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#424898 - 02/10/13 11:45 PM authority phobia
traveler Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 3397
Loc: somewhere in Africa
i'm really scared right now. the school superintendent is here and i just found that he has set up a personal meeting with me and my wife on Wed morning before school. there has been some tension between the staff of our school and him and the school board. and i have been one of the more outspoken voices for the rights, interests and opinions of our staff. i don't know if this is going to be a step towards better understanding and communication - or if my head is on the line.

this is a major trigger! i hate it that he can make me feel like a sniveling little brat. it's the old authority phobia - like the step-dad, the coach, the scoutmaster, the bullies, the bosses, the pastors - every negative authority figure from my past - all piling on. my heart is pounding and i am short of breath and my hands are shaking. but i am not a little kid anymore. and i am not a helpless victim. but he can still ruin my career and reputation and self-esteem and send me home in disgrace. trying to keep calm - but don't know how i'm going to make it to Wed.

Lee
_________________________
As my life goes on I believe somehow something's changed
Something deep inside...
I've been searchin so long to find an answer
Now I know my life has meaning
Now I see myself as I am, feeling very free...
When my tears have come to an end I will understand
What I left behind: a part of me. Chicago


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#424900 - 02/11/13 01:16 AM Re: authority phobia [Re: traveler]
SmartShadow Offline


Registered: 11/27/12
Posts: 135
Loc: Washington State
Hang in there Lee,
Keep venting if it helps
Try to put your thoughts on better things if you can
Don't let it take you out, you can survive this thing
Keep us posted

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#424902 - 02/11/13 01:43 AM Re: authority phobia [Re: traveler]
nltsaved Offline


Registered: 08/26/08
Posts: 849
Loc: Kc,Mo

I have been dealing with this for the last couple of months . I am very outspoken and i am finding out more and more I need to take a break and do more listening than talking .

I have been in these situations in the last 2 months and I have had 3 different times I had direction guidance and input when I thought it was criticism or I just thought my way of thinking was the only way to think . Go Figure lol


Not to mention I do not take criticism well at all at first only after self reflection and through prayer .

Than i tend to see the bigger picture




I do no do well with my emotions and do not no how to control them so i get mad and frustrated and it comes off wrong to the other party . I even begin to shake if i can not put my words together the way I am thinking them . somehow it does not come out the way i am thinking it

moral to the story be OPEN to criticism constructive or not .
Do not react right away give it some time to sink in and reflect than have a conversation with these people after you have had time to process it
_________________________
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n-uYCAfpxrY
TRIGGER WARNING
Video of me telling my story
you are not alone never were
WRITTEN FORM
http://www.malesurvivor.org/board/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=339159#Post339159
Why i hate Religion but love Jesus
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1IAhDGYlpqY

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#424906 - 02/11/13 02:34 AM Re: authority phobia [Re: traveler]
traveler Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 3397
Loc: somewhere in Africa
thank you, SmartS and nlt!

i am doing better now. this is amazing to get a couple of responses at this time. my time zone is about 12 hours ahead of EST. and usually NO ONE is on here during my afternoons except sometimes a very few who are not in the USA. so i am very thankful that you were on when i needed to be talked down.

i appreciate the support,
Lee
_________________________
As my life goes on I believe somehow something's changed
Something deep inside...
I've been searchin so long to find an answer
Now I know my life has meaning
Now I see myself as I am, feeling very free...
When my tears have come to an end I will understand
What I left behind: a part of me. Chicago


Top
#424907 - 02/11/13 03:30 AM Re: authority phobia [Re: traveler]
Lancer Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/13/12
Posts: 901
Loc: Florida
Lee, I'm going to be up for a while. PM me if you need to.

One thot that's helped me sometimes is to completely detach from the situation and take criticism as useful information. We're both artsy-fartsy and I think one skill I've acquired in my "old age" is that criticism of my work by one person - no matter how powerful he/she thinks he/she is - isn't necessarily a reflection on my abilities.

Conversely, when the criticism is obviously personal, I channel my inner Spock and realize it tells me more about them than me. I already know more about myself than most "normal" people. If you will, the more they talk, the bigger the hole they dig for themselves. The only question at that point - AFTER some calm reflection and time to get my emotions out - is whether I'm willing to put up with it.

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#424912 - 02/11/13 04:08 AM Re: authority phobia [Re: traveler]
dark empathy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 1993
Loc: durham, north england
Hi lee.

