Everyone has a different version of normal in his or her brain. One of my friends had a partner who peed on her as he slept, trashed drunk. This happened four, count 'em -- four! times, and she stayed with him. You see, her normal involved an alcoholic father in her younger years. Each time the partner peed on her, she didn't like it, and she also made it somewhat ok in her brain as she told herself he was changing, that he was drinking less, that they loved each other so much it was ok to go through the hassle of wet sheets and bodies. In the end, she and he split ways and remained friends. Does he still pee on people in his sleep? Perhaps. He doesn't pee on her anymore, though.
Some of my other friends had normals that involved physical abuse. A guy I dated in high school, his mom married a man who beat him. I don't recall whether he ever told his mom about it. In my then-boyfriend's words, the stepfather was really good to his mother. He figured it was ok for the man to beat him as long as he didn't touch his mom. (!) Another of my friends used this logic in her friendship dynamic. You see, one of her friends experienced physical abuse at the hands of an eighth-grade boyfriend. My friend thought that if she took the hits for her friend, that boyfriend wouldn't hit her friend. Oh gosh, the things we accept as logic. Changing the target of abuse doesn't remove the abusive behavior.
Those of us who grow up with abuse or neglect have different kinds of normal in our brains. We see things with our perceptions, and others may not understand because they didn't need to fine-tune their brains to watch for violence or abuse as a young person. Maybe they didn't need to look after their own emotional development, either. Why do I notice when eyes twitch or people change their breathing patterns? Because, at one time, this information was necessary for my brain to feel safe in its home life. As I continue in this life, this type of attention to detail is helpful and also not always necessary. I'm not in a constant trauma mode now. Instead, I focus on feeling like I belong, like I'm in the right place at the right time. To all of you who can relate as well as those of you who can't, I wish you a safe and creative New Year's Eve. May you find that which you seek.
1/9/16 - Edited first paragraph with punctuation.
Well hello there.