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Discussion Starter #1
I'm curoius to hear from our current batch of board members about your experiences growing up (or if you're still at home your current outlook on the situation). Including your parents types may also be useful.

-Do you feel like your parents did a good job of understanding your personality?

- What were some strngths in your parents that you felt helped you out?

- What were their worst weaknesses, things that you feel may have/did cause you issues later in life?

- Do you feel your home life and how you were raised was generally beneficial, and please describe what things were like/ what your general situation was (economic class; rural/urban; city size; school situations; religion; anything else that may be a pertinant factor)?

-In what ways did you reflect being a typical INTJ child, and what were your parents reactions to these things (if you're needing info on INTJ childhood traits, there are a couple excellent threads in the articles section)?

Please feel free to add anything else you'd like to include in relation to this topic. I'll post my own response when I'm at a PC instead of my phone.
 

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My upbringing was quite a frustrating experience. My father is an ISTP and my mother is an ISFJ. Before my father was in the picture my mother raised my older half brother who had severe autism. She also was verbally abused by her father when she was a child.

During my upbringing from about age 5 - 12 my parents had no idea what to do with me. I always found clever ways to get around rules and wanted to do things my own way. My mother was very controlling and my father would enable her to be that way so he didn't have put up with her temper. I think because of these factors my upbringing was hindered to some degree.

Growing up with my autistic brother was also a challenge, but I figured I should add this in to be fair. My brother would get violent over many things that wouldn't always make sense. On top of that he is 9 years older than I am and is quite strong. I always had to be careful about my actions and words. There have been a number of times in which I could tell that he was on the edge of getting ready to attack any one of our family members. I won't go into examples of this, but I think this part should be included.

Progressing though life as a teenager was also a very challenge phase. I knew that in middle school and high school I was a black sheep. I never could find an approach to express my thoughts directly and get the results I wanted. I always knew that words and actions alone can play out in many ways with their own consequences. When ever I had to find a way to deal with an issue like bullying or some idiot trying to get their way I never could seem to find the right approach. When I talked to my mother about it she would try to make me conform. When I spoke with my dad about this sort of thing he would only go so far to help. I would always want to get to the root of the problem, but he only wanted to go with the more simple route, but to be fair I know that he at least did try. I eventually had to teach myself how to deal with life issues and develop my own way of learning.

During my later teenage years I became less interested in people in general. I learned to truly value alone time. Considering that my parents are both introverts, they found it odd that I didn't want to go out for weeks on end or even talking to other human beings. They would push a bit, but not like what I would expect from most parents. Another issue that became apparent was that due to my mothers upbringing she would mistake logic itself as verbal abuse, which made my life miserable. She also never quite could understand the level in which I value privacy in person and of private matters.

I know I probably have rambled a good bit here, but I will say that I eventually stumbled upon typology about a year or two ago. Now knowing what I know and what I have studied I did educate my folks on this. It hasn't changed too much of how life plays out, but it does help a slightly.
 

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I'm curoius to hear from our current batch of board members about your experiences growing up (or if you're still at home your current outlook on the situation). Including your parents types may also be useful.
My mother is an ESTJ, my father was an ENTP (I think. He died a few years ago). I was a middle child of four, one older brother, two sisters - ESTJ, xNFP, and ESFJ. I think my parents did a good job. I was a happy kid.

-Do you feel like your parents did a good job of understanding your personality?
I puzzled them, but they tolerated my quirks. They liked my curiosity, didn't much like my habit of withdrawing. My mother called me her peacemaker, because I didn't complain or argue much and was very easygoing. She also said she had to watch out though - sometimes I would take a stand, refuse to compromise, and explode if I was ignored.


- What were some strngths in your parents that you felt helped you out?
They were tolerant and adventurous. They were both intellectually curious, and encouraged that. Structure and schedules were important, but as long as I stuck with the general program I was given a lot of freedom to do whatever I wanted. My mother is a feminist, so she encouraged her daughters to stand up for themselves and didn't force a lot of stereotypical "feminine" behaviors on me.

- What were their worst weaknesses, things that you feel may have/did cause you issues later in life?
I don't think of them as weaknesses, but both parents (and most of my siblings) were and remain very energetic, very focused on doing things and activities. They were also both very extroverted. That resulted in me assuming that my love of solitude and daydreaming were weaknesses - that I was pretty lazy because I needed that every day. My parents never said that outright, though. It's just the contrast in personalities led me to assume it. My parents may have assumed it as well, I'm not sure.

Neither parent was comfortable expressing emotion at all, and I am that way as well, as is my brother, an ESTJ. It's something I work on. Also, my father didn't really understand weakness. He would just assume we could do things and keep up, even if we couldn't. That could be deeply frustrating, but my siblings and I all ended up being very self-confident adults who just assume we can do things, so probably that turned out to be a positive! It didn't always seem that way as a child, though.

- Do you feel your home life and how you were raised was generally beneficial, and please describe what things were like/ what your general situation was (economic class; rural/urban; city size; school situations; religion; anything else that may be a pertinant factor)?
As I said earlier, I had a good childhood with supportive parents. I grew up as part of what I call the intellectual middle class. My father was a university professor, as were two of my grandparents and numerous other relatives. My mother was a full time parent, but later went on to get her PhD. We lived in a small rural university town in New England. I went to a decent public school, and probably had a typical American experience. In the summers my parents would shut up the house and we would spend two months living with my grandparents on the family homestead in rural Maine. There were always tons of cousins running around, and we had a huge amount of freedom to do whatever we wanted. Those summers were the best part of my childhood. Both my parents loved the outdoors, and took us on a lot of wilderness trips, hiking and canoeing. My father, the ENTP, always was trying out new hobbies and activities, and liked it when we took part. I never understood why other kids wanted to grow up. I was pretty sure my life was good as it was - adults seemed to have a much harder time. I was right.


-In what ways did you reflect being a typical INTJ child, and what were your parents reactions to these things (if you're needing info on INTJ childhood traits, there are a couple excellent threads in the articles section)?
I think I basically already answered this. I wasn't into science, but I was very curious and loved to read and go off by myself and daydream. I was bright enough to do well in school, but often didn't get good grades because assignments would bore me and I'd put off doing my homework. I never quite fit in. My parents thought I was an easy child. I think my father, an ENTP, understood me a little better than my mother did (ESTJ). She has trouble understanding introverts, I think. She worried about me more.
 

