Memoirs

All posts in the Memoirs category

WEEKEND WRITING PROMPT – IMPERIOUS

Published January 25, 2020 by rochellewisoff

A word prompt to get your creativity flowing this weekend.  How you use the prompt is up to you.  Write a piece of flash fiction, a poem, a chapter for your novel…anything you like.  Or take the challenge below – there are no prizes – it’s not a competition but rather a fun writing exercise.  If you want to share what you come up with, please leave a link to it in Sammi’s Comment Section.

 

TASKMASTER

 Gazing out the window, she remembers the carefree days before her indenturing. Soft bed. Fresh linens. Stylish clothes.

The twinkling stars mock her and the man in the moon laughs in her face.

“I’m a slave to an imperious, self-centered, bald tyrant. He owns me. His every wish is my command. His every need is my assignment.”

She falls wearily into bed, hoping for a few hours of unfettered slumber. Drifting off, she dreams of parties, plays and concerts until a shrill demand shatters her peace.

“Coming master.”

She settles into a rocking chair and bundles her ten-pound taskmaster to her breast. Before latching, he flashes his first smile. Her pulse races “You own me, my son and I wouldn’t change a thing.”

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©Rochelle Wisoff-Fields – The baby in this picture is actually a girl and she is me. 😉

FIXING A WHOLE

Published December 19, 2019 by rochellewisoff

The following story is written for the photo prompt below and is part of the Writers Unite! challenge Write the Story

Twenty-three years ago, I fought the final round with Annie—Annie Wrecks Ya. At present I’m working on a novel based on my experience. Thus far the working title is Last Dance with Annie, but I’m not married to it.

FIXING A WHOLE

          The flashbacks started somewhere in my late thirties, upending my memories of a happy childhood. How could I have blocked out such things? Nothing made sense. I loathed the body that had betrayed me. My life spun out of control.

           It’s all about control, you know.

           Annie gave me control. No one, not my husband or even my doctor, could tell me what I could or couldn’t put in my mouth. I controlled my eating—until I didn’t. Annie did.

           Annie controlled my daily frenetic exercise. At the same time I fantasized about onion rings and fried chicken. Of course Annie would never allow me to eat them. She constantly reminded me numbers mattered. One hundred calories per meal. Twenty pink pills to purge it. The scale hovered between eighty-five and eighty-four. 

  “You like my new jeans?” I asked my friend and coworker Linda. “I can’t believe they fit.”

            “What size?” Her ice-blue gaze met mine. 

            “Zero.”

            “You’ll look nice in your child-size coffin.”

            Her comment almost became prophecy when my “dieting” caught up to me. After collapsing in a store, I was taken by ambulance to a nearby hospital with an eating disorder unit.

            After two months of treatment and medical leave, I returned to work.

            My size 0 jeans no longer zipped and they’d become tight around the hips and thighs. In fact, I’d outgrown my size 2’s as well.

            “You look so much better,” said Linda. “There’s color in them thar cheeks.”

            That’s a good thing, right?

            Recovery was more difficult than I’d expected. Although Annie’s grip loosened, she continued to haunt me. When someone complimented me on my weight gain Annie translated it to, “My you’re getting fat.”  

            “Body image takes time to change.” My dietitian assured me during my weekly visits. “All I can do is provide the tools. It’s up to you to use them.”

            Tools? What tools?

            One of those so-called tools offered by Dr. Wilson, my psychiatrist, was Risperdal, a drug prescribed to treat such conditions as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Mental health experts hoped the antipsychotic might calm the obsessive thoughts of anorexics and bulimics.

            I detested the way it made me feel. Strange. Out of touch with the rest of the world. Afraid of what I didn’t know.

            Dr. Wilson decided Risperdal alone wasn’t doing what it should. Diagnosing me as “mildly bipolar” and being “slightly” ADD, she added Lithium to my daily pill-age.

            My appetite dwindled and my anxiety level skyrocketed. I began to lose weight again, but took little pleasure in it. I barely functioned at work. How I stayed on the payroll is beyond me.

            “I’ve never seen such a severe reaction,” said Dr. Wilson. “Clearly you’re allergic.”

             My nightmare was far from over. The drugs’ half-lives of a week or two stretched into over a month. The debilitating side effects continued to take their toll, not only on me, but on my frazzled husband as well.

             One night it all came to a head.

            “I don’t know what do for you anymore.” He fumed when I broke down. “Crying won’t help.”

            I sniffed and choked back sobs. “Stop trying to fix me!”

           With a sigh, he sank into his recliner and gathered me onto his lap. Tears streamed down his cheeks. “Maybe you need to go back into the hospital.”

            I snuggled against him. His admission of helplessness comforted me. My true recovery began that very night when, together, we learned crying is sometimes the best of all tools.

