Have you found your community?

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Image of Mackinac Island, MI. Copyrighted 2011 by Nicole Diatto

{This post may contain affiliate links to materials I recommend. Anything you purchase through the provided links helps support patchwork poppies. Thank you for your support.}

This month’s GHF blog hop is on the topic of, Community.

Community is a broad term. It basically means a group of individuals that share “something” in common. According to Merriam-Webster, Community (in relation to this blog post) means: A group of people who share the same interests, religion, race, etc. A unified body of individuals; a group of people with a common characteristic or interest living together within a larger society <a community of “gifted/neuro-atypical”(<my insertion) persons>… Thank you, Merriam-Webster!

While writing on behalf of neurodiversity, I believe its important to touch on the topic of community.  As human beings, we thrive in community. Often times, as neuro-atypical/neurodivergent individuals, we feel isolated in our local communities regarding our unique characteristics, traits and quite frankly, just because of who we are. Because of this, I believe its vitally important for us to find our own unique community to support our many needs and situations, locally as well as through social media and the internet. Its so easy to feel alone and lost when your local community can’t relate to you or your situation. Even though you might have great supportive friends and family, if they don’t quite know what you are going through, then your family and friend community suddenly isn’t enough. Its easy to feel isolated and alone.

I was there 2-3 yrs ago. I was overwhelmed and lost. No one around me could relate to my situation of my “high-needs” infant daughter. I felt alone. I thought I was doing something wrong.  That’s when I decided to do something about it. As many of you may already know, I started researching and found that she actually fit the gifted label. I read some amazing books** and scoured the internet to find some sort of understanding, connection and support. I didn’t realize it then, but I was craving and longing for community. I needed to connect with like minded individuals and individuals who were living a similar experiential reality as me. I couldn’t find anything local. Most local communities comprise of school-aged children. And when I did find local “tot” meet ups, I still felt quite isolated because no one could relate to me. Even though my daughter gained friends and could build bonds and relationships with some of the children, I still felt isolated. I then realized I needed to  find a community of moms with high-needs/gifted toddlers. I probably could of started a local community group, but in my case, I’ve been home bound with infant twins. So to the internet I went. . . In my internet search, I came across many great organizations that helped bring a sense of community, online. GHF, Hoagies Gifted, and some small social groups on social media (you can find more websites on my resource page).

I highly suggest finding and connecting with gifted groups through social media, such as Facebook. I have been doing so for the past 1.5-2 years and its been a life saver for me! Use the search tab and look for gifted mom’s groups, gifted children, gifted teens … or even feel free to make your own group! I’ve noticed more people making local/regional gifted groups through FB and Yahoo groups. You can even use GHF to find local and regional groups and Hoagies Gifted list of online community groups. I have found connecting with others through these social media groups has brought a true, more meaningful sense of community.

If you feel you would like to start a local community group, I highly recommend it. You can start it on FB or the website, Meetup.com, Yahoo groups…. I’m sure there are other websites out there as well that can help organize group get togethers… or even look to see if someone might have already set one up. Don’t be afraid to start a niche group as well! It’s all about building and bringing community together and to you.

When I finally found my online community, my “tribe”, I felt liberated. It was like hitting the lottery. My heart fluttered with joy! Here were these people who walked a very similar path as me. Their children were much like mine and it was as if a weight had been lifted off of my shoulders. It hit me that there are others out there, and I truly am not alone. I’m not doing anything wrong, this is just how my daughter is, and there are others who really can relate!

When I founded this blog, I titled it, “advocating on behalf of a misunderstood community“… because it’s true. We are so misunderstood that many of us flock to social media and the internet in search of community and support. As I started to put time and energy into this blog, I came to realize just how important community is for myself as well, being a gifted adult and individual. Not only as a mother of an intense high-needs child, but also as a grown individual. During this realization, I came to find a new community. In all honestly, GHF and Hoagies Gifted, took me from supporting my needs for my children, to supporting my personal individual needs and helped bring a new self understanding and awareness. This past month or so has been a whirlwind of eye opening information; an epiphany. Not only have I felt liberated that others understand my situation with my children, but that people can also relate with me as an adult.  This has been a huge deal and transformation! I now see myself, my husband and family in a new light. I also see things with a new understanding and in a more compassionate way. From our intensities and sensitivities, our perfectionist tendencies to our fun and unique quirks… It all makes perfect sense now! For me, this is huge!  I really have to thank GHF for helping me find a community based on my personal needs as a gifted individual.

