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#446232 - 09/02/13 03:22 PM Job stability and Recovery
justplainme Offline


Registered: 09/01/09
Posts: 325
I am turning 29 in two days and I've been thinking about how much time is stolen from us by way of the abuse, I would appreciate it your opinion on how CSA has affected your work life and professional life.
I'm tired of not thriving and having to put on hold certain aspects of my life due to the pain and healing.
I'm looking to get a job soon.
And thrive.
Any shared experiences I would welcome very much.
I wish you all courage, High strenght, love and compassion.
_________________________

"Survivors need an opportunity to define their own sexuality in their own terms, rather than in reaction to the abuse, so that they stop allowing their offenders to have power over them sexually."

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#446234 - 09/02/13 03:44 PM Re: Job stability and Recovery [Re: justplainme]
SamV Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/13/09
Posts: 5947
Loc: Talladega, Alabama, USA
Thank you for your well wishes justplainme,

When it became necessary for me to begin working after the most intense part of recovery, I had panic attacks and a self destructive process to overcome. I am a carpenter by trade, having been in the industry as an employee, sub contractor and business owner for many years. I decided to go into remodeling. I began by helping a friend build a deer cabin, rustic, no frills. I remember being on a ladder and measuring siding. I froze, panicked that I would get the measurement wrong and I would waste material. That was an overreaction I had when I was working with very expensive material before and I had not processed it. I took a moment, used some calming techniques and re-took the measurement. Got it! The rest of the cabin was fine, some challenging, some mundane but my goal was to build self confidence. I found that I was remembering more and able to learn and retain new things better than when I was surviving only.

There were still challenges, things I did not do right, right things I did not think of and the struggle of trusting others in a team, that was a difficult struggle. I began that journey back in the spring of 2010 and have been gaining confidence and trust ever since that time. I currently work in a difficult situation with a co-worker who does not have good personal boundaries and is a bully. That as been an incredible learning experience, testing my recovery training. I have overreacted and I have reacted as I could and still not have been rewarded with a 100% outcome, but it is a process that I feel confident I am getting better at being assertive and compassionate without being idealistic.

This is a great topic, thank you,
Sam
_________________________
MaleSurvivor Moderator Emeritus 2012 - 2014

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#446236 - 09/02/13 04:08 PM Re: Job stability and Recovery [Re: justplainme]
Rich1967 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/17/13
Posts: 289
Loc: PA
Hey JPM,

I just read your story posted back in '09. Sorry about your cousin and what he did to you. I always feel the need to read someone's story before posting on their thread. It's like a sign of respect or something.

I hope you get a job and one you like. Having one can help make you feel useful and the interactions with coworkers can be rewarding and that can be with a job you don't even like. With ones you do like multiple the positive effects.

I always threw my entire self into any job I did. I can't bear to disappoint people AND it left me little time to think about how lonely and isolated I was making myself. This meant I usually found myself as a boss or supervisor at some point. I always felt the most comfortable there because it meant I had something worthwhile to give and for someone who feels mostly worthless it was a nice feeling. Also, leadership positions are very isolating in many ways - most people don't hang out with the boss after work or buddy up to him in a sincere way while at work either. This made it very easy to self isolate and avoid painful situation.

So I guess what you can take from this is to not do what I did :-) If you have a choice between money and something you like choose something you like if personal reward is more important than monetary reward. If you can choose between working alone or with others work with others. I see my staff have so much fun together sometimes and while I am happy for them, and try to create an environment for them that promotes positive interactions it also hurts to see it sometimes because I now wish I could be their friend and not just their boss.

Good luck and I hope you find something rewarding on many levels.
_________________________
Rich

"Me too" - I don't think I will ever get tired of saying or hearing these two words.

