Your Rainforest Mind

Support For The Excessively Curious, Creative, Smart & Sensitive

You’re Not Crazy. You’re Gifted.

79 Comments

photo courtesy racemat, Flickr, CC

photo courtesy racemat, Flickr, CC

You obsess over commas. You freak out at the mall. You rage at the sound of a leaf blower. It’s been four years and you still haven’t found the right color for your bedroom walls. You remember violent movie images for weeks. You know what emotions strangers are feeling. You have a gazillion ideas in your head, especially at 3am. You’re reading the Lord of the Rings trilogy for the ninth time. You’ve been enraptured for years with the search for gravitational waves. You cry listening to NPR. You remember the time you smashed Robert’s lego airplane when you were five. And you still feel guilty.

What does this mean? Are you crazy?

Nah.

You’re gifted.

Yep.

I know how you dislike that word. It’s awkward. Everyone is gifted. Yada yada yada.

I know that you don’t feel gifted. All of those other people are so much smarter than you are. Your Uncle Charlie? Now, he’s gifted. You’re a daydreamer, a procrastinator, a slacker, maybe a little crazy.

Sorry, no. You. Gifted.

Here’s why it matters. I admit it. I have an agenda.

If you will stop labeling your gifted traits as craziness, then you’re more likely to find your way to self-acceptance and purposefulness. I’m not pressuring you to save humanity from self-destruction, mind you, although that would be nice. I’m just saying, if you admit that you might have some smartness, maybe a lot of smartness, then, you’re more likely to not be distracted from your path this time around. And we need you to be on your path.

And, of course, you can tell people that you have a rainforest mind. That’ll make it easier for you and them. It’s a lovely analogy, if I do say so myself. It fits. You are so darned intense, colorful, complicated and teeming with mosquitoes possibilities. Am I right?

__________________________

To my dearest blogEEs: Let us know if you’ve felt “crazy” at times. Certainly, it’s possible to be both gifted and mentally ill. Some of you may be both. We’d love to hear from you, too. That said, there are many examples of gifted folks who’ve been misdiagnosed. You are all welcome here.

Have I mentioned that I so appreciate you? Well, I do. If you’ve been reading for a while, you may have noticed that I’m not blogging as frequently as I was. That’s because I’ve been working on the latest draft of MY BOOK. Yes, you heard that right. My publisher (GHF Press) says it’ll be released some time in the later spring. So you can imagine that I’ve been a little bit busy. But I haven’t forgotten you!

 

 

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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.

79 thoughts on “You’re Not Crazy. You’re Gifted.

  1. “I’m not pressuring you to save humanity from self-destruction” – I AM!

    I’m fed up of hearing “we need Elon Musk / Bill Gates / James Dyson to do something about _________” on (e.g.) Mensa Forums.

    I am not saying these people shouldn’t be working on the world’s problems, but so should we. Mensa requires you to be in the top 2% of IQ ranges (1:50). It’s not particularly exclusive. But were do we draw the “Elon Line” above which people place their hopes on you?

    Should we be leaving it to “Prometheus Societey” “Giga” or “Triple9”? or should we man up?

    It’s understandable for someone who is in the lower half of humanity to leave the comnplex stuff to someone else better qualified, but I’d say first off, these problems can be broken down. Second off, once broken down the “Elon Line” on them gets lowered too.

    There comes a point when we must say “I can’t solve world hunger, but I can make sure no one goes hungry again in my local town” – we realise we’re on the same side of the “Elon Line” as the actual Elon. These are problems we can permit people to look to us to solve.

    Please all, find something you are passionate about, and just start putting stuff out there. The partial solutions will add up and we can beat these problems.

    Have a look at some of the things I’m doing, by sacrificing social media time (30minutes a day) to spend that time in the Engineering Design / 3D Printing community.

    http://www.andysouthern.com

    Kind regards,

    Andy (the one with no concentration levels!)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Andy. “There comes a point when we must say “I can’t solve world hunger, but I can make sure no one goes hungry again in my local town” “– Yes, indeed.

      Like

    • I want to save the world, I’m a little philosopher since I was a 4 y/o or so. I always felt different or insecure because of that; not crazy but less. I heard so many things, too kind for this world, naive. If I would thinking out loud to be able to be a tiny part in a solution that can save the world; I must be crazy; full of myself, a lot of ego, why needs the world even be saved? A lot of people seem to be comfortabel in their lives just being normal and not have to stick your head out. If you stick your head out; you must be crazy.

