Former Nickelodeon star Jennette McCurdy is opening up about her traumatic childhood.
The 30-year-old wrote her memoir titled “I’m Glad My Mom Died,” avaliable August 9, which details the abuse she endured at the hands of her mother, Debra, who died in 2013 after a battle with breast cancer.
The “iCarly” star grew up poor and her mother, who aspired to become an actress, imposed that on her when her dream fell through, according to The Washington Post.
Debra also controlled her daughter’s life by giving McCurdy showers until she was 16 years old, shaving her legs, and performing breast and vaginal exams to check for cancerous lumps.
i’m genuinely thrilled to announce my memoir I’m Glad My Mom Died will be out 8 / 9 / 22. i laughed and cried a lot while writing it and i’m proud of what it’s become. huge thank you to @simonandschuster – especially my editor sean manning. pre-order here: https://t.co/hudPT2gDma
— Jennette McCurdy (@jennettemccurdy) April 4, 2022
“She worked really hard to keep our relationship very private. I now see it as conditioning, but at the time I thought, ‘Oh, Mommy and me have a relationship that’s so special. Like when you have a best friend and you have all these secrets and that feels like a form of intimacy. That’s exactly what my mom did with me — only it wasn’t friendship. It was abuse,” McCurdy said in an interview with The Post.
McCurdy’s life also revolved around pleasing her mother and feeling guilty if she didn’t obey.
In an attempt to garner more roles, Debra would restrict McCurdy’s calories in her meals so that she could delay her daughter’s puberty, which led her to become anorexic at 11 years old, according to McCurdy.
She also struggled with binge eating and bulimia later on which led to tooth decay from when she would vomit.
Her drastic weight loss brought concern to those around her, like her dance teacher and pediatrician, but nonetheless, no one intervened.
“What would happen if anybody tried to step in was my mom would completely turn off toward them. She’d go cold,” McCurdy explained. “If my dance instructor had continued to press, I’m sure my mom would have just pulled me out of dance. If somebody from church had said something, we wouldn’t show up at that ward anymore. Like, she could not be challenged.”
It wasn’t until her mother’s death in 2013 that McCurdy would actually get the help she needed by going to therapy.
“That got me to the point where I was able to accept my mom was abusive,” she said.
Child abuse is reported every 10 seconds in the United States, according to ChildHelp.
However, this realization “was a very slow-moving process, excruciating in a lot of ways,” according to McCurdy.
“Coming to terms with the reality of what my life had been was not simple. It was not painless. It was through consistent work and exploration that it became freeing and healing,” she said.
Despite the abuse she endured, McCurdy said there isn’t any “active form of dysfunction” in her life now.
“I’m in a good place, which is such a weird thing to say. I feel more fulfilled than I ever have, and I wish it wasn’t new, but it is very new for me,” she said.
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