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Second Chances Called it off but doubting the decision now? Someone wants you back? Let us know about it!

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Old 31st March 2016, 7:37 PM   #1
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Second chance non-love related

This is something that I have been struggling with for a few years now. I had been taking karate for many years, I have been struggling to make it to black belt, I had been one test away from it for years. Things happened, ups and downs, job / employment problems, etc. I dropped out of it about two years ago, then about a year ago I was considering returning. I went in and asked one of my sensais if he would be a reference in a job search for me. He said he wanted to meet up with me and have coffee at the local coffee shop. I said ok, thinking that was kind of odd of him to say that.

He sat me down and said if someone were to contact him about this matter (being a reference) he would tell them he sees me as a talented individual, but I am entitled, full of myself, and think that I am something that I am not. He sighted things I had done/said in the past which were inappropriate, I think I am something that I am not. He asked me how I feel now that I have heard that. I sat there slackjawed. I said "I have no answer", but something inside of me just died. I left that meeting and went home and sat the rest of the day in shock. I've been abused in the past - emotionally, verbally, even physically by others - but that was probably one of the more horrible moments. People wonder why I have self esteem issues - the minute I start acting like I am better than another or hope for something more than what is before me, they tell me I do not deserve them and how dare I think I am better than I am. They tell me that I hide myself from others and I should be proud of who I am, the minute I start doing just that they call me vain and self centered. So I have taken a new stance in life, which is extreme introversion and keeping myself a mystery and not reveal much about myself when dealing with others. This instance, however, was one of the more hurtful things someone said to me. He was a long standing friend, someone I trusted, and I felt like he was telling me that I was s***, that we were no longer friends, and that I was not to come back to karate.

I am in contact with one other from the class, I told him about the exchange. He said that he who said it to me (who I will call Bob) said it because he cares about me. I said it was hurtful. I do not deny anything that was done/said on my part in the past, but I'm not perfect. When people say things like that to you, however, you realize how not perfect you are and how you really are not worthy of happiness and exactly where you fall in the pecking order of life, which, according to him, is very low. He's asked me many times to come back, he and others want me back in class. No others than him have reached out, I said no. I think it would be best if I stayed away.

And then just today I got this message in my inbox from Bob, the first contact we had had in over a year:

Hello (my name) It has been a long time since we talked. I am concerned that you heard my criticisms, but not my praise. I have always told you that you have what it takes to become a black belt in Isshinryu. I still believe this. However, I am still of the position that you and everyone else out there ,including me, have to leave some things about us behind when we come to class. The fiery ring around the Isshinryu patch is the fire of Isshinryu training that burns off the least needed qualities that we have, raising us to a higher level as the dragon in the patch rises from the worldly sea of life.
(Name) is known for saying the the longest distance you will ever be from Black Belt is after First Kyu, one test away form shodan. That is where you are right now.
You are welcome in class,
Bob

Am I being overly sensitive or cowardly just to walk away? There is only so much one can take before you reach a point where you can't do certain things anymore. How do others feel when reading this? Either my or his words?
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Old 31st March 2016, 10:00 PM   #2
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Anything? Any thoughts whatsoever on this?
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Old 31st March 2016, 11:14 PM   #3
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I want to reply, but am on my phone right now. Short reply: his delivery was a bit harsh, but I think he was trying to help. See if you can find glimmers of truth in his comments, if they're any help to you. He's encouraging you to confront your ego and rise above it, something anybody must do to gain wisdom and free their mind.
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Old 31st March 2016, 11:30 PM   #4
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i think you should go back to class......his was a harsh delivery of constructive criticism but he is telling you quite clearly that you have potential and are talented......not to give up no matter how hard you feel it is.....saying you are welcome in class....and his concern for what he said to you and how you took the criticism in the first place.....

i think you should go for that black belt and achieve if it si what you really want to have.......he basically said the only person stopping you...is you...

my son is brutal with me......really hurts me.....with criticism..i have often cried after one of my sons talks..told em the other day i have aged badly.....that he wants the beautiful mother back..the strong mother who kick boxed and looked good while looking after five kids by herself....who solved every problem .........and no matter how much i try to explain it away......the fact is....naked truth hurts..i look old...i am not fit like i could be..i am a work horse when i am fit......and truth is often hard to face especially when it is about us......and truth thankfully and positively....can instigate change....or obtain and get you a black belt..use what you felt was truth and constructive however it was put....and reach what you want to reach for.....i really hope you do ....prayers for you...deb...
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Old 1st April 2016, 7:55 PM   #5
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What I do not like, and I have only just recently realized this, is that a lot of men out there like to put down women's self esteem when they are going to do some constructive criticism or they do it because it makes them feel good about themselves, and that's what I felt like he did. I got the feeling like he was telling me and I was no longer welcome in class until that last email clarifying that I was. I still don't know how to feel about this.
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Old 1st April 2016, 8:47 PM   #6
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Generally, men are action-oriented and want to feel useful. My dad is a very critical person, and when he's inflicting his criticisms on other people, I can sometimes see that he's doing it because he thinks it will help. He has even said that he just wants to help them get better - not realizing, of course, that it's better to look in the mirror and improve yourself rather than pointing out the flaws of others.

