Finding out that I am an INFP and what that actually means has really helped save my life, my sanity. I have often been depressed and even attempted suicide once. I believe that a big part of this was the numerous aspects of my personality in conflict with my reality. A combination that I have found to be very painful is my perfectionism and my sensitivity to criticism. I have always known that both were a part of my personality, but again, I did not know why. I often have said and thought, that I want to be a perfectionist even when I did not want to be a perfectionist. I cared about doing everything perfectly, while at the same time, to a certain extent, I did not care if I did everything perfectly.

I have always been hypersensitive to criticism, even what I inferred was criticism. I will either get extremely mad and think about what was said for days on end, especially at night, or I will get depressed. It is a little, little mind you, easier to deal with it now.

I just woke up a few minutes ago. I was dreaming about something. In my dream I was being a little "froggy" with my students (I am a special education teacher, go figure, and I work with students that have a moderate to severe intellectual disability. Part of me always tries to "entertain" or make my students happy.) An other teacher came in and said something to the effect that I should put the same amount of energy into my paperwork.

The words that came to my mind, even in my sleep, are: WHEN THE WORDS FLY, I DIE. And that is often how I feel. I die a little inside from criticism. I rarely remember what I dream about, but I would not let these words be forgotten as they are so true to me in my life. Peace...out!

Comments

INFJ1961 says...

I'm an INFJ and am quite familiar with high sensitivity levels, as are my three older siblings, which has made for a very dysfunctional upbringing - especially with me being the youngest, and by a considerable margin (8 years between me and the next youngest).

I've not attempted suicide, but living at home in my teens, I contemplated it. What stopped me was at the time I believed committing suicide would condemn me to hell.

It wasn't until my mid to late 40's that I finally came to terms with how reactive I can be. I'd already been introduced to MBTI, and it was and continues to be a lifesaver and life grower for me. I am much less affected by people's words, and am also much less critical of the world around and myself. A lot of books and and lot of contemplative thinking contributed to this.

Once, after I made a comment that displeased her, my mother told me I was sounding like my father. It wasn't meant as a compliment. Initially, I bristled. Later, I would come to realize that to move forward, I couldn't refute the comment. I bristled because deep inside, I knew I had a lot of my father's tendencies - and he wasn't a kind person. I realized that denying these aspects wouldn't help me. If anything, it would hurt me. Instead, I decided to take these attributes and see how to apply them in a better way - such as taking time to internalize my reaction so I can "investigate" it before releasing it and in turn, either release something construction or let it go entirely.

I've shared this in hopes it will give you something positive in the way of encouragement, but also to let you know you're not the only one, and that the attributes you have have a far greater upside than downside.

I no longer die when words fly. But I also take care not to set flying words that can harm others. I still experience failures, but far more successes.

Wish you the best!

dunkie22 says...

You are too funny. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts. I do try now to process the words and handle my emotions. I have gotten better, but for me, it is like picking a scab. I am good until someone starts picking away. Again, thanks so much.

INFJ1961 says...

You're more than welcome.

Amylee.beck says...

I don't have any advice for you but I can tell you that I completely relate with what you said. I've always been a perfectionist and hardest on myself but, yes, also totally laid back and forgiving of myself on some things. It's quite confusing. I said to a friend just today, "we INFPs have an incredible capacity for loving and accepting others yet we're totally incapable of fully loving ourselves or being as accepting." I think part of the reason critism is so hard to take is that we're already so perfectionist in our own minds, striving to do everything just right, that when we screw up we KNOW it and have already lectured ourselves on it so much that the last thing we need is for someone else to point it out. Then, because we're so accepting and understanding of everyone else, it feels like they aren't treating us with the same level of acceptance. Or, perhaps it's that we can only feel in that moment that all they can see is our mistakes and it overshadows 98% of the time where we get it right. We need that constant positive affirmation and validation that many other types are not skilled at providing.

caddored says...

First off, many thanks to you, Amy. You have stated, so eloquently, everything I think to myself and you have explained what it means to be an INFP. I have linked this to my Pintrest account and when I'm feeling especially down on myself, I can see myself gaining comfort from your words. Especially "Then, because we're so accepting and understanding of everyone else, it feels like they aren't treating us with the same level of acceptance." This is exactly why the comments hurt so much. We have already beaten ourselves over what was said/done/thought that for someone else to bring it to our attention feels like a slap to the face and a stab in the heart. I am so glad I found this forum and others like me. So reassuring that I'm not the only person to feel the way I do. Many thanks again.

