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#379247 - 12/13/11 10:48 AM Self-Sabotage as a result of CSA
Undefeated Offline


Registered: 12/12/11
Posts: 175
Loc: Colorado, USA
I was wondering if anyone else here has a problem with self-sabotage as a result of childhood sexual abuse? If so, I am hoping someone might have some advice regarding this.

My self-sabotage has resulted in me destroying anything and everything in my life that starts to look good, or might take tolerating something uncomfortable to get through. I have sabotaged relationships, jobs and really everything.

Right now, my biggest area of concern is that I sabotage jobs. I recently had to make a list of every job I have held since I was 15, and it shocked even me. It was very painful to compile that list and remember how I quit every one of those jobs over something silly. I did also have some very bad jobs, but that was sabotage too, because I willfully took bad jobs because I didn't think I deserved better. I even went back to bad jobs and worked there again, after being gone a while. I am a good, hardworking and honest employee, but I quit whenever there are problems. It's an uncontrollable thing and I don't even realize what happened until it's over.

Right now, I am out of a job. I am never eligible to draw unemployment, because I am always the one that quits, I never get fired or laid off. I've given up on looking for a job, because I feel so shameful about having so many jobs and I am well aware how older workers are silently discriminated against in this bad economy. (I'm in my early 50's.)

I live with my mother, whom I care for. She has a small retirement, but it does keep us going. I fear that when she is gone, I won't have any way to support myself and this worries me a lot. I know if or when I get a job, it will just be an "entry level" job again, and I have really never had much more that that, because of my self-sabotage. Feeling like a loser in an entry level job is fodder for me sabotaging too.

Honestly, I am at wits end about what to do. If any of you have suggestions on what has helped you regarding self-sabotage, I'd be grateful if you'd share that with me.

Thanks!

BTW, If you read my story in the intros. section, that will give you an idea how my father-wounds and CSA gave me self-loathing and self-sabotage problems.
My Introduction and Story (LINK)

_________________________
"The sexual abuse and exploitation of children is one of the most vicious crimes conceivable, a violation of mankind's most basic duty to protect the innocent." ~James T. Walsh

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#379289 - 12/13/11 03:59 PM Re: Self-Sabotage as a result of CSA [Re: Undefeated]
Mountainous Buck Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/15/09
Posts: 1626
Loc: Minnesota
Welcome to MS,

You are a lot more articulate and self-aware than I was my first week!

Those are probably just some of your skills that can serve u well in the work world as u learn to decrease your emotional reactions to triggering events.

This is entirely possible and with you, it sounds like you can make solid progress if you harness the resources and support to walk thru this.

I hope u can start putting all Those old false beliefs back where they belong (at th foot of those who spewed them). And invite in some true and affirming beliefs about the real you to fill that void.

Have u read many of the resources for survivors here at MS? Check out all the pages on this website and get some books about recovery and healthy progress, ok? And keep posting here!

_________________________
We have to take responsibility for what we're not responsible for.

It doesn't matter where you've come from,
It matters where you go" Frank Turner

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#379316 - 12/13/11 05:34 PM Re: Self-Sabotage as a result of CSA [Re: Mountainous Buck]
Undefeated Offline


Registered: 12/12/11
Posts: 175
Loc: Colorado, USA
Hi Mountainous Buck,

Thanks for your reply. I have been in the process of "healing" for the past 5 years, and more-so the past 2-1/2 years, so I do have some background on all this, but as a counselor recently said about me, "You are lacking basic life coping skills, and will need a LOT of counseling."

For most of my life, I thought the problem I had quitting jobs was just that I am a worthless idiot and couldn't handle stress, but I am finally "getting it" that this is a common problem for adults that were victims of childhood sexual abuse. Right now, I have no idea how to move beyond the subconscious lies that are driving my behavior.

Thanks for reminding me about the resources, and yes I have been there and found a therapist that I want so see, when/if I get some restitution for my CSA. I have not read any of the books in the resources area yet. Reading is difficult for me, because I have ADD and that makes concentration and comprehension nearly impossible.

By the way, I sent an email to the counselor and he sent me a very kind reply. In his reply, he recommended these books:
* Wounded Heart by Dan Allender
* False Intimacy by Harry Schaumburg
* Desires in Conflict by Joe Dallas
I think one or all three of these are recommended in the resources area of M.S.

Speaking of books, I found that "Roll Away Your Stone" by Dutch Sheets helped me to understand much of why I act out the way I do, and how truth eventually needs to become so deeply embedded into my subconscious that I start acting from that. For guys with unwanted SSA, "Growth into Manhood" by Alan Medinger is a must have book. Both of these books are written for Christians.

Thanks again for the welcome and suggestions. I appreciate all the help I can get. Hopefully I'll be seeing some restitution and can get the counseling too, but right now I am stuck.

_________________________
"The sexual abuse and exploitation of children is one of the most vicious crimes conceivable, a violation of mankind's most basic duty to protect the innocent." ~James T. Walsh

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#379319 - 12/13/11 06:04 PM Re: Self-Sabotage as a result of CSA [Re: Undefeated]
Magellan Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/31/10
Posts: 1562
Loc: California
Those are a lot of books!

Sorry to suggest (VERY VERY STRONGLY!) yet another book. It seems to be the "Bible" for male survivors - "Victims No Longer" by Mike Lew.

I read it, and it opened my eyes and answered so many life long questions. I can't tell you how much relief it provided me. No longer was I hostage to my own thoughts and feelings which were often overwhelming. I often thought I was stupid and worthless because I also 'acted out' in sabotaging relationships and my own happiness.

Glad you're here. Hope you find the healing you need to live a life you love.

