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  1. #1
    Senior Member Misty_Mountain_Rose's Avatar
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    Default Childhood witness to in-home violence

    The INTJ anger thread has me pondering another question. A handful of the INTJ responses seem to indicate (or outright state) that they saw a lot of anger when they were little.

    This may be too personal to ask on a forum since people who grew up in abusive households tend to want to hide it, but I'm really curious if there is a pattern here.

    If you are an INTJ (or maybe another Introverted Intuitive?), did you witness physical violence or 'scary' expressions of anger repeatedly as a child?

    I actually DID, and I always thought my need to control my anger stemmed from these experiences growing up. Anger WAS scary and it took me a long time to realize that sometimes anger is justified.

    Thoughts?

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    Senior Member Dwigie's Avatar
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    Me too, but it was more like "scattered" things that really shook me and made think I shouldn't do that.And a few memorable guilt trips from my parents. I remember specific images for some reason and everytime I'm in a similar situation they flash back.
    It was pretty subtle tension, no people beating each other or anything. I remember one specific one. My brother got kicked out of the house by my father for having failed his 6th grade by over playing video games. He literally kicked him in the butt and he ran out the house...he didn't have the right to come back inside until later that night.
    Actually I'm rather open to sharing info like this.
    One thing I remember was just the bizarre atmosphere in our family:
    one day my brother and I were cooking omelets at night and my brother messed up something in the kitchen, broke something.Can't remember exactly and my mother wanted us to confess. I knew it was him but I didn't "turn him in", so she made us wait there for maybe 3 minutes then my brother confessed and she made him kneel for forgiveness in front of her...He was so humiliated he cried that night.The way she made him kneel...I never forgot that.
    Sometimes I feel like I'm "on Mercury"-

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    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Misty_Mountain_Rose View Post
    The INTJ anger thread has me pondering another question. A handful of the INTJ responses seem to indicate (or outright state) that they saw a lot of anger when they were little.

    This may be too personal to ask on a forum since people who grew up in abusive households tend to want to hide it, but I'm really curious if there is a pattern here.

    If you are an INTJ (or maybe another Introverted Intuitive?), did you witness physical violence or 'scary' expressions of anger repeatedly as a child?

    I actually DID, and I always thought my need to control my anger stemmed from these experiences growing up. Anger WAS scary and it took me a long time to realize that sometimes anger is justified.

    Thoughts?
    The other thing to consider is what behavior is read as "severe anger" because it objectively could be labeled severe anger... or because the child is just more vulnerable/sensitive to feelings of anger in the environment?

    i.e., how much is inherent personality triggering or coloring the perception, rather than the experience modifying personality?

    INxJ in general, due to the inherent moralism expressed by those with the type, tend to deal with anger issues throughout their life, from my personal observations (especially if they correspond to the One enneagram): The world does not conform to their ideals, and they want to control it and make it conform.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  4. #4
    Content. Content? DigitalMethod's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dwigie View Post
    Me too, but it was more like "scattered" things that really shook me and made think I shouldn't do that.And a few memorable guilt trips from my parents. I remember specific images for some reason and everytime I'm in a similar situation they flash back.
    It was pretty subtle tension, no people beating each other or anything. I remember one specific one. My brother got kicked out of the house by my father for having failed his 6th grade by over playing video games. He literally kicked him in the butt and he ran out the house...he didn't have the right to come back inside until later that night.
    Actually I'm rather open to sharing info like this.
    One thing I remember was just the bizarre atmosphere in our family:
    one day my brother and I were cooking omelets at night and my brother messed up something in the kitchen, broke something.Can't remember exactly and my mother wanted us to confess. I knew it was him but I didn't "turn him in", so she made us wait there for maybe 3 minutes then my brother confessed and she made him kneel for forgiveness in front of her...He was so humiliated he cried that night.The way she made him kneel...I never forgot that.
    That type is often worse than out right violence... in a way. The whole atmosphere of, "Oh crap, what's going to happen?", ugh just so gut wrenching.

    I think that was present in both the time your father was angry at your brother, with you thinking about what is going to be his punishment (also the rest of the day when he was banned from your house).

