The Ramifications Of Any Single Thought Are Endless — The Intensity Of Giftedness

One of the painful struggles I see in gifted adults is that in many, perhaps most, situations, they are not free to be fully themselves. For lots of reasons. It is the nature of giftedness, really, because being fully oneself, if you are truly gifted, is kind of fire-hosey. It is tricky, though. Not being free to be fire-hosey, is really no one’s fault. But it is still distressing. And that is an understatement.

You see, when you have a rainforest mind, you have MORE going on in your thoughts, emotions, and sensations. You are more aware, perceptive, observant, and intuitive on multiple levels, including energetically and spiritually. This is your personhood. You were born this way. (Note: This is not the same as saying you are academically high achieving or accomplished at everything you try except maybe bungie jumping. Although you might be high achieving and accomplished at quite a lot of things in many different categories, maybe even bungie jumping, although really, do you think bungie jumping is such a good idea?)

(photo by Omid Armin, Unsplash)

So, you are probably pretty intense. In a particular rainforest-ish way.

For example, here is a comment from a post on this blog:

“…I seem to digress, but in my mind everything is connected to everything, and the ramifications of any single thought are endless. It’s like following links on Wikipedia. You start researching King Amenhotep and you don’t know why suddenly you are reading about chemical reactions in a spider’s body… I need to cut out the time I spend on Google and Wikipedia searches. All the info seems so fascinating. And the thoughts in my mind that are aroused when I watch a butterfly in my garden… An endless source of intellectual and spiritual pleasure. It’s almost addictive to explore so many things. The world is so full of wow stuff….”

The world is so full of wow stuff. Who says that?

You do.

And, of course, you are also quite aware of what else the world is full of. And it can be hard to know what to do with all that awareness and sensitivity because, odds are, you feel it, it keeps you up nights, and you feel somewhat responsible to have a positive, impressive, colossal impact.

You are told to slow down, quiet down, and dumb down because, they say, you are way too much and kind of arrogant and know-it-allish but, oh, in your spare time can you fix the world’s problems because, after all, you are so darned smart.

Ayyeeee!!!

People can be so annoying.

They say you make them feel stupid. I say, they are feeling that way all on their own. You are just being you. And, actually, you are only being a smallish part of you. And they are still feeling stupid.

Seriously?

It is a conundrum.

I wish I could give you an easy solution. But in the world of rainforests, nothing is simple. But maybe you will at least stop blaming yourself for the miscommunications and criticism you hear from others who are overwhelmed by the hyperlinks in your brain and your enthusiastic approach to the wow stuff. Maybe you will be more comfortable slowing down a bit in situations where communication matters. And, of course, keep looking for other RFMs because, yes, they are out there.

Perhaps you can find an outlet where your intensity is welcome. Music? Theatre? Art? Writing? Tango dancing? Running marathons? Running a restaurant? Running rivers? Open heart surgery?

Bungie jumping?

________________________________________________

To my bloggEEs: Have you experienced judgment and misunderstanding from others because of your intellectual, emotional, intuitive, physical, and spiritual intensities? Tell us about it. How do you find places where you can be your fully intense self? And thank you, as always, for being here. Sending you fire-hosey love. (And thank you to the bloggEE who I quote above and to the client who inspired this post.)


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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.

76 responses to “The Ramifications Of Any Single Thought Are Endless — The Intensity Of Giftedness”

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  1. Lost Girl In Bookland Avatar
    Lost Girl In Bookland

    I feel sooooooo seen in this post. ❤️


  2. Archivists Lament Avatar
    Archivists Lament

    I find fragments of myself in the people I meet. It leaves me feeling shattered, as if I’ll never be whole again. As if I’ll never find anyone who can see me as more than a fragment of myself.

    Fragments are sharp. They carve themselves into skin just to demonstrate their pain. Of course, the audience will never see the whole story. Just a fragment, but for them it’s enough. For me, it’s the faintest sliver of myself reminding me of what it is to be alive.

    To see myself as whole is an impossibility of being. At least, it is here; in this tiny broken world. My wholeness would blind you, the heat of my need would burn the flesh from your bones. To find the facets of myself would bring you pain. Yet to live this tiny, shattered life hurts me. Why is your pain worth more? Is it because there are more of you? More people who see the tiniest sliver of my soul and are awed by its depth. I weep for you all.

    I am called across lands and oceans to find fragments of my soul scattered by the four winds. I rebuild myself in caves and deserts and droplets of ocean mist. The search goes on and I become a mosaic of myself. I watch it build and my rebellious heart demands I break it. I am not here to be a trinket archetype of what you think makes me up. I am healing the broken parts of me with beauty that has been left to rot, rust and decay. In time, you will find things to say about that that sounds more legitimate and less raw, that sounds eccentric rather than the rasping grief of the eternal outcast. I don’t really care what you say. Your words bear little reference to my golden scars and my journey has been clearly mapped.

