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I’ve been so unsettled hearing reports of the Kanye and Kim situation. In case you haven’t had any interaction with the outside world, Kim Kardashian separated from Kanye West and is seeking a divorce. She’s now dating Pete Davidson. Kanye has been harassing her publicly. And trying to intimidate Pete, also very publicly. He’s released songs, shared private texts, incited his fans to scream at Pete and Kim, delivered a literal truckload of roses to her house, and even bought a home across the street from her.
Kanye and Kim are real people.
Buzzfeed, TMZ, etc. have long reported on every move Kanye and Kim make, so of course, this erratic behavior is great for views. But it feels so icky to me. I get a sinking feeling in my stomach every time I come across another headline about Kanye’s antics. And it continues to sink if I read the comments. There’s so much blaming of Kim.
“She knew what she was getting into with him.”
“She likes the attention.”
“This is what she deserves.”
These are real people and real lives.
Kanye is a real person with documented mental illness who has publicly spoken about being off his medication.
Kim is a real person who is being emotionally and mentally abused.
Pete is a real person who is being harassed and threatened.
My own experience
An evening of my own life recently popped to mind as if it had just happened. We’re coming up on four years since I left my now ex-husband. I was 40 and had been with him since I was 20, married since 21.
A few months after I left I was driving home from the store with a friend to my Frangipani rental retreat. It was a Saturday night. My now ex-husband called and texted while we were still at the store. I texted back to make sure it wasn’t about our daughter and then said I was busy.
He called again. I declined.
Then he immediately called again.
Literally dozens of times in a row.
I was in my car, so turning off the ringer didn’t help. It rang through the whole vehicle and lit up the screen with his name over and over. I didn’t want to shut my phone off because my teenager was out and I wanted her to be able to reach me. I felt trapped.
I’d been telling my friend about the anxiety I had in any interaction with my ex, but I don’t think he really got it until he witnessed the car being taken over by repeated unwanted calls the whole drive home.
I think the final count was 27 missed calls. Literally. 27.
The impact of harrassment
Sure, most of us lose our shit occasionally. I understand big emotions bubbling over and wanting to be heard. I’ve been guilty of that myself and really regretted it.
But 27 calls, plus multiple texts/Facebook messages/voicemails in 15 minutes…that’s a different beast.
I wasn’t scared exactly, but having someone deliberately and repeatedly violate your privacy and boundaries just cracks you open and splinters your soul. My whole body was shaking. I burst into sobs as soon as we walked in my house. My friend poured me some bourbon and I downed it in one gulp. It was my first time having bourbon.
I’m still dealing with the toxicity of my marriage years later. So many people were shocked when I left. I’d painted a picture of perfect happiness – I’d even convinced myself for a long time. When I was finally done, I was DONE.
But it’s impossible to be done when you’re being harassed.
Kanye and Kim are in crisis.
What Kim Kardashian’s dealing with is on a so much larger scale in both severity and public nature than what I experienced. I can only understand a bit of the stress, anxiety, frustration, overwhelm, and powerlessness she’s probably experiencing.
It doesn’t matter that she’s opened up her life to the public. This is a woman being abused while we all watch.
This is a crisis situation. Kanye is clearly in a mental health crisis. He’s dangerous. He’s creating unsafe and hostile environments for Kim, and thus for their children.
This is a crisis for Kim. Her own mental health, emotional well-being, and physical safety is repeatedly being trampled all over. This makes it a crisis for her children.
And it’s a crisis for Pete Davidson, who Kanye is targeting as being responsible for his failed marriage instead of looking at his own part.
It isn’t Kim’s fault.
Kim doesn’t deserve this. She’s a victim. It’s abuse. There is no justification. And when you try to justify it or laugh it off as entertainment, you’re letting your friend, your mom, your coworker, your sister, your girlfriend, your daughter know you aren’t as safe as they’d thought you were.