My Story:
http://www.malesurvivor.org/board/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=441625#Post441625

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#446243 - 09/02/13 06:26 PM Re: Job stability and Recovery [Re: justplainme]
justplainme Offline


Registered: 09/01/09
Posts: 325
Thank you for your words Rich and Sam, By the way Rich you know youre the first Person in my life who has ever said, "I'm sorry that happened to you."
Thank you for that it means a lot.
I'm very sorry you had to undergo abuse as well.
I think that self sabotage is the greatest obstacle.
I'm going to graduate business this year.
And preparing to study law next one.
I know I can do this... Thank you both again for sharing your knowledge and wisdom.
Peace to Both of you my brothers in arms.


Edited by justplainme (09/02/13 06:27 PM)
_________________________

"Survivors need an opportunity to define their own sexuality in their own terms, rather than in reaction to the abuse, so that they stop allowing their offenders to have power over them sexually."

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#446244 - 09/02/13 06:29 PM Re: Job stability and Recovery [Re: justplainme]
justplainme Offline


Registered: 09/01/09
Posts: 325
I love your quote by the way Sam,
"Play with life,don't fight it."
_________________________

"Survivors need an opportunity to define their own sexuality in their own terms, rather than in reaction to the abuse, so that they stop allowing their offenders to have power over them sexually."

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#446245 - 09/02/13 06:36 PM Re: Job stability and Recovery [Re: justplainme]
Rich1967 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/17/13
Posts: 289
Loc: PA
Thanks JPM. You are very welcome. Wish I could do more to help sometimes. We all can use the support.

Good luck and I wish you all the best. Maybe we'll get to hear about your successes here in the future.
_________________________
Rich

"Me too" - I don't think I will ever get tired of saying or hearing these two words.

My Story:
http://www.malesurvivor.org/board/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=441625#Post441625

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#446246 - 09/02/13 06:41 PM Re: Job stability and Recovery [Re: justplainme]
trytry Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/13/13
Posts: 36
Loc: Wisconsin
When I was 17 I got my first full-time job at a fast food restaurant, I knew it wasn't anything to brag about, but I was proud of myself for overcoming the anxiety and having an income. I've always wanted to make my dad proud of me, even with everything he's put me through. He really wanted me to get a job for a while and I was so happy when I told him I finally got one, he pretended to be proud, then a few days later I heard him tell my mom "when is he going to get a REAL job?..." Any confidence I had was gone. A few weeks later my parents got divorced. My anxiety got so bad I couldn't do it anymore, didn't show up for a week straight, then finally called and said I quit.

When I turned 21 I got another full time job at a restaurant, I had a lot of friends that worked there so my anxiety wasn't as bad. Long story short, 6 months later the GM threatened to fire me if I didn't stay late after I was told I could leave (I worked 12 hours and 2 more off the clock before he said this, there's a lot more to it). I can't stand people who do stuff like this, so I basically flipped and said "fine, fire me" and walked out.

Since then (23 now) I've been dealing with the anxiety, CSA stuff, and other problems, way too much to even think about getting a job again.

I really don't have advice, but having a job can give you quite a bit of confidence sometimes. Best of luck on your job search!

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#446259 - 09/02/13 09:50 PM Re: Job stability and Recovery [Re: justplainme]
DavoSwim Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/06/13
Posts: 336
Loc: Iowa, USA
Being a CSA survivor has had a huge impact on my professional life. Generally, the effects have been negative, but there have been some positives mixed in.

First, the downside. A very significant after-effect of the abuse is that I was left with very low self esteem. The impression that I was special to my abuser was shattered shortly after the incident. Following that, for the longest time ( and actually still in existence) I felt like I was garbage, and my only value was as a sex toy for adults. I felt I was an outcast, a pariah, a walking shell of a human, whose life meant nothing. In many ways I felt that I brought on the abuse. At times I felt like I had seduced him, but at other times I felt like I brought on the abuse because I had done something wrong and had screwed something up, and subsequently was being punished for my actions or inactions. Consequently I learned to be an overachiever. Everything I did had to be perfect. It started in school. I graduated from high school with a 4.0 GPA. That wasn't good enough, though. An A wasn't good enough, I had to be perfect on everything. If I got an answer wrong, it threw me into a funk. I never appreciated my accomplishments, and only could remember what I had gotten wrong. If someone paid me a compliment, I wouldn't say thank you, but say it was no big deal, or it could've been better or what are you saying that to me, there are other people who did better.

