Trauma Train – Flash Fiction

Sometimes a story starter can be embedded – it doesn’t actually have to be a starter.


Write a story or poem containing “Thanks for nothing”.

Flash Fiction

Generational trauma and abuse are the biggest reasons people get abandoned in nursing homes by their young. It’s not that they’re unloved, or their children don’t care, but that they’ve put their young through so much distress over their lifetime that they physically can’t handle being around them anymore. So, in an effort to prevent this from happening to Dorothy, she decided to take her daughter to therapy.

After almost an hour of Dorothy attempting to justify her decision to remarry only three months after her husband’s death, Annmarie – the therapist – butts in.

“So, you believed you must remarry to keep your family safe?” Annmarie questions, peering over her glasses.

“Exactly!” Dorothy exclaims.

Annmarie looks at her notes before looking back up at the pair – her eyes darting between Dorothy and Bridget. “You chose to bring a man into your household, known to be a woman beater, to keep your family safe?”

Dorothy’s mouth hangs open like a flytrap waiting for sustenance. “How do you…”

“How do I know?” Annmarie finishes the sentence. “Because I’ve spoken to your daughter, and listened.”

“It was just a rumour,” Dorothy mutters.

Bridget scoffs angrily, “his ex-wife was always covered in bruises when we went to church… What did you think that was from?”

“An iron deficiency.”

“Did he tell you that?” Bridget growls.

Annmarie puts her hand up. “Let’s take a moment because I think we need to discuss the aftermath of the wedding.”

Dorothy rolls her eyes, slumping in her chair like a grumpy child.

“Did you witness any of the abuse?” Annmarie asks, directing the question towards Dorothy.


Bridget shakes her head, tears forming in her eyes.

“You’re aware that your son, David, has confirmed Bridget’s story over yours?” 

Dorothy’s sour expression turns stone cold. “He did what?”

“He confirmed that you were sitting in your armchair while your husband abused Bridget.” She pauses. “How often did you watch him beat her to save yourself?”

“She was nearly an adult,” Dorothy mutters, looking down at her hands – realising that she’s been caught.

“Nearly an adult?” Bridget shouts, nearly a scream, as she looks at her mother in disgust. “I was twelve!”

Shaking her head, Dorothy stands up. “All you’ve done is bring up bad memories. Thanks for nothing.” She storms out, the door slamming behind her.

Bridget flinches in response to the bang.

Taking a deep breath, Annmarie slumps. “I’m sorry you had to deal with that.”

Shrugging, Bridget stands up. “I think she only agreed to think because she thought you’d try to convince me that she was in the right.”

“You’d be surprised how often parents do that in therapy.”

Bridget closes her eyes, trying to calm herself. “I suspect she will be stuck with him in that shitty care home.”

Annmarie smiles solemly. “I think she’s made her bed. She chose to allow him to abuse you, and now that she’s being abused, she wants you to do more for her than she did for you – the difference is, she’s an adult. She allowed him to abuse you, and bringing her into your house would be detrimental to your children, considering how bitter she is. The trauma ends with you; stand your ground.”

Deciding to go Low Contact, or No Contact, with a family member to prevent further trauma can be challenging. Especially during the holidays. But if the options are to go No Contact or cause harm to your children, your partner, or yourself – choose yourself. Stop the Trauma Train.

Available to read online for free and downloadable for 99p.
Available from Theodora’s Emporium and Amazon.
Available to read online for free and downloadable for 99p.
Pre-Order Here: Signed Paperback and Amazon eBooks.


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