Summary of I’m Glad My Mom Died

Summary of I'm Glad My Mom Died

Summary of I’m Glad My Mom Died by Jennette Mccurdy – This article summarises the book “I’m Glad My Mom Died” by Jennette Mccurdy.


Brief Content

Singer and actor McCurdy shares the heartbreaking realities of what she sees as years of emotional abuse at the hands of her demanding, emotionally unstable stage mother, Debra, in her debut memoir, which is titled after her 2020 one-woman show. The author, born in Los Angeles, was raised and controlled by her mother in a home with three older brothers. McCurdy’s mother was diagnosed with breast cancer when McCurdy was three years old. She first survived the illness, but the disease recurred when the author was 21, ultimately taking her life.

During those interim years, McCurdy frankly reconstructs them, demonstrating how “my mom emotionally, physically, and mentally abused me in ways that will forever affect me.” Debra took her only daughter to auditions when she was six, determined to turn her into “Mommy’s little actress.” McCurdy remained “desperate to impress Mom” as she grew older and began booking acting roles, while Debra grew more obsessive about her daughter’s physical looks. She gave her daughter regular genital exams as a teenager, whitened her teeth, tinted her eyelashes, and put her on a strict “calorie restriction” regimen. The author eventually sought to distance herself from her mother out of understandable resentment.

McCurdy was prone to eating disorders, alcoholism, self-hatred, and unstable relationships when she was a young celebrity. She accurately portrays Debra’s cruel perfectionist attitude and abusive behavior patterns throughout the whole book, showing a woman who could become incensed over everything from crooked eyeliner to spilt milk. McCurdy also shows empathy for her very imperfect mother. She shares a heartbreaking secret her father told her as an adult toward the end of the book. Even though McCurdy’s upbringing wasn’t without its hardships, she was able to transform it into a popular stage act and experience a type of catharsis that puts her body, mind, and acting career at peace.

The devastating story of an emotionally battered child is told with compelling candor and elegance.

McCurdy described the alleged abuse McCurdy’s mother reportedly engaged in throughout her childhood and during her rise to prominence as the star of “iCarly” and the spinoff series “Sam & Cat” in her tell-all memoir.

Summary of I'm Glad My Mom Died
I’m Glad My Mom Died by Jennette Mccurdy


Jennette McCurdy was the epitome of Nickelodeon’s popularity during her teenage years. Her face was beamed weekly into millions of homes during “iCarly” episodes.

Her smile was pasted on huge Hollywood billboards, T-shirts, lunchboxes, journals, party balloons, and plastic plates.

She performed on a float in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and danced onstage with Michelle Obama. She was enjoying the ideal life of a wholesome young celebrity. But everything was a lie.

She described a part of her life as being “so cheesy, so glossy, so polished, and so fake.” “And then there was this other aspect of my life that went entirely unnoticed, and that part was so real, painful, raw, and aching.”

Past Struggles

On this clear July day in Pasadena, the atmosphere at an expensive comfort-food restaurant close to McCurdy’s home is darkly comic. Her mother’s physical, mental, and emotional abuse, her past struggles with alcohol and eating disorders and the career she was forced into as a child all stands in hideous contrast to the innocent backdrop.

Pizza is delivered as McCurdy remembers receiving antibiotic shots in her buttock while filming to keep her working through a period of strep throat. She looks back at the moment when her ex-boyfriend told her he believed he was Jesus Christ reborn as she swishes her blonde hair aside and makes a move on a fried chicken slider.

McCurdy often smiles and chuckles but is no longer on cue. And it usually happens when it seems like it may not.

She uses the same tone in her provocatively named new memoir, “I’m Glad My Mom Died.” The now 30-year-old has been gradually revealing the truth about her past in her one-woman live show with the same name and on her podcast, “Empty Inside.”  But McCurdy’s book stands as her greatest work to date. This sharply witty and sympathetic book examines a trove of personal trauma from her early childhood through her twenties. Each story reveals new nightmares she had thought of as usual for most of her life.

According to comedian Jerrod Carmichael, her friend, “the kind of trauma that Jennette has lived through often wrecks a person.” “It’s as if she was in the wreckage of a plane crash but survived. And she is prepared to deal with and tackle these things I’ve seen many people run from.

