Mental Influences Throught Our Childhoods | INFJ Forum

Mental Influences Throught Our Childhoods

Discussion in 'Relationships and Sociology' started by chaotic_lion, May 11, 2009.

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  1. chaotic_lion

    chaotic_lion Community Member

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    Mental Influences Throught Our Childhoods:
    Would We Be the Same People We Are Today Without Our Emotional Scars?
    Is There One Defining Family Member/ Friend Who Helped Shape Us Into the People We Are Today?
    Have We Grown To Be Happier Or More Bitter As We Developed?
    In my case, my happiness was connected to my innocence. As harsh reality crashed down around me during my pre-teens in the form of cruel classmates, and an inability to socialize with mostly everyone, my introversion deepened, and I became frusterated and bitter with everyone. With one, dear friend, and a super-sadistic outlook on my peers, I became hopeless. Then, I met a guy who changed my life. He taught me, (through his actions) that sarcastic humor was the answer. Even with him as a friend, a whole lot of damage was still done, (at one point I'm pretty sure I lost it) but, through trial and error, I eventually pulled through and got happy again. I still feel like a shadow of myself, but that's probably just aging in general.
     
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  2. acd

    acd Well-known member

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    Interesting thread. I'm looking forward to the other responses. I used to be really social when I was a kid. I was always in trouble as well.. sort of a class clown. Then parents divorced, moved a series of times, and I became very quiet and introverted and well behaved in school. I think that happened because I was stunned and felt chaotic and didn't have the energy to be an entertainer when I had to manage to work so hard on adapting.

    I made fewer friends. My mom went to school and finished and became a paramedic and worked 12 or 24 hour shifts, so my brother and I were on our own a lot. As a result, we had to learn independence quickly and we also had to figure out many things ourselves. So that's where the rugged independence comes from.

    If I had grown up in a stable family home without so much moving and dysfunction, I probably would have been a very extroverted person. I may have been less of a free-thinking introspective person. I might have been a more structured and more organized person as well. I'm so used to change all the time, that I've become quite adept at adapting and improvising so I'm more 'go-with-the flow' and 'roll with the punches' than I may have been.

    Still, I hold to the belief that: No matter what happened to you as a child, once you are an adult it is your responsibility to work through it and heal--it is never an excuse to be nasty or helpless.
     
  3. Puck

    Puck Perilous Pixie
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    A member of my family often quoted this little saying:

    "We are the sum total of all our experiences, good and bad".

    I used to blindly accept this, and so, as the naiivety of my youth decayed into misery and misunderstanding in adolescence, as the bad experiences overwrote the good - and revealed that what had seemed good was bad, I began to see myself as the sum of darkness, of unhappiness, of pain.

    Until I stumbled upon another truth - a counter to the sum of all experience - the idea that, what we are is nothing to do with adding up, but rather, who we are is revealed by dropping attachment to everything, including definitions, the past, the future, that:

    "We are, and all is well"

    Which worked for a time, until the details of life chased away this clarity and I needed to decide between a life as a hermit, in this Awareness, or a life in the world, bombarded by thoughts, emotions, actions, events, that Awareness could drop attachment to, but not intereract with. In Awareness, I was everything, and all was well, but only to myself, and nobody else. This was right, but I was still a young man, and not ready to accept this and leave the world behind.

    So I returned to my sums for a while, with experiences lightening or darkening my existence accordingly, until I happened upon another truth - the power to choose my perception of life's events. The idea that if you change your thoughts, you can change your life. This was subtly different to Awareness, in that I could still remain connected to the world, attached to its ins and outs, is causes and effects, but with the power of self-control, of mastery, of serenity - of being the directing force that guides my soul through the tempests of life, by choosing the way I perceive 'reality'

    So I have arrived at my present vantage of life, and I daresay it will evolve as I encounter further wisdom, but for now I have adapted the sentiment - "We are the sum total of all our experiences, good and bad" - to reflect this understanding. I suggest that:

    "We are the sum total of our thoughts about our experiences, good and bad".

