Jennette McCurdy says she’s finally at a point where she can miss her mother, despite the years of abuse she suffered while her mom was alive.
In a discussion with Anna Faris on the podcast Anna Faris is Unqualified, McCurdy, 30, said that she’s finally found some peace 10 years after her mother died following a battle with breast cancer. The iCarly alum wrote about her complicated relationship with her mother in her new memoir I’m Glad My Mom Died.
“I think closure is a hard thing to come by, if it is even possible to come by,” said McCurdy, who chronicled her mother’s allegedly abusive behavior, which included teaching Jennette to be anorexic and bathing her into her teen years, in the book. “But I think that’s what the book helped me with. I think there was some attempt to find closure. Now, I’m able to have this experience with my mom where I can just miss her.”
McCurdy called that reaction to “whatever the grief is now” a “relief.”
“To just have ‘oh, I miss her,’ and it can just be that. Instead of, ‘I miss her, I want to throw something, I’m angry, I’m hurt, I don’t want to miss her, I do miss her,’” recalled the author. “It was so f****** complicated for so long, and now it does feel easier.”
Reflecting back on her childhood, McCurdy spoke about how “normalized” it became to grow up in abusive household. Despite the constant chaos that took place, including physical abuse, McCurdy didn’t realize her life wasn’t exactly normal.
“For me, my brothers were playing Nintendo Goldeneye while my mom was chasing my dad around the house with a knife. It just becomes so normal, and a part of everyday routine,” the former Nickelodeon star explained. “When I was little, I didn’t realize it was abuse or trauma. I just thought ‘The boys are playing 007, moms chasing dad with a knife, grandma’s crying with toilet paper on her head’.”
When asked by Faris where she hid during the chaos at home, McCurdy said there was nowhere to hide in the house since her mother was a hoarder and the house was filled with things she collected.
Faris also asked how McCurdy how she had the courage to turn down the $300,000 “thank-you gift” she was allegedly offered by Nickelodeon if she agreed to never talk publicly about her experience at the network while working on iCarly and McCurdy’s spin-off with Ariana Grande, Sam & Cat. The offer was a result of McCurdy working for an unnamed man, referred to as “the Creator,” who allegedly pressured her to drink while underage, and gave her massages. (McCurdy does not name “the Creator” in her book, but iCarly was notoriously the brainchild of Dan Schneider, who was investigated by ViacomCBS prior to his 2018 departure from Nickelodeon.)
While she ultimately chose not to accept the money, McCurdy told Faris she was conflicted about the decision.
“I was 21 and just coming from a place of self-righteousness,” said McCurdy. “And then immediately after the decision, going like, f***, that’s a lot of money. I could have put my nieces through college.”
McCurdy also touched on her present life, including the joy she’s able to find in her relationship with her boyfriend, who has been “really supportive.”
“I didn’t know what a healthy looked like, with my pattern of unhealthy relationships. I thought that a certain amount of enmeshment was normal, or a certain behavioral pattern, or the loop of the relationship where it’s the tension and cycling fights— I thought these things were normal, and maybe they are for products of dysfunction,” said McCurdy. “To be able to be in something where it’s really good communication and validation of the other’s emotions and not having to take on the others emotions and be able to provide support, it’s changed my world very sincerely. I didn’t know this kind of thing was possible.”