Gifted Grownups

I know. I promised dh I wasn’t going to write, but asking me not to write (or post) is almost like asking me not to breathe. I wanted to share this book find. I came across an article called Unrecognized Giftedness:The Frustrating Case of the Gifted Adult on the website Talent Development Resources when I google-searched “unrecognized gifted adults” since adult gifted issues are one of my pet interests. After all, gifted kids do grow up into gifted adults only there’s a lot less support out there for adults.

The book is called

Gifted Grownups: The Mixed Blessings of Extraordinary Potential by Marylou Kelly Streznewski.

Here is an excerpt from the google books overview of the book’s content .

Gifted Grownups, Marylou Kelly Streznewski’s unprecedented, 10-year study of 100 gifted adults, examines how being identified as a “smart kid” early on affects career choices, friendships, and romantic pairings later in life. Why do some talented and gifted people become Mozarts and Einsteins or corporate chieftains, while others drop out of school, struggle to hold down jobs, or turn to self-destructive behavior? What are the signs of giftedness, its pitfalls, and its promise? Marylou Streznewski provides answers to these and other questions, and creates an intriguing picture of what it is like to have an accelerated mind in a slow-moving world.

It strikes me as perhaps a very interesting read and a good addition to my personal library. I’ve always wanted to know the thoughts and feelings of other gifted adults, particularly since, as a stay-at-home mom now, the idea I’m not living up to my “potential” weighs a little on my mind.

I wrote a post about another book entitled The Gifted Adult on my other blog The Wonder Years, and seems like the Gifted Grownup would complement this book very nicely.

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13 Responses to Gifted Grownups

  1. Jennaviere says:

    If you only knew how timely all your posts have been for me. (Synchronicity? Coincidence?)
    I have been lamenting my inability to work against my asperger-type tendencies of being so overly intense (about whatever topic I am obsessing over at the moment) as to drive people away. This includes friends, other students and instructors.
    I’m bored in class. I’m bored with people. But I need class and I need people. But I don’t much care for the social constructs that get in the way of my learning.
    My classes aren’t moving fast enough for me so I started sitting in on other classes as well, but those weren’t in-depth enough and the instructor seemed uber-annoyed with me so I ordered graduate-level textbooks for myself. And I *can* *not* *wait* for them to come in!!! 🙂

    Thanks for another great post. I will look for this book for sure.

  2. raisingsmartgirls says:

    Jennaviere –

    If you only knew how well I know the feelings you describe. I suspect that some of my readers would be also be able to relate to this as well.

    Did you see this post of mine?

    Hyperfocused Yet Scatterbrained

    Lately, a lot of my over-excitabilities have been triggered, mostly in a good way, but sometimes frustratingly so as well, since, after all…I’m merely sitting here at home blogging about things I think about rather than doing something useful like, you know, housework, or contributing in the laboratory like I used to.

    When you talk of trying to sit in on other classes, it reminded me so much of Hermione Granger of the Harry Potter series who in the third novel used a time turner to be able to take classes during the same time slots because she really wanted to learn, everything, now.

    As far as the book goes, I’m really looking forward to peering into the internal life of other intense, complex, and driven individuals.

  3. Jennaviere says:

    Oh Yah!! Hermione Granger! I would love to have one of those time turner things so I could go to more classes!

    I haven’t read the Hyperfocused post yet but I can relate already. I get hyperfocused on what is really ringing my bell at the moment, but can’t keep track of anything else. I have been surprised twice this week already when therapists showed up for C.
    And my friend told me yetserday: J, you really need to work on trying to listen to people and at least act interested in what they are saying, maybe even try to remember some details.
    Oops. Yes, I will work on that.

    I read the reviews for that book and it seems that it tells a good story but doesn’t really offer any guidance for dealing with the negative aspects. Reviews for similar titles were the same: great for finding a detailed description of yourself but not really helpful for learning how to overcome some of the bothersome aspects.
    One reviewer writes:
    ‘Sadly, none of my big questions were answered such as, “how do I overcome this programming?” I am just as confused and feel just as alone as I did prior to reading the book, so I can’t say it has been any help to me except to point out that maybe there are others out there like me. What’s the point if I still feel too lost to find them and to express my “true” self?’

    I will keep searching though, because I truly need to learn focus and how to temper that intensity that periodically pushes people away from me.

  4. raisingsmartgirls says:

    Okay…have you heard of the Living With Intensity book that I posted about earlier this year?

    I’ve since lost the book (because I have a tendency to forget to put them back on my bookshelf and they subsequently migrate around the house and get swallowed up by a black hole somewhere within the walls of this house.

    Let me take a look to see if I can’t find it and find out if there is useful information within the pages.

  5. raisingsmartgirls says:

    I’m just going to add that I’m interested in the Gifted Grownups book precisely for the reason to validate who I am and how I’ve felt all along…as well as hopefully show my dh who really doesn’t quite understand what it’s like to be me.

    And, at any rate…I’m not so sure we need to “overcome this programming”. You are who you are and you should not feel the need to drastically change.

    However, that being said…certain things need managing…like when I forget to pick up my child from school because I’m swept away writing/researching for my own intellectual needs.

  6. Jennaviere says:

    I have forgotten my kids in this way as well. I know, it feels terrible! I often feel very selfish in that way but at the same time, sheesh, I have spent so much of my life making sure everyone else had what they needed and neglecting myself. And, gosh, I know what you mean about the internet — it just sucks you in! I spent three hours the other day just reading old BMJ journals (as in, from 1918). Fascinating stuff!

