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What is 'normal', anyway?

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#1    FreeMeFromReality

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Posted 31 July 2013 - 09:30 PM

The first ten years of my life were spent in almost complete solitude.  I was mostly in my room, seeing only my parents and sisters.  Once, sometimes twice a week I would see kids my age in a homeschool group.  I was also 'unschooled', so from the ages of six to last school year, meaning I didn't learn anything that I didn't teach myself beyond the age of six.
Keep your skeptisism on the unschooling matter to yourself, thank you.  That's not what this post is about.

Anyway, I'm 16 years old.  I'm into reading, writing, I'm a 'loser' as I don't have many friends and I'm deeply into fandoms.  (Batman, Homestuck, Anime, etc, etc.)  I'm not especially ugly, not especially attractive, I don't feel a blood-bond with any of my family like so many people do.  I feel no respect towards any adult unless they've earned it- meaning my parents, teachers and aunts and uncles, and grandparents, don't get automatic respect from me.  If they're being rude or out of line, I treat them the same way I'd treat a stranger doing the same thing.  (*Gasp*, I know, so terrible.)

I don't have many friends because if I can't have a conversation without explaning a word every two seconds, I won't talk to you.  If you've got your head stuck up your own ass, if you're mean for no reason, if you generally don't care about anyone but yourself, if you pick on anyone younger or smaller or weaker than you, we won't be friends.  This includes parents who spank their kids; we won't get along.

I don't push my beliefs on people, this is just the way things are.  My mother is always telling me I'll understand when I'm older, but I already understand.  I can see these things from her side, I can understand why she believes the 'normal' things that most people do.  I understand, I just don't agree.  I have a therapist and a psychiatrist, I'm on sleeping pills and Celexa and have been for a while.  Nothing is changing at all.
I wouldn't be so unhappy if other people could just accept that I will never think the way they do, and that I'm not a bad person for not giving automatic respect to those that don't deserve it.  No one is perfect, but if you treat children like ****, if you're racist or superficial or prejuduce, you won't get my respect regardless of age or relation.
She thinks that I'm disrespectful for not pledging my allegience to the country; I think I'm just not pledging my allegience somewhere I don't agree with the majority.  I rise for the national anthem, but don't sing along or hold my hand over my chest.  If I'm wearing a hat, I won't remove it.  I don't believe in war, but I respect that the people fighting in wars are doing what they think is right.  That doesn't make it right, but I still have respect for them, for doing what they believe in.

I just want that acceptance myself, I want to be able to be me and not hide away.  I'm only depressed and everything because I'm not normal enough for everyone.
This might just be a rant, excuse me if it is, but I'd like to you; what do you consider normal?  How do you react to people that are different from you?  Who gets your respect?


#2    JMPD1

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Posted 31 July 2013 - 09:35 PM

Text book answer:  "Normal" is what society approves of.  Anything outside that narrow corridor is "odd", "weird", "abnormal", etc.

From my POV, you sound like the people I like.  I'm 51, father, husband, a gamer, reader, writer, artist, builder.  And I work too.

Your attitude about respect is similar to my own; and I will not tolerate rude or bullying behavior by anyone.

And welcome to UM.

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#3    Jello

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Posted 31 July 2013 - 09:48 PM

I always treat others the way they treat me. If someone's being a dick they're going to be treated like one. Seems like you're pretty mature for your age. I've been known to have conversations with people and they end up having to keep a dictionary with them just so they can understand what I'm trying to say. Your beliefs are pretty similar to my own, especially the part about the national anthem.

To get to the point, I must say that "normal" doesn't exist from my perspective. Everyone lives their lives differently. They all have their own beliefs and daily routines. From one's point of view they could say that their life is indeed normal while viewing others' as being "odd".

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#4    kannin

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Posted 31 July 2013 - 09:58 PM

the poop my neighbors dog leaves on my lawn every day

but really there is no such thing as normal in my opinion, everything is random and everything is changing by the second

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#5    ouija ouija

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Posted 31 July 2013 - 10:16 PM

As it takes a while to get to know a person, being civil and polite seems like a good idea to me ....... respect may or may not come with time.

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#6    rodentraiser

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Posted 31 July 2013 - 10:46 PM

I suspect you may have Asperger Syndrome, FreeMe. But even if you don't, you must remember that being different in today's society carries a hefty price. The question is, are you willing to pay that price? To keep your individuality, are you willing to risk unpopularity, depression, and/or lack of respect, let alone friends? The rarest person in the world is someone who accepts you without judgement. They're really out there, but it's a challenge to find them.

Fortunately, I also think being different (and being different is not the same as being wrong) is much easier now with the internet. You will meet people who will still put you down for how you feel, but you will meet many more people like yourself and that's always good. But there's one thing I would warn you about: don't let people move you in a direction you wouldn't normally go just because you think you need to prove a point to them. Don't put chains around yourself because you think that will "show" them. Stay open-minded if you can.