Geoawakend (not verified) says...

Wow you described exactly what I've been going through

Geoawakend (not verified) says...

@Amy101

dunkie22 says...

WOW! You just said everything I think on a regular basis. That is one reason I am so glad that I learned about this personality type. I finally understand myself, for the most part, accept myself, and even love myself. I have always been my worst enemy. I have beaten myself up on a regular basis. I often have said, "I am a perfectionist, but I don't want to be one." And yes, if someone else makes a mistake, I support them and do all I can to make them feel better. I make a mistake, I am and idiot and a failure. Thank you for taking the time to write.

caddored says...

Boy, do I understand! What you said about being a perfectionist is so spot on. And helping others feel better about their mistakes while constantly berating ourselves over our mistakes is so true. Separately, those are the two most irritating personality quirks. Lucky us to have both of them, right? =) In the future, when I get depressed over my failures, I'm hoping to make it a habit to come here instead of going to my minds flogging room, where everything I have ever done wrong is on constant playback. Wish me luck =)

It it very comforting to know that I'm not the only one to feel the way I do, so I'm very happy I found this site.

What you wrote previously, about being depressed and suicidal hit home. I never tried but thought about it growing up. Got so depressed at times that I would hide in my closet. The dark was comforting to me, probably because it is hard to see mistakes in the dark. What also helped me was reading. Most of the characters were going through tougher times than I was, which made me feel better...and since they were fictional, I didn't beat myself up about thinking I was better than them. Much. =)

I think finding this site is going to help much more than books could, mainly because books can't talk back and give advice. And I feel that in here, I can be myself and won't be thought of as being strange and/or too emotional/sympathetic/nit-picky. Nice to know I'm not the only INFP.

dunkie22 says...

You are NOT the only INFP, that is for sure. Recently I was feeling down and under a lot of pressure. I Googled, INFP suicide, and I found some interesting stuff. One, we are the personality that has the most suicidal ideations. WOOHOO. Also, when things don't go as expected in our jobs, we may feel depressed and ready to find a new job. I just finally retired from teaching. I was supposed to do one thing, and then was told I would be doing something else that was not in my skill set. As a result, I was depressed, felt incredible anxiety, and really was having trouble dealing with it. Instead of waiting another couple of years like I planned, I pulled the trigger and retired. I just don't want to do things that are not consistent with my beliefs, and I hate working for idiots. Now I will go and look at trees (which has been found to reduce anxiety).

dunkie22 says...

I keep getting emails saying that there have been comments on this, but I am not sure who is commenting. I cannot tell if any are new. Would love to hear from others, but do not know what to reply to. Sorry.

K Discern (not verified) says...

Hi INTJ here. I hope you don't mind me dropping in on the conversation. Sometimes I'm not good at wording things but I do mean this to be helpful and encouraging. I struggle with perfectionism and beating myself up over my failures and mistakes. God has been working with me about that and this is something I've learned.

When I make a mistake, I can use that to encourage others and relate to them. Example: So I failed in (X). Instead of focusing on how horrible my failure is in (X), I look at the fact other people have failed in (X) and now I got a story for them in how they are not alone. Maybe I can even joke about my failure to make them smile. Here is an example: I tried to start a group at church for discussing a Christian book that I thought was good... No one showed up for weeks. Finally when the time was up for how long I had the room, no one had come. That really hurt. I had nothing to show for... or so I thought. Awhile later a friend had a small group she was preaching to and she was really discouraged that only a half a dozen people should up. I told her about my horrid failure of a 0 attendance group, but I did so kind of playfully pointing out that her half-dozen was actually really good. That was encouraging to her. Getting the opportunity to encourage her was worth the failure I had.

Try rethinking your mistakes/failures/etc as opportunities to encourage and relate to others.

Pay attention to what has been said by your fellow INFPs. You are relating because of your ups and downs, and you are able to encourage one another with that. I do hope the best for you all. Keep learning and keep talking.

Hope this helps,
K Discern

dunkie22 says...

I appreciate you jumping in, and always appreciate input and feedback. To me, the response to criticism is "hard-wired" into my brain and emotions. Even if I "think" someone is criticizing me, I have problems. One person wrote, "Perfectionism is the worst kind of self abuse". And I believe there is a strong association between the response to criticism and perfectionism. So, I try to use my thoughts to reason with myself, but my heart is often breaking. With INFPs, there is always a war between the brain and the heart. I have one picture from Pinterest where the brain is asking the heart, "WTF is wrong with you?" That is INFP.

