A few reasons why I think the word “normal” gets a bad rap and why needing feel normal is okay


Feeling normal for someone might be having a nice TV to watch when the kids go down. It’s something that just helps that person to feel normal for a little while.

For me, I need the sense of normalcy that comes along with my wife and I going out. Maybe we go to dinner or maybe a movie. In that short time that we’re out, we’re around other people doing the same thing. For a little while, I can press the pause button on my life and just be together with Lizze.

In those moments, we’re not worried about appointments, money, meds, meltdowns or anything else related to being an Autism and Special Needs parent. I’m just spending time, outside the house with my best friend in the whole world..

This is the kind of thing that helps both emotionally and physically because I can forget all that has me stressed out, even if it’s only for a little while. I can feel like I’m more than just an Autism and Special Needs parent.

I’m so stressed out right now that I’m clenching my teeth. My jaw/teeth hurt and my head is pounding. I’m fighting against the urge to clench my teeth but it’s something I’m not always aware of and it’s exhausting to have to consciously tell myself not to do it. I need to get out for a little while, so I can decompress and get away from all that has me dangling by my finger tips on the edge of a cliff.

I know many of you out there understand because you deal with similar experiences. I just wanted to tell you that there’s nothing wrong with needing to feel normal.

I really think that the word normal is often misused and therefore has become sort of a taboo in the community.

If you tell your Special Needs child or anyone else for that matter, that you wish they were normal, that would be cruel because it insinuates that there’s something wrong with them.

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BeckyW

I have 2 things to say. (1) You’re right, we all need normal although what is normal varies from person to person, as you pointed out. Your description means “being able to forget the horrible stress for awhile, especially in the company of my wife.” My description might be: “watching an old favorite TV show that makes me remember the happy times as a kid,” or “doing a pleasant activity that reminds me of being young and happy, and having it make me happy still.” As in watching classic Hawaii-5O and playing musical instruments. OR getting out to have breakfast with Bob. So it sounds like activities that reduce stress and make us happy are normal.

(2) I have serious, severe TMJD (jaw pain, jaw disorder) and gave up a musical career because of it. If you are clenching your teeth you really should see your dentist and get a TMJD plate. It helps and even if it doesn’t always stop you from clenching your teeth, will keep the jaw angle open. Still, one of its main helps is to remind you that you clench your teeth. Now, it’s a pain to talk with one in. You can learn to do so, possibly with a slight lisp. Or you can wear it whenever you know you won’t be talking. But if you are actively clenching you really should consult a dentist.

Hope you all got out!

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