Your Rainforest Mind

Support for the Excessively Curious, Creative, Smart & Sensitive

You Are Not Complaining. Being Gifted is a Gift. But It Can Also Be Terribly Lonely.

62 Comments

photo courtesy of Dexter Fernandes, Unsplash

You are not complaining. You are not saying it is awful to be a very smart person. Advanced intelligence is a fine thing. You know this. You are grateful for it. Being gifted is, well, a gift.

It’s just that, oh, it’s complicated.

It is not all easy street.

There are serious misunderstandings. Communication chasms. Damaging misdiagnoses. Long excruciating periods of boredom/waiting. Hyper-awareness. Piles of responsibility. Nonstop thinking. Teeming emotion. Disabling perfectionism. Excessive worry. Astonishing intuition. Unquenchable thirst for learning. Pressure to always know the right answer. Impostor syndrome. Expectations to be super smart in all things. Multiple complicated sensitivities. More boredom/waiting. Anxiety. Depression. Despair.

Intolerable loneliness.

How do you cope in the classroom when none of the other students care about learning and you already know the material? How do you handle failure when everyone, including you, expects perfection? Who do you talk with about your frustrations with your clueless coworkers? How do you explain to your boss that you know how to run the company better than she does? How do you find solace when everyone relies on you for support? What do you do when you face a problem you can’t solve? What do you say when friends can’t keep up with you? How do you find a partner who loves your intensity and your fascination with quarks? What do you do when no one really gets you?

Who sympathizes with you when you are overwhelmed by too many interests? How do you set healthy boundaries when people are depending on you? Who do you talk to about the challenges of raising your gifted kids? How do you feel pride in your accomplishments when you are accused of being arrogant?  How do you find practitioners who know more than you do? How do you know when to reduce your intensity and when to go full speed ahead? How do you end human, animal, and plant suffering and resolve climate change? How do you deal with the shame that arises when you think you actually might be gifted?

I told you it was complicated.

So, what about the loneliness?

How do you tell someone that you are so lonely because you are smarter than everyone you know?

OK. That’s probably not a great idea.

But it may be the truth.

I remember listening to an interview with the gifted Maria Popova of Brain Pickings when she said,“… most of my friends are dead people.” Not unlike this statement from The School of Life: “…We may just have to accept that our best friends could have died 250 years ago – and be chatting to us via dabs of paint or within rhyming pentameters…”

Maybe you have also found solace and connection with dead writers, artists, and poets.

But I know that you can find living friends, too.

This is my collection of posts on ways to find living friends.

And if you are also looking for partnership?

Well. One final word.

The rainforest-minded writer, 60-something Anne Lamott, just married for the first time this year. Here is her advice: “If you’re paying attention and making your own life as beautiful and rich and fun as it can be, you might just attract someone who’s doing the same thing…Never give up, no matter how things look or how long they take. Don’t quit before the miracle.”

And remember. You. Actually. Are. The. Miracle.

_______________________________________________________

To my bloggEEs: Tell us about your quest for friends and partners. How do you find people who understand and love you? Are there activities or places or websites where you’ve found other rainforest minds? What are the challenges you’re experiencing?

One place to meet other rainforest minds is at the SENG conference, July 18-21, 2019, in Houston, Texas. I’ll be there presenting and would love to meet you!

 

 

Author: Paula Prober

I'm a psychotherapist and consultant 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 rainforest to describe this population. Like the rainforest, 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 first 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. My second book, Journey Into Your Rainforest Mind: A Field Guide for Gifted Adults and Teens, Book Lovers, Overthinkers, Geeks, Sensitives, Brainiacs, Intuitives, Procrastinators, and Perfectionists, was released in June 2019.

62 thoughts on “You Are Not Complaining. Being Gifted is a Gift. But It Can Also Be Terribly Lonely.

  1. Wow! You covered it all. It feels nice to be understood.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. So beautifully written. And so true about loneliness. Gifted people often feel so disconnected from those around them. I really like your message of trusting in yourself and believing in yourself.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Dearest Paula, you packed in so many very real and painful and confusing truths. Yes, the loneliness is BRUTAL, as is “more waiting/boredom”. Thank goodness for my many ‘dead friends’ (artists, authors, composers, musicians, poets, philosophers), many animal friends (who are usually not mine) and loyal trees; they are all very comforting and ‘loyal’ in their unique ways. I relish in making more of these types of friends daily–if only it were as easy to find real, live humans to be friends with!!

