Saturday, December 10, 2016

About Me ...... or, Who's Mind is This Anyway?

I am from a small-medium sized town in Georgia called Dalton. After graduating from High School I entered the Army. I seemed to take longer than other people to adjust to the military way of doing things. I can remember doing a billion pushups because I kept asking "why?" In the military you are expected to do things because you are told to do them. I really didn't have a problem with that, I just didn't understand what we were doing and trying to figure it out was slowing me down. Two things happened after that, 1. I got really good at doing pushups. 2. I stopped asking why.

In my youth I was certainly a Myers-Briggs type INTP.  That means that when I came across something new I would start with the Ti function. Ti is Introverted Thinking. So I would try to match things with things I already knew. Kind of like everything I know is on a series of wire frames and this new data would either fit on an existing frame, connect two different frames, or be a new frame . Creating a new frame is the most difficult. All of this new Military knowledge had little to connect with on my existing wire frames. By asking "why" I was able to match parts of the new data with existing frames, thus creating extensions of frames. When I stopped asking "why" all of the new data became new frames. The problem was that these new frames weren't linked. They were just separate pieces, like towns with roads but no roads going into or out of the town.
The second cognitive function in my stack was Extraverted Intuition (Ne). That process looks at what could be done with that new data. It takes a little thing and makes a near infinite flow of what could be. The "whys" keep that flow focused. It allows for some guidance. Some sort of criteria that this new data is meeting or problem that it is solving. That way when new ideas are coming they can be filtered to only those that meet the existing criteria. When I stopped getting all the data my brain went into overload. It was like my Ne just shut down because it was still spitting out ideas for information that was experienced weeks ago.

At this point I was a lost soul. I know that training is supposed to break you down so that they can build you back up, but this was not the kind of break that they were looking for. I can remember acting on Sensation. This is how 65%-75% of the population functions. The issue for an INTP stacked person acting in Sensation is that the S function is only about as developed as a 10 year old.
I survived basic training and entered into job training. I found this to be a more academic setting, and one where I could ask "why" when I absolutely needed to. The damage had been done though. I wasn't the same as I had been. Instead of going back to INTP, I was now thinking more like an INTJ. As it was happening I had no clue what was going on. I was scared. An INTJ looks at something new and uses Introverted Intuition (Ni). Ni wants to know what the best guess of how something works. It takes an almost infinite amount of data and distills it into its basic parts, or most recognizable parts. The second function for an INTJ is Extraverted Thinking (Te). Te looks for ways of using things. The power of an INTJ is solving problems and improvising. Those skills fit in with the Army much better.
There were a few INTJ's in my Army units (only 1.5% of the whole population). Almost all of them had been INTJ's their whole lives. I was a poor copy of what they were. They had much more time to hone and craft their thought processes, while I had only months. For the rest of the time I was in the Army I seemed to be comfortable with this new function stack. It set me apart from most of the other soldiers. I was able to craft strategy better than most others. It even got noticed by Generals after my squad, who were playing the opposing force, were able to take out the rest of our Battalion.

Then I got hurt. It was one of those things that rarely happens, but still happens. The Army decided that I was no longer suited to be in the Army. It was partially true. I was not able to perform the functions of my primary job. I asked to be reassigned to the training command for new soldiers. I knew more than most about computers and communications equipment and wanted to teach what I knew to the ones taking my place. My request was denied. I was medically discharged.

In the military you always know what your goals are: promotion, job placement, and survival. The road to those things is usually pretty clear. Outside of the military it is a whole different situation. There is no path. Things are wide open. I thought that I had marketable skills: computer repair, network design and implementation, microwave communication repair (cell phone towers). As it turns out, no one recognizes military experience as actual job experience. Also, no one takes training as job training. I hit a state of depression. More accurately the depression hit me, HARD. My newly acquired INTJ'ness was working against me (traitor!). It wanted to solve all the problems, but I had no ability to do so. Here is the pitfall of INTJ, with no path clearly marked you will choose no path. You will stand still and endlessly try and determine which path to choose. That is what I did, and let me be honest am still doing. I work a brainless job for low pay. I am trying to get out, but with a family (girlfriend and daughter that live with me, son who lives with his mother) it is hard to just take a leap.

I took a personality test and it showed INTJ. This particular test was at a career center and showed how much of each letter I am. I am 92% to the Introverted side of the Introverted - Extroverted scale. I am 87% Intuitive on the Intuitive - Sensing scale. I am 90% T in the Thinking - Feeling scale. But I am just 51% J on the Judging - Perceiving scale. The 51%J means that 51 times out of 100 I am going to show up to the world in INTJ mode first.
So I took the test 19 more times. 10 results were INTJ, 9 were INTP.

Things I would like to know:

  1. #1 is always: Am I very wrong about everything?
  2. Does personality type change in adolescence until the age of max maturity?
  3. How does PTSD effect MBTI typing?

Things you need to know:

  1. If you leave me a reply, I will answer you.
  2. If you tell me that I am wrong, I will seek understanding.
  3. My primary method of understanding is to argue. So come bearing facts. :)

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