I checked Oxford Dictionary and "bleed" means:

  • Lose blood from the body as a result of injury or illness.

  • Draw blood from (someone), especially as a former method of treatment in medicine.

  • Allow (fluid or gas) to escape from a closed system through a valve.

  • print or be printed so that it runs off the page after trimming.

And "bitterness" means:

  • Sharpness of taste; lack of sweetness

  • Anger and disappointment at being treated unfairly; resentment.

But I can not understand the meaning of the phrase, and I don't know if it is an idiom or not. Does it mean it reduced my angry?

So, could you please tell me what the meaning of

was bled of my bitterness

The text is:

I remember strangely little of the hospital, or of how my brother looked. I vaguely recall that his head was wrapped in gauze, and that when I asked why, Mother said the doctors had performed a surgery, cutting into his skull to relieve some pressure, or stop a bleed, or repair something— actually, I can’t remember what she said. Shawn was tossing and turning like a child with a fever. I sat with him for an hour. A few times his eyes opened, but if he was conscious, he didn’t recognize me. When I came the next day, he was awake. I walked into the room and he blinked and looked at Mother, as if to check that she was seeing me, too. “You came,” he said. “I didn’t think you would.” He took my hand and then fell asleep. I stared at his face, at the bandages wrapped around his forehead and over his ears, and was bled of my bitterness. Then I understood why I hadn’t come sooner. I’d been afraid of how I would feel, afraid that if he died, I might be glad.

Educated by Tara Westover

1 Answer 1


The narrator uses the metaphor of bleeding in its old-fashioned sense as a putative healing process ("drawing blood from (someone), especially as a former method of treatment in medicine"), in this case for the bitterness he/she had felt previously. He/she no longer feels bitter towards his/her brother, seeing him helpless and bandaged.

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