For the past two years, TV fans have connected with Chrissy Metz’s This Is Us character Kate Pearson in ways she could never have imagined, and now in her new book, This Is Me, the actress is opening up about her own difficult childhood.
When Metz was only 8 years old, her father left her mother Denise to raise Chrissy and her two siblings Monica, then 15 and Philip, then 13, on her own. Denise then had another baby, Morgana, with a boyfriend but he soon left as well, and eventually Denise met the man who would become Metz’s stepfather, a man named Trigger.
“My mom married Trigger at the courthouse,” Metz writes in her book. “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 explains in the book how the abuse started fairly quickly and was emotional, verbal and eventually physical. “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.” She then began sneaking food in the middle of the night looking for “things that would give me the brief bliss of numbness.”
“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.”
As she became a teenager, the abuse from Trigger concerning her weight continued as he began demanding to weigh her. “When I was fourteen, Trigger began weighing me,” writes Metz. “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.’ ”
“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. 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,” she continues.
Despite the awful abuse, it is surprising that Metz adds she still loved her stepfather, writing, “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.” Metz adds that “We have a relationship now. I do love him and I do care about him.” She also refuses to dwell on the negativity of what she went through as she is now happy and living her dream, “We all go through stuff. But I truly believe that everything that happened to me, happened for me. [I’ve learned] some beautiful lessons.”
Chrissy Metz’s memoir, This Is Me, goes on sale Tuesday, March 27.
Also check out: 13 Questions We Need Answered in This Is Us Season 3!