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Mother is ISTJ, father is ISTP.

-Do you feel like your parents did a good job of understanding your personality?
In the beginning, they imposed their will and I fought back. During college, father was more passive but understanding and could hold intellectual conversations with me (sadly a bit late). Mother was always closed minded/critical and would always like to compare family members to people she knew. Her logic has always been ad hominem or ad populum which irked me to no end as all I wanted were logical justifications.

-What were some strngths in your parents that you felt helped you out?
They provided a good milleu for stability and education. Plus, their situation provided an opportunity to explore/witness the rise of the Internet.

- What were their worst weaknesses, things that you feel may have/did cause you issues later in life?
The mild physical abuse/punishment made me lose respect/trust in them. This mindset permeates to all human relationships that I've had as the concept of 'love' and respect became synonymous. e.g. I don't love my younger brother as outside family ties (blood relations mean nothing to me), he hasn't earned my respect yet (although this has more to do with age difference and physical separation). I will also not fall for someone (get into relationships) if I disagree with your character.

- Do you feel your home life and how you were raised was generally beneficial, and please describe what things were like/ what your general situation was (economic class; rural/urban; city size; school situations; religion; anything else that may be a pertinant factor)?
Beneficial to the extent that I wasn't burdened with the outside world. Middle class, suburbs, atheist (until they turned christian which gave me more ammo to convert them back).

-In what ways did you reflect being a typical INTJ child, and what were your parents reactions to these things (if you're needing info on INTJ childhood traits, there are a couple excellent threads in the articles section)?
Self-taught and internally motivated for the most part. Mutual interests in education made those transition smooth. However, when I ran into trouble, my lack of trust in people caused me to clam up and I reverted to unhealthy activities which they couldn't understand.
 

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My parents did an amazing job at raising me and still do amazing job at helping me in life when i need it.
 
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I'm curoius to hear from our current batch of board members about your experiences growing up (or if you're still at home your current outlook on the situation). Including your parents types may also be useful.

-Do you feel like your parents did a good job of understanding your personality?

- What were some strngths in your parents that you felt helped you out?

- What were their worst weaknesses, things that you feel may have/did cause you issues later in life?

- Do you feel your home life and how you were raised was generally beneficial, and please describe what things were like/ what your general situation was (economic class; rural/urban; city size; school situations; religion; anything else that may be a pertinant factor)?

-In what ways did you reflect being a typical INTJ child, and what were your parents reactions to these things (if you're needing info on INTJ childhood traits, there are a couple excellent threads in the articles section)?

Please feel free to add anything else you'd like to include in relation to this topic. I'll post my own response when I'm at a PC instead of my phone.
Haha, I don't think my parents knew anything about personality traits. They were both young when my brother was born and had to work their butts off so my brother had babysitters who were actually rather pampering with him. Five years later I was born and my mom took her first shot at actually raising a child. She spoiled my brother rotten and from the beginning, I was chatty and asked a lot of questions. Don't know when it happened, but I suddenly became self-conscious and started focusing inwardly and became more interested in learning than socializing.

Did they understand that? Not really, for years they were trying to figure out why I was so brooding when I was simply constantly thinking about something I was reading. Hey, it's hard to remember to smile when you're not focused externally. Now they do, lol, when I came out of the closet in terms of wanting to be a female engineer. It was one of those "Ohhhh, she was one of those kids" moments for them.

I found that because of my parents' lack of nurturing skills, I was definitely more independent. I loved being by myself from the beginning and hated being coddled and was glad that my parents didn't force their nurturing on me. All that spoiling went to my brother and well, me, I got books so who cares? On the other hand, their lack of nurturing skills has turned out to be somewhat of a double-edged sword. Not only do I scare little children, I am not exactly appealing to guys either. I have a lot of guy friends to begin with and I'm beginning to think that they don't quite see me as a girl but more like one of their buddies who like to talk about the latest toys and games. Oh well?

In any case, it wasn't a bad childhood, really. Looking back on it, I kind of regret not taking advantage of all those solo times to read books. Whenever I was not reading, I was giving into my God complex (I don't really have that) and playing the Sims or some simulation game - why have a life when you can play a game about one, right? I jest, I jest, it's an awesome game though - and so I don't really mind. I made the occasional acquaintance and moved on.

Well, long story short, as with most of my life, I was not aware that I would be classified as an INTJ by my personality, but I don't think it would have changed anything even if I knew and told my parents about it. They aren't uncaring people - in fact, they can be very caring, it's just not in the same way as you would imagine. Instead of a father reading to his child, my dad taught me how to read.
 

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Haha, board members. Makes me think I'm on some sort of committee :p

Mother is ESFJ, father is a (strange) ISTJ.

-Do you feel like your parents did a good job of understanding your personality?
Understanding? Probably not. But I think they always accepted me and defended me when other people criticised me for being different.

- What were some strngths in your parents that you felt helped you out?
Stability and grounding. Also, my mum is probably the most caring person in the world (ESFJ and most likely a type 2) :p so there's that. She would (and did) sacrifice personal things for my benefit. They encouraged me to learn.

- What were their worst weaknesses, things that you feel may have/did cause you issues later in life?
The flip side to the above. They 'groomed' me to be a worker pretty much. Although they let me do what I want, I was always nudged away from things they thought were not useful in terms of career prospects. This led me to believe that being successful from a career perspective was what I wanted for myself. When I actually got a 'successful' job, I found that rather than being happy because I'd fulfilled my goal, I became depressed because my entire impression of the world around me was false. I didn't enjoy any of it. I felt like my brain was rotting and I was becoming one of the masses. I couldn't deal with social complexity. I just wanted to learn and create and think.

They also sheltered me from the outside world too much - very overprotective. I was an introvert anyway, but I still felt a bit shackled.

Apart from that my dad is very dull, and although dependable, was never much of a role model for me. My mum was a stronger male role model growing up, would you believe.

- Do you feel your home life and how you were raised was generally beneficial, and please describe what things were like/ what your general situation was (economic class; rural/urban; city size; school situations; religion; anything else that may be a pertinant factor)?
I had it better than most kids around my area, which is pretty working class and generally shitty. My parents are not wealthy but they work hard and are sensible with their spending habits so I never really had to go without anything, but at the same time we weren't what you would consider well off.

