This post is for Miss F, who does amazing work with gifted children and helps them and their parents find some peace and acceptance with their exquisite differences. You know who you are.
Someone asked me the other day what it was like being Gifted. How did it differ from ‘normal’ people? The easiest way to answer this question is to write down a few examples from my childhood just to give you idea of the types of thought/brain processes that can go on in a gifted child’s brain. (not the content particularly but the SIZE of them).
As you read, keep in mind that these weren’t deliberations that went on over weeks or days, but happened in a flash, or at the VERY most, during an afternoon under my oak tree whilst reading a book on our farm.
Also, ponder the loneliness and isolation a child with these thoughts would experience, and that is what’s at stake with having our gifted children feel understood, appreciated, accepted and loved.
When I was 11 I decided that religion (not belief in god or faith, but organised religion), although perhaps necessary ‘back in the day’ was simply a way to control people. For a few to have power over the masses, and had absolutely nothing to do with God at all.
Whilst I saw this I also recognised that people may find comfort and solace and connection with their own version of God whilst observing the routines and rituals of an organised religion, and that is could provide a sense of community and connection for people, but most of all it was a way for a powerful few to exploit the human weakness and vulnerability in people and it was all about maintaining power – AT ANY COST!
At 9, I realised that life was painful. From physical pain, to emotional pain and anguish. I contemplated that if all the pain a person was to experience in a lifetime was to happen all at once, from a paper cut to grief to intense physical pain to a fight from a friend; if ALL that pain was experienced at once it would be unbearable, and nobody could survive it. Hence it was critical that the powers that be (I didn’t even believe in god at this stage) stretch life out, so that we could experience our pain one step at a time as a learning experience towards a higher state of consciousness.
Here was when I had the experience (not just a thought), that we aren’t given anything we can’t handle. I also realised that we needed pain in our life to shape us, much like a rock would feel pain being worn away by the wind (if rocks could feel) but the result can lead to incredible beauty and strength.
I also learnt to drive a car, a tractor, a six perth camper van and a go-cart!
When I was 7 I discovered there were many many different types of love, and this can change from person to person, and what’s more a love you have for a person can change over time or events, and vice versa. I considered that love for or from another person should never to taken for granted OR relied upon, or disrespected.
I also saw that the opposite of this was that people can use love against you, but only if you let them, and love really can break through barriers that nothing else can. Love like friendship went two ways, and whilst I could love someone dearly and deeply, it didn’t mean that they had to feel the same way about me.
…we could experience our pain one step at a time as a learning experience towards a higher state of consciousness.”
At 4, I thought through the fairness of things. I came to the conclusion that what I thought was fair and what someone else thought was fair can at times be two very very different things, and it was all a case of perspective (probably didn’t use these words, although I may well have). Since then I have found it very hard to take a stand for something with absolute certainty without seeing all the other shades of grey and where the other person is coming from and why they feel the way they do.
I was also reading fluently, started on Enid Blytons famous five when I was 5 and half.
2 years old I saw that people will usually always prefer to hurt the people they love rather than allow those people to hurt them. I decided not to ever do that, that the people I loved and cared about would always be first.
These are just a handful of examples, I could give you another 100, but they are a good indication of the depth and complexity of the thoughts of a gifted child, as well at the difference and separateness.