During the Real Housewives of Atlanta reunion show, Linnethia “NeNe” Monique Leakes finally got out of her own way and garnered unforeseen respect from many of her co-stars. When she felt herself losing the battle at withholding her emotions, NeNe got up to exit the set. Although she had not planned to open up in the way that she did, the results were phenomenal and her vulnerability allowed others a window into her behavior.
On a previous episode NeNe attempted to bring the ladies together for a therapy session which she asked Dr. Jeff Gedere to lead. The session ended abruptly for NeNe who stormed out before any real therapy could begin. Dr. Jeff returned to the reunion show to address the session, which had continued with the other ladies after NeNe’s departure. As he conversed with the Andy Cohen, the show host, the conversation was again centered on NeNe.
Dr. Jeff’s goal was to encourage NeNe to discuss some of the painful experiences she has navigated in hopes of allowing the ladies to understand her candid demeanor a little deeper. He spoke about her abandonment and betrayal issues, however the focus shifted to NeNe’s mother, she burst into tears and was escorted off the set. Ironically, what the other women saw was not a weak woman, but a vulnerable co-star who had been drowning in pain.
The Broadway actress was raised in Athens, Georgia by an aunt, as opposed to her mother. Her mom had five children but sent NeNe and her brother to live elsewhere. NeNe has always wondered why she had to be sent away and not left to her mother’s care and has lived a life plagued by that rejection. Whenever she feels any type of betrayal or abandonment, defense mechanisms kick in, she retreats behind “Nay-Nay” and goes into attack mode. Her co-stars had no idea this part of her history was plaguing her and as a result had stunted many relationships.
What NeNe learned during the taping of the reunion show is that she was in her own way. Life can feel like an obstacle course, or as Kandi described it, a roller coaster. Many times people find themselves dodging and ducking issues surrounding their past experiences, personal life, relationships and family. What they do not realize is way too often is no one else is stopping life’s momentum for them; they are in their own way of healing and break through.
Pain has a way of changing its victim’s perception causing things to seem real that are not. An unaddressed experience can cause a person to feel as if the world is against them when they are really just living their own lives without knowledge of the easy access to offense. Truth is, many people find themselves in a position where they feel it is the fault of an outside force as to why they are not further along.
NeNe found out during part three of the RHOA reunion show that she could take of the party hat, remove the streamers and exchange her internal pity party for health and wholeness. There is a healthy way to view painful experiences; it starts by removing the fault from people and transferring it to the event itself. The experience, or event, happened but should not be the definitive factor for anyone’s future. Once the emotionalism is removed from the accuser’s action, it becomes easier to understand and navigate the healing journey. Instead of fault-finding, that energy would better serve to create solutions.
By moving out of her own way, NeNe was able to garner unforeseen respect that would have otherwise never been realized. Her co-stars now have a better understanding of the challenges their lead housewife has overcome and can more readily celebrate her many accomplishes. Bravo to Mrs. Leakes and the Real Housewives of Atlanta for putting aside their differences to come to the aid of a sister in need.
Opinion by Cherese Jackson (Virginia)
International Business Times
Guardian Liberty Voice
Top Image Courtesy of Dominick D – Flickr License
Featured Image Courtesy of Ashlee Culverhouse – Flickr License