-In what ways did you reflect being a typical INTJ child, and what were your parents reactions to these things (if you're needing info on INTJ childhood traits, there are a couple excellent threads in the articles section)?
Lots of things. I was always way ahead in the maturity and intellectual development curve. I learnt to speak, read, write, count before everyone else I knew. I was considered somewhat of a genius from about 5-10. However, I was very stubborn, very anxious and afraid of people (I remember being forced to play with the other kids in nursery school and I used to either get angry or cry), somewhat moody and petulant and argued back a lot.

For the most part, my parents (actually pretty much entirely my mum) encouraged my intellect by buying me books (yay encyclopedias!) and playing quiz games and stuff with me even though she got tired of it quite often. She taught me stuff before I started school as well. However, the SJ influence came in when I tried to enforce my own way on things. I did get my way a bit because I'm an only child, but if I tried to argue with a rule or disagreed with something, it was always "no, you can't do this because I said so and because it's the rules". That always pissed me off and I'd then get very angry, which led my parents to believe I had anger issues, when it was a frustration to do with not being given logically acceptable reasons for certain things.

I also had to deal with a torrent of Fe emotional guilt-tripping, where I was always made to feel really bad about myself if I said something even slightly controversial. I think this type of thing was a big factor in making me a nervous wreck when it came to expressing my opinions because I was always afraid I'd be made to feel terrible. So I withdrew and became very insecure, lacking in self-confidence.

There are probably other things, but those are the main ones I can think of right now.
 

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Regardless of upbringing, I am who I am based on my own merit, my own choices and actions and inactions. No one is to blame. I know what I know now, because I put myself in the position to learn. I do not blame anyone for what or who I am.
 
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My mom's an ISTJ, so we're similar in a lot of ways, which I think turned out to have more pros than cons. I was basically raised by her, my sister (ESFJ), and extended family.

We were pretty poor when I was young, thanks to my father dumping his debt on my mom, but by the time I graduated from high school, we were comfortably middle class. Not that it mattered a whole lot, because my mom always made sure my sister and I had what we needed, and most of the time what we wanted. The only thing I remember not having were vacations, ever.

We lived in a small suburb to be near her family and a good school district, and lived in my grandparents' house for a while. Two of her six siblings also lived there; my aunt (some kind of N) was a big influence/spoiler, getting me subscriptions to Japanese magazines and having my play hooky to watch figure skating. And my grandfather (some kind of IxTx) was basically my father figure and favorite person ever. So, a good move on my mom's part, otherwise I would have missed out on a lot.

So I grew up with a large, extended family that got together for dinners for every birthday and holiday, which of course was a bit much for me at times. I think the family could get on our nerves in similar ways. Pretty much my entire family was religious, but under my mom's roof, we were neither encouraged nor discouraged on the topic of religion. I went to a private Catholic school in kindergarten, but my mom couldn't stand the indoctrination and put me in public school from first grade onwards. I am glad to this day she did that. It was easy for me to adopt the "atheist" label early on. (It took my mom and sister longer, only having done so in the last couple of years.)

My mom always made it clear she's on my side. Family members always wanted to get touchy-feely, and of course, I hated being touched, so they found it all very funny and thought it was a game, but my mom told them to cut the crap and raised me and my sister that we always had the right to tell anyone to keep their hands off. When my second grade teacher told me to "slow down," my mom went on a rampage and made sure I was placed into the gifted program. She didn't raise me to believe I had to respect all authority--since we're black, she taught us to be polite and respectful to cops, but not to trust them.

She was very fair. She never set draconian rules like some of my classmate's parents, and was always willing to discuss things. (No freaking out if I ate dessert before dinner, long as I ate dinner.) She gave me a lot of freedom, especially in the realm of gathering knowledge--we had a lot of books in the house, and I could read any of them I wanted, and I had free rein on the Internet. Yes, she knew what she was doing; she took off the security controls, and knew I could self-censor if I needed to. Was very "whatever" when I started swearing in my teens.

Worked hard to be a good role model--went back to school, kept her self-image issues away from me, etc. Wasn't one of those parents who considered her job done once I finished high school, and supports me through college, though I think part of it is that she wants me to finish college in one go because neither she nor my sister did.

Now, the downsides: I don't think my mom did, or even now, quite understands I have a strong desire for independence. And I think it's because I'm the youngest--heck, I'm the youngest grandchild--and she still sees me as the baby of the family. Which just drives me up the wall. She's tradition-bound, unsurprisingly, even though it's a bit more subtle than SJ stereotypes. It was obvious that sometimes she wished I was more like my sister. The downside of being alike is that though she's done well herself, she never really taught me to "work the system"; she's as much a homebody ice queen as I am. She tries to coach me now, but...yeah.

And, weirdly, my mom kind of admires me because I'm so sure of who I am...which wouldn't have happened without her. But it's a bit weird sometimes, she makes me out to be more amazing than I am and buys into it, which is rather unhelpful at times. ("Yes, really, I am that socially retarded! Tell me what to write in this stupid e-mail!")

Well, that was all rather TL;DR. Anyway, my mom rocks.
 
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Discussion Starter #10
-Do you feel like your parents did a good job of understanding your personality?
Not especially - my father perhaps did mildly better, but he was not involved in the family, especially once I was into my early-mid teens. My mother didn't understand my personality at all, and for the most part, made zero effort to do so. Her goal was to force me into understanding her personality and her take on the world, and to see things her way. Love my mom, but she understood nothing about personality, and she refused to accept that other people may see things differently. They say INTJs are stubborn - let me just say that INFJs are worse. Many a long night as she attempted to force/coerce me into her way of thinking when I would finally tell her what she wanted to hear simply so I could actually get some sleep (even though I never actually agreed, the argument was pointless).


- What were some strengths in your parents that you felt helped you out?
My mom's willingness to stand up to people around her helped forge a self reliance that is proving to be rare these days. She also allowed me to express myself at least a little bit through my appearance, as long as it wasn't anything too crazy (still very conservative household). Definitely did not discourage my art.

She also taught me to think for myself (much to her chagrin now), how to research things, and encouraged my incessant need for books and reading. She did a great job of educating me both academically (for the most part) and in teaching me life skills.

