Normal is such a strong word.
So many people claim themselves to be ‘not normal’ you can buy t-shirts proclaiming it. I know too many people who would describe themselves as ‘a bit random’. Well done you.
So what about when someone else says you’re ‘not normal’ or that something about you, perhaps something you’ve said, something you think, the way you behave is ‘not normal’. Under some circumstances and for some people I’m sure they’d be thrilled.
Today/ Yesterday (I’m writing in the wee small hours again) my boyfriend, after we’d spent a lovely evening together on Friday chilling out watching movies and eating Thai food, then gone out shopping Saturday and then out to the restaurant where we had our 3rd date for lunch, said something which got under my skin. Unfortunately, it was not the first thing of the day and even though it probably shouldn’t have, it upset me. More than it should have done and I knew I was going to cry. I’m the sort of person who cries over pretty much anything but these days, really, anything goes.
You know how sometimes someone can say something pretty much harmless but it’s the straw that breaks the camels back? Or the tone of it just feels all wrong for what’s meant to be a joke? I’m embarrassed to admit I had to leave the table and flee to the toilets because I knew I would cry. And then of course I felt really upset, one for the comments in the first place, two that I’d let it bother me but three that someone I love had made me cry.
This in itself can be shrugged off though. I know this sounds as though I’m defending him but on this occasion it really was me being over sensitive.
It was what happened next which has prompted this post.
When I returned to the table, after I’d pulled myself together I expected an apology. After all, even if you didn’t mean it to, if you say something to your girlfriend and she has to leave the table in tears, you say sorry yes? You say that you did not mean it to upset her?
What I got was to be told quite firmly that I needed to lighten up and that although I was entitled to feel upset over something worthwhile, it “Was Not Normal” to get so upset over something like that. My reaction to the situation “Was Not Normal” and not how a “Normal” person would have responded.
I feel torn.
See, to me, my gut tells me this; I know that my emotional reactions to things at the moment are not Normal. I know that most people do not get so upset and burst into tears over such trivial comments. I know that to run off to the toilets crying when you’re meant to be out for a lovely lunch together is not Normal. I know that a Normal person would have laughed it off, or perhaps told him to put a sock in it and stop being a dick.
But I also know that this knowledge of not feeling Normal is what made me finally take myself off to the doctors several months ago and try to get help. What came out of that situation was the decision by my doctor that I suffer from depression and that I should start taking medication and be referred for Cognitive Behavioural Therapy in order to try and help me feel more Normal. I feel that, knowing this information, perhaps D should have been a little less hasty to tell me that I was not behaving Normally, and to try and be a little more understanding of the fact that this abnormality is something I am working hard to gain control of. I feel let down by him. I feel like he should know that I of all people am well aware of this problem and perhaps cut me a little slack. I feel frustrated with myself for not telling him this.
But I also feel worried now. A part of me feels like, well, maybe I was just being a drama queen and I’m using my depression as an excuse to overreact and burst into tears. Maybe I just can’t help myself. Maybe to me that is Normal. But it’s not a Normal that I embrace. It’s not what I want to be the norm.
To many being Normal is shorthand for dull, mediocre, run of the mill. I have no fear of being any of these things, I am proud of who I am. So I hope that in time I can become more Normal in the emotional nightmares that sometimes descent over me like clouds that I cannot see through. I hope to become more Normal and become someone who can shrug off the little things people say and not allow them to throw me into turmoil, into a place where just for a second, my self esteem beats me over the head and leaves my lying on the floor feeling worthless, vulnerable and unable to get back up.
Normal, in my opinion, is underrated.