Skeletons in the Closet

Friday Fictioneers
(Copyright Douglas MacIlroy)

Skeletons in the Closet
Genre: Narrative Medicine

Kat acknowledged her newest nanny with her best, I’m ok face, certain that it would be reported to her very important parents; never present themselves to notice. She chewed and chewed and then spit into her napkin; a distraction, a sleight of hand and the napkin would disappear down her evening dress.

Some nights she had no choice but to swallow, especially when Cook was her dining partner.
“Mangia, you are too thin Miss Kitty.”
“This pasta is so delicious,” Kat would appease, gagging down a few strands, visualizing them expanding on her monstrous thighs.
Keeping the peace with more lies, she would vomit in silence later.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Read more flash fiction from Friday Fictioneers here.

The wisdom in this post?
Sit down with your children for one meal a day, be with them and open your heart to truly see them. You are not too busy.

On a lighter note here is a photo of my family at my youngest son’s wedding. I guess we never know how much we screw up our children but these young men of mine seem happy and healthy and for that I am grateful.

image

56 Comments Add yours

  1. ansumani says:

    Lovely family pic. Well told story of Builimia, body image issues and lack of parental support.
    On a editing note: Did you mean to use “sleight of hand ” instead of “slight of hand”?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes I did mean sleight, did you mean bulimia? ha ha
      It never fails. If I point out a typo or error then I will make a typo writing about the typo. Thank you, I do appreciate the editing.
      πŸ™‚ Tracey

      Like

  2. I love the photo of your family and what you wrote there…I spend so much time with my son and we talk so much, it is one of the benefits of having an only child, he gets my undivided attention. And I truly hope that he carries the memories of this time together, and the subjects we discuss, through his life πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My sons surprise me all the time with “pearls of wisdom” that they received from me even when I thought they weren’t listening. So keep talking and keep listening. Thank you Elaine.
      Tracey

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I know, Ben does the same!!! He often says things as if they are thoughts of his own and I hear my words coming back at me πŸ™‚
        X

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Great take on the prompt. So many kids slip through the cracks when their parents aren’t paying attention. Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The sad truths behind anorexia.. so many reasons behind them..but absent parents is probably not the best thing. It seems to be something that is becoming more and more common, and maybe a common meal would help.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Anorexia is a very complex mental illness and I don’t pretend to understand its many facets. But having a parent around to notice and get help seems like a good idea.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Gorgeous family Tracey and a powerful story.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Louise. I have much to be thankful for. The story felt flat and sterile to me. Maybe some emotions can’t be conveyed in 100 words or maybe the kid feels flat and sterile herself.
      Tracey

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It didn’t feel flat to me.

        Like

  6. Dear Tracey,

    Alas, eating disorders effect any age. I was a “late bloomer” suffering anorexia from my twenties into my forties. I feel blessed and fortunate to be alive, healthy and beginning a new chapter in my life. My husband told me only recently that the EDU doctor told him if I didn’t turn around he’d be a widower in a year.
    It’s surprisingly and appallingly easy to starve to death in front of those who are closest.
    Powerful story and a lovely family. I can see why you’re proud. πŸ˜€

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Rochelle,
      It is difficult to ask for and receive help but I’m glad you did. The world is richer with you in it.
      Be well,
      Tracey

      Liked by 2 people

  7. That’s a lovely family photo there! And, as always, a neatly woven story! Many of us seem to be “busy” until we realize how empty our “busy” life actually is….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree. Well said. I think “too busy” is a lame excuse when it comes to being a family.
      Thank you,
      Tracey

      Like

  8. Grim stuff well portrayed. Tough times ahead for her and those around her.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think Cook will be her salvation.

      Like

  9. Excellent take on the prompt!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Amy Reese says:

    What a great take, Tracey. Eating meals with family is important and sometimes the only time you sit down together. Thanks for sharing your beautiful family photo. Love all those smiles. Congrats on your son’s marriage!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Amy. Eating together seems so simple but I know it gave my family a strong foundation and it’s a healthy habit to eat at home regardless.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. draliman says:

    Lovely photo!
    On a more serious note (i.e. back to your story), there must be so many kids who suffer from eating disorders or addictions that go unnoticed by parents – the very people who are supposed to see this sort of thing. You wrote this very well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It takes a village to raise a child so perhaps the Cook will be her salvation. Someone needs to notice before a kid can get help. Thank you for the compliments.

      Like

  12. plaridel says:

    at the rate things are going, the skeletons will be out of the closet soon. by the way, thanks for sharing your family photo. it must be tough to be the only girl in the house, but it seems you have managed it well. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Plaridel,
      I am the only Princess in the family, so that makes everything run smoothly.
      πŸ™‚
      T

      Liked by 1 person

      1. plaridel says:

        that’s wonderful.

