Gypsy Rose Blanchard’s life has not been easy. The now 32-year-old spent most of her life as a victim of Munchausen syndrome by proxy, with her mother Dee Dee Blanchard forcing her to pretend to be a sick child suffering from serious illnesses like leukemia and muscular dystrophy well into her 20s. Her mother was insistent that Gypsy Rose hide the fact that she was actually an adult woman instead of the wheelchair-bound, terminally ill child she presented to the rest of the world. Dee Dee was so committed to this fiction that Gypsy Rose says her mother made her wear diapers when she was on her period, instead of teaching her use menstrual products.
Gypsy Rose was recently released early from prison after being convicted for her role in the 2015 murder of her mother that she conspired with then-boyfriend Nicholas Godejohn, and she has been sharing some tragic details of what her life looked like in the years leading up to that horrible event. In the new Lifetime docuseries The Prison Confessions of Gypsy Rose Blanchard, premiering Jan. 5, the young woman shares that her mother made her wear diapers when she was on her period, according to People. In fact, Gypsy Rose didn’t learn how to use a tampon until she was sent to prison in her 20s.
“It was not your typical, ‘OK, so I’m going to take you to a store and we’re going to get you a training bra, we’re going to get you pads and tampons,’” Gypsy Rose further explained in an interview with People. “There was none of that. So it was very abnormally learned, and unfortunately, I had to basically come to prison with the skills that [Dee Dee] taught me, which was not much.”
Her fellow inmates helped her learn these basic skills. “[In prison] I’m around women that have been around the block or two, and they have a lot of life experience,” she explained to People. “Maybe it’s not the best life experience, but I’ve been able to gain some positives from being around other inmates.”
Gypsy Rose has decided to share her experience now as she prepares for a new life outside of prison. She married Ryan Anderson in 2022 while she still in prison, and told Lifetime that she is ready to be “free of all these disturbing secrets.” She hopes to have children after her prison release, and hopefully telling her story will pave the way for a better future.
“I share my story to be a cautionary tale,” she said in an interview with Good Morning America. “So that the next person that might be in a situation like mine, they don't take the route that I did.”