Something Fishy
The CBB -> St Hild's Sitting Room

#1: Something Fishy Author: Lisa_TLocation: Belfast PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2004 12:53 am

See above. I've thought for a while about this drabble- which will be shortish- but it would have been inappropriate in normal C&D. I'm not going to say here what it's about at this poiint, but certain people may find it contains 'triggers'.


Part one: The Burden of Expectation

“Now we’ve dealt with immediate arrangements, it’s time to settle form duties. As ever, the appointment of the form prefect and her sub lies with the Head, and this term Miss Annersley has chosen Phil Maynard.” Miss Ferrars paused to smile at the slender redhead in the third row, and carried on smoothly. “Her sub will be Christine Willoughby. Congratulations, girls! You both come from families with strong traditions within the school, so I’m sure you’ll both do well. There won’t,” she continued with a twinkle in her brown eyes, “be any excuse if you don’t! Christine, will you hand out the voting slips for the other form jobs? Thank you.” Christine, a pretty girl with bright blue eyes and golden-brown curls, grinned and leapt to do as she was asked with alacrity. Her prefect, though, said nothing beyond smiling politely in response to the whispers of “Well done, old thing!” that came from her contemporaries. The truth was that Philippa Maynard had felt her heart descend to her toes when Miss Ferrars had made her announcement. It wasn’t that Phil resented the responsibility of it, per se. Indeed, part of her was proud to have been offered this accolade, for the Chalet School took even form prefectship seriously, and Phil had heard her eldest sister, Len Entwistle, comment that it was the ideal place to begin training for real prefectship earlier on. Len, Phil knew, had experienced that for herself, becoming dormitory prefect as well as form, and later progressing to the dizzy heights of head girlship. More than that, the name of Len Maynard was now ranked along with those of Joey Bettany- incidentally, Phil’s own mother- Mary-Lou Trelawney, and, more recently, Jack Lambert when the ‘great’ Head Girls of the Chalet School were reckoned. Therefore, knowing that she had now essentially taken the first step along that route made Phil’s courage fail within her. How could she possibly compare, possibly be good enough?

Last edited by Lisa_T on Tue Nov 23, 2004 3:30 am; edited 1 time in total


#2:  Author: KateLocation: Ireland PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2004 1:26 am

Thanks Lisa, this looks promising! Smile I can't wait for more. (I love the chapter title!)


#3:  Author: Rachael PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2004 10:43 am

Poor Phil .... Great start - looking forward to seeing where this goes ...


#4:  Author: AllyLocation: Jack Maynard's Dressing Room!! PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2004 11:31 am

Really interesting beginning Lisa, but poor Phil!


#5:  Author: VikkiLocation: Sitting on an iceberg, freezing to death!!! PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2004 2:52 pm

Oooh!!! Very intrigued Lisa. More soon please!


#6:  Author: Lisa_TLocation: Belfast PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2004 3:19 pm

Her neighbour jolted her arm gently to remind her that time was passing and a blank voting slip lay before her, and Phil roused herself from her reverie and gave her attention to more pressing matters. Since she was whole-hearted in everything she did, this meant that, in the general business of first day, she had no further time to reflect on her promotion until she returned to her dormitory for changing after Kaffee und Kuchen. Once in the safety of her own cubicle, she sat down on the bed with a rare disregard for rules and wrapped her arms around herself in an effort to soothe the rising panic. -You can’t do this, you’re not good enough, you’ll never be good enough, proclaimed the mocking voice in her head, and Phil cringed as if the voice had been an audible one. -I can try, she argued, rather desperately, with herself. And if I can’t do it, all I need to do is to go to Auntie Hilda and beg her to let me off. Yet Phil knew she would not do that. She knew the Head would look gently on an honest admission of struggle, just as surely as she knew that Miss Annersley would be stern if there was any suspicion of slacking. Not that she need have worried on that score. The Head, along with the rest of the staff, considered Joey Maynard’s youngest daughter to be one of the best students of her generation, although it is to be doubted whether they would ever have dreamed of telling her so. Conscientious, serious, and precise, with a strong desire to please and to learn that endeared her to her teachers, Phil was in many ways an ideal pupil. Her artwork, at which she excelled, was done with painstaking care. She never forgot a singing lesson, unlike so many of her contemporaries. Also unlike them, she would voluntarily go over her own work, using staff feedback in an effort to identify for herself the areas she could work on to improve. Naturally, as a result, she was almost invariably top of her form in most subjects, and near the top in the others, but this only increased the feelings of panic and fear that so often threatened to overwhelm her. To the others, she appeared ever successful, but in her own mind, she was constantly, dangerously, poised on the brink of catastrophic failure. “Are we ready yet?” Lucy Peters, dormitory prefect for Gentian this term, called out at that point. Lucy was not, and never had been, noted for her patience, but the authorities considered this a valuable quality in a dormitory prefect, and a good guarantee for the punctuality of her charges. Therefore, Phil mumbled something that could have been, “Almost,” and slipped out of her uniform frock as quickly as she could. The evening velveteen went on with equal speed, and Phil snatched up her brush to add a burnish to her cap of dark red hair- all without glancing at her mirror, for Phil hated mirrors above all things. “Hurry up, we’re going to be late for prep!” Lucy added, and Phil hurriedly emerged from her cubicle. “Sorry, Lucy it was my fault,” Phil said apologetically, despite the fact that Christine had left her own cubicle at the same moment. “That’s OK. You apologise too often anyway!” Lucy said, rather severely, before she turned and led them down the stairs where the girls of Gentian parted to go to their various form rooms. “Isn’t it super to be form and sub-pree this term?” Christine whispered, mindful of the rule about silence in the corridors. “I never thought I’d get it, you know,” she went on confidentially. “I’m still hampered by Blossom’s reputation for harum-scarumness, even though that’s not really me!” Phil grinned reluctantly at that. In her own day, Blossom Willoughby had been a byword for heedlessness. Her young relative, however, was altogether more collected- although her manner did not always reflect that accurately. “At least you don’t need to prove anything,” Phil whispered back as they paused outside the Upper IVa form room. “What do you need to prove?” Christine giggled as she slipped in. “You’re a Maynard, after all!”


#7:  Author: ElzbieLocation: London PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2004 3:36 pm

Thank you, Lisa T. I'm sure Christine meant well, but... oops. Poor Phil, hideously under-confident. Hope someone puts her right, or she sees it herself.


#8:  Author: VikkiLocation: Sitting on an iceberg, freezing to death!!! PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2004 3:42 pm

Hmmm.... Wondering if there's more to the comment about hating mirrors.....


