Thursday, November 21, 2013

In Honor of Moana

*Deep breath*


Last week, Mom and I were watching the nightly news. One of the stories was on a house fire that had occurred a few hours earlier. It was like any other house fire story… until the word “autistic” was spoken. That’s when it began to hit one of my sensitive spots.

In the fire, one young man passed away. He was autistic.

He was the son of my cousin. His name is Moana.
I was just a teenager when Moana was born and when he was diagnosed with autism. I didn’t know much about autism back then (and little more now, so I apologize for any missteps here), but I did love him even though I didn’t know how to show it. I never told anyone really, but I enjoyed seeing him at family gatherings.

I admired his mother, Heather; she loved him wonderfully, through Moana’s struggles and her own.

Over the years, I have thought of Heather and Moana every so often. I would mention them in my prayers. I didn’t know how to support them, but I could at least say a prayer.

My family hadn’t seen much of them in the last few years. Life goes on, and I suppose that (I’ll answer for myself), I was less concerned after Heather married and they added to their family a daughter. I continued to say a prayer for them whenever I thought of them, but I'll confess that they had come to my mind less often in the last few years.

Well, there’s nothing I can really do now but to honor Moana with a fond memory of interacting with him.

We were at Aunty’s house for a Christmas visit; Moana was her grandson. I think Moana was about 7 or 8 at the time. Back then, he liked to make noises and walk/ stomp around.

Then Moana stomped on my foot as he passed by. Next, he plopped himself in my lap. Even at that young age, Moana was solidly built. Heather apologized, but I was okay with him and I wasn’t hurt at all. Later on, as I sat on the couch in better safety, Moana plopped down on the couch, right next to me.

I’ve never told anyone before, I probably couldn’t have verbalized it, but I was… deeply touched that Moana would choose to be next to me, in a way. In his way.

And I loved seeing how Heather and Moana connected well with each other.

At this time, all I know to ask for are your prayers for Heather, her family, and Moana’s father, as they go through this time.

Thank you for the memories, Moana; rest in Peace.

Cousin Jennifer

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Analysis, Ramblings, Confessions?

Self-realization is rough sometimes. Having to face one’s shortcomings isn’t pleasant and it’s not meant to be pleasant.

Even for someone like me who does a lot of introspection and wants to grow and knows that the unpleasant moments are usually the best growing moments, it’s rough.

I tend to think of myself as a reasonable person, that I base decisions off of a logical process rather than an emotional process. It’s mainly a matter of being in contrast to how certain people in high school were, how they thought, on emotional processes. I had difficulties understanding their behaviors; they didn’t seem to understand mine.

People, for whatever reason, seem to think that I am a strong person. I suppose it must be true when so many people tell me and treat me so. There are times when I’ve had to be strong for others, and I like being able to be in that position. It seems to come naturally to me in that I don’t know what I do or say and somehow, I seem to comfort them or give them strength. It amazes me. I cannot fathom it.

It sounds weird but I am great at a funeral.

Having to be strong for myself, that is something… less natural? More exhausting?

Anyways, I have figured out that talking about personal relationships (general term) is a trap for me.

On the one hand, I like hearing different viewpoints because my understanding of people is limited and my understanding of myself is, at times, too acute; I often need perspective.

For instance, I couldn’t understand why Peter would keep in touch with me over a distance. I was thinking he just felt obligated to respond, but then it confused me when he sent me a gift or when he would call me. All my other guy friends dropped off; Peter was still around. My friend Jules said that he must care about our friendship, pointing out a detail, and to relax about it. I thought about what she said and I could see it - ah, okay! Peter and I are still good friends to this day even though life has taken us along different paths and we don’t get to talk as much as we might like.

By the way, I analyze everything. Pretty much.

I am always amazed when someone keeps in touch with me. I tend to think that any relationship with me is… highly challenging. I am amazed that I still have (a few) friends - their admission, not mine.

On the other hand, there are only a few people I can talk to freely and, understandably, they will be on my side, even though I’m not looking for someone to be on a side. So I will say something that is going on with me, not looking for feedback but giving them an update, and they will tell me not to do something, to move on, that I’m wonderful and deserve good things. I understand what they’re trying to do and where they’re coming from, but it sort of makes me defensive and not want to say anything anymore. I don’t blame them. It’s my issue. Why do I have this issue?

And it’s a trap for my friends because how are they to know when I want their support or when I am simply updating them?

This goes back to being strong for me. When I was going through that young adult crisis, I really needed someone to stand up for me, even if just for me. I really needed someone to dispel the negative criticisms coming at me. And I had no one. (Ugh, I’m crying about this still, just writing about it). Some might say that they were there for me; I don’t doubt that that’s what they were intending, but all their words were in defense of the other side, which I took to mean that I was in the wrong.

People think that since I am strong, since I am independent, since I am unemotional, that they can keep slinging stones at me and I’ll be okay. I’m mature enough that I’ll know it wasn’t personal. Keep slinging the stones. Jenn can take it.

Yes, I can take a lot. I don’t hate anyone, I won’t hate anyone. That doesn’t make it right to unload undeserved junk on me. It doesn’t mean that I don’t need reconciliation.

It seems like my being weak and vulnerable is… I don’t know. It unsettles people. People don’t know what to do with me. They don’t know what they’re seeing and they don’t want to see it anymore. Who would blame them? I don’t know what I’m going through and I don’t want to see it.

When someone does attempt to be there for me, to take care of me, I become cynical and shut the door. Because I’m not expecting it and I’m not used to it.

So in conclusion, I apologize, my good friends. I am a jerk. I’m a great fair-weather friend, even though I don’t want fair-weather friends, and I want to be a good friend and want you to be a good friend. Still, I know I am challenging and I try not to be, but that doesn’t seem to end well either.

(Still general term) A relationship with me is ill-advised. No, seriously. It’s a challenge.


Hey, I’ve told you before: I am tougher on myself than I am on you. Always. It doesn’t mean that I don’t love myself, it’s just a tough love.

I don’t know what it is to not struggle. Albeit, my struggles tend to be internal ones. I don’t understand why people like to remain in their comfort zones. My comfort zone, if I have one, if I can recognize it, annoys me. I want to knock it down, to push through it, because I know it’s holding me back.


Did I say “in conclusion” already? I did.

…The End.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Am I Lonesome Tonight?


For this week’s theme video on NFGeeks, “loneliness” is the topic [NFGeeks: Theme Thursday: Loneliness]. I am unofficially and most likely an INTP, and will be writing this response from a personal perspective; I don’t know if my answers are typical for the general INTP population.

Being “alone” and being “lonely” are two different things, as Dr. Mike said in his video.

At this time, I am alone for most of my day, on most days, but I am not lonely; I tend to prefer to be alone. I go about my day “alone” as well, even if I have to go somewhere where there are a lot of people or if I have to interact with people, I still think of myself as alone, like an observer, but I don’t think of it as being “lonely.”

In response to Dr. Mike talking about activities and being alone, I am quite different than he is in this respect. I have done a lot of things by myself that people have had a reaction to - I think I’ve mentioned this before. I have eaten alone in a cafeteria, gone to the beach alone, to weddings on my own, and even to a movie by myself. I don’t find seeing a movie by myself to be such a miserable experience, as Dr. Mike mentioned he finds it. Responses to my doing so have been along the lines of “Why didn’t you call me?” and “Why would you do that?” Sidenote: I’ve seen “Jumanji” and “The Passion of the Christ” by myself; they are the two that I can readily recall but there may have been others.

For me, loneliness comes mostly in contrast to feeling connected with another person. Relationships in general, feeling a connection with another person, can be a difficult thing for me. Most of the time I don’t think about it, but it’s when I have felt a strong connection and then the connection was lost that I have felt the loneliness most severely I think. So the loneliness is related to the lost connection - it’s in contrast to the connection that had been there. I don’t feel lonely until I realize someone was there and isn’t anymore.

Otherwise, I have felt lonely when I have been alone in a difficult, distressing situation. Two events come readily to my mind; I will speak about one of them, the more recent one, one that I have mentioned many times on this journal.

The event took place over many months, maybe even a year, and happened about 3 years ago. I was in conflict with a group of young adults (of that time) in the church. I have felt loneliness more acutely since then. I experienced it as being on one side and all of them on the other side. Even now, on occasions in which I run into them, I feel like I am still on one side by myself. I had counted them as my friends and found out in that conflict that I was alone, and therefore the loneliness sank in.

Also, not having someone close to me around to dispel the negative things being thrown at me during that event added to the difficulties I was experiencing.

Regarding a relationship in the dating sense, I have rarely dated and so have rarely been in a relationship. I have met one person I truly want to be with, but I am not with him, and so I feel the loneliness very much. However, I would rather face the loneliness than to try to make him want to be with me, or to seek to fill the loneliness with someone else.

So, am I lonesome tonight? Hmm….

Anyways, “Hi” to the NFGeeks!


Correction: In Don’t People Know There Is More To Parties Than Just Doritos? , I had said that NFGeeks made a theme video and then others made their own video responses. It was not a theme video, but an “Ask Dr. Mike” video that prompted and INTJ and then others to make video responses. The theme video and “Ask Dr. Mike” video are both a product of NFGeeks.


