My Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Friends Abandoning Me?

I had some massive trouble with Alcoholism in my 20's!  Quite normal for people suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (like me).  Best stay on the wagon :)

I had some massive trouble with Alcoholism in my 20’s! Quite normal for people suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (like me). Best stay on the wagon!

When I was growing up from say my mid-teens to very early 20’s, I remember hanging out with this group of “Friends”.  Even though I say the term “Friends” with a level of sarcasm, I think at the start they were actually my friends, but then over time they became clearly my “Friends”.

I was telling this story to a few people lately, Jenny Kuo, Luke Goodman and also to Matt Craig and reflecting on how things change and what happens.  When I was younger, I used to have a group of friends, a “Circle” as you will.  It was Tim, Jodi, Troy, Ben and a few other characters which for the life of me I can’t remember!

We had some good times for sure and in those days, I was always the “Under Confident” one of the lot.  That is, I would be the “Supporter” of the team, always doing what they want  and bending to their will.  I actually had some big “Mental” problems so to speak while I was younger.

I had a few life threatening situations (another story for another time) and got stalked by a drug dealer, shot at, threatened with knives and badly assaulted on several occasions.  I one time got strangled to the point of having very dark marks on my neck for days which I covered up with a scarf so my parents wouldn’t see it (It was winter fortunately!).

Without realizing, as a Teenager I developed a moderate case of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (with a heavy bout of Alcoholism  I had to deal with in my late 20’s! (But Again another story for another time).  I then spent thousands later on for a Psychologist who Specializes in Child Abuse and War Veterans.  I remember hearing that I had the emotional scarring of many Vietnam Veterans he saw (because even though I never saw an actual “Battlefield” the extensive beating and threats as a “Teenager” has a greater impact on one’s brain, say compared to being an adult).

Anyway – where was I? Yes, I suffered from heavy emotional problems and as I got better and healthier mentally, my confidence naturally rose.  You probably know where this story is going!  As I got better, I started speaking my own voice and preferences and guess what happened – this disrupted the precedent and order of things and the group started getting irritated with me.  I remember two of the ring leaders, Ben & Tim were putting a lot of pressure on me to “Conform” with the expectations and we started fighting.  Then, while I was busy working away – they turned most of the group against me and I was vilified!

Even though it sounds laughable in hindsight compared to what I am sure you are (and me too) dealing with our lives right now, it was actually quite a painful experience that created a range of Social Problems for me later.  As I was working through Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Dealing with my Alcoholism (which is quite normal for people with PTSD).  I also destroyed many great relationships which was completely my fault in fear of getting close to anyone again.

Ben, Tim and the Group really did hurt me in a quite a few ways and in moving on in life – the irony was that a few of them tried adding me on Facebook a few years ago.  It was like “Everything” is just great and nothing happened and they wanted to be buddies.  I even spoke to Ben for a short time, then decided to move on from them. Although I don’t wish any harm to them – certainly didn’t want to connect with them based on what they did to me.

The big thing I have been learning and reflecting on has been “Learning to Trust” again. I have been working with a few clients who have had people abandon them. Be it to relationships breaking down, friends moving on and then feeling paranoid and not being able to get close to anyone again.  In fact, even I have a bit of a guard up when it comes to getting “Too Close” to people.  A certain good friend (you know how I am talking about) has cracked my facade a bit and certainly started helping me in learning to trust again and that sort of thing (this is not a clue “Kenny Juo”).

One thing this has got me reflecting on is that I have some fantastic friends these days.  I do certainly take them for granted sometimes and I am well aware of that weakness of mine and doing my best to really acknowledge and look after them.  I am starting to realize later in life that Real Friends put up with your upsides and downsides!  Yes, you may have fights with people – but you all kiss and make up and move on which is what it’s all about.

So thanks for reading this Post / Diary Entry! I am very happy with the friends I have made these days and lucky to have them around.  Those mean people from my Teen Years – Peehhh! I look forward to ignoring their Facebook Requests in future!