#9:  Author: Lisa_TLocation: Belfast PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2004 3:59 pm

You're right, Vikki. There is. BTW, there are probably inaccuracies with ages etc. I decided to follow the examples of Lisa and of course EBD herself by not being too bothered! Very Happy

Phil stopped and watched the other girl move towards her desk in silence, and walked more slowly towards her own. The prefect on duty gave her a concerned glance and beckoned her over. “You OK?” Jean Morrison asked in an undertone. “Yep. Why?” Deliberately, Phil made her reply sound flippant, and Jean never knew the effort it cost the younger girl to flash her a charmingly wide smile. She grinned back. “Just thought you were looking a little overdone, that’s all. Sure you don’t want to go to Matey? I don’t want her or Auntie Joey on my back for not watching out for you!” Phil nodded vigorously, thoroughly alarmed. “I’m fine, honestly! And I couldn’t take the time, even if I was tired. I don’t want to get behind this term,” she finished seriously. Jean gave the younger girl an amused glance. She, Lucy, and Phil’s elder sister Felicity made up a triumvirate, and Jean had known Phil as long as she could remember, although Felicity had left school the previous June. Jean and Lucy were both leaving at Christmas. “I don’t think you need to worry about that, kiddy,” she said kindly, and nodded in dismissal. Philippa smiled rather uncertainly in response and returned to her own place. Why did everyone think she was so clever? She wasn’t, not a bit. And it was so hard to work all the time, and Jean was right, she did get very tired, but she had become skilled at hiding it- along with other things, like the panic she felt now every time she had to sit down at a meal, or change for games, or do something unexpected- like being a form prefect. She couldn’t control those things, and how could she cope if she lost control? It had become worse these summer holidays. First of all, there had been last term’s report. By normal standards, Phil’s report had been excellent. She had gained A+ art, history, and all the languages and literature subjects everything else had been B or A-, but Phil had been horrified. A B, especially, just wasn’t good enough! Especially when she had to compete with the triplets and Steve. Steve was now doing postgraduate work, and the triplets had done well too. Len was teaching at the school, having achieved First Class Honours in her degree. Con had gotten a 2:1, but she had since received critical acclaim for two novels and a book of poetry, and Phil knew that, for the second triplet, that was more important than twenty ‘Firsts’. As for Margot, she had gained several awards throughout her medical training, and was now working in the Congo as a medical missionary, and both her family and her school were incredibly proud of her, but to Phil’s mind, this only increased what was expected of her. Then there had been Geoff, Phil’s twin. He was totally different from Phil- casual, laid-back, content to take life as it came. He also had a rather crude sense of humour and was at that precise age where it seemed funny to make personal comments to his twin. It was true that Phil had finally begun to put on weight during the previous year and a half, much to the relief of her family and the school authorities. As a small child, the girl had suffered from mastoid trouble and then polio, and had remained fragile for many years afterwards. Her insistence on pushing herself at school meant that she occasionally overreached her strength, so the weight gain had been seen as a sign that she was finally overcoming her childhood delicacy. But then Geoff had made a series of jokes on the topic, and Phil had been devastated, not seeing that she was merely been developing into young woman, instead of being a regular beanpole, as her father had once inelegantly characterised her. She had responded by withdrawing even further into her shell, and embarked on an exercise regime in order to lose a few pounds. When that worked, she had progressed onto watching her food. That had been easy enough to do at home. Not even Dr Maynard could keep careful watch on the food consumed by every person at his large table, and Phil quickly learnt how to appear to be eating, whilst in fact eating relatively little. This made her feel in control of herself, and, in a way, of others- since she could deceive them so effectively- and the thinner she became, the better she felt about herself. At school, however, she knew it would not be so easy. Matron was famed for keeping a close eye on the girls’ health and eating habits, and, not for the first time, Phil felt a twisting fear permeate her thoughts of the term ahead.


#10:  Author: VikkiLocation: Sitting on an iceberg, freezing to death!!! PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2004 4:07 pm

Oh no!!!!! Poor Phil!!!!! Sad


#11:  Author: Lisa_TLocation: Belfast PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2004 4:12 pm

OK, a little light relief. Those of you who read 'Chalet Girl in Trouble'/Serious Attempt' may be pleased to meet with a couple of characters there...

Part two: A Different Perspective

Joey Maynard held out her hands to the two little girls, and they ran forward to take them, although Lia O’Malley was so small that she almost had to reach on tippy-toes to do so. “Where we goin’, Granny Jo?” Gina Entwistle asked. Joey smiled down at her eldest grandchild. Now nearly five years of age, Gina was very like her mother had been, with dark chestnut hair and violet grey eyes. Her smile, however, was her father’s- broad and cheerful. “We’re going over to the Big School to see Auntie Hilda,” Jo told them. “Uncle Steve and Auntie Con phoned this morning with some news I know she’ll want to hear.” “Can we see Mummy?” Gina asked. Jo suppressed a grin as she momentarily wondered whether the Head would have corrected even Gina for this lapse. “I don’t know, sugar-pie. It’s after tea-time, so you might be lucky. You too, Lia!” Little Lia beamed. Unlike her playmate, she was very quiet with most adults, apart from her own mother, and her step-grandmother, Stacie Benson. Only of course Stacie was now an O’Malley too, since she had married Lia’s grandfather the year before. “My mummy doesn’t come home now,” she said. “She doesn’t come home till later. Stacie-gran says she has lots of work to do,” she finished sadly. Joey looked very tenderly down at her. Like other residents of the Platz, she had been rather shocked when she discovered that Grainne O’Malley had presented the school with its first experience of teenage pregnancy. Now, however, both Grainne and her daughter had become thoroughly absorbed into the tightly knit community on the Gornetz Platz, and little Lia, with her dark hair and big grave eyes, was a general favourite. “What did Auntie Con say?” Gina demanded as they made their way across the garden path to the school. It was fenced in and the day was warm, so Jo let go of the children’s hands. “You’ll have to wait and see!” she teased. “But Auntie Con’s one of my auntie-est aunts,” pleaded Gina. Joey grinned again and refused to be drawn. However, the children were distracted when she asked them to help her with opening the French window in the Head’s salon. Unusually, for that time of day, Miss Annersley was there, and she looked up from her book with raised eyebrows. “Well! What do you people want with me at this hour?” she asked as she kissed first Gina and then Lia. “Granny-Jo’s got news,” Gina announced importantly. “Well, Jo?” Joey beamed at her friend. “Two pieces of news. Con’s won another award- the Pulitzer, this time. And Steve’s engaged!” “How wonderful, Joey! You must pass on my congratulations to them both- especially,” the Head added with a laugh, “my former pupil. Would you like me to call your girls?” “Would you, Hilda? It’s not interrupting anything, is it?” Miss Annersley laughed again. “Since when has that worried you?” she teased. “No, of course not. At this hour they’ll all either be in prep or practising.” “Is my mummy coming too?” Lia put in wistfully. Miss Annersley smiled and drew the tiny girl onto her lap. “I’m sure she can come too. Gina’s aunties are coming, so we’ll just ask Auntie Cecil to bring your mummy!” Lia smiled in satisfaction and nestled up to the Head. “Are they all doing OK?” Joey asked casually after ringing the bell and instructing Miggi. “Naturally, Joey. You’d have heard by now from either Len or myself if they weren’t!” Miss Annersley said severely, and Joey looked sheepish. “Oh, I know. I just wondered. And- well, you know how we’ve always worried about Phil.” The Head glanced at her. She had noticed something about Phil these past few terms- something she couldn’t quite put a finger on. “Joey, how was Phil over the holiday?” she asked gently. Joey looked surprised. “Considering you came to Tirol with us this year, you’re as likely to know as I am!” she retorted with a grin. “But why?” Hilda Annersley looked pensive. “I was only with you for a month. And as for Phil- forgive me, Joey, but I am really beginning to feel that she is not a happy child.” “She’s not ill, is she?” Joey asked quickly, her dark eyes clouding. Phil had been such a healthy baby, and then she had nearly died from mastoid trouble when a toddler. As if that wasn’t enough, she had shortly afterwards contracted infantile paralysis, and been delicate for long years after. Joey was now so used to worrying about the physical health of her youngest daughter that she did it unconsciously, completely unaware that her constant anxiety and surveillance contributed to the girl’s endemic feeling of guilt. “I’m not sure about ill,” the Head said slowly. “Although it has to be said that several staff members and Matey have commented that she seems rather thinner than last year. Matey also said she’s being a little faddy about her eating, but most girls go through that phase, so I wouldn’t worry unduly. It’s just- Joey, have you ever considered sending Phil to school anywhere else?”


