Maybe I Am Normal???


Maybe I am normal???

So, the Art Therapist has this pesky habit of chipping away at my alleged flawed beliefs.  My immediate response to this is to discount his comments because I know he is wrong.  Well…I am pretty sure he is wrong.  And then sometime later, I sort of humor his ideas and think about them.

But he’s kind of gotten to me about the concept of being “normal.”

I am frequently frustrated because I feel like I am not normal.  I have this idea of what I want to be; happy, carefree, easy going, social, friendly, confident, open, trusting, whole, etc.  And I am not any of these things right now.  And it bugs me…just irks me almost to the point of obsession.

But the Art Therapist keeps telling me that I am normal….and that the things that I consider not normal (depression, PTSD, insecurity, failure to trust, fear, anxiety, self-loathing, etc.) are actually perfectly normal things.  They are the normal responses of someone who has experienced the kind of trauma I have.

And he has said this to me several times and in different ways, and on Monday…I heard it.  I haven’t sucked it into the depths of my brain as an absolute, but I am considering his hypothesis.  (Which he would state is not a hypothesis, but a truth.)

So, I’ve been thinking…What if what I consider normal, is just one kind of normal? Sort of the normal of an undamaged person.  (And I know that life as an undamaged person would not always be sunshine and roses…but I do tend to idealize it.) And the Art Therapist’s idea of normal, which encompasses all the yucky things that I think and feel now, is another kind of normal?  The post-trauma symptoms are a normal response.  Normal. Normal. Normal.

As matter of fact, one could conclude that a normal response to trauma would be indicative of the person having the trauma response being normal underneath…Because you can’t have a normal response if you aren’t already normal.  And if you are already normal, then you don’t have to try to be normal because you are there…You are normal.

Of course, feeling normal is a whole other can of worms….Unless….Unless feeling not normal is also a normal response.  Or wanting to feel the idealized normal is normal….

Okay, then maybe the question is this….So, maybe what I feel is normal…but how do I stop feeling like crap all the time?  How do I stop hating myself and hurting inside and being afraid?  Especially when I have fed and reinforced those feelings for so long?  How do I dig down and find the other normal inside of me? Is there even any of the other normal still left in me?  Or was there any even to start with?

That’s one of my sticking points with his theory….Because I was damaged so young…I never really did get a chance to be normal.  So, how can I recapture what I never had?  I don’t know…It’s funny, it all seemed more clear when I started writing…now it is confusing.

3 thoughts on “Maybe I Am Normal???

  1. Normal is such a word! I never felt ‘normal.’ For life. Normal means not to have been attacked. I wished so hard for it with every person who had what I didn’t have—centeredness, calm, wholeness, no anxiety, trust, the ability to be present…the list goes on…, that I am not sure how I did not morph into being them.
    Then as I accepted what happened, instead of wishing to be someone else, because everyone else seemed ‘normal’, I understood that I am so very normal. That any child suffering such trauma, such attacks, would have severe challenges, including all these ‘normal’ people I wished to be. If they suffered as I had, they too would be trying to handle the very same challenges I handle, and maybe not so successfully. And ‘they’ don’t understand because they have not been there. And that reinforces the feeling of being alone.

    • Right…good point. It is not normal to be sexually abused. Maybe that’s the concept I was struggling to put a finger on.

      Since starting blogging and reading other folks’ blogs, I have started to realize that I am not as alone as I thought…That my responses are not me being crazy, but pretty typical of others. This has been incredible helpful to me.

      • Me too! I am not alone, or crazy, or different. So very normal. That feeling of being so different no longer haunts me to such a degree. Most those around me don’t get ‘it’. A rare friend fully understood my challenges as she faced the same, even in her sixties, but I lost her to cancer two years ago. So I’ve only found that kind of connection to those on-line, and little did I know how affected in a positive way I would be.

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