“House of Horrors” survivor Jordan Turpin is still struggling to adjust to normal life five years after her daring escape from captivity.
The 22-year-old — who spent her entire childhood imprisoned inside her California home alongside her 12 siblings — is laying bare the trauma she still carries in a heartbreaking new interview, revealing that she spends her life on the constant verge of tears.
Turpin’s parents, David and Louise, forced their kids to live in squalor, where they were beaten, starved and shackled to their beds before Jordan executed an escape through a window on Jan. 14, 2018.
Despite being hailed as a hero after alerting authorities to the abuse that was occurring at her home, Turpin told Elle on Monday that the past half-decade has been a struggle for her: “My normal day? I usually cry.”
“I try to get myself to eat,” Turpin candidly continued. “And then I start to do my makeup, but I cry, so I have to do it over. And then I try to do a TikTok, but I’m like, ‘Oh, people are going to say this and that about me.’ Then I’m like, ‘Maybe I should get some air. I’m gonna go outside’ … and then I just cry again.”
After her parents were sentenced to life behind bars for their abuse, Turpin was left without any idea of who she was or what she wanted to do.
The then-teen took classes at a community college and began working at Taco Bell.
However, her experience at the fast food franchise was hampered by the fact she was unable to properly socialize with her co-workers.
“I was super nice, and I’d always be like, ‘I’m so sorry,’ ” Turpin recalled. “I am super gentle. They would laugh and be like, ‘Why is she like that?’ I might have been annoying. But I had just gotten out of the foster home, so I was always super kind because I was scared of everyone.”
She worried that her life would never improve: “I was like, ‘This is never going to stop.’ “
Turpin faced further setbacks just two years after her escape from captivity when the COVID-19 pandemic forced the suspension of normal life. A return to a quasi-captivity was particularly triggering for the teen, who was only just getting used to life outside her home.
“There was no escape,” she declared, claiming that the “promised land” of freedom had felt like “a tease.”
“When everybody started complaining about COVID, we were like, ‘Look at us!’ People were like, ‘This is the worst thing ever!’ They could barely handle it when it was only a week,” she stated. “They really don’t know.”
Like many people stuck indoors, Turpin turned to TikTok to connect with others, despite having little understanding of how social media operated.
However, she soon became a bona fide star on the app, garnering hundreds of thousands of followers with her dance routines and life updates.
Now, nearing almost 1 million followers, Turpin has a publicist and an agent and is considering a career in public life.
“She got it very quickly,” her publicist told Elle of Turpin’s aptitude for social media.
“That’s the thing about Jordan. Even though there are certain parts of society [the Turpin siblings are] all starting to navigate … they’re all very aware of the world. Jordan is really smart. She’s very aware of herself, which is not something that even [a lot of] people who haven’t been through this type of tragedy can say.”
“If you want to lighten up my mood, TikTok can do it,” Turpin admitted.
The burgeoning star — who has met both Hailey Bieber and TikTok queen Charli D’Amelio — says she’s considering a career in music, but is not getting ahead of herself.
“Right now, I kind of need a break from my past,” she admitted. “I just want to start slowly.”