#12:  Author: AllyLocation: Jack Maynard's Dressing Room!! PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2004 4:30 pm

Poor Phil!!! Thank you Lisa this is excellent


#13:  Author: JosieLocation: London PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2004 4:45 pm

Gosh, Lisa, this is seriously good! Poor Phil Sad Looking forward to more.


#14:  Author: Rachael PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2004 4:45 pm

Wow - all these posts! You're spoiling us, Lisa!! Good to see a bit of Grainne and kiddy but v concerned about Phil - assuming this is going down the anorexia route , I can see we're infor an emotional ride ... But it all makes perfect sense - all those footsteps to follow in and the low self-esteem and need to control Oh dear Sad


#15:  Author: Lisa_TLocation: Belfast PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2004 5:03 pm

I have written nearly all of this in the past 48 hours, Rachael, so it's easy enough to post quickly. Plus it didn't feel right to get into our usual teasing for this.


Joey’s eyes were like saucers. “Heavens, no!” she exclaimed. “Why should we?” “Have you never thought,” Miss Annersley asked, her beautiful voice very soft, “how very difficult it must be for Phil to be a pupil here?” Joey looked confused. “You mean because of the others? But, why should that be a problem? The triplets weren’t angels by any means, even if Len and Felicity both made HG. As Cecil’s still the scamp she always was!” “That’s part of it,” Hilda Annersley said, still gentle. “Phil has to grow up here knowing that she must bear the weight of a huge load of expectation. Not only her elder sisters- one of whom is now teaching here- but also all of her cousins and even you yourself! I think,” she said lightly, “I said something of this to you before, when Phil became strong enough to board. I suggested, if you remember, that you should send Phil elsewhere- even if only to St. Hilda’s, where at least she could be herself without worrying about also being a Maynard.” Joey flushed a little. “I know. I remember you saying it. I-I wasn’t very nice to you over that, was I?” She looked rather shamefaced at the memory. “Do- do you still think we should have sent her away?” Miss Annersley shook her head. “I have no idea. But Jo, if I were you, I’d find some time with her and see if you can find out what’s going on inside her head. I could do it, or Len,” she added, “but really, you’re her mother. It’s your job. Ask her if she would prefer to go elsewhere, and be prepared if she thinks it’s a good idea.” Still rather flushed, Joey nodded, but then she had to push the thought from her mind, for the maids entered with the trays of refreshments, and a large group of girls followed- from tall Len down to small Marie-Claire, the youngest of the Maynard adoptees. Cecil, black curls waving around her cheeky but lovely face, came too, her arm through that of Grainne O’Malley. Grainne was taller than her friend now, and very much older in some ways. All the same, the deep friendship that had been forged between them a couple of years previously remained very strong. Lagging rather behind came Phil, her face taut and anxious, and Joey looked at her covertly, and, to her dismay, found herself agreeing with the Head. At this moment, Phil looked anything but happy. However, as soon as she came properly into the room, the haunted expression vanished and her mother wondered fleetingly if she had imagined that look. Then Joey was distracted by the antics of the two little girls, for Gina had stopped prowling around the cookie tray to make a beeline for Len, whilst Lia quite literally slid down Miss Annersley’s skirt to land on the floor at her own mother’s feet. Grainne, laughing, swooped her little daughter up in her arms and went to sit down beside the Head. She had built a genuine relationship with her father and her stepmother now, but, as Nell Wilson had once commented, in some ways she viewed Miss Annersley as more of a mother figure- more so, even, than either Joey Maynard or Len Entwistle. “What’s the goss?” Cecil demanded of her mother after teasing little Lia, gently pulling a strand of her niece’s hair, and grinning at the Head. “Cecil!” protested that lady. “You might remember that you are in school, even if this appears to have become a family occasion!” Cecil, totally unperturbed, grinned. “Sorry, Auntie Hilda. Takes too long to talk proper English, you see.” Miss Annersley laughed and shook her head at her brevet-niece, whilst Joey, seeing the word ‘lecture’ in the Head’s eyes, hurriedly gave her news. “How utterly miraculous!” Cecil proclaimed when she had finished. “Only, I suppose I’d better be more careful with my English or Auntie Hilda will make comments about it being unbecoming in a sister of a Pulitzer prize winner!” “That sentence wasn’t any too clear either, was it, Auntie Hilda?” Grainne said, her impish grin suddenly making her look her nearly seventeen years. “I’m saying nothing!” Miss Annersley said firmly. “I’ll only get more abuse. Cecilia, you’re becoming cheekier with age!” “She always was,” Len observed detachedly from her corner. “But I do agree with Auntie Hilda. Mind your manners, young Cecil!” “Yes, Mrs Entwistle,” Cecil said meekly, her eyes twinkling, and they all gave it up and laughed. Meanwhile, Cecil took the plates and began to hand them round. “Go on, Phil,” she urged when she came to her younger sister. “No thanks,” Phil muttered, but Cecil was not to be deterred. “You must be starving!” she scolded. “Have some. You know we won’t get cakes like this downstairs. Make hay, my child, make hay!” “Cecil, I said no!” Phil protested under her breath. “You need to eat more,” Cecil announced after a moment’s further pressure did not make Phil succumb. “At this rate you’ll be fading away.” Phil waited until Cecil had turned from her before whispering, “I wish.” Then she looked up to catch a compassionate glance from the Head’s blue-grey eyes. Quickly, she looked down again. ‘The Abbess’ was believed to know everything that went on the school. Phil fervently hoped that her Headmistress and brevet-aunt was unaware of the turmoil within her, but right now she had her doubts. That look had meant something! She remained very quiet for the rest of the session, laughing when she was expected to laugh, and doing her best to look happy. Then a bell rang and Miss Annersley firmly reminded them all that this was a school and they had to work to do. Taking the hint, the girls rose, although both Len and Grainne kept hold of their respective daughters. Len would return to her own chalet, and she usually gave Grainne a lift, for Grainne was a day pupil, and probably would remain so for the rest of her schooldays, although she was already starting to worry about the future and university. One by one they all filed out. Joey grabbed Phil’s hand as that young lady passed her. “Would you like to come home this weekend?” she suggested. “Cecil is going to Grainne’s. We could have some time together. What about it?” Phil forced a smile. “That’d be lovely, Mamma,” she said, whilst inwardly groaning. How could she escape her mother’s notice if she was alone with her? Well, she’d just have to try harder. And she’d need to look normal and happy. Her mother was looking strained and anxious, although she was trying not to, and Phil knew it was because of her. She wished she wasn’t such a burden to everyone she loved.


#16:  Author: ElzbieLocation: London PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2004 5:22 pm

Oh no! How complicated! I have a feeling Joey won't get to the bottom of it. Poor, poor Phil.


#17:  Author: patmacLocation: Yorkshire England PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2004 5:35 pm

Poor kid! I feel sorry for her and also for the people who have to deal with her. Getting inside her head is not going to be easy. She's clever enough to hide what she really thinks and feels so she's not giving much away. It's fascinating that Miss Annersley had seen the problem coming! I really can't see Joey getting through to her. In her present state of mind, a suggestion that she should go elsewhere might seem like rejection. I'd hug her but I think she wouldn't actually like that Sad It's fascinating, Lisa and I agree St Hild's is the place for it.


#18:  Author: Rachael PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2004 6:17 pm

Sorry, Lisa - I didn't mean to come across as flippant , just impressed by the sheer volume - please look after yourself on that front as I expect this may become very emotionally draining to write ... I would be interested in finding out more about Cecil and her status within the school and why she doesn't suffer from the Maynard mantle ... it seems such a shame that Phil doesn't seem to feel able to confide in her of all people ... closest in age, obviously comfortable in herself and not concerned about the family "pressure" etc


#19:  Author: MihiriLocation: surrey england PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2004 6:57 pm

This is very good Lisa and very thought provoking. Joey, for all her understanding of other girls, doesn't seem to think about the pressures that could affect her children. Poor Phil, I hope someone manages to help her soon.


