She climbed to success, hiding all the pain she felt while only the pages of her diary knew what she was going through.
She was born on June 1, 1926, as Norma Jeane Mortenson, but the world knows her better as Marilyn Monroe, the most famous and attractive face of the 20th century. She is mostly known for her big-screen performances that made her the most famous actress of her time. But barely anyone knows the inner turmoil that she carried with her.
Throughout most of her life, she wrote poems, letters, and diary entries and it shows a completely different side of her, the shy and insecure Marilyn Monroe that nobody really knew. After she passed away, Marilyn Monroe's archive was left with her Lee Strasberg, her acting teacher. It was only after he passed away that his wife, Anna Strasberg found two boxes that contained Marilyn Monroe's handwritten poems and intimate notes. They were later published in a book called Fragments: Poems, Intimate Notes, Letters, according to Vanity Fair.
Sometimes, she would write until her hand would tremble, talking about everything from her difficult childhood to the pain of being in an unhappy relationship. As she wrote about what she was going through, it brought to light the heartbreaking journey she would sometimes have to take amidst her rise to success.
Marilyn Monroe knew what heartache felt like even as a child. She had to watch her mother, Gladys Monroe Baker go in and out of hospitals, leaving a young Marilyn in the care of others. When she wasn't in the care of her mother's close friend, Grace Goddard, she was passed around different foster families and has even spent two years of her life in an orphanage.
At the tender age of 16, the actress married James Dougherty, who was five years older than her. And for around 4 years, she stayed in a marriage where she felt insecure. She wrote in her entry, “My relationship with him was basically insecure from the first night I spent alone with him.”
There were a number of thin, leather-bound diaries found, all with her cursive handwriting. And one of them even began with the words, “Alone!!!!!!! I am alone I am always alone no matter what.”
The year 1946 was one of the most life-changing years for the then soon-to-be actress. It was the year Monroe divorced Dougherty, and also the year she signed her first movie contract, according to Biography. Eventually, her acting career started picking up.
Even though she was a confident person in front of the camera, her notes showed that she was someone else behind it. Around 1955, roughly in the middle of her acting career, her fragmented entries also touched upon the relationship she had with her strict, great-aunt Ida Martin. She wrote, "Ida—I have still been obeying her— it’s not only harmful for me to do so but unrealality [sic] because life starts from now".
Marilyn Monroe’s diary: Poems, Intimate Notes, Letters ... pic.twitter.com/SLXrDVoUZC— Bibliophilia (@Libroantiguo) October 30, 2014
One of her greatest fears was being a disappointment to the people she loved, and that fear came true when she was married to her third husband, Arthur Miller. She found one of his entries that said he was "disappointed" in her. She found out that she embarrassed him while he was with his friends, and it left her shattered. One night, when she couldn't fall asleep while Arthur Miller laid right next to her, peacefully sleeping, she wrote, "on the screen of pitch blackness comes/reappears the shapes of monsters my most steadfast companions … and the world is sleeping ah peace I need you—even a peaceful monster."
The two of them moved to Roxbury, Connecticut in 1957, but she continued feeling lonely in her marriage. Later during the marriage, she even wrote, "I think I am very lonely—my mind jumps. I see myself in the mirror now, brow furrowed—if I lean close I’ll see—what I don’t want to know—tension, sadness, disappointment, my [“blue” is crossed out] eyes dulled, cheeks flushed with capillaries that look like rivers on maps—hair lying like snakes. The mouth makes me the sadd[est], next to my dead eyes…"
She would carry so much pain with her and would fill her diaries with bitter truths, but when she appeared onscreen she would turn into a completely different person. Despite everything she felt in her marriage with Arthur Miller, she went on to act in Some Like It Hot, which became the most successful comedy movie of her career.
But even then, she was still screaming for help but only the pages of her diary knew of it. "Help help Help I feel life coming closer when all I want Is to die. Scream— You began and ended in air but where was the middle?"
Marilyn Monroe always had bitter experiences each time she became a wife. It drove her to question whether love is even possible. “I have always been deeply terrified to really be someone’s wife since I know from life one cannot love another, ever, really,” she wrote.
"I guess I have always been deeply terrified— แนะนำหนังเก่าByลิงลี่🐵 (@ClassicHWLingLy) July 23, 2018
to really be someone’s wife
since I know from life
one cannot love another,
– Marilyn Monroe
จากหนังสือ “Fragments: Poems, Intimate Notes, Letters” pic.twitter.com/niWw4R6Umy
It is also said that the very last person she spoke to was the actor, Peter Lawford. She has even written about Peter, saying "...being afraid of Peter he might harm me, poison me, etc. why—strange look in his eyes..."
Years after she passed away, Marilyn Monroe is still loved for being the face everybody couldn't help but fall for. But more importantly, she's idolized for her strong sense of individuality that was apparent in the way she carried herself. While people might have believed her world was filled with glamor and glitz, she was just a woman who tried to make her dreams come true, trying to make peace with the hurtful relationships she had over her life.
Some believe that it is the strongest women who put a smile on their face even when they are hurt, and that might have been what Marilyn Monroe went through for most of her life.