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#44585 - 06/24/03 11:43 AM a little progress, I guess
jwh Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/18/01
Posts: 98
Loc: dallas, tx
I'm not feeling so good this morning. I have been working at a job for the last 2 and 1/2 months that has been so chaotic, for me as a survivor, that I got very depressed, to the point where I was constantly thinking about hurting myself. The good news is that I got another job I am starting next Monday so I know I only have 4 days left in this job.

The progress I refer to in the title of this email is that, despite feeling utterly desperate on Sunday night, like just being in my body was unbearable, I did not do any of the following: cut myself; drink alcohol; rent a porn; or listen to the very destructive music I was addicted to since being an adolescent. I did punch a wall, but not hard enough to really hurt my hand, and I didn't do it in front of my wife.

This is progress because I know that in the not so recent past if I had felt like that I would have done one of those things to dissociate and then things would have gotten worse from there. I would be started down a "downward spiral" at that point and probably would have started denying that my abuse ever happened.

What I have been doing is overeating and my buying too many CDs. I know that both of these activities help me dissociate. They are not as destructive as the others, but they're still compulsions. I think I will be able to reign these activities in once I start at my new job (pretty much my old job and I'm comfortable at that company).

I got really scared at this last job--the one I am going to leave to go to in 20 minutes--that I was going to wind up just breaking down and having to return to a hospital. That really bothers me. When I have felt the worst was when I was so broken down, swarmed with anxiety, that I absolutely couldn't do anything without freaking out. I had to have shock treatments at that point (which worked, amazingly enough). I don't ever want to be that nonfunctional again.

It's just really scary; I really believe that I have come a long way in my recovery, but this fragility that I have--man, it sure cuts into my image of myself as a professional who can handle pressure. Of course, this job was more full of triggers than any job I have had since I had to drop out of grad school and go into the hospital, eventually getting those ECT treatments. I am very glad I am getting out of there. Maybe I am partly feeling down just because I have to go there today and for the next three days.

Just thought I'd share this. It would be interesting to me if anyone wanted to share their problems with work related to survivor issues. I found a book last night for a dollar called something like "Abuse Recovery" and it has a section in it on problems that survivors frequently have with work.

Jeff

_________________________
"I've been waiting for a guide to come and take me by the hand... Could these sensations make me feel the pleasures of a normal man?"--Ian Curtis, Joy Division

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#44586 - 06/24/03 05:12 PM Re: a little progress, I guess
Wuamei Offline
Member

Registered: 08/19/02
Posts: 2700
Loc: The left turn I should have ta...
Jeff,

The important thing is that you are indeed making progress. You overcome some obstacles, then you overcome others. You're doing it!

Quote:
It would be interesting to me if anyone wanted to share their problems with work related to survivor issues.
The effects of SA are bound to affect us all to vary degrees in all aspects of life including our work. Sometimes a change in our job is the best thing for us. Right now I'm moving in that direction myself. Sometimes it's a change in us & how we are on the job, or an adaptation of the situation that is needed. That's what I've been doing for the last about 20 years. So it's probably about time for a change...

Victor

_________________________
"I can't stand pain. It hurts me."
--Daffy Duck

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#44587 - 06/24/03 06:46 PM Re: a little progress, I guess
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
I'm getting my gold watch for 25 years faithful service in a few weeks, never has so much tea been drunk in the history of the water industry ! \:D

So, I've lived with this job for a good part of the 34 years since my abuse stopped, and therefore it's hard to say if it's helped or not.

I spend a big part of my time driving from site to site, often on my own and many sites are unmanned.
So this was a perfect opportunity to fantasize, wind myself up and act out - which I did. And I've stopped as well, without altering the job any. Although I do listen to talk radio instead of music as it engages me more and helps prevent fantasies.

Like any major company, and I work for a very major utility company that is also big in the US now, we have had more re-organizations than you could shake a stick at. Managers change so often I barely bother trying to remember their names anymor, and they all impose their way of working on us. So there's stress as well.

That didn't help, I just dissasociated - fantasy / acting out and that crap didn't matter any more either.

