Gypsy Rose Blanchard has spent eight years in prison, at times playing back the events of June 2015 in her mind over and over again.

Now 32, and set to walk free on Thursday, Dec. 28, she clearly recalls when she and then boyfriend Nicholas “Nick” Godejohn conspired to ki*ll her mom Dee Dee, who for years had subjected Gypsy to painful medical procedures she never needed. It was argued in court and is widely believed that Gypsy was a victim of Munchausen by proxy, a rare form of abu*se in which a guardian exaggerates or induces illness in a child for attention and sympathy.

At the time of Dee Dee’s mu*rder, Gypsy claims she was being mentally and physically abu*sed and forced into yet another unnecessary surgery. Now she says, “I was desperate to get out of that situation.” According to Gypsy, that desperation led her to ask Godejohn to k*ill her mother, which he did while she waited in the bathroom of the Springfield, Mo., home she shared with Dee Dee.

It’s a cr*ime that captured the world’s attention, with popular Hollywood reenactments like HBO’s 2017 film Mommy Dead and Dearest and more recently Hulu’s 2019 series The Act. But now, as she prepares to tell her own story in Lifetime’s gripping new docuseries .

“If I had another chance to redo everything, I don’t know if I would go back to when I was a child and tell my aunts and uncles that I’m not sick and mommy makes me sick,” says Gypsy, “or, if I would travel back to just the point of that conversation with Nick and tell him, ‘You know what, I’m going to go tell the police everything.’ I kind of struggle with that.”

But, she adds, “Nobody will ever hear me say I’m glad she’s dead or I’m proud of what I did. I regret it every single day.”

By the time Gypsy was 7, Dee Dee had falsely claimed her daughter suffered from numerous illnesses. One of those was muscular dystrophy, which Dee Dee said required Gypsy to use a wheelchair, even though the girl was able to walk without issue. Next came painful and unnecessary feeding tubes and a claim that Gypsy had Leukemia, for which Dee Dee shaved Gypsy’s head. Dee Dee fooled friends and family into believing the ailments were real, and tricked doctors into diagnosing and treating them.

Gypsy herself spent years in the dark. “Obviously I knew that I could walk and didn’t need a feeding tube, but everything else was a really big confusion for me,” she says, citing her epilepsy diagnosis: “Whenever I’d question it my mother would say I’d had a seizure the night before and didn’t remember. There was always an excuse.”

Speaking up about Dee Dee’s wild claims was something Gypsy said she learned not to do. “I would voice concerns, being like, ‘I really don’t feel like I need this,’ and she would get really, really upset with me and start manipulating me,” says Gypsy. In the early years, to get Gypsy to comply, “she’d say ‘If you do well at the hospital then we’re going to Toys ‘R’ Us to buy a new Barbie.'”

Making things worse, “I was very sheltered” explains Gypsy, who was never enrolled in school and was largely kept from having a relationship with her father Rod, stepmother Christie and her half siblings. “I was limited in what I could watch and the exposure I had to other kids. What I knew of the outside world was only in Disney movies and those don’t talk about warning signs of bad parents.”

But as a teen and young adult, she rebelled and things between her and her mother turned violent. “I tried my best to be respectful but sometimes it was hard. She’d call me things like b—h, wh–e, sl-t.” On top of verbal ab*use, Gypsy claims Dee Dee began “hitting, punching, slapping” her to get her way. “It was very similar to a domestic violence type of relationship,” she says. “As long as you’re complacent everything’s fine. Put your foot down, then it’s bad.”

Her decision to have Dee Dee ki*lled came after she’d tried to run away ahead of yet another needless procedure, this time on her larynx. “I just wasn’t having it,” says Gypsy, who claims she fled her home, only to be tracked down within hours. “She found me, brought me back and put in place paperwork saying I was incompetent and she had power of attorney over me.”

At that point, Gypsy felt there was nowhere left to turn. “I was trying really hard to figure out another way,” she says. “That’s when there was a conversation between me and my co-defendant Nick,” who she’d met on an online dating site. “He said ‘I would do anything to protect you.’ I said, ‘Anything?’ He said ‘Yes.'”

Godejohn received a life sentence for carrying out the deadly attack. According to recent reports, he’s said that he’d do it again if it meant saving Gypsy. But Gypsy, after years of reflection, self-work and therapy, says, “She didn’t deserve that,” adding, “She was a sick woman and unfortunately I wasn’t educated enough to see that. She deserved to be where I am, sitting in prison doing time for c*riminal behavior.”

In September, it was confirmed that Gypsy was granted parole, two years before the expiration of her 10-year sentence for second-degree murd*er. As she braces herself for the glaring spotlight and scrutiny to come, she’s looking forward to reuniting with her dad and stepmom, who’ve stuck by her side.

Also, she’s eager to join husband Ryan Anderson, 37, a Louisiana teacher she married behind bars last year. “We’re in love,” she says. He along with her family, former doctors and many others will share their views on her complicated story in the upcoming Lifetime docuseries.

She hopes hers will be a cautionary tale. “I want to make sure that people in abusive relationships do not resort to mu*rder,” she says. “It may seem like every avenue is closed off but there is always another way. Do anything, but don’t take this course of action.”

As her freedom approaches, she shares, “I’m on the eve of happiness” — even if she’s still coming to grips with her past.

“It’s a journey. I’m still really trying to come to a place of forgiveness for her, for myself and the situation,” she says. “I still love my mom. And I’m starting to understand that it was something that was maybe out of her control, like an addict with an impulse. That helps me with coping and accepting what happened.”

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