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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
My mother is an ISTJ and has been depressed for many years now. She grew up in a large family (over ten children), was the middle child and was neglected to a degree. This made her learn how to defend for herself and find practical solutions. She then went into the military and married a psychopath (ENTJ). She stayed with him for 24 years and finally let go when she let go of Catholicism (she's now Calvinist Baptist). I understand such a religious change was hard for her to come to, as well as deciding to divorce my father. I'm sure it hurt very much for her.

The thing is she's never had any friends. She believes she's far more superior and competent then others, including family. It's her way or the highway and she's pretty much a control freak of late. I believe this has to do with her change (changing Christian sects). At first she was elated and wanted to do right by God. She started taking care of herself better and getting more involved with life; however, the more she learned about the Bible and her interpretation of it, the further she's gone off the deep end. She believes in predestination and that we're chosen beforehand to go to heaven or hell. She very much believes she's saved and fears that'll she won't see her family in heaven (even told her own mother that'd she'd be going to hell if she didn't drop Catholic views). She wishes when she gets to heaven that her mind be erased of family and this life.

I realize she's scared and loves us very much. But the fact is she's never been truly loved properly and doesn't know how to correctly express love in return. She was neglected as a child, her ex-husband didn't fulfill her love meter (acts of service, being a steady partner and providing for the family; he really was a leech) and she never had any friends.

As her child I don't fit her perfect mold on how to live life properly. She does view me as practical, competent and level-headed though. Far more then my ENTP and ISFP sisters; however, our religious and political views are a great source of argument. She wants me to listen and agree, while not listening to me at all. She also enjoys rowling me up and seeing facial expressions (I don't normally have them; and end up exploding - think tea kettle). She also gets quite paranoid about the future of everything (ISTJ stress mode - Ne). I on the other hand as an ISTP get stressed over relationships (inferior Fe). Also she wants me to be a little clone of her instead of accepting me for who I am.

I know how to fill her love meter now (acts of service, saying thank you for her services and acknowledging her accomplishments), but my relationship with her is highly strained. She knows how abusive my father was to her children (he actually wasn't to her), yet here she is being verbally and emotionally abusive now to us. I really need her there as a mother, but I don't know how to reach out. I have one more year of college and I'd at least like this year to go by smoothly. This relationship is a major stress factor and keeping me depressed. I really need to focus on my school work and get my life started, not stressing over my relationship with my mother. I've come to the conclusion if things don't get better I'll have to end the relationship permanently for my own health, but... I really really want to have a better relationship with my mother, especially for my last year with her in general.

I love my mother very much and it hurts greatly inside that she'd behave this way to me instead of help me when I need her the most. I told her repeatly what I need, but instead she just brings up old arguments and repeats the same lines over and over despite the fact I've already refuted them. I've come to the point of just leaving the room or saying I won't agrue anymore, but she still persists and tries to start arguments.

I'd really appreciate any insight you ISTJs may have about this situation and if my relationship with my mother is salvageable. And no, telling her about MBTI isn't going to work. She's too far stressed to trust any intuitive personality theory.

*Yes, I currently live with her
 

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MOTM May 2011
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Jerk her up short. She needs a wake up call and fast. Explain to her, at a time when you are not arguing, that if she continues on the path she is headed with this relationship, that she will lose you. As a Christian, she has made her position clear. Now it is her duty to pray and not preach.

HTH
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I did already. I have made it clear more then once I'm not coming back if the relationship continues along this path. I see her words and actions as pushing us (her children) away despite wanting to get close. I believe she fears getting close since she's been hurt so much previously. I also see how she treats my older (ISFP) sister when she comes around to visit. Last time, my older sister cleaned my mother's bathroom and took care of the dogs (my mother has been neglectful of such things), then my mother asks my sister to do even more chores without even thanking my sister first for what she did. As well as telling my older sister (who is an officer in the Navy through merit and hard work) on how to live her life. I don't want to come back to that type of behavior.

It just... that just wouldn't be a relationship. It'd be appeasement and out of family obligation. Two things I'm not going bend my back for in order to keep a non-existent relationship alive.
 

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If you're looking at personality typing to understand her, then you may find the enneagram more useful - it covers healthy and unhealthy stages in more depth. It seems likely that she's type one: here's a link on the unhealthy cycle that it sounds like she's trapped in, and here's another on type one overview and levels of health.

Bear in mind that she could be frustrated with herself for being unhealthy, but taking it out on the rest of the family. HTH
 

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If you're looking at personality typing to understand her, then you may find the enneagram more useful - it covers healthy and unhealthy stages in more depth. It seems likely that she's type one: here's a link on the unhealthy cycle that it sounds like she's trapped in, and here's another on type one overview and levels of health.

Bear in mind that she could be frustrated with herself for being unhealthy, but taking it out on the rest of the family. HTH
The chart I have describes type 1's as:
Holy Idea: Perfection
Virtue: Serenity
Fixation: Judging
Passion: Resentment
Basic Fear: Of being bad, imbalanced, defective, corrupt
Basic Desire: To be good, to have integrity
In Search of: Integrity and improvement
Healthy Sense of Self: “I am a reasonable, objective person.”
Hidden Complaint: “I am right most of the time— others should listen to me.”
Key Defense Mechanisms: Repression, reaction form, displacement
Main Temptation: Extreme sense of personal moral obligation
Saving Grace: Objective and sensible
Structural Pattern: Objectivity
Cognitive Error: To identify with the superego

but ya, like cursivelogic I also advise you look into the unhealthy stages of type 1's health. Seems like pushing her for objectivity and sensibility you can push for less rigidity.

Wish the best of luck for you goodluck
 

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MOTM May 2011
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I did already. I have made it clear more then once I'm not coming back if the relationship continues along this path. I see her words and actions as pushing us (her children) away despite wanting to get close. I believe she fears getting close since she's been hurt so much previously. I also see how she treats my older (ISFP) sister when she comes around to visit. Last time, my older sister cleaned my mother's bathroom and took care of the dogs (my mother has been neglectful of such things), then my mother asks my sister to do even more chores without even thanking my sister first for what she did. As well as telling my older sister (who is an officer in the Navy through merit and hard work) on how to live her life. I don't want to come back to that type of behavior.

It just... that just wouldn't be a relationship. It'd be appeasement and out of family obligation. Two things I'm not going bend my back for in order to keep a non-existent relationship alive.

That is so disappointing and frustrating. Unfortunately, this problem is beyond the scope of this forum, and probably even your own efforts, to try to right things.

Your mom needs to see an LPC and work out these problems before she drives everyone away.:frustrating:
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I guess I could say I was holding on to some sliver of hope for her, but I know the reality. Fact is reality just plain sucks at the moment.

She doesn't believe she's depressed or willing to acknowledge how her behavior effects others in such a negative way. She'll probably never get the help she truly needs. But thank you guys for trying anyways, quite appreciated.
 

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A very unhealthy ISTJ parent seems to be a complete disaster. I'm sorry you've had to experience one. As others have said, it looks to be something that no matter what advice is given, cannot be fixed unless she agrees there is a problem and sets her mind to fix it.
 
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