As the title indicates, McCurdy’s late mother, Debra, is the center of her story and her pain. When McCurdy was three years old, Debra received her initial breast cancer diagnosis. She eventually lost her fight with the illness in 2013, when McCurdy was 21. While maintaining a cheerful attitude for the public in the past few years, McCurdy performed a high-wire act of people-pleasing and silent suffering.

She was home-schooled with her three older brothers in a small house in Orange County, California, and grew up quite poor and Mormon. Her mother pushed her unfulfilled dreams of being an actress upon her daughter. Her father, who she later learned wasn’t her real father, worked two jobs and, in Jennette’s words, “wasn’t a very emotionally involved person.”

Even when Jennette was a teenager, Debra dictated her choices and made all of her decisions. For example, she insisted on giving McCurdy showers until the age of 16, shaving her legs, washing her hair, and doing regular vaginal and breast checks to look for cancerous lumps.

She put a lot of effort into keeping our relationship private. At the time, I thought, ‘Oh, Mommy and I have a relationship that’s so unique,’ but now I view it as conditioning,” McCurdy said. It seems like closeness when you have a best friend with whom you can share all of your secrets. My mother treated me exactly that way, but it wasn’t friendship. It was abuse.

McCurdy’s relationship with her mother was all-consuming. She was always scared of failing her mother and incurring her wrath. Still, She was also worried about her mother’s disease returning and the overwhelming guilt she’d feel if she did anything contrary to her mother’s orders.

The entire family avoided Debra, but one of McCurdy’s brothers, Dustin, who is 5 years older than her, said he still feels bad for not realizing the extent of his mother’s abuse of Jennette.

He stated in a phone interview that although he may have understood the broad strokes of what had transpired, “there were additional specifics revealed in her [one-woman] show that surprised me.” But logically, I understand that this was kind of the whole point—it was a very intentional, secretive relationship.

Dustin, who said his mother was also “very abusive towards my dad, emotionally, and very mentally abusive toward me,” Initially found comfort in Debra’s focus on her only daughter.  “I know it seems really selfish of me to have [Jennette] be the breadwinner, but it kind of drove our mother away from us. So, therefore, a part of me was more than ready to say, “Oh, she’s OK. For a time, get her out of the house. That sounds fantastic.

“Back then, it looked like Jennette usually tried to get us in trouble and run up to Mom. “Now, I totally understand. She only wished to maintain her safety in whatever way she could.

Anorexia, Bingeing And Bulimia

McCurdy happily remarks as she takes a spear of fried asparagus from the dish from the center of the table, “This one looks like a brontosaurus.

A few years ago, it seemed unimaginable that McCurdy could enjoy the presence of food. At age 11, McCurdy said that her mother started helping her cut calories and encouraged her to become anorexic to delay puberty and book her more roles. The young actress’s dropping weight alarmed many around her, including her dance instructor and pediatrician, but no one ever pushed the matter far enough to intervene.

My mother would become utterly hostile toward anyone who tried to intervene. She’d go cold,”  McCurdy said. “I’m certain my mother would have immediately pulled me out of dancing if my dance instructor had persisted in pressing. We wouldn’t frequent that ward any longer if a church member had said something. She, for example, was unchallengeable.

McCurdy’s thoughts started to be dominated by the “eating disorder voice,” an internal dialogue that was critical of herself and filled with self-hatred. She first battled anorexia before later dealing with bulimia and bingeing. She once lost a molar in an airline restroom, resulting from tooth decay from regular vomiting.

In her late teens, Debra wrote Jennette a stream of abusive messages, which are quoted in the memoir, calling her “a little slut” and an “ugly monster” when paparazzi images showed a curvier McCurdy on a Hawaiian vacation with a boyfriend her mother wasn’t aware of. In addition, she posted threatening emails on fan club sites to turn Jennette’s supporters against her and ruin her career. She then requested money from Jennette to pay for the repair of the family refrigerator.

