I just can't keep going to work every day

Oct 8, 2018 52 Comments

When I joined FAANG five years ago and started living in the Western world, it felt all dreams came true. I felt valued. I felt like I finally can become a worthy human being. For the first time in my life I was excited about building my own future.

Then the shit happened (the details at the end of the post). You just need to believe that I was trying to be good person. I was trying to do what my moral compass suggested, I tried to help somebody else while sacrificing my needs and dreams, and it turned out to be a catastrophe.

Fast forward three years. I'm getting more and more resentful over these years. I am becoming angry and envious person - not who I wanted to be. I've been destroying my mental and physical health, as well as career and personal life opportunities. I am pretty confident I will never be able to fix this.

So if you see me coasting, it isn't because I had some evil plan to get hired and then relax. I really wish I could perform and be as enthusiastic as I was 5 years ago. It just it seems meaningless to me now. Besides, it is really hard to focus on work when 90% of the time I'm thinking about my regrets.

Sorry about this mess. I have been seeing a therapist for three years, but they just won't understand and nothing ever changes, except getting worse. I am hoping people here could understand me somewhat.

TC 200k, somehow kept getting mostly GE/EE over these years, but it seems I can no longer pull it off.

Thanks for reading.

P.S. - I'm not obsessed with TC and I don't think people should be measured by it, it just seems to me it is a culture of Blind to include it, so I'm playing by the rules.

P.P.S. - here are the details of what I mentioned as "the shit". I didn't really enjoy life before moving to US and starting to work. I had disfunctional family, and probably low EQ and some mild form of autism, and some other circumstances. So I wasn't able to form friendships or participate in social activities. Apparently in Bay Area it was easier to become valued, and compensate for the lack of other qualities. I did put my effort to improve in what I was lacking. Even though I enjoyed work, I had put special effort to meet people, to travel, to pick up hobbies, to get balanced interests, to make friends. I was making tremendous progress with every month, and felt like I could fix everything and become a normal person and catch up on all I missed in youth. And then I tried dating, and met someone. She was much less skillful, less smart. She didn't have visa, didn't have those opportunities that I had (her goddamn TC was $20k), I couldn't hold an interesting conversation with her, her spelling mistakes made me cringe; but she treated me nicely, and loved much. So I felt really grateful, and guilty and sorry for her and wanted to help somehow. Unfortunately the only thing she wanted was to marry me. This would be a disaster as I hoped I could marry one of those educated equal women that the western world has, and only after I catch up on the sex life and am ready to settle. However I knew I couldn't just leave her behind and proceed building my happy life. I couldn't abandon the weak. So I had to put a lot of self-persuasion, and make myself marry her. To make sure I don't change my mind later, I had to destroy all of my other opportunities, i.e. abandon all life outside of coding, so I ruin all of my newly acquired feeling of self-worth. I had to make sure she is my only remaining close person, so I never leave her. I had to give up all ambitions. I had to destroy the very thing that made me succeed: my intelligence and passion for tech. To top it off, I still feel that I'm in a position of power imbalance with her, so I can't let myself be sexually active with her, since I won't know if she really wants to be with me, or pretends in order to make a family, or (now) does it out of compassion what I've become. By doing this I brought myself into a deep shit, which I can't get out, and it would be crazy to ask her to help. I just wanted to learn how relationships work, why did that have to happen? Even if I get out of it by some miracle, I'd be in my early thirties, when it will be too late to race to fix anything. That is not even to speak what'd happen to her being without skills and 30 years old.


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TOP 52 Comments
  • Google CA310
    Why do you feel you needed to stoop to a lower life to be equal to your wife? Why couldn't you try bringing her up and show her the world? Why are you so afraid of making friends, travelling, pursuing hobbies? Have you tried encourage your wife to have those things too?
    Oct 8, 2018 2
    • Pacific Northwest National Lab DSvML
      ^^^ what Google said. If it was you who downgraded yourself and isolated yourself from the world, and she didn't ask for that, then OP it's your mistake.

      You can still fix it. You are 30 big deal. I'm 30, my TC is $100k and I'm not in FAANG and I'm changing my life situation as I speak (in NYC for interview now).

      You should really upgrade her to your level. I try not to be a socioeconomic dick. Some people are where they are because they because of environment constraints and lack of opportunities. You can change that for the better.

      If I see a woman who is 'beneath' I ask why. Some people never achieve anything because they are slackers and losers, I don't want them. Others never achieve anything because of factors beyond their control, but have the potential. Having potential is important too, I can and will work with that.
      Oct 8, 2018
    • Facebook Tainted
      Great points. I do realize that this is quite my mistake. I couldn't leave her because feelings.

