As I pass my mid-thirties, I’ve reflected on the years of life I have under my belt. There are many things I am… and equally as many which I am not. I’m a survivor of sexual assault, emotional and physical abuse, and depression. I consider myself a “survivor” of depression, because after my breakdown at age 22, I knew I was going to fight. Even if it requires a mild dosage of anti-depressants, I have survived and developed very strong beliefs regarding depression and those who suffer from it. It’s debilitating and can be utterly frightening, however, the knowledge of what it is and how it affects me is what makes me a survivor. I recognize my “ups & downs” and I’m extremely open with others about depression and how it has affected my life since childhood. I am not ashamed of it.
In 2001, I started blogging to provide myself with an outlet where I could anonymously discuss the traumatic events of my life and more. It has since grown and, while I rarely dig up those memories, it has given me a “home” for my thoughts and fears. The things I cannot share aloud. My life has taken me from the Midwest to the East coast and then to the West. I’ve been a Marine wife during a time of war, and although my marriage did not last, I wouldn’t trade those years for anything.
I have found that while I have been an ISFJ for years, I am now showing characteristics of an INFP as well. I feel that I settle quite well into a little bit of both.
ISFJ: (Introverted Sensing Feeling Judging) The ISFJ feels a strong sense of responsibility and duty. They take their responsibilities very seriously, and can be counted on to follow through. For this reason, people naturally tend to rely on them. The ISFJ has a difficult time saying “no” when asked to do something, and may become over-burdened. In such cases, the ISFJ does not usually express their difficulties to others, because they intensely dislike conflict, and because they tend to place other people’s needs over their own. The ISFJ needs to learn to identify, value, and express their own needs, if they wish to avoid becoming over-worked and taken for granted.
ISFJs need positive feedback from others. In the absence of positive feedback, or in the face of criticism, the ISFJ gets discouraged, and may even become depressed. When down on themselves or under great stress, the ISFJ begins to imagine all of the things that might go critically wrong in their life. They have strong feelings of inadequacy, and become convinced that “everything is all wrong”, or “I can’t do anything right”.
ISFP: (Introverted Sensing Feeling Perceiving) ISFPs are extremely perceptive and aware of others. They constantly gather specific information about people, and seek to discover what it means. They are usually penetratingly accurate in their perceptions of others. ISFPs are warm and sympathetic. They genuinely care about people, and are strongly service-oriented in their desire to please. They have an unusually deep well of caring for those who are close to them, and are likely to show their love through actions, rather than words.
ISFPs have no desire to lead or control others, just as they have no desire to be led or controlled by others. They need space and time alone to evaluate the circumstances of their life against their value system, and are likely to respect other people’s needs for the same. The ISFP is likely to not give themself enough credit for the things which they do extremely well. Their strong value systems can lead them to be intensely perfectionist, and cause them to judge themselves with unnecessary harshness.
The ISFP has many special gifts for the world, especially in the areas of creating artistic sensation, and selflessly serving others. Life is not likely to be extremely easy for the ISFP, because they take life so seriously, but they have the tools to make their lives and the lives of those close to them richly rewarding experiences.