Growing up we had a pretty simple family ritual. We came home, cooked dinner together, ate, and then watched television. On Sundays we went to church and occasionally we drove across the United States for a family wedding or when someone was sick. That was it. We went out once a year on Chinese for my grandfather’s birthday and that was it. Family life was functional and we all did our own things. I have long said I grew up in a collection of individuals rather than as a family.
When I married Jordon, he is a part of a family and our friends were all parts of family and that is a much different dynamic than I ever grew up with. It’s great being on the receiving end of that kind of family. Jordon will plan vacations, evenings out, and things like birthdays and Christmas. He does a good job of doing stuff with the boys and I just have to tag along and that is what I have done.
I have been married for 15 years to Jordon and have been a mother for 12 years and I have never planned an evening out or an outing for the boys. I do take them to things but that is because Jordon organizes and kind of forces me to go along. Left to my own devices, I would probably do what my parents did. Cook supper and then watch television.
For me, it’s a great life because I get to care about myself and I don’t have to do anything but eventually the world becomes a really, really lonely place because I don’t pay attention to relationships. As a INTP, not caring comes naturally.
As an INTP, your primary mode of living is focused internally, where you deal with things rationally and logically. Your secondary mode is external, where you take things in primarily via your intuition.
The INTP may have a problem with self-aggrandizement and social rebellion, which will interfere with their creative potential. Since their Feeling side is their least developed trait, the INTP may have difficulty giving the warmth and support that is sometimes necessary in intimate relationships. If the INTP doesn’t realize the value of attending to other people’s feelings, he or she may become overly critical and sarcastic with others. If the INTP is not able to find a place for themself which supports the use of their strongest abilities, they may become generally negative and cynical. If the INTP has not developed their sensing side sufficiently, they may become unaware of their environment, and exhibit weakness in performing maintenance-type tasks, such as bill-paying and dressing appropriately.
In other words I am pretty self absorbed and that is my natural state. It may make me pretty low maintenance but it sucks for those close to me. When you add on the depression that never goes away, it takes a toll, especially on Jordon.
WIth everyone else, Jordon can remind me to call, email, or socialize. It’s not that I don’t like people, it is that I just never initiate social things or bother to maintain things with people, even those closest to me. Friends come through Saskatoon all of the time, email me about it and I never get back to them. It drives Jordon crazy. I don’t like Facebook because I realize that I don’t like keeping up with people, despite having long friendships with them. Years ago it came up in counselling over my depression and it has never gotten any better. I would get lists of things to improve my interpersonal relationships with. I would go home, post them on the fridge and not do a single thing on the list. It’s a part of me that I hate.
The other characteristic that I share with my family is when I am in the wrong, I want to be punished for it rather than work through anything. While I know I don’t treat Jordon and the boys well, there is a loud voice inside of me that says that they are better off without me. To make a long story short, that is where I have been the last several months. Jordon and the boys would be better off without me which doesn’t anything to improve things with all of us. I punish myself by taking it out on them.
A couple of days ago I got really angry at Jordon for essentially not doing his own Christmas shopping for his own gifts. He takes care of all of the other gifts but the nerve of himself for not making my only task really easy for myself. I ended up escalating it until I demanded a divorce, contacted mediators, informed Jordon I didn’t love him and decided to move out. I found a place to rent and was going to move out today and spend the rest of my life in isolation.
On top of being introverted and rather selfish, the depression brings a level of delusion to my life and relationships. It keeps me from actually dealing with anything because my reality wins out. I remember telling my parents of the abuse that I went through as a kid and they kept going back to a card I made in grade 2 that talked about being happy and they were the best parents ever. That card trumped everything I was telling them. At other times they would tell me things that “I” told them in a dream which again trumped what I was saying.
I realized that as I get older, I do the same thing to Jordon and the boys and when I am confronted with what is reality, I want to flee rather than deal with it because I guess in the end I think I deserve to be alone.
Friday night after telling Jordon off via text message for no reason I called him to let him know I would need the car. He had stopped by Midtown Mall where he was shopping for a gift for Mark and just calmly had me pick him up. I was still mad and frustrated and was willing to throw away the best relationship I have ever had when he just said, “When you are done acting like your parents, let me know and we can work things out”. It snapped me back from the edge and I realized what I was doing and continue to do. The big decision that I find myself facing day in and day out is do I want the kind of family I walked away from or do I want actual relationships with people and be part of something else?
Of course I want to be a part of family and I do love Jordon and the boys and our friends, it’s that I subconsciously default to, “I need to be punished and live by myself”.
Jordon has an ability to be both forgiving and unimpressed with me. My therapist has said that the only reason we are still married is his ability to hit a reset switch. Yesterday he had every right to help me pack and move me out but instead we drove to the cabin where we had to pick up some things. We stopped by Best Buy because Mark was worried about wrecking his iPod Nano and Jordon found him a case that will do until more Nano cases come out and then spent 4 hours in the car broken up by 10 minutes at the lake.
It’s weird. 15 years of marriage comes down to Jordon’s incredible ability to wait me out and deescalate my depression and delusional state of mind.