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Life without purpose, and stressed over social media presence my girlfriend's work

I’m going through a lot lately, just like everyone else. My current situation is mostly the same as other peoples’, but somewhat different.
Just like many of you, I’m struggling with my presence on social media. I like supporting my friends and teammates in the streaming and voice-acting communities. I like spreading the word about what injustices are being committed against marginalized groups and how we should fight the establishment to correct these problems. Unfortunately, as of the last month or 2, things have been getting progressively worse in my life with lack of self esteem, lack of energy, lack of patience, and increased depression and anxiety. I get so upset and angry all the time, and I’ve got no decent way to vent my anger properly. I hate so many things and people and wish they would all be destroyed so we could leave more peaceful, prosperous lives. I’m frustrated over the amount of tedious BS that I have to deal with at work, because our customers are a bunch of naggy pencil-pushing assholes, who are being nagged by bigger, CEO-level assholes. As shit rolls downhill, it makes my life harder, because in addition to my normal work, I have to deal with extra shit on top of that. Also, since we’re short handed, Only one of us can take off for multiple days off at a time, so we have to schedule our appointments and vacations around each other, and being on-call for a week, getting calls in the middle of the night, usually for something someone did wrong and we have to fix it for them when they shouldn’t have done it in the first place, then having to report for work at 8am the next day. Tech support can be a bitch.
Im 2 days away from finishing a week off from work, but then having to go back to being shorthanded the day I come back. We aren’t able to hire more people because there is no one who is qualified enough to do what we do, or survive the training, and become a full-time support tech. We had 5 wash-outs in the last 4 years, and no attempts to hire a new guy since 2019 to replace the one we lost in 2017. SO that’s MY work.
Because of that overwhelming shit, I feel tired and worn out and not able to try building a streaming following, so I only stream one day a week, if I’m lucky. My one friend who started around the same time, is a charismatic genius, and a born personality (he’s italian and from jersey so he has a big mouth by default), and is a HUGE success in the same amount of time. He’s balancing that, with having a full time job, sometimes with overtime, and also being a husband and father. How he does that, I’ll never know. He’s got mental struggles too, but way more support from the community, because of what he puts out into the world. I’m definitely jealous of him.
Then I see other people posting wins too, and struggles, but the wins they have make me extremely jealous too. The fact that they’re able to work toward their goals, either in streaming, or in voice acting (taking new classes, building better booths, buying better equipment, buying better demo reels, booking actual paying gigs) is making me lose faith in what I can do. I have natural acting ability, and natural vocal/mimicry ability. I’m not a "trained’ actor, and have only done 2 improv workshops, so I’m not considered up to par yet. Because of the pandemic, I can’t afford to go to the hardware warehouse to get some PVC pipe, or order the special sound-blankets, to build a booth. And even if I built one, I don’t know if I would be able to audition for anything the right way. I did that for 6 months in 2016, and never booked a single thing. I’d need to afford 1 on 1 training and audio help to be able to record properly. I have over 3000$ in medical debt from being in the hospital last december, and don’t know if/when I’d be able to afford it. Because of my lack of confidence, I don’t even know if I should keep going with that.
I saw something tonight on twitter, from a VA/Musician I respect and admire, and he said “Hard work can at times be exhausting, but nothing drains a person’s energy like living without purpose.”
That hit me HARD! I work very hard at my job, and I work hard to keep our house running properly. I work hard at my relationships with my family and friends, and that in and of itself is exhausting, but I don’t think that’s my PURPOSE. I sure as hell don’t want my Life’s WHOLE FUCKING PURPOSE, to simply be HELPING people. I want to be able to do something greater. Create something people will love and remember. Do something the whole world will take notice of and cheer, not to be the bad example of how not to live your life as a waste of existence, hopelessly grinding away in obscurity helping other people get their start, go on to greatness and never thank you for being the person who gave them their start, or the push they needed to be able to make a difference. I don’t want to be the muse, or the coach. I want to be the fucking star! Unfortunately, a long time ago, a shitty therapist derailed my life and my parents let him, so my confidence has been shot since 1999, and I’ve been constantly put at odds and devalued since then, even when my friends believed in what little worth I still had with the talents I possessed since then. I have had no purpose since doubt had invaded my mind after years of trauma and abuse at school, and lack of support from my parents in how I wanted to handle things. I can’t undo what happened. I can’t re-live my life in the past 22 years that have been wasted trying to find happiness or purpose, so now I feel like shit all the time, and can’t find any ways to actually feel better about myself. Even my therapist doesn’t make me feel any better for more than an hour a week, just knowing that I am heard at all. I’m praying for a miracle that’ll never happen, that one day I’ll simply find my purpose and everything will fall into place, and I’ll be well off enough to not worry about money anymore, or not worrying about what’ll happen to my friends who are going thru shit in their lives I can’t help with. It’s maddening. I have no fucking purpose in my life, so that’s why sometimes I wish I was dead or simply didn’t exist at all, ever. I see no way out.
