The Q and I
I guess I should talk a little bit more about this thang called Giftedness, because I knew people get pissed off by the concept. It’s seen as being “better” or “superior,” but if you experienced it I don’t think you would really like it. It takes a long time to accept. I find it funny that suddenly, instead of being disabled I am considered Very Abled, because I don’t really feel like that at all. I have pretty much every Overexcitability that one can have, and among various things it means I get sensory overload pretty easy, which is why I’m fairly introverted. Giftedness is more than a high I.Q. score. It’s a different way of experiencing the world, things are heightened, to varying degrees. There’s some thought that Gifted people actually have different physiological structures to the norm. Not everyone who has a high I.Q. score is empathetic or has entelechy. There are various combos of qualities in the gifted population, all resulting in very different ways of thinking, but marked by a strong desire to understand.
I should also mention that I.Q. testing is not an accurate assessment of someone’s intelligence. For one thing, if you communicate in a very different way, or think in visual terms instead of verbal/mathematic terms, you probably won’t score as well as someone else. They’ve been designed for specific types of people with specific thinking patterns and communication abilities, and they are only “accurate” within a particular range. There are now people trying to identify Gifted people under different standards, or a constellation of attributes noted in the population. One thing I’ve noticed is that we know who each other is generally. What I know is that when I was picked out of the general school system, I wasn’t told my I.Q., I don’t think anyone was, because then it would mean we would tailor our expectations of ourselves to a test score.
I think a number of people in my inner circle are Gifties, but they haven’t identified themselves as such to me. It’s too bad, because a lot of people in my inner circle are also struggling with psych diagnoses, and I’m not sure if they know that they’re Gifted and if they know that there are specific reasons they’ve been reacting to stimuli a certain way their whole lives. I’m pretty modest about my intelligence, or at least I try to be, or at least I was made to be, and the only reason I really brought it up here is because it means the dominant psychiatric thought concerning the reasons for my life were blatantly wrong. This does not mean I think there are Real mental patients who deserve psych wards, no. Not at all. Psychiatric survivors are my friends, they are the people who have nurtured me when I was having a really hard time. I will not put myself above them just because they didn’t get a high I.Q. score, or because they did and don’t know it, or whatever. If it wasn’t for the C/S/X movement, I would still be on medication, still feeling dumb and sad and trapped, still losing my hair and getting diabetes or what have you. I still consider myself a psych survivor. I still want to be in that movement.
But I am trying to talk about Giftedness because we have been getting diagnosed with all kinds of pathologies based on our difference. There are concerns particular to Gifted people, and I wish someone had told me about it when I was younger. I know sometimes people in the “helping” professions are taught about our population, but quite often they are not. Sometimes people don’t even BOTHER to teach about us just because we are seen as so rare as to not matter, or to be considered so Very Abled that we can survive on our own with no outside assistance. That’s not true. I don’t know what would have happened if I hadn’t gotten specialized education, or if I hadn’t been taken out of a general population which resented me. But too often education is the only specific need that people are concerned about with Gifted people, when so much of who we are pervades every aspect of our identity.
I think I’ll just end with a few interesting articles if you do want to know more, so you don’t think I’m bullshitting you.
Can you hear the flowers sing? Issues for Gifted Adults
Overexcitabilities Used to Predict Giftedness
And just for fun, here’s a profile of an INFP personality according to the Myers-Briggs system, I’m one. We’re only 1% of the general population, but are highly over represented in the Gifted population for whatever reason.