Mariska Hargitay suffered trauma at an early age when her mother, Hollywood starlet Jayne Mansfield, died in 1967.
The “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” star, 57, was only three years old when her mom perished from injuries she sustained in a car crash. Mansfield died at the age of 34 and left behind five children.
Hargitay opened up about her painful loss and dealing with her grief while she was being raised by her father, Mr. Universe Mickey Hargitay.
“I think I learned about crisis very young, and I learned very young that s – – t happens and there’s no guarantees, and we keep going,” Hargitay told Glamour magazine in an interview published earlier this week.
“And then we transform it,” the Joyful Heart Foundation founder continued. “That’s been kind of my superpower, and the gift of having trauma early in life. I’ve spent the last 50 — how old am I? — 57, so 54 years sort of trying to figure out what happened and why, and what am I supposed to do with it?”
“I clearly was in that frozen place for a lot of my childhood — of trying to survive, actually trying to survive,” she added. “My life has been a process of unpeeling the layers and trust and trusting again.”
When asked if she had advice for her teenage self, Hargitay said, “People ask you that question, ‘What would you say to your younger self?’ And I think for me, I would have grabbed that little girl’s hand and said, ‘Everything is going to be OK. Trust me. Trust me. Everything’s going to be OK.’ “
“[My life] has been a journey in healing,” she admitted.
The mother of three previously spoke about her loss in a 2018 profile for People magazine. “The way I’ve lived with loss is to lean into it,” she said at the time. “As the saying goes, the only way out is through. In my life, certainly, I’ve tried to avoid pain, loss, feeling things. But I’ve learned instead to really lean into it because sooner or later you have to pay the piper.
“I’m not saying it’s easy, and it certainly hasn’t been for me,” Hargitay confessed. “There’s been a lot of darkness. But on the other side things can be so bright.”
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