Friday, June 29, 2012

The New Normal

We heard the phrase often after 9/11:  "the new normal".  Things were never going to be the way they were before the tragedy of the terrorists smashing planes into buildings and the earth.  Nothing would be "normal" again.  The nation and the people in it would be different.  We would look at others with skepticism and distrust.  We would constantly be on guard.  Our level of alert, virtually non-existent before, would operate at a low constant hum. We would never feel safe.

Abuse is the same way.  Our lives are turned upside down with the act of a terrorist.  Or two acts.  Or three.  Or 19 years of acts.  The malliable brain learns falsehoods about self.  We do not trust, are anxious, and never feel safe.  We, too, have a new normal.

"You are very difficult to treat," the psychiatrist said to me as we discussed medical issues and medicine.  I have had a phsycial brain disorder and a mood disorder since I was born.  Cognitive functioning is impaired.  Memory is horrible.  These things will continue to deteriorate with time because of the nature of the disorders and the medication.

What made me grow so much worse was disclosing the abuse 4 years ago and beginning to work through it.  The discussion, the trauma that came with that, the acceptance of something I had denied for 19 years piggy-backed to the brain disorders made for a very difficult life.  I would never see normal again, rather need to learn how to live a new normal.

We all have our challenges.  Mine seem to be particularly difficult because they are mine.  However, I don't have to look far to see that yours are much more difficult.

Let's pray for one another.
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