My Fascination with Dreams and the Subconcious

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I’ve had very vivid dreams for as long as I can remember.  My imagination goes crazy at night, and this dark, twisted side of my subconscious emerges. I have had nightmares that would put Stephen King to shame.  I’ve dreamed about my own funeral, finding bodies under my bed, nightmares about mental hospitals, butcher shops and people I love dying; I dreamed that my son was dropped on his head on a sidewalk when he was a newborn (I was utterly devastated, and had to go check on him before I could even think about going back to bed)!  I’ve had countless dreams of tornados and plane crashes (all of which I’ve survived), dreams where I am in murky water surrounded by snakes & alligators, or that I’m in an ocean with huge waves where I am desperately trying to save my son, or I’m watching a horrible accident unfold right in front of me and I am helpless to stop it.   It is so real when I dream, I actually believe it’s happening.  It can be quite terrifying; I sometimes wake up hyperventilating, crying, sweating, and so very confused. Sometimes I almost scream in my sleep and wake my husband up (which says a lot, since he sleeps through anything)!

I have experienced a strange state of deep sleep/consciousness where I literally couldn’t take a breath-my brain told my body to breathe, but my body refused.  I was completely paralyzed-I couldn’t move a single muscle, breathe or even make a sound.  I  started suffocating; as if my mind, body and soul had completely disconnected. I was wide awake on the inside, but my body felt almost dead.  I remember laying there in my bed, only a teenager, honestly thinking, “this is it..I’m dying in my sleep right here, right now.”  No matter how loud my mind screamed at my lungs to breathe, they just wouldn’t do it.  I reached a point where I wasn’t even scared anymore-I just accepted what was happening.  Suddenly, my lungs gasped for breath!  I was so relieved.  It’s happened a few times since, and its always horrifying.

I still have a lot of nightmares, but not always.  I have had a handful of amazing dreams where I can fly, or talk to loved ones that have passed.  Most of the time my dreams are kind of dark, but it doesn’t bother me so much anymore. Maybe I have learned to embrace them instead of fear them, I don’t know.  I have dreams that predict the future, dreams that are so spiritual that I can’t shake the feeling they were more than just a dream, and some that are an entertaining mish-mash of my waking life.

I have been greatly intrigued by dreams since childhood…always seeking their meaning.  It is like tapping into a part of myself that I cannot access while awake.  It is so fascinating!  It’s a whole different side of me that I can’t access at will-I have to wait until it feels like revealing itself.  I can’t help but wonder what it would be like to have full access to my subconscious, to unearth everything hidden away in there, see the repressed memories, and experience it’s uninhibited, limitless imagination while awake.  Does it hold the key to who I really am?  What could my subconscious teach me?  Would I have a greater understanding of myself and the world? Or would it be too overwhelming, too dark, and much more than I can handle?  I may never know.

I would love to hear everyone’s thoughts on this.  INFJs, do you all have vivid dreams as well?

You Know You’re An INFJ When…

-You suffer from “emotional sponge syndrome.”  You literally soak up the emotions of everyone around you, like it or not.

-You can easily help others figure out their problems, but figuring out your own is another ballgame.

-You are really proud of yourself when you get through small talk without being awkward.

-You HATE talking on the phone.  You procrastinate if you have to call someone, and practice what you will say beforehand.

-You pretend things don’t bother you when they really do.  You put on your poker face, because being called “over sensitive” and “dramatic” just adds insult to injury.

-You sound like a bumbling idiot when you try to verbalize your own emotions.  It always makes things worse, so you realize that you’re better off keeping your mouth shut.

-You know what it is to feel completely misunderstood and totally alone in a room full of people.

-You get frustrated at how shallow, selfish and insensitive everyone around you can be.  You wouldn’t dream of treating them the way they treat you.  

-Your own feelings can be pretty intense.  You tend to downplay just how intense they really are, for fear of scaring people.  You find yourself only sharing the parts of yourself that they can handle and nothing more.

-You see so much potential in the people close to you.  And it kills you to see them refusing to live up to it.

-While others merely look, you SEE.  When they can only listen, you truly HEAR.  You feel things that they are completely oblivious to.  It is like you are dancing to beautiful music, but they cannot hear the music.  They think you are the crazy one, but you know better.  It’s like you see the world in 3D and they see it in 2D.  There is so much more there and they are completely blind to it. And it is really frustrating, because they just don’t get it and never will.

-Criticism is a hard pill for you to swallow.  Logically, you know people are genuinely trying to help, but it is impossible to convince your feelings of this.

-You’re lying when you utter the phrase, “I don’t care.”  You always care.  And you kind of hate it.  Maybe if you say you don’t care, and act like you don’t, you can trick yourself into believing it.  But it just never works.

