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Losing my wife of 45 years


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I lost Dotti, my wife of 45 years, minus 12 days, on May 29, 2021 to pneumonia. It came on suddenly and unexpectedly. We both got sick, but I got better quickly. Our son and his family all got it as well. My wife’s brother caught it and everyone got better fairly quickly, no worse than a cold. But Dotti didn’t get better. Every Saturday morning is when I face another time to relive the events. I talked with Dotti on a video chat on Friday and she sounded like she was hanging in there in ICU, with her BiPap mask feeding her oxygen, and then at 5 am I got a call from the hospital saying that Dotti was too tired to continue breathing with the mask and she refused to be intubated. They said I could come in and see her. That was a drive I am surprised I was able to conclude safely. 

I got to ICU and they showed me to her room. She had such tired eyes but she told me she loved me and we shared things that only two people who have grown into one can share. Then they gave her some meds—she said, “I don’t want to feel any pain, please”—and then they removed the mask. I stood beside her, desperately wanting to put that mask back on her, and have a second thought about it, but I held her hand and rubbed her forehead and watched my lovely angel breathe her last breaths and her heart stopped at 9:12 am. This is my Saturday matinee now, as I go through it each week all over again. The seventh rerun is coming soon. 

Ever since she died I have been lost, all alone in a dark valley, where Dotti used to be the sun in the sky, and illuminate green fields and beautiful lakes and flowers that would dance in the morning breeze. She was the purpose to my life, my best friend, my confidant, my soulmate, and in very many ways, my reason to be. Making Dotti smile was my goal, and much of my day was aimed at accomplishing that. If she were asleep, I would check to make sure her covers were alright. If she were awake I would check to see if she needed something. The thing I lived for each day was our date each evening together for dinner and watching an old Perry Mason show, or a movie. We played hangman on our Roku as well and she was a great partner for figuring out the words. From morning to night, my day was structured around Dotti, and I never dreamed she could be taken so soon. I will be 70 next month. I used to talk about average life expectancy and I would say time was getting shorter for me, and Dotti would get angry with me for even thinking about that. But she was 5 years my junior. The very first birthday card I got for her was on her 18th birthday, and I wrote on it, “No matter how old you get, you’ll always be my youngin’ ” . It was my way of saying that I was robbing the cradle, and we laughed about it right up until the end.  

I have gone to my doctor to deal with the anxiety, on top of my horrible grief. I have thousands of pictures, and innumerable memories and now, they are all that is left me. Just simple things have become almost impossible to do. Hard things have become impossible. Making videos for my YouTube channels on any topic other than Dotti is impossible. I can’t watch her videos on her channel without falling into sobbing. 

My son bought the C. S. Lewis book, “A Grief Observed” for me, because it was recommended in one of the comments on my grieving video I had made, and he read it, and asked if I would like it. The first time I went through the book I scribbled fast and furiously in the margins as I sometimes agreed and sometimes disagreed with Lewis’ ideas. The second time through I read all the things he wrote as well as my own margin notes. 

Right now I am struggling with creating a video for Dotti’s memorial service and that means going through our 10s of thousands of pictures from over the years and picking out just a select few (150 or 200) for the video. On some days I just can’t do it. We had so many fun events and magic moments over our four and a half decades together, and the pictures bring me back to them as I get into one after the other. Dotti is gone but her incredible talent for making life wonderful is banging around inside my head as a reminder that she is no longer my source of joy and living each day. In the book, “Foundation,” Isaac Asimov had one old character say, “Past glories are poor feeding,” after he had meandered into his past during a conversation. Few people care about what you did yesterday, because they are living in today and looking to tomorrow. But I feel as though I have lost my tomorrows, and today is only as tasty as cardboard. My yesterdays, thanks to my Dotti, is filled to the brim and overflowing with happy events and joyful times together. 

