So speaking of chosen family, what do you do if you donít have one?

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Breakthrough

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Re: So speaking of chosen family, what do you do if you donít have one?
« Reply #20 on: March 21, 2021, 05:47:48 PM »

It's taken 2 years to get to this point and I'm not done.  I still harbor jealousy within my family and feel bitterness.  I make mistakes and sometimes overshare.  I still allow myself to feel bad when PD people behave badly towards me.  I'm learning that part of my problem is that I still haven't learned how to talk to treat myself kindly and fairly.

But today I have a special thing, that I bought at a special sale, because a special friend, thought to tell me about it.  That's a win in my book. And worth the effort and wait.

Thanks, I relate to a lot of what you said, I feel like my friendships since we moved here are more to fill space and I have lost or other solitary things I like doing, and groups online I would rather be in, with shared interests, that are more fulfilling.

I used to have jealousy within my family, I still do, but am working on it.  My BPD sister is very good at triangulating and splitting and needs to have people on her side.  She gets angry at anyone that takes a different side than hers.  I have had feelings of being left out for many years in my own family, but I realize now itís partly my own doing because I want and need time to myself.    My sister has no boundaries and tramples mine when I am trying to work, disturbing my peace.  Though itís hard to come to this realization, it is much easier to have no contact even though it isolates me from my other family.  My husband and I have a pretty strong relationship, but I canít have these types of conversations with him, heís not an emotionally open person, even with me.  That was hard for me for a really long time.  I missed having meaningful conversations.  I still do, but I also feel like I have some of these convos online now.  I know I need to work on irl relationships, but I also feel like just doing my own things has been a blessing this year with no pressure to keep socializing.  I feel I do draw the wrong types to me who just use me as a counsellor, but then I just do my best to limit my contact there and will look elsewhere for true friends.

@Call Me Cordelia, I used to find community at church, but itís hard being the only working mom and I found our church we came to here judgey and cliquey, which was not pleasant to be around.  I honestly wish we had more options, but we donít.  For now I am going to try and make things work with the people that are here, having a few new people around makes me hopeful, but I also donít want to be in a bunch of one sided friendships like before, so I am going to be more cautious.  I was also in a rough place with multiple miscarriages and then a child with colic, we didnít sleep for 3 years, so that time, when we could have may be made more friends, it wasnít really a priority, I was just trying to stay alive and keep my children alive! 

One thing I have read about introverts, is we do best with regularly social events.  I agree, if there was a great womanís Bible study to attend I would do it.  As it was, we just went to the morning part and for the kids programs, and then left, which we were criticized for, but after trying for years to make that church work, I was just done. 

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Breakthrough

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Re: So speaking of chosen family, what do you do if you donít have one?
« Reply #21 on: March 21, 2021, 06:01:40 PM »
Hello INFJ friends, fellow INFJ here! Thank you all for sharing your experiences here. I feel less misfitty than usual today.

I spent most of my life being the bigger person and family diplomat. Heavy emphasis on mat cause I was also a doormat. Always if I asked for anything, I was demanding. There was a clear sense that if I didn't do what they want, I would be punished, and as I've gained boundaries, I have discovered that this is absolutely true.

Just as I over gave to  my family,  I did to friends as well. Had a lot of friends leave when I wasn't useful anymore. Had really close best friends never speak to me again after I set a minimal and incredibly reasonable boundary. Only two friendships have survived the test of time, and they aren't the ones I would have expected and they both have more friends than I do and are thoughtful friends but less invested than I am. Or at least it feels that way. I'm always a little worried people secretly hate me because I have had friends tell me they secretly hated me as they went out the door. I'm picky about friends and find it hard to connect with new people. I want a deep relationship, but the beginning of relationships can't be that way. I hate how superficial and draining they can be while I wait to see if they can be deep relationships at all. And most of the time they can't.

I definitely have C-PTSD, and it is odd how it somehow intermingles with my INFJ personality. I can't always tell where one ends and the other begins. This is partly due to the fact that the C-PTSD has been with me for as long as I can remember and feels like an integral part of myself.

Yes, I can relate their as well.  I had to tell my husband to put stronger boundaries in place, as we were getting calls for just help from one family, and never calls to socialize. 

I think in some ways, I have just become more standoffish with some people.  When I was just exhausted with small kids that werenít sleeping and a hectic and demanding job, we were still helping others and getting no help.  Example, my BPD sister came to meet us when I was at a conference close to her home, she was vacationing with her kids and I was trying to stay awake for 10 hours of lectures while meeting my husband during the few breaks to nurse my 3 mo old child.  My sister had the gall to ask me to babysit her kids so she could go on a date with her husband.  I was a bit speechless at first and then the anger bubbled a bit, and I said ďso you expect me, who is here for a busy conference and havenít slept in months to babysit your kids?  Shouldnít you be offering to babysit mine?Ē  She realized she was being unreasonable then (only because it was also said in front of her husband).  Ugh, the amount of money I have spent going to visit and care for my nephews (they were a 6 hour plane ride away), never was appreciated, and never ever, by any of my siblings reciprocated as I had my kids last. 

