Monday, February 13, 2012

Camp Whitney V. Camp Bobby

I am so over all the coverage on the death of Whitney Houston. Yes, of course it is tragic. She was too young to die. But the wall to wall coverage, especially when you consider they don't really know anything, is over the top. But that is the nature of the beast in our celebrity driven culture today.

What we do know is that she drowned in a bathtub, the coroners have confirmed water was found in her lungs. What we also know is that in normal circumstances if you fall asleep in the tub and fall into the water you will wake yourself up in time to keep yourself from drowning. It isn't a stretch to believe that Whitney had some sort of drugs in her system that rendered her unable to wake herself up in time. Her addiction issues are well-known and her most recent stay in rehab came less than a year ago in April or May. There are witnesses that said they saw her out drinking several nights before her death and TMZ reports that prescription drugs were found in her hotel room. Anyone that is less than one year out of rehab should not be drinking, let alone taking prescription drugs. All that is doing is changing one addiction for another.

I have watched and read many of things being said about her death. There are many that are putting the blame on her ex-husband Bobby Brown for the downward spiral that became her life shortly after marrying him. While it is true that most of her fame came before and immediately after her marriage, she was a big girl.

Many young women go through the I am addicted to a bad boy phase during the teen and early adult years. I went through that myself. I stayed with a man who had substance abuse problems for far too long. The closer my wedding got to him the more I realized that I couldn't go through with it. Mainly because the realization of how bad of father he would be hit me and I didn't want to put my children through that. While it was painful, I walked away. I also spent years after that examining the reasons that I stayed with him for as long as I did. The conclusion that I came to was my own low self-esteem. He treated me the way he did because I allowed it. I was smart enough to never became the substance abuser that he was. While I did partake in things that I shouldn't have, I always understood my limitations.

To blame Bobby Brown for the downward spiral of Whitney's life is to take every bit of responsibility that she had for her own life. Life doesn't work that way. It would be nice if it did, but the truth is, it just doesn't. While no one can argue with the facts that if you come from a family of substance abuse you are far more likely to be an abuser yourself. That is also true of child abuse, many child abusers were abused themselves. But it is not a forgone conclusion that you will become an abuser simply based on your childhood.

People do survive whatever issues they face in their childhoods and grow to be happy, well-adjusted adults. There are people who have no substance abuse in their childhoods and grow up to become abusers. We make choices in life. One of the reasons that I don't drink very much is because I have addictive personality so I avoid things that cause those type of problems. I won't take much in the way of pain medication unless it is absolutely necessary and I just can't get through the day without it. I try not to take aspirin if I can at all help it.

The truth is that substance abuse is one of the most selfish acts you can do as a human being. Once it has wormed its way into your life it completely takes over. The addiction is first and foremost in your life. It comes before your spouse, your job, your child, and anything else that you love. For you to reach that point your self-esteem is very low. Somewhere within yourself you feel you are not good enough. You need to be drinking and partying for others to like you. It helps you be "one of the crowd". You put everything else in your life on the back-burner. Nothing else really matters as much as the next high. I have seen people walk away from their children, I have seen people ruin their marriages, and I have seen people die at far too early of an age just for the next high. The man I loved died at the ripe old age of 35, leaving two small children who will not even remember him. He did that to himself. No one else was to blame for his problems. He knew he had a problem, but he refused to do anything about it. He didn't love himself enough to change the direction of his life.

The same is true of Whitney Houston. She didn't love herself enough. She didn't realize that her daughter, while a young adult, still needs her mommy. Her family wasn't ready to say goodbye to her. But she didn't care enough to deal with the real reasons that she was addicted. After being in rehab, she was no longer physically addicted to the substances that landed her there in the first place. It became what was between her ears and what was in heart, not what was in her bloodstream. That problem had been licked.

While Bobby Brown is not a man I would want in my life, I certainly can't blame him for someone else's actions. They only things that caused Whitney to use drugs and drink too much were her own two hands. One of her big hits was about the greatest love of all, the love of yourself. Too bad for her family and for the world that loved her talent that they were no more than lyrics to her.


Fuzzy Slippers said...

I haven't been following this story (though I do think it tragic that she died so young), but I agree with you, it's absurd to blame Bobby Brown for Whitney's own failings. She was a grown woman, fully responsible for herself, just as we all are.

Deekaman said...

She didn't "drown in the bathtub". Water in the lungs doesn't happen if you are alive. Automatic reflex prevents that. Any Basic EMT knows that. The coroner should, too. She was dead before she slipped under the water.

The coverage is over-the-top like it is for any celeb. At the same time, we ignore the real heroes, the people who died under circumstances far worse than Houston's addiction. And the blame game is the worst.

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