If you are going through a breakup, or a bunch of friends have dumped you – I feel for you! If you are “Alone in the Dark”, like I used to be, please don’t be too lonely.  Have a good giving heart and you will find some great people who return the love & respect you give.

Thanks again for the read and appreciated! I will have to write more articles about the pain of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder – it hurts!

The Reasons the world’s needs more Awesome Business Women!

The dedication to some top business women! (From Left to Right), Jenny Kuo, Drina Ng and Martha Arifin.

The dedication to some top business women! (From Left to Right), Jenny Kuo, Drina Ng and Martha Arifin.

After an amazing day working with some amazing Business Women I would like to dedicate this article to three Savvy Operators in particular, Jenny Kuo, Drina Ng and Martha Arifin.

One big trend in society which I am a massive fan of these days are the fact that the ruling majority of new businesses are started by women! After working for years in the Corporate Environment and watching women first hand get harassed, overlooked for promotions (even when they were more competent than their “Male” co-workers), are treated as “Objects of Desire” and just not present at the Senior Management levels – it got me thinking about the general nature of many workplaces.  I even knew of one situation where an Assistant was expected to provide various “Services” to retain her position by one evil boss.

And in speaking to many fantastic successful business women, I hear this one all the time:

– Men just got promoted over me regardless of the money I made or how hard I worked.

Being raised by a strong mother who was a Police Inspector looking after the household, watching her almost die from “Terminal Cancer” (she is still around thank god) and seeing the hardships she put up with because “She was a chick” has got me really reflecting on the problems in our modern workplace.

Don’t get me wrong, some workplaces are great and some women do great ahead – but I am referring to the general treatment they get.  What really brings a smile to my dial is that you get women like Jenny, Drina and Martha who rebel – go off and do their own thing and BEAT HEAPS OF MEN they once worked with!

Even if they have rocky starts like I did and go through tough times, the process of becoming and succeeding as a business owner is nothing short of rewarding and liberating – once we are free of the Corrupt and Soul Eating corporate machine for good!

I can completely understand the reasoning why women are going out into their own businesses in droves – quite simply because they believe they can provide better for their families on their own than “Trusting” the corporate machine.

For that reason and the fact that women are cool and relationship focused is all the justification to me why the world needs more of them!

Keep up the fine work Jenny Kuo, Drina Ng and Martha Arifin – fine examples to us all!

Self-Respect: The Two Way Street and Loving the Reflection!

Self-Respect - My life never worked till I started developing it!

Self-Respect – My life never worked till I started developing it!

I am very grateful to have yet another amazing day in my marketing consulting business.  This post I would like to dedicate to my awesome CPA with whom I met with today.  I am also thinking of the hard-working and amazing Jenny Kuo (from Sociable Space) as I write this article.

Like many of my clients (who are about 70% awesome female business owners), my CPA fits the perfect profile of many of them.  Kind, good natured, technically brilliant, hard-working and of course not realizing how awesome they actually are!

Relating to this experience myself, I have spent many years of my life with little respect for myself.  This has led to a disastrous life for myself in a range of areas.  One big one was how badly my career progressed.  As I never had respect for myself, I would always be attracted to employers that merely gave me respect matching my own internal respect.  This resulted in earning far less than what I deserve, working incredible hours, generating results without any long-term benefit to myself and having nothing to show for years of hard work when I was moved on in all instances.

Many corporate rebels like myself are dealing with fallout from years of ill treatment in corporate environments.  I used to think it was “only ee” (which is no doubt their intent) only to realize there are many which had it worse than me a range of ways.  I have heard amazing stories and personally observed a range of things covering:

– Sexual harassment (e.g “sex for job security”).

– Forced to commit crimes to keep your job (happened to me once, and I said no and called their bluff).

– Standard corporate bullying.

– Theft by withholding entitlements and commissions.

– Women being penalized.

