Subscribe to Lemonada Premium for Bonus Content

this past year has been crazy. with the success of my book, i thought the shame i felt about my past would finally wash away. surprise ! it didn’t. listen to the episode to hear more about it, i don’t want to spoil it all here. why are you still reading this ? please go listen now.



Jennette McCurdy

Jennette McCurdy  00:06

I’m thinking about shame. I’ve been thinking a lot about shame this week. The press release for this podcast hard feelings came out. And I was so excited for you guys to hear about this podcast. I was so excited. I know you guys were gonna be excited. And I it just was like such a joyous experience. I feel I have judgment around the word joyous. I’m realizing as I say it, I felt like Yikes. Like I felt my ass cheeks clench. And I said, joyous God, but I also mean it. I have self driving around it. And I mean it. It was a joyous, celebratory, celebratory, it’s getting worse. It was a joyous celebratory experience that I couldn’t wait to, I couldn’t wait for the announcement, right. And one of the things that’s really important to me in impress, if possible, is that iCarly or Sam and Kat are not mentioned. These show titles you guys. My ears burn when I when I’m saying them, I have so much shame around having been a part of them. And anybody who’s read my book I know understands to try and summarize it for those of you who haven’t. It’s like imagine, you know, I started working on Nickelodeon I was, I think we take the pilot, I was maybe 13. And the show, then we started taping the show when I was 14. But, you know, to have been known for so long for something that I did when I was 13 was very shameful for me. Imagine, for example, whatever you were doing your 13. You know, acting in a in your school play of Peter Pan, or playing clarinet just got awfully imagine if you were known for that. Everywhere you went for the rest of your life. If you you can’t board a plane without 15 people coming up to you on the plane and going, oh my god, your clarinet riffs were just God, they made my childhood. And you’re thinking like my clarinet wrists act like God, I’m a person. Now I’m a I’m a developed adult now. And I’m still being defined by the standard when I was good. So that was where I thought all of that shame was coming from right for the shows that I was on. And so I really, really, it’s important to me that those shows are not mentioned in press releases, if at all possible. So, you know, the publicity teams who drop the press release, of course, don’t mention it, but then we don’t have any control over whether those shows are mentioned in the actual articles themselves or not. And in the article, it mentioned iCarly and salmon cat. And I feel I literally feel like my my body tightens is just saying them.

Jennette McCurdy  03:34

Let me kind of give another layer of contact to this whole situation. So my memoir, I’m glad my mom died came out a year and a couple months ago. And it did really well. It did crazy. Well, it’s doing crazy, it’s still on the New York Times bestseller list a year and two months later, it’s fucking crazy. It’s, it’s, it’s so meaningful to me in such a deep way. Because I felt like finally, I don’t have to carry that shame of my past. Finally, I can be known for something that I do as an adult. Finally, I can be known for writing the thing that I’ve wanted to do since I was a child and was was not supported in, in wanting to do. Finally, I can be supported for me, you know, not for character for me. And it kind of washed away that shame for me. So it’s not only celebrating this celebratory, joyous is not only celebrating this success, but it was also just completely covering up my shame. I didn’t feel shame for weeks, maybe even months. I thought like it’s gone baby. We’re good. No more shame and then I did a college store around a couple months after the book came out. I went and spoke at like 30 Something colleges, I want to say it was a lot of colleges. At one of these events, I remember exactly it was it was it’s it. UCSD lovely audience, the moderator, like ask one kind of wrap up question. I go to answer and somebody from the back shouts. Sam, where’s the butter sock, or we want the butter sock, or something like that. It was I don’t even remember the exact words of it. But I remember feeling like kind of instant an instant surge of you know, if there’s like fight flight or freeze instantly I wanted to go to fight. I was like, Okay, how can I how can I protect myself? What can I say? How do I how can I defend myself. And then I took a couple deep breaths. And I said, Wow, I gotta be honest, it really hurts me that you said that. I had this amazing feeling of of connection, based off of this conversation. And I was really trying to be vulnerable. And hopefully, ideally helpful with what I was saying up here. And now, this just, this just makes me feel really bad.

