Actress Debbi Morgan Opens Up About Overcoming Domestic Violence: “I Was Always Smiling And Acting Like I Was Happy”

November 3, 2014  |  

Though sensationalized headlines regarding domestic violence have quickly begun to fade, the issue of abuse in American households still remains. While it may not be as much of a hot-button topic as it was just a few months ago, “Power” actress Debbi Morgan is still working hard to shed light on the prevalent issue through her memoir and one-woman stage play, The Monkey On My Back. Check out some highlights from her chat with News One’s Roland Martin below.

On her one-woman show and memoir, The Monkey On My Back:

“It’s based on three generations of women growing up and living with domestic violence; starting with my grandmother, my mother and myself. We know that this is a huge, horrific issue in this country right now…globally, really.

On how acting helped to mask the abuse:

“I’ve been acting since I was sixteen years old and it really helped me quite well because I could use all of my acting skills to sort of hide behind this mask. I was always smiling and acting like I was happy and full of joy. I was hiding behind this mask with so much insecurity, humiliation, pain, fear.

On growing up seeing her father abuse her mother:

“I was a child of domestic violence and listening to my father’s loud, abusive rhetoric permeating throughout the apartment, furniture being knocked over, glass shattering, my mother’s blood-curling screams, were probably always being ingrained in the crevices of my soul for a very long time.”

“I think so much attention is paid to the abuser and the abused—you know, the woman, and in many cases, the man. But I don’t think enough attention is paid to the children. For me, growing up in that fear, it dictated so many of the choices that I made in my own life. It nearly rendered me incapable of stopping the cycle of abuse in my own life.”

On how the abuse manifested in her life: 

“I was a victim of bullying. I went through physical and emotional abuse at the hands of a teenage boyfriend. I suffered severe emotional abuse by three of my four husbands. I was just caught in this cycle. I mean, spinning like a washing machine.”

Listen to Debbi’s full interview here.

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