I am still trying to puzzle out what to make of such a mess. I have gone so far as to create some written discussions between myself and one my fictional characters from one of my books. (It may sound crazy but I had to try it.) She is a rational, intelligent thinker, who can wrap her mind around big problems and find solutions. This is by far the biggest problem I have ever faced and “the two of us” are still working on trying to solve it. Writing is a great way to work through things, and right now I am willing to try almost anything to get away from the horrible pain that has rushed in to fill the hole that Dotti left in my heart, when she left me in the ICU. Oh how I miss that girl!  

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Imagine standing in line at a store and there is a large man in front of you whom you don't know. Suddenly he turns around and slaps you to the ground brutally and you are sprawled out flat on your face. In a store, you might stand up and throw some punches and give the guy a thrashing, but this, this is far worse. My wife died suddenly, just 12 days before our 45th anniversary. It was unexpected. And, there is no one to be angry at, no one to hit back. It's a blow from the universe that was perfectly happy to let an astroid hit Earth 65 million years ago and kill off the dinosaurs and many other animals. It would be just as happy to let another one take out all of mankind as well. It certainly didn't, in its infinite apathy, care about the loss of one woman, who was my everything. I thought I knew just how much I loved my wife, and how much I truly needed her. I told her every day that she was my everything. But thinking it and saying it, is not the same thing as facing it in all its cruelty. I am face to face with the fact that she was essential to my happiness. I didn't just want her, I truly needed her, and now she is gone. And here am I, contemplating the futility of this thing we call life. I found the perfect mate, the love of my life, the one with whom I wanted to spend all of the rest of my days, and I felt like the luckiest man who ever lived. But the higher you climb in this world of emotions, the farther you have to fall when your soulmate is taken away. On the upside I did experience a very wonderful life with my wife, and honestly it would be worth any price to have her in my life. I just didn't know that the price I would pay would be this terribly high. I feel like the Tin Man, because Dotti took my heart with her when she died. 

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I’m so sorry for your loss.  It’s so fresh and upended your life.  That you are trying to organize a tribute to her is tough and amazing you are making some progress.  Many would be too overwhelmed. AlvinC is right, the loss took your heart with it.  It’s a feeling that is indescribable to anyone who has not experienced it.  That is one of the hardest parts to get used.to along with weight of grief.  I’m into my 7th year without my best friend and other half who took so much of me with him.  Things will never be anything close to what was and that’s hard to swallow.  Pretty much every day there is a reminder beyond just how my once normal life has been altered.  We so want to touch, hear and see them.  Tell them of things we experienced both good and bad.  So many things I don’t do anymore because they were together things.  
 

Ive read A Grief Observed snd attended virtual support groups as well as personal counseling.  Being here adds to safe places today whatever I feel.  We need that as to keep it contained as society would like us to after their clock of acceptable mourning, we are on our own.  I’m sorry too you are here as I am for everyone.  The cost it’s too high.

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Dotti and I talked about names for a daughter if we had one, and I suggested Guinevere, in part because I loved the song by that name by Rick Wakeman. We didn't have a daughter so it became a moot point. 

I am an INTJ, in the Meyers-Briggs system of personality classification, and so was C. S. Lewis. That was why I was eager to read that book. He thinks in a similar way as I do, and as I read the book, I found exactly what I expected. He didn't pull punches about how he felt and his analysis of what was going on, especially in the first half of the book was quite refreshing. He died 2 years after writing that book and 3 years after his wife died, the same day that John F. Kennedy was shot. Lewis was 64 when he passed, just like my Dotti. 

I came to this forum after watching a video on YouTube where they were talking to people about going to grieving groups. I am an introvert and groups are not my thing. I avoided them before Dotti died, and that wasn't changed by her leaving. But I enjoy writing and reading (I usually write a few thousand words in email every day) and so I went looking for a forum. When I arrived here I started reading and found it was amazingly helpful. I was in tears a few times, which I had avoided the past few days pretty well, but it was a release that I clearly needed. My anxiety level dropped. So, I signed up. 

My natural way of dealing with things is to think my way through it. But it is not effective, and I discussed this in one of my YouTube videos on how to deal with a broken heart when you are wired like I am. In the video I was discussing the terrible pain I felt when my first wife abandoned me and took our 2-year old son with her. But when I made that video I had no clue that in just a couple of years I would be facing a far more devastating loss.

