Posted in Cats

Juggling Cats

Eight years ago, when I first moved to this neighborhood, I brought 14 cats with me.  More than half of them were being socialized to be re-homed (after spaying/neutering of course).  My old neighborhood was overrun with strays and ferals and they were all reproducing like rabbits.  I already owned several cats, mostly foster fails, and didn’t plan on keeping too many more.

Seven was my only ginger, and he did not like the other cats.  He was more of a dog cat.  The people who had him before had dogs and I’m sure he thought he was a dog for a long time.  Anyway, after moving here, he decided to run away from home and move in with a family about 6-8 houses down the road. (They have old dogs.)  I missed him but since I had so many cats to deal with, I let him go.  I spoke with the neighbors and they said he liked living in their garage.  Not ideal, but it was his choice.

Now, 7 years later, Seven is trying to come back to me and it’s not working out too well.  I recently adopted another neighborhood stray whom unbeknownst to me, he had been battling for the past 4 years.  Now that stray, Ozzy, is a permanent part of my household.

I once made the mistake of letting Seven in to eat when Ozzy was in the other room.  He came racing into the kitchen and tried to attack him.  I grabbed Seven and Ozzy lit into my leg, trying to climb up to get him.  Now I have to lock Ozzy in the basement before letting Seven in, and give him a head start back to the neighbor’s garage before letting Ozzy out. The other morning, they sat on opposite sides of the kitchen window, growling at each other.  First with Seven outside, and then later, Ozzy outside and Seven inside.  I’m back to juggling cats again.

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Posted in Uncategorized

INFJ

via Free Personality Test – Which of These 16 Temperament Types Are You? ⋆ LonerWolf

INFJ (INTROVERTED INTUITIVE FEELING JUDGING)

As an INFJ, your primary mode of living is focused internally, where you take things in primarily via intuition. Your secondary mode is external, where you deal with things according to how you feel about them, or how they fit with your personal value system.

INFJs are gentle, caring, complex and highly intuitive individuals. Artistic and creative, they live in a world of hidden meanings and possibilities. Only one percent of the population has an INFJ Personality Type, making it the most rare of all the types.

INFJs place great importance on havings things orderly and systematic in their outer world. They put a lot of energy into identifying the best system for getting things done, and constantly define and re-define the priorities in their lives. On the other hand, INFJs operate within themselves on an intuitive basis which is entirely spontaneous. They know things intuitively, without being able to pinpoint why, and without detailed knowledge of the subject at hand. They are usually right, and they usually know it. Consequently, INFJs put a tremendous amount of faith into their instincts and intuitions. This is something of a conflict between the inner and outer worlds, and may result in the INFJ not being as organized as other Judging types tend to be (e.g. a messy desk in an otherwise orderly work area).

The INFJ is a natural nurturer and is patient, devoted and protective. They make loving parents and usually have strong bonds with their offspring. They have high expectations of their children, and push them to be the best that they can be. This can sometimes manifest itself in the INFJ being hard-nosed and stubborn. But generally, children of an INFJ get devoted and sincere parental guidance, combined with deep caring.

INFJ STRENGTHS

  • Creative – Combining a vivid imagination with a strong sense of compassion, INFJs use their creativity to resolve not technical challenges, but human ones. People with the INFJ personality type enjoy finding the perfect solution for someone they care about, and this strength makes them excellent counselors and advisors.
  • Insightful – Seeing through dishonesty and disingenuous motives, INFJs step past manipulation and sales tactics and into a more honest discussion. INFJs see how people and events are connected, and are able to use that insight to get to the heart of the matter.
  • Inspiring and Convincing – Speaking in human terms, not technical, INFJs have a fluid, inspirational writing style that appeals to the inner idealist in their audience. INFJs can even be astonishingly good orators, speaking with warmth and passion, if they are proud of what they are speaking about.
  • Decisive – The INFJ’s creativity, insight and inspiration is able to have a real impact on the world, as INFJs are able to follow through on their ideas with conviction, willpower, and the planning necessary to see complex projects through to the end. INFJs don’t just see the way things ought to be, they act on those insights.
  • Determined and Passionate – When INFJs come to believe that something is important, they pursue that goal with a conviction and energy that can catch even their friends and loved ones off guard. INFJs will rock the boat if they have to, something not everyone likes to see, but their passion for their chosen cause is an inseparable part of their personality.
  • Altruistic – INFJs have strong beliefs and act the way they do not because they are trying to advance themselves, but because they are trying to advance an idea that they truly believe will make the world a better place.

