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#412348 - 10/06/12 12:38 PM Feeling like a fraud
crazy gecko Offline

Registered: 10/04/12
Posts: 309
People sometimes say that I'm strong, or that they admire me for not only having survived abuse, but also overcoming pretty hard-core drug addiction.

But I don't think they really get it.

I don't see having survived as an achievement - What else was I supposed to do? And as for the drugs - if I was so strong, why did I get addicted in the first place?

So instead of making me feel good, they make me feel like somehow I have to live up to the image they have of me, and I'm not sure if I can. The pressure is too much. Sometimes I just want to break down. Sometimes I just want to hide somewhere, but I feel like doing so would disappoint and possibly even disgust the people in my life.

I guess I kinda feel like a fraud, and the more people tell me that I should give myself more credit, the more I feel like a fraud.

Can anyone relate?
I guess what I'm trying to say
Is whose life is it anyway because livin'
Living is the best revenge
You can play
-- Def Leppard

My Story, Part 2

My blog

#412353 - 10/06/12 01:56 PM Re: Feeling like a fraud [Re: crazy gecko]
Letourski Offline

Registered: 03/15/08
Posts: 302
Loc: Canada
I have often felt like that. People have often told me I am cool, calm and collected. On the inside, it feels like a hurricane is ripping through me. Sure I project an image of keeping it together, but there are times when I am hardly feeling that way.

Overcoming drugs is a sign of strength my friend. I did it some years ago. I know I got addicted to drugs because I didn't want to feel anything. The self hatred, and the insecurities were too much to bear, so I numbed myself with drugs, alcohol, and porn. It kept all of the feelings just below the surface.

We don't wear a badge of honor for surviving abuse, but we have to give credit to ourselves for getting us this far. For other brothers in healing, the pain was too much to bear and they chose to end their lives. We chose a different path, and we are here because of it.

There is strength in feeling weak. To admit that you want to breakdown some times takes strength. As men, we are conditioned to think that we should not have feelings and emotions. That we are not allowed to feel vulnerable. But it's all lies. When we open ourselves up and allow those parts of us to show, we are giving us the chance to heal. We can't heal if we are closed up. The first step is breaking the silence. You have done that, and that is significant. It does in fact show that you are strong. You may not feel that way right now, but there is strength in acknowledging your emotions.

It feels counter-intuitive to give yourself credit for feeling weak, sad, depressed or any other emotion surfaces. But owning your feelings and being honest with yourself, is the mark of a strong man. One who is willing to embrace being vulnerable. And it takes just that to move through healing.

Heal well brother.

I am the warrior.

#412355 - 10/06/12 05:23 PM Re: Feeling like a fraud [Re: crazy gecko]

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 2342

I enjoyed your posting. It is true, we are survived this far--for most it was not an easy journey. Yes I have been weak at times, I was scared of my weakness because the only way I knew to cope was to leave and let a part of me take that I did not know take over so I could escape to a safe place of no feelings or memories. Only now, decades later can I admit this and no longer consider this leaving a normal occurrence in everyone's life. As you so eloquently said, "when we open ourselves up and allow those parts of us to show, we are giving us a chance to heal." But it allows me to own who I am, and what I can become. From weakness comes strength.

And so many judge us but I believe we judge ourselves even harsher. I saw this and realize all this judging is a way to hide our own imperfections

"...and when you're Perfect You'll Be Wise Enough Not To Judge...
before you judge me , make sure you are perfect !"

#412358 - 10/06/12 06:46 PM Re: Feeling like a fraud [Re: crazy gecko]
Treehugger75 Offline

Registered: 02/08/12
Posts: 158
Loc: Ontario Canada
I can totally relate. It's been a year now that I have been working towards a newer better life. I keep getting all the positive reinforcement people expect they should give. Praising me for 14 days of sobriety only to use 2 day later. Its almost a self sabotaging of my life. I talked in my group therapy about this a week or two ago. I can work away and get really good at something until someone compliments me on it. Then i file it away under "things i could have been good at". And i turn to some thing new till i get passable enough to share my progress with people then the cycle repeats. Positive reinforcement really affects me the inverse way that it affects most people. Most [eople hear "You look good" and take pride in it. I hear it and the next time i'm infront of a mirror i dig craters into my face where there is any hint of a blemish. I look like I've been in a fight with attack chipminks most of the time. My sensation of pain disappears. nothing matters but trying to be the person i think they saw.
If thats too far off the mark let me know but thats how I feel my situation is similar.
I will never ALWAYS be right, I wasn't wrong, I am whats left.

#412399 - 10/07/12 11:16 AM Re: Feeling like a fraud [Re: crazy gecko]
Still Offline

Registered: 02/16/07
Posts: 7011
Loc: FEMA Region 1

Short answer: Yes.
Longer answer: I remember consciously learning the construction of the masks required to keep the secret as a kid. That later evolved into teen and adult masks for every occasion.

I built the Yuppie, MBA, six-figure, rock-star-of-business person, etc. With the masks, come expectations. I think that might be why I'm on the "Pay-No-Mind" list with everyone who knew the masked personas.

The masks are gone now, and I'm no longer interested in building any more of them. Certainly not for those who are bemused by the real me...the *aped boy, the fkt-up man.

I think you will find this condition evolving as time goes on.

If you have not already read it, get a hold of Mike Lew's Book "VNL."

#412403 - 10/07/12 01:01 PM Re: Feeling like a fraud [Re: crazy gecko]
crazy gecko Offline

Registered: 10/04/12
Posts: 309
Oh how, thanks guys. It feels so good to hear from people who really get what I feel...

Letourski - you echo what my therapist said. I just wish I could convince myself it was true. Especially because I didn't always choose this path. I did try to end my life when I was a teenager... three times, in fact, and got very close to making a fourth attempt in my early twenties...

Treehugger75 - yes, it is absolutely similar. I swing wildly between trying to live up to peoples expectations of me, trying to proof to them how wrong they are and how screwed up I really am, and trying to push them out of my life before they find out the truth. I think you can imagine what that does to relationships...

Still - Thanks, I'll check out that book.
I guess what I'm trying to say
Is whose life is it anyway because livin'
Living is the best revenge
You can play
-- Def Leppard

My Story, Part 2

My blog

#412406 - 10/07/12 02:28 PM Re: Feeling like a fraud [Re: crazy gecko]
WVguy Offline

Registered: 09/22/12
Posts: 18
Loc: Upstate New York
I've been thinking about this a lot today and I am just about the same way. I feel like I am exactly opposite of what people seem to perceive me. The think I am the calm,quiet,hard working guy that never gets mad and always what is asked of him. When in actuality I am moody, often surly, prone to bouts of the blackest depression. And in general I am just not a happy person. But many decades have taught me how to build those faces. I have incredible difficulty in any social situation where I am not dealing with people one on one. I get told all the time "You are such a nice guy...." and I feel like yelling at the people "NO I AM NOT", I will go out of the way to help people I barely know, and yet I will deeply hurt those that care the most about me. Even right now, today my gf is really upset about the hurt I've caused her by my acting out, but I can't seem to look past the fact that I have to go to NY to get help and just feel like yet again someone is telling me I am not worth the time and/or effort of dealing with and kicking me down the road. Even though I know she deeply cares about me and she tells me "You need help" I and hear "Leave I.don't want you anymore. I wish I could overcome my inability to even speak when someone is telling me how I've hurt them. But like any other times of direct confrontation I just turn into that shut down 6yr old kid, instead of the 33yr old man I am.


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