Hello forum helpers, I was very glad to find that this site existed. I just signed in and the chats are empty at the moment, but hopefully I can talk to some people on there eventually. Like the subject said, I have never really pursued any sort of help for my problems. I have internalized them to such a point that I find this to be my only conceivable chance. Here I think I can reach out for the help that I had denied needing for so long. I'm gonna try to make this as short as I can, but beware and sorry for length. I'm going to start with my story and then follow with some thoughts of mine looking back on my life.
To get me, firstly I am a very introverted person. I am now 24 and in the past few years I have been working diligently to force myself further out of the comfort zones that I had previously set and have met a fair amount of success in that, but I am who I am and I am most certainly introverted. My lower grade school experiences were that I didn't care about
the work, but I was able to do it quickly and easily, so it wasn't even a point of concern...in any way you could think about
it. I do remember taking a reading vocabulary grade placement test in 6th grade and I was scored at a grade 13 level, freshman in college. I never noticed a problem and I did my work quickly to be able to mess around for longer. From kindergarten to 6th grade I was the "class clown", always the one making people giggle when the teacher looks away, outgoing, confident with the ignorance of the very young, no signs of quiet introversion. I was outgoing, yet still never saw eye to eye with any of my peers, very little shared interests, always seemed like being on the outside looking in...or maybe the other way around. To some degree or another I have always felt as the "odd one out", like being in a different country with different language and customs. Due to the fact that I was a slight...to severe (hehe) hellion, I ended up with a large collection of detentions, ISS, OSS, but it was almost always for being smart with a teacher(lol something I could not help myself from doing), nothing cruel or malicious...I was just bored, free thinking, and done with my work :).
The next 2 years, 7th and 8th grade, was spent in a different school (due to my incompatibility with certain staff at the last). I didn't know anyone, and in that situation, very shy and introverted, you don't end up knowing anyone that doesn't come forward and club you on the head. At that age I was really naive about
girls, it was 7th grade, I was 13 (lol i know but I was shy and sheltered) and ended up, due to my complete naivety and the prodding of a very simple minded, and now that I think of it malicious so called "friend", I ended up freaking out a girl and she reported me to the councilor for harassment. That wasn't like the wind being taken from my sails, it was like the sails being torn to shreds......all confidence I had as a younger person disappeared like a magician yanking the tablecloth from under a crystal set. It crushed my self esteem and self image. I wasn't meaning any harm...I never wanted her to be uncomfortable, and if I knew then what I know now I would have been able to see that. This is a very large and deep pitfall that I had in my young years that never really left completely. I finally had gotten up the courage to confront her and ask for her forgiveness before the end of 8th grade, and I was granted it thankfully...I have prayed and apologized to the One that matters most......it taught me extreme respect for women in a very acute fashion. After that situation I felt...ashamed, confidence and self esteem at literal zero, like if I just looked again at a girl the very same thing would happen. From this point on I was broken, for about
8 years after this I was basically unable to speak with girls with any modicum of comfort. I began to form what I now know as a social disorder of sorts, social anxiety, negative self image, hiding within myself like a turtle in defensive mode.
Now I am thrust into high school, broken, confused, embarrassed, now with the stigma on me that I believe every girl I see thinks me disgusting, or that there was something wrong with me. In reality though, very few people came to know of it, but to me...I saw it in everyone eyes, any look, the shame and guilt that I had felt when I was 13 years old in 7th grade all came rushing back, that feeling that they were all judging me. Through all of this I had to continue on with my schooling, so just meandered on without really thinking about
it. It seemed as it did in all the other grades, absolute mind melting boredom. I truly despised school, every bit, every day, except for the hours of my art classes. I never took a piece of homework home because I knew for sure that I would not do it (I suffered school, I lived outside it, hehe no mixing business and pleasure)...so I just decided to get it all done in the same class period that it was assigned, and whatever was left just didn't get done (which did not often happen). I never studied in the least for any test from kindergarten to when I was a freshman in college, all through high school I was finding refuge in my head, my imagination. I read about
50+ very large medieval fantasy novels while in high school(David Gemmel rocks btw), it was my escape route when assignments got done too quickly. Despite my unneeded paranoia and introversion, I still made a handful of friends while there. At a fairly young age I began smoking marijuana, I'd smoke some before school to help me with the day, stress, paranoia, boredom, frustration. It definitely did not do a great deal of good for my lungs, but with the torrent of feelings roiling around inside me every day, I very much appreciated a release from them, a few moments of mental peace, relaxation of body and most pointedly of mind. That part I could clearly identify at the time. I continued through high school, blending in with the scenery as best I could, too scared of my trauma with girls to ever approach one, and too "quiet, long haired weird guy" to be approached by many. Toward the end of my senior year I began to realize a little more about
myself, to come out of myself just a bit, just sometimes. Each time was a little easier, and I could stray just a bit further before turning back. I had a small group of very close friends outside of school, most were 2-3 years older than I was, but it was the only group of people that I found it was not quite so painful to listen to and be around (I don't mean to be cold sounding but it was the truth). With that small group of friends I got lucky, or we were just drawn to one another without realizing, but all of my close friends are very intelligent people. I am pretty sure I spent more time with them because those were the only people that I could ever consistently or repeatedly talk to, but I just didn't fully realize why yet.
