Archive | May 2012

An INTP “grip experience”

I wrote this in response to:
This is the most fascinating stuff I’ve stumbled upon in my readings over the course of the last four months and makes so much intuitive sense to me right now. I was trapped in an emotional affair/limerent experience for two years with only partial awareness of the experience and no real willpower to stop it (did not disclose until I finally confronted the fact that I had to get myself out of it– after I moved away). It’s only when I ended it that I realized the full magnitude of what I had done to my mind and how wrong the whole affair was. My mind went into complete overdrive with obsessive thoughts about what had happened? why? what had I been thinking? I read post after post on emotional affairs, limerence, etc but nothing seemed to satisfy my need to know why I had let this happen, why I had kept my feelings secret, why hadn’t I been fully aware of the consequences and what the attraction to this other person was in the first place. Plus, I seemed to be handling the situation a lot worse than my husband, and our thought processes seemed opposite to those described in the books (usually the betrayed obsesses, the betrayer wants to move on). Not so! I just let my mind go wherever it wanted. It lead me to question my existence, my self-worth, my identity, which had somehow gotten all wrapped up with this other person. I was left with a void, nothingness. When I finally stumbled upon the different personality types last week, it started to all make sense. I had experienced the addictive effects of what you are calling a “grip experience” and its nature has led me to conclude that I must be an INTP. I had connected with another individual with my Ti (entertaining, scientific debates)- Fe (he was a big flirt, admired and respected me, needed me to teach him things). The same thing happened when I met my husband (Ti- psychospiritual conversation) and Fe (also a charmer). I wonder how many INTPs fall into the same trap of emotional affairs and limerence as a way to continue to satisfy Ti-Fe once the effects of romantic love have faded? The experience inevitably lead me to question my ideas/values about love, monogamy and marriage. Scary stuff. But I would not have “discovered myself” without it and been able to look back on unhealthy behaviors that I’ve used in the past to fill that void. I find that since I connect with so few, when I do find someone who seems to “understand me” it’s like the earth has just moved. But, in the end logic won (thank goodness) and I am using the experience to gain a deeper understanding of myself, my thought processes and my Fe weaknesses with the hope of preventing this in the future & living a healthier life.How do other personality types react during and after their “grip experiences”? What triggers them at the start and how do they eventually decide to “quit” their natural drug of choice?Comments welcome!


Identity/existential crises as an INTP

I just recently posted this on Personality Cafe in response to a fellow INTP’s question on existential crises:
I’ll start filling out the details/context of this limerent experience as I walk myself backwards through my life experiences.
My first one must have happened sometime around the age of 13, when I was dealing with depression (unknown cause– triggered by either puberty or moving to a different country, or just from being an INTP I guess). I worked through it by forgetting about it I guess– like someone already said, concentrating on keeping my mind busy on other things such as work, trying to live up to my version of “successful”, eventually falling in love and getting married (all things that I guess keep the Ti-Fe loop happy), and maintaining my obsession with work (neuroscience). You’ll be surprised how “falling in love” can mask your inner dark side.Long story short– I was working towards my PhD in a different city to where my husband worked and I “accidently” fell in love or went limerent over a younger student in the lab. Looking back on the experience, it seems like he spoke directly to my Ti-Fe axis– he was a charmer who valued and respected me, even admired me and “needed” me to teach him things. I “enjoyed” and even “got high off of” the frequent intellectual conversations/debates on any scientific topic under the sun (but would effectively tune-out for any other discussion). Moving back with my husband and the great pain and heartache I experienced being separated from my limerent object, even when logic told me that I loved my husband and would never logically be with this person and that the whole thing was just an awful mistake on my mind’s part, eventually led to my decision to crawl myself out of that frightful experience. But, it came with the sudden realization that I had acted completely against what I thought were my values, I “lost” my identity, sense of self and meaning in life (crisis #2). I’d love to hear from others that have “discovered themselves” through love/limerent experiences or affairs or even other troubling experiences that got your mind to walk straight up to your previously unconscious/less conscious decision-making center and ask: What were you thinking??? and “Was that really even me??”
I’m a big fan of the discovery of self through thinking about the push-pull relationship between Dominant and Inferior functions mentioned here: Any insight from INTPs and other personality types greatly welcomed!

Life from the perspective of an INTP- Part I

I’ve been reluctant to start this blog, mostly because I feel that it will give permanence to my thoughts and feelings (both past and present). This is because my present thoughts are constantly evolving, changing and being refined as I come to grips with my recent (first?) and hopefully final dramatic confrontation with my subconscious. As for my past thoughts and feelings, especially related to those experienced during this confrontation, well, I’d much prefer that they never existed and that I could forget about them and move on. But, I did think/feel them and they unfortunately did exist, so I’ve decided to accept them as part of my existence/life experience, work to understand them, myself, others, my place in the world and hopefully better myself in the process (and hopefully help others along the way).

I’m also reluctant because I think I might fail, abandon ship, or become disinterested and turn my Ti back to the ideas and things that used to keep me occupied before this whole “life experience”. Never getting the chance to fully express my story to the world (however small it may be) and satisfy my desire for personal enlightenment.

So to all those out there that choose to join me in this journey through my past experiences as a means to be “at peace” with my being– please post comments, challenge my ideas, bring interesting ideas/facts/personal experiences to my attention and discuss. I want to tell this story, but most of all I want to hear the thoughts/feelings/ideas of others on my experience, their experiences and whether a similar or different experience led to their own self-discovery (and what it feels like once you get there!). For now I’m just happy that I wrote a few words down.

Welcome and onwards.