    Someone just told me they think I am bi-polar with my two “poles” being manic and ultra-manic, and I’m in my ultra-manic phase.
    Ok so the metaphor is not great, but I still agree. It’s more intense now than it has been thus far in my life and I don’t know whether it’s because I finally found “my thing” or because, for the first time in my adult life, I have completely given up the booze. (hoorah!)

    I actually get far *higher* from researching something or creating or writing to other people that actually UNDERSTAND what I’m saying than I do from any other activity. And yes, that means ANY other activity. Even still, I wouldn’t mind some of the ordinary stuff too but I have become so intolerant of others who aren’t seeing the world as this bright, buzzing, smorgasbord of fascinating wonderment. But it also feels lonesome at times, like feeling as if you’re the only person on the planet that has ever seen a sunrise. Sure, great tingly feelings and all that, but what good is it if you’re the only one that knows about it?

    It’s difficult to convey this feeling, as I keep coming across as a pretentious pain in the ass. I certainly don’t intend to. Is anyone out there relating to this?

    I’m so glad I found you, KC. I like you, I like your mind, I like your writing style, and I loooove that you put down into words what I know so many of us ponder and agonize and feel daily.

    I’d like to comment on your Gaslight effect post too. We have very similar backgrounds. Spooky, in fact.

    I saw that Intensity book, may well order that one.

    I found this after doing a search, and it made me smile:

  7. raisingsmartgirls says:

    Jennaviere –

    Thank you so much for your additional thoughts. Congrats on giving up the booze (though something tells me you might have used that to temper your intensity out of some pressure to do so).

    That article is absolutely fabulous! I’m going to save it and print it out.

    No, you aren’t coming across as a pretentious pain in the ass. I can think of another person besides myself who can relate.

    I have been accused of being bi-polar too. My dear husband, fortunately never has accused me of that…but when I ask, he does admit I do get “moody”, and I can be quite intense and driven and hyperfocused and scatterbrained. Eh, as I told a friend of mine recently, “like me or leave me, but don’t try to change me”.

    I will say though…that even though I can express these feelings common to us quite well, I feel I’m failing one of my friends.

    I am trying to reach out and “rescue” others from their troubled thoughts. I feel I recently just failed a friend and it really, really pains me to know that there comes a time when I realize I’m not going to “save” everyone I want to.

    I hope everyone leaves here, leaves me specifically, in a somewhat better frame of mind than they entered it. I sadly realize I’m not powerful enough to fix all the problems.

    Sigh…I am trying though.

    peace, and love

    kc (aka casey, btw)

  8. Jennaviere says:

    Ah, sweet Casey, you are insightful and wise, so surely you know you can’t save anyone. You do yourself a disservice by putting such an impossible expectation on yourself. You may have not gotten the results you wanted, but in some way you have affected that person’s life and that’s always a good thing and as much as we can expect.
    I started a post about that last night… well, sort of about that. Maybe I will now try and finish it. (I start two a day sometimes that i never finish — it’s getting embarrasing!!!)

  9. raisingsmartgirls says:

    Thank you Jennaviere for your kindness. I know the truth of what you are saying. I know I’ve done some good for people. I know I can lend a hand, but the person has to take it and help themselves the rest of the way.

    I’d like to think I’m always going to do/say the right thing when sometimes I simply take my best shot and hope it’s good enough.

    At any rate, I do appreciate you and your comforting words!

    Good luck on your post and I’d love to read it, whatever it turns out to be.

    I know what you mean, as I have a more than a few of my own unfinished posts. Don’t be embarrassed because then I’ll have to be too!

  10. Jen says:

    Because of you (and this is a VERY good thing indeed), I have read more in the past two weeks about Dabrowski, gifted children, and gifted adults, than I have ever read, well, ever read.

    Because you posted your struggles to understand yourself and your girls, I went and bought a bunch of books, and I am telling you I understand myself sooooo much better. And let’s not talk about what it has done with my relationship with my highly-sensitive gifted wonderful exasperating NOT-ADD/ADHD daughter. What a gift to understand WHY she reacts the way she does, not to mention understanding why *I* react the way I do.

    So I think I just simply want to say thank you to you. Because you have risked sharing your heart, your struggles, your faults and your strengths with people, you have given me some resources I didn’t even know were out there, which have already helped my family tremendously.

  11. raisingsmartgirls says:

    Jen – Thank you so much for your kind words. I’m so thrilled that our struggles are helping others. I know there’s a lot of things we still have to work on, but things are so much better than they used to be for us.

    The interesting thing about my relationship with highly sensitive daughter (that I’ve been meaning to post about) is how great things can be when I would spend some time being near her and simply watching her closely. Like when I was watching her read to me the other night. Every now and then she’d raise her eyes to look at me and smile so sweetly. It was very wonderful. I love those moments and I want to foster more of them.

    Best wishes to you and your family as you grow together and learn from each other!

  12. What a great blog! So comforting to hear a similar voice on the net. I too have a daughter identified. I was also identified as gifted as a child but never thought about it much until I became the parent of a ferociously (and sometimes frighteningly) intelligent child. Only recently did I learn that being gifted might mean more than just being ‘smart’. Boggles my mind how much information there is on gifted children and so comparatively little for gifted adults, y’know? And a lot of the gifted adult stuff is written by psychologists who, I’m guessing, generally see people who are really struggling. Most of the gifted adults I know are, like me, doing mostly OK but still want KNOW/DO/BE more…not tragic, just seeking…

  13. raisingsmartgirls says:

    Gifteduniverse – thanks for your reply. I do know the feeling of doing mostly okay but wanting to KNOW/DO/BE more. That’s why I’m addressing things on my blog – to help me sort it all out and hopefully help others too.

    I will definitely check out your blog by the way. I am always looking for new information and kindred spirits!

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