      I just want to be normal, not having this strong mindset and perfectionism and urge to make things better and more harmonious; I dont want to do that, people can be scared by that; I just want to be nice, not even that all people will like me, but that they are not are bothered by me.

      And I dont feel particarely crazy; but so lonely and left out from time to time. I know people think I can be a little odd (or crazy) with the passions I have in live; I can be passionate about almost anything that I can learn from and feels good, it is not just one thing; I learn fast and dive into things fast and deeply, with a wide range of soaking up information. That must be crazy, or autistic, adhd, or just weird. Passions can be weird; thriving can be weird.

      My passions of this moment are advocating for gifted kids, spd, twice exceptional kids, raising kids naturally in general (attachement and unconditional parenting), raising horses naturally, clean organic food, raising ourselves naturally 😉 It is not just one thing; I had other passions in the past; computer science, animals, being creative, knowledge in general. I must be crazy. (The one who was/is daydreaming quite often).

      Liked by 1 person

  2. So I guess you could say we’re crazy gifted!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is so awesome. I used to feel I was “psychologically broken.” But now that I know what I am, I can give myself the grace I need. Great post as always.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I often feel crazy. My own family doesn’t really get me even though they say they love me. It often feels lonely but luckily I like spending lots of time with myself (and my dog).

    Good luck with your book! That’s very exciting!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Do I feel crazy at times? How about the shorter list of times I don’t feel crazy? Parenting my rain forest child is about the only time I don’t feel like I’m zigging when everyone else is zagging. (parenting ‘makes’ me crazy sometimes, but that’s a universal sort of ‘parenting crazy’) Specifically, how about when the person at the checkout can’t figure out change if you give them a different amount then what they entered in the register? How about when your kiddo’s amazing bit of prose is returned as unacceptable because it isn’t punctuated to 4th grade standards? When I bring my car in to have the mechanic hear a noise that sounds like sonic booms in my world, but only after the third visit they finally listen hard enough to find something broken? Don’t even get me started on odors and fragrances. And clothing tags. And sock seams. and, funny you should strike them out, but mosquitos and their bites…

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I loved this post and shared in my local group:) SO true!!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Weird, cool, happy. You and I and all of the crazy gifted people. I always smile reading your posts, Paula!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. When I was 5 years old it was a painted Easter egg of a classmate that I broke. We were coming back in from playing sport, and the teacher even warned us not to touch any of the drying eggs… but I saw one in particular and it was so beautiful that before I knew it my hands reached out and touched it. It cracked, and I was mortified that I’d broken something so beautiful. I began crying and the teacher requested I say sorry to the boy whose egg it was. I did – but distinctly remember feeling my ‘punishment’ was inadequate for breaking something so beautiful. I couldn’t reverse what I’d done. Yeah. I still think about that sometimes 🙂
    I am gifted within the top 1% and also have C-PTSD. When institutionalised in my teens, I was initially misdiagnosed with – and heavily medicated for – paranoid schizophrenia. This stole my education, youthful body, and friendship opportunities from me during a critical time in development.
    Perhaps my rainforest mind lead to ‘creative’ responses to trauma. In some ways this could be considered a blessing, but I also suspect it has created a bigger mess than I might otherwise have ended up in. The intense drive to problem-solve has been focused on futile pursuits in my memory for many years now. What I’m trying to say is my C-PTSD hijacked my intellectual drive and used it in ways that have created further harm; kept me tied to the trauma. My goal is to unravel myself now, and move forward in life. Overall, I wonder if my high IQ might not impede this progress more than it assists. I’d love to have the opportunity to work with a very smart therapist who could get in behind my thought process and point out all it’s ridiculous flaws. It would be nice to feel understood with relation to the trauma. As that is just a dream (due to circumstance) I will continue trying to heal myself – clumsy intellect and all.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. After reading this I feel like someone actually understands me! Can’t wait to read your book.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I don’t feel like I am “crazy”. “Neurodivergent” or “not neurotypical” is more accurate, although I don’t seem to fit the criteria for the autism spectrum.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Paula, you write the most wonderful posts, and this is one of my favorites! I am looking forward to reading your book. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  12. WooHoo!

    Gravitational waves!

    and a Prober book!

    On the same day!

    WooHoo!

