Have you ever known you were right, but couldn’t prove it?
Have you ever had many naysayers on the opposite side telling you that you were wrong, or in some way less than what you know you are?
Have you ever been able to see past the accepted norm, fully understanding the unintended and unspoken inconsistencies and foreseeing the effect it will have on your own life only to be shut down and labeled as inferior, yet understanding with true depth of realization that it’s not you and you do know, though they may not?
I tried to explain my situation to my son who is 11 years old and the most existential being I’ve met in real life. I likened my recent vindication for the many years of struggles in the past to having being compelled to call a table a “lamp” during my childhood years.
If someone in authority tells you something as a child, you are led to doubt yourself, and eventually, if enough pressure is applied, you will doubt your very self. But, often there’s a small voice in your mind urging you to stay the course as you are right. Sometimes it wins, and sometimes it loses. Either way, that voice is important. It should never be neglected or dismissed. A thorough examination of your own thoughts always deserves time to reflect, investigate, and synthesize, no matter the stage of development.
Eventually, one day, I realized that the table really is a table. It has always been that way and I was held in chains by the ignorance of others. I’m stronger now and though I respect the rights of others to believe as they wish, I am no longer willing to give up my own. My neurodiversity isn’t imaginary as I was led to believe and mechanically learned to spout to others. It’s genuine. It’s valuable.
Giftedness provided the vindication I longingly needed to put my mind at ease.
It took an “obstinate” child almost 5 decades to realize that she was right. That there really are people who understand that I’m not an alien (though maybe in the sense that I am an outlier), I’m not arguing for argument’s sake, and I have genuine and deep insights because I have examined, evaluated, analyzed, dissected, and synthesized the evidence over and over a hundred million ways. Just being told was never good enough for me as a child or an adult as people are fallible. I did eventually grow to assume that it was always me that was the fallacy. I never had the inner strength to fight beyond for that calm understanding and settle into my own sense of knowledge and truth.
That inner voice was always there when it felt like the whole world was against me. There was always something telling me, “I’ll prove it to you one day. I’m not crazy.” Yes, I used those words of “crazy” because it was psychological torture. Perhaps, not intended as torture, but nevertheless, being told your way of thinking is not the norm and therefore unacceptable had a debilitating effect on me. It made me feel powerless for many, many years. But, I was a mere child.
As I grew, I grew into my strength and evolved into the proverbial ‘rebel’. As I rebelled, I fed my voracious appetite for knowledge and understanding, always deepening, rarely accepting (though often superficially), but analyzing, and reaching to examine the million other possibilities. As an outlier, I was often granted the space to be alone, to mull over my thoughts and research divergent ideas, until I stumbled upon more like-minded people. These people had done the same, often suffering through the same blind groping behind a curtain of deference to authority not of their own choosing. It is time. My search is over. Now it’s time to draw back the curtains and enjoy the view.
Thank you to giftedness for providing the clarity I have been seeking for so long.
Now, it’s my turn to offer not only the clarity many seek, but also share the mantle of vindication that many don’t realize they well deserve. It’s time.