    I feel at peace in the knowledge that the only person who can truly influence my life, is me, through the way I think about things. I always have the choice to think a different thought, to interpret things in a happier light, and thus lead a happier life.

    Blessings.
     
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  4. tovlo

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    I sense wisdom.

    I have only begun to see glimmers of this vision in my own life, but I have seen enough to recognize it as the direction I want to walk.
     
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  5. rainrise

    rainrise Community Member

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    i could not agree more.

    may i add that it is indeed our thoughts that do the most damage by causing ceaseless pain even after a painful experience has occured. these thoughts may replay an initially negative perception over and over, adding relentlessly thought after thought on our initial negative understanding. this does more harm that the experience itself as it makes us not only relive it, but also expand and even skew it negatively. when we stop and question that initial thought, it may not be true at all. sometimes someone can intentionally want to cause us pain, however i'm slowly learning that their negativity remains theirs and not mine. it is difficult but important to not add pain onto pain, whether it be that of other's or our own.
     
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  6. OP
    chaotic_lion

    chaotic_lion Community Member

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    Perhaps, you saw that carefree self as weak? Now that you have aged, maybe you see the wisdom of living through the good and the bad? Hmmm...not sure I got out what I'm trying to say...
     
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  7. Flavus Aquila

    Flavus Aquila Finding My Place in the Sun
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    Perhaps some of us cannot be ourselves without emotions scars. Even if they are self-inflicted.
     
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  8. Chopsifer

    Chopsifer Regular Poster

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    I agree with Elf's take wholeheartedly.

    I am whatever I allow myself to be and whatever meanings I prescribe to said allowances.

    I quote Deepak Chopra...
    "We have the power to make reality. Why make it inside boundaries when the boundless is so near?"
     
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  9. Bored Now

    On Holiday

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    I think I'd be a more... authentic person if I had a happy childhood. I also think I'd be way more boring, a crappier writer and less street smart. And my super dark sense of humor probably wouldn't be there. I like me, so I guess happy childhoods are for other people. I've earned my scars.
     
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  10. Dutch Cake

    Dutch Cake Community Member

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    I agree with this. I wish more people would follow this then giving up on everything because that is the way they are.

    I grew up sheltered. I guess my parents felt bad I was so far away from my dad and brother, then because my mum became a lesbian. I at one point made my own issues and tried to produce my own scars. I went to American school for one year and was teased because my accent and words I used for things. The teacher didn't like me because she had always wanted to go to Europe. So I learned not to trust people, especially teachers. I never did any homework after that.

    I also think the scars we experience as adolescents is part of development. I think it is a trial and error. If we did everything as we have done for the last how many years we would have died as a species long ago. We pass along knowledge to others and we improve. Kind of wonderful.

    Being shy to my innermost places, I have gleaned influence from many people. My mother has been a big one, but though she is still influential to me, I have found giving her the same support and advice she would give me before. She is human. Mothers are naturally influential because your first bond is usually with your mother.

    I am happy. I have gone through a lot since I was ten and it has made me who I am. I hate some of the experiences I had. I would never want my children to go through many of them, but I would not want change my past. I may not be where I want to be, but I am working on my direction and myself. I hope to be the woman my children can find influence in.
     
  11. just me

    just me GONE

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    According to "How the Enneagram Personality System Works",
    "Everyone emerges from childhood with one of the nine types dominating their personality, with inborn temperament and other pre-natal factors being the main determinants of our type. We are born with a dominant type. Subsequently, this inborn orientation largely determines the ways in which we learn to adapt to our early childhood environment. It also seems to lead to certain unconscious orientations toward our parental figures, but why this is so we still do not know. In any case, by the time children are four to five years old, their consciousness has developed sufficiently to have a separate sense of self. Although their identity is still very fluid, at this age children begin to establish themselves and find ways of fitting into the world on their own. Thus, the overall orientation of our personality reflects the totality of all childhood factors(including genetics) that influenced its development."
    enneagraminstitute.com
     
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  12. Lune Froide

    Lune Froide Community Member

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    Right now I would say I've taken a turn toward bitterness while I start to recognize correlations between my past situations and now present behavior. To be honest though, I resent being drawn to dwelling on regrets or really the past at all so this is likely where the bitter feelings are stemming from. The revelations lately are almost nagging at me.

