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Willow Smith has spoken candidly about her anxiety as a child and how she had to “forgive” her mother, Jada Pinkett Smith, for downplaying her “emotional struggle”.

The 21-year-old singer had a conversation about anxiety throughout her childhood with Ireland Baldwin, 26, during a recent episode of Red Table Talk.

According to Willow, Jada struggled to “understand” her daughter’s anxiety right away, since The Matrix Revolutions star had been through “so much” intense trauma herself.

“It was rough,” the Meet Me At Our Spot singer recalled. “I feel like when I was growing up, [Jada] didn’t understand my anxiety. Because she, growing up, had seen her friends die. Like she had been through so much stuff that like, my issues to her kind of felt like [smaller].”

Throughout her childhood, Willow said that it was quite difficult when her mother couldn’t see the “emotional struggle” that she was facing.

“That was very frustrating for me as a child,” she continued. “Because I was like, ‘How can you not see my internal emotional struggle?’”

However, Willow acknowledged that she “recently” discussed anxiety with her mother, who said that she was unaware of her own “experience” with the disorder. So, with that in mind, Willow decided to “forgive” her mother for downplaying her child’s mental illness.

“Really recently, we had a talk and she was like, ‘I never knew that I actually experienced anxiety,’” Willow added.

“And she was pushing it down and pushing it down for so many years. Like, she had no idea. So I kind of had to forgive her a little bit for being like, ‘Yeah, yeah, yeah. I get it, but like, it’s really not that bad.’”

Willow has previously opened up about her experiences with anxiety attacks and how they impact her professional life.

“I felt extremely unsafe in my music career in the past and that feeling of insecurity or unsafety, like I didn’t feel protected, which went really deep,” she explained on The YUNGBLUD Podcast last July.

More specifically, she detailed how she had a “flashback” of one of her childhood “anxiety attacks” while doing a performance on The Jimmy Fallon Show. However, she noted that when she had the anxiety attack, it was seen as a “tantrum”.

“I had like a flashback of being like 10 or nine and having an anxiety attack on set and basically feeling like everyone around me was like ‘You’re just a brat. Why aren’t you grateful?’” she said.

“They didn’t see it as an anxiety attack, they saw it as a tantrum. Now, I look back and know it was an anxiety attack,” she added. “And so when I’m in these situations now and have those flashbacks..I need to separate myself from the situation for a little bit and tell myself, ‘You’re not nine, you’re a grown a** woman.’”

She also said that while her mental health has still been in a “fragile state,” she has continued to believe that it was going “to grow in an awesome way”.



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