INFJ WEAKNESSES

  • Sensitive – When someone challenges or criticizes the INFJ’s principles or values, they are likely to receive an alarmingly strong response. People with the INFJ personality type are highly vulnerable to criticism and conflict, and questioning their motives is the quickest way to their bad side.
  • Extremely Private – INFJs tend to present themselves as the culmination of an idea. This is partly because they believe in this idea, but also because INFJs are extremely private when it comes to their personal lives, using this image to keep themselves from having to truly open up, even to close friends. Trusting a new friend can be even more challenging for INFJs.
  • Perfectionistic – INFJs are all but defined by their pursuit of ideals. While this is a wonderful quality in many ways, an ideal situation is not always possible – in politics, in business, in romance – and INFJs too often drop or ignore healthy and productive situations and relationships, always believing there might be a better option down the road.
  • Always Need to Have a Cause – INFJs get so caught up in the passion of their pursuits that any of the cumbersome administrative or maintenance work that comes between them and the ideal they see on the horizon is deeply unwelcome. INFJs like to know that they are taking concrete steps towards their goals, and if routine tasks feel like they are getting in the way, or worse yet, there is no goal at all, they will feel restless and disappointed.
  • Can Burn Out Easily – Their passion, poor patience for routine maintenance, tendency to present themselves as an ideal, and extreme privacy tend to leave INFJs with few options for letting off steam. People with this personality type are likely to exhaust themselves in short order if they don’t find a way to balance their ideals with the realities of day-to-day living.

FAMOUS INFJ’S

  • Benedict Cumberbatch
  • Carl Gustav Jung
  • Plato
  • Leo Tolstoy
  • Daniel Day-Lewis
  • Cate Blanchett
  • Agatha Christie
  • Tilda Swinton
  • Mahatma Gandhi
  • Michelle Pfeiffer

CAREER CHOICES

  • Clergy / Religious Work
  • Teachers
  • Medical Doctors / Dentists
  • Alternative Health Care Practitioners
  • Psychologists
  • Psychiatrists
  • Counselors and Social Workers
  • Musicians and Artists
  • Photographers
  • Child Care / Early Childhood Development

INFJ IN SUMMARY …

Seek meaning and connection in ideas, relationships, and material possessions. Want to understand what motivates people and are insightful about others. Conscientious and committed to their firm values. Develop a clear vision of how best to serve the common good. Organized and decisive in implementing their vision.

 

Update: 2-12-2018   I just took another free test at this site https://personalityjunkie.com/   and came up with the same outcome.  Here is their personality outline.

INFJ Personality Type: Lover of Beauty & Wisdom

By Dr. A.J. Drenth

INFJs are “old souls.” Many grow up feeling wiser than would be predicted by their chronological age. Having discovered the value of their Introverted Intuition (Ni) quite early in life, INFJs grow to trust its judgments and insights. Even as children and adolescents, INFJs can be found advising and counseling their friends and siblings, and perhaps even adult family members. They tend to feel happiest and most fulfilled when helping and enlightening others through their insights.

Because of their strength of intuition (and commensurate detachment from physical reality), many INFJs report feeling like aliens in the world. One INFJ described her experience as “a perpetual sense of deja vu.” Others report feelings of disembodiment. The fact is that many INFJs (and INTJs) seem to experience the world and their bodies quite differently than other types do. It is therefore not uncommon for INFJs to question their own sanity.

infj personality image

INFJs see two people in everyone. They see the public persona, the outer shell, which everyone else sees. But more important, their Ni provides a deeper sense or impression of people, penetrating appearances and revealing hidden motives and intentions. Consequently, INFJs often feel they can see people more clearly than those people can see themselves.

To fully understand INFJs, it is necessary to recognize the full implications of their dominant function, Ni, being a Perceiving function. Namely, INFJs are far less serious inwardly than they appear outwardly (ENFJs, whose dominant function is a Judging function, are characteristically more serious). INFJs’ inner world is well described as playful, imaginative, colorful, mischievous, and daring. They love playing with ideas, perspectives, theories, images, symbols, and metaphors.

INFJs also enjoy listening to music, watching movies and television, and engaging with people. Perhaps more than anything, they love spending time engrossed in meaningful conversation, which allows them to simultaneously engage their Ni and auxiliary Fe functions. Talking affords INFJs the opportunity to help and enlighten others through their insights. And because of their loquaciousness, INFJs may at times be mistaken for Extraverts.

A signature feature of INFJs (and INTJs) is a deep concern for quality. They long to see their Ni ideals actualized in physical reality (Se). Consider the following excerpt from book, My True Type:

While Se attends the appearance of things, Ni is concerned with their deeper qualities and substantiveness…While INJs are to some extent concerned with appearances, they are more attuned to the underlying quality and craftsmanship of things…ensuring that things are substantive, thoughtfully-crafted, and otherwise amenable to their Ni-Se tastes. NFJs, in particular, exhibit the most refined (or what other types might deem expensive or pretentious) tastes of all types. The popular television comedy, Frasier, is a great example. Much of the show’s humor revolves around the sophisticated snobbiness of Frasier (ENFJ) and his brother Niles (INFJ). This includes flaunting linguistic formalisms and a high-brow vocabulary, as well as frequent allusions to fine dining, classical music, designer clothing, and the like.