    You may look at my work and think I’ve seen the depths of yourself that you are too scared to look at. But I know the truth; I’ve seen in you a tiny fragment of my soul and reflected it back at you … and I know that a fragment of me is all you can take.


    1. Paula Prober Avatar
      Paula Prober

      So very beautiful. So moving. Thank you, Archivists Lament. <3 <3 <3


    2. clignett Avatar
      clignett

      Oh, goodness! This is resounding in my mind, my skin, my arteries even! Thank you for writing this, and making me aware that I’m not the only one that finds it an impossibility to see myself whole. And to know that in my entirety I’m indeed burning flesh and blinding. I know it in my heart, and I see it reflected in people I meet/know. A sliver of me, a tiny sharp edge of it. 🙏🧡


    3. Marie Lamb Avatar
      Marie Lamb

      wow… you have said the same essence in an entirely different way and I still feel it.. even harder, ‘fragments are sharp’.. Agreed. I’ve called it being burned because I’ve been taught to keep the furnace door shut. I can be iron or glass with this fire inside me. I choose to be iron most of the time, with the blast furnace door cracked open for the light because I cannot bear to be with out it.. but if I am glass and let the light out of me the way I am intended to, it frightens and blinds too many.. so I light candles from the crack in my door, and stay up all night reading by them, and burn my fingers one by one, every time, because candles are not enough.


      1. Paula Prober Avatar
        Paula Prober

        Thank you, Marie.


  3. Georgia Patrick Avatar
    Georgia Patrick

    Thank you for writing Your Rainforest Mind and the workbook. It seems like years that I’ve wondered, exactly how does one identify another RFM person? Then, is that person interested in having a conversation to find out what RFM is? If we go most of our life not knowing but figuring out a way to deal with the firehose complaints, is there anyone else experiencing this?


    1. Paula Prober Avatar
      Paula Prober

      I think the more you understand the traits of your rainforest mind, the better you will be able to find others. Trust your intuition when you think you’ve found one. You may need to risk rejection if you initiate conversation but it will be worth it if you are met with a positive response. Thanks, Georgia.


  4. Corinna Avatar
    Corinna

    What a beautiful post! Thank you Paula 🙂 Right now, and this is new!!! – I am deeply enjoying to work on a project which thoroughly meets my giftedness! Jihaaa! It is a book project (with visual elements). This is so gorgeous and the first time that I am feeling “okay, THIS is what I am made for”. And I am also deeply longing to be much more with gifted people, so this is the next number 1 on my “how to live a gorgeous life as a rainforest mind”-list 🙂 I was also soooo inspired by a book from a German author about “extraordinary gifted people” like Einstein, Frida Kahlo and a lot of others which she examined to show how this folks lived and worked. For the German speaking ones among you, it is called: Extrem begabt from Andrea Brackmann.


    1. Paula Prober Avatar
      Paula Prober

      Oh, I am so happy you found something, Corinna! And thank you for the recommendation for the German speakers.


  5. M. J. Cuthbertson Avatar
    M. J. Cuthbertson

    My experience: normal brain wiring has great difficulty comprehending unique brain wiring. What I’ve experienced is they lack imagination for the potential different kinds of wiring. Because what I’ve heard, by implication or direct quote from family, friends, or acquaintances saying to me, “no one can possibly think that way.”

    If I mimic normal brain wiring everything goes smoothly. Unfortunately, very little of my true self exists there.

    My analogy: if I want to have a play date with someone, It works perfectly fine if we go to their house and do the sorts of things they like to do. On the other hand, if we go to my house and do the sorts of things I like to do they never come to visit again.

    I do wish there were a solution. If I could find one I’d be using it.


    1. Paula Prober Avatar
      Paula Prober

      I think you have said before that you are in the 2e category, right? That makes it all even more complicated, M.J. Thank you for being here!


      1. M. J. Cuthbertson Avatar
        M. J. Cuthbertson

        Correct on both accounts. I’m 2E and that adds additional complexity.

        One more complexity is that for 13 years I had the someone who learned how to understand me. Prior to that I had a feeling that no one understood me, but I believed it was only a feeling. Now I know the difference between being understood and not understood.

        Unfortunately, eight years ago my beloved Jacqueline died. Before she left, she recognized I likely had learning disabilities. That was the final clue I used a few years later to discover I am 2E. And she left me knowing exactly how it feels when someone understands me, compared to how it feels when they only say they understand me, but are clueless.