On top of everything I’m dealing with, when I would try to vent on twitter, I get a few likes or whatever, but no real support like other people get. I get frustrated with the bad things I see on there, like the human rights violations, racists and Q-anon supporters, and asshole cops killing people and harassing them just because they can. I see other people winning in their lives while I’m stuck and have no idea what to do, or what the first step to figuring out what I want to do with my life would be. I try to vent and get nothing, except a stern warning from my sister about how I shouldn’t even be on twitter because all I do is bitch and complain, and that I should have been more professional, and how nobody would ever hire someone like me because I’m too negative. Personally I just felt like beating the shit out of her for hurting me like that, but I didn’t do or say that. My therapist says that if I need to get that shit off my chest and out into the universe and if that is what helps me cope, then I should be able to do whatever I want as long as its not a direct threat to others or myself. I took a week of posting on twitter, then came back last saturday just to let people know that I was streaming that night. The next day I retweeted links to 2 fundraisers for community members to help them out. I caught shit from my sister again for being on twitter, and she proceeded to continue affirming why I shouldn’t be on their, that my original purpose of networking made no sense because I’m not professional on my own account and that if I DID continue to be on there, I would need multiple accounts, with one for each purpose. At one point I DID consider creating a 2nd account, simply for complaints and shit talking, to keep my other account clean, but any amount of research would see that the tweets came from the same IP, email address, or device, so that kind of defeats the purpose. I still scroll thru twitter but since the other day, I’ve not put a single like or retweet on reply, or comment on anything, because I’m too scared of how my family would perceive my actions. To some, I’ve always been someone whose mouth writes checks their ass can’t cash, and at the same time, I see my big mouth as an asset and that I should be able to talk shit against things I see as wrong, no matter how ill-conceived it may seem from Normal society, or people trying to protect me from myself. I want to be able to say what I want, and not be labeled a fucking pariah, but that seems to be my lot in life, a fucking outcast that nobody cares about or agrees with.
So while I’m dealing with ALL of this shit in my own life, my girlfriend is dealing with a situation at work, where middle-management is putting her in awkward positions, by changing her shift times, and posts constantly as a security guard. When the pandemic happened she went on unemployment for a few weeks until they gave her a temporary assignment that lasted a month or 2, then that one turned into another that lasted another month or 2, then another assignment that lasted several months in the same spots, but sporadically having to cover for other lazy or irresponsible guards who didn’t feel like working. Since she’d been working the same job for about 15 years (as of next month) she has seniority, and decent pay and benefits, but has constantly been manipulated by managers trying to get themselves over but putting her in certain positions. She’d been sexually harassed and abused at work, and only one of her abusers had been punished for their actions. She’s been gaslit, belittled, put down, and hurt by co-workers, managers, and customers (rich assholes and privileged college students, btw). All this time I wish I could go down there and beat the ass of the responsible parties, but she’s kept me at bay since that would get her fired. All at the same time she’s written every incident down, for every time something bad has happened, and she happens to be very good friends with the VP of the company. We’ve always talked about deploying the nuclear option, and telling the VP about every abuse that she’s suffered and the people responsible covering things up for their own benefit, so she (the VP) doesn’t see what’s going on. Within the last 2 months my girl has had to work overnight shifts even after a full day’s work, being off for 8 hours then coming back to work another full shift without getting a full rest, as well as having shift time changes disrupting sleep schedules and being moved to different buildings where she doesn’t know the proper procedures for that particular building and getting NO training when she’s there. The manager who put her in these positions has had covid, and has a constant brain fog. He’s managing multiple sites and is not good at his job. He’s irresponsible at best, and can’t schedule coverage to save his life, yet he’s still employed because he got in by nepotism. Many times she’s said she’s gonna quit and I have to remind her that I don’t make enough money to cover all the bills for the house and she needs to keep working. Since she’s only ever worked security (and mcdonalds) and doesn’t know what other regular job she could work (and I’m in the same boat about what jobby job I’d actually be comfortable with that actually pays what I’m making now, WITH benefits) she’s having to rebuild her resume to reflect applicable skills, and she doesn’t like having to use pretentious words to describe herself like an arrogant self-important bitch, when she’s the furthest thing from that, she is having a lot of trouble transitioning away from her current job. Just this week she’s having to cover several other places she doesn’t want to be at, in order to get to a more stable day shift and a decent post, and she’s tired of being jerked around. On any given day, I’m happy to listen to her vent her problems. I love her and wish her nothing but the best, but just like she has heard me complain about my life, I’ve listened to her do the same about her job, and it frustrates me that I can’t give her any useful advice, and that I can’t affect any positive change in her workplace, or give her any worthwhile ideas that will get her what she wants out of her current job. It also frustrates me because her fed-up-ness with her job will one day lead her to straight up quitting, then us running out of money, being unable to pay our bills, losing the house, losing all our stuff, and moving back in with our parents (or maybe just her mom), or breaking up completely…And all of this hinges on jobs we hate. I don’t see a way out of this that isn’t 99% impossible. I may just be venting here, but I want to have purpose, be fulfilled, and not have to worry about the security of my future, and at the same time having to work 80 hours a week just to make that happen, when I’m suffering with just 42 per week as it is. PLEASE HELP! I’m dying inside! I’m angry, and I’m scared!

