So I’ve followed Aaron Carter’s public life since some time in 1998 and since his death I’ve tried to find a way to grieve my first parasocial relationship and understand what on earth went one with him, his life and his family.

It’s slowly coalescing so now I need to get it out of my head by writing it down. I’ve chosen this community to share these random ramblings.

A short introduction about me: I come from a dysfunctional family. Aaron has helped me stay alive during my teenage years. Abusive people don’t allow their offspring to develop an identity if they can help it. This was the one bit I clung to. Everybody made fun of me for it similar to how people made fun of early Justin Bieber fans. But this helped me hold on until I could get out. I stopped calling myself a fan around 2005 ish when I started to cotton on that Aaron liked to play the victim.

Figuring out Aaron Carter is so difficult because a) people in the entertainment business aren’t known to be honest in general b) lies are a very common occurrence in drug addicts and dysfunctional families and c) the Carters in particular are very obviously changing their stories all the time. Figuring out what is actually true, what was hidden and what is a lie is thus difficult. As a result I tend to watch how all the Carters act around each other and look for stories being corrobated ideally by multiple family members multiple times.

Aaron himself has been known to lie in interviews when he was 9 already. His mother Jane complained about this in the fan book she wrote about her son 3 years later. In the beginning it was obvious lies. Aaron claimed he already broke his fingers multiple times and the draconian punishment dealt by his mother. Quickly corrected by Jane.

Even back in the 90s these stories always were about medical issues or perceived slights. And it shows how normal lying was in this family. The irony of Jane complaining about Aaron lying still is something to behold.

But three stories from this time do stick out. The first is about a scar Aaron had above his nose. Apparently toddler Aaron was unsupervised when he fell into a pool and barely survived. Jane has corroborated this story. What sticks out is that when telling the story Nick is always framed as the one who should have watched Aaron. Nick was all of 10? 12? Even this early on Nick was made to carry adult responsibilities and no one in the family questions where the actual parents were.

Another story that sticks out is that Aaron said in multiple interviews his mother was strict without elaborating. Indeed in the first home video that was commercially released Aaron is seen goofing off with everyone but Jane. I think that was his 10 year old way of verbalising being verbally and emotionally abused and the very demanding way of being worked like an adult. A former moderator once saw Jane yell at and manhandle Aaron before a concert when he didn’t want to do the show. He did do the show not showing any signs of turmoil. 10 years old and well versed in hiding his emotions and pretending to enjoy it. A skill sadly familiar to me as well. How much worse it must be when there’s thousands of people cheering you on like this.

The third story that sticks out is that Aaron often said he and Nick had playful fights. Jane disapproved but Aaron back then always said it was in good fun. And early on Aaron and Nicks relationship when seen in public was filled with mutual teasing, cuddles, hugs, Aaron clearly looking up to Nick and Nick often playing the role of a parent still by teaching Aaron various skills and looking out for him. There seems to have been a growing rivalry between the brothers that wasn’t as well publicised.

All 5 Carter siblings also say their communication was always dysfunctional. The father Bob ruled by fear, apparently he randomly shot his gun into the air at times, the parents fought in front of the children and angrily demanded the children pick one parent over another in a divorce that wouldn’t come for a few more years. Both Jane and Bob had a history with drugs already. In the House of Carter show we certainly see the siblings as adults with no conflict solution skills other than to yell at each other and occasionally become violent.

Bob seems to have been a very absentee father. Jane went hard on getting her sons into musical education hoping to turn them into famous singers early on. Bob did not agree, the lessions were too expensive. Jane clesrly won out tho and Nick was grateful for the early encouragement even after he be came estranged from Jane. Throughout the early careers of both sons Bob tends to stay home and avoid the media while Jane pushed especially Aarons career hard in classic stage mom fashion.

From what little we’ve seen from Bob I always wondered about how he felt about not being the main breadwinner in the family. Somebody who rules by fear doesn’t tend to rejoice when their victims get fanatic levels of encouragement and a fleet of managers, bodyguards and minders. But clearly in the end he enjoyed the money too much to sabotage it.

He also was home with three daughters with no fellow adult to mitigate his worst behaviour. There’s bitter claims about Bob sexually abusing middle daughter Leslie and/or Aaron. When Bob visited on House of Carters Leslie certainly does not react like a daddy’s girl.

To be continued. Maybe.