Tag Archives: psychology

Being INFP: Finally Found

Why am I doing this to myself? Why do I have to move around, unlike most people who seek stability, when there were chances to settle down? What frame of mind that makes me choose this life path? Those questions have been buggering me for a long time. Last year, when I dug deep into Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), it has become clearer to me as an INFP.

The self-revelation exploded while I was at Sigor Rós concert in Detroit. That strange moment gave me the senses of clarity, purpose, and relieve. I could be able to get INFP personality traits to answer those questions about ‘how’ my brain works.

INFP is one of 16 personality types widely used to indicate psychological preferences. It stands for Introvert, iNtuition, Feeling, Perception. The meanings of each character are not the same as dictionary definitions. In the nutshell: INFPs are idealists driven by own core values and desire to exercise their creativity. No wonder why I’ve got a job as a multimedia producer for an international organisation that promotes ending poverty.

What I find it makes sense that how I often make such dramatic choices around arts. I could trace this alignment as far back as at least in the teen when I had the very first decision to make about going forward in high school. I might have to recall those educational paths in another time for a full story.

Then about sticking to my core values. This is what the clarity of my purpose about. There’s a fantasy world I want to make it possible. And I think I’m on that direction because it’s also been how I make choose life path. Oh boy, big goals ahead.

On the other hand, this MBTI tool is spot on about some issues INFPs need for self-improvement. I actually looking to work on those, especially I want to break those barriers to get to those ambitions.

Now, know-yourself bit is almost done. There are still hard bits to go on. Life!!!

 

The First Week in and Beyond

Dawn at Rayong Refinery
Sunrise at an oil refinery in Rayong through a back seat of my parents' car

I spent most of my first week back in Thailand with my mom and stay in Rayong where she lived for three days. On the final day, we went to the local district health clinic to have her blood checked. While we were waiting in the queue, I sat down and let my thoughts sink in and contemplated what I had learned in the past seven days in my home country.

We got to four Thai temples for different purposes: to wait for mom while she was having physiotherapy, to see an astrologer, to get a Thai massage and, finally, to make a merit as advocated by the astrologer. That was a triple dose of my religious journey in the decade.

It reminded me of the conversation with tweeter friends of mine: Tony, Jenny, Rai and Frances at a Yum Cha lunch before I left Sydney. We talked about some aspects of reincarnation and I told them I didn’t know what to believe anymore even though I had been raised as a Buddhist, however, I believed that religions and psychotherapy were designed to make sense of our lives.

The question I asked myself about a week back in Thailand became a bigger quest of soul searching—what I had learned about life in the past nine years living in the isolated continent, focusing the last three years that I started to make changes in my life: fighting depression, visiting Thailand, studying a Master degree and so on. Moreover, how I would optimise those lessons in the next chapter in my life.

First of all, I used to point my finger at the dramatic childhood that shaped my today. The depression and anxiety in I suffered while residing in Australia was a product of myself created from the past echoing the present then. It was not easy to be able to see that. Time to let go of it or got stuck with your own misery.

Secondly, when I looked at my mom, I saw a lot of me in her and could not help thinking that if I was sometime that unbearably passive. In fact, I had a despicable feeling for her for not being able to be an assertive role model. But how could you expect someone to teach you something they did not know how to and blame him or her for not doing so. Besides, as I grew up as an adult, I could now be assertive without being an aggressive person. And that was a credit to her because I also got her kind heart (which I did not realise it until the moment I wrote this paragraph). And she should have been applauded more for that.

And lastly, my mom kept telling me to make more and more merits because you would never know those good karmas would return you some favours. For her case, she did not have to wait for the next life when someone, whom she helped a long time ago, offered my parents some relief of home and work when they were about to hit the ground. They have been struggling for years and I felt guilty that I could not be much help. I have been back in Thailand now, might be able to do more merits and could start with my family.

After she finished with her blood test, we had breakfast and they dropped me off at bus stop to Bangkok. When I arrived in the city of Bangkok, it felt I now could look into the future. You definitely could not change what had happened but you could understand the relationship of the environment you grew up with. I just wanted to make sense of it so that I could be able to move on.

The Lemon Association

Ass Sew See Asian

Imagine you are holding a lemon in your hand, you can see its bright yellow colour and feel its shiny, holey skin. Then you cut it in half and it bursts with juice. Finally, you pick one half and squeeze it. The fluid comes out of its flesh and the citric scent is extracted from its rind. While I am writing about this lemon, my mouth starts to water.

That was the exercise I had in a psychology session last week about how our experiences associated with our behaviours.

We always have a voice to stop or encourage us to take actions of something. Either an angel or a devil, it is the product of our minds. And it is so powerful that could become an enticement or an obstruction to our goals.

To me, making film is about making understanding to predominately improve myself and hopefully to make an impact to others. And it is more about the process that the result. And I am in the process of getting over those fears in my mind, which have been blocking my path to the destination.

This is where the EXiST campaign comes in place. I want to overcome the fears I have in terms of getting out there and realising the project. The most vicious product of my mind that stands between the human connection and I is the association of the threats I experienced in my childhood with how I perceive the world.

My own big brother who, today, would, be diagnosed as Narcissistic Personality Disorder abused me psychologically, sometimes, physically. And one of his best friends secretly had a sexual relationship with me. Living as victim of your own family had shaped perspective even though I managed to stand up for myself and moved on after the years of adolescence. I fought back against my brother and ended that casual affair I felt I was being taken advantage of.

My life turned upside down from a shy and reserved boy that was a target of bullying to energetic head of the cheerleaders in high school sport day that lived a double life with cool kids outside school and sneaked out at night for clubbing. Then I surprised everyone with the result that I got into one of the best universities in communication study in Thailand. I was very proud of the transition and the direction I paved it myself. However, I did not realise there was a sleeper deep down there.

That experience of being targeted by people around you was suppressed until I moved to Sydney. The first years of living in an estranging culture was a rough period. I was not able to create works because I could not use my writing skills and my visual expression was not rediscovered until later and it needed, still does, to be developed. The sense of worthlessness gradually grew on me as I tried to make a living in the overly expensive metro with the job I hated in hospitality.

At that point, the sleeper had been woken up and dominated my view that the world was not to be trusted. They would humiliate me like my brother had assaulted me, exploit me like his friend had molested me, and most of all, desert me like my parents had overlooked me. In the recent years, I blamed that on the people I loved and on myself like I had taken that on those people in my earlier life. It went down in the whirlpool of depression, anxiety, denial, irritation and recreational activities.

And that is the homework from the session—to identify those fears that stop me from making an attempt to promote the project and make it exist. It is a good exercise. It is not very easy to bare your soul to world but every time when the project gets a supporter, it is not just one little step closer to make the film EXiST for a good cause but it also makes me believe that those humiliation, exploitation and desertion are just the association of my mind produced from scraps of the past.

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