No matter how much I think about it, it goes in a circle because emotions are not logical, or rational and there is no easy way out. I have to face the pain and deal with it. And I hate it. Every morning I get up and say, "Good Morning Dotti" to her urn, and every night I tell her goodnight. We had a little plaque in our bedroom that said, "Always kiss me goodnight!" That is a reminder, along with a million others in my apartment, that Dotti is no longer here. 

Years ago, we had different things going on during the days. She had created a huge web page and it took up her time while I was at work, and I was working on Ion Implanters in microchip manufacturing plants, and our evenings were our only time together, along with weekends. But for a number of years we have been together pretty much 24x7. Everyday was interwoven with Dotti, all day long. And now? An empty apartment and an empty life. Dotti was a people person. She loved people and she was the source of most of my social interaction with others. My natural bent is to be in my office all the time. I have to be prodded to get out of the house and do something. Dotti would prod me, as only she could. One more reason to miss her, along with innumerable others. 

Thank you for taking the time to read my posts and to respond, and share your experience with me. I wish you all the best! 

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Alvin, I am so sorry for your loss, that another person has cause to go through this, but I'm glad you found this place.  We cannot take your pain away but I hope it helps that others "get it" and understand/care.

I want to share an article I wrote of the things I've found helpful over the years, in the hopes something will be of help to you either now or on down the road.

TIPS TO MAKE YOUR WAY THROUGH GRIEF

There's no way to sum up how to go on in a simple easy answer, but I encourage you to read the other threads here, little by little you will learn how to make your way through this.  I do want to give you some pointers though, of some things I've learned on my journey.

  • Take one day at a time.  The Bible says each day has enough trouble of it's own, I've found that to be true, so don't bite off more than you can chew.  It can be challenging enough just to tackle today.  I tell myself, I only have to get through today.  Then I get up tomorrow and do it all over again.  To think about the "rest of my life" invites anxiety.
  • Don't be afraid, grief may not end but it evolves.  The intensity lessens eventually.
  • Visit your doctor.  Tell them about your loss, any troubles sleeping, suicidal thoughts, anxiety attacks.  They need to know these things in order to help you through it...this is all part of grief.
  • Suicidal thoughts are common in early grief.  If they're reoccurring, call a suicide hotline.  I felt that way early on, but then realized it wasn't that I wanted to die so much as I didn't want to go through what I'd have to face if I lived.  Back to taking a day at a time.  Suicide Hotline - Call 1-800-273-8255 or www.crisis textline.org or US and Canada: text 741741 UK: text 85258 | Ireland: text 50808
  • Give yourself permission to smile.  It is not our grief that binds us to them, but our love, and that continues still.
  • Try not to isolate too much.  
  • There's a balance to reach between taking time to process our grief, and avoiding it...it's good to find that balance for yourself.  We can't keep so busy as to avoid our grief, it has a way of haunting us, finding us, and demanding we pay attention to it!  Some people set aside time every day to grieve.  I didn't have to, it searched and found me!
  • Self-care is extremely important, more so than ever.  That person that would have cared for you is gone, now you're it...learn to be your own best friend, your own advocate, practice self-care.  You'll need it more than ever.
  • Recognize that your doctor isn't trained in grief, find a professional grief counselor that is.  We need help finding ourselves through this maze of grief, knowing where to start, etc.  They have not only the knowledge, but the resources.
  • In time, consider a grief support group.  If your friends have not been through it themselves, they may not understand what you're going through, it helps to find someone somewhere who DOES "get it". 
  • Be patient, give yourself time.  There's no hurry or timetable about cleaning out belongings, etc.  They can wait, you can take a year, ten years, or never deal with it.  It's okay, it's what YOU are comfortable with that matters.  
  • Know that what we are comfortable with may change from time to time.  That first couple of years I put his pictures up, took them down, up, down, depending on whether it made me feel better or worse.  Finally, they were up to stay.
  • Consider a pet.  Not everyone is a pet fan, but I've found that my dog helps immensely.  It's someone to love, someone to come home to, someone happy to see me, someone that gives me a purpose...I have to come home and feed him.  Besides, they're known to relieve stress.  Well maybe not in the puppy stage when they're chewing up everything, but there's older ones to adopt if you don't relish that stage.
  • Make yourself get out now and then.  You may not feel interest in anything, things that interested you before seem to feel flat now.  That's normal.  Push yourself out of your comfort zone just a wee bit now and then.  Eating out alone, going to a movie alone or church alone, all of these things are hard to do at first.  You may feel you flunked at it, cried throughout, that's okay, you did it, you tried, and eventually you get a little better at it.  If I waited until I had someone to do things with I'd be stuck at home a lot.
  • Keep coming here.  We've been through it and we're all going through this together.
  • Look for joy in every day.  It will be hard to find at first, but in practicing this, it will change your focus so you can embrace what IS rather than merely focusing on what ISN'T.  It teaches you to live in the present and appreciate fully.  You have lost your big joy in life, and all other small joys may seem insignificant in comparison, but rather than compare what used to be to what is, learn the ability to appreciate each and every small thing that comes your way...a rainbow, a phone call from a friend, unexpected money, a stranger smiling at you, whatever the small joy, embrace it.  It's an art that takes practice and is life changing if you continue it.
  • Eventually consider volunteering.  It helps us when we're outward focused, it's a win/win.

