Thoughts on accepting the dynamic with Mom.

I have an aversion to letting people become adoptive parents. The main issue is that the parent side seems to like the idea of the dynamic, but not want to put the work needed to create and sustain it. The other thing is that most don’t take into account my needs when interacting with me. I have had way too many experiences with that to keep away from it.

To make matters worse, I have deep rooted biases against women. In fact, I have never identified with women in general. Their “adventures” are about cooking, cleaning, child rearing, among other mundane stuff, and that makes them boring to me. I have found them to be judgmental and they want to change me to their liking. They feel that they can invade my personal space when they don’t have permission to do so. I have found it difficult to find a female that doesn’t make me want to run away.

Because of my biases towards women, I have been hesitant to accepting someone else to fill the role of Mom. I cut ties with my biological mother 4 years ago. That was one of the best decisions that I have made, and one of the hardest in terms of execution and consequences. Outside of the biological family, I have had an adoptive mother from 2005-2012. She was great, not perfect (no one is). When she left for the US to take care of her husband’s health in 2012 I was… affected. She was gone and there was no one to replace her (God wanted it that way, I understand that now). I felt that she was going to be hard to replace because the standard was high. Soon after, I realized that I didn’t want a mother. I have experienced life without a mother, and I have been fine. I believe that I don’t need it.

Since that time, two women have tried: my friend’s wife and Dad’s wife. The first failed because of the faults mentioned at the beginning of the post. The second one seems to be an anomaly.

In the case of my not so new adoptive parents, they have shown that they were serious in adopting me as their child. That’s good. It’s obvious that the main dynamic developed is with Dad. There is no denying that he is more accessible and we have more in common. Mom doesn’t seem to mind that, which is awesome. With Mom, I didn’t really have to do anything to earn her desire to take on the role of adoptive mother. That is weird to me because I don’t understand it.

For me, the main difference between Mom and the other females is not necessarily in who she is, but in how she has handled my interactions with Dad. Because of how similar she is to the female’s that I want to run away from, I have been hesitant to engage with her. I have done it mainly out of respect for Dad’s wishes for me to engage with both of them.

As I have engaged with Mom, I have found certain ethical dilemmas. Being with her hasn’t been as bad as I thought it was going to be. It has shaken my long-standing idea that having a mother should be avoided at all costs. I have seen the value of having parents, both parents, as an adult. I hang out with Mom and I get the thought that I’m going against something that I stand for. I get the feeling that I’m failing myself.

I keep going because I don’t want her to know the battle that goes on inside. I still haven’t taken the time to deal with this properly. I sometimes want to run away and stay in the comfort that keeping all women at bay provided. It’s obvious to me that it’s too late for that. I am hesitant to change my paradigms regarding women and interactions with women. I don’t know how to change it to accommodate the new data. I don’t want to screw up my theoretical foundations and become unnecessarily vulnerable. I don’t think that I’m ready to do this yet, especially with all of the changes that I’m experiencing in my life at this time. I think that this might shake a portion of the foundation of who I am and what I represent. That is scary to me. I might never be fully ready to engage in this process, but I know that I need to resolve the ethical dilemma soon.

Motives

Last Friday, seeing my adoptive father’s back pain and about to drive his car alone with pain medication in his system made me ask if he wanted me to tag along for safety measures. He said no (his loss, I guess). Because I shared with him my desire to not have to endure the social dynamic in my adoptive mother’s car, I wondered about the implications of my actions: I not only wondered how it would be perceived by everyone around me but I also wondered if Dad questioned whether I was truly concerned about him or if I wanted to get away from the torturous social dynamic. Because of this, I took action to prevent possible misunderstandings.

Having my motives, and my stance on the topic of motives, has been very important to me. There is the obvious Christian idea that my motives need to be pure and Christ-like. Yet I think that it’s more important to be honest with your motives, pure or not, because it’s a key part of living an integral life. I believe in not allowing anyone to think that my motives are one thing when they are in fact something else.

For some reason, though, I seem to have two perspectives or impressions with regards to my motives:

  1. they are not pure.
  2. they need to be defended against outside forces’ invalidation.

