I’m not a natural nurse. I don’t have enough patience with the patients (sorry, couldn’t resist). I start off with good intentions, but very quickly become iritated with the sick person. Not very caring, I know. I am aware that I am supposed to be able to switch on my nurturing instinct in situations such as these, but I suspect I don’t actually have one. Why else would I find the constant whiney, baby-voiced requests for a glass of water so damned infuriating?

Actually, I’d probably cope OK with most patients, but John is another matter. He’s been sick since Wednesday with a flu. It’s a bad one, actually; he’s been bed-ridden with it and is basically feeling like shit. But feeling like crap has not stopped him vascillating between despotic tyrant – how anyone can yell with a sore throat is beyond me – and needy toddler. He yelled at me on Thursday night when I told him to go to bed while I did the housework. He needs something every 30 seconds and asks for every little thing he needs in a little baby voice.

There is something about the way that John demands my attention constantly with a put-on needy “I’m sick” baby voice that pisses me off to no end. Yes, I know he’s sick. Yes, he needs sympathy. Yes, he needs to be taken care of. Why can’t he ask for help in an adult voice? When I hear that baby whine, it kills any sympathy and slaughters whatever nurturing instinct I do have. Baby voices are fine for babies. Children can get away with it. But adult men? Sorry, it just seems plain manipulative.

As I typed the last paragraph, I realised that Kevin (my dickhead biological father) used to lie in bed, faking illnesses (or suffering from hangovers), acting like a little child to get sympathy and making my mother run around after him. Constantly. He was always putting some illness on. And when he wasn’t whining about what ever fake ailment he had that day, he was acting the tyrant to get his own way. ‘Manipulative’ is exactly the word I’d use to describe him… or ‘selfish’.

OK. It seems that I have some issues here. Sounds like John is not the problem after all. You know, my therapist will have financed 5 houses from what I pay him by the time we’ve finished dealing with all my baggage!


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August 2003
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