    And probably even more present in the three minutes of hell.

    It's just important to cope anyway you can, while promising yourself to never make the same mistakes in parenting that your parents did.
    "The life of the individual has meaning only insofar as it aids in making the life of every living thing nobler and more beautiful."
    - Albert Einstein

  5. #5
    Content. Content? DigitalMethod's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Misty_Mountain_Rose View Post
    The INTJ anger thread has me pondering another question. A handful of the INTJ responses seem to indicate (or outright state) that they saw a lot of anger when they were little.

    This may be too personal to ask on a forum since people who grew up in abusive households tend to want to hide it, but I'm really curious if there is a pattern here.

    If you are an INTJ (or maybe another Introverted Intuitive?), did you witness physical violence or 'scary' expressions of anger repeatedly as a child?

    I actually DID, and I always thought my need to control my anger stemmed from these experiences growing up. Anger WAS scary and it took me a long time to realize that sometimes anger is justified.

    Thoughts?
    I use to be angry as a kid. I'd let my frustrated inner feelings out through anger, then heal afterwards. I've found out though that I've switched, and now I let my frustrated inner feelings out through sadness, to which afterwards I will heal.

    I say frusterated inner feelings because those are the type that get me.. unbalanced I guess. When you're just feeling shitty and you can't figure out why. So as a kid, I'd just get pissed at myself and my circumstances and take it out on my environment. Now though I tend to hold it in and dwell on the feelings more, try to rationalize them, wallow in the sadness if needed.

    I realize that I changed at some point, but I never really could put my finger on why. I guess I always attached it to maturity. But now that I read your original post this makes more sense to me.

    My father's an ENTP. When he gets frustrated, angry, he gets very.. negative, very just uncomfortable to be around. Of course my mom can't escape that, so he would just take his anger out in yelling. If my mom didn't bow down and completely agree/worship him, he'd often get semi-violent (throwing things around). And sometimes even violent towards her.

    Of course my brother is six years older than me, he was going through the "finding himself phase" around the time I was going through the "realizing the world phase" (18 and 12 respectively). My brother's INFP, and that doesn't mix well at all with an unhealthy ENTP father. Especially when the INFP is going through the "I'm an individual, I am separate from you phase." It gave him the guts to stand up to my dad.

    I remember once, we were on a road trip, vacation. And on the way back I don't exactly remember why, but they seriously got into a heated argument (I fear road trips with my father now). It got to the point where my dad pulled over and told my brother to get out (this was like, 6 hours away from home). If it weren't for my mom, she cooled the situation down, but my dad was more than willing to leave my brother on the side of the road, and my brother was more than willing to stay there.

    Another time, they actually were arguring and it heated to the point of my brother (much stronger than my dad) picking up a speaker (yes no joke ) and getting to beat the crap out of my dad. It was so nerve wrenching to listen to it from my closed bedroom, my brother just left though, that's what he would do all the time.

    Another time, my mother and father were fighting about finances, my mom wanted him to get a stable job (entrepreneur) it got physical, my dad was throwing shit, even at my mom. That time though I just couldn't let it happen, I was around 15, so I stepped in and told him he's fucking ruining the family. So he started arguing directly with me (ahem yelling) and my mom couldn't handle it so she forced him out of the door he was standing in (he was about to leave). I try to not let it phase me, even though that's a lie, it does. I still cry when shit like that happens in my family. I tell myself he's ignorant and immature. It works most of the time. Mainly because I don't have a relationship with him even though he's lived with me his whole life.

    How I get over it is just thinking about the future. Thinking and promising myself to never be like that to my wife or kids.

    I was never directly abused though. Just a witness to the violence. It's probably because I scare the hell out of him though, and the fact that I'm the youngest.

    I guess, after seeing how little violence solves things, and seeing how much more respectable my mother was, I completely switched. I hope to be equal with my children and be their best friend, nothing like what my father did. Violence just doesn't make you feel good afterwards. Sadness at least lets you say to yourself after you heal "You conquered it."

