Martial Arts promotion failure leads to depression

Postby ced316 » Mon Mar 05, 2018 8:25 am

in 2016 I got my 4th stripe on my blue belt by one of the two owners of my gym. he told me for the next year keep working like i was working and the next promotion I'll be belted. ok i had a direction. over the last year, I went to the gym three times a week (when i was sick or had work I would obviously not go but that was my schedule) I worked with all the new white belts and drilled with the guys that had questions after class in my free time. I had my game down so well with certain things that I had a few brown belts and a visitin black belt request me as a training partner because I could hold my own and keep them on their toes. one of those guys teaches at night and invited me to help him out with the new guys there also, because he respected how i hustled. he told me that he can see i have the skill developed for the next belt as a senior belt and to not lose my motivation. I told him i appreciated his kind words and insight.

my own crew of guys that I train with , work out together - we text each other youtube videos and meet at the gym to train together as peers busting each others balls about being old and lazy. One guy doesnt have a car so I drive him to the gym. im only saying this because it'll come up later

day of the promotion comes and Im chilling in a group of all of my training partners. my instructor comes up and promotes every one of my friends, peers and training partners...except me.

He didnt even look at me. I wasnt even pissed. It took the wind out of my sails so to speak since I did what I was told. I congratulated all my friends for moving up and I went home. most people were making faces like 'WTF'? After promotions a few of the black belts asked what exactly happened, called me up to tell me they would figure out why it went down like that. My buddy asked privately why i wasnt promoted. the answer was shot off that i needed to be more consistent...We both laughed because my boy that rides with me was consistent enough to get recognized but me, the driver, has to work on being there more.

anyways..that leads me to my depression. i dont under stand why any of this happened. all i know is im really depressed to the point that I dont want to do anything anymore. Ive invested 6 years with these people and have alot of friendly people there that I like hanging out with. I'm not going to go back there because I was lied to, i dont feel respected but at the same time it's removing a group of people that i've seen regularly from my life.

being lied to like that, brought back alot of bad feelings and memories when I was a kid when specific family members would build my hopes up just to let me down then criticize me for being upset about it. I dont know how to get over all of this frustration and i can not stop thinking about it. I'm mad and disappointed - feeling left out of a group that I thought respected me as part of their own.
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#1

Postby Candid » Mon Mar 05, 2018 10:32 am

It's a particular interest/bugbear of mine that people who get knocked about and condemned in their families of origin tend to go on to repeat the pattern all through life. I can understand the WTF feeling; like, have I got IGNORE ME tattooed on my forehead?

I'm so sorry this has happened to you, ced, and sorrier still that you're saying you'll give it up and not go back there. I'd like to see you take on the bullies and demand some answers.

Obviously there's some wound-licking to be done but don't leave it too long.

Did you ever look at that forum I recommended, about Complex PTSD due to family cruelty or neglect? Here it is again: http://cptsd.org/forum/index.php

Best wishes as always.
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#2

Postby ced316 » Mon Mar 05, 2018 6:46 pm

Thank you candid. I did and do research the ptsd website. I have found alot of useful information there. I have also cut off toxic family members to have peace :

with this gym situation, i sent an email to both gym owners detailing that I appreciated and respected them for the years of working out with them and friendships formed but i needed to take a step back away from the gym for awhile. I explained that i did as I was told over a year, trained in my off time when i wasnt working/school and nothing came of it. Logically, if i was regularly there now, but next year i'll be spending less time because of a change in schedule then none of my goals will be met. no hard feelings

one gym owner responded 'thank you have a good one'

the other responded that i shouldnt be letting this whole situations 'break me', it was never easy to do what we do and to remember 'consistency is key'.

my wife said it was complete hogwash and felt that they are stringing me along; they like me showing up and paying but wont recognize any of the qualities i bring to the table.
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#3

Postby Candid » Tue Mar 06, 2018 8:28 am

ced316 wrote:my wife said it was complete hogwash and felt that they are stringing me along; they like me showing up and paying but wont recognize any of the qualities i bring to the table.


That sounds right, to me. The thing is, what behaviours do you have or what signals do you inadvertently give to show you will accept shabby treatment? I know how hard it is to change the way we learned to relate to the world. I recall you identified as the scapegoat in your family of origin, the one everyone liked to kick around. Simply cutting them off doesn't make the patterns we learned go away.

I'm glad you wrote an email to the gym owners giving them your point of view. They've clearly been unfair to you. I can remember similar situations in my working life, when I simply quit and walked away, thereby cutting my own throat. The gist of bosses' feelings seemed to be: "Candid will go the extra mile for everybody regardless. Why should we pay her more?"

The people-pleasing behaviours we learned in childhood are hard to break. Where do you draw the line, when you love what you do and want everyone else to do well too?

I think the responses you got were cruel. "Thank you, have a good one" is simply dismissive. "Don't let it break you" and "consistency is key" is an attempt to get you back in, to prove yourself. That one wants you to go on doing what you're doing without the recognition you deserve.