    Liked by 3 people

  13. …but I AM teeming with mosquitoes! They love me to bits! And of course I’m crazy. Sanity is so over-rated!

    Regarding those gravitational waves, I’ve been warning people at work for the past 10 years. Every time there are no drugs of a particular kind in the cupboard, and someone accidentally writes a line in the drug register for counting them, and I am forced to count something that doesn’t exist, I’ve been telling my colleagues it doesn’t sit comfortably with me because we are creating warps in the space-time continuum. They didn’t want to believe me – and now they’ve found them – all gathered around a couple of black holes! That’s what counting something non-existent does! I warned them…

    Thanks for the reminder. Paula. Just yesterday I was cursing how easily I feel that stab in the gut when when someone mocks me for my concern about environmental matters. It’s bothersome when one knows cognitively that it’s meant as a light-hearted jibe, and Australia is all about not taking yourself too seriously, but it still hurts because something one cares deeply about is being made light of. And yet, one doesn’t retaliate, because one still prefers not to hurt the other. It takes conscious effort to step into my stronger and higher self everyday to be less easily affected by these things and get a sense of perspective working – sort of.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Maybe knowing that you have our support will make it a little easier, Dragonwyst. And, just for the record, I wrote this post before hearing the news about the gravitational waves today! It was one of those synchronicities. I didn’t know what they were!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I would never have considered myself gifted. I always thought gifted people were brilliant and advanced in all subjects. I can barely do math. But everything you described is me. And two of my children. I am homeschooling my youngest rainforest brained child. I will be looking for the book.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. How do I make an appointment? I need help. I have a 12 year old daughter whom I adore but Lord have Mercy the rest of the world is having trouble with. Please tell me we can do skype or telephone. Thx.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tara. I only am licensed to do counseling in Oregon. I can do consulting long distance but it doesn’t sound like that’s what you need. I also don’t have any openings right now. If you email me through the About page, I can give you contact information of someone who might help.

      Like

  16. I got the “gifted” label early, by 3rd grade it was official. But in my family it was only okay, indeed expected, to be “smart” in a very conventional and conformist way. And so only as a middle-aged adult have I come to consider that some of the “strange” things I do & feel are part of the “gifted”. Mostly I wonder, if i had known 40 years ago, if it had been ‘okay’ and ‘part of who I am’, perhaps I would not have spent the time between so alone & isolated. And angry. Thankfully there are animals I do relate to, and enjoy time with. Not doing as well with the one human I found who has the gift of trying to understand me.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I love the “rainforest mind” & am sharing this on my blog – check it out in you*ahem* spare time 😉 http://www.smartpeoplearecooltoo.blogspot.com

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I enjoyed reading this Paula. I’m looking forward to your book!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Sincere question: how secure is the link between giftedness and overexcitablities/”craziness”? I tested into a gifted program in early elementary school (about 30 years ago; I don’t recall my IQ score, if I ever knew it). I’ve had some demons and difficulties over the years, obviously, or I wouldn’t have found my way to your blog while Googling the challenges of gifted adults. But, while I consider myself sensitive in some ways, I don’t relate to many of the extreme, debilitating traits and experiences you and your commenters describe here and elsewhere. I navigate the world with relative ease, and it’s leading me to question, not affirm, my claim to a “gifted” identity. Does mild/moderate sensitivity mean that I’m likely in the “barely gifted” camp–or perhaps even “just bright” after all? Or could I be “legitimately” gifted with solid coping skills and/or a tendency toward impostor syndrome? I don’t know why it matters, really, except that I don’t want to continue to claim an identity I’m not entitled to. I hope some of this makes sense.

    Liked by 1 person

    • In my experience, there are many variations on these gifted traits. If, for example, you were raised by loving, sensitive, attentive parents and you had positive schooling experiences, you may find it easier to “navigate the world.” There are so many other factors, too. Temperment, physical health, socio-economic status, racism, learning disabilities, etc. All of these and more can contribute to how your giftedness shows itself. Then there are folks who excel in mathematics but not humanities, for example. So there’s no one size fits all. I’ve found that many of my clients are highly sensitive and maybe the greater the giftedness, the greater the sensitivity. But I don’t think it’s that simple. Sorry I don’t have a clearer answer for you!