        I remain uncertain if knowing that is better. It’s been kind of mixed.


        1. Paula Prober Avatar
          Paula Prober

          Oh, I’m so sorry that your Jacqueline died, M.J. Such a loss.


  6. Alice Luka Avatar
    Alice Luka

    Yes. I’m thrice-exceptional, having three SPMIs. It’s very intense, but there are silver linings and rewards.


    1. Paula Prober Avatar
      Paula Prober

      SPMIs are ???


      1. Alice Luka Avatar
        Alice Luka

        Severe (sometimes they say serious) and Persistent Mental Illnesses.


        1. Paula Prober Avatar
          Paula Prober

          Oh, thank you or clarifying, Alice. You’d think I would know that…So glad you find the silver linings!!


          1. Alice Luka Avatar
            Alice Luka

            <3


          2. Alice Luka Avatar
            Alice Luka

            I should add that I feel really weird calling myself “thrice exceptional”, but I love the work you do and it resonates.


  7. clignett Avatar
    clignett

    Rainforest minds and exploring information.. it’s a prayer without end, like an ocean that forever brings a different wave to the shore. The wonders of nature are amazing, they leave me in awe. On the other hand, they leave me with a melancholic feeling as well: my younger self would indeed do all the research on various topics, forgetting that I just started with the one question. Takes me forever to find that train of thought again, also because when I get in that frame of mind, everything falls to the background. I’m safely tucked away n my bubble., when I come out of it, it’s desoriënting. What made me go in my bubble and why. How long have I been there? And most importantly: where the beep am I?
    What usually gets me out is y beagle Indie. In his own funny ways. Thanks to the little clown 🤣🙈
    Beautiful post again, Paula, so true and unbearable at times unfortunately. ❤️En


    1. Paula Prober Avatar
      Paula Prober

      Oh, but of course, our animal companions can handle our intensity!! And get us laughing. Thank you clignett.


  8. lackosleep Avatar
    lackosleep

    Yes, so true. I can never be myself. Probably because there are too many of me’s(?) Maybe I don’t even have a self. Maybe I just exist to assimilate all the selves of others. And by sheer chance of numbers, the self I expose is most probably not the one I would choose to show, had I better control of the discongruency of my inner and outer selves. Oh well. Sucks being me’s.


    1. Paula Prober Avatar
      Paula Prober

      Ha! Yes. all of those selves, lackosleep! What is that Whitman quote? I contain multitudes?


    2. yesiamrevolting Avatar
      yesiamrevolting

      After reading your comment, I find myself thinking of Joni Mitchell’s song “Ladies of the Canyon” about three women who each have a different role/personality: the homey baker, the artist, the circus girl/singer. I’m pasting in the final stanza here. This song used to frustrate me because I wanted to be ALL of them.

      Trina takes her paints and her threads
      And she weaves a pattern all her own
      Annie bakes her cakes and her breads
      And she gathers flowers for her home
      For her home she gathers flowers
      And Estrella dear companion
      Colors up the sunshine hours
      Pouring music down the canyon
      Coloring the sunshine hours
      They are the ladies of the canyon

      © July 31, 1968; Siquomb Publishing Corp


      1. Paula Prober Avatar
        Paula Prober

        And you can be all of them! You probably are already. 🙂


  9. Sarah Brice Avatar
    Sarah Brice

    This resonated SO much. The thoughts on watching the butterfly, the fact that everything is connected, the needing (or feeling of needing) to dumb myself down. Just completed my 2nd graduate degree to become a nurse practitioner (was a Master’s prepared teacher) and I know I annoy people because it was not hard to me and because I already am looking at how to harness my brain and energy for what comes next—–so many possibilities!


    1. Paula Prober Avatar
      Paula Prober

      Thanks, Sarah. Yes, people can be uncomfortable when learning comes easily to the RFM.


  10. Someti Avatar
    Someti

    I laughed several times while reading this post, it is magnificent! I feel connected to your words, I feel understood when reading this. I feel (once again) as if you had been in my head. Your words are so close to my never-ever-disclosed thoughts, it is amazing! 🙂 Thank you for being there.

    I have not had time to come here and write a line or two in the latest posts, as I have been particularly busy lately, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t read you and I still think you’re great Paula.

    Sending fire-hosey love back too! (I loved that!)


    1. Paula Prober Avatar
      Paula Prober

      Always a pleasure to hear from you, Someti!


