What’s Normal Got to Do with Anything?
“Maybe your weird is my normal. Who’s to say?”
“Why can’t you just act normal like other people?’ Was a line that had we remained married l could easily have placed onto my ex-wife’s epitaph! One of the reasons’ for our divorce was that l was ‘not right’ for her nor her me.
Back then my response was always the same ‘Define Normal l am proud of who l am.” This was never well received.
She wanted more normal than me, she wanted stereotypical behaviour, and that is it in a nutshell. Her definition of normal was the conventional and conformist representation that society constantly harps on about. She didn’t want to know about anything that wasn’t standard. Always wanting to fit into the crowd and not stand out, and both peer and family pressures demanded that she toe the line. This was in many respects ironic considering that she had aspirations to be seen as a unique personality! But the mere thought that she might even be remotely ostracised for her individuality was too terrible a price to pay.
Her ‘then’ husband [me] an undiagnosed unrecognised Aspergian on the spectrum with his quirkiness and very strange idiosyncratic views, speech and behaviour was not just unacceptable but was horrifying. These entire distinct and distinguishing characteristic features were fantastic during courting and the early marital years but became too much in the long run.
I was just too different and it was becoming apparent to her that l didn’t care what people thought of me – when in her eyes l should have! So she ostracised her own husband because he was NOT normal! In fact to quote ‘He was abnormal!”
It’s a strange old world that we live in when people ‘have to have’ a definition of normal. It is like without the set standards people don’t know who they are anymore. They need to be told what to wear, what to think, how to dress, how to behave, how to speak, what to speak on, what to eat, what to drink, what to do and who to be…and l am considered odd for being just me??
People so need to fit into the ‘standard bracket of acceptance’ to then believe that they are considered ‘normal’ by everyone else’ – it’s scary! Society encourages this type of behaviour – deeming those who don’t slot easily into the majority hole as the minority and then it becomes a ‘them and an us’ and the ”’others”’ syndrome!
Estimates have it that 1 in 5 people constantly ask themselves if they are normal based on what society says is!? We all live in a confused state – so how can anyone say ‘what is normal and what isn’t?’ Neurotypicals or Non-autistics regard many of us on the spectrum as not normal – and l have to again challenge anyone who says that as to ‘please define normal?’
What is classed as normal behaviour to one person may be different to the next person and what’s more – abnormal to another – so the question is – Define Normal? If what society classes as normal functioning, behaviour and communications is what everyone expects of me, then l decline, l prefer to be my own person – if anyone has got the right to be the real me, it is me – l have earned the right to think how l want, to be who l am. As long as what l do isn’t illegal – who are you to tell me – who l should be?
I don’t tell you to be someone else – it’s your prerogative – to be who you are, to think, act, speak and basically function – your interpretation of those standards is what makes you unique or hum drum. Why think the other person is the ‘odd one out’ when in reality it may well be you?
I am an Aspie, l sit under the umbrella of ASD – Autism Spectrum Disorders – and l like being me – l am proud to be me.
Rory Matier – The Tee Shirt Blogger
Ps: These posts are my views on my autism/Asperger’s, they may not be everyone else’s who is on the spectrum.