Once upon a time there was a hot, young, blonde star in her twenties, captive to her overbearing manager. He controlled her utterly, criminally: what she said, what she did, what she wore, where she appeared, and how thin she was when she did. He drove a wedge between the young woman and her family. She wasn’t allowed any phone calls and weeks would pass without her family knowing her whereabouts, except for what they were able to see on TV. He had dirt on her; compromising photographs to keep her frightened and tractable. He drugged her regularly and abused her with inconceivable cruelty, sexually, physically, and verbally. Hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash and valuables were stolen from her during his occupation. His control was absolute, and soon, so was her hopelessness.
I’m not talking about Britney Spears. I’m talking about my Mom.
Having exhausted every other path to help and solace, she lay in a bed in her home in the Hollywood hills and overdosed with a bottle of Valium.
Just minutes from slipping away, thank God she didn’t succeed. She threw the pills up and physically escaped the SOB, hiding in a trash dumpster so he couldn’t find her; and being reduced to trading “favors” with an old manager – not too proud to use his leverage – for the plane fare to get back to her family, her safety, and her sanity. She survived. Mom wasn’t the worldwide icon that Britney is certainly, but she received a fan letter in 1976 – addressed only to Conny Van Dyke, Hollywood, CA – and it got to her, so she wasn’t exactly unknown.
I look at Britney Spears and I hope for the best, but frankly, I fear the worst. Mom wasn’t the willing slave that Britney seems to be.
It’s one thing to avert a train wreck when the engineer is conscious and willing, but even with the whole world on the tracks shouting “STOP”, it seems she just wants to keep it rolling. In that case, there really is no way to stop a train. Superman doesn’t really exist.
It’s enough to make an atheist pray.