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#349308 - 12/30/10 12:02 PM Affect on career
WriterKeith Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/30/10
Posts: 953
Loc: southern California
Has anyone else suffered in your career because of your residual symptoms of abuse? Having questioned my inability to rise above a glass ceiling in my career, I recently discovered that no one I've worked with really ever knew me. It's hard to network when you're guarded and don't share personal information. I've always been highly respected and well liked, even loved, at work, but my arm's length approach to networking has really cost me. I'm interested in finding out if I am alone on this one, or if others have encountered and/or overcome this hurdle.

_________________________
"A burned bridge can be a gift; it prevents us from returning to a place we should have never been."
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5JfvAPZGjds

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#349310 - 12/30/10 12:25 PM Re: Affect on career [Re: WriterKeith]
prisonerID Offline
Greeter Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/17/08
Posts: 1247
Loc: Oklahoma
WriterKeith,

I know that I have allowed myself to let opportunities slip by. I have been afraid to take certain chances that could have take me farther in my career.

You mentioned networking and that is something I find very difficult to do. I treat everyone very well and how you described yourself could fit how I am viewed as well. But I do not take those extra little steps that could help me to move to other areas or make and keep the connections I need to become more mobile in my work. I know that a lot of it has to do with the fact it takes all I have to get through most days. I just do not have the strength to give anymore time or energy. I don't like letting them into my life outside work.

In all honesty I am surprised that I still have a career or that I have advanced this far. I have a tendency to sabotage myself and push myself back down.

I have better times with it but have not overcome it.

_________________________
Broad statements often miss their true mark.

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#349313 - 12/30/10 12:45 PM Re: Affect on career [Re: prisonerID]
WriterKeith Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/30/10
Posts: 953
Loc: southern California
Wow, and all this time I thought it was just me.

I asked a close friend recently if he could offer any insight into why I have always been my employers' right hand while being consistently passed over for promotions and public recognition of my achievements. He said that he has observed how I practice strong work ethics and team building skills, even keeping people laughing through tough times, but at the end of the day no one has any clue who I am: which is the key to networking.

A light went on in my brain, that I've heard all my life that I am very likable but hard to get to know. I've got to figure out a way to overcome this one because it killed my career and now threatens impending financial disaster. I've never heard this particular symptom discussed in childhood abuse forums, and I'm wondering if there are others in this part of the forest.

_________________________
"A burned bridge can be a gift; it prevents us from returning to a place we should have never been."
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5JfvAPZGjds

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#349314 - 12/30/10 12:55 PM Re: Affect on career [Re: WriterKeith]
prisonerID Offline
Greeter Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/17/08
Posts: 1247
Loc: Oklahoma
You did a good thing by asking for an outside perspective. Keeping others at a distance does create a certain air about us. I am still dumbfounded by others who say I am "mysterious". I just keep things close to the vest.

I am sure others can readily add to this conversation. I do not think it is that rare among survivors of any abuse.

_________________________
Broad statements often miss their true mark.

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#349315 - 12/30/10 01:28 PM Re: Affect on career [Re: prisonerID]
ACRoberts Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/07/10
Posts: 242
Loc: New Jersey (recently moved fro...
I can definitely relate to this! I have kept myself at a level in multiple careers that are well below my capability. I feel like I am not worthy to aspire to greater levels of achievement. I have the ability, I just see myself as damaged and continue to hide. I am always looked upon as a reliable person, great team player and a super colleague. What else would someone expect from a "good boy" who always does things for others before doing them for himself? Any ideas on how to help address this would be greatly appreciated.

