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which personality type are you? (As a child who grew up in a problematic home)

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Hi everyone! I also posted this in the myers-briggs forum, but I also wanted to do it here.

I've been seeing a lot of patterns in the personalities of children who grew up in a alcoholic/problematic/abusive home. There are various characteristics we all seem to have or at least respond to.
A couple examples for this are: avoiding conflict, victim mentality, approval seeking and tendency to think in extremes.

Here is the link if you want to read more of them: Adult Children of Alcoholics Characteristics & Personality

I was wondering if these traits can be connected to a myers-briggs personality type and if some personality types (of the children) are more common in these cases than others.
 
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I grew up in a home with an alcoholic parent and domestic violence.

I don't relate to avoiding conflict. I grew up in a home with a lot of conflict and I seen and heard physical fighting between my parents. I have gotten a lot of criticism throughout my life for being to confrontational. I get very confrontational to any threat to me or my family and I can be very aggressive towards others.

Another thing that people (irl) notice about me is that I am serious almost all the time. I do have a hard time relaxing and having fun is difficult for me. I think a lot of that is because as a kid life was serious, there was no time to be a kid. I had to be in survival mode way too much.

The areas where I struggled the most...I struggled with a love addiction for years. I got into relationships with emotionally unavailable men (all of them abused alcohol). I struggle a lot with feeling self-conscious, insignificant, unlovable, and feeling rejected. I am very sensitive to rejection and I notice that I tend to reject others before they can reject me.

I am very aware of my struggles and the patterns that have been repeating themselves throughout my life, and I am trying to change those.
 

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I think that Borderline Personality Disorder pretty much sums up what happens when someone grows up in that environment (Not all the time, but most of the time). Is a personality disorder someone's natural personality, or is it a sickness, rather than an inbuilt part of them?

Perhaps people would be more likely to test as F rather than Ns due to the fear of emotions, emotional instability and other irrational aspects of it but... I don't think a personality disorder is actually part of someone's personality - it's an illness that needs to be treated in order for the person to change and become who they actually are.

I guarantee that people who have borderline personality disorder would have a different myers briggs result if you test them before and after long term therapy.
 
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Hi everyone! I also posted this in the myers-briggs forum, but I also wanted to do it here.

I've been seeing a lot of patterns in the personalities of children who grew up in a alcoholic/problematic/abusive home. There are various characteristics we all seem to have or at least respond to.
A couple examples for this are: avoiding conflict, victim mentality, approval seeking and tendency to think in extremes.

Here is the link if you want to read more of them: Adult Children of Alcoholics Characteristics & Personality

I was wondering if these traits can be connected to a myers-briggs personality type and if some personality types (of the children) are more common in these cases than others.
Not really imo. The way people deal with childhood abuse is to use their cognitive functions to develop a type of defense that suits their strengths. For example, introverts can react by retracting from the world completely while extroverts can develop a need to always have people around.

Then there might be more universal type reactions such as depression or aggression, but these type reactions are basic human reactions and not MBTI dependent.

If if the victim is completely broken down, personality disorders develop.

Edited to add: I hate the term "victim mentality", btw. It's so incredibly disrespectful and dismissive to use that term on someone who actually is an abuse survivor. Victim blaming is a huge problem in society in general.
 

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Just letting you know, these poll results are meaningless unless you weigh them against the MBTI makeup of PerC in general. INFPs are the most represented group on PerC.

I think that Borderline Personality Disorder pretty much sums up what happens when someone grows up in that environment (Not all the time, but most of the time). Is a personality disorder someone's natural personality, or is it a sickness, rather than an inbuilt part of them?

Perhaps people would be more likely to test as F rather than Ns due to the fear of emotions, emotional instability and other irrational aspects of it but... I don't think a personality disorder is actually part of someone's personality - it's an illness that needs to be treated in order for the person to change and become who they actually are.

I guarantee that people who have borderline personality disorder would have a different myers briggs result if you test them before and after long term therapy.
Not necessarily. Even if you have a personality disorder, you still have a personality on top of it. I dislike this way of viewing people with personality disorders, because it kind of implies that your entire personality IS a disorder, and that there's nothing else underneath that. Like, if you were cured, there would be nothing left, since nothing is worth saving. I don't think that's true. People with personality disorders still have cognitive function preferences, that COULD be used in a healthy way, if they didn't have a personality disorder. They still have personality traits that would remain constant.

