I have been thinking a lot lately about the gifted/perfectionist/anxiety/Depression merry-go-round. Because I don't think there is any stopping my children from getting on that ride. The older two are already there.
Crap crap crap.
Back to reminding myself about the good things: they are very amenable to getting help with their mood crap. They don't like the feeling of being sad or anxious or filled with rage at a moment's notice. Who does, really. And they are friendly people who have connections with peers at school.
What kicked this off?
So the really stupid letter was probably the inciting incident for all of this.
In November had the elder two go through testing for eligibility for gifted services. Because it would give us an interesting profile for how they problem solve and where their strengths are. Because once they are "identified" it is easier to get them appropriate academic services. Because when they transfer to district schools it will qualify them for GT services without having to jump through additional hoops.
Results came back this week with both children in the 99th percentile. Okay, fine. But for some reason the cover letter stated that they were not eligible for GT services, which were only for students in the top 10%. After about 12 hours of thinking that either their assessment or my brain was broken, I found out that the letter was a misprint. They did qualify.
About all the other crap on the list above? I have been thinking a lot about what made school easier or harder for me as a gifted kid. I loved school. I loved my teachers. I loved my friends. I loved my classes. I also loved getting out of there as fast as possible come graduation.
Making it easier-- ridiculously close friends. Other gifted kids. Teachers who took me seriously. Writing stuff down. Writing imaginary stuff. Other gifted kids. Having a space where it was safe to be smart. Not getting lost in the crowd. Having teachers who remembered me. Other gifted kids. Being able to explore things I was passionate about in depth. Music as part of the school day. Having the freedom to be excused from some classes to do other work. Designing some of my own classes through independent study. Working one on one with a teacher/mentor. Other gifted kids. Therapists who took me seriously. Okay, really therapist who took me seriously.
Making it harder-- not fitting in. Really not fitting in. Taking things more seriously than most of my peers. Being very sensitive. Not living up to my own expectations. Being in a class with students who were not interested in learning. Not fitting in. Believing that my parents wanted me to change so that I would fit in. Having adults believe that they new better than I did what was going on in my head. Worry. Extremely low self esteem. Remembering negative events with great detail, but easily dismissing the positive. Eating disorder. Clinical Depression.
I have never been worried about acadmic learning for my kids. They could stay home by themselves in a closet and come out ready to go to college. I worry about all the other crap. The social crap. The connectivity. The emotional side of living. And since I did such a fantastic job of navigating the troubled waters of adolescence, I assume that my children are doomed.
Proactive steps I have taken:
All of this gifted talk really makes the egalitarian in me flinch. And the lack of humility in talking about my gifted children doesn't make me feel much better. But my giftedness played a very big role in the environmental factors that contributed to my Depression. Existential Depression, I guess, is common in gifted kids. Cliche. Ugh. But cliches are built on things that happen repeatedly.
Rant is over.
Grateful crap: I never have to be a junior high/high school student again
took it easy with the kids
snuggled with daughter
did a bunch of useful stuff
Quaker, teacher, parent,