Perceptions are a funny thing

When you are a baby, you think everybody perceives the universe the way you do. That’s why they think that if they can’t see you, you can’t see them either.

As a child, you start incorporating your family’s views into your perception of the world (I loosely equal world to universe here). You learn values and point of views. You learn to fear the things your close ones fear and to hate what your close ones hate. And that is what you consider “right”. Whether you are being raised by two moms, or two dads, or a single parent or a mom and a dad, that’s your understanding of “normal”.

SSG’s very own universe

Incidentally, that’s also the time when we learn that Mexicans are “lazy” or that “Muslims” are terrorists” or that gay people are “evil sinners” or that black people are “dangerous”, or… do you get my drift?. At that age, one doesn’t question one’s parents. At that age, we think they know (and are right about) everything.

I was no different. The way I experienced the world, that’s what I considered the norm. I had no reason to believe I was gifted, or weird.

During elementary school, I thought most kids, and some teachers, were utterly stupid. I could not understand why they couldn’t solve simple problems when they were so obviously… simple.

As I grew up, and I read a lot of books and tutored a lot of girls and learn about things like IQs and intelligence theories, I realized that no, my intelligence level was not “normal” and therefore that my classmates were not stupid. That really it wasn’t their fault they couldn’t easily understand complex math problems.

That was a weird moment. Like I said, I had always thought of myself are “normal”. But I was as far from “normal” as one can get. I was a gifted girl, and left-handed, at that. That epiphany happened when I was around 8.

Gifted, left-handed AND a girl.

Everything about me set me apart from the world. Everything in my life, alienated me.

Just think.

Girl: Boys got to do all the cool stuff, like climbing trees and building things while girls were supposed to play with dolls, have fake tea parties and smile.

Left handed: Things and tools are made for right-handed people. From scissors to can openers, to doors, to pens, to school desks and everything in between.

Gifted: I had no one at my level who I could discuss things with. No one who could challenge my brain. Not a single teacher who thought of giving me something else to work on, something more complicated than the “easy” stuff in the curriculum.

So I read, and I read, and then read some more while I collected medals and all sorts of awards. Because that was the only thing left to do.

To be honest, I resent being born in the late 60’s. Look at all the tools kids have nowadays. Oh, the things I would have done had I had a computer/tablet/smartphone. The internet. The world at the tip of my fingers.

Good thing I am introverted, though!

Cause at least I thought nothing of not having friends. At least I was content by being left alone.  The funny thing is that earlier in my school years, I actually thought that was normal. Not to have friends, I mean. And since I never really read children’s books, I didn’t realize how different I was in that regard until I was in middle school.

But! The upside is that since I enjoyed being alone, it never occurred to think I didn’t fit and I never had self-confidence or self-esteem issues.

I know. I am weird. Oh, I know I am weird.

I love winter and snow. I thrive in the cold while I wilt in the heat. I hate summers. Not because of what they are but because of what they do to me.

But the biggest weirdness of all is that I get along a lot better with non-human animals and plants than I do with humans.

For all the things in this world I understand, I understand humans the least. And humans don’t understand me either. Human interactions always leave me weary and sad.

I am sad a lot.

So I burrow in my room and stay away from the world of humans.

And I colour things.


One thought on “Perceptions

  1. Laura P. Schulman, MD, MA says:

    I can relate. I’m not left handed, but used to be ambidextrous before I wrecked my wrist joints. Messed up my banjo playing too. I did feel the lack of other humans to relate to, but since there were always plenty of animals and trees to climb. My mother kept putting me in these girlie organizations and they kept throwing me out which was fine with me. The only things I liked at school were Latin (5 years) and of course any kind of science. The word “nerd” had not been thought up yet so I was an “egg-head” with four eyes….it’s funny now…

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