- What were their worst weaknesses, things that you feel may have/did cause you issues later in life?
She tried to keep me at home by outright lying about what it would be like for me if I went to college - threatening to put down my 10 year old dog, telling me I could never afford my horse if I went to school and that there was no way they'd take care of it for me (even though they still had another 2 horses on the property) - the list goes on. This type of behavior was rather common, and ranged from a mild guilt trip to outright mean things. It took many years, but I finally figured out that she's a master of emotional blackmail, and that's all any of this was. Unfortunately, I didn't figure that out until long after I had finally left home - one shortcoming to being homeschooled is that outside and unapproved resources are very hard to come by.

Her insistence that I, the child, see things her way pushed my T over the edge...although I've come to understand this about myself, I don't know that I will ever be able to have a healthy take on emotions, even for an INTJ.

With my father having NPD, he added a whole different dimension to our entire family life, but it didn't affect me worse than it affected anyone else in our family.

- Do you feel your home life and how you were raised was generally beneficial, and please describe what things were like/ what your general situation was (economic class; rural/urban; city size; school situations; religion; anything else that may be a pertinant factor)?
Homeschooled, in a very conservative Christian home. Sometimes they ventured into the bat-shit crazy kind of conservatives (although I never could swallow it). Grew up in a rural area attached to a very small town - most of the people I knew growing up are still in the same places. Very few friends, or even opportunities to make friends. In such a small town you knew everyone and very few people seemed worth the time and effort. We were low-poor middle class. Had a house and property, but also had to grow a lot of our food, if we didn't get a deer during deer season we probably didn't have much meat over the winter - ya, pretty rural area.

-In what ways did you reflect being a typical INTJ child, and what were your parents reactions to these things (if you're needing info on INTJ childhood traits, there are a couple excellent threads in the articles section)?
I fit many of the profiles of a typical INTJ child - quiet, needed my space, emotionally detached but would sort it out when I was alone, loved to read...I wasn't hugely into "in your face" defiance, I preferred the subtler forms of defiance and avoided getting caught most of the time.


Regardless of upbringing, I am who I am based on my own merit, my own choices and actions and inactions. No one is to blame. I know what I know now, because I put myself in the position to learn. I do not blame anyone for what or who I am.
(I see that the member is banned, but still wanted to reply for the benefit of the thread)

It's not about "blaming" people, but to truly understand ourselves and our reactions to things, we also need to take a look at where we came from. I don't blame anyone else for my choices, but I can also see how other people (especially people as close to you as the people who raised you) can affect my take on things. Understanding that only helps one grow as a person, see where outside influences affected you, and learn from it. To claim that your parents/guardians had no influence on who you became is putting on blinders. They have a huge influence and reflecting on how you were raised can help one better understand their current take on many situations. The older you get the less of an influence that will have, but it can still provide invaluable information. Simply knowing that I'm terrible at processing emotions is one thing - understanding WHY I'm terrible at it gives me another tool in my belt to help myself learn to deal with that shortcoming.
 

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Mother unit- INTP
Father unit- ESFJ

-Do you feel like your parents did a good job of understanding your personality?

I think my mother did to a degree. She would give both my brother and I plenty of (different) tools for the activities that we were interested in. I never had a shortage of books or paints. My brother (INTJ) was never short of things to take apart and put back together. We lived with our father for 5 years and it was a void wasteland were we didn't even have a proper diet or bed. I'm sensing some irony in the ESFJ tag "the caregiver" although, he does have a big book with people's birthdays from far and wide.

- What were some strengths in your parents that you felt helped you out?

Mother's strength was to be a provider of everything. She worked, was stable, providing us with whatever we needed. She was very good with communicating and listening.

Father's strength. I hesitated here because he wasn't great but I guess his strength was to give an impression. I don't bother with impressions and think I have a blind spot just out of stubbornness to not be like him.

- What were their worst weaknesses, things that you feel may have/did cause you issues later in life?

Mother's weakness growing up wasn't apparent. She was a pillar of strength and nurturing. It's apparent now that she really didn't have a very good image of herself. Her ESFJ mother picked and picked at her and as soon as she could she fled into the arms of another ESFJ who was really much worse. I guess she taught me that she had bad taste in men and she was better alone. I watched her be abused but rise again with dignity and start again twice whilst having us in her care.

My father's weaknesses. He's an arse. I care about him still even knowing he's really not a fantastic human. He was extremely neglectful and very vain. If it meant giving a good impression he would teach us manners by shouting at us at dinner and banging his fists on the table. We were to look the part. As I said already he inspired me to be a punk/skinhead because I knew it was the worst thing I could do to bring him shame without actually doing anything morally wrong. I could speculate forever on how having him as a role model really skewed my perceptions in searching for a relationship which actually works. I became my mother in a sense. I do have hope though. She did eventually find a great partnership in her 40s.

- Do you feel your home life and how you were raised was generally beneficial, and please describe what things were like/ what your general situation was (economic class; rural/urban; city size; school situations; religion; anything else that may be a pertinant factor)?

Living with my mother seemed very middle class comfort although I realise now was because she's a near genius with money, something I hope I've picked a little up on. We were in a small township to begin with. My father left with another woman then after a couple of years decided to sell the house it was in his name and he had control. My mother was forced out so she tried to take us to the mainland to start again with her parents help. My father wouldn't allow that so after a dramatic affair of my mother trying to get us on the boat and my father calling police we were left in the care of him for 5 years (until my mother bought a house of her own). He ran a pub then lost it had many wives, lost them. He had very high paying jobs in between but I don't know WTF he does with money apart from "giving impressions" by paying expensive restaurant bills and buying great suits for himself. My mother bought all of our clothes and sent them to us during the entire time. I found out later that in losing the pub he also lost his parents home too. It was the rest of his siblings who bailed out their parents.

-In what ways did you reflect being a typical INTJ child, and what were your parents reactions to these things (if you're needing info on INTJ childhood traits, there are a couple excellent threads in the articles section)?

My typical INTJ traits was to read, disappear in my head and find places to sit and hide in to read in peace. I showed my mother the article on the INTJ child and her reaction was yes, as a teen you seemed to come from a parallel universe. She described the way my father used to cuddle me as a baby and show off his "beautiful daddy's girl" to everyone and thought that I didn't like cuddling because he abused the privilege. I can remember his horrible stubble, loud voice and not enjoying any part of it. I think I was a self contained unit. I could entertain myself. My mother describes me as pretty dreamy as a kid. That I could sit and stare into space for a long time.
 

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I'm curoius to hear from our current batch of board members about your experiences growing up (or if you're still at home your current outlook on the situation). Including your parents types may also be useful.

