Marilyn Monroe Said She Felt ‘Satisfaction’ in ‘Punishing’ People Who Wanted Her

Marilyn Monroe is a Hollywood legend. She seemed to have a glamorous life, but her personal life was a struggle. Monroe once said she felt “satisfaction” when she “punished” the people who wanted her. 

Marilyn Monroe’s movies

Marilyn Monroe | Baron/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Marilyn Monroe | Baron/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Marilyn Monroe was born Norma Jean Mortenson. One of her early acting roles was in a 1947 movie titled Dangerous Years. She played a waitress named Evie. The following year, she played Peggy Martin in the movie Ladies of the Chorus. Monroe is also known for her appearances in Some Like It Hot, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, and The Seven Year Itch.

Marilyn Monroe had a difficult childhood

Marilyn Monroe | Ernst Haas/Getty Images
Marilyn Monroe | Ernst Haas/Getty Images

Monroe said she lived with people she thought were her parents. When she got a little older, the woman she thought was her mother told her she wasn’t related to her and that her real mother was going to come and pick her up. The woman broke the news to her by saying, “Don’t call me mama,” according to Monroe’s autobiography, My Story. She continued to say Monroe was old enough to know better about who her real mother was.

Monroe described her biological mother as an attractive woman who didn’t smile. According to Monroe, her mother never kissed or held her, and she rarely spoke a kind word to her. Her mother was unable to care for her, so she paid someone $5 a week to give her a place to live and look after her. Monroe’s father left her mother before she was born.

Monroe eventually lived with her mother and a different couple was hired to care of her. All four of them lived in a home her mother purchased. However, that living arrangement didn’t last long. Monroe’s mother had a mental health crisis and was taken to a psychiatric hospital. As a result, Monroe had to live in an orphanage.

Why Marilyn Monroe said she wanted to ‘punish’ people who paid attention to her

Marilyn Monroe | Ed Feingersh/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
Marilyn Monroe | Ed Feingersh/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Monroe felt unwanted as a child. She was often kicked out of foster homes and sent back to the orphanage. Monroe says that not even her mother wanted her, so she liked the attention she received when she was older. One way she would get attention was by being late.

She says she felt a need to get other people’s attention. When she was very late to an event, people would wonder where she was, and the focus was suddenly on her. Monroe said she felt a “queer satisfaction” in “punishing people who are wanting me now.”

However, Monroe later said she probably wasn’t punishing the people who wanted her when she was older. She says she was really punishing the people from her past who ignored her. For her, the later she was for a dinner date or some other function, the happier she was.

Monroe said people would yell at her and tell her she just wanted to make a big entrance. The actress admitted she did want to make a big entrance because it satisfied the little girl inside of her who felt like no one wanted her.

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