I’ve got a cold. Goddamn it. Hit me full force like a ton of brinks yesterday. Sneezing, weakness, slight fever, post nasal drip, and one of those nasty coughs that just plain hurts. Damn it. I was looking forward to the t-break to catch up on stuff; now I will lie around sneezing and feeling miserable. And, damn it, I am in the middle of grading a batch of student papers. Tired like this, my patience runs thin really, really fast. Trying paying real attention to a five page paper of utter gobble-de-gok with your eyes dripping and your head aching…It’s almost a form of torture.
Also I am not good at being sick. In fact, I am lousy at it. Of course, I am not too good at being well. I feel like crap even when I am well; but at least it’s healthy crap. Being sick is like the same thing but sickly.
I put the blame for my problems being sick directly where it belongs. Yes, I blame my mother! Damn it. Joan didn’t have a nuturing bone in her body; she tried but it was like she was breaking all those bones in her body with the effort required even to try.
I was a sickly runt. With strep through over and over again. At one point I stopped growing and was truly runt like. You would have thought that was my fault somehow and not the result of germs or freaking poor nutrition. No, when I got sick, it was like:
What’s wrong with you? Why do perversely keep getting sick? I have done nothing wrong. Why do you punish me? What did I ever do to deserve this? What have I ever done to you but be a super excellent mother, that you should keep getting sick like this. Are you trying to make me feel like a failure? You devious, sickly, selfish, self-centered little runt. I told you! I told you to wear your jacket and eat your peas. You despicable disobedient little runt. I order you to stop being sick!
Do I exaggerate? I know I exaggerate. No, this is pretty accurate and captures pretty much Joan’s nurturing technique which was to make me feel that I was killing her by getting sick. Hell, I know she had other things on her mind. She made that abundantly obvious. And being son number 1, well, this infant getting sick business and what to do about it was all new territory. She had no so-called “role models” in this nurturing business. So what? That wasn’t my fault, but I paid for it.
So are the sins of the mother visited upon the son. Damn it. When I get sick, my rational mind says you have a cold asshole, but my unconscious is saying you deserve to die, asshole, for getting a cold. And you will die a painful death because of the horrors you so selfishly inflicted upon your loving mother.
So as I said I am not good at getting sick. In fact, I am really, really bad for getting sick. I don’t know if it’s possible to have less than zero self-esteem. But when I am sick I manage it.