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    #246926 - 03/06/20 07:17 PM What nonacademic thing do you wish you'd learned?
    pinewood1 Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 01/25/19
    Posts: 31
    (The subject box isn't long enough for the title I intended to use; I intended to end it with "when you were younger.")

    For me, what I desperately wish I'd learned was how to behave like, and feel like, an actual member of a group. I still don't think I have this down, despite having spent time in heavily HG+ social circles as an adult.

    Feeling separate from the rest of humanity is also a Complex PTSD thing, and my abuse certainly couldn't have helped this any; but my parents also raised me to believe that because of my Super Special Way Out There Giftedness, I was something very different from/intellectually superior to anyone I was ever going to meet, or anyone in the world aside from TV child prodigies/geniuses, and I have to say that contributed a lot to this.

    I recently found some old records saying that I'd apparently been assessed in the 180s per SBLM. I have no recollection of being assessed, but a lot of my childhood is lost to dissociative amnesia; but it makes sense given what educational opportunities my parents chose for me at various ages, and given how I seem to match up to other people I've known who have been assessed.

    My parents never used the term PG with me; they did give me a book about being gifted when I was maybe 8, but it didn't really seem less babyish than most other things aimed at children, and I didn't really get what it was supposed to mean. I didn't link it up with the fact that I was accelerated or didn't fit in with other children. This was probably in part due to my dissociativity (dissociation is all about not putting the pieces together), but the book was also just written in a very vague way and only talked about common experiences for presumed-MG kids in public school. I really wish that as a child, I'd had a name for my difference that made sense, and an idea that there were other real people in the world like me, and maybe even the chance to meet them. (I was an outlier in my family.)

    I really wish there was a greater understanding that giftedness doesn't mean what most people think it means. There's a lot of romanticism around the idea, especially the idea of being PG, and I don't think that benefits anyone aside from people whose narcissism is fueled by it. We're all just people.

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    #246928 - 03/07/20 01:19 AM Re: What nonacademic thing do you wish you'd learned? [Re: pinewood1]
    Tigerle Offline
    Member

    Registered: 07/29/14
    Posts: 601
    Loc: Europe
    I am going out on a limb here and posit that having to overcame abuse and dealing with disassociation is much more to blame than not learning how to feel part of a group in childhood. I mean, how much of a childhood group have you, with your level of giftedness, ever had a chance to have? My own experience is that catch up in social skills does get harder with age and the more you have missed, but it does absolutely still happen in adulthood, too. I have played the catch up game all my life and am still changing and learning with life experiences (and i know it is noticeable because people i havenít seen for a long time comment on ir). As you suspect, there is probably more to the disconnect you feel.

    Do you have a good therapist? It is super hard to find one who can deal with both trauma and giftedness, I know, but the search is worth it.

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    #246930 - 03/08/20 12:39 AM Re: What nonacademic thing do you wish you'd learned? [Re: Tigerle]
    MumOfThree Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/07/11
    Posts: 1609
    Loc: Australia
    I think that Tigerle has useful insights here, in multiple ways. I really agree with Tigrle that social skills can be learned past childhood: if one has has both the safety and the relationships in which to learn the skills. You have mentioned the reasons that may prevent you from doing that, which are not about your giftedness.

    I also really did not learn many social skills during my schooling, due to more than one "E", and the intersection/s thereof. But I did acquire LATER,from good friends (and my now husband), many skills I had not learned during school, particularly in my 20s.

    We ARE "all just people" as you say, no better, no worse, but it is a lot easier to have successful relationships with people who you connect with. And in having good relationships so learn skills for future social interaction. And we tend to connect with people who we have things in common, whether that is intellectual similarities or a favourite activity... Have you read Miraca Gross's "Exceptional Children", she makes a pretty compelling argument for the impact on social skills & self esteem of EG/PG children either being denied access to, or having access to like minded peers.

    Each of the relationships in my life where I can clearly identify significant positive impact on my own social skills, were connections with people I have absolute confidence are/were equally or more gifted than myself (how hard it is for me to use the word gifted about myself). At times I have almost dejavu like experiences during an interaction and know that I am specifically using skills learned at a particular moment in time from a particular friend.

