It's never a good idea to tell someone that you feel like that person hopes that her sister fails at her sobriety. It's especially not a good idea when you're Brandi Glanville and the person you say that to is Kyle Richards and the sister is Kim Richards. Though maybe it is a good idea for drama and ratings. Brandi is taking a lot of flack for telling Kyle at the reunion about Kim's efforts to keep sober, "I almost feel like it would make [Kyle] happy if she failed." OUCH! Kyle, naturally, went off on her. But did Brandi actually have a good point?
Brandi may have been picking up on something that Kyle wasn't even quite aware of: And that is the complex role of the codependent.
The codependent can genuinely want the alcoholic or addict to clean up. But the codependent is also completely entrenched in the roles of caregiver, support system, cheerleader, rescuer, and "one who knows best." It can be really difficult to give up those roles.
When Brandi launched her harsh assessment, Kyle cried and was outraged. She said, "I spent every f**king night ... saying a prayer to God to keep my sister sober." I have no doubt she did.
But the codependent also has developed a sense of self around her role as rescuer and caregiver. Kyle has been Kim's shoulder to cry on for so long, she may not even realize she's come to depend on that feeling of being needed. So whenever she expresses doubts about Kim's ability to get sober, she could be subtly clinging to her own identity as the "strong" and "good" sister. Kim's sobriety would force her to reconsider and redefine who she is as a person -- which can be scary.
Additionally, codependents are often so disillusioned with the addict's many failed attempts to get clean, that cynicism sets in as a self-defense mechanism. It's easier to say, "Yeah, yeah, suuure you'll do it this time," while keeping your expectations low than to truly give unconditional support, because you've been let down so many times before.
All of this Brandi could have sensed in Kyle's words and behavior. When she said, "I'm not trying to hurt you, I’m saying that is what comes across to me," she could be telling the truth. She definitely shouldn't have used the word "happy." No one is happy to see a loved one slowly destroy herself. But it's possible that Kyle has conflicted feelings about the whole thing and she's not even fully aware of it -- but Brandi picked up on it. Orrrr Brandi could have just been being bitchy. There's always that.
Do you think Brandi was totally off-base? Do you know any codependents?
Image via Bravo