Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Outliers

"Here's to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes - the ones who see things differently. They're not fond of rules and they have no respect for the status quo. You can praise them, disagree with them, quote them, disbelieve them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing that you can't do is ignore them. Because they change things." ~ Jack Kerouac

Friday, January 28, 2011

Dream Interpretation Idea

For those of you who don't remember the dream, it's described in this post.
Here's my idea:
There's things in my life that are painful. We could even go totally literal and say, self injury. But really, it's a lot of things, both literal and metaphorical. And to me, they take up so much of my effort, so much of my time, that they seem right there on the surface of me. They seem so obvious. 
And yet, they aren't. People can't look at my eyes and see what's going on in my head and heart, despite romantic novels to the contrary. People who feel like they are a group, like they have each other and their found and bloodline family, they look at me and maybe they know something is wrong. Maybe they even have an idea that it hurts, but they don't see what to me is plain.
And maybe some part of me likes it hidden.


i beat my plastic
drum outside your window and
you never turn 'round

ok, so i'm not
a wall of ivy or a
phd at all

i'm not your child or
your parent or even a
distant relative

but i am a child
and a parent and i am
right here and right now

banging my plastic
drum outside your window but
you never turn 'round

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Narcissism: My Therapist is a Funny Lady

So I was at therapy today, talking about myself, as you do. And we were discussing about how I'm not very good at making myself do things I don't want to do, but that I have great energy for doing things I am interested in. One of the things I am most interested in is.... me. But only because I'm so available to myself. If anyone else would hold still for all the questions and thinking and pondering I do with myself, I'd find that person quite interesting. It's really people I'm interested in, but I'm the person who is most available to me, by far. So anyway, we're talking about this, and it goes something like:

Her: You know, there might be a touch of narcissism here. Not like the personality disorder, but just a trace of the trait.

Me: I can't help it, I'm just so fascinating!

Her: The percentage of narcissism has just risen dramatically.


Friday, January 14, 2011

Great Things

Cane flutes 
(and the random weirdos who give them to you)

Red king crabs
(alive, not for eating)

Soft tissues that don't hurt your nose when you blow it a lot

Woolly mammoths

Oh. I mean, woolly mammoths


Thursday, January 13, 2011

DBT, Session 1

OK, so today I started a DBT (Dialectical Behavioral Therapy) group. If you're not sure what that is, go ahead and google it. My purpose in this post isn't really all that specific to DBT itself.
I have learned two important things about myself form DBT so far, neither particularly having to do with DBT.
One is, my brain is undeniably abnormal. Example: someone in the group asked me if I was a pretty cut-and-dried person. My answer was "nah, I live in a pretty technicolor world." And the rest of the group just kinda looked at me. Blankly. Eventually I got that they didn't get it, so I explained about how really I felt the essence of her question was "are you a black and white thinker" and so I answered that question. My brain just makes different leaps than other people's. Or maybe everyone's does, but I give voice to mine. Also, i challenged that idea that guilt needs to exist. Not the idea that it does exist; clearly it's a real emotion. I challenged the idea that it's necessary.
The other thing I learned is... well, I guess it's not really a learning. Its just putting words to something I already knew. See, people see my intellect and think "dang, she is one rational, intellectual, logical person." Which is true. But as strong as my intellect is, my emotional side is equally strong. It is not dwarfed my my intellect. I think I get judged as a pretty concrete, cut-and-dried, non-technicolor person a fair bit because people see intellect and think "aha, I understand you." People, it is possible to be gifted in both areas. Thank you and goodnight.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Great Things



Spencer Reid



And the trees they grow up to be

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Creepy, Dude

This creeped me out. This list of "characteristics of giftedness in adults" includes so much of what my life is, so much that I assumed was me and my personal dysfunction....
Here's the link, but here's the list, too, copied directly from the site (I know, my family, too many words!):

Gifted Adults

Behind the cold and impersonal numbers from an IQ test, there is a human being; one with needs, and wants, and dreams just like everyone else. What do they look like, act like, think like, feel like? While IQ has traditionally been the measure to identify the gifted, it has become an increasingly archaic and often criticized form, primarily because of its lopsided consideration of the whole person. Several researchers have sought to identify and explore the personalities and characteristics of gifted and talented people. Below are the results of several of their works.
  • A broad knowledge base that is highly interconnected and readily linked to new information
  • A striking habit of self-monitoring and self-guidance, personal insight and metacognition
  • Demonstrate pliable thinking and unusual perceptivity, an ability to grasp seemingly conflicting perspectives, and to quickly ascertain problems and reinterpret them beyond the obvious, combining intellectual strengths for effective and efficient solutions (e.g. verbalizing imagery)
  • Display a preference for complexity, original responses, and novelty, and are watchful of a pronounced tolerance or penchant for ambiguity
  • Show a tendency to be excitable, with high levels of energy (not distracted hyperactivity). This may be evidenced by overt expressiveness, by a love of discussion and debate, by an ability to concentrate for long periods of time, multiple interests and multipotentiality, and by complaints of being easily bored.
  • Often have a history of uneven or asynchronous intellectual, emotional, psychomotor, language, and/or social development (e.g. reasoning ahead of language skills; complex ideas ahead of ability to sufficiently express; emotional maturity lagging behind reasoning)
  • Many chronicle signs of exceptional intelligence, high academic achievement or unexplained underachievement despite exceptional ability.
  • Inclined to disclose exceedingly high standards for themselves and others, a perfection orientation, an intolerance for mundane tasks, idealism, and an injurious habit of self-criticism
  • Particularly for the gifted female, it is not uncommon to find a self-perception distorted by accompanying feelings of being a failure, a fraud or impostor, or a belief that it is others who are truly gifted
  • Often exhibit sensory and emotional sensitivity, difficulty in accepting criticism, and extraordinary empathy and compassion.

