Your Rainforest Mind

Support For The Excessively Curious, Creative, Smart & Sensitive

Still Gifted After All These Years

111 Comments

photo by Jordan McQueen, Unsplash

photo by Jordan McQueen, Unsplash

What if, when you were five years old, you knew you wanted to be a paleontologist-astronaut-librarian-dancer-firefighter when you grew up? What if, when you were nine years old, your favorite activity was listening to your mom read from her texts on Darwin’s theory of evolution? What if, when you were ten, you were devastated when you couldn’t watch your BBC documentaries? What if, when you were fourteen, you chose Jane Austen over The Brady Bunch?

Do you think that you might have been gifted?

What if, when you were in school, you failed multiple choice tests because you could explain how all of the answers could be correct? What if, when you were in school, you were called a know-it-all because you couldn’t contain your enthusiasm for fractals? What if, when you were in school, you were lonely because you didn’t care about football? What if, when you were in school, teachers gave you extra worksheets instead of answering your questions about the meaninglessness of life?

Do you think that you might have been gifted?

And now–

What if you tend to be anxious because you’re often overwhelmed by all of the suffering in the world? What if you tend to be anxious because you can feel your father’s, your friend’s, your neighbor’s and your cat’s unspoken distress? What if you tend to be anxious because you can’t forget the mistake you made five years ago? What if you tend to be anxious because you may be exposed as a fraud at any moment? What if you tend to be anxious because you feel pressure to be brilliant all of the time because people tell you how smart you are and you can’t disappoint them but you know that, in fact, you aren’t all that smart?

Do you think that you might be gifted?

Yep.

It’s true.

Still gifted after all these years.

____________________________

To my blogEEs: Which of the above examples can you relate to? What different examples can you share with us? I appreciate hearing from you so much. Everyone benefits from your comments. Let us know your questions, thoughts, feelings, hopes and dreams. Remember, here, your complexity is welcomed!

 

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Author: Paula Prober

I'm a psychotherapist in private practice in Eugene, Oregon. I specialize in counseling gifted adults and consulting with parents of gifted children. The label "gifted" is often controversial and confusing. I use the metaphor of the rain forest to describe this population. Like the rain forest, these individuals are quite complex, highly sensitive, intense, multi-layered, and misunderstood. They're also curious, idealistic, highly intelligent, creative, perfectionistic, and they love learning. I've been an adjunct instructor at the University of Oregon and a guest presenter at Oregon State University and Pacific University. I've written articles on giftedness for the Eugene Register-Guard, the Psychotherapy Networker, and Advanced Development Journal. My book, Your Rainforest Mind: A Guide to the Well-Being of Gifted Adults and Youth, was released in June 2016 by GHF Press and is available on Amazon or at your independent bookstore.

111 thoughts on “Still Gifted After All These Years

  1. I had no friends in high school because I had intense existential depression and none of my peers could hack it with me. It’s been validating and empowering to realize the root of that depression and intensity. I can’t change my experiences, but I am better able to support my own gifted kids through their rain forest childhoods.

    Liked by 2 people

    • It will be so important that your gifted kids have your understanding, Melinda.

      Like

    • Hi Melinda. It is so amazing to have become part of this Knowledge.
      I am still gaping at what I read and FINALLY my personality fell into place!!!!
      I was miss-diagnosed as Bi-polar in 1992. Had hell on earth for more than 16 years under Pchy Dr’s experementing on me
      for being “HIGH”…. the more I tried to tell them, This Is ME! This is MY Energy!!!!
      Nobody would listen….
      It nearly got me into my Grave… sad to say…
      Today, since 2010, 4 September I have been off of all that crappy “Legal Drugs” and am excelling in all my artistic skilss.
      As well as in business and Zelda is a Very Happy and Fulfilled Human!!!!!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I recognize a lot, but there is one thing bugging me. Again the lack of interest in sports or the ability in sports is mentioned. This is such a myth. I know lots of gifted, profoundly gifted who are also very talented in sports. At the local chess club, all the gifted kids also play football and most of them are players of the best youth teams at their club. Too bad that this myth is upheld by articles like this. Other than this I like the article.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the feedback, Lisette. I’ll be more sensitive to the sports issue in the future. I certainly don’t want to be promoting stereotypes.

      Like

      • I definitely think it’s important to be aware of stereotypes and generalizations, but the sport thing resonated with me a little. It wasn’t so much sports in general, I’ve always liked playing sports, and I’m a professional dancer, so I have interest in athleticism, but in high school, and even in college, I couldn’t relate to the weird way people behaved around teams. I didn’t get it and I was especially adamant in my dislike of football. Now I see how strategic and interesting football is, and I have a greater appreciation, but I still don’t really get, or I guess it’s more of a connect, I don’t really connect with the whole sports culture. I like sports, but sometimes feel like a lot of money, time, and resources are spent on something so frivolous and unimportant. But I guess some people could say that about my doctor who obsession, or about the arts as well. *shrug*

        Liked by 2 people

      • Looking through the comments, I too was taken aback by the not liking football part of your article which otherwise was interesting if not comparable with my experience of being ‘out there’ in a totally different zone from everyone else from the earliest age into my now advanced years.

