that one some more.


I'm thinking that once the venom invades the cells, the conversion of each cell takes 2-3 days, and each cell is actually burning during tht time. The pain stops after the cell is 100% changes.


GrayceM wrote:I thought it was odd that everyone thought Bella was odd for being able to smell blood... or is it just me and most people really can't actually smell blood?


I didn't find it odd that Bella can smell blood and became lightheaded, but then again, I grew up with a tough as nails mom that would actually face plant at the sight of blood. I'm pretty squeamish myself, and can't look directly at my kids bloody cuts.
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Re: Explorations

Postby Tornado » Sat Sep 22, 2012 11:09 pm

That's a good point about childbirth, Moonless Night. Yes, everyone's way of responding to pain is different. I do think the level of pain we are talking about here, and the consistency of suffering throughout, would probably elicit screaming from most people, but some people might not respond that way, such as Carlisle. Allowances should always be made for the fact that we are all different.
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Re: Explorations

Postby GrayceM » Sun Sep 23, 2012 12:18 am

I'm not too squeemish but I find it difficult to look at the husband or kids wounds. :sick: It makes me hurt for them. I guess if you've never been around it or exposed to it on a daily basis, you may not be able to smell it in a room unless you knew what it was. It just seemed for the books at least, that it was special ability for Bella to be able to smell blood even before she was turned. That's what I found odd about it, not that she could do it, but that Edward at least thought humans couldn't normally.

:? Maybe not the same thing but in reference to long term constant pain, I've had 5 kidney stones. I think that would rank right up there. At least with childbirth, you have something cute to show for going through 2 days of pain. :lol:
But anytime I've been startled or scared, I tend to get very still and quiet and am that way with pain as well. For me, I think it has a lot to do with not drawing attention to myself. And I think that's an excellent point about Rosalie. She seems that way to me as well. If a toddler wants attention, the first instinct is to make noise. Of course, with a kidney stone, moving makes me hurt more so that may be part of it too.
I guess the transformation of each cell could take the time span but it seemed like I remembered Bella explaining it like it was traveling. She could tell when the venom got to her extremities.
Now I know I'm going to have to read this again, because I have some conflicting visions of the venom as a liquid traveling from the injection, the bite (or her heart), out to her extremities and back. But also a different substance that you can feel just being in your system. In one aspect, similar to being put to sleep. Your entire body feels it though it may clinically start at a specific point. But then I also see it as recovering from cold. Normally, you feel this in your extremities first. That's the human body's natural defense against cold. It pulls all the necessary things towards the parts that are critical. Heart, lungs, liver...your hands and feet would feel cold first.
But maybe it has properties of both. When it shows Edward inject her, it almost looks silver in the syringe, so maybe the properties of mercury... in that it can poison your entire system while you physically feel it "traveling" as well.

Yes, thank you for that reminder. Being human makes a difference to every situation. As I'm sure Carlisle would eventually think through. People going through an exact same experience will have different feelings and reactions. Taking different lessons away from the same lecture, different emotional reactions to the same scene of a movie.
I believe our bodies also react differently to things as well as our mind. What one person could handle would kill someone else. We all have the ability to feel a different range of emotions as I'm sure the physical aspect would be different for us as well. Maybe, for someone like Rosalie, the pain was much worse. I don't suppose she had many occasions, other than the last night of her life, to suffer a lot of physical pain. Not even as much as Bella, who's clumsy and is always getting hurt. Carlisle grew up in what, the 13th century? I'm certain there weren't as many "creature comforts" as there are now and he would have been much more used to extreme physical situations. Hunger, cold, heat, exposure to the elements and therefore probably a bit "tougher".
That brings up another question for me though. If Bella's spine repairing itself halfway through her transition would have really doubled the pain or if it was just because she had been feeling it for a day already and now it was over her entire body. AND would that mean that Esme had the least amount of pain through her transition than all of them since her neck was broken. She wouldn't have felt anything until that repaired, right?
This may be getting more into the Science section...

It helps to have a humble reminder of just how precious every human life is so "Remember: You are unique! Just like everyone else." :clap: :unsure:
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Re: Explorations

Postby Tornado » Sun Sep 23, 2012 2:23 am

The 17th century for Carlisle, if I remember rightly. He was born in the 1640s. With regard to Esme's level of suffering, if Carlisle bit her on the neck first (and I think by that time he would have known it was the best place to start) the venom probably would have healed that early, as it was so close to it. Also, I don't think it mentions Esme's specific injuries. In fact, Carlisle suggests, in his comment to Edward when Bella is transforming, 'Her injuries weren't so much worse than Esme's', that Bella's injuries are greater, therefore I think Bella was more likely to have been the one who experienced the least pain (due to her broken back) at first than all the others.
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Re: Explorations

Postby GrayceM » Sun Sep 23, 2012 9:19 am

That would be my dyslexia kicking in...I was thinking 1460's. Thanks, Lynn. I think I probably read a fanfic where she told that her neck was broke...