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  20. When I first read this title I thought, where was this seven years ago? Back when I was actually afraid to talk about things because I was certain someone would figure out that I needed to be locked up. Now I’m much more comfortable with myself and even confident, and while I still felt crazy sometimes, I always find my way back and it’s usually by realizing, oh yeah, that’s because of my perfectionism/overexcitabilities/sensitivity/rainforest mind. (And yes, that is my most favorite analogy ever, of all the analogies.) 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Ugh, it’s like you’re inside my head. Again. Thank heavens! The timing is amazing…here I was thinking and talking about sensitivity and shame and justice and isolation. And reading about an incredible woman activist and thinking I’m obviously not as smart or accomplished as I should be, I’m clearly to broken and strange. Thanks for this. Always.

    Liked by 2 people

  22. Thank you. I’m 51 years old and I am just beginning to accept the way I see the world and myself. It took having three gifted kids and accepting them as they are to even consider that I, too, might be gifted. The good news is they won’t spend all those years trying to fit into things that are wrong for them.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Seriously needed this today – I constantly feel like I am going crazy, especially when I get an idea for a project and can focus on nothing else. When I don’t have a project then my head feels cluttered – I think about everything at the same time; things from when I was about a year old all the way up to something from a day ago… Today is a day where I am trying to get my head together and this article was shared on Facebook – most definitely a Godsend. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. I always love your blog. It hits home every single time. But wow, this one got me today “You remember the time you smashed Robert’s lego airplane when you were five. And you still feel guilty.” – I had an experience when I was 8 or 9 where I shunned a girl based on her physical appearance. It was ALL internal and it was very unlike me, even to this day I am a very pro-loving everybody regardless of looks/etc.. But that one time, in my head I shunned her because of her appearance and now 25ish years later, I can STILL feel a pang of guilt in my stomach over it when I think about it. I’m just so ashamed of an action that was completely internal as a child. I wasn’t even rude to her. I simply did not choose to go with her into a new church class. Yet I’ve never been able to forgive myself for it. And yes, I feel like a crazy person. I wish I could go back in time and change my actions because I feel like it’ll haunt me forever.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Wow, I loved this article! I just stumbled on your blog while trying to find a counselor in my area who “gets” gifted. Know anyone in the Santa Fe, New Mexico area? ‘Cuz it’s an issue for me 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Paula, you know a little of my story. I’m going to share some of it here, as well… for others…

    I am gifted. I also grew up in an extremely abusive home. It was one of those middle class homes where everyone learns to keep up that picture perfect image, so no one had any idea my family was that far from perfect. I wasn’t allowed to be tested for gifted… my family was afraid I’d get a big head, so when they found out how intelligent I was, they started taking measures to ensure my humility, like reminding me that I was not any better or smarter than anyone else, that I needed to learn to slow down to everyone else’s level because no one would ever speed up for me, and there were even some very bizarre humbling punishments I will not mention in case it may trigger someone here.

    The situation was compounded by being a mixed race child in a “white” family in a “white” town.

    And of course religion had its own part…

    I should mention, the way I found out about myself was a sympathetic teacher that paid out of her own pocket for my IQ testing so my family wouldn’t find out. I also went on to make a close to perfect score on the ACT when I was 12 years old, earning official recognition by several colleges as one of the smartest kids in the southeast region of the US. The ceremony was amazing… my first time ever meeting other gifted kids, and we got along perfectly from the start… I was completely floored to find other kids like me.

    Anyhow, I survived the abuse from family and bullying at school through living inside my head and my books. And later on down the road, I did my own recovery work through researching scholarly materials on psychology – specifically, the dysfunctional cycle, the different ego states, childhood ego state development, codependency/counterdependency, the different disorders listed in the DSM-IV and diagnostic criteria… you get the gist. I was trying to fix myself… and…

    Mostly through learning to identify my ego states/inner voices etc and work with my own neural network i.e. programming, along with a few good self help books like The Psychology of Happiness by Najemy, I actually got pretty far in recovering. I eliminated all the abusive people in my life and completely started fresh. I learned the hard way how to deal with various tough social situations on the way, and a whole new world started opening up to me.

    I still didn’t really know myself though. That took a lot longer. I knew everything that was wrong… but I didn’t know what was RIGHT. I tried to gauge through other people, but other people were completely inconsistent and often a little nuts, lol.

    Additionally, I still got hit with a flurry of flashbacks every winter that sent me down in to a deep depression and serious issues with anxiety. This past winter I decided to try therapy… again. Same story as before, and I walked out on my second appointment.

