I guessed there would be abuse from Robin Williams’ childhood. There usually is, when someone is suffering through their life and has suicidal thoughts.
This is from Wikipedia, so not entirely sure of it’s accuracy, but as with many who suffer mental health disorders and suicidal thoughts, often this is due to childhood abuse.
Williams described himself as a quiet child whose first imitation was of his grandmother to his mother. He did not overcome his shyness until he became involved with his high school drama department. Williams attended public elementary school at Gorton Elementary School (now Gorton Community Center) and middle school at Deer Path Junior High School (now Deer Path Middle School), both in Lake Forest, Illinois. His young friends recall him as being very funny. When Williams was in seventh grade in the fall of 1963, his father was transferred to Detroit, so the family moved to a 40-room farm house in suburban Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, where he was a student at the private Detroit Country Day School. He excelled in school and became president of the class. He was on the school’s soccer team and wrestling team. In middle school, Williams was bullied and sought out new routes home to avoid his tormentors. He told jokes to his mother to make her laugh and pay attention to him. Williams spent much of his time alone in the family’s large home, playing with his 2,000 toy soldiers.
Williams’s father was away much of the time and, when he was home, Williams found him “frightening”. His mother worked too, leaving Williams to be attended to by the maids they employed. Williams claimed his upbringing left him with an acute fear of abandonment and a condition he described as “Love Me Syndrome.”
When Williams was 16, his father took early retirement and the family moved to Woodacre, California, Following the move, Williams attended Redwood High School in nearby Larkspur. When he graduated in 1969, the senior class voted him both “Most Likely Not to Succeed” and “Funniest.”
There is a lot of emotional, psychological abuse and neglect, I can see, within just those two paragraphs. And I have no doubt, that Robin Williams was also a sensitive, empathic child, damaged greatly by all this abuse, and the affects of this, continued on throughout his life.
It is so tragic, he had so much love if his life, he was so talented and gifted, he had money and access to all the best therapeutic support 24/7, but none of that mattered in the end.
If Wikipedia is correct, he had a fucked up childhood, with fucked parents and people harming him, that fucked up his life, and he died suffering, due to the pain of it all.
And he didn’t deserve that.
I think those childhood needs that were never met, can never be met and no matter what we strive for in life, to fill that void, it can never be filled. Robin Williams had massive success in his life, he had family and friends who loved him, he had money, he had achieved in life – in his highly mania way that was so obvious.
But none of that filled the void. That big gaping, raw void in his life, where decent parents and a secure, appropriate childhood should have been. And when it all became too much, and he was faced with further illness (Parkinsons) that would affect his work capacity and that very substitute he has used all his life to try and fill that void – his comedy/actor talent, it was overwhelming and he ended his life.
So, so sad.
(Obviously this is only my thoughts in his life, and I do not know if they are the case, but as a childhood abuse survivor, wit empathy and insight, this is my perspective, on what ‘could’ have led to his life being painful and his suicide).
Adding to this blog post, as a validation of my insight…
Links I have found, since writing this blog, of others who have also written about Robin Williams’ childhood and the profound affect it had on him, in adulthood.