Am I a 10?


I like to apply the 1 in 10 rule to everything.  1 in 10 people…

Those are the words from a man we call Fireman Dave.  Fireman Dave was at work yesterday to give us two DPW required seminars, blood borne pathogens and fire safety.  He is a truly entertaining man.  He began his presentation with the quote above.  And he did apply the 1 in 10 rule to many things.

With blood borne pathogens, he said, “1 in 10 people have something you don’t want to catch.” Sure, there is logic in that.  I know I’m part of that 1 in 10.  I have HPV.  I know it’s contagious in a sexual setting, so it doesn’t apply.  But it still makes me one of those 10’s that someone wouldn’t knowingly have sex with.  No big deal; I’m married.  So it doesn’t apply there either.

“1 in 10 people will catch something they don’t want because they aren’t educated about health and safety.” I’m a 10 – I had never even heard of HPV until I had it. We talked about all of the things that you can contract from contact with blood. Did you know that Hepatitis B can live in dried blood for up to 7 days? Scary.

He told us a story about a woman who called 911 because her husband had been stabbed. The police had told Fireman Dave (who is also a paramedic) that the scene was secure, so he rushed in to help the man. He was leaning over the man and checking his vitals. He hardly had time to look up in the mirror in front of him to see the woman stab him in the butt.

“1 in 10 people are truly wacky.

We all laughed. After he said it, I joked, “Yeah, that’s me!” Haha! “Nah, I’m just kidding!

He continued on with his presentation filled with humorous anecdotes. I made an off color comment about one of them. I heard a mumble in the crowd, “Oh yeah, she’s a 10.” and everyone roared. I smiled, shrugged, and said, “I told you!”

I may have seemed jovial on the outside. But the anxiety was welling up like a balloon being inflated from the churning in my stomach to get lodged in my windpipe. “Breathe, just keep breathing… keep… breathing., I repeated in my head. I was more still than a statue and closed my eyes for more than a moment. I hoped that when I opened my eyes, I would be out of the spotlight. When I opened them, the fluorescent lights seemed to be brighter and the room much quieter. Fireman Dave went on, but was the spotlight really off of me?

“Am I really a 10?”

Fireman Dave described 10’s as being Richard Baumhammers, Richard Poplawski, or George Sodini (three notorious murderers in Pittsburgh). I’ve actually read “Crazy George” Sodini’s blog before authorities shut it down. Although it was both homicidal and suicidal, it was very much like catching a mental health blogger on a bad day. Except, this was every day for a long time.

I’m not homicidal. I’ve never been homicidal once in my life. I’ve only ever wished death upon two people, and I never even considered that it could be by my hand. My moral compass has always been finely tuned upon a sturdy foundation of values. But, if George Sodini could have a blog that I could understand, could I be a George Sodini? Am I that 10?

Maybe not. But, the 1 in 10 rule is relative. It states that “1 in 10 people that you encounter…”.

Mental health and development issues are very commonplace in my life. My family has something or another, whether they want to admit it or not. So, my threshold for slapping a 10 on someone is probably way higher than a “norm’s” would be. I consider serial killers and child molesters to be 10’s. Does that mean the “norms” consider me a 10?

What do you think?

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5 thoughts on “Am I a 10?

  1. Interesting. Looking at it like that, most people could be at some point considered a ten, maybe an eight or nine, norm or not. You know the saying, “if looks could kill”. I heard a story; I think it was an interview platform, true or not I’m not sure. The question was posed to Ruth Graham, wife of Billy Graham, (world renowned evangelist) “Have you ever considered divorce, ‘no she stated, however I have considered murder.'” I think she was as normal as one could come, but she was still married. Enough said on that.

    I’m not a homicidal sort either, and never thought I could, but not long ago I got scared out of my wits with some very strong visions in technicolor of me doing something not very nice. What was worse is that it happened again, and actually pondered it with a lucid mind and was not that scared……Now that was scary. Yes, I am married and I love my husband, but sometimes….. I understand these things are called obsessive scary thoughts or as my pdoc put it, just horrendous thoughts. Heaven help me if the obsessive thoughts become compulsions like a few other things in my life. I quickly decided to start baking again for our local mental health association events in order to put the halt on an impending 10. My freezer is almost full enough to feed a small army. (Slight exaggeration, and a bit of a cliche, but it sounded good!) I really hope God has a big sense of humor.