    Back to the original question: the thing which I did not learn as a child, which causes me most difficulty now, is that I never learned to take notes. I had an exceptional memory. Anything I understood I remembered. Anything I read and understood, I not only remembered, but could usually also FIND again quickly: "That was on the top of the right hand page about 3/4 of the way through the book" I could then flop the book open, flick a few pages and produce the exact quote or diagram I was looking for (and would have remembered it correctly).

    I now have multiple health issues, each of which separately have "brain fog" as a symptom... I am slow, my working memory is highly variable, and my actual memory is like swiss cheese. Sometimes I still remember things with absolute clarity, some things are completely blank, and others I can remember clearly with prompting (but not without). I have no idea when my memory will work and when it won't. Well I know it doesn't work if I am standing up, that's fun when meeting new people and talking with people in situations requiring standing.

    I need to be table to take notes, but I also essentially have dysgraphia which magnifies the issue (and doubtless is half of why I never learned) AND I never learned anything about taking notes (WHEN should I think to take notes? WHAT would I note? How would I organise them? HOW would I remember that I had notes to refer to?). Trying to master these skills now, when I need them, and for the reason I need them, is very very difficult. I am trying. I have improved a little, not very much.

    I need to be doing this at doctors appointments, in prep for doctors appointments, while at coffee with a group of mothers related to a child activity or school etc (so I can match those mothers to their children!).... You might class this as an academic skill, but it's something I need for activities of daily living and I don't have it.

    Incidentally I have a friend who is VERY good at this and many of my improvements in this area have been assisted by seeing when she pulls out her diary and writes things down, and how she goes about it. Like pulling out her diary at coffee with a group of mums and writing down everyone's name, child & suburb at the start of the first gathering.

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    #246933 - 03/10/20 10:27 AM Re: What nonacademic thing do you wish you'd learned? [Re: pinewood1]
    indigo Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 4219
    What non-academic thing do I wish I'd've learned when I was younger...?

    How to file for a patent!
    smile

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    #246934 - 03/12/20 02:36 PM Re: What nonacademic thing do you wish you'd learned? [Re: pinewood1]
    puffin Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/11/12
    Posts: 2031
    How to play an instrument. Social skills may have been useful too I guess but there were other things impacting on that. I wish I were better able to teach my ASD kid social skills but I am at leasting teaching the things I learnt in my 20/30/40s so that will help.

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    #246936 - 03/14/20 10:22 AM Re: What nonacademic thing do you wish you'd learned? [Re: pinewood1]
    Wren Offline
    Member

    Registered: 01/14/08
    Posts: 1525
    how to deal with the craziness of a pandemic

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    #246971 - 03/21/20 08:37 PM Re: What nonacademic thing do you wish you'd learned? [Re: Tigerle]
    pinewood1 Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 01/25/19
    Posts: 31
    Originally Posted By: Tigerle
    I am going out on a limb here and posit that having to overcame abuse and dealing with disassociation is much more to blame than not learning how to feel part of a group in childhood. I mean, how much of a childhood group have you, with your level of giftedness, ever had a chance to have? My own experience is that catch up in social skills does get harder with age and the more you have missed, but it does absolutely still happen in adulthood, too. I have played the catch up game all my life and am still changing and learning with life experiences (and i know it is noticeable because people i havenít seen for a long time comment on ir). As you suspect, there is probably more to the disconnect you feel.

    Do you have a good therapist? It is super hard to find one who can deal with both trauma and giftedness, I know, but the search is worth it.


    I started seeing a new therapist recently (after getting rid of the last disastrous one, who saw me as a threat and was constantly trying to prove he was smarter than me, when I never wanted it to be a competition). The new one seems not to quite know what to make of me or how to help me, but at least he doesn't invest his ego in being smarter/more knowledgeable than his clients. I told him that I have significant weaknesses on the emotional/experiential side of things and that's what I need help with, and he seemed to understand that.

