4. Children and adults can be assessed at any age. However, the ideal age for testing is between 5 and 8 ½ years. By the age of 9, highly gifted children may hit the ceiling of the tests, and gifted girls may be socialized to hide their abilities. Unless they are absolutely certain they are right, gifted girls are often unwilling to guess, which lowers their IQ scores. (emphasis mine)
I don't know if I was ever in that category or not but the concept of having that socialized into girls by 9 is ominous and rings true for me. I have never figured out how to be proud of my accomplishments, abilities and gifts without the perception that I'm making other people feel bad. Bragging. Showing off. Guilt, the everlasting guilt. A lot of that training happened through school. I understand why it was done, but it's affected my concept of self permanently.
Net result? I second guess things all the time that I know. I did not notice this until I read the above quote and now I see it many times a day. Part of me went underground. I tried to downplay it and certainly never, ever went above and beyond what was (is) required. I'm often able to learn things really quickly, but when I don't it has been clearly pointed out to me that I'm not-so- perfect after all and oh thank goodness she sucks at something. This must where my fear of failure developed so strongly. I don't recall many times where I was genuinely encouraged to take on more, follow my nose and challenge myself with harder material. It was always about slowing me down. I may have selective memory.
I desperately wish that someone would have opened my mind to other options back when I was applying for university at the very least. I always got "you could do better if you put in more time" but never had any reason to care. I wanted to be a nurse for a while. Nobody said hey, that's cool but if you applied yourself to your science and math courses you could shoot for physio or doctor! I am also from a small, conservative town and that's a huge part of it as well. You're a smart girl, do you want to be a teacher, nurse or social worker before you have kids? *sigh* Social worker? Check. Kids? Check.
I don't know if it's too late to learn to trust that part of my brain. I fear it's mostly sawdust by now and don't even know what I'd apply it to anyway. I haven't really learned to work hard, don't have good study habits and am terrified to try new things because I might not get it right and other people will enjoy that (in my mind). I have this vague but looming sense that I had something special and lost it. Wasted it. Failed. I sound like I'm 90. Other days I feel more inspired by possibilities but don't know where to focus the energy.
All this baggage and I'm supposed to help my girls navigate these waters successfully?