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Celebrity Memoirs About Childhood Trauma
One of my favorite ways to connect with my inner child is by reading memoirs about childhood trauma — especially celebrity ones.
These autobiographical books showcase that even though celebrities look like they have the ideal life, you never truly know what someone else is going through.
These celebrity memoirs tell stories of child abuse, neglect, and trauma, as well as overcoming this massive pain.
22 Celebrity Autobiographies with Childhood Neglect and Abuse
Speaking of childhood trauma, have you downloaded your free inner child healing workbook yet? 👇
1. Finding Me by Viola Davis
From a decaying apartment to performing on stages in New York City, actress Viola Davis shares her path of finding self-love and purpose in Finding Me.
Her story is filled with deep reflection and shows us how to find our voice in a world that doesn’t always see us.
Domestic abuse, physical abuse, racism, sexual assault, abortion, addiction
Do you relate to these movies?:
2. I’m Glad My Mom Died by Jennette McCurdy
I’m Glad My Mom Died took the world by storm — and rightfully so.
Jennette McCurdy was forced into showbiz by her overbearing and controlling mother.
In her memoir, she shares how her worldview was shaped, the control her eating disorders had on her, and how her life had to be ripped apart to be sewn back together.
Eating disorders, child abuse, emotional abuse, alcoholism, sexual abuse, fatphobia, self-harm, suicidal ideation, terminal illness, death of a parent
More about toxic parenting:
3. Unprotected by Billy Porter
Unprotected is the inspirational story of actor and singer Billy Porter’s childhood trauma and inner child healing.
Growing up in a world that doesn’t like you for simply being yourself is heartbreaking and exhausting, but his story captures that it’s beautiful to be yourself.
Child abuse, homophobia, pedophilia, sexual assault, adult/minor relationship, bullying
4. From This Moment On by Shania Twain
In Shania Twain’s From This Moment On (not to be confused with her hit song), you’ll discover how complex it is to survive poverty and domestic violence.
No matter how rough your upbringing was, there is always a way to overcome the darkness.
Domestic violence, adult/minor relationship, death, pedophilia, sexual assault
Do you relate to these TED Talks?:
5. Hollywood Park by Mikel Jollett
Musician Mikel Jollett recounts in Hollywood Park what it was like to be born into one of the country’s most infamous cults, the Church of Synanon.
From there, he tells us how he was subjected to a childhood filled with trauma, emotional abuse, poverty, delinquency, and drugs and alcohol.
Emotional abuse, animal death, death, alcoholism, drug abuse, domestic abuse, violence
6. Open Book by Jessica Simpson
Guided by her teenage journal entries, singer and actress Jessica Simpson shares her life of fame and failures in her memoir Open Book.
Gripping with unwavering honesty, this autobiography shows what it’s like to be messily human.
Alcoholism, sexual assault, toxic relationship, eating disorders, body shaming, child abuse
Exercises to honor your inner child:
7. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
Writer and poet Maya Angelou plunges into the loneliness of her childhood, as well as the bigotry she was forced to live through in I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.
Through her words, you’ll be encouraged to see that life is exactly as wonderful or terrible as you decide it is.
Sexual assault, pedophilia, adult/minor relationship, racism
Read here: Amazon
8. Tell Me Everything by Minka Kelly
Friday Night Lights‘ Minka Kelly shares her story of growing up in a strip club and being surrounded by drug abuse in Tell Me Everything.
When your entire worldview is shaped by your childhood, it can be difficult to change — but it is oh-so possible.
Addiction, drug abuse, child abuse, violence, physical abuse, miscarriage, abortion, death of a parent, poverty
9. Mean Baby by Selma Blair
Seen in Cruel Intentions and Legally Blonde, Selma Blair bravely lays her childhood out in Mean Baby.
In a memoir that is both hilarious and heartbreaking, Blair shares her addiction to alcohol, her loyalty to her complicated mother, and the times she escaped death.
Alcoholism, chronic illness, sexual assault, eating disorder, death of a parent, animal death
Read here: Amazon
10. Hope, Grace & Faith by Leah Messer
You probably know Leah Messer from MTV’s 16 and Pregnant and Teen Mom 2.
But you might not know just how tough — and disturbing — her upbringing was until you read Hope, Grace & Faith.
Toxic relationships, child abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, drug abuse, infidelity
Start healing your inner child:
11. Miss Memory Lane by Colton Haynes
In Miss Memory Lane, Teen Wolf star Colton Haynes recollects his life of lust, abuse, addiction, stardom, and (ultimately) redemption.
Learn about his unorthodox childhood in a small Kansas town and how he came to terms with his sexuality in this captivating memoir.
Alcoholism, adult/minor relationship, eating disorders, body shaming, cancer, bullying
Unspeakable: Surviving My Childhood and Finding My Voice shares Jessica Willis Fisher’s unthinkable childhood.
From being groomed to perform to being controlled by her father’s disturbing teachings, this autobiography teaches us that we can all become so much more than the things that happened to us.
