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Megan Markle and Mental Health

We’ve covered my horrible mountain internet reception together, remember? When I was desperately trying to watch Veronica Mars but was defeated by Hulu’s buffering at every turn? Well, now it’s snowing. So that’s why it’s taken me not one, not two, but THREE friggin days to watch the Harry and Megan Interview in its entirety.

I have so many conflicting feelings about the Royal Family and all of the fuss that surrounds it. I know about them because I subscribe to People (though never pay for it – shout out to Verizon Up Rewards), so I understand that there is a Royal Family. I’ve also witnessed the spectacle around two royal weddings in my adult life even though I didn’t watch the weddings themselves. People in both the UK and the US idolize the Royal Family, and I understand that is true but I have never understood why.

I won’t speak to the UK experience, because I live in the United States. But to everyone here in the US – WHY DO YOU IDOLIZE THESE PEOPLE? Sure, we can hang on to the Confederate Flag claiming “History not Hate” but we can’t remember that we as a baby, fledgling country, all banded together to fight like hell to get out from under the thumb of the Monarchy? They thought that royalty was the worst thing in the world, they valued our freedom from their rule higher than they valued the lives of black people. The founding fathers couldn’t be bothered to write in any freedoms for people other than themselves but by god they made sure that neither they or the rest of us would be under the rule of anyone simply because they were born into a certain family. (They broadened it so that all people with certain skin tones would win, but I digress…) So all of you out there waving your flags from failed wars because you care so much about the history of this country, but you also want to make sure to tune in to see the Royal Wedding (or watch The Crown)? Well…just think about what you’ve done for awhile.

My interest in the Royal Family exists as a morbid curiosity, much like my former obsession with Vanderpump Rules (it could easily be argued that I was more in to the LA trash royalty than I ever was with the “real deal”). I am aware but not invested. Regardless, my casual interest has kept me informed that something was going on with Harry and Megan for quite a few years now. With varying degrees of disinterest, I have followed their “Megxit” as it came up in People Magazine, and I have always felt sympathy for Megan because she was clearly getting picked on, and as a bully victim for many years I felt for her. When the “tell all” Oprah interview started getting publicity, I found myself drawn to this spectacle, possibly because I never could resist an underdog story.

I felt a lot of things while watching this interview, mostly frustration as I (not so) patiently waited through all the buffering, only to have the audio and visual not match up…(I need to stop, 90% of this review is going to be a review of Verizon Internet). Most of the “bombshell” moments were, unfortunately, not a surprise to me.

This inbred family that lives in a little bubble and only interacts with other members of the family rampantly practices racism and “isn’t aware” of the damage they’re causing? SHOCKING! And oh no, they view their excessive white privilege as a cage? I never saw THAT coming. (Sorry, let me say that correctly – i NeVeR sAw ThAt CoMiNg!)

Poor babies can cry me a river, I threw out my romanticism for the cute princess/woe is me prince stories many moons ago. My sympathy for the royal narrative is nearly non-existent, it died along with my sympathy for white men talking about being bullied by women standing up for themselves (why yes, a review of Moxie is forthcoming, thank you for noticing!) I just can’t muster up one single fuck to give for Harry as he’s talking about how imprisoned his father and brother are, or how he felt like he was in a gilded cage of privilege and excess. You know what I do care about? Megan’s mental f*cking health.

I actually got some messages recently, people were concerned that I hadn’t been writing on this blog or posting to social media. The truth is, I had a nervous breakdown two weeks ago. I ended up in the hospital, needing to be sedated. I hit a wall that I had long seen coming, and when the impact came I cried out for help. Now, let’s get one thing straight. I’m poor. I don’t have a job, I was a business manager and then Covid came and I decided to become a writer instead and THIS IS MY JOB. Seriously, writing for this blog is what I do and it makes me zero dollars. I have the insurance that California gives poor people like me, and when I went to the hospital and I said “I’m scared, I just realized that I believe in things that aren’t real and I don’t know what to do” an entire county of resources, stretched to the brim in these unprecedented times, rallied for me. Counselors check in with me regularly, I’ve been prioritized on lists to see specialists and get a diagnosis. I have zero resources and, economically, zero to offer this county or this world, and I saw public servants stretch themselves just a little further to make sure that I did not fall through the cracks.

Megan Markle was in the royal fucking family (no caps and no edits, don’t care). She was in arguably one of the most connected, wealthiest, well thought of families in the world, and when she hit her wall, when she asked for help, everyone ignored the call. She said to them – “I want to die and I need help” and all they could offer her was a small smile with their shrug. I have been in that position, one where I had to choose to either cry out for help or die drowning. I was there two weeks ago when I truly believed that people in my life were sending me subtle messages saying I should kill myself. I recognize now that this is not true, but for Megan the messages were real and there was nothing subtle about them. When she said she needed help to live, the royal family was willing to let her die. With all their privilege and connection, they were not willing to do for her what the exhausted, underappreciated counselors that work for my county were willing to do for someone who had nothing.

Recognizing this critical difference put my feelings about Megan’s situation into perspective. While it’s easy to be envious, to think that she had a leg up on me and will therefore bounce back faster, I believe that it is more important to see the similarities in our situations. I believe that trauma is trauma, and one person’s trauma can not be compared to or lessened by another’s. As I watched Megan and Oprah talk about the courage that it takes to ask for help I felt like they were speaking to me and to millions of others like me. Megan has been reminding us for years that representation matters, and for her to use her platform to encourage people who struggle with mental illness, to normalize our experiences so that we can talk about them more comfortably, so that we don’t have to hide or be ashamed – that’s something I can get on board with.

And if Harry’s along for that ride, I guess I could be a fan of him too. But mostly it’s all eyes on Megan. Thanks for speaking up.

Categories: Television

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