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Remembering Whitney Houston: The Quiet Curse of the Homophobic Mother

By       Message Dr. Cheryl Pappas     Permalink
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What inner sacrifice is required, what happens to a person's true feelings when those feelings threaten to cut off a mother's love.

Where do those feelings go?

When a person knows that the deepest part of herself, including her sexuality, is considered wrong, that sense of wrongness and shame festers and turns into self-loathing.

Further, to put it psychologically, when the identification with the mother is experienced as the requirement for survival, the child will sacrifice herself in order to survive.

Psychiatrist Dr. Bernard Bail examines this fusion with mother which can spark the internal death of the child as a separate being, in cases with extremely disturbed mothers, in his brilliant investigative book, "The Mother's Signature".

No amount of public praise or adulation can make up for the dark secret that Whitney had to keep in order not to lose her mother's love, a secret that would perhaps also threaten her popularity and career.

Too much to risk for an undeveloped soul.

The perceived possibility of losing the love of her fans which was based on a false persona, and the love of her mother which was all-important until the day she died.

It was too simple to judge Whitney Houston's bizarre and disturbing behavior, both on and off her and husband Bobby Brown's reality show, during her last years of life.

In fact, the mental illness she expressed was too alarming for most people to watch.

What exactly happened to her?

We are quick in the public to turn against badly behaving celebrities,

especially those who "let us down" with well-publicized cocaine habits and public scenes of mental impairment.

Loud, public brawls and snarling faces caught on camera added fuel to the unattractiveness of Whitney's public decline.

So the urgent question of what was underneath Whitney's extreme unraveling went unexplored.

Why do I think Whitney was gay?

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I am a writer, media analyst, and psychotherapist. I'm interested in comedy, satire, politics, entertainment, pop culture, and business; exposing how the media powerfully spins the news we hear, and how this spin creates our feeling states and (more...)

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