This Is Your Brain On Giftedness

You have peculiar sensitivities, unruly anxieties, and effervescent expectations. Right? Next time someone asks you what giftedness and rainforest-mindedness is, you say this. After all, a rainforest is kind of peculiar, unruly, and effervescent.

(from my Instagram)

Of course, you can add the big-hearted compassion. Vast, deep, bold intelligence. Unparalleled curiosity. But, depending on who you are talking to, that might not go over as well. You can say you strive. You quest. You seek. But that might confuse them.

You wonder, doesn’t everyone have these traits? And I would say, well, some of the traits, sure. But probably not all of them, all at once. Not at your level. Not at your intensity.

What am I talking about?

Peculiar sensitivities: You notice subtle sounds, fragrances, textures, colors, tastes, energies. You feel the hidden emotions in the room. You ache for plants and animals in need. You are affected a lot by medications, chemicals, and pollutants. Your empathy overwhelms you at times. You can smell someone who needs a root canal.

Unruly anxieties: You worry about whether you said the right thing or did the right thing. You are afraid your friends don’t really like you. You worry about anyone or anything that is suffering. You are deeply concerned about justice and equality. You worry you will damage your kids for life. You are nervous that you will be trapped somewhere without a book. You are anxious about the climate crisis. You feel guilt because you did not rescue your younger sister when you left for college. You remember the mistakes you made when you were five, like the time you smashed Louise’s sand castle.

Effervescent expectations: You set very high standards for yourself in many areas of your life. You are not easily satisfied by your accomplishments that others find impressive. You do not rest on your laurels but rather you raise the bar again and again. You have to be a very quick learner at anything you try. You think being gifted means you have to be perfect at, oh, everything.

Now, I realize I could be wrong about some of this. You may not be able to smell a root canal. You may be happy that you smashed Louise’s sand castle when you were five.

But chances are good, this is you in a blog post nutshell.

This is your brain (mind, body, heart, soul, spirit) on giftedness.

__________________________

To my bloggEEs: What other peculiar sensitivities, unruly anxieties, and effervescent expectations do you have? Thank you for sharing and for being here. Much love to you, always.


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Author: Paula Prober

I’m a psychotherapist and consultant in private practice based in Eugene, Oregon. I specialize in international consulting with gifted adults and parents of gifted children. I’ve been a teacher and an adjunct instructor at the University of Oregon and a frequent guest presenter at Oregon State University and Pacific University. I’ve written articles on giftedness for the Eugene Register-Guard, the Psychotherapy Networker, Advanced Development Journal and online for psychotherapy dot net, Rebelle Society, Thrive, Introvert Dear, and Highly Sensitive Refuge. My first book, Your Rainforest Mind: A Guide to the Well-Being of Gifted Adults and Youth, is a collection of case studies of gifted clients along with many strategies and resources for gifted adults and teens. 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 is a collection of my most popular blog posts along with writing exercises for self-exploration and insight.

42 responses to “This Is Your Brain On Giftedness”

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  1. pprober Avatar
    pprober

    Hi there!

    This comment is from WordPress.com support team.


  2. cherylhlmn Avatar
    cherylhlmn

    Renovatio06,

    I am grateful for being Canadian.

    There are some definite advantages to being in this country. But we are not immune to the heavy influence from the US and the expectation for us to follow suit.

    I want to believe that being “us rainforest humans” has a bigger purpose. For much of my career…I was the “moral compass” for CEO’s that expected me to speak up when they bumped up against questionable actions. The “knights of the round table” way of finding the best solution was how I handled those sticky professional issues.
    But on the personal level…or the being out in the world level, those intelligent, slower, kinder ways of being just don’t fit. People don’t like variables (I am told that on a semi daily basis).
    Bringing in more information; stopping to research or looking inside to “test” how something feels isn’t exactly valued. Yet it is precisely evolution. Which when speaking to many, makes me sound like a witch. ;).
    Hope you make it to our lands. There is much beauty here.


