Tamar Braxton's many fans were shocked two weeks ago when it was reported that the Celebrity Big Brother winner and Braxton Family Values star had been rushed to the hospital after what appeared to be a suicide attempt. And, now, Braxton has decided to open up and explain more about her mental health crisis and why she tried to commit suicide.
Tamar Braxton recently put all her thoughts into a lengthy and emotional Twitter post, which explains the situation she had been going through and how it led her to feel like suicide was the only option. After saying her thanks "to each and every individual who has prayed for me, thought of me, sent me their love and has showered me with their support," Braxton said she felt the need to "be real" with herself and everyone who cares for her healing. Here's part of her statement, which deals with what led to her attempted suicide:
Every one of us has a desire, whether small or big, to make it out of where we come from to an ideal future place that includes, freedom to be who we choose, security for our children and families, and fortune to share with the ones we love. We believe these things can co-exist with just being happy. I believed that, that as a black woman, as an artist, an influence, a personality I could shape my world, and with whom I believed to be my partners, they could help me share my world.
Over the past 11 years there were promises made to protect and portray my story, with the authenticity and honesty I gave. I was betrayed, taken advantage of, overworked, and underpaid. I wrote a letter over 2 months ago asking to be freed from what I believed was excessive and unfair. I explained in personal detail the demise I was experiencing. My cry for help went totally ignored. However the demands persisted. It was my spirit, and my soul that was tainted the most.
After Tamar Braxton's attempted suicide was reported, word came out about her displeasure with her contract for Braxton Family Values, the WEtv reality series she's filmed with her sisters and mother since 2011. In her social media statement, Braxton seems to be confirming that she has been, in fact, trying to get out of her contract with the show. In late June 2018, the series went on a brief hiatus when Braxton and three of her sisters who appear with her (Toni, Towanda, and Trina), as well as their mother, Evelyn, did not show up in Atlanta, Georgia to begin filming as scheduled, due to their claims that they were being underpaid.
While Braxton has been a reality show staple for many years now, it's clear that she hasn't always felt good about that work and what it was doing to her personally, even though she came into reality television with the best intentions. And, when trying to be released from her contract didn't lead to the response Braxton was hoping for, she felt she had to continue working in conditions that increased her mental strain to a breaking point. She went on to say that, because of that strain, she wasn't able to be a good person in any areas of her personal life:
Who I was, begun to mean little to nothing, because it would only be how I was portrayed on television that would matter. It was witnessing the slow death of the woman I became, that discouraged my will to fight. I felt like I was no longer living, I was existing for the purpose of a corporations gain and ratings, and that killed me...The pain that I have experienced over the past 11 years has slowly ate away at my spirit and my mental [health].
Tamar Braxton seems to place a large part of the blame for the decline of her mental health on the working conditions she feels she endured on reality television, along with how she's been portrayed on Braxton Family Values. Anyone who's watched even a bit of reality TV will realize that a large part of those shows isn't just what the stars do and say, but how those actions are edited together and what's been left on the cutting room floor. And, all of that can lead to something different from what happened in the moment as it was being filmed.
Braxton went on to say that she's not just committed to her own recovery, but to using her voice and experiences to act as an ally "for every black and brown person who has suffered from the continued exploitation of reality television." She also noted that those who sign up for reality shows have no union or other way to protect themselves from unfair working conditions, and said she believes that many of these shows "promise us opportunity" but simply lead to "a poor portrayal of black people in show business."
Tamar Braxton has several other reality shows either out now or debuting soon, so it will be interesting to see if she continues with those series after she recovers. And, here's hoping that she can do that and feel good about being in the public eye again before too long.