What age range are you in?

I’m 24.

Any disorders or conditions we should know about?

Nope. Not that I’m aware of.

Main Questions

1. What do you think your life is about? What drives you in life? This can be something like a goal or a purpose, or anything else that comes to mind.

I believe that life is about finding yourself and your purpose. Life is what you make of it, and I want to create a life that is significant and in some way meaningful. Generally, I would rather stay hidden in the vast array of people out there; however, I have a strong need to be different in some way. I hope to help people indirectly, and inspire them to be the best versions of themselves that they can be. My main goal in life is to re-enter a state of child-like simplicity after being so tortured by my own thoughts. I hope to contribute something worthwhile to this world. I dream of having freedom-- in every sense of the word. I despise feeling tied down or indebted. I especially hope to be a genuine source of inspiration to others. I believe that life is immensely beautiful.

2. What were you like as a kid?

I was very quiet, detached, thoughtful and gentle as a child. I wasn’t exactly shy, just silent. I was told that the doctor was worried about me because I wasn’t speaking at all by the time I was two. One evening at dinner, I started speaking in full sentences. As complacent as I was told I seemed, I can remember having many opinions and likes/dislikes that I didn’t feel the need to voice. My mom tells me that I didn’t always seem like a feeling child. She says that I seemed more objectively dispassionate. But I remember the stir of emotions that could bubble up within me without any notice, and the strong urge I would feel to get to somewhere where I could be alone and either cry or just feel them out. I got my feelings hurt very easily, but I would never voice this either. The only thing that my mom said I would be visibly upset about was clothing. Before I could speak, I was sensitive to aesthetics and color. I had strong opinions on what looked good and what my own style was. I can remember not caring what other people thought, because these things would effect my internal mood so strongly. I would change clothes several times a day for this same reason. I used to make a lot of collections, one of them being dried up worms that I would find on sidewalks.
My first word was music, and I asked for a piano when I was three. The instrument fascinated me as it continues too. Sometimes when I play though, I get lost in emotions from a long time ago and it can be too much to handle for me so I haven’t played for about three years now.
Even as a child, I never expressed my deep emotion, except through the piano or in the way I dressed. I had a wonderful childhood really, very peaceful and I had much time and space to think. I enjoyed meeting new people and including them in whatever activities I was doing. However, I could only handle friends in spurts. I was close to many, but they never knew each other and as soon as I felt the need for space, I would leave without much notice. I think this could confuse adults around me as well as friends. As conflicting as this sounds, once I got to know people and felt comfortable, I would many times be in the limelight and enjoy making people laugh with my offbeat/strange sense of humor. I was popular for as intensely quiet as I am at first, but I never truly feel understood or like I fit in (even when I’m in the center). I can be in a loud bar with seven of my girlfriends around me and feel utterly and completely alone. Overall, I tended to try to be agreeable and I believe I came off this way. But I didn’t mind the conflict if and when I needed my space to feel/think.

3. Describe your relationship with your parents. Does anything stand out about the way you interacted?

My relationship with my mom (sp 6 wing 7) was excellent. She was and continues to be my best friend. I admire her for her faithfulness, group-mindedness, strength of character, and never-ending love. My relationship with my dad (so 8 wing 7); however, is something that we had to grow into. It started out very rocky as he would and say things in such a blunt way that I would take it to heart and internalize it. I thought he was the scariest person alive for several years. I couldn’t understand his temper. When I someone is that much of an anomaly to me, and it’s someone in my family, I’m not afraid at all to voice how I feel. I would say I was extremely emotionally dominant while he was dominant in every other way. He says I was the only person in the family to ever go toe-to-toe with him. I believe I did this out of a strong sense of feeling that he was belittling me and mocking who I was. He could make me feel worthless without meaning too. I did that internally to myself enough. I really did not understand why he would react the way he did. My mom says I would mainly be quiet and stoically take his angry rants. This may be one of the main factors that led up to a long-winded and torturous depression later in my life. Now, my dad and I have learned to reconcile our differences, we are very close. However, his outward display of emotion can sometimes throw me off balance. In those times, I have to be alone to recover or my whole day is thrown off and I begin to feel worthless again for no reason.