I really hope you can find a way to win through with this. It would help to have a clear idea of what you want from the gym owners, taking into consideration what their goals and restrictions are, too. If you can work out a win-win situation to present to them, you'll have learned valuable negotiating skills as well as getting what you want.
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#4

Postby ced316 » Tue Mar 06, 2018 7:19 pm

Thank you so much! you really know your craft and one day I hope to be as insightful as you are.

I think you nailed it that one gym owner is dismissive over all and the other just wants me there to continue as things have always been. Theres no need to rock the boat when they are in the position of taking and im in the position of waiting for their approval.

You are correct that I grew up in a toxic environment that produced a survival tactic of just fitting in, people pleasing and putting up with what ever happens for the sake of just keeping the peace. However as an adult these behaviors are now bleeding into my life since i am unknowingly giving off those signals. It's very possible i gave the impression that I am the guy that will put up with anything; hand out promotions to everyone leave me out and i'll still be there monday to try all over again to earn the approval of my higher ups. Almost as if this was a way to spark some kind of response of trying harder as you said in your circumstance, that the bosses didnt want to pay your more since you would go the extra mile in their eyes. I was already going the extra mile in my case and they got the milk for free so to speak.

you said that you cut your own throat in the process - i honestly feel like i just did also. Im giving up 6 years of friendships and time invested there. That was a social group that I would see and chat with every other day. I feel like if i ever went back it would invite more terrible behavior since it would show that i am not strong enough to have self respect to make changes. I have reached out to other gyms to start over so to speak there and before I do I am going to have a talk with them about their expectations of me and what I would need to do to move up.

in a response message I told one of the gym owners that i will definitely get promoted eventually. however by their standards it is going to be impossible because my schedule is going to change again; meaning if the amount of time that i was spending there now isnt enough, when i spend less of my time there in the future im even less likely to be recognized. I do not think they expected me to up and leave to find a new place to grow at, but i think its healthier for me mentally. It might have been the case of me recreating in that gym my own home life, with a person that is impossible to please that takes from me and others that relied on me. it almost reflected my childhood, until now i was comfortable
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#5

Postby Candid » Wed Mar 07, 2018 9:47 am

ced316 wrote:It might have been the case of me recreating in that gym my own home life, with a person that is impossible to please...


Yes, that's what I was trying to say. Your parents were determined to see the worst of you and interpreted everything you did in a negative light; mine were the same. Like you, I found that cutting them off physically didn't get them out of my head. When other people demonstrated liking and even admiration for me I thought "they don't know what I'm really like" :roll: and when people were hurtful or dismissive I pursued them in an ingratiating way, determined to 'win them over' :roll: :roll: It was always like I needed to be twice as good as my co-workers, volunteer for all the extra work, help others who were slower than I was etc. A lot of this went unnoticed or created bad feeling. As long as I was a star performer I didn't think intra-office relationships mattered. People could sit back and do nothing while Candid carried the can. A lot of them didn't like me but naturally they didn't complain.

... that takes from me and others that relied on me. it almost reflected my childhood, until now i was comfortable


Exactly. Giving more than you should and accepting shabby treatment in return was comfortable because it felt like 'home'. As long as we're running these old tapes, we're still trying to work the unworkable and win the unwinnable.

I like the title of your thread, Martial Arts promotion failure leads to depression, because I've long believed that at the bottom of all depression is anger: anger at others for treating us shabbily and anger at ourselves for accepting it. Or somehow inviting it, by things we don't even know we're doing!

I don't know where you go from here. Obviously I'd like to see you acknowledged for your efforts so far, and back at the gym doing what you want to do there. Time for reflection and personal growth, I think.
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#6

Postby ced316 » Thu Mar 08, 2018 12:01 am

well, i cant negotiate for anything with the gym at this point because the promotions are only ONCE a year. if you are sick, work or cant make it even if they wanted to belt you (promote) you cant because you are absent, leading to a 1 year wait. Their loophole is there is no particular pattern to follow or set list of things to base promotions on; it's always shifting around based on their opinions. usually its their friends or personal buddies that also work hard - this particular time I worked my tail off to be told wait until next year - mean while one of the guys that was out this year because he broke his arm THEN had a daughter showed up and got moved up. So because it is so shifty i decided to take my self out of that situation and from this point on, work on what it is i want - and be clear about it.

i went to a new gym today and before i signed a contract i made it clear the list of goals that I want to meet and asked if they can help me. I told them where I would be and what I will do to get there . We agreed on the terms and we will start together later in the week. I feel like I can take from this that I need to stop trying to 'prove' myself to anyone and just find people and places that will accept me as I am. I have alot of reflection to do in order to sort out why i tolerated that behavior before from others and why i put my self through things like that. and you are right, anger is the root of all my feelings and that also is something I need to let go of. Thank you for all of your advice!
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#7

Postby Candid » Thu Mar 08, 2018 8:31 am

ced316 wrote:I feel like I can take from this that I need to stop trying to 'prove' myself to anyone and just find people and places that will accept me as I am.


I'm so pleased to know this. Well done! It's a whole new beginning.
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