    Yay for also understanding why I appear to be crazy, weird or obsessed with ‘too many’ subjects and languages and places in the judging eyes of most humans. Yay for simultaneously understanding that I am not crazy and that there are indeed others ‘wired’ like me out there (meaning I am not an alien!). You’re so right that there is also shame in not having accomplished more, and there’s imposter syndrome (though I am feeling it less and less)…And shame, personally, in my being so hopeless at settling in one place and thus, in making it even harder to grow deep friendships…and oh, the sensitivities!

    I’ve found my intelligent and creative folks in orchestras, through yoga and through work (fellow teachers). As for finding a romantic partner, I recommend people try online dating and see what happens–though I am still stuck on this myself. The story about and quote by Anne Lamott are both touching and inspiring 🙂 I’ll be honest and say that I don’t think I could be the miracle (seriously–what are the odds? There are more than 7.7 BILLION of us humans out there). But anyhoo…
    Greetings from Peru–I made it back 🙂 ¡Fuertes abrazos!

    Liked by 4 people

    • Oh, yes, of course. Animal friends. Tree friends. Always good to hear from you, cmd1122. So glad you made it to Peru.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I, like you, busy my mind through the study of multiple languages! I’ve been struggling for years to, “tone down” so as not to overwhelm people with my intensity! However, now I’m trying to live authentically without scaring people away….

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      • Thank you for sharing, Dana. It’s so good to have you here. Living authentically with a rainforest mind does require an awareness of what others can handle while also locating some people with whom you can go full speed ahead!

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      • Really? Which languages are you working on and which are your favourites? How do you enjoy learning them the most (when not immersed in them)? I love learning languages through authentic music, but also a ton of reading and just picking apart the grammar. Being able to write and speak in other languages is SUCH a blast! When I am atrociously bored (such as in a never-ending staff meeting), I will translate all the interactions going on live, in my head. It sounds ridiculous, but it makes the situation feel more useful, as I am practicing a language while still processing the info that I am supposed to be paying attention to. (ah, I know Spanish and French really well, my Portuguese is intermediate, my Italian is pre-intermediate and then there is Hebrew which I understand far more of than I can produce (I wonder what I would happen if I only practiced…).

        Isn’t it hard to ‘tone down’? Sometimes I feel like I could literally explode. Active listening can be hard sometimes. I have learned techniques to calm my mind through yoga and meditation—I’d recommend these. Journaling daily is also a big help to ‘get out’ what you couldn’t get out face-to-face during the day.

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        • I do that too!! I translate everything into Spanish when I’m at church! I can read Italian, Portuguese, some French, Romanian, German etc. Scandanavian languages are similar to German I find! I like to use DuoLingo, a free app. It’s great because you can expedite the learning process by testing out of sections which I love! I’m planning on learning Japanese and Mandarin Chinese this way too. Boy, we sure have a lot on common! I can relate and identify with your every comment cmd1122!!!

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          • I like to watch movies in a foreign language with English subtitles! That helped me pass my Praxis exam for Spanish! Instant feedback. Although the more you learn of the foreign language, the more you realize that the translation is rough and not word for word.
            Throughout any given day, I’m constantly making word connections across a multitude of languages…

            Spanish/English veloz=velocity
            French/English chute=down

            I love to read manuals with directions in them in all seven languages. I will pour over the pages trying to figure out the sentence structure.
            I am constantly picking apart language to find the root source/country/language it came from and try to come up with as many connections as possible.

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            • Cmd1122, music and children’s books are my favorite way, besides immersion and language programs, to learn a language! I learned so much vocabulary by reading Reader’s Digest in Spanish and young adult or elementary chapter books are great fun too! Read, read, read is what I tell my students! It’s the fastest way to learn vocabulary besides immersion (movies). I also try to join groups in the language. I went to a weekly Bible study all in Spanish a few years back! It was a fabulous/joyful challenge to work so hard by responding to the complex questions!

