Wednesday, May 23, 2012

What is normal?

A friend said something to me a couple days ago that I have been thinking about ever since. She walked up to me as I sitting by my van as Tator was having one of her episodes. I was feeling embarrassed, stupid and really out of place.

She said "I've come to realize everyones normal is different. What might be normal for one family may not be normal for another family. And that's ok."

That has stuck with me because I feel like our family is so different. I'll never forget one time Bunny had a friend over and Tator was having a really bad weekend. When the friend left I remember just crying and thinking she will never come back. It was a very normal weekend to us, but i'm sure it wasn't to the friend.

Our family is very different. My kids know how cruel and abusive adults can be to kids and I wish they didn't. They know things about mental illness that their friends would never understand. The things we talk about you probably wouldn't want your kids to know, but it is very normal to mine.

My 3 oldest kids know when I give them a look they are to take their younger siblings to another room because one of their siblings is about to explode. They have witnessed things their friends never have. This is a very normal thing in my house.

I hate you and shut up are things I never remember hearing as a child, but mine hear it way more then they should. It is not right, but it has become normal to them.

It may appear abnormal to you that one of my children are not allowed to play with their siblings or other children without supervision, because there are way to many trust issues.
Or why one of my children is always very close to me because when they get very far from me in public places she get disregulated and has a hard time getting regulated again.

When you go to bed tonight I can guarantee you will not be thinking up a mental list of school related things that you can give your child to do all morning the next day just to keep them regulated enough that they can make it to lunch without a major blow-up.
There are many things about my family that are not your normal and when I think about all the normals to us, but abnormals to you it is overwhelming to me.

One of the things I have learned from adopting and parenting children who have experienced trauma is Never judge anyones parenting! Every family has to operate different because every family has different needs and different circumstances.

My family does not operate like your family. Our normal is not your normal. And that's ok!

Thanks J. your words have stuck with me.



  2. You are absolutely right. I've talked about things without blinking that I never thought I could even begin to discuss. And that's before breakfast! Alarms? Constant supervision? No playing alone? Yup, that's been us. Your bio kids will be stronger and able to handle way more than "normal" kids. There will be positives and there will be good memories. I'm on vacation this week and wondering what "normal" vacation looks like. It certainly hasn't been RAD free in 12 years. But that's just what it is. Hang in there, my friend.

  3. Raleigh asked me if his best friend could spend the night tomorrow night and my mind went in 100 different directions about how different our family is and how that might not be a good idea. Raleigh goes to his friend's houses a lot but he has never had anyone to spend the night here. I know that is not fair but our "normal" is so very different!! We have certain parts of the house that certain children can't go and two children that can't be together without line of sight supervision. Soooo many things make our "normal" so very different than anyone I know. Your family's normal sounds a lot like our normal. Certainly not how I thought my normal would look but you are right, it's okay!!

  4. So true! I have had to let this go myself and not worry about it. It is amazing how freeing it can be to not worry about what others think. Our normal is a little less normal than the rest of the world, but what goes on behind the closed doors of the "prefect" family? They are probably not "normal" either.