I had a boyfriend who was also quite critical. When I consider the facts objectively, I can see that he was just trying to help. He was being arrogant and insensitive, but the drive behind it all was the desire to help. But of course I felt very hurt and defensive when he was flinging his criticisms at me.

I don't think you need to go back to the class if you don't feel good about it. He was harsh in his delivery, and that was a mistake. A teacher shouldn't drive away a student with his feedback.

A few things you say jump out as me as the voice of your ego:

Quote:
the minute I start acting like I am better than another or hope for something more than what is before me, they tell me I do not deserve them and how dare I think I am better than I am
It's a mistake to act like you're better than other people, because nobody's better than anybody else. I read somewhere that anytime you feel superior or inferior to someone else, it's your ego talking.

Quote:
you realize how not perfect you are and how you really are not worthy of happiness and exactly where you fall in the pecking order of life, which, according to him, is very low
Nobody's perfect. Even those who appear to you on the surface to be perfect are flawed within in some ways. We all are. But this doesn't mean we're not worthy of happiness. When someone loves you, they accept you flaws and all. Sometimes they even find the flaws endearing.

You don't have to go back to class if you don't want to, but try to find the constructive parts of his very imperfectly delivered criticism.
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Old 2nd April 2016, 12:34 AM   #7
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I felt like he was telling me that I am s*** and not worthy of thinking well of myself. I would like to say that this made me angry and to say "well I'll show YOU, guy!" and then rise to the challenge. But ... I am not. Instead I want to hide and never see or talk to anyone again. I have been fighting feelings of depression over getting that email. I feel like a coward for feeling this way but I don't know how to feel other than this.
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Old 3rd April 2016, 12:59 PM   #8
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It's not easy to face your own weaknesses. It's easy to coast and stay the same. It's hard to evolve and improve as life keeps revealing more and more to you.

Philosophers says the most important thing is to "know thyself". It hasn't been easy for me to face my own weaknesses, get to the root of what's exacerbating them, and put some attention to improving them.

We're all works in progress.

Feeling stuck in isolation, fear, and depression is tough. I've teetered on that brink myself. Most of what I could say will sound like cliches: you're not alone, we're all connected, you have nothing to fear but fear itself, life has no meaning but the meaning you bring to it, if you want to change the world, change yourself.

I just try to feel good about life and help others do the same where I can. After being my own boss for years, I work in a very corporate, somewhat competitive environment now, and I know some of my colleagues think I'm weird because I haven't signed up for the corporate consumerist plan. I dress professionally, but I don't compete over cars, neighborhoods, and other BS. I'm nice to everybody, do good work, try to add a dash of color to the working environment. I'm the smart hippie soul who might build a yurt or totally off-the-grid house out in the wilds of nature someday, and maybe some of them are growing to appreciate that
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Old 20th April 2016, 1:57 AM   #9
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Still struggling with it

I posted about this a few weeks ago. []

I have evaluated myself, I have decided what is and isn't to be done within me. Those are separate issues. I am still hurt inside, but I refuse to mire myself in self pity, sadness, guilt, etc. and say "I am s***." Because that is true, the minute that you start feeling and saying "I am s***", then you are what you think and that's all you'll ever be. I have asked myself if I want that black belt. And I don't know what the answer is. And yet, in the last 9 months or so since the encounter, I have been away. I have been without it. I have not answered the email referenced above, I don't know what to say to it. I have no answer. Why? I'm not sure. I felt like he was telling me that I am s*** and I don't deserve anything good, whether it's something that I earned or something that just happened without efforts.

I wouldn't expect anyone here (or anywhere) to know what the answer is or is not, but I wanted to vent. I have been in this place without it for 9 months. Am I happy or happier than I was that I don't have it? I don't know. I'm just kind of in limbo, I don't feel anything, I'm numb to it. I don't know how to feel. Part of me wishes that someone would tell me what the right thing is or isn't. Am I being a coward for staying away and silent? If I was not conflicted within I would not feel like this, would I?