The first is the most explicitly externalized. I question my motives all the time, but not whether my motives are real or not. I question whether my reactions and the implications of my reactions are aligned with my motives. I question whether my motives are acceptable or not.

The second perspective is one that come out from time to time but I don’t endorse it because it indicates that either I don’t have confidence in the motives behind my actions or that other people feel the right to place motivations behind actions that are not in accord with my actions or my perspective. Other people don’t like either of these ideas. When I find myself in situations where I see the possibility of other people questioning my motives I get on the defensive.

The first perspective exist under the understanding that I am not a saint and there is the potential for evil inside of me, product of the original sin. The second perspective exist as a product of life experiences.

In my high school, a classmate confessed his love for me that wasn’t reciprocated. Everyone wanted me to be with him, but I wanted freedom. I wasn’t the nicest person towards him and played with his emotions. Two months after the confession of love, I ended breaking off the dynamic entirely. I was fed up with what being with the classmate represented, even as a friend. When I was asked why I took such drastic action, I answered honestly. It just happened to be that soon after (months after) it was found out that I had a crush on another person, and everyone (school administration included) thought that I broke the dynamic with the classmate to be with that other person. Totally screw the fact that at the time I broke the dynamic with the classmate the other person was in a relationship with someone else. But that didn’t matter… neither did my word.

This event shaped my perception of other humans. It made me realize that what I think is the truth, especially when it is the truth, doesn’t matter. All that matters is how things are interpreted by the dominant voice, which usually isn’t mine. I learned to not trust anyone with any information about me. I learned that people tag you with motives and explanation behind your actions… and they are bound to be wrong. I learned that other people’s evaluation of your motives are totally questionable and that I should totally invalidate their input. I learned that I can’t change people’s perceptions of me once their minds are set, that I just have to live out the product of it. Thankfully, high school didn’t last forever.

This event shaped my reaction when externalizing my motives. I think that I will be invalidated. I automatically think that my motives need to be defended against evil people.

For a while, though, I had minimized the impact of this incident. This isn’t a proud moment in my life. The social aspect of High School is something that I want to erase from my existence. The problem with this idea is that certain things that happened in high school imprinted in me that I’m an evil person. This was one of them.

I learned today that there is a battle between the impressions that life has imprinted of my motives and what my motives are in real life, what I strive my motives to represent. Maybe it’s time to consider figuring out how to have a healthier self-perception based on what is and not on what other people think it is or have imprinted in me that it is/should be. This process, which started years ago, needs to deal with the skeletons that were mainly dumped in my closet.

 

What I learned in the failed mentorship dynamic.

In the last post, I wrote about an experience I had with an ex-mentee. To be honest, I decided to sensor what I thought because I didn’t want to speak ill about her or put her down in a harsh manner (even though she might never read this post… nor do I want her to). I felt that if I spoke about it I would regret it and be the evil person that I don’t want to stand for. The post was created to let emotions out at the time I was feeling them. This time, I want to write about what I learned.

  1. Being the mentor is not the same as being the mentee.
  2. A mentorship dynamic has to be consensual.
  3. The goals of mentorship has to be clear for the dynamic to be successful.
  4. Being a mentor means taking a stance that might make you uncomfortable at times.
  5. As a mentor, gaining and maintaining trust from your mentee is really important. 
  6. For a mentorship dynamic to be successful in church there needs to be support from church staff.
  7. The mentor has to be connected to God and receive guidance from the Holy Spirit in order to not screw up in the dynamic.
  8. Sometimes, no matter how well you try to be a good mentor, outside forces will screw with what you are trying to do. In those moments, letting go might be the best option.
  9. A mentor will suffer emotions as the mentee does. That should be acknowledged and be worked out in a healthy manner.
  10. Being a mentor is a responsibility that needs to be taken seriously because God takes it seriously.
  11. Being called to be a mentor from God is an indicator that God thinks that you are a spiritual adult ready for that task.
  12. I need to work on my character and my people dealing skills before I participate in another mentorship fail.
  13. The process of mentorship is as important, if not more, as the result.
  14. Mentorship requires a high level of leadership because it is about developing someone else’s potential. This is hard to do if one is not viewed as a leader in the organization where one serves.
  15. Being a mentor is a priviledge that should be appreciated while it last. If one “fails” as a mentor, it shouldn’t just be taken as a fail only but as a privilege to learn how not to mentor next time. 