        Like

  13. Margaret says:

    A sobering story of a dreadful illness. Well told. Beautiful photo – you’re very lucky to have happy, healthy sons. It’s quite a challenge to raise children successfully, as you say, but worth every moment of time and effort, and tears.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Margaret,
      I could not agree more.
      Thank you reading my sobering tale.
      Tracey

      Like

  14. A lovely family! Nice strong handsome sons that look like their dad and mom! Your story brings to light a terrible problem among the teens of America. Why do the think that a few strands of spaghetti will make them fat (fatter)? Very sad.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Joy,
      Thank you. Unfortunately there are many obese children suffering in America too who need help. Eating healthy food at home would go a long way towards fixing that problem. I really need to explore the other writing challenges that you follow.
      Tracey

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I agree and I think that problem stems from eating too much fast foods and many families not “cooking” healthy meals. The price of food is so high that it is easier and cheaper to buy fast food meals. The other flash fiction challenges that I follow are Sunday Photo Fiction and Monday’s Finish the Story. If you would like the url to these, let me know and I will get them for you.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Dang! I forgot to tell you about my flash fiction challenge. It is every Wednesday to Wednesday and the challenge post comes out early in the wee morning of Tuesday. It is called Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers (accomplished and published writers also participate). https://flashfictionforaspiringwriters.wordpress.com/2015/05/26/fffaw-week-of-may-27-2015/

        Liked by 1 person

  15. gahlearner says:

    I didn’t find the story flat at all. It was full of despair, like a silent scream. That can’t be cheerful. It’s a great story addressing a problem many face, either by eating too little, or too much. And you have a wonderful family, yay, you! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “silent scream” That makes sense because she is hiding her anorexia and her pain which would make her seem flat by design. I love when you guys see something more in my characters.
      Thanks,
      T

      Liked by 1 person

  16. This is a great take on the prompt and different than most this week. Very well written.
    -David

    Liked by 1 person

    1. David,
      I can’t color within the lines, ever.
      Thank you,
      Tracey

      Like

  17. Dave says:

    Dark. Very. You have to admire that writing even when the topics are unhappy ones.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dave,
      There is much joy in medicine and I’m just waiting for the happy prompt.
      πŸ˜‰
      T

      Like

  18. Jan Brown says:

    What a powerful story! When we are ill, whether mentally or physically, we too often try to hide it, not wanting to appear weak or out of control–or to be judged. And the thought of asking for help can be daunting.

    Well done!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jan,
      Anorexia is very difficult to treat because they can’t see the problem because their body image is so distorted.
      Thanks for commenting,
      Tracey

      Like

  19. Liz Young says:

    A well told story and advice I wish more families followed. A lovely photo of your sons, soo – we had a family christening this month where all of my tribe looked and sounded fine πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Liz. It was nice to check in with friends and family at the wedding.

      Like

  20. erinleary says:

    My college roommate was bulimic, my older sister as well. It’s hard to help when they only see their image. Luckily, both came through it – my roommate is now an MD who once specialized in eating disorders. She was very effective at it.

    Beautiful family, too. Our daughter was married last October and we had such fun at the wedding!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That which doesn’t kill us makes us …. better doctors? Thank you, I’m a very proud Mom.
      Tracey

      Like

  21. Heartbreakingly true for too many. Beautifully written, capturing the isolation perfectly.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Cheryl. Yes, I think she feels very isolated and abandoned.
      Tracey

      Liked by 1 person

  22. Creatopath says:

    You were really thinking outside the box this week. Great take on the prompt. Sad, but well written. Lovely family photo.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks. My brain keeps going back to what I know: medicine and human nature.

      Like

  23. wildbilbo says:

    A great story – sad insight into a mind with a skewed view of itself. The ‘very important parents’ and fact she is eating with the help seemed to show a level of distance and I got the feeling she is lonely. She might doing this self harm for attention, or perhaps she seeks to be more ‘desirable’ to get more attention.

    Well written.
    KT

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s exactly how I felt KT. Money doesn’t buy your kids happiness.

      Liked by 1 person

  24. amiewrites74 says:

    A sad story – and one that I am all too familiar with. My parents were attentive and present (unlike the parents in your story) but I worked hard to hide my problems from them and everyone else in my life. Well written. And you have a beautiful family πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amie,
      I think it’s common to hide our feelings. I hope you are in a good place now and keep up your writing. Thank you.
      Tracey

      Liked by 1 person

  25. Congratulations on your son’s marriage. That’s a lovely family photo. Good story, and timely. Our society shouldn’t place so much emphasis on extreme thinness. Some super models look like their starving. From what I’ve read, they are. Poor young people. Well done, Tracey. — Suzanne

    Liked by 1 person

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