      However I don't see how I can bring her up/upgrade. It feels she is just not as intelligent as me or other people I know and enjoy conversations with. It doesn't make her a bad person, but it makes me feel disbalance. It means unless I downgrade myself, I will be always tempted to be with somebody rather than her.

      If I take her traveling, she wouldn't want to do so in a jungle in a camp, she wouldn't want to climb a mountain. Instead she would want to rest on a beach in an all-inclusive hotel. She wouldn't want to sign up for some Coursera courses, instead she would rather watch some soap opera. In three years she learned language to a level worse than I had after 6 months lining abroad. She doesn't seem to have an intellectual potential. It is just not exciting, not motivating to be with her, and I'm saying it not as a way to hurt, but with compassion, as I know very well what it is to be a person that nobody wants to be with.

      The only thing she can provide is care and kindness. It was valuable to me back then, but I knew if I grow and become more confident, I wouldn't value it as much and would prefere more challenging partner. So the only way to ensure that I still _need_ her care and kindness was to become a needy person, the one that has no one else but her.

      I know this is all messed up, but I'm just hoping me and you are similar enough in mentality and background, that you can understand how I could've made that decision.

      Furthermore, even if she was a perfect match, I would still feel tempted to try more things, since she was my first relationship, and it was pretty high in my plans to "catch up" on sexual life. However if I percieved her as equal, perhaps I'd be more comfortable to ask her to try things, and also would be comfortable leaving if I see the need.
      Oct 8, 2018
  • New aYSv68
    I took a year off after working 6 years. Working was addictive but a cage. Saved up to live minimally for a year. Travelled to 6 countries. Got married. Found hobbies. Changed person. Remember job should be what you are good at, and hobbies should be what you love to do, not the other way round. Cheers amigo.
    Oct 8, 2018 2
    • Cisco / Eng Zxcvbq
      Was it easy to make a comeback after the break ?
      Oct 8, 2018
    • New aYSv68
      No, it was a lot of work, but I knew the mistakes I made before. Had more sense of control and purpose in life. Read a lot of books. Took up music producing and art. Did some side gigs on freelancer.com. met people through meetups. A break was needed to get out of that rat race and figure out what is the purpose of my life. I feel once you've accomplished everything you wanted in college, you need to step back to plan for the next 20 years.
      Oct 8, 2018
  • Splunk D'lit
    Take sabbatical. Get things together and start all over.
    Oct 8, 2018 0
  • Microsoft Pqy1lvL1ew
    Ooooh myyy God OP, shut the fuck up.
    You couldn’t get a girlfriend until you did, but she wasn’t up to your standards because she didn’t compare to the girls you couldn’t get, so you settled (sounds like she’s the one who settled really) so now you’re sad because your job isn’t fulfilling. (Most everyone goes through that in their jobs. You’re not special.) And you sound like a socially stunted dweeb. So of course you couldn’t land anyone else. Boo Hoo suck it up and stfu and learn how to be a better person to the person in your life before she leaves you, because it’s the best you’re going to get, or do the world a favor and just be a better person than the entitled and self-absorbed brat you sound like.
    Oct 8, 2018 5
    • Oath / Mgmt Atinlay
      More word vomit
      Oct 9, 2018
    • Microsoft gH4Gz7h378
      Yeah, that was a bunch of gibberish. All I got from it is OP really thinks he deserves better but gives no valid reasons for that entitlement.
      Oct 9, 2018
  • Varsity Tutors

    Varsity Tutors

    Amazon, Microsoft, Adobe
    Here's the good news - you sound like a decent person who wants to do the right thing but is confused and conflicted about competing priorities. I'm going to make a few statements from the point of view of someone who is 15 years older, has made many of these mistakes, and maybe not give you the answers you're looking for, but perhaps some better questions.

    1) Marriage is fucking hard, and it takes lots of work and commitment from both sides to make it a viable relationship. "Love" and attraction ebb and flow, as does emotional intimacy.
    2) For a marriage to work, there has to be a baseline of respect. You have to like the person, and see their potential and essential goodness. You also need to recognize that they are a flawed person just like you, and figuring it out as you go along.
    3) Realize that you have no control over who that person is, or who they want to become and that if they become the person you think they should be, they will resent you for it.
    4) Accept the fact that you have a lot less control over your life than you think you do. You do have control over how you react to things that happen, just not what happens.
    5) You have to be on the same page with your spouse on the big things - kids, lifestyle, goals, etc - or at least be willing to negotiate and make the trade-offs required to make a life work together.
    6) You have to meet your partner where they're at. You have to have compassion. That's different than pitty, and its different than empathy. When you have empathy, you meet the person as an equal, but you're detached from their outcome. You can't have a healthy relationship based on pity, pity is about how their struggle makes you feel - its a selfish instinct. With compassion, you are suffering with them, working together, you are winning or losing as a team. Compassion is hard.