    1. Paula Prober Avatar
      Paula Prober

      Clearly, you all need a place to meet and talk with each other for hours!! Thank you for all of your sensitive sharing. Someone started a RFM group via Instagram through Telegraph or Telegram?? I don’t know if it is happening or not. If I were younger (!), I might start a RFM group on Facebook or find a way for you all to meet. Do any of you have the time, energy, and tech skills to start something? The challenge, of course, is monitoring such a group. Anyway, I hope having this forum helps. <3 Some of you may be on http://www.puttylike.com. There is a monthly fee but they provide quite a lot of support. It is for multipotentiality, which all of you have. Also Aurora Remember is running a group. It may just be for women. Not sure.


  3. renovatio06 Avatar
    renovatio06

    Coincidentally, cignett, I can’t help but see the similarities with needs HUMANS have! Particularly here:

    “And I tell them that it all comes down to patience, giving a dog the time he/she needs to adjust, feel comfortable, feels heard and seen. You need to take the time to get that done, otherwise the dog will stay scared. And not socialized, and therefore not accepted by other dogs..”

    Do you see those (similarities), too? Do you feel them? (I’d wager you did) It could and should be all so simple: Give everyone the feeling you had really SEEN them, take time, share a word and an occasional smile, let them know you’re not a threat. How much of these basic traits of human interaction do we see these days among the fervent hustle and bustle, in the midst of the chase for … making ends meet and getting by?

    I will be frank here and say that I almost can’t manage the insane stress at the supermarket cash register any longer as in my country, there aren’t these helping hands standing available to bag your purchase as you pay. No, the cashier zips it all across the scanner in under 2 seconds or 5 seconds when it’s a larger “load” and now it sits on the shelf, while you’re reaching for cash or credit card all the while a line of 10 parties fires hostile looks at you that seem to say “what the eff’s taking him that long? Can’t they see I’m in line too?” The list of examples like that from everyday interactions could go on for a mile or ten… I’m not kidding you: I’m ever so close in losing control over my physical responses when the stress kicks in this hard! (Actually, I’m deliberating officially filing for a case worker to help me with such things, that’s where I’m at … :'( )

    I’ve really studied all the involved parts of our brain and nervous system in how the body responds to those moments that we perceive as threats and … ironically how dogs respond and humans… isn’t all that different, really, not on the neuro–biological level of our bodymind.

    That said: All the pretty therapies and “symptom management” skills are all fair and fine, but they FAIL in the fact of blatant retraumatizing events, which … for me.. frankly living in this day and age equals. It feels like a constant battlefield out there and I’m not a point where I’ve reached the bottom of whatever resilience and symptom management techniques I’ve acquired and practiced.

    So… in putting it in a less dramatic way: Could it be that humans are dogs too after all? 😉 And vice versa. It could all be very simple…


    1. cherylhlmn Avatar
      cherylhlmn

      Renovatio06

      This thread is bringing up so much recognition of the truth that is my life.

      On many, many levels, I feel like I hid myself, from myself and from others just to make it through the day. Through the week. Through the years.

      I must confess, the whole debacle that is Donald Trump completely eradicated my ability to keep my head down. Combine that with my mother’s long and completely traumatizing death and all the coping mechanisms I had all seem to all collided.

      Being me is a lot of work. Feeling this much; thinking this much; being this much in this world seems overwhelming.

      I am at the airport as I write this…trying desperately to head to a place and to people who “get me”.

      Who just let me be complicated. Be overwhelmed by the craziness. Who understand being sensitive in a world filled with crazy can simply be exhausting.

      In some ways, the world has opened up for the better…I am grateful for this forum and the people willing to express their truth here.

      But on a day to day basis, this Canadian is having a harder time doing “average” things that others seem totally unfazed by.

      Thinking of all of us…rainforest humans as we try to make our way.


      1. renovatio06 Avatar
        renovatio06

        “Being me is a lot of work…” – exactly that, Cheryl, same here.

        I’m sorry that your mother’s death was this traumatizing for you.

        And as far as worldly affairs are concerned: I’m completely with you there! I also feel that the likes of us, who “feel this much, think this much” are somehow called now to become vocal, chime in or against, whichever is required to fertilize the often pointless sideline debates with the fruits of our hard work on ourselves and bring that into this world. It’s probably more necessary than ever.

