8 May 2020

Published May 6, 2020 by rochellewisoff

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The next photo is the PROMPT. Remember, all photos are property of the photographer, donated for use in Friday Fictioneers only. They shouldn’t be used for any other purpose without express permission. It is proper etiquette to give the contributor credit.

PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

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The following story is a work of fiction. Sadly, it’s based on fact for too many people. 

Genre: Realistic Fiction

Word Count: 100

DRIVING THE BUS

Amy brushed, flossed and swished Listerine around her mouth. Spitting it out, she watched the blue liquid swirl down the drain. She raised her head, stared at her reflection, baring her teeth. “Minty fresh. I really gotta stop this ralphing crap.”

            She took a mental inventory of everything she’d eaten. Basically, she cleaned out the fridge. Twinkies, two toaster waffles, a banana, a cheese ball, three hardboiled eggs and so on.   

            She’d gotten the idea of taking Ipecac from a recovering bulimic’s book, meant to be a testimony of her victory over her eating disorder.

            “Handy little ‘how-to’ manual, eh?”

*Glossary:

Ralph is slang for vomit. Driving he Bus is slang for the same. 

Ipecac is a substance used to induce vomiting. Parents of small children keep it in the medicine cabinet in case of accidental poisoning. I had to use it once when my son was two.

Listerine, for those unfamiliar, is a brand of mouthwash popular in the States.

                           

98 comments on “8 May 2020

    • Dear Neil,

      Thank you for educating me. We are two countries separated by a common language, aren’t we? Note-I’ve added a glossary at the end for those who might also be flummoxed by my American slang. Thanks again.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

  • I too had to check Ipecac, and in Scotland Ralph is replaced by Hughie!
    All too depressing for words, m’lady, what people do to themselves to strive towards a media-created ideal.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dear CE,

      It’s tragic. Sadly, eating disorders are rampant on both sides of the pond. Media is to blame for a lot of it. I’ll never forget how miserable it was to be a blossoming, curly-haired teen unable to copy Twiggy’s style in 1960’s. Thank you for reading and adding to my vocabulary.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • A sad story, Rochelle. It seems to become an addiction with some people. It’s a good way to ruin the enamel on teeth as the person regurgitates stomach acid. I can’t drink much coffee as it’s acidic and the acid comes up through a small hole in my diaphragm, a hernia. I’ve ended up in the hospital. I thought it was a heart attack. It causes severe pain. A good story. Happy Mother’s Day. 🙂 — Suzanne

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Suzanne,

      It is an addiction. Although I never vomited, I abused laxatives and appetite suppressants. Those things didn’t do much for my dental health, either. 😉 This is a scene from a novel I’m currently writing based on my experience.
      I’m such a coffee addict, I’m so sorry to hear of your experiences with it. And a Happy Mother’s Day to you, my friend. 😀

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • Hi Rochelle,

    Like isn’t the right word for this, but I clicked it anyway because you captured the thing well. Now put it in that black and silver box and drop it in the forest. leave it there and do not return.

    Ciao Bella,

    Doug

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Doug,

      I agree. Like isn’t the right word. Not to worry, this woman is never returning to those days, but she is writing a novel based on her experiences. Some of the most difficult writing I’ve ever done. Thank you for coming by. You’re always welcome, my friend.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

    • Dear Iain,

      Tragically, Amy is using a book never meant to be a how-to manual. That is based on my own experience which is happily a thing of the distant past but the subject of a novel I’m writing.
      No charge for the verb. 😉

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Varad,

      Sadly there are professions that fuel the fire of eating disorders. Modeling, dance and gymnastics are three that come to mind immediately. The media doesn’t help, does it? All I can say is “been there, done that.” Thank you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • I was familiar with everything except ralf. And I guessed that. I hope you get on stream with your book on this subject, your story Dancing with Annie has stayed with me ever since you shared it with me. It will be a huge success. And it’s true, you never know what use people are making of your words. 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Sandra,