    You're taking a lot of responsibility for outcomes you don't control, and you're making excuses for choices you do have control over. The language you use to describe the choices you made seem to convey you were "forced" into a marriage out of a sense of duty, that you had to destroy everything you love and become a martyr to some sense of doing the "right" or "honorable" thing for this poor wretch who you felt obligated to save but was not and will never be your equal. You married her because she made you feel loved, and treated you kindly, but now you resent her for preventing you from becoming the person you aspire to be or the living the life you want to lead.

    Now you feel stuck because you would feel bad/look bad for marrying this woman and then abandoning her because you've created this great life for her.

    I'm going to point out something. You never actually got to the point where you described how she feels about the relationship. What are her goals? What are her expectations from the marriage? Is she happy? Does she have regrets? Have you asked her? Many of your observations come across as self-centered. That's not a good place to start with a decision about a relationship.

    You have choices. They are hard choices that will have consequences both for you (financially, and likely with your social circles back home) and for your wife. If you come from a more traditional culture (from say India) the stigma of divorce can be catastrophic, especially for women. If you eventually decide to make that decision, you're going to need to accept those consequences.

    Before you do that, I would strongly recommend working with a couples counselor with your wife. They can help bridge communication and identify issues that you each need to work on as a couple and individually. There's no shame in that, no one has any idea how to be married, you learn how to do it as a couple. If you came from a dysfunctional family, that's going to require work. You may ultimately decide together that it's a bad situation and to cut bait, but I would recommend making the effort for no other reason than to avoid making the same mistakes in the future. Even if you divorce and then find that woman who is truly equal, you will likely repeat the same patterns that got you where you are now unless you work to disrupt the pattern.

    Taking a sabbatical, travel, hobbies, friends, etc may make you feel better in the short term, but will only end up distracting you from the issues of communication, intimacy and forming healthy relationships you're struggling with now.

    I sincerely wish you luck.
    Oct 8, 2018 3
    • Pacific Northwest National Lab DSvML
      I'm going to lookup varsity tutors just because this is the longest post I've seen on blind... And wanna know who hires you
      Oct 8, 2018
    • Facebook Tainted
      KPwQ88 you are amazing and I really appreciate the response. I do agree with most points. I will add though that I think in order for marriage to succeed - in order for parties to be willing to put an effort in building it, it needs to be the case that it was a free choice. It needs to be a choice made our of selfish desire "I enjoy being with that partner". If it is a choice like "I have to help that person", it is not something that will give enough energy to build something.

      I'm not that stupid, I understand marriage is a pretty lousy way to help a person. I was asking her many times in the beginning how I can help her. I wanted this relationship to be a place where after say one year being together we separate but help each other grow and proceed with our lives on a next level. However she wasn't able to get that point (that we need to aim for finite relationship that will leave both of us net poisitive, for positive sum game). Somehow she was really happy with me, and was getting extremely upset when I said that maybe we are not the best match because of such and such reasons. I didn't really know how to help her, as in my mind the most useful resource is brain, and I couldn't donate her a piece of mine. I offered her money to make her life better, but she was offended and kept saying that she just wants to be with me forever and she has never met such kind and caring person as me, and everything will be fine. I can't for the love of God understand why instead of asking a question "are we
      good match?" she was just saying "everything will be amazing" and crying if I was pointing out that we were not compatible. I mean shouldn't she have been happy that I pointed out potential issues rather sooner than later?

      You mentioned that I don't talk about how she feels in this relationship. There is a reason to that. At first, she was just extremely happy, and I could not really understand why. I didn't ask her about goals in relationship back then, since I didn't want to give hope for long term relationship. Later, when I realized I have to get into this for her, it was just too painful for me to ask. It is incredibly interesting to ask people things because you are curious what the answer will be. If the answer is not what you like, it is OK, since you just got more information. However if you know you already are with a partner until the end of your days, you'd dread asking questions. What if her response is not what you would want your partner to respond? Oh, too late, you still have to like it as this is your partner. That means you just have to pretend that you didn't hear that in order to protect yourself from disappointment and from pity to her. You have to not ask. When she tells about her successes, you have to try and forget that, just to make sure you don't start shouting that her "successes" are fucking embarassment.

      All in all, she seemed to be happy at first, and now it is confusing what she feels. She is still an optimistic person, but she desperately wants a child, and is stressed due to how I feel towards her. Sometimes when I complain she suggests we divorce, to which I point out that it is too late and I already burned all my bridges and _now_ I can't be without her.