Allan

_________________________
Allan
________________________
WOR Sequoia 2011--it has changed my life!

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#349323 - 12/30/10 04:02 PM Re: Affect on career [Re: ACRoberts]
oldguy Offline


Registered: 06/09/10
Posts: 61
Loc: st louis, MO
I had always held back who I really was-from friends, from family and from my wife, M. Finally after about 10 years of marriage M confronted me and I told hr about my abusive sexual fantasies, abusive of myself and her. Neither she nor I had any clue where this had come from. I thought that I was a perverted person, that somehow it was my fault. She had a moment of empathy (I was surprised. I didn't think I deserved any), a day of fear of being harmed and then years upon years of anger. I finally began to open up at amy SLAA and Alanon meetings. No one walked out or called bad names so I continued on. About 21 years ago a therapist told me that my fantasies were a classic symptom of CSA. I wasn't too convinced because I had no, zero, zip memories of CSA. ABout a year I finally got to work. I read Lew's book and he convinced me that no memories didn't mean that nothing had occurred. About a month ago I got a call from a climbing friend. We reminisced about a trip we took to TN. He remembered everything about the climbing but had totally forgotten about the accident we wrre involved in on the way heme. Memories can be hidden away from our consciousness.

I can be very open with safe peoople but I myself would be very leery over disclosing this kind of stuff at work. Not everyone believes in forgotten memories and CSA. Despite all the publicity this atea has received lately (like Oprah) I'm sure there are many unbelievers around. Anyway a great topic. Oldguy


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#349338 - 12/30/10 07:04 PM Re: Affect on career [Re: oldguy]
1227ms Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/01/10
Posts: 98
Loc: PA
"Wow, and all this time I thought it was just me."

WriterKeith,
Wow!!! I thought it was just me also. I work hard, do a great job but am afraid to attend to the social parts. I have always been afraid someone will see the scared 11 year old who is afraid of being hurt, I never believed anyone would want to spend time with me or like me. I needed to control every situation both at work and at home lest I get hurt again. I have just started my healing journey recently. I may lose my marriage because of the CSA done to me. Do I leave to heal? Can I heal? How do I heal? How long does it take? Why does it hurt so bad? So mixed up. You are not alone WriterKeith. Stay in touch. I wish you the very best in your journey.

Matt

_________________________
“Everything becomes a little different as soon as it is spoken out loud.”
Hermann Hesse

Hope Springs alumnus 2011

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#349345 - 12/30/10 08:50 PM Re: Affect on career [Re: WriterKeith]
WriterKeith Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/30/10
Posts: 953
Loc: southern California
With this many responses in a few short hours, there must be common. This topic would make for a good book if authored by a specialist.

A landed my dream job 10 years ago, and I do mean DREAM job with THE top company in my field. In my second year my boss tried to force me to assist him in framing his competing director into getting fired. I refused and my boss laid me off, using phrases very similar to my father's very words during my childhood molestation. The words hit me hard and shut me down for quite some time. Certain phrases hit my brain and replay as if I'm being raped repeatedly all over again.

_________________________
"A burned bridge can be a gift; it prevents us from returning to a place we should have never been."
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5JfvAPZGjds

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#349348 - 12/30/10 08:59 PM Re: Affect on career [Re: WriterKeith]
kidneythis Offline


Registered: 11/08/09
Posts: 1558
It did me. I am socially dysfunctional and it seems I didn't even know I was doing all the wrong things and no one bothered to tell me. OH well and so it goes....
I guess I'll learn or I won't.

_________________________
As Mark Twain once quipped, history may not repeat itself, but it does rhyme.

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#349367 - 12/30/10 10:54 PM Re: Affect on career [Re: WriterKeith]
westchesterguy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/13/09
Posts: 421
Loc: Westchester County NY
Originally Posted By: WriterKeith
....must be common....


maybe we see the office games men play too clearly in post recovery. the view for me is a huge problem, because i keep waiting for men to get over themselves....

maybe we just work in a capitalistic culture that is in much greater need of therapy than we were.

i heard the "get to know you" idea was key to networking and i have a problem with that to a certain point. i've already written about this here, but if someone at work got to know me, i'd lose my job simply because i'm gay.

however, at my former corporate job, at ibm, they urged me to be openly gay in order to advance my career. i refused. i did not connect being gay with any marketable skill that earns me a salary or a title. maybe that was a mistake... all the gays i knew there avoided layoff and have advanced tremendously in the past decade.

of course our approach depends upon what we do for a living, but in my line of work, i tie success to skills; not age, race, gender, orientation, or religion -- all of which i strongly think matter more than they ever did before. is that my problem, or society's?

