Young fans caught their first glimpse of Demi Lovato when she was just a little girl on Barney and Friends. She later moved on to being a Disney darling, starring in movies such as Camp Rock and releasing music that showed that she had just as much of a talent for singing as she did for acting. Indeed, it seemed like life was pretty great for her but, unfortunately, she was suffering inside.
She has been very candid about her struggles with mental illness, addiction and body image issues but a recent interview shed light on her tumultuous childhood and the strained relationship she had with her father.
When Patrick Lovato died of cancer in 2013, the singer/actress says that she felt “conflicted” because he had been abusive. This sentiment echoes the confusing and complicated relationships many people have with their abusive parents.
The 23-year-old explained: “I was very conflicted when he passed, because he was abusive. He was mean, but he wanted to be a good person. And he wanted to have his family, and when my mom married my stepdad, he still had this huge heart where he said, ‘I’m so glad that [he’s] taking care of you and doing the job that I wish I could do.'”
As she mentioned, it wasn’t that Demi’s father wanted to be mean and evil – he was suffering from mental illness. She feels that it made him incapable of raising a family. “To know that it wasn’t fully his fault really was saddening to me,” Demi said. “I wanted to write about it. I wanted to process it.”
On her new album, Confident, a track titled “Father” shares some revealing lyrics. She sings: “You did your best or did you? Sometimes I think I hate you. I’m sorry, dad, for feelin’ this… I know you were a troubled man. I know you never got the chance to be yourself, to be your best/I hope that heaven’s given you a second chance.”
While she may be conflicted over how to feel about her loss, Demi did create the Lovato Treatment Scholarship Program in his honor. The mission is to help cover the treatment costs for individuals who may be struggling with mental health or addiction issues.
Fortunately, the future looks bright for Demi who entered rehab back in 2010. She explained how she felt while working on her latest work: “The album is called Confident and I wanted something that was going to best represent the album title, where I’m at today and the music. I’ve never been more confident in my life and it was the perfect album title.”
Recovery is difficult and life is often painful but it’s so encouraging to see people finding a way to have peace in their lives.