Media vultures swarm around the life of Bobbi Kristina Brown as she rebelliously attempts to navigate the rocky reputations of both of her parents. The scent of self-destruction clings to her like a hand-me-down coat; they recognize it on her. Equal parts “My Prerogative” and “I Want To Dance With Somebody,” the 19-year-old daughter of Bobby Brown and Whitney Houston has grown to embody the complex nature of her parents highly publicized relationship. Naive, yet nurturing. Unstable, yet predictable. Innocent, irresponsible, intense. Her birthright lives within her as potentially poisonous as an incompatible blood type. Our hopes for — and fears of — Whitney’s legacy lives within our fragile expectations of her daughter; forcing so many of us to cover our eyes and watch her through spread fingers, both repelled and drawn to what happens next.

Unfortunately, with the unexpected death of her mother still being processed, “Krissy” has plunged head first into the scripted reality of The Houstons: On Our Own with loved ones who, instead of throwing her a life raft, profit from her inexperienced, alcohol laced attempts to keep her head above water.

In the surreal days immediately following Whitney’s death, as everyone surrounding the legend pretended not to know that she was still a drug addict, Bobby Brown’s sister, Leolah Brown, shared her feelings that her sister-in-law did not die of natural causes — and that her niece was surrounding herself with people who would eventually take advantage of her or do her harm:

“I am concerned about my niece Bobbi Kristina, yes,” Leolah told Access Hollywood. “Krissy is not safe right now. I want to say to Krissy that it’s very, very, very important that she does not trust anybody at this time. Anybody except her father, her grandmother Cissy and myself. And I mean that.

“Right now is the time to just really shut the door.”

The woman’s warning was tossed aside as jealous trash, nothing more than an attention grapping tactic meant to focus the spotlight on her – if only for a second. And while I would never suggest that Bobbi Kristina’s family would do her harm, it is very clear that they enable her destructive behavior. She slirs and stumbles through her grief, keeping her brother turned fiancé, Nick Gordon near at all times. Her aunt, Pat Houston, puts up slight resistance, but nothing significant that deters her niece from spiraling into her mother’s living hell.

She is clearly, deeply grieving; yet the cameras are allowed to capture it all for America’s entertainment.

Clinical therapist, Viveca Latham Johnson, opines that the dynamic between Bobbi Kristina and her family is just the surface issue, while the relationship between her and Gordon holds the key to shaping how – or if — she survives this transitional period without long-lasting psychological scars.

“[This] show with her family displays their journey of walking through the grief process over their beloved mother, sister, daughter, aunt, and friend. But one has to ask is this beneficial for Bobbi Kristina. It is clear that she is still grieving, but the most concerning issue is the co-dependent relationship she has with her boyfriend/brother, Nick.

This is the type of relationship Bobbi has been exposed to in her home environment. It is evident through their interactions that it mimics the co-dependency of her parents’ relationship.

From what Johnson has observed, in her current environment, Bobbi Kristina will never be able to grieve honestly and in a way that allows her to heal.

“When an individual is in a co-dependent relationship it prevents them from really dealing with self,” says Johnson.” “Your time and energy is placed on this dysfunctional relationship because it validates your current behaviors. It prevents you from looking in the mirror and seeing your true self and embarking on the journey of change to be the best you. It is apparent that Bobbi Kristina has some issues. There is questionable substance abuse problems and signs of depression, but none of these issues can be resolved if she remains a partner in this co-dependent relationship. She needs to deal with her problems dead on — not for public consumption.”

Johnson’s observations could easily apply to Whitney Houston.

When “The Voice” began battling her demons, many people laughed at her and she was often reduced to a punch-line after years of being a diva. Still, she wanted to perform for fair-weather fans that didn’t even pretend to care past the last news cycle; and she desperately tried to claw herself back up from the bottom of her dreams, drug dependency dogging her every step.

What we see now is Bobbi Kristina, fueled by grief, hurdling down a similar path.

If her family really loves her, they will not continue to enable problematic, illegal behavior for the sake of ratings, under the guise of concern. They will not make her the new Whitney. Though the title of the show may be The Houstons: On Our Own, it is abundantly clear that they are not when every single one of them is dependent on Whitney’s memory and her child for their financial well-being.

This show is not entertainment; it is heartbreaking and potentially dangerous for a young girl at an extremely vulnerable time in her life. Hopefully, someone will enable her family to see that before it’s too late.

around the web


  1. Let me just say this is some exceptional writing .. so refreshing

  2. I agree 100%. Grieving the loss of your mother (especially at such a young age) is one of the most difficult things one will ever go through in life and this child is doing it for the full glare of the cameras. Before the show, I thought Pat was some kind of help in Whitney’s life, but the more I see of her I think that she wants the spotlight for herself & the only way to get it is through a Houston. Krissy needs time to focus on developing herself away from Hollywood & co-dependency. I hope she can pull herself together & go to college or find some other way of developing herself.

    • I totally agree. I cannot sit and watch the show anymore. There’s something terribly wrong with it and is definitely not entertaining. Don’t like Pat as I once thought I did. Second thoughts about Cissy even. That brother…..not good. Poor Kristina.