The same thing carried over into my career. I had to be perfect. I had to be in control of everything, and account for any possible variable and leave nothing to chance. I devoted all my time to my work and lacked balance in my life. I would work 7 days a week for months at a time. I would work 10-12 hours a day, up to 100 hours a week. I went without sleep or good nutrition. I lived on caffeine so I could be alert and energized. I ignored family and friends. I had two girlfriends break up with me, because they couldn't take being 2nd behind my job. I couldn't say no. If somebody wanted something done, I would do it. I never looked at the toll it would take on me. I wasn't doing this to be high achieving, I was doing it to avoid criticism. I could receive 99 compliments and 1 criticism and would agonize over that one criticism for the longest time. I could never let it just roll off my back. I was trying to please everyone all the time, with one exception -myself. When things went wrong, or perhaps it's better expressed as when things didn't go my way, I would either explode in rage or withdraw. It threw me into a pit of despair. When we won our first state championship, I didn't celebrate, but my first reaction was to ask how are we going to be able to repeat. Because of the CSA, I never took joy in the process of work, or in my accomplishments. I never saw the value of what I did and along with that, my value as a person for being able to achieve excellence.

Believe it or not, there is a positive in being a CSA survivor. I work coaching kids for a living. My experience as a CSA survivor does mean that I am more aware of the existence of CSA and how it is realistic to expect that some of the kids I coach are victims themselves. I make sure that when I'm at work, that I'm extra careful so that nothing I do could be misinterpreted. I am protecting myself in this regard. I also work to may sure that the kids are safe when they are under my care. I am vigilant in protecting these kids. I talk to the kids about being safe. I also talk to the kids about how some of their jokes can actually be very hurtful to CSA survivors. For example, if a kids says today's workout is raping him, he will be dealt with and that mistake won't happen a second time. I also look for signs of CSA. I look for changes in behavior like if a kid is suddenly withdrawn I would talk to him and see what's going on. I pay attention to what the kids say and if one says to another something about abuse, I would jump into action. I am fiercely protective of my kids.

CSA has had a huge impact on my professional life, most of it detrimental, but some bright spots. To anyone reading this, please don't let CSA affect you like it has affected me. To someone on the outside, I appear highly accomplished. It has come at a huge price. If someone finds themselves repeating the patterns I did, please find a way to make a change and get help so that you lead a peaceful, balanced life.


Edited by DavoSwim (09/02/13 09:53 PM)
Edit Reason: clarification

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#446279 - 09/03/13 12:10 AM Re: Job stability and Recovery [Re: justplainme]
justplainme Offline


Registered: 09/01/09
Posts: 325
Thank you for sharing your experience Trytry and Davoswim.
Thank you as well for the best wishes Rich.,I think I feel like a success at times for being able to hold sharing opportunities like these with men who have lived the same thing.
Davo you are going into my list of Role models i admire your honesty and sincere emotions.
Lets try harder for ourselves And those we love.
I found This quote today And i think it is fitting for finding Joy in Work And Life.

"The really important kind of freedom involves attention, and awareness, and discipline, and effort, and being able truly to care about other people and to sacrifice for them, over and over, in myriad petty little unsexy ways, every day.
That is real freedom. 
That is being taught how to think.
The alternative is unconsciousness, the default setting, the “rat race” — the constant, gnawing sense of having had and lost some infinite thing”
David Foster Wallace, This is Water
_________________________

"Survivors need an opportunity to define their own sexuality in their own terms, rather than in reaction to the abuse, so that they stop allowing their offenders to have power over them sexually."

