Jennette McCurdy is opening up being raised by her abusive mother Debbie.
In a new interview with People, the former “iCarly” star talks about her difficult childhood, which inspired her recent one-woman comedy show “I’m Glad My Mom Died”.
“It’s thought-provoking,” the 29-year-old says, “but even though it may seem black and white, there’s a fullness to my narrative. Life can be dark — and messy. Nobody has a perfect life.”
Recalling the “intense” abuse she suffered, McCurdy says, “My earliest memories of childhood were of heaviness, and chaos. My mom’s emotions were so erratic that it was like walking a tightrope every day. The mood fluctuations were daily.”
She also describes her mother becoming fixated on her success, explaining, “My mom had always dreamt of being a famous actor and she became obsessed with making me a star.”
Despite being “cripplingly shy,” McCurdy went on auditions.
“I felt like my job was to keep the peace,” she says. “And I wanted to make my mom happy.”
At age 11, McCurdy’s mother introduced her to calorie counting, which eventually developed into anorexia, followed by binge eating and later bulimia.
“I know if my mom were alive, I’d still have an eating disorder,” the actress says. “It was only distance from her that allowed me to get healthy.”
She recovered from her eating disorders in 2018 after seeking therapy.
Debbie passed away from cancer in 2013.
“I did not know how to find my identity without my mom,” McCurdy admits. “And I’m not going to lie: It was very hard to get here. But now, I’m at a place in my life that I never would have thought was possible. And I finally feel free.”