PART ONE: I am a “Seer of Unseeable Things”

I’ve been mulling over the purpose of this blog lately. Realistically, I suspect it will reflect the state of my mind’s inner workings & what I’m focused on at the time.  Since I’m completing a graduate degree, my posts have had an academic focus.  However, over time I hope to do much more with it….

I am a “seer of unseeable things”

One experiential thread woven throughout the fabric of my  life is a feeling of living in opposite-land.  In this frustratingly unique life position I am a seer of unseeable things which others are blind to.

Truth becomes bullshit and bullshit becomes truth…

Throughout my life, I have struggled with the existence daily experiences that I know as matters of fact and others perceive as blasphemous bullshit.  Instead a slew of social rules (i.e. bullshit) are presented to me as a preferred and/or desired way of being.  I am to tow the line or suffer the consequences.

I attribute this two three factors:

Firstly, I am an INFP

The above video provides an excellent visual depiction of the introverted feeling function from an “insider’s perspective”. The view from inside the fizzy pop can is different than others might be lead to believe based on outside appearances.

Sometimes I wonder if my experience made me how I am or if I make my experiences through how I perceive them.  The Myers Briggs Personality Type Indicator provides excellent insight into this “chicken-or-egg-question”.   I process information based on extraverted intuition.  This perceptual function has boundless curiosity, preferring to synthesize seemingly disparate perspectives into a multifaceted perspective based that carries greater truths not otherwise really see.  I make decisions and judgments based on deeply felt values that reflect the sum total of my life experiences.  I know this respect I’m a “lone wolf” who marched to the beat of my own thumb.

I seem to naturally gravitate toward a contrarian view of things: profoundly am aware of the idiot bullshit that underlies convention.

Secondly, I grew up a bullied & ostracized oddball.


I was always on the outside looking in.   The social universe of peers, friendships, and cliques was always foreign to me as a scary and mysterious universe!   For whatever reason, (an innate predisposition toward dorkiness), I was always the girl with cooties that nobody wanted to play with.   I did my own thing & retreated into my own world.  These early socialization experiences left their mark upon me as an adult incapable of faking normal.

You see, we all utilize our childhood as a developmental reference point experientially.  The coping methods we use & level of success we encounter in handling developmental tasks leave their mark.  I was fearful of social situations as a bullied child, had zero sense of self-efficacy. And adapted by retreating into my own world.

It’s, therefore, not really surprising that I am an introvert who is reluctant to open up to others. I have difficulty establishing friendships & trusting others…

Finally, I’m a biracial

Click here for a bill of rights for people of mixed race heritage


There are four abstract constructs which together are effective in developing a basic understanding of a biracial individual’s experience of race.  Together they explain what it is like to live within an unclear “in-between” space. These constructs are: (1) genotype; (2) phenotype; (3) identity; & (4) culture.  Understanding how they converge within an individual’s life can help quite a bit in explaining their racial identity.  They are useful in understanding the diversity of experiences amongst biracial experiences, as well as the issue of colorism…

Genotype vs. Phenotype…

Genotype refers to the DNA you carry within you.  You get half from your mother and half from your father.  For example, at geneaology.com they studies of populations around the world.  When individuals are isolated historically these populations tend to share genes for traits that are conducive to survival in that area.  When you submit a test at genealogy.com, they tell you what subsets of the human population are present in your genes.

Phenotype has to do with your physical features, how do you look?  What is the color of your skin, your face shape, and hair color?  The point is, you can have the same set of parents, but inherit different subsets.  Therefore, two genetically biracial individuals can have very different appearances.

I have a genotype / phenotype mismatch problem…

What is Identity?

The DSM-5 Manual defines Identity as follows:  “[the] experience of oneself as unique with clear boundaries between self and others; stability of self-esteem and accuracy of self appraisal; capacity for, and ability to regulate, a range of emotional experience.” (American Psychiatric Association, 2013, p823).  As a biracial individual the experience of how others see us diverges from the inner knowing of who they are.  Regarding how others’ experience, I feel as if I’m a man inside a monkey suit wearing upon my being the preconceived notions of others.  I wait for somebody to see within to the real me, but it happens rarely.  R.D. Laing (1990), summarizes this experience succinctly in his book “The Divided Self”.  In contrast, the description of our inner sense of self is best described in my old course textbook (Corsini & Wedding, 2013).

I cannot experience your experience. You cannot experience my experience. We are both invisible men. All men are invisible to one another. Experience is man’s invisibility to man. Experience used to be called the soul.” (Laing, 1990, p18).
“The usual sense of the self as being who we ‘really are’ and as being continuous and consistent over time seems to be an illusory construction of imprecise awareness….similar to the ‘flicker fusion phenomenon’ by which photographs projected successively on a movie screen…we suffer from a case of mistaken identity. We are not who, or even what, we thought we were. What we take to be our real self is merely an illusory construct” (Wedding & Corsini, 2013, p467).

What is culture?

Culture provides another set of mental programs relevant to a society (Chung & Bemak, 2002). It consists of a shared system of meanings within society that define modes of expression and communication, (Chung & Bemak, 2002; Nazir, et al, 2009). It influences how we view the world around us and sets the normative standards for behavior (Chung & Bemak, 2002; Nazir, et al, 2009). As a form of “mental programming” (Chung & Bemak, 2002, p282), it defines our value systems and preferred ways of thinking and feeling.

So what does it mean to see unseen things?

**As a biracial individual I am unable to take sides and am provided a unique view of the social world that mono-racial individuals cannot conceive.  I am not what I am perceived to be. 
**As an INFP, it means I live in a rich inner world filled with uncommon yet-valid truths unrecognized to the majority as contradictory to conventional thinking.
**As a bullied child I was never provided an insider’s view of the social world.  I stood outside the social world.  I wanted in but never gained access.  I did my own thing and can’t handle the idea of having to “fake normal”…

believe it or not there’s actually a point to all this pissing & moaning 🙂

On the one hand, I find myself doubting the validity of my own experiences.  Was it real?  If it was real then the world is filled with idiots who prefer to engage in pluralistic ignorance in the name of Santa-Clause-Like bullshit notions.  Or, am l the crazy person filled with irrational & delusional thoughts?  If so, should I be locked away somewhere?   How do I filter through the reality of my experiences and manage the disparities between my inner and outer worlds?

References

American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.
Chung, R.C.Y. & Bemak, F. (2002) The relationship of culture and empathy in cross- cultural counseling. Journal of Counseling and Development. (80) pp154-158.
Coplan, A. (2004). Empathetic engagement with narrative fictions. The journal of aesthetics and criticism.62(2)
Dictionary.com (n.d.). Suspension of Disbelief.  Retrieved from: http://www.dictionary.com/browse/suspension-of-disbelief
Goffman, E. (1959). The presentation of self in everyday life. Garden City. Doubleday.
Laing, R. D. (1960). The divided self. New York: Random House
Nazir, A, Enz, S, Lim, M.Y., Aylett, R., & Cawsey A. (2009). Culture-personality based affective model. AI & Society. 24(3) pp 281-293.
Wedding, D., & Corsini, R. (2013). Current Psychotherapies. (9thed.). Belmont, CA: Cengage Learning.

Share This: