Hey everybody. I'm an 18-year old ENFP guy and I recently informed all my closest friends that I was gay. I've known this about myself since I was in 7th grade (meaning I was 12 or 13) and I kept this fact inside of me until I was 17, at which point I told a good friend of mine. I have now, since I came to college, told many more people, including the rest of my closest friends.
Being an ENFP (or rather, being myself), I am used to having every part of me known. I have described the way I view myself in the past as being somewhat like that of a character in a novel, in that things about me aren't known or written until I've made them clear externally in a story involving that trait of mine or have demonstrated the trait in action. Essentially, I am used to making it clear to people who I am and am not used to having important things, like my homosexuality, trapped inside of me. The externalization of that sort of thing is incredibly important to me.
Needless to say, I suffered for a few years, feeling this intense stress inside of my chest where I believed my secret was kept; I often described the presence of such a feeling in my writing as being akin to have something rotten inside of me. Since I have come out, I have discussed with my closest friend what such an experience would do to me as a person. I am not claiming that what I felt was at all traumatic, but I think such a thing would certainly affect an individual. For example, he suggested that it could be the reason I have always had my characteristic desire for attention, or possibly why I enjoy talking and writing so much (all acts of externalization), or the reason that I desire reassurance from others so frequently.
Part of me wonders whether the experience of being closeted created who I am today or if I just handled the experience the way any other ENFP would. Are things like personality type decided before the age of thirteen or are they still forming then?
Basically, I guess I am curious what role all of you believe an experience like I experienced would play in the formation of my type, if any at all. Any thoughts are welcome.