But on the good side, it's a very stable workforce and out of 16 craftsmen 3 are getting our 25 year awards in a few weeks, and I think 5 already have them. So I have many good friends, not just workmates.

When I started therapy my doctor wanted to sign me on the sick indefinately, but I said no.
I wanted some stability and at home I would have sat on my arse and got worse by doing nothing. By working I had to maintain some level of normality, although it slipped a few times, and I found it a great help to be put in a position where I 'had' to do something.

I could have got out on health grounds by now, I could have left many times for a lot more money, but where else can I get to drive around the most beautiful part of the country, drink tea with my mates, work without being watched over all day and get paid for it ? Work ? well, I do enough to keep out of trouble.

Dave ;\)

_________________________
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
Henry David Thoreau

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#44588 - 06/24/03 10:05 PM Re: a little progress, I guess
Ivanhoe Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/19/03
Posts: 1907
Dave,

You're an inspiration, you really are.

Congratulations on your 25 years of service. Steady work eluded me most of my life.
You are to be commended.

David

_________________________
"No soul is desolate as long as there is a human being for whom it can feel trust and reverence."
George Eliot

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#44589 - 06/24/03 10:32 PM Re: a little progress, I guess
dwf Offline
Moderator/BoD Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/24/03
Posts: 1223
Loc: Austin, Texas USA
Jeff,

Working in a chaotic environment also really jerked my chain for many years. I coped by drinking and drugs and overworking.

I also got into an abusive sexual relationship with my boss--he was a drunk and sexually sadistic when intoxicated which was a lot.

I remember one day being shocked at the realization that I was experiencing the type of abuse that I had always sworn never to tolerate
again.

Evidently, the behavior and attitudes that led me to be ok with the abuse, had not changed.

The primary abuser in my life was an older man who seemed to offer me security. Now it's easy for me to see why I would offer sexual favors to the person who wrote my paycheck. I also lived in an apt. above the work.

I put all my eggs in that basket which turned out
to have lots of holes in it.

I guess I'm discovering that I must have been getting something out of all this--who knows what?

I ruined a 10 year very stable, caring relationship with a man who never once abused me to participate in a dangerous, abusive, alcoholic relationship with the man who signed my check.

I felt like the sickest s.o.b. on the planet; somedays I still do.

The work environment was also abusive. I won't go into all the details of that, but it involved putting myself into situations where I felt I had to choose my well-being over my job. I consistently abandoned my well-being and felt like hell doing it.

Congratulations on your awareness of the compulsive behaviors and the role they play in relieving the stress of living with the effects of abuse. It's a step that many of us never get to make--we die of the behaviors before we get there.

You're making lots of progress from what I hear.

It takes incredible courage to risk making the kinds of changes that affect our security, our income and all those comforting things in life.

Without them, we can begin to feel vulnerable and exposed. But to let them become the masters of our lives, is for me to continue the abuse.

Good for you to have the vision to see what's happening around you and the courage to take positive steps for yourself.

You give me inspiration to continue my journey.

Your fellow survivor,

_________________________
"Poke salad Annie, 'gators got you granny
Everybody said it was a shame
'Cause her mama was aworkin' on the chain-gang"

-Tony Joe White

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#44590 - 06/25/03 09:51 AM Re: a little progress, I guess
jwh Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/18/01
Posts: 98
Loc: dallas, tx
Thanks Danny--your reply is very affirming and encouraging.

I feel very lucky to be able to post here.

_________________________
"I've been waiting for a guide to come and take me by the hand... Could these sensations make me feel the pleasures of a normal man?"--Ian Curtis, Joy Division

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#44591 - 06/25/03 10:27 AM Re: a little progress, I guess
dwf Offline
Moderator/BoD Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/24/03
Posts: 1223
Loc: Austin, Texas USA
Jeff,

Your story of recovery is amazing. I was in a psychiatric hospital briefly last year so I may understand just a little what happened to you

The luck that brought you here is really the resilience and courage that you have inside of you.

To have been through the hospitalization, the disassociative episodes, rage and the fear of rage would have destroyed lesser men.

So when counting up your luck (always a good thing to do!), I hope you will remember to count the miracle that you yourself are in that list.
Hell, maybe even put yourself at the top of the list!

