Joey Essex revealed how his mother dying by suicide when he was just 10 years old has impacted his relationships with women.
The former TOWIE star, 30, touched upon the reasons he believes he has struggled to remain in a relationship in his recent BBC documentary Joey Essex: Grief and Me.
In the emotional programme, he discusses with a therapist that he struggles to believe someone could love him after his mother, Tina, who ‘loved me more than any girl will love me’ left him.
‘I’ll never let my mother’s suicide go’: Joey Essex revealed he has struggled to let people in in relationships because he can’t believe a woman could love him after his mother left him when she took her own life when he was 10
Joey explained that he hoped by opening up and coming to terms with his grief he may be able to move forward, find someone and start a family.
‘I want to find true happiness, I want to find true love. I’ve been in good relationships and I seem to push that away,’ he said.
‘I think my life has been too painful for that person to be with because I don’t want to put them through what I’ve been through and what I’m going through so I seem to push good relationships away.
‘My mum, she loved me but she left me. I just don’t believe it. I think to myself if she loved me that much why would she leave me. I think I’ll always ask myself why.’
Heartbreaking: Joey was just 10 when his mother Tina, died by suicide, and Joey admitted in a new documentary that he has never properly dealt with his grief (pictured together)
Moving forward: Joey (pictured) explained that he hoped by opening up to a therapist and coming to terms with his grief he may be able to move forward, find someone and start a family
Instead Joey admitted he entered into several relationships knowing they would never progress or pushing people away in order to protect himself.
Joey has had several romances over the years with fellow TOWIE star Sam Faiers, model Amy Willerton who he met on I’m a Celebrity, and The Hills star Stephanie Pratt.
‘I don’t trust a lot of people, I just don’t,’ he said. ‘The whole thought of being left alone scares the life out of me because I went through it as a kid and it was just awful.
‘Imagine if I loved someone, had kids with them and I really did love that person and then she left me I wouldn’t know what to do.’
But after turning 30 he stepped back and looked at his life and decided he wanted to ‘stop wasting my own time’ – instead acknowledging he needs to be happy in himself to be able to find a healthy relationship.
Speaking with his cousin Chloe Sims, 38, Joey admitted he struggles to give his heart out to women.
In an emotional scene, Joey opened up to his cousin Chloe Sims, 38, about his struggles to give his heart out to women and how he knows he needs to change (pictured together)
Quest for happiness: After turning 30, Joey (pictured) stepped back and looked at his life and decided he wanted to ‘stop wasting my own time’ and find happiness in himself so he can find love
‘That’s not a good way to think because I’m already thinking we’re gonna break up before we’re even together, I’m pushing it away.
‘Now I’ve gone from this party boy life genuinely now I’m like woah I’ve had this massive kick back, like I actually want a family. How do I make myself happy without that?’
The reality star also spoke about the emotions he had kept buried about his mother, often in the past avoiding speaking openly about her.
‘I just don’t think I’ll ever be able to let it go. I don’t want to let go. I don’t give a s*** about all this life we live and all that. I’d choose her over anything.
‘A lot of people say with this subject “but you don’t know how she felt” and all this and all that but it’s like she got rid of her pain but now look at me.
‘Everything I’ve achieved in life, it’s like who have I got to prove it to? No one. I would throw everything away to spend one hour with her.’
Buried emotions: The reality star spoke about the feelings he had kept hidden about his mother for several years, often in the past avoiding speaking openly about her (pictured together)
Rise to fame: While Joey became a household name when he became a regular feature on ITV’s TOWIE (pictured in 2012), he revealed he was still suffering with anxiety and struggle to deal with his grief
Joey revealed early on in the documentary that he often struggles with feeling lonely in his large Essex home which, when he purchased it five years ago, he expected he would be sharing with someone by now.
‘People just see me as this little Essex boy who is just like living the dream- made all the money in the world and had an easy life, silver spoon in my mouth, but no one really knows what’s going on inside my head,’ he said.
While he shot to popularity on The Only Way is Essex, after leaving his job at Billingsate Fish Market, Joey admitted he often felt overwhelmed by his new-found fame all the while still dealing with his grief ten years on – often getting panic attacks.
Touching upon the public perception of him, Joey acknowledged that people only know one side of him.
‘The past seven years no ones really seen me. People don’t really know who I am so sometimes it confuses me because I don’t really know who I am either.’
Previous relationships: Joey admitted he entered into several relationships knowing they would never progress or pushing people away in order to protect himself (pictured with ex Sam Faiers)
No luck: Joey has had several romances over the years with fellow TOWIE star Sam Faiers, model Amy Willerton who he met on I’m a Celebrity, and The Hills star Stephanie Pratt
During the documentary Joey also came to the realisation he has been dealing with panic attacks and anxiety from a young age.
Recalling his experiences as a teenager, he told his therapist, Dr Stephen Blumenthal, that he used to get extremely hot and run around his house in a panic.
His father, Don, later revealed that he would run Joey a cold bath and once he cooled him down he was ‘back to normal again’ but had hoped his son had forgotten the experience as they had never discussed it before.
Joey’s anxiety as a child would also come to the surface in his sleep, when he would often wake up screaming and shouting ‘tell Mummy I love her’ repeatedly.
He admitted his mother’s death left him ‘torn to pieces’ and he often felt depressed, on several occasions taking himself to hospital convinced there was something wrong with him.
Touching on the moment he was told his mother had died, he said he can remember it ‘like it was yesterday’ because it is ‘a thought that will never go’.
From a young age: Joey explained that he would often get hot and run around his house in a panic and in a conversation his father, Don, (pictured together) revealed that he would run his son a cold bath and once he cooled him down he was ‘back to normal again’
‘Just hearing the words mummy’s gone was enough, he said. ‘I sort of just said to myself it isn’t true, like she’s coming back and I sort of believed that.’
His therapy journey was not always easy, including one instance where he considered giving up on his sessions as he struggled to let Dr Blumenthal in.
In an emotional scene, he said: ‘I’ve never took it this serious so I’m finding it difficult. I don’t trust you and I’m getting frustrated I don’t know, I can’t even explain it, its f****** hard man. I just feel trapped. Just sometimes that’s how I feel.’
Wrapping up the final scenes from the emotional programme, Joey admitted he’s not certain what exactly people get out of therapy but felt he had noticed a difference in himself.
‘I know for a fact I will never get over the trauma. I will live with that and that’s the way it is but I’ve started to talk about it, I’ve opened up about it, I can look at pictures I can finally do that which is huge.
‘I’m just proud and I’m glad that I faced it. I can live with it now and just keep moving. I can only take positives out of everything I’ve been through.’
Joey Essex: Grief And Me is on BBC One at 9pm on June 3 and from BBC Three on iPlayer from 6am.
Opening up: Joey (pictured on this Morning on Wednesday) admitted he’s not certain what exactly people get out of therapy but felt he had noticed a difference in himself