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            • I also LOVE movies in foreign languages; reading the subtitles becomes a game (and you can see how accurately they are translating once you are good at the language). I can also happily sit and read through manuals or labels in a bunch of languages and just amuse myself and look for inconsistencies with translations and levels of detail included, haha.
              When you can make connections, neurological magics happens 🙂

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          • jaja, we do sound a lot alike. I love DuoLingo, though I rarely use it anymore (but I agree that testing out is rewarding–it is amazing how much you can learn and then test out of just by reading a ton in the language independently. I know Spanish, French and Portuguese well, plus a good amount of Italian and I love the different sounds of all of them, but how they are all so similar. I started German years ago on DuoLingo and enjoyed learning the language on paper, but I have never really been attracted to it to want to learn to speak it.
            I started Hebrew last year; learning an non-Roman alphabet has been a fun challenge. I adore the sound of the language and learning it through songs; understanding it is one thing, but reading and writing is another…(a bit painstaking, but so satisfying once you can already read and write).
            I recently started learning Quechua after a brief intro to the basics some years ago. It is very fun, as you can build on words (much like in German), though building on words doesn’t always work. I’ve long wanted to learn an indigenous language of the Americas. If I end up back in southern Mexico, I’d love to learn a Mayan language. Arabic would be fun, as it is similar to Hebrew, and Mandarin Chinese would be very useful). 🙂

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            • Oh, I like Quechua too! I gave birth to my son listening to Quechuan music in fact! They’ve mixed a bit of Spanish into it which has made it easier for me to learn.

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        • Oh wow, I think that’s AWESOMELY creative that you amuse yourself in staff meetings by translating those super-interesting comments into another language! Ha ha! Wouldn’t it be hilarious if the manager (or whoever is leading the meeting) was to suddenly ask you, ‘Do you have any insights or thoughts to share?’ and you replied with a perfect translation of a co-worker’s statement?! Or else respond to that question in a different language?? On the other hand, it would just confirm that you’re ‘weird’, eh? *sigh*.

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          • hahaha, that would be hilarious!! I did ALMOST slip once with a comment in a foreign language. The Vice Principal was rambling on about team work and the important the content of a Google Doc that had been sent out days before, that I had already looked over and commented on upon opening the email (sigh…WHY bother reading those emails they ask you to read in advance and actually do what the emails ask you to do when NO ONE ELSE DOES? Maybe that is just me taking things too literally…or is that just me doing my job well? I give up…)

            So, I was frustrated at this total waste of time and literally BORED out of my MIND, so I think I had switched from translating to Spanish, to translating to French to extend the time I could sit without exploding…Anyways, I think if I had slipped, it would have been comic relief that the other teachers would have loved (probably not the VP…)

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        • I recommend taking a job abroad. Being an expat can be great. Off the bat, it’s a good excuse for discomfort and not fitting in. The great part is that American (or, perhaps, Canadian) companies will pay us more to work abroad than at home, although living costs are lower.

          I worked for three years as a rural volunteer in the Dominican Republic and five years in logistics in Brazil. I almost took a disarmament job in Russia, and also turned down an airport management job in Iraq because my wife said she’d divorce me. I need my wife. That’s why I speak Portuguese and Spanish fluently, but Arabic and Russian only awkwardly. Fair trade.

          It sounds like you enjoyed yourself and did good work in Peru. I guess one of the difficulties with finding a corporate job abroad would be finding one where the company isn’t up to no good.

          Liked by 2 people

          • Dr. Dad, I love that advice about taking a job abroad. It sounds as if you had quite the run of foreign contract jobs. Good call on not taking that job in Iraq 😉

            After a student exchange in Mexico, another in France and two contracts working in Peru, I know that I love living abroad and adapt easily to new places. (If you click on my flower pic icon, you can reach my blog and read about the amazing people and projects that filled my days in Peru). Most of the Canadian jobs in Peru are in the mining industry and I’m not about to start working in that industry. If ethics weren’t so important, I’d have maaany more job prospects and for far higher pay. But I’m happy to always sleep peacefully at night, knowing that I am not harming the planet through a lucrative business of exploiting La Madre Tierra, nor putting the rights and dignity of others above my own.

            I guess you must follow the politics of Brazil. This won’t be a political rant, but I read that Bolsonaro is trying to rid Brazilian schools of Paulo Freire’s legacy. Luckily, there is a strong resistance fighting to maintain popular education and defend education as a way to raise conscientiousness and freedom.