        Greetings to you and scenic and still much more open minded Canada and Canadians per my experience in 2007 when I had set out to migrate there and make a new home and biography for myself.🧡


      2. peabodyrus Avatar
        peabodyrus

        you wrote: “to head to a place and to people who “get me”. ” – where might that be?!!!
        I sure could use a map – or even a tiny clue . . .!


  4. renovatio06 Avatar
    renovatio06

    Wow, cignett – about that helicopter. Yeah, it’s astounding to me how other people set their priorities so differently from the likes of us, don’t they? Really hard to get along, even with “minor”, even with trivial stuff (none of which this was, of course).

    I contemplated getting a dog at a time, when I had a large garden patch at my own disposal. (although a rented scenario, I had the garden to myself and thought that for added convenience for both, the dog could play outside in a fenced-in area, so noone would potentially get hurt or anything. Ultimately, I had thought to resume playing live as a musician and had even done so for some time. For that reason and from knowing how irregular my times would then become again, I didn’t go through with that plan, for consideration and respect of the furry companion 😉

    Glad to hear that you have trusted friend living with you. In PTSD speak, it takes “another nervous system” to relearn managing one’s own overreaching feelings, be they from distress or otherwise. That is where I got stuck in my research in order to find out how to heal myself: It really can’t be done all by oneself, not completely. For more efficient and further healing, it requires a counterpart and that counterpart doesn’t have to be a person, but another sentient being will perfectly and sometimes better do! That’s why even returning veterans of war suffering from PTSD can get a dog for therapy even on the VA’s bill. Makes all the sense there is in that scenario.


    1. Clignett Avatar
      Clignett

      Oh, yes!! People just don’t pay attention to the important things anymore. It’s like they only respond to sensation.. fighting, arguing, the negative things.. but the beauty of a helicopter so close (ok, the reason was not a happy one), no-one pays attention anymore..

      Good thinking, renovatio06, for not taking in a pet when your hours are so different from their needs! I see (and hear of) a lot of people who take in a dog and don’t even have the time for socializing, let alone training the dog.. I’m a volunteer for a foundation for replacing animals (mostly dogs, in particular Beagles), and the stories are sometimes so sad for the dog. Especially in Corona-time, people thought that they could raise a puppy and combine it with working from home. Forgetting that they would eventually be expected back in the office, and then having to leave the dog alone at home. The dogwalkers are all fully booked up, no place for any new dogs, let alone a puppy who has had no training and no socializing at all.. the dogpounds are full.. I’ve considered taking in a second Beagle, but with the moving and all the stress that comes with it, Indie being who he is with all his sensitivities and responding to mine as well, it wasn’t a good time. After 4 weeks now it’s still a bit messy, both tired to the bone, both lost weight (for Indie that’s a good thing, he needed to lose a few pounds still, but because it’s losing weight because of stress, I’m watching him closely).

      And for me, just as you said, it’s such a help to have Indie for PTSD reasons. He’s helped me so much in overcoming scary things, just as much as I’ve helped him. We’re really a team, he and I. Whenever it was possible, he’d go with me to therapy. Even as a puppy. He’s not officially a support dog, we haven’t done the (intensive) training for that, but he’s a natural. He can calm down scared dogs, even when he himself is scared. I just love to see that! And the owner(s) of the scared dog are usually surprised that with Indie everything is going great, the other dog wags his/her tail, wants to play, and they (the owners) are just so surprised! “He/she is playing with a Beagle! Usually he/she is scared of Beagles!” Well, Indie is a calming dog, he senses the other dog’s anxiety and responds to that by ignoring, lying down, standing absolutely still with his face in another direction so the other dog can sniff him in his/her own time. Really great! Only when the other dogs start barking he’s had enough and looks at me “do you also hear that screeching noise coming from “that one??? Let’s go, very quickly, please! Hurting my ears!” 🤣
      I tell him “let me try one more thing, then we’ll go, ok?” Indie goes to sniff somewhere else, and I try to distract the dog with my voice, sitting on the ground if necessary (I don’t care, I have no shame for that 😅) , and usually the dog stops barking, looks at me with surprise and goes on to sniff me. Lots of scents on my dogwalking boots, jeans, and I have treats in my pocket.. again surprised owners “he/she never does that!”. And I tell them that it all comes down to patience, giving a dog the time he/she needs to adjust, feel comfortable, feels heard and seen. You need to take the time to get that done, otherwise the dog will stay scared. And not socialized, and therefore not accepted by other dogs..
      And when we walk away, say our goodbyes, it’s taken up about 10 minutes. If you can’t spare 10 minutes to get your dog comfortable, don’t get a dog! Of course that’s what I’m thinking, not saying to them..