Boundaries have been freeing for me, if people leave, well, they werenít worth the time I spent on them in the first place.  It is still hard, because I was made to feel alone and like a loser by one person at church in particular, but I am just too old for that mean girl high school garbage.  I like who I am, I know I am a caring person and though being an INFJ makes me feel like and alien at times (also an empath and an HSP), I feel like now, may be I am catching up on lost time.  Growing up in the middle of 5 kids, I didnít have time to honor my own nature.  I had to do what the family was doing and go where they were going.  I could never just be.  Sometimes when my mom had the whole church over I would retreat to read in my bedroom.  I guess I feel like I should be more social, I should have more connections, because this is normal, but I donít.  I guess I must learn to be okay with my normal.  I feel at peace with it now, but when the world opens up again, I am not sure I will still feel that way.  I hope so.

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Call Me Cordelia

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Re: So speaking of chosen family, what do you do if you donít have one?
« Reply #22 on: March 21, 2021, 10:22:20 PM »
Breakthrough, Iím really sorry you had been through the miscarriages and lack of sleep. Iíve miscarried twice and it is a pain that isnít much acknowledged in society. It is a real loss! It makes perfect sense to be in survival mode during that time. Iím also sorry you went through it without much support from your church. Thatís such a shame when the church fails to take care of each other. I wish I could have brought you dinner or held down the fort while you took a nap!

It is sometimes hard for SAHMs to make space for people with a different schedule, but itís not impossible. Iím glad you brought it up, because honestly I could be doing a better job being a friend to a working mom Iím close with.

Your approach to your church community seems very balanced and realistic to me. I pray that more opportunities for connection open up to you.

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Breakthrough

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Re: So speaking of chosen family, what do you do if you donít have one?
« Reply #23 on: March 24, 2021, 12:19:40 AM »
Breakthrough, Iím really sorry you had been through the miscarriages and lack of sleep. Iíve miscarried twice and it is a pain that isnít much acknowledged in society. It is a real loss! It makes perfect sense to be in survival mode during that time. Iím also sorry you went through it without much support from your church. Thatís such a shame when the church fails to take care of each other. I wish I could have brought you dinner or held down the fort while you took a nap!

It is sometimes hard for SAHMs to make space for people with a different schedule, but itís not impossible. Iím glad you brought it up, because honestly I could be doing a better job being a friend to a working mom Iím close with.

Your approach to your church community seems very balanced and realistic to me. I pray that more opportunities for connection open up to you.

Thanks!  I just was thinking your name refers to Anne of Green Gables, and I think she was an INFJ!  I think itís how our church is, our head pastor recently left and then posted something on his Facebook about how the money given to church is just fuelled back into programs for the church members, rather than witnessing in the community.  I mean, heís not exactly wrong.  Our associate Pastor is female, and I like her, but I also feel like she tries to guilt me into doing certain things, as sheís not very organized, so when we volunteer to help, we end up having to figure out a bunch of things for her last minute.  I find that really stressful, I prefer notice and to have things more organized, especially for the kids.  We have pulled back from volunteering as a result.  I do think the church will get to open back up in the next few months but the break from church has been nice for us.  Itís hard when my work life is already so busy and then church attendance feels like a burden and stressor rather than a joy.   We have new head pastor that has a young family, I hope it will be a good new start for this very set in itís ways church.  I honestly just wish there was one family we clicked with.  Our kids and the associate pastors kids get along well, which is nice, but she is very busy with church.  It is harder to get together because if my work schedule, but I am also gun shy with asking people to socialize at times too.  I hope when the kids are a bit older, it will be easier, I can find a female buddy to go for walks with or a few different friends to do that with.  Right now, I am enjoying my time with them.  I just wish I had created more community for them.  They are extremely sweet kids, today my 8 year old had me teach her to make clothes for her 6 year old sisterís favourite stuffy, because my 6 year old wanted a while wardrobe of clothing for her stuffy.  Itís really sweet seeing how much they appreciate each other and want to help each other.

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Call Me Cordelia

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Re: So speaking of chosen family, what do you do if you donít have one?
« Reply #24 on: March 24, 2021, 10:48:56 AM »
That is super sweet!!! :cloud9: Itís really special when siblings are loving to each other like that. Itís a sign youíre creating a healthy family. And taking the time to do sewing projects when your life really is that full... :applause:

It is a weird time for everybody right now re: community. I agree though that having just one family that meshes well with yours is a huge game-changer! We had that one family, and then a flood of friends-of-a-friend came into our lives to become our close friends as well. I think thatís a common experience.

And yep, Anne Shirley! Iíve loved her since childhood. She came from a background of abuse and neglect, stayed a beautiful person, and created a beautiful life.

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Breakthrough

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Re: So speaking of chosen family, what do you do if you donít have one?
« Reply #25 on: March 25, 2021, 04:12:01 AM »
I love Anne Shirley too, and all the books.  They were read many times by me as I grew up, I agree, drawn to her story of abuse and then creating a wonderful life and having a family that loved her so. 

