I'm very sad to think Michael Jackson could not have ever been free enough to be himself.
This is a great risk any person takes when it comes to celebrity. It would be easy to become trapped in a public role, or expectation in being a public figure, where you are not treated as anything more than a commodity. I feel this is what the value system of the Jackson family is all about; it's "normal". It's important to pay attention to what people DO, not what they say! The Jackson family has always been about "doing it" for the money. Michael never really knew or understood how to get around it. He was pressured all of his life to be it.
He was searching for himself in things... (Including seeing women and children as "things" to be objectified. If he really cared, he would have tried harder to be healthy and keep living... But he was noted to be dismissive of kids once they became a certain age; and of women, if they needed him to act like a man.)
Michael was into quick-fixes like purchases, surgeries, and altering his facial features and skin as a way to act-out against his father. His preoccupation with kids was derived from having his own sexuality being stifled by his mother's religious beliefs.
Was he a victim? Yes, I think so.
He was trapped in a role... Therefore, he was a master of what he was able to do on stage, but the moment he got off stage, he was infantile. He was able to get away with that, and no one ever dared called him on it, or they would be cut-off.
He was in charge of his art form, but he was not in control of himself. And I think this is the crux of what lead to his "dangerous" existence: sadly, he was more "dangerous" to himself than anyone else.
I'm also very sad because I think Michael could have gotten some help. He was a smart guy, ingenious in many ways... But given the constraints of his beliefs and his values, he got away with all kinds things by just paying people off. So it was inevitable he became surrounded by the wrong kinds of people. He stopped paying attention... When people do not share your values and beliefs, they can trick you into a relationship you might not want. Michael was just used to buying people, you know?
Let me just repeat, it was inevitable he became surrounded by the wrong kinds of people. I think he knew what was happening, intuitively. He tells his story in the lyrics to his songs and videos. He just didn't know how to help himself. He wasn't able to trust anyone. He did not even trust himself.
During the most stressful times of his life, when he should have been held accountable for his actions, he turned to doctors. I've seen this happen to many people who were not in control of their lives; they either turned to recreational drug and alcohol abuse (as Michael did, allegedly), or surrender all their power over to pain meds and doctors.
Doctors are trained to coach their patients into accepting that they are the ones in control.
Stir a drug dependency into the mix, and it's very easy for a patient to lose his or her willpower.
I think Michael began to feel powerless in his relationships with people. He was able to control them with his money and prestige, but only up to a point. In fact, kids would get bored with him. So I believe his next course of action was to take his personal fixations with his looks and surgery and turn it all into a sort of hypochondria and illness.
Michael never knew what it was to be loved unconditionally. I have mentioned this earlier in my blog here; but I want to be specific in pointing out how, being sick is a way to put gravity into a situation, and get love and affection. Even if you have to pay a doctor for that attention.
Michael never had it in himself to uphold his own self-worth. Like everything else, he saw himself as a thing... A human doing, not a human-being.