The Stepford Effect

intothelight

Moderator
I wonder if others craved normality as children too

Yes, definitely craved "normality" as a child and I was fortunate enough to have friends and grandparents so I had a model of normality. I know I escaped into my head and my fantasy world/family and while that provided a safe place as a child, it also made an unrealistic model of what I wanted my own family and life to look like. Double edged sword as even though I had a bit of a map, but the striving for "perfection" made it a circular path.
 

TruthSeeker

MyPTSD Pro
I was adopted, so I always felt grateful to belong somewhere-I think that was instilled in me, too....."I was a "chosen child" .....but it was a dysfunctional home, no matter how hard Social Services tried to find a good home.....it would be no different if I was born into that dysfunctional family. I never really understand why they adopted. Pop came home at 5pm-if he wasn't running late at the bar, and my mother handed him his drink every work night. No children allowed in the kitchen to disturb him and tell him their day....one hour in the kitchen winding down with my Mom. When dinner came, he stuck his nose in the news at dinner (TV sat across from dining table) and there was no conversation allowed during dinner-cause he might miss something on TV, and dinner was always at 6.....and a total walk on egg shell event cause if anyone had to talk....watch out.....So, dinner was hurry, shove down food, ask "May I leave" and was never denied by my mother.....and I'd always go to my room...I lived in my room....except when they were gone. My normal now...is very different but I still spend spare time in my bedroom ....so I think defining normal..... normal like most other things falls on a spectrum
functional to nonfunctional.....happy to miserable........my childhood was nonfunctional-felt very much like I didn't exist...not really, and very emotionless parents....very distant emotionally........I'm trying to make my adult life not just functional (that was my goal 3 years ago....get the basics done (bills, eat, bathe, brush teeth, get to work and back w/o incident), but I've changed what I think normal should be and added fun and enjoyable, low stress and finding humor and some basic contentment each day. So, I guess it all boils down to how you define normal.....and what your goal for normal might be.
 

kkd

New Here
Offspring of non-abusive alcoholic parent A & codependent parent B. And always received a lot of praise for being really responsible, grown-up, and "smart." But for performing normal & picking up grown-up slack. Because although nobody ever plainly stated that it was a secret, it was VERY clear that it was and would remain so. I don't remember this ever not being the case. And since I knew other kids got hit or thrown out of their homes it's not like there's really anything That Bad going on so what's there to be nervous or upset about? It always kind of throws me when Spouse or work is accommodating & understanding about it if I get sick or f*ck something up.

It wasn't even "drugs" just alcohol, and my parent was always at work, never had a DUI, etc.

Yes, I turned out very responsible but with a ridiculous control-freak streak & I always wonder if people are condescending to me or putting me on when they compliment me since what I'm doing is just "doing what's necessary." Because it's not like you can rely on someone else to step up. I am a loyal person to have in your life and I will never let you down but I'm rigid and don't do spontaneity. I also barged or intimidated my way into leadership type positions even as a messed up kid and am now an authority in my professional life.

I still don't really know if I have a problem with authority figures full stop, or just when the authority figure isn't me. I also think if you don't want to put up with annoying little stupid kids you shouldn't have them. I haven't not-had kids because something's wrong with me or because my genes suck. It's just not an interest & I don't think a kid should should have to deal with being a checklist item or idea/goal.

My sibling and I were "Stepford kids" until it got too much, and I cracked first. Which was extra embarrassing as I'm the older one supposed to look out for younger sibling. The act was stressful for us so I can't imagine trying to keep that up with anything more serious that what we put up with & I know it's common.
 

Mach123

MyPTSD Pro
If you get rid of normal you might find the new normal isn’t what you imagined. It’s all been done before.

I deal with the most vulnerable segment of society, the handicapped or infirm.

They need firm and they need normal and they know abnormal when they see it and it frightens them as it should. They have the benefit of direct knowing, and don’t have to weigh things in the balance.

I also have learned that I want and need normal because it’s safe. I like the grocery store and the small town post office.

But I like looking and not to have to participate too much because my trauma changed me and I’m not like them. They are however accepting and loving enough. Not all of them. The new normal wouldn’t look much different.

You can take me out of normal, but you can’t take normal out of me. I’ve been there and I’ve done that. The little kids need normal, handicapped people need normal they count on us. So do I. Boring isn’t all that bad.
 

Friday

Moderator
I wonder if others craved normality as children too and that's why they feel ambivalent about it or reject it as adults?
Nope. Never wanted it as a kid, and don’t give a toss about it as an adult. I’ve known too many normals. Normal depends entirely on where you’re standing. Not on who you are and what you want out of life. That’s what’s important to me. :)
 

Teawitheggs

Not Active
I don’t really know what normal is, and I neither seek it nor reject it. It’s as foreign to me as a language I don’t understand. And it’s simply not possible for me or my family anyway, so I don’t seek it any more than I seek to row our houseboat down a river, because we don’t live in a houseboat.

As a child, I thought whatever was happening and whatever I was experiencing was “normal.” We moved 1-3x/yr, so I never had opportunity to see a continuum of how others lived; I didn’t think to guess what normal could be.

I know what abnormal is now, mostly. And I see glimpses of what other people think is normal. But I’m much more interested in healthy, and I do know that I don’t live in a healthy society, so I don’t use its standards to decide how I live. I glean from society what little is healthy, useful, admirable, etc..., and my own experience is that the best place to discover and maintain those healthy things is in relationships and true self (still figuring this out).

I’ve figured out how to live here in spite of pretty extreme obstacles (like many here) and that’s definitely good enough. It’s *my* normal :) I own it.
 

Mee

MyPTSD Pro
. Normal depends entirely on where you’re standing. Not on who you are and what you want out of life. That’s what’s important to me. :)

I agree with this. I think normality is something that only has held any allure at all since PTSD. I was ok with most of my abnormalities before - and knew that not being ok with some of myself was - funnily enough normal - and yet being aware of that felt ‘weird’ too.

I find it disconcerting when I show someone a ‘weirdness’ of mine saying ‘ I understand this is a bit weird but ....’ then they tell me how normal it is to reassure me. Really it just makes me feel unseen/ unheard. I’m not saying I need reassurance, I’m saying I know it is what it is and I’m ok with that- I don’t need fixing in that area.

Now - refunding what I want - and the crossover with what of that is achievable in my life now - that bits difficult now. But I think that’s ....as far as I need healing to get me. I don’t need to want what others want, Become someone different.
 

Teasel

MyPTSD Pro
I find it disconcerting when I show someone a ‘weirdness’ of mine saying ‘ I understand this is a bit weird but ....’ then they tell me how normal it is to reassure me. Really it just makes me feel unseen/ unheard. I’m not saying I need reassurance, I’m saying I know it is what it is and I’m ok with that- I don’t need fixing in that area.


This! Though with me it includes things that I'm not OK with, and think it only right and proper that I'm not OK with. Still not seeking reassurance, just talking about what is for me.
 
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