The last weekend of January (2021), many women were watching the The Wendy Williams Movie and the documentary. I know I was watching. When I tuned in, the documentary was streaming; so, I saw the documentary first, and the movie last. That movie was very telling and got me to thinking about how women’s relationship issues are developed in childhood and are far reaching, what women do to cope with those underlying problems and corresponding issues, how they predict outcomes in women’s lives, and what women can do to address relationship issues with self and others to get their groove back!
When a child is the focus of their parents and family members due to anything they deem negative, unacceptable or unappealing, the child tends to be affected for better or worse, depending on appropriate or inappropriate applications. The very first part of the Wendy Williams Movie tells how the parents and family members inappropriately focused on Wendy’s overweight and food consumption, through criticizing, berating, manipulation, without empathy. Yet, they thought they were helping. But, it didn’t help her lose weight or have “good” behavior. In fact, Wendy’s size and shape would always be an issue throughout her adulthood, which reveals an issue with low self-concept. She, like other children, begin to perceive themselves as misfits.
Children with family and relationship issues, body image issues, a low self-concept, and being a misfit, tend to continue having relationship issues in adulthood, more or less. Oftentimes, they have issues in the workplace, keeping a job, and being a professional, because of not being able to cope or being out of control emotionally. In her movie, Wendy reveals how she used cocaine to cope with over weight issues, as well as being a misfit in the places she worked. She used cocaine daily, and throughout the day, for survival to provide the energy, euphoria, stamina, and for keeping her weight down. While she experienced instant gratification and alleviation, she became dependent and addicted to cocaine. It did not help with her relationships or behavior and emotional issues. She was not known to have any significant, solid, healthy relationships in her life. While she had boyfriends, they ended shortly, likely due to her low self-concept issues. She had one-night stands, unprotected sex; and, the men tended to use and take advantage of her.
Even though adults have tremendous underlying problems with their symptoms, some adults can continue their careers and businesses–if they have a strong support system. Also they can go on to find a significant other who they can trust for a life partner or a spouse. Wendy had people around her that believed in her talent. Also, when she met Kelvin Hunter, he was finally someone she could trust and let it all hang out, whom she married, and became her business manager, and biological father of their only child, a son. (Interestingly, Oprah Winfrey had many underlying childhood problems with their symptoms, and used cocaine to survive and cope with adulthood and career. However, she overcame her cocaine addiction with a strong support system that included many aspects, likely spearheaded by her best friend Gayle King. Then, met Stedman Graham, who is still her life partner). Wendy was still addicted to cocaine in the early years of their relationship and marriage, suffering miscarriages, still dealing with body-image issues and low self-concept, family issues, and professional relationship issues in her career. Her relationship with Kelvin begin to decline from the time she was pregnant through the divorce. While her underlying problems and symptoms were not being attended throughout, Kelvin was having affairs with other women, and ultimately got a woman pregnant, bought them a home nine miles away from the home he shared with Wendy and their son. The relationship could no longer be sustained; it was too much for both of them. They divorced.
When divorce and break ups happen, after many decades of marriage and relationship–it is a tremendous loss, oftentimes. People experience tremendous and long-term grief over loss, depending on whether they get proper and appropriate help for best outcomes. The grief process is real, and without therapy/counseling it can mean prolonged, unnecessary grieving and suffering. The Wendy Williams Movie reveals her attempts to address her addiction; but, the documentary, and her daily talk show reveal that she is still grieving the loss of her marriage to Kelvin Hunter. While she still has her career–those underlying childhood problems, their symptoms, and related symptoms of adulthood still remain, ergo the strong ranting, blaming, romanticizing, anger, and rage, etc., when she talks about her married life and being a wife and mother. This is evidence of tremendous grieving still in process. It could be what is called Complicated Grief, considered a severe form of grief by psychiatrists.
The grieving process takes more than time to heal wounds–it takes work and time. So, you may be over 50, single, and ready to mingle, but not ready to commit or marry anyone-especially if you are still grieving loss. You may have many things going for you–a career, money, looks, possessions, etc. But, underneath there is so much baggage. Once another person realizes your baggage, they realize it’s too much for them, coupled with any baggage they might still be dealing with. So, neither of you are really ready to date or have a serious healthy relationship or marriage. On the current season of the Wendy Williams Show, Wendy has created this contest, Date Wendy. She has men to send short videos about why she should choose them. Then, at some point, from the the pool, a select number of them will be chosen to be on stage to do a similar old show to the Dating Game. She states that she is “ready to date, hold hands, take walks, with someone special.” Therapists caution trying to establish a relationship on the rebound–it tend to start and end fast! They don’t lead to long-lasting, healthy relationships.
However, as a mature intelligent viewer/fan, I can see that Wendy is still grieving the loss of her marriage to Kelvin Hunter. A strong indicator and red flag that stands out in the movie shows how she spray painted Wendy and Kevin 4 ever on the garage door of his new home he shares with his new woman and infant child, when she found out they resided nine miles away from the house he shared with her and their only child, a son. Other strong indicators and red flags that stand out daily on her TV show is how much she talks about Kelvin Hunter, the tone she uses when she says his name (flirty, romantic, adoring), and the abrupt ranting and raging (through story) about him, his infidelity, dumping her and their son, etc. She then makes responses to people who suggest or want to know does she want to or believe that she and Kelvin will get back together, due to her ongoing talking about him, his new woman, and new baby. On her show and recent interviews (to promote the movie and documentary) she makes various innuendos they they will always be together, especially if [she] really needed him, he would be right there. It is obviously hard for her to let go. Grief that is impossible to let go of is called Complicated Grief, considered very severe by psychiatrists, and considered a mental disorder.
Through therapy the severity of grief can be diagnosed, e.g. Complicated Grief or general grief. Also, it can help determine where you are in the grieving process, and if you have in fact overcome grief. Therapy can help determine if and when you are ready to have a serious, long-term relationship, how to develop and maintain healthy relationships–not only with others, but foremost with self. Women who get the appropriate support and therapy they need will eventually overcome and let go of grief of loss. Self medicating, addiction, and denial will only prolong grief and suffering. Take the time, do your best work, expect the best outcome.
You can get your groove back!