Have you ever blamed your mom for everything that’s not right in your life? Have you ever realized later, when you had more perspective, that you were being really harsh?
I think that’s what might be going on with Alexa Ray Joel, the 23-year-old daughter of Billy Joel and Christie Brinkley. The adorable aspiring singer had an unsuccessful—thank God—suicide attempt last week, that’s been blamed on a number of factors including depression over her breakup with a long-term boyfriend, distress over her parents’ divorces, and her inability to jumpstart her career.
Now the New York Post is quoting sources blaming mom Christie Brinkley for pushing Alexa over the edge after a “dysfunctional family getaway with her mom and half siblings Sailor and Jade.”
Various sources in the piece in today’s paper, Dec. 8, blame Christie for pressuring Alexa to diet, and to be fearful of carrying her dad’s alcoholism gene. “She would tell Alexa that her dad was an alcoholic and that she had her father’s genes and that she might be an alcoholic too,” one former family employee said about Christie.
Another source recounts that Brinkley grabbed a brownie, chewed it and spit it into a trash can telling a then ten-year-old Alexa, “This is how you eat a brownie without gaining weight.”
Alexa and Christie also, according to the piece, fight regularly over issues relating to Alexa’s dad, Billy, 60.
Now, clearly the sources in this piece have an axe to grind against Christie. But I also get the impression from the New York Post that Alexa may have discussed these issues with friends—which is perfectly normal.
What I have to say is that many young women butt heads with their moms. Moms can be a real target for the blame-game, especially when it comes to their daughters growing into adulthood.
I know, because I’ve seen it myself. Moms being so close to their daughters are an easy target when life has its normal or not-normal share of ups and downs and disappointments.
So before you feel overwhelmed with guilt, Christie, listen to what psychologist Dr. Jenn Berman has to say on this very sensitive subject, “The mother and daughter relationship is very unique — very close and conflicted because in order to become a separate person, sometimes daughters need to hate their mothers in order to move away from them, an important part of growing up and being an adult. Plus, we tend to lash out most to people closest to us. Moms get a bad rap a lot of times because people are very quick to point a finger at them when something goes wrong”
I think Jenn has a really good insight here, so Alexa—no matter how mad you may get at your mom, she loves you and she’s there for you. And Christie, try not to be put off if Alexa Ray thinks you’re to blame for most of what’s gone wrong in her life. Both of you will get over it and go on to be thick as thieves one day.
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