D


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#379329 - 12/13/11 07:07 PM Re: Self-Sabotage as a result of CSA [Re: Magellan]
Undefeated Offline


Registered: 12/12/11
Posts: 175
Loc: Colorado, USA
Hi D!

Indeed a LOT of books, especially for a guy that has only managed to read a book cover-to-cover only once in his lifetime, and that was only when I was taking Adderall. frown

Thanks for the recommendation. I will look into that book as well.

Thanks for the welcome too.

_________________________
"The sexual abuse and exploitation of children is one of the most vicious crimes conceivable, a violation of mankind's most basic duty to protect the innocent." ~James T. Walsh

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#379330 - 12/13/11 07:20 PM Re: Self-Sabotage as a result of CSA [Re: Undefeated]
Chase Eric Offline
Moderator
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/25/10
Posts: 2016
I once heard that the fear of success may be even greater than the fear of failure. If you are in a failure cycle, it may be miserable but it's what you are "used to". We fear that which we do not know or understand. Success can certainly fall in that category.

Perhaps it does not sound like much to say - but it has always helped me to know that. It's never too late to reclaim your life.

_________________________



Click my pic to see why I'm here.

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#379334 - 12/13/11 07:41 PM Re: Self-Sabotage as a result of CSA [Re: Chase Eric]
Undefeated Offline


Registered: 12/12/11
Posts: 175
Loc: Colorado, USA
I am not sure if fear of success is my problem. I think self-loathing and feeling unworthy of having anything good is my problem. I am in more than a "failure cycle." I have failed at everything in life. Honestly, anyone looking at my life's accomplishments (non-accomplishments) would conclude I am a loser. My father's words have become reality to me. frown

_________________________
"The sexual abuse and exploitation of children is one of the most vicious crimes conceivable, a violation of mankind's most basic duty to protect the innocent." ~James T. Walsh

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#379335 - 12/13/11 07:44 PM Re: Self-Sabotage as a result of CSA [Re: Undefeated]
Magellan Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/31/10
Posts: 1562
Loc: California
You didn't fail at everything.

You survived one of the most horrendous experiences a human can endure on this planet. Your innocence was taken from you, your sense of self robbed, and your sense of security, dignity, and freedom to explore the planet on which you walk - this was all taken from you by sexual abuse.

You survived that very well. And now you're here seeking recovery and answers and reaching out.

No fail here.

D


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#379338 - 12/13/11 07:57 PM Re: Self-Sabotage as a result of CSA [Re: Magellan]
Undefeated Offline


Registered: 12/12/11
Posts: 175
Loc: Colorado, USA
D,

I have failed at everything. The counselor that I saw a couple years ago desperately tried to come up with something in my life where I had not quit. He came up with one thing, that was that I have never given in to my sex addiction, but that I keep fighting to overcome it. Well, after he told me that, I sabotaged in that area worse than ever too. frown

Okay, so I have survived the hands of my abusers, but there is this ugly thought in the back of my head, that although I am alive and surviving now, someday I won't be able to make it anymore.

The experts on job hunting are saying some people over 50 and unemployed may never work again. With my long history of quitting jobs, I fear I am worse off than most older, unemployed people. I feel like my abusers have had a great life, including my father who died a couple years ago, and I am stuck with the wreckage of what they did to me. It's definitely not fair someone can screw up an entire life and get off scot-free.

_________________________
"The sexual abuse and exploitation of children is one of the most vicious crimes conceivable, a violation of mankind's most basic duty to protect the innocent." ~James T. Walsh

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#379339 - 12/13/11 08:11 PM Re: Self-Sabotage as a result of CSA [Re: Undefeated]
Magellan Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/31/10
Posts: 1562
Loc: California
I understand.

You're angry. And scared. You're angry that you were dealt a raw hand in life. You're angry that you suffered abuse at the hands of people who should have cared for you.

I can see how you can look at yourself as a failure; this is what many of us do before we find the bigger perspective of who we are, and what we're tasked with doing.

We survived not only at the hands of the abusers who took our innocence and sense of self, but we also survived the mayhem and psychological labyrinth that develops within each of us as we try to navigate our lives with a broken compass and porous boundaries that do nothing to give us security.

Living 50 years like that has to be quite a challenge. And yet you did. Sure, things are imperfect. You're unable to hold down a job. You're angry about that, and you feel like you're at fault.

But is it your fault (your failure?) if you grew up without a compass that most people take for granted?

Is it your fault (your failure) if you grew up without a coherent set of boundaries in which to feel secure inside your own skin, knowing who you are?

I don't think those are failures. You did the best that you could, given what was done to you, taken from you, robbed from you.

You survived. I hope that you find that perspective shift that many of us have had while on the road to recovery. I seem to have had that perspective shift.

Believe it or not, less than a year ago I felt like a total failure too. I can't hold down any relationship. Don't know how to make friends. Don't understand romance. Disconnected from family. I"m chronically lonely.

I used to beat myself up for that. I used to think I was a failure because I couldn't comprehend some simple things.

But now I understand that as a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, I have PTSD and dissociation, which makes relationships and building relationships extremely difficult, if not impossible.

This isn't my failure. It isn't my fault.

But it IS my responsibility to try and resolve. No one else is going to fix it for me, so it is up to me to do the work.

I understand your fear of being over 50 in a depressed economy. I don't know what to tell you there.

But I can assure you that you are not a failure, no matter how much you think of yourself to be. You survived a very hellish experience, and now you're here asking questions and looking for help.

I think that takes tremendous courage, and I think that is a testament to your strength and wisdom.

I see a human being with a lot of anger and fear and self hatred. This is quite normal for men who are survivors of childhood sexual abuse.

Please be kind to yourself. You deserve the unconditional love that every human should have. And, our task is to learn how to love ourselves unconditionally.

D


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