(((hugs))) Praying for you today.

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Thank you Kay! It has been helpful seeing others who are going through this. (I don't think anyone has gone through it, past tense, because it seems like it is a never ending process.) I just keep taking the days as they come and try to fight my way through them. 

Yesterday my 9 year old granddaughter came for a visit for the very first time without her parents. She was very close to Grandma and seeing Grandma's house without Grandma in it any longer was too much for her. I was shocked by how therapeutic it was. It was the best I have felt in weeks. My stress just evaporated for those couple of hours until her dad showed up to take them home. I had forgotten what it felt like to feel normal for awhile. It was wonderful. That little girl is a lot like my Dotti was, the same personality type, and she is very intelligent. That is why they got along so well together. I really missed her the past few weeks. I have so little to look forward to any longer. I think being able to talk about Grandma was helpful for her as well. 

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Here it is, Saturday morning and in less than two hours it will all start again—the seventh weekly rerun—with my 5am phone call that shattered my world. It is like living through an episode of The Twilight Zone that never ends. The only good thing about this is I get a strange sort of release after 9:12am. Sitting all alone beside Dotti's dead body for an hour or more in ICU after she died was not the same level of horror that watching her die had been, and the grip of terror normally releases me then, and I am back to just being miserable again, like any other day. And years ago I used to actually look forward to Saturdays. 

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Welcome, Alvin, and I am sorry you have had cause to have to find us, but we're glad you're here.  At 7 weeks it's quite fresh for you, and it sounds like you are taking the days as they come, and that is sometimes all you can really do.

3 hours ago, AlvinC said:

It is like living through an episode of The Twilight Zone that never ends

Good analogy.  And you're right, the feeling of having so little to look forward to is a persistent one.  I'm still dealing with that one 4 years on.  You mentioned being INTJ.  I am  INFJ, the rarest of them all in the Meyer-Briggs personality types, and as an extrovert, he was the one who drew me out into the world, so now I am the one who has to prod me out into the world.  It's a strange feeling...

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I'm so glad you're getting a visit with your granddaughter.  Mine are 6 & 4, the younger one has never been here, I have to drive the three hours to their house to see them, they're always busy in the summer and winters I can't be gone overnight and the days are short.  I'm glad you got that special treat!

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Kieron - Thank you for taking the time to respond and to share your thoughts. 

