What Do Gifted Teens Say About Their Struggles?

Your Rainforest Mind

photo courtesy of Ben White, Unsplash

The gifted adolescents that I have known grapple with existential depression, anxiety, loneliness, perfectionism, sensitivities, empathy, misdiagnoses, bullying, and serious frustrations with the school system. Here is “one” teen’s voice synthesized from the many that I have met over the years. All people will benefit when we take the time to understand our gifted children.

I’m in counseling because my parents are worried. I don’t have any real friends and I spend a lot of time in my room or on my phone. My grades are dropping. I’m actually failing in a couple classes. They’re afraid I’m depressed, maybe even suicidal. My parents are right to be concerned. I don’t know what’s wrong but I’ve been kind of a mess ever since I can remember. And lately, I’ve been wondering, what’s the point?

I remember being in kindergarten and I tried to talk with…

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Mighty Manifesting

Amazingly Awesome things:

1) My car is repaired, which means no more soggy floorboards and mold! Now I get to have it cleaned, rotate the tires, and have one more oil change to prepare it for travel. I’m getting just a wee bit excited! 🚗 I couldn’t have done any of that without my dear father helping me pay for all of it. Beyond grateful for my family right now. 💜

2) I made it to Jazzercise with Noa in tow, due to a surprise extra day of spring break for her. Why we call it a break is beyond me. Lol. 😂 Anyway, here’s what’s super cool: I remained calm when I had to stop at home, then drive down the road, then come back a few blocks because I forgot the child care money, and have just enough time to change and go dance. The classes are paid for (thanks to my dad, again, I don’t have to quit this month), Orion lent me the child care money, and I had plenty of space to move around today (always nice). I’m making progress when it comes to being flexible and not getting flustered or rushed when the unexpected happens. Whew! And the workout was outstanding, of course. Woohoo! 🤸🏽‍♂️🌟

3) I decided to let go of any chance of seeing my security deposit, let go of my worry about it, and…let go of resentment about any potentially shady future events such as these. Most importantly, I decided to stop projecting negative circumstances or outcomes. Instead, I decided to place my focus on what I can control (my attitude and actions), channeling my energy only on what really matters and makes me feel good. I also learned to listen to my intuition next time. Omg, always listen to your intuition! Life is so much easier when we do.

Does it matter that I just now decided all of that? Not one bit. Do you realize that you can change your thoughts and thereby change your life ANYTIME you want?

🌟We create our own reality🌟

Really, we do. Science backs that up with evidence that particles have effects on each other’s actions. What we think affects us and the people around us. Ever heard of mirror neurons? That’s a real thing. Recall a time when you saw or heard about someone being excited and really happy about some event in their lives. Did you feel that zing, too? And we say, oooh, I caught your excitement. I can feel it! Well, that’s what that is. We can and do catch each other’s feelings. What if we just ran with that, instead of all the commiseration?

All I had to do was make a decision. That’s the first step toward change. And yes, there’s action involved. Now that I’ve decided to stop complaining and accept what life is offering, I’ve set changes into motion. I’ve just told you all about it. Writing it down is my commitment to that attitude shift. Next step, move onward and upward toward wherever my intuition leads me.

Laughter and dance seem to help me get motivated, loosen up my body, mind, and spirit, and shift my energy into a place that makes way more sense. I’m typing relentlessly, getting a major rush of inspiration, all because of a sweet little book that promised me that my life would change if I stayed grateful and talked about it.

That’s what I want to do for people. I want my writing to inspire others to spread the message about what we’re here to do. Let’s party! Let’s enjoy our lives. Sometimes I try to fight it, but that’s ok. Life gives me all kids of opportunities to shine. Tonight, I decided to let myself relax and enjoy the ride.

Can you feel the magic?

#ThankAndGrowRich #PamGrout #gratefulx365

Falling Together

What’s so amazingly awesome about everything seemingly falling apart? So better things can fall together (I borrowed a variation of that quote from Marilyn Monroe). That sign in the photo is courtesy of a thoughtful Eugene community member who posts uplifting messages near our local Trader Joe’s. “Thermos Be a Way”. I agree. Here we go…

1) With the current instability of my government subsidies, I’m aware that I most likely need to get a job, whatever that means for me at this point in my life. I can make money in myriad ways now, so the sky’s the limit! I’ve got this. Really, I do. What’s most amazing is that I did only a tiny bit of footwork, yet I’m not stressed about it. Attitude is everything, and small actions are still actions.