  11. monstero2006 Avatar
    monstero2006

    Outstanding post and I hope I am not the only one who wondered what color the butterfly was in the garden. Was it a local butterfly or just passing through? Also, I am going to dig in to Amenhotep too. Which dynasty was it and what was it REALLY like in Egypt at that time? They were people too with all the attendant needs, wants, desires and possibly “Nile River Minds” to contend with!
    I find that I consistently create in my mind scenes for a play or movie when I am out and about in the world. Reflecting on your wonderful insights here, I think it must be from all of the connections (real and imagined) that my mind automatically makes in a given situation. That said, I do know that my own love of being on stage or on the air is the lens through which I see things so it makes sense for me to frame the world thusly.
    I spoke with my teenage son regarding my own struggles to fit in and “just be normal” as it is hard for me to make friends, perhaps some of you understand. He said that I am tough to deal with as I am all of a sudden an ‘expert’ in a conversation on a random topic as I had happened to read about it at some point in the past. Most people just talk at a surface level and I bring data and a considered opinion to this hypothetical conversation when almost no one else had even heard of the thing. People do not know how to handle that as I am out of place in a light, topical chat but I cannot do any different.

    Thank you for the insight. Thank you for this community too. You Rainforest Mind folks are alright and I hope I am a qualified member of this cohort.


    1. Paula Prober Avatar
      Paula Prober

      It sure does sound like you qualify, monstero2006, just from reading this comment… 🙂


    2. marymarymar8 Avatar
      marymarymar8

      I feel very identified in what you have commented of being an expert in topics that others are only commenting in a banal way Monstero2006. Many times I see the opportunity to explain some information or some knowledge to others in a conversation and I realize that they remain silent because they do not know very well how to interpret me. Lately I have met a new group of people and I have decided not to be myself, to soften myself a little so as not to be disappointed again when they do not accept me. Although this does not make me happy either, I would like to find a group to be myself with, but at least I am not alone.


      1. Paula Prober Avatar
        Paula Prober

        Softening a little can be a way that can be helpful in relationships and not necessarily be compromising yourself or your values. Perhaps there can be some connections that will happen that will be nourishing. Thank you marymarymar8.


      2. monstero2006 Avatar
        monstero2006

        Hi there MaryMaryMar8 – months out on my reply so hope you have been great since your own reply.
        You have a friend here and it seems like not just me. Check out all these awesome people joining in over the past months to share in Paula’s post and reflect on our own lives.
        I do hope the new group you referenced worked out well and you have great friends from it.

        That said, I would really like to have my own group of RFMers who do NOT soften our edges and can challenge each other to learn more. I can only imagine how cool some of the thoughts and pathways can be for us….though it would be hard as I am not prepared for it in my normal life of banality. Great word by the way.

        Thank you for the insight MMM8.


        1. monstero2006 Avatar
          monstero2006

          Just when you thought I could not nerd out more, I noticed my green square with boxes and squiggles as my avatar.
          Though I do not always look like that – my hair is now more salt than pepper, ahem – I think it is cool! Kinda like thunderbolts or electricity in the corners with a balanced center.
          I thank Paula for that. Probably WordPress’ doing but Paula got me here so great work again PP!


          1. Paula Prober Avatar
            Paula Prober

            Yes, it’s WordPress, monstero2006. 🙂 Good to be hearing from you again!!


  12. renovatio06 Avatar
    renovatio06

    Before I immerse myself in the comments – and if I did right away, I’d get lost in those before getting to say my bit 😉 – : You really _do get_ “us”, Paula! There is no doubt, your observations and intuitions and blog entries and everything else truly proves and documents it! (next to being a RFM yourself).

    In order to “get around” a minuscule bit easier in the world, particularly when it comes to communicating, I’ve been practicing the – very demanding! – “art” of slowing down for quite some time now. It seems to help, at least when it comes to everyday interactions and communication with cash register staff, helpline personnel, the mail wo:man etc. Before learning of my being an RFM/gifted individual, I really had zero idea that conventionally gifted people’s minds operate so dramatically different from mine – and vice versa. Only after understanding that what I see as my normal mode of operation already _overwhelms_ most other folks and brings about responses that range from hurtful to plain old (physically) dangerous was I able to implement and apply the slowing down or even “dumbing down” exercise. While I can’t say I “enjoy” having to do that – as I find it to be draining to no end! –, I find the outcomes from doing so are (slightly?) better than when being “fire hosey”. (and I’m afraid I’d have to realize at this point that I drove a number of people away by virtue of behaving in my natural, non–constrained, “fire–hosey” way…)

    In that vein and on a similar note as well as along the lines of your bloggee’s citation/quote, I’ve also started to sort of “monitor” myself in terms of (not) getting carried away with the “wow stuff” (nice wording, I like it! ). In other words, at least when it comes to inevitable daily chores like monitoring finances, sending payments for due bills and organizing my day in general, I am now trying to get a little bit better organized again or else hours will have flown by absorbing all the wonders the world has to offer – or the horrors in equal parts, depending on the given mood of the day and prior events leading to it – without me having done anything productive at all. (and when saying productive, I refer to those activities that I find enjoyable and that leave me with a result I can either share in some way or that simply gives me joy and makes me feel good).