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Hi friend,

This is a lot to unpack, so I’ll try to cover what I can with my suggestions and will try not to miss anything.

1st off:

Social media

To be totally honest with you, social media in general is extremely toxic and have been shown to contribute to negative mental states is its users. I can virtually guarantee that your life will be less stressful of you ditch the social medias. They seem to be a huge contributor to your lack of self confidence and self worth because you are constantly comparing yourself to others.

Life doesn’t have a timeline so to speak. Just because one guy does this thing or that thing by this age doesn’t mean that is the standard you need to meet. We all have our own unique challenges in life, and frankly, as long as you’re moving forward even slightly, you’re doing fine. You really should stop being so hard on yourself. Those people are not you. Their lives are not yours. Concentrate on building yourself up and it time you will see a difference.

Another note on social media -

If you really do intend to have a different job in the future, that’s all the more reason to ditch the social media. Employers, now more than ever, will search the social medias of potential employees to see what kind of person they are so you need to consider how these actions would make a potential employer look. Anything other than neutral makes you a bad fit for any big name company. When I switched careers I deleted every one of my social media accounts, not because I had anything to hide, but I didn’t want to give anyone any reason to think anything negative about me and lise my shot at a more fulfilling career.

On voice acting -

It’s pretty hard to break into a job like this, but nothing is impossible. Perhaps take some time each day to do some voice technique exercises or see if you can find a part time class at a local college. Get yourself a LinkedIn and sell yourself. If you want it bad enough you will get it, this stuff just takes time and practice.

On money/job issues -

I totally get where you’re coming from here. I work in the tech industry as well but specifically DIDNT go for tech support for exactly the reasons you’re describing. If you have a fair bit of time at your company that you can put in a resume, perhaps it’s time to look into new tech sub fields that will better suit you and your life balance.

My husband is also in the security field and he hates it. We are currently discussing possibilities for him to go into another field, however at this point in time, it is better for him to be where he is.

Side note -

I think your life style is probably putting a lot of pressure on your girlfriend. Not that you are a bad person or anything, but there is an inherent stress that comes from being the one in the relationship that makes an amount of money that makes it actually impossible for them to switch jobs without losing everything. My husband and I have both been in this position so I can speak from either side. This is made worse is the person on which all of this hinges absolutely hates their job.

Again, I’m not saying you are a bad person but that kind of living situation can make a person feel trapped and that generally doesn’t end well given enough time.

In summation. Get rid of the social media. It is toxic. Use your free time to develop your talents instead so that eventually you will get closer to your goals. Work on yourself. Find your self worth, it is there, but nobody can find it for you. Support your girlfriend. I’ve been where she’s at and it’s absolutely suffocating. If possible, you both need to find jobs that will treat you better.

Life is hard. Adulting is hard. But there is always something you can do. Whether it’s a baby step or a huge leap, you can do it, friend. Show yourself some grace, take some time to breathe and start researching solutions. You can do this.

