One of the benefits having time on my hands is that I get to do a lot of thinking. That is also one of the drawbacks. Lately what I've been thinking about is how people are different, and wondering why certain people get to decide what is and is not normal or desirable.
I've found myself quite often over the past few years surrounded by people who are different from me. Not better, not worse, just different. At least that was my opinion. The other people seemed to think something was wrong with me because I was different from them. One person in particular even stated more than once that what made me different made me mentally ill. Those weren't fun conversations.
Unfortunately, this particular person was in a postion to set a standard for the group and thus I became known as a problem. Some of my problem behavior included kindness to others and a belief that I should be able to use the restroom at will. That is some craziness right there, isn't it? Imagine, thinking that kindness is a positive trait when clearly it gets in the way of progress. Or thinking that a middle-aged woman should be able to handle the scheduling of her own bathroom functions. Madness!
Here's another crazy thing about me. I have a simple rule that helps with decision-making in almost all situations. It goes like this: People first, principles second, money or material things third. Yes, I know. Mental institutions are undoubtedly filled with people who keep that same bizarre rule in mind. No wonder the group I was connected with despaired of me.
And so I find myself, quietly sitting in my home, happy to be the madwoman in the attic. Because as everyone knows, the madwomen in Victorian novels were rarely actually crazy. Generally they were victims of the society of which they were a part.
Seriously. Have you ever, in the history of literature, come across a more self-centered jerk than Mr. Rochester in Jane Eyre? The dude took up with an innocent young girl while he kept his wife locked in the attic, but only after accusing the young girl of being a witch because he fell off a horse and sprained his ankle. I'd agree to the "madwoman" label to get away from a guy like that. Wouldn't you?