Ellen DeGeneres' Traumatic Childhood: Star Popped Pills After Parents' Divorce

Ellen DeGeneres Netflix Special ‘Relatable'
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Dec. 19 2018, Updated 5:35 p.m. ET

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Ellen Degeneres is showing a different side of herself in her upcoming Netflix original special, Relatable.

During the stand-up show, the comedian confesses that she was confused and struggled with her upbringing in a strict religious household.

"I was raised Christian Science," said DeGeneres, explaining "It is a religion that does not believe in doctors or medicine."

"So my entire childhood I never had any vaccination, never had any medicine," she revealed. "They believed we are spiritual beings having a material experience in the material world. And their mantra was know the truth. And their truth was there is no pain unless you give it pain with your mind."

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Unfortunately, said DeGeneres, she had a terrible accident when she was 10 and needed medical intervention.

"I split my knee open and my bone was exposed," she said. "And my dad told me to to know the truth, and I said, 'Well, the truth is my bone is exposing its material self to the material world. Help me.' And then I passed out."

DeGeneres noted she never had a vaccination as a child and she "never knew about medicine."

In fact, she was so in the dark about medicine that she believed aspirin was an illicit substance.

"My grandmother lived with us when I was a little girl, and if an aspirin commercial came on the air, she would get up from the sofa, go the TV, turn it down and stand in front of it and hum a hymn really loudly," revealed DeGeneres.

"So you could imagine my fascination with aspirin when I was a little girl," she continued. "Like, what is aspirin? I would be in the car, and we would drive by a pharmacy and I'd be like, 'I'm going to get aspirin some day.' My parents divorced when I was 13 and I went through sort of a bad girl phase. I was on aspirin — one or two a day. I was on aspirin a lot."

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