Forced Career

McCurdy had no desire to be an actress. From the time she was six years old, her mother’s approval was the only reason she ever performed. At age 13, she got a leading role on Nickelodeon’s “iCarly,” playing Carly’s wisecracking, juvenile delinquent best friend, Sam Puckett, after appearing in national advertisements, minor roles on comedies, and the Harrison Ford flop “Hollywood Homicide.”

The program, which starred Miranda Cosgrove as a young Vlogger and her eccentric crew, immediately rose to the top of the network’s lineup. Compared to other prime-time cable programming, such as the NBA playoffs, particularly well-liked episodes attracted more than 6 million people; its highest-rated episode attracted 11.2 million. It was a worldwide phenomenon. Kids were obsessed with McCurdy and thought of her as their tough-as-nails closest buddy.

McCurdy, though, was just nothing like Sam; her on-screen character was mostly centered around food. However, Sam frequently gnawed on fried chicken and large turkey legs while swinging a sock with a stick of butter inside (also known as a “butter sock”) as a toy weapon.

It’s tragically funny. Because my character was always eating, it gave me such anxiety,” she remarked. “I made many attempts to speak with the producers and asked if we could tone down on that stuff. I had some reasoning like, ‘I think Sam is so much more as a character, and she goes far deeper than this.  However, I could not deal with the eating disorder on my own, so I could not say, “Hey, I’m really struggling with this.” So,  Can we not?

When they saw her in public, fans would shout, “Hey, Sam! where is your turkey leg?”  Or they’d give her Snow Balls, the show’s featured Fat Cakes’ real-life manufactured dessert equivalent.

She added, “I began to feel like I was losing myself in every way.” “They didn’t know what I was going through, but it seemed like people were just f—-ing probing into every trauma and insecurity I had. It was only a knife twist.

The Creator

While her mother controlled every aspect of her life,

when she arrived on set each day for “iCarly” and the spinoff “Sam & Cat,” Dan Schneider, the creator and showrunner of her two comedies and several other Nickelodeon programs, also had control over her.

McCurdy omits a name while describing her experiences on set in her memoir and just refers to “The Creator.” She “sort of thought” the ambiguous name was humorous. “I knew there was a lot of tension there, so I wanted some humor surrounding that.”

She stated that “The Creator” was “mean-spirited, terrifying, and controlling” on a daily, dismissing kids for basic mistakes and making “mature men and women cry with his insults and humiliation.” Like her mother, his sporadic praise came with fear and strings. He might yell insults at me tomorrow that would hurt me just as much as the compliments would make me feel better.

When she was 18, she remembered him giving her an unsolicited shoulder massage and pressuring her to drink his alcohol-laced coffee while lamenting that “the ‘iCarly’ kids are so wholesome.”

According to McCurdy, “The Creator” operated out of what she characterized in her book as a “cave-like room to the side of the sound stage, surrounded by mounds of cold cuts, Kids’ Choice Awards blimps, and his favorite snack, his most valued life accomplishment,” amid charges of emotional abuse.

“My heart starts beating fast. I’m upset about it,” she added during lunch. But we should talk about it. Because everyone feared losing their jobs, his behavior was so normal and acceptable. I don’t blame any of them. I get it. But the fact that everything took place in a setting for a children’s television program was truly sad. In my opinion, it doesn’t appear to have much of a moral compass.


When “iCarly” ended after six seasons, Nickelodeon approved a spinoff series directed by Schneider that paired together McCurdy’s character, Sam and Ariana Grande’s “Victorious” character, Cat, for the unimaginatively titled “Sam & Cat.”

McCurdy and Grande tolerated each other but did not share the same kind of close relationship that Cosgrove and McCurdy shared. McCurdy grew resentful of Grande as her music career skyrocketed since she was allowed to skip work for her obligations, while McCurdy held down the fort on set and turned down offers for her own feature film that would have interfered with shooting. She was promised she would direct an episode, but that never happened.

The show was originally offered to McCurdy as a solo vehicle, so small things added up. Despite her brief venture into country music and dislike for it, McCurdy wasn’t envious of Grande’s musical success. When Grande arrived on set and stated she had spent the previous evening playing charades at Tom Hanks’ residence, that is when she finally snapped.

