Being An INFJ With A Broken Brain

I was going to simply write about this in my journal but since many of you who read my work have told me you share the INFJ personality with me & also have various types of brain damage, I figured putting this out there might help others too.

Being an INFJ isn’t easy.  Naturally we feel things deeper than many other people. We also see red flags of toxic people many don’t even notice & think something is wrong with us for noticing.  We’re often misjudged because we tend to be quiet around people we don’t know well & we’re naturally rather private people.  We also are subjected to some pretty ridiculous expectations, like no matter what is happening in our lives, we should always be willing to listen when people have problems & be the one to do all the work in relationships.  It also seems to me that people think we either don’t have problems or are able to handle anything, so we aren’t really allowed to have bad days or be in a bad mood. 

Even more frustrating than this is being an INFJ with a malfunctioning brain either due to a traumatic brain injury or C-PTSD or even both.  Being an INFJ with both C-PTSD & a traumatic brain injury, I can tell you that frankly, it really just sucks sometimes!  Today has been one of those times.

I woke my husband & myself up at 4:30 this morning from a nightmare that made me wake up having a particularly nasty panic attack.  It took quite some time to fall back asleep & by the time I did, it was time to get up.  A few hours later, I had a flashback.  One of these alone would be hard enough to deal with but having both in a short period of time was rough.  Add in the brain injury making my cognitive skills not function as they should & that makes everything even harder.  It’s been a really long day already & it’s not nearly over yet.

The natural inclination for INFJs in such positions is to go on as normal & not burden anyone with their problems.  I’m no exception.  I even hate writing about this when it’s not going in my journal where only I will see it.  But, for some reason, I felt I should write this out today to let my fellow INFJs know you’re not alone!

Being the rarest of the MBTI personality types, it’s just a given we will be misunderstood.  This can make you feel like a freak but just because you feel that way doesn’t mean it’s true.  Unique isn’t a bad thing at all!  Far from it!  It sure beats blending in with the crowd.  Besides, I’ve noticed INFJs tend to find other INFJs & become friends with them.  We also get along well with INFPs who can understand us surprisingly well.  These friendships are truly a treasure!

If you too have C-PTSD, I know it’s awful.  Absolutely awful in every way.  But, there is one good thing about it.  C-PTSD is not a sign of weakness like many people foolishly think it is.  Quite the opposite.  It is proof that you survived something that was meant to destroy you.  I’m not saying be grateful for C-PTSD of course.  If it could be returned to a store like a bad birthday gift, I’d say return it today!  What I’m saying is just remember C-PTSD is proof that you are an amazing person who is strong, courageous & has a great will to survive.

Lastly, if you have a brain injury too, I truly feel your pain, literally & figuratively.  Brain injuries are incredibly frustrating at best.  They cause some really obnoxious physical symptoms such as terrible headaches & seizures.  They can steal your identity, your talents, your memories & leave you feeling incredibly stupid.  They also can help you to recognize what is truly important in your life & give you the courage to focus on those things.  They can help you to gain the courage to stop tolerating people in your life who don’t love & appreciate you.  There are very few good parts of having a brain injury but the ones I just mentioned are extremely good!

I hope this post helped you to know you aren’t alone in your struggles.  Don’t forget to take good care of yourself, mentally & physically, but especially during trying times.  If other people don’t understand your natural need for self care, that isn’t your problem.  Do what you need to do! 


Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Mental Health, Personality (including introversion, Myers Briggs, etc.)

19 responses to “Being An INFJ With A Broken Brain

  1. kavyag

    It is horrible to have panic attacks I hope you are fine now ❤️

    I am an INFJ too I am often misunderstood as a weird person and a mad person and me having autism along with Cptsd makes things even more worse 🙁

    2-3 days ago I was thinking that INFJ’s are target for toxic people because we can see right through them and these toxic people subconsciously feel exposed in front of us even when went did nothing to expose them so they they are paranoid and try to get to us through their vicious behaviour.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Linda Lee/Lady Quixote

    I am so sorry that you had a nightmare last night that disturbed your sleep and gave you flashbacks. How awful. I used to have terrible nightmares but since I’ve gotten older, I rarely dream anymore. You would think that would be a relief but now I worry what’s wrong with my brain that’s stopping me from dreaming. Because, ya know, when you’ve grown up with all kinds of disasters and traumas, you tend to expect the worst.

    Yes, I am an INFJ, as I have already told you. I have also been diagnosed with complex, developmental PTSD. AND, I have been knocked unconscious about five times in my life. All but one of those times, my loss of consciousness was due to abuse, such as being punched in the jaw or thrown to the floor and then, while I was lying face down on my stomach, my abusive ex husband sat on my back, grabbed me by my hair, and pounded my face over and over and over again into the hardwood floor. That happened when I was 36. That one was the worst. I was unable to feel any kind of emotions after that for about two years. Whew. I am not looking forward to seeing that ex at our son’s wedding on September 5. I will be doing a lot of gray rock, if you know what I mean! Just as I did two years ago at my granddaughter’s wedding.

