Growing up, what was something you thought was perfectly normal until you realised it wasn’t?
My childhood. You know, when you’re a kid you have no basis for comparison. My family was who they were and until you start learning about the world around you, you have no idea how normal it is or isn’t.
I was 34 when I realized I had to reframe my childhood as abusive. Yes, abuse-lite, but abuse none the less. My grandmother came from a hard life with an alcoholic father. She passed that onto my mom through verbal and psychological abuse, and mom handed that down to us, with excessive spanking in the mix. My childhood is a major factor in why I have never wanted kids. Also why I have always wanted to get older, even at my age. Aging meant freedom to me (being able to get out of my parent’s house, being able to make my own choices, legally).
The real kicker was a year ago, when I found out it’s me that is no longer “normal” (i.e. neuro-typical), getting diagnosed with ADHD. How much of my childhood got rewritten with this new information was… upsetting for a time. But I’ve liked myself enough through the years to know that there’s lots of weirdos out there who can’t be bothered with “normal”. I am their people, they are my people.