Alas, I hope that Patchwork Poppies will become part of your online community. On my last blogpost, What’s Your Story, I wrote about how I had a vision of bringing community together by sharing other’s stories of gifted with the world. I don’t want to just share stories from my point of view but have it be an interactive community. If you would like to contribute your story of gifted/neurodiversity, please head on over to the Contribute Your Story page, use the contact form and let me know that you’re interested in sharing your story! I’d love to share it on my blog! If you are a blogger, feel free to contact me in regards to writing a guest post and I’ll gladly share it.

I believe community is a reciprocal relationship. While on the topic of community, and with thanksgiving around the corner,  I wanted to take the time to acknowledge and thank these awesome bloggers who I’d like to think are part of my blogging community, and extend their presence to you. As I know others could greatly benefit from them as well… and you might want to add them to your online/social media community! The ones that have personally resonated to me as a gifted adult are, Paula Prober’s- Rainforestmind, Gail Post, Ph.D’s – Gifted ChallengesJade Ann Rivera, Bob Yamtich and, I personally recommend Sara Yamtich coaching, if you’d like to “start your own {r}evolution“, as well. She is an amazing coach!  Together with GHF  Hoagies Gifted, and all of the participating blog hop bloggers, they have helped me on my way to my own transformation and revolution. 

In honor of GHF’s 10th anniversary, on a previous blog post, I touched on what an amazing community they are. They are an all volunteer organization that is geared towards the gifted/2e community. Their whole organization is dedicated to bettering the gifted/2e community. If you’d like to read more about it, you can read about it hereGHF, along with the above listed bloggers and other gifted organizations I listed, have provided my family with amazing resources. In order to for me to “help pay it forward”, I’ve taken the time to support them through my blogging because I believe in their honest to goodness organization & cause. I truly appreciate all the good that they are doing for the gifted/2e community and am honored to also be apart of this great cause. 

 

So I hope you are able to start your search and find your community, if you have yet to do so.
If you know of someone who needs to find their community, feel free to share this blog post or blog hop with them!


A quick recap:

• Use social media to your advantage, bring community to you!

• Use it to find online communities

• Use it to build local communities

• Facebook, use the search bar in facebook to find gifted groups. Think of your needs and type it      
   in. You’d be surprised what you’ll find.

• If you cant find a group that meets your needs, Make one!

• Use Meetups.com, yahoo groups, FB and other social media to create local “Real Life” get
  togethers and meet ups that meet your specific needs. You’d be surprised there are more out
  there looking for the same but don’t always take the initiative to start their own group.

• Use GHF to find local and regional groups: GHF local & regional support

• Follow blogs that you relate with to bring a sense of connection and encouragement


Good luck on your journey and I hope we are able to grow our community together!

Did you go through something similar? Did you find your community?
I’d love to hear about how you found your community below in the comments!


This post is a part of the November 2014 GHF blog hop on, Community.
Click on the image below to join in on the hop!

Screen Shot 2014-11-14 at 9.24.33 PM


Lets stop this “Tall Poppy Syndrome” together. Lets embrace each other and help make this world a better place.

Spread the word!

I challenge you to share this with everyone you know!
Tweet it! Share it on facebook and other social media!
Use hashtags,   #giftedHF #gtcommunity

With much love,

Nicole Diatto
patchworkpoppies

* Start your {r}evolution: Sara Yamtich coaching.

 ** if you purchase a book through my amazon store, I do receive a small commission that helps sustain this blog.

Merriam-Webster’s definition of, “Community”: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/community

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9 comments

  1. Yes, been there, done that with finding GHF 3 yrs ago too. It can be very difficult to find people locally with a gifted or 2e child who you can connect with. Most parents don’t really ‘get’ it. Thanks for the post.

    Liked by 1 person

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