What Is A Normal Person?
This is also a question that people probably wonder but won’t ask inside of my Tumblr ‘ask’ box for whatever reason. Still, the majority of people are brought up believing that there is no such thing as ‘Normal”, that “normal” doesn’t exist, and trying to define it is a bunch of wasted time and effort.
Poppycock. These are the teachings of the privileged. If you yourself are Normal, then sure! You don’t need a label! Just go on your regular Normal life and live the Normal problems that everyone else faces. Meanwhile, the Weird are here screaming for their problems to be heard (sometimes literally) while people look them in the face and tell them their problems are insignificant because “everyone else faces the same thing”.
To understand Normality, two fundamental things have to be cleared up.
First, every problem in the world can be put under three categories: Normal, Situational, and Weird.
Normal problems are the standard variety that every person has an extremely large potential to face. Normal people all have to deal with trying to eat enough, to maintain a healthy stature, to go through school, to deal with procrastination, to get over emotions and control them… these are Normal things.
Situational Problems are a bit more specific Normal problems. They are things that any person will face if they are presented with the situation. Break ups, cancer, death of loved ones, house fires, earthquakes; any person can be subject to these.
And finally, Weird problems. These are in a caliber all of their own. Normal people will NEVER face Weird problems. Never. Heck, some Weird people will never face the same situation as another Weird person. An autistic will never know what it’s like to be bipolar; a Normal will never know what it’s like to be autistic; a walking man will never know what it’s like to be crippled (unless he gets his legs broken, but until then he will never understand). Weird Problems are the worst of them all; they can and often do exist alongside Normal Problems at any moment. Every day, life can become a battlefield trying to understand how to deal with all these problems at the same time. Oftentimes, Weird problems will make the Normal problems worse by altering emotional conditions and the ability to cope with certain aspects of them.
The second fundamental thing to know is that Normality is relative. What this means is that Normality requires you to define something before you can consider it to Normal.
We are normally told to believe that Normality works kind of like hot and cold.
Hot ————————- Cold
Two sides of a coin, opposites. Because this model seems absurd to believe (and it is), Normality is often believed to not exist.
But let’s think of a bell curve for a second. On the SAT, there is a range of “Normal” scores that the majority of people will attain. At two ends, the spectrum begins to die off and become extremely thin. These ends are the extremes and it looks like this:
Too Dumb ——————— Normal ———————Too Smart
If you analyze any trait, this same pattern can still be revealed. Too hot too cold, too weak too strong, too childish not childish enough, too rich too poor, too blind too light-sensitive; and if you notice, these extremes are all problems. When something reaches those extremes, things change from outside that Normal spectrum.
Weird ————————— Normal ——————— Weird
Autism involves a huge number of various traits, and each of these traits is just an extreme of what is Normal. Inability to feel emotion, too sensitive to fabrics, too frequent breakdowns, too rigid… the list goes on
And then we realize that yes, if we collect a good number of these traits and apply them to a certain category (The majority of autistic traits fall under psychological identities) then we can define which people are Weird and which people are Normal. Certainly, there can be some debate on certain people on which category they should be classified under, but that itself does not destroy the system. It is easy to think of this system similar to a color spectrum:
If I ask you where red begins and ends, each person will always choose the exact smae spot for where red begins, but their choice for its end will be different. And yet, despite being different, the answers will all be remarkably similar, spanning around the same general area. The same principle applies to the Weird Spectrum: while we may not always know exactly where each person belongs, most of the time it will be pretty evident.
When I use the term “Normal Person” on this blog, it is always in the psychological or emotional aspect unless otherwise specified. In the autistic community, there is even a term just for that called “Neurotypical”. I don’t like the term. It makes it hard to apply that principle of Normality to further things, and I think that referencing Normality in this way is actually empowering. It helps get the point across: this isn’t just an autistic thing. In society, the people who are not in that Normal range suffer from others and their xenophobia. In America, Blacks are discriminated against, non-Christians are persecuted, autistics are misrepresented.
Now for the most important thing: being weird is not a bad thing. Not inherently at least. A person who is on the extreme side of strength, intelligence, power, or even confidence can sometimes be revered. These people will still face Weird problems, but their Weirdness will permit them to handle them more easily and survive more successfully.
Autism itself is also not an inherently bad thing. It is important to remember though that Autism is a condition, not a behavioral trait. It affects about a gajillion other traits and THAT’s where the problems begin. Those traits must be fixed and I have been working extremely hard to do so.
It is just so important to acknowledge this. Weird people require Weird treatment. Not dehumanizing treatment; that’s stupid. They just require some extra care, some extra attention, some extra THINGS to help make their life have as much chance as a Normal Person at being successful. You do not make a crippled man (physically Weird) walk up stairs. You do not make an autistic (psychologically Weird) have to be in a room where there are multiple sensory sensitivities.