4. What values are important to you? What do you hope to avoid doing or being?

It’s important to me to be real. I have a need somewhere to appear the best in every sense of the word; however, the stronger need for me is to be genuine. It’s a strange place that I feel stuck between sometimes. I can try to appear perfect (looks, attitude, and achievement-wise) and then in the next moment, I’m berating myself and wanting to express the darkness that I feel. I think that’s why people can be confused by me. I need to seem like I have it all together, so that’s what they think, and then there’s this gnawing social insecurity deep within me that I attempt to hide from view but I can’t get rid of. I try to be so much of an image at times that I lose touch with my feelings. But this is never for long, they come crashing down on me the moment I’m alone and I no longer can hold up an image. This is one of the main areas of my life that I need help with. I want to learn that I have value, even though I feel like I don’t unless I’m something special and successful. Sometimes I think I seem icy and cold for this reason, and it hurts to know that, because it’s far from the intensity I’m feeling inside. I died my hair black (from my natural blonde) once to show the world that I wasn’t perfect and successful. I ended up feeling misunderstood (especially by my family who expects me to be sunshiny and happy). More than anything, I want to be successful and real and the same time. Anytime I feel that superficiality is tainting me, I run to the opposite extreme. This causes much confusion for me in typing myself.

5. Aside from phobias, are there any fears that characterized your childhood? Have they continued into the present day, or not, and if not, how have you dealt with them?

I honestly don’t feel like I deal with fear much. I have a strong and paralyzing fear of failing. I don’t want to fail, but I don’t always know how to succeed without losing touch with myself. I’m afraid of expressing too much emotion. I’m also afraid of not seeming like I have it all together, even though this is extremely far from the truth. Sometimes I feel so lost and alone. When I feel this way, I write. I am a poet. I also get lost in systems of thought, such as philosophy, psychology, the Enneagram, Geology, or color analysis. I have my degree in psychology, although when I was getting it, I was going through a debilitating depression. A depression that nobody would have been aware of unless they read my writing. I painted my room to match and loved to indulge in aesthetically pleasing pieces to decorate my haven. I struggled with extreme social insecurity, but I still had friends everywhere. I felt like I was screaming in a crowded area and no one had even the slightest notion. I would go to school to try to forget my sadness, I would also achieve highest sales at work for the same reason. I wanted to hear that I was ok, but I could tell it was all a lie. And when I came out of college, I realized how little I had actually applied myself (despite a high gpa and internships). A very lonely existence. I now feel much more balanced; however, I still struggle with feelings of worthlessness and like others can do it better, even if the stats show I’m at the top.

6. a.) How do you see yourself?

I see myself as an insecure and somewhat tortured individual with a strong sense of self and how I feel. I want to help people, but people often overwhelm me so I try to hold them at arms length. I see myself as a counseling type (who could never actually do that as a career because of the burden of all those emotions) who cares about people but doesn’t want to show it. I believe that people see me as an intelligent and confident (strange to me) person who knows where she’s going. People come to me for advice on how to deal with life. Little do they know how lost I feel. I seem artistic and perhaps at times too detached/withdrawn. I think I can be cold at times and I’m not very compliant when told to do something I don’t want to (value-based). On the whole, I would say I’m intelligent and thoughtful with more than some quirky idiosyncrasies (that I keep hidden usually) and somewhat unpredictable behavior (as it can change with my moods). I think I’m somewhat of an enigma. Haha. I confuse myself often :/
b.) How do you want others to see you?

I want others to see me as intelligent and hard to pin down. I would like to seem independent, free-thinking, creative, multi-faceted, unpredictable yet self-controlled, stoic, and as individualistic as possible without being completely over the top. I would like them to see me as somewhat icy, untouchable, and well-adjusted. I don’t mind being intimidating because then people can’t touch my heart. I also want to seem courteous, classy, and warm to a point. I want to be seen as mysterious and intriguing. I’d rather not fit into any one mold.

c.) What do you dislike the most in other people?

