I called myself an INFP the other day, and it felt strange.
I go in and out of thinking about Myers-Briggs. The concepts are fairly integrated to my normal daily life and I typically only classify things into one of the four letter categories—considering whether or not someone is extroverted or introverted, and if their decisions are based off of Sensing or not.
Otherwise I’m not labeling people. Or myself. At least not by the means of the MBTI.
I call myself other things now. I call myself Co-dependent and Abandoned.
Over the summer, I was introduced to the keyword “abandonment.” During a low time several weeks ago, I googled various keywords with abandonment and quickly came across this youtube video which described a psychological issue called abandonment. I was struck by how much the descriptions of overreactions were something I experienced often.
I used to call it PMS. I would overreact to something, have strong emotions, and call it being an INFP.
Having PMS and being an INFP are certainly contributing factors, but suddenly, these aren’t the reasons why I’m responding to life the way I do. It’s because I’ve been abandoned in my childhood.
And there’s been this huge sense of relief over my life.
Suffering from PMS and being an INFP aren’t really things I have much jurisdiction over. But I can heal from abandonment. I can address the issues, get them under control, and reach for a quality of life that I can control. I don’t have to overreact. I don’t have to be controlled by my deep emotions. I don’t have to be dependent on whether or not someone likes me. I can learn to like myself.
I needed to get back into talk therapy and was able to find free counseling with my college. I had to endure through the first three sessions and pull out all I knew of self-awareness to decide what I wanted from the sessions. And once my counselor and I were on the same page, we were able to begin to make some progress.
One hour a week is slow going, however. It’s incredibly difficult, knowing that I have these problems, but not really being able to address them immediately. Currently I’m dealing with being hyper-critical toward myself about my grades. I realized that I’d never treat anyone I care about as badly as I treat myself when it comes to grades. I am upset for only pulling a B instead of an A, and I feel like I am the victim of the world because I am not able to get that A grade. If I’m acting like the victim, who’s the abuser? Apparently I am both. The inner-child concept is a good way to illustrate this, as my inner child is lashing out and playing the victim role to a harsh adult who is demanding perfection for no good reason. How can you expect perfection from a child?
On one hand, it’s nice to know that I’m not crazy, and that my problems have ways to deal with them. But the process to get healing has been painstakingly slow, and it may be a while yet before the reactions ease up. I suppose I must struggle through the Slough of Despond, before Help pulls me from the mire, and I can continue on.