For many years, Eminem blamed his mother for ruining his childhood. But after years of estrangement, he admitted it was not right to blame his mother entirely.
Some wounds never heal. No matter how much you want to move on, you are always haunted by the traumatizing past. Eminem, one of the commercially-successful rappers in America, suffered from such a past. His relationship with his mother was so complex that it took him years to forgive her for his tumultuous childhood.
Eminem (born Marshall Mathers) was raised by his single mother, Debbie Mathers. His father had disappeared from their lives when he was just a baby. Looking back at his childhood days, the rapper said, "Whenever something good happens, the bad always follows. That’s the story of my life since the day I was born," according to Mel Magazine. His broken relationship with his mother was unknown to the world until he used his music to pour out stories of his disturbed childhood.
In his song, Cleanin’ Out My Closet, the rapper blamed his mother for being selfish and for not being there for him. With anger and hurt, he sang, "But put yourself in my position, just try to envision. Witnessing your momma popping prescription pills in the kitchen. Bitching that someone's always going through her purse and shit's missing. Going through public housing systems, victim of Munchhausen's Syndrome. My whole life I was made to believe I was sick when I wasn't."
In his song, he even recalled an instance where his mother wished he was dead. He went on to say, "See what hurts me the most is you won’t admit you was wrong... keep telling yourself that you was a mom!" according to Mel Magazine. However, his mother did not take his criticisms well. Infuriated by her son's raps, she sued him for $10 million. Debbie even said she did the best she could, according to Mel Magazine.
For years, Eminem avoided Debbie and did not allow her to be a part of his life. Debbie, on the other hand, wrote a memoir and defended her role as a parent. "At first I went along with it for Marshall's sake — if I made one mistake as a mother, it was giving in to my eldest son's every whim," stated the mother, according to MTV News.
She said she did everything for him and stated, "He never knew his father, and I did all I could to make up for it. I think he's forgotten the good times we had, and this book is my way of setting the record straight," according to MTV News. She was worried about her son and feared he was separating from the people that loved him.
However, after years of being estranged from his mother, Eminem released a song that shocked millions. He said his song, Headlights was a tribute to his mother. He sang the last time he saw her and said he was left with “overwhelming sadness” when he saw her drive away. "I went in headfirst, never thinking about who what I said hurt... My mom probably got it the worst," sang the singer, according to Rolling Stones. While he still believes his upbringing was tough and troubled, he stated his mother wrongfully endured a lot of blame.
“Now, I know it’s not your fault, and I’m not making jokes... But ma, I forgive you," sang the artist, according to Rolling Stones. He even appreciated her efforts to raise him and his brother in spite of being a single mother. “All you did, all you said, you did your best to raise us both. Foster care, that cross you bare, few may be as heavy as yours. But I love you, Debbie Mathers, oh what a tangled web we have,” rapped the 47-year-old. He continued, "And I’m mad I didn’t get the chance to thank you for being my mom and my dad. So Mom, please accept this as a tribute I wrote on this jet. I am not afraid to die," according to Rolling Stones.
Meanwhile, Eminem did not meet Debbie in person despite asking her for forgiveness through the rap. "I just want to give him a big hug. Mama is waiting with open arms," said his mother to MLive. She continued, "Life is short. Come here, Mama wants a hug."