and, so far the only place of solace for me --as we end 2010-- in my life and in my job search.... is coming here to this board, because i do think you all, anonymous men, understand the frustrations we face in life before, during, and after recovery.

i excel at what i do. i give every waking moment and all of my energy to the employer M-F. but after hours and on weekends i want to be left alone. personal time, and why i desire privacy, is no one's business. in europe: my professional wishes would be respected -- but here in the u.s. they are considered to be anti-social.

so, maybe somewhere in this mess the rape of 32 years ago affected my work/life balance in 2010. or, maybe, isn't it just possible that we aren't crazy for balancing our lives the way we do? it is the neurotic culture we live in that expects 24x7 attention; multitasking times 10; laughing all the way while we do it; and all of this for less pay each year than the year before. hmmm?


_________________________
Jeff

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#349376 - 12/31/10 12:42 AM Re: Affect on career [Re: westchesterguy]
WriterKeith Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/30/10
Posts: 953
Loc: southern California
Jeff,
That was perfectly stated. You gave us a lot to ponder.

I actually enjoy keeping my privacy, well, "private," but you know how it is in the work environment.. "Are you married? Do you have kids? Are you seeing anyone? No? Are you gay?"

It never, EVER, occurs to anyone that maybe I don't talk about it because I have a dark reason for not wanting to be intimate with ANYONE.

_________________________
"A burned bridge can be a gift; it prevents us from returning to a place we should have never been."
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5JfvAPZGjds

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#349378 - 12/31/10 12:50 AM Re: Affect on career [Re: WriterKeith]
brokenleg Offline


Registered: 01/05/10
Posts: 65
Thanks for the chance to vent. I thought I was alone in this one.
I have been keeping distance with other people. I have never given them a chance to know me. So I've always ended up in same position.


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#349392 - 12/31/10 09:39 AM Re: Affect on career [Re: WriterKeith]
westchesterguy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/13/09
Posts: 421
Loc: Westchester County NY
Originally Posted By: WriterKeith
...maybe I don't talk about it because I have a dark reason for not wanting to be intimate with ANYONE.


to go deeper then... can that dark reason (linked to sexual abuse) impact our professional skills in that it limits some task in the workplace? i think the answer is different for each of us - but if the answer is "yes" what does that mean exactly? are we technically "disabled" in the scheme of a productive workforce?

the new, current complexity is that we are having this discussion at a tumultuous time in this nation for career/jobs. the stats have never played out so poorly before. the most underemployed and underutilized workforce since tracking began post-ww2. there are fewer professional men working now than 10 years ago, mainly because they either gave up after layoff or fell out of society somehow. the only new job creation (really) is coming from lower-level services -- home depot will take anyone, but try paying your mortgage on that salary. meanwhile, the colleges crank out newbies who --on paper-- appear to be incredibly ambitious to hiring managers.

lastly, i question our ability to network. does sexual abuse **and recovery** affect something that really should be quite easy to do? i highlight the word recovery... because in my case, i learned to despise the same nonsense, double talk, and small talk that built up to my rape in the first place. i like no nonsense -- direct. then: "you wanna rape me old man? just say so, and prepare to die...." now: "you have a job that needs XYZ skills? well, i got them, proved them -- so give me a chance and stop being such a tease."

i'd network with any/all of you, because we all have something in common, which is unrelated to career (interestingly.) i don't think we are here to impress each other, whereas in the professional networking scene -- it is all about impressions -- a facade, a CV that is specifically written and designed to hide the human faults each of us here have already expressed.

_________________________
Jeff

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#349410 - 12/31/10 12:48 PM Re: Affect on career [Re: westchesterguy]
WriterKeith Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/30/10
Posts: 953
Loc: southern California
Jeff, I'd be interested in hearing more about your reaction to the word "recovery." It is not a label I've ever been fond of and I'm not sure why.

