April 23, 2012

Blogging Elsewhere-- When Thugs Cry: DMX Breaks Down on VH1's 'Couples Therapy'


Writing within the context of my own community; oftentimes a Black woman’s dating patterns--especially if that pattern is askew, like a Möbius strip-- and disposition is attributed to her relationship with her father.  We hear society wax poetic about a woman’s supposed Daddy Issues (clinical term: Electra complex); particularly if she’s prone to behavior that’s considered aggressive, wanton, attention hungry, and nihilistic; we never really explore why dads  take sole responsibility for their daughter’s dysfunctional behavior or ponder the opposite end of that spectrum… the opposite end being Black women’s (and especially Black men’s) relationship(s) with their mothers and how that maternal interaction impact their adult lives.
I don’t watch VH1’s “Couple Therapy."  I did however, read my social media platforms explode into cyber equivalents of nonplussed commentary and harsh assessments after rapper DMX-- (who, along with his estranged wife Tashera, is a participant on the show)-- apparently broke down during the most recent episode.  I watched the clip and immediately saw a troubled man— used to posturing in the steely, thuggish “Keeping it Real” role dictated by Rap music’s narrative—defeated.  And a lot of young, Black urban men are often expected to take on that same aesthetic, lest they be accused of being too soft or a punk.  This expectation leaves no room for Black men to express themselves and it can manifest in the myriad of destructive ways. Male children who have unstable attachments to their maternal caregivers are vulnerable to behavior problems and become aggressive, hostile adults sometimes incapable of maintaining healthy romantic relationships or friendships. For DMX it manifested into a drug addiction, womanizing, and multiple run-ins with the law.

 Family therapist, social philosopher, and advocate for boys, Michael Gurian has written extensively on how parents, especially mothers, can help cultivate their sons' development. In his book, "The Invisible Presence"-- which explores the positive and negative aspects of the mother/son bond and how it shows up in a son's adult relationships-- Gurian writes...  
"Unresolved issues in a man's relationship with his mother are profound sources of trouble in a man's life. In studies and surveys done by psychologists and researchers over the last decade... we have discovered that the majority of men in this culture have unresolved problems concerning their mothers. Some of those involve a mother's abuse, neglect, abandonment, or impingement on a son's healthy individuation."
When DMX confessed where his feelings of dejection stemmed from during the televised (for Reality TV) therapy session with Dr. Jenn Berman and Tashera, it was a very authentically raw moment… unheard of by today’s “reality TV” standards. DMX divulged an unrequited desire to hear his mother (who he hasn’t spoken to in years) say “I love you”...  Read the Rest at Intersection of Madness & Reality.




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