Janet Jackson considers motherhood the “height of happiness.”
It was a long time coming for the singer, who hinted that the decades before she became a parent were a time of inner turmoil because of her long-term battle with depression.
“I could analyze the source of my depression forever,” Jackson, 52, wrote in an open letter for Essence’s July 2018 issue.
“Low self-esteem might be rooted in childhood feelings of inferiority,” she added. “It could relate to failing to meet impossibly high standards. And, of course, there are always the societal issues of racism and sexism. Put it all together and depression is a tenacious and scary condition. Thankfully, I found my way through it.”
Compounding her unhappiness was Jackson’s failed marriage to Wissam al Mana, from whom she split shortly after the birth of their son, Eissa.
Sources close to Jackson, including brother Randy, previously accused al Mana of being controlling of and verbally abusive to the singer. Al Mana denied the claims.
“In my forties: Like millions of women in the world, I still heard voices inside my head berating me, voices questioning my value,” she wrote. “Happiness was elusive. A reunion with old friends might make me happy. A call from a colleague might make me happy. But because sometimes I saw my failed relationships as my fault, I easily fell into despair.”
“The height of happiness is holding my baby son in my arms and hearing him coo, or when I look into his smiling eyes and watch him respond to my tenderness,” she effused. “When I kiss him. When I sing him softly to sleep. During those sacred times, happiness is everywhere. Happiness is in gratitude to God. Happiness is saying, ‘Thank you, God, for my life, my energy and my capacity to grow in love.”
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