I admit it, I have spent far too much time watching bits and pieces of the Amber Heard and Johnny Depp saga.
My curiosity goes beyond the dramatic celebrity incidents. Instead, it is my own history of being in dysfunctional relationships which made me feel crazy, beat down, and ultimately cause a mental health breakdown that draws my interest.
I have read many discussions over the last few weeks. Some for Amber, more for Johnny, and some even getting so riled up bashing strangers on the internet when they disagree with what side the commenter is on.
“Why are you a f*cking expert? You weren’t there!”
That is very true. None of us were there, including the judge and jury. So we are all left deciphering this unhealthy, toxic, train wreck of a relationship. Would anyone, regardless of being on the side of Johnny or Amber, disagree with this characterization?
Even celebrities, like the hugely popular Howard Stern, have chimed in.
“I think Johnny Depp is a huge narcissist and what I mean by that is—he figured, ‘I’ll put this on TV and because I’m so persuasive and because I’m so smart, I’m such a wonderful guy,'” Stern continued on-air. “The reason he wanted that on—he wanted it televised—is that’s what narcissists do,” said Stern. “They think they can talk their way out of anything.”
I adore Howard Stern; he’s unapologetically honest, and I am such a huge proponent of sharing opinions and stories as I think they have the ability to change lives.
However, society seems to throw around the term “narcissist” so freely when someone seems a little too high on themselves. Perhaps, I am more sensitive to this type of comment as I have been on the receiving end of a narcissist’s wrath (they would call it truth), and their stories seem so plausible and convincing that it can have even the most stable person doubting their own reality and feeling insane.
Is Johnny Depp self-centered and entitled? Yes, I am sure of it.
A narcissist? No. Not clinically anyway.
If Johnny was a narcissist, then that pattern would be shown in his previous long-term relationships, and I don’t think that is the case. If he was a narcissist then he would not have empathy, insight, nor the ability to change.
There is no cure for narcissism; it is who they are to the core.
I do celebrate and stand by women. I am a huge supporter of the “Me Too” movement, and the brave, and world-changing females who, against so many odds, found a voice that will make this world a better place for all of us.
Having said that, it may not be a popular opinion (and I don’t care), but I also have two sons, which is why I look closely at both sides. I will never blindly believe someone just because they are a female. Abusers are not always men. Neither are narcissists.
Johnny Depp isn’t Harvey Weinstein or Jeffrey Epstein. I am not making excuses, as there is an incredibly bad behavior here as well as addiction which compounded the problem.
But Amber Heard isn’t blameless either. I have also loved an addict, and what is a bad idea is to poke, prod, and demean them when they are under the influence. Hell, you shouldn’t do that to someone when they are sober. Some of the taunting things we have heard her saying on the tapes certainly constitute emotional abuse by her. For someone high on drugs and alcohol at the time, it would be like putting gasoline on an inferno, perpetuating the abuse cycle of fighting and chaos.
As someone who has broken free from a relationship with someone who possessed narcissistic tendencies, it is my opinion that Amber Heard shows more of the clinical characteristics.
Some of the traits of a malignant narcissist are:
>> Inability to handle criticism
>> Tendency to lash out if feeling slighted
>> Have no remorse for hurting others and no interest in apologizing unless it benefits them
>> Rewriting history to fit their own narrative
>> Not caring about the pain they cause others, or maybe even enjoying it and experiencing it as empowering
>> Seeking to win at all costs.
When you challenge the reality or leave a narcissist, you will become public enemy number one. It will become their life’s mission to destroy you at all costs. My story wasn’t in the media. I didn’t lose millions of dollars in movie deals or have people talking about me worldwide. Yet, a hate campaign by my female narc caused a severe mental breakdown nonetheless.
So, because of that, I have understanding for Johnny’s need to sue Amber. Not because he believes he is “persuasive, smart, and wonderful” like Howard Stern mentions, but because he has the strength to stand up for his truth. Characterizing him as the only guilty party is irresponsible, for women and men, even as we move forward with cases like this in the future.
As the courtroom drama ended this week and the jury deliberates, I am left to wonder what conversations will go on behind closed doors as this is an extremely complicated relationship.
I do hope Johnny Depp comes out as the victor here. I don’t believe Amber Heard had a right to write an Op-ed about being a victim of domestic violence; she is hardly innocent.
Regardless of what the jury decides for Amber and Johnny, there will be no winner here. Their lives forever changed, including public opinion and financial repercussions for both of them.
What we all can do is learn from this story. Acknowledging and getting help for drug and alcohol addiction likely goes without saying. The lesson here is getting support for yourself when you are in a toxic, destructive relationship that is bad for your health, happiness, and spirit.
Love is not a reason to stay.
Love should be a huge win and something to celebrate.
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