      I honestly just wanted to have a series of equal relationships where partners don't try to be with each other until the end of the life, but rather know it is temporary, but still care about each other and honestly let each other grow. In those relationships I thought I would be putting so much effort into learning how to listen to partner, how to understand them, how to have empathy and all that stuff. I really love learning, so I'd put a lot of effort and would be grateful those partners for learning opportunity, and would want to help them to grow as well. However it really demotivates to do any self-development if you know you won't be free to apply you learned skills with someone else.

      I.e. how would you feel if you were told that you will work at one specific team in one company for the rest of your life? Would you even want to grow? Why would you grow if your scope and TC is not going to increase ever? The point of growing is to become better so you become worhier and can work/meet with more interesting and exciting people. If you grow, but your projects remain the same and your TC remains the same, it hardly makes any sense.

      P.S. - we did try couple therapy, without much success
      P.P.S. - she is luckily not from India, and to be fair she says she'll be fine if we divorce, and I do believe she will be fine in her country financially (rich family). My compassion (or pity) is rather for her being not very valuable as a person - she won't build anything great, she doesn't have crazy exciting ideas, she isn't inspiring, recruiters won't go after her, countries won't give her visa for her merit, and I can only imagine how hard it is to be like her (though she says she will do just fine, and even gets offended by my pity).
      Oct 9, 2018
  • Facebook I ❤️ 🍜
    In the professional world, ALWAYS put yourself first. Not saying you should never help out teammates, but helping somebody else to the point of "sacrificing my needs and dreams" is a big no-no. No good deed goes unpunished.

    Reading your post, sounds like you put way too much importance on your work. Aways remember that no matter how nice a manager is to you or how awesome the three free meals a day are or how everyone is so focused on making impact, the company will not hesitate to lay you off whether for the right or for the wrong reasons. Never be loyal to a company. You are working first and foremost to get paid and to maximize learning and networking. Separate work from life, deliver efficiently but don't go over and beyond hour-wise.

    Lastly, never get emotionally invested in those silly ratings. The feedback can be important and you should apply them to better yourself, but no one on their deathbed is going to regret that one cycle 40 years ago where they got a GE instead of an RE.

    Hope you get better, like others have suggested a vacation / sabbatical might help.
    Oct 8, 2018 3
    • Uber / Eng

      Uber Eng

      Im a cat! 🐈 Meowww... Fancy feast is my favorite kind of kibbles 🐱
      What's GE and RE?
      Oct 8, 2018
    • Facebook Tainted
      @meowimacat doesn't really matter much. It is rating of how well you performed in the preceding 6 months. GE (greatly exceeds expectations) is second best rating possible, while RE (redefines expectations) is the best one given in exceptional cases.
      Oct 8, 2018
  • Microsoft Arfington
    Did,anyone read the PPS? Op, I don't want to alienate you with this question, but WHAT THE DUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU? You pity her for "not being very valuable as a person" All humans have inherent value-the same value extends across all humans, whether they are inspiring, have visas, or have recruiters calling. You dont value her, plain and simple. Please give her half your networth and let her go.
    Oct 13, 2018 11
    • Microsoft Lmnop43210
      Reread what I said. You blame women when really the law has nothing to do with gender. It’s fair when it redistributes what’s earned in a marriage. If you don’t get that then you should never get married so that you don’t have to share anything.
      Oct 17, 2018
    • Bloomberg / Eng iVX372
      My last 2 posts said nothing about women. I think it's fundamentally ridiculous to be forced to give a partner half of one's wealth when they did nothing to earn it, and one could have earned that wealth while being single.

      Why are your female friends at Uber screwed? Because they have to give up half of the wealth they earned during the marriage to their nonworking husbands, or because the husbands aren't letting them take half? If it's the former, you're contradicting yourself.
      Oct 18, 2018
  • Snapchat +1s
    I feel you. Make some friends outside work, hang out with them and go traveling will probably make you feel better.
    Oct 8, 2018 4
    • Facebook Tainted
      Basically I got married. I've updated my post with the full story at the end. I didn't really have much friends, and the few I had I stopped contacts with, and I can't let myself make any friends now, since that would be a betrayal.
      Oct 8, 2018
    • Oath / Mgmt Atinlay
      You’re still complaining? You’re living in the greatest country in the world, making above average TC. Life is great.

      Go out and meet people instead of siting home on Blind having a pity party. Many people wish they were so lucky.
      Oct 8, 2018
  • Cisco bo4at
    Look. Take a sabbatical. It's a marathon, not a Sprint.

    Go to East Asia or Europe backpacking. Learn to see the world from outside the eyes of tech, compensation, work and regrets
    Oct 8, 2018 0
  • Oath / Mgmt Atinlay
    Because you’re spoiled now. It’s called life.
    Oct 8, 2018 0


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