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Friday, August 5, 2011

Um, I know that I'm a Know-it-All (Obviously)

The previous commenter struck a nerve and inspired an actual post out of me--well done, Dawnonymous, I've been looking for inspiration . . .

So yes, I am a know-it-all. Always have been. That's not to say I ACTUALLY think I know it all, or that anyone does. Furthermore, there are some things which I am totally ignorant about. Like, sports.

With this said, I love to learn--about some things, but definitely in general. When someone has a tidbit to offer about a topic of interest and it's something I didn't know, my ears perk right up . . . "Wow!" I say, "I didn't know that! How interesting!" And my brain squirrels it away and it stays there forever.

For instance, I most recently had this reaction when, in participating in a breast-feeding forum, someone mentioned that they had low supply with one child and oversupply with another. "VERY INTERESTING", I said, "I didn't know that it could change from baby to baby." So there, I didn't know everything, but now I do! Tada!

Even as a small child, I was fascinated by bits of information--the sky is blue because the angle of the sun refracts the larger spectrum off of the atmosphere, or learning how to write numbers in binary--something I came across, in 6th grade, while reading "The Ebola Virus", asked my math teacher about, and practiced until I mastered it . . .

No, I don't know everything. But I grew up surrounded by peers, who, by-and-large, knew less (about SOME THINGS, obviously). I was smart, I read a LOT, and when motivated, I was capable of learning fairly complex information.

Yet the point of left versus right wasn't something I grasped until my teen years, and I'm still not clear on the exact details? And when we started algebra--I didn't get why we used X--didn't X stand for a number? Why not use the number? That took several years for me to get past, too . . .

They say that someone with a high IQ is as far away from normal as someone with a low IQ. So while 100 is normal, someone with 140 IQ is as incapable of relating to society as someone with a 60 IQ, clinically mildly mentally impaired, someone that (likely) needs assisted living . . . I grew up having very true few peers, and noticed early on that I seemed to know more than other people--probably because I was reading on an 11th grade level in 5th grade.

This was a curse more than a blessing. Huge chunks of my pre-teen vocabulary were beyond the understanding of most of my classmates. I didn't know that they didn't understand me, and they didn't want to look stupid--so they jeered, and made fun, and called me awful names. And so I've always felt like an outsider, trying to figure out how to relate to people. As I got older, some things got easier--a lot more people caught up to me--I'm more sensitive about my audience, I have found many more wonderful friends and peers . . .

But some things aren't easier, don't change . . . some people will never like or understand me, and I have to just be okay with that.

I have witnessed firsthand that my spouting of information (esp in person) is directly related to how nervous I am. Apparently when I'm insecure I like to talk about things I know because my intelligence--no--not even that--information, facts--is something I feel confident in. Who am I without these facts? An awkward, dysfunctional, overly emotional person. Facts ground me.

And let's be real, folks, I have ADHD. It's part of my personality to impulsively speak, without thinking beforehand about what I was saying, or the consequences . . . I lost many friends as I grew up, and that might be one reason I am SO much more comfortable in the written form, because I can double-check and think deeply before hitting "send"/"submit"/or "publish"--I can tell you, I wish there was an edit button on real life.

And, yes, I have no formal training in breastfeeding or natural childbirth other than doing it. But I spend a LOT of time reading and researching. I think I might have done over 500 hours of reading to prepare for my own childbirth, and I've done at least that much on breastfeeding. And I HAVE been studying these things for YEARS. I would say during times I am online, I might easily spend a few hours daily consulting on "Dairy Queens"--Facebook breastfeeding support group--which adds up to 20+ hours a week. And, most recently, due to my participation, and the respect that many of the regular members now have for me, I was made a group administrator. (Proud inside smile feeling).

Honestly, I very much struggle with the fact that I have no official credentials, (thanks for making me feel even worse about that, dear Dawn), especially when I hear stories of people getting AWFUL and/or INSENSITIVE information from lactation consultants and pediatricians. I know that I can't be compared with them, the fact that they have years of schooling/credentials, which begs the question: how the hell aren't THEY better at THEIR jobs? Why does a ped tell a woman with a baby struggling to gain weight that she should night-wean her? How does a lactation consultant miss a tongue tie? Or be insensitive to a post-partum Mom? It makes me wish that I was someone official . . . I could be a good one, I think.

