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“Twice Exceptional Is a Cruel Double-Edged Sword”

“A 2e individual may have to work twice as hard to do ‘basic’ tasks. And, while an average person may eventually reach their full potential, a twice exceptional person can often envision exceptional potential without the ability to reach it. Life becomes a series of ‘could-have-beens.’”

2 Comments: “Twice Exceptional Is a Cruel Double-Edged Sword”

  1. Thank you so much here too! I don’t know if I am a 2e. I was diagnosed with Anxious Depression as a teenager. Later, as a young adult, I was encouraged to join Mensa when being tested for college assistance. Is a top 2% or less IQ even considered Exceptional? I did very well in college and actually began to feel better about myself but I remember my toxic female boss once telling me “How can you be soooo smart but sooo dumb?” Later my diagnosis became “Bipolar II” and I have been on psychotropic drugs for years. Now finally at age 78 I am about to be tested for ADD/ADHD. I had no idea it could actually be ADD until I came across ADDitude. The magazine and articles like this give me hope. It feels so reassuring to not be the only one dealing with these things even if on a much smaller scale. When will people finally realize that ALL HUMANS ARE EQUAL AND VALUABLE!!!

  2. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!!
    I cannot say it enough!
    This article put into words something I’ve been feeling and sensing but unable to bring together into a coherent message. This is so empowering and validating, and it explains so much.

    I’ve felt like two different people inside my own head and I couldn’t put my finger on why. I’ve been trying to figure out how to integrate…and find peace with two very different “me’s” that seem diametrically opposed. My ‘public self” fears when people (eventually and inevitably) see the disparity between what they initially saw in me VS my private struggle with confusion, brain fog, indecision, and mental fatigue- after what most people would consider mild or moderate activity (including conversations, working on routine paperwork, attending a doctor appointment, etc.). I have to work twice as hard to look half as “normal”.

    Working so hard to appear “normal/average” is exhausting and leaves me depleted for what comes next… Action, follow up, task completion. I have a terrible time, even myself, knowing my limits because the disparity I see and feel in myself. I think, “Of course I can do that in two weeks”; “Any average person would be able to handle that”; or “If I don’t do this, I will loose respect and be seen as not pulling my weight, or lazy”. And I get so disappointed and discouraged in myself when I can’t meet what seem to be very reasonable expectations.
    I would really like to learn how to integrate these two (or more) parts of me into one whole, me. And feel less stressed about my interactions with others.
    I keep searching, reading, experimenting, and observing. ADDitude is a very important part of that process.
    Thank you!

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