You have Introverted Intuition as well, so you probably get my discussions with my subconscious fictional character Staci Colt, who seems able to tap into that Ni part of me. After making around 130 videos on the INTJ personality type I am faced with the worst case scenario for me, and I am lost at sea with no compass or chart. I knew for years that dealing with my emotions was was my weakest area. But here I am. I did videos on how my ESTP wife drew me out of my shell and pulled me into social interactions that I never would have been able to do on my own. She was strong where I was weak, and vice versa, so that we made a complete whole when we were together. It was wonderful, all that I ever wanted out of life. But alas… 

I think one of the saddest things I have found in this forum—though not really surprising I guess—is the fact that people like yourself, who have been on this horrendous Journey for years are still feeling the pain. 

This forum is structured a lot like my wife's message board that she ran for many years on her web page. At it's peak there were over 30,000 members, but now it is all gone. It was a bit weird for me to join here after I was an admin on hers. She had a lot of people struggling with life as well (it was based on weight loss). But here we are struggling with death and trying to find a life after it has taken the one who made life wonderful for us. 

If I know any INFJs I am not aware of their personality type for sure. I know a few INFP's, and as it turns out one of them is a hospice worker as her job, but I met her through Dotti's web page, in the weight loss world. But she has emailed me some support since Dotti moved on. I have a cousin who is also an INFP, and she and I are very similar in our need for solitary time. 

I have never really been single since I graduated from high school. I got married that summer in 1970, to my high school sweetheart, and it lasted about 3.5 years before she left me with our little son. About 8 or 9 months later, when I was finally picking myself up off the ground, I met Dotti, and I have been with her ever since. I don't have a knowledge base to work from. I don't have a past history of being single where I am all on my own. I was in the Navy when my ex left and so I lived in a barracks and then on ship. But I was stuck being around people. Now, I am alone. If my son drops by or my grandkids come for a visit I see someone, otherwise I am a hermit. And about 90% of me likes it that way. (Although there is no one around to read it but me, there is a plaque on my office door that says, "Nobody gets in to see the Wizard! Not nobody! Not no how!" I hand wrote a little caveat to that, however:  "Except for Dorothy!" My Dorothy has gone now and so there are no exceptions.) 

But there is this 10% part of me that wants to interact with people. That is probably why I do a great deal of writing emails to others and in part what drew me here. 

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I took the test years ago, I'm what they call an Advocate so I fit in that mold.  I'm cool with it, I see it as a good thing although what they say about weaknesses fits too.  Every strength carries a weakness.

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Kay - Thank you! That visit really helped me emotionally.  

Grandkids are a treat! I just got an email from my brother-in-law who said that since he has no children or grandchildren, he has enjoyed watching a YouTube channel that is showing a little 2 year old girl living on a farm and enjoying the vegetation and the little animals. Children bring a feeling of youth. They are curious and filled with energy. They tend to live in the now and savor each event. It is wonderful. 

In less than a month we will have the service for Dotti and it looks like we will have both my sons, their wives, and four of my five grandchildren all together. My oldest grandson is now 23 and working full time in Japan. The two grandchildren who are here locally are 9 and 5. Their birthdays straddle Dotti's. Grandson October 2, Dotti October 5, and Granddaughter October 7. The two coming from Japan are two and one in age. I got to see the older one, my granddaughter, when she had just turned 1 but I have yet to see my youngest grandson. Their daddy, my son, will turn 50 on his next birthday. He is going to be feeling very busy when those kids hit their teens. Unfortunately, my son, daughter-in-law, and grandkids in Japan are so far away I don't see them often, but it is a true joy when they come for a visit.

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Kay- An Advocate is also an INFJ, like Kieron. Perhaps that partly explains the ability to be here and reach out to others so well. I am built like a porcupine, with sharp quills all around, but in the middle is a warm fuzzy part that somehow Dotti was able to reach without being dissuaded  by my quirky social inadequacies. She loved me as I was, and didn't try to change who I was. I still think of that as a miracle, because she was so very special and she just loved people. One of her members from her web page, when they met face to face said, "Dotti has a very special ability to make you feel like you are best friends when you first meet, and feel as though you have known each other all of your lives." That is the exact inverse of me. But she loved me anyway. 

