Sunday, February 3, 2013

Gifted and Talented

Growing up as a fatty in skinny society was traumatic enough without the unpleasant addition of glasses, an alcoholic father, and the label of gifted and talented. In other words, you are not just a social outcast but you are destined to be intelligent enough to recognize your plight.

Unlike today, in the seventies fat kids were a rarity. There was no plus section, no Torrid. My parents bought me clothes in the maternity section and hemmed them for me. Boys had husky tough skins. There were no obese garamimals.

To add insult to injury, I was a food addict before it was known that eating a bag of of Doritos and washing it down with a two liter of Mountain Dew wasn't normal for a seven year old. I've been on weight loss plans since I was ten. Parents get kinda grumpy with their chubby embarrassment but as a parent myself I see the solution was fairly simple - stop buying crappy food!

Junior High School was excruciatingly painful. Cries of orca the killer whale got old around fifth grade. The saving grace for me was being in the gifted and talented program. I was always challenged to dumb myself down because I wanted to be liked by more than my teachers. Thank you Mrs. Claunch for letting me spend lunch time away from the cafeteria humiliation I had experienced most of my school years. I used to pocket my lunch money, starve all day. While other kids were talking about the social mores of 13 year olds, I got to avoid the daily humiliation of having no where to sit. We were writing code and looking at the stock market in blissful isolation. If only I wouldn't have traded my intellect for social acceptability in high school. I could have invented the next great thing instead of investing in getting fucked up to feel normal. Gifted with less talents

4 comments:

  1. I can relate to this in so many ways. I'm not an addict in the sense of the word most people think of or conjure up when they hear it, but i do have my addictions. And those addictions came from a very similar situation in my youth.

    Not ever being pretty enough, girly enough; being one of the 'gifted' kids and set apart at from the others at age 10 - it warped me. I always eagerly looked forward whatever we doing in the Gifted Program and I thrived; I found my place, so to speak. Felt normal and accepted. That rug was pulled out from under me in high school, due to program funding. I sunk into depression and barely skated through, with teachers saying "Why? You're brilliant, but lazy!" No, not lazy. I was doing trig in the 6th grade, tyvm. Fell in with the 'bad' kids, created my own habits and addictions just to get me through the days, different ways of "getting fucked up to feel normal". Proudly living up to the title of "brilliant loser" I was labeled with. And it's stuck with me all these years. I'm addicted to failure.

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    1. You are awesome. Things are turning around for you quickly. Spread your brilliance. Don't be shy!

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  2. God this hit home as well. I remember spending lunch with my art teacher painting, just to avoid the name calling and having nowhere to sit. I too never dealt with those problems and it festered into a heroin addiction. I'm scared to have my security blanket ripped away from me. Heroin made me not give two fuvks about the way anyone thought of me. It gave me this confidence I never knew I could have. When I'm not on heroin I feel like I'm standing in the middle of penn station but naked, exposed to everyone, while they pass judgments on my imperfections.

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    1. it is hard- that crippling self awareness

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