And in fact, I struggle with my self-identity, self-worth, self-efficacy, self-esteem, etc, just in general. Maybe, Dawnonymous, I enjoy the fact that I know a lot about breastfeeding/natural birth, because of the insecurity I feel about other parts of my life/personality/self.

Recently me and my Mom had a blow-out fight (everything is fine, now). Which, honestly, hasn't happened since I was a teenager. And it was for this very reason, she indicated that I was acting like a know it all.

You know what I said to her (many minutes in), in tears, through sobs . . .

"Do you think I like to be this way? Do you think I wouldn't change if I could? Everything you hate about me, I hate about me more. But you know? Other people love me. They say I am great. They accept me for who I am. I might be a know-it-all or talk too much, but everyone knows that. They know I am that way. But they still want to be around me, they still love me . . . so I am learning to love myself, too, even the parts that are flawed, and I wish you would, too."

So there you go, Dawnonymous, right from the horses' mouth--I agree with you. I am a know it all--or at the very least, I know I come off that way. But, get busy living or get busy dying: Accept me and be a reader or reject me and don't.

But I will not pretend to be less than I am. Nor will I pretend to be more than I am. I am a flawed, awful person. But hey, I might have some helpful info about breastfeeding, co-sleeping, or natural birth. The only thing that makes the awfulness bearable is when I hear from people that I helped them in some way.

I just hope that you find a way to be happy. If cutting me down is what does it for you, go for it, but I see you for what you are.


laurengould said...

Wow A, this made me LOL (the previous post comments and this response.)

Last night we were scandalized to read the comments! Lmao! I was like, um, I know I was participating in that blow-out fight but who does this lady think she is?


Anyways, I think it's worth noting that you have looked into being a doula/lactation consultant/etc in the future because of your interest and present knowledge in the subject. I think this is such a great idea! I love dat one!

Jimbo said...

Awesome Love.
(Constructive comments next time please, Dawn)

A said...

Karl and I have talked about how you would be an awesome midwife/doula/lactation consultant etc. MANY times. You're obviously passionate about it and have a lot of knowledge on the subject. I know if (when?) I ever get pregnant I will be asking you TONS of questions! You being my friend and having had a baby already are all the credentials I need.

Bad words always hit us harder and stick with us longer than good ones. But you really do have a mountain of good that overshadows any bad. Love you!

Liz said...

Adrienne--I always knew I liked you. It sounds like we had similar childhoods. Getting called "Whizzy Lizzy" (because you're such a whiz at everything) impacts a person.

I, for one, am grateful for the knowledge you have to share about NCB and breastfeeding. I've never felt like you were bragging or anything about your knowledge, but then, it's a subject I'm always trying to learn more about too. Your posts on DQ have been invaluable!

And I want to thank you for being supportive of me when I thought breastfeeding was falling apart. I don't know if I can ever convey how much that meant to me. DH gives me a hard time about spending so much time on the boards, but it's because of people like you. :)

Anonymous said...

Adrienne, I wasn't trying to "cut you down" I was making a point. That is all and I am VERY sorry that I hurt you. That was not my intention.

I honestly am a know it all as well so I can totally relate to you in that area. It's just that sometimes your "know it all" personality comes off as very high and mighty, and judge-y.Which is why I pointed it out.

You seem to have a deep love for these type of things and I think you would make a wonderful LC or Midwife. Maybe one day you could actually get some formal training and do one or the other as a career.

Again. I apologize for hurting your feelings. I don't get pleasure from hurting others and never have. It was not my intention to hurt you.

Morgan said...

Adrienne- I just wanted to tell you that I so respect your expertise on breastfeeding, and before that childbirth. Even back on WTT, you were the person that inspired me to become more educated on these topics and I was so much more prepared to become a mother. A lot of peds really don't know all that much. At our follow up appointment, Maxy was a bit jaundiced. He also was waking every 1-2 hours to eat at night. Our ped literally said, "Breastfeeding more often will help with jaundice." then a few minutes later in the convo, "You only should feed him every 3 hours at night." Um, thanks ped. lol. But anyway, I just wanted to tell you that I appreciate your knowitall-ness. haha

Megan said...

Coming from another know-it-all, who has always struggled with being socially awkward, I applaud you for putting it all out there like that. =)

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