Former Nickelodeon child star Jennette McCurdy has a lot to say, and she’s telling all in her new memoir, “I’m Glad My Mom Died.” The book details the narcissistic abuse and exploitation McCurdy says she suffered at the hands of her mother, who died in 2013.

Known for her roles in “iCarly” and “Sam and Cat” on the children’s network, McCurdy’s memoir discusses mistreatment she also suffered on set (and enabled by her mother, she alleges). She writes that she was pressured to drink alcohol while underage, was photographed wearing a bikini while underage during a wardrobe fitting, and endured endless emotional abuse at the hands of show creators. In her book, McCurdy says Nickelodeon offered her $300,000 to never speak about her traumatizing experiences on set, which she declined.

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As for McCurdy’s mother, Debbie, she says she forced her to exist on an extremely restricted diet of 1,000 calories or less—which led to severe disordered eating that lasted years for McCurdy. She writes that her mother wanted her to continue getting child roles, so she hoped to delay puberty by starving her own daughter. Debbie would also allegedly perform breast and vaginal “exams” on her daughter under the guise of “checking for cancer.” Growing up under her mother’s thumb, McCurdy was often subject to fits of rage and other forms of abuse at any given moment.

In an interview with Good Morning America, McCurdy says she knows people will feel strongly about the title of her memoir—it’s a bold title that likely makes many people (who haven’t endured parental abuse) uncomfortable.

“Anybody that has experienced parental abuse understands this title,” she tells GMA. “I wouldn’t have written the book if my mom were alive. I would still have my identity dictated by her.”

What does narcissistic parental abuse look like?

The answers here are deeply nuanced and vary from narcissist to narcissit. According to Psychology Today, there are three main ways narcissist parents abuse their children.

1. By viewing their children as an extension of themselves

These parents use their children as a source of narcissistic supply. They see their children as an extension of themselves. They force them to achieve in the world, live vicariously through their child, and take the praise and recognition that comes with their child’s achievements. This can be harmful, as the child does not get the chance to develop their own identity.

2. Through guilt trips and control

To compensate for these feelings of inferiority, these parents resort to narcissistic control of you, as well as emotional dependency on you. Even as a child, you might be forced into the role of caregiver, counselor or even parent. You may feel responsible for your parent’s emotional well-being and suppress your own needs to satisfy them.

Related: Therapy made me a better mom—and wife

3. Through competition and sabotage

Unfortunately, narcissistic parents may be unable to bear the thought of anyone surpassing them, including their child. These parents always need to be the center of attention. They can not stand the thought of someone becoming more successful than they are, so they do everything to maintain control.

McCurdy says she wouldn’t be able to heal from her past eating disorders if her mother were still alive. “I definitely would not have been able to confront or face my experience of eating disorders had my mother not passed away,” she tells USA Today. “Because my eating disorders were so endorsed and supported and encouraged by her.”

As the daughter of a narcissistic, histrionic mother who often subjected me to abuse—all of the talk surrounding Jenette McCurdy’s memoir is both triggering and validating. I, too, understand how people can feel shocked by such a title, but I would encourage those who have not endured parental abuse to allow space for those who have by letting them express their feelings about that abuse any way they see fit.

Related: Viral TikTok reminds us that our family isn’t entitled to a relationship with our kids

McCurdy says the loss of her mother, who died of breast cancer, has taken time to truly sink in.

“I felt like she didn’t deserve my tears and my sadness since she was abusive,” she said during the GMA interview. “Now it feels like I’m able to just miss her, because of the healing that happened through the writing of the book.”

My own mother is still alive (though quite ill), and I haven’t seen or spoken to her in 11 years. My grief is not necessarily for her, but for what I deserved and the type of mother I should have had. My sister and I deserved better, full stop. I can’t say how I’ll feel when she dies; I imagine I’ll feel a number of different ways. Just like McCurdy.

We’re often taught that forgiveness is the ultimate goal when someone has wronged us. For me, and perhaps others who have endured abuse, to forgive would mean compromising ourselves and our own self-love. Therapy has helped me process my own feelings and taught me coping skills for my anger and hurt. But I don’t feel the need to forgive her in order to heal.

It’s hard to explain, but Jennette McCurdy nails it perfectly:

“I will say that somehow in letting go of forgiveness being the goal, I got to a place where I was able to find some degree of compassion, some degree of sympathy for my mom.”

If you need support in your own journey as a victim of narcissistic abuse, you can click here to find a narcissist support group near you.