Is Paris Jackson suffering from an identity crisis? And are the unorthodox parenting decisions of Michael Jackson himself to blame for his daughter's woes?
As decisions are being made on how to best treat the 15-year-old after Paris Jackson's suicide attempt, those close to her are wondering what went wrong.
There is no denying that Michael Jackson was a loving father who tried to protect his kids from the pain and suffering he faced as a child in the public spotlight.
But MJ's untimely death at the age of 50 and the trauma that his passing would cause them - directly and indirectly - were things he could not foresee.
Some family friends say the long-term damage done by isolating his children from much of the world and their mother became an issue after his passing.
Not to mention the utter confusion his fractured relationship with his own family - which no one fully understands - caused the kids once he was gone.
Some believe Michael’s grave miscalculations where his children were concerned were the real culprit behind the recent suicide attempt of his only daughter.
While Jackson was genuine in only wanting the best for his children, did he fail to factor in the realities of the real world they’d have to face one way or another?
The attempt by Paris Jackson, who reportedly took 20 Motrin pills and used a meat cleaver to cut her arms, certainly suggest this is a strong possibility.
“Paris is really just this lonely young girl who literally has no idea where she belongs,” said a close Jackson family friend in an interview with the Daily Beast.
“As a young child, her world only really included her father, two brothers, and staff. She’d been home schooled so she had no idea how even make friends."
"Think of how difficult that is to learn as a teenager girl in today’s world.”
Transition was swift for the Jackson children after the death of Michael.
They would go from being home schooled to being in one of California’s most elite private schools, where young Paris found fitting in particularly difficult.
“Let’s be honest, she is a member of one of the most famous black families in the world and she doesn’t look black at all,” said the family friend.
“Can you understand the level of confusion that causes a young girl? Who could she talk to about that? Her 83-year old grandmother, La Toya, or Tito?"
"They don’t have answers for that. I’m not sure Michael did.”
Questions about her racial identity were only one factor in Paris’ mental breakdown, said those close to the situation. Another was his complex family.
Friends said the Jackson family’s constant inner turmoil, which goes back years before MJ died, also played a defining role in her fragile mindset.
Friends outside of the Jackson family said Michael’s reasons for disconnecting from his famous siblings revolved around money, and their lack of it.
“Michael took care of his parents and siblings for years and then it got to be too much,” said a friend of the pop star. “He was taking care of his brother’s families."
"On and on it went. At a certain point he cut everyone off except his mother, who rarely asked Michael for anything. He felt taken advantage of by all the rest.”
Jackson relayed those feelings to his children, said friends, and his attitude was further supported by the lack of contact the children had with his family.
“So after Michael dies, these people become a major part of the kid’s life,” said the friend. “There was no way for that to go smoothly and it hasn’t.”
After an uproar last summer that saw Katherine Jackson go missing for a few days, the already troubled family became more splintered than ever.
Those events, coupled with the feeling of being the odd girl out at both school and home, led Paris to reach out to her birth mother, Debbie Rowe.
It was an act her father never wanted or encouraged, and while Rowe has been open and receptive, that has opened up a new can of worms, as well.
Here's hoping that despite all these obstacles, Paris gets the best treatment available and can come out of this a better, stronger person somehow.