*Normal, Ohio was actually a sitcom on CBS that got axed many years ago. I never had a chance to watch it and there was an episode that I seriously wanted to see because reasons.
Samantha Field has a post about the new normal and its aftermath. Take your time and peruse it, as there is a lot of truth there. Especially when it comes to the idea of normal.
“Normal” is something I know that I will never reach; after all of the years of living with my mother. Being far too sheltered, having decisions made for me, being punished for any and every infraction–no matter how small–has changed me. I can’t say what I might be like if none of this ever happened; I just know that I’d be a different person, maybe even considered normal.
I will never be normal. I am, however, better.
Better means I don’t dread going home, fearing punishment for something that might “piss somebody off”. Better means I don’t hate myself for making a mistake. Better means that I don’t have to worry about getting hit for literally no reason at all. Better means that I can fall asleep without tossing and turning, or dealing with constant, chronic insomnia. Better means that I don’t have to worry about someone threatening to take my pets away and dump them at the pound. Better means not flinching when someone lifts their hands. Better means saying the word “No” and actually meaning it. Better is knowing that I can leave something on my plate that I don’t like and I won’t have to stare at it for breakfast or lunch the next day. Better is not having the nightmares like I did when I was younger. Better is feeling happy to be alive and not feeling guilty about living out loud. Better is going on tour groups and taking in the sights and sounds of a new locale.
In all of those ways and so many more, I am better. In others, I am not.
Not better is when I jump at the sound of someone shouting. Not better is when I pull away because someone touches my neck. Not better is worrying that when a manager at work wants to speak to me, that it’s always something bad. (Most of the time, it really isn’t.) Not better is when I stand dumbfounded, begging Prime to take over and make a decision for me because I lack the skills to do so. Not better is fearing that I might get punished over some small screw up. Not better is worrying about things that I have no control over. Not better is being paralyzed by irrational fear. Not better is feeling that somehow, I’m just a massive damn fuck up and everybody knows it.
Not better is when I wonder if the planet would be a better place with my absence. Not better is a very dark place and some days I wonder if I can ever crawl out of it.
As I have said, normal will never be a thing in my case. There’s been a bit too much damage done to my psyche. I will however, be me. I will always be me.
For better or for worse, I think I can live with that.