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#446291 - 09/03/13 09:09 AM Re: Job stability and Recovery [Re: justplainme]
Publius Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/13/12
Posts: 425
Loc: OH
“Everything I did had to be perfect. It started in school. I graduated from high school with a 4.0 GPA. That wasn't good enough, though. An A wasn't good enough, I had to be perfect on everything. If I got an answer wrong, it threw me into a funk. I never appreciated my accomplishments, and only could remember what I had gotten wrong. If someone paid me a compliment, I wouldn't say thank you, but say it was no big deal, or it could've been better or what are you saying that to me, there are other people who did better.”

Same here man. In high school I was honor roll, had a girlfriend, and my nickname was POE (president of everything) because of all the leadership positions I held. Hell, I even won prom king. But lo and behold none of those things assuaged the pain from my CSA. Like you I thought they would “fix” me yet I never took any real pleasure in any of those accomplishments. The same occurred when I went to college and afterward when I entered the workforce. These days things are beginning to get a little better because of recovery. It seems my recovery journey will be a prerequisite to my future professional success and personal happiness. A welcome surprise if I do say so myself.

“I was doing it to avoid criticism. I could receive 99 compliments and 1 criticism and would agonize over that one criticism for the longest time… Because of the CSA, I never took joy in the process of work, or in my accomplishments. I never saw the value of what I did and along with that, my value as a person for being able to achieve excellence.”

Everything was personal to me. Didn’t do well on a test? It’s because I am f***ing stupid and don’t deserve an education. Didn’t get the girl? It’s because she hates you, wants you gone, and is in agreement with all other women that you are no good. Problems with friends? They are in the midst of betraying you just like everybody does and you were stupid to trust them in the first place. I think a lot of us experienced these lies and exaggerations first hand but talking about them now let us never forget for a second what it was like then when we believed them to be true. What a terrible suffering for all that is good to be negated by the abuse only to have the smallest bad exacerbated in a most extreme manner.

To answer your question more directly all I need to do is tell you my present situation. I am in my late twenties, unemployed, and living with my parents. My recovery began mere months before my job disappeared during those wonderful federal budget cuts of 2012 so upon being let go I was in a bad spot. Those final months though were tumultuous and if I am being honest I was the reason for it. The bottom line is CSA destabilizes us emotionally such that school, university, and the workplace are that much more difficult to navigate. To this day I am very afraid of going back to work and even allow it to freeze my job search some days. What happens if I can’t do it (low self confidence)? What happens if my boss is a jerk (abusive)? What happens if I get a job I hate but have to keep it (trapped in the abuse)? What happens if the other people there don’t like me (confirm my low self-esteem)? God I hate the low self-confidence…it’s the reason I am afraid, stagnant, and the reason I am so inefficient during tests/projects cause you know checking it over a thousand times is the only way to know I am right because I could never just know the answer/path to success errrrrrrrrrrr

I could go on and on about this subject. I want to write everything down on my mind and refine it so that those reading it can understand CSA’s effect on my life. But then I have to remember my audience and realize I don’t even need to post this reply. You all know exactly what I am talking about…I just wish politicians could be persuaded to invest in America’s future by funding education/prevention/recovery programs for children and adults. Seriously, aside from the lost happiness/moral harmony that would be gained by a CSAless America how much more money would the government gain not only in higher tax revenue from would be survivors who are now working or producing more but also from the saved money of would be criminals, medical patients, and guys like me living off the public dole. I genuinely think a strong case devoid of all emotional appeal ("don't talk to me about the children it's not election season yet") could be made for investing in prevention/recovery programs. But at least for now I know it will not be happening because America does not have a CSA problem, we have alcohol, drug, violence, ad nauseam issues...haven’t these politicians seen Inception!? : P “We have to go deeper”



Edited by Publius (09/03/13 09:13 AM)
_________________________
"Life is like this dark tunnel. You may not always see the light at the end of the tunnel, but if you keep moving, you will come to a better place." ~ General Iroh

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