K Discern (not verified) says...

Thank you for explaining INFPs heart-mind connection. I would like to learn more about INFP and Feelers in general. Do you know of any good books? I am currently reading Type Talk by Otto Kroeger, Janet M. Thuesen. Thanks again for your response.

milesmo13 says...

Hello Dunkie22,
I come on to this site measuring as an ISFJ; however decades ago when I was first introduced to the MBTI, I, like yourself, was assessed as an INFP. I truly appreciate your honesty and transparency in allowing others to help. You earn my respect.

As an introverted child and teenager, I understand your sufferings and the built up insecurities that you experience when receiving criticism. However, as cliche as this may seem, have you also expected criticism yourself? In other words, do you leave it up to other people to determine what and what others consider to be "perfect."

The Greeks believe in this concept called "arete" which could be applied today in the military theme of "being all that you can be." Perfectionism than is this continual state of trying to attain to this ideal of being everything that we are supposed to be. However, if we have no clue as to what we are attaining to, how then can we even say that we are trying to be perfect? Is there anyone who we can identify to be perfect? Does such a person actually exist?

Furthermore, the belief that others are criticizing you needs to be identified also? Are others criticizing you as a person, such as your character? Or are they providing feedback about your behavior, that is your actions and habits? Behavior can be changed, and if they are not socially appropriate, they should be changed. However, if others are criticizing our character, we ought to find out why they are doing so.

Fear is often defined as false evidence appearing real. If our lives are governed by other people's standards of us, then our very own perspective becomes blurred, as our definition of reality becomes skewed. What then becomes our standard of how we live our lives. Only you, my friend, are responsible and accountable to what happens. :)

dunkie22 says...

MMO13, you are most eloquent. I appreciate you thoughts on this. Intellectually I understand and agree. Your thoughts are the essence of what I would tell someone else who had issues with criticism. However, there are a couple of reasons that it is not something I can rationalize away. First, I am an INFP. When I read, which I have done a lot recently, I see myself in all of the descriptions. In addition to being an INFP, I had a father that was a career military officer. Not only did I experience his "guidance", but I also observed the way he raised my older brother. I believe that I saw that and made a decision that I did not want that to happen to me. Part of being an INFP is being a perfectionist. This character trait has caused me great emotional turmoil. One person wrote that perfectionsim is self abuse of the highest order. When working with my therapist, who I really needed, she would keep telling me, "Progress, not perfection." In addition to being a perfectionist, I also have always felt different from others. As most INFPs will say, "I don't think, I feel." In addition to being a special education teacher and an adjunct instructor at a local university, I also served in the Army and Navy. When I was in the Army, I ended up at West Point. I did exceptionally well, but did not like it. Years later, I joined the Navy and ended up on submarines. Talk about being out of my comfort zone! As someone who had a degree in special education, I ended up working with guys that has masters' degrees in everything from electrical engineering to nuclear power. They were all brainiacs that handled the reactors, and I handled the nuclear weapons. During my time, even though I did not have the technical background, I always was rated as one of the best officers. Even as a junior officer, I was given a command ashore. However, I always felt sensitive to criticism, even if it was not criticism. Even though I was consistently told I was an exceptional and high intelligent teacher, I always was afraid of being criticized. When I was, I felt it was the end of the world. When I thought I was being criticized, even when I wasn't, I thought I was not any good. It was not that I thought that I was not meeting someone else's expectations. It was that I was not meeting mine. I could never fail...never. That was my biggest fear. Even though I did exceptionally well in graduate school and then became an adjunct instructor in the same program, I would never go back and get a Ph.D., because I was afraid of not being perfect. I try to deal with it. I try to remember what my therapist told me, but it is me. Another quote I saw said, "Sometimes you need to have someone tell you that you are not as terrible as you think you are." Even as an adjunct instructor, I do not compare myself to the professors..others with a Ph.D.. I teach differently. I am different, but there is always that little voice in my head that makes me question myself. Well, I have said enough. I welcome any thoughts you may have.

milesmo13 says...