        The thing is, I liked, and still do like, every sport known to man that I have ever come into TV contact with. I am a devoted spectator sports fan, as well as loving music and books and writing and politics and travel and food and wine and science and literature and poetry and art …

        “What if, when you were in school, you failed multiple choice tests because you could explain how all of the answers could be correct?” I think one can know that there are ways in which all the multiple choice answers can be right but still be able to figure out which one the question is looking for, not always but often enough to not fail, at least not very often. However I did fail the first grade for refusal to write in block capitals when I already was writing in cursive. As we all know, block capitals are a pain to write so I got ‘F’s on my papers and cried when I did. It didn’t make any sense to me but I wouldn’t back down.

        “What if, when you were in school, you were called a know-it-all because you…” knew more than the teacher and weren’t willing to pretend you didn’t? (And still don’t.)

        “What if you tend to be anxious because you feel pressure to be brilliant all of the time because people tell you how smart you are and you can’t disappoint them but you know that, in fact, you aren’t all that smart?” Are you serious? The only times this is possible is in a situation where one is surrounded by people who aren’t smart enough themselves to know how smart you are. We used to have a saying that was applicable for pejorative purposes, the “Johnny is a _______________!” situation. And the ultimate retort was “takes one to know one.” I have come to realize that this is true at every level (sort of like fractals) and one really can not apprehend that which is too far beyond one’s own ken.

        I appreciate your tackling this subject and would like to know your thoughts on the obvious ‘obnoxious’ factor that some of us have, had, have had and might have in future. I see an only slightly tempered streak of it in my current interactions.It’s much better than in the past but I haven’t figured out how to excise it without, well, throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

        Sorry for the long post. Clearly you struck a nerve.

        Liked by 2 people

        • I love your question about the “obnoxious factor.” I have to think about what to say about it. I think it’s tricky. May be hard to have empathy and compassion consistently when you’re so frustrated by the slowness (etc.) of others. Or when you seem obnoxious but you’re really either super enthused about a topic or you’re so sick of waiting for people to catch up or to understand what you’re saying. Does that sound right? You want to be your authentic self but that appears to be obnoxious to others? One “solution” I can think of right now is to keep looking for someone who matches your level of intellect and interests so that you don’t always have to tamp it down. It’s easier to temper the intensity when you know there’s a place where you can go full speed ahead. Hm…maybe there’s future post here. Let me know if this helps.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Hi Paula,
            Thank you for your thoughtful reply. I’l ltry to respond. With respect to the obnoxious factor,I am aware of several things that happen sometimes simultaneously: 1. The obnoxious factor is being applied by others to actions and speech that I had/have no idea will cause problems. (This still happens and I am always dumbfounded when it does as I don’t know what the problem is. Don’t suggest asking because that gets nowhere.) 2. I think something sounds clever or is really witty, and I haven’t thought about the impact on the target, or at least not accurately, or considered the implications of how it could be hurtful. (I often used to think of snappy comebacks as a game and that I would get as good as I gave. 3. I have been very literal-minded all my life, which means I believed the words people were saying were important and that they actually meant what they said. Hah! I have since figured out that when the emotions don’t fit the words, that means something else is going on, but I usually don’t know what that something else is. 4. In an academic situation, I now understand that teachers may feel threaten by questions they cannot answer and simply refuse, ignore or belittle generating a backlash from me. Back in the day, without the internet, they would have been far less willing to say, ‘That’s a great question, let’s see who can find out the answer by next week?’
            There’s more but that’s enough on that.
            To relate the above discussion to your other suggestion about ‘looking for someone who matches your level…’ This, especially #2, was/is a technique for trying to find that person. I don’t use this particular technique as much as when I was younger. Any other suggestions for how to find them/him/her? I’m 70 now and I’m still looking,

            Liked by 1 person

  3. None of the above examples in childhood you have stated I can identify, all the adults’ ones I can! I cruised through school, the concept of gifted didn’t even exist back then. So I still have my doubts. I did figure have intense fears of militancy that was rampant in a part of india when I was about 6 years old. I was convinced that I was going to be shot down, crying with no respite. I did figure out what a pill that was advertised on TV when I was about 5-6 years old was a contraceptive so no kids were born. We were told God put babies in mothers’ tummies. No reference to sexuality or education was given to us..
    Do these stand as examples of gifted?

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s very helpful to get your perspective, Antarmukhi, living in India. You may have very different experiences. My perspective comes from my being raised in the USA so it has its limits. Thanks for sharing. I suspect that if you do relate to what I’m writing about adults, then you likely have a rainforest mind!

      Liked by 2 people

      • Yes, perspectives are different. Thank you for the blog. I love reading & learning so much more. Hopefully, I can contribute to the well being of gifted kids through the new knowledge & they will have a better world for themselves in india!

        Like

  4. This is a wonderful post! You really draw the reader in and allow them to fondly reminisce about their own childhood at the beginning and the last half allows them to have increased empathy and respect for others. Good job!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. what if you sit in meetings either at work or with the PTA and while everyone else is going from point A to point B to point C you already went from A to Z and you’re feeling the need to stick your pen in your eye because you just CANNOT sit through any more. Or what if you look at your very gifted child and you see their stress and anxiety and fear – you recognize it – but no one else does and you know that you can’t protect them from everything because they have to live in and be part of the regular everyday world but you just hope that having you be there and understand will make it okay.