When the ex-mentee texts to show off an solicit feedback.

Today I got an audio text from an ex-mentee showing off her drum skills, the fact that she was being allowed to play the drums at a service at another church and not at my church. She stated then that she wanted to see what I thought. What I heard in the video and what she texted made several things clear:

  1. She has moved on.
  2. She is sporting a childlike attitude that needs to change in the next few years.
  3. She might value my opinion, she might not. 
  4. She is a young person without experience playing the drums, making an embarrassment of herself in the process.
  5.  I am still hurt because the mentorship dynamic “failed”, and there was nothing to be done to make it better. 

The INTJ perspective of parent-child dynamics when the child is in adulthood.

I have an estranged relationship with my mother since before becoming a legal adult (21 years old). This is a limiting factor in the parent-child dynamics now that I’m in adulthood. The most that happens is lunch with my father after Sunday School (which is sacred to both of us), playing music with him at church, and doing pharmacy related favors for my father. The idea of visiting my parents or being able to hang out with them from time to time is not something that can happen. I have accepted that with my biological parents being their child as an adult will mean something different than for people that have a healthy relationship with their parents.

As has been posted before, God has given me the chance to experience fully and figure out what it means to be the child during the adult phase because of the emerging dynamic with my adoptive parents. Both my experience with my biological and adoptive families have sparked an analysis of the INTJ perspective of parent-child dynamics when the child is in adulthood.

  1. The INTJ will notice the transition between being a minor and being an adult child.
  2. The INTJ will try to figure out rationally what is their role in the dynamic and how it is different than when/if they were minors.
  3. The INTJ will understand that being an adult with their parents implies that they are going to have to chip in when needed and be willing to make certain sacrifices.
  4. The INTJ will have intense emotions when seeing their parents age and loose quality of life.
  5. The INTJ will value the time with the parents as they age, especially if the parents are considerably older than them.
  6. The INTJ will understand and cherish that phone calls, which used to last less than a minute, will now last upwards of 30 minutes because of the new nature of the parent-child dynamic.
  7. The INTJ will treat their parents based on what they earn, not on the tittle they have.
  8. The INTJ will expect for parents to understand that trust still has to be earned and maintained.
  9. The INTJ will be honest in feedback if there is trust build up.
  10. The INTJ will still be affectionate to the parents and keep cherished childlike traditions.

Thoughts that short basketball players have.

I’m not a basketball player by any means. I do love basketball. I am 5’1.5”. This means that when I play basketball I am usually the shortest person on the court. When I play basketball, whether in a game or in practice, I get certain thoughts regarding my circumstance on the basketball court.

  1. Why am I practicing layups if I am never going to be able to attempt a layup in a real game?
  2. On that note, I don’t even know how to do a layup properly. Not that it matters because layups attempted by me will get easily blocked.
  3. Making three throws without jumping is really hard… if you don’t rely on your thigh muscle. 
  4. Making three pointers require not only enough force to get the ball to the rim but enough force so that the ball goes high enough to prevent blocking.
  5. Visibility is always reduced when having the ball on my hand.
  6. Am I really that valuable to the team?
  7. Am I running to run or is my running going to be worth it?
  8. Blocking a shot is a miracle… or an indicator that the other person sucks at shooting the ball and results in the ball hitting my nose.

How an INTJ reacts to bad news.

So this is the way I react to bad news. Might not apply to everyone.

