With the winter premiere of Pretty Little Liars airing tonight, Troian Bellisario is letting out the skeletons from her past. The actress opened up to Seventeen magazine in a candid interview about her struggle with self-harm as a teenager.
“I was the youngest daughter, the perfect little girl,” she revealed. “My school was a very intense college prep school. So it was about wanting to please my father and mother and wanting to be perfect to everybody. I just thought if I ever expressed [to my parents] any sadness or anger that’s going on with me, they would disown me. I kept a lot of it bottled up inside, and it turned to self-destructive behavior.”
The 28-year-old admitted that she began self-harming when she was just a junior in high school. “I would withhold food or going out with my friends based on how well I did that day in school,” she explained. “I didn’t know what was right and what was wrong, so I created this bizarre system of checks and balances to create order in my world. But it really backfired.”
Troian added that, to this day, she still feels out of place sometimes. “Honestly, it’s an ongoing struggle,” she said. “Especially for a woman on a show that has the word ‘pretty’ in it! Sometimes I feel like I’m trying too hard, like I don’t belong. I just look around at Lucy [Hale], Shay [Mitchell] and Ashley [Benson] and I’m just like, ‘Why am I on this show?’ Sometimes I’ve felt like a fraud. Like, I’m not like these other girls — I don’t dress like that and I don’t know how to do my hair. The minute I’m off that stage, I try to get as ‘me’ as possible.”
For more on Troian’s struggle and a preview of PLL, watch her Good Morning America interview here.