_________________________
"A burned bridge can be a gift; it prevents us from returning to a place we should have never been."
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5JfvAPZGjds

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#349421 - 12/31/10 03:10 PM Re: Affect on career [Re: WriterKeith]
westchesterguy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/13/09
Posts: 421
Loc: Westchester County NY
Originally Posted By: WriterKeith
...reaction to the word "recovery."...


definition (or reaction?) -- i use the word to mean that one's life is no longer directly traumatized by the single event that sent life into a tailspin. smile personal and very simple example: rape caused grief, which in turn sent me into places no healthy man should ever go. therapy gave me the tools to overcome that grief and cease visiting dark places. (simplified and don't necessarily mean physical places.)

so, while i'm recovered from the rape long ago, life still presents multiple new traumatic events that can send one into a tailspin too.

i'm in a tailspin now with career, and i seek recovery again, but not because of childhood rape. i need to overcome this prolonged event of 2006-2011 and the broader cause. i have to accept that we live in a world ill prepared to accept men as we are/should/could be; one that is even less accepting of gay men; and one that is not keen on lending a helping hand to white, middle-aged men. i also have to recover from this so called gay lifestyle, whatever it means, because that too has led to great personal grief and i hold no hope for experiencing a relationship with a man. (different and non-career related.)

so, recovery continues for me, but from recent events.

_________________________
Jeff

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#349434 - 12/31/10 04:58 PM Re: Affect on career [Re: westchesterguy]
Awake at Last Offline


Registered: 12/12/10
Posts: 77
Loc: Chicago Land
Picking up on different parts of this thread, I don't think CSA leaves us all with a disability, but our instincts for distancing and protection may make us behave in ways that may hold us back. Before I was started the process of remembering and recovery (with my memories blocked) people remarked on specific things. My father in law told my wife that I didn't like older men, and in my career I often passed up opportunities to work with senior colleagues that other people jumped on. A lot of this was unconscious and it was not all negative, but it meant that I preferred to work on my own when other choices may have helped my career. So I think it is possible that some of us have strong habits in interacting with others (or not interacting)that can be perceived as odd or different. Like you don't want to be a part of the team, or kiss the right asses, or talk about how great you are enough. In some fields these traits can make you the loser, the quiet guy nobody needs to acknowledge. But many of us have also learned to keep a cool head (or at least appear that way), and to listen to others, and those things can help in some work situations. So I think it cuts both ways over the long run, but a lot depends on the field you are in.
Jim


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#349510 - 01/01/11 03:04 PM Re: Affect on career [Re: westchesterguy]
risingagain Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/09/10
Posts: 597
Loc: Vancouver, BC, Canada
yikes guys,

i have career issues too... i am moving towards management and i am constantly questioning the mgmt team at the company i work for. i don't trust them. i keep my personal life secret and guarded. i try to control a lot of situations, rather than building trust. i always feel as though i am about to be betrayed.

i work in software engineering and have made several attempts to shift to working with at-risk youth. i worked at two wilderness camps for youth with addictions, and lost my job both times. i tried to sign up for big brothers as a mentor... that's when the memories and feelings started surfacing.

it's been pretty terrifying, but i know that my desire to change careers is linked to the little boy in me who wants to heal. i'm not addicted to any substance, but computers (and the whole IT world) are the one safe place i go to. i'm in control. going on the computer was the one safe place i went to as a kid. i left my body and started writing programs and playing computer games hardcore when i was 7. i think that's when the abuse was getting bad.

as i write this i am still struggling with strong denial, 2 months into my CSA healing... some days i just cant believe that my parents would do such things to me, and my memories are like strange nightmares from another world. not integrated.

eek, i'm definitely glad this thread started guys.

thanks so much for your continued presence in my life


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#349515 - 01/01/11 04:05 PM Re: Affect on career [Re: risingagain]
WriterKeith Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/30/10
Posts: 953
Loc: southern California
I know it's been said many times, and I've said it many times myself, but, "All this time I thought it was just me."

I'm glad you posted your comment.

