Photo Credit: Mike/FAMEFLYNET
Michael Jackson never wanted his own kids to grow up like he did: a child star under glass, manipulated by his family, unable to have a normal childhood. Tragically, it appears that Paris Jackson, 15, and her siblings, Prince, 16, and Blanket, 10, may be headed in that direction. But it's Paris we're most worried about. As more details emerge about her alleged suicide attempt, we're left wondering what, if anything, can bring Paris' life back to normalcy.
Police have confirmed that the teenager cut her wrist with a kitchen knife and took 20 Motrin tablets during the early hours of Wednesday morning. However, her suicide attempt may have been more of the "cry for help" variety. Reportedly, when paramedics arrived, Paris was screaming that she didn't want to die. She also called a suicide hotline during the attempt, which a police source describes as "compelling evidence that she wanted to be saved."
Regardless of her motives, Paris' suicide attempt was taken seriously by police, who placed her under a 72-hour psychiatric hold at a local hospital. She has since been transferred to the UCLA Medical Center, where she's receiving further treatment. Incidentally, that's the same hospital where her father Michael died four years ago -- which can't be helping her mental state much.
On Saturday, a probate judge ordered an investigation into Paris' "health, education and welfare," in response to "recent media reports concerning her welfare." Here's how we understand the 15-year-old's living situation: She and her siblings are under the guardianship of Katherine Jackson, Michael's 83-year-old mother. Their cousin TJ Jackson, 34, is supposed to be helping Katherine out as the kids' legal co-guardian. However, he apparently moved 76 miles away at some point, without informing Child and Family Services that he was no longer a part of the children's daily lives. Not surprisingly, Paris has been increasingly drifting toward her estranged biological mother Debbie Rowe, which has supposedly created a rift with her siblings. According to one report, Paris told the paramedics who came to her aid that she didn't want to live with her grandmother anymore.
It sounds like Paris is desperately trying to figure out who her family is, now that Michael is gone. Multiple sources say that she's had a tough time making friends at school, and we all know that she's been sucked into the endless in-fighting between the Jackson siblings.
Even worse, her late father -- the one real parent she ever had -- is being scrutinized and torn apart daily by the media, thanks to the ongoing wrongful death lawsuit filed by Katherine Jackson. The legal battle has dredged up all kinds of awful things, including evidence that Michael may not be biologically related to Paris, and renewed accusations that the pop star was a child molester. Now Paris is being forced to question what she knew about her beloved father, along with her absentee mother, the aunts and uncles her father never trusted, and her aging grandmother.
We can only think of one way for Paris to make it into adulthood unscathed: she, Prince and Blanket need to stick together, no matter what. All teenagers think that nobody understands them, and in Paris' case, it happens to be true. So thank goodness she's not an only child, because she has two brothers who know exactly what she's going through. If she only repairs one family relationship, it's our hope that Paris chooses the one with her siblings.
We'd also love to see Paris quit Twitter and YouTube, and limit the amount of press she does. Say what you will about Michael; he did try to protect his children from all of this, and his efforts should not be in vain.
Donna Kaufman is an iVillage contributing writer. Find her on Google+.