...I know you're here. Show yourself. Be heard. Share your life experience. We exist. The world needs to know this.
Why am I starting this thread?
I've been obsessed lately with the disappearance of a young, black INTP who lived in my apartment building. Years ago, when I first saw him, I knew we understood each other. I saw the familiar look of loneliness, invisibility, despair, misunderstanding, invalidation and bristling intelligence. At the time, I never saw the urgency to have a conversation with him. Strange...especially since we'd show up around town in completely different places - at research libraries to rock concerts. But never a conversation.
That is until I noticed changes in his behavior. He used to follow me around my neighborhood - at the grocery store, shoe repair, park, and laundromat. Like, in a stalkerish way, yet harmless. I was never bothered by it, and later I made attempts to speak to him, but he used to brush past me and go about his business. I think maybe he had aspergers. I didn't try to force a conversation if he was too uncomfortable. One day at our mailboxes, he forced out "hello" and then moved swiftly. I saw his struggle and I knew he made some kind of progress. I was happy for him and thought maybe we'd speak at another time.
That is until I saw flyers of his face plastered everywhere in my neighborhood. Apparently he had been missing for 3 months. Someone identified himself as his father, and I express my concern to him and tell the father about his son's actions hoping that it'll help find him. The police put in little effort to find this 28 year old black male and assumed he went off by himself.
The father, an ISFP, and I have long, long conversations about his son in the following weeks. Let me just say, the father is completely clueless and reminds me of my own mother. He has a low threshold for understanding his son's pain and seems nonchalant and unaffected about his disappearance.
In our conversations, I'm seeing the life of the son so vividly that I can feel every interaction between them. I could almost see what would drive the son to want to run off with absolutely no money, no contacts, nothing. My hope is that he didn't commit suicide and that maybe he's elected to become homeless somewhere.
So anyway, the father tells me he was the smartest kid in class at every school he went to, yet he was disbelieved and treated like he cheated to get those grades, or he was some idiot savant. He put in very little effort and received great grades, but seemed to not care about anything for years. The father said the son would sit in silence for hours, days, and years without uttering a single word his entire life. The son was a brilliant painter and photographer, but never held a job. The father pushed him to go to the best university in the city. And finally the son has something to say - "I hate those fucking white kids." Apparently he said this a lot in the weeks before his disappearance.
Now, why am I telling you this? Guilt. I knew what he would go though, because I've been through those same things. I should have been more proactive. I think about the son and the development of his life everyday, and how his blackness & INTPness impacted his life and/or death. Especially living in a world that doesn't expect black males to be brilliant or have ideas or become president. I often wonder if he lived to see Barack Obama become president.
Anyway, I truly feel there should be a space for black INFJs and INTPs to express the tone and texture of their lives. I'd be interested for my own research, because no one studies the specifics in personality type among blacks in the African Diaspora. It's just easy to see us as one big monolithic group who acts, feels and thinks in the same manner.