    (Lol huge post, sorry if I hijacked the thread.)
    "The life of the individual has meaning only insofar as it aids in making the life of every living thing nobler and more beautiful."
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  6. #6
    Senior Member Misty_Mountain_Rose's Avatar
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    I saw a lot of fighting between my father and my step-mother growing up: a lot of yelling, a lot of throwing things and even some broken bones. (Contrary to possible preconcieved belief, it wasn't my Dad who was the violent one, but my stepmom)

    Eventually my Dad would leave the house (at 2am) when she came home from the bars on a tirade and leave us there with her. As the oldest of 4 girls, I felt it was my job to protect my sisters from her anger, so I would deliberately engage her in talking, and essentially take the screaming in the face while working at calming her down. The feeling I get now when I'm angry feels a lot like I felt in those instances... trembling on the inside but forcing myself to be calm, unresponsive and soft spoken on the outside to try to bring her down. (I've learned as I got older that negotiators use this method of connecting with an out of control person using their own body language and tone of voice to calm a person)

    I didn't realize how damaging it was though at the time. To me, it was something I had to do in very harsh situations, and it happened a lot. When I got older and realized that I couldn't even hear people raising their voices in what was probably only being loud and debating passionately, without essentially having a panic attack (pounding heart, sweaty palms, trembling and shaking, feeling cold without being able to warm up) I realized I had to get a grip on my understanding of 'anger' and how I dealt with it.

    Now, my EX stepmom is actually a dear friend. We came to an understanding many years ago, but it doesn't change the habits that were most likely developed during my childhood.

  7. #7
    Wild Card Atomic Fiend's Avatar
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    I witnessed it, that's all I'll say about that.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Dwigie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Misty_Mountain_Rose View Post
    I saw a lot of fighting between my father and my step-mother growing up: a lot of yelling, a lot of throwing things and even some broken bones. (Contrary to possible preconcieved belief, it wasn't my Dad who was the violent one, but my stepmom)

    Eventually my Dad would leave the house (at 2am) when she came home from the bars on a tirade and leave us there with her. As the oldest of 4 girls, I felt it was my job to protect my sisters from her anger, so I would deliberately engage her in talking, and essentially take the screaming in the face while working at calming her down. The feeling I get now when I'm angry feels a lot like I felt in those instances... trembling on the inside but forcing myself to be calm, unresponsive and soft spoken on the outside to try to bring her down. (I've learned as I got older that negotiators use this method of connecting with an out of control person using their own body language and tone of voice to calm a person)

    I didn't realize how damaging it was though at the time. To me, it was something I had to do in very harsh situations, and it happened a lot. When I got older and realized that I couldn't even hear people raising their voices in what was probably only being loud and debating passionately, without essentially having a panic attack (pounding heart, sweaty palms, trembling and shaking, feeling cold without being able to warm up) I realized I had to get a grip on my understanding of 'anger' and how I dealt with it.

    Now, my EX stepmom is actually a dear friend. We came to an understanding many years ago, but it doesn't change the habits that were most likely developed during my childhood.
    Wow, the posts here are pretty intense. I'm glad you guys came out...non-psychotic? I think people underestimate themselves actually, even if we get in pain or repress things we are usually able to move on and get the job done, really. That's funny thing you mentioned, we never realize at the time just afterwards.
    Digital-method, I think you're going through a lot, maybe going to college a bit away from all that chaos would help you.
    I think we can all relate to each other to some extent...
    The throwing things around, I would have been one edge all the time, I have no idea how you did it.
    Sometimes I feel like I'm "on Mercury"-

  9. #9
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    Property damage maybe, some aural violence perhaps...lol.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Anja's Avatar
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    I'm mystified about the direction kids who come from abusive homes take in their adult lives. Simply put, it appears to me that some become abusers and others, champions of the underdog.

    I've often thought that physical abuse, if someone survives it, seems less damaging than emotional abuse. A child who is hit generally gets away from the situation as fast as they can. Whereas, emotional abuse puts some pretty deep psychological hooks into kids. That "I love you/I hate you." can be really crazy-making.
    "No ray of sunshine is ever lost, but the green which it awakes into existence needs time to sprout, and it is not always granted to the sower to see the harvest. All work that is worth anything is done in faith." - Albert Schweitzer

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