Jennette McCurdy  06:36

The person was like, I’m sorry, but they were literally sitting through the back. So it’s like shouted through the entire auditorium, right. And there’s like, 1000s of people sitting around, taking in this experience. And it just made for a very awkward end to the conversation. And then some members of the faculty kind of were walking me back to the room and they had apologized, and I was like, oh, no, it’s totally fine. Like, they were all lovely. And I really, I didn’t want that one little moment to affect what was a lovely evening. And then the next day, I got an email from my publicist, and a group of college students from that event had emailed my publicist, Steven, who’s just absolutely a wizard, at what he does, he’s so talented. I just, I can’t believe how good he is what he does. Anyway, he sends me an email from a group of these college students who are just saying, like, hey, we just want to let you know that we all took away so much from the night and we’re grateful for who you are. And we’re sorry that that person said that thing about the butter sock, we couldn’t care less about the butter sock, we love you, Jeanette and we support you. And we’re grateful for years and things like that. And a bunch of these college students signed it and I like it was so meaningful, it brought tears to my eyes. So that’s that’s the context of kind of what it was in in real time in that two days. And then I still continued to get triggered by it like in in weeks to come I would get little flashes of it. Not a big deal. Just like a little flash and, and when I would feel the flash of the person chatting butter sock, my my body would twitch like I was having a literal kind of trauma response, right? My body’s got just Twitch, you know, twitches, my whole body’s doing it. And I’m thinking God, there’s something to this, I’ve got a I’ve got to work on this. But I didn’t really, I didn’t do much therapy over. I was maybe doing like a session a month if that for the past for a while for maybe like a year. I just felt Honestly, I was prioritizing work. I’ll just say like it is I was prioritizing work. And I don’t think it was making enough time for therapy and self growth, personal growth and development, which I definitely consider therapy to be cut to this press release comes out. And iCarly and Sam and Kat are mentioned. And I see the article on my body does the Twitch again. It does the Twitch. And I booked a therapy session with my therapist, Aaron to kind of discuss that reaction and like what’s coming up for me? Why is this still coming up for me?

Jennette McCurdy  09:20

And I said, I’m so frustrated. Because I felt like the shame was gone because of the success of the book. And I’m realizing like the shame from my past from from what I was known for in the past. Because I felt like well now I’m known for something else like great, we’re done. My work here is done. Guess what my work here was not done. It was a band aid on a bullet hole. So I go to my my therapist. And I say you know I thought I thought I was done with the shame and I’m realizing it’s kind of it was triggered again this week. To me it feels like reverting I’m like why pass this why is this happening? So this article comes out and I don’t understand. I’m talking about this in therapy. I’m like, I don’t understand why they still are mentioning iCarly and Sam and Cat. I thought this would be enough. I thought the success of the book would be enough. When is it going to be enough for them to forget Sam when is it going to be enough for them to stop associating me with the fucking shows I did when I was 13. When is it going to be enough? I’m talking like this right? This was like, you know, a mix of anger and confusion and, and and desperation. I said when is it going to be enough for them to get past Sam and my therapist goes, When is it going to be enough for you to get past Sam.

