What's Normal For You May Be Crazy For Another

Jul 06, 2022

I overheard another upsetting argument a while ago. It’s funny (not really) how you can feel and sense an issue without hearing the words.

There is an obvious tone that wafts over the garden fence. 

I paused my own music to see if it was just a TV outburst or emotional outburst, but no, unfortunately not, they are at it again.

The husband called his wife an effing slut, multiple times, without regard for who else in the neighborhood could hear.

As I hinted, it's not the first time I've heard this type of exchange.

  • As somebody that used to be on the receiving end of this type of verbalization, it was hard to hear.
  • As a female, it was hard to hear.
  • As a citizen, it was hard to hear.
  • As a concerned neighbour, it was very hard to hear.

But worst was knowing their 5-year-old child was hearing it too.

I don't know what started it, what it was about, or what she said back to him.

But I did hear domestic violence loud and clear almost in my own home. As a coach, it made me very sad and as an energy empathy, I could feel the massive swell of sickness in her stomach.

I know my neighbour is desperately miserable and shut down emotionally (not that she would tell me that.  

She puts on a brave face – even wears her sunglasses at night to hide her eyes. I hope she’s not hiding more than sadness in her eyes. 

Being very careful I asked one day how long they had been married and how old their boy was, she retorted almost but not quite, under her breath “What Marriage”.  I know she stays for her son.

You see, she doesn’t have a job but certainly isn’t lazy. She doesn’t have a friend ever come by for a coffee. If she talks to me over the fence whilst he’s home – he demands her attention.

She isn’t able to leave the house as she doesn’t have her license – she shared that he won’t help her pay for lessons.

Get this, he has a car – which sits at home - and a work vehicle. She could get herself out of the house if she had her license! Hmm, maybe there could be a scheme to help ladies like her learn.

She even has to pay him rent from her government child support. Apparently, it went downhill when the baby came along after 12 years of it ‘being ok’.

So she stays. She doesn’t have the strength to rebuild herself to even the starting block of self-esteem and the subsequent journey to self-worth.

  • How does it end like this, how does blandness turn into resentment?
  • How does resentment turn into such disregard for another’s welfare? 
  • How does narcissism turn into something more physically abusive?


Through the slow evolution of the seasons, behaviours ever so slowly deteriorate and although we might be aware of it, there isn’t an overnight snap to highlight and halt the demise.

You know you want an alternative way of doing your relationship but how do you find it and then most importantly follow it through?

How do you kick the ‘this is normal’ silent assassin, killing your relationship, out of your own home?

During emotional unrest how do you stay balanced and true to yourself and your sense of worth?

Who is in your corner offering unbiased advise during your relationship issues, can you rely on a parent, sibling, or friend to tell you that what you are going through is NOT normal?

I’ve been through it, (almost thankfully) it ended with an encounter that was more embarrassing than the public aggression and put-downs I experienced behind closed doors.

I wouldn’t wish being physically violated on anybody, but a bruise on the face is what it took for me to leave and never look back (not the abusive use of masculine sexual dominance).

Because I had a job, I was able to have people point out to me that it wasn’t normal and ultimately escape my ‘home’. I had the courage and therefore strength to listen and subsequently empower myself enough with information to make a change that literally changed the entire course of my future. 

Life is a beeaaacch then you die, how do you turn around the ‘negative’ experiences of your life like I did, given I didn’t have any family or friends to turn to or even couch surf with?

With the glorious invention of smartphones, even my neighbour could search google and youtube for answers. She hasn’t asked for help from me - yet, but as soon as she does I’ll be there in a heartbeat – we can’t help those that aren’t ready to make a change yet.

There are communities, Facebook group, support helplines, and numerous other ways of receiving free guidance advice and providing a sounding board.

You may not be suffering from emotional or physical negativity, but you may be allowing disrespect or even simple mediocrity into your home.

By definition of being human, we all have challenges, experiences, and certainly hurdles to overcome, it’s hard to accept or believe, and even harder to do, but by stepping up for what’s right for yourself, you will have a happier life.

