How do I support my friend?

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Dec 19, 2017
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Help! I'm out of my depth!

My friend who is a cam model is suffering from, and negatively judging herself, for her choice of work.

How can I best support her?

She says she's unhappy, frustrated, and sad.

When I started to ask questions, part of her problem is the way guests and basics treat her:
They treat me like I'm an object A slut.
She's not on MFC, and works for a studio that encourages the models to see every guest as a potential client, so I can't just tell her to mute guests/basics.

However, I think its something deeper than that, because she got to:
I just hate my self!
And when I asked why, she answered
Because I'm not good enough to work something else.

I'm a limited and stupid person.
I tried to offer counter-factual observation, but ran smack into the self-loathing that she's feeding herself:
I can.... but I don’t do anything to be someone good.

I'm a stupid cam model.
So ... obviously there is a lot going on under the surface, there, and she's using "stupid" as a hammer to beat herself up with. That, I can deal with. Or at least, have helped people deal with, before.

But the self-loathing about camming, I don't know how to even begin to address.

Is there anybody here who has worked past that, who can help me? What are the best ways that I can support her?

I'm a guy, so I tend to have a "so let's fix it" mentality, but I think in this instance that will do more harm than good: if I offer any suggestions about changing profession, I'm implicitly supporting the loathing/judgment side.

p.s., yes I already suggested she make an account and come talk to you ladies. No dice.
 
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JickyJuly

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The source of her self loathing isn't going to be camming or intelligence levels. If her self worth is that beaten down, she can blame it on anything. Some days, I can hate myself for dropping a cookie on the floor. Encourage her to seek counseling. Don't try to fix her.
 

Pure_emotion

Cam Model
Mar 29, 2013
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She's Romanian right? This passive aggressive attitude towards her work ( one she chose to do herself , not by force) is taught in the studio, by her trainer or boss . They do that so people feel sorry for them and tip them more . If you talk to lots of studio models from Romania , you'll discover the same problem. Only way to support her is with money/tokens. You will see her attitude changing right away. :)
 

MarinaThyme

Cam Model
Dec 16, 2017
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Okay, this is coming from the mind of an insomniac so its probably going to be all over the place, but I think this needs to said.

Let's assume this is a friend you know in real life and truly is your friend, not a business relationship. Take all the replies about manipulation and throw them out the window.

Hypothetically speaking, there's no reason why she *has* to be a cam model and if her disgust towards the job is authentic, this is not the line of work for her and she needs to figure that out for herself. If she's constantly basing her value as a human being off of income from something as competitive and cut-throat as camming, she's not emotionally healthy enough to be doing this. She needs to get some therapy or spend more time doing things for herself that she enjoys to boost her confidence.

These are things a depressed person might say and depression can be very serious, so you should (as her friend) be reaching out to professional supports if it's that upsetting for you to see her be this way. It can take a toll on the depressed person's loved ones when all their efforts to be supportive are thwarted and they begin to feel as if they aren't adequate enough to help the depressed person. Understand that it is not your fault she's depressed. It's not her fault, either. It's a chemical imbalance in the brain that is often beyond our control and usually triggered by other things. People don't often wake up one day with depression this severe for no reason. There must have been an event that triggered the depression for her.

If you are that concerned about her emotional and physical well-being, every country has a "suicide hotline" that is only a Google search away. Find that number and give it to her. Make sure she calls that number when she's feeling especially low. If she's talking about hurting herself, get the authorities involved or contact her other support people whether it's family members or close friends. An "intervention" of sorts could be staged where everyone expresses their concerns for her safety and make it known that you will be there to listen as her friend.

If she's not your friend in real life, you have no right to do that. Do not attempt it. If she's talking about doing something drastic, in theory, you could report it to the camsite she's on and let them have the responsibility of contacting the appropriate professionals to intervene. They are the only ones who have her personal identification and information outside of her work, therefore they are the only ones who can morally intervene in the case of a model being a danger to herself. That's all you can do as a cyber friend. Don't doxx her, out her or go digging into her personal life.

If you are a customer or regular client for her, you may need to listen to the above posts. It's entirely possible she is manipulating you in hopes of financial gain. Don't entertain this person's tactics. Block her. Don't give her more tokens. Go incognito with a new account and username that's different from yours and just watch how she interacts with other members. Maybe contact the other regulars in her room and ask them if they've received any messages from her that are alarming in any way. That's the only way you could find out what she's doing if she's trying to scam you, but don't waste your time trying to "expose her" because it will backfire on you immensely. Just take the knowledge of her antics and steer clear. Keep that experience in the back of your mind when interacting with new model's that you visit or tip. Protect yourself, your wallet and your sanity by being aware that some models just aren't genuine and will use every tactic they can think of to manipulate you out of your money.