I've known someone with diagnosed BPD who was an INTJ. My brother and I both have many symptoms of either BPD or C-PTSD, and I'm an INFP and my brother is ESFJ. My mom, on the other hand, is a diagnosed narcissist, and I'm pretty sure she's an INFP who is almost permanently stuck in ESTJ shadow mode. My ex had many NPD characteristics and he was ESFJ, and basically the complete opposite of my mom in every respect.
 

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People can die from lack of love, apparently.

I don't think though, maybe you just notice the most dysfunctional kind of types.

"It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society." - Jiddu Krishnamurti
 

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I was a hyper-responsible and rather serious child in a troubled home. Although I'm an introvert, growing up I tended to take an active mediator or problem solver role in family conflict situations, even if I wasn't directly involved in the initial conflict. I remember feeling that I was the only one who could hold off disaster. As an adult, I still have a visceral reaction to conflict, but I've learned to recognize that most people can (and should) solve their own conflicts without my intervention. So withdrawing from conflict was something I learned later.

I didn't get much chance to be a kid growing up, but as I've gotten older, I've become increasingly joyful and playful and gradually learned to let go of being so serious (at least some of the time!) I never look back and wish to be a child again. For me, being an adult is much better.
 

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Just letting you know, these poll results are meaningless unless you weigh them against the MBTI makeup of PerC in general. INFPs are the most represented group on PerC.
Great point. In addition, I think that different MBTI types have different levels of need for privacy. For example, many adult INTJ childhood abuse survivors don't really want to talk about their experiences in an open forum. I recall bringing the topic up on the INTJ forum once and the response was "Sure, I've been abused, but I don't see the use talking about it?."

INTJs are said to live in the future, so maybe that's part of it (even though to me, you can't really move forward unless you deal with the past).

I also think that INTJs hate being victimized again (stoicism is a very typical INTJ characteristic), which is something that you run a risk of being when you talk about childhood abuse. People either don't understand, don't want to understand, think that you whine and feel sorry for yourself, accuse you of trying to be a martyr, or believe that you imagine things. Why open yourself up to that type of ridicule?
 

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My dad is an alcoholic, and although he's a "dry" one (he hasn't drank for almost three years), once an alcoholic always one. I still suffer from adult (me an adult!? wut?) children of alcoholics syndrome. I loathe conflict, even if it's necessary, and I definitely have low self esteem and depression/anxiety. I consider my mom to be a very strong person and yet because her dad was an alcoholic, she married straight out of high school due to not wanting to be lonely; this dude was a total dick, so they divorced, and she married my dad, and so the cycle continued. It's a terrible illness, especially in the highest drinking state in the country (Wisconsin has the highest number of DUIs).
 
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Just letting you know, these poll results are meaningless unless you weigh them against the MBTI makeup of PerC in general. INFPs are the most represented group on PerC.



Not necessarily. Even if you have a personality disorder, you still have a personality on top of it. I dislike this way of viewing people with personality disorders, because it kind of implies that your entire personality IS a disorder, and that there's nothing else underneath that. Like, if you were cured, there would be nothing left, since nothing is worth saving. I don't think that's true. People with personality disorders still have cognitive function preferences, that COULD be used in a healthy way, if they didn't have a personality disorder. They still have personality traits that would remain constant.

I've known someone with diagnosed BPD who was an INTJ. My brother and I both have many symptoms of either BPD or C-PTSD, and I'm an INFP and my brother is ESFJ. My mom, on the other hand, is a diagnosed narcissist, and I'm pretty sure she's an INFP who is almost permanently stuck in ESTJ shadow mode. My ex had many NPD characteristics and he was ESFJ, and basically the complete opposite of my mom in every respect.
You misunderstood me, I was saying that the persons true personality was the person they are underneath the influence of the disorder. The disorder masks their true healthy cognitive functions. And maybe some of their healthy functions still influence them when they're diagnosed with a personality disorder but they will probably be weaker and overshadowed by the disorder.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I think that Borderline Personality Disorder pretty much sums up what happens when someone grows up in that environment (Not all the time, but most of the time). Is a personality disorder someone's natural personality, or is it a sickness, rather than an inbuilt part of them?