  1. Silence. This is the most common way to react to bad news… which narrows it down from the reaction to almost every other type of situation. This silence, though, comes from not knowing what to say and what attitude to have. We prefer to stay silent and listen. Most people prefer that.
  2. Intense biological response. This can seem weird, but it is true for me. When I really care about someone and I hear bad news, I get a really intense physical reaction that I can’t control. This reaction makes it difficult to concentrate at times.
  3. There are thoughts as to some of the implications of the bad news. In my case, this does tend to have life and death implications because most of the people that I care about are at least 25 years older than me. So, most of the news have to do with illness and a loss of quality of life. Because I am an over thinker, I always think about how life could turn out if the person suffering illness dies. So, even if I don’t think about it deeply, I get really saddened when internalizing bad news.
  4. Wait to be on my own to think things through/writing it down. We need to understand our reactions and think about how we will formally take the news. Writing things down might be the best way to display what we feel. It helps with de-cluttering our minds.
  5. Monitor their status until recovery. This includes texts, phone calls, asking how they are.
  6. If necessary, do what we can to improve quality of life.
  7. Pray for those that are ill and family.

Update on pursuit of a Psychology degree.

Was interviewed. Not accepted. University sold an idea of reconsideration, but didn’t specify that there was no hope for this year. Reconsideration meant applying again next year. That pissed me off. Was told about the opportunity to take courses that could “subtract” up to 9 crs of the degree, but no guarantee of being accepted if I choose to apply again.

This made me feel betrayed by the program. I have a month to decide what to do in the education standpoint, but I also have more pressure to deal with another year of life. I am not sure what to do… yet.

What I learned the last night of the NBA season.

Last night was an eye-opening experience. In analyzing it, and the inner thoughts that came along with watching the last night of the NBA season, I learned some important lessons.

  1. Family screw up can have a mayor effect on you. Last night, I saw the product of my father’s influence in me because he was the one who presented sports to my generation of kids. Yet I also could feel the effect of the influence from my mother and sister, who viewed the love of sports as something to hide from everybody.
  2.  I have a mainly negative relationship with my past. My view of my past self is not healthy. I know that most people are ashamed of parts of their childhood and adolescence, but I am ashamed of my childhood legacy as a whole. My childhood is the manifestation of the clash between family imposition and personal preferences. I don’t like the person that I had to “be”, the compromises that I had to make, to survive my childhood with the minimum amount of conflict. With last night’s game, I felt the conflict between the long-lasting idea that my childhood is something to hide and the secret pride that I have for my love of sports, especially basketball: hiding my passion for sports has always won this conflict and has perpetuated my negative conflict with my childhood self.
  3. I am the best version of myself when I am around sports. Watching the last night of the NBA season, I was able to feel like the kid that loved watching basketball and was able to be as close to in the moment as my INTJ mind was able to muster. I experience the kid-like amazement that I thought that I had lost when watching awesome plays unfold on the TV screen. I realized that I am able to be fully myself when I engage in a sports oriented activity. My true nature comes out: the good and the bad. It is in this activity where I can properly evaluate myself and see what I should keep and what I need to work on (or not). I love what sports makes me feel: alive, myself, whole. I also love a sports-like environment because the interaction doesn’t involve talking (which is awesome for an INTJ).
  4. I shouldn’t be ashamed of everything in my childhood. Over the years, one of the things that suffered the most because of the conflict mentioned above is my love of sports. I had to hide my love for sports. For that reason, I missed reconnecting with this positive aspect of my childhood; with this internally cherished part of my childhood development. Last night made me see that maybe this impression is wrong. Maybe the right way to develop as a human and to go from one phase to the other is to take with you the good and leave behind the bad. NBA, and sports for that matter, were positively influential part of my childhood. Last night made me realize that I need to re-incorporate sports back in my life.
  5. Being an adult doesn’t imply giving up sports. I have this idea that closing chapters in my life means that I can’t revisit the good things of my past in future chapters. Last night, I learned that this idea is more detrimental to my health.
  6. My search for myself and my identity failed to include my love for sports and the game of basketball. Do I need to say more? 
  7. God gave me a love for sports that have endured through the test of time. Or I think that this is how the saying goes. Through all of the negativity that have surrounded me from family and school with regards to my preferences for sports my love for sports and basketball haven’t died. Last night, I witnessed that first hand. It’s not a coincidence that I was exposed to sports. It was the healthiest part of my childhood and God knew how important it would be. So he needed to make sure that it was introduced to my life early, even if indirectly.