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Re: Explorations

Postby corona » Mon Sep 24, 2012 11:29 am

My understanding of the process and the reaction to it is generally this:

1) Venom is injected.
2) Pain is excruciating, like being burned alive.
3) Person loses all sense of self due to the pain.
4) Screaming and thrashing is expected.
4) A measure of self-control gradually returns about halfway through.

Per Rosalie, it sounds like the same thing happened to her as it did to Bella, in that about halfway through her brain had become vampirized enough that she was actually able to begin thinking again and consider the fact that screaming did no good. Presumably, she likely stopped when she had gained sufficient control, or at least had it somewhat under control.

Bella even makes something of a childbirth analogy, even though her experience was particularly bad:

    The baby, kicking my ribs apart, breaking her way through me piece by piece. That was nothing. That was floating in a pool of cool water. I’d take it a thousand times. Take it and be grateful.

So, what she is describing is incomprehensible to us. People do handle pain differently, but what Bella is describing is outside of our experience; at least, those who do undergo that type of pain, being burned alive at the stake, only endure it for moments before dying.

Vampirization of the brain allows the person to regain consciousness of the outside world (time restarting) and with that the beginnings of self-control. As Bella puts it, she is finally able to start thinking around the pain, so that the pain is no longer literally all-consuming.

This was my understanding, Grayce. When you say "as quickly as she realized why she couldn't", that would apply to everyone at the point they began to have awareness again. Bella maintained her silence for the last half, which was extraordinary, but she was hanging on by a thread and knew her body would betray her if she had to respond to Edward in any way. She at least had a reason for not crying out.

    "Bella? Can you hear me?”

    I knew, beyond all doubt, that if I unlocked my teeth I would lose it--I would shriek and screech and writhe and thrash. If I opened my eyes, if I so much as twitched a finger--any change at all would be the end of my control.

Granted, everyone is different. But if Bella knows she will scream out unless she maintains absolute focus, then the implication is that everyone screams or thrashes about since they have no earthly reason not to. And this is a Bella who is getting stronger with vampiric self-control, but still right on the razor's edge of losing it.

And at the beginning of the change:

    I knew all the stories. I knew that Carlisle had kept quiet enough to avoid discovery while he burned. I knew that, according to Rosalie, it did no good to scream. And I’d hoped that maybe I could be like Carlisle. That I would believe Rosalie’s words and keep my mouth shut. Because I knew that every scream that escaped my lips would torment Edward.

    Now it seemed like a hideous joke that I was getting my wish fulfilled.

    If I couldn’t scream, how could I tell them to kill me?

    All I wanted was to die. To never have been born. The whole of my existence did not outweigh this pain. Wasn’t worth living through it for one more heartbeat.

    Let me die, let me die, let me die.

    And, for a never-ending space, that was all there was. Just the fiery torture, and my soundless shrieks, pleading for death to come. Nothing else, not even time. So that made it infinite, with no beginning and no end. One infinite moment of pain.

First, Bella wants to scream. She wants to be killed, it's too much.

Second, she appears to lose all sense of self and of self-control. All she knows is pain, and all she wants is to have it stop.

So, at the beginning when she undergoes the change she would have screamed out if she could have, and she wanted to, she wanted to die. When she begins to regain self-control she still wants to scream out, except Edward is there and she is aware of it and not screaming out has some meaning to her.

All of that is to highlight what Carlisle went through, which appears to be utterly unique. He was at least silent enough from the very beginning not to catch the attention of anyone in his village who was conducting a search. He may have made some noises, but not much. He maintained enough control at the beginning to actually seek out a hiding place.

As far as I know Carlisle is the only one who did not scream out from the very beginning. And, he was able to either maintain some kind of consciousness, and therefore self-control, sufficient to not cry out, or he simply didn't even as he was overwhelmed with the sensation of being burned alive for hours on end. Halfway through the process his self-control would have improved, just as it did for everyone else, but it is those first hours that are remarkable. It wasn't that his self-control finally came back to him, it's that it appears he never lost it.

Carlisle's self-control, therefore, does appear to be something I might call a supernatural talent, since he is the only one that demonstrated it to the extent he did. I said before that there is a contradiction there, Carlisle not crying out at the beginning, when everyone appears to have done it. Maybe that isn't a contradiction, that simply demonstrates that this self-control is a manifestation of a natural gift no one else has.
"It will take an amazing amount of control,” she mused. “More even than Carlisle has. He may be just strong enough…the only thing he’s not strong enough to do is stay away from her. That’s a lost cause.”
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