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  1. #1
    Junior Member Darling Wallflower's Avatar
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    Default INFP in crisis! Help, support... Anyone? Please?

    Here's my issue:
    I'm 18, going to a local community college, and have a job. But I have a very strict, controlling, extremist conservative Republican/Christian, narrow- and closed-minded ESTJ mother, who insists on controlling nearly my every move and decision. Because of her strict controlling behavior, she has enforced me to quite others jobs and even school classes that don't fit into her "schedule" or because she sees them as pointless.
    She loves being able to brag about my art that I create, but hates the time and money that I spend on it, and the devotion and passion that I have given to it. And with this passion, I've fallen in love with the art of tattoos. She also hates this.
    She did allow me to get one, but that's because she was in control of it. She was overly, heavily involved in the planning, able to decide: what it was going to be, how it was going to look, where it was going to be on my body, when I was going to get it, and from whichever artist she picked out. As the tattoo was on my ribcage, it was quite very painful...but she made sure the experience was awful, as she teased me about the pain and made fun of me the entire time. (It got so bad that eventually the artist made her leave.)

    Anyhow, as I'm almost 19, I decided to get a second one, by the same artist. (He was very professional and cleanly, but also a kind person, so I felt same with him.) This one was on my hip, so it's invisible, unless I'm in a bikini or less. I had been planning it for years, before even I got my first one, and have been the actual planning with this artist for about 5-6 months. I just got it yesterday, and she was enraged. I knew she would be, but not to the point that she told me I was a "selfish, spoil rotten bitch" who was nothing but "scum of the rather and disgusting trash", as well as I "have no sense of reality" and "strength within me as a person". I'm crushed, deflated, and I don't know what to do or believe... She told that I "never think of anyone else but myself", I "never think of others and out their feelings and thoughts first before acting", I'm a "terrible person" and she can't believe how "insensitive and self-centered bitch" I've become.
    Anyone.. Please... I'm so crushed and don't know what to do.. I'm the typical INFP, I suppose you could say, in that sense. I'm such a people-pleaser, but nothing I ever do means anything to her.. And now, this.. What do I do?
    (Ps, I'm so sorry for the long-ass post)
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  2. #2
    Its time. Cassandra's Avatar
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    Personally, I'd consider moving out if at all possible - but that's me. I can't stand to have my every move controlled like that, nor to live in the kind of toxic environment where my self-esteem is under attack every day.

    You're probably going to have to choose - either get your own life and have the bond between you and your mother be completely damaged with her furious at you for daring to do so or live by her rules your entire life.

    While I don't know your mother and could very well be wrong, the way you describe her sounds like someone with severe control issues, potentially to the point where she sees family and friends as an extension of herself - property/objects, that reflects either well or poorly on her. Her past may have indicators as to why she became this way.

    It doesn't mean she's not your mother or that you don't love her, but it in effect becomes like dealing with an emotionally stunted person who has the emotional reactivity of a toddler - temper tantrums and all. If you're the youngest one at home, or an only child, with you being on the cusp of adulthood, this may be aggravated even more. Most parents have trouble letting go of their kids, and to accept that after years of looking out for them (and telling them what to do, for that reason), their kids are now capable of that themselves and no longer *need* to obey their parents for their own safety (though advice and counsel were always welcome back when, for me).

    Either way, that kind of emotional abuse that she is throwing out - if that is a regular thing, it will eat at you and your self-esteem. It will ruin your day - and if you let it, your life. So get out, if you can.
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  3. #3
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    That's verbal abuse, if you plan on staying around you need to find a way to ignore it and not care or let it affect you. Honestly she blew things way out of proportion and her judgemental side is lacking any sense what so ever...in nice terms she is a moron when she ends up with something she doesn't agree with. Think of a small child throwing a temper tantrum in the store. She never grew up passed that in that realm. You also have to not try to understand anything she says, been there done that with my ex. It will spin you in circles as they don't make sense what so ever.
    Im out, its been fun

  4. #4
    Senior Member Jaguar's Avatar
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    Out of curiosity, who is bankrolling all of the activities in your post? (College tuition, tattoos, cost of creating art.)
    We are living in an SNL sketch gone horribly wrong.


  5. #5
    You have a choice! 21%'s Avatar
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    Yes, I second moving out and living on your own, by your own rules. I know what your mom said was very hurtful, and I'm very sorry you're going through this. Remember that the things she said are not true.
    4w5 sp/sx EII
    Fear less, love more, be the change you want to see in the world.

  6. #6
    Member + patch's Avatar
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    You should move out. You're the right age, and things will get worse with her,believe me.
    That which does not kill me, improves my looks. - Michael Jackson

  7. #7
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    ::bear hug:: It's ok. You are going to be ok.

    Copy that. Paste it. Believe it. Right now may be the most difficult part of your life, but it's worth it. This sounds so much like my mom right before I got kicked out that it's ridiculous. She even used to choose my clothes and haircuts. But she would tell everyone she let me choose because she gave me options (usually just 2). When I came out as trans, she made it all about her. When she finally kicked me out, I had no job (she had never let me get one) and had no idea where to go. My friends looked out for me. Took me in, taught me all the things I needed to be self-sufficient. My mom thought kicking me out would force me to realize how much I relied on her and I'd come back more obedient. It just made me feel unloved. She even disowned me, and I'm still not sure if I'll ever be in her will or not. (I'm her only child.)

