Desperate times call for desperate measures.
My [young adult] manfriend and I have been struggling together for a year with issues, serious and not. The most serious issue is that he was neglected and even mildly verbally abused as a child, which has caused him to become codependent and clingy. But I know he has normal cognitive functions below the superficial mess that's been created over time, however distorted they may be. My INFJ self is dying to find out what they are so we can work with them to help him build a good mental foundation of his own.
What I've been trying to do is dissect his mind enough to know what the resulting issues are, what are his normal functions, and even more importantly, whether the functions have caused him to react the way he has.
Care to take on a challenge?
First off, let me list some of his attributes that I find most relevant to his functions, keeping in mind these are always going to be muddied by his life of isolation and subsequent moderate codependent behaviour.
--He's an introvert
--He's extremely anxious, depersonalizes often, and becomes 'detached' or/and overwhelmed easily
--He's been extremely timid and shy his whole life
--He used to look at art constantly, forming a loose library of his favourites, as inspiration, on his computer
--Related to that, he's done very skilled art himself
--He's always done well at school, even without trying much at all
--He's always loved to help people, and he'll often dangerously give himself and his attention, even to strangers
--He places himself before anyone else, often to the point of neglecting his own needs
--He's apparently always been very quiet, rigid, and aloof, even as a young child
--He was very bossy as a child -- especially as a young child -- before becoming more insecure later on in life
--Similarly, he'd always try to initiate, or push, his young peers into participating in activities, such as imaginative games, that he'd create
--He seems mostly unable to build an internal value system on his own, and without his mother's guidance growing up, has started taking values from others, including tastes in music
--He's often painfully romantic, gushing over romantic ideals and situations
--He's DROWNING IN FANTASY, always daydreaming and going off on tangents of imagination which he rarely shares
--He never asks for help-it's a shock when he does
--His brain, he says, is constantly on the go -- reflecting, cycling through thoughts and feelings about other people, such as their background and life story
--The above often can lead to neuroses; obsessive-compulsive thoughts and so-on
--He buries emotions immediately, sometimes to have them explode when he's under stress
--Sexually, he's held back, and often tends to be surprisingly more feminine than masculine, considering his rampant hairiness and heterosexuality--he loves foreplay
--He's not much of a thinker; he can try, but he's often clouded by emotions
These relatively nondescript tidbits aside, I've personally thought I've seen a lot of Fe in him, Si somewhat, but when it comes down to it, I just can't tell most of the time. He thinks he's INFP. I kept arguing he's ISFJ, at least in his actions. I'd like to get to the bottom of it so he can move on knowing what he has.
One big problem, however, is that he doesn't want to be ISFJ. Let me rephrase that a bit: he empatically does not want to be ISFJ. He knows that, for a mate, I don't do well with SJs of any kind, and I worry his SJ tendencies -- superficial or otherwise -- make him more codependent (if you look at the description of an ISFJ, it actually appears to be one of a codependent) and thus eager to please me in that arena. I'm not sure if that's true, though.
Codependency can strike ANYONE AT ANY TIME. Well, that's partly true. Mostly, it's common with anyone who's grown up the way he has, so it's incredibly difficult to know if his personality functions have had anything to do with how he's coped. His mix at this point is damn near 50/50 INFP/ISFJ, best I can tell. To me, that creates a whole lot of questions; are ISFJ/ISXJs actually the result of a codependent lifestyle? Are INFPs more susceptible to the effects of certain parental neglect?
I'd love any and all input. Any questions for clarification would be awesome.