***

*Note: The story is non-fiction, save the doctor’s name. (I can’t remember it 😉 ) I’m not sharing this to garner sympathy or shock anyone. Eating disorders strike any age, any ethnicity and any gender. Recovery isn’t as easy as ‘snapping out of it’ or ‘just eat something.’ The reasons are as varied as the individuals. Thank you for understanding.        

6 December 2019

Published December 4, 2019 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 © Fatima Fakier Deria

SWIM ALONG WITH FROGGIE -CLICK! 

Genre: Non-Fiction Out of Mind Experience

Word Count: 100

OUT THERE

Laps. Freestyle. I count backward from esreem v’arbah…backstroke, veintitres,…breaststroke, esreem v’shtayeem…and so on. The water’s rhythm sets my mind and spirit free. Free-flowing.

            Somewhere around shtem-esrey, I lose count and go into some sort of trance. A waking dream.  Keep swimming. Lights flash. Mirrors, as if on a carousel, spin about me. They reflect golden walls with Egyptian drawings. What side of the pool is this? Keep swimming. Gazing though the watery ceiling, I flip, change direction and dive under. Visions of nothing-in-particular bombard me.

            Gertrude was right. “When we are in the water, we are not in this world.”

* Note: I can’t explain what happened, I can only tell you that this happened recently on Monday, October 28. At least this is the best way I know how to describe it. 

Note 2: I count backward from 24 (3 sets of 24 actually, making it 72 lengths or 36 laps–a mile) alternating Hebrew with Spanish. It helps to keep me focused. 

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WEEKEND WRITING PROMPT – LONGEVITY

Published November 23, 2019 by rochellewisoff

A word prompt to get your creativity flowing this weekend.  How you use the prompt is up to you.  Write a piece of flash fiction, a poem, a chapter for your novel…anything you like.  Or take the challenge below – there are no prizes – it’s not a competition but rather a fun writing exercise.  If you want to share what you come up with, please leave a link to it in Sammi’s Comment Section.

Although it doesn’t always, my title does factor into my word count this week. 

My little attendants have grandchildren of their own.

Happy Anniversary to Jan Fields, my first husband for 48 years as of November 28!

LONGEVITY

“He’s too wild. She’s only 18 and he’s 25. I give it six months.” My mother told her friends. To me she repeated, “If things don’t work out you still have a bed here.”

The day I announced my first pregnancy her invitations changed to, “You made your bed, now you can lie in it.”

48 years, three sons and two granddaughters later, I still wake up in my bed next to my wild man.

Jan.

WEEKEND WRITING PROMPT – INEFFABLE

Published November 3, 2019 by rochellewisoff

A word prompt to get your creativity flowing this weekend.  How you use the prompt is up to you.  Write a piece of flash fiction, a poem, a chapter for your novel…anything you like.  Or take the challenge below – there are no prizes – it’s not a competition but rather a fun writing exercise.  If you want to share what you come up with, please leave a link to it in Sammi’s comment section.

PORTAL

“This photo’s always fascinated me.” I turn over the cardboard and study the foreign print. “Wish I could read it.”

Oxana stares at it. “It’s Russian. Very old.”

I flip it back over and gaze at the girl with ineffable awe, wishing I could read her thoughts. “It’s my grandmother Nettie Weinberg and her mother Edith. Great-grandma looks like she walked right out of ‘Fiddler on the Roof’, doesn’t she?”

 

 

 

WEEKEND WRITING PROMPT – TWILIGHT

Published October 26, 2019 by rochellewisoff

A word prompt to get your creativity flowing this weekend.  How you use the prompt is up to you.  Write a piece of flash fiction, a poem, a chapter for your novel…anything you like.  Or take the challenge below – there are no prizes – it’s not a competition but rather a fun writing exercise.  If you want to share what you come up with, please leave a link to it in Sammi’s comment section.

The story is 44 words without the title. 😉 

THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH YOUR TELEVISION SET

The  Twilight Zone’s theme song sent shivers down my spine. But The Outer Limits’ intro scared the you-know-what out of me with, “Do not attempt to adjust the picture…We will control the vertical. We will control the horizontal.”  

How I long for those days.

Submitted for your approval…you’ll find both intros below. Somehow everything was scarier in black and white and you’re between 6-10 years old. 😉 

 

 

WEEKEND WRITING PROMPT -AURORA

Published October 20, 2019 by rochellewisoff

A word prompt to get your creativity flowing this weekend.  How you use the prompt is up to you.  Write a piece of flash fiction, a poem, a chapter for your novel…anything you like.  Or take the challenge below – there are no prizes – it’s not a competition but rather a fun writing exercise.  If you want to share what you come up with, please leave a link to it in Sammi’s comment section.

How can I resist 28 words? These prompts always take me to different places. This week it took me here: 

GILT BY COMMISSION

Each portrait presents a new obstacle. Some are more challenging than others. How was I supposed to paint the aurora borealis in sepia tones? What the customer wants…

ORIGINAL ARTWORK © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

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