PTSD and Shadow Functions | INFJ Forum

PTSD and Shadow Functions

Discussion in 'Psychology and MBTI' started by hunnybee143, Jan 15, 2018.

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  1. hunnybee143

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    I want to ask about something I hardly notice gets talked about. (Question at the end, bear with me.)

    Not sure how many here are familiar with Shadow Functions, but the INFJ uses Si as the inferior "Demon" function, or the 8th function... When experiencing trauma/bad experiences, for the INFJ(and INTJ) those things tend to get suppressed to our unconscious. And even if we're aware of the things that 'happened' we rarely actually understand how it has consciously affected us without deep introspection. Instead we can have outward reactions/behaviors without realizing it. (My question below after the functions.)

    The order of the Shadow Functions for INFJ are :

    Ne= 5th Opposing (ego defensive)

    Fi= 6th Witch/Senex/Critical Parent (critical towards others and self...wanting to be right, that inner "I know!"; reactive when feeling unappreciated/taken for granted.
    I think this one could have to do with ingrained negative behaviors from our parents that we adopted.)



    Te= Trickster (this is opposite the Tertiaty function or "child", so this is the reaction where the child doesn't want to behave or obey the rules when being under authority that gets in the way of them expressing that child.)

    Si= Demon (most unconscious reactions to negative experiences. The 4th function, Se or Anima, is how we are "connected to life" and thus Si is the opposite; death. This often manifests in ego death at it's most extreme. But generally it represents the integration of the self.)

    I am an INFJ who hasn't really been able to know any others who have experienced the level of ego-disintegration that I have.... From severe trauma and abuse majority of my life, I have a Dissociative disorder and my sense of identity is very broken up. I am by nature an organized person, and all of the J traits generally apply to me. But for a lot of my life I had depression so bad that I have struggled with things like keeping my bedroom organized, washing my clothes after weeks, putting papers in the trash I no longer need instead of letting them stack up. I'm not the most adaptable person, not immediately, I struggle with change in routine, but a lot of my childhood was made up of sudden, abrupt changes, sudden events and instability, so as a young adult I struggle with finding this in myself due to lack of motivation, and my drive for striving for my future became mostly disintegrated by age 15. I became more and more like an unemotional robot. I'm going on 21 now and just the past 6 months have things finally begun falling into place in my life and I'm getting better and learning how to have the stable routine I always longed for, but it is hard.

    I think this could be relevant to the 8th function Introverted Sensing, whereas, my ability to feel secure in my own being is distorted, being present for me is more excruciating than the average inferior Se function; thus Dissociation on a daily basis.

    I feel very alone in this aspect, pertaining to my type. I'm wondering if there are other INFJs who have been this broken at some point in their lives? If so, were you able to break free? What was it like for you to recover from the ego-death experience and re-integrate your sense of self?
     
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  2. the

    the Si master race.
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    Si

     
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    hunnybee143

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    Are you replying yes in Spanish ?
     
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  4. the

    the Si master race.
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    No. En Espanol. but with one of these ~ over the n.
     
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  5. invisible

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    I don't think that I have experienced the level of ego-disintegration that you have, but I do relate to some of what you've said. I have never been diagnosed with any dissociative disorder, I can't give you any advice on that, you may need to pursue some professional help or seek out some reading materials about that, I can only tell you about my own experience. I have been treated as an inpatient a number of times for chronic and acute depression with psychotic features and struggled with a shattered sense of self.

    For me, it has been possible to rebuild a sense of self and identity. It's a long project and I just have to keep working on it. Having a "self project" or "identity project" makes life much easier for me because it unifies those parts of me that seemed so dispersed, in a way that makes it possible to manage them in a coherent and systematic way. By building up a self, I have a bit more sense of direction in my life - the direction that it is natural for my sort of self to go towards or for me to direct that self towards.

    Wish I could tell you a bit more about how I came to the idea that having a "self" means something important to me philosophically, but at this point I can't remember very clearly how I came to this conclusion. I definitely think that human subjectivities are different. Different people, different voices... human experience is infinitely variable. To go through an annulment of self, in that respect, is a big denial of the idea that different human experiences are important. But they are important... human oppression is I think very much related to the denial of individual subjectivity. Nurturing and protecting individuality is important to human freedom, and to the flourishing of variety in human knowledge.

    What are you doing for your identity now? Do you think you have started an identity or self project? Maybe you can have a scrapbook or identity journal where you can collect ideas that you think you identify with in a stable way, and that you would like to build more on?

    Hope this helps a little bit
     
  6. Sandie33

    Sandie33 Love Often & Absolutely ♡
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    Thank you for sharing your struggle. :) I'm continuously pained when I hear stories such as yours. Dissociation is a difficult state to maneuver away from.

    I can't add much with the exception of You are not alone. Many struggle with integrating all of our parts after being in an abusive life. That being said, I can share bits of my story. I'm a 50 year old INFj and have found through too many tests and just as many questions that on a scale of 100% my Fe and Fi are less than 3% equal, this has puzzled many, yet, with keeping the same scale in mind my Te and Ti are almost equivilant as well. The only deduction psychologists conclude after much testing is that I have a good balance amongst all 8 functions which is not only an oddity but rarity as well.

    With a pschological diagnosis of Complex PTSD, with intermitent Adjustment Disorder episodes, for me life is difficult at times. This diagnosis came after a life time of abuse and disruption. Learning to live with such a thing takes much work on my part. With knoweledge and an arrsenal of coping tools life has become do-able. It has a wavy-line of ups and downs, yet, over time, these have become dips as opposed to the deep troughs of upheaveal they used to be.

    I don't advise people, rather I toss stuff out and if they pick up the information, and it is helpful to them, that is a positive. So, throwing this at you....keep at it, learn your strengths and weaknesses, find how to soothe yourself through tough times, and learn how to accept all, and your personal comfort and security will grow as a by-product. Well wishes to you in your journey, and reach out in this community, there are several great folks that face similar challenges daily.
    Be well. <3
     
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    hunnybee143

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    Thank you so much for this! What you said is very helpful... Learning to accept all, with no judgement will get me there. I admire your approach to being helpful to others, I think that's very wise.
     
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    hunnybee143

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    Thank you!! What you described is very accurate and similar to my level of disintegtation, and the "shattered sense of self" is also very relevant to any dissociation...it basically /is/ ego-disintegration. And how you described finding yourself makes a lot of sense..

    Currently I am in DBT therapy which I have been in for two months now. Prior, I had sought CBT therapy for 12 years and was not getting proper treatment, which ultimately left me deeply stuck in the past... I wanted the therapy I am in now, but psychologists refused me because of age at the time.

    I am just now learning about self projects, and it is very helpful. It sounds like you have especially gained a lot from them... I don't know too much though.

    Would it be okay for me to message you in private?
     
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    Sure, message me whenever you like.
     
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    hunnybee143

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    Ah...it won't let me message you because you're not following me and your profile is private lol
     
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    Sorry for the privacy setting, I set to follow you now so let me know on my wall if you have any other problems messaging me.
     
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