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  4. Thank you so much for writing this—it came at just the right time for me and feels like a relief to be reminded that I am understood sometimes! 🙂 I appreciate this work you are doing.

    I wonder, is it possible at all to help friends you might have to understand you? What if you (I) have an extremely kind friend, with numerous interests/passions in common, but they just don’t truly understand you? While I wouldn’t expect anyone to ever fully understand all of the rainforest—I don’t yet, myself—sometimes it feels like this misunderstanding is too great and causes friction on my end. The friend tries their best to understand that you respond to the world a bit differently, but no matter what you try to explain (including neurodiversity), they still just don’t seem to “get it”, and my assumption is maybe they can’t if they haven’t experienced it or witnessed it firsthand. Sometimes I feel that when a friend is trying to empathize by equating our individual experiences, it diminishes mine somehow because I know theirs (with some exceptions) isn’t exactly comparable. I know it is never intentional and that people do this as a way to connect (myself included), but it seems to “widen the gap” for me and I’m not sure how to deal with it, especially because I know this misunderstanding is not at all intentional and that these friends are lovely, caring people who just do their best. Do you continue to try and help them understand, but then how do you do so without undermining their experiences (which I would never do)? Then I wonder if I just sound like I’m asking for validation that some, many, of my struggles are just more difficult because of the “moreness”. But I care and empathize so much I wouldn’t want to ever elevate that above someone’s own struggles as some sort of comparison either. I hope this makes sense; I feel like this involves so many factors…

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    • These are good questions, Ashley. One thought is that “lovely, caring” people are important to have in our lives, even if there are limits to what they understand about us. When I work with someone who is likely profoundly gifted, I can tell that there are experiences they have that I can’t grok because I don’t have similar capacity. I want so much to understand, but there are limits; so I have empathy as much as I can but acknowledge that to be truly understood (as much as anyone can know someone else…) they’ll need to find another PG person. That said, of course, there’s no guarantee that just because the person is at a similar level that they’ll get you.

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  5. My first husband told me about how lonely it was being so much cleverer than everyone else. I think in part that came from his inability to see and appreciate forms of cleverness that were different from his own. It was one of the most depressing things he ever said to me, expressing his loneliness in my inadequate company, and totally undermined my confidence about being in that relationship – I felt unappreciated, useless, not clever enough… Many years on from that I have found that the company of kind people who like me is of far more value to me than whether or not they can keep up, but his voice still turns up in my head telling me that’s just because I’m not such a clever person so it doesn’t have the same impact.

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    • I wonder, Nimue, who this first husband was and if he was really as clever as he thought he was. Perhaps he didn’t have a rainforest mind. Was he sensitive? Empathetic? Introspective? Self-aware? That said, the point you bring up about how we talk about this is well taken. It’s not useful to put other people down as we process our own feelings about relationships. It’s hard to know how to talk about this and who to talk with about it. Thanks for bringing this up. And, yes, there are many forms of cleverness and it would be important for us to recognize that. I’m so sorry that you were with someone who didn’t see your radiant rainforest-ness!

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  6. Hi Paula,
    The challenges I face are vast and varied, so I’ll just say that, socially, life is a total learning, work-in-progress for me. I’m OK, but not great, at small talk, (but I can’t muster up the strength to actually start conversations most of the time), I’m friendly yet need my space and privacy, hate the mindless chit-chatter if some of my peers that seems to get louder and louder by the minute, and am just generally lost in my own thoughts, even when I’m out and about.
    My gifted 5 year old has recently made friends with our new peach tree; he is teaching me so much about being friends with nature, as are my fellow posters here!
    Thank you for your continued wisdom, guidance and priceless insights, Paula!

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    • Thanks for sharing, Nicole. Good to recognize how we’re all works-in-progress!

