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.