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  1. #1
    Member littledarling's Avatar
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    Default This love that I bare, this fear that I take.

    I often find myself in tears over the weightier matters of life. Someone's particular hardship or situation will get to me and I find myself turning into a puddle on the floor. As a recent example, I was driving home in my car a couple nights ago, thinking about the little girl I've been nannying for the past couple years. Her Father left when she was 8 months old and he moved across the country. He never sees her. He's completely shut her out of his life. I was thinking about her and how unfair the whole thing is. She deserves to have a daddy who's entire world revolves around her. She deserves nothing less. And it just sucks so much that she doesn't get that. Once I started crying I just couldn't stop. I couldn't stop thinking about what it will be like for her when she gets older and wonders why her dad wasn't there. I fear that she'll question her own value as a daughter, as a person. Driving home in tears, I felt as though my heart was painfully expanding, growing down into my stomach and up into my throat, threatening each breath as I gasped for air.
    It doesn't happen often, but I do feel much of the time as though it's on the surface. I look around in the world and I see broken people. Hurt and wounded and suffering. If I think too hard on any of it, I turn into a hopeless mess. I feel the weight of the world and it presses down on me, threatening to drown me as though I'm trapped under a wide boat in the untamed sea. So much hurting and I am only one small person. I suppose this is largely why I find too much human interaction quite exhausting.
    I'm not sure if this is mainly an INFJ characteristic, or if it umbrellas out among all "NF's", or if possibly it's more of an HSP (Highly Sensitive Person) thing. Do any of you experience this? This overwhelming burden of responsibility to take careful care of everyone. I want to know each person so deeply, but I also fear it.
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  2. #2
    Aspiring Troens Ridder KLessard's Avatar
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    Strange you should talk about it. I just felt this a moment ago. Watching disabled people on youtube with rare ailments that make them so different from everyone, feeling their confusion and despair...
    Yes, I feel that from time to time. Universal pain on my shoulders.
    Last year, I read "Divine Revelation of Hell" from Mary K Baxter, where she describes visions she's had of Hell (real or not, I don't know), but I do believe Hell exists, and I sank into incredible despair thinking about people suffering eternally, I couldn't eat for a whole day.

    What I usually do when something like this happens, is that I pick a day in the week and go into fasting and prayer for the need(s) in question. I usually see amazing things coming out of this and it makes me feel like I'm actually helping, and I believe I am. I believe God can work where we can't. I wonder how an atheist goes through such a thing, though.

  3. #3
    Senior Member sculpting's Avatar
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    this is my curse. For anyone that I care about at all-ie an Fi connection I feel their pain. As Ne funnels everything my way, this is almost everyone around me.

    I perceive the pain of those around me and mirror it inside of me. It adds layer upon layer and I cant turn it off or shut it out.

    Their stress, unhappiness, anxiety...if I perceive it as pain, it becomes my pain. Sometimes I feel it as anxiety, sometimes as acute internal emotional pain. It drives me to help them, to fight for them, but sometimes there is nothing I can do. Then I become stuck in internal loops of guilt and pain and failure as I failed them.

    This can be very nonspecific-at times I am not even sure what or whose pain I feel or why I hurt-I am like a ball of sticky tape that picks up lint, dog hair, and nonspecific envionmental pain.

    This is normally when I shut down and hide for a few days to allow some of the built up residue to air out. It can take some time to logically sort through the emotion and respond rationally.

  4. #4
    Aspiring Troens Ridder KLessard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Happy Puppy View Post

    This can be very nonspecific-at times I am not even sure what or whose pain I feel or why I hurt-I am like a ball of sticky tape that picks up lint, dog hair, and nonspecific envionmental pain.
    Does this ever make you feel empty? Like being that sticky tape or a sponge or whatever they call it, and what are you really? Are you something yourself, or you're a vaccum cleaner taking everything in, and becoming what you see and feel? I sometimes wonder what I am myself, if I'm not the product of a multitude of influences since birth.

  5. #5
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    I feel the same way.

    Do you feel extremely terrible when people resist your help? I know I do. I'm a puddle of mess when that thought comes about. One of the reasons why I fear being close to people.

  6. #6
    Junior Member Idiosyncrazy's Avatar
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    I often feel this way too. I rarely express it to others though because I know they won't understand :-(

  7. #7
    Senior Member toast's Avatar
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    I feel like this is constantly going on in some deeper level in me. I can be conscious of it & have outbursts like you described, but I feel like those are just triggered, but already there before they come out. I kind of have this feeling attached to it that I can make things better for other people but there are just too many who need it & it seems to fuel that ENFJ intensity (in outreaching) that leads to exasperation or exhaustion.