Stuffing down negativity is so much harder than just ‘being’ happy. It takes a lot more energy to suppress our emotions.


STEP 1 – Get tidying, remove the nasty self-talk and doubt

Listening to the negative chatter that makes another's behaviour our fault, it's the first thing to catch and throw out. Head trash is the worse offender.

Giving airtime to any thought that isn’t a happy or positive time of day is a terrible waste.

Believing the voices in our heads that match abusers are the start of the downhill spiral.

NOBODY deserves to be treated like crap or spoken to with contempt.

Let me explain in detail, why, we are attracted to repeating patterns and people.

As we grow up in life, regardless of whether the environment was pleasant or not, that home was what we actually thought to be normal. The thing that’s hard to get our head around is that normally represents familiar.

It's weird but we learn how to fit into our childhood and, over time, it becomes what’s comfortable for us.

~ Normal:

adjective, conforming to a standard; usual, typical, or expected.

The thing about us humans is that we don’t like ‘new’, or stepping outside our comfort zone.

We grow up with a set of parameters that may not be all that helpful, let me explain. (These are real examples from clients).

  1. You were raised in a family where you were told you were fat and not pretty enough by your mum
  2. Your Dad criticising your choice of career ie not going to uni to be a white-collar worker.
  3. You were raised in a home that allowed you to be molested (yes allowed).

Although we can polarize and do the opposite of our upbringing, it will still feel normal to be in environments that remind us of our ‘familiar’ childhood energy.

These are the outcomes for these clients as ‘normal’ adults.

  1. Always having a complex about how they look and starting arguments if anything remotely close to the topic of health or image came up.
  2. No matter how high up the ladder, and how hard they worked as a blue-collar worker, becoming self-employed and very financially successful, he looked down on his wife for being a stay-at-home-mum and not getting an education.
  3. Showing love for their own children through aggression and excessive discipline, to the point where the wife thought ahead to put herself through Karate to prepare to defend herself/them.

Knowing how to avoid an argument with your feisty Italian grampa may be normal, but knowing how to defend yourself from an angry outburst from your husband is not.

So. How do we break these unappealing cycles of normality?

STEP 2 – Get an alternative perspective

By first accepting that there may be other equally normal ways of behaving, you can start to recognise the defaults learned in childhood.

  • Also remember there are people, doing parenting with kids, that didn’t even want children.
  • Adults are bringing kids into the world that aren’t ready or resolved from their own ‘stuff’.
  • Humans are responsible for other little humans that haven’t learned how to effectively human themselves.

The truth is, we are all working through our shit – whatever it might be.

Even with a non tragic, traumatic, or negative childhood we still have crap to work through, it’s the whole point of our existence.

STEP 3 – Get informed

I always suggest it starts with self-development. We have to understand ourselves before we can expect anybody around us to ‘get us’ on a deeper level or adjust to working with us.

Self-development isn’t just about woo-woo, hippy gurus. It’s about understanding humanity. The basics of psychology and more importantly improving one's perspective of Self.

A strong suggestion I have for nearly everybody is to cull those people from your life that are negative or do not appreciate the self-development opportunities (that are also) available to them.

I’m not suggesting you have to give up on your relationship but do you know where it’s currently at, where you are at?

It costs nothing to act with respect, dignity, and self-awareness but the lack of these abilities can cost lives, and I’m not just talking physically.

My neighbours life (in her eyes) is pretty much over, she’s given up on anything improving. It’s a tragic waste of a life and even more heartbreaking knowing their environment will deeply impact the future of her son.

I am personally grateful for the wonderful friends that I have surrounded myself with, people that also find these types of behaviours unacceptable.  Many men that are genuinely upset by men treating women in such deplorable manners do exist. 

There IS hope.

I recovered from the incident next door quickly but I'm pretty sure those 3 souls have not, and will not. So I send love to all three and to anybody else both giving and receiving this kind of exchange.

If you or somebody you know is in a position of domestic violence, please reach out to Global Glamping Charities, Inc.