  5. renovatio06 Avatar
    renovatio06

    Oh, and post scriptum with … really a laughing tears moji 🤣 for the mere vividness by which it seems to underline everything you already said and write and talk about, Paula:

    About that empathy… LOL, I might have something for you: Two days ago, I’m sitting at the computer typing and studying away, trying to get lost in the worlds I’m visiting by way of the computer screen and Wifi, balcony door open (as I’ve just completed another rescoring to picture competition, I visit and listen to contenders’ entries and beaf up on further education with all things orchestral [real] instruments and what they do best and in which register they sound the sweetest and so on and so forth). In the not too far distance I hear someone operating a motor chainsaw to cut down wood for the winter and do my best to stay focused on what it is I’m doing instead of allowing that noise to distract me non-stop (it still does as will come as little surprise, right? LOL). OK, so the chainsaw (sic!) screams away as log by log goes into it, there are distant noises from the outbound road, I try to focus more on Alexa playing “Windy Leaves” ambience and concentrate on the piece of study I treat myself to. Where I need more detail, I put my headphones on to drown out surrounding noises some more.

    At some point I hear someone sharply scream out in pain, which from the sounds of it I take to be the person operating the chainsaw and am duly alarmed by that sound to the point of shaking hands. (the chainsaw stops). Highly alarmed, I step on the balcony to check whether I hear or see someone in need and get ready to yell across the neighbouring patches of garden and frontyards whether anyone needed help (but am too shy, see the rest about that). But I can’t see or hear the source of commotion. So I dress in more presentable wear and step outside to check, whether anyone needed my help or an ambulance. (in my mind, I prepare to be exposed to carnage, severed limbs, blood spilling from open wounds, the entire list of potential gory details I might have to witness…)

    About two (!) blocks away, I finally spot the scene and the “culprit” (the chainsaw) along with the person who now gets ready to continue. Still not all calmed down I inquire whether anyone was hurt and if they needed help. The person I thought to have gotten hurt reassures me that all is fine. As I turn around to continue with my business and let them go about theirs, I see the person’s own family sitting on the porch not so much as even moving a finger and completely unaffected by what had just happened. (I mean, that man really yelled out in pain, it wasn’t just a grunt or anything and I could hear it from two blocks away…).

    So… I think that little episode might capture how very different “our” sensitivities are from that of the world and humans we find around us. (or a large majority of them, it seems). I am the one dropping everything and running to see whether I can help, while his own family just – watch on, even in amusement telling from their facial expression. LMAO and rolling eyes in equal parts, I guess… :’)

    Hope, you’ll get at least a chuckle out of this. I shared it for that reason, not to upset anyone (although some might be and I apologize in advance, if you were… – uhm, upset, that is O:-) )


    1. Clignett Avatar
      Clignett

      Oh, renovatio06, I’m laughing while my eyes get big with alarm, my mouth opens to respond to your stress about what you might find, all at the same time! I can picture it so vividly in my mind! The thoughts that run a mile a minute in your mind, from bad case to worst case scenario, not even contemplating that all might be fine..

      If I have such an experience, I have to stop myself from going to look, or even going out to see if I can help. Indie is my main priority then, he’s so much more sensitive than I am, so I can tell by his reaction if it’s really bad or not. In case of really bad, I have to reassure him that “all will be fine, it’s ok, they will get help. We can’t help, we’re safe here.”

