Unable to see eye-to-eye on many things, Drew Barrymore emancipated from her mother at the age of 14. She raised herself since then into the amazing woman she is now.
Drew Barrymore tasted fame and success at a very young age; she was only seven when ET released. At nine, her alcoholic father, John Barrymore, left her mother, Jaid Barrymore. Since then, Jaid took a young Barrymore to clubs and parties, where she was exposed to alcohol and drugs, without any restrictions. Barrymore was at an age where she had to be nurtured and cared for, but she was faced with difficult circumstances instead. This is why, at 13, Barrymore checked into rehab to deal with her addiction issues. "Just knowing that I really was alone. And it felt… terrible. It was a really rebellious time. I would runoff. I was very, very angry," recalled the 50 First Dates actress, according to The Guardian.
Soon, she began to ask herself why she was angry, and that actually helped her let go of some of the emotions she was holding onto. She even said, "Lots of people don’t have parents. They were gone, they couldn’t handle any of it, and I get it." Life wasn't really easy for Barrymore because, at 13, her mom had locked her up in an institution. However, looking back on those difficult days, Barrymore claims it gave her the discipline she needed in her life. "It was like serious recruitment training and boot camp, and it was horrible and dark and very long-lived, a year and a half, but I needed it."
"I needed that whole insane discipline. My life was not normal. I was not a kid in school with normal circumstances. There was something very abnormal, and I needed some severe shift," she said. Mom Jaid only visited her occasionally when she stayed at the institution, revealed Barrymore to GoodToKnow. So, when she left the institution, she made the decision to leave her mother, too. She legally emancipated from her mother, but things only got worse financially. But Barrymore wasn't going to give up that easily. She was managing an apartment on her own by the age of 14.
"There was fungus growing everywhere, it was a disaster. It was in a dangerous neighborhood and I was so scared to sleep. I had bars on the window and alley cats fucking 30 feet away. I was so terrified," she said. With no silver lining in sight, found herself scrubbing toilets of restaurants by the age of 16. However, things took a better turn soon when she was cast for Poison Ivy at 17. She didn't know what the future had in store for her, the mother-of-two told The Guardian, "Half no, in that I was so scared of not knowing where I was going. I really had a fear that I was going to die at 25."
"And half yes, because no matter how dark shit got, I always had a sense that there should be goodness. I never went all the way into darkness. There were so many things I could have done that would have pushed me over the edge and I just knew not to go there." Now that she herself is a mother, she realizes how complicated her relationship with her mother was. She adds that she doesn't want to raise her children the same way. "My relationship with my mom is so complicated... I've always been empathetic toward my mom, and I was even more so when I had a kid and we had a really amazing conversation about it," she told Marie Claire.
"However, it hasn't enabled me to lessen the distance. It's the hardest subject in my life. I've never just been angry with her. I've always felt guilt and empathy and utter sensitivity. But we can't really be in each other's lives at this point." But she still does make sure her mom has everything she needs."I still support her — I must know that she is taken care of or I simply cannot function. I am grateful to this woman for bringing me into this world, and it would crush me to know she was in need anywhere," she wrote in her memoir, Wildflower, according to Vulture. "It is not who I am to harbor any anger for the fact that our life together was so incredibly unorthodox."