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#125038 - 12/14/05 05:22 PM Who's a "normal"
Zipser Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/19/05
Posts: 351
Loc: Connecticut
Hello,

It's soapbox time for a half-serious offering.

Would everyone who does not consider himself to be "normal", yet wishes to be so, raise your hand? OK, now would you mind telling me what "normal" is?

I don't want the term to be viewed in a bad light but are we focusing too much energy on becoming "normal" when we could be focusing on just being ourselves?

Here are some of the things I know about some "normals":

- One hasn't been intimate with her husband in over 5 years.

- One thinks nothing of cheating on her spouse.

- More than one spends too much time with alcohol

- One is so wrapped up in appearing succesful he can't enjoy what he already has.

- More than one neglects their children's needs in order to satisfy their own.

I'm sure you can add to the list.

Who am I? It's true that I've survived CSA but it's not all that I am. As a matter of fact it's becoming less and less a part of who I am. That's one of the good things about this board. We can talk and share, gain insight, heal and grow.

So if being a "normal" means I might have to swim in the same waters as those other people described above, I'll decline thank you. I'm happy with who I am.

Enjoy the day and thanks for listening!

Zipser

_________________________
"I stand proud that the boy so badly damaged managed to get me this far and I will honor him and myself for being a survivor." - A member

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#125039 - 12/14/05 05:42 PM Re: Who's a "normal"
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
Paul,

You raise an excellent point here. When we think of recovering from our abuse experiences as restoring us to "normality", then aren't we defining ourselves in terms of abuse?

I would have to say that what happened to me as a child has had a pretty devastating effect that I feel in every part of my life. But still, I have always done and still do lots of "normal" things, and there are lots of other things that I see others engaging in and I'm so glad I have stayed away from them - or have gotten away from them.

That's great you are able to say "I'm happy with who I am". A few months ago I could not have said that, but now I think I am there - almost. Or at least I can set that as a target and see how far I have come - just by virtue of the fact that I can think like that.

Much love,
Larry

_________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

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#125040 - 12/14/05 06:52 PM Re: Who's a "normal"
AuthenticMe Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/10/05
Posts: 287
Zipser,

I think we've all been traumatized to a certain degree. I can't remember the first time I experience physical pain, but I imagine that it was a traumatic experience. When I think about all the people who have been mistreated by others without any awareness that they were being mistreated and it wasn't their fault, well...that's gotta be pretty close to everyone.

As survivors of CSA, our trauma runs deeper and touches so many profound parts of our lives: trust, sexuality, authority, safety, etc.

When I read your list above, I wish that the people on the list would learn to accept themselves just the way they are so they wouldn't have to act out in those harmful ways. It's something I'm working on for myself, and I think it's something that we all struggle with.

_________________________
I am a Man.

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#125041 - 12/15/05 02:41 AM Re: Who's a "normal"
WalkingSouth Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/30/05
Posts: 16265
One thought I had when I read you post Paul, was that for 1 in 6 boys and 1 in 4 girls, CSA is normal. It's what happens every day, or every week with regularity.

Normal. I don't like the word. I prefer to say that I am on the path to better emotional health, to a more balanced view of life, to a fuller life, because I am gaining understanding of what happened to me and the effects it had on my life.

Courage,

John

_________________________
“Life’s journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting ‘Holy ____…! What a ride!’” ~Hunter S. Thompson

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#125042 - 12/15/05 06:21 PM Re: Who's a "normal"
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
John,

Good grief! What a "light-bulb moment". You are so right and you say it so clearly. We all have to be ourselves and seek the aims you mention within the context of our own feelings and character as individuals.

Much love,
Larry

_________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

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#125043 - 12/17/05 01:47 PM Re: Who's a "normal"
reality2k4 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/06/04
Posts: 6838
Loc: Stuck between water, air, and ...
Paul,

when I first visited here, I was terrified of posting, but guess what? I got a terrific response from all the guys who were about to share all of my hidden fears.

Normal is definitely not for me, but guess what?
The guys here are more than normal, they are all special, and unique to this world.

My two brothers, and my sister regard themselves as normal, with me being the odd one out. All they think about is money and what they can get, which is a far cry from my humble self.

I can be happy just walking along the coast on a winters day, and enjoying life through my eyes, which see a whole load more beauty than they could ever imagine.

As long as we keep our health, and well being, then we are the richest people on this earth.

Normal, nah, not me,

ste

_________________________
Whoever stole the Sun, put it back and we'll drop all the charges!

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#125044 - 12/28/05 09:14 AM Re: Who's a "normal"
dibargib Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/26/05
Posts: 14
I was actually talking to my gf about this the other day. We decided that normal people - people who seem to have all of their loose ends tied up - are either: a. simple and boring; or b. don't really have things together that well at all, but are good at keeping up appearances. I think that to a lot of people I'm not close to I appear to have everything together... might even say I'm normal. HAH! Like I want to join their club!

-John

_________________________
---
"...but first you must be the change you want to see in the world." -Gandhi

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#125045 - 12/28/05 09:59 AM Re: Who's a "normal"
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
The more I think about this the more it seems to me that "normal" is so often just a term people use to judge others or themselves: "If only I were normal", "Why can't you do (x, y, z) like normal people!?", and so on.

Perhaps the best way to respond to such polemics is just to refuse to dignify them with an answer.

Much love,
Larry

_________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

Top
#125046 - 12/28/05 02:32 PM Re: Who's a "normal"
The Seeker Offline
Member

Registered: 04/10/05
Posts: 141
Loc: Ohio, USA
Zipser,

This is interesting. I used the phrase, "like a normal guy" in my thanks note on the main board. To me, normal isn't some ideal state of perfection or whatever, it means being okay in my own skin, accepting myself, loving myself, and being proud of who I am. Like you, I know lots of "normal" folks that I would never want to be. It is like that is a label they use to justify their maladjusted lives. Someone here said labels are for cans. I don't think of normal as a label, but rather a feeling. A sense of ease with myself, and a lack of desire to punish myself for being a bad person because I am not a bad person. I am a good person who suffered some bad shit through no fault of his own. This place really helped solidify that realization this year. You've made a great point though. I used to try to be what I thought others felt I should be, like other "normal" people, to please them. Now, I just work on making myself happy, and understanding that happy is a temporary state at best. I don't want to be other people's normal, I want to be my kind of normal, and I think I am very frequently these days. I am getting better. I am recovering. Sure, I have lots to do, but I AM getting better with every breath I draw. It wasn't too late. I am still here fighting, and winning more often than not.

_________________________
The answers are in me.

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#125047 - 12/28/05 11:07 PM Re: Who's a "normal"
Zipser Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/19/05
Posts: 351
Loc: Connecticut
Seeker and all,

Just when I think it can't get any better on this site I see these well written, heartfelt, thought provoking replies.

Thank you so very much. It's a privilege to be a part of this group.

Zipser

_________________________
"I stand proud that the boy so badly damaged managed to get me this far and I will honor him and myself for being a survivor." - A member

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