What is normal or abnormal? Those two questions seem relatively easy to answer, but in all reality, they are much more complicated than most of us realize. If you’re like me and have been through abuse and trauma, this blog post will most likely hit home.
When you grow up in a house full of trauma, torture, and abuse, the lines are blurred. You might not even recognize them or realize they exist.
I went through things that seemed all too normal, but as I’ve gone through my healing journey, I discovered that they were not standard in any shape or form.
The List Of Normal From My Experiences
- Hugs And A Lack Of Affection Or Emotion.
- Sick Father In The Hospital Repeatedly.
- Boundary And Privacy Issues.
- Lack Of Self-Care.
- Learning How To Deal With Stress Effectively.
- Abuse And Murder Of My Pets.
- Isolated And Controlled From The Outside World.
- Screaming, Rage, And Domestic Abuse.
- Sexual Inappropriateness.
- Abnormal Becomes Normal.
Even as I write this list and reflect back over some of these things, I still can’t believe all of what I went through. I have heard from others that my dad made us who we are today. In my mind, I cannot agree with that statement because I am who I am in spite of what he did. He doesn’t get credit for me working to heal my life.
It Feels Normal
When we go through the things as I listed above, it feels familiar because it is all we know. Without knowing what others experience, your world seems like what happens. You have no way to contrast and compare what goes on in the homes of other people.
In the days growing up, no one talked about this stuff. We were not allowed to go and spend much time with other friends. In fact, we moved so much for the first part of my childhood that I had no friends. They were acquaintances that lasted only a few months. I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt that this really messes you up and provides fertile soil for so much of the abuse to happen.
Describing The List Of Normal
I’m going to describe each listed item in more detail so that it makes more sense. If you’ve been through these things, I have a feeling you will be able to identify with what I write.
I share these things so others will maybe understand what is normal and what is not, unlike the way I was kept in the dark. Plus the world needs to better understand the abuse that happens right before their eyes.
As I have found in my own life and experiences, what happens in a family is not always seen by other members. Sometimes they just don’t see it because it is something they don’t want to notice, or they are not participants.
At other times, each person sees an event through their filters and perspective, often recording and viewing the way they want it to replay in their mind.
They Saw What They Wanted To See
In my family, each individual saw what happened in the way they wanted to see it. Each member painted it so they could deal with it, ignore it, or reframe what happened. Some of these events were so horrendous that the brain struggles to comprehend what happened.
Even in my case, my mind tried hard to keep the events that happened to me far from my conscious thought. It was easier to act as if it didn’t happen and allow harmful happy thoughts to continue.
Each item on this list of normal experiences may not be as it appears. It may seem normal, but in many ways, it was far from that point.
Keep reading the rest of the series in the subsequent weeks for further explanation and details.