During last week’s heartbreaking The Real Housewives of New York City, Brynn Whitfield opened up about her childhood.
With limited detail, she shared the unthinkable abusive and neglectful conditions of her infancy. Her grandmother ended up adopting her.
But that was not the end of Brynn’s hardships. That kind of abandonment and worse leaves a lifelong mark.
As Brynnsgiving continued this week, she shared the story of a suicide attempt at age six. And she revealed the tragic reason that Thanksgiving is such a hard time of year.
Season 14, Episode 5 picked up where Episode 4 left off — with everyone gathered at Sai’s house for a Brynn-centric Friendsgiving.
“My grandma — my mom’s mom — came in and she adopted us,” Brynn clarified.
“And I was scared I was going to get taken away,” she described. “I just remember for three years I was scared. I was scared out of my mind. It was f–ked up.”
“I was so upset that I actually, like, [as] a first grader, I like drank a bottle of Dimetapp,” Brynn described. Dimetapp is an over-the-counter cough suppressant and decongestant. Sometimes this medication can induce drowsiness.
Brynn explained that she had ingested the bottle of medicine “because I wanted to sleep forever.”
She recalled her mindset as a child: “If I’m cute enough and funny enough and smart enough and clever enough and I don’t complain, then they’ll let me stay where I want to.” She lived in constant fear of losing even more family ties.
“I was a senior in high school and I get a call: my father — who I think I maybe talked to twice in my life — was dying,” Brynn revealed.
“He was in the ICU, developed cirrhosis of the liver — liver cancer — and we had a lovely relationship,” she shared. “Like I went up every weekend.”
Brynn explained that she forgave him for his absence “because what the f–k do you do?” However, he died on November 12. Anyone with close family deaths in Thanksgiving knows how hard that hurts.
“I’m so happy because like, I’ve felt so much pain,” Brynn explained to the confessional camera. This is, perhaps, even more relatable to many viewers than her floozy persona.
“That’s why I’m f–king happy all the time, because I know both sides,” she explained. “You choose happiness, and it’s so much better to just be happy.”
When the friends toasted to Brynnsgiving and “built-in family,” Brynn could not help but crack a joke: “To getting stuffed in November!”
The conversation did turn to other topics, including Jessel’s infuriating-yet-fascinating tendency to be really mean.
Erin “Stop The Steal” Lichy called her out for having called the entire group of women “hags.”
Jessel explained that she uses insults to show affection, that it’s a common British thing. She also added “old” to the mix while repeating the term of endearment.
Jessel also visible bristled when Erin expressed surprise that she’s back to work.
We don’t think that Erin meant any shade by it. But Jessel took it that way.
This ended up effectively guilting Erin into showing up to support her later.
When the conversation shifted back to Jessel’s sex life, or lack thereof, the ladies spoke more broadly about how things go.
Brynn announced that handjobs are “coming back.” Or are “back” already.
Ubah one-upped her with the quip: “Anything that has a ‘job’ in it, I don’t want it.”
You know, the ol’ I do not dream of labor can also extend to the bedroom. The world needs its pillow princesses, or service tops would be out of a job. (Or whatever the straight community calls those dynamics)
It was a first Brynnsgiving. And everyone seemed to understand Brynn a bit better.
That doesn’t mean that the double standards are over with. Not if the previews for next week are any indication. We’ll see.