Laura Prepon opens up like she never has before in her new book, ‘You and I, As Mothers.’ HL spoke with the actress about her struggle with bulimia, her relationship with her mother, and more.
Laura Prepon is usually a very private person but she holds nothing back in her new book, You and I, as Mothers: A Raw and Honest Guide to Motherhood. The 40-year-old actress and mother of two talks about everything from motherhood to loss of pregnancy to her struggle with bulimia. Laura is candid that her mother taught her how to be bulimic and she struggled with the eating disorder for years. She opened up to HollywoodLife EXCLUSIVELY about coming to terms with her eating disorder and how it’s impacted her relationship with her mother.
“I was out of the house at such a young age that I had never really looked back and analyzed my childhood because I never really had a reason to,” the Orange Is The New Black alum said. “And then my mother forced me into confrontation with that because, naturally, you fall back on what you know which is how you were raised. When I looked back at that, I really started to realize that there was a lot of dysfunction that was passed down. There were a lot of amazing things, but there was also a lot of dysfunction. Trying to come to terms with that now being a mother while trying to figure out what to continue and what to prevent from being passed down to my daughter was a real eye-opener for me.”
Laura’s book is not just for mothers. As Laura noted, “We were all mothered in some way. We all came from some kind of mother figure. We all have a relationship or not, which affects us.” Laura talked about how she explored her own relationship with her mother. “Having to look back at how I was mothered and then also get understanding and empathy from her how she was mothered, it was a very intense process for me,” she said. “I can’t tell you the healing that happened from that, but having to do that was definitely an amazing thing for me to do.” She admitted that the journey is a ‘daily negotiation’ for her. Laura continued: “There are times where I think to myself, ‘How did she teach me to do that?’ But when I really look at her story and when I look at her experience, I realized that she was trying to help me. She was trying to help me even though it was damaging. That was her trying to help because that’s how she found ‘success’ in her life, which is not true. It hurt her, but that’s what she equated with success. It’s a complicated relationship with your parents, especially with daughters and mothers. Some days it’s good and other days I have a hard time understanding. By the process of writing this book, I’m really looking at it and my empathy has definitely gone up a lot. She also has Alzheimer’s and I just want to celebrate the good days.”
Laura also talked about having to terminate her second pregnancy in 2018 after her baby was diagnosed with a cystic hygroma, a congenital malformation of the lymphatic system. Laura was “devastated” by the loss and struggled to deal with it. In her book, she writes about the tools she used to cope. Laura revealed that opening up to other women with similar experiences and hearing their stories inspired her to write about her own loss.
“I thought to myself, ‘Why is this such a secret? Why is there so much shame around loss of pregnancy?’ That’s another reason why I felt like I needed to write about it,” Laura continued. “I felt like it was a conversation that wasn’t being had. We shouldn’t feel shame around that. It happens for many different reasons and the kind of darkness that surrounds was really hard for me to deal with. I found that when I was able to empathize with other women going through it and hear their stories and share mine, it was a big help, which is why I really decided I needed to write about it.” Laura and husband Ben Foster, 39, welcomed a baby boy in Feb. 2020. They also have a 2-year-old daughter named Ella.
After each chapter of her book, Laura has a “Questions to Consider” section so the reader can reflect on their own experiences. “I wanted it to feel like not only is the reader getting stories that I tell and my planned research, as well as stories from my Mom Squad, but I also wanted them to be able to reflect on their own experience and have it feel like more of a conversation,” Laura told HollywoodLife. “Those are questions that I often was asking myself, and I felt they were important to ask the reader.” You and I, as Mothers: A Raw and Honest Guide to Motherhood is available now.