      In my former apartment we were surprised by a trauma helicopter that flew right over our roof. Both of us on the balcony, staring at the big yellow bird, the noise tremendously loud, we could feel the wind blowing from the rotors, and both just in awe.. we could see and wave to the paramedics inside, so close! But both of du so much in awe that I forgot to take a picture.. only got it’s tail 🙈😳.. (there was a car accident with a biker further away, a really bad one. And the only place the chopper could land was at the park across from our apartment building and a parking lot).

      The strange thing is though, that almost no one reacted. When I asked neighbors if they had seen the helicopter, they didn’t even know what I was talking about! But when there are people screaming at each other on the street, they’re the first ones who stand on their balcony to chime in… I mean, how?? Why?? And mostly “hûh”??? 😳😱


  6. renovatio06 Avatar
    renovatio06

    Your blog and community is about the only place I’ve ever felt really seen and acknowledged. So big thanks for that (that’s not enough, I am aware, but all I can offer at this time, wish, it was more).

    Other than that: Communication difficulties are everpresent these days to the point where I simply fail more often than not. Even the more open minded ones… I have to really train my patience to even get a chance of making my point with – of course – zero guarantee the other person will have any idea what I’m talking about. (They likely don’t or if so, then maybe one tenth of what I’m trying to convey, because – I know, you know this and every other visitor and commenter as well – they can only see the next tree in that proverbial forest [which we don’t see for the number of trees as the expression goes; not so the RFM ones, as you will know as well).

    In going over my comment – which is something I _always_ do when typing or writing, needless to say, I suppose 🙂 – I realize that even the sheer length and structure will be too complex for the large majority of people one needs to communicate with. In fact, whether it is English (not my native tongue) or my native language… I seem to express myself in ways where I have lost about two thirds of the ones I talk to half way through my sentences. If it was a personal contact, then I might have a chance of seeing in their facial expression that they are confused and often irritated from that without feeding any of it back to me more verbatim. (not that I required them to be more verbatim, as perceptive as any of us are, we more or less intuit the response even before we finished communicating or receiving the response…, right?)

    I find myself more and more often making lists and setting reminders to be as simple as I possibly can force myself to be, i.e. things like “only ONE matter at one time” or “don’t include additional aspects that corroborate the main message”, no convoluted sentences, but only text msg–compatible micro–messages, heck even complete sentences are no longer anything we can expect the other person to be capable of processing, let alone handle appropriately.

    Sounds elitist? I’m afraid it does… and will come across in that way to those who simply can’t even begin to fathom a brain on giftedness, right? Not to mention “effervescent”, which to the non-neuro-diverse spells “high maintenance” or “complicated” or even downright “pest to stay away from as far as possible”… :'(

    I’m not happy about sounding like doom and gloom, just sharing a speck of experiences I had and have been observing over the span of most of my life, in particular the past decade plus. (in getting the perspective right: No, of course these weren’t the _only_ experiences. Rarely, very very rarely, was I able to connect with someone who would be willing to handle “effervescence”, complexity, “complicated”. I cherish those as almost divine occasions in retrospect, now that they have become almost non-present in my life anymore)

    It’s o.k. to laugh, but I really think there almost needed to be a special language training for RFMs in order to even simply stand a chance of getting by in life. I was being too dramatic? Point in case 😉

    Hugs, and muchos gracias galore!
    w.


    1. peabodyrus Avatar
      peabodyrus

      you wrote: “heck even complete sentences are no longer anything we can expect the other person to be capable of processing, let alone handle appropriately.” My constant whine,
      precisely! And why I love well-written books, plays & movies – the characters LISTEN to each
      other!!! Oh, for real life conversation of entire sentences!


  7. Patricia Koch Avatar
    Patricia Koch

    Deep gratitude for the work you do and for sharing it with us here and in your book. It is bringing me home to myself.


    1. Paula Prober Avatar
      Paula Prober

      Welcome home, Patricia.


  8. Pulp Fusion Avatar
    Pulp Fusion

    Peculiar sensitivities:
    “You feel the hidden emotions in the room”: Yes, and I can’t seem to hide the fact that I do, because it makes me feel dishonest, which has gotten me into trouble recently, because the person I’m picking up the emotions from is not even aware that they’re emitting those emotions.