Like the INFP, the INFJ can struggle with depression. This may stem from feeling chronically unheard, useless, or misunderstood, as well as from dissatisfaction with INFJ careers or INFJ relationships. Because Ni perceives the world so differently and profoundly, INFJs often experience a sense of loneliness and isolation, even when they are with other people. Depression may also arise from feeling that their ideals and insights are not being recognized or actualized in the world. They may see the world as deaf to, or unconcerned with, the truths they espouse. INFJs may therefore question their value in a world that seems indifferent to their insights.

The INFJ personality type is among the rarest of the 16 types, constituting only 1-2% of the general population. Unlike the INTJ type, in which males predominate, there is greater gender parity among INFJs, with nearly equal numbers of males and females.

INFJ Personality Type Development & Functional Stack

Each personality type prefers to use four of the eight functions first described by Jung. These four functions comprise a type’s “functional stack.” The relative strength of preference for these four functions is expressed in the following manner: dominant, auxiliary, tertiary, and inferior. INFJs’ first preference is Ni, followed by Fe, Ti and Se respectively. This is depicted in the arrangement of their functional stack:

INFJs’ Functional Stack

Dominant: Introverted Intuition (Ni)

Auxiliary: Extraverted Feeling (Fe)

Tertiary:  Introverted Thinking (Ti)

Inferior:  Extraverted Sensing (Se)

While we will soon discuss each function in greater depth, for now, we will turn to another feature of INFJs’ personality—their type development. As is true for all types, INFJs’ type development consists of three general phases. These phases roughly correspond to the ordering of the functional stack, with Ni being the first function to blossom, Fe the second, on so on. But as we will see, the inferior function is sort of a special case, summoning INFJs’ attention at an earlier phase than might otherwise be expected.

Phase I (Childhood)

Early in life, INFJs are characterized by the development and dominance of their Introverted Intuition (Ni). Since they are Introverts, they may also show significant development of their second function, Extraverted Feeling (Fe), which can serve as a useful extraverted tool for navigating the outside world. The Ni-Fe function pair allows INFJs to make and express judgments. INFJs are particularly well-equipped to read and evaluate people, including their underlying motives.

Since Ni is a Perceiving function, INFJs should not be viewed as closed-minded at any point in their development. But during Phase I, they might appear overly opinionated or closed-minded, at least from without. Even if their judgments are precociously accurate, Phase I INFJs may lack some discernment regarding if and when it is best to express those judgments. Moreover, their Ni-Fe conclusions have yet to be honed and tempered by their tertiary Ti, making the INFJ more reluctant to carefully review or revise them.

Phase II (Adolescence-30s)

Once the dominant function reaches a certain threshold of strength and dominance, INFJs’ inferior function, Extraverted Sensing (Se), enters the picture and begins to play a more influential role. This can be confusing because the inferior is not next in line for development in the functional stack. The inferior’s undue influence derives from its bipolar relationship with the dominant function. As I’ve discussed elsewhere, the inferior function is the primary culprit in unwise career and relational decision-making. Unfortunately, its influence peaks in Phase II of type development, which happens to be the same time INFJs are making life-altering decisions about their careers and relationships.

In addition to the increasing presence and influence of their inferior function,  INFJs also begin to open up and hone their judgments by way of their tertiary function, Introverted Thinking (Ti). The logic of their Ti serves to cross-check and refine their Ni-Fe judgments. As INFJs develop their Ti, they also become more interested in exploring their inferior function, Extraverted Sensing (Se).

Phase III (30s, 40s, & Beyond)

Phase III, a phase which many individuals never reach or complete, is characterized by an attempt to understand and integrate the tertiary and inferior functions. By bringing these less conscious functions into the light of consciousness, we can better envision our path toward wholeness. Doing so requires understanding the nature of how these functions manifest within our type and becoming more aware of our personal patterns of unconscious behavior. Once these patterns have been made apparent, they can be replaced with healthier thoughts and behaviors. Decisions and behaviors become increasingly wise and conscious, engendering a lasting sense of satisfaction and wholeness. For INFJs, Phase III personal growth entails a deeper exploration of the nature of and challenges associated with their tertiary Ti and inferior Se.

INFJs’ Dominant Function: Introverted Intuition (Ni)

Intuition is generally considered a subconscious process. It is often contrasted with more conscious types of rational thought. Because Intuition is commonly associated with the unconscious, it is often thought to have a certain magical quality, capable of delivering comprehensive answers or solutions suddenly—“out of the blue.”