-Do you feel like your parents did a good job of understanding your personality?
My Mom confessed to me this Christmas that my different personality disappointed her (I'm 27 now) when I was growing up. She was expecting F type reactions and my NT logic was alien to her. She tests as a really strong F and I test really strong T. She said she tried to push me towards more emotional type responses and I didn't oblige. I'm so future oriented, I haven't really spent time thinking about this.

I think my Dad is an mild S-T, so he came closer to understanding me. (He hasn't taken the test.)


- What were some strngths in your parents that you felt helped you out?
Both my parents were intellectually curious, so they always encouraged my pursuit of knowledge. The house was always filled with books and trips to the library were common. Every vacation we took included some sort of historical or other learning experience.

They also encouraged skepticism and asking questions. Nothing was off limits to ask about.

- What were their worst weaknesses, things that you feel may have/did cause you issues later in life?
I'd have to say the push to EXPRESS emotions. Frequently, that forced expression just pushed me to recite other's views of feeling that were still foreign to me.

- Do you feel your home life and how you were raised was generally beneficial, and please describe what things were like/ what your general situation was (economic class; rural/urban; city size; school situations; religion; anything else that may be a pertinant factor)?
Economic-Middle Class but with parents that were careful with money.
Early life: Suburbs/Rural Town. Moving from the suburbs to a rural area basically uprooted me from a school where I had friends to one that I was never able to develop any. Living so far away from the city made it difficult to just randomly hang out with friends without significant planning until I got my driver's license.
City Size: 60K/2K.
Religion: Protestant Christian. This developed skepticism in me because I had to question the source of every piece of information.
 

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My Mom confessed to me this Christmas that my different personality disappointed her (I'm 27 now) when I was growing up. She was expecting F type reactions and my NT logic was alien to her. She tests as a really strong F and I test really strong T. She said she tried to push me towards more emotional type responses and I didn't oblige.

I find this interesting - my mother has said similar things (prior to knowing about personality stuff), and has implied it since then...not that I really care, just interesting that strong Fs are actually disappointed that we don't reciprocate.
 

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My ESFJ mother was very illogical + very religious = stupid

I still care a great deal about here, but I have no respect for her. I cannot deny what my head tells me on the subject.

She is extremely extroverted, it just served to annoy me throughout my childhood. Also, it did not help her in the intelligence department.

My father, probably another INTJ. Helped me develop intellectually but poisoned me socially. Telling your 10 year old son that children can be cruel bastards (they can and they are) is counter productive. I had a case of paranoia (among other things) in my teens.

I think most people have a screwed up adolescence. Getting yourself 'fixed' is a great thing...definitely worth the time, effort, and expense.
 

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I don't know what personality types are my parents. They wouldn't do the test and I have some doubts, but I can't be sure.

-Do you feel like your parents did a good job of understanding your personality?
Well my parents don't know what INTJ is, so they didn't do that. They needed some interaction time with me to get to know me naturally, but they did try to understand me. They had problems with me, because I didn't want to follow the established social rules and protocols. They called me stubborn a lot.

-What were some strngths in your parents that you felt helped you out?
Well they never stopped from studying what I want. Actually they didn't stop me period in that department. They knew that I'm responsible enough and gave me access to money and that kind of stuff when I was pretty young. They also knew to not ground me.

- What were their worst weaknesses, things that you feel may have/did cause you issues later in life?
The fact that they are too different and I've wondered all my life how they work out as family in the first place. Also they could be even stubborn than me, which made them a bit hypocrite, when they argue with me and call me stubborn. And well sometimes they try to control me in some points (like wanting to study specific foreign language that I didn't want or pressuring me to buy apartment and so on).

- Do you feel your home life and how you were raised was generally beneficial, and please describe what things were like/ what your general situation was (economic class; rural/urban; city size; school situations; religion; anything else that may be a pertinant factor)?
Well I was raised from a middle economic class in a small city which was pain in the ass (I was 6 and I was dreaming how I want to go away from there). The elementary school was full with kids with no ambition at all, which made the teachers not willing to do almost anything, so I had to study on my own for the most time (that was cool though). Most of my family is religious, but my father is not at all, so he supported me in my decision to be not religious.

-In what ways did you reflect being a typical INTJ child, and what were your parents reactions to these things (if you're needing info on INTJ childhood traits, there are a couple excellent threads in the articles section)?
Well I was extremely introverted and since I was raised in small town I didn't want to play or talk to the other kids, because I didn't like them. I was always interested in reading and learning something new. I didn't do anything unless I have very good logical explanation. Pretty often I had arguments with my mother, because she tried to make me eating something that I didn't want to eat. And yeah I won in that cases. Also I didn't care what everyone my age is doing and I had nothing in common with them.
 

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INTJs, do you think your parents helped or hindered you?


They did pretty good job hindering me. When I was young I was short calm boy never get into trouble a very hard learner at school always achieve the best scores, my parents didn’t accept me, I can remember very sharply my father hitting me in many occasions and always over react of everything I did, so I learned to stay calm and do my best to not get noticed. My mother didn’t do anything to help me in anyway. The thing that frustrated me for years is that they tried to brake me in front of other people like I’m nothing; I was subject of harsh criticisms from everyone. They weren’t supportive of any thing I did.


-Do you feel like your parents did a good job of understanding your personality?


Heck no, they did their best to FIX me.


- What were some strengths in your parents that you felt helped you out?


None


- What were their worst weaknesses, things that you feel may have/did cause you issues later in life?


The childhood have passed with great pain, now I’m looking forward into my life and try to figure out what to do.


- Do you feel your home life and how you were raised was generally beneficial, and please describe what things were like/ what your general situation was (economic class; rural/urban; city size; school situations; religion; anything else that may be a pertinant factor)?


I’m in fucking Arabic third world country and I hate my situation, stupid people, hypocrites rule the country a total fuck. (I think this responds to most questions)

There is no economy here, you have the money but you can’t get anything.

-In what ways did you reflect being a typical INTJ child, and what were your parents reactions to these things (if you're needing info on INTJ childhood traits, there are a couple excellent threads in the articles section)?


As an INTJ I had a very frustrating time growing up, I was surrounded by Fe people all the time, nothing seems logical, I was lost, the only time I could find myself is when I’m alone reading or just thinking.

My parents didn’t like it, especially religion section, because I always ask why? and never took “because I said this” as an answer. When I grew up they couldn’t do anything about and I learned to forgive them.

