Growing up, I knew that the way I experienced the world wasn’t the same as my friends or family. The sound of my brother’s chewing, for instance, made me want to jump out of my skin. Fabric softener inspired instant-onset nausea; even the loosest necklaces made me feel like I was choking. My finely-tuned intuition rendered teenage friendships problematic, as my body sensed immediately when people were lying or being disingenuous.
I could give many more examples, but all would serve to communicate that I experience at least four of my six senses (smell, touch, hearing, intuition) much more intensely than the average person. But it was not until March 2020 that I discovered a framework to explain these traits and the life experiences that resulted: I am gifted.
In reading the paper Gifted People and Their Problems and pursuing assessments that confirmed my sensorial, intellectual, and psychomotor giftedness, many pieces fell into place. I understood why I could see connections between disparate elements when others could not. My limitless energy, super-speedy processing, tendency to hyperfixate on a topic of interest – all of these characteristics were part of the gifted package, as were my high standards for relationships, general inability to get with the program, and inviolable morality. The framework also explains why I did so poorly working for others, instead pursuing an entrepreneurial path.
The experience of having my daughter’s gifted tendencies misattributed to mental illness led me to realize that I’m meant to work with (and advocate for) gifted individuals, as this kind of pathologizing is tragically widespread.
As a sensorial person, the gifted community also piques my interest because these walking brains are more susceptible to the body-mind disconnect. Those with high intellectual capacity put so much focus on the mind that they lose touch with the body’s innate guiding wisdom – a misalignment that results in physical pain, anxiety, depression, insomnia, under-achievement, strained relationships, and more.
Thanks to my constitution and background, I understand the particular challenges these individuals face, and have built a coaching practice that enables me to use my gifts to help others reconnect with theirs.