As to what's normal? Right now I'm more normal than at any time during my life. When I was growing up, I was considered abnormal because I didn't want to do what women were supposed to do at that time, like get married, have kids and be a housewife. Normal is a fuzzy set of lines dividing what the majority does from what the minority do. Over the course of about 50 years, the lines move , what society thinks changes, and believe it or not, we all eventually get a chance to be "normal".

By the way, people like you seem to think if they aren't normal, they're abnormal. I'd rather use another word for abnormal. That's "unique". It's far more accurate. As for respect, I respect everyone because people are deserving of respect simply because they just exist. But I don't have to like everyone and what's more, I am only responsible for what I feel, not for what others choose to think about me.

Hope that helps.

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#7    Dark_Grey

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Posted 31 July 2013 - 10:50 PM

Living your life however you want is the new "normal". Thanks to the internet, there are support groups for any lifestyle you can imagine

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#8    shrooma

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Posted 31 July 2013 - 11:00 PM

View PostJMPD1, on 31 July 2013 - 09:35 PM, said:


And welcome to UM.
.
he's been here eighteen months JMP.
(he just doesn't join in much.....)
.

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#9    JMPD1

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Posted 31 July 2013 - 11:02 PM

View Postshrooma, on 31 July 2013 - 11:00 PM, said:

.
he's been here eighteen months JMP.
(he just doesn't join in much.....)
.

OOPS.  Should I take it back?  :blush:

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#10    shrooma

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Posted 31 July 2013 - 11:04 PM

View PostDark_Grey, on 31 July 2013 - 10:50 PM, said:

Living your life however you want is the new "normal".
.
this is very true DG.
so true in fact, that it's amazing to see how exactly alike people who consider themselves 'different' really are.....

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all posts- without exception- are humourous.
if you fail to grasp the sublety, then don't whine on due to your lack of understanding.

#11    shrooma

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Posted 31 July 2013 - 11:08 PM

View PostJMPD1, on 31 July 2013 - 11:02 PM, said:



OOPS.  Should I take it back?  :blush:
.
nah man, it's the internet, don't use a pic of your house as your avatar, and no-one'll be able to find you & punish you!
;-)

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#12    FreeMeFromReality

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Posted 31 July 2013 - 11:23 PM

View Postrodentraiser, on 31 July 2013 - 10:46 PM, said:

I suspect you may have Asperger Syndrome, FreeMe.

What leads you to believe that?  I most certainly don't.

View Postshrooma, on 31 July 2013 - 11:00 PM, said:

.
he's been here eighteen months JMP.
(he just doesn't join in much.....)
.

I admit, I'm a lurker.  I forget to log in and when I want to reply, I'm just too lazy to log in, so I just don't do it at all.


#13    shrooma

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Posted 01 August 2013 - 12:15 AM

View PostFreeMeFromReality, on 31 July 2013 - 11:23 PM, said:




I admit, I'm a lurker.  I forget to log in and when I want to reply, I'm just too lazy to log in, so I just don't do it at all.
.
you should join in more often Freem, there's plenty of good subjects, and most of the people are pretty decent, definitely under-represented in the a$$hole category if you know what i mean.....
;-)

Edited by shrooma, 01 August 2013 - 12:17 AM.

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all posts- without exception- are humourous.
if you fail to grasp the sublety, then don't whine on due to your lack of understanding.

#14    Himawari69

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Posted 01 August 2013 - 12:51 AM

Welcome to UM, first off, your not a loser, I too am into fandoms, writing and reading but I have good friends and I'm socially friendly, so you can be too. As for normal... There's no such thing as normal. Everyone is strange or unique in their own way.Everyone is different and that's what makes them cool. Just by being yourself you can attract others into your life and keep positive bonds


#15    Beany

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Posted 01 August 2013 - 02:36 AM

At 16 I doubt you have the same understanding that you will 10 years from now.  It's one thing to be true to one's self, it's a whole different thing to expect approval or understanding from others at the same time. There are always consequences, it's a universal law, can't escape it. If you're vocal about the negative way in which you hold people, you can expect some negative blow back, sometimes that's the price we pay for honesty & integrity. And why should anyone accord you any kind of respect or acceptance when you're not willing to do the same?

I'm not trying to grind on you, but life is sometimes unfair, sometimes our expectations are unreasonable, and if we're very, very lucky, we continue to mature and our understanding & perceptions change as we grow. I always told my kids to be themselves, but not to expect any rewards or approval for doing so, that in fact, just the opposite is likely to happen, which is not a reason to give up their integrity. And to always exhibit good manners, especially to their elders; as they have a lot to teach us, if we have the courtesy to listen.






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