Two weeks after being hospitalized for an alleged drug overdose, Tamar Braxton has broken her silence. The singer/reality TV star shared a lengthy post to Instagram where she acknowledged her mental health struggles and confirmed her attempted suicide.
“Mental illness is real. We have to normalize acknowledging it and stop associating it with shame and humiliation,” she wrote. “I am learning to grow through my pain instead of looking for an escape. I’m on an irreversible path to healing, I am taking my time. It is of the upmost importance that I find me happy and my health, through professional treatment.”
Braxton accused WE tv — which airs the “Braxton Family Values” reality TV series — of exploiting her labor and ignoring her cries for help.
“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,” she wrote. “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.”
“Who I was, begun to mean little to nothing, because it would only be how I was portrayed on television that would matter,” she continued. “... I felt like I was no longer living, I was existing for the purpose of a corporations gain and ratings, and that killed me.”
Braxton further accused the reality TV industry of exploiting Black people and said she will commit herself to fighting for others whose mental health has suffered from the “toxic, systematic bondage that dwells television.”
“It is only your prayers that have pushed me to rise above my own personal demise, pushed me to not only continue my fight for the freedom of my own thoughts, mind and soul, but to also use my voice and experience to be an ally for every black and brown person who has suffered from the continued exploitation of reality television,” she wrote. “Reality TV personalities have no union, no coat of protection, no formal representation that protects our labor, our rights, or our voices. They promise us opportunity but produce exploitation, which has only developed a poor portrayal of black people in show business.”
The 43-year-old was hospitalized on July 16 after her boyfriend David Adefeso reportedly found her unconscious while staying at a Los Angeles Ritz-Carlton hotel. See Braxton’s full post below.
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First and foremost, Thank you. Thank you to each and every individual who has prayed for me, thought of me, sent me their love and has showered me with their support. In this present moment, it is my only responsibility to be real with myself and to be real with the ones who truly love me and care for my healing. I have without fail, shared with you my brightest days, and I know that sharing with you what has been my darkest will be the light for any man or woman who is feeling the same defeat I felt just only a week ago. 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. There are a few things I count on most to be, a good mother, a good daughter, a good partner, a good sister, and a good person. 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. Mental illness is real. We have to normalize acknowledging it and stop associating it with shame and humiliation. The pain that I have experienced over the past 11 years has slowly ate away at my spirit and my mental. (Swipe to finish )