    My problem with therapy in a nutshell: they always want to say I’m crazy. I’m bipolar, I’m schizo, etc. And I believed them for a long time. I let them turn me in to a virtual vegetable with anti-psychotics, convinced that was what it took to be ok. I couldn’t even cook or dress myself at one point… and drooled constantly….

    The best decision I made was that I was a lot more mentally/emotionally healthy than they wanted to tell me I was.

    When I came across your website, Paula, in a search for material about gifted children for my own son, it left me in tears. To this very day I can only handle reading a little at a time here because I get to crying so hard. It’s good crying though… relief… astonishment… validation… release. But along with it comes a final dawning realization of just EXACTLY how steep that curve between me and “them” really is. No wonder I’ve always had problems communicating with people despite being a natural pro at formal communications and writing! No wonder people constantly think I’m lying if I even begin to be honest about myself. -_-; They cannot fathom what I think, what I feel, what I see…

    What do I do? Keep roughing it out as always? Or keep looking for that golden therapist? LOL

    I’ve only had one that ever really made an impact on me. She definitely gave me “a wide container” lol. She was like a slightly older big sister (I was a teenager at the time and she was still in college). She accepted me wholly and fully, and helped me figure out a diagnosis for my mentally ill mom (who would never tell anyone what her diagnosis was) as well as helped me run through all the different DSM disorders to figure out if I was mentally ill myself. Like, she literally walked me through all the diagnosis criteria and talked with me about it in depth. It was great. Helped me get over my fear of “being crazy like my mom”. She was sympathetic to my plight at home and school, and pumped me up with encouragement to hang in there until college, promising that college would be when I would REALLY be able to be me and be free.

    THAT is the kind of therapist I need, lol. Saying goodbye was hard of course because there was transference involved, but she prepared me well for the farewell and even gave me a mix tape at our last appointment full of emotion releasing, joy inducing songs she loved (and I grew to love them as well… I listened to that tape any time I felt down for a long time).

    SORRY for writing this big long book here. But… I’m hoping maybe it struck some chords with someone here. Paula, thank you so much for this gift of a website. And thank you for showing some of your motive here in this article. 😉 I agree 100%. We all need to somehow gain the courage to stop hiding in the shadows and fight for our world. Unfortunately, too few “normal” people even REALIZE how bad it really is… or… care? 😦 (this concept still shocks me… that some people wouldn’t care…)

    I’m sure we all help out in our little individual ways. But I guess what I’m saying is that we need to start spreading the word… somehow… some way… figure out a way to inspire more people to join in the effort…

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Great post as always, violent images stay for years . . if anyone brings up the name of the movie, I cringe. I can remember a bad dream I had about a sibling, whom I love very much, in my dream I committed horrible violence on my brother. I must have been angry at him but I can never get that damn dream out of my head. It just surfaces every once in a while, it was a dream, not real, I would never hurt anyone or anything. I do admit to smashing some mosquitos though.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Let me know if you want a gifted editor as I just got my MFA in creative writing and I think I would be a good editor or proofreader for a book on this topic, if it is on this topic. Hope I am not speaking out of turn but there’s gifted and then there’s Gifted.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, hksounds. The publisher has their editor on it. But thanks for the offer. Yes, it’s on the topic of the rainforest mind. Working title is: Your Rainforest Mind: A Guide to the Well-Being of Gifted Adults and Youth.

      Liked by 1 person

  29. I get this. I feel emotions as strongly as I did at first, even if something happened years ago, so that’s rough.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. My black and white brain wants a black and white test that says definitively yes “giftedness” is the answer. It is the answer for all the times I didn’t fit in, all the times I felt lonely in a room full of people, why i am so easily frustrated trying to communicate or feel like I always have to find and alternate explanation, the rare times I have met someone and instantly connected to for no apparent reason but later realize we think alike. I mean yes I have a gifted kiddo…. highly at that…but I never accomplished anything. I never even really tried to. Unless you count trying to fit in which I fail at miserably most of the time.

    Liked by 1 person

    • For some people, it does help to have “proof” such as an IQ test. Or some amazing accomplishment. (although even those folks can question their giftedness) Could raising a gifted kid qualify as an accomplishment? And, there are so many reasons that gifted folks might not achieve in traditional ways. Or perceive themselves as not accomplishing anything. It’s complicated! So, not black and white! But if you’re reading this blog and my descriptions fit for you, well….