One of the central features of Intuition is its capacity to synthesize information. It is sensitive to patterns and similarities, quickly seeing connections among disparate pieces of data. By seeing how everything is connected and interrelated, it is capable of discerning universal laws and structures.

What is interesting about types with dominant Intuition, including INFJs, is that this Intuitive process, which for non-Intuitives is largely unconscious, is more accessible and observable in consciousness. This seems particularly true for INTJs and INFJs, whose Intuition is directly inwardly rather than being fused with the outside world. INJs have the good fortune of witnessing and consciously participating in a mysterious process which for other types is entirely unconscious.

Because Ni affords INFJs a more intimate relationship with the workings of what most people call the subconscious mind, INFJs’ routine existence often assumes a sort of dreamlike quality. For INFJs, there is less of a distinction between their ordinary waking state and the experience of sleep. At times, this can make it difficult to separate dream from reality, making nightmares all the more disturbing for this type. It is little wonder that many INJs, including Jung himself, find dream analysis so intriguing and important.

Because of their ready access to subconscious or subliminal information, INFJs are commonly viewed as profound, insightful, and sometimes even psychic or prophetic. While not diminishing the unique capacities of INFJs, Ni can be rational, non-magical terms.

In order to understand Ni, it is first necessary to understand INFJ’s inferior function, Extraverted Sensing (Se). For INFJs, Se functions subconsciously and is constantly gathering copious amounts of sensory information from the environment. Meanwhile, their Ni is constantly working to process and synthesize this incoming data, like assembling pieces of a puzzle. Eventually, it manages to construct an impression or vision of what is happening. Because other types are not privy to the workings of this Ni-Se processing loop, it can seem as though INFJs’ insights are magical or divinely inspired. In reality, INFJs cannot see the future, but are simply more skilled than most at accurately discerning what is happening in a given situation. This allows them to better envision how things might unfold should they continue along their current course. This ability to accurately “see” is why INFJs are sometimes described as prophets or seers.

It is often said that human beings rely more heavily on vision than we do our other senses. This seems especially true of INFJs, who often ascribe a strong visual element to their Ni. INFJs often “think” by way of images rather than words. Their intuitions often manifest in the form of symbols, images, dreams, or patterns. This is consistent with Jung’s characterization of the Ni type as a dreamer or seer. There is a distinct visual character to these notions, which is why vision-related terms—foresight, insight, seer, visionary, etc.—are invariably used in describing INFJs. The visual nature of Ni might also tie into INFJs’ inferior Se, which is also a highly visual function. The difference is that Se is attuned to the specifics and details of the environment, whereas Ni is more concerned with forming an impression or theory of what is happening based on the totality of incoming sensory information.

INFJs’ propensity for processing information visually may contribute to one of their signature strengths: reconciling opposites. One advantage of visual processing is it doesn’t have the same rules or impediments of verbal processing. In some cases, problems may be better solved by employing images or symbols rather than by other means. It should not surprise us that Jung himself hailed the value of imagery and symbols. For Jung, symbols were critical for dealing with paradoxes, including the challenge of reconciling opposing psychological functions, which he dubbed “the type problem.”

INFJs’ Auxiliary Function: Extraverted Feeling (Fe)

INFJs use Extraverted Feeling (Fe) as their auxiliary function. As the most interpersonal of all the functions, Fe is attuned to surveying and improving interpersonal feelings and morale. Like other FJ types, INFJs work to cultivate “good feelings” in the interpersonal environment. In order to survey others’ feelings, Fe contributes to INFJs’ ability to read emotional expressions and body language. This, in combination with their Se and Ni, allow them to effectively read, understand, and relate to others.

Interestingly, INFJs can have a more difficult time with perceiving and understanding their own emotions. This is due to the fact that their Feeling function is directed outwardly (i.e., extraverted) rather than inwardly. Unlike INFPs, whose Feeling function is introverted (Fi), INFJs are less equipped to manage their emotions independently. Inwardly, they deal in the currency of Intuition (Ni) and Thinking (Ti). Hence, when INFJs find themselves in emotionally taxing circumstances, they often turn to others for aid and support.

Fe also entails an extraversion of judgment. INFJs utilize their Fe to express their thoughts, feelings, opinions, and grievances. Fe gives voice and shape to INFJs’ feelings and intuitions. In many cases, INFJs do not fully understand the nature of an Ni insight until given the opportunity to verbalize it. They may have a hunch or a gut feeling, but the content of the intuition can remain somewhat nebulous until it is expressed via their Fe. Assuming they have not been severely censored in their upbringing, INFJs are generally happy to share their feelings and perspectives. In fact, given the right opportunity, INFJs will often talk at length about their feelings and intuitions. Unlike FP types, who generally prefer a more dialogical format, INFJs are inclined toward monologues, which allow them to fully flesh out their ideas on a certain topic.

