Jennette McCurdy compares her relationship with her mother to The Act
11 August 2022, 16:58
Jennette McCurdy says that she relates to children who are victims of Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy.
CONTENT WARNING: This article contains details of child abuse that some readers may find triggering.
Jennette McCurdy has opened up about her relationship with her mother and compared it to the true crime drama The Act.
For those who missed it, The Act was a 2019 mini-series starring Joey King and Patricia Arquette. The show was inspired by the true story of Gypsy Rose Blanchard and her mother Dee Dee. Dee Dee abused Gypsy and made her pretend to suffer from multiple illnesses. In 2015, Gypsy was sentenced to 10 years in prison for being involved in Dee Dee's murder.
Dee Dee is believed to have suffered from Munchausen syndrome by proxy. Munchausen is a rare mental disorder in which a parent or a caretaker "fabricates or induces illness in a person under their care". Similar to Gypsy, Jennette McCurdy experienced parental abuse from her mother and she opens up about it in her memoir, I'm Glad My Mom Died.
Discussing her autobiography, Jennette says that she relates to The Act and victims of Munchausen syndrome by proxy.
Speaking with BuzzFeed about her mother Debbie McCurdy, Jennette revealed that their relationship was "so toxic" that she "started to relate" to stories like The Act. She said: "There’s that Munchausen by proxy relationship, and I’m like, relatable! Which it shouldn’t be."
Debbie never forced Jennette to pretend to be sick but would instead make her work through her sickness: "There was one time where I got strep throat six times in one year. I see it now, it was just a result of burnout and exhaustion. She was, at that point, so ill that she couldn’t intervene, but I still had her voice in my head. That was not a fun year."
In I'm Glad My Mom Died, Jennette says that Debbie would weigh her five times a day and force her to share showers with her until she was 16. Jennette also writes that her mother would perform breast and vaginal exams on her to check for lumps.
I'm Glad My Mom died was released earlier this week (Aug 9) and is available for sale at all major retailers.
If you, or someone you know, have been affected by child abuse, the following organisations may be able to help.
- Child Line – https://www.childline.org.uk/
- The Child Help National Child Abuse Hotline – https://childhelphotline.org/
- NSPCC – https://www.nspcc.org.uk/
- Samaritans – https://www.samaritans.org/