Byrnes wrote:Interesting posts. Was thinking about this this week... much of life trying to be "normal", guess this means to me fitting in with others, not standing out due to inappropriate reactions or conversations, being able to just "go with the flow" and not becoming paranoid others are being disrespectful, or deliberately hurtful - not taking everything so, so personally. When I am on my meds, I am so calm and easy going; off my meds, I have a quicker, sharper sense of humor, more "fun", but also quicker to take offense & react. Normal also means consistency to me - something that can be a challenge with mental illness.
"Guest" - I agree standards should be expanded to embrace a wider variety of "normalcy". But I wonder if it's hard to embrace everyone by their individual uniqueness - wonder if as a species we need some kind of shorthand way to determine "safe/not safe". Anyone who behaves differently than the majority would be considered riskier. Not that this is necessarily true, just wonder if it's some kind of hind-brain reflexive action.
I've tried to remain open and nonjudgemental which has led to some interesting situations:
bad: locked in a old house with someone who looked like Truman Capote after went to look at a rental unit. When invited into his apt to talk details, the room was empty, except for several huge acrylic paintings of what looked like an anthropomorphized screaming corncob "standing" dangerously close to a bonfire (popcorn!). While Truman gave me a run down of his corn god, I happened to notice that every apt branched off of his, like some ungodly octogon, and that every.mirror.was.two.way. It took some fancy tap dancing, and dropping several "gee, my partner will be here ANY MINUTE to pick me up"'s until the main door was unlocked and I could suck the sweet sweet air of freedom.
good: dean, offered me rides in his dirt encrusted (inside!) chevy "just sit on the newspapers; don't mind the dogs" helped me push my 68 Dodge Monaco 4 blocks [didn't complain when he discovered I forgot to disengage the parking brake the first 10 minutes!] he also worked in acrylics (recurring Godzilla at Disneyland theme)...Initially seen as odd, turned out to be delightfully different.
Anxiouslwas: good point that the stress of trying to act "acceptable" might actually cause mental illness symptoms
BDT: this is the most succinct def for me