I'm 30 years old and have been going through a period of transition and self discovery. I usually test as an INFP, but rarely and ENFP. (and looking on the website I see that it's common for the lines to blur between those two types)
Lately, I feel like I'm undergoing changes and I'm changing in all sorts of ways. I've been reading Personality Type :an owner's manual, but so far I still can't figure out what I am. I actually tested as an ENTP for the first time. According to the book, going through a transition period can definitely skew results, so I am assuming that is the case with me, since I've always identified with INFP or ENFP.
Do you think a serious of trauma/challenges through childhood and adolescence could contribute to me putting my true self on a back burner and adapting in different ways? I'm considering that maybe I am a ENFP, but introverted because I couldn't deal with life? When I read descriptions of ENFP or INFP I sound like both of them a lot.
So here is some details about myself
I am very unconventional. I've always felt I was a contradiction. I can be a rebel, but I like to follow rules and please people. If something is important to me I will fight for it to the death, but I tend to avoid confrontation.
I love(d) to write, sing, act, dance. I need to express myself. I've also always been very sexual, but suppressed it for years because of pressures and standards placed on me. That brings me to this, and maybe this will give some more insight. This could wholly irrelevant, but for some reason I think this pattern of events may tell something about me.
When I was 5 my parents divorced. From that point on I began to withdraw and struggle with depression. My mother remarried a man who I did not get along with at all. I was miserable living with them for most of my life. My dad never remarried, but he was a drug addict/dealer. I loved him more than anything. He was up on a pedestal big time, and I preferred being with him over my mother and step-dad. When I was 8 he went to prison for selling drugs. Again I was crushed and withdrew etc. When I was 10 he was released, but had to move away from where I lived and I rarely saw him anymore, only on vacations, summers, etc. When I was 13 he died from AIDS. It happened really fast for me, he told me in August and died that January.
So basically I couldn't deal with what life threw at me. I was stuck on all the bad things that had happened, and I had no one to talk too. I desperately wanted someone to talk to, to sort it out, but I didn't have any friends or family who were there for me, nor did they take me to counseling (though I asked). I started having a really tough time dealing with life and reality and kind of went crazy for a while. Then at 15 I started going to church. It was very cult like and they put a lot of pressure on me to conform. I was labeled the rebel, but still went on to pursue ministry (since that was deemed acceptable. I originally wanted to be a performer, but that wasn't deemed as "christian") As I got older I became more and more legalistic. When I got married he was more legalistic than I, and I kind of pushed myself down more to be what I thought I should be for him. Of course my first inclination is to blame everyone else, and the circumstances, but I allowed it because of the path I was on. When I was younger I allowed it because I was vulnerable, broken, depressed, and crying out for anybody to care about me.
Back to now. Over the past few years my husband and I have changed dramatically, and in the past few months I have really changed a lot. I'm not sure if this is some of my other functions trying to assert themselves or what, but to me, it just feels like I am recognizing things in my life that I don't like and I am changing them. I feel like life is too short to be unhappy. The changes started in small ways, and then became pivotal one night with my husband. Basically I loosened up sexually after many years, and now it seems like I've been able to loosen up in many areas. Suddenly I'm more creative, I don't worry constantly, I don't care what society things of me anymore, and won't hide my differences like I used to. I am trying new things, more flexible etc.
So that was a seriously long ramble, but maybe it will give some insight.