    Sensitivity to beauty. Recently, especially children, dogs, flies, and trees.

    I also have a peculiar sensitivity to the particular smell in the air before it rains on a hot day. It makes me very happy for some reason.

    Unruly anxieties:

    I’m deeply moved by the injustices that cause suffering to all creatures, even when it takes place on a movie-screen.

    I’m sometimes afraid of the ignorance of others. I call it ignoraphobia.

    I’m anxious about Julian Assange’s future, and also about how our post-truth era will affect the lives of young people growing up in it.

    Effervescent expectations:

    I seek to speak and live my truth, even if it means I’ll end up alone. I no longer expect others to live up to such standards. However, I repeatedly forget that truth is not as important for everyone else, and am often disappointed anyway.

    Thank you Paula. I’m grateful to have found your inspiring blog!


    1. Paula Prober Avatar
      Paula Prober

      Thank you for sharing your list, Pulp Fusion.


    2. renovatio06 Avatar
      renovatio06

      Sounds as if we felt very similarly about a number of things, Pulp Fusion. I have those exact same concerns and worries as well as sensitivities and in particular Julian Assange’s “case” or fate will determine for me were we are in the so-called “free world” pertaining to the rule of law.

      Other than that: Everything you mentioned, yes and then some. Thanks for sharing.


    3. peabodyrus Avatar
      peabodyrus

      “ignoraphobia” – great word! The profound ignorance of SO many people scares me, too, to put it mildly. They’re horribly damaging to the world, the whole world, the whole planet and everybody and critter on it. Thanks for a genteel-sounding word for diagnosis –


  9. Intueri Avatar
    Intueri

    We are Dairy farmers… A new venture at age 50+….
    And we are both ‘gifted and talented’…
    We farm ‘differently’…
    How, may you ask?
    For one… We leave calves on cows… An enriching and heart-warming experience…
    We share in their lives… We know their stories… The struggles of climate change, the harshness of winter… Food pinch…calving and raising their calves..
    The fears they face of losing their calves…(.. off on a tangent…)
    Let me just say… Your post resonates deeply…
    I smell the rains… Sense deep laying energies… In both Nature and Homo Sapiens…
    It is a valuable gift but a difficult one…
    Truly enjoyed your post…
    Thanks for sharing… Makes me realise that I I’m not ‘alone’ …


    1. cherylhlmn Avatar
      cherylhlmn

      Thank you for being a compassionate dairy farmer.
      It is appreciated and felt my me…here in Canada.


      1. cherylhlmn Avatar
        cherylhlmn

        “ by” not “my”. Errr


    2. Sheep’s Wool Avatar
      Sheep’s Wool

      Intueri, this speaks to my heart. It is a privilege to share in the lives of animals and thereby to live in and with Nature intimately.
      I’m talking especially about seeing a group of cows and calves in a field and how they spend their time, their rhythms of day, how they relate to one another in the beautiful group ❤️. You know this.
      (My name may be ‘Sheep’s Wool’ but I feel one of my spirit animals is a cow. I feel an affinity to these animals).
      The very best of luck from me to you both for your farm.
      (I am in awe that as dairy farmers you let the calves stay on the mothers. This makes eminent sense to me and shows the beauty of thinking about something so it works well (taking in the situation with subtlety, care and compassion and finding the best solution).
      I think this showcases the rainforest mind – the type of joined-up, adapted thinking that can come as a result of this type of mind-body-heart-spirit.
      Good wishes to you both and your herd. I will think of you.


      1. Intueri Avatar
        Intueri

        Thanks for your kind words & thoughts… ❤️


    3. Paula Prober Avatar
      Paula Prober

      Glad to have you here, Intueri.


  10. Deborah Avatar
    Deborah

    I definitely have a rainforest mind. Before reading this blog, I knew I was anal about some things, but never understood why. I would always get annoyed even at harmless behaviors in others. It is refreshing to know the cause of these irritations. In the past, I often asked myself ‘what is wrong with me that I always notice faults about others?’ I try to be a kind, helpful, and empathetic person so I really could not understand why I so easily got annoyed with such trivial things. Thank you for enlightening me.