    Liked by 4 people

  6. Sue I totally agree! Paula I love this article, thank you

    Liked by 1 person

  7. What if…? Well, at 56 I would finally realize what has been happening all these years, stop doing meaningless things, start working with gifted young adults, try to create awareness within the mental health systems, educate parents and let my friends and partner in on the secret. All the while trying to figure out if I now have time to do all the research, writing, inventing and exploring that I simply MUST do. And love my gifted son as if my life depended on it. Intensely. Oh yes, and find a good PhD programme. Anyone know of one? Or two? Good to know I’m not alone!! Thanks Paula.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Love the post! I am not gifted but was blessed with a gifted child through my husbands gene pool. I have learned so much! Through my research I now understand gifted ups and downs so much better and understand my FIL. I mentioned this to his onviously gifted daughter that is a replica of him and she didn’t see it. She has a gifted son so I was surprised. I think she is in denial. I am finally seeing my husband after 20 yr in the work force reach his potential. They are all in denial.

    So glad to hear that Maggie is helping others. Can you move to STL?

    My daughter is that person that wants to stick a pencil on her eye. We are pulling her out and sending her to a gifted achool 45 min away. So excited for the change and the challenge.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I would like to throw in the mix something that a couple of recent episodes reminded me of: people can be intimidated by our giftedness and the other personality traits that go with it.

    They might feel “naked” in front of what might seem like our extra-sensory perception into parts of their psyches they themselves may not feel comfortable looking at, that we can be too intense, too hard to keep up with, or maybe they feel that their respect for us is not mutual.

    Because of this, from personal experience I can say I often feel a great deal of pressure to “cool it” and not be so intensely “me” while with other people, while at the same time struggling to stay as close to my own personal values and feelings in order to not feel like a spineless phony that is merely trying to please others who may not be trying as hard to please me. Also, with the intimidation factor comes the constant second-guessing: “Is it just them, or am I really just being an overbearing jerk?”

    Anyone care to comment?

    Liked by 3 people

    • I can relate to this. I don’t know if it’s me being sensitive to others’ feelings, or me being overbearing. I think it’s always a good thing to be considerate of others, without feeling like I have to take care of them. It can be a fine line.
      What I have been doing lately is asking. If I feel like I’ve been intrusive or inconsiderate, I will go to the person and say, “I hope I wasn’t too overbearing, invasive, etc.”
      LOL Using my words.
      I certainly do have them! 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      • I read an article about notoriously troubled singer-songwriter Chan Marshall (aka Cat Power), and the writer remarked that Chan constantly says to people seemingly out of the blue, even to strangers she just met “are you mad at me?”. While it was also pointed out by others who know her that they believed it might be a passive aggressive way to break the ice or to excuse herself from any misbehavior, I can imagine where the roots of this come from.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Yes! I have failed miserably my whole life to dial down my interpersonal intensities. I am either too much or too cold. It’s a struggle to find anyone similar. I have a husband who supports me but doesn’t understand it, and now a 10yo daughter who I see struggling with it too. (Meanwhile my 7yo son inherited my perfectionism.)

      Liked by 1 person

    • Mark one of the most valuable things I’ve learned is the importance of having one, maybe even just one, person in my life who is ‘like me’ in the ways you are describing. Our differentness can so easily be pathologized, and lead to shame. Muffling our responses becomes a habit – not necessarily a choice. We need choice about when we muffle or tone down, and when we can let loose. I hope you have at least one gifted person in your life with whom you can let loose, and celebrate rather than feel bad.

      Liked by 2 people

      • No I do not have someone in my life like that. Unfortunately I live in a cultural backwater where most gifted and talented people leave, and I got stuck here on my own before I realized the existential damage it might be causing. Even my psychiatrist — acknowledging his own limitations and ability to help me — suggested I get the hell out of here and move to a place where creative, divergent thinkers are valued much more! haha

        But the good news is that I am gradually coming to accept that my predicament is not all bad, and while I do not have the outer resources to better my situation, my inner resources continue to become more resilient, potent and focused.

        Plus, if one is to put any stock into the saying “there’s only one shaman per village”, then my situation can be looked at from a more spiritual point of view, that perhaps this is as things should be and that I am here to do important work, both for myself and for others. (There is plenty of literature that suggests artists, writers, musicians and other creative, sensitive people are the spiritual descendants of shamans).

        Thanks for your comment!

        Liked by 1 person

        • I love hearing that your inner resources are “more resilient, potent and focused.” And I’m not surprised that you’re here to do “important work.” Thanks for sharing, Mark. Always good to hear from you.

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    • I think you’ll find many rainforest-minded people struggling with this, Mark: “not be so intensely “me” while with other people, while at the same time struggling to stay as close to my own personal values and feelings in order to not feel like a spineless phony that is merely trying to please others” It’s a real challenge.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Mark, I’m so with you on this. What you are describing is central to my daily struggle at work. Thanks for sharing and validating my experience.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I go through that everyday. I actually have not met anyone in person that can keep up with me and my abilities. People have actually told me that I am an overload of information and it is just too much. I use to think there was something wrong with me instead of seeing how intimidated they were. I really use to think everyone was suppose to be able to understand and manipulate information the same as me. I get called a know it all. I try not to say things but I have a hard time keeping my mouth shut when I am right.

