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Talking about her forthcoming memoir, This is Me (which hits bookshelves next week on March 27th) Chrissy Metz talked to People for their latest cover story about the hardship she faced from an early age at the hand of her stepfather, whom she called Trigger. As she detailed in her first book, Metz dealt with many struggles and humiliations from her impoverished early years, particularly from her eating habits, which she said offended him.
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. And so, I began to hide my eating. I'd get up in the middle of the night and eat. I'd sneak food to eat in the bathroom. Cookies, chips. Things I could eat as fast as possible to avoid detection. Things that would give me the brief bliss of numbness.
Chrissy Metz says that while Trigger was loving to other children in the family, she didn't receive the same treatment. Since Chrissy's mother was usually always working or away from the house, she didn't see how Trigger treated her daughter. It was around this time that the stepfather got violent.
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.
The abuse only got worse as time continued onward. As Chrissy Metz later detailed in the book, Trigger forced Metz to weigh herself in front of him.
When I was fourteen, Trigger began weighing me. 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.
Truly heartbreaking stuff. Thankfully, Chrissy Metz is living better days. The actress is widely acclaimed for her work on NBC's This is Us. The acclaimed, highly-watched drama series found Metz nominated for two Golden Globes for Best Actress in A Supporting Role, while she was also nominated for an Emmy last year for Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for her moving performance as Kate Pearson. Things are looking up.