Attending the Brain Program triggered many memories! I'd always felt different. Had never "fit in." My family didn't know how to deal with my difference, either. My sister told all the neighborhood kids a secret—that I was adopted and Chinese. I didn't know anything about this until I was twelve when my best friend finally told me. Although I was initially outraged to learn of this bold-faced lie, I knew right away why my sister had felt the need to explain my foreignness to the world—and to herself, really. The Chinese part made sense. I squinted a lot. The adopted part was her attempt to rationalize what I now know was my strong frontal right preference being acted out in the basal left, cosnervative Catholic world of the '50s.
Looking back, I believe that in order to fit in, I made an early decision to shut down, as much as I could, the powerful visualization ability that marked my frontal right brain lead. The result was profound nearsightedness.
One year in nurse's training the girls banded together and made bed-sized pillow cases in which to stuff all my things on white-glove days. To make sure I'd go along with the scheme they chose bright yellow hippie flowers on a deep blue background. They loved me for my differences. They even refused to rat on me when the nuns threatened to hold everyone over on Thanksgiving vacation until they were told who had exchanged St. Joseph's cross for St. Teresa's flowers, and who had placed Mary in bed with the holier-than-thou Patricia! After that, they weren't about to let me get kicked out for my messy (so-called) room, and helped pick up after me. Every Wednesday for the next two years, everything left out in my room would go into those bags. When we all graduated together they never let on, either, that I'd also kept a chicken in my room for the last month of school. Maybe they didn't do me such a favor. I wonder what my life would have been like if I hadn't been a nurse?
I've gone from ICU/CCU nursing to outdoor educator, to maternity nurse, to psychotherapy. Although I loved aspects of psychotherapy, overall I found it exhausting. Since relocating to California several years ago, however, one barrier after another prevented me from practicing that profession. Broke, frustrated, without a clue as to what to do next, I enrolled in The Brain & Innate Giftedness program.
As I listened to the information, my life started to make sense. For the first time ever! For example, although I've never viewed myself as particularly creative, both my children are outrageously so-and since they have different fathers their marked creativity must have come through my heritage. I love to work with artists, helping them to unlock their creative energy with psychodrama, sandtray, and art therapy. Gradually I began to realize that all the things I truly love to do are creative (e.g., singing, gardening, song-writing, poetry, dancing, painting). Why couldn't I see that before?
The real avalanche, through, occurred on the last day of the Brain Program when Arlene said to me, "I think you're a double frontal with a frontal right brain lead." I sat there, frozen, speechless, not getting it initially. I've never been a numbers person. I'm not the typical engineer-type. What was she talking about? Then the cascade: my ease with and desire for power and influence; my quickness and firmness with decisions; my difficulty in knowing my feelings; the deep sense that I really think more like a male, the discomfort some individuals have when they're around me because I'm not the typical female. Of course!
Funny, I don't regret the many years and opportunities lost. I don't resent my family, friends, school, or culture. I know I came from frontal people who, themselves, were forced to adapt to a basal world. I can deeply appreciate my ancestors who drove themselves across many frontiers. They were often the first to try something new, always enterprising, making or breaking it.
What am I going to do now? I know that I need to give up spending so much time on activities that drain my energy (e.g., psychotherapy) or I'll get sick. I need to move on and become the artist and writer I now know I am innately. Meanwhile, I'll continue working at the hospital combining social work, discharge planning, and utilization review. I like the variety, the challenge, the creativity, the decision-making opportunities-all double frontal characteristics. As I continue on my personal growth journey, and move from a position of barely surviving to one of truly thriving, I will always appreciate what attending the Brain Program has done for me!