    You know, Cynthia, your writing and your insight into things is so brilliant — I would never guess from reading your posts that you have any kind of cognitive issues! You must have started out as a genius. Seriously! I have often thought that if I hadn’t tested in the genius range many years ago, when I took a Mensa test, I probably would be severely mentally retarded now. I wouldn’t want to take another IQ test, though. I’m sure I wouldn’t like the score.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you!

      It must feel so bizarre! I go through short periods of not remembering dreams & that feels foreign. Long periods of it has to be so strange for you!

      Whew.. I give you so much credit for having the guts to face that monster not once but twice! You are one tough lady to be able to be anywhere near that monster after the things he did to you. ❤

      You're sweet.. thank you so much!! The first IQ test I took was 20 years ago & it said my IQ was 140. I think it may have been inaccurate because I was distracted & not focusing much on it. Took one a couple years after the carbon monoxide poisoning & it was I think 120? Something like that. I felt it'd be lower than the first, but dang! Wish I'd never taken it. It was depressing! Don't make the same mistake I did & take it. You're still incredibly smart, I don't mean otherwise! But I think since the brain changes after injury, so do IQ test results.

      Liked by 2 people

    • kavyag

      Linda, You took neurofeedback know that can be the reason that your nightmares stopped. You are more powerful than ever now 😇

      Your ex is actually attending your Son’s wedding?! He doesn’t deserve to see you let alone talk with you after all what he did you!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Lee/Lady Quixote

        Thank you, Kavya. I actually stopped having dreams a couple of years before I had the neurofeedback treatments. Having no dreams at all, not even good dreams, seems strange. However, when I take melatonin to help me sleep, then I do have dreams. Good dreams, not nightmares. I am sure you are right, that Neurofeedback helped me not to have nightmares.

        I wish that I would never again have to see that horrible ex. I’m glad that my son’s lovely fiancee has a tradition in her country of the groom’s mother walking him down the aisle. When she asked me if I would please do this, I happily said yes. My reason for saying yes is to please my son and his bride. But I have to admit, it makes me feel good, knowing that my ex husband will hate it! Lol!

        Liked by 2 people

  3. kavyag

    It is a relief for me to know that your nightmares stopped totally for good.

    Why that horrible excuse of an ex is even allowed to attend your Son’s wedding? He will not only hate the tradition but he will feel jealous that you have more authority than him 🤣. Is your Son allowing him to attend out of obligation?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Lee/Lady Quixote

      My son was a little boy when his dad beat me. He did not know the full extent of what happened. I never told my son about it because I did not want to break his heart.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. kavyag

    Oh dear that is very terrible 😖

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Linda Lee/Lady Quixote

    Cynthia, I meant to tell you that I especially like this part of your post: “C-PTSD is not a sign of weakness like many people foolishly think it is.  Quite the opposite.  It is proof that you survived something that was meant to destroy you.”

    It is proof you survived something that was meant to destroy you. I love it!

    This reminds me of the memoir I am writing, which I hope and pray I will be able to finish and publish someday. It isn’t an easy story to write, which is why I have been writing this first draft, a little at a time, writing every single day, for going on three years now. Sometimes I worry that it won’t ever be finished. I keep praying for God’s help to get it done, but only if it’s His will.

    At first, I was going to title my memoir ‘Growing Up Crazy’. Then, I briefly toyed with the idea of calling it ‘A Scapegoat’s Memoir’. Then I thought of putting those two titles together: ‘Growing Up Crazy, A Scapegoat’s Memoir’. I thought that was going to be my title.

    However, just a few days ago, I was writing about a particularly horrific experience, and I thought: “Wow, it’s really a miracle I survived all of that.” Then the idea came to me to title my book: Survivor, A Scapegoat’s Memoir.

    You are right, Cynthia. My C-PTSD is proof that I survived something that was meant to destroy me! And the same is true of you. You are an awesome survivor and a great inspiration. I am grateful for you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It absolutely is proof of something meant to destroy you!!

      What a great title! It sounds very appropriate for your memoir!

      Yanno.. whether or not you ever publish it, I think it’s awesome you’re writing it. That process can be so healing & validating. I truly wish you the best with it! Writing a memoir can be very painful but it is worth it in the end. ❤

      Thank you so very much!! You're so kind. ❤ I'm very grateful for you too. Your wisdom, strength & courage are incredible & utterly inspiring!

      Liked by 2 people

  6. kavyag

    Cynthia and Linda you both have experienced horrible abuse which is unfathomable. I doubt whether I would be even alive if I had gone through what you both went through. My strength is nothing compared to you both. You both deserve unconditional love from the Lord for being empathetic even after going through so much ❤️❤️❤️


  7. kavyag

    Your Welcome 😊


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