Sometimes Someone Needs To Tell You What’s Normal

Our experiences shape our reality. Whatever we live becomes our truth. How would you ever conceive that maybe your reality isn’t normal if you’ve only been YOU your whole life? What happens inside your home, your family…that is your normal. It is normal. It isn’t until you step outside of the bubble you live in that you begin to see the world is different than what happened in your house and in your family. You begin to see normal. What’s really normal. And you begin to see that your experiences were not normal.

But sometimes, someone needs to tell you that what you experienced, your life, your behaviors even were not normal. I had that kind of conversation with my therapist this week. We were talking and I was describing how I had nightmares all the time when I was little…I would get up and go sleep with my grandmother because she had this huge bed (huge to a kid) and she slept on the side closest to the door and the other side of the bed was up against the wall and I loved sleeping there…my back against the wall, furthest away from the door.

That’s how I reacted to nightmares until I was taken away from there to live with my mother. Eventually, I’m not sure exactly when, I came up with a method to wake myself up from nightmares from inside the dream. I had to come up with a new way to feel protected so I would collect stuffed animals and make them into a big circle around me and I slept inside that circle. My therapist said that children often imbue stuffed animals with protective powers and I kind of looked at her funny because that was not at all why I used the stuffed animals. I explained that I used them as an alarm system. I figured that if someone tried to get me they would have to disturb the stuffed animals and maybe they’d fall over and wake me up. Very logical for a kid I think.

My therapist told me that it’s not normal for kids to have nightmares all the time. It’s not normal to need to sleep closest to the wall and furthest from the door all your life. It’s not normal for a child to feel the need to protect herself using an alarm system made up of stuffed animals.

There was more but it’s taken me over a week to write this post and I’d rather just get it posted.

The conversation was helpful to me and I appreciate having an outside perspective on my experiences.

One person’s normal does not make it right or healthy.


About CimmarianInk

Abuse Survivor Diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder PTSD and Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) also known as Multiple Personalities
This entry was posted in Child Molestation, dissociative identity disorder, Incest, neglect, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, PTSD, Sexual Abuse, Trauma. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Sometimes Someone Needs To Tell You What’s Normal

  1. curious212000 says:

    Hello CimmarianInk,

    Yes you do need to be told that normal periods do occur but it is the pernicious nature of the illness to reappear at any moment in any painful way.

    David Gosling.

  2. It’s hard to know what’s normal. I’ve spent the better part of an hour writing a post, that’s too boring to actually publish, asking what’s normal when looking at pictures of yourself as a child. What are we suppose to remember? What is it normal not to remember? How do most people feel when they look at childhood pictures?

    I don’t know if what you did with your stuffed animals was normal or not. Perhaps you were just more practical or realistic than most children. If a child gives stuffed animals protective powers, she must think she needs protecting. You felt you needed protecting. You just devised a very sensible plan! (really annoyed at your therapist suggesting my stuffed animals do not have magical protective powers!)

    On the other hand, you seemed to have a very specific threat you were guarding against. I was always afraid the trees outside would fall on our house…. ??? I don’t know what I would’ve thought my stuffed animals would do about that?! I have more nightmares about that now than when I was a kid! And I sleep with more stuffed animals than I did when I was a kid. I do everything backwards!!

    I’m glad you had a good conversation with your therapist. I hope you’re doing okay.

    Take care,

    • CimmarianInk says:

      Hi RL,

      I’m sorry I haven’t caught up with you yet via your latest blog entries, but I want to make sure that I can give a coherent response which you deserve but I will do so soon. 🙂

      There is no backwards. I think sometimes we do things in adulthood that we needed as children. I keep wanting to buy stuffed animals to put around me again but I have a feeling my husband would be like “Uhhh what?”

      As for what’s normal when looking at childhood pictures? I don’t know. I imagine it depends greatly on what kind of childhood you had? I’m sure some people feel mostly happy, others…not so much.

      I laughed at your comment about my therapist saying your stuffed animals aren’t magical. Don’t worry, they can be whatever you need them to be. 🙂

  3. Freasha1964 says:

    It is a pretty large revelation to realize that (almost?) everyone thinks their childhood is normal, that of course every other child also grew up with or without whatever it is that we grew up with or without, only to do the thought experiment and discover the data shows that this is NOT the case. I wonder what “normal” is, anyway. But I concur with your therapist: your childhood, CI, wasn’t normal, and it wasn’t healthy for you, either.

    • CimmarianInk says:

      Hi Freasha 🙂

      I feel like I should add that for me, normal just means being in a non-abusive environment. I don’t think families need to be normal in the sense of being boring like the Cleavers. 🙂 But I wonder how many people go through dysfunctional childhoods before finding out that’s not the way it’s supposed to be?

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