Jean-Marie Winters had one last thing she needed to complete her dissertation. Her research on Dysfunctional Codependency in Latch Key and Neglected Siblings had been amazingly put together. It was all, of course, based on theory. Her hypothesis was that as morally, ethically, and legally wrong as it is in society, there exists a sub-culture of individuals who are so completely attached to their single siblings, they end up living, looking, and potentially acting more like domestic couples than blood relatives. It is harmful to be so codependent on another human? Society sure seems to think so.
From a myriad of circumstances, military family that moved around, single, working, often struggling parent, a household overtaken by drugs or crime, these children reach a certain level of adaptation and survival that is abnormal. If viewed externally, these situations seem taboo, destructive, and even horrific to a majority of society. When viewed objectively and studied, there is an understanding on a psychological level.
Referencing Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs, the psychological motivation for this behavior is easy to comprehend. Although, the issues that arise from such a bond highly outweigh the benefits. However, Jean-Marie had stumbled upon a situation in which the only issues are public knowledge. When she met Dean Winchester, he had been on a short-term admission in a mental ward in the hospital in which she was volunteering. This was where she’d gotten the majority of her experiential research.
Not only had she used the medical library to its limits, she also had exposure to many of the patients, mainly to study the abnormal psychological side to her dissertation. When Jean-Marie wandered into a group therapy session one day, she noticed a man who she had not seen there before. He was present, yet, not participating. He’d sequestered himself as far to the limits of the group as he could without getting bothered by the staff to join.
Jean-Marie was certainly not a doctor, not yet, but she approached the solitary man with the knowledge and experience she’d gained in her tenure as a volunteer. She started talking to Dean, which was amazing because he had spoken to no one since he arrived. He shrugged and told her that she seemed different from the others.
She did indeed have an aura about her. She was deemed by her peers at the hospital as non-judgmental, clinical without being cold, logical more than emotional, and yet her heart can be seen through her eyes.
Dean came to confide in Jean-Marie, giving her a large part of her thesis. He and his brother raised and took care of each other. Being the eldest, Dean was father, mother, friend, confidant, and eventually lover to his younger brother. He was also an occasional mother hen to his distraught father, John, who had suddenly and tragically lost the love of his life. His extensive insurance policy supported binge drinking, and constant moving, enough for the boys to feel unstable. There was no reason for him to move but he resented the money he was receiving from the trust that Mary set up. He could not get it all at once, and he was aggrieved that this was all he had left of her. He'd all but forgotten his boys.
They were basically like pets who he left to entertain each other while he wasted the money he had.
Dean learned to access the money bit by bit so that it wasn't noticeable. He'd learned hacking, hustling, and many other things while out on the road with John. He never faulted his father, because the man was never cruel to his kids, they just kind of stopped seeming like small helpless humans and were no longer in the forefront of his mind as long as DHS was not breathing down his neck. The minute there was an accident or something where questions might be asked, he moved.
Jean-Marie became a resource that the mental ward used to expedite Dean’s release because he was self-admitted. He thought he was completely fucked up. As a student of abnormal psychology and volunteer at the hospital, Jean-Marie gained permission to help get Dean to a more manageable place psychologically, socially. It was unorthodox, borderline illegal, but a doctor there agreed to be someone you could "shadow" so you could guide Dean back into society and make room for real, serious mental cases they usually admit by force or necessity, and make money from the state from grants for their care.
At this point, Dean was 26 years old. He'd sent Sammy to college, so he could stop taking advantage of the kid's hero worship, and to get himself out of “that phase”. But there he was 4 years later, still in love with his brother, slightly psychotic, and nearly committing murder because he went to visit his brother just in time for Graduation. All was well until some asshole tried to roofie Sam and isolate him. Sam was a little streetwise himself and caught on. When he went to confront the guy, he hadn't counted on the fact that Dean had seen it too and was faster to act first, talk later. He beat the man's face in.
It turned out, he was wanted for aggravated assaults in three counties in CA, not to mention other states.
So, Dean did no jail time, his arrest record was cleaned, but he knew he was dangerous because he also had not wanted anyone near Sam his entire visit. Even though Sam could take care of himself, because Dean taught him a lot growing up, he still felt that pull of jealousy, and suppressing it all made him volatile, murderous.
Jean-Marie agreed to work with him if he agreed to let her study his relationship with his brother. He was unsure at first, thinking that 1) he belonged there, and 2) if Jean-Marie saw how far he and Sammy had gone she’d want to drop him.
With her rational mind, she was able to convince him that she didn’t view things the same way society does. This was the entire reason for her major. She entered this field to be an unconventional therapist and healer. The intent was results-driven, not political correctness, not fame, not social acceptance.
If she was assisting someone in ways no one else could help them, her mission was accomplished. If a patient was dysfunctional, the point was to find a way to help them live dysfunctionally without harming others. If two people work better together in their dysfunction, she’d help them understand it and deal with it so that they were able to live in peace. In their own private, personal lives, she believed it was no one's business what they were doing.
Jean-Marie encouraged their relationship and found solutions for them to live the way they were most comfortable, as a couple. Few people knew they were brothers, so she was able to help them achieve that last step in their lives without persecution. She completed her degree and assisted with getting their surnames legally changed to Smith and Wesson.