Gypsy Rose Blanchard spent her early years believing she was younger than she was, thanks to her late mother, Dee Dee Blanchard, and it wasn’t until into her 20s that the recently released inmate learned how to use a tampon.

“It was not your typical, ‘OK, so I’m going to take you to a store and we’re going to get you a training bra, we’re going to get you pads and tampons,’” Blanchard, 32, told People about her unconventional upbringing in an interview published on Thursday, January 4. “There was none of that. So it was very abnormally learned, and unfortunately, I had to basically come to prison with the skills that [Dee Dee] taught me, which was not much.”

Gypsy was released from prison on December 28, 2023, after serving eight years for her role in the 2015 murder of her mother. Gypsy and her then-boyfriend, Nicholas “Nick” Godejohn, conspired to kill Dee Dee after Gypsy learned that the numerous medical issues she thought she had, which included leukemia and muscular dystrophy, were actually made up by her mother.

The matriarch subjected Gypsy to several unnecessary and painful medical procedures throughout her childhood and told her several lies, including that she was younger than she was. It was concluded that Gypsy is a victim of Munchausen syndrome by proxy, which is “a mental illness in which a person acts as if an individual he or she is caring for has a physical or mental illness when the person is not really sick,” according to The Cleveland Clinic.

Following Blanchard’s arrest, it was determined that her mother had falsified numerous medical diagnoses and the years of abuse her mother inflicted were deemed to be the motive in the June 2015 murder.

Her then-boyfriend was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole, plus an additional 25 years for armed criminal action in February 2019. For her part, Gypsy was sentenced to 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to murder for her role in the killing in July 2016 but was later granted parole and released after serving 85 percent of her sentence.

“[In prison] I’m around women that have been around the block or two, and they have a lot of life experience,” Gypsy told the outlet of the life lessons she learned behind bars. “Maybe it’s not the best life experience, but I’ve been able to gain some positives from being around other inmates.”

Gypsy has since started her life with her husband and special education, Ryan Anderson, following her release. The pair — who tied the knot in July 2022 — were looking forward to living together, with her husband revealing he had a “romantic date” planned to follow her release.

“That night is when I’m going to get her to myself and have a romantic night out and take her on her first date,” Ryan told People on December 29, 2023, adding, “Gypsy’s never been on a real date where you go and sit somewhere and eat and go to a movie or do whatever.”