After all these years, Tina Turner is ready to say farewell to her fans, and is ready to retire so she can live the rest of her life peacefully.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published on March 23, 2021. It has since been updated.
Trigger warning: The story contains details of child abuse and domestic violence that might be distressing to some readers.
Just because someone is a celebrity, they don't necessarily have a charmed life. Many people survive through abusive childhoods only to be trapped in relationships with abusive partners. Tina Turner, 83, has battled many difficulties in life, including ill-health and an abusive relationship that lasted for years. That's not all, even her relationship with her mother was a frayed one.
What Turner suffered is likely the result of a cycle of abuse. "It wasn’t a good life. The good did not balance the bad. I had an abusive life, there’s no other way to tell the story. It’s a reality. It’s a truth. That’s what you’ve got, so you have to accept it," she said in a new documentary Tina, according to Sun UK.
While her life is storied thanks to her 1986 autobiography, I, Tina, and the 1993 biopic What’s Love Got To Do With It? she has never talked about it on camera herself. She accessed the hardest memories from her childhood to tell her fans about herself. Tina Turner was born as Anna Mae Bullock in a modest household in Nutbush, Tennessee. Her childhood was spent picking cotton in the fields.
Turner revealed that her mom, Zelma, suffered domestic abuse from her husband, Floyd Bullock, just like she had faced abuse at the hands of Ike Turner. "When my mother was pregnant with me, she was leaving my father. She was a very young woman and she didn’t want another kid. When I was very young, I wondered why we weren’t close, but I was always a loner. And then I became more independent and didn’t care anymore," she said, as per AmoMama.
The singing sensation's relationship with her mom was a complicated one right from the start. "My mother didn’t love me, it was as simple as that. Even when I was a little girl, I knew she didn’t love me," she said.
While her mom was a victim of domestic violence at the hands of her father, Floyd Bullock, she couldn't be a good parent. Eventually, both of her parents abandoned her, and even when she met her mom again, her mom continued to be cold and unloving.
"Mom was not kind. When I became a star, of course back then she was happy because I bought her a house. I did all kinds of things for her, she was my mother. I was trying to make her comfortable because she didn’t have a husband, she was alone, but she still didn’t like me. Even after I became Tina, Ma was still a little bit like, ‘Who did that?’ and ‘Who did this?’ And I said, ‘I did that, Mom!’ I was happy to show my mother what I did. I had a house, I had got a car, and she said, ‘No, I don’t believe it. No, you’re my daughter, no you didn’t!'" she was quoted as saying by Sun UK.
"She didn’t want me, she didn’t want to be around me, even though she wanted my success. But I did for her as if she loved me," she added.
Perhaps, it was her abusive childhood that normalized violence as a part of relationships. It took Turner years to get out of her abusive relationship with her ex-husband, who was often violent. He was also the one who turned her into a star and made her Tina Turner, the way we know her now. It was so important to her that years later when she started divorce proceedings against him, the name is all she asked for from him. Recently, she revealed that she has a form of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) because of the domestic abuse she suffered.
Unfortunately, even her own mother wasn't on her side when she started fighting the man who abused her for years. Zelma reportedly supported Ike saying that he was the reason Turner became a star, as per Amomama. Even though embittered by her interaction with both of them, she didn't stop loving her mom.
"Even although I was away, I called daily. One afternoon I was preparing for a bath when someone came in and said, ‘Tina, ma died.’ I just screamed and screamed," she added. Zelma hurt her daughter even in death by allowing Ike to be part of the funeral.
After all these years, she's ready to retire and live the rest of her life peacefully. The documentary is a farewell to her fans.
If you or someone you know needs assistance, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or visit www.TheHotline.org.
Cover image source: Getty Images | Photo by (L)Keystone (R)Giuseppe Cacace