Could making wrong choices and choosing the wrong relationships stem from what happened to me?

tommo321

New Registrant
I am a gay man and have always been. What happened to me did not turn me gay and just because of my sexuality, I did not seek out what happened to me either, albeit it was over a number of years. However, that said, I still make bad choices in relationships and I have 3 failed long-term relationships. I have always ended up with domineering men who have made me feel belittled and unworthy and things have always turned abusive, be it psychologically and/or physically. It tends to build up until I'm worn down and it's too late. I have low self esteem and have had addiction issues and yet to find a place of recovery. I lost my job through drug use and this has made me even more trapped in an abusive relationship. I still have issues with alcohol and try for periods of sobriety with some success. Am I the one at fault, am I the wrongdoer, do I do things to attract these type of men (always older)? Is this a pattern that survivors of long term abuse fall in to? There are often ways for heterosexual women to escape but for a gay man there seems to be no facility to seek help. I feel very isolated and alone with no one to turn to. I do not have family as I grew up in care and moving around all my life has meant I have few friends nearby. Outwardly I am a regular guy but inside I am sad, lonely and confused. When things in the house go well it is fine but when they take a turn I end up feeling humiliated, dishonoured, disgraced. Are there any sources of help someone can recommend in the UK please?
 

SetecAstronomy

Registrant
Straight here, but I’ve come to realize that I have self-sabotaged many of my relationships. I think when they started getting close I got frightened. Not exactly what you describe, but 100% I believe the abuse effects our choices.
 
Tommo321,

We are creatures of habit. Patterns are created in the natural diurnal cycle. Some are healthy and necessary. Others become a learned behavior in order to "Survive". In the Short-Term, survival patterns are beneficial as defense against repeated traumatic events but defense mechanisms are detrimental in the long-term as I have experienced as self-sabotage in relationships, jobs, or any other aspect of my life that may become superlative or draw attention.

My action plan: 1) daily faith/spirit based devotional 2) leverage a guided daily meditative practice 3) enter a self-reflective journal entry from a 12 Step Program, 4) daily give away a simple, silent kindness 5.) pray constantly!

My choice to implement a faith-based devotional strengthens my emotional, mental and spiritual bodies by growing closer to my personal conceptualization of ONENESS. This reminds me that I am never alone, forces are greater than me, and if I don't let my ego resist events that life flows gently by. My meditative practice stills my racing mind as I listen with intent to any guidance, revelation, or answer. This keeps me on the straight and narrow of my Soul Contract and Purpose. During reflective contemplation, I recognize and write gratitude for the good, bad and ugly of the last 24 hours. If I realize that I have "harmed" someone, I admit my responsibility and if possible apologize in person. I can exercise and grow spiritually by extending grace and simple kindess: a smile, a thank-you, manners, a compliment.

I have the power of choice. I am struggling in my relationship, right now. I have been intently focused on getting a book through publication which requires "proving" the merit of my work and that I have enough "followers" to ensure it sells well. Publishing Houses no longer do the marketing and branding. An aspiring author has to have it. So writing is a full-time job with multiple side hustles building "brand" on each social media platform (which all have different metrics and algorithms). This is all brand new to me and takes a lot of intense concentration. He doesn't get it. He just sees me "on my iPad all the time" ignoring him and being cold and mean (implied on purpose). Meanwhile, I am opening up the most personal and vulnerable aspects of myself for the world to see. Compassion? NO,Gaslighting. Being called CRAZY and MANIPULATIVE and A FRAUD.

I have the POWER. GOOD BYE M**** F***cker
 
I believe the stuff does impact us in many ways like on this deep level that is hard to change. I am the type that have been in just two long term relations including now. I am not happy deep down but i cant upset or hurt the other. I have always been the one to put others feelings before mine even a a kid. Make them happy be the good kid, don’t do anything to upset others. Sadly if my partner of of 20 years was to walk out on me tomorrow I think i would be ok. But i am the provider so i know it wont ever happen.
 

EQCR

Registrant
I have low self esteem and have had addiction issues and yet to find a place of recovery. I lost my job through drug use and this has made me even more trapped in an abusive relationship. I still have issues with alcohol and try for periods of sobriety with some success. Am I the one at fault, am I the wrongdoer, do I do things to attract these type of men (always older)? Is this a pattern that survivors of long term abuse fall in to? There are often ways for heterosexual women to escape but for a gay man there seems to be no facility to seek help. I feel very isolated and alone with no one to turn to. I do not have family as I grew up in care and moving around all my life has meant I have few friends nearby. Outwardly I am a regular guy but inside I am sad, lonely and confused. When things in the house go well it is fine but when they take a turn I end up feeling humiliated, dishonoured, disgraced. Are there any sources of help someone can recommend in the UK please?
First, it is not your fault. Period.
There is nothing 'wrong' with you.
Low self esteem (LSE) is a symptom, like numbness or a headache, but it is not the root cause of your difficulties. Although I do not know your story I can tell you that children (and even adults) that experience trauma have difficulty trying to deal with it. Questions like why me? What did I do wrong? What's wrong with me? are a natural consequence for all human beings. We all tend to focus on what's wrong (as part of our survival instinct) but very few of us have a natural healthy response to the fear of the unknown. As a result many of us learn by trial and failure and often stop at any option that seems to help. Children blame themselves for their parents divorce, teenagers drink and smoke, because nothing else seems to make sense as well as help lessen the negative feelings they are trying to deal with.
Once we experience a sense of relief (or even just a momentary distraction) we tend to repeat the (self-medicating) behavior, especially when nothing else seems to work. In fact, the fear of trying something else and failing often drives us to avoid looking for help because it would only reinforce that sense that we have no control over our lives.
And, that, is most often at the core of these issues. A sense that you have no control over your life.
If you feel like you are drowning nobody can teach you to swim.

If you are looking for resources to help you I would recommend a 12 step program, like Alcoholics Anonymous. Hearing other people talk about how addiction affects them will likely help you clarify what is going on in your life and how you can start to change what you want to change. If a psychologist or therapist is available I would highly recommend you to make an appointment.

Lastly, do not diminish how strong you actually are. You survived; growing up in care, serious trauma, addiction, low self esteem, all as a gay boy and then man, all without family, proper guidance, feeling isolated, carrying a sense of failure and guilt while searching for the love and respect you deserve.
You deserve!
You are stronger than you know.
You are good.
You are worthy.
I am proud of you.
 
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Brian76

Registrant
I believe I am bi but I totally believe my abuse has ruined many romantic relationships. My acting out and deception had driven many partners away thanks to my eternal self sabotage. I have never dated a man-- never knew where to meet one in the past lol. I am married to an awesome woman whom I have hurt many times over the years. Sigh.
 

Dan99

Registrant
I am not in the UK, so others can help there. I completely agree that abuse influences my life decisions. I have always surrounded myself with cold, unaffectionate people. That's who was in my life as a child. Someone expressing love for me could literally cause me to feel ill.

Makes it very tough to grow and evolve when you realize we all deserve love and respect and nurturing but you've built all your relationships specifically to avoid those things.
 
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