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Creating a new life without sabotage

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  • #64420
    wow90
    Participant

    An alternate title: Trusting yourself?

    Some background: I am 22, and a recent college graduate. I come from an abusive home, and unfortunately, am back there now. The abuse is not really active at the moment, but the memories/flashbacks are bad enough.

    I am receiving traditional therapy, as well as alternative ones.

    I sometimes feel very stuck. The reason I am home right now is because I feel that I essentially sabotaged myself. To explain further, I feel as if the first 18 years of my life were lost years. In the four years I was at college, I made some gains, discovered things about myself, etc. That was nice, but when graduation began nearing, I terrified myself back into freeze mode. I had no idea what I wanted to do next, and everything seemed kind of scary.

    If this makes sense, it’s like, I’ve never had very many choices at all, let alone ones that I could reasonably pursue. So, I have trouble making necessary decisions for myself. I also don’t trust myself, because I don’t know what I want. I’m afraid that I am always sabotaging myself. There is a tiny voice in my head that tells me how I need to throw all caution to the wind, because, for all intents and purposes, I’ve only been living for 4 years. I deserve to experience anything and everything.

    I have recently decided to move in with a relative (who is willing to take me in) in a city that I really like. I want to look for work there. I do not have the money yet to go there, but I am hoping to keep working and get it, sooner rather than later. I’m actually really excited about it. I think this makes sense. I am trying to make my mental health/healing my top priority right now.

    It is just so difficult, because I have the weird self sabotage/freeze thing going on, my parents aren’t helping, society telling me that I should just get a job doing anything, and I don’t know….

    #64429
    Warrior of Light
    Participant

    Good morning wow90.

    I totally empathize with you, as I too feel stuck in endless loops from self-sabotage, and it’s been a hell of a process trying to break these ingrained cycles. Self-awareness, while important in all aspects, is critical in working with self-sabotage. It seems like you’re aware in fact that you’re engaging in self-sabotage, which is the first step in working with it. What I did is start to reflect (by journaling) what my self-sabotage was all about: are their certain people, situations, or events that trigger self-sabotage? What does my self-sabotage look like? What does it feel like and where do I feel it? And most importantly, what is REALLY underlying this behavior?

    For me it is fear: fear of rejection, fear of failure, fear of change, fear of death, fear of pain/hurt… all these fears were what was subtly motivating my self-sabotaging behaviors. I’ve noticed self-sabotage particularly comes out when I’m actually succeeding/doing well/achieving my goals because the self-sabotage voice says “give up. You’re going to fail anyways, so why even try?” So when I hear you say you’re making your mental health/healing a top priority, I can hear you’re self-sabotage screaming for you to back down, to crawl back into a hole and pretend everything is okay. The more you challenge yourself, to change those thoughts/behaviors that no longer nourish and grow your heart and soul, the louder these self-sabotaging voices will yell and throw tantrums.

    What has kept me going is the hope/faith/belief in myself and in this process… that if I keep challenging myself and not give up… that if I continue to love myself and be grateful for the messages hidden within… that I will be able to direct my life as I see fit, rather than being controlled by fear.

    Peace and blessing.

    Weston

    #64453
    louise
    Participant

    THERE IS NO RUSH TO DECIDE.
    I AGREE WITH THE PERSON THAT TOLD YOU TO JUST GET A JOB FOR NOW.
    save your money for when you do decide.
    Also, forgive your parents, we all make mistakes.
    Forgive them in your heart and you will find your emotions heal

    #64475
    Matt
    Participant

    Wow90,

    Congratulations on graduating! Thats a really awesome milestone, and you should be proud. 🙂 Its very normal to not know what to do next, freeze up at the blank canvas. Consider watching “Fear and Fearlessness” by Pema Chodron on YouTube. She explains how we can approach that fear, smile at it, and find courage.