INFJs’ Fe can present differently among strangers than it does with their intimates. In larger groups, INFJs may seem consistently cheery as part of their attempt to cultivate good feelings. Many INFJs have a good sense of humor and can be funny and engaging. Enlisting their vivid imaginations and knack for metaphor, they can also make good storytellers. In the company of close confidants, however, INFJs use their Fe to be more open and direct with their grievances. Since some INFJs feel like tortured souls, their commentary may take on a characteristically negative tone. They may seem moody, pessimistic, discontented, or restless. They can also seem fairly intense in their communication when infused with the emotion of Fe. Consequently, their expressions can seem exaggerated, dramatic, or irrational, especially to Thinking types. They differ in this respect from INFPs, who are less disposed to melodrama in their verbiage. INFJs can also be susceptible to self-pity and self-loathing, seeing themselves as victims. They may curse the fact that life isn’t fair, feeling that they always end up with the short end of the stick.

For INFJs, expressing themselves through their Fe is critical to their psychological and physical health and well-being. Even if doing so does not provide them with immediate solutions to the problem at hand, they tend to feel better once they have expressed their feelings, whether through words or tears. This is especially important for the mates or friends of INFJs to recognize. While not necessarily looking for others to solve their problems, INFJs value emotional support, empathy, and reassurance. Without such an outlet, INFJs can begin to feel isolated and depressed, turning to their inner fantasy world as a means of escape. And while fantasizing may seem helpful in the short-term, it can make the real world seem even less tolerable and exacerbate existing frustrations toward life.

Even if not to the same extent as EFJs, INFJs can be warm, welcoming, loyal, giving, and self-sacrificing. At the same time, as Introverts, they need time to themselves to recharge their proverbial batteries. This creates an ongoing, even lifelong, struggle for INFJs, trying to balance their own needs and desires with those of others.

INFJs commonly experience a conflict in values between their Ni and Fe. For example, they may be asked by a friend or relative to donate to a cause they don’t believe in. This puts them in the difficult position of deciding between honoring their own perspectives (Ni) or maintaining the harmony of the relationship (Fe). Since INFJs can have difficulty saying no, they will often opt to oblige others, even while inwardly regretting doing so. INFJs may experience similar issues in school. INFJs are disposed to questioning the veracity of what the teacher or other students are saying, not to mention issues of character. At the same time, however, they want to please the teacher and maintain external harmony. This can leave them feeling torn between allegiance to truth (Ni) versus Fe people-pleasing.

Because of the strength of their Fe, INFJs need to be careful not to abandon their Ni in the face of outward pressures. Since Ni is their best and most reliable compass for navigating life, when they lose track of it, INFJs can easily feel lost, restless, and frustrated. Hence, when it comes to decision-making, INFJs are wise to listen primarily to their own inner voice.

INFJs’ Tertiary Function: Introverted Thinking (Ti)

INTPs and ISTPs use Introverted Thinking (Ti) as their dominant function. For INFJs, Ti is tertiary, and is used to logically scrutinize and hone their Fe judgments. Ti can help INFJs think more critically and analytically. It can serve as an aid and check to their Ni-Fe, helping them discern where their ideas might fit into existing categories and frameworks of knowledge. It adds an element of logic that is less apparent in the earlier phases of their type development. For instance, INFJs who grew up in a religious home may be disposed to interpreting their insights through the lens of their childhood faith tradition. As they develop their Ti, however, they might come to question whether that wisdom might be better understood in psychological terms.

What INFJs may perceive as a negative or difficult feature of their Ti is its tendency to generate self-doubt. As Ti butts up against the insights offered by their Ni, INFJs may temporarily distrust their most cherished and utilized mode of knowing—their Intuition. But personal growth is never easy, not for any type. With time, INFJs settle into a healthy balance between their Ni and Ti, intuitively knowing how to apply their Ti without spoiling the insights proffered by their Intuition.

Less developed INFJs may see little need to use or develop their Ti. Since their Ni-Fe pairing provides them with strong convictions about truth, taking an additional step to Ti may seem unnecessary. With time and maturity, however, INFJs can grow increasingly comfortable with their Ti and recognize its inherent value.

INFJs’ Inferior Function: Extraverted Sensing (Se)

Life is a continuous quest for psychospiritual development and integration. Typologically, this involves finding ways to successfully integrate the functional stack. Of the four functions, the inferior function—sometimes called the lost, missing, or repressed function—is the most difficult to access and integrate. Because it is largely unconscious, all types struggle to grasp and understand its nature. In dreams, it is often expressed symbolically as being buried deep underground, undersea, or in a dark forest.

