'This Is Us' star Chrissy Metz details her relationship with her physically abusive stepfather in memoir
'This Is Us' star Chrissy Metz released a memoir titled 'This Is Me,' which details her struggles with her weight and the abuse from her step-father because of it.
Chrissy Metz plays Kate Pearson on popular drama series 'This Is Us,' and her new memoir 'This Is Me' explores the star's impoverished childhood, growing up in Florida and the trauma she went through at the hands of her physically and emotionally abusive stepfather before she finally made it big.
The actress told PEOPLE, "I’m a tough cookie. But it’s one of those things that attempts to break your spirit." Metz's father left her family when she was 8. She had two siblings, Monica and Philip, and her mother, Denise, eventually had another daughter, Morgana, with a man who eventually abandoned her. After these events, Denise met Trigger, who would eventually become Metz's stepfather.
Metz described the wedding and how Trigger's response to her was different from his response to her siblings, writing, "My mom married Trigger at the courthouse. Soon she was pregnant again, with another girl, Abigail. Trigger loved his two biological children and was even welcoming to Morgana. Me, not so much. My mother was always at work, so she didn’t see how he treated me."
She revealed, "My body seemed to offend him, but he couldn’t help but stare, especially when I was eating. He joked about putting a lock on the refrigerator. We had lived with a lack of food for so long that when it was there, I felt like I had to eat it before it disappeared. Food was my only happiness."
Trigger's derision of her affected her. Metz wrote, "And so, I began to hide my eating. I’d get up in the middle of the night and eat. I’d sneak food to eat in the bathroom. Cookies, chips. Things I could eat as fast as possible to avoid detection. Things that would give me the brief bliss of numbness."
She opened up about the beginning of a long cycle of physical abuse, writing, "I don’t remember why Trigger hit me the first time. He never punched my face. Just my body, the thing that offended him so much. He shoved me, slapped me, punched my arm. He would hit me if he thought I looked at him wrong. I remember being on the kitchen floor after he knocked me over, and I was begging to know what I did. He just shoved me hard with his foot."
Metz revealed that his behavior toward her got worse as she hit puberty. He began to humiliate her about her weight. "When I was fourteen, Trigger began weighing me. He’d get the scale from the bathroom and clang it hard on the kitchen floor. 'Well, get on the damn thing!' Trigger would yell. 'This is what you need to know.'"
She wrote, "He sat in a chair next to the scale as I got on. ‘Good God almighty!’ he yelled every single time. The number then was about 140 or 130. Most of my friends weighed about ninety pounds. ‘Why are you getting fatter?’ he demanded."
Metz expressed the hurt and anger she felt at his treatment, writing, "I look at pictures of me from that time, and I would be so fine with being that size now. But I thought I was gigantic. By then the beating had escalated. One time he hit me, and I looked right in his face. If I had a gun, I thought, I would shoot you."
However, her anger toward her stepfather confused her. Metz wrote, "Afterward, I was so upset with myself. How could I think that about this person I loved so much? Because I really did love him. This man did more for me than my father ever did."
She mentioned the qualities she admired her stepfather for, writing, "He was smart, and I was allowed to quietly join him in watching the Ken Burns Civil War documentaries on television. I clung to [these points of connection] because I needed to figure out why this person could do right by me as a provider, but be unable to love me."
Metz explained that Trigger had expressed regret at treating her that way and says that they eventually patched up. She said, "We have a relationship now. I do love him and I do care about him." Metz now has a positive outlook on her painful experiences. She shared, "We all go through stuff. But I truly believe that everything that happened to me, happened for me. [I’ve learned] some beautiful lessons."
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