‘I didn’t do anything, that’s the problem. Sure, I broke out of there, but it’s not like I ever figured anything out. I couldn’t seem to accept who I was. After all the years of everyone drumming into my head that I was a waste of space, I guess I bought into all the bullshit that I wasn’t worth it. For a long time, I thought I could find the love onstage, but that didn’t work either. I used to say that every night I’d make love to 25,000 people and go home alone. It was true. I was so lost and I just couldn’t find what I was looking for, mostly because I had no fucking clue what it was. But who the fuck cares, right?’ she stops.
My heart breaks for her. There’s an innocence, a vulnerability to her that I never would’ve imagined existed in Janis Joplin. ‘I care and I think you do, too. I think anyone would. This was your mother, these were your peers, your friends, people who were supposed to protect you, lift you up, support you. I think if anyone’s mother told them what your mother did, they’d be intrinsically and seriously damaged. Also, if you didn’t feel like you belonged, none of your experiences would’ve made you feel validated and everyone needs validation. It doesn’t have to come from your parents, your family, but it’s crucial you find your worth, your place in this world. Somewhere. And if you didn’t find that anywhere, and in that I include your fame, then it explains why you would—’
‘Self-medicate, I know. I’ve heard the drill before.’
‘Yes, self-medication, a desire to numb the pain with drugs and alcohol, is a common response. I was also going to say that if the sum total of your experiences was for you to never have found anything that makes you feel worthwhile, it’s understandable that you’d seek alternate ways of finding that validation.’
‘Which explains all the sex, drugs and rock and roll.’ Her smile is hollow.
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