“I Just Want to Be Normal” Cried a 15-Year-Old Justine Luzzi
I’ll never forget the night I cried to my parents saying “I just want to be normal.” Seems like a standard plea from a teenager, but let me tell you the backstory....
On a Wednesday night, my best friend and I got invited to a party of a classmate of ours. Their parents were away on vacation, so it was going to be a PARTY party. Although it was on a Wednesday, our rebellious selves were feeling just that, and decided to go.
A few weeks before, I had tried alcohol for the first time at my guy friend’s house. It was him, and two other friends, figuring out the workings of alcohol for the first time. We had the cheapest bottle of vodka you can find and a shot glass of two aliens fucking each other (I CAN’T MAKE THIS SHIT UP). We were ready. I took my first shot and ironically, I instantly hated the taste of vodka (now it’s pure heaven). The vodka sat at the base of my stomach, and it wasn’t pretty. I called my mom and said I was sleeping at my GIRLfriend’s house, and my girlfriend did the same. We both passed out drunk shortly after. It was not until the middle of the night that I woke up and vomited all over my GUY friend’s rug. Want to know something? He watched me the rest of the night to make sure I didn’t vomit again and accidentally choke on it. He even cleaned it up. What a gentleman!
ANYWAY, I digress, back to that Wednesday night. So my best friend picked me up and we headed to the party. CLEARLY my drinking skills are not up to par, and you guessed it, I drank WAY too much. I had a curfew of about 10:00 PM so needless to say, drunk or not, I had to go home. But I was DRUNK AS A GODDAMN SKUNK.
I ran into my house, flew passed my dad watching television on the couch, straight into my room, and right to bed. Next thing I knew, I was vomiting all over my room, listening to my dad banging on the locked door. I was so out of it; I could not even process what was happening. In fact, I can’t even tell you how they got the door unlocked (I’m pretty sure I crawled over to it and unlocked it because I was too drunk, but I can’t be certain, SMDH).
Next thing I know, I am in the kitchen, and both my parents are there asking me a million questions, and going through my purse right in front of my eyes. They found my cigarettes (I smoked on and off for like a year in high school, EW), my diet pills (I had no idea at the time how useless and DANGEROUS they were), my lighter, and my newly created List of Things To Do Before I Die (it was only a few months old at the time). Needless to say my parents were furious and tried to get answers from a very drunk teenager. Not exactly the right approach, but I can see why they did it. But one thing I do remember is saying this very line over and over and over again:
“I JUST WANT TO BE NORMAL.”
I believe I was crying as well. They finally let me go to bed, and I woke up to go to school like normal. The hangover seemed like punishment enough. I WISH. As soon as I saw the party goers at school, everyone was making fun of my drunken antics from the night before. Apparently at one point, I thought I was a dog and could be seen crawling around the floor barking. I actually can’t even believe I’m admitting that, but it happened. SMDH.
My mom was not backing down.... I know she meant well
I come home from school that day, and my mom was waiting for me. She told me I have to see a therapist. I thought she was crazy. I said teenagers like alcohol, can’t you just punish me? I’m never touching the stuff again anyway (geez, how many times have I said that already?! Haha). She said no. I cried for normalcy last night and she said we need to get down to the root. I put up a huge rebellious fight. I did not win. I gave little thought to why I kept saying ‘I want to be normal. I want to be normal.’ I was a pretty typical teen, at least so I thought. Low and behold, when my mom DRAGGED me, literally dragged me to the therapist, I was a complete CUNT to the therapist. Giving one word answers and being a basic bitch. I was just so angry because I LITERALLY had no issues. I was never sexually abused, I wasn’t poor, I had a lot of awesome friends, family, the whole nine yards. I wasn’t sure what I was supposed to talk to this stranger about. That’s where the anger stemmed from. It was a waste of my time. Plenty of teens got drunk at that party on Wednesday, and yet I was SURE I was the only one sitting in therapy. I had muttered the ‘I want to be normal’ words that landed me there. It wasn’t until years later did I figure out what exactly I meant by ‘wanting to be normal.’
Flash forward a decade and things are a bit clearer....
Two years ago, I had figured out that I am a highly sensitive individual. I’ve been talking about it awhile now, but I feel things more than the average individual. I am also an empath on top of that, which is the characteristic of feeling other people’s emotions. This is why I crave down time so much. It is how I reenergize and break free from others’ negative energies. When I was a teenager, I was feeling all of these feelings intensely. I would feel depressed for what seemed like no reason at the time. If I became sad that I gained one pound, it would literally spiral me down to a depression path. THIS IS ONE POUND. Same thing with other emotions; happiness, sadness, anxiousness, etc. In a couple weeks, I would be back to ‘normal’. This is what I meant by being ‘normal.’ I just wanted to control my intense emotions and not have them control me. I CONSTANTLY felt lost. COMPLETELY LOST. I would say it frequently too. Too bad I couldn’t pin point it at the time……
That poor therapist, haha. She didn’t stand a chance. In fact, none of the many therapists I’ve had over the years, stood a chance. There was this one, Jimmy, that I loved. SHOUT OUT TO JIMMY! But I loved him as a friend, and he did not assist in my issues. Little did I know that a few years later I would pick up my first Buddhism book, and it would change my life forever….
The best thing to ever happen to this lost soul
I’m actually crying writing this, because Buddhism and spirituality is the single best thing to ever happen to me. My gratitude is immense. I want to jump into a time machine and hug that 15-year-old Justine and tell her that it’s okay to be emotional, highly sensitive, and an empath combined. It is an intense way to live, but this is how the universe made me. In fact, it is written in the core value of my soul, and low and behold, it’s actually a blessing. I need to use this extraordinary gift to help others seek balance and control over their emotions. The fact that I said those ‘I want to be normal’ words are proof that I knew this about myself all along, deep down inside. My intuition was SCREAMING at me. I just chose not to listen until spirituality didn’t give me a choice. Once you’re conscious, there’s no going back……
I am no longer lost. I am found. It’s so beautiful. It truly is. Knowing who you are and what you’re meant to do is truly the greatest gift of this lifetime. Do I struggle sometimes with my emotions? Yes, I do, all the time in fact. But I identify them and work through them every day. In this present moment, I am happy and at peace with who I am. I love me, and that SHIT is priceless!
PS: Sorry, mom, sorry dad :/