The berries in the muffins (the best part)? I already wanted to let go of subsidies, even in the midst of appreciation when I’ve truly needed them. Supporting myself and family is where I want to be. So, in a twisted way, I can thank the butthead moves of a particular self-centered human who wants walls instead of bridges. How’s that for a silver lining in the ominous clouds? Wow, I’m kinda on fire right now. Or I’ve just lost my mind and have nothing more to lose. Perhaps both. 🔥😂😭

On a more serious note. I’m beyond grateful to have privilege to survive and get through this hardship. And I’m willing to share what I have with others who don’t. Because I’m not an asshole and I have something to give. I love you all. Please, ask for help and I promise I’ll be there. 💜

2) I spent the most peaceful evening with my dear children. I engaged them in helping me bake some delicious muffins I’d never made before, they played and had a dance party, when my Apple Music actually worked. Speaking of which…I was initially not seeing any access to my playlists, thinking my free trial was over and all of it was erased. I was disappointed, yearning for simpler times without the fancy technology that can instantly break down. Then, without much prompting, it all came back. Note to self: take pictures of the lists, get back up CDs, write it down. Way to remind me to simplify for myself. Thanks Apple.

Why did I have such a relaxed evening? Was it my recent intake of celery juice, that’s been said to reduce attachment to drama? Is it because I’ve had psychic readings that have shown me new ways of dealing with my anger and rage? Or I let them help me and do things for themselves? Maybe all of those things. Whatever it was, I’ll take it. We even got through nail clipping with very little fuss. Amen to all of that.

3) I’m letting go of things I’ve wanted so badly to hang onto, like justified anger, disappointment, idealized relationships, expectations, outcomes and results, future plans, and regret. Today has been a reflection of my hard work, my dedication to improving my life, getting unstuck by unraveling previously held beliefs that have not served me, and allowing a little sadness and grief on their way out.

What a wild ride I signed up for. Thanks to all my angels, guides, past lives, and fellow humans right here, who are with me on the journey. Amazingly Awesome, indeed. 🔥🌟🔮💥⏰🕉🦋🌹🌈🦄💜

Make a Wish

I’m listening to a neighbor try in vain to start their car. They keep doing the same thing over and over, apparently expecting different results. I was meditating, wanting so badly for them to start their car. I wanted to magically will it to happen. The voice in my head said, “It’s the starter. They won’t be able to get it to work.” Then I felt an urge to stop and write. It dawned on me that maybe the best help I can give is to allow them the gift of surrender. Maybe an angel has prevented them from going out in their car tonight so they’ll stay safe. They could have been averted from a car accident. Or they were planning on driving somewhere that wasn’t in their best interest for some other reason.

If I’m going to send the good juju, could it be the power of letting go? Maybe send them some comic relief on this first day of 2019? I think about all of that because I would likely get so pissed off about not having reliable transportation, and be focused on not being able to go where I want. I would likely forget that there could be a higher purpose. I would likely forget that the situation is temporary, or alternatives exist. So I want my neighbor to relax and let go of control. What a valuable gift that would be.

Often the things we want to do for others are exactly the things that will help us. 💜

It’s a new year. Go break some shit.

I purposely broke a plate today. Yes, that’s right. I threw it down and watched it shatter all over my patio. With pleasure and delight, I cleaned it up. I found a tiny plastic baby while picking up tiny shards from the dirt. I also poked my thumb with one of the shards.

Why did I do that?

Because I needed to see for myself just how possible it is to break free from the things that no longer serve me. It was a breakthrough and a lesson I’ll remember always. I have a choice. I have the power to commit, to follow through, and I can change my reality anytime. And oh, how that symbolism followed. The tiny plastic baby is to remind me I’m reborn into a new attitude. The poke reminds me that breaking shit can cut you. Haha. No, really. The more I participate in handling broken things (or ideas and behavior), the more likely I’ll get hurt.

So, there ya go. I moved to Eugene in March 2018. Before that was just ick. I’ve carried some of my old ick with me, but mostly have been healing and growing like nobody’s business. I’ve met some wonderful, amazing friends here, and found a new part of me that was hiding. Tomorrow will start off like any other day, I imagine. But the work I’ve put in is starting to show. I’m grateful.

Happy New Year everyone. Now go break some shit and move on to bigger and better things in your life.

