Am I gifted?

Greetings my beloved ones!

My mind has been running on overload lately as I try to make some sense of a puzzle.
As you know I have been diagnosed in the past with Aspergers.
Then I came across SPD- Sensory Processing Disorder, and HSP - Highly Sensitive People
And recently I made the acquaintance of Dabrowski, overexitabilities and giftedness.

All of these titles and terms to my mind could all be part of the same network, if not the same thing from a different angle. I am now struggling to decide which if any of these I fit.

By using the terms Highly Sensitive and overexitability for example, I feel my situation is looked at from a more positive angle than Aspergers. Although they are still the same symptoms.

Giftedness is also one of those things that people hesitate to apply to themselves. With the research I've done and the FB groups I'm in, I see this as a common predicament.

Here is a post I wrote to the Intergifted FB group of which I'm a member.

Are there others in this group who are self described "gifted"? I grew up in Papua New Guinea where we had no gifted programmes in schools. I am ashamed to admit it, but when I helped my peers with their work in the small correspondence school I attended, I didn't think that I was bright...just that they were not.
According to my parents I was ahead on all the landmark stages in life except sport. I was a talented musician who played in adult situations like congregational singing in church, while in primary school.
I'm not sure I would really be diagnosed (hate that term) as gifted or more just sensitive, intense, creative and talented.
I like Dabrowski's gifted scale with the five overexecitabilities, as I feel I fit more into those than into the traditionally intellectual gifted category.
I found reading Paula Prober's Your Rainforest Mind such a relief and such a treat. I felt I'd found my tribe but still I was hesitant.
I joined this group to hover on the sidelines and peep into your lives to see if I fit.
I'm struggling to know if I am experiencing Imposter Syndrome. Evidence to support that is that everyone around me in whatever field I'm in always pushes me forward to the front, to lead. They make noises about how creative and talented etc. I am. How I think and am wired differently.

I am struggling with the world and have undergone MANY years of counselling without really sensing understanding for how I tick.
I often feel estranged from the world, with totally different goals and interests. Totally different mindset and way of thinking. I process things differently and feel overwhelmed by everyday situations.
Really appreciating this group, but I feel like a child sitting at the adult's table. How do the rest of you KNOW you are gifted? Is it all based on IQ tests and the like? Are there others here also lurking, who are in this same situation?

The response I received was astounding, giving the impression that many in the group struggled with just this same question.

One of the respondents (who is a counsellor of the gifted) noted that amongst his clients he has noticed this paradox (paraphrased):

The more intelligent you are the more you are aware of what you don't know, therefore causing you to conclude you are stupid. However those that are not smart feel confident they know all there is to know. Some people feel they may be only slightly gifted because of this thought process. They always know someone who knows more about a topic than them which helps to prove their ignorance. However these would be called the extremely gifted.

One of the issues of course is the inherent difficulty with the term "gifted", having a feeling of boastfulness and lording it over the masses. The book "Enjoying the Gift of Being Uncommon" by Willem Kuipers, which I am currently enjoying, uses other terms like ximension and Xi which can more objectively examine and discuss the extra dimension and state of living for those in this basket.

'It's all just labels and doesn't really matter. Just be yourself', I hear you cry!
And there is truth in what you say. Having a label doesn't really change things, but it can help with self acceptance when you feel estranged and struggle to understand your own mind, your own intensities. It can be a shortcut to finding your own tribe, and others who can give advice on how to handle situations and thoughts. I have benefitted greatly from the Intergifted Facebook group.

So this is where my mind has been playing lately. I even took a weekend off by myself at the beach to wrestle with my thoughts. Hence the photos. It was glorious!

Til next time,
keep on creating!

Jazzy Jack


  1. I have enjoyed reading your thoughts on this and I understand much about this struggle to understand yourself and this feeling of not fitting. I used a similar statement about knowing what I don't know on your Facebook query too. I would never meet my own standards of intelligent or gifted. I am suspicious of school systems' ability to identify or enrich gifted students though most of them try. I grew up in a small town and I told you the story of how gifted students were sought at one point but it struck me then and strikes me now as a very flawed system. I happen to know as adults some of my peers who went through this gifted programme and most are not uniquely bright or talented in any impressive way. Just what we would call above average intelligence. As you know, identifying as INTJ is helping me make sense of how I think and behave. I agree with you that labels and the theories behind them can be useful in better understanding oneself. I was raised in a family where one just wasn't supposed to think about these things. Carry on, do your best, be the backbone of society. Creativity was neither nurtured nor suppressed, but the main message was that we are here to get the job done. Be humble, contribute, work hard, don't think about yourself was the motto. I am kind of the weirdo in the family, although a little bit like my Dad.