#20:  Author: Lisa_TLocation: Belfast PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2004 7:22 pm

*g* I didn't think you were being flippant, Rachael Very Happy As for Cecil, I did explore her a little in 'Chalet Girl in Trouble' if you remember. Since this takes place further along that timeline I'm not sure how I'd work Cecil in any further here. I do have one idea but it would mean going back and altering small details through everything I've posted so far. H'mmm. Actually, maybe I have a way round it.


Part three: Losing Control

“Golly!” ejaculated Lucy, forgetting her dignity as a prefect, as Christine emerged from her cubicle one morning after half term. “What’s wrong with you? You look like a balloon!” Christine glared at the elder girl and mumbled something. Lucy dropped her frivolous demeanour and became serious. “Toothache?” she asked sympathetically. Her sympathy was not completely altruistic. It was well known that when one girl reported toothache, Matron inaugurated a form of torture known to the school as ‘tooth inspection.’ She would, almost invariably, find victims other than the initial sufferer to take on the subsequent trip to the dentist. Christine nodded mutely. She was white and her eyes looked heavy, and Lucy knew that the sooner she went to Matron, the better. Therefore, she glanced around the other occupants of the room to discover a suitable escort. Her eye fell on Phil Maynard, who being ready, was taking advantage of the spare time to fractionally adjust the contents of her shelf. Everything had to be just so the pictures arranged at a certain angle, and the books ordered first by height, and then alphabetically by author. “Phil! Stop fussing over your cubey, do! Since you’re ready you may as well escort Chris to Matey. Can’t have her going alone and fainting all over the shop. Can do?” Phil nodded and crossed the room to Chris. “Come on then!” she said briefly, and Lucy beamed in satisfaction. It was well known that the form prefect of Upper IVa was a reliable creature. She led the way silently to Matron’s domain. Chris, normally loquacious, was rendered speechless by the pain in her tooth, and Phil never liked talking. It was too easy to say the wrong thing. Or you could say the right thing, and the other person would say something ‘wrong’ and then things got sticky. Silence was the safest option. As a result, the pair appeared outside Matron’s office more rapidly than might have been the case. Rather timidly, Phil knocked on the door, aware that the butterflies that had permanent residence in her tummy these days were already fluttering. It wasn’t that Phil disliked Matey. She had known that lady all her life, but she was, as all too many pupils could attest, very much ‘on the spot’ and the last thing Phil wanted right now was to attract her attention. It could, potentially, lead to an awkward situation. Matron appeared immediately and glared at the two in front of her. It didn’t mean anything as Joey Maynard was fond of pointing out, her bark was definitely worse than her bite. All the same, that glare always made Phil wish she could disappear, and it took all her courage to prevent her voice from trembling. “Please, Matron, Lucy said to bring Christine to you,” she said meekly. Matron glanced at Christine, who was looking thoroughly sorry for herself. “Toothache?” she demanded. Christine nodded slightly. Even to move much hurt. “In you come then, and I’ll make you more comfortable,” the domestic tyrant added, rather more gently. “Phil, pass on the word that I’ll have tooth inspection this evening. In fact, give me a moment and I’ll check yours now. One less to do later. Christine, go into the side room and lie down. I’ll be with you shortly!” Rather laggingly, Christine obeyed, and Matron turned back to Phil. “Open your mouth!” she ordered, and inspected carefully. “H’mm,” she said after a moment. “I think you could do with a visit yourself, my child.” Phil looked aghast. “But that’s not possible, Matron!” Matey’s eyebrows skyrocketed. “Not possible?” “I can’t have any holes,” Phil continued. “I haven’t been eating anything- anything sweet,” she modified. “And I clean my teeth three times a day. Honestly!” Matron looked at her keenly. “I’m sure you do,” she said with unwonted gentleness. “All the same, I think your teeth could do with a clean. They’re looking a little worn. Don’t look so anguished! It will be a painless affair- unlike poor Christine!- and afterwards, we’ll go for a nice lunch. How does that sound? Now, there’s the bell and you’ll be late! Off you go!” Phil was only too thankful to obey. She knew her face had gone rigid when Matey had mentioned lunch. Those lunches, as she knew too well, were often funded by the Head herself, and were liable to include all the ‘wrong’ kinds of food. Even that wouldn’t be so bad if Matey wasn’t going to be there too. There was no way she could escape her eagle eye! There was no other way round it. She would have to eat what was in front of her, or risk further inquiries. She’d find a way of ‘purifying’ herself later on. In the meantime, getting into a lather now wouldn’t help. Firmly, Phil pushed all thoughts of the impending visit out of her mind, and concentrated on school for the rest of the day.


#21:  Author: MihiriLocation: surrey england PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2004 8:52 pm

Thank you for the latest post Lisa. It looks like Matron knows Phil's got problems. I hope she can help


#22:  Author: SugarplumLocation: second star to the right! PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2004 9:24 pm

Lisa this is super ... Poor Phil - shes got so much to live up to, no wonder she feels so overwhelmed.


#23:  Author: Carolyn PLocation: Lancaster, England PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2004 9:48 pm

Wow Lisa, this is amazing. It must be so draining to write, esp in such quantity. Thank you.


#24:  Author: LesleyLocation: Allhallows, Kent PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2004 10:50 pm

Lisa - thank you for writing this - and for including Grainne etc. This is such a draining subject and must be costing you dear to write it. Feel so sorry for Phil and really hope that someone can get through to her, or at least see that she has a problem - be it Joey, Hilda or Matey.


#25:  Author: patmacLocation: Yorkshire England PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2004 11:35 pm

Thank you, Lisa. Poor Phil. You are really bringing out how such things can build up.


#26:  Author: Helen PLocation: Cheshire PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2004 12:19 am

I've only just found this Lisa - and it's so good. Poor Phil. I'm fortunate never to have either suffered from anorexia or even known anyone who has - but this is so well written and the thought processes are so feasible - I can totally understand where Phil is coming from. Looking forward to more.


#27:  Author: KateLocation: Ireland PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2004 12:23 am

Thanks so much, Lisa. This is so good - so "true". (And every word you write makes me long even more for "Difficult Term" because you're so talented!!)


#28:  Author: Joan the DwarfLocation: Er, where am I? PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2004 12:44 am

*wibble* This is close to the bone, but very very good - thankyou!


#29:  Author: Lisa_TLocation: Belfast PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2004 1:38 am

As some of you know, I've never experienced AN myself, but I supported (and lived, in a boarding school situation) with a friend who did have it (and in fact still does), although we didn't realise at the time. I hope I'm mirroring the thought processes accurately I'm dredging my memories of long conversations and even longer phone calls!


