I found this image on Pinterest and it made me think... what did I do as a child?
The first thing that came to mind was I was raped. But that wasn't something I did, that was something that was done to me... still, it's telling. The next thing I think of is I spent my time protecting my sister. She didn't know it and my mother likes to pretend I spent my time destroying my sister's life, but that's not how it was.
But again, it's not really an answer to the real question that was asked, which is, what did I do that made the hours pass like minutes?
The real answer is I learned. I sucked up information like it was oxygen. I couldn't get enough of it. It was like I was starved for the stuff. I literally hurt when I couldn't get more information, not because I had any use for it per se, but because I needed to know!
The result was I trained myself to absorb information faster than anyone I knew around me. I looked like a genius. It made me stand out. I looked different... extraordinary even. I looked like a freak and more than once I was told so.
It was made clear to me that I was too dumb to know what I did. That I couldn't possibly be able to do the things that I was doing. I was informed in no uncertain terms that I was incapable of achieving the mental feats that I had achieved... I just wasn't smart enough.
So I stopped learning. I don't know when and I don't remember how, but I made myself stop. Not completely, I don't think I'm capable of stopping completely, but mostly. I've gone out of my way to dumb myself down so I can be more "normal" and stop making the people around me so uncomfortable. I hold my tongue when I used to speak up, I watch TV when I used to read, I hide at home when I used to go out seeking the unknown.
I've put my light under a basket.
And now I find myself wondering, what could I do if I took that basket off?
The last time I made a change like this, I lost everyone I knew and loved because I made such a big change. I found people better for me, but the transition was painfully hard. I'm not sure I'm up for that again... but am I really willing to keep living a half life? Am I willing to keep pretending I'm someone less than extraordinary?