Wednesday, October 26, 2005
Discovering The Truth
After I had calmed down a bit, I grieved for a long time, getting depressed and disengaging from life. I was in a space where everything was "if only...". I reviewed my life to date and could quite easily imagine that if I'd known, everything would have been perfect. But, dreaming aside, now what?
Pulling myself together, I started to research what it meant to be gifted. I read everything I could get my hands on, asked lots of questions on message boards, and started the long search for a helping professional familiar with the special needs of the gifted. This phase provoked a lot more bursts of anger and mawkish weeping, as I discovered more things which now needed to be grieved in light of my new information. For those familiar with Dabrowski's theories, it was a classic case of positive disintegration.
Slowly, I realized that the reasons I hadn't been told were many-layered and complex, mixing family, cultural, social, and gender stereotypes. Compassion dawned as I understood that the people in my life were trying to protect me, as well as themselves. Not knowing anything about the special needs of gifted people, they just didn't realize how much ignorance of my IQ was hurting me.
Why do I blog about this now? I know gifted adults all over the world are having the same revelation at various ages and being thrown into the same emotional storms. Just knowing that you are not the only one to go through this turmoil, and that it does calm down eventually, might be useful to someone out there.
Technorati tags: gifted self discovery Dabrowski
Overall, I think our little family is lucky to all be "weird" in the same general way. At least we understand each other, even if no one else does!
It's been hard work getting the educational system in our area to live up to their end of the bargain and meet the special needs of our gifted youngsters. It doesn't make you popular. How difficult can it be to understand that a child reading novels at kindergarten age doesn't find it interesting to spend the day with other children just learning the alphabet? How many times have I have that the learning "disabled" need the help more because the "gifted" kids will make out just fine in any learning environment? All that despite the fact that each group is as far away from the median as the other! Try explaining that to some anal-retentive school board administrator. Sigh. Fortunately, we persevered and were successful. One less battle to fight in the day to day.
The bottom line, though, is to remember that being gifted is just one part of who you are. You must also work to develop all aspects of your being to fully grow as a person.
As for the idea that giftedness is just one part of who I am, I don't really understand this statement! Would you mind writing a bit more about it? For example, what other "aspects of your being" are you thinking of?
Thanks in advance,
Catana: Giftedness wasn't well known when I was a child either. It's just that both my husband and I "just knew" and I can't articulate it any better than that. There was something intellectually different about us. Interestingly, in both of our families this difference was never discussed, encouraged, discouraged or flaunted. It just was there. It was obvious and that's how it was. As I write this, there is so much more to be said about it. I need to make time to write about this.
Thanks Joanna, for providing this fascinating forum for discovery.