I hope your feeling better about this since you posted the initial topic. Cryticism as Dave said, especially from someone in a position of power is not fun, too much recall of unpleasant teachers who told me I was nothing and all those dayly insults as a teenager, not to mention prejudice as an adult. I've found myself that often I will either cave completely under cryticism and just agree with it since it reinforces my own sense of worthlessness, or more rarely feel it as a personal attack and become extremely angry or defensive, though this doesn't happen quite as often.

One thing that has however helped me with this is finding another person who's opinions I can! trust, then going over things with them, since then I can considder their opinion and be somewhat more objective about assessment of what I! have done, and thus will be less likely to react in either extreme way. most recently I had the viva for my thesis which was basically an hour of people asking me questions on what I'd been writing for the past five years, and I know if I hadn't gone over things with my tuter before hand, a man who's opinion I have infinite respect for, I wouldn't have reacted as I did or been able to argue the points that needed arguing and concede the points that needed conceding.

that helps practically with the cryticism end of things, though anxiety is of course another matter, albeit it sounds like your dealing with that pretty well given that your first response was to come on hear and vent.

I hope this meeting goes as you want it to.

Luke.

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#424934 - 02/11/13 09:03 AM Re: authority phobia [Re: traveler]
traveler Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 3397
Loc: somewhere in Africa
thanks, Lancer & Luke.

i am usually pretty devastated by negative criticism - whether deserved or not. and then later i get angry. i feel totally in the dark about this, can't think of anything that i have done - except to be vocal in discontent with the current state of things. so i am dreading it and not even sure how to prepare for it. i don't usually get defensive during an evaluation. and i know this is a flaw - but i care more about being liked and approved than i do about what kind of job i'm doing. i know i do a good job - so that is not the issue. but there have been anonymous accusations against other staff members who have been sanctioned without being able to face their accusers or know what the charges are. maybe i am paranoid - but that doesn't mean that they are not out to get me.

only time will tell...
Lee
_________________________
As my life goes on I believe somehow something's changed
Something deep inside...
I've been searchin so long to find an answer
Now I know my life has meaning
Now I see myself as I am, feeling very free...
When my tears have come to an end I will understand
What I left behind: a part of me. Chicago


Top
#424950 - 02/11/13 10:26 AM Re: authority phobia [Re: traveler]
Jim1961 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/10/09
Posts: 1132
Loc: Pa, but likely traveling...
Lee,

I usually assume the worse when there is a senior manager meeting, or a performance review. I get caught up in worry, and prepare for the worse case. Which then triggers my anxiety and addiction cycle.

Of course 98% of the time, my fears/worry are unfounded. But its that 2% that bothers me...

The Serenity prayer helps....

Jim
_________________________
Loneliness is a power that we possess to give or take away forever. -Yes, Starship Trooper

My Story

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#424956 - 02/11/13 12:26 PM Re: authority phobia [Re: traveler]
Candu Offline


Registered: 06/30/12
Posts: 312
Loc: Canada
Hi Lee. I have not had time to read the thread other than your first post. At work and don't have much time. But I was wondering if you can ask for an agenda prior to going to any meeting. If you don't know what the issues are then you will of course feel the way you do.

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#424957 - 02/11/13 12:59 PM Re: authority phobia [Re: traveler]
Lancer Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/13/12
Posts: 901
Loc: Florida
Originally Posted By: traveler
but there have been anonymous accusations against other staff members who have been sanctioned without being able to face their accusers or know what the charges are.


Here's a thot, why the hell - especially in your recovery - would you want to work for an institution like that? Just something to let your brain chew on.

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#425011 - 02/11/13 10:31 PM Re: authority phobia [Re: Lancer]
traveler Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 3397
Loc: somewhere in Africa
Originally Posted By: Lancer
Here's a thot, why the hell - especially in your recovery - would you want to work for an institution like that? Just something to let your brain chew on.


it didn't used to be this way - things have changed since we started here. we loved it when we started here. then the super got rid of the original principal - replaced him with a crony 2 years ago. that started the decline. then when the new guy couldn't hack it, earlier this year, we got a temporary replacement who is also not qualified. it has only become apparent in the past few months how serious the problem is - and how difficult it is to correct it.

we have to stay through the end of school as per contract. we are seriously considering the next step. but changing jobs and moving when you are overseas is not an easy thing - especially from one country to another. it involves selling most of your household stuff, shipping special items - and basically starting over somewhere else. not to mention visas and work permits and so on. we'd prefer to solve the problems rather than desert the sinking ship if possible.

we didn't take the jobs to work for "the man" - but to contribute to the lives and educations of the kids - and help the families of expats.

