Writing about eating disorders feels like an exercise in vulnerability, not because I am ashamed to share my story, but due to the extremely emotional nature of the topic for countless women. In an era of Kate Moss, skinny jeans, and “she’s too skinny!” tabloid fodder, eating disorders run rampant like a cultural epidemic, continuing to fester alongside a never-ending preoccupation with body image. Although the majority of the media narrows the scope of the issue to models and celebrities, eating disorders are actually most prevalent amongst us everyday girls. Simultaneously, the reality of EDs extends beyond the teenage anecdotes of starving ourselves to be popular; these serious diseases have lifetime physical and psychological ramifications and are far more multifarious than extreme dieting. Weight is a sensitive subject to say the least, one I am going to handle diplomatically. The objective of sharing my story is not to be controversial, blame Hollywood, or spark debate on how to confront eating disorders, but to reflect on the complexities of a ghost that has haunted me and so many others for over a decade.
Profile for Skylar Grey
Like most freshman wives, I assumed that my mother-in-law (MIL) and I would enjoy an affable relationship, for she is no monster-in-law Jane Fonda and I am certainly no J.Lo daughter-in-law (DIL). I mean, why wouldn’t we be as close as bona fide mother and daughter? We are intelligent, respectful and kind women who care deeply for the same man. My naiveté conjured images of us laughing over tea together, trading recipes and wrinkle secrets, and bragging to anyone who would listen how we were best of friends.
One year later, that idealistic notion of a legitimate mother-daughter relationship is laughable and overrated at best. If I had a time machine, I would go back and hunt for the ultimate handbook on how to handle MILs from A-Z and read it top to bottom with a highlighter. No one warned me about the multifaceted nature and complexities of a MIL/DIL relationship. Nor did I realize the toll it would take on my marriage.