      Like

    • “hate the mindless chit-chatter if some of my peers seem to get louder and louder by the minute, and I am just generally lost in my own thoughts.”. Yup: Space and privacy and quite time ALONE every day 😉

      On that note, I honestly don’t know how any moms, let alone you RFM moms, do it! How do you find a balance between being a child’s everything for most of the day, and taking care of your needs? My sincere respect… ❤
      Though, learning about how to be friends with that peach tree through your son does sound wonderful 🙂

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      • I’m overjoyed to tell you that my children have overlapping interests to me and have been absolutely fascinating to get to know! My son, 14, has a Rainforest mind too, but is an introvert, so he gives me the personal space I need to regroup because he needs it too. Since I homeschool him I have the privilege of hearing his thoughts and ideas daily! I must add that I simply direct his learning; he has ALWAYS been an aggressive self learner from day one! His interests are intense and varied and he is also a music composer and writer like myself. He is also an inventor, and map designer….and too many other things to list! I thought I would not be able to be a parent because of how I am, but I can see my husband and I have a life long intellectual peer through our son! He is pure joy to us!

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        • Well it is certainly lovely and comforting to know of such beautiful possibilities. Your son sounds amazing 😉 Lucky him for having parents who are home schooling him–> Freeeeedom…

          But wait, I thought that maybe you were a language teacher(?). I am an amateur composer (violin) and will one day be a published writer (I have many in-progress chapters and short stories and a few ‘finished’ ones on my computer, plus a stack of journals that I use for ideas). ‘Officially’, I am a teacher (mostly languages and social sciences), but I’m about to start managing education programs at an environmental NGO. Are you also a teacher? What do you compose? And write? Could you please somehow adopt me? It appears that I’d fit in far better in your family than in mine and you wouldn’t be scolding me for ‘wasting life’ with my passions! (And maybe you’d have sympathy for the 12 years I spent stuck in all-girls British tradition schools with too many rules, tests, ridiculous expectations and itchy uniforms, where ‘STEM’ career paths were the only respected options…). Also, I’ve only been a legal adult for a short decade (I’m 28), but I’d be incredibly easy to parent (no financial support necessary). Just imagine: we could work on learning ALL those languages and composing and writing and ultimately combing all those passions and some other ones into some fantastic outcomes, while simultaneously helping your brilliant son to patent a bunch of his ideas and publish away and start produce his own records and better maps for the 21st century 😉

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          • My son and I are both musical composers and writers. My son plays oboe, clarinet and piano very well and is teaching himself mandolin and guitar. I’m a singer and play piano by ear to lock down the new songs I write. I play clarinet very well, but can’t sing along with it…ha, ha! I’m thinking it would be fun to try out for an orchestra when my kids are a bit older. I’ve professionally recorded 3 times with 2 CDs, one containing 4 movements of classical style children’s music, which I used to accompany a ballet I choreographed on tour with the performing arts company I started, and the second one I recorded was from a full length musical I wrote and went on tour with the next year. I have another musical I need to professionally record that is on hold….I have, of late, been producing music videos to accompany the songs I write in order to immerse the listener into my intended environment better. Cmd1122 thank you for your uplifting comments on my choice to allow my son to “teach” himself!!! He needs little help from others to learn. I simply check in with him throughout the day and guide him a bit. I LOVE to hear all the incredible projects he’s working on!!! Oh what fun it would be to know you too!!! How much joy we’d have working to our fullest potential without the limitations of those that have no vision or passion! Here is a little poem/saying I’ve come up with when it comes to people like us trying to make friends…I think everyone in the forum will be able to relate!
            WILL YOU FLY WITH ME? by DL
            When I meet a new friend I say, “Come, will you walk with me?” And then they do for a bit but then grow weary (of all my ambition, passion & intensity).
            Then I meet a new friend and I say, “Will you walk with me?” And then they do! Then I dare say, “Will you run with me?” And gratefully they do! But then only for a bit and then grow weary. Then another friend comes along and I say, “Will you walk with me?” And they do! Then, again, I dare ask, “Will you run with me?” And they do!! And finally I carefully ask ..in a whisper…”Will you fly with me?” And then one marvelous friend said, “Yes!” And she did! And then she moved away…
            Who will fly with me?!?
            …………………………………………………….
            But now I’ve found so many of you in flight! How could we fly together?!? Cmd1122????

