Sunday, May 29, 2005

I'm Normal?

I've discovered I am considered normal. Well, at least I am normal in what I am experiencing concerning my little brother Charles' losing battle with head and neck cancer. In fact, it may be the first time I am really normal in any sense of the word with any part of my life so far. It is almost a sense of relief that fills me when I realize I may have finally and inadvertently obtained a place of "normalness" in all of this pain and craziness that surrounds me and permeates my daily existence.

How do I know I am normal? My baby sister, Teresa told me so. She religiously reads this blog and often comments that I write about the very same things she herself is feeling and experiencing. To her, it is uncanny and almost synergistic. But to me, it is validation that we are only experiencing a clinically recognized progression in the cycle of mourning. Of course, knowing this doesn't make the journey any easier.

But I wonder. How could it be "normal" to suffer extreme emotional detachment, mental exhaustion, near debilitating physical anemia, undeniable guilt and remorse, uncertain and unrealistic fear, feelings of abandonment and betrayal, inability to focus, misguided or misdirected anger, altered perceptions, overwhelming sense of my own mortality, and more?

Maybe that is the wrong question.

Normal doesn't mean "okay". It just means it is something most people go through in this situation and that experience itself is the normal I wish I wasn't at the moment. For once I don't want to be considered being normal. I want someone to tell me that all of this is not normal and I can be delivered from it easily with but a single magic pill. Or maybe I could undergo hypnosis or some quackery psycho-babble to wipe my mind and start fresh tomorrow just as if the last year had never occurred.

But that's not going to happen.

Just as Charles has to live through his horrific trial to the inevitable end, Teresa and I must play our parts and compassionately suffer in another form along with him. Thus, balance and normalcy are kept in the universe and one more thing that separates us from beasts is revealed. Or is it?

So this is what it is like to be normal. No wonder I've done my best all of my life not to be normal. Being normal totally sucks!

12 comments:

Ashley said...

Have you had the feeling that everyone in the world should be nice to you because of what you're going through? Like you wear a special badge on you so that the dickhead at the grocery doesn't cut in front of you in line?

HOw about things that wouldn't seem funny to anyone else except your family?Sick humor to get you through.

Or the feeling of helplessness?

I've been there. It sucks. It gets better. everyone says that and I didn't believe it either.

Doug said...

Normal doesn't mean OK any more than not normal means not OK. It's important, though, that while you go through this all alone, others are making the same sad trek in parallel. There should be guides when you need them and fellow travelers when you're open to them. Teresa being one example.

VikiBabbles said...

Tony,
I'm thinking that being "not normal" in this situation would require you to be some kind of cold-hearted, hardened, cynical, unfeeling ass wipe.

And I'm pretty sure you're not one of those.

Being capable of feeling love, caring for people, being kind to people, being happy, all the good stuff means we have to take the trade-off, which means we also have to feel the sadness, the anger, the disillusionment, the helplessness, all of that.

It's not fun, and sometimes it really feels like it's not fair.

~Ivy said...

Since this is my first trip to your blog I am sorry to read about your brother. I'm sure you hear that often so I wont dwell on it.

Hope that isnt offensive.

As for being normal. I've come to the conclusion that there isnt a such thing. People rely on things being normal to make them feel better. It's normal for a child to run fever with teething. Makes the mother not worry. Its normal.

I stopped trying to be normal a long time ago. I gave up on the hope that there is a normal.

While our emmotions are often "normal(what ever that is)" we all process things differently.

I hope your future is brighter.
Ivy...

Scrawler said...

I no longer understand the word normal. I hate to use it and hate other people using it in regards to me. Even more so when I hear the word abnormal. I think someone needs to think of another word and 'normal' should be banned, lol. It's offensive and patronising. What you're feeling are all the usual emotions associated with grief and pain. [hugs]

Kim said...

Normal is overrated. You are fine Tony, you just aren't aware of it yet. You are entitled to feel all of the angst that you do, because honey, IT ISN"T fair!

Ole Blue The Heretic said...

Normal? I worry about normal people.
Perhaps your grief is normal, but there is nothing normal about grief.

My dad had cancer, grief sucks.

Kitty said...

Tony, as many others have said in some form or another ... what is normal, really? I'm with you - normal does suck ... which is why I have never strived to be associated with that label.

If it helps, I *never* considered you "normal." *kitty-kisses* You know I'm just kidding . . . hang in there, darlin' - I'm here when ya need me!

Teresa said...

Tony,
I didn't say you were normal. I said my Cancer support group said we were experiencing a normal progression of emotions brought on by extreme grief and the roller coaster of the illness of cancer and that I shouldn't worry that I'm going insane because I'm not, (and therefore you must not be going insane either) There is no way you or I could ever be normal and besides that would be way too boring. Although I wouldn't mind if all this shit took a break from my mind for a while. I could use a mental vacation. How does the Bahamas sound? I love you bone.
Your sis, Teresa

MoxieGrrrl said...

I just hate the WORD normal. It's a stupid word. Let's boycott it!

(((HUGS)))

Mox

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry to read you and your family are going through this. I've been through 5 rounds of cancer with family members and just lost a friend to cancer as well. It's not easy. *hugs* groovebunny

Fyre said...

Agreed. It frightens me to be considered "normal," yet those who read my blog say it is so.

Those who read my livejournal, on the other hand, tend to run away in fear.