Monday, March 16, 2009

Myers Briggs and Old Dreams

I've been volunteering 4 hours a week at a place that assists low-income women and families with building the skills to find employment. Things like resume assistance, interview coaching, computer skills and even help with finding the right clothes for the job interview.

It's a really interesting place and I've been enjoying my time there. Mainly I sit at the front desk and do odd jobs as needed. I've been reading a portion of one of the "career guidance" books that we have available for clients to borrow, every time I go in. It's based on Myers-Briggs personality typing. My feelings for that whole field are mixed. Part of me thinks it's really interesting and helpful and part of me thinks it's a way to try and legitimise reading your horoscope.

As I've been reading, I've not only been keeping track of my own personality type (ENFJ - although I'm not really an extreme anything, falling in the middle of most of the scales) but also trying to figure out what Ryan is. He's obviously an "Introvert" (as opposed to "Extrovert") and obviously a "Thinker" (as opposed to "Feeler"), but the other 2 are a little harder to define. Nevertheless, I found a paragraph in the book that I thought might have been written about Ryan himself:

"Thinkers can be analytical to the point of seeming cold and feelers can be personally involved to the point of seeming overemotional. When Thinkers and Feelers clash, more often than not, the Feeler ends up hurt and angry, while the Thinker is confused about what went wrong."

I find Ryan's obliviousness cute most of the time and irritating some of the time. We rarely ever "clash" - actually what struck me about those 2 sentences was that it seemed a perfect description of what happened with That Girl.
Last night we went to bed well past our regular bedtime. Before I went to sleep I started remembering a dream I'd had the night before and I told Ryan about it. It was part of a series of dreams I've been having all swirling around the same subject. Something about that dream or perhaps the 2 sentences I found in the Myers-Briggs book reminded me of another dream I had in London last May. Completely unrelated to the topic of my recent series of dreams (maybe I'll write about them later), in this dream, the girl in question had approached Ryan's family with the news that her husband was unable to impregnate her, but it would all be okay because she'd come up with a solution. The solution was this: she would use Ryan as a donor and that way, Ryan's parents would become her child's grandparents. Everyone seemed in full support of the idea, except me. I don't remember how it ended, just a weird feeling of disconnect.

Pretty obvious why my insecure, worried little brain pulled that vignette from: I found the whole situation so distressing - particularly because it remained (and remains!) unresolved. Often I find that dreams help me resolve situations that I might not have another way of really working on; after I broke up with my first boyfriend, I had a series of dreams over several months which started out as angry dreams where I expressed (read: yelled at him) how hurt I was by his actions and ended up as simple discussions, the last dream being a dream about having a conversation with him at a party - then I never dreamt about him or the incident again. My friend Alex died when we were 18. I was racked with guilt for not having gone to visit her in the hospital sooner - I was scheduled to go the day she died - about once every 3 months or so, for several years afterwards, I would see her in dreams which helped me feel less horrible (yes, I realise it didn't change the facts, but it still helped my brain). She seemed so comfortable.

But this dream? Singularly unhelpful - just a manifestation of my own hurt and frustration. Yuck!

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