DISCOURSE as quilting

Welcome to the intersection of P. L. Thomas writing about his writing and other writers' writing to explore discourse as quilting.

Archive for the ‘gifted’ Category

remnant 18: gifted or overexcitable?

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I have to admit I was excited—maybe even overexcited—when Tobey Steeves (@symphily), my Foucault lifeline, Tweeted several links about giftedness and overexcitability (see Lind, 2001Mendaglio & Tillier, 2006; Tolan, 1999). These Tweets reminded me of Webb’s article on Dabrowski, also shared by Tobey, and extended my understanding of giftedness into the arena of overexcitability.

Coming to understand the research around giftedness, for me, is a much-too-late journey of self-awareness. While I bristle at calling myself (anyone) gifted, I certainly find the research on overexcitability compelling, disturbing, and frustrating—since I suspect if I had known these aspects of myself more fully and deeply earlier in my life I may have been able to save myself and those close to me a great deal of discomfort and even pain.

I grew up when the labeling of children was less common, although not uncommon, than today. Under today’s scrutiny, I would easily be labeled with ADHD and OCD, if not “gifted” as well. That labeling would not have offered much help (and the requisite drugging may have done far more harm than good), but the awareness I am sure would have been fruitful.

Lind’s listing simply held up a mirror of me to me:

  • Overexcitabilities are inborn intensities indicating a heightened ability to respond to stimuli. Found to a greater degree in creative and gifted individuals, overexcitabilities are expressed in increased sensitivity, awareness, and intensity, and represent a real difference in the fabric of life and quality of experience.”
  • “This Psychomotor intensity includes a ‘capacity for being active and energetic’ (Piechowski, 1991, p. 287), love of movement for its own sake, surplus of energy demonstrated by rapid speech, zealous enthusiasm, intense physical activity, and a need for action (Dabrowski & Piechowski, 1977; Piechowski, 1979, 1991).” I am a 30-year cyclist, riding 8,000-10,000 miles a year…
  • “Sensually overexcitable children may find clothing tags, classroom noise, or smells from the cafeteria so distracting that schoolwork becomes secondary.” And thus my recent excitement over tagless underwear.
  • “Intellectual OE is demonstrated by a marked need to seek understanding and truth, to gain knowledge, and to analyze and synthesize (Dabrowski & Piechowski, 1977; Piechowski, 1979, 1991). Those high in Intellectual OE have incredibly active minds.” Synthesis? Discourse as quilting, and my lifelong inability to sleep (my mind never stops, never).
  • “Emotionally overexcitable people have a remarkable capacity for deep relationships; they show strong emotional attachments to people, places, and things (Dabrowski & Piechowski, 1977)….Children high in Emotional OE‚ are often accused of ‘overreacting.'” Adults also. I always think of the scene in The Great Gatsby when Daisy tells Gatsby he wants too much. I have come to see that I want too much, I am too much for most other people.

And thus I am coming to understand my world as one who is overwhelmed and one who is overwhelming.

A bit late, but awareness matters.

On the day I found these links on Twitter, I was also reading Murakami’s A Wild Sheep Chase, and after six or seven of his novels in a row, I was compelled to google the yen to dollar conversion because Murakami mentions yen so often; the first thing to pop up in google when I typed “yen” was “yen to dollar.”

And from that I suddenly thought of a young woman named Yen To Dollar, how that name came about, who those parents would be, and how she came to dread the telling of that story by her parents until she no longer had her parents to tell it.

Thus, the poem:

Yen To Dollar (notes on a gifted child as an adult)

YenToDollar copy

Written by plthomasedd

May 12, 2013 at 12:36 pm

Posted in gifted, remnant 18

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