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Jennifer Aniston reflects on how ‘unsafe’ childhood impacted her life



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On her 51st birthday, Jennifer Aniston is reflecting on how growing up in an “unsafe” household helped shape her life. 

During a sit-down with Sandra Bullock for Interview magazine published Tuesday, Aniston was asked how she effortlessly exudes “joy and positivity.”

“What is it that allows you to stay buoyant and keep from getting discouraged when things don’t go the right way?” Bullock, 55, asked.

“I guess I have my parents to thank,” answered Aniston, the daughter of longtime “Days of Our Lives” star John Aniston and actress Nancy Dow.

She continued: “It comes from growing up in a household that was destabilized and felt unsafe, watching adults being unkind to each other, and witnessing certain things about human behavior that made me think: ‘I don’t want to do that. I don’t want to be that. I don’t want to experience this feeling I’m having in my body right now. I don’t want anyone else that I ever come in contact with ever to feel that.” 

‘Love you, papa’: Jennifer Aniston shares childhood throwback photo with dad John Aniston

Aniston’s parents split when she was 9 years old. The “Friends” alum has openly discussed her complicated relationship with her mom, from whom she was estranged for nearly a decade before reconciling.

“The choice of not speaking to Mom for a while – that’s ours. Nobody else has to understand it,” Aniston told Vanity Fair in 2005. “I wouldn’t change my childhood, I wouldn’t change my heartaches … because I really love who I am, and am continuing to become.”

Jennifer Aniston arrives at the 26th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards on Jan. 19, 2020, in Los Angeles.

In 2018, she told USA TODAY that her mother “wasn’t doing anything intentional to damage any self-esteem of mine, as we discussed in our older years together.”  

“She was doing what she thought best,” Aniston said, while promoting the Netflix film “Dumplin’,” about a mother and daughter’s challenging dynamic. “She wasn’t raised with great parental support. She was a beautiful, stunning girl and that’s how she made a living, modeling. She was teaching me what she thought was important. Which was how to look good. That wasn’t necessarily where my interests lay.”

The life lessons taught Aniston, “You can either be angry or be a martyr, or you can say, ‘You’ve got lemons? Let’s make lemonade,'” she said Tuesday.

More: Netflix ‘Dumplin’ star Jennifer Aniston talks real mother drama

Aniston’s Interview feature was published on her 51st birthday.

“I had no idea this would be coming out today,” she exclaimed on Instagram. “Feeling proud and honored to be celebrating with this cover. Thanks to the Interview team for celebrating women at every age… turns out 51 is pretty fun.”





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