      Like

  31. Great post, Paula. You really nailed it! Such a clear picture of gifted intensities and how people don’t see them as a sign of giftedness – but, instead as a disturbance. But now, I can’t get Paul Simon out of my head…”Still crazy after all these years.” 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  32. I was literally today and earlier this week doing these things. Commas are driving me crazy since my new employer doesn’t believe in Oxford commas. The neighbor’s leaf blower was making me go mad about an hour ago! How timely was this post for me. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  33. Pingback: Gifted or Impostor — Living With Asynchrony In Your Kids and Yourself | Your Rainforest Mind

  34. The other big change in myself and my life since my wife died in February 6, 2014 is I no longer look to my wife to be my flood gate keeper who regulates, navigates, and generates the flow of my creative energy (Dabrowski’s “Overexcitabilities”) but I look to the Lord and myself through meditation, journaling, and creative expression. In other words, I have to be my own flood gate keeper for when my wife died it created a vacuum in my heart that caused a storm to blow. This storm flooded me with potential energies that I had to learn to use or they would use me. I could no longer look to my wife to be my flood gate keeper but had to learn to manage my own flood. I learned how to be a good flood gate keeper of my hydroelectric like internal power system I call Barry’s Power System by trying and practicing ideas that applied these Bible verses, Dabrowski’s Theory of Positive Disintegration, and my “I Won’t Let Her Die” and “Flow On, Barry, Flow On” paintings.

    John 7:38 (NKJV)

    “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.”

    2 Corinthians 5:17 (NKJV)

    “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”

    Dabrowski:
    “for your exclusiveness and fear of losing close friends, for your creativity and ecstasy,

    for your maladjustment to that ‘which is’ and adjustment to that which ‘ought to be’, for your great but unutilized abilities.”

    Liked by 1 person

  35. Pingback: Most Popular Posts of 2016 — Plus A Special Podcast Interview | Your Rainforest Mind

  36. For sure I have felt “crazy”…Even the reading of, and responding to a blog that has been posted “such a long time ago”,gives me some of that feeling already…and then even the blog of someone who actually wrote a book on giftedness….
    What am I doing here, and are you sure when telling people “you are not crazy, but you are gifted!”this will be true for everyone reading it?

    I did meet someone in a psychiatric hospital, who believed to be gifted, but most likely he just had a manic episode.

    And what about myself? My father is intellectually gifted, and member of Mensa (but otherwise refuses to do anything whatsoever with it) ; my mother was very intense, sensitive and creative, but was never attracted to IQ testing; They said I was gifted in elementary school, where I skipped 2 years, intellectually pretty effortlessly but at high cost in the social- emotional dimension. Now I can’t do any good in IQ tests, which a psychologist who tried to test me, ascribed to extreme anxiety. But I am still afraid I am not gifted, after all. Or just not anymore, maybe. Although other people who identify as gifted still often seem to recognise me as being of their same species…One of them gave me your book to read btw…

    But I am not sure. After I was misdiagnosed and nearly died from it because this exact diagnosis and the way it was explained to me, seemed to either deny, obstruct or distort exactly everything of what I felt was my essence and strengths, and rescued from this by an interpretation of my troubles as being an anxiety- and personality disorder, I am just not sure what is left of me…and if everything that “should have been” there, was really there in the first place…
    I went very deep down in psychiatry, and like I wrote: I nearly died, and this in the physical, social, personal, spiritual, nearly every possible sense. There was only a very tiny little spark surviving it all.

    And everything that happened during that time, all the medications I had and all…I am just not sure if it did not do irreversable damage to any “giftedness” that could have been present before…

    The fact I am still (to some people) recognisable as a “rainforest mind”, I am afraid does not necissarily mean that my potential is unaffected and can still be fully realized?
    Even if there were no real brain damage (which I am not even sure of), there is still the high anxiety and the personality “disorder” that I have serious struggles with and that still seem to prevent me to be able to be truely creative or anything else that could come close to the true purpose of the gifted life…

    I like the “rainforest” analogy by the way. Although….as a child I was very enthousiastic about my discovery of the existance of rainforests. I definetely wanted to go there! They were the greatest places on Earth! Although I also admired vulcanos. So the best would be a place that had both.
    My parents said: well you can go there when you grow up. But it is not just beautiful, it is also dangerous…(and they summed up a huge array of dangers awaiting me out there), so when you go, don’t go unprepared! Unprepared tourists often get killed in such places!
    So you see, now that I have “grown up” I don’t dare go there anymore, although I would still want to…but who could I trust to teach me everything I need to know to survive in such places? When I hardly manage to survive in safe and boring cultured society? And when I am not even understood by people who speak my mother language?