Child abuse, emotional abuse, sexual assault, incest, adult/minor relationship, domestic abuse, gun violence
13. Not My Father’s Son by Alan Cumming
Actor Alan Cummin shares the intimate details of his trauma-filled childhood in Not My Father’s Son.
Growing up amongst abuse is devastatingly common, and sometimes those hidden memories can unlock themselves and come pouring out all at once.
Child abuse, emotional abuse, physical abuse, mental illness, bullying, violence, death of a parent
Ending the cycle of abuse:
14. The Beauty of Living Twice by Sharon Stone
Actress Sharon Stone reveals in The Beauty of Living Twice how she survived a childhood of trauma and violence and joined a career in Hollywood that often mirrors those same assaults.
Sharen shares her story of what it means to be a strong woman who’s filled with resilience, reckoning, and a need for activism.
Physical abuse, child abuse, emotional abuse, addiction, incest, sexual assault
Read here: Amazon
15. Incomparable by Brie and Nikki Bella
Former WWE Divas Brie and Nikki Bella bring Incomparable to the main event.
While their journey began with loss, abuse, and a plethora of rough times, they prove that you can take control and responsibility for your own life.
Child abuse, sexual assault, domestic abuse, mental illness, alcoholism, body shaming
16. The Meaning of Mariah Carey by Mariah Carey
Singer and actress Mariah Carey shares it all in The Meaning of Mariah Carey.
By going deep into the eyes of her younger self, she was able to give the scared little girl inside her a big and strong voice.
Emotional abuse, racism, bullying, toxic relationship, domestic abuse, cancer, death, miscarriage
Read here: Amazon
Listen to these song recommendations:
17. Inside Out by Demi Moore
Inside Out tells Demi Moore’s story of addiction, body image issues, and childhood trauma that would haunt her for years.
Despite being an uber successful actress, she reminds us that you can’t run from your past — no matter how painful it is.
Alcoholism, sexual assault, drug abuse, addiction, child abuse, suicide
18. Little Girl Lost by Drew Barrymore
When I think about stars who endured a lot of trauma, I often think of Drew Barrymore.
In Little Girl Lost, she recounts how she started drinking at nine, smoked pot at ten, and started to snort cocaine at just twelve years old.
Alcoholism, child abuse, drug abuse, sexual assault
Read here: Amazon
Start your inner child healing journey:
19. This Is Me: Loving the Person You Are Today by Chrissy Metz
This Is Us star Chrissy Metz This Is Me: Loving the Person You Are Today reveals a childhood riddled with hunger, poverty, and abuse.
Bordering a memoir and self-help book, this story can inspire you to take action towards healing.
Poverty, abandonment, child abuse
20. Coreyography by Corey Feldman
Known for his roles in Gremlins, The Goonies, and Stand by Me Coreyography’s Cory Feldman details a childhood lost in Hollywood.
He shares his past of physical, drug, and sexual abuse, becoming emancipated from his dysfunctional family at fifteen, and his journey towards sobriety.
Physical abuse, drug abuse, sexual abuse
Recovering from toxic shame:
21. All That Is Bitter and Sweet by Ashley Judd
All That Is Bitter and Sweet reveals why Hollywood starlit Ashley Judd left the film industry to pursue humanitarian work in third world countries.
By discussing her troubled childhood, she was able to heal a part of her wounded soul.
Child abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, genocide, sex trafficking, slavery, mental illness
Read here: Amazon
22. Paris by Paris Hilton
In Paris. Paris Hilton reveals that her childhood was shattered for two years when she was forced into the “troubled teen industry”.
She shares how she had to endure frequent strip searches, isolation, beatings, restraint, and brainwashing.
Child abuse, sexual assault, emotional abuse, adult/minor relationship, infertility, abortion
Recovery From Toxic Parents
As you read, there are several harrowing celebrity memoirs that showcase painful childhoods.
If you can relate to any of these horrific stories, it’s important to find a therapist you connect with and to approach the healing process with patience and kindness towards yourself.
Remember, healing is a process.
It takes time, tears, and effort.
Be patient and kind to yourself as you work towards healing.
💾 Bookmark this page for when you need a reminder of the best celebrity memoirs about childhood trauma.
More inner child healing posts:
- 17 Magical Crystals for Healing Childhood Trauma (and Emotional Pain)
- 101 Healing Inner Child Affirmations (to Reparent Yourself)
- 70 Healing Inner Child Quotes (to Help Overcome Childhood Trauma)
- 40 Child Abuse Songs (When You Had a Bad Childhood)
- 13 Nostalgic Activities to Reconnect with Your Inner Child
- 107 Toxic Parents Quotes (When Mother and Father Are Abusive AF)
- 22 Powerful Inner Child Healing Meditations (Guided and Unguided)
- 23 Heartbreaking Movies About Childhood Trauma (That are Therapeutic)
- 17 Must-Have Healing Gifts for Your Inner Child
- 11 Ways to Heal Childhood Trauma Spiritually (and Awaken Your Inner Child)
- 23 Inner Child Oracle Cards (for Deep Shadow Work)
- 23 Tarot Decks (for Intense Inner Child Work)
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