We are strong, powerful and impervious to illness or injury. We are a bastion of invulnerability, a veritable shining example of radiant health and vitality. Our superiority means we stand head and shoulders above everyone else and the weakness that comes with ill health and infirmity is not something that affects us. Except when we decide it must. That is when we play the sickness card. There are three instances, in the main, when we do this.
The first is when we do actually suffer from some illness or an injury. It may just be a fractured eyelash but to us we have been blinded with a red hot poker. The pain, good Lord the pain, it is too great and intense. It wracks us and has us twisted up in agony. Come on empath, do something. Do something now. Soothe our fevered brows, splint our broken limbs and bind our wounds. You must drop anything and everything. Forget being at work today, you must call in and excuse yourself no matter how inconvenient, for you are required to don a nurse’s outfit and do your best Florence Nightingale impression for us. This slight snuffle is pneumonia you know and to top it all it is your fault. You insisted on the window of the bedroom being left open, now see what you have done. I may not last the week. You would like that wouldn’t you, you ungrateful bitch after everything that I have done for you. You did it on purpose. You wanted me to be ill so you could see me suffer. That is how nasty and selfish you are. Is it any wonder I have been off with other women when this is how I am treated by somebody who is supposed to love me? Yes the smallest spot, minor ache and slight cough are all that is needed to enable us to declare that we are on our death beds. It is good for several uses. First of all, we will use it to avoid doing things such as household chores or attending an event that you wanted to go to. Secondly, it means you must give us plenty of attention by looking after us. Those soothing words and hot water bottles brought to our bedside all provide us with fuel. Thirdly, we are able to provoke you by being demanding and castigating you for not living up to expectations. You didn’t bring that hot lemon drink soon enough or those are the wrong pills. We will compare you to others, ” My mother would do a better job of looking after me than you.” All of which is designed to cause a reaction from you.
The second occasion on which we will play the sickness card is when you are ill or injured. We are not here to look after you. Good Lord, not at all. Why should we? That is not our role. We are too busy looking for fuel and we do not have the time or energy to spend engaged in nursing you. Not only of course are we devoid of the concept of feeling that we should care and that we should feel sorry and compassionate for someone who is unwell, we do not regard it as a task that is worthy of someone as brilliant as us. If you moan enough so that we are compelled to call out a doctor we will pronounce our own diagnosis in order to align ourselves with the brilliance of the medic. When he concludes what ailment it is you are suffering from we will declare,
“Yes, I said to her that that was what was wrong with her, but she won’t listen to me doctor, she insisted on getting you out. I am sorry she has wasted your time.”
We get to denigrate you and upset you whilst showing off how clever we are because we knew what was wrong with you (even though we did not) and the doctor accords with us. We may as well steal a segment of the doctor’s brilliance for our construct whilst he is here mightn’t we?
We will then invite the doctor to examine our shoulder or leg as we go to great lengths explaining how much pain we are in. This keeps the spotlight firmly on us and has you annoyed that we have hijacked your consultation. We will look to declare we are far worse off than you. You have a cold, well we have flu. We will use this as an opportunity to accuse you of attention seeking (nice bit of projection there) as we point out how selfish you are for being ill when we are. We have no interest in tending to you and we need to make the situation all about us. Accordingly, we will fake an illness or an injury in order to trump yours.
The third reason as to why we will play the sickness card is when we are low on fuel and low on energy. There may be any number of reasons why this state of affairs has arisen. You may be getting wise to some of our manipulative behaviour and therefore you are not reacting as often so that the level and quality of fuel that you provide is reduced. We may also have a natural dip in our energy levels or feel some degree of vulnerability which means that our resources are being stretched rather thin. This makes it difficult for us to seek out additional sources of fuel. This diminution in fuel reduces our power and this risks the craven creature that lurks within trying to escape and making itself heard. When this happens, the creature’s whisperings remind us of our weakened selves. We are not ill. We are not injured. What we are however is feeling weakened, as if we are ill or injured. Accordingly, we play the sickness card in order to obtain an emergency injection of fuel from you or whoever else might be to hand. As an empathic individual you are programmed to respond to this and you cannot resist the opportunity to exhibit your caring nature in order to help us out and nurse us. The attention you lavish on us provides us with fuel and we begin to feel more powerful again. The creature’s catcalls fade as he is subsumed within the prison of our constructed edifice once again and our supremacy returns. Our weakness lifts thanks to this provision of fuel from you and this has been instigated by us playing the sickness card. We will do this to garner sympathy from you, from family and friends and also from health professionals. Our favourite ailments of course are of the invisible variety. Depression, a stomach pain or a bad back. We are brilliant actors and ham up our suffering. The portrayal of our poor sick self would please Ferris Bueller. As with most things it is just another fabrication designed to manipulate you and provide us with fuel but you must never dare question us. We of course have researched the symptoms thoroughly and our Munchausen Syndrome is most prevalent. You are duty bound to help us rise from our sick bed or you are a bad person and we will cut you out of our will in the event that this terrible affliction sends us to the reaper. You will be sick to death of our illnesses and injuries but you will be duty bound to attend to them.