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Yes, I realize that. 

Dottie has left an incredible legacy. :wub:

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Sorry for repeating what you already knew. In a sense I was thinking "out loud," because I had to double check for myself. They have names for the different types and sometimes they are called different things on different web pages. The INTJ is called the Mastermind in many areas, but it is called the Architect on at least one of them. As you pointed out, every type has its strengths and its own weaknesses. 

Dotti had more than 84 million visitors her web page over the 22 years it has been up. She touched many lives. I always admired her talents and her drive. I adored her on so many levels. And now I am left with only old memories, because we won't be making new ones anymore.  

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7 hours ago, kayc said:

I took the test years ago, I'm what they call an Advocate so I fit in that mold.

What test is this and what are all these abbreviations?

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30 minutes ago, Gwenivere said:

What test is this and what are all these abbreviations?

Gwenivere-

MBTI = Meyrs-Briggs Type Indicator 

There is are MBTI tests that help you to figure out your personality type. Not all tests are  created equal, so you might need to take a couple of them to make sure they get it right. There are several MBTI related web pages with lots of info on the system.

There are 16 personality types in that system and they are each indicated by a 4-letter code. 

INTJ, INTP, INFJ, INFP, ISTJ, ISTP, ISFJ, ISFP, ENTJ, ENTP, ENFJ, ENFP, ESTJ, ESTP, ESFJ, ESFP

I   or E:  I is for Introverted, and E is for extraverted.

N or S:  N is for iNtuition and S is for Sensing

T or F:  T is for Thinking and F is for feeling.

J or P:  J is for Judging and P is for Perceiving.

It goes on to stack your cognitive functions in order for you personality type. 

INTJ is Introverted Intuition—Extroverted Thinking—Introverted Feeling—Extroverted Sensing

I could go a lot deeper on it, but only if you are interested. My YouTube channel is centered on the INTJ personality type but there are 15 other types as well. 

I got started on this a few years ago when my cousin suggested that I use the system to help me with creating characters for my fiction writing. But when I checked it out I became very interested in it for my own personality. It has helped a lot with the fiction too, but mostly it has been helpful to me to understand myself. 

 

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10 hours ago, AlvinC said:

there is a plaque on my office door that says, "Nobody gets in to see the Wizard! Not nobody! Not no how!" I hand wrote a little caveat to that, however:  "Except for Dorothy!" My Dorothy has gone now and so there are no exceptions.) 

Oh wow.  That's poignant.   💖

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Thanks, Alvin.  I found it on the net.  I came up as an advocate, but I haven’t read both definitions yet.

love the Wizard of Oz tweak you did for your Dorothy.  ❤️

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Kieron - that is the sad thing about pain: poignancy abounds. :-(

Gwenivere - I am glad you found some MBTI sources. It appears that Advocates are very good at providing support on this forum. I guess that is not surprising, but you all have been helpful to me. 

My world was completely centered on Dotti. She was my source of creativity and joy in living. I made a video called "An INTJ Grieving the Loss of a Spouse" and many of my long time viewers expressed a knowledge that this was huge, earth-shattering for me, because I had spent years making videos where I sang the praises of my ESTP wife, and my love for her. Viewers often made comments that they wished they could find such a perfect mate. And now what? Where can I possibly go from here?

At least my Saturday matinee is over for another week. A few days are ahead of just normal misery, instead of an intense session of misery on steroids. 

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I took a class over 20 years ago on it, our whole family took the test.  I also had a different one on our giftings, it was interesting, I came up Prophet, the title does refer to someone who predicts but rather someone who is a truth bearer, who can stand alone against the tide, who views it as more important to bear truth than to tickle ears to gain friends.  Rather paraphrased. ;)  I don't recall the name of that study, but it was interesting.  I love the analogies the teacher gave.  I remember they used an example of having a friend in the hospital, and one person comes in and tells them they should have quit smoking, another climbs in bed with them, etc.  It was funny but it got the point across.  It helped us understand each other better and where we're coming from.