Saturday, November 2, 2013

Don’t People Know There Is More To Parties Than Just Doritos?!


Earlier this year, I posted a couple of entries on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator [MBTI] and that I am most likely an INTP.

During the journey of discovery, I came across a YouTube channel called NFGeeks. I enjoyed it so much and found the videos to be of use, so I joined the Facebook forum. So far, I have enjoyed and appreciated being welcomed in that community.

The NFGeeks forum holds weekly theme videos. One of the NFGeeks videos [INTJ and Social Navigation:How I Made It to the Doritos and Back] prompted a member to post his own video on “INTJs and social interaction” which led to others making their own “social interaction and type” video responses (one has to be a member of the NFGeeks Facebook forum to view most of the videos).

A list of questions were formed, and so I thought I would give my answers.

Oh, and there was a strong Doritos presence in the titles of the videos. I’m looking for the chips and salsa.

* Why is/is not social interaction important to you?
* If you’re invited to a party, how do you feel? How do you feel at the party? [What are the things that you need to make it enjoyable?]
* How do [your type]s act around their friends as opposed to larger groups of acquaintances or strangers?
* What do you think about small talk? It is easy/difficult? How do you move past it?
* How do you use MBTI to help you communicate with other types?
* Are there any stark differences between perceptions of [your type] and the way in which you view your personality?

Why is/is not social interaction important to me?

Social interaction is important to me in that it is necessary in order to function in the world – very few individuals can really do the hermit thing successfully and be fully satisfied (though I sometimes daydream about it).

Mainly, interaction is important to me because I realize that in most ways, it isn’t important to me, and so I make it a priority to a certain extent – the way in which it is most important to me is to be able to show the people I care about how much I value them by interacting with them.

I can explain it best by the “5 Love Languages” method. “Quality Time” is probably my main love language. I used to think it wasn’t because it clashes at times with my introverted nature in that quantity time is usually needed in order for me to get the quality time, and then when the quality time is set, I don’t have a need for the quantity so much, and this transfer can be confusing for the other person. Yet, when I adore someone, I want to spend time with them and will make it a priority.

It’s easier for me to recognize someone’s affection for me when they seek my presence, and not just in good times, for me or for them or both, but in distressing times as well, being there for each other – fair-weather relations are a different thing for me. It’s also easier for me to recognize when they… invite me to have more… participation in their own event; the example would be that I did not realize how much my friend valued me until she asked me to be in her wedding party, and it was eye-opening and endearing for me in our relationship because I’ve had friendships in the past that I thought to have been very close and yet I wasn’t asked to be in the wedding party for those friends – it wasn’t that I expected to be in their parties, but not having been in their parties and then being asked to be in one increased my recognition of my value to that friend.

My independence also creates difficulties for me in forming and maintaining relationships (in the general sense of the word). I am generally okay doing things on my own, like going to the beach or to a movie, even going to an event, and I’ve had reactions of shock and confusion when people have found out that I will do things by myself.

If I’m invited to a party, how do I feel? How do I feel at the party? [What are the things that I need to make it enjoyable?]

My reaction to an invitation varies. I will keep my answer to times when I am in good shape (not personally distressed). I evaluate the invitation in terms of who the invite is from first and for what type of event, and then I evaluate on when and where in terms of any previous obligations. How I am invited can also be an important factor; personal invites will get a more favorable response from me. Weddings and birthday celebrations are important. Honoring the honoree is my priority.

If it’s a party like a Christmas or Halloween party, or just a Party party, I generally require a very personal invitation, something like a “Jenn, I want you to be there.”

In any instance, if I have committed myself to attending, I require myself to prepare for it in advance. I remind myself that I’m doing this to honor Friend, relax, have a good time or at least present like I’m having a good time, be gracious and polite with people, make Friend look good for having invited my presence, etc.

At the party, I am generally reserved and in observation mode. If I am with a friend, I try to have them have a good time. I sometimes go into hostess mode, even while not being the actual hostess. If we’re with a group, and someone in the group seems shy, or actually not having a good time, keeping to themselves, I try to give them non-threatening attention. The case is usually that I’ve been invited by one good friend, to go along with their friends, and that I am meeting people for the first time, and yet I still lookout for the lone people.

In terms of what I need in order to enjoy myself, if someone invites me to a party of medium to large attendance, I don’t expect the host/hostess (or invite-r) to attend to me the entire time; a good “Hi, thank you for coming” is enough for most cases.