Despite its characteristic elusiveness, it is impossible to achieve psychospiritual wholeness without the inferior function, since wholeness demands that all four functions be intregrated. Because we all know this intuitively, each personality type can be seen as striving to integrate its inferior function. This quest has been perenially symbolized in religious and literary myths (e.g., searching for the “promised land” or “Holy Grail”). Some comparative mythologists have even considered it a universal human phenomenon  (e.g., Joseph Campbell’s “monomyth” or the “Hero’s Journey”). In his book, Jung’s Four and Some Philosophers, Thomas King nicely outlines this quest for the inferior function:

The time comes when the individual feels life is empty; something is missing. The original sense of purpose is gone and one is dispirited and confused. At this point the individual feels called to make a difficult search for the rejected (i.e., inferior) function…The individual sets out on a difficult and unfamiliar journey (e.g., “a sea voyage,” “a venture into the forest”) to locate the missing function.

Here, King describes what we might call “dominant function fatigue,” along with a desire for something new and refreshing. The inferior function is definitely up to this challenge. Engendering a type of experience that is characteristically distinct from dominant, it is commonly described as magical, mysterious, and even blissful. The profound allure of the inferior function can furnish a great deal of life energy and motivation. Indeed, the mere prospect of it often supplies enough energy to sustain us for an entire lifetime.

Unfortunately, pursuing, much less integrating, the inferior is not without its difficulties. Doing so typically entails a protracted power struggle between the dominant and inferior functions (i.e., Phase II of type development), one which is rarely resolved without some measure of pain and suffering. And while religious and literary myths are right in suggesting that the path to salvation is often revealed through suffering (e.g., “refinement through fire”), this hardship can be minimized by understanding the psychological framework upon which the quest for wholeness is founded. This of course includes learning about the inferior function, as well as how to properly integrate it.

INFJs’ inferior or “missing” function is Extraverted Sensing (Se). Generally speaking, the inferior nature of their sensing makes INFJs less naturally attuned to the concrete details or physical elements of life. While their Se takes in plenty of sensory data from the world around them, this information is synthesized and experienced through the lens of intuition (Ni). So instead of noticing specifics about people or the environment, INFJs are more apt to experience what we might call an impression. They get a general sense (i.e., intuition) of people or things, such as whether an individual seems psychospiritually healthy or unhealthy. While INFJs are experts when it comes to these sorts of general impressions, they can be rather oblivious to external specifics and details (Se).

In experiencing the world through the filter of Ni, INFJs often report a perpetual sense of déjà vu or strange alienation with respect to their physical surroundings. One of our INFJ readers described it this way:

I will literally just be sitting at dinner and suddenly realize that I am a physical being in a room surrounded by so many things I didn’t realize for the past hour. This can be a confusing and frightening experience.

This is not to say, however, that INFJs are unaffected by the physical environment. As “highly sensitive persons (HSPs),” their nervous system is highly permeable and sensitive to all sorts of stimuli. This can make them more susceptible to being overwhelmed or overstimulated than other personality types. In some cases, because of their N-S disconnect, they may not realize that they are overstimulated until it’s too late.

I observed one INFJ, for instance, who seemed to be enjoying herself at a rather loud, strobe light laden concert. But not long after it was over, she experienced a debilitating headache and what seemed to be a “crash” of her nervous system. Somehow, she had managed to remain unaware of the sensory overload until she was effectively incapacitated by it.

INFJs report similar experiences with extended shopping excursions. While they may enjoy themselves for a while, sustained use of Se (i.e., browsing), combined with the noise and commotion of crowds, can result in a subconscious sensory overload or exhaustion that eventually catches up with them.

In short, INFJs have a tenuous relationship with the physical environment. Not only can the S world seem quite strange and foreign to them, but if they are not careful, it can overwhelm them. This is why INFJs, especially as children, can be leery of new S experiences, such as trying new foods or physical actions. Intuitively realizing their tenuous relationship to the physical world, they tend to “error on the safe side.”

As adults, however, INFJs may gradually open themselves to new S experiences. I have known a number of INFJs, for instance, who are bona fide “foodies,” seeing every meal as an opportunity to explore and experience new sensual delights. This points to the love-hate relationship that all types have with the inferior function. Depending on the circumstances, inferior function experiences may be perceived as scary, stressful, blissful, or intriguing.

Perfectionism

Envisioning  a more ideal world isn’t necessarily bad or unhealthy for INFJs. The fact is that they wouldn’t be INFJs if they didn’t routinely receive new impressions and visions. The issue is not with their dreaming per se, but with the degree to which they become attached to or insistent on the perfect materialization (Se) of their ideals (Ni). This is where INFJs’ perfectionism comes to the fore.