I left my abusive job, with great difficulty and the help of my T about 3 years ago.
It's been a tough time since then, but I've made it through because I regained my dignity and my self respect by leaving that abuse behind.

Now, finally, at the age of 48, I'm daring to let my lifelong dreams become reality.

I've always loved flowers and plants--worked in the industry for 20 years. I've always felt that flowers were a very effective, non-threatening means of communicating very positive information. Showing the power of the miracle of life. Especially with young people in urban areas who maybe have never grown a plant or held a flower.

I always remark that flowers give me so much hope.

God starts with a tiny seed, some dirt, some water and a little sunshine and makes an incredible thing of beauty from the little daub of mud.

If you can do that with mud, then there's probably hope that he can create something beautiful from me...and from you.

Flowers are silent teachers and they do it in such a way that we don't even know we're learning the lessons of diversity, beauty, harmony, balance etc etc.

I'm now in the process of starting up a non profit organization in Texas, acquiring an old church with a couple of acres and establishing a horticultural center for the people living in the East Side of Austin, which is the underprivileged (ie minority) part of town.

Can I do it? We'll see.
I've never done anything like this before, but I believe it is a good thing, and today I have more faith in my own heart.

I do know that if I can survive and begin to recover from the effects of the sexual abuse
then I can do anything.

And I believe you can too.

Keep coming around, we're here for you and you never have to go through this alone again.

I'm really glad you posted your thoughts today.

It's helped me let go of some of my fear and doubt about my dreams.

Thanks, buddy.

_________________________
"Poke salad Annie, 'gators got you granny
Everybody said it was a shame
'Cause her mama was aworkin' on the chain-gang"

-Tony Joe White

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#44592 - 06/25/03 09:27 PM Re: a little progress, I guess
MEC Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/14/03
Posts: 62
Loc: NJ
Hi Jeff,
Good for you! Nice to feel you have the self esteem and confidence to move on AND without losing any time to unemployment between jobs. My experience is that good things fall into place when you make uncertain job moves, just uncanny the way it goes.

The job I'm in now, and have been for the last five years (a record for me), I was the only person making it a chaotic place with all my ego, alcohol and false pride. I was always defensive and always feeling guilty if anything went wrong, even if the roof leaked.

I work in a nonprofit subsidiary of the Mental Health Association so they’ve so much tolerance of my BS. Two suicide attempts later, I'm still on the job with the deal I see a therapist. So I did it for them. I feigned I was better, but I think my boss was still concerned I would hurt someone in the office because of a rage I didn't think I exhibited outwardly. Things in the office were still on edge.

Then the revelation of my SA hit me over a weekend. The honest release of such deeply repressed anger and self hate escaped without doing anyone harm and I was SO SO different. Things in the office now are dramatically improved. I'm reaching out to them and they are responding positively. I'm not threatened by not knowing everything and I can even find things to laugh about and joke with others.

I think I may now be on the greener side of the fence I always saw everyone else on. FOR THE MOST PART.

Good luck with the new old job, sounds like it is right for now.

_________________________
Michael

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#44593 - 06/26/03 10:22 AM Re: a little progress, I guess
guy43 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/17/02
Posts: 450
Loc: Minnesota
Men,
You are all inspiring!
gratefully,
jer


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#44594 - 06/28/03 05:51 PM Re: a little progress, I guess
Leosha Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/18/03
Posts: 3614
Loc: Right here
I am very glad that you will leave that job that burdens you so much, and that you can see progress you make. I think for so many people, it is the end goal they look at only, and they forget that each step to that goal is something good, is something progress. I do not have the job troubles of you, but I have friend at another forum I go at, she is nurse and has had a very hard time this week at her job, things to do with her issues. I imagine that many jobs will have the 'triggers' at times. Just am very glad that you get to go back at a place you feel comfortable at, and feel that you will get your compulsions under the control then also. Remember to celebrate the small things, the stages it takes to get to the end, and not just the end.

_________________________
Avatar photo in memory of my younger brother Makar.

"Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted."~~~Martin Luther King Jr., 1963

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