This is a hard question as I tend to like other people. They don’t bother me and it’s hard to really offend me. I would say I dislike low levels of integrity the most. I think people ought to act according to their inner vision and try to bring others up. I don’t like too much self-promotion and I dislike it when people have no humility. I also despise facades (which I realize is somewhat hypocritical of me). I wish everyone could be a bit more patient with everyone else, none of us really knows what we’re doing. We’re all in this together.

7. Which habit do you most automatically act on? Rank the following habits from most to least automatic, on a scale of 1 (most) to 3 (least).
a.) Work for personal gain with more concern for self than for others. (1)
b.) Strive for a sense of tranquility in yourself and the world around you (2)
c.) Decide what is right for the betterment of something or someone else. (3)

8. Where does the wandering mind take you? What provokes this?

My wandering mind reminds me of how trapped in it I am. I sometimes wish I could objectively see the world around me. There truly is no way out of the mind though. I want to be every person I come across so that I can better understand what makes them/me tick and how to serve humanity so that people don’t feel so alone. I’m also taken to beautiful scenes I’ve created in my mind. Sometimes I’m tortured by not feeling like I’m enough or that I’ve achieved/created enough. I believe emotion provokes this, although I’m not positive. I want to be free of feelings and the mind, but I’m coming to terms with the fact that I can’t be. I can only try to be real, which is scary.

9.What makes you feel your best? What makes you feel your worst?

I feel my best when I’m able to let loose and be myself (and truly feel accepted for that). I love to help others and see them making the most out of their gifts. It is a beautiful thing to me. I also love to be able to experience the simplicity of life without a dark shadow. Life is so phenomenally and heartbreakingly delicate.
I feel that I’m at my worst when I allow myself to believe I’m worthless and am taking up space just by breathing. I feel so humiliated by my own thoughts. I hate it when I hate myself and feel completely unlovable. I can wallow in that and not know how to actively get myself out of that state. Its hard to say what throws me into that state. It happens anytime that I feel that I’m not enough, which unfortunately can be often.

10. Let's talk about emotions. Explain what might make you feel the following, how they feel to you or how you react to the emotion:
a.) anger

I don’t often feel angry. When I do, it is usually because of some injustice I see around me. I don’t like to appear emotional, so I usually try to hide it or just leave the situation all together. If I’m truly angry though, I will absolutely state whatever is on my mind to whomever I need to in order to get the issue resolved.

b.) shame

I very very very often feel shame. I am so ashamed inside. For what reason? I have no idea. I feel it in the pit of my stomach and I can barely look people in the eye when I’m going through a period of especially shameful feelings. I would say this is an emotion I deal with everyday and I try to counter it by seeming completely in control and “together.” If people I know knew how much shame I felt, I don’t know what I would do. I don’t always know how to love myself because of the shame I feel.

c.) anxiety

I experience anxiety quite often. I feel anxiety about around failing and around the thought of ending up a nobody. I get very anxious when I feel that I will never find my voice as an artist or that I won’t have something unique and intelligent to offer society. I have major performance anxiety.

11. Describe how you respond to the following:
a.) stress

I tend to do one of two things: I either become an absolute workaholic and try to shut out feelings of stress. I become an entity existing outside of myself and feel as if I’m operating on cruise control. If not this, then I completely shut down. I can hardly get out of bed, I have very morbid thoughts and end up dealing with fatigue, a low immune system, and sickness. When I get stressed, my left knee flares to about three times its normal size (fluid-filled). Doctor’s have no idea what it is, they think its emotional overload when it decides to flare.

b.) negative unexpected change

I generally try to see the positive and adjust; however, if my mood is wrong, I cannot adjust at all. I feel stuck in a rut and shut down/withdraw completely.

c.) conflict

It depends, I don’t like conflict for the sake of conflict as I believe it is damaging. However, if the nature of the issue merits conflict, then it is absolutely necessary and I’m ready to jump right in. Conflict bothers me if it is unnecessary (to me, most conflict is). I hate it especially because I end up blaming myself for things that aren’t my fault and becoming quite tortured.

