OOC: Please don’t do that, please do not promote that thought process. A broken heart is healed by acceptance, forgiveness and remembering your worth. it is never ever cured by falling in love with someone else, it is unhealthy and usually promotes dependant behavior. Stop trying to smooth over the writers faux pas and passing around this extremely unhealthy advice.
They didn’t have to give Anie that back story, they could have had her be a college graduate back from school who was well traveled in places Cooper loved. They could have given her a real character.
They did not. It’s unfair and really horrible, unfortunately, but no do not heal a “broken heart” (it wasn’t a broken heart she was mentally ill and depressed enough to try to kill herself that is not mere ‘broken heart’) by diving into a relationship with a stranger.
There wasn’t much reason to give Annie a tragic back story, especially since they gave her so little personality and character development to accompany it. Her past suicidal behavior was just a plot device, unfortunately.
Nevertheless, the fact that she tried to take her own life over her last relationship shows that she had serious mental health issues (and probably emotional issues that accompanied it). She spent the year or two she was away from Twin Peaks in a convent, not necessarily in therapy or treatment, so there’s really no way to gauge how “well” she was when she returned—how stable she was, how much help she’d really gotten, etc. We just know she played a lot of poker with nuns and had little communication with the outside world for an undisclosed period of time.
Her coming back to town and immediately falling for the first man she meets is, perhaps, not as unrealistic as it is unhealthy. Cooper, when he discovered her history, should have understood that he needed to go slow, even if he did still want to pursue a relationship with her. That would have been the responsible thing to do.
(Add to that the fact that Cooper has, presumably, not had a relationship since his traumatic experience with Caroline, and the whole situation is potentially disastrous for the mental health of both parties involved.)
Instead, Cooper pursues her—worse, her sister Norma lets it happen (because she’s too busy screwing the husband of another vulnerable, mentally ill woman), and of course Annie immediately latches onto the new man in her life. Worse, not only do they start dating almost immediately, but they even make love after barely a week or two has gone by. I don’t think either of them, Annie or Cooper, should be shamed for that, but again—leaping into a serious physical relationship like that could compromise the progress Annie made towards improved mental health and stability,
Cooper treated Audrey with caution and respect—he kept his distance even though it was obvious that he was attracted to her. She was an adult, above the legal age of consent, but he still held back because “what you need right now is a friend”.
Never would that statement have been truer than regarding poor Annie Blackburn.
But with her, a young woman who couldn’t have been very much older than Audrey, one who was even more needy, starved for affection, and emotionally unstable than Audrey, he gives into his desires almost at once.
Pursuing a relationship with Cooper gradually could have been a sign of Annie’s improved health. Instead, their comically rapid romance comes across as foolish to the point of being dangerous for Annie’s perhaps still delicate mental health.
Arguing that the relationship is a sign of Annie’s personal strength and resilience is silly to me, because we don’t get to know Annie well enough to see if, away from Cooper—and the public eye in general—she’s in good mental health or not, to see if she still has demons she has to wrestle on a daily basis or not. She latches herself on to Cooper, and Cooper takes advantage of her obvious vulnerability to fulfill his own, previously-stated desire to “make love to a beautiful woman” (without giving himself much time to develop any convincing “genuine affection” for her).
Overall, the whole storyline reeks of bad, lazy writing ad abysmally poor character development. As the blogger above me says, they could have given her any kind of back story. Instead, they made her suicidal over a man, yet created her for the sole purpose of replacing Audrey as Cooper’s love interest.
tl;dr The whole thing was unhealthy and badly-handled. It cheapens Kyle MacLachlan’s excuse for opposing the original Audrey/Dale storyline (Cooper’s supposed moral righteousness), because the hot-and-heavy, lightning-fast romance endangers both Cooper and Annie’s mental health. Maybe if Annie had been introduced at the beginning off season two instead of shoved in at the very end, their relationship would be more palatable, but given her past, I don’t really think so.
Love, especially romantic love, is not a “cure” for mental illness like depression. In Annie’s situation, romantic love could exacerbate the problem since it was a catalyst for her suicidal tendencies in the first place. That’s why I think this particular storyline is terrible—and that writing it off as Annie being strong and “healing” is exceedingly ugly.