As I went through the Please Understand Me book today, it occurred to me that several events have radically influenced my values over the years. There was the aforementioned rejection of my mothers personality after my son died. And then I had my first run in with 12 step recovery, in my early 30’s. After a few years, I did get the hang of it. I was diagnosed with OCD, which threw me back in the other direction, away from being a robot.
I want to say the next major thing that happened was when I had a child officially diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, I went through another major revision of my personality. This was more along the lines of doubting my social abilities, questioning whether the things I thought about myself were real.
And finally I learned the framework that all these things fall under, ego syntonia and ego dystonia. I used to think my social face was my face. I used to think my OCD was my strength. I have a little more difficulty articulating what I thought about ASD. But something I felt very keenly in this personality inventory was the influence my study of personality disorders had on my valuation of loyalty and dependability. Part of that goes back to 12 step recovery for codependency.
So maybe I’m an INTJ. I’m definitely a J, and I’m more I than E. N/S and F/T were down the center, so I took Kiersey’s 4 type sorter where you rant 4 possible responses, and that came out NT. But more important, I think, were a list of words I jotted down during the inventory, words I preferred over the presented options: Liberty, Integrity, Vision, Harmony. There was a time I was very interested in Balance. Hope. I wouldn’t normally bring up Faith in a psych blog, but the Kiersey sorter had a question about my attitude toward the future where I didn’t like any of the choices. And Love is kind of too big to put in a personality box, I think.