I went on to one year of college for an Art degree, art for art's sake, photography to be precise. I was told over and over by professors and students alike that journalism is basically the only way to go with photography...but I was interested in the artistic, the aesthetic, I just wanted to capture God's own artwork, the natural world, as best I could so that I might be able to share a facet of my point of view with others. Spread to others the feelings I get when looking at towering, majestic, cloud capped mountains that have stood in silent vigil since the creation of man...or to come out of the treeline to find a small trickling waterfall amongst the rocks, the spray from the fall causing the ever so slight shimmering of a rainbow, a gentle stream meandering away and downhill, leading to who knows where or what. To be able to give, spread, cause, share, to be a contagion of simple joys, peace, and beauty, hoping just maybe if I took the right picture, the viewer might actually be hear the ambient chitterings of the insects, smell the cleanliness of the air away from a city, the earthy bouquet of the nature around you. Hehe clearly from my somewhat apparent love of photographing nature you might be able to surmise that I did not complete the 4 years, after one I realized that it really wasn't for me. To have an "institute of higher learning" demand that I take unrelated courses to my major AND make me pay for them.....I don't have to be slapped in the face with a dead one to smell something fishy, on top of the fact that the courses did not fit what I was out to learn. I have continued my education in various ways myself, the internet is a great tool for that, hehe and try having a conversation with a close friend of mine, that also is a mental exercise.
Following my one year in college I kinda just bummed around for a while, kinda lost, staying with friends in my college town for a while, then the same back in my home town, and now I am back at my parents because I found out I have a hernia and back/neck problems from a fall I took, so they were more than happy to have me back so that I can try to deal with all these medical bills. In the past 4 years I have done a fair bit of soul searching, trying to work through my past problems, and all the problems that it snowballed into. I have successfully taken quite a few steps in the right direction as far as coming out of my shell. I have forgiven myself and nearly cleansed the remnant stigma perceived from my youth, yet I do still have troubles talking to women. Since for so many years I was too scared to talk to women, I don't have the same portfolio of experiences that many do. I have had some runs with girls, but nothing special because my fears keep me from approaching that which I might desire most.
Sorry for the length, but that is my story...now comes the part where the puzzle pieces start fitting together. It was about
a year ago, my mother called me into her room during one of my more troubled moments, and let me know something that I wish with all my heart she had let me know when I was young. She sat down, much more stoic than usual and told me she had something to tell me, and she isnt sure if she should, or if she should have years ago...but that she was going to now. Obviously that is a kinda creepy introduction, especially combined with the demeanor. She told me a few things, one thing was that at the end of my 4th grade year, my teacher called her into school for a talk. Knowing me, my mom figured right away that I was in trouble again...but instead of being told of trouble, my teacher lays on a desk a tall stack of papers, every test and piece of work from me all year, every single one being an A+ (keep in mind it was a private school). The teacher didn't really know what to say, none of them did...I caused so many disturbances due to my antics...but I was acing everything. Then she goes on to tell me that in my 5th grade year the principal actually came to her after school one day and asked if it would be alright to test my brother and I's IQ, just us two. So they did the tests in 5th grade, and she related that he wouldn't even say the number on the phone...so she went in, and he wouldn't even say it out loud lest someone outside his door hear. He took a note card, wrote a number on it, folded it, and slid it across his desk. On the piece of paper was written 173......... When she said that I was floored, absolutely stunned, asking why didn't you tell me in the past, the motivation that would spring from knowing that kind of potential. Over the next week, in bursts, came quick fire realizations...I read for hours about
high IQ individuals and how if affects their growing up. Turns out that my feeling apart my whole life, being on the outside, never being able to relate to my peers, also the ease with which I skated through school, why I had the friends that I do, why my grade school suffered the shinanigans I caused with such quiet reserve(relatively quiet hehe), along with my preference of good books to attempting to relate to people my age, and I also came to find that I was smoking marijuana to effectively "level the playing field" or "balance the scales", so to speak, and especially if it was one of those painful conversations that so many people seem to initiate.
Wrapping up all that brings us to a fairly lasting depression (parts being from the people anxiety, the lifelong alienation that was all yet unexplained until she had that talk with me, the realization that the real and actual difference in me is probably both good and bad...and probably most of all, being alone...having been alone all my life, and the realization that I will most likely be alone for some time...finding someone that I can relate to is seeming like a literal search for a needle in a stack of haystacks). Also anxiety around people I don't know, and with all I've experienced I'm thinking I might have AD/HD Predominantly Inattentive type. I read from multiple sources that someone with a high IQ and predominantly inattentive AD/HD can easily be overlooked as not having an impairment because of the compensation made. The gifted person is then looked at as possibly being lazy, having a lack of motivation, or of being bored...well two outa three ain't bad, as "they" say lol. I was decidedly bored, and most certainly lacking motivation to keep completing the effortless garbage that I was presented with....and the reason for those two things wasn't exactly laziness, it was more of just becoming accustomed to the ease of learning and therefore becoming bored with both the work itself and then also with the free time I have after the assignment is quickly completed. I also answered the National Resource Center On AD/HD's 9 question preliminary test for it and answered yes to 6 out of the 9, 6 being the number at which they suggest being tested for predominantly inattentive AD/HD. Thank you to anyone who read all this, I didnt start out meaning for such an essay, so thank you and I appreciate any responses, suggestions, or help that can be offered.
Post Edited (-Misunderstood-) : 5/31/2010 5:07:20 PM (GMT-6)