2e Tuesday: “A misfortune is a tragedy, and a joy is an ecstasy”

The truly creative mind in any field is no more than this:
A human creature born abnormally, inhumanly sensitive.
To him…

a touch is a blow,
a sound is a noise,
a misfortune is a tragedy,
a joy is an ecstasy,
a friend is a lover,
a lover is a god,
and failure is death.

Add to this cruelly delicate organism the overpowering necessity to create, create, create – – – so that without the creating of music or poetry or books or buildings or something of meaning, his very breath is cut off from him. He must create, must pour out creation. By some strange, unknown, inward urgency he is not really alive unless he is creating.”
-Pearl Buck-

A moment of silence for Pearl Buck, who didn’t know my kids but managed to describe them to a T.

On a good day with the kids, this sentiment (and I do love the poetic wording of this!) makes me feel so lucky to have kids that are in this world to create something better in it. Who see and feel deeply and passionately, which to me makes them super alive and totally tuned in to their inner selves.

On a challenging day with the kids, this sentiment makes me want to cry. Tonight was one of those times, and it left Hubby and I sitting on the couch together in stunned silence, thinking, ‘Kids really shouldn’t be so….bizarre. Or exhausting. Or weird.’

The fact of the matter is, the twice exceptionality of these kids means they have it all…passion, drive, self awareness, creativity, perfectionism, sensitivity, frustration, self doubt and hyperfocus…and they feel it all deeply. So deeply, that often I wonder about my sanity or theirs. Because the sensitivities can drive. me. crazy.

It’s well known among re searchers of the gifted, talented and creative that these individu als exhibit greater intensity and increased levels of emotional, imaginational, intellectual, sensual and psychomotor excitability and that this is a normal pattern of development.

Which means that OK, they aren’t the crazy ones, it’s all me.

But really?! Tonight, alone, there were tears from Naturalist and Golfer over: feeling isolated, being unfairly treated, over the thought of being irresponsible, over being afraid of the unknown, over not being ‘enough’…good enough, smart enough, nice enough, prepared enough… Oy vey.

But here’s when it’s important to have a network of support from other parents and/or other therapists who understand 2e:

Most people don’t know that what is considered normal for the gifted is most often labeled as neurosis in the general population.

Therapeutic assessment of gifted persons with asynchronous development, heightened levels of awareness, energy and emotional response, and an intense level of inner turmoil often results in their developmental transition being mislabeled as a personality or attentional disorder. Histrionic, dysthymic, cyclothymic, borderline, narcissistic, ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) or ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) are a few of the diagnostic labels mistakenly used to describe normative stages of positive disintegration.

I know that when we pulled Naturalist out of school, they were throwing around terms like ADD, but also more serious disorders like OCD and generalized anxiety disorder. When really? They were failing to diagnose either giftedness or learning differences. Because those you can’t take a pill to make go away, and even though it is illegal for a school to recommend medication that’s EXACTLY what they were saying about Naturalist (which is about the time I pulled her out.).

Whenever I get overwhelmed by the intensity of my kids, I repeat Pearl Buck’s words in my head:

a touch is a blow,
a sound is a noise,
a misfortune is a tragedy,
a joy is an ecstasy,
a friend is a lover,
a lover is a god,
and failure is death.

and I try to remember that my exhaustion is a drop in the bucket compared to their inner turmoil when they come to me all freaked out. And that their intensity is what will ultimately make them into amazing and dynamic creators. And that today, they may feel deeply hurt…but tomorrow (or, even in a few hours!) they will feel deeply happy and all the world will be right again.

And, that I have a stash of chocolate macadamia nut clusters in the cabinet that I can raid when everyone is finally asleep.

Any of this sound familiar? Come check out the Out of the Box Thinkers group for parents of kids that are totally out of any box around.
Out of the Box Thinkers Group.

Want another look at 2e? Check out “Still Waters Run Deep” over at Never a Dull Moment!

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4 Responses

  1. I’ll say it again, Tiffani- you’re kids are so fortunate to have such a thoughtful and interested (and interesting) Mom!

  2. […] More 2e Tuesday over at Child’s Play. […]

  3. Oh thank you. I am so glad I found your blog. I am homeschooling my own out-of-the box thinker, and this Buck quote is perfection. (I signed up for the Yahoo group, too.)

  4. I was basically wondering if you ever thought of switching the design of your blog? It is well written; I enjoy what you have got to say. But maybe you can include a little more in the way of written content so people could connect with it better. Youve got an awful lot of text for only having one or two graphics. Maybe you could space it out better?

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