    I’m glad I stumbled on these blogs and a few others. They have given me insight and a sounding board to start unleashing some of my innerness. I think I have tuckered some of my friends out with my intensity and quirkiness. I’m afraid if I were to post on Facebook my status and my thoughts for the day and whatnot, I’d have no friends left. 🙂 :-(. No friends that is with the exception of some dear family members, and well, a close friend who is as quirky as anyone I’ve ever met. We totally get a charge out of each other. l already had an unfriend and I was being civil. Mmmmm can’t please ’em all. Most of the time I’m afraid to say to anyone what is really going on in my mind as to how I’m feeling. I’ve heard the suck it up and others, even my case worker has said I have been challenging to keep up with. Yes in the long run, I have been fortunate to have a case worker. I fought it and everything for some time, but for over a year, she has been my lifeline to civilization. She has made the trek to my out of town hillbilly existence every week without fail. It was ordered mandatory from my pdoc as I had been placed on several community treatment orders. Any suggestions on how to get your driver’s license back? She took it away three years ago. Anyway, this too shall pass, Oh, and I just read at least the article on Richard Baumhammers. Thankfully, I think we have a ways to go before being classified as true tens in that department. Just sign me sprinting and crashing to the finish line.

    • I’ll go through this chronologically.

      Lol @ Ruth Graham. Talk to anyone who is married. Except, I don’t have to worrying about doing it myself. My dad has made it very clear that all I have to do is say the word, and he’ll invite my husband to go fishing with him. Of course, there are a few times I’ve made my own threats. “If I ever see (insert ex’s name here) again…”, my dad says. And I always cut him off, “Not if I get to him first.” I have good cause. Read Leep Into Cin – Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 to get an idea. Honestly, I don’t know how anyone could get handed this card and not respond with malice.

      I’d never actually do it. Sigh.

      I think God has a sense of humor. Sometimes it’s hilariously ironic. And sometimes it’s twisted and tragic. But I think that God knows what’s in our hearts better than we do. Bad people do good things all of the time. Think of the good Christian man who chairs church events but goes home to brutally abuse his family. And good people sometimes do bad things. Just work on one thing at a time. I sometimes have to remind myself that I didn’t develop these behaviors and symptoms in a day. It happened over a period of years. So, I cannot expect to make a full recovery in a day. I raise my head up and face two hard facts. It may take the rest of my life to make a recovery. Or there might be the possibility that I will never recover and I will struggle with this for the rest of my life. But, I can’t consider anything to be a loss if I’m at least trying.

      My husband and I share a Facebook IRL. We’ve built our identities, separately and together, based on our dark humor and our quirkiness. C.S. is great at the “take it or leave it; this is me”. His confidence is a social crutch for me. So we just put it out there as humor. It’s all a big joke. “Oh T.M. is soooo crazy! Haha!” I’m almost a commodity. Like how people go into Spencer’s in the mall and have a great time looking at the “My kid got your honor student pregnant.” bumper stickers. Most of the time, no one buys them. And even if they do, they’ll likely throw it in the back of a desk drawer and forget about it.

      But I’ve already talked about my particular problems with friendship.

      I’ve never been able to connect with other people the way I have here. It’s not as if I haven’t met anyone with mental differences IRL. But for some reason, it always turns disastrous. It’s either this big competition to be worse than the other person with so much of a harder life. Or one person becomes too much for the other person. I don’t want to try to be worse than anyone – I want to share my experience and have others do the same. It should be similar to the camaraderie between war veterans. I’ve only ever found that here and especially with Canvas.

      Getting out is the key. I am always happier when I’m working. I get depressed just from having cabin fever. Even volunteer work is great.

      I’ll tell you a secret. I never got my driver’s license to begin with. That was going to go in the second half of the 99 Quirks of Lulu.

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