Thursday, July 7, 2011

Normal - NOT!

"As long as we believe that someone else has the power to make us happy then we are setting ourselves up to be victims"- Robert Burney  

I grew up thinking that my relationships, my upbringing, my siblings, my parents, my relatives... were just like everyone else - or rather, that everyone was like us. That everyone's parents acted like mine did.  That everyone got "wailed."   That everyone went to bed scared to death that they wouldn't wake up in the morning.  That it was all normal. 

It wasn't normal at all.  It was extremely dysfunctional, in fact - so much so that it took a year of therapy for me to even begin to be free of it... and the insidious lies I was told and shown while I was growing up still resurface and need to be put to death with truth. 

I encounter this all the time.  Usually it's from those in my family or my old circle of friends, most of whom are still living in dysfunction.  I heard it again tonight.  I'd told someone that I could not be around them anymore if they were going to be pushy.  And the answer eventually came back... "Everyone's bossy in one way or the other."  


Well, that doesn't sound like an apology; that sounds like an excuse to keep trying to run people's lives and then judge them for resenting it.  It's a red flag to me - perhaps because I used to be all about fixing other people's problems - that some people have this incredible need to be bound up in someone else's life and bully them into doing what they want them to do, justify it in the name of "fun" and then judge those who don't want to toe their line.  They think that by saying that everyone does it, that it makes it acceptable, that it makes it normal.  

The truth is - it's not normal.  By normal I mean healthy; but then again, perhaps it's not normal to think of normal as being healthy  ;)  Oh well - then I will use the word healthy. 

Healthy people don't need to be needed or to be in charge in order to feel happy or worthy or useful.  They don't look down on anybody or put anybody up on a pedestal.  They know what they want and need, and are able to say that in a way that is respectful of others while still holding their ground and looking after themselves.  

And I've noticed something as I go along in my healing process.  Unhealthy people, dysfunctional people, tend to blame the healthy person for setting boundaries.  They call it "holding on to things" (actually, we're letting go of what is not healthy for us) or "being too sensitive." (In reality we're looking after ourselves for the first time and they're just uncomfortable with it.) I'm sure there are other labels.  The bottom line is that they do not want to see or admit to their own dysfunction - and FORGET about changing!

My role in all of this, as a person who's becoming normal (as if one can EVER become fully normal...) is to resist the temptation to justify myself, to just focus on my own recovery ... even if it means receiving and using The Gift of Goodbye(click on the bolded link to read my post from last fall...) and not try to fix their problems for them.  

It's not my place to do that.  It's theirs.

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