⭐️ “Thank you. I love you. You showed me what I needed to see. Now I am free.” ⭐️

Thanks to my psychic friend Vanessa for the inspiration. I forgot all about that above statement while I broke the plate, but whatever I said instead did the trick. 😉


Buried Treasure – Work in Progress

Day 17

I’ve been writing all kinds of great content about gratitude since October. Four days ago, I ran dry. Everything sounded stale and repetitive. I had no more buried treasure, no hidden gifts, no blessings in disguise. Why is it that I find them almost hourly and I couldn’t write that shit down? Why do I give up so easily? Most importantly, why is getting it out there so important, even when quality suffers?

I have to ask myself something else. What are my intentions? If I want to write a book that speaks to your heart and soul, I need to bare mine. I need to dig deeper and speak my truth. That’s my favorite kind of writing. When an author spills out the mess without holding back, showing their authentic self. I intend to do just that, so I guess I wanted to go big or go home. And I withdrew on my couch while scrolling social media in the unhealthiest way possible. I looked at the comments, then responded. You know how that goes.

I’ve heard from writers I admire to just keep writing, even when it lacks pizazz. Since I’m sharing publicly every time I write for the moment, I want to present it to you like it’s always some of my best work. It’s just not. That’s why we call it a writing practice.

I also have an intention to make a decision and follow through, and I’ve done that. I publish on my blog and Facebook almost every night now. Not only do I get to practice gratitude, I finish something. I’ve given myself a goal of writing for a month, have done it for 2 1/2 months. See what happened there? I stopped writing on the 13th, just 18 days from the end of the month and year. That’s a habit I want to break. I’ve done it with college. I’m two classes shy of my BA. No more of that nonsense.

Here’s the beautiful, messy truth. While I was away not writing creatively, I had an important emotionally cathartic moment. I stumbled across a video of parents forcing their children to eat veggies, and mocking them when they got upset. I was disturbed by people laughing at these kids. When I finally stepped away from Facebook, I had a breakdown. I was one of those kids. Although I wasn’t laughed at, I was forced to sit and eat foods that made me gag. I also had a short period when I was neglected and stole food because I was starving. I cried for these children and for myself. I felt all the pent up feelings from childhood come pouring out. I still have more to come, I imagine. I unfriended a few people, including the person who posted it in jest. Then I gave myself time to get a good night’s sleep.

I have found gifts these last 4 days. I just didn’t feel like talking, and that’s ok. Now that we have all this access to internet connection, I tend to forget about all the other kinds of connections I can have. I need to get back to Nature, reading, pen to paper journaling, playing music, being present for my kids and friends, and sitting in meditative silence. I’ve learned that I can choose to write my first drafts here and not worry about it, or I can craft a masterpiece. I can also choose to go read a book and go to bed early. All of it sounds perfect.

Buried Treasure -Dysfunction Junction

Day 12

I’m a big fan of signs. Signs are everywhere, including “Danger” and “Stop”. I also carry a personal history of ignoring those signs. Dysfunctional people still gravitate toward me, but at least not at the rapid rate they used to when I was abusing drugs and alcohol.

I have found hidden treasures from being in dysfunctional relationships. One particular relationship stands out as one of the most important catalysts for my personal growth. I’ve transformed into a balanced, well adjusted human because of my experiences with this person. I didn’t even know I was dysfunctional, until I was in so much pain and was forced to take a long hard look at my behavior. I addressed it in a support group for people suffering from the effects of codependency and addiction, and it changed my life. I’m more decisive and clear about boundaries. I focus on myself, allowing others to take care of themselves. Now I’m more available when people ask for help, because I’ve filled up. But that doesn’t mean I can save them. That’s not my job.

My deep emotional work has made it easier to have healthy, balanced relationships with everyone in my life. If you would have asked me in the throes of my tragic circumstances, I would have begged for it to be different between us. But I see how much I’ve learned and how I’ve grown. Without that dysfunction, I could have missed out on the gift. ✨🌹💜

Buried Treasure – Your Intuition is Talking…Are You Listening?

Day 11

I’ve been uncomfortable a few times today. I decided to go holiday shopping at Target first thing in the morning, thinking I’d take about 20 minutes, then get out in Nature or meditate. I got sucked into the vortex, and left there with just enough time to regroup, meditate for 7 minutes, then pick up my kiddo. I’m grateful I got to sit and meditate, but I’m seriously disappointed with shopping. The lights, ringing and beeping sounds, and the mind boggling amount of stuff to catch our eye is overwhelming.

I went a’scrolling on Facebook for a longer time than I should have. It’s all mindless blather after a certain point. Then I commented on a post and some guy was nasty to me. My day was basically ruined. I’m being only slightly dramatic. It really affected my energy. If I had gone on a hike this morning, I would never have even looked at that post.