    I’m aware that even by saying this and sharing a piece of my thought process, normally gifted folks will likely go “self–absorbed”, “you’re only thinking about yourself, how about caring more about other people?” a.s.o., a.s.f. (oh gee, haven’t we all heard some of those lines a gazillion–and-one times, right…? *eye_roll*).

    Yikes. Being an RFM/gifted one… is not for the faint of heart, I’d say that. 😉

    Thanks as always for nailing it! It helps to know that I’m not alone with this, it really does. And I appreciate you and others sharing and participating and commenting here.


    1. Paula Prober Avatar
      Paula Prober

      So, I’ve been working with gifted folks since the late 70’s when I was a teacher of gifted kids. So, I really ought to know y’all pretty well by now, right? Thanks, renovatio06! 🙂


      1. renovatio06 Avatar
        renovatio06

        🙂 Hope, I haven’t offended you with my slightly inattentive remark. O:)


    2. Touching the Dirt! Avatar
      Touching the Dirt!

      DITTO!!!! I couldn’t have said it better myself!


  13. Ana Avatar
    Ana

    Puedo ser intensa porque he encontrado seres afines. Antes me sentía “infiel” o “rara”, porque veía que la gente mantiene vínculos en el tiempo y me pasa muy rara vez, con muy pocas personas. Cuesta “conectar”, profundizar sin aburrirse o decepcionarse… Ahora entiendo por qué era y que, cuando sucede, es para toda la vida.


    1. Someti Avatar
      Someti

      Wow Ana! That’s so deep!
      Mi consejo: quiérete, conócete y permítete el lujo de sentir la belleza y maravilla de todo a tu alrededor. [I’m feeling positive today haha 🙂 ]

      For those who do not speak Spanish, let me translate what Ana just wrote above (I love the way she wrote it, so sorry if I am not also translating every subtlety):

      _”I may be intense because I have found like-minded beings. I have previously felt “unfaithful” or “strange” because I saw that people keep ties over time and I happen to very rarely experience that, just with very few people. It’s hard to “connect”, deepen without getting bored or disappointed… Now I understand why is it the case and that, when it happens, it is for life.”_


  14. Unschooling - een leven lang leren Avatar
    Unschooling - een leven lang leren

    All.The.Time. the older I get, the more silence, non-understanding. It’s no longer uphill but slippery downfall. People, work, especially work, everything. It’s just not working. I can feel the heat of hate, pity, dumb arrogance towards me burning in my air.
    Without your wordy words magic, I never would have been holding on so long.
    Forever grateful I found your blog.


    1. Paula Prober Avatar
      Paula Prober

      And I am grateful for you. <3


    2. renovatio06 Avatar
      renovatio06

      I have the same experience, unschooling, nothing is ever working anymore. I feel that I’m really utterly done with the world at this point, nothing ever works out well anymore, only pain and isolation and rejection are what’s left of my “life”.

      I have now actively started to investigate ways of aborting my carnal experience on the planet. Its population, its species don’t seem ready to have the likes of us among them. That’s just me, so don’t take this as an example. I just feel justified to say it this harshly given that I’m likely much older than you.


      1. Paula Prober Avatar
        Paula Prober

        Oh, renovatio06. I am so sorry you are feeling so much distress. You make a wonderful contribution here to this blog and I am sure with your music. You are a beautiful, sensitive soul. I am sending you big nourishing hugs. <3


      2. Artie Avatar
        Artie

        I am done with this world too. It’s just that it’s hard to give up at my age. I know you’re right and I really don’t want to deceive myself thinking otherwise, but… I wish you find a good answer, that would mean there’s still hope for people like me. I would love to discuss about this and other topics with you and this group of people over a cup of coffee. Sadly, there’s probably a lot of distance between us…

        Life is not easy on me either, but for the time being I will enjoy this place, these people. I hope you find some relief, renovatio06. I really do.


