The Doctor's In!

Dr. Eris shares her struggle with self-image.

on Mar 18, 20130

Although I healed from my active eating disorder by the time I was 21 years old, I still felt uncomfortable in my own skin. When I was 25, I decided to get breast implants in hopes that I would feel more confident and that men would find me more attractive. They did! I also loved my augmented breasts. I felt sexy. But, because of my history with Body Dysmorphia, I was embarrassed to admit that they weren’t real. 

Ten years later my body rejected the saline implants (foreign object) and I developed an infection in my breast. For nine months no doctor could figure out what was wrong with me. They pumped me up with antibiotics in hopes of what was wrong would dissipate. It didn’t. Then I decided to undergo surgery to remove the breasts, hoping that it would take the pain and infection away. It didn’t. 

I woke up in the middle of surgery with a liposuction machine in my breast sucking out the infection. It didn’t work. I ended up getting a botched surgery, where the surgeon removed breast tissue, which is permanent, and the infection still remained. I was sent home with IVs of antibiotics in my arm and the surgeon kept telling me that I would be OK. But, something didn’t feel right. 

I checked myself into the hospital, where the doctors still didn’t know what was wrong with me. Finally, they sent me to one of the leading reconstructive breast surgeons in the country. I underwent surgery again, this time successful. He informed me that it would take time for me to heal. Clayton was by my bedside day and night supporting me through this difficult time. He slept on the floor at the hospital when there wasn’t an extra cot. He just wanted me to be OK. 

Losing a part of my breast was devastating to me. It affected my body image, which I had dealt with since childhood, my sense of self, my libido, and still leaves the question of whether I will ever to be able to breastfeed. As for most women, breasts symbolize femininity, sexual attractiveness, and motherhood. It is the same for me. After the surgery, my self-image was lower because something I had before was taken from me. A sense of grief kicked in, but I thought that I had to stay strong instead of show how scared I was. I felt as if my identity was no longer the same. I felt less attractive and desirable, even though my husband didn’t feel that way or make me feel that way. But, he didn’t know what was truly going on with me emotionally. He tried to understand, but I was too scared to let him in. The only way that I knew how to cope was to stay in denial and act as if I was strong. It was not until the therapy session you see on the show that I began to realize the effects this had on me, and my marriage. It was also the first time that I was able to be honest with Clayton about my emotions. We got to begin to work through the issues that surrounded our relationship for a few years thanks to the therapy session that we did on the reality show. Go figure!

16 comments
baker41
baker41

Is it just me or does anyone else think this relationship is doomed.  She comes across as a constant whiny  nag who has serious body issues.  A couple like them not having sex for months speaks volumes.  It's clear he doesn't want a child with her (at least not now) and I think he's the more mature one.  Their relationship is having serious issues, and bringing a child into it will only burden it further and speed up its demise.  If she wants a child that bad she should probably start looking for someone else.  We don't need yet another child brought into a dysfunctional relationship just to be the victim of a divorce before first grade.  She's a sweet lady, but apparently blind to the handwriting on the wall.

msindependant1
msindependant1

tonight's episode (4-8-2013) Dr. E ,more than usual,...comes off as very bitter, insecure, and mean at the "Playboy Model". She showed up in her PJs, like she was asked to, and Doc was disappointed ,We believe, because she was still sexy, cute ,what ever. All of the single moms in my group, come together to watch tonight's Bravo Shows, and we are very disappointed in her behavior. We, all cancer survivors, and botched plastic surgery ,as well....IT IS NOT ANOTHER<SEXUAL<NATURALLY PRETTY WOMAN'S FAULT WHAT HAPPENED TO YOUR BREASTS OR YOUR SEEMINGLY TROUBLED MARRIAGE.  You need to get yourself in check, before you try to help others. Honestly, if you watch your past 2 aired episodes, you truly seem mean and need to REDIRECT your frustrations, etc on something other than your patients. It might not have been such a good idea to be on this series.

 

Best of luck in the future and to any future clients you have.

bevin1972
bevin1972

I really relate to you so much.  I hope you get the baby you want.  I just wanted to say I didn't breastfeed my 2 children and we still bonded beautifully and they are healthy and (mostly) happy today.  I think you are beautiful inside and out and I just didn't want you to consider your breasts in light of having a baby.  You will still be an amazing connected mother, even if you cannot breastfeed.  I would like to hear more ways for us to love ourselves.  I really struggle with this.  Thank you for sharing your life with us.

AN-JO-LINA
AN-JO-LINA

I just had to write in and say Thank You for being so open and honest about your image issues. Two yrs ago I found out my husband had an affair. I had a gut feeling something wasnt right in our marriage but, I thought there was no way he would do anything to jeoperdize our marriage. I was working a full time job, making great money, I just had our baby girl, I lost all the baby weight quickly and was in the best shape of my life. So, I was absolutely blind sided by finding out about his unfaithfulness. My pride was hurt, my self esteem bottomed out, I blamed so much of what he did on myself. It had to be the lowest point in my life. I began writing a journal and it has taken sometime to build up my self image again but, I have to say watching a strong, intelligent, self sufficient woman such as yourself struggle with the same self esteem issues as I did....it makes me realize, I am not crazy. I know our stories are worlds apart, but, you opening up and showing such a vulnerability with the world which  makes you relatable. I am a fan and I hope all the best for you. I know you want a baby but, your husband is correct with wanting to fix the kinks in your mariage before adding a child. I wish I took the time to do that.

