Saturday, March 2, 2013

Killing Me Softly

Karen Carpenter (Wikipedia)
After reading a stream of ugly comments about Karen Carpenter and her cause of death on You Tube, we decided it was time to address the topic of anorexia and bulimia, and lodge a strong protest against the vast right winged conspiracy of ignorance in this nation which has ridiculed her.
For those too young to have been around during the heyday of the Carpenters, they were a brother-sister duo of Richard and Karen (1950-1983) who were one of top acts of the 1970s. Formed in the late 1960s, they struggled in obscurity until 1970 when they broke out with their hit single Close To You. Thereafter they produced a string of hits, often dominating the Adult Contemporary charts and stations.
By all accounts, the two siblings had a close relationship but numerous people have reported that Richard was a controller who on his good days could be a total ass - and we state the case delicately. While they maintained a close working relationship, Karen resented the controls placed on her both by her brother and others involved with managing her career and image.

As their career matured, Karen began battling a disease diagnosed as anorexia whose symptoms included weight loss due to not eating – or as in her case, eating but then throwing up her food. Eventually her affliction required hospitalization and some close shaves with death. In the end, after she seemed to be on the mend, death won out as her weakened body organs could no longer take the stress of normal living.

This disease is commonly thought to be a body image problem wherein the person suffering from it is so dissatisfied with being fat or not having the accepted body that she compensates for it by not eating. While this interpretation is understandable, it is entirely incorrect if not naive.

Anorexia nervosa is a psychological reaction to control – an attempt to fight for autonomy and identity. Although the disease is predominantly a woman’s disease, it is by no means exclusively so – and we are a firsthand witness to a case where the sufferer is a male. Psychologists note that eating is the one last area where the person who has succumbed to the illness still has control – and will go to great lengths to hide the symptoms. Eventually the lack of nutrition and calories takes its toll rendering stealth moot.
In the case of Ms Carpenter, we believe that her brother was the ultimate – although probably not only – cause of her death. We will refrain from commenting on his intentions but we believe that he is a very sick, if not demented person who still attempts to control his sister even in her death. We say this based upon assorted comments from people who have described him before and after his sister’s death.

People who ridicule or misdiagnose her are evil people. It is a tragedy to see someone feel so helpless that she sees only a long suicidal way of escape. We hope that our dear readers will take some time to investigate anorexia and use compassion in understanding the struggles which tears these people apart.
Anorexia is not a case of vanity or envy – it is an escape from controlling personalities who will not let the person develop who they really are, or express themselves as they really think.

Copyright 2013 Tony Bonn. All rights reserved.

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