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          • I’ve written 4 books, one which is currently published, the others in line waiting. I wrote my autobiography with a publish date of 2012. The title is, “In a Van Down by a River and other adventures of a born again aspie”. Yes, I associate myself with the diagnosis of Asperger’s….too much now to share, it’s all in my book…
            But, yes, I taught Spanish in various school settings over the last ten years, primarily through private schools my son was temporarily involved in (for a change of pace, a decision on his part). I taught elementary through high school levels including classes from my home to other home school children who were twice exceptional! They were my favorite group of students! Oh, they learned at the speed of light and I could speak so much to them! My son was always my assistant to my classes. I read to him in both languages from the beginning. His first favorite book was in Spanish. He has begun teaching himself German and I tag along on his learning to gather all I can.

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            • Aspie, Dana? I’d be curious to hear more about that. There are certainly overlapping traits with giftedness but also some big differences. I haven’t studied AS much though, especially in females, so don’t know enough to draw any conclusions.

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  7. Beautiful! Dense but very beautiful! 🙂

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  8. Well, it’s delightful reading this post and reader comments. I’ve always found that trees make the best friends, too (am about to write a short story about this). Friendship (especially in person , I do quite well with online friends) has been my biggest and most confusing struggle all my life. I’m nearly sixty and I haven’t learned or discovered how to make and maintain friendships. I’m naturally warm, open and friendly, so I have scores of friendly acquaintances. My one in-person friend recently concluded that I don’t meet her expectations and requirements for being a friend. So, at present, aside from my boyfriend and online friends, my friends consist of nonhuman beings… or Bach! I’ve realized this past year that I am most likely autistic. My social capacity and wiring and my own requirements for how I need to live to be able to manage the executive functioning tasks of maintaining my career and home seem to limit my ability to be able to provide what others expect from a friend. When I try to make and keep friends, the demands are too much for me, and I become unhappy. My happy balance seems to lie in enjoying my lovely and compatible boyfriend, my online friends, my tree and bird and lizard and cloud friends, my in-person friendly acquaintances, and my special interests. When I can forget about making and maintaining friends, then I’m happy.

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    • I’m guessing that it’ll be helpful in your self-understanding to examine what it means to be on the autism spectrum, cathytea. Thanks for mentioning this very important piece of your puzzle.

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  9. Oh my. Yes. It’s almost impossible to find someone who I can even describe myself to in this way…mostly I’m just holding back, watching carefully for the moment when I’m too much or they don’t get it, constant minute adjustments to my words, behavior, tone, body language, just to find any degree of acceptance or connection. Most of my daily energy is spent on other people, without expecting much in return. It’s very lonely.

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    • Exact same here!!

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    • I liked your description, River. I find that one of the most exhausting things in the world is when someone tells me I’m “too much.” I wonder what it does to a person to constantly hold back in order to avoid that moment.

      I have become much more of an introvert because I dread that experience.

      I feel enthusiastic, and lose my grip on the conversational resume pruning I perform to seem normal. I see the wary look in my interlocutor’s eye as my speech begins to seem like a torrent to them, feel the distance as they try to compute how I could possibly do or have done all the things I describe, and feel the door of friendship closing as they internally decide that I am a different sort of person from them.

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  10. One possible cause of our loneliness is the fact that we’re like 13-people-in-1. We have different, but very solid, skills in different areas. Often, especially at work, we have co-workers who aren’t as multifaceted as we are, and so we appear strange to them, and unfortunately many will feel threatened or even scared of you! At least that’s been my experience.

    I remember years ago, I really wanted to work in the environmental field. Through determination and hard work, I rose from the rank of volunteer to Technician, to Outreach Specialist for my state’s department of natural resources. I felt most out of sync when I worked as a Technician. Most of the time I felt like a Golden Retriever among mostly Siamese Cats…I had all this passion, amazement and emotion regarding watershed management, but my feelings were definitely not mirrored by 90% of the biologists and technicians. It was often lonely. So that old familiar refrain kicked in, ‘Am I weird or something? What’s wrong with me?’

    Only years later did I come to the realization that, at least as far as employment is concerned, I do best in positions where my function is multifaceted and involves a lot of communicating. That old adage certainly is true, isn’t it, that we live life forward, but learn backward.

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    • 13-in-1, haha… (but yes, you are right about how co-workers see us as weird and can feel threatened).

      I usually feel like a Golden Retriever. Or a border collie. 🙂 As you pointed out, many humans are much more like cats (I have nothing against cats, but this can be a real shame, as cats do too much sleeping and grooming, and can be very self-centered).