      I’m 50,000 words into “Last Dance with Annie.” It’s proving to be an emotional journey. As far as success, from your mouth to God’s ears. While I never could make myself vomit, I did use those testimonials as ‘how to’s’. I’m trying not to give that kind of tutorial in my novel, but I also have to be honest. Thank you for your encouraging comment.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • Such a realness. My high school bestie developed an eating disorder. The psychology blew my mind. Lies to others and to themselves. Then there were little things, like she claimed most vegans are just trying to cover their illness. Sad. Too much pressure to be thin. The fat acceptance movement takes it too far in the other direction. Both sides of the scales are dangerous.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Tanille,

      My story comes from my own reality and a novel I’m writing based on my own experiences. Oh the lies we tell others and ourselves. When I was inpatient…one of the many times…I told a nurse I was a vegetarian. She smirked and said, “You all are.” How many times did I claim I wasn’t hungry when it couldn’t have been further from the truth?
      Re fat acceptance, I couldn’t agree with you more. It’s not healthy. Too bad the emphasis can’t be more on health and balance.
      Thank you for you affirming comments.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

  • One year I showed some of my teen students what that does to your teeth from all the stomach acid. They were horrified. That is one of the first things people with eating disorders should see, what it actually does to your body!

    Like

    • Dear Christine,

      Fortunately, I never could make myself vomit. However depriving my body of nutrients took its toll on my teeth in other ways. I had two root canals within six months of each other. Yes, I agree, people with eating disorders should see how these behaviours ravage the body. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Josh,

      Both are addictions and often have the same root in the addict. However, as it was put to me at a support group some years ago, the alcoholic can lock her tiger in a cage and throw away the key, the bulimic/anorexic has to take her tiger out for a walk three times a day. Thank you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 2 people

  • Eating Disorders, referred to as ED in my trade, abound today just as they always have. I grew up with Twiggy, too, and I remember hating my already curvy figure, wishing I was what I now see as just a stick wearing fashionable clothing 🙂

    We often (almost always!) found that ED was a reaction to some kind of authority in the victim’s life. That authority may be able to control a lot, but forcing one to eat was not on that list. For some, it is a lifelong struggle. I’m glad to know you are not in that number.

    And I must be missing something. I can’t find a connection between ED and that mysterious box! I thought it was hilarious that when I googled the photo, what came up was “grass.” Lots of info about grass 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Linda,

      The box in the grass is a discarded refrigerator I encountered on one of my regular walks a couple of weeks ago. I thought it odd that someone would just toss it there and wouldn’t it make a great photo prompt? 😉

      I was a curvy 12 year old with curly hair when Twiggy came to the fashion front. That age is tough enough without that kind of pressure, isn’t it?

      I spent quite a bit of time in EDU’s – Eating Disorder Units. (It still kind of rattles me when I see ED has come to mean something quite different…although related in some ways, eh?) For me, besides the body image, was most definitely a control issue. While I’m no longer in that number, I do have to be careful. There are still things that are triggers…writing a book based on my own experiences is certainly among them. It’s taken me years to get to the point where I could write this book…still I’m finding it’s full of landmines.

      Thank you for your affirming comments. 😀

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

  • Ah, the refrigerator in the grass. It conjures up many images from the past. As your story is Realistic Fiction, right, it reminds me of the past as well. I am so glad it is, and shall remain, in the now distant past. We both survived and have become much stronger & wiser as we muddle through this experience called life together. Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Dear Rochelle,

    No matter how you got from a computer CPU to your story, matters not (toaster for the waffles? 😉 ) This is an excellent story about a way-too-common disease. Toss that box where it cannot be retrieved! (Were it so easy..)

    Shalom and lotsa healthy love,

    Dale

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Dale,

      CPU??? Will it toast waffles? I’ve never tried. If it were a computer CPU I don’t think I’d have come up with the same story…BUT since it’s a big black REFRIGERATOR (Eyeglasses, chica. 😉 ) this is where it took me. Opening it a crack to write about my experiences and those of others, before I lock it and toss it into the Sea of Never To Return. You’re right, though, it’s not easy…and there are still triggers whether I want to admit it or not. On the upside, while the thoughts are there, I don’t have to act on them. Thank you for being there for me.

