Stevie Nicks was ‘Born Guilty’: ‘You Wake Up Sick to Your Stomach’

When she was young, Stevie Nicks revealed that she often dealt with nagging worries that plagued her into her years as a musician. The Fleetwood Mac singer shared that she still feels shame even when she knows she did nothing wrong. It happened from such a young age that her mother said the musician was “born guilty.” Nicks explained these feelings and how she eventually combatted them.

Where is Stevie Nicks from?

Nicks was born in Arizona in 1948 to her college-sweetheart parents, Barbara and Jess Nicks. Because of her father’s corporate job, the family moved around frequently, living in New Mexico, Utah, Texas, and California. 

Nicks expressed interest in music from a very early age. Her grandfather, Aaron Nicks, struggled as a country artist, but he recognized her talent. He taught her to sing harmonies before she even knew how to read, and soon, the pair began performing together. Aaron took Nicks to saloons to perform to delighted patrons. Ultimately, though, Nicks’ parents stopped the duo from taking their show on the road. 

The Fleetwood Mac singer’s mother said her daughter was ‘born guilty’

Nicks was sculpting her musical talent at an early age, but she also dealt with immense feelings of guilt. Despite this, she wasn’t able to identify where the feeling came from. 

“My mother said, ‘Stevie, you were born guilty. You never lied, you never did anything bad, and you always looked guilty. But you were willing to take on the guilt of everyone else immediately,’” Nicks told High Times in 1982.

Her guilt comes from a fear that someone else is angry with her. Even if she didn’t know why, she began to feel culpable. 

“I am that way,” she explained. “If I ever think that someone thinks that I did anything wrong, it’s a neon sign across my face that blinks guilty guilty guilty.”

She added that the feeling made her nauseous because she spent an extended amount of time reflecting on what she could have done wrong.

“You didn’t even do anything, but you wake up sick to your stomach the next day, thinking that you did.”

When she was young, Stevie Nicks was less confident than she is now

In 1982, Nicks said that she loved getting a bit older. With age, she began to feel more in control.

“I absolutely love being thirty-three years old. I think it’s wonderful,” she said. “You can see things clearer. You don’t have to get so crazy. You start making your own decisions. You’re a woman, not a child. You’re grown up and have to fend for yourself.”

In a 2001 interview with Interview Magazine, as reported by The Cut, Nicks said that she has trained herself not to feel fear. If she allows the feeling to overcome her, she won’t be able to work through it.

“I just try not to ever be afraid of anything. I just go, ‘Well, if the earthquake happens, I’ve got my steel-toed shoes and some rope, and we’ll get down a mountain,’” she said. “Or you’ll be there in a helicopter waving at us. I believe that we will just about get through anything.”

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