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    Willow Smith Talks About Forgiving Mom Jada for Initially Dismissing Her Anxiety Struggles


    Willow Smith talks about forgiving mom Jada for initially dismissing her anxiety struggle.

    The topic of the impact of generational anxiety aired on the “Red Table Talk.”

    Willow Smith joined in conversation with Ireland Baldwin, the daughter of Kim Basinger and Alec Baldwin. The two connected on their shared journey with anxiety, panic attacks, and the pressures of growing up in the public eye.

    Willow also opened up about her past experience with anxiety. She explained challenges her and mom Jada experienced. “It was rough. I feel like when I was growing up, she didn’t understand my anxiety. Because she, growing up, had seen her friends die — she had been through so much stuff that my issues, to her, kind of felt like…[smaller].”

    “And that was very frustrating for me as a child,” Willow added. “Because I was like, ‘How can you not see my internal and emotional struggle?’”

    Willow Smith spoke on how empathizing with her mother’s suppressed anxieties allowed her the space to forgive Jada for downplaying her daughter’s mental health struggles growing up.

    “Recently, we had a talk, and she was like, ‘I never knew that I actually experienced anxiety,’” Willow shared. “And she was pushing it down for so many years, like she had no idea. So, I had to forgive her a little bit for being like, ‘Yeah, yeah, yeah… I get it, but it’s really not that bad.’”

    Grandmother, Adrienne Banfield-Norris, also joined the discussion. The family spoke on the struggles and various coping methods.

    Jada shared, “It’s so beautiful being able to watch two young people sit together and have a conversation like that — just as a mom, because we didn’t get to do that.”

    “I didn’t come up in a time where that kind of conversation was even allowed,” Jada continued.

    Jada explained why she dismissed her daughter’s struggle. “It took me a long time to understand Willow… just her anxiety. I had a very difficult time relating because two things: her lifestyle and how she was brought up was very different than mine.” She added, “I don’t know what it’s like to be a child under hot lights.”

    “And then just really not knowing how to comfort her, not knowing what help she needed, not understanding the behavior,” Jada says.

    Pinkett-Smith shared her own signs of struggle growing up. “Even though I used to chew my fingernails… I’ll still go at them a little bit, but they didn’t say that was anxiety. I was a ‘nail-bitter,’ that’s it.”

    Reluctantly Willow’s mom saw the correlation between the two.

    “One thing about having to deal with and learn about [Willow’s] anxiety, I’ve had to look at some of my own behaviors, and the behaviors of my mother and then go, ‘Of course I would have some anxiety in regard to how I grew up.’”

    Willowed affirmed the statement adding, “I think my anxiety used to trigger you. And you would just be like, ‘no,’” with Jada agreeing to the revelation.

    Jada’s mother, Adrienne Banfield-Norris, pointed out the evolution of speaking on anxiety in homes. “I think in our world, I saw it as a weakness.” Adding, “We just couldn’t afford to be anxious.”

    Willow’s grandmother, now 31 years sober, opened up about how her past struggles with substance abuse as escaping issues.

    The discussion closed with Jada punctuating, “I guess what I’m seeing is this cycle of generational anxiety.”

    However, many viewers also saw the redemption of honesty and healing.

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