Lee
_________________________
As my life goes on I believe somehow something's changed
Something deep inside...
I've been searchin so long to find an answer
Now I know my life has meaning
Now I see myself as I am, feeling very free...
When my tears have come to an end I will understand
What I left behind: a part of me. Chicago


Top
#425014 - 02/11/13 11:09 PM Re: authority phobia [Re: traveler]
Lancer Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/13/12
Posts: 901
Loc: Florida
Yeah, I almost didn't post that, Lee, for exactly those reasons. I thot it might be a little brutal.

What I do like is that, as long as I've known you here on MS, you've been consistent on your dedication to the kids. It's an excellent focus. imo - a thot to take with you - it would be a good thing to keep close to your heart during the meeting. It's one of your greatest strengths.

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#425114 - 02/12/13 09:08 PM Re: authority phobia [Re: traveler]
traveler Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 3397
Loc: somewhere in Africa
So - we had the meeting with the whole staff and the superintendent apologized for the way his decisions and the timing of some of his actions had impacted us all. he realizes that some of those were mistakes. that was a surprising and new development. i never expected that to happen.

then we had a personal appointment at his request between the superintendent and my wife and me. i still don't know where we stand. we are not getting fired or sent away - but nothing was really resolved either.

i think he expected us to forgive and forget, no questions asked. but that is not going to happen. we said we appreciate his apology and left it that we will wait and see how things go from here...

what he doesn't seem to understand is that we must daily and hourly live with and adjust to the repercussions of his decisions - often at considerable cost of extra time, effort and difficulty to us. for him its over - but not for us.

so - we ended by all expressing our frustrations and maybe understanding what everyone is thinking and feeliing a bit better - but without any substantial change except for his apology - and with us still wary about the authenticity of that.

anyway - the situation is not as dire as i feared - but still far from settled and comfortable. he assured us that there will be no retaliation for our speaking our minds frankly. i guess that is good as far as it goes.

and Lancer - i did what you suggested - the last thing that i said was that the main thing at stake is the welfare of the students and that all of this political wrangling is a distraction and detriment to that. he agreed with me. that was probly the best thing that came out of it.

Lee


Edited by traveler (02/12/13 09:11 PM)
_________________________
As my life goes on I believe somehow something's changed
Something deep inside...
I've been searchin so long to find an answer
Now I know my life has meaning
Now I see myself as I am, feeling very free...
When my tears have come to an end I will understand
What I left behind: a part of me. Chicago


Top
#425115 - 02/12/13 09:12 PM Re: authority phobia [Re: traveler]
Lancer Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/13/12
Posts: 901
Loc: Florida
That, imo, is nothing short of incredible. I share your relief, Lee.


(Addendum: No, didn't catch the last para. You said what was in your heart. We jus' gave you a li'l nudge. What I really like at this point is that, indeed, you can get back to the kids without this weighing on you).

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#425116 - 02/12/13 09:14 PM Re: authority phobia [Re: traveler]
traveler Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 3397
Loc: somewhere in Africa
Lancer - i think we were both typing at the same time - i hope you saw my last paragraph - that i may have added while you were reading the post that lacked it.
thanks for your input - it helped.
Lee
_________________________
As my life goes on I believe somehow something's changed
Something deep inside...
I've been searchin so long to find an answer
Now I know my life has meaning
Now I see myself as I am, feeling very free...
When my tears have come to an end I will understand
What I left behind: a part of me. Chicago


Top
#425155 - 02/13/13 07:28 AM Re: authority phobia [Re: traveler]
SmartShadow Offline


Registered: 11/27/12
Posts: 135
Loc: Washington State
Thank for the update,

Way to keep,your head on.
Some times true resolution is not avalable but at least you can breath easier.

Glad to here it went this well for you.

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#425158 - 02/13/13 07:51 AM Re: authority phobia [Re: traveler]
crazy gecko Offline


Registered: 10/04/12
Posts: 309
Wow, Lee - that is wonderful! I'm so happy it turned out so much better than you expected. I hope it doesn't just stay here, and that they actually make real changes to improve things for you...
_________________________
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

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