      Like

  10. Reblogged this on Modern Sarah and commented:
    I was a strange bird as a kid. I’ll start teaching gifted education this fall. Birds of a feather, right? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Wow, this is pretty much the most accurate description of myself & of my son that I’ve ever seen. I’m pretty sure the highlight of my son’s month was when he came home from school & I offered to teach him about my stats class (I’m in grad school). But also the feeling like a fraud & the anxiety. ALL the anxiety. For both of us.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I was a gifted child, went to Ivy League college and then… sputtered out. I feel anxious because I can feel my wasted potential. I worry that my concern about my own waste will cause me to put pressure on my own gifted kid who, like I did, just wants to be left alone to read most of the time.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It can be hard to separate your own needs/experiences from those of your kids. If it gets really difficult, counseling can help!

      Like

    • I posted my own comment downthread, but wanted to let you know that I identify with your feelings, too. Can we, together, talk ourselves out of the “too late” mindset? I’m not a natural optimist, but I hope we still have many, many years ahead of us to turn things around. And I hear you on how our baggage affects our children as well. Best wishes and have a good weekend.

      Liked by 1 person

    • The ‘sputtering out’ really resonates with me – I had a nervous breakdowns to university, and never finished my degree. I now have two books published, a third on the way, a husband (far more academically gifted than I) and two marvellous children who are both gifted but in very different ways. And yet I still feel inadequate and ‘less than’ other people who have degrees……

      Liked by 1 person

      • Abbie. It can be hard to not compare yourself to people with degrees. One thing to remember is that academic ability may or may not mean a person is gifted. Thanks for sharing.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Good Morning. How I appreciate this site!!! I was introduced to it 2 days ago… It was such an eye opener!!!! Thank you so much. Now things makes sense to me. I can do ANYTHING!! School was incredibly boring. The thing that is bothersome is the fact that I talk so incredibly fast. And sometimes, I will stop half way in a sentence because in my mind the sentence has already been completed. This frustrates those around me. In a way, therefor I prefer to be alone, I hate crowds and lots humans around me, the noise they make…. and the stuff they talk about. I cannot watch TV except if it is educational. I always Have to keep my hands busy and very seldom sit still. Also I am a very bad sleeper…. I just hate going to bed. Tx for listening. Zelda

          Liked by 1 person

          • Zelda. Sounds like you’ve found your tribe!

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            • ThankYou Paula. Yes, I believe it is so.
              I want to ask a question. Is it common for gifted humans to become alcoholicks?
              Or Drug abusers?

              Liked by 1 person

              • I don’t know. I haven’t seen it within the people I’ve worked with over the years. But I have heard many people say that using marijuana or drinking alcohol is the only thing that slows down their thinking. I’m guessing that there would be multiple factors that would be involved in alcoholism and drug abuse.

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                • Thank You Paula.
                  I truly believe it is so.
                  Gifted humans abusing anything to slow them down…
                  I have another question,
                  Do other Gifted Humans also Hate going to sleep?????
                  I do.
                  It is so amazing to read and “Hear, Me” in the shares….
                  Finally stuff makes sense…..
                  This Insatiable Curiosity,
                  “Normal” humans chatting…. so incredibly boring.
                  And prefering my own Company and everything that goes with that…
                  Discovering at age, I think 57 in earthly years, New stuff Every Day…

                  Liked by 1 person

                  • Zelda. I have a number of clients who have difficulty sleeping. Often due to lots of thinking that’s hard to slow down. Don’t know about hating going to sleep, although some have said that they don’t want to sleep because they’re afraid of missing something.

                    Liked by 1 person

  13. I enjoy this article tremendously. I can relate to most of the childhood experiences. I was regarded as weird by family and school.
    During my brief sojourn in college, I tested as having aptitude for sports-related things. I was baffled. I was small and very non-athletic, but always danced and did yoga. Later in life I did become an aerobics instructor, so the aptitude testing was right on. LOL

    Yes, I can relate now to feeling overwhelmed by others’ feelings, to feeling like a fraud, and to feeling anxious that I don’t measure up to the standards set by others for terms like “artist, smart, wise, creative.”

    It takes work to accept such compliments from others. And more work when others are super-critical if I share about feeling overwhelmed, a fraud, anxious. I learned to save these for therapy and understanding friends. Trust-building is a newly learned skill.

    I am trying to take in and absorb the truth of these aspects of myself, that it is okay to feel this way and that I can put a positive spin on them, not keep them negative, detrimental, dragging me down.

    meanwhile it is fun to try out some new things that don’t require a huge investment from me, yet can provide some sense of accomplishment. I’m evolving.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. What if…you started running away from yourself in early adolescence? What if you ran so far, and hid so well, that now in midlife you can barely identify with the profile(s) drawn in this blog? What if you KNOW you left pieces of yourself behind, but the idea of recovering or replacing them at this point seems laughable? What if you know you’re less than you could and should and wanted to be, and you know the blame belongs on your own shoulders for a series of poor decisions made at 12, 14, 16, 18, 23, 27, 30, 36…? What if your anger and guilt and disappointment all seem like too much to bear?

    Thank you for your blog, Paula.