-Conflict makes you want to vomit.  You literally feel physically ill in the pit of your stomach until it’s resolved.

-You trust no one.  If you do, it is a really big deal and it’s limited to a very select few.

-It is blatantly obvious to you when someone lies.  If someone gives you a compliment, you can tell if they really mean it.  You see through fake like it’s glass.

-You notice everything.  You know quite a bit more than you let on.  People would be really surprised at what actually goes on in your head.  

-Some personalities think you are dumb.  You live in your head, not your body.  Your body kind of runs on autopilot, so you tend to be clumsy.  You know a lot, but don’t know how to verbalize it.  You don’t think in logic and facts.  Some people take this as unintelligence, but it could not be further from the truth.

-You have a strong need to make people happy.  If they aren’t happy, you aren’t happy.  You’ve been called a people pleaser on more than one occasion.  Most of the time, you wish so badly you could change this about yourself.  However, those close to you feel loved and taken care of on a whole different level than they experience with other people.

INFJs, feel free to add to the list!  I would love to hear from you!

Poetry Set On Fire

Some people listen to music and all they hear are guitars, pianos and drums.  I hear beyond the obvious…like the raw emotion in the singer’s voice.  Actually, I more than hear it, I can feel it.  I feel the emotion conveyed by the instruments combined with the voices and the nuances in the song.  It’s a beautiful combination of art and emotion.  It’s taking something sad and making it beautiful, like poetry set on fire. I like a lot of “sad”, melancholy music;  It’s something real in a fake world.  Maybe that’s why I listen to it so often..to feel something real.  Sometimes, song lyrics are the only thing that can put words to what I am feeling, and suddenly I understand myself better. 
Here are a few of my favorite singers/bands:

-Coldplay (the new album is amazing!)

-London Grammer (Hey Now and Strong are my faves)

-Lovelife (Their newest music is great, and Invisible and Exhaler are favorites from their old stuff)

-Adele

-Ellie Golding

-Semi Precious Weapons (Aviation High and Healer)

-Imagine Dragons

-U2

-Of Monsters and Men

-Mumford and Sons

-Drake (surprisingly, there are R&B hip-hoppy songs out there that convey more emotion than you’d think.  Drake has some good ones)

-Bastille (Love the lyrics on Pompeii)

-Onerepublic

-M83

-Zedd (Sounds mainstream, but I really like the lyrics and enjoy the upbeat sound)

-Avicii (Mostly just Hey Brother and Wake Me Up)

-Sia

-Mazzy Star

-Shiny Toy Guns (I love their Major Tom cover, and there are plenty of hidden gems if you give them a listen)

Even seemingly upbeat songs can be deceiving-if you listen closely, sometimes there is more to it.

Bull In A China Shop

You are the push
and I am the pull.
I am the china shop,
And you are the bull.

The never ending tug-of-war,
The countless broken shards…
This is the hand that I’ve been dealt,
But all I’ve got are shitty cards.

I’ve done the best I can
To man up and be strong.
But my very soul gets tired
From always being wrong.

I am stupid,
I am weak.
I am dramatic,
And I’m a freak.

You look down at me,
Like I am just a mess.
I’m just another button
Here for you to press.

You listen,
but you don’t really hear.
You look,
But you don’t see that clear.

I see the world in 3D,
While you see it in 2.
I hear more than just a song,
But it’s only noise to you.

Even if you read this poem,
You’d just see meaningless words.
You’d say it could be better,
And that poetry’s for the birds.

In a room full of people,
I feel utterly alone.
I am on the wrong side
Of a thick wall of stone.

I want to be someone else,
Someone who just sees facts.
Someone strong and smart,
Who isn’t full of cracks.

But I am just a broken china shop,
And no one comes here anyway.
I’ll be here picking up the pieces,
Hoping you understand some day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Note To Self:

Note to self:  You are not responsible for the emotions of others.  Their sadness, stress, anger, grief and bitterness are not your burdens to shoulder.  Those emotions do not belong to you.  Separate yourself from them.  Don’t let that negativity ruin your entire day…don’t let it dull your sparkle, take up space in your already crowded mind or hold you back from fully feeling the joy in your own life.

Note to self: Don’t use your superpowers for evil.  Just because you can read people like a book, doesn’t mean you should take advantage of that.  Manipulating people may get you want you want, but it is not worth the guilt that comes with it.  You will feel better about life if you do the right thing.  (If you don’t, you will get caught in that perfectionist downward spiral of self loathing.  Just don’t go there.)