    Growing up I wish I had more structure and definitely some rules! I would prefer if my parents had been even a little strict with my upbringing. I've learned a lot the hard way and I'm scarred when it comes to my being vulnerable to extreme flakiness (something my mother has exhibited my entire life.)
     
  13. OP
    chaotic_lion

    chaotic_lion Community Member

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    I've been stuck between type 4 and 6 for a long time.
     
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  14. just me

    just me GONE

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    Guess that points toward a type 5 with types 4 and 6 as your wings........
    I guess. My real guess would lean toward the type 6 as your wing and I do not know you.
    Is this a science?
     
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    #14 just me, May 14, 2009
    Last edited: May 14, 2009
  15. efromm

    efromm Hiding In My Shell...
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    I followed the same pattern as most kids. Got picked on and had my innocence removed by others. I was bitter for quite awhile about it but now I have learned that my experiences have helped me learn and grow. I guess pain does make you stronger. I like who I am and where I am going now. It feels good to not be under the veil of anger...
     
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  16. Pristinegirl

    Pristinegirl Well-known member

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    I believe that the bad experiences make up the dark/shadow side of me. I am a very limited expression of both of my parents. I would say that mostly my environment have formed me because I distanced myself from the parental loss I went through, in the sense that my dad moved to another country and left me while my mother refrained to fully acknowledge nothing but her PTSD.
     
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  17. OP
    chaotic_lion

    chaotic_lion Community Member

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    Hmm, I'm not sure. I assume it is, because it seems to be closely associated with other personality indicating tests.
     
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  18. Reon

    Reon Midnight's Garden

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    I'm going to assume your versed in ennegraming, so could you please explain to me what the significant of the wings are? I mean, exactly, I've heard man things that don't seem to sit well with the system.

    I believe that if my childhood would have been happier, I would be a more well-rounded INFJ instead of a faux intj that i'm most like now. With that being said, I would be less ..interesting, like someone said above.
     
  19. WickedPod

    WickedPod Community Member

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    I can't agree more with that statement. My old boss and good friend would tell me that all the time when I would talk to her about my brother's (now ex) fiance physically abusing him. His fiance was abused by her father and my boss was abused by her parents, both physically and sexually. She always said that my bro's finace had no right to chalk her behavior up to her dad. She said that you, as an adult, have the choice to either continue the cycle that hurt you or break it and start a cycle of love and tenderness.

    Everyone that has come in and out of my life has affected me one way or another, whether I like it or not. I've always internalized the things people have said or done to me - which, even though my oldest brother and I are the only people I know in our family that is like that - I believe it to me innate. I've been loved, I've been worshipped, I've been abused, I've been controlled, I've been raped, I've been saved, I've been lost, I've been found, I've given life, I've watched life slip away, I've lost hope, I've found hope. If it wasn't for the drama I've experienced in my life, whether happy or sad, I wouldn't be who I am today. I would always be a caring person that takes other people's feelings into consideration almost to a fault. But, I wouldn't be as vigilant about it as I am and I wouldn't have the kinds of hopes that I have for my son. I wouldn't seek out people who have lost loved ones and try to help them if I didn't have first-hand knowledge of it. I wouldn't appreciate life as much as I do if I hadn't fallen down the deep, vast hole of depression and suicidal actions and come out the other end whole.

    I actually tend to pity people that haven't had major ups and downs in their lives or that have been sheltered. I think you have to deal with that kind of stuff to really find yourself and find your own, personal purpose in life.
     
  20. slant

    slant Ruboobie

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    Hmm...Influences, I would say Metallica, Black Sabbath, Guns N Roses, and maybe Creed.

    Oh wait... Mental Influences.
    Sorry about that.
     
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