I love Tom Hanks. Said McCurdy. I would give anything to meet Tom Hanks.

Hush Money

“Sam & Cat” soon collapsed, and when the show was cancelled in 2014 after 36 episodes, it included an unexpected proposal. If McCurdy promised to never speak publicly about her experiences at the network, particularly about the actions of “The Creator,” Nickelodeon would give her a $300,000 “thank-you gift.” McCurdy said at the time, “This feels to me like hush money.” She immediately declined the offer.

A Nickelodeon representative declined to comment. The agent representing Schneider did not respond to requests for comment.

That decision, in her opinion, was motivated by self-righteousness, she claimed. Should I have accepted that money? I’m happy I didn’t because now I can talk about it, and the secret doesn’t have to haunt me.

Pent-Up Frustration

The conflicting demands on McCurdy by her mother, the network, the showrunner, and her fans led to a buildup of “frustration and anger”, which progressively manifested in self-sabotage. Her teens had been so sheltered, she was left floundering when she entered adulthood and started experimenting with alcohol and sex. She started drinking heavily to deal with her despair-filled state, and her bulimia became worse.

“People going off the deep end is no f—-ing surprise. It’s no f—-ing surprise that people shave their heads, get face tattoos or urinate in buckets. “It’s understandable that people battle with their mental health and experience extremely public breakdowns. I’m so glad I didn’t have it. However, I broke down in private. She pauses and chuckles, “I break down quietly, in the tragic stillness of my own doom.”

McCurdy believed she could never confide in anybody about the struggle and discomfort she felt with her popularity while her mom was still alive, despite being around other young actors on set.

“I didn’t have anyone to discuss that with because my mother made it very clear that I should be thankful for this. We’ve been working toward this our entire lives,” she said. She was prepared with all the typical stage mom phrases to ensure that if I even expressed the slightest bit of discomfort, it was bam, no, that’s not permitted.

McCurdy flashes a grin and two thumbs up as the server comes to check on everything, then groans, “I always do that.”

Therapy And The Path To Recovery

McCurdy didn’t know her “self-destructive habits were as life-threatening as they were” until her mother passed away in 2013, at a point she was forced to start seeing a therapist on a regular. That made her come to terms with the fact that her mother was abusive, she added. However, it wasn’t a quick fix.

“I was still much the same person I was while my mother was still alive. According to her, it was a very slow process that moved at a very slow pace. It was difficult for me to accept the truth of how my life had actually been. I experienced the pain. It became liberating and therapeutic through persistent work and exploration.

She nearly entirely stopped acting after featuring in the Netflix thriller series “Between” as she began years of intense therapy and eating disorder recovery. She started letting her love of writing fill the space left by the absence of destructive forces.

They were both introduced through mutual friends some years ago, and since then, they have been friends. Carmichael says, “She’s said things to me that touched my soul.” Typically, they skip the small conversation and just ask, “Why were you crying yesterday?”

According to Carmichael, McCurdy has been “extremely giving and very open” about her personal life with him. “She was baptized in fame and the pursuit of it and being told what her life is, a narrative that’s essentially brainwashing through her mother, Hollywood, and religion,” he added. “I genuinely admire and respect her.”

“So many individuals, you know, have Instagram growth and artificial growth. But, he said, “Jennette’s is still in the process and much rawer than that.

A few years ago, Cosgrove contacted McCurdy about featuring in an “iCarly” reboot aimed at adults that would stream on Paramount Plus. Cosgrove and several other celebrities would return to their roles, but Schneider would not. McCurdy refused the offer.

For me, it was an easy “no,” McCurdy said. “My mental health and happiness are my top priorities, and there was no intersection there. No overlapped.

Four Main Points From I’m Glad My Mom Died

  • McCurdy Mother’s Abuse

McCurdy describes in her memoir how her mother pushed her throughout her career. She was put on a calorie-restricted diet and was only allowed to do certain things with her mother’s approval. However, McCurdy’s go-to outfits for auditions were a fuzzy pink top with a rhinestone heart in the center, black faux-leather shorts, and black boots.