On a smaller scale party/ hangout, I do not like my presence to be ignored. For example, I was invited to miniature golf with a group of about 5 others. After a couple of holes, I noticed that everyone else was interacting with each other and I was left to entertain myself (they were people I had thought to be my friends). I was annoyed that night but tried to make the most of it. If I had driven myself there, I would have left without a word. I don’t need full attention all of the time; I simply would like some recognition, some reason or validation that my presence was invited, otherwise, don’t invite me and waste my time. Personally, it violated my giving of quality time; I wanted to spend my time with them and so accepted the invitation only to have been like a shadow on the wall.

I will look for anything that I might enjoy so this may vary. Making someone else have a good time is usually the first thing I go to, and I usually do this through personal conversation, really getting to know them, make them feel interesting. If I know the host/ hostess, I try to do what I can to make the party a good one, whatever it is they would like done or anything I see that might help. An example was a friend’s birthday party, medium-sized, formed mainly of two of her social groups; the groups did not interact much, and I tried to bridge the groups, at least in terms of my own interactions.

How does my type [INTP] act around my friends as opposed to larger groups of acquaintances or strangers?

I speak for myself here; I am not certain of the types of those with whom I hangout.

With friends, I am more talkative and out-going. I make more of an effort to interact, or maybe it’s that it doesn’t take as much effort because of a level of comfort with them. Still, I can say a lot without saying anything specific about me, but people will walk away thinking that they know me or that we shared something personal.

With larger groups of acquaintances/ strangers, I am more reserved. I am more thoughtful of being respectful, polite. 

Some of what I said in the previous answer relates here as well. I think I tend to look out for the lone persons because I tend to feel like I am the outsider and have appreciated those whom have invited me into their circles. Actually, I would say that it’s not just a feeling, but I have been the outsider many times – switching schools, moving, going off to college, going away for practicums, having those in my personal circle move away, etc. 

What do I think about small talk? It is easy/difficult? How do I move past it?

I don’t like small talk, but might use it as an “in” to deeper conversations. I think I am awkward in conversation, especially in small talk. I tend to think that the other person doesn’t actually want to know how I am really doing. Small talk, even with friends or acquaintances, is awkward for me.

I don’t know if I can explain how I move past small talk. I think I do it instinctually, like something they say piques something in my mind and I attack it – I latch onto it and immediately say or ask something that will lead the conversation that way. At least, that is what I think I do.

How do I use MBTI to help I communicate with other types?

I started to really get into MBTI only this past summer, so I consider myself still in learning and observation mode. I am most interested in MBTI for its possibilities in improving communication with others. At this point, I am getting a grasp for how I communicate and how it is different from how others communicate.

Are there any stark differences between perceptions of my type [INTP] and the way in which I view my personality?

Almost all of my conversations or observations of MBTI have been online; I have not really talked about type with friends or observed people in my life through the MBTI lens yet. Most of what I have read about INTPs, I have tested against what is true of myself only because I am the only INTP… specimen that I know personally at this point.

My bro studied psychology and so I asked him about MBTI. He thinks that he is an INTP, though it was a quick conversation in the car, so he might not be remembering correctly; that was his own review of what his type most likely is, not my doubt of it. I think he probably is an INTP, and if I am also an INTP (unofficially yet most likely), then we are the same type which has manifested very differently. Many factors may account for the vast difference, as well as to consider that we are all unique individuals; at first glance, we would not appear to be the same type.

All that to say… I am not sure if I can answer the question, or at least, answer well enough.

So, with my limited understanding and personal study of MBTI, I first thought it odd that INTPs are referred to as being robots; on further consideration, I can understand how I fit that perception also, and not just a little bit but predominantly so. I think my post of This Is the Story of My Cold Heart  is probably an illustration of a robotic-like practicality in a past potentially-romantic situation. It’s not that I think I have a particularly warm personality; I think I thought I hid it better – haha! More so, I guess I didn’t think robot at first because I had thought of it more in relation to being predictable or… automatic, and I don’t see myself that way.

I also kind of get taken aback by the opinions that INTPs are annoying to debate – this might be a post of its own though as to why it piques my interest because there are different aspects of it that I would want to address, and this is already a long post.

Annoying robotic debaters, this is what comes to mind at the moment. Otherwise, I think I fit the INTP stereotypes rather well or that I question people’s interpretations of the stereotype descriptions, that INTPs interpret the descriptions through a different lens.

If you’ve read all of that, congratulations! You’ve won a friend for life! No refunds given for unwanted friend for life. No exceptions.

I could definitely say more on social interaction and me, but I’ll save that for later.

And hello to any of the NFGeeks-sters! Thank you for having me!

Ehmm… The End.