I let the kindle slip off my lap and down to the couch. There are pins and needles in my left leg, and I shake it, moving my toes to make it feel normal again. Normal. That’s when you don’t feel anything at all. That’s normal. No discomfort, no pain – normal. Is that normal, though? What seems normal for some is anything but for others.

I used to take care of my mom when I was a child. Feeding, washing, soothing her – that was normal. Most people don’t experience anything like that until they or their parents are old. But for me, at age six, it was life and I didn’t know it any other way. She relied on me to do these things, because I am her child. I guess that is why I care about people so much. I was raised to believe that being kind and silent and denying my own self in favour of others means that I am loved. I guess that is why if I feel a connection, I equate that with making sure others are well and without worries. And if they are happy or content, I hope they feel some kind of friendship, affection, or even love toward me. But I know very well that it doesn’t work that way. Emotions are not bribery.

I cannot make you love or even like me. I cannot beg for friendship when there is none and there are no basic similarities between us. I cannot ask for you to remember the moments of unmistakable connection when you are ignoring what happened for the sake of your sanity.


I am human. And I feel. Everything. Deeply. And some days, I wished I was normal: not feeling anything at all.

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