As for now, my community is mostly online and I am fortunate to be in many groups of moms in my profession.  I just wish I had a few to hang out with in real life too.  Eventually, when the kids get older and need me less.  For now, focusing on my kids and husband, and making sure I do a good job at work are my priorities.  My life does already feel full there.  My momís groups help me fill in some gaps, and hopefully I will form other relationships when I have more time. 

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Dandelion

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Re: So speaking of chosen family, what do you do if you donít have one?
« Reply #26 on: April 29, 2021, 06:17:44 PM »
To Breakthrough and all the other posters, such a timely thread for me to read, and a lot of my experience too ..... down to the INFJ, HSP aspect too.  I havenít much to add to what others have said, and in fact am too exhausted to share today, but I appreciate being able to read and reflect upon this.
« Last Edit: April 29, 2021, 06:25:49 PM by Dandelion »

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Dandelion

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Re: So speaking of chosen family, what do you do if you donít have one?
« Reply #27 on: April 30, 2021, 08:11:06 AM »
I did see this quote on my Quora INFJ feed, there are sometimes some great pictures too.

ďYou canít force a connection. We meet the right people at the right time under the right circumstances through natural vibrationsĒ.

Ahhhh ... our natural vibration ... I like that

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Dandelion

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Re: So speaking of chosen family, what do you do if you donít have one?
« Reply #28 on: April 30, 2021, 08:25:23 AM »
Hereís another one.  Itís from a Samaritans card I came across outside an old church. Simple but powerfully self-compassionate, respectful and accepting I think

BE
YOUR
SELF
Whoever you are,
however you feel, whatever
lifeís done to you.



« Last Edit: April 30, 2021, 09:16:58 AM by Dandelion »

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Pinkos

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Re: So speaking of chosen family, what do you do if you donít have one?
« Reply #29 on: May 02, 2021, 03:32:50 AM »
I share in a lot of the same predicaments and reading everyoneís comments makes me feel less alone. It also makes me sad to feel clueless about social dynamics.

It seems that I am unable to be easy, breezy about friendships like I see most people doing. I look at those friendships as just ďweíre in the same space but weíre sort of two ships passing by.Ē Sometimes it seems like no one listens and theyíre just talking at each other. From my observations a lot of friendships are superficial or thereís a self-centered/door mat dynamic. If itís a group of women, it feels like each has a role and thereís a Queen Bee that everyone caters to. Or the friendships are centered around men: going to bars/clubs to find men, complaining about men/crappy relationships etc.

Then there are those friendships that only exist cause the ppl in them have known each other since high school/college and no one wants to find new friends and theyíre all kinda stuck in the same high school/college social mentality.

Speaking of which, I agree with the idea that some ppl donít put forth the effort to initiate/make new friends cause they already have friends/close family members. And I donít like engaging with ppl like this because I inevitably end up doing all the initiating/accommodating and feeling resentful (like someone else said above). Thereís a very unhealthy imbalance that develops.

I always thought I needed/wanted deeper friendships but Iím starting to wonder if this isnít too high a bar to start with. And Iím not so sure that this wasnít a warped co-dependent need that Iím shedding more and more. Perhaps itís enough to just enjoy each otherís company - to have mutual liking and respect and reciprocity.

Then I wonder if I come off too intense and overly analytical and whether that scares people away? And I donít know how or IF I should change that about myself? Because if I have to change myself to be friends with someone, is it even worth it? Isnít THAT fawning/co-dependency? Anyway, I tried to be easy breezy and it doesnít work - I feel phony and drained. I can only be myself! And that has to be enough! Of course I want to change my caretaking/codependency/compliant patterns - and I work on those all the time! Thatís draining too! I want to change the things that make me unhappy and that donít serve me! Sure. But Iím not sure Iím ready to change my sincerity, my analytical tendencies, my attentiveness, my excitability, etc. Cause Iím not sure I dislike those things about myself. I want to find people who have similar values and a similar temperament. I have to believe those people are out there. People who will get me and appreciate me. Iím not ready to annihilate myself again to make others comfortable. Iíve done so much of that already. Iím tired. At some point I have to decide Iím good enough as I am. Take the whole package or leave me be!

I was reading ďA Woman DestroyedĒ by Simone de Beauvoir (which I donít recommend doing unless youíre in a good place emotionally). And this exchange really stood out to me as something I want so badly in friendships:

ďObviously. Since you live very much for others, you also live a great deal through them,Ē she said. ďBut thatís what love and friendship is - a kind of symbiosis.Ē

ďBut for someone who doesnít want the symbiosis, am I a bore?Ē

ďWhen you like them and they donít like you, you bore people. It depends on situation, not on character.Ē

I begged her to make an effort and to tell me what kind of a person she saw me as - what she thought of me. She smiled. ďIn fact I donít see you at all; you are my friend: and thatís that.Ē

She maintained that when there is nothing at stake one either likes being with people or one does not like being with them; but one does not see them as being this or that. She likes being with me, thatís all.