Selma Blair is bravely sharing her trauma which began at a very young age. In her recent interview with People, Blair promoted her new memoir Mean Baby.
In the book, Selma opens up in a big way. She addresses her decades-long alcohol addiction, which began at age 7, and other deep, personal trauma, including suicide attempts and being sexually assaulted.
Actress Selma Blair Gets Real About Difficult Childhood, Reveals Getting Drunk for the First Time at At Age 7 In New Memoir
“I don’t know if I would’ve survived childhood without alcoholism,” the 49-year-old actress told People in the latest issue. “That’s why it’s such a problem for a lot of people. It really is a huge comfort, a huge relief in the beginning. Maybe even the first few years for me because I did start really young with that as a comfort, as my coping mechanism.”
In an exclusive excerpt from Mean Baby given to People, Blair shares her battle with alcoholism and how she survived it.
“The first time I got drunk it was a revelation. I always liked Passover. As I took small sips of the Manischewitz I was allowed throughout the seder a light flooded through me, filling me up with the warmth of God. But the year I was seven, when we basically had Manischewitz on tap and no one was paying attention to my consumption level, I put it together: the feeling was not God but fermentation.
I thought ‘Well this is a huge disappointment, but since it turns out I can get the warmth of the Lord from a bottle, thank God there’s one right here.’ I got drunk that night. Very drunk. Eventually, I was put in my sister Katie’s bed with her. In the morning, I didn’t remember how I’d gotten there.”
Selma pens how when she began drinking, she did not get drunk, “just quick sips whenever my anxiety would alight. I usually barely even got tipsy. I became an expert alcoholic, adept at hiding my secret.”
But her alcohol abuse continued to worsen in her teens and 20s. She recalls an incident during a college spring break trip when she was raped after a day of binge drinking.
“I don’t know if both of them raped me. One of them definitely did,” she writes. “I made myself small and quiet and waited for it to be over. I wish I could say what happened to me that night was an anomaly, but it wasn’t. I have been raped, multiple times, because I was too drunk to say the words ‘Please. Stop.’ Only that one time was violent. I came out of each event quiet and ashamed.”
Selma goes on to admit that aside from telling a therapist, she had never publicly spoken about the multiple rapes. However, writing about them was a huge step in her healing process.
“My sense of trauma was bigger than I knew. I did not realize that assault was so central in my life. I had so much shame and blame. I’m grateful I felt safe enough to put it on the page. And then can work on it with a therapist and with other writing, and really relieve that burden of shame on myself,” Blair wrote.
Blair has been sober since 2016 and hopes that by sharing her story, she will help those who are currently struggling with the same hurdles. “It’s a lot, she says. “I wrote the book for my son . . . and for people trying to find the deepest hole to crawl into until the pain passes.”
Now, the actress is looking forward to brighter days ahead. “I’m in a good place,” Blair says. “I cannot believe all this happened in my life, and I’m still here, and I’m okay.”
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