31 May Amanda Bynes Spirals Out of Control
According to Amanda Bynes, she had a very, very unusual Memorial Day weekend. After “not” smoking pot in the lobby of her apartment building (as reported by one of her neighbors), cops burst into her apartment and she inexplicably threw a “vase” out of the window (later claiming both that she needed air and that it wasn’t a bong), before she was, according to her, sexually harassed by one of the police officers when he, “slapped my vagina.” Officers, again according to Bynes, then fabricated evidence to arrest her and sent her to a mental hospital against her will. As if none of this were bizarre enough, someone (claims Bynes) “hijacked” her Twitter account to insult Rihanna, tweeting, “Chris Brown beat you because you’re not pretty enough.” Seem unlikely? Well, it depends if you think Bynes is being honest, or just making up a series of increasingly unbelievable stories in an effort to cover her drug problems and unpredictable (as well as occasionally baffling) behavior.
What Really Happened?
Amanda Bynes’ story would have scarcely been believable for those who were fans of the longest ever sketch of her late ‘90s Nickelodeon series “The Amanda Show.” Why anyone would throw a vase out of the window when the police come to their home is beyond comprehension. Before one even considers this implausible claim, why would an officer of the law “slap” someone’s genitals in the company of other officers and a civilian witness? Bynes is threatening legal action against the NYPD in response—which has about as much chance of being successful as a space shuttle made made of Legos.
The alleged story—as reported by police and witnesses—is that she was smoking pot in the lobby of her building when somebody called the cops to report her. Once in her apartment (Bynes admits to welcoming them in), likely out of desperation, according to the police, Bynes threw her bong out of the window and claimed it was a vase and that she didn’t have any marijuana. Bynes was arrested, arraigned and is due back in court in July.
This isn’t the first time she’s been in trouble with the law; having been accused of four hit and runs in 2012 (the first of which was a DUI). She was charged, but still caught on video by the paparazzi smoking pot in her car, despite having had her license suspended. A telling fact is that despite being charged, Bynes claimed at the time that the stories were fake. In other words, it would appear that she has a history of making up lies to cover her actions and possible drug use.
Earlier this year, a source close to her confirmed that Bynes had used marijuana for several years. The source also said that the drug makes her paranoid, rather than having its commonly-experienced relaxing effect. Her parents are well aware of the problem, and said they have been “powerless to do anything” to help her. Indeed they have indicated many of her troubles, they fear, stem from schizophrenia. Even Courtney Love has told her to pull herself together. That is and of itself might be a sign things in Bynes’ life have gone downhill.
The story of Amanda’s descent from being a child star to a down-and-out possibly psychologically troubled pot user, is echoed by child stars throughout history. As a young girl, her career was extremely promising, but the expectations of casting agents prevented her from getting the Lindsay Lohan-type roles she dreamed of as she grew up. She couldn’t shake the wholesome, child-star image. The only films she could find a role in were family-friendly offerings like the remake of Hairspray.
In a way, this seems to explain her apparent problems with alcohol and drugs. It’s evident that being professionally viewed as one’s childhood self could cause someone to lash out, to behave in a particularly “adult” way to compensate for people’s opinion. Bynes has been quoted as saying that she will quit acting and, “I’m looking forward to a long and wonderful career as a singer/rapper!” It seems all too possible that this is part of her effort to break away from her childhood stardom. Perhaps Bynes feels trapped by her wholesome image, but if she has a drug and or alcohol problem, no amount of breaking away from that image will address her issues.
What Can We Learn?
There is no happy ending for Amanda Bynes (in the immediate future), but that doesn’t mean that there is nothing we can learn from her story. Rather than admit to herself that there is a serious problem that requires attention, she appears to live in a state of denial. Unless she can admit that she is an addict—something everybody who seeks recovery from a drug or alcohol addiction has to do at some point—she will continue to spiral out of control. Ordinary people may have the luxury of not being publicly scrutinized, but the advice is just as important. The sooner an addict admits there is a problem, the sooner recovery can begin.
Antics and Scrutiny Aside
While the gossip rags waste no opportunity to take unflattering photos, “report” the latest “news” about Bynes (and other troubled celebrities both past and present), two things are apparent. Trouble, whether in the form of addiction or mental illness, happens to both celebrities and regular folk alike and the media could do a better job to reach out and help rather than exploit a troubled star’s antics. Parents whose impressionable teenagers want to emulate this behavior aren’t powerless. The most important tool you have in your arsenal to combat the onslaught of messages via Twitter and other Social Media is to keep those lines of communication open 24/7. Start conversations and be ready to answer the tough questions as they are asked.
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