Jennette McCurdy  14:18

Wow, it hit me so hard. I wrote it down. I’m one of those. I take notes during therapy. Like rigorously. I don’t forget any single thing. And I wrote it down in big bold letters. What when is it going to be enough for me to get past them? Because I’m thinking you know what, I’d love I’d love for to not matter. I’d love to not care. Who cares, right? I do. Why do I care? Why am I still caring about this? I would love for it to just be like Oh, even more so than I would love to be able to say oh they mentioned I Carlos salmon cat who cares? I’d love to be able to not even really notice it because I I just am just not affected by it. That is my goal, my goal would be to not be affected by having been a part of those shows, in therapy. Also, I don’t even call them by name, I say those shows I, I say, you know, having been a part of that show, having done that show, like, it’s really hard for me to say the names of the shows. And I know it’s something that, you know, maybe I genuinely believe that anybody who’s read my book understands, but some people might think, what’s so hard about being young and famous, like what’s so hard about? I don’t know, maybe you should listen to a different podcast man. Like, if that’s where you’re at, we’re just never going to be on the same page or on the same path. And that’s totally fine. There was a reboot of iCarly, baby. And anyway, I did some journaling on it, my therapist suggested that I do some journaling on the what’s been triggering to me lately, and how those triggers might be traced back to or connected to unresolved shame. I think that’s a great exercise. And I don’t know I hadn’t, I hadn’t really thought of it that way. I thought that was really an ingenious way of kind of exploring it, because I think that’s, for me, at least, that’s really resonating feeling very true, I’m thinking that a lot of these things that I’ve been triggered by are associated with unresolved shame and shame that I need to work through and work on. And all of this to kind of, say, and loop back to the beginning of, I feel like the success of the book was a band aid on a bullet hole, where I felt like, well, great, I don’t have any shame anymore about my past. And it’s actually something that I still have shame around, because I’m still capable of being triggered around it. And so it’s something that I still need to work on. This is what’s come up for me in kind of my journaling and my processing since that session with Aaron. I think there’s another layer, then the, what I mentioned about sort of feeling known for the thing that you do when you’re 13 and feeling like Well, I’m, I’ve grown past that, so why has nobody else why can nobody pick up on who I am not like what that that feels like one layer but the kind of deeper layer to me, feels like, you know, and honestly, guys, unfortunately, I wish if someone feels like an easy answer, like oh, it’s traced back to the family of origin again, you don’t say but like, it is most of the time it fuckin is. And I’m feeling that again here where it’s like, my mom was so quick to see and witness and support any character I played, but never capable of seeing me that then that resentment became a thing that I took out on the audience of the show on the people who would scream at me, Sam iCarly fried chicken when I was walking down the street, everybody said fried chicken. Where’s your fried chicken? I got so fucking sick of people saying where’s the fried chicken? That my God also was like I was suffering from bulimia. So like, when I was really at the height of my anger, I’d be i when somebody be like Sam iCarly fried chicken I want to be like, or they go where’s the fried chicken? I want to be like it’s in a fucking toilet because I have bulimia and my throat right up.

Jennette McCurdy  18:44

So feeling like my mom couldn’t see me but could see. Really only the characters that I was playing. I think I felt that resentment and feeling that resentment was it was too difficult for me to face. Like I didn’t want to face the in quotes, ugly emotions that I felt no emotions are ugly, right? They’re all just part of the human condition to human experience. It’s all part of the cocktail, baby. But that’s not what I grew up believing. And so I grew up believing certain emotions were okay and certain emotions were not okay. And so it was fucking terrified of the ones that were quote unquote, not okay. Resentment being one of them, and certainly resentment toward my mother who I idolized and idealized and had on this pedestal. So I was not accepting that I was feeling resentment, but I was feeling through my mom for not seeing me and toward the audience for not seeing me you guys. And I think there was this the more the more popular that character. See, notice. I didn’t even say the name, the more popular that Sam. My heart starts racing faster got. The more I just felt unseen. As Jeanette and fundamentally I think that was coming for not being able to see myself not being able to be with myself, sit with myself, tolerate myself, know myself. And I think a lot of that is modeled by, you know your relationship with your primary caregiver, which was, of course my mom who of course, couldn’t see me either. So I, that’s that’s kind of where I’m at with it. That’s the best I got right now. I’ll keep processing it. And I’m going to try and figure out you know, what is it going to take for me to get past Sam, because I would like for if somebody puts the title of a show that I was on when I was a kid in an article for it to not affect me, that sounds fucking great. I want to be past this, you guys. I want to be past this. I’ll do whatever work it takes to grow past that I really will. But in the meantime, Steven, my publicist is flying in to be the superhero that he is. Or he reached out and he asked them to remove it and he he actually got them to remove iCarly from the article. God bless Steven. I’ll be working on my shame. But in the meantime, I’ll be thinking Stephen.

Jennette McCurdy  21:24

There’s more Hard Feelings with Lemonada Premium subscribers get exclusive access to bonus content, and you can subscribe now in Apple podcasts. I’m Jennette McCurdy, the creator, executive producer and host of HardFeelings. It’s produced by Lemonada Media in coordination with Happy Rage productions. Our production team is Kegan Zema, Aria Bracci and Brian Castillo. Music is by Hannah’s Brown. Steve Nelson is Lemonada’s Vice President of weekly content. Rachel Neil is Lemonada Senior Director of new content. Executive Producers are Stephanie Wittels Wachs, Jessica Cordova Kramer and me. Listen ad free on Amazon music with your Prime membership.

Spoil Your Inbox

Pods, news, special deals… oh my.