I recently read an article about Kanye West. Written by Atahabih Germainmm, the article's title, ‘It’s Just the Ultimate Final Cutoff’: Kanye West Opens Up About His Bipolar Diagnosis and Being Labeled ‘Crazy’, was a mouthful. Despite such a compelling headline, I felt numb to Mr. West’s pain. I emotionlessly said to myself… Welcome to every woman’s daily existence.
Daily. Understand that? Day. Ly.
Women are pressured to keep our responses tempered so we won’t be called hysterical. Petty. Bitter. Bi-polar. Crazy. How often do you hear about a crazy ex-girlfriend or crazy ex-wife? Contrast that to how little you hear my "crazy ex-husband” or “crazy ex-boyfriend”. Ohhhh, here’s another one that’s annoying… ‘unhealed’. GTFOHWTS!
There is some sympathy for Kanye West because he has a diagnosed mental illness. It gets the conversation started. We can all agree that it’s wrong and marginalizes him if everything he does that we don’t understand, don’t agree with, or don’t like is just called crazy and he is dismissed. Repeating the headline… It is absolutely the ultimate final cutoff. But the same dismissive cutoff happens to women everyday. It happens to those diagnosed with mental illness and to those that are not. The marginalization continues even more so in the judicial system when dealing with our children, infidelity, divorce, and the resulting mental anguish fathers abandoning their wife and kids create.
As a woman, more specifically- as a woman who has been wronged and has decided to reclaim her voice, everyday I walk the fine line of being labeled crazy. Most often, the behavior labeled ‘crazy’ is a natural action taken in response to unnatural and unimaginable violations. You see, I believe labeling uncooperative victims (women usually) as crazy, helps guilty people avoid the accountability and consequences associated with their actions. Further, I sometimes feel pressured by the well meaning (Christians usually) folks who buzz about with words like “accountability” and “keep peace” and “show forgiveness”. All of these are concepts that help smooth things over for the victimizers, not the victims. It also helps those that are family and friends of the victimizers-- people that either don’t want to get involved or don’t want to dare anger the victimizer-- feel more comfortable about stepping away and not choosing sides.
I've been astonished that Nyles, a medical professional, has been so willing to blatantly intimate that I have been diagnosed as bipolar. I’m also astonished that attorneys are allowed to repeat the abusive allegation and intimate the lie in open court and in pleadings through leading questions. Just throwing shit at the wall and seeing what sticks I imagine. You know why I think he’s trying it? I’m an easy mark. I'll let you know how in the next part of this blog post.
I remain committed to taking my own clothes off from now on. Never again will I allow someone to use half truths, partial truths, whole truths, and outright lies to undress me and make me feel vulnerable and exposed. That Ree-Ree is dead.
PS. It’s been a while since I've written. I know. I have a serious case of writer's block. It took me hours just to put this together. Hours I tell you. I’m doing a series on this topic because...well, let me just try and push this series out and you’ll see.