“They” say that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, right? If that is true then I will either be dead or the world’s strongest woman by the time this kid is grown! Since the day he arrived (nine years and 24+ hours ago) he has been hell-bent on doing me in – and a couple of times I think he darn near succeeded too. Many of you don’t know (because I’ve intentionally kept quiet) that last Spring we found out he had tested into our school district’s “gifted” program. Most people will assume that was news received with great joy and celebration – well, not so much. A “gifted” child is not a genius (that would be profoundly gifted). Rather they are kids who think differently, react more intensely and generally delve much deeper into questions. This type of child is not easy to live with (which would be the understatement of the century)!
“Emotionally intense individuals are often accused of "overreacting." Their compassion and concern for others, their focus on relationships, as well as the intensity of their feelings may interfere with every day tasks. It is often quite difficult and demanding to work and live with intense individuals. Those who are not so, find the behaviors unexplainable, frequently incomprehensible, and often bizarre.”
The way they see the world, others and themselves makes them hard to understand or relate to at times.
“Critical thinking Critical of others, perfectionism, unreasonable standards for self.
Preference for Resistance to simple solutions; constructs complicated rules.
Versatility. Appears disorganized, scattered, frustrated over lack of time.
Sensitive, Extreme sensitivity to criticism or peer rejection.
Feeling everything more deeply than others do is both painful and frightening. Emotionally intense gifted people feel abnormal. "There must be something wrong with me..... maybe I'm crazy... nobody else seems to feel like this".
Emotionally intense gifted people often experience intense inner conflict, self-criticism, anxiety and feelings of inferiority.
This may be sensory sensitivity to factors such as noise or texture or the number of people in the room (sensory integration issues), or emotional sensitivity to perceptions of unfairness, discrepancy or insincerity. The heightened awareness of contradiction (when someone breaks a promise, does something that seems unjust, contradicts an earlier statement, changes a plan or says something he doesn’t really mean) can be unbearable to these children. This can result in behaviors that may look oppositional or rude – refusing to listen, running away, tuning out, becoming angry and defiant, and so on – but are actually coming from the child’s acute sensitivity and inability to tolerate contradictory impressions.
This can also be intellectual sensitivity, when a gifted child who is a divergent, creative thinker becomes so overwhelmed with all the aspects, side-bars, possibilities and implications of a subject that he “overloads.” Conversely, the gifted child who is a deep, intense thinker may become so hyper-focused that he cannot attend to anything he considers extraneous and may become irritable or even explosive”
I’ve never been able to adequately describe or explain this child and much of the above is obviously quoted but describes him better than I ever could. So why am I going into all of this now? Well, I feel like we have just jumped off a cliff and are now clinging to a ledge. Ever since finding out he would be going to a new school Caden has been miserable and just so very sad! This all came to a climax last night as he anticipated his first day and cried himself to sleep – it was enough to break any mother’s heart. If I could have just said to forget the whole idea and taken him back to his old school and best buddy! I had to fight everything in me not to do just that. Sometimes being a parent and doing what you hope is for the best can be harder than anything else you’ll ever do in your life! Especially when it means watching your child suffer temporarily.
I felt such a huge relief when I saw the smile on his little face as he got off the school bus this afternoon! Yet, I also know that it most definitely is not over yet. Just writing four to five sentences on his summer turned into an hour long ordeal with near hysteria, hyperventilating and anger! It had to be PERFECT! ABSOLUTELY PERFECT! Oh, do we ever have a long way to go. I just hope my arms or that ledge don’t give out anytime soon! Like I said, I’ll either be dead (if I fall off that ledge I suppose) or one mighty strong woman (from holding on so tight) before this one is grown!
“God, I love this kid so much – You knew I’d need that love to get me through!”