I’ve been reading up on giftedness lately. Since the kid was a wee one we’ve been saying that we suspect she’ll test gifted. The more I read about it and talk to people, the more I realize that the assessment is a mere formality. This kid checks off every box.
And the more I’m reading, the more I’m checking off boxes for myself too.
I was never assessed as a kid. My sister was, and was moved into enriched classes. As a result I always felt kind of like the stupid one.
My grades in school – especially in high school – weren’t all that great. Except that’s just the way it feels looking back on it. I was, in fact, on the honour roll more often than not. But in my family that didn’t feel like enough for me. My family filled with really smart people with lots of education and interests. I felt like the black sheep.
Please note, that this was entirely made up in my own head. No one in my family ever chastised me for not working hard enough or getting better grades. Though reading back through some letters my father wrote to his sister he did have some doubts as to whether I would finish high school.
To be fair though, so did I.
When I was in Grade 11 I came very, very close to dropping out. I don’t remember exactly what I was feeling at the time. I’m certainly glad I never went through with it, because it would have been a long road back. At that time I certainly never imagined getting a university degree and going on to a Masters.
But it turns out, those feelings are not unusual for people who are assessed as gifted. Neither is depression and emotional intensity. Or feeling like you don’t fit in.
Luckily in high school I hooked up with a group of people who also didn’t fit in. They made it easier.
Now that I can see this about myself, it’s easier to explain a bit about who I am and where I’m going. It’s also easier to feel a bit of what my daughter is feeling and where her struggled might lie.