People do not want to hear about her shit.

She knows this. So she keeps the blood to herself. After all, she only noticed a little smear. Once. Okay, several times, but still. If she doesn’t tell anyone, never says the words, what she thinks she sees won’t ever be real.

Once, she tries to talk to a professional about her shit.

But she doesn’t get very far. Americans are fixated on youth and beauty. The older a woman gets, the more invisible she becomes. And by the time one gets to her age, they may as well not exist. The nurse won’t look at her during her intake interview. Cuts her off mid-sentence every time she tries to gather the courage to mention what’s wrong.

Everyone wants to ignore her shit, even when they’re paid to examine it.

She goes home. Concocts her detailed bowel-casts for everyone who calls. Blames an inability to shit on constipation. Any blood is just a side effect of how hard it was, the effort required.

Nobody wants to help her deal with her shit.

They won’t look at it. Or smell it. Or drag it from the potty chair in her bedroom to the toilet. They won’t flush it. Or evaluate it. Or touch it. Not even a glance. The only way she can speak the damning words is for someone else to see the truth. But she doesn’t know how to ask for what she needs. Can’t make anyone understand. Bungles it time and time and time again.

The day is coming when she won’t be able to handle her shit, no matter how she tries.

She knows what’s gnawing at her insides even if she cannot bring herself to say the word. No, she continues her bowel-splaining because she knows everyone will look the other way.

The shit that killed me made me stronger, too.

This post is a continuation of The Aftermath of Death, She Was Venus in Fur, Grief Out of Balance, and For the Love of a Gun. All are fiction.

NYT bestselling author NOT WITHOUT MY FATHER | speaker | dreamer | risk-taker | travel whore | turn I wish I had into I’m glad I did andrawatkins.com

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