      Shalom and lotsa clear-thinking hugs,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

  • Oy, yes, this is so sad and a reality for all too many. There is so much pressure on young people, especially girls, to look a certain way (an to have a body shape that is unrealistic for the vast majority of the population, physiologically and biologically), that too many starve themselves, and all too many fall into a cycle of binging and starving and self-harm.
    Well done, and I couldn’t help but see the mirroring of a fridge tossed as garbage … when good food is, literally, tossed up down the drain … in a reflection of treating one’s own body like garbage in the process …
    It is a tragic condition and all too many remain untreated.
    Well done.
    Na’ama

    Liked by 1 person

    • Na’ama Y’karah,

      Wow, you saw more connections that I did. Happily I’ve been in recovery for 24 years this spring.
      There are so many facets to the disorder and no magic cure. The fashion industry has done their part to promote it. I had a friend who was a model in one of my support groups. She said her mentors and agent didn’t want her to recover. I was also inpatient with a gymnast who was unbelievably thin and, tragically, reached the point of no return.
      Sorry for the depressing reply. Thank you for your affirming comments.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks for your candid sharing, Rochelle. I think a lot of people glamorize eating disorders (and all too many applaud the ‘weight loss’ of those who may be stepping into the disorder and then step deeper still when they are told that they ‘look gorgeous’ or are ‘so strong’ or ‘have amazing willpower’ and other statements that only serve to make things worse. And/or who tell those who gained weight “what happened? You used to have such a great body?” or criticize women for having feminine bodies and calling out women for gaining weight, having curves and sot spots and cushy cellulite and all the things that make women, women. That’s before the dance and sports and ‘show biz’ and modeling worlds and their utterly unrealistic expectations and outright peddling of eating disorders and ‘diets’ and “you need to be thinner for this role” etc etc. (Aren’t you happy you got me started? … ;)).
        I see little girls who worry about “having a belly” (I remind them of all the VERY important things that are IN their belly and SHOULD be there and need to have comfy room ….), and who think they are ‘too fat’ or are “feeling chunky” – and it breaks my heart. We need to do better. As a society, we need to do better.
        Off the soap box …
        (Glad you are okay, and I am so very sad for those who didn’t make it — Eating Disorders are among the deadliest, if not THE deadliest, psychological conditions to have).
        Hugs
        Na’ama

        Liked by 1 person

        • Na’ama Y’karah,

          You may stand on that soapbox as long as you like, just make room for one more. One thing that I remember from my one of my inpatient workshops is that Marilyn Monroe wore a size 12 dress (which today would be an 8 😉 ) and if Barbie were a living mammal, she’d be a French poodle.
          I was a victim of body shaming in my teens. I was well endowed by my creator from an early age. I know how damaging this is. I nearly killed myself over it and too many have done just that. And when I first began to drop weight, I received so many compliments. It never occurred to me that exercising five hours a day wasn’t ideal. (I wasn’t training for the Olympics) I could go on and on…I guess that’s why I’m writing a book, eh?

          Shalom and hugs back atcha,

          Rochelle

          Liked by 1 person

          • (scooting over to make room on my soapbox…)
            Yes, there is plenty to say about shaming and impossible requirements/demands/expectations, and double standards and mixed messages and the absolute devastation of realities that lead children (and young adults, and sometimes not so young adults, if something I saw on the news yesterday is any indication) to divorce their bodies and stuff their feelings and excommunicate their souls, in order to try and fit into an impossible, unkind, unnecessary moving target.
            Glad you are writing about it!
            Na’ama (on the Soap Box).

            Like

    • Dear Shrawley,
      y
      Driving the bus was a new one for me, too, but when I found it through Google I knew it was the perfect title. I had to add the glossary when Neil and CEAyr informed me of the differences in terminology between the UK and the US. Thank you for your encouraging comments.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

  • Thanks for the personal courage in raising this difficult subject, Rochelle. Too many bloggers like to live in a choclolate-coated world and get nervous when the chocolate melts in the heat.
    Now, enough with all that soppy stuff. Some euphemisms from Australia: technicolor yawn, chunder, liquid laugh etc, all on cringeworthy show here https://www.horntip.com/mp3/1960s/1960s_moonee_ponds_vol_1__barry_humphries_(CD)/08_the_old_pacific_sea.htm

    PS – Glad you found the abandoned space craft of the alien snow shovels 😉

    Like

    • Dear Doug,

      There was a time I wouldn’t have been forthcoming with this subject. The time has come to expose the beast.
      Thank you for the link. I couldn’t stop laughing. Thank you for expanding my list of synonyms for “losing my lunch” and for commenting my story.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • Just like at AA meetings where you can find new drinking buddies and NA meetings where you can find connections for supplies. Humans are ingenious towards whatever intent they choose to pursue 😦 Your story is a sad tale of one such “motivated” human.

