A participant in the upcoming dating show ‘My Mum, Your Dad’ has revealed her history as a former drug addict with five prison sentences.
Launching next week, the program’s aim is to offer single parents a second shot at love, supported by their grown-up children.
However, before the premiere, one contestant has opened up about her troubled romantic journey.
Bournemouth resident Natalie Russell, 44, was enlisted by her 20-year-old son Kaliel, who hoped to help her “find someone and be happy.”
Now a self-esteem and relationship coach, Natalie battled substance abuse for years, leading to rehab stays and time in a psychiatric hospital.
She has now shared her ‘chaotic’ past, tracing her addiction issues and ‘deep self-loathing’ back to childhood trauma.
Regarding her drug use, she said, “‘Those individuals you see running the streets seeking their next fix, that was me.’”
Natalie, no longer in contact with her sons’ fathers, believes she was ensnared in a negative ‘cycle’ due to her childhood experiences.
She reflected, “‘As a child, I endured significant trauma – sexual abuse during my teenage years, rape, a broken family, running away from home, and eventually resorting to substance abuse, resulting in prison time, psychiatric hospitalization, and suicide attempts – complete chaos,’” as reported by the Little Girls Aren’t Taught This podcast and the Daily Mail.
She believes this trauma led her into ‘toxic and abusive relationships,’ noting that nearly every partner since she was 17, except one, cheated on her.
After six years of being single, Natalie feels ready to re-enter the dating scene, having undergone numerous therapy and counseling sessions.
She stated, “‘When I left my last relationship, I knew there was a lot of healing to be done. The self-hatred ran deep, and the repetitive patterns were ingrained. I needed ample time and space to focus on learning to love myself before introducing someone new into my life,’” she shared.
“‘I have two children, and I’m determined never to repeat those patterns in their lives and have them affected. That’s probably a small part of why I’m still single,’” she added.
Natalie is one of eight single parents on the reality series, and potential matches include decorating firm owner Paul, 51, pastoral support officer Clayton, 57, P.E. teacher Elliott, 53, or postman Roger, 58.
Other single women seeking love are therapist Monique, 50, tech-advisor Caroline, 51, and safeguarding and welfare officer Sharon, 53.
Although initially dubbed the ‘middle-aged Love Island,’ host Davina McCall emphasizes that the show follows a unique format, with a significant difference – there is no cash prize; the ultimate reward is love.
Furthermore, there are no eliminations or evictions; participants can exit if they do not establish a connection within the house.
My Mum, Your Dad starts Monday 11th September at 9pm on ITV1 and ITVX. It airs every weeknight for two weeks.
Source My Celebrity Life.