Kendralady
Kendralady

You, my dear, go on my list of favorite inspirational people. You're courageous, tenacious, inspirational & real. I'm a therapist myself & have long bucked the notion that we shouldn't share our personal struggles with clients. I find that my clients relate to me better knowing that I'm a human being, with real struggles but also that I consistently strive to be a better human being on a daily basis. Your personal issues that you've shared with viewers (& possibly clients) will undoubtedly speak to people on many different levels. I send you much loving energy & wish you the very best in your journey. ~namaste~

northwestgirl
northwestgirl

I've never posted on a site like this, but had to register to say thank you for your honesty about your body insecurities. That moment of panic on your face when you see that your husband has written 'bathing' was so real, it made me cry. I had surgery years ago and have had severe body issues ever since, that I'm working to overcome, and I so connected with you in that moment, as I've had many of them myself. People say these shows are scripted to a T, and they may be, but that was one of the realest moments I've seen on TV in a long time.

SherrieR
SherrieR

Dr Eris, I love this show..... I never post on blogs, but joined up just to tell each of the three of you what a great show this is. You are an amazing and honest person. Hang in there! You are doing good things by all your efforts to help people and help yourself. You inspire me. You also absolutely a beautiful woman inside and out. Thank you for doing this show and being so vulnerable.

dannyg744
dannyg744

I think you're pretty amazing for sharing that!  If more celebrities had the balls you did and stopped falsely portraying perfection we would all be much better off... i can't imagine how many lives you changed with that.  you rock!

spicymango
spicymango

Dear Eris, I know how it feels to desperately want a baby. I had 4 miscarriages before I had my two daughter later in life. I really feel that your husband doesn't want children AT ALL. Please forgive me, but He seems to be very self centered and selfish. Has he ever explored the possibility that he may be gay? You are a beautiful and sweet person and I hate to see you in so much pain. I too struggled with anorexia and body dysmorphia, you have overcome this  horrible disease. Have you ever consider do it on your own like in vitro fertilization? Keep your head up and know that you are in control of your own Life

SweetAnnie
SweetAnnie

I really saw your vulnerability in this episode.  I know it must have been hard sharing something so personal.  I really applaud your bravery.  Thank you for showing this side of you.

 

mikeinnyc
mikeinnyc

Eris--I actually do not believe you will get through your problems with your partner. He is a complete cad. It's bad enough that he tells you that you have bad breath so rudely but on national TV? And his comment about the tantric sex person meeting his approval because "she's good-looking" shows his true colors as incredibly superficial. Why would that matter? There is probably some superficial reason for his not having sex with you that he is not telling you or he is having an affair with someone. You are an incredibly accomplished and beautiful person inside and out and you should start immediately with finding a new man who would love you unconditionally and want to have a child with you. There are thousands of men in LA that would give their right arm to be with a person like you and I'm sure you can find a good one among them. I know it would be hard to do all this, but this relationship is clearly doomed. I wish you the best of luck. 

NYCmama
NYCmama

You are brave in sharing your life so candidly and you will help others.  I would just like to say that bearing a child may really help you with body image and self esteem because it's such an amazing physical, visceral experience like no other and you will be amazed and proud of yourself by what your body can do, and create!  Don't feel you need to prepare so perfectly, if you just do it, you may likely have an entirely new arsenal of strength and a new sense of self you can't possibly have yet, don't be afraid, take the plunge!

Keilee
Keilee

Thank you for sharing your story. It's been very enlightening watching the show. It's amazing the issues that have come up so far that I can relate to. I feel like I'm learning so much about my life and relationships. Thank you for your and your clients vulnerability. If it's helpful to me, I'm sure it is to others. Although I'm not a therapist I believe you will get through this difficulty in life because you're being honest with yourself and accepting your own feelings. These are things we could all find helpful in our lives!! Thank you and God bless you.

spicymango
spicymango

Dear Eris, I know how it feels to desperately want a baby. I had 4 miscarriages before I had my two daughter later in life. I really feel that your husband doesn't want children AT ALL. Please forgive me, but He seems to be very self centered and selfish. Has he ever explored the possibility that he may be gay? You are a beautiful and sweet person and I hate to see you in so much pain. I too struggled with anorexia and body dysmorphia, you have overcome this  horrible disease. Have you ever consider do it on your own like in vitro fertilization? Keep your head up and know that you are in control of your own Life.

baker41
baker41

 @spicymango While i don't think he's gay, I do think it's abundantly clear he isn't really in love with her and he sure as hell doesn't want children with her.   She is apparently blind to what we are seeing.  I wish she would recognize this and stop whinning about it.  If a child is a deal breaker for her, I wish she'd tell him so and then get on with finding someone who is on the same page she is.

judy@london
judy@london

 @mikeinnyc

 I,too,thought that her husband looked at the tantric sex person in an odd way,leering?I can't think of the right word but it was just..odd.I really like Eris and I WANT to like her husband but I agree,something's just not right with their relationship and it'll be interesting to see how this plays out.