What is Normal?

I’ve been very conscientious of wanting to feel “normal” lately, though I know that it’s a relative term.

I walk through my day feeling my triggers, reacting to them, and then feeling guilty about how I’ve reacted to them because I want them to not be a part of my life in the first place.

I suppose this guilt is misguided, and should be met with compassion and patience instead, but it is extremely troubling to be so triggered by an event, especially one others would most likely view as harmless.

Today, it was my husband coming home and twisting my toes. He was attempting to be playful, but I felt like kicking him! I abruptly asked him to stop, but he didn’t because he heard me laughing and thought it was the appropriate context for a tease. I don’t remember laughing at all, though I do believe him.

After he didn’t stop immediately I became more agitated and said

You need to respect my boundaries now!

He didn’t relent, but I sincerely believe it’s because he was hoping I would become magically disarmed if he continued. To be fair, It has worked before.

After the third or fourth time of repeating myself he finally stopped and I banished him from the room to process what I was feeling. When he came back in and saw how low I was, we talked for a bit about what just happened, and concluded that I was so triggered because of high stress from this past weekend and feeling that boundaries are crossed all of the time within my family. I’m feeling lately that I have no tolerance left for it at all, but I don’t want to project my insecurities onto my well-intentioned husband.

We certainly have work to do in many aspects of our marriage, but if I have to think of one person who has seen all sides of me and still loves me unconditionally, doesn’t criticize me, and has taken on my child and niece with open arms, it is him.

It hasn’t always been easy, but I feel the times I am contemplating fleeing are the times I want to feel what is known, or normal for me.

It’s abnormal for me to trust. Even knowing someone for years, trust can be discarded easily by me. I’ve given people second, third and fourth chances before, but now I think I’m all chanced out. Except when it comes to him, normal is spelled E-m-i-l-y, and I can work with that.

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