This is a story about a little misunderstood girl who tried to be perfect and failed. She went onto to discover that not being perfect, was perfect.
Were you misunderstood as a child?
Do you have a child who struggles to understand the world and his place in it?
You may need a little Grace.
I’ve always felt like an alien within the general population. I never understood why people didn’t see what I saw, feel what I felt, or understand what I understood. I felt different. That feeling of difference led me to one of two choices:
Become someone else or…..
For a very long time, I chose the former.
Gifted children and adults are different. Our basic brain structure and efficiency differ according to Rex Jung and Richard Haier. Our brains filter and link in ways that differ from others. Ask a question of a person with an average IQ and one with above average and you’re not only likely to receive different answers, but conceptually different answers.
Question: “What is your weakness?”
Average IQ child: “Math.”
Gifted child: “Glitter. Superman has Kryptonite and I have glitter. I hate the stuff.”
(Actual answer from my own gifted child.)
Comment: “I like your hair.”
Average IQ expected answer: “Thank you.”
Gifted adult: “Oh, it was dyed pink, but then the roots started to show and I borrowed some temporary dye from a friend, but it turned my hair yellow at the roots, so I went to get a color to replace it and since the pink was kind of ‘out there’, I decided that Intense Red would help me segue back into a more typical color palette for hair, but I never knew it would be this bright. Oh, and thank you.”
Gifted children are either supported or they will eventually rebel. After much rebellion, many will morph into someone separate from themselves in many ways. Due to their “outlandish” ideas, intensity of personality, and penchant for being misunderstood, it becomes a survival mechanism. Finally, people begin to warm up to them. Unfortunately, they begin to wear the mask more often never fully becoming themselves.
Grace could be any gifted child. She may go to school excited about learning only to find out that she lost 10 points because she’d forgotten to put her name on the paper or took some chances with her advanced vocabulary and spelled some words wrong. She may learn that much of what she envisioned about life and learning is often arbitrary or simply a game.
Her strong sense of honesty and authenticity will be tried and her once naive approach to embracing all of life may become jaded by a world unforeseen to her only years ago. If those unique perceptions and spot on intuition is questioned or degraded, Grace may find that her whole identity hangs in the balance. Only someone who can spot another unique mind has a chance to throw Grace the life preserver she so needs. Her future is precarious.
I was that Grace. I had no lifeline to save me from my struggles in a world that didn’t make sense and seemed cruel and unkind. It took me many years to realize that I am different and that is okay. It took me years to realize that ignorance is sometimes masked as superiority and that people sometimes aren’t intentionally as cruel as I once believed. Without that knowledge, I floundered for a very long time.
These days, I am fully myself. It has been a long journey and I’ve only recently realized that I need not give up myself to survive ever again. If a situation doesn’t jive with me, I now have given myself permission to move on. My crazy hair, propensity for innovation, and excitable nature needs to be appreciated and respected. Otherwise, it’s not the place for me. While I refuse to use my chameleon-like powers to morph into someone more presentable to others, I am able to walk the line between a collapsed and exaggerated soul though I’m now able to do it with the help of GRACE.