Fountain Of Blood in The Shape Of A Woman


My heart feels like it is breaking right now without any prompting or reality to warrant these feelings. I’ve just woken up an hour ago. Take a pill, wait half an hour, take the other pills, begin to drink coffee. I tried to snuggle with the dogs, go back to my frightening dreams, just to escape some of this morning alone. I find my own sometimes inability to be alone pathetic. Say whatever you want, no one is going to be crueler to me than I am to myself.

“You have to love yourself before you can really love someone else.”

I see these words often & I think they are bullshit. I love Edward. I love Sam. I love Lena. I love lots of people. But I cannot seem to love myself, not consistently anyway. Take care of myself – sometimes. Love myself? I don’t know. It feels like an act of vanity to try. I can pretend. I can feign confidence. I can become angry on my own behalf when I feel wronged. Sometimes this trigger is too sensitive. Sometimes every trigger is too sensitive. Often I am too sensitive. I’m afraid to take responsibility for my own life and happiness, even though Mary Oliver has told me to do so and I need to. This is vulnerability, this is the blood & guts. “Change the narrative,” my therapist keeps reminding me. My narratives are stubborn. They jump between their iterations but editing them is difficult. I think it has something to do with neural pathways that have become well-worn paths. It’s difficult to create a new path through the wilderness. It’s almost a kind of simple magic that I cannot seem to master yet.


I am married to a man I adore who also adores me. But he’s gone so much of the time – his mind in ideas, abstractions & concepts I do not understand. He’s taking care of people who are ill, his body in other places besides next to mine. Sometimes his body is present with me but his mind is elsewhere. Sometimes I do this same thing to him, neither of us on purpose, just sometimes screens seem important. Sometimes he is entirely present with me. These times are wonderful.

When I awake in the morning and expect to see him sleeping next to me, snoring lightly as he does (familiar, family, comfort) then realize he’s already across town a feeling of mild but visceral panic sets in.

I often love hearing his stories of the people he cares for at work but I also wish I could have him all to myself. Smothering love, selfishness, greed, low self esteem, lack of independence; I don’t know what he sees in me. That’s a lie. I know what he sees in me, I do not understand how he finds it lovable, why he wants to be married to it. Most men who approach me see only the surface level – thin legs, breasts, long hair, an hourglass figure, a relatively symmetrical face – that is why they come. He’s seen it all – the giddiness, my gaping blackhole of need, the silliness, the desire to burn it all to the fucking ground, the deep shame, the depression, the despair, the darkness, the panic attacks, the perfectionism, the pettiness, the neuroticism, the mania, the laziness, the impulsivity, the cruelty, the breakdowns, the baggage, the hunger, the fury, my strange mix of dependence & independence, the affection. We began dating shortly after I tried to kill myself. He knew what he was getting into, he reassures me of this. Yet I do not understand.


What is it I am trying so hard to say? Trying so hard not to say?

I don’t know where we will be next year, here or there, and the year after that is another mystery. Black & white thinking, I cannot see some of my family in shades of grey. All people should be seen in shades of grey – everyone is some good & some bad.


I lose and find connection so easily, so suddenly. With Edward, with new friends, with old friends. It doesn’t take much to connect or disconnect. I grieve my ghost lives (the ones I might have lived) even though I am mostly happy, mostly content, in my current one. I worry that I am a hipster, that I am not a real artist, that I am becoming a boring housewife at 26, that I will never really find my tribe, that I will always feel like I am on the outside looking in, that I will rarely feel like the protagonist of my own story.



2 thoughts on “Fountain Of Blood in The Shape Of A Woman

  1. As someone who has struggled for years, I want to say that it does get easier as we age — whether it is the accumulation of life experiences, perfecting the meds, or whatever, life will improve for you. Just as you are smarter than the your 15 year old and your 15 year old was smarter than your 5 year old, your 35 year old WILL be smarter and able to cope better. When life sucks, remember/ hold on to / have the faith that you will make it and hang in there. BTW, you are a good writer.


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