Maybe it's imposter syndrome, maybe it's CSA.

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Jeremy Doe

HI All,

So I'm going to put out my thoughts of a... revelation I had either today or yesterday. I feels like progress even though I'm still working on the solution. Now some of this may have come from the book Victim No Longer by Mike Lew, but the quote is below.

He discounts any success he achieves as temporary at best—since it is based on deception. Similarly, he devalues his strength and power because he alone knows how weak and defenseless he feels. Whether his strengths, power, and success are physical, financial, professional, romantic, sexual, emotional, athletic, academic, intellectual, or social, he finds cause to write them off. No picture of reality is able to penetrate his wall of self-negation. Alternatively, the male survivor might exert himself beyond all reason to prove himself a man. Feeling that he must conceal his shortcomings through worldly success, he strives for (and often achieves) wealth, recognition, and power. But even massively impressive attainments leave him feeling uncertain. There is always the possibility of discovery and humiliation.
And this has been pretty much been my adult life. This passage talks about a sexually abused boy as an adult and how he interacts with the world. That constant drive to perform, to be good, to be hidden, to keep your secret safe. All of this makes so much sense. But it was the motivation behind it that really resonated. Doing all that and still remaining uncertain.

For years I've struggled with what I called imposter syndrome. That feeling of dread that you're going to be found out as a fraud even though the work you perform is impeccable. Someone offers me praise, I deflect it with a redirection or I laugh it off. Whatever it would take to get the spot life off me.

Now I'm seeing it for what it was. A lack of trust and feeling of comfort with other people because my abuser destroyed my ability to trust in others. Like he literally took away my self esteem to the point that even I at some level don’t think that I’m worthy of good things. And it seems like it will never be enough.

I'm not any closer to a solution, but it helps to know why I haven't resolved this issue. It's because I wasn't focused on the right cause. Which to me seems like progress.

I will say though the most interesting part of this process is that I’m seeing things under a vastly different light. Now I just have to convince myself that dispelling the illusion is better than being deluded.

Hope everyone is having a good night,
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