Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Name, rank, disorder: Post from the Past

This post is a combination of two I wrote in September of 2008 

I have a super power. I have an invisible force field around me that draws in people with "issues". They can sense my force field and are inexplicably drawn to me. They pour out all their problems to me as I stand stunned in an aisle at Wal-Mart. They talk to me on the street, on the bus, in restaurants, at coffee shops. I can't do anything about it. I have a sign that flashes above my head in neon reading "Please, tell me your life story, I care. I really do."

I really don't. However, since I can't turn off my sign or stop the drawing energy of my force field, I am compelled to meet a bunch of odd and troubled people. Maybe that is why I went into the field itself -- this way I get paid for what I was already doing for free.

Baby heads
Cuba baby head statue
For the most part, I do care about people and their problems. My family and friends? Heck yes! I want to hear the stories, share experiences and offer advice, etc. Strangers I meet on the street while I am minding my own business?? Not so much. And yet, it is unavoidable.

This is part of the reason I try to avoid downtown. The downtown attracts all the sorts of people one would think it does. Along with the hipsters, the artists, the yuppies, the cool people, it also draws the street people and the crazies. And sometimes, both in one.

I work in a place where I come in contact with street people on a regular basis. They may not know "me" as a civilian, but rather only can place me when I am filling my occupational role. I am cool with that. However, I still run into them in my non-work hours. I never seek them out, I only acknowledge them when they do me (that's the rule I follow) but I do stumble across them.

I had a run in with an interesting young man who introduced himself to me in one breath."Hi, my name is Jacob* and I have a mental health disorder and a low IQ." I had to pause at that. It is not the first time I have come across someone who has introduced themselves like that. They provide their name and a run down of their challenges, illnesses and disabilities.

"Hi, I'm Gladys and I'm bipolar."
"I'm Bob, I have HepC. This is Janey. She's slow."

It's very interesting what people identify themselves as being. I think we should all do that. I've decided to introduce myself to new people this way.
"Hi! I'm Bronwyn. I'm an emotional eater and have unresolved issues of rage."

Imagine how free our society would be.

"I'm Bill. I wet my bed until I was 15."
"Hi, I'm Maisey. I'm into necrophilia."
"Hello, I'm Gerald. I have uncontrollable flatulence and a mother complex."

How would you introduce yourself?

*Names and disorders have been changed to protect any privacy issues that may arise.


  1. Okay Lady, this one really made me laugh! Hi my name is Laurie, I too have a force field that draws people in... emotional eater, check! A people pleaser, thanks to who ever gave me that trait! I could go on and on... but I would like to end this by saying thanks for the giggle! ;)

    1. I love it. I just thought it was so freeing to let things go right out like that! People amuse me.

  2. So true, so true! We do label people, don't we. I wonder what "they" would say about me? Hmmm....

    1. I'm sure it would be all good, Heather!!

  3. Love this. I will have to think of how I could introduce myself. "Hi my name is Janet and I work for myself because I don't play well with other children." ;)

    1. Oh my gosh, I could have that tattooed on my forehead.


As much as I like to hear myself talk, I like to hear from you too!