    Liked by 1 person

    • A powerful list of “what ifs.” Thank you. Keep reading. We can help you bear it.

      Like

    • Cubist, I am new to this site.
      But i So identify with what U are saying……
      It is NEVER too late to H.A.L.T… stop and recuperate…
      We all make so many mistakes of peers, etc expecting wayyyyy more from us.
      I am in my late 50 ties and only NOW starting to realize who and what I am…
      Being a gifted human aint easy, as U know,
      We all make poor decisions,
      I had to stop running from myself….
      and face life on life’s terms and decide what is Good and Best for me.
      And I am not there yet, it is a life time journey.
      But I am willing and with the help and guidance from this group,
      try to SLOW down…. (talking to myself here… very difficult concept,
      but possible..)
      Go walk in the woods, by the Ocean, or in the fiedl or down a quite’street…
      My mind is so incredibly busy that I prefer the quite Ocean, wind blowing through my soul
      etc…
      to find my own peace….
      humans crowd our busy minds…
      U relate?
      If U read carefully U will see how I type, I am Not dislectic, my mind is running too fast….
      then I type my letters ascew…..
      relax…. try to….
      and start discovering U!!!!!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’ve seen this with some fast thinkers. Writing is too slow for them so they get frustrated and use … and shortcuts to try and get it all down. But they never can express all that they’re thinking.

        Like

  15. What if you did all of these and then grew up and had a little girl just like you and you don’t know what to say to her because you don’t know which multiple choice answer is “right” either. And then her little sister gets her first standardized test scores and you want to be happy for her but your instinct is saying “Oh no not her too…” Am I a bad mom to wish my baby is only a little bit smart?

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Topics themed around the experience of the gifted kid seem to be a more difficult entry point for me in identifying myself as gifted, mainly because there were so many other confusing variables in my childhood. I only have one nervous system but I have multiple factors contributing to my intensity, ability to focus, perfectionism, sensitivity, altruism, etc. For instance, it’s very difficult, sometimes, to sort out the differences in my felt sense between what is my giftedness and what is my developmental trauma. And, then, when you add all the pejorative labels placed on my giftedness and a history of invalidation of the developmental trauma, everything gets pretty confusing. And I’m only naming two of the complex set of variables that impacted my development.

    I know that there is something qualitatively different about me. The unending self doubt relates to, “How did I get to be this way?” I guess that’s the ultimate multiple choice question that I can’t confidently answer.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s the challenge, I think, for people who deal with childhood trauma. It’s an on-going experience of sorting it all out. I think because I’ve worked with gifted folks for so long, I can help them differentiate between results of abuse and gifted sensitivities, intensities, etc. You’ve really described the problem well, holbart, and that, in itself, will help others.

      Like

  17. Great article but honestly the comment section is amazing. I am a perceptive person and others easily share their life stories with me. I too feel like a fake when I have word finding blocks while teaching and thus I was shocked when I received a teaching award from my college students. I can relate to so many comments here. I will add that marrying a fellow gifted individual is not always pretty. Sometimes we argue strongly and then figure out we are on the same side of the issue. Emotional intensity, half finished “amazing” projects, hyper focus, flight of ideas: times two can become too much, although it is a fun ride.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, Tracy, the comments are amazing. I love that there’s more and more interaction among readers/ commenters. We’re becoming a community! Thank you all. (and I do want to acknowledge all of you out there reading and commenting in your heads but not online–I understand the difficulties with leaving comments; we appreciate you, too)

      Like

      • Paula, there is an option on Facebook to create a “secret” group, in which the members’ names and posts are visible only to group members, and an admin controls admission to the group. I wonder if you would consider starting a Rainforest Mind group. It might facilitate discussion/exchange. No one would be able to use a pseudonym, which some folks might consider a disadvantage, but on the other hand, we’d be known only to each other. Here’s a link to some information on “secret” vs. “closed” or “public” groups if you’re interested in considering this idea. https://www.facebook.com/help/220336891328465?sr=1&query=what%20is%20a%20secret%20group&sid=1xDEFBQmF7SCIE4hh

        Liked by 1 person

        • Cubist. I’ll have to think about this. I’m not sure I’d have the time to facilitate this. Right now, I’ve got a lot going on. I haven’t been real drawn to Facebook groups although I’m connected to a few. I don’t participate much. Thanks for the idea, though. I’ll think on it and maybe you could remind me in a couple of months and we can see if more of my bloggEEs express an interest. If you want to say more about it, you can email me at paula at rainforestmind dot com.

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    • Tracey, I SOOO much relate to what U said about all the Ideas and All the Projects we start up, doing brilliant at each one, then something else and exciting catch my “eye’…. and woeps!!! There goes Zelda. Doing, learning, and quickly yet another skill.
      Now I am at peace with just that, because that is what and who we are. But I had a very strict Grand mother who forced me from from a very young age to finish one project first before grabbing the next exciting one…
      So to this day, I remember her for that…. but O my it is such a drag to go back and complete…. but I am in the process of trying to train myself to do just that. It was so funny when my husband commented about exactly this…..
      I just burst out laughing, because now I have a better understand WHY I am doing this…
      But I allow myself to be me and also to complete what I start… not always easy or done…..
      Take care.

