Whose Normal? Me, You, Them? Where?


The only normal people are the one’s you don’t know very well.” 

                                                                                               Alfred Adler

Normal has many definitions beginning with usual,  regular, natural.  It can mean  in the middle of  expected behaviors and a statistical average.  It can mean not having a disease.

Most of us want to be normal in the sense of being free from disease.  At the same time, some with creative talent and an illness often fear curing the illness will end their creativity.  Many don’t want to be normal as  in “just an average guy.” Many do, particularly if not seen as normal by the rest of the world.

To me the problem is the stigma that comes from not being part of the crowd.  We are herding animals for the most part.  To be too different is to be set apart and no matter what the reason not being accepted by most other people is incredible painful.

So when I read this post, a very well intended effort to comfort someone with a major mental disorder, I was not happy.

 Wanting  To Be  Normal 

I think the person wishing to not have Asperger’s was not comforted by the post if he or she read it.  Maybe I am wrong,  and maybe enough caring poured his or her way, that the pain eased.  My hope is that the person is mourning “What might have been” and will in time find a peace with what is. That is called radical acceptance, and  for many,  to quote Marsha Linehan who coined the term,  “the only way out of Hell.”

I have another suggestion.  Not something major or that will change what is,  but it might improve some moments.  Don’t feel normal, go to  Second Life

For those of you that don’t know about Second Life,  it is a virtual reality.  You create an avatar and mingle with other avatars.  It is a wild and crazy place. I worked for a while on Second Life with a group of avatars representing people suffering from Asperger’s and other Austism Spectrum Disorders.  I loved the time I spent there.

Many of the avatars were  among deeply wounded by and mainly because they were different.  Some had beautiful voices, but didn’t meet the necessary standard of beauty demanded in the real world to  pass the auditions on American Idle. These could and did sing on Second Life.

Some had various handicaps and couldn’t leave their beds.

Some men wanted to be women, some women wanted to be men.

Some were there to learn.  You can practice another language, take a course, attend support groups, visit far away places, learn about others.

You can also meet people you would never meet in real life.  I met and became friends with Furries–a group previously unknown to me.  People who wish they could be animals.  In Second Life they could.

As in  real life, Second Life was not without its problems.  Mean people who do to do mean things to other people are part of the mix.  And there are people who police and help keep the troublemakers in line.

But for the most part, the people I met through their avatars were caring people.  So I would tell anyone feeling abnormal and stigmatized in real life to consider joining Second Life.  You will most likely find you are more normal than not and if that is not the case,  you will find others like you and others who don’t care about normal or not.

Not magic, but a way to worry less about being normal, to connect with others, and sometimes to have a bit of fun that is not possible in real life.

STAYING STRONG TIP: Fight stigma, build acceptance of all but the cruel and uncaring.

PRACTICE KINDNESS  Share this post with another. Kindness is a circle coming back to the giver.


IMAGE BY: Second Life.com


  1. “Normal” is relative and subjective. “Normal” only exists within the parameters of one’s comfort zone. It takes a highly evolved soul to step beyond the comfort zone and not have a jaundiced view of the world.

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