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This is wholly depressing and makes me feel worse. I’m sorry, but there’s not much I can do without an actual better opportunity. I apologize in advance because this is going to sound really bad, but while I understand people saying to get rid of social media because it’s toxic, or because it prevents you from working for big name companies because of how these corporate assholes perceive your personal life affecting how well you can actually do a job. I call bullshit on that concept, and they need to stop doing that altogether. It’s prejudiced against people who are free-spirited and speak their mind. Basically saying if you’re not a drone online, you can’t get a job. Fuck that shit!
I’m so angry about that. I feel invalidated, suffocated, and belittled by this concept and anyone who adheres to it.
My presence on twitter is largely to connect with fellow VA’s and streamers. If you’re saying I can’t do that anymore, then I can’t put myself out there in any meaningful way, and I might as well end my existence because I can’t express myself. Is social media a PRIVILEGE anymore? Like some people can express themselves if they’re NORMAL, while people like me with mental illness get stuck with Bullshit saying you don’t matter. You have to fit in, or you cant’ do anything in life. I hate that, with the fire of a thousand suns! The system must be destroyed and burned to the fucking ground!

Also, btw, I AM supporting my girlfriend. She’s in massive credit card debt for the last 5 years, and she’s months away from paying her shit off. During that time, I’ve payed all the bills except for HER half of the mortgage, and she still got to shop for clothes with her own money, instead of putting in for bills when she had money. I’m not going to front all the bills and deplete my savings while she tries to figure out another job while not having any income. She still has student loan payments to deal with and we both hate our jobs in some capacity.

So I guess in the end, we are fucked, and I can’t do anything. Thanks for replying, but this doesn’t really help. It makes me feel like shit.

No need to apologize, this is a safe place to express yourself and nobody ever said you need to take my, or anyone else’s advice.

I understand how the concept of employers checking social medias can seem like an invasion of privacy and judgemental, but honestly it’s the best place it get an idea of who someone really is as opposed to just seeing a snapshot if someone on good behavior during an interview.

You should be able to network with voice actors on LinkedIn and its a far more professional environment. It’s literal purpose is to network with other professionals and through those connections, find meaningful career growth.

These are obviously just suggestions, I’ve been in similar situations and am sharing what worked for me.

I’m not sure where you get the idea that people with mental illness get stuck with BS and are told they don’t matter. I have a laundry list of diagnosis and I’m still able to be a well respected member of my workplace.

There’s this philosophy that I stick to. Never quit your job unless you have something else lined up. I wouldn’t expect you to drain your savings while your girlfriend finds another job. With Covid still a valid concern it can be difficult to get a different job. I understand that. But I also wouldn’t expect someone to quit their job without some kind of safety net, ie another job.

You are not fucked. There is ALWAYS something that can be done. Those things may not always be the most ideal or the easiest changes to make, but sometimes making an uncomfortable choice now is worth it in the future.

I am sorry my post made you feel bad. That was not the intention. I just know how it is to be in these situations. It’s not fun, it’s not easy, it definitely can feel hopeless at times, but the only way to guarantee failure is to give up.

Realistically, how can I help you?

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Based on the corporate invasion of privacy policy, then I am unfit to work anywhere. I’m too vocal. I’m too outspoken. I’m too negative. I’m too angry.
So you’ve been in a similar situation? Ok, how? What worked for you and why? Did you have to change everything about how you exist online just to appease the rest of the world?
I have a linkedin page already and it really hasn’t done me any good beyond connecting to people I used to know, since I don’t do FB.
I’ve been on twitter longer, and have been able to connect to people in the streaming and voice communities. They post casting calls there, audition opportunities, offers for new individual classes that aren’t offered anywhere else. Without twitter I’m not able to spread the word about if/when i’m streaming, or to be able to connect with fellow VA’s to eventually reach for an opportunity.

I’m not sure where you get the idea that people with mental illness get stuck with BS and are told they don’t matter. I have a laundry list of diagnosis and I’m still able to be a well respected member of my workplace.

I get that concept from people who I’ve asked about this type of social media thing before. People like me have to change who they are on SM just to fit a profile, and not be able to express themselves. Based on that advice, I feel like I don’t belong anywhere, and that I can’t say anything anymore. No matter where I go people would look at me wrong, they would avoid me, they would ostracize me because I don’t fit the mold of what people feel is acceptable. I don’t think I should have to be institutionalized just because of how I express myself and how I don’t fit in with everyone else in this world, and that I can’t have the same opportunities other people get, just because of how I think and talk. I’ve never fit the mold since I was young. I think it’s bullshit.

As far as my girlfriend’s job goes, I’ve always told her not to just up and quit before she has a new job, as frustrating as that is, but she would also struggle to find something new since she’s only ever worked in ONE field, and now she has to use pretentious words to try to build a resume, and that’s not how she talks or thinks. She’s a writer and artist, not a scientist or corporate accounts manager.