Her success in this was mixed. Her concentration span was suffering, and she was often tired in lessons or in prep. The lower marks did not help, and she only redoubled her efforts, even, sometimes, breaking rules wholesale and taking a torch to bed with her in order to learn her ‘rep’, or vocab, or dates for history. So far she had been lucky and had not been discovered, and Phil intended to keep it that way. On Saturday Miss Annersley reminded the casualties of the tooth inspection that today was the day they were due to go to Berne. The coaches would take them down and back up again, and they would be excused their mending and prep for once. Several of the more irrepressible souls sent up a hushed cheer at this, and Len Entwistle, at Staff table for once, grinned at the sound. “Sounds like even the dentist is better than mending,” she observed to the Senior English mistress, Ruth Derwent. That lady laughed. “They can’t need much done in that case!” she retorted. “Is it a large party this time?” Kathie Ferrars asked idly from across the table. “About average,” Matron told her crisply. “Several members of your form are going, Kathie. Perhaps you need to remind them about oral hygiene!” “I’ll do that,” Kathie promised. “Which of my little darlings have you victimised this time?” Even Miss Annersley smiled at that. “Phil Maynard and Chris Willoughby at least,” Rosalie Dene said cheerfully, and Len gave an exclamation. “Phil? But she’s always taken such care of her teeth. And it’s not as if she didn’t get a doing in the summer!” “She just needs a little cleaning,” Matron told her. “All the same,” the school’s domestic tyrant continued, “I’ve got my eye on that child. Something there is-not right.” Len looked alarmed. “What do you mean?” “I’m not sure. I think, though, that she is rather too thin for her age and height.” “She’s always been thin,” Len said, reassured. “Papa calls her his little beanpole!” Matron did not smile. “She wasn’t that thin last term, Len. She was fairly average for her height. Now, however, she really is too thin. She’s lost a lot of weight in what I personally feel is a very short time.” “Have you spoken to her about it?” Miss Annersley asked, her voice concerned as she remembered her own misgivings about the youngest Maynard. Matron shook her head. “No. I’ve watched her though. She’s clever, that child. She plays with her food every meal, and looks as if she’s eating, but she doesn’t actually take very much. And I could swear that she passes food into a hanky for throwing away later.” She paused, and then went on. “As well as that, you didn’t see her face when I mentioned having lunch after the dentist. She looked as if the bottom had fallen out of her world!” “She’s just dieting,” Rosalie soothed. “That seems to be quite a fad with this generation, you know.” “I know.” Matron clamped her mouth shut and said no more on the topic, and Len decided worrying was unnecessary and returned to normal chatter. Phil’s worst fears were justified. After everyone had emerged from the dentist’s clutches- some looking worse for wear- Matey told them cheerfully that they were going for lunch and coffee before returning to school. She then named a small café favoured by the school- largely because of its tendency to favour sumptuous desserts, and Phil looked down at her shoes. When she looked up again, she was horrified to see Matron gazing at her, a quizzical look in her eyes. Once at the café, Phil went to sit as far away from Matron as she could. Her intention was foiled. For once, Matey decided to allocate seats, and she instructed the youngest Maynard to sit directly opposite her. Still watching the girl, she did not fail to notice that Phil whitened. Deliberately, she then looked away from Phil, but covertly watched her throughout the meal. Therefore, she was pleasantly surprised to find that Phil ate most of her meal, and even drank the cream-blanketed coffee without a murmur. She balked however when her neighbours began to pore over the dessert menu. “What you having?” Marie-Claire de Mabillon of Lower III asked chummily. Normally Phil would have sat hard on such cheek from a Junior to a Senior Middle, but Claire was her own adopted sister. “Oh, I’m not having anything,” she said, keeping her voice level. Claire’s big eyes widened further. “But they do leckerli!” she protested. “You love leckerli. I’ve heard you say so lots an’ lots of times!” “Maybe I’ve gone off it,” Phil suggested, knowing her face was flaming. Claire looked sceptical and Christine, recovered, grinned. “She’s right, you know,” she told Phil. “I know you’re trying to lose weight- though honestly, I don’t think you need to- but one little bun won’t hurt. Go on, Phil! Be a sport!” and Phil, blushing even more furiously at this very public declamation, acceded. It must be confessed that she did, after all, enjoy that leckerli. She even managed to continue to enjoy it in her mind a good half hour after she swallowed the last crumb. But then the voice began to speak, making her feel guilty, telling her that now she would get fat, and her mind began to twist and turn, trying to find a way out of this trap. The only solution was to get rid of the food, somehow, but where? Matron inadvertently provided the means. She glanced at her watch, commented that they had finished early, and then suggested that perhaps the Middles would like to have a look at a couple of shops nearby. She herself would stay with the Juniors, and those young ladies looked disgruntled at this. Phil, however, felt as if a burden had been removed from her shoulders. “Come with me?” she said to Chris. That young lady nodded, rather surprised. Upper IVa as a whole saw Phil Maynard as being rather aloof. However, since she liked her, she was only too happy to agree, and the two headed for a small store up the street. “Have you got any money?” Phil asked chummily as they slipped in through the revolving doors. “Loads!” Christine told her cheerfully. “I say, do you mind splitting up for a sec? I need to get a new hair band and some chocolate.” “You go get your choc,” Phil put in swiftly. “I need a hair slide myself and I’ll get your band too. Normal colour?” “Yes, please.Thanks awfully, Phil!” Christine said, and grinned before departing sweet-wards. Phil smiled to herself before walking over towards the pharmacy area of the store, where the hair paraphernalia was kept. Quickly, she fetched the slide and the band in the regulation blue, before going to the checkout. There, she asked for a small white box. She paid for the lot, carefully placing the box into her dress pocket and zipping it up. Then she turned, and grinning broadly, rejoined her form-mate, feeling happier than she had done all day.


#30:  Author: KateLocation: Ireland PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2004 3:07 am

I should be in bed, but I'm gripped by this story. Sounds so familiar to me - a friend of mine has AN, as some of you may know... This story is very moving, but I'm glad I'm reading it. Thanks Lisa.


#31:  Author: Lisa_TLocation: Belfast PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2004 3:18 am


Part four: Taking A Long Road
NB: the day is Friday, not Saturday.

