Selma Blair speaks at length for the first time about his decades-long battle with alcohol addiction in his forthcoming memoir, Mean Babyand the traumatic events she experienced as a result.
In her new book, due out next week, the actress who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2018 opens up about her drinking problem, which started when she first got drunk aged just seven , as well as his two suicide attempts and multiple sexual assaults. “I don’t know if I would have survived childhood without alcoholism,” Blair confessed in an interview with People. “That’s why it’s such a problem for a lot of people. It’s really a huge comfort, a huge relief at first. Maybe even the early years for me because I started very young with that as a comfort, as a coping mechanism.
In an excerpt from the memoir, she writes: “The first time I got drunk was a revelation. I have always loved Passover. As I took small sips of Manischewitz, I was treated throughout the seder to a light that flooded me, filling me with the warmth of God. But the year I was seven, when we basically had Manischewitz on tap and no one was paying attention to my drinking level, I put it right: feeling wasn’t God but fermentation . I thought, ‘Well, that’s a huge disappointment, but since it turns out I can get the Lord’s warmth from a bottle, thank God there’s one here.’ I got drunk that night. Very drunk. Eventually I was put into my sister Katie’s bed with her. In the morning, I no longer remembered how I had arrived there. At first, she explained, she didn’t drink to get drunk, but just took “quick sips whenever my anxiety kicked in. Usually, I was barely drunk. I became an expert alcoholic, adept at hiding my secret.
However, her addiction worsened as she entered her teens and early twenties. Blair revealed a particularly traumatic case during a spring break trip to college where she was raped after a day of heavy drinking. “I don’t know if the two raped me. One of them certainly did,” she wrote. “I made myself small and quiet and waited for it to be over. I wish I could say that what happened to me that night was an anomaly, but it wasn’t. I was raped, many times, because I was too drunk to say the words “please”. Stop.’ Only this time was violent. I came out of every event quiet and shameful. She added that aside from talking to a therapist, she had never spoken about her sexual assaults before. Blair told the magazine, “Writing this stopped me dead in my tracks. My sense of trauma was greater than I thought. I hadn’t realized that aggression was so central to my life. I had so much shame and blame. I’m grateful to feel safe enough to put it on the page. And then I can work on it with a therapist and with other writing, and really ease that burden of shame on myself.
In an interview on Today On Wednesday, the actress also said writing about these traumatic experiences, including being raped by a teacher, helped her realize she was a victim. “You bury him. You really do,” she said. “It’s a big deal that these things happen and you keep this shame in your cells.”
The cruel intentions The star has now been sober since 2016 and hopes her memoir will help those struggling in the same way. “It’s a lot,” she said. “I wrote the book for my son…and for people trying to find the deepest hole to crawl into until the pain passes.” For now, Blair adds: “I’m in a good place. I can’t believe all of this has happened in my life, and I’m still here and I’m fine.