All dominant Intuitives can be perfectionistic, driven to see their N ideals perfectly translated into S reality. This is why INFJs can be so particular about the things they buy or the way their work is done. In some cases, INFJs may be willing to sacrifice everything, even their own health, to ensure their vision finds a perfect incarnation. In such instances, any deviation from their ideal may feel like the end of the world.

INFJs are also perfectionistic when it comes to themselves. They are often much harder on themselves than they are on others. Their Fe makes them more than willing to forgive the offenses and shortcomings of others. But since they see themselves as “knowing better,” they may fail to grant themselves the same degree of grace. They may reason that if they cannot perfectly embody their ideal of the moral life, then how could they reasonably expect anyone else to? In the words of Jesus, “From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.”

Posted in Illness

Something Else!

I finally got all the testing done, received my results and talked with my doctor.    He said according to the MRI, there are signs of migraines but he doesn’t know what caused the blindness. I told him he was right about his diagnosis but there are two types of ocular migraines and the retinal one can cause blindness for up to an hour.  He did not know that, or if he did in the past, he had forgotten.  I am so happy it’s not MS!  My Uncle Ralph had multiple sclerosis and was in a wheelchair before he died.  Another late uncle of mine had amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) and my grandmother had Parkinson’s.  Central nervous system disorders are a genetic possibility and greatly worry me.  My fibromyalgia is considered a central nervous system disorder.

As for the hyperreflexia, he did not address that issue.  I was so happy about the lack of brain lesions, I forgot to ask.  I suppose it’s possible it was an after-effect of my cat trying to kill me with the freezer door.  It was most likely a concussion.  I’ve had at least 3 now and only went to the hospital for one.  It occurred to me that I tend to avoid the emergency room unless I think I am actually dying or if I need stitches because an injury won’t stop bleeding.  I guess I should reconsider that stance!

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My murderous Simon, looking all innocent.

Posted in Cats, Illness

MS or Something Else?

Part 2 of my last post, Friday Afternoon

Letter to my sister:

“My doctor scolded me for not going to the hospital. He said if it happens again, go to the hospital immediately. He ordered an MRI for my brain and neck, and a MRA for both my head and my neck. He wants me to go asap but I don’t know if my insurance will allow it. I may have to wait until January. I have no sinus infection, so no antibiotics. My ears and throat are fine. It looks like it is MS or a blood clot that may have blocked the blood causing my eye to go half blind for 5 minutes or so.  He had me stand on one foot, raise my hands, walk in a straight line, close my eyes and he touched my fingertips to see if I could feel the right one-
He shone the light in my eyes and waved it around in a big circle to see if I could see left and right with my head still. It all seems fine now, no sign of a stroke. He said people don’t lose eyesight temporarily from a sinus infection. Sooooooo, now I wait for testing.”
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     My doctor asked in a round-about way if I had my neck “adjusted” (by a chiropractor) or had some kind of neck injury.  I said no at the time and then later that night, I remembered and had to send him an email the next morning…
     ” I’ve had time to think and yes, 8-10 days ago, I may have jerked my head back hard. I was bent over, digging around in our chest freezer when my 10 lb cat decided to jump for the top edge of the open freezer door. It crashed down on the top/back of my skull (left side) and I jumped up and backward. I remember the door hitting my left shoulder as I went back, before it slammed shut. My vision dimmed for a few seconds but it did not knock me out. I walked upstairs okay and put an ice-pack on my head. Any headache or neck pain resulting from the injury would have been ignored because I always have headaches and neckaches. A day or two later, I noticed a small scab on my scalp so it drew just a tiny bit of blood. Sorry, I didn’t remember this when we spoke. Shawna “
     His reply was “Get the MRI and MRA tests done as ordered.”
     Hubby is annoyed that we will have to go to battle with the insurance company and pay the deductible plus 20%, if we can get them to approve 3 procedures ordered by a doctor who is out of network.  Plus, there is the added sting of starting a new deductible with a new company next month.
     The moral to the story is  YES, MY CAT IS TRYING TO KILL ME.
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Posted in Illness

Friday Afternoon

My body has always thought it’s a wonderful trick to play- get a new, weird symptom on a Friday afternoon when the doctor’s office is about to close for the weekend.  I have to determine quickly, is this going to kill me or can it wait until Monday?