My dear INFP friend,
You sound so hurt, and if I may say so, betrayed. I know this may sound harsh, but I say this as gently as I can: this world doesn't owe us anything. Your father didn't owe you anything. Your military instructors did not owe you anything. Your peers do not owe you anything. But you, my friend, owe yourself everything.
If I could reach to you through this portal, I would give you a hug. You need one. And it has probably been a while since you had received one. One of the core values among all MBTI types is a strong sense of worth. No not self-esteem, but a genuine regard for yourself that you are loved and accepted regardless of your usefulness to other people. Others cannot put a price tag on you, Dunkie22, unless you give them the permission to do so. Because honestly, there is no measure to your worth. There is no price that can be put on you. Your job cannot do that. Your education cannot do that. Your family upbringing cannot do that.
You have been born for a purpose. I know this may sound cliche. But you were created to not just be different: that is obvious. But you were born with this in mind: to make a difference. It appears to me, my friend, that you have made a huge difference in the lives of the people you have impacted: fellow officers, students, peers, family.
Intellectually you can process what I am saying, but emotionally you are struggling. The INFP in particular in most concerned with wholeness and holistic healing. The fragmentation in your life needs to be put together in a way that you have a clear vision and goal for the future. Right now my friend, Dunkie 22, it is apparent that you are adrift.
I do not want to sound like I am preaching or offering counsel, but I strongly suggest that you seek a source of spiritual guidance. Do you have a chaplain or minister that you can go to? If not, do you have a spiritual anchor and moral compass that you rely upon? For many, including the INFP personality, this can be the default to fall back upon in time of difficulties.
By the way, I can almost see where the perfectionism comes from. It sounded like your father was a very harsh disciplinarian. And I am very sorry that as a child you had to partake of this type of upbringing. But do note, my friend, you are no longer at that age, nor are you at that stage in your life now where you need to be under your father's guidance. Somehow, I feel that your father has been almost like your sub-conscience, and that you still hear his voice in your head from time to time. Let go of these voices my friend, for they are not healthy, nor are they helping you.
In addition, there is a big difference between discipline and tyranny. When discipline becomes enforced to the point where you need to dot all your "I's" and cross all your "T's", then yes it does become perfectionism. But being a perfectionist comes with a price. We can become perfect but end up hurting all the people along the way. The price that is paid for perfectionism is far too great, and honestly isn't worth it. By this I mean that in attempting to attain to an almost impossible standard we end up burning bridges, isolating ourselves from others and alienating the ones who desperately are trying to reach out to us. And all for the sake of an unobtainable ideal. As human beings there are times that we strive to exceed beyond our own physical limitations, but no one else seems to recognize or even acknowledge our attempts.
There is a silver lining in the cloud however. There is hope for perfectionists. That is have you ever thought that semantically perfectionism may just be another way of saying "the pursuit of excellence?" Excellence starts with purpose and intent. Perfection ends with a judgmental attitude and harsh criticism. Both excellence and perfectionism look very much alike, but the end results are like night and day. Take care my friend, and be encouraged. Keep yourself among friends and family who really care for you and are concerned for your well being this holiday season. I look forward to hearing the positive changes in your life going forward.

P.S. Whoever came up with that saying, "sticks and stones my break my bones, but words can never hurt me" is an outright idiot. Words if spoken out of malice and contempt can very much hurt us, and the wounds can take much longer to heal than mere sticks and stones.

mmo13

dunkie22 says...