    Like

  • p.s. Rochelle, I just read through all of the comments and now realize you are recovering from an eating disorder and also writing a book on it. My admiration goes out to you on both counts. I have an eating disorder. When I was much younger, I used to smoke cigarettes and simply not eat until the scale said what I wanted it to. I stayed thin until I stopped smoking and starving myself about 30 years ago. Since then I live in perpetual guilt whenever I eat anything. Not a good place to be, but it is what it is for now.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Lisa,

      One support group leader told me I was too smart for my own good when I shared one of my behaviors. I’m one who read books, not for the encouragement to recover, but to learn “new tricks.” I celebrated my 24th year in recovery this spring. I’d be lying if I said I never have those thoughts or triggers. Writing a novel based on my experiences hasn’t been without its own set of pitfalls. I do have a good support system…and I like to eat. 😉 All my best to you. Take care.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

      • Rochelle, I admire what you’re doing very much. Your support system is so important while writing about those times, as I’m sure it does dredge up some things long put to rest in an emotional sense. Thank you very much for your kind words.
        Shalom,
        Lisa

        Like

  • I recall when we lost Karen Carpenter to something like bulimia. A terrible day. What’s worse is these eating disorders just keep coming. When something as basic as eating gets replaced by high fashion, that’s proof of a far greater, societal illness.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Eric,

      An eating disorder is a labyrinth of emotions and cognitive errors. Sadly, eating disorders don’t just effect teenage girls. Mine started in my 20’s and continued through my forties. it’s not a respecter of gender, race or age. This is something I want to depict in the book I’m writing. Karen Carpenter was a huge loss…what a voice she had. Thank you for weighing in

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

  • Oddly, that refrigerator looks just like my fridge. Except mine’s standing in the kitchen.

    Well told.

    I’ve seen other examples of someone trying to overcome and repent for something by creating a body of work intended to guide others away from that behavior, which instead acts as a guide for the said behavior. It’s sad that we refuse to learn from the failings of others. Somehow we convince ourselves that we know better, and that can’t happen to us.

    Only in modern Western culture of abundance, overindulgence, fast food, junk food can one be shamed for eating. There are plenty of people in the world who would literally kill for what we throw away. We force-feed, pun intended, girls images of what they’re supposed to look like. It’s not just girls. Boys grow up seeing those images and thinking that’s what a woman’s supposed to be, which only further pushes young women to attempt to conform to that.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Nobbin,

      I’ve known a few men with eating disorders. Sadly, not as unusual as one might think. The pretty young things get the publicity…not to take away from their plight, but women in their 60’s and 70’s suffer from it.
      I don’t discount books written by people who have overcome their disorders. i just know there are people (like me) who only read the parts about how they went about starving themselves.
      i’m trying to avoid those pitfalls in my novel as far as the ‘how to’s’ but they’re unavoidable when writing a story such as this. I guess my mission with this book, besides telling my own story is to shine light in the dark corners. This is a cancer more widespread than most know.
      Okay…i shall step down from my soap box before I get a splinter. 😉 I’m glad your fridge is standing…i hope it’s running…:D Thank you for your affirming comments.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Plaridel,

      Chances are, pictures of malnourished children on a refrigerator would give an anorexic something to aspire to. I speak from my own twisted mind in the midst of my eating disorder. Thank you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

  • It is a very sad phenomenon everywhere and throughout the ages, for women to conform to society’s view of what is beautiful and what body type is acceptable. I remember the Twiggy days and striving by extreme measures to be that thin. My friends and I used to share tips on the best ways to go about “ralphing.” Thank you for sharing this story.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Brenda,

      Try as I might, I couldn’t make myself vomit. I didn’t want to take Ipecac so I turned to laxatives instead. Eventually that caught with me when my electrolytes bottomed out. Looking back on Twiggy (who herself wasn’t happy with her skinny body) she wasn’t pretty. You’d think that only twenty years after the Holocaust…well, you know what I mean. Thank you for your kind words and affirming comments.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

      • I certainly know what you mean. I am so sorry for the pain you endured. I’m glad to hear you are writing a book about your experience to help other girls and women who continue to struggle with this. Good for you and keep up the good work!!

