If there’s one sentence that is more likely to make me want to pounce on someone like a pre-menstrual, hormonal raging, menopausal, high on crack, slightly psychotic Ninja assassin and beat the right royal fuckery out of them, then it’s “Hey, you look well.” This once seemingly innocent sentence, used to be taken as the compliment that it was intended to be. But now, it is a phrase which has become loaded with unspoken meaning.
Now it can mean anything from, “you look well so you can’t be as ill as I thought,” or “you look well so therefore you must be faking it”. It has also become a way for others to avoid asking you about your illness because when someone tells you that you look well, the immediate response is to reply with “thank you”. End of conversation and all mention of illnesses skilfully avoided. It’s quite clever really and as annoying as fuck.
I recently had my case with ‘Family First’ closed on the basis that “I looked well.” No really. The case worker had increasingly become bogged down with new cases and was clearly unable to cope. I knew that the support I had asked for was coming to an end when:
1. All the help and support that was first offered with filling in forms, contacting relevant agencies and making important phone calls, suddenly became about me being ‘proactive’. In other words, “do it yourself.”
2. The fact that she kept mentioning how well I looked, even though she knew that I was struggling both physically and emotionally. Because as we all know, if you look well, you’re not really unwell.
So the help that I had asked for in regards to my spawn (as my carer) getting more support, came to a halt on the sentence, “you look well, so I’m going to close your case.” The only satisfaction that I gained from that last meeting was the look of fear in her eyes as I stared silently at her for a full two minutes and imagined taking away her very last breath with the aid of a mental Vulcan death grip. It didn’t work.
So the next time somebody tells me that I look well, they will probably have to call for an ambulance service at the same time, because murder WILL take place.