We all know Lady Gaga as an extremely successful singer, songwriter, and actress. Her road to that success, however, is paved with trauma and abuse. Recently in an interview on the show The Me You Can’t See with Oprah and Prince Harry, she opened up about when she was raped at 19 years old. She became pregnant from that abuse, and the trauma and emotional scars it left her she endures to this day.
The Trauma Lady Gaga Faced At 19 Years Old
Recently on Oprah Winfrey and Prince Harry’s new show The Me You Can’t See, Lady Gaga opened up about her past trauma. She talked candidly about how that trauma affected her and shaped the woman she is today. Not only that, but she revealed how that trauma still affects her all these years later. (1)
At 19 years old, a producer raped her. She became pregnant from that assault. It left her with complicated feelings of self-loathing and many mental health struggles.
“I was 19 years old, and I was working in the business, and a producer said to me, ‘Take your clothes off,’ ” she said tearfully. “And I said no. And I left, and they told me they were going to burn all of my music. And they didn’t stop. They didn’t stop asking me, and I just froze and I just — I don’t even remember.”
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A Changed Woman
She has chosen not to name her abuser, as it is a person that she never wants to have to face again in her life. That moment severely affected her. She explained that for the next two years she wasn’t the same girl. In many ways, she was never the same since.
“First I felt full-on pain, then I went numb,” Gaga said. “And then I was sick for weeks and weeks and weeks and weeks after, and I realized that it was the same pain that I felt when the person who raped me dropped me off pregnant on a corner at my parents’ house because I was vomiting and sick. Because I’d been being abused. I was locked away in a studio for months… The way that I feel when I feel pain was how I felt after I was raped. I’ve had so many MRIs and scans where they don’t find nothing. But your body remembers. I couldn’t feel anything, I disassociated. It’s like your brain goes offline.”
She explained the feeling like a black cloud that follows you around everywhere you go. That cloud constantly tells you things that aren’t true. Things like that you are worthless and that you should die.
Gaga admits that she has self-harmed in the past and still struggles occasionally with it now. She spoke openly about it, however, telling viewers that it does not and will not make you feel better. You think it will, but it doesn’t. In fact, the singer says, it will make you ultimately feel worse.
“You think you’re gonna feel better ’cause you’re showing somebody, ‘Hey, look, I’m in pain.’ It doesn’t help. I always tell people, ‘Tell somebody, don’t show somebody.’ ” she said.
Healing Is Not Linear
The songstress spoke about the healing process and how people should not get discouraged when they have a few bad days. She reminds everyone that healing from mental trauma and illness is not the same as healing from another illness or injury. The trajectory is not linear. You are simply cured, healed, and good to go. She reminds us that she can have six incredible months, and then one trigger can make her feel bad and set her down a dangerous mental path.
Gaga spoke about how important it is to find one person who validates you. Sharing her story, as well as the rest of those who will be interviewed on Oprah and Prince Harry’s new show, are to destigmatize mental health journeys and struggles. They are meant to show and teach people that they are not alone in their own journey, and that it is okay to not be okay. It is also okay to be okay sometimes and not other times. What they hope is that by telling these stories, more people will begin to open up to those around them about their struggles. They also hope that those who are close to those people will understand more what that person is going through. Together, we can make a difference in the world of mental health and mental illness.
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- “Lady Gaga Opens Up About Past Sexual Assault, Says She Became Pregnant After Being Raped at 19.” People. Nicholas Rice. May 21, 2021