Matthew’s depression: explained
I don’t know why I wanted to do this, maybe because many don’t understand that Matthew’s real problem is not his alcoholism, it’s his depression and this is what takes him to different ways of self destruction. It could have put him into any addiction: drugs, cigarret, etc.
I have also read some comments of people saying that Matthew shouldn’t even feel that way, because “he has it all”. They say the same thing that James says in nothing but shadows “You could have noticed that life is less than ideal for me in this moment. So, stop making everything a tragic show of yourself for nothing” minimizing Matthews problems because he just “has it all”.
So, here is where this begins. I will explain as the psychologist I am, the reasons of Matthew’s depression. Besides, I remind you that the mental diseases have no distention in genre, social class or race. And we don’t know what happens in closed doors of a home that even though seems to be okay, is not okay at all.
Matthew was born in a “gold cradle”. Charlotte had been consul for eight years already when she gave birth to Matthew. The consul, being some king of president or minister, has a salary higher than the one given to the rest of shadowhunters. Even Cordelia says it, that she always sees Matthew with fine and expensive clothing. Maybe it doesn’t seem so important to mention but believe me, it is. As I said before, it is a popular belief that a boy born in a gold cradle would not have anything to complain about, but many times that gold cradle comes with defects: The pressure of the parents of being perfect of even the abandonment because of being so involved in their jobs all the time.
Here we will take this into account.
We know that Henry is a man that is all the time concentrated in his work. We know that his nature es being clueless and we can’t judge him. We can’t judge Charlotte either for being involved in her work as consul, because by being the first women in that position it is possible that she has to work the double.
So, we have our first problem: absent parents
Matthew had to grow up quick. In Cast Long Shadows, we see a little Matthew, only six years old, crying in his mother’s skirts. She asks her little son to go take care of his father. Matthew, being as protective as he is, takes his role seriously.
In Nothing but Shadows, Matthew explains that he always had been looking after his father, and Christopher. He had to grow up quick because he had to be from one way to another looking after his father and being alert that his father could eat well or didn’t caught fire. He went few times to meet with the other kids because he was home taking care of his handicapped father. If it weren’t because the Lightwood lived in Idris, he wouldn’t have met them.
Matthew didn’t live a normal childhood.
Matthew has a very bad perspective of himself. In Cast long Shadows, there were two phrases of Matthew that left me sad. “A pretty face, but not smart like the rest of his family” “You are a waste of space in a vessel, but at least your vessel is fantastic”.
In first place, you can imagine Matthew has an enormous ego, because he apparently does, but we find out, entering in this mind, that is actually the contrary of that.
Let’s see, his mother is the first female consul; his older brother longs to take her place and is very useful for his mother, to the point in which she gives him the position of subdirector in an institute and intern consul in London in her absense. He (Matthew) has a father that is a genius, that invented portals and the radar, and has as a pupil on of Matthew’s best friends.
Matthew is happy but wouldn’t doubt in feeling frustrated for not having anything special like the rest of his family. He doesn’t feel enough to fill in the places that his brother and parents fill. He thinks he is just a kid that likes art, but is not able to do art. (Nothing but shadows).
And then, when everything that happened with Charlotte happens, he thinks that all the doubts about himself are completely true. He is nothing.
We arrive to the most important part: the sin.
Before getting to that, let’s talk about the rumour:
Alastair didn’t create the rumour, it’s true, and like every kid, he repeated it with the intention of hurting Matthew. Yes, Alastair is not guilty of what Matthew did but you have to admit that he was an idiot that did not understand how powerful his words can be.
Many say: Why didn’t Matthew talk with his parents about it or simply didn’t believe Alastair? But, let’s get in context.
1900, a time where the simple fact of a women being alone with a man, could ruin her completely. Do you really think that if Matthew was actually Gideon’s son, his parents would have told him? Matthew himself knows that they would have lied, that is why he buys that potion.
Besides, imagine a boy grow up believing he is a bastard.
Matthew had a lot to doubt: Just like Alastair says, his physical appearance was very different to his parents and very similar to Gideon. Besides, he says it in CLS, that his parents were behaving in a very strange way (Charlotte was distracted, Henry was alert, and Charles was questioning him). And last of all: Gideon was appearing in the mornings to accompany Charlotte.
Cassie said that Charlotte’s pregnancy had been difficult, I guess it was because of her age so they hadn’t told Matthew yet, for him not to be worried (Charlotte had a husband, and older son, and an advisor worried about her already). No one imagined something like this would happen.
At last: Depression many times requires a detonating
The feeling of not being enough, of being a mistake, and over all, of having killed somebody you were going to love, was without a doubt Matthew’s detonating. This was the thing that put him in the bottom, and told him that he was a mistake, that did not serve, that he was a fail.
We know that he was tricked by the fairy (The Land I lost), but he doesn’t know it. In his mind he thinks he was an idiot for not listening to Jem. The thinks that thanks to his insecurities about not being his father’s son, poisoned his mother and killed his sister.
He won’t let Lucie touch him, he himself says he is not enough. He won’t tell anything to James because he is afraid he will judge and abandon him.
He gets into self-destruction by drinking, because it is the only thing that calms him. In some moment he must have had suicide thoughts.
And he holds on on what we could’ve called “lights”. I Have discovered that Matthew has been very attached to James. It is as if he wants to keep him close but also is afraid of hurting him.
Matthew’s depression is totally valid. We see that it is taking form slowly. They are little things that just explote in a moment and put us into an abiss where it is difficult to come out.
Translation by: @manuaristythgtmi
Art by: Cassandra Jean
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