Urgh, you know the concept of “negging“?  It’s a PUA tactic where the picker-upper offers a backhanded compliment to his mark, in order to break her down by making her feel insecure.  It’s totally gross, and that’s not exactly what happened to me – but it felt a lot like it, a bit like when someone makes you feel stupid by telling you what an intelligent person they know you are – so why do you disagree with them?

So, I had a hospital appointment this afternoon, inconveniently located in the affluent suburbs of South Manchester.  Sometimes I have enough time to be able to walk it from the railway station, sometimes not.  This was very much a “not” situation, so I jumped in a taxi.  Here is the full transcript of our conversation on the journey:

 Well, when you put it like that, yeah, it does sound insulting.

Well, I guess he had a point. Being a psychiatric patient is clearly the worst possible thing one can be. But after I’d finished my dirty protest in the back of the vehicle and stripped naked and started setting fire to nearby objects, I paid the fare and was able to move on with my life knowing that I’d never have to see that ignorant jerk again (some of the previous sentences may have been embellished for effect. Perhaps.). But for the whole journey, I was both cringing and fuming. I wanted to challenge his viewpoint, but I also wanted to get to my appointment safely and swiftly. And so I just sat there in silence, staring daggers at the back of his head and feeling powerless.

Maybe he meant to compliment me on how “normal” I look. Because a professional 30-something couldn’t possibly experience mental ill-health, right? And we all know how important it is to conform. I guess I should be glad I don’t look like a nutter, eh?

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