      Liked by 2 people

  18. When I was in school we still had to write IQ tests. Based on the test I had to attend classes for highly intelligent kids. My marks however didn’t reflect intelligence at all. In grade 11 the principal reprimanded me in hall period in front of the whole school because I under achieved according to my IQ marks. I studied teaching and glided through. I really am lazy when it comes to studying. Now I have a 17 year old son who was tested and the verdict: genius. My son is definitely the person you are describing. He is a second Sheldon (Big Bang Theory). I must say, it is a real challenge to understand him. Now that I began to read more about gifted people, I am starting to accept all his different manners and behaviours. Thanks for sharing your knowledge and insights.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve known many gifted kids who didn’t do well in school. They love learning but schooling can be another story. I’m glad that you’re finding the blog helpful in understanding your son.

      Like

    • Hallo, anonymous. I so much relate to you’re post. My academical IQ was rated as genius too. And I had exact same experience…
      Always being reminded that I am under-achieving….
      My Mother would always tell me what a difficult child I was…
      And to this day people say I am a very strange human being…
      Aparantly I project electrical energy vibes that unnerve other humans.
      Even when I am standing in a line, waiting my turn, people look over their shoulder and ask me if I am in a Hurry??
      Then I say , NO, why?….. always the same answer…. It looks like U are.
      I do EVERYTHING fast, from thinking, walking talking my art, cooking, U name it.
      Hope U can relate???
      I am so grateful for this site!!! It opened ME up to myself and are so Happy to hear and experience that I am not a crazy artist, etc.
      I can draw with both hands at the same time, doing 2 faces. The one will be a boy and the other a girl.
      The other day I said to somebody, It is not easy to be Zelda.
      But now I understand what it is.
      Thank You Paula and everybody sharing.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yep. It can be hard to be moving at 80 miles per hour when everyone around you is moving at 35mph.

        Like

        • Hahahahaahah Yes…. U so right!!!!! In South Africa they call me by a Native name, “Fakka-M-Pashan, meaning,
          “The One with the Fast Tyre Like shoes…” (Sneakers…) Tennis shoes… like we call them here, Tekkies.

          Liked by 1 person

        • Dear Lord U tell me about that…. it is beyond frustrating….
          I tried so many times to commit suicide… yup….
          Why and intellegant human could not sucseed….
          and what I did….
          it is beyond…. how Zelda survived….
          and All Because of Me not understanding me and neither my people around me.
          But now I am Totally free of anti pchy meds/Bi-polar crap….
          An American Phcy Doc whom I met in Port Nolloth RSA became house friends and after a while I asked him:
          Micheal, do U truly think I am Bi-Polar?
          He looked me straight in the eye and said,
          NO Zelda, U are just a Gifted crazy artist.
          He threw all those crappy meds of the table and helped me become Me.
          I hope there is other gifted humans who can relate to this share.
          Today, 5 years later, I am off of All that meds, just use Magnesium and Solal herbal sleep to force my body to shut down.
          Sometime any human need sleep.
          Kind regards to all my Gifted, misunderstood friends out there.

          Liked by 1 person

  19. I spent my entire life being made to believe there was something wrong with me because there wasn’t anyone that could understand me. Unfortunately my parents were young and became drug addicts after I was born leading to a childhood of sexual, physical, and ,mental abuse. A few teachers along the way could see something special about me, but I moved so often they never really got to know me. I always knew I was different from others, I just couldn’t understand how.

    My abilities were seen as problems then and due to the trauma of my life I was misdiagnosed with Bipolar when I was placed in foster care to endure more abuse and mistreatment. I spent the first part of my adult life in an identity crisis living with depression. I taught myself to fit in with others so that I could create the life I thought I was suppose to live even though I felt I was sacrificing inside.

    I then begin to have more and more problems in my marriage and with raising my kids. I made the mistake in the beginning of trying to be like everyone else, mainly the ones judging me. I tried reaching out to professionals who spoke with me very little before determining I had PTSD…. the problem is I wasn’t struggling with the traumas from my past, but with defining myself and understanding me so I could understand my reactions and to help my children.

    I left and spent the next several years educating myself deeply into the Psychological world. I have read like I use to as a child and loved it. I started following my passions and realized how great I was at anything I do. I have educated myself and my husband above and beyond on over excitabilities also and I find it shocking how many psychologist aren’t familiar with these terms. I was trying to figure myself out and it seemed like I wasn’t going to find help. So I did it myself and found out that I was a gifted child that is now a gifted adult who had fallen victim to the system.

    Of course there is a lot more in between, but for the most part, I understand more and more everday who I am and I still don’t use the term gifted, but it becomes more and more undeniable everyday.

    I now spend my days further educating my interests and planning to open a business with my husband. I have been homeschooling my kids for 2 years now. As of this year we are officially unschoolers. We do not use curriculum nor do they test. They learn what they want, when they want, and how they want. For me, I just have to understand everything.