You are so very special. This interaction is what I had hoped to find. A hug is always nice. I am a hugger, but I do not find many others that are. I do not find anyone that I can have such a deep and meaningful conversation like this. To be honest, I know I was born for a purpose, although it took a while for me to truly understand. It was many, many, many..did I say many? years ago. I was a psych major and in the mood to do volunteer work. I ended up volunteering at an institution for those with severe intellectual disabilities. I went to talk to some staff on a unit for those with severe behavior problems. I remember it like it was yesterday. I felt..I really felt this warm feeling come over me, and I knew then, this was the reason for existing. I was meant to work as a special ed teacher. So, when I transferred from my community college to a four-year university, I changed over to special ed. As I tell people, that is who I am. My personality, my strengths, and talents were created so that I could do that job..that calling. Now, one of my biggest problems, among others, is that I have decided to retire. The vocation that has been so important to me has changed too much. There is too much paperwork, too much attention to legal concerns, too much pressure, and there has been the loss of the purpose of special education. So, instead of doing something that I thought I would do for life, I am walking away early. Friends say that my purpose is now to train future teachers, but I have been the teacher for so long. It has been me taking care of this population. Now I will not be doing that. Yes, I am lost. I am hurt. I am trying to believe that I have done my part, and it is time for me to rest. However, it is hard. I still feel young. I still feel that I care more and can do better than most. Add to this the anguish I feel from watching what is happening in our country and the world. I no longer watch the news or read the paper. I can no longer handle the ugliness that exists in the world. It is the combination of these two big issues that have truly impacted me. As for spiritual support, I do not have that. I was raised Episcopalian, but after living all around the world and served in the Army and as a police officer (yes..did that too), I left the church. I cannot believe that God would let such horrors happen. Also, I am a humanist..an existentialist, so that is the basis for understanding myself and others. I have studied Buddhism and Taoism. I even went to the Unitarian church. I went to Bible study with some senior officers when I was in the Navy. I started reading the Bible, but could not accept it. When we talked, I used the play Jesus Christ Superstar for my references. Have I "felt the presence" of God? Yes..When I first listened to Baroque music and heard the chorus and instruments create this beautiful sound, I saw God. When I hiked in the Rockies and stood on the continental divide, I saw God. When driving a sub into Port Canaveral, and the water was calm, flat, and the dolphins were jumping in front of the bow, I saw God. That has been it. So, other than that, I see or believe nothing. Life happens. I have to determine my own place in this existence. I do not ask or expect anything. It is what it is. I think, as I distance myself from my former vocation, that I can avoid situations where my perfectionism will come out. I know how much it has hurt me, and now, I just want to take care of myself and find peace. I just want to experience peace. Erik Erikson, a psychologist, talked about the stages of life. The last stage is integrity vs despair. This is when one looks back over his/her life and determines evaluates his/her life. Did I live a good life..do a good job..etc? I can say yes. I have made a difference. I have done more in my life than I ever thought possible. So, I am happy with what I have done. Now, I just want to fade away and take care of myself for the first time in my life. I have taken care of others for so long. I am tired.

milesmo13 says...

My friend Dunkie22,
Thank you for allowing me to reach out to you and giving me the opportunity to know you a little better. For you, my friend, life is full of questioning and questing (if there is such a word). Life is a journey for you, but it is not done, Dunkie22. This is only the end of a chapter or season in your life. But from this culmination of things, a new season in your life will be birthed anew.
Allow this time to rest and refresh yourself, physically, mentally and emotionally. As an INFP, however, it is vital for you to restore that reservoir of giving and serving. You can not take care of others if you are running on an empty tank. Fill yourself with the things you enjoy. You had mentioned hiking the Rockies and being at sea with the dolphins: all great pursuits. A change in scenery will work wonders for your soul, and your sanity as well, my friend.
Yes, you have taken care of others for a long time....Time for a respite. You have lived a full life. Please ensure that it is one that leaves a legacy for others to follow. Teachers can teach what they know, but mentors impart who they are. You have something vital to contribute. There are others who are waiting for you to avail yourself to them.
One last comment: you had mentioned about being anxious about what is happening in the world today. As an introverted feeling type, please know this, your happiness is not governed by what happens around you. Other people are not the ones controlling it. It is not the time to react. You dislike the ugliness that you find in this world, but have you done anything at all to change it? (Please hear my heart on this, I am not trying to be judgmental) It is time to step out, and perhaps even to take a risk. One thing about INFP's, my friend, is that if something stirs their passion, they give their lives wholeheartedly in pursuit of it. What is your quest? Perhaps this may be the time to seek for it. Be encouraged, this should be exciting!

mmo13 (A previous INFP, but now an ISFJ)

dunkie22 says...

Ah MMO13, you have given me so much. It is beautiful to have conversations like this. I will follow your recommendation and rest. Your words really have touched me, and I have taken them to heart. As for the world, I don't know. Maybe later I will come out of my shell. For the time, I want to let my mind and heart rest. Peace and love my friend.
Duncan

Rachel0009 (not verified) says...