    I do get those moments all the time though, I see a homeless guy on the street and start "examining" this imaginary life he may have had & think about what he looked like when he was new to the world, innocent, held and maybe wanted. Then I get all "waaaaaaah." I rarely go to pieces though, for the same reason Idiosyncrazy gave... I'm usually surrounded by people & they would not understand.

  8. #8
    Senior Member mcmartinez84's Avatar
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    I hate to be the insensitive jerk, but this just doesn't happen to me. I don't think of things so eternally. Yeah, things are unfair, that sucks, but I can't change the world. I do my part by being a (hopefully!) good citizen and someday if I have gobs of money, I'll donate to a charity or cause I deem worthy. It doesn't do much good for me to cry over something I can't possibly begin to change.

    That's just how I think of these things. *shrug*
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  9. #9
    Plumage and Moult proteanmix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcmartinez84 View Post
    I hate to be the insensitive jerk, but this just doesn't happen to me. I don't think of things so eternally. Yeah, things are unfair, that sucks, but I can't change the world. I do my part by being a (hopefully!) good citizen and someday if I have gobs of money, I'll donate to a charity or cause I deem worthy. It doesn't do much good for me to cry over something I can't possibly begin to change.

    That's just how I think of these things. *shrug*
    I agree with you. I'm not sure how to understand what exactly people are saying here. I'm not trying to diminish anyone's sensitivity but I'm wondering if these are cases of bleeding heart syndrome.

    There have been times when I've been overwhelmed with anger (typically not sadness) about the injustices of the world and I feel passionate about a number of social issues. I can even relate to the OP in terms of feeling disquieted and uneasy by what kind of life a person under a set of unfavorable circumstances will likely lead (unless an intervention or something happens to deviate them off of a certain life course), but dissolving into a pool of sorrow is so counterproductive to me that I just don't go that far in. I more often feel moved to action to do something than weep and wail.

    I hate to sound so cliched but this is a time when the Serenity Prayer comes in handy. I know when I used to get angry about the problems of the world is that there was (and still is) the expectation that a major change shift will occur swiftly and I'd have a strong sense of dissatisfaction when things don't happen as fast as I think they should. But when I thought about things like the Civil Rights Movement or any other type of social movement, they occurred in phases that changed gradually. The Industrial Revolution took as long as 300 years. Even looking at smaller things like my immediate office culture, structures that change more in bits and pieces tend to cause less upset.

    I think that since most of us under 30 are used to things happening lightening-quick and our adjustment speeds are quicker. May cause stronger sense of dissatisfaction along with a myriad of other problems.
    Relationships have normal ebbs and flows. They do not automatically get better and better when the participants learn more and more about each other. Instead, the participants have to work through the tensions of the relationship (the dialectic) while they learn and group themselves and a parties in a relationships. At times the relationships is very open and sharing. Other time, one or both parties to the relationship need their space, or have other concerns, and the relationship is less open. The theory posits that these cycles occur throughout the life of the relationship as the persons try to balance their needs for privacy and open relationship.
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  10. #10
    4x9 cascadeco's Avatar
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    I..uh..years ago thought I couldn't be NF because I don't really relate to this aspect of it.

    I think I just realize I'm unable to help most people (and many/most would not desire my 'help' anyway) - it's totally out of my control - and much in the world is beyond me. Also, I think I weigh my own needs equally against other peoples', so I am unwilling to sacrifice myself wholly for another person, thus that decreases an uber-nurturing drive within me.

    As for so much hurting and my being unable to help...I think I just view it as more...that's how it is. Life can suck on many levels, it always has and always will, and I'd rather do what I can in situations where I CAN impact things - even if it's on a ridiculously small scale - than fixate about everything I can't do. I'd rather focus my mental/emotional energies on things that are in my power, and let go of things that aren't. As for the responsibility piece, I've never really felt responsible for other peoples' emotional/life needs, as I've concluded one can only truly be responsible for one's own life. So I feel no 'responsibility' towards others, and haven't ever had a strong caretaking drive in that sense...although that doesn't mean I won't try to help or accommodate when I can, because I do want people to find happiness/peace and I like building people up, being understanding of their endeavors/struggles, and encouraging them.

    To be honest, societal/world/cultural things tend to bother me a lot more than small scale, individual things. I used to get more worked up about certain topics that really bothered me, but tend to just not even allow myself to mentally 'go there' anymore, because it serves no purpose, ultimately: especially if I can't do a thing about it.
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