“What would happen if anybody tried to step in was my mom would completely turn off toward them. She’d go cold,” the I’m Glad My Mom Died author shared. “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.”
As she tried to navigate all the expectations both surrounding her personal life and career, Jennette said she began to act out due to the “frustration and rage” she felt inside.
She also felt unable to discuss her struggle with fame with anyone, including her castmates.
“I had no one to talk about that with because my mom was very clear: This is something to be grateful for. This is what we’ve been working for our whole lives,” Jennette told the outlet. “She had all the standard stage mom phrases ready to make sure that if I even expressed the slightest bit of discomfort, it was bam, no, that’s not allowed.”
Following her mom’s passing in 2013, Jennette said she noticed her “self-destructive ways were as life-threatening as they were” and began therapy.
“That got me to the point where I was able to accept my mom was abusive,” she said. “I was still very much the person I was while my mom was alive. It was a very slow-moving process, excruciating in a lot of ways.”
Jennette added, “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.”
Now, ahead of the release of her memoir, Jennette is in a much healthier frame of mind. “I’m in a good place, which is such a weird thing to say,” she shared. “I feel more fulfilled than I ever have, and I wish it wasn’t new, but it is very new for me.”