Halle Berry has revealed on NPR’s Fresh Air Podcast about the difficult relationship she endured with her late father, Jerone Jesse Berry who passed away in 2003.
“I grew up with an alcoholic father that was very abusive, both verbally, emotionally, physically,” the oscar-winning actress confided.
Halle’s latest film Bruised where she both acts and directs in also highlights the negative effects of abusive relationships which Halle can personally relate to as she constantly experienced it during her childhood.
“There’s a lot of abuse in my childhood,” she stated.
Halle said that talking to a spiritual healer helped her to forgive her father who left her and her mother when Halle was three years old.
“When he died, I was given a gift of talking to a spiritual healer and someone that took me through some spiritual exercises to sort of heal my wound with my dad.”
She found she was able to forgive him when she realised his behaviour was because he didn’t receive the ‘love and guidance’ that he needed as a child.
“He wasn’t born into the world an abusive, alcoholic man who was out of control. He became that by what he was and was not given; what he was exposed to and by what he wasn’t exposed to,’ she said.
Halle has previously spoken about the way her father’s alcoholism robbed them of the ‘relationship we were meant to have,’ but she learned to forgive his conduct after learning more about his life and upbringing.
Halle discovered that her father was raised by an ‘alcoholic father and a mother who was so broken herself,’ and found out that the damage had begun a generation earlier as past generations of her family originated from slavery.
“When I keep tracing it back, you realise that this was just generational trauma. That my father was just trying to survive. he was trying to find himself, find his manhood.”
“And he was doing the best he could, and while he failed me and my family miserably, he really was only working with the tools he had been given.”
Halle revealed that after she realized what her father had lived through and how his alcoholism and abusive behaviour stemmed from his own traumatic experiences that she was finally able to look at him with ’empathy’ and be ‘full of love’ for him as he had only turned to alcohol to ‘numb’ himself and his feelings from his past trauma.