12. a.) What kind of role are you naturally inclined to take in a group? Why?

I have no need to work in a group, and yet, I usually end up in some kind of position of authority anyways. I am naturally inclined to enjoy working by myself more than anything, but I take the reigns on most group projects. I really want to make sure the end result is something I can be proud of and if others are involved, I still want the product to be the best it can be. I feel that people think that I know what I’m doing so they tend to follow my lead.

b.) If put in power, how do you behave? Why?

I strongly dislike being in charge of other people. I believe that every human being is entitled to his or her own thoughts and behaviors. It is not fun or enticing to me to be “above” people and power is not an issue for me. I tend to complacently and detachedly go about my own work and pick up their slack if need be (as long as its nothing big). If there is a real issue, I do tend to address it as courteously as I possibly can.

c.) Do you tend to struggle with others who have authority over you? Why?

Not at all, I could care less. As long as they’re not down my throat, I am inclined to do the best job that I can possibly do and I enjoy being recognized for my work ethic. I don’t care who’s in charge, it makes no difference.

13. What do you see or notice in others that most people don't?

I notice the state of their feelings, what their deep needs are, and what I need to be for them. Unfortunately, I tend to change accordingly. I’m learning to change that and be genuine always. I feel that I can get in touch with the part of that person that causes their psyche the most pain. I love to help heal that, but I do it very indirectly through a quiet mind and being the ideal for them more than anything. This can cause me to feel like a someone who’s constantly changing facades and then I lost touch with myself in the process sometimes

14. Comment on your relationship with trust.

I don’t let people in enough to have to worry about trust. I feel so fiercely protective of how I’m feeling and my inner reality, that people are absolutely not invited in. I like to be a beacon of light to them if I can be and I will share the surface of my painful experiences so they wont feel so alone, but I don’t believe anyone deserves more than that. I have pretty big intimacy issues. I believe people are inherently good though, and can choose how they’re going to be. This is a very fluid concept, people can hurt you without meaning to, so its best to only rely on yourself.

15. Briefly: What religious and/or political beliefs do you have? Do you think they influenced your responses in this questionnaire?

Honestly, I believe we are all affected to an extent by these things, but I don’t have strong ones in either arena. I was raised Roman Catholic by an extremely devout mother. While I value people’s rights to choose what’s best for them and I respect the Church, I am no longer practicing. It is my belief people should be free of spiritual and political constraints. The fact of the matter is that we will never have all the facts, and its best to not get caught up in the stickiness of human nature and the fear that goes into using these things as a crutch. Well I value being well informed, I do not value conforming, and for the most part I see these two areas as being very fear based. People want answers and people want a leader. They should look within themselves and admit that we may not have all the answers.
Extra Questions

Which of the following temptations do you find yourself acting upon the most? (And briefly state why)

- To constantly push yourself to be “the best” (I feel this way often enough. I’m not always well-equipped with this one because my feelings can sometimes cloud my workaholic tendencies)
- To be without needs, well-intentioned
- To replace direct experience with concepts
- To have an extreme sense of personal moral obligation
- To think that fulfillment is somewhere else
- To cyclically become indecisive and seek others for reassurance
- To overuse imagination in searching for yourself (Potentially this one. I can be on a constant search for self but never find what I’m looking for so retreat to my imagination only to come out not having any idea who I am)
- To avoid conflicts and asserting yourself
- To consider yourself entirely self-sufficient (Could be # 1 as well. I want to seem completely in control of myself and strong).

What's something you are: a.) thankful you have b.) wish you could have? Why?

I’m thankful I have my life. It is a beautiful thing and I feel very blessed to be alive. I’m also grateful for the roof over my head, and the love of those around me.
I wish I could have all the answers sometimes. I would love to be objective on all fronts and really use that knowledge to make this world a better place

Thank you very much for your help! I truly appreciate it.