Are you guilty of……….Self-Sabotage?

Having recently read an article on this subject, I have discovered that my husband and I are very much guilty of self-sabotage. In fact, my husband has raised this in the past knowing that he often deliberately ruins things that are going well in his life because he expects them to fall apart anyway. We are creatures of habit and naturally learn ways of life that aren’t necessarily good for us. We do them anyway because we feel that they protect us and we have grown accustomed to them.

Living with my father and receiving daily insults about my character, programmed me into thinking I was incapable of being loved. When someone showed signs of caring deeper for me, I’d usually push them away. I’d think it was a trick – a trap. A way for them to use me for their benefit. I distanced myself from them until I realised what I was doing and quickly tried to mend it yet by then it was too late. My self-sabotage would earn me a broken relationship with no respect from them or for myself. It would throw me into a vicious cycle where I’d berate myself for my actions only to act them out again as a form of self-preservation. No one else can hurt me if I hurt myself?

Both my husband and I have anxiety issues. I constantly doubt myself. I do not have an ounce of self-belief. It has not always been like this but ongoing stresses have crept in and now I am battling with my anxiety. Writing helps and as long as I have an outlet, I feel okay. I am better with self-sabotage now although some would question whether staying in my marriage in a relationship that’s had so many let downs is not another form of it. I like to think it isn’t.

I am trying to be positive. In every aspect of my life and for someone who is prone to self-sabotage, this is quite a feat. However our daily stresses remain, we feel anxious most of the time, we doubt ourselves, we argue. We are trying but not quite on the road to success.

I guess the first step in overcoming it is recognising it and we have done that. We know what triggers the self-sabotage so can anticipate it before it happens thus sometimes even stopping it. A bit of anxiety is good. We as humans find ways of protecting ourselves and being cautious about things is a part of that. It’s when it takes over your life and stops you taking a chance – you have to break it.

Get perspective.

Get focussed.

Know that good things in your life are happening and they are allowed to happen. They can continue to happen.

Just don’t sabotage it!

The boss of me.

I have to be honest here. I lack majorly when it comes to standing up for myself. If questioned, I feel backed into a corner. I hesitate, show anxiety, panic and doubt myself if questioned in a bossy way. My father was so demanding and his level of questioning was always challenging towards me. He made me feel like no answer would satisfy him and that nothing would appease the situation.

When challenged by my peers now, I react similarly to the way I did with my father. I do not like to be bossed yet I respond well to clear and respectful orders or requests. I notice it the most in a working environment. No matter where I have worked through my career, it has always been the same. I appreciate being talked to not talked at. I appreciate communication and cooperation. It makes for an easier life. I am not good at second guessing or acting on assumption, I like to know in advance and feel prepared for something. Of course, this doesn’t mean I can’t be spontaneous. I just leave that for the other parts of my life. At work however, I want to know where I should be and what I should be doing. 

My father was always the boss of me. 

He gave himself that role and I allowed him to have it.

Thursday will be an important day with an important post. It will be exactly one year that I watched my father’s body be cremated. It will be a time to look back on what I consider to be the most surreal moment of my life.

It was a hellish day, an upsetting day and most of all, a very revealing day.

It was my father’s funeral.

3. Sex and respect, Part 2.

I can’t say my first time was the most memorable, how many of us can? It wasn’t in a perfect relationship, or any relationship for that matter and it wasn’t with a total stranger I’d picked from a bar either. It was just the right time for me and at nineteen years of age I thought it was about time too.

I had nothing to compare it too and it certainly did not give me a taste for more as it was over a year that I contemplated doing it again. I definitely fell into situations that could have led to sex but I never followed through. I was confident yet massively insecure doubting how sexual I was or how appealing I came across. I received plenty of attention in my early twenties but put it down to my attractive set of friends. I never thought I may have been drawing that attention all by myself.

I knew nothing of men.

The only male figure I had around me was my father and that man could’ve put me off for life. I doubted men and was certain they’d betray me. I convinced myself I could never be loved. My father helped fuel those feelings with his constant criticisms and accusations against me. I felt disgusting most of the time. However, eventually, I pushed those deep rooted feelings to one side. I wanted to be loved and found physically attractive. I needed something positive from a man so I went looking for it.

In my early twenties a new found sexiness and courage developed in me. My love of fashion enabled me to flaunt myself and create a new seductive identity. It wasn’t me but it was better than the miserable identity my father had labelled me with. I revelled in it and enjoyed the copious amounts of attention I was now receiving from the opposite sex. My friends admired my confidence and ability to talk to anyone. It was just nice to be free, even if it was only for a few hours.

Soon, I became “addicted”. My lifestyle changed and I was out all the time. I was never a big drinker but my love of music and dancing drew me into the club scene. I was young and wanted a social life. My father didn’t care at first if I was out all hours but eventually it became another thing he wanted to control.

Clubs revealed a specific kind of guy. Ones that were out for one thing. Initially, I fell into this trap and believed their lines and flirtation. I thought I was giving as good as I was getting and still keeping boundaries. But I had never been exposed to the concept of boundaries so my lines were completely blurred. A few one night stands followed suit and many nights were spent anxiously waiting for the call that never came. I foolishly made these mistake several times, thinking each man would be different from the last.

But of course, I was wrong.

In my mid-twenties and in need of a long lasting relationship, I tried out on-line dating. I have to admit, I met some right bastards on that. Yet once again, I believed their lies as they romanced me into bed. Some I dated for a couple of months, others a few weeks and all the time they had the control. I see it now. I allowed it to happen, it was easier that way, it was all I was used to; a man controlling me.

Sex became an escape, a way to be free, to hide from the abuse and feel loved. It was a chance to feel released and become someone else.

Even if it was only for that one night.

Part 3 to follow.