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In a way, the surreal feeling is a shield. I have demons, haunted parts of my life and myself that are painful and scary. Facing them, revealing them, makes them too real. But I think about the index of my father's book, and how it reduced me to highlights and lowlights. I think about my mug shot in the tabloids. And I think of all that happened before, between, and after. The rest of the story. It is time to sort out a life that too often I left blurry, unprocessed, unreal, hoping that in doing so I would be leaving it behind me forever. It is time for me to return to that life, to face it, explain it, accept it, and let it rest as the insane, fun, ridiculous, terrifying, and true sequence that led a bright, goofy, famous little girl to a bleak jail bench, and I want to do it right, so that it is real and whole, and I in turn become real and whole.

I'm nearly twice as old as I was when my father's book came out, and though this is my story, not my father's, my relationship with him is undeniably central to my life. Dad was the great and terrible sun around which his children, wives, girlfriends, fellow musicians, and drug dealers orbited, relentlessly drawn to his fierce, inspiring, damaging light. The alternate solar system my dad drew me into had hilarious moments—like sliding down the banisters of my dad's Malibu mansion with Donovan—and portentous scenes, like when I tried cocaine for the first time at the age of eleven. There are happy memories of the stable work and family I found on One Day at a Time. There are loving and painful memories of the f***ed-up family I wouldn't trade for the world. There are lost memories—conversations and chronologies I wish I could remember—and events I know my whole being wants to erase forever. There was a father-­daughter relationship that crossed the boundaries of love to break many taboos, as my father was wont to do. My life was one of a kind—not everyone has a rock-star father, childhood stardom, and enough money and fame before the age of sixteen to last a lifetime. I have had more than my share of highs and lows. But all of it happened, it's real, and it's who I am.
FROM: Former Child Star Mackenzie Phillips' Stunning Revelations
Published on September 23, 2009

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