Yesterday, whilst lurking in my den of self-pity, I watched day time TV. Trisha Goddard was my nurse for the day. She numbed my throbbing brain with a stream of guests, presented for my mindless consumption.
To be honest, I can't recall what they were on about. But suffice to say, it was the usual banal, melodramatic crap that the 'lowest common denominator' seem to enjoy sharing on TV. I make no apologies for being a snob. Anyways, I'm still ill. I have a letter from my mum that says I can be nasty.
However, my smugness was curtailed when I realised I shared a common character flaw with them. Let's call it the 'You Tendency'.
I first became aware of my own You Tendency during clinical supervision some years back. We were talking about a particularly irksome patient who really got on my tits. I couldn't abide the man. Yet I had an obligation to care for him. My supervisor, being the good mental health worker, asked me the standard question;
"So, how do you feel?"
My reply went something like this;
"Well, you know, you feel guilty and you get frustrated. You think you're not doing your job well enough..."
"You mean I, surely?" She interjected.
And at that point I realised what I'd done. Uncomfortable with my own feelings towards the man, I'd projected them out of myself. Not only that, when I said 'you' I didn't mean 'thou' - my supervisor, I meant you - as in everyone. All of us.
<unsaid>There's nothing wrong with feeling like this. It's fine to hate a patient and avoid contact with him, possibly to the detriment of his health. Because everyone agrees that he's a twat.</>
In using this linguistic trick, we can delude ourselves that our prejudices are acceptable.
So, how do you feel about this?