I have one of those memories where you can remember snapshots of your life, the tastes, the smells, the colors, the feeling, etc., and one major one in my life is when they tested me in grade school for GT (Gifted and Talented) in 2nd or 3rd grade. I’m not a savant who can tell you what exact date or time of day or anything like that, but damnit I’m good. I do remember feeling an enormous pressure and anxiety about performing well. I was raised to excel at everything, immediately, placed before me, or else I didn’t want anything to do with it. I was trained to be that way! When I brought home grades in high school showing 2 Bs, one of which was a B+ in German IV, I was not congratulated by my father. Instead, he said, “What happened there?” I never EVER felt validated, like anything I ever did was “good enough”.
The moment when I was tested for GT (Gifted and Talented) in grade school, I remember the teacher being a kind, attractive, older woman, who surely knew what it was to discover a true “special one” for advanced classes! I remember doing impressively well throughout most of the tests administered by this kind woman. The defining moment of dread for me was when she simply asked me to define the word “because”. Seems simple enough, right? But the word haunted me and all I found myself saying over and over in that dreadful moment that seemed to last an eternity was, “BECAUSE!” “Because, because, because…” I had frozen in my ability to expound in the way she needed me to at that moment and I could easily see the gears in my future shifting at that very moment.
My parents told me that while the administrators saw an obvious high intelligence, I was no where near the emotional maturity required for such pressures that GT classes required.
The following year, 4th grade in Ms. Rosewitz’s class, full of mostly hooligans that lived in the poorer parts of our neighborhood, in some weird way, these little scamps were responsible for my honed spelling and writing skills that developed significantly over our 4th grade year. Certainly, being punished repeatedly for other classmates’ bad behavior, benefited by the ability to spell like a walking dictionary, because as punishment for one person’s misdeeds, she would force our entire class to write our spelling words of the week several hundred times a day! No wonder I feel like a walking dictionary! I am glad I am, though, as I perceive it to be very beneficial in my life, being a writer and all. 😉 I probably really need to improve upon my comma usage, though. Whattaya think?
I never write in an altered state, but today in particular has been a very tough one and I admit I wrote this half in the bag. I’m having one of those, “I thought I was out and fine and going about my life” moments, but then received one of those, “Oh yeah, remember ME, the person who completely abandoned you when you needed them and stomped your heart to pieces?!” Needless to say, I HAVE NOT responded. I am much better off without that toxicity in my life. I refuse to have any relationship that is not REAL. Anything less is a waste of time and effort.