Romeo Miller and his father, Master P, have spent the last few days in a public exchange of words provoked by Master P’s comment regarding mental health and the passing of Stephen “tWitch” Boss. Over the weekend, Romeo called out his father for ignoring his sister’s mental health issues but speaking out on the struggles of Stephen “tWitch” Boss. Tytyana Miller passed away in May of fentanyl intoxication at 29.
Romeo wrote on Friday, “Today was a boiling point. I seen a man avoid his own children struggle with suicide and depression but post another man whom passed today that he doesn’t even know. Yall idols be lost. Better stop following the blind. Watch when it’s revealed.”
Following a string of interactions between the father and son about a poem titled The Tree of Trauma, Master P wrote, “This new generation of kids need to stop blaming their parents for everything. How do they think they got to where they are without their parents making sacrifices for them? Mental illness is real and so many families are tragically affected by it especially when there is added trauma like death of a loved one. Son, I love you. Stop trying to get people to feel sorry for you. And let’s come up with a solution. You can come talk to your father and your family, like a man, you have kids too. No family is perfect but together with God, we can heal and get through this.”
This situation embarks upon a larger issue that waits to be embraced by conversation. The Master P and Romeo exchange is just one example of many referencing the discernable progress of the mental health discussion. There are five takeaways this situation sheds light on.
For one, as a community, we need to start normalizing conversations about mental health. A certain taboo comes with addressing one’s mental health openly. It is normal to see a doctor for the flu or a broken leg, but when it comes to depression or anxiety, acceptance fades.
With this understanding, a second takeaway is defined. Seeking professional help or therapy is not a weakness but a strength. The roles we play in life are never easy and require great tenacity. Trying to carry out these responsibilities often takes the place of prioritizing self-health. This spans mental, physical, and spiritual well-being. The ability to harness vulnerability as a superpower and ask for help can be the first step in healing.
Thirdly, family businesses require careful planning, transparency, and communication. Navigating relationships within the family is complex, even before adding the business component. Working within the family can interwar normal dynamics and lead to stunting the growth of traditional relationship trajectories. Adding child artists, money, and fame into the mix means that open communication is not suggested; it is detrimental. No matter how close we are to others, we all wear masks, and we never know where the underlying darkness resides in someone.
To expand on this thought, what you see on the outside, especially on social media, is not always what is going on inside. Social media is a highlight reel of life’s good and exciting moments. Very rarely does it capture the nuances of everyday life: stress, sadness, grief, etc. This can lead to a comparison of lifestyles that don’t even exist. Illusions are all over the internet and can subtract clarity from self-perception, conversations, and reality.
The fifth takeaway is that we must check on family members and loved ones. Mental illness is usually a quiet battle. Having people to share with is a gift—check in on others even when everything seems okay. Friendship is the comfort of knowing you aren’t, even when you feel alone.