  • They are often passionate dedication to causes, deep concern and worry, overwhelming feelings of responsibility for the well-being of others and the advancement of humanity, and become easily outraged by injustices and inhumane acts

  • Prone to periods of existential depression

  • Often display extraordinary goal orientation that coexists with a relentless curiosity

  • Challenge seems to be more of a need than a want, and feelings of being driven or pressured to understand and excel are the companions of achievement

  • Entelechy (from the Greek entelekheia meaning full realization, a vital force urging one toward self-actualization) is the sum and substance of their remarkable self-motivation and perseverance

  • Contrary to popular opinion and faulty expectations of nerdism, the gifted adult commonly shows unusual psychosocial maturity, popularity, charisma, trustworthiness, social adjustment and relationship competence

  • For many, leadership is a natural role that is upheld by self-assuredness and an excellent sense of humor

  • Despite their abilities, the gifted experience recurring feelings of isolation and being largely misunderstood. Most have been aware since early childhood that they are inherently different, though they may not know in what ways, and typically believe their differences are disreputable.

  • Eventually admit to chronic experiences of deep loneliness in spite of a preference for working alone

  • Many share experiences of criticism for being picky, perfectionistic, or overly-committed to orderliness. Often neither a therapist nor the client will realize it is normal for the gifted to seek security by systematizing.

  • Fail to respect their own need for solitude, reflection, and time to daydream or play with concepts and ideas

  • Some may shame themselves when their strong bids for autonomy result in a pattern of butting heads with authority figures when most have never been told that they challenge tradition because of their deep personal values and a reverence for truth and authenticity.

  • Tuesday, January 4, 2011

    Nutritional Lobotomy

    OK, so I saw my doctor today and we had a little talk about gluten and sugar... cause lately I've been not as strict about what I eat. So we kinda got into what exactly these things do to me.
    For people who are sensitive to it, gluten excites the reptile brain; that basic instinct, fight or flight place deep in the center of the brain. It also retards and confuses the frontal lobe. So basically, that would be a temporary nutritional lobotomy.
    Sugar interacts with the opiate receptors in my brain. That's right, candy makes me high. Basically.
    So yeah, good things for me to remember.


    I'm reading this book about gifted children; the psychology of being gifted, kind of. It's making me take a look at my own "giftedness" and how it might have played a role in who I am now.
    I know that when I was 8 months old, I could point out the parts of things in my picture books. I would appropriately respond, through pointing, to things like "Where is the axle?" on a picture of a wagon. Clearly my vocabulary was higher than expected.
    I know I was reading sometime when I was 2. No one ever taught me, I just read.
    I know my IQ was 157 when I was tested about 6 or 7 years ago. I'm not sure what it was when I was tested as a kid. The doctor who tested me as an adult couldn't understand why I didn't hold at least one doctorate: "But... you could do anything!"
    I remember being in some study at a university in Michigan... Probably Western Michigan University, based on where I was living at the time. I remember being shown flashcards of words, spiral bound. I remember being asked to read and then define them. They had to send out for more flashcards because I went through all the ones they had. I was... 5 I think, and I scored the vocabulary of a second semester college sophomore.
    I remember in kindergarten working from the third grade reader while the class learned their vowels. And counting to 999 when most of the kids stopped at 19 or sometimes 29. By the end of kindergarten I was about to begin the 5th grade reader: I had worked through the previous 4 grades in the year.
    This book I'm reading, it's all about how gifted kids' brains are just as atypical as a retarded child's brain. And yet, gifted kids get no additional resources, or very few. Aside from having a personal aid in kindergarten (really he was a student teacher, but he basically got assigned to me), I did a summer camp for gifted kids, and for a few years of elementary school I was in a once or twice a week break away class for gifted kids. Those are the only resources and accommodations I had. And yet, my brain is just as atypical as a retarded child's.
    I wonder what that does to a person...
    Here is what else I know about me in particular: my brain is constantly hungry. When I find an interesting topic, I cannot turn my brain off about it; reading about it, speculating, writing.....
    I have documented disabilities (as in, I don't just think this, I've taken tests and stuff) in "planning and organization" and in "spatial awareness."Planning and organization" doesn't mean, like, are my desk drawers tidy. It means,being able to think ahead, to strategize, things like that.
    So yeah... there's a basic summery of my brains. Now I wanna know what it meant/means for who I was/am.

    Sunday, January 2, 2011

    Your Catfish Friend

    Your Catfish Friend
    -- Richard Brautigan
    If I were to live my life 
    in catfish forms
    in scaffolds of skin and whiskers 
    at the bottom of a pond 
    and you were to come by 
       one evening
    when the moon was shining 
    down into my dark home 
    and stand there at the edge 
       of my affection
    and think, "It's beautiful 
    here by this pond.  I wish 
       somebody loved me,"
    I'd love you and be your catfish 
    friend and drive such lonely 
    thoughts from your mind 
    and suddenly you would be
       at peace,
    and ask yourself, "I wonder 
    if there are any catfish 
    in this pond?  It seems like 
    a perfect place for them."