Till today I have difficult time with my parents, they do some things that hurt me but never express emotions or any feelings.
 

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Do you feel like your parents did a good job of understanding your personality?

Absolutely not. Parents have "divine right" in my house. "My roof, my word" was the mentality and it was as simple as that. They took very little time to explain things to me. They made no effort at all to understand me. It was basically "do this or I beat you". They forced me into music because it's what they wanted. I was constantly put on the spot to play in front of people like a dog doing tricks. My mother made some effort but she was way too submissive to my dad. To this day, they still don't have the slightest clue of what makes me tic.

They never had interest in me as an individual. They never cared about ME. They loved what I was in a technical sense but they absolutely worship this imaginary guy that they think is me. Their position again is that parents should never compromise at all with their children. They can make assumptions about their children because they're the parents. They were very superficial in how they made judgments so it made me really timid at trying new things, making friends, or even talking to girls because I would have to eventually bring those things home. They never made any attempt at helping me when I had trouble focusing in school. Their solution was as simple as yelling at me when they saw my report card or when teachers called... which suffice to say, didn't work.
 

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I'm curoius to hear from our current batch of board members about your experiences growing up
I'll warn up front that this is probably TL; DR.

-Do you feel like your parents did a good job of understanding your personality?
There's not a person I've ever met who truly understands me. This is why discovering the Keirsey Temperament Sorter, MBTI, and Enneagram were tremendously helpful for me to facilitate understanding myself. When I first read Please Understand Me, and it said that NTs are infrequent and must live with aliens, that described my experience perfectly. I always felt like I was an alien, a stranger in a strange land. I've always been cognizant of my "differentness". I simply don't fit into the world as it is. When I found out that INTJs composed only 1% of the population, it then made sense to me. I always felt different because I was. My father especially demonstrated that he didn't understand me at all.

- What were some strngths in your parents that you felt helped you out?
My mother always encouraged reading. I was an autodidact, teaching myself to read at two-and-a-half years of age. My mother recognized my advancedness and did her best to provide the things to facilitate my growth. My father didn't believe I could read that early—and without anyone teaching me, and my mother had to convince him I could. That was always how it was with him: "No, he can't!" As if the fact that he couldn't do something made it impossible for someone else to be capable of doing so. It was my mother who said, "Yes, he can!" I also taught myself to speed read, and my father didn't believe it (again) after I had read a dozen books in only two days. So he was going to "prove" I couldn't by grabbing a book at random and opening it and randomly quizzing me on it. After I answered all his questions on all the books he quizzed me on, he finally had to shut up and admit that I had indeed done what I had said, which my mother knew all along. My mother always had books in the house, and bought me my own set of encyclopedias after I had checked out the entire encyclopedia from the library. She used to walk me to the library when I was a little kid so I could check out books.

I found kindergarten boring and unchallenging, and was tested as gifted when I was in the fourth grade, where I was younger than the other fourth graders and tutoring sixth graders who were two full grades above me. My mother didn't tell me my score because she didn't want me to become an egotist, and so didn't put me in the gifted program as they recommended, but sometimes I think that at least I would have been around other kids like me instead of being made an object of ridicule because of my intelligence. But she did her best to provide what I needed in order to help satisfy my insatiable thirst for knowledge. For instance, when I became interested in astronomy, she bought me a telescope to enable me to look at the stars. She later said that she wanted to make sure it was available. Even though she realized that she couldn't keep up with me, she made sure that what I needed was available, and to expose me to different things. For that I'm grateful.

- What were their worst weaknesses, things that you feel may have/did cause you issues later in life?
My father was a severe NPD, a diagnosis I myself had given him long before the doctors gave him the official diagnosis. He was emotionally abusive. Controlling. He used the Bible to justify him being the head of the household to whom complete obedience was demanded by divine command. He held misogynistic beliefs, once telling me in what was a thoroughly awkward father-son talk, that women were instruments of the devil, through whom the devil worked to get to Adam. :shocked: He advocated gnostic dualist beliefs of a spirit-immaterial/flesh-material dichotomy, with women of course representing the flesh, who the devil used to tempt men with sex (this was only the second time in my life at this point I had ever heard the word even mentioned by either of my parents) in order to keep the material world going. It's a wonder I didn't end up thoroughly screwed up about women and sex myself, but I was inherently repelled by this and turned out the opposite. He actually never knew that I ever had relationships with women or (*gasp!*) even had sex with them at times, and I made sure to keep it that way. I remember one time a woman I was with in college joked, "You think your parents don't know what you're doing?", and I replied, without a smile on my face, completely serious, "No. They don't." She had no idea how I had been raised, because it certainly wasn't what would be considered normal.

My parents' marriage was a model of everything a relationship shouldn't be. I did not want to be the kind of man my father was. I made it a point to treat women the opposite of how my father treated my mother. But it's affected my relationships in that it's hard for me to completely let my guard down with a partner, because I couldn't let my guard down growing up. I had to keep it up in order to survive and make it to adulthood without the emotional scars which my mother and other siblings have. It's hard for me to be vulnerable. I couldn't divulge anything about myself, because my father would manipulate my mother with things she confided in him, so as a kid I learned that confiding things to other people = bad. Because they'll stockpile it and use it as ammunition against you. It only intensified my INTJ aloofness and unreadability, because I needed to be unreadable in order not to give anything I might be manipulated with. Sometimes I've wondered whether I was an introvert by nature, or whether it was my environment that made me an introvert. Perhaps in a better environment I may not have been an introvert. I'll never know how much the particular circumstances I was born to had to do with it.

I never let my father do anything for me, because he'd bring it up later, holding it over your head what he did for you. If he didn't do anything for me, he would have nothing to hold over my head. As a result, after I became a man and got in relationships, my partner has complained that while I was thoughtful and did things for them, I wouldn't let them do anything for me. They wanted to be able to do things for me too, but growing up I had to not allow things to be done for me so I wouldn't be beholden to anyone. The adaptations that were necessary in order to survive my environment turn out to be maladaptive as far as relationships go. A female friend of mine who is the only person I've fully told about my childhood said that the wall I've built around myself to keep from being hurt also keeps people out.

