What her dad was saying was that he had no personal experience that suggested normal life was possible so he redefined normal as the what happened in his. Isn't that what everyone does?
I would have said to her, "it might not be real to your dad, or in your bio home, but you can choose to make it real in your life if you chose to act in ways that make it real, and choose to be with others who live this kind of life."
The argument for 'real life' is a cop-out. You notice that it's only striving to improve that is inauthentic; 'real' is cruel, gritty, sexy, and reprobate. It's one more in an endless list of ways to blame our bad behavior on something or someone else.
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