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Kay - I haven't run into a type called "prophet" yet. But then the names can be ambiguous, which is why I use the four letter codes to identify the types usually. Possible candidates are, the "Advocate (INFJ) or maybe the Logistician (ISTJ). I am not sure. All of the rational types (INTJ, INTP, ENTJ, ENTP) tend to value truth over friendship.

There are a lot of videos on YouTube where someone takes all 16 personality types, and shows how they will react to different situations. Those descriptive stories your teacher used could be very entertaining because different types will approach things differently. 

I made a video on how to determine your type in case the tests were coming up with results that changed for someone, taking different tests, or the same test on different days. (A lot of those tests are written poorly, unfortunately. The context of the question is not fully laid out and many times the questions end up with and answer: "It depends." One day you might feel one way and another day you might feel differently and give a different answer.)

Last year, I sat down with my two brothers-in-law and watched that video with them, and they came out ESFP and ISFP. There are YouTube channels dedicated to all the different personality types. Each type has certain strengths it can lean on and certain weaknesses that it needs to either work around or work on learning how to cope with it. 

I went into teaching specifically for that very purpose. (I didn't know about MBTI back then but I knew I was an introvert and people were a puzzle for me.) I volunteered for instructor duty in the Navy and they sent me to school to learn how to teach and then I spent most of a decade getting up in front of classes and teaching, and doing pretty well at it. Before I took on that challenge it seemed well nigh impossible for this naturally introverted hermit to face a roomful of people and lecture them. Dotti was able to go up in front of a group like it was the easiest thing in the world, she would ad lib it and thrive. Just one more thing about my girl, who was so different from me, that I greatly admired. 

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Kay - Your post got me digging into this, and I just read this concerning INFJs (who have some profound overlap with my type, INTJ, concerning introverted intuition):

Because of their ready access to subconscious or subliminal information, INFJs are commonly viewed as profound, insightful, and sometimes even psychic or prophetic

So, maybe you are an INFJ too. 

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I wanted to say, too, that these tests can vary at different times in ones life.  I sure know that after losing Steve I’ve changed in so many ways.  At least in regard to the questions.  My morals snd ethics have never wavered.  My reactions to things have.  Losing so much happiness changes a person to the core.  There’s so little I do now I once did, some by actual restrictions and some by my lack of interest in life anymore.  That makes me very sad.  I used to like waking up.  Now it’s a dread.  I used to want to get busy on filling my day.  Now I struggle with so many hours and so little I can do.  I think back on what an extrovert I was and now so changed.   Even my slim opportunities to socialize I have to push myself into.  
 

The test would have been a fun thing to take with Steve.  He was massive energy and the best buddy to so many people.  So empathetic and caring.  I was too, but not as big a social circle.  I miss that couple.  People could easily see our unshaken devotion.  It was mentioned many times.  We weren’t trying to display that, it just shown thru.   I look at me now and see only a familiar looking face.  So little of who I was.  I still give what I can to those I know, but it takes effort now.  A lot of this is the daily pain.  It’s preventing me from possibly developing a couple of friendships I desperately need.  I can’t be interactive and just sitting and talking is nice, but it requires more as they are active people.  Things I would like to do too.  Or help with.

it was hard doing the tests as I couldn’t figure out the real answers.  The ones from my heart that are not doable now or the ones from the broken me.  2 very different results.  
 

I agree we are all advocates here.  All accepting and understanding.  So many varied challenges.  But we know we can bring them here.  

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Gwenivere- Serious trauma can alter your personality for sure. For myself, it only drove me deeper into my INTJ isolation. But I can see how your natural extrovert tendencies could be squashed by this. And missing "that couple," which I was part of, is something I have been wrestling with too.  

Going to sleep is something I look forward to. Waking up, is not a happy time at all. I always wake up anxious, and it takes me varying amounts of time to come down to feeling almost normal. I can't seem to generate any feelings of anticipation for the future.    

I think the long term ones on this board, who are quick to reach out to others, are certainly wired to be good caring people. I am thankful you are all here. 

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