        1. Paula Prober Avatar
          Paula Prober

          Oh, don’t give up, you all!! Perhaps there are deeper issues that are contributing to your despair. It is surely hard to be so highly sensitive and smart in this world but I wonder if there are also challenges that come from early years with family or in school, where a therapist might help. And I know it’s hard to find a good therapist who understands your RFM but they are out there, too! There are some interesting therapists on Instagram who post often. There is a woman online who runs a community for HSPs. Look for Julie Bjelland. https://www.juliebjelland.com There is also a community for multipotentialites with Emile Wapnick. And I’m sure there are others I don’t know about. http://www.puttylike.com. If you want to contact each other, you can send me your emails and I will share them with you both/all. Sending love. <3


          1. renovatio06 Avatar
            renovatio06

            Thanks, Paula! They all sound interesting! Love right back atcha 😉


          2. Artie Avatar
            Artie

            Sorry for the late reply, Paula. I read it and took a look at the links you shared, it’s just that I needed some time to think and rest to come up with a good answer to your reply.

            Yes, I was neglected as a kid, as a teenager and a young adult. Most of the reason is due to many things you already wrote in your entry: “The Loneliness Of Not Being Seen In All Of Your Multitudes”.

            A therapist is a good idea but when it comes to money I panic. I don’t see most of my $75 monthly salary, most of it goes to household expenses. I stopped seeing my psychiatrist (though, it was probably a good thing). Yeah, it may seem outrageous, but I live in Venezuela…

            I was thinking that being done with the world, doesn’t necessarily mean to lose hope, but having a better assessment of what is important? When I was about 8 years old, I make a deal with the devil/ signed a contract with the darkest part of myself: No matter what, I would end people’s suffering, I would make people smile and enjoy the time they have together. The deal implied that I would be forgotten and left behind with all the misery of the world. Surprisingly, in 2018 I got everything that I needed to do that, but it all came too suddenly and what the solution showed me was a more terrifying “reality”: that everything we have been doing all this time was absolutely unforgivable, we really failed a lot of people and there was no turning back, it had to be stopped. The reason why I couldn’t even make the first step was because I was a nobody, I needed to prepare a lot of things in a short time and I was about to be knocked down by all that information and “reality”, I was doing my best to resist and get the job done, but in the end I was crushed. The following months I couldn’t even get up of my bed, fighting for breathing and shying away from the sunlight, cursing the sun and the repeating days. Little by little I got better, but also learned to lose hope. Today I thought that although it seemed I had forgotten the deal, I was acting on it all the time and I neglected myself even more than others neglected me. It was like some sort of rebirth, right now I’m like a little kid learning how to walk. I don’t know how to love and be caring of myself, but thinking about the upcoming years, I don’t really have any option but to learn.

            I sharing this, Paula, because I think is safe doing it here and maybe it’ll resonate with someone. Hope it’s not inappropiate.

            Julie Bjelland seems like a nice person. Her guide to grow a heart-centered business seems so interesting! Also, didn’t know that multipotentialites was something! It certainly sounds like something I can relate to.

            Thanks a lot, Paula! The links are very helpful.


            1. Paula Prober Avatar
              Paula Prober

              Thank you for sharing, Artie. It is wonderful to have you here. From the little bits and pieces I have heard, it sounds like life in Venezuela might also be particularly stressful, too. I’m glad my blog can feel like a refuge and perhaps some of the other resources will, too.


        2. renovatio06 Avatar
          renovatio06

          I always needed experiences, sights, people, activities that fully employ my talents, which then leads to passion and all of that together to a sense of purpose and belonging. Nature for rest and recreation (ideally going for contemplative walks with no chatter, so mostly by myself).

          That used to work very well, in general. Since moving to a much different area, one that connects me to my most troubled past growing up, those pillars of my being have waned and crumbled to nil – sort of like my “qi” or “prana” getting drained to a trickle at first and ultimately… stopping.

          I KNOW that I’d need to move, but there are other aspects that make this into a non-option at this point.

          However, on the brighter side, Artie: Maybe some of those few broad–strokes aspects appeal to you, too, and help you with that enjoyment factor. I truly hope they do. And if it’s something else for you, then that’s perfectly alright, so long as you come out feeling nourished, validated, feeling in authentic and gentle connection with your core self. Something like that, it’s Paula’s place (and work) to go into detail about such things. 🙂 (just since you directly mentioned me, I felt a detailed reply was appropriate)


          1. renovatio06 Avatar
            renovatio06

            This comment was for Artie (but really everyone, of course 😉 )


          2. Artie Avatar
            Artie

            Hello, renovatio06. Sorry for the late reply, I’m taking things slow or at least trying.

            Nature for rest and recreation certainly works for me too. I was always troubled about my sense of purpose and belonging. I remember that the passion in me began to wane at an early age, without anyone noticing or listening to what I was saying. That said, I think I need all the things you mentioned. I will work to have time and space to discover and fully employ all my talents.