Perhaps people would be more likely to test as F rather than Ns due to the fear of emotions, emotional instability and other irrational aspects of it but... I don't think a personality disorder is actually part of someone's personality - it's an illness that needs to be treated in order for the person to change and become who they actually are.

I guarantee that people who have borderline personality disorder would have a different myers briggs result if you test them before and after long term therapy.
I'm not really sure about any of this, I just like to play with the idea here. I don't think everyone with this kind of background has per se a personality disorder. When the personality is developing in early childhood, this environment may shape that on a subconcious level. (a sort of thought pattern that makes us the person we are today).
I'm guessing in general people don't have a disorder, although it can be the case, of course. And it's probably more common with this background.
 

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My dad is a violent alcoholic and I definately have some characteristics of an ACOA. Like avoiding conflict, an inability to relax in some situations, problems in intimacy and so on and so on.

I don't think it has drastically changed my personality type though. For example I've always been an introvert and my sister has always been an extrovert.

The way people deal with childhood abuse is to use their cognitive functions to develop a type of defense that suits their strengths. For example, introverts can react by retracting from the world completely while extroverts can develop a need to always have people around.
This sounds about right. I went more into my shell whereas my sister started spending more and more time with other people.
 

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Or perhaps this poll will mostly reveal which type is most likely going to feel like they were abused or feel victimized?
 

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Victim shaming in a post about children of alcoholics.

Nice.

:rolleyes:
It's not victim shaming. It's pointing out that all experiences are subjective. Just because you feel like you were abused doesn't mean another would agree. Everyone has various definitions of what they'd consider abuse or not.

And I'm saying there might be a tendency in MBTI types to more easily label or experience things as abuse.

I personally never considered my own childhood to be a case of 'abuse' till after growing up and moving out, talking to more and more people. Hearing them talk about their childhood, that I slowly started to realize things were severely fucked up in my case. It's only then that it hit me, but I more or less laugh at it. Fuck feeling like a victim. Nothing good comes from that. So I don't.
 

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It's not victim shaming. It's pointing out that all experiences are subjective. Just because you feel like you were abused doesn't mean another would agree. Everyone has various definitions of what they'd consider abuse or not.

And I'm saying there might be a tendency in MBTI types to more easily label or experience things as abuse.

I personally never considered my own childhood to be a case of 'abuse' till after growing up and moving out, talking to more and more people. Hearing them talk about their childhood, that I slowly started to realize things were severely fucked up in my case. It's only then that it hit me, but I more or less laugh at it. Fuck feeling like a victim. Nothing good comes from that. So I don't.
You don't have to feel like a victim just because you were victimized. Acknowledging that you have been victimized and dealing with the effects of that experience doesn't make you a victim, it makes you a survivor. And yeah, I was ~30 when I realized how toxic our childhood had been.

One way people deal with negative experiences is to talk about it - however, as I mentioned in post 8, when child abuse is brought up, people are more likely to be met by suspicion than with non-judgmental listening. Child abuse is still a huge taboo in society. People don't want to understand because it is uncomfortable.

Many victims of childhood abuse would not change their experience when asked. Many believe that the traumas helped generate & develop the person they are today. Many think that they are stronger and better people for it.
I am included in this category. I am pretty dis-attached to my past, but if I ever bring up my experiences you can bet that the majority of people prefer to see me as a whiner, no matter how clinically I express myself or how well they know me. The people who don't judge and read their own emotions and fears into my statements are usually people who can relate.
 

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You don't have to feel like a victim just because you were victimized.
Never claimed such, the correlation is there though. I guess I'm just a little tired or frustrated who play the victim card. Emotions are a nice experience, sometimes a very nice additive. The spice of life. But please don't let them blind you from reason. I wonder how I'd be able to get more people to realize this.
 

