22 Celebrity Memoirs About Stars Who Survived Childhood Trauma

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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.

When you’re struggling with childhood trauma, it might be helpful to talk to an online therapist. I always recommend Online Therapy, because it’s a complete online counseling toolkit, and you can get incredible therapy from the comfort of your own home. Get 20% off your first month.

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

Read here: Amazon or Scribd

Do you relate to these movies?:

👉 23 Heartbreaking Movies About Childhood Trauma (That are Therapeutic)

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

Read here: Amazon or Scribd

More about toxic parenting:

👉 107 Toxic Parents Quotes (When Mother and Father Are Abusive AF)

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

Read here: Amazon or Scribd

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

Read here: Amazon or Scribd

Do you relate to these TED Talks?:

👉 13 TED Talks on Childhood Trauma (to Heal Your Inner Child)

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

Read here: Amazon or Scribd

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

Read here: Amazon or Scribd

Exercises to honor your inner child:

👉 13 Inner Child Healing Exercises (for Your Wounded Younger Self)

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

Read here: Amazon or Scribd

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

Read here: Amazon or Scribd

Start healing your inner child:

👉 101 Healing Inner Child Affirmations (to Reparent Yourself)

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

Read here: Amazon or Scribd

12. Unspeakable: Surviving My Childhood and Finding My Voice by Jessica Willis Fisher

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

Read hereAmazon or Scribd

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

Read here: Amazon or Scribd

Ending the cycle of abuse:

👉 35 Breaking Generational Trauma Quotes (to Help End the Toxic Cycle)

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

Read here: Amazon or Scribd

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:

👉 40 Child Abuse Songs (When You Had a Bad Childhood)

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

Read here: Amazon or Scribd

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:

👉 11 Ways to Heal Childhood Trauma Spiritually (and Awaken Your Inner Child)

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

Read here: Amazon or Scribd

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

Read here: Amazon or Scribd

Recovering from toxic shame:

👉 10 Shame Healing Exercises (for Inner Childhood Wounds)

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

Read here: Amazon or Scribd

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:

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Best Celebrity Memoirs About Childhood Trauma