Life as a box

Image on by mediamodifier

I’ve run across a couple of really thought provoking posts recently. Both of them left me thinking about how we view normal in our society.
I’m not really good with people myself and have a hard time controlling myself to not say or do something stupid when in a community setting. It can be draining, depressing and frustrating all at the same time. There are days I just want to stay home and not have to try to deal with anyone or anything; days when I want to rest instead of feel like I’m struggling with myself.

I guess the reason I keep going is that I care about it/them. I don’t want to let them down. I love this world even though sometimes I feel like I’m watching it from some vast distance.
That’s of course where loved ones come in. I’m lucky to have people who’ve seen me at my most inept and who’ve stuck by me and loved me as I am; who remind me that me is worth being.

The thing is I wonder if there’s really a normal or are we all just trying to fit into a ‘one size fits all’ cardboard box so we can walk around all the others in their cardboard boxes.
For some maybe it’s easy to fit in but for most I’m pretty sure it must be cramped. For still others it comes with a situation where you almost have to cut off a limb which happens to stick out of the box.


The first post ( ) is a reminder that we aren’t all meant to do things the same way and even that there is more value in doing things different ways and seeing the world from a different perspective.

The terms neurotypical and neurodivergent, I admit, irk a bit for me as they feel like a wall that’s trying to stop me seeing another way and telling me that there’s a them and us truth which is to be rigidly held. It’s a personal thing but one I feel it’s worth noting as it follows with the thoughts in my head right now.
I’d be classed as neurotypical and yet have a concept of what it feels like to struggle with time ( my minutes of looking in the pond were other people’s hours of being blankly sat beside a pond ) and social interaction. It’s part of who I am and not something I can just pretend doesn’t exist or want to cut off so I can be ‘normal’. It’s something which allows me to gain some small understanding of another person and so is of great value to me.

Likewise, the practices which are pointed out can be of use to people all over because no one way can work for everyone.

By locking ourselves into a box of ‘normal’ we choose to not see the differences in ourselves that make it easier to connect to each other and maybe even create blocks which will hold us back from learning how to do our things better.


The second post ( ) is questioning what socially dysfunctional is and has a key line for me of, “I assume social dysfunction means being unable to conduct one’s daily life in a way that doesn’t repeatedly cause distress to oneself and/or others”.

It raises the huge question of how do you know if you’re causing distress and which do you sacrifice when your distress meets others distress.
What does the distress stem from. Is it because we fear difference or fear someone seeing that we too are different? Is it sometimes distress at fearing someone will see our faults and differences?

Perhaps it’s because we don’t know what different might do, after all it might not be bound by our rules.

I had a situation recently where I felt so scared because I had to stand up in public with every chance that everyone would see how incapable I was with basic communication. It felt like a nightmare of being naked in front of the world.

I was scared of the ridicule of being seen to be different, of being seen without my box of normalcy.


Is it worth all the fear? Is it worth taking away our abilities to really see others?

On the concept of different not having to follow our rules is that a bad thing? Is it a true thing?
Do we follow rules just because they are or do we do it because we feel they’re right? Because there’s a vast difference between following a good law and following the spirit of a good law ( and I’m not even going to go into good and bad laws ). Many ‘normal’ people have done awful things both breaking laws and following them and many who were not so classed have done kind and good things; it is foolish to assume that normal is safe and anything else is dangerous when our hearts are not in a position to be seen or judged.

And, if we’re all different inside our boxes, doesn’t that mean we’re all more alike than we think, because we’re all having to choose and learn how to come together and because we’re all going to have some differences which overlap and allow us to better reach out to each other.

Can being different help us reach out to each other when being the same involves so much of us being hidden from each other?

2 thoughts on “Life as a box

  1. Great reflection. And yeah, I don’t like terms like neurodivergent either; just another label to render another’s experience into a controllable container. Normalcy is a human construct, or at least that’s what I feel about it. People have long encouraged each other to “think outside the box”, and I get that but wonder if we should think INSIDE the circle, where there aren’t such linear and sharp angles, where things are more of a continuum rather than a binary with a beginning and end. Even if we’re all in boxes, I suppose they should at least be open.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s an interesting way of thinking about/describing it.
      I have to say that circles instantly make me think of those charts where you have overlapping circles ( each one representing one item ) so that different points could be in many or no circles. A way of being without the standard “this or that” thinking


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