The intersection of trauma and giftedness is not a fun topic to explore. But it’s a real one, because there are many gifted adults in the world struggling to heal from their past trauma. I’ve been wanting to write an article on this topic for a long time, but I’ve struggled to do so, ironically, because of my own trauma. If you’re working through trauma, I hope reading my story and healing journey will help you on yours.
Giftedness is averaged to make up well less than 5% of the general population, and within that small number, there are subclassifications: mild, moderate, high, exceptional and profound giftedness. Relatively little has been written about the later three of these, with the unfortunate result that the net is cast wide in the existing literature on giftedness. With various levels and concepts of “giftedness” often grouped together into a one-size-fits-all description, the highly, exceptionally and profoundly gifted are misrepresented in important ways. We all know that a mild or moderately gifted person can feel a strong sense of being an “alien” in a group of non-gifted people; so too can a highly, exceptionally or profoundly gifted person feel a strong sense of being an “alien” in a group of mild or moderately gifted people (the same is true between profoundly and highly gifted too, and so on). This article is an adapted excerpt from my upcoming book, which aims to clarify these differences and why they are important to know about.
I started InterGifted in 2015 as a means to connect gifted peers around the world. In this article, I share my experience of publicly talking about being gifted for the first time, my motivations for creating InterGifted, how gifted people can recognize giftedness in themselves and others, and why it’s not arrogant to be sincerely who you are.