At our house we enjoy some trashy reality TV from time to time. One of our guilty pleasures has always been the “90 Day Fiance” series. It always seems to be a cauldron of desperation and dirt that makes an amazing amalgam of human trauma. It’s wild to see the rollercoasters these people subject themselves to from the immediate highs when they first meet to their first huge fights, to the almost guaranteed conclusion of divorce or separation. It really is some entertaining shit.
Though in all of these series and episodes sprung from this concept of finding a spouse from a totally different culture than your own, there’s one “character” who seemingly has been his most authentic self in front of the cameras for every season. Somehow he manages to get called back to appear in every subsequent season, probably because he’s a literal trauma llama. That would be Edward “Big Ed” Allen Brown.
To physically describe Ed is to insult every avenue of masculinity and security. He’s barely five foot tall. He has greasy gray hair. He has no neck, which has lend itself to the creation of his second nickname: “No-neck Ed”. He’s obese, he’s vile, he has no manners, and his biggest personality trait might be that he probably has borderline personality disorder.
Let’s see if we can help you all come to this conclusion as well. I realize a lot of you won’t be familiar with the DSM V criteria for this disease, and no one would blame you. Many of us are lucky enough to not encounter BPD in the wild. But for those of us who haven’t been so lucky, we’ve largely familiarized ourselves with the intricacies of this complex and unfortunate mental illness.
First and foremost; Ed has the capacity to take offense to anything, even shit that absolutely shouldn’t be taken offense to. This is by design, it allows him to gaslight and keep his partner under his thumb, where he’s most comfortable having a partner. Now, I won’t say Liz is any better than him, she is likely toxic and codependent. If Liz doesn’t address herself she’s just going to hop from one Big Ed borderline to the next. It’s an unfortunate pattern that we folk prone to codependency need to address in ourselves to have fulfilling and happy relationships. But codependency is also where the big fat borderline Ed finds the most comfort in, because he’s absolutely batshit insane.