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#420699 - 01/02/13 11:29 AM Things that are normal......making stew.
sugarbaby Offline

Registered: 08/17/08
Posts: 382
I think sometimes that H assumes his feelings have much more to do with his abuse than they really do. He will tell me a situation he was in and his reaction and, to me, a fair amount of the time that is a normal reaction. It is just part of the human experience. It's not all about the abuse.

He is not wrong to assume it was. He has no frame of reference for 'normal' the same that I have no frame of reference for 'abused'. It helps him though that we have a teenage son. He watched his challenges and his reactions and can think to himself...hmm, that is how I felt - he feels the same - that is a normal reaction.

I don't mean to minimize his feelings. He suffered horribly and I know that. Some of what he feels is unique is really normal though. All the crazy teenage years and those challenges,work anxiety, marital issues, lost loves, people all over have those issues for 10,000 different reasons.

Normal is such a tricky word anyway. It assumes a black and white spectrum. You are either normal or abnormal. Insinuating you are either perfect or imperfect. No such easy labeling system exists. They is quite a lot of shades of gray.

I'm imperfect. I have imperfectly crashed through life for a long time now. It is what it is. I'm sorrowful for many things. That is easy to feel since hindsight is 20/20. If my directions had been different my sorrows would be different. Regret is normal. There will always be regret. I have anxiety, I have screwed up jobs, I have messed up relationships, I have lied,I have been vulnerable, I get angry.... I'm an imperfect person. So be it.

H often wonders what could have been if his fear had not gotten in his way. Hell, who doesn't!!?? Show me someone who has never let fear stop them and I will call them a liar or a sociopath. Come on now - we all get struck down by fear whether it's irrational or rational.

I have better words for this but I am not getting them flowing today. Often I write big long posts and then edit them down to be more precise. I have no precision today, just thoughts.

Sometimes I say to him (after he has explained some reaction to something) "That was normal." He will look at me with some disbelief. Really H, I felt like that. Really.

I'm still struggling for the words.......

It's like he is making stew, and he has two stew pots: one labelled "because I was abused" and the other one labelled "because I am human" ......he puts to many ingredients in the "abused" pot. That pot only really deserves about 1/4 of the ingredients.

That is a pretty bad metaphor, but I'm not perfect so I'm going to leave it and change my post title to a stew related thing. smile

#420709 - 01/02/13 01:49 PM Re: Things that are normal......making stew. [Re: sugarbaby]
Candu Offline

Registered: 06/30/12
Posts: 312
Loc: Canada
Wow. I need to read your stuff on a good day! I struggle to get my thoughts clear and put them down so that people can understand them. (I'm not always successful) If it wasn't for my CSA I would be a far better writer. wink

I agree with you that it is so easy to attribute more problems to CSA than is deserved. While childhood is often made out to be a carefree period in a person's life it is anything but.

But before I did reading on CSA I didn't think it was as significant a factor in my behaviour. I had other things when growing up that I thought were more significant. Negative stuff that other "normal" kids of the time had as well.

I don't see it as an abuse pot and a normal pot. I just see it as an accumulation all influences and the more negative the more likely you have more negative behavious in your life.

My sister said that she emotionally switched off after one period of abuse. She was crying and then in the middle she stopped and after that point her emotional responses were effected. She said later she couldn't relate to the other girls from school and theire reactions about emotional stuff. The abuse wasn't sexual abuse but was instead physical abuse. But her reaction to it were perfectly described in books on CSA that I have read.

So I wrote this at work (multiple interruptions) and have not been able to go over. I hope it makes some sense. If not then blame it on my CSA. Don't even think that the 2 hrs of sleep last night have anything to do with it. (Up all night due to a cold, my head is mush)

#420710 - 01/02/13 02:33 PM Re: Things that are normal......making stew. [Re: sugarbaby]
sugarbaby Offline

Registered: 08/17/08
Posts: 382
You know your right that H didn't think any of his behaviors had to do with the CSA for a long time. I forgot about that.

Then when he learned about it he started swinging the other way where everything bad was related. All the good stuff was the only normal stuff.

#420770 - 01/03/13 02:29 AM Re: Things that are normal......making stew. [Re: sugarbaby]
Candu Offline

Registered: 06/30/12
Posts: 312
Loc: Canada
Our brains (all of us) like to simplify the world. Once you accept that the CSA was significant it is easy to blame a lot on it. That may actually be a good thing as then there are less issues you have to concentrate on to fix. If you need to get to an answer of 12 then it doesn't matter if the procedure was 3*4, 6+3+3, or (3+3)*2.

If I can get to a decent level of self worth then it doesn't matter if what was the primary destroyer. (not saying this is a fix for all CSA issues)

Just a thought.

#420855 - 01/03/13 04:58 PM Re: Things that are normal......making stew. [Re: sugarbaby]
HD001 Offline

Registered: 07/30/12
Posts: 276
Loc: us
I went through the two pot problem and still do at times. For a long time I didn't see reality clearly. And now at times I still ask myself if I am upset because I am being triggered or because I am human. I think it is nice that you are able to reassure your H that at times his reactions are normal. I would imagine that he finds this encouraging. Even though normal is something that can't really be clearly defined it is still something that every survivors craves.
Everything comes from within

#423020 - 01/23/13 02:18 PM Re: Things that are normal......making stew. [Re: HD001]
sugarbaby Offline

Registered: 08/17/08
Posts: 382
Normal is such a fleeting thing honestly. I am 'normal' and frequently I feel like I am anything but that!

I don't have any one thing to blame my idiosyncratic on though so I chalk it up to the human experience and go on. Some days it is soar with the eagles and some days it is fall in the mud. Regardless, I am glad to wake up the next day and see what happens.

He is the same really. He is more normal than he thinks.


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