_________________________
"A burned bridge can be a gift; it prevents us from returning to a place we should have never been."
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5JfvAPZGjds

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#349526 - 01/01/11 06:16 PM Re: Affect on career [Re: risingagain]
westchesterguy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/13/09
Posts: 421
Loc: Westchester County NY
Originally Posted By: risingagain
...i am constantly questioning the mgmt team at the company i work for. i don't trust them. i keep my personal life secret and guarded. i try to control a lot of situations, rather than building trust. i always feel as though i am about to be betrayed....


you, being a software guy, can understand this then. i think part of my 'selection for ibm resource action' was due specifically to taking the customers' side and challenging management. but, i had the fearless power to question them -- only because of my recovery process and my personal commitment to speak out for what is right (although nicely, and professionally, just relentlessly.)

so, i wonder if your feelings come about because you could in fact be betrayed by those around you. it is your intuition speaking, no?

i also realize there can be an issue of unfounded fear while we are vulnerable due to recovery process. but, if the fear is valid this is where i think we can be unfairly victimized again.

look: what do employers want? silent, warm bodies?... exactly what pedophiles want too? or do employers want innovative, challenging, risk taking, professionals who can create and drive business and/or reduce operating costs through consolidating operations, which is what i did?

somehow, in my view, such drive an guts may be reserved for the top in the first place. and if you are on the lower level of the ladder and still exhibit leadership and innovation, you could be seen as a threat to those trying to keep ahead.

how do we overcome the threats? how to we stick together and help or support each other? can we? are there enough of us out there?

_________________________
Jeff

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#349531 - 01/01/11 07:20 PM Re: Affect on career [Re: westchesterguy]
WriterKeith Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/30/10
Posts: 953
Loc: southern California
Good point, Jeff. And no one will know unless we speak up and speak out.

_________________________
"A burned bridge can be a gift; it prevents us from returning to a place we should have never been."
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5JfvAPZGjds

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#349667 - 01/03/11 03:26 PM Re: Affect on career [Re: WriterKeith]
h.beat,h.break Offline


Registered: 06/05/09
Posts: 124
Loc: New York
These are survival mechanism's from the abuse we've encountered in our lives. It is hard to shut it off even for a second because we have no idea what will happen. Regardless of what you do, the abuse is like a cancer. It affects everything we do so I'm not surprised to read about how it has impacted your career.

Feeling safe at our jobs is difficult especially when we know the gossip that goes on there. People can be snakes, but there are also some nice furry rabbits out there too laugh As you continue to progress in your recovery, you will come to a point where you will feel comfortable letting people into your personal life. It's a step I'm trying to take myself and it's not easy, but I'm seeing results. You will too.

_________________________
Hey, if "black sheep" means you're the only non-douche of the family, take that with some pride.

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#349780 - 01/04/11 08:07 PM Re: Affect on career [Re: h.beat,h.break]
WalkTheWalk Offline


Registered: 03/06/10
Posts: 57
Loc: Wisconsin
Great topic that I can also relate to!

I have had a strong career and have advanced through the ranks in my industry, but twice in my career, I have had the misfortune of reporting to someone with whom I totally mistrusted. In both of those situations, I was at a loss for how to handle it. I know my feeling at the time was simular to being victimized as a kid (they had all of the power, I had no power) and in both cases I did poorly in defending myself and working with them. In fact, I resigned in both instances, rather than stand up to them.

The other thing that I have found puzzling in business is the inability to drill down to the truth on issues. For those of us who have gone through therapy, we know that there are no positive outcomes if you can not work with truth. I have found myself in more than one uncomfortable situation when someone has asked, "WalkTheWalk,what is you opinion?"

_________________________
- The pain of our past can have influence in molding a better person than we might have been otherwise.

- Sometimes boys with a thousand nightmares become men with a million blessings.

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#350432 - 01/12/11 02:40 AM Re: Affect on career [Re: WriterKeith]
risingagain Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/09/10
Posts: 597
Loc: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Thanks Westchesterguy, WalktheWalk, and Writerkeith for this.

It's pretty relieving - i get the sense from your emails that you are all very different people with different life experience - that all of our careers have been affected by the way we suffered abuse.

Wow.

So yeah, I think the dynamic in my company really mirrors my childhood abuse. I am making about 50% of what I should be making (based on previous salary, experience etc). The president is a pretty controlling guy, doesn't trust his staff, expects the world without considering what his top people are telling him... I believe he is coming from a wounded place a lot of the time.

I confronted him yesterday on some of the issues, so at least now there is a dialog. I am trying to be honest and diplomatic.

thanks for your feedback guys.

Ra


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