Phil could hardly contain her relief on the way back to school. With so many doctors in the family she of course did know how to force herself to bring up ‘bad’ food, but although she had used that technique several times over the summer and since, it was one she always hated. When Matron had let them go off for shopping, she remembered, as a child, her father warning her about taking too many painkillers. “They could make you horribly sick,” he had said. Now, at fourteen, Phil knew enough to know that deliberately taking more than the recommended dose could, potentially, do more than simply make her sick. All the same, it was a risk she was willing to take. Anything was better than feeling so unsafe and bloated and wrong. Her initial plan had been to take as many of the tablets as she could in the splasheries whilst they were changing out of their outdoor clothes and shoes. No-one would think twice about her disappearing to use lavatory at that time. However, once safely locked in the little cubicle, she found it impossible to swallow more than two of the little dry white capsules. Doing so made her retch, and for a fleeting moment she hoped that that would do the trick. Only it didn’t, so, feeling frustrated and tangled and very scared, she was forced to postpone her plan until such a time when she could use water to wash the tablets down. The earliest that would be, Phil thought, would be after Kaffee, when she could use the bathroom to freshen up. She was known to be fastidious and no-one would notice. Accordingly, once she had taken her two sips of milk and crumbled her biscuit onto the plate- and the floor!- she almost ran up the stairs to get to her dormitory. “Slow down, Phil!” Cecil Maynard remonstrated. At sixteen she was now sub-prefect, and very aware of it in school, no matter how she might behave outside it. Phil slowed obediently, but Cecil noticed how, even standing still, she radiated impatience and agitation. She looked more closely at her young sister. “What’s the rush?” she demanded, pulling the other girl away from the head of the stairs to make way for others. Her hand stayed around her sister’s arm, and she frowned. Phil saw it and twisted away. “No rush, honestly. Let me go, Cecil! I don’t want to be late for prep, you know. My marks last week should have been better.” Cecil looked at her curiously. “They were in the high 80s,” she reminded her. “If I got that, I imagine the staff would need to be resuscitated en masse!” Phil shook her head. “It’s not good enough,” she insisted. “It has to be at least 90. I can’t get less than 90. You don’t understand.” “Don’t I? I’m a Maynard too, you know!” Phil dropped her eyes. “Of course you are. I’m sorry. I’m being stupid as usual. I-I should have thought. I’m sorry!” “What for, exactly?” Cecil asked patiently. Phil shrugged. “I don’t know. For everything, I guess. I’m sorry. I’ll try to do better. I don’t want to worry anyone.” Cecil looked at her again and made a quick decision. Firmly, she propelled the younger girl down to the bottom of the corridor where they could be away from the madding crowd. A chair was standing outside a bathroom, and Cecil indicated it. “There’s something wrong with you,” she said abruptly. “What is it?” Phil opened her mouth to say, ‘everything’, and closed it again. The voice in her head would not let her speak. “It’s nothing, honestly,” she murmured. “It’s just me.” Cecil frowned. “Have you tried talking to Mamma?” she suggested. “Or Papa? Or Len?” Phil gave a convulsive movement and Cecil continued. “Or Matey, or-“ “Auntie Hilda or the world and their neighbour,” Phil finished with what tried to be a laugh. “No. What’s the point? There’s nothing anyone can do. It’s just me. You can’t change me.” With that, she shrugged off her elder sister’s hand and walked off down towards her own dormitory, shaking inside. That had been a very near miss! Cecil stood and watched her go, her pity in her eyes. She understood- or thought she did. After all, as she had reminded Phil, she was a Maynard too, and she had to contend with what Felicity in a moment of rare bitterness had described as the ‘family curse’- the constant, and frequently unconscious, comparisons that were always being made. Even the triplets had had to cope with it- only in their case, it had been their cousins as well as their mother who had provided the yardstick. To Cecil, with the triplets and Felicity thrown in, that yardstick seemed longer still. She had learned to cope, armouring herself with an insouciance that fooled nearly everyone into thinking she didn’t care. Only Len, perhaps, knew the truth, for Cecil had ended up blurting out everything during Grainne O’Malley’s memorable first term. Phil, however, felt patently unable to go to Len. That was hardly surprising. At nearly thirty, Len was more of a mistress than a sister to her youngest sibling. The yardstick to Phil, Cecil thought with a flash of insight, was probably endless. Poor kid. It was obviously getting on top of her. When Cecil had grasped the younger girl’s arm, it had literally felt like skin and bone. Cecil determined to speak to Matey later, and went on her own way.

Last edited by Lisa_T on Thu Nov 25, 2004 2:03 pm; edited 1 time in total


#32:  Author: Lisa_TLocation: Belfast PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2004 3:24 am

I hope no-one minds these next posts. They are very personal for me- a good deal of this really happened, although not at school, and it feels rather strange to be writing about it sympathetically. Call it penance Crying or Very sad


In the Speisesaal, it took unusually long for anyone to notice Phil’s absence. For one thing, Lucy Peters had gone home this weekend, and her replacement was not familiar with the form. When she saw Phil’s empty place, she simply assumed that the girl had gone back to Freudesheim, and, it must be confessed, the rest of the table shared her opinion. When she did go home at the weekend, it was invariably after Friday afternoon prep. Mrs Entwistle, however, coming in with a message from the Head before going homewards herself, did notice. “Has Phil gone home this weekend?” she asked that lady casually as she handed over the slip of paper. Miss Annersley looked up. “No. She doesn’t go home very often, you know. Why?” Len turned and scanned the girls again quickly. “Well, she doesn’t seem to be at her table,” she pointed out. Miss Annersley looked at her young mistress, and rose slightly in her chair to ascertain the truth of that statement. Then she looked back at Len. “Where do you think she is?” she asked conversationally. At that moment they were interrupted by Cecil, who had carried a plate of stew back to the hatch, and, in the process, noticed Phil’s absence. “Auntie Hilda!” she called, oblivious to the situation. “Phil’s gone. She’s not here!” “So we’ve just realised,” her sister told her acerbically. “Do you know anything about it?” Cecil shook her head. “No. Only, I meant to go and see Matey about her. I don’t think she’s well. Auntie Hilda, can’t- I mean, may I go and look for her?” The Head exchanged a glance with Len and nodded, and Cecil said nothing more. Miss Annersley watched the black head disappear, and sighed. Len looked at her in alarm. “Y-you don’t think anything’s wrong, do you?” “I don’t know. In the meantime, go and find Matey- just in case.” Len paled a little at this instruction, but did as she was bid. The Head, for her part, steeled herself to wait. Cecil threw rules to the winds and quite frankly ran- first to the Senior Middle Common room to check there, and then in the direction of Gentian. Her heart pounding, she flung back Phil’s cubicle curtains and found it spick and span as always- and no sign of her sister. Feeling a little shaken from her mad rush, she sat down on the edge of the bed to compose herself and think. After a couple of seconds, she decided to try the bathrooms as the only other logical place. Since she didn’t know which ‘bather’ her sister took, she had to work methodically down all the bathrooms in the corridor. Dormitories were not arranged in year groups, so she could not even use that to focus her search, and, this late in the term, the dormitory lists on each bathroom had been taken down. Finally, she reached bathroom six, and opened the door. As with all of the bathrooms, this large room was sub-divided into four smaller cubicles, each containing the basin, bath and a toilet, as well as shelves. Each girl could only use her allocated bathroom it saved on queues, and, the authorities had found, on arguments. Therefore, since the other three bathers had doors standing partially open, Phil headed straight for the one with the door firmly closed, and pushed it. To her dismay, she realised that the door was not only closed, but locked, and she rapped it sharply. There was no response. “Phil!” she called. Still no response. Cecil bit her lip so hard it bled. It was, she knew, possible to pick the lock, but that would take too long. Looking about her, she saw a spare stool. It was not very high, but Cecil was a little over average height, and she thought it would be high enough to allow her to look over, and possibly even climb, over the partition. Nervously, she stepped up, and peered over the top. The sight of her sister sprawled on the floor made her gasp- even though, subsconsciously, she expected it. “She must have fainted,” she thought to herself. “Maybe hit her head as she fell. I’ll go and- Oh!” as Matron clipped into the room, followed by Len and the Head. “Is she there?” Matron demanded. Relieved that help had come, Cecil nodded and slipped off her stool. “I think she’s fainted. Must have hit her head. I had to look over,” she added, “since the door was locked.” Matron looked nodded and extracted a tool from her pocket. “What’s that?” Cecil asked curiously. Matron gave her a rather grim smile. “Years ago, both Jack Lambert and I ended up imprisoned in various bathrooms because of faulty handles. In both cases the doors had to be replaced. We decided then that- ah! It worked!” and the door swung open. Matron went immediately to the girl and bent down beside her. Then she seemed to become very still. “Phone for an ambulance,” she said tersely. “But what’s wrong?” Len demanded frantically. Matron turned to glare at her. “Go and phone the San, Len! And take her with you!” she added with a nod at Cecil. Len gulped and argued no more. Grabbing Cecil’s hand, she pulled the younger girl out of the bathroom and, still grasping her, ran with her to the study, oblivious to the puzzled looks that followed them. Miss Annersley had followed Matron into the bathroom and she sank down on the side of the bath. “What’s wrong with her, Gwyn?” she asked gently. Her face drained of colour as her colleague silently passed the near-empty packet of pills towards her. The splits created in the foil where the tablets had been pressed through looked like bloody gashes. “Do you think-?” she began and was unable to finish. “I don’t know, Hilda. I don’t know! But she’s still alive- and I think she’s been very sick. Perhaps she really did just faint.” But the glance Matron sent up to the Head betrayed her doubts, and Miss Annersley knelt down beside her. “Can you rouse her?” she whispered, her usually lovely voice harsh with fear. “I’m trying!” Matron returned. Then, after another minute which seemed endless to the watching pair, Phil’s lashes fluttered. “W-what happened?” she asked faintly. “I think you fainted,” Matron told her in her most matter-of-fact tones. “Did you hit yourself?” “I don’t know!” Phil moved her head away. “Was sick. Wanted to be sick. Then it went black-“ “Can you sit up?” Miss Annersley interjected at that point. Phil mumbled something the Head did not catch, but she took it as assent and put an arm under the girl so that she was lying with her head on her brevet-aunt’s shoulder. “I’m sorry,” Phil said weakly, and Matron felt sick herself as she saw the black despair in the girl’s eyes. Such despair did not belong to a child, she thought fiercely. She looked trapped- like an animal with nowhere to go, nothing to do- except destroy itself. Phil closed her eyes and wished they would go away. Matron looked her usual self, but even she was obviously shaken- and Auntie Hilda was as white as a sheet. It made her look really old, and the guilt washed over her again. “I’m sorry,” she said again. “I-I just wanted to feel better. Just wanted to get rid of it. I didn’t want to worry you,” and the tears rolled silently down her cheeks. Miss Annersley tightened her arms around the girl, but Matron said nothing, and Phil took the silence as condemnation and shut her eyes so that she didn’t need to see. The pause seemed to last forever. “Phil,” said the Head, “we must ask you something. Were you trying to- to kill yourself?” “It’s called susyside,” Phil mumbled. “Susyside?” Matron repeated, wondering if the girl was delirious. “S’what Mike calls it. When you try to kill yourself. But I wasn’t. I-just- wanted to be sick. To get rid of the fat.” The sudden relief made Miss Annersley catch her breath in a sound that was both a strangled laugh and a sob, and Matey flashed a warning glance at her. “Do you think you’re fat, then?” she asked gently. “’Course. Fat- and stupid- and a burden to everyone. Shouldn’t be here. Take up too much space. Trying to take up less space so there’s more space for ev’ryone else. Not worth that much space.” Matron rose to her feet and in the bright light her face looked grey. Then she turned as the paramedics came in, their green and yellow strips lurid and garish in the fluorescent light, followed by Len and Cecil, both of whom looked ill with worry. This was only the beginning, Matron thought dimly. She didn’t know much about these eating disorders, as people called them, but she’d read enough to know that they were not quickly or easily cured. Numbly, she reached out and helped the Head to her feet, and saw the same numbness there. The shock of the evening’s experiences showed in the girls, too. One of the paramedics, an impressively tall man, had picked up Phil- quiet and conscious and rigid with fear- as easily as if she had been a baby. That came as no surprise to either the Head or Matron. They had both been horrified by how thin the child had become. Now he turned and placed her gently in a wheelchair before turning to smile at the two older women. “That’s her comfy now. Who’s coming with us?” “I’ll go,” Miss Annersley said swiftly. “I’ll come too,” Len added, and then stopped, stricken, as Phil shook her head. “Don’t you want me to come?” “Don’t want anyone to come,” Phil sobbed, too weak and unhappy to care now. “Didn’t want to worry anyone. I’m sorry, I’m so sorry!” Cecil, her eyes wet, broke away from Len and bent to kiss her ‘baby’ sister. “It’s OK darling, it’s OK!” Then Matron pulled her away, and Cecil- to her own amazement when she thought of it later- found herself crying in that lady’s arms. The Head nodded at Len, and that young lady emulated her sister’s example, and then stood back, her violet eyes still showing her hurt. Miss Annersley put a gentle hand on her arm. “Don’t look like that, child,” she said. “She’s ill. She may want you later. Come with us now- and then, later, we must find a way of telling your mother.” Pausing only to take a blanket from one of the other paramedics and wrap it around her pupil, the Head then led Len to fetch their coats, before they rejoined the paramedics and the now tired Phil in the ambulance. As the ambulance began to move, Phil closed her eyes and wished she was far away. Yet, in some deep part of herself, she knew that she could, if she chose, take this opportunity to make the first step- and the hardest. To admit everything she’d been thinking and feeling for so long now. Could she do that? At that moment she did not know. ******************** There is no happy ending. No easy, neat finish, because life does not work that way. The road to recovery is long and fraught with difficulties and pitfalls. All one can do is love, and watch, and hope that it is possible- and pray that, after all, the story will end well, and not by the side of a grave. ******************** Apologies for this very dark conclusion. Anorexia nervosa is notoriously difficult to recover from, and the mortality rates are often high. I did not feel able to write about the recovery process accurately, so forgive me for pausing here. If anyone else would like to try, please feel free. For a more in depth fictional treatment of AN, see The Best Little Girl in the World by Steven Levenkron. For advice and support, see [url] [/url]

Last edited by Lisa_T on Tue Nov 23, 2004 7:19 pm; edited 1 time in total


#33:  Author: KateLocation: Ireland PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2004 4:21 am

*huggles* Crying or Very sad Sad


#34:  Author: patmacLocation: Yorkshire England PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2004 8:43 am

(((((Lisa))))) You've expressed it so well. Can't say more except Thank You. (((((Lisa))))) again.


#35:  Author: pimLocation: the Derbyshire wilderness PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2004 9:52 am

((((Lisa)))) Sad Sad Sad


#36:  Author: Rachael PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2004 10:27 am

Incredibly insightful and moving, Lisa - well done You've tackled a very difficult subject matter with enormous sensitivity - I hope that Phil does find it within herself to take that first, hardest step ...


#37:  Author: JosieLocation: London PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2004 10:47 am

Thanks Lisa - that was incredibly moving. Poor Phil Crying or Very sad A very realistic insight into the struggle with AN


#38:  Author: GremblesLocation: Norwich PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2004 10:48 am

I am sitting here crying my eyes out, my 12 year old cousin is in a clinic in London being treated for AN at present. She only ways 3 1/2 stone at present, this felt so real. You must be drained writing about this, but thank you for finding the strngth to write it <> Sarah


#39:  Author: CazxLocation: Swansea/Bristol PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2004 10:50 am

The way you portrayed AN was so heartfelt and moving. The characters were also so human and believable. Thank-you for writng this.


#40:  Author: ElzbieLocation: London PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2004 11:01 am

Thank you for writing that, Lisa- this kind of condition often really needs to be explained to those who have had no experience of it, and this does just that.


#41:  Author: AllyLocation: Jack Maynard's Dressing Room!! PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2004 11:21 am

Thank you Lisa, a beautiful and powerful piece of writing.


#42:  Author: Ruth BLocation: Oxford, UK PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2004 12:53 pm

Lisa thank you so much for writing this.I suffered from an eating disorder and subsequently took an overdose when I was a teenager. You've captured so vividly and accurately the emotions and thought processes that I went through at the time and have portrayed the situation so sensitively.Thank you once again


#43:  Author: MihiriLocation: surrey england PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2004 1:37 pm

Thank you Lisa. This is very well written and really handles the subject well. I hope it didn't take too much out of you to write this.Hugs to everyone who has experienced AN, either as a sufferer or through looking after someone close to them


#44:  Author: FionaWLocation: Johannesburg, South Africa PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2004 2:00 pm

Oh Lisa, this gave me chills to read. I had a similar problem in my last year at school - also one of a large family, but with even more fun things thrown in. I am just always so grateful that I never went as far down the road as Phil and so many other people. Thank you for the story.


#45:  Author: A fishy... PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2004 2:21 pm

Lisa this was brilliant... difficult for me to read because it was so very realistic... I belong to SFWED, but am now able to spend more time here than there, which has to be progress Very Happy Thank you Kiss


#46:  Author: Lisa_TLocation: Belfast PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2004 2:57 pm

Thank you everyone. Thanks especially to the people who have experienced it for themselves- I wasn't completely sure I'd captured it accurately, so thank you for those reassurances. I've wanted to write this for some time but really didn't feel comfortable with putting it on the normal C&D site- I didn't want to be worrying about the effect on vulnerable people, or, considering the tendency of young girls to be 'copycats' inadvertently setting any balls rolling. I know, for instance, that a number of girls do develop AN after reading the book I mentioned earlier -'The Best Little Girl in the World.'


#47:  Author: Carolyn PLocation: Lancaster, England PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2004 3:08 pm

Thank you Lisa, that was ...well words fail me. Crying or Very sad


#48:  Author: VikkiLocation: Sitting on an iceberg, freezing to death!!! PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2004 7:03 pm

Lisa, that was an incredible piece of writing. Thank you!


#49:  Author: LizBLocation: Oxon, England PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2004 7:17 pm

Lisa that was really powerful writing. Thank you so much.And thank you for not giving it a nice neat ending - that wouldn't have been real at all.Liz


#50:  Author: DawnLocation: Leeds, West Yorks PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2004 7:36 pm

Lisa - I've just read this in one go and it is one of the most moving realistic pieces of writing I have ever readOne of my daughters friends has been in hospital for the last 3 months, but now after much hard work looks to be recovering. Hers was triggered by a close family member having a critical illness. Many many thanks for writing so clearly about the emotional side of AN


#51:  Author: LesleyLocation: Allhallows, Kent PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2004 9:16 pm

Thank you Lisa. Sublime.


#52:  Author: Helen PLocation: Cheshire PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2004 9:46 pm

Thankyou Lisa. I agree that the ending should not be neat and tidy - it is far more realistic this way. Big hugs to all who need them after reading this. I hope that having read it I will be better equipped to understand anyone I come across who suffers from AN.


#53:  Author: SugarplumLocation: second star to the right! PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2004 9:48 pm

Thanks Lisa Phenomenal - just mind blowing thank you hunny # I know how hard it was for you to write Hoping that L continues to recover.


#54:  Author: GemLocation: Saltash/Aberystwyth PostPosted: Wed Nov 24, 2004 12:36 am

Thank you, Lisa. *hugs to everyone that needs them*


#55:  Author: LissLocation: Harrow, London PostPosted: Wed Nov 24, 2004 4:05 am

That was wonderfully well-written, Lisa - thanks very much.


#56:  Author: AnnLocation: Newcastle upon Tyne, England PostPosted: Wed Nov 24, 2004 8:15 pm

Thank you Lisa - that last paragraph was simply amazing, such an eloquent way of putting such complex feelings.


#57:  Author: Kathy_SLocation: midwestern US PostPosted: Wed Nov 24, 2004 8:43 pm

Can't think of any original comments, but echoes all the rest. Remarkable writing on an extremely tough topic!


#58:  Author: NellLocation: London, England PostPosted: Thu Nov 25, 2004 11:22 am

Lisa, thank you for writing this. I've just read it in one go at work, its very powerfully written and accurate of my knowledge of AN.


#59:  Author: Guest PostPosted: Sun Nov 28, 2004 7:09 pm

Thank you for writing this, Lisa, I read it with tears streaming down my face. I suffer from a disorder called Binge Eating Disorder (BED), which is (thankfully) under control most of the time, but it does try to take over now and again. Many of the thought processes and feelings are similar to AN and I could empathise with Phil in this.


#60:  Author: DawnLocation: Leeds, West Yorks PostPosted: Sun Nov 28, 2004 7:38 pm



#61:  Author: LyanneLocation: Ipswich, England PostPosted: Sun Dec 05, 2004 3:26 pm

And with the treatment (whether effective or not) would come the guilt for the rest - for not noticing sooner/doing something sooner/ doing more.... read it in one go, cold inside for Phil.


#62:  Author: MarianneLocation: Lancaster PostPosted: Thu Dec 16, 2004 6:36 pm

Thank - you Lisa Crying or Very sad


#63:  Author: VerityLocation: Australia PostPosted: Sat Dec 18, 2004 5:38 am

very well written Lisa - I have a friend with AN too. thanks


#64:  Author: ChairLocation: Kent, England PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2005 9:29 pm

It was such a moving story you wrote, Lisa. I haven't suffered from anorexia or known anyone who suffers from anorexia but I feel as if I understand a lot more about the eating disorder through reading this.


#65:  Author: Lisa_TLocation: Belfast PostPosted: Sun Jun 26, 2005 5:37 pm

thank you. That makes it worth writing!


#66:  Author: ChairLocation: Kent, England PostPosted: Sun Jun 26, 2005 6:30 pm

Reading all these drabbles makes me wish I had writing talent.


#67:  Author: Lisa_TLocation: Belfast PostPosted: Sun Jun 26, 2005 6:41 pm

Well, the CBB is a marvellous place to begin. Get an idea, ask someone to beta for you if you need/ want it, and post it. It's a generous audience and will help you build confidence.

Go for it! Laughing


#68:  Author: RosyLocation: Gloucestershire-London-Aberystwyth PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2005 7:16 pm

That was stunning. beautiful and terrifying all at once. You brought tears to my eyes then.

My best friend's little sister has AN, and is still undergoing treatment, though I was delighted to hear she's put on two stone since christmas, so is slowly recovering.



#69:  Author: RóisínLocation: Dublin PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2005 12:32 pm

Lisa thanks so much for posting that story. You really got under Phil's skin and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it, though it was uncomfortable reading in parts. Very talented word-weaving. Very Happy


#70:  Author: Lisa_TLocation: Belfast PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2005 11:13 pm

Thank you.

By the way, for you newer people, there is a sequel to this- probably a few pages on- called 'something fishy- the other side' which you might like to toddle to!


#71:  Author: RóisínLocation: Dublin PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2005 12:01 pm

*toddles on*

By the way, Lisa, I spent all of last Friday reading A Chalet Girl in Trouble. Majorly impressed. So impressed I'm insisting on it being a book itself - why don't you look into self-publishing it - it's the same length as an original EBD? It's in my transcripts file as a "fill-in". I would love to buy it bound!


#72:  Author: Lisa_TLocation: Belfast PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2005 7:24 pm

Oh thank you. Actually, I'm in the queue with GGB for a CS fill in 'Difficult Term' so while I would love to self publish 'Trouble' you'll have to wait til DT is well and truly off my hands. GGB are known to be sticky about anything non-canon- which Chalet Girl in Trouble definitely is!!!!

(thanks for your comments on 'other side' too)


#73:  Author: RóisínLocation: Dublin PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2005 7:28 pm

What kind of story will Difficult Term have (without giving too much away!) and when would it be set? This IS good news. Very Happy


#74:  Author: Lisa_TLocation: Belfast PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2005 7:47 pm

*lol* It's set between Three Go and Island. As for what happens, just re-read those two books and you should be able to more or less reconstruct the plot yourself! Wink


#75:  Author: VikkiLocation: Sitting on an iceberg, freezing to death!!! PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2005 10:52 pm

*puts on gloating hat*

It is a VERY good read too!!


#76:  Author: RóisínLocation: Dublin PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2005 10:54 pm

And when you say "queue" ... how long will we be waiting? Very Happy


#77:  Author: Lisa_TLocation: Belfast PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2005 9:06 pm

*g* You do enjoy gloating, don't you?

Roisin, I'm afraid it'll be a while. Another year more or less before I'm even at the top of the editing queue, and probably a further year after that before it's actually published.


#78:  Author: RóisínLocation: Dublin PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2005 9:08 pm

Well, best of luck with it and I'm looking forward to it anyway.


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