    With warmth,
    Matt

    #64527
    Life is hope
    Participant

    Wow90,

    I am older than you and I feel that I am doing the same thing. Depending on our upbringing, you need to plan your life to the T! When plans go awry, anxiety sets in, self-doubt and all the negative stuff you can think of. I always lived unconventionally (to the utter dismay of my parents) and never fully felt their support. It carried through my adulthood when becoming pregnant with my first child and not married (but with a partner). Life took turns I did not expect and now, I feel in a rut, even though I should probably be grateful for a lot of things. You have gotten higher education and that is great! What I miss is breathing life, not just going through the motions. You are young and you should grab opportunities, not worrying about where they will take you. I wish sometimes that I could take certain risks but with a family, I cannot. Take advantage of your ‘freedom’ and go out there and live! Whatever happens you can always find your way back to a job. I have learned that jobs and careers do not define us (unlike what my parents believed). We define our path, and though it might at times seem unorthodox or a bit scary, we grow through our experiences. I hope that you will live your life, take chances and see where they take you! Just remember to trust your gut instincts along the way!

    #64771
    wow90
    Participant

    Life is hope–Thank you for this comment. I actually finalized my moving plans yesterday, so it’s going to happen. I am scared, but I hope I will be able to carve out a decent way of life for myself. Your post is encouraging.

    #64785
    Alana
    Participant

    As someone who is very close to your age and growing up in an abusive environment. i can definitely relate to the feeling of not knowing what to do next and feeling pressure that I need to experience something to makeup for my past.

    Do you think you may not have forgiven the past yet? Do you feel that you have been robbed of time because of your past? Do you consider yourself a victim?

    The experiences we have all shape us for who we are, they are all significant, even if it doesn’t seem this way. I bet you can gain a lot of insight from your experiences of being abused. I cannot speak for you, but in my experiences of overcoming past trauma, I learnt that I am able to be more understanding and self-aware. I would not have begun my journey into discovering myself further without the pain as a driving factor. You are a survivor of abuse, not a victim. I definitely think it is a good idea to stay away from your family until you are feeling better if the flashbacks are occuring.

    Going with how our experiences shape us, when you feel stuck and don’t know what to do, the best thing may be actually to do something. It doesn’t have to be major like careers. It can be simple like reading a book, watching videos on youtube, a movie. The point is to give yourself the freedom to reward yourself something.

    Warmest Regards,
    Alana

    • This reply was modified 7 years, 9 months ago by Alana.
    #64814
    wow90
    Participant

    Alana-

    Thanks for commenting, this resonated with me. I don’t think I would call myself a victim—the word doesn’t feel right in my mouth. I think I’ve moved somewhat past that. But yes, I kind of do feel robbed of my time. I’m not sure how I will move past that, as there are a lot of things that I haven’t experienced yet, and that weighs on my mind a lot. For example, love (romantic). I find this constant pressure to be not helpful at all, and oftentimes, it just causes me to freeze up and do nothing at all. It has prevented me from enacting positive change in my life in the past. I wonder what the cure for this is—this being, the constant pressure to experience because of feeling “robbed”?

    I think if I can get that under control, I will have a lot more peace.

    #64911
    Alana
    Participant

    Hmmm.. this is a tricky question. I have no answers.

    Speaking for myself, when I felt robbed of my time, I also felt a pressure too experience everything as well.
    Like you, I felt that none of my choices were ever mine and that I had little say in what to do.

    My medicine, which may or may not be helpful to you, was too establish control of my choices. It will take awhile,
    but start off by making small choices by yourself.

    I think moving was an excellent first step.

    You will learn that your choices are not guaranteed success, but risks you take. Not every risk you take is rewarding, but at least it was your decision. This helps you build a resilience against failure.

    How does this relate to pressure? Well, I feel pressure is a by-product, not a cause. However, the pressure is caused by feeling you have been robbed of choices so in my opinion, maybe feeling like you have a freedom of choices can help reduce this pressure.

    Warmest Regards,
    Alana

    • This reply was modified 7 years, 9 months ago by Alana.
    • This reply was modified 7 years, 9 months ago by Alana.
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