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"House of Horrors" Abuse Victim Jordan Turpin Feeling "Good" Amid Mental Health Struggles, Plans to Pursue Acting
“I've really learned so much about mental health [and] why everything has affected me the way it affected me," Turpin said in a new interview.
The victim, who recently celebrated her 23rd birthday by launching her own clothing line, is ending 2023 on a positive note, opening up about her recent struggles — and breakthroughs — with mental health.
"Over this last year, I have learned a lot about mental health and everything,” Turpin told People in a new interview. “It was a really rough year. The last few months it's been really good because I've really learned so much about mental health [and] why everything has affected me the way it affected me."
How did Jordan Turpin escape her abusive home?
In 2018, Turpin escaped her family’s Perris, California home by jumping out of a window after enduring years of horrific parental abuse. Her 12 siblings, who, at the time, ranged in age from two to 29, were found by police bound to their beds with chains and padlocks. All of the children were severely malnourished and many hadn’t bathed in months, according to authorities.
What happened to David and Louise Turpin?
The disturbing saga was the subject of the 2018 Oxygen special The Turpin 13: Family Secrets Exposed.
Turpin was so sheltered during her upbringing that she didn't know basic words like "sidewalk" or "medication." Today, she's focused on acclimatizing to life’s simple things. She recently moved into a new home, which she shares with four guinea pigs and four dogs, according to People. She credits her pets with helping her overcome lingering trauma.
"I want my dogs to have that big open space,” Turpin told People. “I have such a connection with them. I can just give them a look, and they know what I'm saying. They're just so funny. When I got Buddy, I got him at a time when I needed him. He's my best friend and he's gotten me through a lot."
Turpin said she’s embraced the familiarity of a routine, which includes regular therapy sessions.
"[These] coping skills help motivate me to get out of bed," she said. "I've been sleeping really well, been eating really well. I've been eating my three meals a day. I've been getting up early, going to bed early. I feel healthy. I feel good."
But there are still “down days,” she admitted. In a 2022 interview with Elle, Turpin joked that a “normal day” consisted of her crying. The 23-year-old said she gets by with a pen and paper and a strong support network.
"I get out my journal, and I've really just learned to work with my pain,” Turpin explained to People. “And I have friends and siblings that I can talk to and go to.”
Since escaping captivity, Turpin has also emerged as an unlikely social influencer, posting regularly on TikTok and Instagram, where she has more than 258,000 followers. In 2022, Turpin published a video in collaboration with TikTok star Charli D’Amelio. She is also an aspiring model and actress, and said she hopes to break into acting in 2024.
Turpin has also crystallized friendships with a number of celebrities this year. She met Demi Lovato (Turpin described the singer and Camp Rock actress as “so sweet”), as well as Howie Mandel during a visit to the set of America’s Got Talent. Meeting Mandel, she said, was an emotional and full circle moment, admitting she viewed him as a role model while in captivity.
"I had my role models now and my role models I've had before, when I was younger," Turpin explained to People. "When I meet somebody like Howie, that I was a fan of since a long time ago... it makes it even more unreal when you never thought it could possibly happen. It's really emotional, in a good way. It's [like], 'This is real freedom.'"
Turpin said she feels “healthy and good” at the moment.
“I want everyone to know that we are all brave, and there is hope,” Turpin said. “I'm hoping to figure out a way to communicate with my fans more. There's a lot of things I want to share, and I'm just really hoping next year I can help as much as I possibly can."