    • @Tina: +1 and I’m ging to add the exclusion Bobby Brown’s presence, since he is the father and needs to reconcile with his baby girl, is questionable. Being Bobby Brown was a lot more honest than this charade

  3. Exploitation is the right word. That auntie of her’s is so sinister that every move, damn every commercial seems staged and carefully picked to help this family remain relevant for ALL THE WRONG REASONS. I couldn’t imagine trying to find myself after the death my own mother with cameras documenting it even without all the editing and millions of watchers. The show should be cancelled but that would just exasperate an already touchy situation. I don’t know what would be the best way to proceed.

  4. I agree this is excellent writing.I had no idea that Bobby Kris was doing I’m very afraid for her…I agree someone needs to step in and help her.I know Cissy Houston can pray so she better pray and then beat the hell out of this girl and throw her in rehab….the issue is u can’t force anyone into rehab….

  5. Well written article and total agreement with the sentiments expressed. I saw the first episode and was pained at what I saw. Really wish that someone would step in and just stop the foolishness and help her find the help she really needs

  6. I’ve often wondered to myself how exactly a bystander would help in this kind of situation. Whitney Houston was an adult when she made questionable choices and found herself surrounded by people who were keen on exploiting her- among them, her own family and friends. And she was still determined to make it in the industry.

    Even if a well-meaning person had been able to reach her (and I’m sure many did), would he or she have been able to convince her to pull back from her dysfunctional family or to walk away from life as a celebrity? It seems to me that the problem is the Life, nothing more, nothing less. It’s a very damaging way to live. It’s highly materialistic, superficial, and it is guaranteed to bring out the worst in people. And you really can’t force an adult to step back and make the right decisions for the sake of her sanity and her child’s well-being. I pray for Bobbi Kristina. I’m not sure there’s much else I can do.

  7. I refuse to watch the show for the very fact that I cannot allow myself to participate in something that can only bring more drama to an already drama filled life. I hope that someone can get through to her and show her how to navigate through life before the destruction really takes a hold and does its damage.

  8. Black America has MORE pressing issues to worry about!

  9. What bugs me are the reasons that they claim they’re doing a reality show are the reasons why you shouldn’t be on TV.

  10. Bravo to you Kristen West Savali! Well done and I could not have been more truthful about the content and facts outlined in your blog. What’s even more repugnant than the shameless and dishevelled looking “Houstons” is their obvious attempt at documenting Bobbi K’s behavior so that Pat, the vulture WILL later use theReality footage to declare Bobbi incompetent and in need of a PERMANENT financial guardian until she demonstrates via rehab or more that she’s fiscally responsible. Sounds familiar, that’s what happened to Britney Spears when she suffered from depression. Her vagabound klan of a family went after her money in the same manner that the trash Bobbi is surrounded by is banking on her self distruction. , And that includes her “friend”, “unofficial adopted brother” now “fiancee”! He’s the drug and alcohol supplier and shame on Pat for allowing a 19 yr old teenager to consume alcohol in her home when the law is clear, you must be 21 to drink!

    Mrs. Cissy Houston appeared hurt and confused at Bobbi’s behavior but I pray that Cissy steps back and take a really good look at Pat and company! They too killed her daughter by tacitly complying to demands that were counter productive to her health, career and life. Sadly, the same tragic tale is unfolding right before our eyes and no one benefits more than Lifetime and their pathetic attempt to make the network as relevant and successful as VH1 and others. Your well written article is the only good thing that came out of watching this disgraceful rendition of reality television.

    General Thomas C. Clark said it best, “we find greedy men, blind with the lust for money, trafficking in human misery” My heart is heavy because the worst is yet to come! With friends and family like the superficial misfits lurking about Bobbi K, she don’t stand a chance to rebound from the depression and emotional dispear brought on by the death of her mother. I pray that I’m wrong but like you said, I cover[ed] my eyes and watched the betrayal of Bobbi Kristina through speaded fingers, both repelled and drawn to what happens next.

  11. I agree with you all about the writing of the articles on this site! Everything is so well written. In regards to Bobbi Kristina, I lost my mother when I was 17 years old and as a now 29 year old, I’ve realized how important and instrumental it was for me to have a big support system full of positive people during my grieving process, and I could not imagine having to deal wih my mother’s death not only in the public eye, but surrounded by people who don’t seem to have my best interest at heart.

  12. Pat is an opportunist, there something strange about her she knows was going on with krissy the same as she knew about Whitney. What is wrong with these people?
    There is a relationship with brother, boyfriend and then they switch back to brother and sister. There should be someone to tell them this wrong and they need professional help.

  13. Pat Houston is transparent. Many of the viewers see easily through her. The worst thing she’s doing is ignoring her own daughter Rayah during very fragile formative yrs. Everytime she praises Krissy for how well she’s doing it makes me cringe! And the manipulative opportunistic non-brother Nick is so very entitled. How’d that happen? He says he needs a 66 inch tv and desk in the corner for his computer after receiving a fully furnished new apartment without even knowing how much it all cost to set up and rent it. All from Ms Pat. Hmmm

  14. I agree with Rosemary , Pat with her soft voice and pleasant ways is so phony it screams through the television

Leave a Reply