Note to self:  Don’t forget that you have needs too.  Don’t give so much of yourself that there’s nothing left.  You have a strong need to make everyone happy, so strong that it can take over your life before you know what’s happening.  It will leave you with nothing, it will leave you depressed, and empty and drained…you may even feel used in a way.  You will become an empty shell of a person, and you won’t know how to fix it.  There is a balance between being selfless and selfish.  Try to find that balance and remember that you are person too, that you DO matter. 

Note to self:  Give people a break; don’t get so frustrated with them when they fail to catch on to your feelings.  Not all personalities can read emotions wordlessly like you can.  Sometimes you have to spell things out for them, or they will never know what is on your mind and how you feel.  Don’t be afraid to be up-front about your emotions when it is important.  Instead of resenting the other person for not figuring it out, just tell them.  And try not to stress too much about how the words will sound…you may ramble and have to explain what you mean in metaphors, but they will get the point eventually….hopefully.

Note to self: Don’t beat yourself up so much.  Tone down the self-loathing, and take the perfectionism down a notch or 2.  You are human.  You forgive everyone else, but you won’t forgive yourself.  STOP IT.  Yes, there is always room for improvement, but when you accomplish something, just enjoy it, for goodness sake!  Don’t let those feelings of worthlessness, failure and disappointment pollute your life.

“I tried carrying the weight of the world
But I only have two hands.”
Avicii – Wake Me Up

“I’m afraid I can’t explain myself, sir. Because I am not myself, you see?”
― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

“She generally gave herself very good advice, (though she very seldom followed it),”
― Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

Super Powers

INFJs feel emotions very intensely. Not only are my own emotions intense, but so is everyone else’s. It’s like when a super hero gets mind reading powers and can hear the thoughts of everyone around them all at once. It’s overwhelming. That is my life everyday. Instead of hearing words, I feel their emotions and I feel them so strongly, whether I want to or not. I can feel every bit of stress, anger and frustration that people keep pent up inside. If everyone around me is stressed, I’m stressed; even when I have nothing to be stressed out about. I can feel sadness and joy, too. I had a friend who lost her baby and I was sad about it for weeks. We aren’t super close, and we don’t even live in the same town. Yet, it was all I could think about. I hear a story on the news about an innocent child that was murdered, or see a picture of a starving, abused animal on facebook, and I feel immense sadness over it. INFJs take empathy to whole new level. We feel every bit of what you feel, whether you want us to or not. Sometimes it gets really confusing, trying to sort through which emotions actually belong to me and which ones don’t. It gets really loud in my mind, like having 5 radio stations on all at once. Not only am I dealing with my own thoughts and emotions, but I am constantly bombarded with everyone else’s too. It’s a blessing and a curse…but most of the time it feels like a curse. It’s a very exhausting existence. You’d think I’d be in tears everytime I watch the news, or see a sad movie, but not so. I have had quite a bit of practice dealing with such strong emotions; I can keep it all inside and without showing any trace of it on the outside. It’s become automatic. Sometimes I wish someone could break that wall down and save me from myself, but I have built a pretty damn strong wall. Other personality types simply don’t have the ability to see beyond walls and masks the way we do…which can be a good thing and bad thing. I have spent most of my life being misunderstood and called things like “dramatic” and “over-sensitive,” so I have learned from this that people cannot handle my emotions and I am better off dealing with them alone.

“So come here, oh, my star is fading
I swerved just out of reach
And I know I’m dead on the surface
But I’m screaming underneath” -Coldplay, “Amsterdam”

“Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”
― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

INFJ Information & Links

For the past few weeks, I have been gathering information about my personality type.  I have been reading the description from various sources as well as forums and blogs in an attempt to understand it as fully as possible.  With that understanding, I may be better able to understand myself as well.  I am hoping this will allow me to relate  to other types more effectively and improve communication, something I’m not great at.  Here are a few of my finds…I will add more as I stumble across them.

INFJ DESCRIPTION:

http://www.infj.org/public/infjcharacter.html

https://www.personalitypage.com/INFJ.html

http://typelogic.com/infj.html

http://personalityjunkie.com/the-infj/

http://www.preludecharacteranalysis.com/types/infj

http://voices.yahoo.com/the-myers-briggs-counselor-personality-type-infj-9007313.html?cat=25

 

BLOG POSTS & ARTICLES:

How To Love Your INFJ:  http://littleleftofnormal.blogspot.com/2010/08/how-to-love-your-infj.html

Achieving a Peaceful Life: http://voices.yahoo.com/achieving-peaceful-life-as-infj-12624343.html?cat=9

A GREAT blog written by an INFJ:  http://www.infjanonymous.com/

10 Things Every INFJ Wants You to Know:  http://www.jennifersoldner.com/2013/06/top-10-things-every-infj-wants-you-to.html

INFJ and Co-dependency: http://voices.yahoo.com/are-infj-personalities-bound-co-dependant-3411666.html?cat=72