Yesterday was a doozy. I was writing out holiday cards at the time and was having trouble focusing well enough to write the names and addresses. It was early afternoon and almost time for my afternoon nap when I suddenly got two hard muscle spasms in my cheek and the area on the right side of my mouth went tingly, then numb. The tingly lip thing had been happening on and off for about a week prior.  I assumed it was just fibromyalgia messing with me again, although the face spasm was a new twist.   Then I realized my vision was darker and I got scared.  I ran to the bathroom to find my right pupil was large and my left one was small.  I could still grin and my eyelids were not drooping or anything so it wasn’t Bells Palsy or a stroke.  I covered one eye and then the other.  My left eye with the small pupil was reacting to light and seeing the room well lit and bright.  My right eye pupil was large, not really reacting, and the room seemed quite a bit darker, with a blue or gray haze over it.

I did some quick googling and there are like 74 reasons your pupils could be a different size.  But with the particular symptoms I have, it kept coming back to Multiple Sclerosis. Don’t you just love the symptom checker on WebMD?  LOL  Ten years ago, when I was first diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, I questioned if it could actually be MS.  My Uncle Ralph had MS so it is in my family.  The specialist assured me I had Fibro because of the tender point test when I almost accidentally punched him.  Fight or Flight!

In the past year, I’ve developed ME/CFS supposedly- extreme exhaustion and fatigue, made worse by activity. I’m also experiencing swollen glands and sore throats more often than normal along with headaches, weakness, and trouble walking.  Wait, most of those are also symptoms of MS.  Though swollen glands and sore throat are not as far as I can tell.

Anyway, I woke up this morning and checked my eyes again.  The right pupil is still bigger.  My vision is still a little bit off.  I have a headache and my eye hurts.  And I am still anxious, angry, and almost resigned to the fact that life sucks and it isn’t going to get better…. Unless the Electoral College Electors put Hillary in office!!

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Posted in Uncategorized

Haunted by Dreams

It’s 6am and I’ve woken from a dream; I’m very upset and unable to go back to sleep. The dream is too clear to forget so I start trying to analyze it.

I am on a boat, actually a yacht, off the coast of Ft. Lauderdale, where my husband and I used to vacation. I know the people, they invited me aboard and welcomed me. But I am upset because I am supposed to be aboard another boat, with people who know my family. I don’t really know them and it was an obligatory invite, or demand; I’m unsure. But as we go further out to sea, I am struggling to remember the name of the hotel where they were staying, so I could at least call and tell them I cannot make the trip with them. It seems like something I should do while my hosts tell me “Don’t worry about it.” The guilt is stifling.

There is also a small bit prior to the actual yacht ride- I cannot find my shoes. They seem to have disappeared. And I try to fix a window. It is already broken and needs replaced. However, as I work on it, it shatters completely. My host says it’s okay, we will just get a new one. It had to be done anyway.

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Back to reality- what is going on in my life at this moment? I just found out through the grapevine, on Thanksgiving Eve, that my father has been battling throat cancer since July. He has gone through radiation and chemo. I don’t know if there was a surgery or not. He has a feeding tube. He is now waiting on scans to see if the cancer is gone.

I am estranged from my family. The bearer of bad news also said “Dad says if you can’t be in his life when he is well, he doesn’t want you in it when he is sick.”
My mother is the one who destroyed our relationship and blocked me from her facebook and email. In time, my younger sister did the same. My brother sent me “anonymous” hate mail from a fake account and then deleted it immediately so I couldn’t reply to the vitriol.

I am sick myself although none of them really believe it. They say it’s all in my head, a way to get out of work, a way to take drugs legally. I have fibromyalgia, ME/CFS, and IBS that is looking more and more like Crohn’s Disease. My mother has Crohn’s and she certainly is believed. I have some symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis- my Uncle Ralph had MS.  My doctor wants me to do a nerve conductivity test but I keep putting him off.  My immune system is dysfunctional and he has also suggested that I get my tonsils removed. I do not go visit people because if they have any germs around, I will get sick. I go to the grocery during off times when there are few people around. I don’t use the telephone except for doctors appointments and insurance arguments. I stutter badly or lose my train of thought on the phone. Even if I did take the chance and try to call my Dad, I don’t think he could even talk right now. I could mail a letter to my dad but my mom is like the gatekeeper. He will probably never see it and she will delight in reading it and throwing it in the trash.  I’ve written before and have no idea if he even knows- there was no reply.

I am so depressed right now, so sick and in such physical and mental pain. I cry for my father, who I cannot seem to reach out to in a constructive way. Hubby suggested I drive out to see him- but she may turn me away at the door. I’m so sick at the moment though that I could not make the drive anyway. I mourned the loss of my parents from my life 10 years ago when the argument, disownment, and estrangement happened. If he dies without me seeing him ever again- does he miss me? Would he want to talk or write with me again? Am I hurting him worse by staying away?

And it was said- stay away. If you can’t be in his life while he is healthy, don’t come when he is sick

.mydad