“I’m Glad My Mom Died” Review

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Suney Jones, Staff Writer

On Aug. 9, Jeanette McCurdy released her memoir titled I’m Glad My Mom Died. The book immediately flew off shelves and even became only available for backorder on most store websites, including Amazon. The book includes some “dry” humor heavy topics such as her eating disorder and abuse, both physical and mental, that she endured from her mom. She also gives some insight into her conditions in the child actor industry.

McCurdy starts the book off recounting the dread she felt when her mom died. She was connected nearly at the hip with her mom- despite never having the choice to do otherwise. Immediately after her mother’s death, we travel back in time to before McCurdy starts acting and when her mom was alive and well. It was McCurdy’s birthday and she’s surrounded by her family. She lives with her 3 brothers- Marcus, Dustin, and Scottie- as well as her mom, dad and grandparents. Her house was overwhelming because her parents argue all the time and her mom constantly made her choose sides. 

Debra, McCurdy’s mother, was incredibly controlling and watched over every move McCurdy and her brothers made. She had been battling cancer on and off since McCurdy could remember. She would often use her cancer or her beating cancer to get a hold over them and other people. McCurdy’s brothers, however, were often disregarded and even though they suffered less of their mothers’ abuse, they were still affected by the toxicity within the house.  Jeanette wasn’t allowed in school most of the time and neither were her brothers, but the only place they went frequently was church, as they were of Mormon faith. However, when she got her first callback to be a background character that all changed. They stopped going to church as much, as the work became more demanding.

Many child actors have begun to come forward regarding their abuse in the acting industry, from both their parents and their producers. McCurdy details how her mom was the one that truly pushed her into the industry but the people within it played a role into her life as well.

It caught many people’s eye when McCurdy mentioned her being jealous of her co-star, Ariana Grande, for hardly being on set and having a successful career outside of acting. She envied that Ariana could do just about anything and get off set. She also notes she was a bit jealous of her co-star and friend, Miranda Cosgrove, when they were on ICarly together, for the same reason. 

The book was an incredibly moving read, though I listened to it, the deeper you dive into it. I was so taken back by how much of it I could relate to even if it wasn’t down to every aspect. It’s often overlooked at how many people are going through some time of emotional or physical abuse whether that abuse be by parents, people we love, or even friends. When I was listening, I had to stop and take a break from whatever I was doing and simply let her be heard.

When talking about her jealousy she also mentions how uncomfortable she was on set with Dan Schneider. McCurdy spoke out against Schneider- director of iCarly- who allegedly verbally abused and sexually abused his actors/actresses on set. McCurdy also reveals that she was offered her own spin-off, which ended up becoming what we know now as Sam and Cat. Schneider, along with Nickelodeon, would allegedly offer certain actors/actresses certain deals which were often considered “hush money” to not speak against the producers and company. McCurdy notes that when she was allegedly offered “hush money” from the company and its producers, she declined.

Throughout the vast majority of McCurdy’s late teens and early 20’s, McCurdy says she feels more pressure on her from the industry than she ever had before and she’s unsure of how to combat it all. The struggles she dealt with early on in her life had only developed further due to her mothers influence and her OCD had completely taken over. All she had was her industry experience and it almost made her feel disconnected from the world around her despite seeking out therapy and love, among other things. McCurdy realized the only way out was to quit her career in acting and attempted to pursue what she could. 

I think the part that people relate to the most was McCurdy’s constant battle she was having with herself. She spoke about her back and forth she had with her partner, at the time, who was also battling some of his own personal mental health issues. She felt that therapy wasn’t helping her and I personally remember being in that position. You feel a sense of despair which is exactly what she had mentioned.Granted, she felt therapy wasn’t working because she had begun to see her problems in full. She would eat then she would purge and it was a constant cycle. She does, however, mention that she is doing slightly better now and that she hopes her progress is proof that it can all be done with enough determination even with a bit of stumbling along the way.

McCurdy is now pursuing the career she felt that she’s wanted since a child: writing and screenwriting. She’s mentioned that she is getting the help she needs now and that she hopes her progress is proof that it can all be done with enough determination even with a bit of stumbling along the way.