Body Image, Fitting In,
and Ghosts from the Past
From the onset, it seemed as if my experience of Ellen's illness was different than her dad's. As I began to write this book, I wondered if I was unique. Did other mothers feel their daughter's struggles more deeply than fathers?
"I know what it felt like to be picked on in high school," one woman told me when I asked how her feelings compared to her husband's. "In looking back, it seems like I might have been super sensitive, but at the time, it hurt! Then my oldest daughter got designated as a target by senior girls when she was just in ninth grade, and my heart broke all over again."
"I matured early, which meant I got lots of attention from boys," said another. "It also meant girls hated me. I developed a pretty thick skin, but when I see the same thing happening to my daughter, it infuriates me."
"All I wanted in high school was a boyfriend. I thought my life would be perfect if I just had a steady guy to date," an attractive mom confided. "But I was a 'late bloomer' and I'm afraid my daughter is exactly the same. I reassured her when she didn't get asked to the prom, but then went in the bathroom and cried because I felt so bad about it."