    All of the correlations between labels are interesting to contemplate and it seems to me there always are clusters of issues. I look forward to hearing more about what you discover.

  2. Gifted is as gifted does! Great words and gifted photos ...tells the whole story :-)

  3. Interesting, very interesting. Growing up, I sat in the library for days reading every book in the Sexuality section trying to find out what I am. Like you, I carefully discerned the subtle distinctions of different labels like transsexual, transvestite, etc. We're all deeply obsessed with what we are, particularly when we're uncommon. Whatever label applies to you, celebrate your individuality!

    1. I would have been out of luck if I'd had to rely on my local library to learn anything about myself. While I've never had questions about my sexuality, I have also never felt normal, always felt alien, always tried to figure out why. Perhaps this explains my obsession with psychology and philosophy. I imagine us all as like those images of battered old well travelled suitcases with the labels all over them. Stick on whatever label you want, whatever feels right. Collect more, peel some off, cover some over.

    2. Ooh I like that image. That's exactly how I feel! Xo Jazzy Jack

    3. Ah yes Ally, those days scrounging the very limited library shelves. We had hardly anything on gender Nd sexuality but what we did have I devoured! xo Jazzy Jack

  4. Well I certainly enjoy the title of that Book... Enjoy The Gift Of Being Uncommon, there in itself are profound words of Wisdom. I think that for generations we've passed down this remarkable Gift of Being Uncommon in our Family and it has been viewed as both a Blessing and a Curse of sorts due to how it enriches life and by how it is not received well all of the time by people. If not appreciated by a vast majority it can feel rather alienating and strange to be so different in the wiring of one's Mind and ways, that and all the Labels and formal Diagnosis stuck to it to identify it in some kind of way. I do think we inherently find our Tribe and Connect instinctively... I know I have and finding Tribal Members such as yourself way out here in cyberspace is evidence of that fact. I rather like and immensely Enjoy our Tribe... I don't think I wouldn't want to be a part of it actually, it would be so dull and in a word, Common. *Winks* Big Hugs... Dawn... The Bohemian

  5. It is just so nice to read your thoughts on this. I honestly feel a little bit sorry for "regular" people. I've always kind of liked the little private world that I've created for myself even though it can be a bit lonely. The main thing I struggle with now is watching and feeling for my son who is such a gifted and sensitive soul. It can be mighty tough going for us HSP's.

    1. Yes, our homeschooling universe is so internally rich I struggle to get my kids to leave the house. But if they are happy what is the problem?
      Our kids need our advocacy and hints on how to deal with the world, which is why I am so passionate about studying it all right now.
      I'm glad your son has you to show the way! xo Jazzy Jack

  6. I am of the opinion that every human in existence is gifted in some way, weather it be talent attitude intelligence or whatever, but if you compare yourself to anyone or anything it is so easy to quickly put yourself down. But the reality is you aren't the same person as anyone else, you are a completely individual human! God made you to be exactly as you are which automatically makes you special, regardless of if you are gifted in the eyes of the world.
    If we are needing to define 'gifted' we could be here all day, is it natural talent? an ability to learn a talent? might it even be purely the fact that we stand out from the 'average'? (what even is 'average'? or 'normal') as soon as we start doubting our worth we begin to see there are so many negatives about us and everyone around us that it makes it difficult to see straight. BUT there IS good news, we aren't all bad things, we have so many good things about us too! so why focus on the bad? why not just be thankful for our lives God has given us and learn to shut out the lies we tell ourselves only focusing on our perfection through Jesus, under God.

    1. Thanks E.W. for entering into the discussion and writing your thoughts. I am not of the opinion that I or others I love are "bad", however we have struggled with sensitivities to the world that others don't seem to have to deal with. These have led to really debilitating physical problems. When you get to this stage you start searching for answers!
      I know the term "gifted" has its detractors because we are all gifted in some way, but it has a particular use that others who use it diagnostically if you like can understand. It is a shorthand if you like. I search for labels so I can find answers to the issues we are experiencing. If I could make it all go away by just accepting myself I wouldn't need to do all this searching. I know I ask for comments by putting it out on the internet, but I only do this to help others who might also be dealing with it. Surprisingly by writing what I said, I actually was trying to focus on the good, and reinterpret many misconceptions I've had over life in a more positive way!
      I'm glad your belief in God helps you to focus on your perfection...yay!
      xo Jazzy Jack


If a topic has special significance for you, or touches you in some way, I'd love to hear your story! I will return the favour and we will gently touch hands across the miles...or kilometres :-)