    Anyway, I am quite sure even if I am gifted, I am still even more neurotic and crazy than I am gifted. “Gifted”, if I didn’t know English, from my mother language that could be taken as “poisoned”! Maybe some of these snakes and spiders in my rainforest have me bitten then… But I still have some hope though, maybe some of my inquiries into the traits and intricacies of giftedness and the people I meet with this, might have some of the antidotes with them….

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    • I hear your concerns and thanks for writing. One post can’t really explain anything in depth, much less something like giftedness or what “crazy” might be. My hope is that readers will read my blog and, perhaps, my book, and use the information to help them unravel the complexities of who they are. In this post, I’m suggesting that some of the traits of rainforest-mindedness can be labeled as “crazy” or felt as craziness, when they aren’t. That said, gifted folks can have mental illnesses and personality disorders. So it’s complicated!

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      • It is indeed. However I also hope these concerns are not the only thing you read from my post…Otherwise I am afraid everything else I wrote was just one big demonstration of my insanity, that stated: “See, you even attract true lunatics with this and tempt them to think they are gifted! Look at me, I am the prototypal insanity and the purest possible incorporation of neuroticism! You don’t want people like me to think they are gifted!”……Because that was definitely not what I wanted to say…( even though I just did…)

        I still find it difficult to decide what part of my “abnormal” behavior comes from mental disorder, and what not. In fact some say this personality- and anxiety disorder I am diagnosed with, would also just be a name given to some intensified experience of the human condition, with enhanced negative emotions due to being often misunderstood and not having had true peers ( while already being “unsafely attached”, given some circumstances around my birth), not fully a “true mental illness” and maybe even more connected to giftedness than to mental illness. In fact my last psychiatrist said I was not at all crazy, although neurotic for sure. He liked to say I “suffered from the delusional idea of being a psychiatric patient”…!

        But: this “delusion” was not made up by myself. While already seeded by society and my life before I searched for help, it was planted and passionately grown by some of his collegues! A mostly confusing situation…!

        Still, I loved that phrase, it was so wildly paradoxical, and still I understood what he wanted to say by that. I also hated it, because I loved it so that I am tempted to tell it to other people, already knowing they hardly ever understand what he really means and just think it is nonsense or I am trying to fool them and/ or myself while I must be seriously crazy…

        Writing this, I do feel crazy again. I am not sure what makes me write stuff like this, and I consider it to be: too much and too deeply about my self, reckless to put it on the internet, incoherent, self-defeating, socially inadequate, and going under in remarks that aren’t actually “relevant”…

        I suspect I do it out of some dark emotional pressure, but at the same time in hope to be understood, without the need to simplify and sedate it all down, without having it neatly censored for the general public…..In hope for this time, at this place NOT having it interpreted as nonsense and insanity pur sang, although already interpreting it that way myself…. I suspect I fell just slightly on the wrong side of the imiginary line between genius and madness…just so slightly that I might be able to learn to walk the line, or even get over it, and come to the “bright” side? Or maybe not, because the abyss of insanity is deep and perversely tempting…I might even desire to jump into it to escape the overwhelming responsibility felt when acknowledging “giftedness”….

        Indeed, it is complicated…

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        • I so appreciate what you’re saying here, as will many of my blog’s readers. They will relate. If you read other comments, you may see some of your concerns reflected. My frustration with the blog is that we can’t really go deeply into all of the complexities so my responses may be inadequate and you may feel misunderstood because of it. When I see clients in counseling, one of the things we do, is sort out what is giftedness and what are the effects of growing up in a dysfunctional family. It take time to sort it all out. It sounds like your last psychiatrist was a good one who was able to see your giftedness. I think that if you read other posts (and comments) you’ll find some of your questions answered. I don’t think that giftedness goes away, although, with trauma, the coping strategies that are developed may send it underground. It likely makes it harder to achieve your “potential” but it’s still possible. (although, then, there’s the question of how to measure potential…)

          When you say, “in hope to be understood, without the need to simplify and sedate it all down, without having it neatly censored for the general public….” this is one example of the challenge of having a rainforest mind. Thank you for sharing!

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