    We'll see how it goes.

    I'm not sure the points I was trying to make actually came through in my post (probably shouldn't have posted while having the flu and being cognitively not all there). I also need to do more thinking about this.

    Basically... there are HG+ people I've met, online and IRL, who don't seem to feel all that different or "special" in either a good or a bad way. They seem to have a basic assumption that whatever talents they may have, they're essentially just human. And then there are others who seem to have a basic, gut-level assumption that they're a fundamentally different kind of person than just about anyone they'll ever meet, and that their intelligence has something to do with this. And despite wanting to be in the first category, and trying very hard for decades to reshape my emotional responses so that I cross over into the first category, on a gut level I remain in the second category even though I consciously reject that set of beliefs/values.

    I've never seen anyone cross over between the categories (although I certainly hope that it is possible), and I'd guess that which category someone ends up in probably has something to do with childhood experiences, among other things; at least, it pretty clearly does in my case, because I was raised to believe the things that I now reject but am still stuck in on an emotional level.

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    #246972 - 03/22/20 01:23 AM Re: What nonacademic thing do you wish you'd learned? [Re: pinewood1]
    MumOfThree Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/07/11
    Posts: 1609
    Loc: Australia
    pinewood1 I think I see more now what you are getting at.

    My own experience, amongst our circle of friends, who probably can be more reasonably described as mostly my husbands circle, because he's better at social things than I am... Is that there is a significant skewing to very high intelligence, and amongst the people jumping to my mind when I think of the most obviously HG+ of those there is a significant skewing to deep ethical concern for all people of the world, a great propensity for humanitarian thinking, a tendency to find one selves completely "just human" and not at all "special", particularly in the context of like minded people. BUT a tendency to feel somewhat alien and confused at various times when confronted with how out of step with the wider population we suddenly find ourselves. Not superior, so much as "WTF, really? Am I really that out of step? Is it me? Is it the world?". I don't see this as superiority, but random moments of dissonance where feeling "the same" is heavily jarred by evidence of significantly different thinking or behavior.

    It's possible this is cultural, I am not in the USA.

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    #246973 - 03/22/20 10:45 AM Re: What nonacademic thing do you wish you'd learned? [Re: MumOfThree]
    pinewood1 Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 01/25/19
    Posts: 31
    I've definitely met people from the USA with a similar attitude (and actually, come to think of it, some of them have said that they developed the attitude of feeling "the same" as adults, when they joined social circles where they fit in; I haven't seen this process firsthand in anyone, but I have heard some brief accounts of it).

    Maybe this is just all trauma stuff for me... a big aspect of (C)PTSD is not learning from experience, and feeling like a traumatic situation is still going on when it's been over for a long time.

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    #246974 - 03/22/20 11:35 AM Re: What nonacademic thing do you wish you'd learned? [Re: pinewood1]
    aeh Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/26/14
    Posts: 3602
    I would agree with MOT, and say that many of the HG+ individuals I know are in both categories at some point. Professionally, OTOH, I have encountered a number of children and especially adolescents who are more conscious of the differences than of the commonalities. Developmentally, adolescence heightens the sense of difference and the need for belonging for most people, and I think this accentuates that natural process. My response generally has been to acknowledge the differences--note that everyone actually has differences, many of them invisible--and then to try to connect them to the evidences of shared humanity.

    I have been inexpressibly blessed myself to have had an upbringing that balanced practical acknowledgment of one's statistical difference with foundational valuation of every human being as equivalent in humanity and essence. This balance found its key manifestation in the idea of interdependence and complementary giftings: in my faith tradition and others, articulated as, e.g., "to whom much is given, of them much is required", and "blessed to be a blessing".

    This does not mean that those moments of out-of-stepness don't occur, just that they are firmly contextualized in the broader tapestry of human diversity and interconnectedness.

    pw1, I believe that those who continue to seek will continue to move toward internal freedom. Your childhood has left marks, yes, but also clearly you have transformed many of them into a deep thoughtfulness and intentionality. You continue to grow and develop. Good for you!

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