All very sad stuff and after speaking with my CPA and reflecting on my past, it’s all about respect.  That is, many corporates and even people in our own lives treat us with such disrespect and contempt, we must be careful not to let it change our own view of “self-respect”.  The big mistake I made was not keeping up my self respect and them getting to me and their lies rubbing off on me.

When I went into my own business and escaped that abuse, the thing that I found strange (as many others do) is that it can take some time to detox from what happens to us.  In my case, even years later:

– I still have nightmares.

– I still act with poor confidence at times.

– I still don’t treat myself fairly.

– But I am getting over it!

To my poor friends and clients alike – if for whatever reason you don’t have good self-respect, I encourage you to really work on this part of your life.  As my self-respect has increased, my income and results have increased! So it’s important and totally critical!

There are no secret answers, but I can say one great technique I learnt in the church and did myself:

– Every day Write 10 x Things (every morning) about why you can realistically self-respect yourself!

It can be little things! Eating health, loving your children, helping someone – or even from your past, reflecting on big things and missions you have won.  I did this exercise mentally and it worked, but many need to write it down.  Reflect on why you are awesome!

So if you are down on yourself and letting yourself get walked over, you have little self-respect, so please work on it! Don’t stuff up your life like I did, and if you have – just improve and don’t punish yourself!

Arrogance is Way Better than Low-Confidence, Right?

I’m Not Arrogant – You are Just Inferior to Me!

In many people, I have known, including some of my clients, colleagues (and even myself at times) – it can be an easy trap to bounce from extremes of “Low-Confidence” right through to “Arrogance”.

That is, when one has a low view of themselves, they eat away their energy and motivation through always putting themselves down (be it out loud, or just through their own internal dialogue).  After reaching a real low in themselves, they then go and buy something or “Puff” themselves up to convince themselves into being “Confident”.

In watching such swings, unfortunately the “Confidence” may turn into “Arrogance” which is no fun for anyone!

The poor person who felt bad, “Puffs” themself up, then because people think they are “Arrogant” they get treated differently and then they slide back where they were – hence the cycle repeats itself.

In my own youth I did this quite a bit and it wasn’t till much later that I learnt (firstly the hard way then formally) that when we have a “Poor View” of ourselves and a very low Self-Worth – it’s very easy to enter this “Low Confidence / Arrogance” type of swing.

In some of the great people I work with, when you hear them pour out their soul to you -I sometimes almost tear up in terms of feeling how much they either put themselves down or devalue themselves all the time.  That is, regardless of what they achieve, what they do for their families, how hard they work – they are so used to beating themselves up – they instinctively:

– Say bad things to themselves.

– Like All the Time.

Going into what I cover in my previous posts, when one has low self-esteem (or self-value), you are “Ripe for the Picking” by Cults, dodgy MLM Schemes or anything out there with people that intentionally prey on people with low Self-Esteem

Then ironically, when the person with low Self-Esteem is sucked into these environments, they may become “Arrogant” and do an extremely great job of then preying on other people and so forth.

So is being “Arrogant” better than having “Low-Confidence” – well, I don’t think they are opposing in that many of the so called “Arrogant” people I know have big big issues with their Confidence and Self Esteem (whether they admit it or not).  A good cliche example is the “Napoleon Syndrome”.

What I have found is that when we start “Actually Valuing” ourselves and start catching ourselves for doing the right thing – it starts to build our our Self Confidence / Esteem in positive way.  It makes us feel better, improves performance and even more – we don’t end up becoming arrogant.  This is where too much “Positive Thinking” can get you into a lot of trouble!

In fact, my own personal definition of “Arrogance” is:

– The End Result of trying poorly to “Cover Up” low Self Esteem.

I wish I learnt this one 20 years ago!

[Edward’s Comment some years later – I have seen so many arrogant people and humble people make way more money.  It’s a great thing to watch, the right people succeeding in their own Small Businesses through integrity, skill and honest Sales & Marketing Practices!]