That question stunned me when I first heard it. But I've met several survivors who don't know what is normal. I usually turn it around and ask, "What is healthy?"
The big difference is that for many of us normal meant sexual assault on a regular basis that often went on for years. That fits the definition.
But was it healthy? I can't think of a time when I've changed the question and the other person didn't get it. "No, it wasn't," they've said.
"It messed up my life," someone wrote in an email recently with a stronger word than messed up. When anything happens routinely, it may be normal, but that doesn't mean it's healthy.
Immediately I think of the beatings from my dad. They happened every week, usually just before he went on a weekend drunk. Normal, but the pain was anything but healthy. I never told anyone because it was just one of those things that Dad did regularly in our home.
Part of our reaching for healing comes from realizing that just because something happened frequently in our childhood doesn't make it healthful or right. It means only that it happened.
And we were the ones who suffered.