'You' Star Victoria Pedretti on Growing Up in an Abusive Household

victoria pedretti abusive parents
courtesy Netflix

Actress Victoria Pedretti is usually pretty private about her personal life (she has exactly one post on Instagram), but in an interview with StyleLikeU, she discussed her rather troubling childhood.

For the platform’s What’s Underneath video series, Victoria revealed that she grew up in an “abusive household”, which she didn’t fully comprehend until she left home to attend the Carnegie Mellon School of Drama. She explained,

“I didn’t understand that I was, like, in an abusive household until, like, college and it took me out. I was very disturbed to find out that that was my story. I didn’t realize.”

Victoria said that it was only after speaking with a psychologist that she realized that her home life wasn’t normal. The revelation was devastating, to say the least. She recalled,

“I got really upset and depressed. And I was in school. I was in a really demanding acting program. Getting out of bed felt like pulling my skin off. I felt so raw to the world that leaving, showing up to class, felt impossible. But I kept trying.”

As a way of dealing with her feelings, she turned all of her attention to a guy who ran hot and cold on her. She explained,

“I didn’t want to worry about my family so I just freaked out by, like, fixating on some guy. It was kind of like a self-flagellating mechanism where I just kept putting myself in the position to be disappointed and feel like shit and be angry.”

It wasn’t until a good friend finally convinced her that she deserved better that she eventually snapped out of it.

Although Victoria didn’t go into a lot of details about her parents, she described being “very aware” of their trauma as a child and hinted that the abuse was emotional and not physical.

It sounds like Victoria has tried to work through her trauma, but that hasn’t stopped it from affecting her, particularly when it comes to her relationships. She said,

“I just got out of a pretty troubling relationship. I gotta admit, it replicated a lot of the stuff I grew up with. It really brought things to the surface even that I had that I thought I’d healed or moved beyond.”

According to the American Psychological Association, the emotional abuse of children often has lifelong effects, particularly on their mental health.  A study found that adults who had been psychologically abused as children suffered from high rates of anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, and PTSD-like symptoms. The study further discovered that emotional abuse is just as harmful as physical and sexual abuse when it came to the child’s mental health.

Despite everything, Victoria says that she knows that her parents tried their best. She said,

“I really, really care about them a lot. I really do appreciate that they were consistently doing their best.”

You can currently watch Victoria Pedretti on the Netflix shows You, The Haunting of Hill House, and The Haunting of Bly Manor.

To watch Victoria’s full interview with StyleLikeU, check out the video below.

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Lena Finkel
Lena Finkel is the Editor and Founder of Femestella. Prior to starting Femestella, she worked at People, InStyle, Tiger Beat, and Sesame Workshop (aka Sesame Street). She loves all things Real Housewives and The Challenge. When she's not busy binge-watching TV, you can find her taking an absurd amount of photos of her tuxedo cat Tom.