      Multifaceted positions are rewarding for sure. It is fun (and necessary) to be able to hop between tasks that involve different skill sets to avoid boredom, plus amuse oneself with learning new skills to fill in the gaps as needed to do the task in more effective, creative and efficient ways, all while knowing that the tasks you are completing are all still part of your job 🙂

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    • I have the experience of people relying on my multifaceted skillful self but not actually recognizing how much I do/how capable I am so after I’ve plugged a zillion holes with a smile they’ll still ask what I do all day. Argh.

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    • I can relate so much to these work-time woes! When coming into any work environment I quickly assess the structure and systems in place and immediately begin improving them…well in my mind. Within a month I feel I could run everything much more efficiently than the current staff and leadership. At first this thought used to exhilarate me, but over the years I just felt frustrated working under these circumstances due to the fact it takes established work environments a LONG TIME to accept changes of any kind! I’ve done better for myself by starting my own businesses which puts me in the driver’s seat! I’m much happier now!! Especially because I don’t have to worry about intimidating people with my energy, drive, passion and enthusiasm!

      Liked by 2 people

  11. I am experiencing that some friends who I thought ‘were with me’ were and are not. After years, I’ve come to feel betrayed, lied to, deceived or simply that they never ‘got’ me. They pretended. I feel like I must have attracted this and participated in it. They said nice things and I trusted them. The result is I feel used in a way that I don’t like and betrayed. I feel they weren’t honest with me or themselves. And the reality that they can’t ‘keep up’ and are ‘not with me’ hurts. The result is conflict in the relationship and they are saying things about me that I know are not true. They see me through their own experience. I struggle hard when others say things about me. It’s hard to believe the truth about myself even though I know what it is. I feel that I’m in crisis because I need relationships to work for my basic needs and right now I don’t have that. Work relationships or relationships that I can make money in. What I shared I thought would bring me to that and instead I feel devastated. I’m trying to pull myself up.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oh, I’m so sorry you’re going through this right now. Sending hugs, karendee57. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      • My heart goes with you Karendee57! I’ve had very similar experiences….I find I’m on the outside looking in on relationships that are happening around me…but I take a deep breath and remind myself that I don’t want the same things as they do in relationships anyway..like idle chatter and mundane complaints. No, I want to be in an intensive working environment with like minded individuals…who have the same, drive, passion and determination that I do…so I console myself with knowing that their friendships would bore me and leave me empty. However, I can’t help but wonder what it would be like to be one of these “chill latte-drinking-hipster-mamas who’s biggest concern is how to get their kid across town to soccer/ballet…it seems almost peaceful to be so carefree sometimes. But at the same time I wonder how they can live their lives without any cares beyond their dull daily tasks…and I feel bad for them that that seems to be enough for them.

        Liked by 1 person

      • thanks. your blog is a lifeline.

        Liked by 1 person

  12. It was the one about “who sympathized with you when you have too many interests” that really got me.
    When I’ve had s normal conversation with someone who asks what I do – or want to do, there can be a long silence. I was told that it was too much.
    So I learned to tone it down, or even dumb it down.
    I mean, they have already decided that there is something wrong with me.

    I don’t know where to find my tribe. I was described by an astrologist as coming from the tribe of “outsiders”. Not in a bad way. But in a way that acknowledged how I don’t “fit”. I’m learning to live with that.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Ok, so I’m curious, puzzled, troubled about an aspect to giftedness I don’t seem to understand. For nearly every thing scarcity adds value. I’m 2E and the numbers, while not clearly known, appear very small as a percentage of the whole population, hence, scarce. It would seem, my uniquely wired brain would have greater value.

    Does brain wiring function differently in the economy or do individuals with uniquely wired brains need better marketing? Similarly for social interactions isn’t the greater value in rarity rather than uniformity? What is the disconnect that creates isolation when almost everything else works the other way?

    Imagine if Sothoby’s offered a da Vinci painting with the description saying: The owner is giving this to the first taker and throwing in $20, because it’s the only one in the world and they finally acquired a poster of a kitten captioned “Hang in there.”

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Thank you for this! I am also a fan of Anne Lamott, and in fact I wrote about the books I have read here: https://kloydecaday.wordpress.com/2019/07/24/books-on-faith-terrify-me-until-anne-lamott/. I hope you like my essay!

    Liked by 1 person

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