It's bad enough that INTJs are so rare anyway, making it hard for me to find someone else who understands me as it is, but then my upbringing has created so much baggage that I know I will never be in a loving relationship with someone I can lower my walls and just be myself with without having to worry. I'm always on guard against being hurt, and only the people I let get close to me have any power to hurt me. If I do get hurt, then the walls immediately come up, and I feel both stupid and angry with myself. Because the other person couldn't have done anything unless I had given them the ability to. What Keirsey said about NT's being self-critical is dead on in my case, as well as what he said about never being willing to repeat an error. I don't see myself ever entering another relationship again. The relationship I saw growing up was the antithesis of a positive relationship, and I know of none of my peers who are in one. I can only speak from my own personal experience, and from my own personal experience, I have seen nothing to indicate that such a thing as a positive relationship exists. Relationships aren't meant for everyone, and I've come to terms with the fact that I'm one of those people. I knew this when I was 5 or 6. My self-esteem isn't contingent on someone else, so I'm fine with it.

- Do you feel your home life and how you were raised was generally beneficial, and please describe what things were like/ what your general situation was (economic class; rural/urban; city size; school situations; religion; anything else that may be a pertinant factor)?
How my mother raised me was beneficial. Everything positive about the man I became that can be credited to someone outside myself is due to her. My home life, however, was not beneficial, as my father was ultimately in charge. In addition to being NPD, he also had a gambling problem, and was a conservative man-is-in-charge-of-the-household, so my mom's money was his, and he would gamble it away. As a result, we ended up losing our home because of his gambling the money that was supposed to keep a roof over our head. Which is one reason I don't like talking about my personal life. (There are things about my past I would never feel comfortable telling a partner. Odds are, she wouldn't believe me anyway. I would find it hard to believe if it weren't for the fact that I actually lived it.)

I don't believe my father was truly religious. I believe he used it as a method of control. (I believe a lot of so-called "religious" people do.) A means to get what he wanted. Children obey your parent. In the Biblical days they would stone you if you didn't. Wife obey your husband. I'm the man, so you do what I say. What you make is mine. Don't talk back or question me or my authority. Know your place and stop being "mannish." Have my food ready when I come home. Wash my clothes. After having seen that for so long, that's why I can't stand it.

Seeing what my mother went through made me sensitive to the things women go through. Sometimes I think she shouldn't have been so traditional and don't understand why she put up with it, but she was from the era when you married 'til death do you part, and to her credit, she did just that. She married my father and stayed married until he died. (Thing is, though, my father said he was going to leave my mother and not leave her a dime. I remember him threatening her with this when I was a kid. And he was true to his word—in his final act, he left my mother and didn't leave her a dime. He had no health insurance, nothing, when he died, financially breaking the family with his funeral and burial expenses during the biggest recession since the Great Depression, effectively screwing over the family one last time.) If everything had gone perfectly, would I just be a guy who didn't really care what women went through and just been content in my male privilege? I don't know, as as bad as the environment I grew up in was, it also shaped me into the man I am, in showing me what not to be.

-In what ways did you reflect being a typical INTJ child, and what were your parents reactions to these things (if you're needing info on INTJ childhood traits, there are a couple excellent threads in the articles section)?
My introversion, love of reading and thirst for knowledge. And because of everything that was going on at home, I would escape into my own head, for instance when I heard my father yelling at my mother, being a powerless little kid unable to do anything. In my head I could go far away, to a much better place... until I was abruptly dragged back to reality when my father would call us all into where they were so he could tell us how wrong my mother was and we'd be forced to agree with him. My mother wasn't mad at us, she told us to just agree with whatever he said.

I recently told my mother that if it were possible for me to trade my existence for her happiness, then I would. She's been through a lot of crap in her life, and now she's a widow, her youth gone, wasted on a bad marriage. She said my siblings and I were the only good things that ended up coming out of it. The only thing is, since I was the first born, if I were never born, my siblings wouldn't be either. But if there were a way to ensure that my siblings would still come into existence somehow, without ever having to go through what we did, then I would gladly trade my existence and never be born if I knew that by so doing, they would have a happy, normal life. It's not like most of my existence on this planet hasn't sucked anyway.
 

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I would say my Dad is probably an ISTJ or possibly an INTJ. I wouldn't even know where to start trying to type my mother, apart from being a very strong introvert.

-Do you feel like your parents did a good job of understanding your personality?
My Dad, somewhat. My mother, no. Neither of them understand me, but my Dad accepts me as I am. My mother always tries to change me.

What were some strngths in your parents that you felt helped you out?
My Dad approached most things from a very rational and pragmatic view point. He explained things in a way that made sense to me. He also did everything he could to give me the confidence and basic skills that I would need to be successful in life. He figured out early that I learn just as well from other people's mistakes as I do from my own, so he imparted a lot of his experiences on me so that I could learn from his life as well as my own.

My mother has never been shy about pointing out things that others would tend to leave unsaid. Sometimes the cold, hard truth is exactly what you need to hear.

What were their worst weaknesses, things that you feel may have/did cause you issues later in life?
My mother has massive insecurities which she passed on to my brother especially, and me to a smaller degree. She also had very strong preconceived ideas of the type of people she wanted my brother and I to be and has never fully reconciled the reality with the lost dream. She's forever trying to turn us into the children she always wanted rather than accepting us as the people that we are.

My Dad is a LifeScripter at heart, although he's learned to be more flexible. He struggled to support me when I decided to go do what I wanted in life rather than blindly follow the generic script of school, job, marriage, house, kids, retirement. A lot of the time he thought I was making a big mistake because I wasn't "following the rules."

It was tough for me to learn when to listen to my parents and when to ignore them.

Do you feel your home life and how you were raised was generally beneficial, and please describe what things were like/ what your general situation was (economic class; rural/urban; city size; school situations; religion; anything else that may be a pertinant factor)?
We were solidly suburban middle class for most of my life at home. We didn't want for things, but we were far from living in luxury. Went to public school all the way through. Grew up in a pretty secular home.

My Dad is religious, but my mother isn't. So they exposed us to a lot of different schools of thought on religion and let us make up our own minds on it.

The main thing I remember about my childhood was the freedom and independence. Both my parents were all about teaching us to fend for ourselves, not to rely on them. Once we were old enough to ride a bike, they would essentially kick us out every non-rainy Saturday and tell us not to come home until dinner time. We learned to entertain ourselves and make decisions on our own.

