"Please tell me, what is the upside to me being alive?"
"Are you kidding me? You and me, fighting the good fight together."
#whomp there it is #if you want Sam to stay alive #you have to make him want to stay alive #by easing that burden #which Dean obviously doesn’t care enough to do #I wish someone cared enough (via waterbird13)
Because Dean hasn’t reminded Sam of what he perceives as Sam’s failings—including being soulless, being with Ruby, and letting Lucifer out—as recently as the end of season eight. Dean doesn’t lay any of that on Sam, or anything.
Because Dean didn’t allow the possession and take away Sam’s ability to consent in season nine, then act like it was no big deal and Sam’s the messed up one for not forgiving him, putting that on Sam more than himself.
Because Sam’s dead lovers aren’t a constant joke played into repeatedly. Recently, that includes in Pac-Man Fever (when Charlie thanked Dean for saving the world and said to Sam “sorry you have zero luck with the ladies”, which, despite having to know that Sam’s lovers dying has to be painful, Dean does nothing about), and in Rock and a Hard Place (when Sam tries to give a reason for his commitment to chastity, saying his relationships hadn’t ended well, and Dean laughs and says “he ain’t lying”).
Because somehow Sam should just “let go” of traumatizing things like the death of loved ones, the fact that his life is in constant danger, the fact that he’s hated by his community, the fact that he’s been repeatedly violated (by Azazel, Meg, Lucifer, Gadreel, Dean, Becky, Gary, Dean, even Mary, to name a few), and the fact that he carries around memories of centuries of torture and the ensuing breakdown that caused.
Because his community doesn’t constantly remind Sam what they think of him, and Dean doesn’t allow it or anything. Dean doesn’t argue or debate Tracy Bell’s assessment of Sam, he just tells her to focus on the hunt.
Because Dean’s expectations make perfect sense. I mean, it’s not like he’s fluctuated wildly on what Sam should or should no do for him, like how he yelled when he thought Sam saved him in season four, made Sam promise that they’d let each other die, then crucified Sam for not saving him. Because Dean gives real, clear to understand expectations that, really, are something other than “do what I say, when I say it; be okay with what I do, whatever I do, because I know best.”
Because it’s not like Sam came very close to killing himself at the end of season eight because he thought that finally, finally, that would allow him to live up to some expectations Dean has of him, to finally impress Dean and get Dean to admire him at least a bit.
Sam’s burdens aren’t just because he’s holding on to things and simplifying them to that is a gross misrepresentation. Sam is reminded constantly of the ones he could possible move on from. Trauma is created; things like this stick with someone forever. But they can (metaphorically) weigh less if someone helps with them. Instead, Dean adds that safe to Sam’s back and helps ensure that none of the others will ever be lifted free.
Dean claims having Sam alive is the most important thing, and maybe it is to him. But he is helping shape a situation wherein Sam is so weighed down that those spikes are piercing him. If he wants Sam to live, he should help him want to live, and that means easing the burdens. That means no more bringing up the past with the aim to hurt; respecting that Sam’s been hurt; respecting Sam’s autonomy; thinking about how he treats Sam; giving reasonable expectations that Sam doesn’t have to practically kill himself to attempt to live up to; and reminding Sam that he is there to help carry this weight, if he should need it. Dean can’t fix everything, and no one is saying he should. But if you want a suicidal person to live, you don’t just pull them back from the edge and call that good enough; you make the situation better so they are willingto live, which Dean seems completely unwilling to do—indeed, he rather pile more on, it seems, then help ease some of the burden that is literally killing Sam.