A candid autobiography from a leading actress... Inside Out by Demi Moore
Inside Out, Demi Moore
Published 2019, 272 pages
As I was picking up some books I had on hold at the library, this new release was on a front rack and I grabbed it on my way to the check-out desk. I read quite a lot of celebrity biographies and autobiographies and I’ve enjoyed Moore in a few movies, so why not? I hadn’t read any reviews on it, so was going in blind.
First, she is extremely candid about everything – her awful childhood (no love or affection given by either parent, father cheated, moved a couple times every year, mom attempted suicide, parents drank and did drugs), Bruce, Ashton, her drinking, her movies, her body issues (see below), etc. The one thing she talks the least about and keeps the most private are her daughters.
“If all this obsessing about my body sounds crazy to you, you’re not wrong: eating disorders are crazy, they are a sickness. But that doesn’t make them less real. When you are afflicted with a disease, you can’t just decide not to have it, no matter how miserable it’s making you.”
She’s thankful for the support of Joel Schumacher and others who insisted she go through a drug rehabilitation program and then have a counselor (whom Demi describes as caring) day and night during a filming. She couldn’t have gotten sober on her own – “I just didn’t value myself enough for that.”
After their divorce, Bruce bought a house just 10 minutes from Demi and the girls. It was clearly important to her to put the girls first and give them a sense of stability.
“It wasn’t easy at first, but we managed to move the heart of our relationship, the heart of what created our family, into something new that gave the girls a loving, supportive environment with both parents. They were never put in a position of having to choose between us for this holiday or that birthday; we were each able to put our own things aside and share those times with them. I am convinced we would have very different children now if we had handled things more selfishly.”
About Ashton. He wanted space from her but didn’t tell her, instead lied about where he was and who he was with. “He wasn’t honest. That’s on him. But I had made him the focus of all my attention and was putting too much pressure on him. I was losing myself. And that’s on me.”
After 20 years of sobriety, Ashton convinced her a beer or two wouldn’t do any harm. Slowly she started drinking again and found she couldn't handle it - she would drink until she was passing-out drunk. Eventually, her kids gave her an ultimatum to get clean again or not see them anymore. She went through rehab but had a really hard time winning the girls back. It took a few years, but their relationship was finally mended.
There is a great deal of self-discovery about herself:
“What if everything hadn’t happened to me but had happened for me? When my mother was dying, I found a way to change the way I held our relationship. I had spent years facing her with anger and longing: Why didn’t you love me enough to be better? I’d managed to move to compassion (she took care of her mother when she was dying) and that transition had liberated me. But that didn’t mean applying the lesson again would be easy. But if I really look at my difficulty with not being able to get pregnant (with Ashton), whether I could or I couldn’t is irrelevant: it’s the judgment I made against myself that was so damaging. If I’m holding it as I’m a failure as a woman, of course it’s going to destroy me. What if I look at it differently? What if it was for the best, not being tied to Ashton with a child?” (He cheated on her with a couple of different younger women.)
After I finished the book I read some reviews and people seemed to really dislike it or really like it – 2 stars or 5 stars. One review focused entirely on how much she whines and blamed others for everything. I didn’t find that to be the case at all. For example, a couple of times she took responsibility are at the end of her first marriage where she acknowledged her part in the collapse of the marriage and, wanting to do the right thing, agreed to pay alimony. Also, looking back to when Jon Cryer lost his virginity to her, it pained her to think of how callous she was with his feelings.
I appreciated Moore’s candor and certainly learned much about her life that I didn’t know. A quick read that didn’t ramble and had no fillers, just tons of details about her life.
photo from wikipedia