I’m not sure if anyone can help me realistically, unless you can find me a place where I can say what I want and do what I feel, without hurting people, and not feeling like a fucking pariah. Because otherwise, the constraints of this world and the “rules” of having social media make me feel worthless, like I’m not good enough to have what other people do.

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I can see how this probably isn’t going to be a very productive conversation so I’ll answer your questions and then I’ll take my leave.

I was in a situation where I hated my job, we were always short staffed and I was getting into a bad place mentally because of it. So I put myself through school to get a tech job where I had less labor stuff (I have a physical ailment that made a labor job harmful to me), far less human interaction (Social fobia/Generalized anxiety) and a job that actually allows me to use my brain and problem solve rather than perform mundane tasks.

As for the social media question, I have never really been one to be overly open on social media because once something is on the internet, it’s always on the internet and literally anyone can see it. Nobody needs to know that much about me. If they do they’re in my personal circle. I also am not one for taking on social issues on social media because I find it to only be devisive and frustrating and I have enough problems in my day to day life to have to worry about everyone else and how the world is being destroyed.

So no, I didn’t have to change my entire being online because I am a reserved person on social media and ot is important to me to maintain a professional demeanor.

By all means, do you, friend. I just wanted to share what helped me, but those suggestions are obviously not for you so I won’t persist. I wish you luck in your endeavors and I’m sorry I couldn’t be of more help to you.

Thank you for sharing your experience. I think I’ve been through too much trauma and abuse in my life to stay quiet or reserved. I spread the word on social issues and don’t get into fights with people. I side with like minded individuals who seek to correct injustices when possible, like signing petitions and calling politicians and such. While part of me wouldn’t want people to know too much about me, another part of me is a wide open book that says “fuck consequences”. I’m glad you were able to find a job that suited you well and that you were able to find your way in that regard. I wish I could find a way for myself as well, but I don’t think that there is a place for someone like me. I WOULD have to change myself to fit someone else’s mold to “fit in” to somewhere else. I’ve done it for decades and I’m sick of having to do it anymore. Thanks again for responding.

I feel like I’m constantly chasing something that doesn’t exist. Overall, I don’t feel like I belong in this world, because I can’t conform to what people think is safe, and that I’m too dangerous. Someone, please give me some hope!

Would anyone else be able to help me here? If not, I can post a new thread.

Hey man, your trauma and the steps you take to call people out and make sure it doesn’t happen again are worthy efforts. Prospective employers looking at social media seems like an overreach. It’s not fair that you get judged before you get to prove yourself as a valuable employee. Unfortunately that’s the world we live in. We live in a world of consequences. You can’t live in this world without accepting that, for every action, there is a reaction.

The reality is not one of us will win everyone’s acceptance. We need to figure out how to function around or without those people. We need to find a balance between consequences we can accept and social norms that we reject. If you’re determined to change the world by speaking out and taking action, you will make more complacent people uncomfortable, including employers. It’s something you’ll have to accept, and find a way around. You’ll need to channel your like-minded connections to help you find steady work. It may not be the work you want, but it’s the trade-off for passionately and unapologetically standing up for your causes. The other option for steady work is to clean up or deactivate your socials, find an ideal job, then tame your voice and make changes through actions more than words. The final option, as I see it, is to go to work for yourself. This may allow you to channel your voice into your career, i.e. voice acting for your cause. This will give you full control over expressing what you stand for the way you want, but it doesn’t guarantee money or mass acceptance. Again, this is where your like-minded cohort can come in and help you find a place where your work can thrive.

We can’t all have everything we want. If we could, the terms “starving artist” or “aspiring [insert vocation]” wouldn’t exist. You need to decide what you can and can’t accept, find the balance, and grind it out however you can. If that means waiting tables while you focus on voice acting and streaming, wait the shit out of those tables. If that means a big middle finger to the working world while you champion your causes, adjust your standard of living so your girlfriend can support you on reasonable hours. If that means getting a job that pays the bills, find tamer ways to express yourself and do more work behind the scenes. I’m sure this isn’t the answer you want, but this is the reality of the world we live in. You can rage against it and how unfair it is, or you can find a place of acceptance and carry on in balance.

 Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
 the courage to change the things I can,
 and the wisdom to know the difference.
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Thanks for replying. I don’t think I can ever accept the world the way it is, and that I will always rage about wanting it to change. If this means I don’t belong in this world, so be it. I’ll just shut the fuck up and stop thinking and creating anymore. Shame on me for thinking I fucking matter. Shame on me for caring. Shame on me for existing.
FTW!!!

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