I have two facts for you that exist in my mind -
1. I am normal
2. I do not 'feel' normal
I have never considered myself to be normal.
I knew i wasn't normal when at the age of eight after my Dad left my school hired a counsellor just for me,
and i wasn't normal how after then i was the only pupil to be from a single parent family.
I wasn't normal when just after this abandonment my body entered early puberty,
and so feeling weird didn't stay a feeling, it became a reality.
Picked on for things out of my control, i felt like a freak.
Even at the age of eight, every aspect of my identity was up for scrutiny.
I knew i wasn't normal when in secondary school i would purposely get detentions
to spend time with teachers, because the the turmoil of the school yard was a teenage no man's land.
The company of those my own age is something i will never understand.
I knew i wasn't normal when i would hesistate in conversation when someone asked me who i fancied in my class.
The name of a random boy rolled from my tongue in an attempt to not blow my cover.
I knew i wasn't normal when my tweets coming out as bi were passed around like breaking news.
When i tried to defend myself in the interrogations, teachers would sternly say to me -
'That's not appropriate to be talking about in school' like my sexuality was a hushed secret, even though the straight girls were never silenced.
I knew i wasn't normal when i had to say i was bi, when in fact this was a lie. A lie to help me pass, pass and hold on to some straight privilege.
At the age of sixteen i questionned my worth and value as a person, trying to blame myself for the treatment i was subjected to.
I knew i wasn't normal when i decided to place my emotional pain onto a physical space, then patching up the damage as a form of ironic self-care.
I left school for a college, desperately seeking freedom from the constraints of a Catholic school.
I never felt comfortable in sixth form, being there my mind felt like a spinning waltzer i was strapped to for two years.
At seventeen i knew i wasn't normal when i was prescribed the maximum dose of sertraline, then mirtazapine, venlafaxine, fluoxetine.
By this point in my life i was on a tally of maybe six counsellors and two CBT therapists.
I knew i wasn't normal when i started to blame myself for the therapy not being successful. Maybe i was just meant to be depressed.
Changing my thinking styles, emotional regulation, journalling my feelings and triggers, i knew exactly what i had to do.
I knew i wasn't normal when i clung onto certin things as comfort, like my adoration for florence and the machine.
I started to experiment, toying between wanting to fit in and wanting to be myself, painting bright eyeshadow on my lids as a vibrant mask to carry me through.
I knew i wasn't normal when i reached out to the local crisis team experiencing auditory hallicinations, hearing sounds only meant for my ears.
My emotional states are a product of my trauma, which is difficult to navigate as the world's greatest performer.
Maybe i was meant to face this internal torment, or until now i hadn't considered i could be neurodivergent.