I do not know where I fit Into Things.

I do not know where I fit into things.

I’m insecure. I’m jealous of medical school. I want to know he’d pick me over medical school if he had to choose. I want to feel chosen. I can’t remember the last time I felt chosen. We argue a lot about who made what choices to get us here.

The way I remember it: we’d moved in together, gotten engaged, he got accepted to medical school, he was going no matter what, I came with because I wanted to be with him – or maybe because I was too afraid to be alone.

The way he remembers it: we had a lot of discussions, as a couple, and medical school was the right path for us.

I do not know where I fit into things.

I remember: fear of abandonment, fear of moving to Alabama where I’d know no one, stress about moving to the same city as my in-laws because they didn’t think I was a suitable fiancée for their son, fear of how busy medical school would make him, fear of being alone with myself, fear of loneliness, fear of every part of this plan.

I do not know where I fit into things.

I feel shame that I’ve become a woman who follows her husband from state to state for his career. I feel like a bad feminist.

Three great loves, my palm-reading

Irish Catholic gypsy grandmother predicted

before we were even married.

I’m trying so hard to be good but I’m scared.

I slip up. I am not good.

His loves:

Originally her

Then me

Now medicine

I remain convinced you would have left me in Saint Louis if I had not been willing to move with you. I feel disposable. I know I am the second love. I told you I wanted to be a couple with an egalitarian marriage – equal partners in decisions, mostly. The sticky part is that you’d already chosen your life path, you’d already chosen our life path & and my only say I had was to come with you or not.

I do not know where I fit into things.

Darling, I know you remember this differently. But the memory of my emotions around it is carved into my left lung. I still carry these emotions inside of me. I still feel them often. This is the resentment we were warned about.

I do not know where I fit into things.

“Oh you’re so pretty” she tells me at the party when Edward introduces me as his wife. “So Edward, how’s medical school going?” I cannot help myself. I roll my eyes and walk right back out the front door we’d just come in through without saying anything. I am the pretty little wife. They want to see me but not hear me. Smile, nod, shut up, behave – this feels like my role in any group setting.

I will not shut up. I will not behave.

(Originally written 2017/Revised 2021, painting by me)

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