Jeannie Mai explained how her divorce brought up repressed emotions stemming from her childhood sexual abuse on the Thursday, September 26 episode of The Real. The ladies were discussing Demi Moore's bombshell memoir, in which the actress wrote about being raped in her teens, when Jeannie admitted that she related to the loss of innocence that often comes after such a traumatic experience.
"There is a point in the book where she distinctly remembers when her childhood ended and I will say that that ... I'm still dealing with this. If you've been abused in your past like I have it's almost like all of a sudden you completely see this whole darkness come over you and you all of a sudden know too much as a kid," Jeannie, 41, said while tearing up.
"When you're a kid you're innocent — you look to your parents as superheroes and everything is fluffy and cool and your biggest responsibility is brushing your teeth and going to bed on time. But then all of a sudden when you feel a predator or you feel endangered or you don't feel safe, everything's scary. Lights turning off becomes scary. Talking to people becomes scary," she added.
The TV personality previously revealed that she was molested by her 16-year-old cousin for years starting at age 9. Her mother Olivia TuTram Mai didn't believe Jeannie when she worked up the courage to come forward about the abuse in her teens, and it took the Holy Moly host 20 years to confront her mom over the betrayal.
She continued, "I did go through what I thought was therapy and my own kind of way of rebelling and moving forward. But I didn't realize I was still jacked up until my mom moved in and lived with me while I was going through my divorce. It's so weird because you're the most ... you're you're worst self with the people that are closest to you. So when my mom and I would fight I would be nasty towards her. The words I would say towards her were biting and cold. I would turn from sweet to all of a sudden just so rude and so quick to her. She would be like, 'What's wrong, what is it?' And it took time for me to realize that I never forgave her for not believing me when I told her years ago. And I was ok with him and what he had done to me, but I wasn't ok with my mom."
The San Francisco native went on to explain that her mother's reaction to the molestation was heavily influenced by their culture. "It happens in Asian families a lot, where jacked up things happen in your family and then you don't talk about it because Asian culture, it's embarrassing to make your family seem like you guys have issues. It's embarrassing to make you guys have problems," she divulged.
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