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Things Aren’t Always What They Seem

Sunday night… don’t mess with me. Texts- off. Social media- down. Bedroom door-closed.

It’s Real Housewives time AKA time to watch and work ��.

See, the thing is, I have a small caseload of clients now and all of them are in the maintenance phase of therapy. So, they come in for tune-ups and reminders… maybe to vent… but not about anything too deep or challenging anymore. But honey… the Real Housewives always give me something to analyze, to think about, to research, and now, something to write about.

So let’s jump right into it.

My fellow Bison, Candiace; the stunning beauty queen was raised by a psychologist and educated at one of the best schools in the world, Howard University. She sings, has dreams, manages her life, and makes moves. I’m proud of her. Yet, when we see her on screen, most of us are shocked by her behavior. Super mouthy, aggressive, constantly defensive, and lacks awareness on how she shows up to the rest of us. See, when she started with the RHOP, she had a thing or two going on to create a storyline; upcoming

nuptials to an older white man, an over-imposing mama, and a fresh start to a new career. But then, that mouth. That mouth literally got her dragged, and it wasn’t fair or fun to watch. It wasn’t cool or calculated. It was bad and brutal. Embarrassing and sad. Dreadful. However, I also understand that she asked for it. I mean, rewind the episode… she actually asked if it was going to happen and then got mad when it did.

But that’s not the issue. Not right now at least.

The issue is- it appears that she hasn’t learned her lesson because she keeps talking, running off at the mouth, throwing lettuce, and asking (no really- watch it) for a fight.

The truth is- she has PTSD. Check it- clinically, PTSD has eight criteria with no less than 27 descriptors and, to the naked eye, she meets most of them. Indeed, we can’t see how her sleep is affected or if she has difficulty with concentration. But what we can see is:

  • Irritability or aggression

  • Hypervigilance

  • Feeling isolated

  • Negative affect

  • Unwanted upsetting memories

  • Physical reactivity after exposure to traumatic reminders

  • Exaggerated blame of self or others for causing the trauma

  • Heightened startle reaction

  • Emotional distress after exposure to traumatic reminders

  • Difficulty experiencing positive affect

  • Overly negative thoughts and assumptions about oneself or the world

  • Risky or destructive behavior

But, many of us wouldn’t call it that way. We’d likely say “Dang, she’s still doing the same thing but when ____ drags her, she’s going to be mad and press charges….and never recognize that she’s causing the beef”. Yet, what I want to drive home here is, many of us are dealing with true mental health issues but because of a number of factors, we can’t or don’t see it. Or maybe worse, we can’t or don’t want to see it.

Sure, I have a number of solutions for her- starting with therapy and ending with therapy! And ultimately, using her platform to promote self-awareness, acknowledgement of self, transformation, maturity, and… therapy. But what I want the rest of us to take away is, next time you see someone with a recurrence of behavior provide a listening ear, step outside the box and consider that someone is hurting and not just an asshole. And, if you are the asshole or know an asshole, send them our way because hurt people hurt other people.

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