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Grew up with an alcoholic parent and emotional abuse. I never realized it until close to my 30s, probably because as an ISTP I was fairly socially and emotionally illiterate, and I think most/all of us need some time and distance from our family of origin to see it more objectively.

I haaate conflict and haaate to hurt people's feelings or tell them anything they don't want to hear. (Completely atypical for an ISTP, and I know this is the reason why.) Ditto @heaveninawildflower for excessive self-consciousness (which is now sometimes social anxiety), feeling insignificant, unloveable, and highly sensitive to rejection. Also for difficulty forming healthy relationships. At this point I'm very perceptive of other people's functioning (good and bad) and able to avoid bad relationships, but I don't have the self-confidence or the relationship skills to attract or maintain a good one.

I don't think any personality disorder is a normal outcome of a dysfunctional childhood, I think most people (like myself) just become dysfunctional themselves and/or develop their own addictions. I think a relative few develop actual personality disorders. I agree with @Swede that those develop under more serious stress.

I don't think any of this is dependent on type. I don't think any type is more prone to dysfunction, personality disorders, etc, than any other, I just think that a person's type tends to determine which kind of disorder they would develop. (If I would ever develop a personality disorder it would be Avoidant, not, say, Histrionic or one that likes to control or manipulate others.)
 

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I don't think any personality disorder is a normal outcome of a dysfunctional childhood, I think most people (like myself) just become dysfunctional themselves and/or develop their own addictions. I think a relative few develop actual personality disorders. I agree with @Swede that those develop under more serious stress.
I also think that people are affected differently, even if they experience the same level/type of trauma. Some are better equipped to handle specific situations better than others.

Obviously, pretty much all of us become dysfunctional in one way or another.
Many become adult abuse victims, or abusers, or both. Some heal, many don't.

As I hinted to earlier, I withdrew and shut down emotionally. I also pushed myself extremely hard and dated abusive men in my 20s. I have recognized that I still have trust issues. I am married and I have friends, but I realize that I still believe that the only thing I can count on 100% is that there is no one to count on but myself. That is my safety. That is why independence is so extremely important to me.

My youngest sister became extremely extroverted. She has told me that she has to be around people because she is scared of being alone with herself. She says that the "thoughts" come, but we have never talked in depth about what she thinks. She also pushes herself, was an elite gymnast until her 30s and is into triathlons, etc. Eating disorders. Self-cutting.

We were the lucky ones. My middle sister broke and developed bipolar personality disorder in her late teens, because she was not strong enough to say no. She pushed herself hard too, but in doing that she gave up too much of herself. I also suspect that she has a fairly high rating on the narcissism spectrum, which would be a pretty natural counter reaction.
 

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Definitely. My ISFJ brother developed a serious drug and alcohol addiction before seeking recovery. He has since healed and grown tremendously and I'm incredibly proud of the person he is now, and it's so natural to him, it's not an act or a defense, he is more his real self than most people ever become.

My alcoholic parent has mellowed a bit over the years, drinks much less (quantity-wise) than they used to, although still has a few drinks every day. My non-alcoholic parent has learned to enable/cover less and speak their mind more, no more walking on eggshells, and the alcoholic actually responds very well to that and respects them more, and actually likes being put in their place! Their relationship is better than ever.

In another situation, I'm currently dealing with and trying hard to understand a person who I see very strong narcissistic traits in, who controls and hurts others much more than she admits. She's an ENTJ so she naturally has a very strong personality and is a natural leader and tends not to be very aware of other people's feelings or her own. Add narcissistic traits and an extraordinary position of leadership and influence in other people's lives and in my view she's potentially very dangerous. Because of her I'm just starting to learn about pathological narcissism. Wow. What a serious problem. The worst thing is how well narcissists hide their dysfunction and blame every problem on their victim/s. Anyway, the reason I'm mentioning it here is that she's been under tremendous, legitimate stress for years, beyond any human being's breaking point, and I wonder if she's gotten worse as a result of it, maybe closer to an actual Narcissistic personality disorder, since I see a much bigger problem than the people who have known her for years seem to see. (I've only known her a few months but I've seen her say and do things and treat people in ways that seriously disturb me.)
 
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