            I don’t know the details of your situation, but I can see some similarities. I live in a difficult country, although I want to leave I can’t and it’s not a priority right now. I moved to the capital to escape from my parent’s house, found strength there and came back, only to find the same, fighting, scorn, unwillingness to understand the other side, etc. The situation I wrote in my reply to Paula happened, everything went downhill for me and only then did I find some understanding from them.

            I think that if the problem is with people, well, most of them lack things that you do have. I don’t blame my family, that is their limit, they do care for me, but many important things slip from their mind.

            Don’t mind a detailed reply, it’s very helpful. You mentioned very interesting things I must put into practice. Thank you. Hope everything goes well for you too.


            1. renovatio06 Avatar
              renovatio06

              First off, don’t mean to appropriate Paula’s blog here for individual situations, but can’t see how else to reply and also hoping, that others not coming to the fore might feel seen from it.

              I can already see and sense a great deal of overlap between your background and mine, even down to having moved away and back – only my “coda”/outro is different: They stlil don’t really see me or their part or anything. So I now can be at peace in giving myself permission to walk away for good, thus however turning myself into an orphan (at least emotionally, which is probably why that Netflix thing I mention speaks to me so strongly right now).

              At the end of the day, I think the likes of us need to be(come) ever so vigilant with good self-care, empathy for ourselves, and even rigid energy management – on all levels, every day, with everyone we interact with. That’s a harshly shortened and reduced version of probably a book that someone might feel called to write about the particular needs of RFMs and gifted people/children in general. (or maybe it’s been written altogether and I’m not aware of it).

              Just for sakes of curiosity: Care to say what country you’re referring to, Artie? (If it doesn’t put you in a pickle, that is…).

              I’m rooting for you that you’ll find and preserve your peace. (and I’ll take the liberty of extending those good wishes to my… old self 😉 )


              1. Artie Avatar
                Artie

                It isn’t a problem. I am from Venezuela, a famous/infamous country. As Paula said, it’s a stressful country.

                I see the overlap too. I’m new to WordPress. Still learning how things work here. I’ll send my email to Paula. I’ll see if I can share my email with you in case you want to have a conversation. Don’t know if it’s appropriate do it in the comments…


                1. Paula Prober Avatar
                  Paula Prober

                  renovatio06, if you want to communicate with Artie outside of my blog, email me your email address and I will send them to you both.


  15. Unschooling - een leven lang leren Avatar
    Unschooling - een leven lang leren


  16.  Avatar
    Anonymous

    Thank you. Very validating. I feel lonely and yes, I make myself smaller and hardly ever get to be freely myself.


    1. Paula Prober Avatar
      Paula Prober

      <3


    2. lackosleep Avatar
      lackosleep

      Absolutely! And it is the constant feeling of conflict… exposing my true self validates the oddities you are aware of but wish didn’t exist, and not doing so feels somehow deceptive… a lie by omission. I frequently find myself preemptively apologizing that I might overload someone when I am required to relay my thoughts.


      1. Paula Prober Avatar
        Paula Prober

        It’s complicated, lackosleep. For RFMs, it might not be deceptive. It might be assessing what works best for the particular person or situation.


      2. renovatio06 Avatar
        renovatio06

        “I frequently find myself preemptively apologizing that I might overload someone when I am required to relay my thoughts.” Exactly, lackofsleep! I’ve even made it an ongoing practice and routine when communication with non–RFMs, often adding that I ask them not to take that “charge” personal, if they can at all. (yeah, overloading them or somehow “rubbing them wrong” again, I’m aware…). I find it _the hardest_ of all to communicate with other beings that are not of “our” particular ilk.


        1. lackosleep Avatar
          lackosleep

          I know the drill intimately. “Please take no offense, it’s just how I process info to make sure I give you good solutions” In fact, I believe it was the major factor I was let go from my job after 24 years. Newer people in leadership positions never got to know me before making judgement that I was a problem, causing offense, was a competitive threat, too challenging, etc etc. They live in a fear based, status seeking, competitive value system. We live in a fact seeking, evidence based, integrity value system. In mine, I don’t compete with people, I compete with problems needing solutions.