        Liked by 1 person

  • Ah, yes. Familiar territory. I recognized this one (well, the inspiration of it). Wow! Been awhile. People think they are helping you when they really aren’t. Sounds like a lot of people we know, huh? Good job!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Cuzzin Kent,

      Oh I could (and have) go on about the people who think they’re helping. However, in this case, I’m sure the author of Amy’s book had no idea she was aiding and abetting. Yes, I speak from experience you’ve heard of plenty. 😉 I only hope the novel I’m writing won’t be seen that way. Many thanks.

      Shalom,

      Cuzzin Shelley

      Like

    • Dear Larry,

      Actually, it’s more of a man’s problem than one might think. I’ve known a few of them personally. One of my friends was taught how to vomit by her football playing boyfriend. Yes, the stress of the times is probably putting more at risk.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

  • Tough, honest writing, Rochelle. You conjured up some very mixed emotions for Amy. Shame, sure, but also a weird sense of pride at the volume of food she’d managed to put away. And you even caught the sense that this, to her, is normal; she really doesn’t look at it as pathological.
    I think that’s very good writing indeed.
    Shalom
    Penny xox

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Penny,

      I remember feeling pride at being the skinniest person in the room or at how many meals I could skip. And it does seem normal to the one caught up in the behaviour…until it isn’t. 😦 Thank you for a wonderful comment.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • Querida Rochelle,
    Este cuento es parte de mi vida, pero Annie. Yo nunca comía para no engordar.
    Como bailarina siempre uno tiene que mantener un cuerpo muy flaco.
    Well espressed condition from the opposite spectrum of anorexia. All ed issues are
    based on emtional pressure we put upon ourselves but don’t realize until we have other issues comes up. BRAVO …. bien escrito 👍🏻😊 Stay safe … Be Healthy ,,, Be Happy
    Abrazos y carino,
    Isadora 😍😎

    Liked by 1 person

    • Querida Isadora,

      I never vomited either. Couldn’t make myself do it. And binging was to scary. What if laxatives didn’t get rid of it all. There are so many reasons and pressures. Gracias for such a lovely comment Yo entendé cada palabra. 😉

      Shalom y abrazos,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

      • Querida Rochelle,
        hay que bueno que entiendes todo. BRAVO!!!
        Once I stopped dancing, I had a difficult time with eating … still do. Hubby is such a good hearty eater. I’d love to be like that. I eat to survive. No pleasure in it at all. Oh well … too late for me but others should be made aware – as you do so well on this toipc – that the little voice is always lurking in the background.
        Gracias pro sus trabajos tan importante.
        Abrazos y carino,
        Isadora 😍😎

        Liked by 1 person

  • Those eating disorders are nasty, and I doubt many people realize just how many people are suffering from them. Loved your depiction of someone realizing they need to quit, but it also feels like they are self satisfied with what they are doing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Russell,

      Eating disorders are tough to overcome. While there’s shame involved, there’s also a twisted sense of satisfaction in a “job well done.” Amy knows she needs to quit but she’s terrified of what will happen if she does. Thank you for the read and the cogent comment.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

  • I think I’ll bet on the three hard-boiled eggs. Poor thing! Interesting picture and stories this week Rochelle! Yours is too! Glad she had the Ipecac. I got sick after a picnic years ago – I think it was the potato salad, which I stayed away from for years! Nice story!

    Liked by 1 person

  • Is that a refrigerator? Hahaha …. Glad my stories (I came up with two) won’t be literal then 🙂 Eating disorders! Sigh! I always marvel at this first-world problem. While thousands die of starvation, people eat and then vomit. The Hunger Games brought it out very well, this divide. But I guess your story is not about that.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Joy,

      I never read The Hunger Games. It does boggle the mind, doesn’t it? Having survived and recovered from an eating disorder myself, my story is more about the inner workings of the sufferer. At any rate, yes, it’s a refrigerator. Thank you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

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