( ENSPIRE Entertainment ) I’m Glad My Mom Died by Jennette McCurdy Reveals What Her Life Was Like as a Nickelodeon Child Star with an Abusive Mother
ENSPIRE Contributor: Abigail Elcock
You may know Jennette McCurdy as Sam Puckett from Nickelodeon’s iCarly or Sam and Cat. Or maybe you saw her in episodes of Mad TV, Malcolm in the Middle, and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit among others. From the age of six, McCurdy started pursuing a career in acting. McCurdy was a successful child star who easily could have continued her acting career into Hollywood. She had fans who wanted to be just like her.
However, Jennette McCurdy’s life wasn’t as magical as it seemed. Behind the goofy one-liners and bright smiles was a child suffering abuse at the hands of her narcissistic Mormon mother. On top of that, she was exploited by the acting industry. McCurdy shares what her life was truly like in her brand new memoir I’m Glad My Mom Died. The book is in the Top 4 on the Amazon best-seller charts, one of the most anticipated books on said list, and is currently one of the top rated and best-selling memoirs on Amazon.
The bold title has certainly grabbed the attention of people around the world. Jennette McCurdy did not choose this title randomly or carelessly. In an interview with Good Morning America, McCurdy explains, “I get that it’s attention grabbing, but it’s also something that I mean sincerely. I’m not saying it at all in a flippant way.” She also expresses gratitude to the people who have supported her and her title through the controversy. “I think that anybody who’s experienced parental abuse understands this title, and I think anybody who has a sense of humor understands this title.”
The parental abuse Jennette McCurdy suffered at the hands of her mother certainly seems to justify the title. The horrifying stories revealed in I’m Glad My Mom Died depict how McCurdy’s overbearing mother distorted McCurdy’s view of herself. As young as 11, McCurdy was put on calorie restriction diets and weighed five times a day. This conditioned McCurdy to later develop a serious eating disorder. She wasn’t allowed to shower on her own even at age 16. In these showers, her mother would administer monthly breast and “front butt” exams to check for cancer. Nearly everything her mother did was centered in her obsession with making McCurdy a star.
By the time Jennette McCurdy did get her big break on iCarly, she was filled with anxiety, shame, and self-loathing while also dealing eating disorders, addiction, and a series of unhealthy relationships. While she may not have realized it at the time, her destructive habits and bad mental health stemmed directly from the emotional and sexual abuse she suffered at the hands of her own mother.
In fact, McCurdy didn’t even want to do acting in the first place. Her mother was the one who pushed her into the career. In an interview with ABC News, McCurdy speculates why her mom was so insistent on propelling McCurdy into stardom. “She wanted me to have a better life than she had, but I also think her approach was very unhealthy… She lived vicariously through me.”
Since her mother’s death in 2013, McCurdy has retired from acting and gone through extensive therapy. Her emotional maturity, healing, and intelligence is evident in all of her interviews. Despite the trauma she endured as a child, McCurdy remained strong and grew into the articulate, insightful, hilarious person she is today. She hopes to keep writing and continue her more recent passion for directing short films
Jennette McCurdy gives hope to anyone who has suffered abuse that there is healing and peace on the other side of the horror. “The hope with the book was for it to connect with people, and I’m thrilled that it is, in such a powerful way. It’s amazing to see,” McCurdy expressed. “My life feels more aligned than it ever has. I’m so grateful for it.” One YouTube user seems to summarize her incredible journey best: “I grew up as a kid loving and admiring Sam Puckett, but now as an adult, I love and admire Jennette McCurdy.”