    I will say when I first started this journey, I was so overwhelmed and scared as I learned of over excitabilities and the links to misdiagnosis. I read story after story of Gifted adults who were not identified and I was in amazement as these seemed to be my story in some sense. I remember thinking, So this had happened to others. For the first time I didn’t feel so alone. I have never had lasting friends or family. I don’t have support as I had to distant myself from any family due to unhealthy behaviors.
    I wish there were more options near me to have myself evaluated. I don’t get to see many people on my level yet. I am hoping that changes with the new unschooling group I joined. I just wish I had one person to talk to some times. It sucks having so much valuable information, thoughts, and opinions and not one person who can keep up or understand. I feel like I move a thousand miles an hour most days and everyone and everything around me just isn’t going fast enough. sometimes it feels like my brain is a computer and it never shuts off. That is how my son and youngest daughter are also. It drives my husband and oldest daughter crazy because they are very calm people. But understanding as a family makes our lives much easier. I am so glad I never let the schools pressure me into putting my son on medication to calm him. I help him through diet, psychical activity, and keeping him stimulated with activities he enjoys. I will say since I made the switch to Organic and non GMO foods, he has had a significant increase in ability to fall asleep at night,
    I am so thankful I changed the path I was headed and I am happy with me today, Only because I can understand now.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for sharing part of your journey with us, Theresa. Sounds like you’ve had a rough road. I’m so glad that you’ve found your way to understanding your own giftedness. I hope you find some other rainforest minds in your unschooling group. And I hope that you feel welcomed here.

      Like

  20. WHAT???? Thank the God of my understanding for this article a dear friend sent me the link… Dear God/ Universe, there are others same as me??? Pleassssseeeee how can I become part of this group or whatever it is called????

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Aha! I just found another reason it might be hard to take our own giftedness seriously: the phenomenon we all know as the “crank”. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crank_(person)

    Gosh how often have I secretly feared that my eccentricities and unusual ideas were not indicative of a gifted, creative mind but merely evidence of being a full blown kook?

    Granted, I do not think I am nearly so obstinate, inflexible or self-unaware as the typical crank is, however maintaining a healthy self-image is very difficult when you so often find yourself in a “minority of one”. Peer pressure is powerful, so it is difficult to ignore being perceived as strange no matter how much independence, inner belief or outer evidence you may have to the contrary!

    I bet lots of gifted people — being so observant and sensitive to the foibles and self-delusions of others — have a constant nagging fear that they too may harbor within themselves a concealed kook. Boogity-boogity! -Mark

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I think it may be a fear for some rainforest minds, as you describe here. And yet, I don’t think that someone who actually is a “full blown kook” ever wonders if they are a “full blown kook.” The fact that you’re asking the question is an indication that you’re not. Make sense?

      Like

      • Ah, the old “Catch 22” lol. Thank you once again for providing a forum for people like me who question their own sanity amidst an often seemingly insane world that often considers US to be insane.

        Liked by 1 person

  22. Wow how lovely to come across another Gifted women in this world! Thank you for sharing your point of view! I found myself nodding and cheering along with your page, and at times disagreeing out lout at some parts as well. ..I find being engaged is key to my happiness and eternal growth as Gifted women, and your site has engaged my attention,. So I will be following along behind you to see what other interesting info you put out there! 🙂

    I can particularly relate to your sections of wanting to be a Palaeontologist/Archaeologist/Novelist/Marine Biologist/Adventurer/Travel person like the guy on Lonely Planet/Doco Maker/Librarian/Journalist, all at the same time…still have that desire in a way. I wanted to know the the Meaning of Life from very young age and wanting to champion any under dog or minority I could find. I Instinctively “reading” people and their masks, dealing with anxiety and depression, worrying about being a “fraud” and loosing my own mask, having to live behind a mask at all to “fit in”, being miserable because nobody, as a child, teen or adult, understood or releted to me, i rarely was engaged and often lonely, in my own head a lot of the time, daydreaming up imaginary worlds and refusing to fit into “mainstream” as a Goth in my teen years.

    Power to us Gifted! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Where can I read more about how to apply and sort out my own passions etc and help my one Gifted Grandson???

    Liked by 1 person

    • Great question, Zelda. If you read some of my other posts, you’ll see some links to other sites. It could be good for you to see what else is out there. For lots of passions, try http://www.puttylike.com. There’s a community there where you can “talk” to other folks. They don’t call themselves gifted but I suspect that many of them are. There are many articles at http://www.sengifted.org and those people hold a conference every year where you could meet face to face. If you go to http://www.giftedhomeschoolers.org, you’ll find parents of gifted children supporting each other and on Facebook you could get in on the conversations. http://www.hoagiesgifted.org is a great resource for parents/grandparents of gifted children. The book The Gifted Adult by Jacobsen is a great overview of the topic. And next spring my book will be published by GHF Press!

      Like

  24. I think your metaphor of Rainforest Mind is so apt,but more than that,bloody cool!

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Snap! Re Mary Elaine Jacobson’s book,”The Gifted Adult”, I’m reading it now for second time,and it is like she knows about all the secret little compartments embedded in my mind which I ignored for years,or thought too insignificant. I can’t praise book enough!
    Will definitely keep eye out for your book coming out Paula,I’m like a man in the desert
    dying for the water of more knowledge of giftedness; especially,when due to bad childhood, I always thought I was worthless and stupid !

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Please tell me?
    Is there other Gifted humans who has tried commitiing suicide?
    Is there some who also have these Vivid dreams while sleeping…
    the few hours we do?
    Honest comments would be appreciated.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Zelda. Some gifted adults can have vivid dreams. Some can be suicidal. If you’re feeling suicidal, it would be important for you to speak to someone and get help. Even if a counselor doesn’t know too much about giftedness, a counselor can help. If you aren’t sleeping much, it would be important for you to talk to someone about that, too. Sleep deprivation can cause all sorts of symptoms.