Last edited by LoveShack.org Moderator; 20th April 2016 at 5:12 PM.. Reason: removed link to merged thread ~6
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Old 20th April 2016, 12:24 PM   #10
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To be really honest with you the only way you can move forward and slay your dragons is to accomplish your dreams of a black belt...humble yourself and except the criticism as a positive step forward to a more rewarding future , nothing in life is simple learn from this and mature and grow you have nothing to lose and everything to gain..
Good luck
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Old 21st April 2016, 7:48 PM   #11
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Responses to someone

I had posted on this topic a while back. I have been suffering from a lot of inner turmoil since the separation. []

After the email he sent to me which is referenced above, I responded to it at last after almost a month. This is my response:

I have been in a very bad place since last I saw you. Like you said, I did not hear praise but criticism, and I don't know if I will ever come out of it. I was cut to the bone and it really hurt. This was not the first time people have cut me to the bone, people enjoy hurting and telling others what they think of them in my experience. I think your intention was to awaken something within me to rise up and succeed, but it had the opposite effect. I don't know if I want to rise up and succeed, even after all these weeks/months of isolation. I have been feeling like the world in general does not want me to be a part of it, if anything I am more angry and disillusioned and don't know how to fix myself or it. I don't want to go through life being a bitter person, but continued disappointments make it all the more difficult not to be.
I have had much inner turmoil, it continues.

He responded like this to it within minutes:

Hello (my name), I hear you. I would be glad to have a dialogue with you. We live in two worlds, one without and one within. They only intersect somewhat. The world without is random, the world within is ours to choose, however we have been so shaped by our experiences it can be exceedingly hard to exercise this freedom. It takes work. Do you have access to a doctor? There are great therapies out there. Also be aware of your inner states before they take you over. When you feel negativity separate from it. It can't be pushed away because it pushes back. So just don't identify with any state you do not want to be. It will still be there living in the next room but will weaken over time if not fed. Long work, hard work, correct work. Beware thoughts that begin with either, "if only" or "what if".

I have gone to a shrink for years but since I have not had health insurance for nearly 2 years, I do not go to one anymore. I would love to have therapies or Rx but can't because I don't have health insurance. He made me feel even worse. I have not responded to it. I don't know what to think or feel.

Last edited by LoveShack.org Moderator; 21st April 2016 at 7:53 PM.. Reason: removed redundant link to merged thread ~6
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Old 23rd April 2016, 12:47 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by mortensorchid View Post
Part of me wishes that someone would tell me what the right thing is or isn't. Am I being a coward for staying away and silent? If I was not conflicted within I would not feel like this, would I?
In my opinion, the best thing to do is whatever feels the best to you. I respect the other posters' opinions here, but I don't agree that you have to go back to class or get the black belt. Maybe it's not time yet. Maybe you need to go through some other experiences before you're ready. I'm not well-versed about the belt system, but isn't it a pretty big deal to get a black belt, something that requires mental as well as physical mastery?

I think your teacher is striving to be a master, but is flawed like the rest of us, and was too heavy-handed with his "lesson". Hopefully he learns from this, too.

I've had some pretty bad breaks in life, and at times I've struggled and still struggle to manage the emotional aftershocks. I'm learning that when my mind starts going into overdrive, wandering down a dark road, I just try to find a pleasant distraction that makes me smile, or at least clears away the storm clouds. For me, when "the weather" is good, good things happen.
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Old 16th October 2017, 9:45 PM   #13
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This is an older post, as many will see by the dates listed above. I did go back to class about a year ago one day when I was horribly sick and it was my weekend off. The guy (Bob) who gave me the criticism as noted was happy to see me and he asked how I was. I said I was working 2 jobs at the time (at a group home for the developmentally disabled and substitute teaching multi - district on days / afternoons off). He seemed happy about that. He asked me how I was in dealing with my response to his email. I said simply "Fine." He said "Good."

I have not been back since. A part of me still wants to be a black belt, I still feel like he thinks I am s*** deep down. I have since quit the job at the group home and do not miss it as I have my weekends back. I'm now working 2 other jobs - still subbing and working here and there as a job coach training special people to do a job. The subbing is more lucrative, I tried to get a full time job teaching at Catholic / private schools this summer, had a few interviews, but no dice. Yet. Maybe next year I will be able to.

But that aside, I am very shattered still. I have been trying to get out of the thinking that no one wants me, no one likes me in any way. I feel like I can't trust anyone anymore because people will always find a reason or excuse as to how and why they won't be with me or why I should fail. What to think?
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Old 17th October 2017, 3:20 AM   #14
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I would take the average of your criticisms and see if they carry any true weight.

By that I mean, if a common issue is someone saying that you talk down to people or think you're better than them and it's hurting your relationships then you should attempt the opposite. Don't think of this as an overhaul of your personality but as an experiment. See how differently people react to you and note your experiences.
While you are acting this contrast there may be things you find you just will not do or compromise about yourself. That's okay. Things like these are your personal values while the things that show positive changes will be your growth.

Side note:
If I wanted to train in something but no longer felt comfortable in the class I was taking I would find another class!
But because you are saying these are reoccurring issues in your relationships with people then it must be bigger than that.
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Old 17th October 2017, 5:26 AM   #15
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Do you have to go to that particular place to get the black belt?

Has Bob given you feedback in the past? I can see why he's being so harsh if his past feedback has fallen on deaf ears. But if this is the first time, then I think it's very egoistic of him to say those things as if he's the absolute authority.
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