    1. Paula Prober Avatar
      Paula Prober

      Thank you for sharing, Deborah.


  11. Carol Avatar
    Carol

    All of this is spot on!


  12. clignett Avatar
    clignett

    Wow.. a summary which is so accurate and true! And I do still ask myself “doesn’t everyone see/hear/feel/know this or that??”.. sometimes I feel like I’m going mad just because my “gut” tells me so much!

    Adding (or better – giving examples and explanations):

    Peculiar sensitivities:
    Feeling threats/danger from miles away, just knowing. Walking with Indie late at night, alone as a woman, it’s eery.. I feel which way I shouldn’t walk, even if Indie “tells” me it’s ok. I’ve tried to ignore it and trust his senses, but it’s never failed. Someone or something just crossed our path and our calming late night walk would be disturbed. Leaving us both stressed and unhinged. So I just force him to follow me (and I’m the leader of our “pack”, so no choice little man! 🤪), and walk away from that particular feeling.

    Unruly anxieties:
    Oh, dear… I can add a whole list.. as I’ve just moved from one apartment to another, the whole world shifted.. don’t really know if it’s a RFM thingy, but jeezzz… anxieties hit the roof!
    Did I do the right thing? Did I make the right choices? Shouldn’t I have done this or that? Can I afford it all? Will Indie adjust? Will he be alright if I leave him alone when I need to go to physiotherapy or dentist or you name it? Will he make friends there? Will he understand that we hád to move because of my (and his) health? Will he like what I chose?
    All unnecessary anxieties, but all so real.. the first two weeks he didn’t even dare to pee.. kept it in for as long as he could, and then at the last round at night he wouldn’t be able to keep it in anymore, so he’d pee for two minutes (give or take).. not inside, only outside, sometimes just right outside the front door at the parking lot.. not even lifting his leg up, so much strain on his bladder.. and I’d worry again.. started the puppy training all over again: pee, candy, poop, candy, walk with me, candy, etc.. he lost weight from the stress, I’m worrying again.. should I wait until he’s a bit more adjusted or should I give him more food?
    Luckily, after three weeks, he started to make some friends, he was more confident to sniff his way around and he found a doggy park where he could run freely (I knew it was there, but I didn’t want to take him there too soon)..

    So, we’re settling in, little by little.. baby steps, for both of us. New neighbors, new apartment, new environment, everything new. Strange people coming and going (work men for the odd jobs that I can’t do myself and maintenance people), new sounds (some very strange, can’t tell where it’s coming from or what it is). Still boxes all around us, because of delivery times of new furniture. Not anxiety free yet, but the end is near.. near being hopefully by the end of this year 🙈!

    Effervescent expectations:
    Yes! Yes! Yes!!
    I expected that the new place would be deep cleaned as I did my old place.. as we say in Dutch: I’ve come home from a cold carnival, meaning that my expectations were too high… for example: the kitchen wasn’t cleaned on the inside (the dust inside from placing the kitchen was still there, so from the placing of the kitchen to the time I bought the place, the inside of the kitchen was never cleaned!
    I did a deep clean from the time I got the keys, but because of the little flies that kept popping up, I decided to first spray the whole apartment with anti flying creatures (with mouth/eyes/head protection on!), sprayed the whole can empty, closed the apartment off, and let it be for 2 days.. came back with the vacuum cleaner and a bucket with cleaning stuff, and did a second deep clean.. the floors were black from the flies! Yegh!! I’m disgusted by creepy crawleys, but this was just as bad! And I had to do it before I let Indie sniff his way around the apartment..
    Apparently, you only have to clean surfaces when you deliver the keys.. Ehm.. nope! Can’t do that! Deep clean! So the buyers of my apartment were thrilled that it was shiny and clean.

    Effervescent expectations.. yes!!
    I still expect everyone to be kind to each other. I still expect everyone to accept one another to be the person that they are, no changes needed. I still have hope, hope that my mother and sister will accept me the way I am. I still expect everyone to have respect for nature, never mind how small or big. I still expect everyone to be honest with or to each other..