Her mother’s influence also made her want to quit acting in general. The actress’s mother’s rules became more restrictive when she moved on to her breakout role on Nickelodeon. In her book, McCurdy states that she was unable to use the restroom or take a shower by herself until she was a teenager. McCurdy’s fixed diet worsened with time, and so did the star. When the actress was 12 years old, she reportedly weighed 61 pounds, and her mother’s support only pushed her into an eating disorder.

  • Her Time On iCarly

McCurdy’s time on iCarly was anything but pleasant. Even though the actress’s adored series role made many viewers laugh, she was internally suffering. McCurdy’s mother was also trying to distance her from Miranda Cosgrove. Because her best friend on-screen “doesn’t believe in God,” her mother warned her to avoid her. Nevertheless, Cosgrove and McCurdy built a true friendship despite her mother’s wishes. The author mentions Cosgrove as someone who helped her recover from her eating disorder.

  • The Creator

The memoir also recounts how the Nickelodeon network took advantage of McCurdy. In the book, she makes mention of “The Creator,” who played the key role in McCurdy’s downfall. In addition, McCurdy recounts a time they forced her to drink alcohol at the age of 18 while out to dinner with them. The unidentified person claimed the Victorious (another popular Nickelodeon show) cast frequently indulges in alcohol together, and “the iCarly kids need a little edge,” she wrote.

This mention in the book also helped remind readers of another accusation made by a former Nickelodeon star regarding alcohol on set. Avan Jogia, a former Victorious actor, made a TikTok revealing in the comments that he didn’t recall his time on the set since he was either drunk or hungover. The comments on the video have since been removed. Fans are now left wondering what really went on behind the scenes of their favorite childhood shows.

  • McCurdy’s Relationship With Ariana Grande

Everyone has been curious about what McCurdy has to say about her former Sam & Cat co-star Ariana Grande since the release of her book, and the actress didn’t hold back. McCurdy stated that she frequently had to put off other projects for the series so that Grande could pursue her singing career. The pop artist would have to skip filming throughout the one-season series’ production to attend award shows or work on her music album. The actress became very angry and jealous of the vocalist due to their career growth. “I have to decline movies while Ariana’s off whistle-toning at the Billboard Music Awards,” McCurdy wrote.

The fact that the episode was not the one intended for her spinoff series led to the actress’s anger as well. Initially, the spinoff was supposed to chronicle Sam’s life as a former juvenile before becoming a school counselor. However, McCurdy’s deal with “The Creator” never included Grande.

She writes, “A few years back, when I first signed a deal with Nickelodeon for my own show, I thought it would be exactly that—my own show. It was supposed to be the harrowing story of a brassy former juvenile delinquent-turned-school counselor.” However, McCurdy claims that when her job with Nickelodeon ended, the network offered her $300,000 to keep quiet about her experiences working on the two series, which the actress resolutely rejected.


She said, “I’m thankful for the financial stability my career has given me, for the friendships I’ve made, and for the fact that it has led me to where I am now. However, it has been challenging for me to discover value beyond that. I want to have a little bit more peace with that period of my life since it was so burdened with the baggage of not wanting to be there, of my mom and the environment I was in.

Even now, she knows what her mother would think of the sleeveless mock turtleneck she wore to lunch (“She’d detest it, her meal order (“She wouldn’t be happy with this at all. “), her friends, her house, and her car. But these days, that annoying voice is much less and no longer serves as her life’s soundtrack.

She is now working on a volume of essays and at least one novel. In addition, she has directed a few short films and aspires to work on lengthier projects. Recently, she hasn’t detested the thought of cautiously returning to acting.

She said it had been a long time since she exhibited any of the symptoms of an eating disorder. Though she might occasionally have a glass of wine at a meal with friends, alcohol is no longer an addiction. She spent her 30th birthday at Disney World and has been in a “loving, healthy” relationship for the past six years.

I’m in a nice place, which is such an odd thing to say, she continued, “there’s no active kind of dysfunction in my life at all. On the contrary, I feel more content than ever, and although I wish it weren’t new to me, it is.”

We’re just scratching the surface here. If you don’t already have the original book, “I’m Glad My Mom Died by Jennette Mccurdy,” order it here now on Amazon to learn the juicy details.

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