Actress and host Drew Barrymore’s childhood was difficult and complicated, to say the least. Her mother, Jaid Barrymore, raised her alone because her late father, John Drew, left them before she was even born. To make things worse, her mom didn’t know how to be a proper parent for her too.
According to Drew, Jaid often left her to her own devices, and she wasn’t even ten years old then. When she was nine, her actress mom took her to Studio 54, a Broadway theater and a former disco nightclub in Midtown Manhattan. Not only that, but her mom also went and dated her boyfriends, which was absolutely inappropriate.
That lack of guidance, which Drew outrightly called selfishness, led to a string of mess-ups and disasters (partying and drinking) that ultimately went completely out of control. She confessed on her show, “Our life was set up for crash and burn disaster, I was completely out of control.”
So, as much as her mom was selfish, she had to give her a lot of room, too, because she wasn’t easy.
At age 14, Drew won legal emancipation from her mom. In an interview with PEOPLE years later, she shared how she’ll never forget the judge telling her she would never have to go to school. Her mom was there in court when it all happened.
Over the years, she has spent much time in therapy as she figured out things. During that period, she also found a way to forgive her parents.
In fact, she even took care of her father’s hospice arrangements financially before he passed away from cancer in 2004. As for her mom, growing up as a woman and eventually becoming a mother of two helped her understand her more.
She told PEOPLE that she will always support her mom because she can never turn her back on the person who gave her life despite everything that happened between them. It would be painful and cruel, and she actually wanted her to be happy, healthy, and thrive.
Drew also clarified that she didn’t wish any negativity to fall upon her mother. She dared say it, but it didn’t feel good.
However, this time, she set boundaries between them to keep the relationship healthy. Whenever she would feel that their chemistry and behavior stir up a feeling in her, she would take a step back and pause.
These pauses definitely helped them a lot. According to the actress, they have taken many of those in their lives. She continued, “Healthy pauses, I’m like, friends need to do it, life-longers need to do it, this is where we’re at.”
Over the years, she has grown confident in setting those limits. As the actress described, the older she got, the fewer feelings of guilt and corrosive shame she felt. If anything weighed her down, it was the absolute discomfort that came with it.
At times, she would still question if it would ever be okay that she didn’t have an amazing nuclear relationship with her family. She’s also worried about when the guilty little girl inside her will feel sad. However, despite that, she’d like to and is ready to forgive herself.
Drew said that she would always have that “cosmic, magnetic pull” to her parents because there were so many emotions in there. Of course, there was also the burning desire to get right and heal.
As of now, Drew and Jaid have a better relationship than they did before.
Recently, Drew Barrymore texted her mother, Jaid Barrymore, for her birthday. Jaid responded that she loved and was proud of her, which reverted her to a kid. The most touching part for the actress was that her mom loved her for her truth and honesty, and it was the best time she had ever heard her say it.