In what ways did you reflect being a typical INTJ child, and what were your parents reactions to these things (if you're needing info on INTJ childhood traits, there are a couple excellent threads in the articles section)?
The biggest issues they had with me growing up was pushing me to socialize more than I wanted to. For years, I thought there must be something wrong me because I couldn't and didn't want to make friends the way my mother thought that I should. I could easily have spent days sitting in my room reading or writing, but they would always push me to get outside and play with the neighbourhood kids. I always found kids games boring though and would quickly return to my reading.

Also, my mother tried to hold me back to age appropriate books and it drove me mad because they were so simple. My Dad gave me free access to every book in his collection which helped a lot.

Please feel free to add anything else you'd like to include in relation to this topic. I'll post my own response when I'm at a PC instead of my phone.
As an adult, I have a much stronger relationship with my dad than I do with my mother. He tried more than my mother to be accepting and understand me. I find it difficult to be as close to either of them as I would like because I still get a lot of "You can't do that!" responses from them when I tell them about things I'm doing or planning. I stopped asking them for advice many moons ago.

I would probably at least consider my Dad an acquaintance if I were to meet him on the street. My mother is the type of person I wouldn't give the time of day to though.

Overall though, I would say that they helped me more than they hindered me. They gave me the freedom I needed, and allowed me to be independent. Can't really ask for a lot more than that.
 

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-Do you feel like your parents did a good job of understanding your personality?

- What were some strngths in your parents that you felt helped you out?

- What were their worst weaknesses, things that you feel may have/did cause you issues later in life?

- Do you feel your home life and how you were raised was generally beneficial, and please describe what things were like/ what your general situation was (economic class; rural/urban; city size; school situations; religion; anything else that may be a pertinant factor)?

-In what ways did you reflect being a typical INTJ child, and what were your parents reactions to these things (if you're needing info on INTJ childhood traits, there are a couple excellent threads in the articles section)?

1. No. In fact, the opposite. My grandmother raised me since I was 6, and she's either an ISFJ or an ESFJ. Either way, she's also almost 80 years old now, and I'm only 29. Hence, she raised me 'old fashioned' - that is to say, her entire worldview comes from the 'silent generation' she was part of, who were told to shut the fuck up, work hard, and don't ask questions. You can speculate what kind of long-term effects that would have on a very young INTJ. It's not fucking happy, let me tell you right now. But, all I can do is forgive her. I'm not going to hold a grudge against my own grandmother, that's absurd. Yet, there it is - for your analysis. I've only met my father once. He walked out on my mom when I was born, to avoid the responsibility of raising me. Instead, he got caught selling hallucinogenics to minors and was sent to prison for a long time. I met him recently, while he was on parole. He seems like a total red-neck douche, who hates gays, thumps his bible, and persecutes everyone who isn't a conservative Republican piece of shit. He lives in Cheyenne, Wyoming. Figures.

2. My grandmother had a lot of books full of Eastern mysticism, despite being a devout non-denominational American Christian. While she never took it seriously or really cared, I did. And while she really will never know in what ways she has helped me to develop - and in fact, whenever I tell her she actually takes offense because she wants to be in control of my life - nevertheless, were it not for her 'rescuing' me from my abusive mother, I'd either be dead, in a foster home, or who knows what.

3. Refer to statement 1.

4. The structure she tried to impose on my life was somewhat useful, but unfortunately my mother was the total stark opposite of my grandmother, and she got to raise me from birth, for the first 6 formative years of my life - and my mother was all about sex, drugs, and rock-n'-roll. She would throw parties with me in the bedroom age 1, and turn the music up to ignore my screams. Feel free to add that to your analysis. My entire family is poor. Nobody in my family makes over 40 grand a year. My mom was a hairdresser and mooched off the guy that sold her her drugs, whom she eventually moved in with and lived with the rest of her life, until she committed suicide.

5. I reflect being the typical INTJ child, in that I hated input, shunned everyone, wanted to do things my own way, fucking hated being told what to do, hated basically everything in the universe, most of all myself, which drove me to push myself to be better than everyone else, not to show off, not to fall into the same beat and step of the crowd - just to prove myself to myself. All that mattered was self-recognition for my achievements, because my mother ignored me and my grandmother never appreciated my intellect. Those two combined basically drove me to turn my back on the human species.

My mother was a hipster, drug-addicted INFP, and my grandmother, a Si-dom, had no fucking clue what I was talking about half the time. I was studying transcendental concepts and mysticism by age 8, simply as an escape from the horrible depression and notions of suicide I was facing at that age. If it weren't for the idea of a 'way out', I'd be dead right now. I was into the occult by the time I was 12. I moved gradually away from my occultism and more into scientific subjects and hard science as I got older, wiser, and more emotionally stable, but I've never quite left behind my occult background (although my interest is purely academic, I do not and have not actually practiced witchcraft or sorcery).

I'll just keep ranting because I feel like it, this is a good venting thread.

My entire fucking family is a mess. All of my aunts and uncles have gone through multiple divorces. I have an uncle who was kicked out of the military after 28 years of honorable service, because he turned into a cocaine addict and got caught, sent to military jail, and then got mixed up with a tramp from the mid-west and moved into her trailer. Now he lives in Oregon making soup at a canning factory.

My other uncle is an abusive ENTJ who thinks he's the most awesome smartest, best human being in the whole fucking universe. My grandmother used to ask him to babysit me, and he would beat the living shit out of me, and then slap me until I stopped crying, telling me to shut up so he could watch TV in the other room. He's Mr. fucking Macho, has to be in control, has to run the fucking show every time he's around. Even to this very day, whenever I go out on a family visit and have to see him, it's the same fucking shit - he hasn't changed at all really, just mellowed out some because now he's older and not as spry.

My third and last uncle (at least on my mother's side, I don't even know my own father or anything about his side), went through the military, got out, married three times, his first wife was a hooker from Korea, whom he had his first son with, and she took him for a big ride financially, cleaned him out, and he's been recovering ever since.

My mom, well... I don't want to talk about that. Period. She's dead. The end.

And my aunt, well, she's the same type as my mom, INFP. Yet, somehow she's still alive. She's single, just recently (a few months ago) broke up with her third husband, she has three kids all from different fathers, and she's trying to survive by giving private piano lessons. She's a broken and starving artist, and she's on the phone 24/7 with my grandmother begging for money and arguing with her.

Welcome to my fucking nightmare. Thankfully, I'm on my own now and got the fuck out of that madness. Yet, the scars run deep. I don't think I'll ever recover fully.

Such is life.

TL;DR: My family basically raped my psyche.
 
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