      Like

  27. God,for all this time since a kid,I thought my depth of feelings and the expression of them . . . .was a weakness! And I’ve only just tapped into my full vocabulary instead of
    dumbing down to accommodate others. And Zelda,I had bizarre enough dream for me to
    remember (never recall plain ones), and after deciphering it, got needed message that I
    was one who was responsible for feeling trapped in personal situation. Ah,the power of
    the unconscious can be wisdom itself if we can but harness it.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. I hope people are still reading this. I have struggled so much being ex-profoundly gifted, now just kinda smart but crippled by anxiety, ptsd, and depression middle-aged adult. My career has never worked out, by normal societal standards I am a raging, worthless failure.

    My brain never shuts off. It can’t. The problems of the world are so obviously rooted in our desire for dominance and power and reproduction of the fittest, yet we all refuse to move past that and act like glorified chimps with an inadequate frontal lobe slapped on our brains. So many horrible things happen every day and it never ends. This quest for dominance and fear and envy of others runs our society, how we view success, what research gets funding, everything. Learning that was so disappointing.

    Writing is so hard. Words are slow and blocky.

    Sometimes when I hear about gifted people I get this intense longing to be with peers, but then I remember that even in an honors program at an ivy league school it was just hypercharged ambition. I hated the boredom of school, got all as with no effort, did fine in college until the utter pointlessness, disappointment and depression became too much to handle. The last twenty years have seen hospitalization for depression and homelessness, a vicious ex-wife, and poverty.

    I realized at some point that the only thing that really has value is compassion, both toward others and myself. I’ll always be bitterly disappointed with reality. I can’t fake it until I make it. And make what? Money? Who gives a shit? We all die no matter how rich. Seems pointless to hoard stuff and status. That’s doomed to fail no matter how much we delude ourselves. I fall well outside the optimum intelligence range for society. That is just a fact that I’ve accepted. However, I can still do things that make sense for me. I’ve learned that helping others in need, who have been shunned by society for other reasons, makes me existentally happy. That’s been good to learn.

    I’ve also learned that helping my two children navigate the world and become happy people who won’t suffer as I did is the best and only natural thing for me to do. They are thankfully not as obviously weirdo-level smart as I was but still quite gifted. I give them the space to explore, to be “impolite” and “disrespectful” (I.e., not taking an obviously bullshit explanation as true) that I never had. And I find great joy in that.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. I’m in a similar situation. Profoundly gifted and talented, always thinking, always searching…but also profoundly jaded, angst-ridden and underachieving, with multiple misdiagnoses, dozens of dangerous medications, hospital stays, chronic poverty and a few homeless stints sprinkled in to complete the s**t-sandwich.

    “The problems of the world are so obviously rooted in our desire for dominance and power and reproduction of the fittest…..This quest for dominance and fear and envy of others runs our society, how we view success, what research gets funding, everything.” 

    Yeah. “Survival of the fittest.” I roll my eyes when so many people assume their success is evidence of their “fitness”. Fit-ness to what? A profoundly sick society? (as Jiddu Krishnamurti famously said). Most people have no idea how many really “fit” people have been crushed beneath the stampede of crabs in the pot.

    Apart from saying the obvious “I get what you’re saying”, I wish I had some positive nugget of wisdom to impart. I try to gather as much pride and self esteem as I can from having never given up on myself — or on others, despite my bitterness — and I try and tell myself that as a shipwrecked alien I have a mission to share my unique perspective with the world.

    But the cynical part of me laughs and butts in, saying “Who are you kidding? You think you are here to help save the world? You can’t even save yourself and you really, REALLY want it. You willingly turned yourself into a lab rat you wanted it so badly! So how is the world ever going to be saved when most people do NOT want it, so long as it requires voluntary personal change? Just take care of yourself and prepare for the flood.”

    Hmm. Gallows humor. Maybe that’s the answer.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Excellent post. Keep posting such kind of information on your blog. Im really impressed by your blog.
    Hi there, You have performed an incredible job. I will definitely digg it and for my part recommend to my friends. I am confident they will be benefited from this web site.

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Hi Guys,
    I agree with large view of posts,and would only add the amount of stupidity is more than I could ever have imagined pre-discovery of giftedness. Also,allow me to recommend 2 books by Nathaniel Branden on self-esteem: “Honoring The Self”,and “The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem.” The guy is recognized expert on subject and is brilliant.
    Quote: “In order to love one’s self,one must behave in ways one can admire.”
    Blessings,
    jimindigo

    Liked by 1 person

  32. This actually made me cry.

    Finally, someone gets it. Finally, I know *why* the medication never worked… Never made me “normal”… Finally I understand that it really wasn’t bipolar, or anxiety, or Aspergers, or ASD…

    And it was meteorologist-novelist-mechanic-landscape-architect, and I was 9.

    Thank you ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  33. Hi there, everything is going nicely here and ofcourse every one is sharing facts, that’s in fact good, keep up writing.

    Like

  34. Pingback: Most Popular Posts of 2015 | Your Rainforest Mind

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