Oprah Talks to Brandy and Her Mother, Sonja Norwood
Sonja: The next day, I got a call that Brandy was acting strange and we needed to get over to her apartment. When we drove up, I asked homeboy what was going on. He said, "I don't know. I'm tired of going through these changes." When I went inside, she was sitting cross-legged in a chair. Everything was just so funny to her. She was giggling. I told my husband, "She's probably just playing." Then I tried to jolt her into getting angry with me.
Brandy: She told me, "This is not The Matrix! This is reality! I'm not God, he's not God."
Sonja: I thought she believed we were God!
Brandy: To me everything was God.
Oprah: You really were having a breakdown.
Brandy: Yes—I was broken all the way down.
Sonja: I was so worried. She was walking around in a daze. I wanted to get her help and at the same time protect her so that she still had a career when it was all over.
Brandy: It's so weird to hear this. I just remember that I wanted to be outside.
Sonja: I decided to get her to a doctor. We had to lock the car doors so she couldn't jump out. [She starts to cry.]
Brandy: Mommy, don't cry. It's okay now.
Oprah: I've talked with so many people about what it means to have a nervous breakdown, and no one has ever really explained what it looks like until now.
Sonja: It's a snap. Your whole being goes out of whack.
Brandy: I remember being in the backseat with homeboy, holding his hand while my parents drove, and thinking, "This is great! They finally like him!"
Oprah: Were you afraid for her, Sonja?
Sonja: I was afraid. And I was at the end of my rope. I didn't know what to do. When we got to the hospital, I hired a couple of nurses, women who had no clue who Brandy was—I didn't want this to be embarrassing for her. The doctor told me we needed to replenish her body with fluids and then we'd see what we'd do after a few days. The weight of those two days was huge. I kept thinking, "Did I drive her to this? Is this my doing?" As a mom, you always blame yourself.
When she came back to herself [after those two days], the first thing she did was ask about homeboy. That pissed me off, but I knew then that she was okay. The doctors said she was going to be fine.