I just took a personality test for the first time the other day. That's when I found out I was apparently coming up as a INFP-A.When I started reading about it, it related uncannily to my present and ever on going life dilemmas.
I've experienced a few traumatic heartbreaks recently that have had me questioning everything and trying to solve everything. Even more than usual.
I'm always trying to solve everything. I want to know how the universe works, time/space fabric, other dimensions, string theory---all of it. Big picture stuff and then relate it back to what I'm supposed to be learning, creating, growing, contributing to humanity, life itself- everything.
But recently I thought I knew some one. I allowed them into my space. I allowed myself to get close to them and care for them. I believed in this person. I believed them when they acted as if they liked me and cared about me.Out of absolutely no where they have cut off communication with me. There was no fight, no discussion, nothing preceding to give me much to go on.
To me- this was my best friend. I've kissed a lot of frogs and I believed I finally met a good person. Someone like me. Some one that cares about things deeply and has ethics and wishes to always try to do the right things. Not for any other reason than it's the right thing to do. He happened to abandon me at the same exact time as my beloved pet of 15 years had just been diagnosed with incurable pancreatic cancer. I needed a friend more than ever at this time. I thought, well it's fine you don't want to "date" any more, but my God, you are surely still my FRIEND? No. Apparently not my friend.
It's had me questioning everything. What is up, what is down. I keep trying to put myself in their shoes. It's hard for me to just go- "oh, that person is a jerk." I always seek to understand other peoples reasons. I truly believed in his character and depth as a human being. I don't trust many people or allow many people in my life. I can't take it. He knew all of this about me & shared my feelings I believed, so I can't seem to grasp just how he has abandoned me, especially at this time,or Why. This questioning has had me up night after night. Trying to grasp how someone I believed in could possibly be this cruel. Seeking to "understand" them and their motivations.
But WAY beyond all of that I, of course, seek to learn why this has happened to me and what I can do to make it better. What can I grow from this? What positivity can I gain from this? What can I make that is beautiful and contributes to the world out of this? How can I turn this cruelty into beauty???? I need to operate on a higher or deeper plain of existence! I can not just be "hurt" or "angry"...well sometimes I can....but only for a few shifting moments. I guess I am an INFP.

dunkie22 says...

Wow Rachel. That's some heavy stuff. I know how you feel about reading about it. The more I read, the more I freak out. How can people know so much about me, but not know me? The other thing I have done is found a bunch of sayings and so on on Pinterest that scare me because it is me, but I also laugh, because it is me. I happen to Google something like "sayings about INFPs" or something to that effect, and found all sorts of stuff. I saved them as pictures and will often go in to my folder and laugh at myself.

I know what you mean about learning about stuff. I am reading three books at a time. One is fiction, one is on Humanistic Psychology (Maslow) and the third is on existentialism. Existentialism and humanistic psychology share some basic beliefs. It is fun to do something like that since I have not really had the desire nor was I working in an area that motivated me to learn. I was just surviving.

I am sorry about your pet. I had a cat for 18 years, and the loss of her, to me, was greater than the loss of my parents. It was tough. Again, I am sorry.

As for the frog you kissed, he's a jerk. However, it is better to have loved and lost than to never loved at all. It doesn't make you feel better, but I hope you had some times that made you happy. As for trying to understand, I don't think you can. As we think and feel different, the thought of doing something so mean and cruel is not something that we can understand. He may not have been motivated, just not very caring or thoughtful. Additionally, maybe he did not have the capacity for love and caring that you do. Maybe it was just too much for him. Think about it, we love people, and we hate people at the same time. We want to make a difference in the world, but we rarely let people get close to us. I have two real friends in the world. That is it. A fair number of people know me and love me, but I rarely socialize. So, if that is us, what is he? He may just have his own personality, and it is not one that I think is a match for you.

As for you, watch a good movie..read a good book..go for a walk. It is 9:55 here in Norfolk, VA and the temp is 55. I went for a walk and listened to this spiritual Indian music. I was alone and at peace. Oh, and before that, I watched this Korean movie that had my crying. How is that for a good INFP male?

So, deal with it, learn from it, and get on with life. It is so important to live in the moment. As beings, we have some of the past with us, and we are looking/planning for the future, but we must live now. Feel bad, cry, don't make excuses for him or try to understand him, just let him go. The hurt, I think, is so tough for us. My best friend, a neuropsychologist (and someone who has been there with my numerous ups and downs since college), told me to take care of myself first. So, I am passing that onto you. His behavior makes no sense. You cannot, in my opinion, recycle it and make something good out of it. You can just share your love with others. It does not have to be in a relationship, it is just you being a little bee spreading pollen all over the place. I am getting ready to teach three classes at a local university. That is where I now share my love and passion. I try to teach the students my perspective on working with children. I try to help them be more sensitive and caring. I sometimes develop and great relationships with my students. I don't just teach them, but guide them. That brings me happiness. Also, when class is over, I go home and recover from being with a lot of people. It is who WE are.

I hope this helped a little. It is, for me, tough to know that someone is hurting and not be able to fix it. In any case, I am sending a little peace and love your way.

Duncan

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