          1. renovatio06 Avatar
            renovatio06

            If you just knew how much I feel you there, lackosleep! (and how many times I was let go myself for those exact same reasons; the most laughable – sarcastically laughable – was in 2006, when after a time of having worked from home I found that I missed seeing and communicating with real people, even some of the office grapevine. Applied once more for a position in project management, passed the interview – dare I say with “flying colors” without sounding presumptuous…? –, got “equipped” with a stick filled with data I was supposed to study until my first day. Of course, being us and the way we are, I did. Came prepared, got into “doing mode” on day 1. Bam! That seemed to have been too much for the guy who had been allocated to be my mentor. It’s not that I hadn’t listened to him or anything, it was the mere fact of PACE… that ultimately got me sacked, after having tried everything to stay on, even shenanigans and counter-power-games that I particularly resent, but at the same time didn’t want to simply concede. Had the entire firm behind me, up to the higher echelons. But contractual obligations made it impossible even for the CEO to keep me on.

            This just to illustrate: I am sooo, so aware of what you’ve been through… And I’m sorry for all of us that it often gets to incredibly challenging – near impossible – to simply SHARE our gifts with the world, right?

            Again… don’t mean to “overshout” Paula here… just sayin’, as the saying goes O:)


          2. renovatio06 Avatar
            renovatio06

            “They live in a fear based, status seeking, competitive value system. We live in a fact seeking, evidence based, integrity value system.” And there you put the essence of our challenges into the proverbial nutshell, where I’m concerned. Yup, exactly that. “They” feel threatened by “us”, more often than not. Which is sad… as I take it most of us are exactly about finding the best solution to any given problem, as you said. That and getting there efficiently, I’d add from my personal … say… motivation and intention. The most efficient, elegant, it can be simple, doesn’t NEED to be complex at all costs. Something like that.


            1. Artie Avatar
              Artie

              “They live in a fear based, status seeking, competitive value system. We live in a fact seeking, evidence based, integrity value system.” That’s something to quote.

              This part also: “The most efficient, elegant, it can be simple, doesn’t NEED to be complex at all costs.”

              Completely agree. There is importance in variety as well. But maybe we need more rainforest minds, HSPs and all types of sensitive souls. Like Charlie Chaplin said, we are not machines.


              1. renovatio06 Avatar
                renovatio06

                I truly believe that the world absolutely needs the counterpoint to the old bully, who one after another rise into positions of power and calling the shots, spell: “Lord of the Flies” all over, for all of human history, it seems. (ladies, aren’t we tired of the old patriarchic rule by now? I can say I truly am!)

                Interesting that you mention Charlie Chaplin. I seem to find that basically all writers, poets, artists, multi-gifted genius of the past, like that interesting man DaVinci, likely were of that particular “make” that we have such a hard time of placing in a good spot in the world. Sigh… 😉


                1. Artie Avatar
                  Artie

                  There seems to be a need for balance. Some things are going in that direction, I hope things don’t go south. I’m still quite a pessimistic one, but at the same time wishing the best to humankind. I think we need to think more about the next generations, we need to make a good world for them and to do that we need more people who think long term and reach agreements. In the meantime, I intend to do what I can.


  17. renovatio06 Avatar
    renovatio06

    On these notes: I found a Netflix TV series about a gifted child in the … I guess 19th century in Canada. The series is called “Anne with an E”. Sends me along the emotional rollercoaster with capital letters. Apart from that: I think the writers did a fine job in depicting the traits and challenges – and set against the backdrop of the Puritan era in post-colonial Americas. It’s quite something else, I should say.


    1. Paula Prober Avatar
      Paula Prober

      Glad you found that program, renovatio06, based on a book loved by many gifted souls, I’m sure!


      1. renovatio06 Avatar
        renovatio06

        The more episodes I watch, the more the depicted characters grow on me. What a beautiful transformation the undergo, what a journey of healing old wounds! Complete with the transformation of cast-in-iron gender roles, burgeoning opportunities for women and …. well, I guess we once called them ‘minorities’ (what a tragic error of a misnomer), what a lovely tale! A truly divine li’l series, I really love it!


    2. lackosleep Avatar
      lackosleep

      I myself have a very visceral reaction to the movie AI: Artificial Intelligence. Overtly, it is a Pinocchio story of an android child who longs to be loved by his mother like he sees bestowed upon his real human brother, and spends several millennia seeking, and yearning for the same experience. Viewed through the lens of being a gifted child, an alien outcast desperately clawing at an opportunity to experience the normalcy of love and belonging. it hits very close to home.


      1. Paula Prober Avatar
        Paula Prober

        <3


      2. renovatio06 Avatar
        renovatio06

        I had exactly that response when the movie was released and seeing it on a night after a session with my therapist then. I had that emotional response to it, but wasn’t aware of neither my trauma history at that time, let alone my being gifted. What I remember is that it took the wind right out of me from hitting so hard and for these exact reasons you so eloquently name and address, lackosleep. Very accurately seen…(i tried to address that in the next session on the following day, but he didn’t seem to catch on with that being a bag of issues for me…

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