    Fast-forward to 12 years later:

    She visits me as often as her schedule allows, we talk on the phone, and give each other presents. She seems to have forgiven me for being trans, and doesn't bring it up. When I need help, she helps me, financially, emotionally, or whatever. She doesn't try to control me, but she does that passive aggressive sigh when she dissaproves. (I can deal with that.) She's even callef me by my masuline name twice or so.

    When you move out, things will get better. Not immediately. Expect a temper tantrum at first. Lots of guilt trips. Don't believe them. Not ever. But slowly, as she starts getting used to you being an adult, things will get better. I know a lot of people who used to be in similar situations. (Many of us INFPs or ISFPs.) Those of us who need to make others happy take it the hardest. But you can get through it. If you don't have friends that would help you now, make that a priority. Whether you're moving or not, you need a support system that can help you in real time when things get rough. (Car rides, hugs, helping you move, that kinda stuff.) Don't worry about that being selfish. You'll find a way to be a friend back. After all, wouldn't you do the same for someone else?

    Good luck! Whether you're staying with your mom or moving, don't let yourself believe her control tactics. Doing things that affect you for the rest of your life is between you and your future self. Doing what you need to be happy is simply self care, especially for INFPs. Parents don't get to own us forever. But they can be good friends again, once they learn that.
    MBTI - INFP
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  8. #8
    Member Lsjnzy13's Avatar
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    Sounds a lot like my ESFJ mother... except a lot worse. She sounds like an unhealthy ESTJ.

    Is it possible for you guys to sit down and maybe just share how each of you see this subject? The way I deal with my ESFJ mum is that I would first make peace with her, lighten the mood with maybe food or jokes, then have a talk and express your views..

    If you think your mum would get mad, try doing it in a public place like a restaurant, that way at least she would keep her temper under control. Then you can talk with her about what you think, and make sure that you also let her to express herself as well. Maybe try talking about things from her point of view, so that she can relate to what you're saying. Try saying things like "I understand why you may see [insert name here] as pointless..." or "I know you just want the best for me by [insert action here]..."

    Hope I helped! I know how mums can get sometimes

  9. #9
    Sugar Hiccup OrangeAppled's Avatar
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    Chances out, you cannot move out or you'd be gone. Chances are, you still have quite a bit of financial (and probably other kinds) of dependency on your mom, which is pretty normal at 18 and not any indicator of your character. So right now, you have to just keep peace the best you can, which does not mean going along with everything she dictates.

    You also cannot control her or change her. All you can do is control yourself. When we act/speak differently, then people often begin to respond differently to us. That change is of their own doing though. It is usually best to set boundaries by stating our feelings simply and noting what we find acceptable or not, avoiding the blaming "you" statements. If she calls you names, then you might say something like, "It hurts me to be called names. I also don't think it is constructive. I don't want to have a conversation like this." Be as respectful and calm as possible, but don't deny your own feelings. Perhaps set a time to talk when things have calmed down.

    It also helps to remember where someone else is coming from...your mom is probably not a bad person who wants to control you just because she likes control. Underneath that, she probably is coming from a place of normal parental worry, and control is a way of "protecting" her child from what she may see as bad, long-term decisions. When you understand that fear and pain is often where reactions and treatment like this come from, then you often deal with them more compassionately instead of defensively. You can't ask people to understand you and tolerate you if you are not willing to offer them the same. There is a difference between going along with someone out of fear or wanting to please and actually understanding and appreciating their perspective, even if you decide to not agree and to make your own decision.

    These are good things to learn now, because people are rarely "toxic". That is an ugly term that has become overused. Dynamics are toxic, which means it takes two to tango. If you don't learn better communication skills now, then you will probably have similar problems in life with other people. You may even be drawn to people like your mom as a subconscious way to resolve that relationship dynamic. You may feel like the oppressed, passive party here, but you are still a part of the dynamic.

    I know an ESTJ who drove her ESTP daughter away for some time because of spewing an abusive overreaction to a bad decision that many teenagers make. From an outside view, she did not really see her daughter so negatively. It was just some inferior feeling explosion. Of course, this can be very damaging, but such people are feeling really overwhelmed by negative emotions and desperately trying to regain control. Oftentimes, this is actually coming from a strong emotion which values their child. That doesn't excuse it nor should it ever be seen as a healthy way to express caring, but there is not a genuine belief that their kid is "bad".

    I'd also explore why you are a people-pleaser....I don't think this is a specific "INFP thing" at all, actually. It seems a common issue for many women, who are raised as girls to be compliant, accommodating, etc. This people-pleasing may actually be backfiring with your mom. She sees someone who is making decisions based on other people's feelings, not your own reasoning, which may imply to her you don't have any moral compass of your own. This is why respectfully setting boundaries with her (not secretly rebelling and playing victim) may build her confidence in you, which may help her ease up on the controlling tendencies. Like I said, you can only control yourself and have patience as someone else begins to respond differently. At the very least, this is something to try until you can establish independence.

    Hope some of that helps.
    Often a star was waiting for you to notice it. A wave rolled toward you out of the distant past, or as you walked under an open window, a violin yielded itself to your hearing. All this was mission. But could you accomplish it? (Rilke)

    INFP | 4w5 sp/sx | RLUEI - Primary Inquisitive | Tritype is tripe

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