Ellen DeGeneres Talks Feelings, Fun and Finding Dory
What was your childhood like? Was it fun?
I grew up in a very conservative home. My father was a first reader in the Christian Science Church, which is similar to being a preacher. There was no drinking, smoking or cursing. I didn’t see deep emotion from my parents. It was all very polite and very surface. I never knew how anybody was feeling. Because of that religion everything was fine all the time.
Isn’t it dishonest to pretend you’re happy when you’re really angry?
Exactly. I never saw anyone angry—so when I was 13 and my parents divorced it was a huge surprise to me because I was told everything was fine. It was very confusing. That’s not a healthy way to grow up. It was very hard to express yourself. A kid should be told that you can have feelings. I have a lot of feelings. You can feel sad and angry and hurt. But the only feeling that was approved of is happiness—that was it. How can you have happiness when you’re not honest?
How did that emotional repression affect you?
As a young girl, I noticed things a lot more. I started seeing that things weren’t completely as everyone said they were. I noticed everything because I had to after my parents divorced. At 13, I sort of became the parent, taking care of my mother.
Why could you see what others never saw?
Because I was very tender. I was very sensitive, and I still am. I never want to hurt anybody. I want to make people laugh. I didn’t think it was ever funny to make fun of people. There’s so much to laugh at without it being at someone else’s expense.
Emotional Interview with Ellen DeGeneres on Abc as Dory searchs for family and “HOPE” in the heart of darkness. Just keep swimming!
There’s a comment on the Parade magazine website that referred to the Ellen DeGeneres interview. I think the commenter was pretty observant. What do you think? Here it is:
“Thank you Ellen for talking about your experience in Christian Science! I had a very similar experience, and I think a lot of kids raised in it do. Some current Christian Scientists are already saying “well that’s not how CS is supposed to be” or “that’ not what it teaches,” but of course, as per their MO, they don’t acknowledge the fact that it happens anyway, let alone that it is a logical outgrowth from the theology! When I was a kid and I’d watch something on PBS that said it was ok to be sad or angry, my mom would always say “you know you don’t REALLY have to feel those things, that’s just a false belief.” She meant well, but of course psychologically that leads to repression and avoidance! It doesn’t mean CS parents are evil people, but yes, in most cases it does cause problems!”
My take-away from all this is: So if even a minority of Christian Scientists are getting the impression from what they read that you just repress normal human feelings all the time, shouldn’t we make an effort to ask, “Where does that come from and how can it be challenged?” Jesus challenged the need to be revengeful and hateful, but he expressed human emotions like anger against hypocrisy, joy, sorrow, etc.
Name Withheld, CS
April 3, 2017