Monday, April 21, 2014

Mama Said Knock Me Out


In an earlier post, I guessed the types of my family: ISTJ Dad, ESFP Mom, and INTP Bro. I am most likely an INTP. I can’t imagine that I am any other type, though I’ve looked into other types.

This post will be musings of having an ESFP mom. I am not entirely certain that she’s an ESFP- I’m about 70% certain.

(Disclaimer: I am a novice in all things related to MBTI, typology, type functions, etc.)
____________________________

I love my mom very much. Mom and I have a good relationship overall, but we hit turbulence quite often, more so when I was younger. I was not an easy child to raise, and her parenting style added to the difficulty. I would ask her why, and she would answer with, “Because I’m the mommy, that’s why!” -probably not the best answer for an NT child….

As I grew older, I have slowly become increasingly considerate of my mother’s ways. I know that Mom loves me, and I know that she wanted to be a good mother; I think she was a good mother. I know that she has worried about any “damage” she thinks she might have done to me (I don’t think she should worry).

One of the things that has been difficult for me in relating with Mom has been that she’s emotional, or at least, she’s the most emotional one of our family. She’s very caring of others, and I admire her ability to do that, but being her daughter, I haven’t navigated her emotional phases well at all. I wouldn’t know what her mood will be, how she will react to me, or how to respond well to her. I wouldn’t know whether she was upset with me or upset about something unrelated to me. I want to love Mom well but I often feel inadequate to do so.

I’m not sure how this relates to our types if at all, but both Mom and I are strong-willed people. So here is a strong-willed, emotional mother trying to raise an even stronger-willed, emotionally-stunted daughter, and conflict ensues.

Somewhat related to her mood changes is her impulsivity. It can be wonderful or it can be… confusing, or annoying, for me. One of the negative experiences was that one day, Mom decided to take us to the park and not leave until I learned how to ride a bike without training wheels, on my own. I stubbornly refused to ride because it was what she wanted me to do and I didn’t want to yet. She got upset and then left us there (we lived close by; it’s not like she abandoned us). I was so angry that I cried. Bro stood there, waiting for me to calm down, and then he patiently taught me to ride the bike on my own. I almost didn’t want to learn even then, to spite my mom, but I was probably too tired to fight any longer and didn’t want to have fought Mom AND Bro in the same ordeal.

But there have been good impulsive memories, much more that outweigh the few negative ones. I remember being at the mall, walking by the ear-piercing store, and Mom deciding all of a sudden that it was a good time to get my ears pierced. I remember going to the Humane Society to visit the cathouse, falling in love with a calico kitten, and bringing that kitten home with us (Dad was not very happy about that at the time). I remember Mom staying up late to help me build my model for studio.

Would have to dig more for a photo of the two of us,
but here is one of me. Mom liked to make me her model.
I wrote out a very specific moment of Mom lifting up my spirits with her impulsiveness, but I don’t think that I am ready to share the full story yet, the details. Basically though, I was in a low state; I think somehow, Mom sensed that it was serious this time. Mom made an impromptu stop at a store where she ended up buying something for me that was not the usual thing. Material things tend not to matter to me, but this item I treasure greatly, because it reminds me of Mom’s love for me. I’m not tuned in to what she’s going through and she’s not tuned in to what I’m going through, though she tries, so this item reminds me of a rare moment when we connected. She probably doesn’t remember this, we’ve never talked about it, but I remember.

I admire Mom for how people-oriented she is, how she is able to navigate social events, for her creativity, and for the joy she seems to emanate so often. She’s able to loyally support the things with which she’s involved. When I do talk, she listens, and I’ve started to recognize that she’s actively trying to understand me - and not that she’s not “smart,” because I don’t really think about that, but I mean that Mom and I have very different interests. It takes me time and energy to try to understand what she says.
____________________________

My experience as an INTP with an ESFP mother: quite rocky but also a delight. Probably the best thing about Mom, for me, is that she allows me to be a risk-taker more, to take the opportunities given to me to experience all that I can; I don’t always go through with it, but the times that I have, it’s been wonderful.

Uhmm… The End.