Justin Bieber just shared a story that anyone who’s ever had a strained relationship with a parent will totally get

We fell in love with Justin Bieber early in his career. We loved his bowl cut, his high-pitched voice and his charming YouTube origins. Then there was his adorable romance with Selena Gomez, and his sassy interviews with Ellen and Chelsea Handler. But, as we know, things started to go downhill. They got darker before they got better. But now that he’s making a comeback, I’ll say it: The transformation of Justin Bieber is remarkable.

Justin is turning to a new page in the book of his life. He’s already had such a full career at a young age, and though he’s had some missteps, he’s growing up and taking his experiences in stride. There’s no greater evidence of this than his upcoming album, Purpose, which is expected to transcend the Belieber generation and appeal to adults as well.

The singer, though only 21, has already dealt with more and taken on responsibilities that most his age will never experience. Justin grew up primarily with his mother, Pattie Mallette. Early on, Beliebers loved Pattie just as much as the Biebs himself. She was his momager, his #1 fan, his rock. But as time went on and Justin’s antics got the best of him, the two grew apart.

“I was distant because I was ashamed. I never wanted my mom to be disappointed in me and I knew she was,” Justin told Billboard. “We spent some time not talking, so it takes time to rebuild that trust. She’s living in Hawaii now so it’s hard, but getting better. She’s an amazing woman and I love her.”

Justin has a similar relationship with his father: stable, but still a work in progress. Jeremy Bieber was absent for a year when Justin was about 4. Jeremy and Pattie never married, but the singer insists his dad isn’t the “deadbeat” that’s often portrayed in the media.

Ultimately, Justin is learning to take these relationships and emotions, process them, and let them fuel his music. “I can’t skip on the moments that were dark, the moments that were happy, the ex-girlfriend stuff. It makes it real,” he said. “I want my music to be inspiring.”

(Image via Instagram.)

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