    Maybe I’m just still a naïve little kid, sometimes it really feels that way. As if I’ve never lost the way a child looks at the world, no matter what has happened in my life or the trauma I’ve been through (or not through yet).
    Maybe that’s the way a RFM looks at the world? Is that also a RFM-thingy?


    1. Paula Prober Avatar
      Paula Prober

      I have seen many RFMs who are idealistic and also quite resilient, clignett.


    2. renovatio06 Avatar
      renovatio06

      “I still expect everyone to be kind to each other. I still expect everyone to accept one another to be the person that they are, no changes needed. ” Oh, how I yearn for that, clignett! Count me in there, if so inclined. Yes and then some!


    3. peabodyrus Avatar
      peabodyrus

      Good luck with your mother & sister accepting you the way you are . . . in fact, rarely does anybody not similar to us (in RFM ways) accept us as we are! Sometimes in my life I’ve felt as if I’ve been seen as some sort of challenge to others to “fix” me, as if I’m some sort of project supposedly well-meaning folks “take on”, somehow. They see so much value in me, if only I’d be different, y’know, be like them. Of course, I’ve played into it a bit, learned a little about “fitting in”, used apparently excellent acting skills in order to have companions along the way! I don’t know what of me is RFM and what others see/feel, unless they say something – non-RFM people are a mystery to me, which seems a logical difference. It’s just there are so many of them, and so hard to find us. . .


  13. Rnbw Star Avatar
    Rnbw Star

    “You are nervous that you will be trapped somewhere without a book”

    If this isn’t a mood I don’t know what is 🤣


  14. peabodyrus Avatar
    peabodyrus

    OK, this one set me off: “You are nervous that you will be trapped somewhere without a book.” Last week it happened – medical setting, long wait in room w/ no mags, not even an old torn “People” – I meditated, meditated on which book I need to keep in my bag at all times, but then if I read it I’ll need another, and if I start this one and someone (doctor?) interrupts me I’ll have to stop, then have another book started, then remembered I have about seven going anyway so what’s the difference? – etc, etc, etc . . . Does meditation really work in a rainforest? Aren’t the sounds/colors/smells too distracting? Is that a book kiosk over there by the Kapok tree? ohhhhhh . . .


    1. Paula Prober Avatar
      Paula Prober

      Haha! I usually bring 2 books, just in case…thanks, peabodyrus.


    2. renovatio06 Avatar
      renovatio06

      peabodyrus – please don’t be offended, but I had to chuckle … “does meditation really work in a rainforest” 🙂 – priceless! And yeah, might not work at all for the lot of us “neurodivergent” folk as I hear from those having visited the Amazon that it is LOUD like heck, day and night. Not to mention all the creatures that live there and depending on the nature of sensitivities (phobias) one might do better with or… even better without LOL.

      I send you a hug! So spot on!


    3. Stef Avatar
      Stef

      It helps to have Kindle on your phone. Has saved me many times…


      1. Paula Prober Avatar
        Paula Prober

        Ah, yes, books on the phone, always at the ready. Wish i could get used to reading a book on a screen!


  15.  Avatar
    Anonymous

    Oh Paula, you have just given one of the best summaries of what I have come to see in my gifted 9 y/o boy. I often wonder what it is like to smell/feel/think/live the way he does. He often tells me that he sometimes does not know what to do with all the information/stimuli that he receives (mind and body). I think self-love and awareness are required skills that we need to help our kids develop. Thanks for your writing!


    1. Paula Prober Avatar
      Paula Prober

      Oh yes. Self-love and awareness are so necessary. I am so glad to help you understand your boy! (and yourself??)


  16. Meredith Avatar
    Meredith

    I am laughing as I read the part about plants in need, because all summer I have been concerned about the impatiens that were planted in front of our building. There has been a drought, so every few days I have been going out and watering them. I couldn’t bear to see them suffer! Now I monitor them every day and give them encouragement; “Oh, you’re doing so well! Good for you! You are trying so hard!”


    1. Paula Prober Avatar
      Paula Prober

      I am sure the impatiens is grateful, Meredith. Truly. Thank you for sharing.

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