My brain tumor

Overheard:  “When I had my brain tumor…”

What strikes me is not the tumor, but the deliberate way the speaker claimed possession of it.  Why do you suppose we do that:  claim a tremendous difficulty as our own?  Is it to keep ourselves the center of discussion?  Seek advice from someone in a similar situation?  One-upsmanship?  To prove our staying power?  Try to assert control over a problem not of our making?

This theme will absolutely appear in one of my stories.

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One response

  1. This has really got me thinking…. I think that I understand the ‘my’ in this sentence as an attempt to downplay the importance of the tumor. If it were me, saying “THE brain tumor” or “A brain tumor” would sound almost too grandiose, like I WAS trying to draw attention to myself. Calling it “mine” minimizes it. Makes it seem less threatening. My guess is that the speaker here was talking about a topic that was not nearly as grave as a brain tumor and didn’t want to change the tone in a more serious direction, so they said, “my” brain tumor to lighten something that could otherwise have been too dark.

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