Here’s the thing. I have limits and boundaries that are in place to help me avoid all of this stuff. My intuition helps me gauge what’s best for me. I’m aware that I don’t want to shop. My ego told me I should really get to it, probably because I know my big kid is worried about presents this year (a whole other story, but it’s never really about the gifts). Anyway, I ignored my intuition. I also know better than to engage with anyone being even potentially mean on a Facebook post. If I hadn’t commented, how would my evening turn out? Well, I did go shopping and I commented on a post. I microwaved a chilled glass bowl of rice last night. Just before I did it, I heard myself say I think I should heat it up on the individual plates. I ignored the message, and the bowl cracked.

The messages are loud and clear. My intuition is saying, “Hello! I have a message for you! Are you listening?” That’s where I can see my abundant gifts. By not listening to my intuition, I got a reminder of what happens when my ego-centered fear takes over. It just doesn’t work. Tomorrow is a fresh new day, and I’m sure my intuition will guide me toward a much more peaceful, joyful path. That is, if I choose to pay attention. ✨🦄💜

Buried Treasure – Tangled Web of Words

Day 10

I’ve recently become aware of some unhelpful things I keep saying repeatedly out loud when I’m frustrated. I’m messing with my mojo. I can’t manifest anything good with that shit. So I decided to change. It’s weird, I know. I mean, is it really possible to change my language, and my life, just like that? Yes! I’m living proof. And I’m going to tell you how.

After incessant complaints that kept repeating themselves, I reached my limit. My intolerance about whatever situation warranting the habitual negativity or martyrdom is getting tiresome. That’s part of the gift. The other part is that I listened to someone about something seemingly unrelated, and one day I woke up. That’s right, it was as though I had awakened from a bad dream. I suddenly heard myself saying the same crappy things all the time. Like every day. Now I magically pause, think of something else to say, and use that instead. Out loud. Our words are important, folks!

That someone is my friend Vanessa, who sees my questions and situations in pictures surrounding me (she’s psychic, so she gets visuals). I got a few messages from her about boundaries, compromise, emotional holding, and anger. That was all from me asking somewhat unrelated questions. My energy just shows up like that, especially if I’m grumbling all the time. All I did was ask questions and was willing to accept the answers. Apparently, it’s working. I’ve calmed down. It’s like a switch turned down or completely off. I choose different words that will support and balance me, and my children hear all of that instead of the angry garbage. It could be something as simple as me changing “what the f***?!” to “Wow, that’s surprising”. There was water on the counter tonight and I was initially pissed off. To say I’m a little tense lately would be an understatement. I survived the puddle of 2018. 😉

Watch your words. They really can make a huge difference. I found a new approach to life’s conundrums and mishaps. I feel a lot lighter letting go of all of that. I still have some kinks to straighten out, but I’m on the road to a more relaxed way of being in the world. It makes me want to giggle just a little. Why? Because life is not that serious after all, right? 😜💜

Buried Treasure – Anger

Day 9

If I’m yelling, it’s because I didn’t address my disappointment or set a boundary soon enough. If I’m angry, I could be because I’m desperately sad or tired or scared. Anger is a catalyst for change.

It’s totally ok to feel angry. So many of us have been taught that it isn’t ok, then we have nowhere to put that anger when it comes up. We can’t have healthy expression if all we’ve been told is to suppress it. Everyone gets angry, but we don’t all throw things, scream and yell, blame or badger. If I find myself slamming doors or doing any of those other things, I need to pause and help myself stay present. Then I need to ask myself, why am I getting so mad about this? What can I do about it? Can I control the person or situation? There’s a strong chance I can’t control anyone else, and the only way I can control the situation is if I caused it. I can choose to shift my attitude anytime.

I’m telling on myself here. I’ve been yelling and snapping at my kids. I let my anger build until it’s too late to stay calm. Lately, I’ve noticed a calmer response in place of my former explosions. I don’t exactly know what happened, but I do know that I’ve begun to take better care of myself and I set and maintain clear, strong, consistent boundaries.

Boundaries getting crossed are my biggest reason for getting angry these days. I’ve also been afraid of pushback, and that must be why I’m more relaxed now. I don’t care quite as often about whether or not a person (like my kid) will accept my boundary. I’m prepared for resistance or disagreement, and I’m pretty used to meltdowns.

I’m grateful for the messages I receive from my anger. I need to pay attention and focus on getting my needs met so I can express any anger in a healthy way. Then I can move on with my day, and probably enjoy it. ✨