If you really don't want to cease contact with her and you truly believe her state of mind is as toxic as she claims, suggest she gets out of that studio contract immediately and goes independent if it's the guests that are bugging her so much. She needs to find a new site to operate on as an independent model and mute or ban those people.

I personally think that if she's really that thin-skinned or expected that there wouldn't be trolls or mean members coming into her chat when beginning this career, she's fooling herself and her ideals about camming are extremely unrealistic. She's a sexworker now and most people do not have high opinions of us and want to see us suffer or react to rudeness. That comes with the territory. She's not in the right line of work if that's really affecting her that much. That's what trolls WANT when they post horrible things in chat. Giving them the reaction they crave and expecting it to stop magically is just plain delusional.

I've never worked with a studio, but I'm pretty sure the people running those studios aren't going to penalize a model for kicking trolls from her room. That makes absolutely no sense. As a model, it's my job to make sure there aren't people in my chat disrupting the atmosphere or flow of the chat. Sure, it happens here or there's but I take care of that shit as quickly as possible because I know my members come to me for a fantasy and most fantasies are pleasant, not dramatic or chaotic. That's not what they're there to see or be a part of. They're going to leave that room if a models sitting there bitching out trolls instead of paying attention to the people who came in to spend money.

Again, she's not webcam model material whatsoever if she is truly as depressed and naïve as she's presenting herself to be online. She's making herself a bigger target for scammers and freeloaders and trolls if she's really THAT bothered by some lowlife calling her a slut. She performs sexual acts live on a webcam for the whole internet to see and she's whining about being called a slut like it's not happening to every other person in the industry? That's just comical, I'm sorry. If she's not going to be a big girdl and be assertive or stand up for herself, she seriously needs to get out of the industry immediately. The studio is NOT going to track her down and hold a gun to her head and literally force her to keep that contract. That's ridiculous.

In case I haven't made it clear, I'm fairly positive this lady is bullshitting you and you're eating that shit up. Don't entertain these types of people or waste your time or energy trying to "save them" because that's exactly what they got off on. It's disgusting attention seeking in its prime. It's my personal belief that if she's actually using depression as a manipulation tactic, she is definitely sick and needs a lot more help than some random on the internet can give her. Therapy. Meds. Psychiatry. That's not healthy. That's wrong.
 
Dec 19, 2017
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Thank you all for your replies and consideration.

First, let me head this off at the pass:
Do you know how she got into the job in the first place? Eastern European studio?
She's Romanian right?
Let's assume this is a friend you know in real life and truly is your friend, not a business relationship.
Yes, yes, yes, and yes. We have met in real life, but only a few times, and we have a friendship, not a financial relationship. When I had a white knight moment, and offered financial support, she turned it down and made it clear that I was not to offer again. So, let us presume she is genuine, at least for the purposes of this thread?

Aside: I think the financial thing was a boundary she set to maintain a firm distinction between a client and a friend?

sounds like she should quit if she is having a bad time and causing her emotional distress. no job is worth that.
Yes. This is my opinion as well.

However, one of my promises in the friendship, was simple: "No judgment".
Aside: I had no idea how profound that commitment was to her - I did not know her profession at the time.

So that makes giving this advice a sticky wicket: how do I recommend that she quit without her thinking I am judging her choice? My instinct is to focus on the job's impact on her depression, just as I have given the same advice to friends in toxic workplaces.

Best thing you can do is just listen. Fight the fix it mental attitude and just offer support and be her friend. That is pretty much all you can do.
Yes. That's where I'm at.

Don't try to fix her.
Roger that, Houston!
 
Dec 19, 2017
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The source of her self loathing isn't going to be camming or intelligence levels. If her self worth is that beaten down, she can blame it on anything. Some days, I can hate myself for dropping a cookie on the floor. Encourage her to seek counseling.
This, I needed to hear! Thank you Jicky.

I've battled depression for 30 years. I know exactly what you mean about the cookie.

I'd correctly taken myself past the first set of red herrings, but fell for the second set - the "rudes" and the job.

That isn't it, at all. It is the same as every other depression.

Quoting a post that has stuck with me from another forum:
Step one: love yourself
This is where I need to put my focus, with her.

Thank you for reminding me of that.
 
Dec 19, 2017
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Finally, @Marina, thank you so much for the time and effort you put into your reply! So much of what you wrote resonated with me. I wanted to say thank you more quickly, but I had to take care of my life these past few days.

As they say, "put your own mask on before you offer assistance."

That was exactly the sort of no-BS, no-coddling, understanding and empathetic response I'd hoped to get. I won't quote all of it, but:


Okay, this is coming from the mind of an insomniac
From one insomniac to another, about a third! We just need eight more and we'll have a football club: Insomniacs United!

Let's assume this is a friend you know in real life and truly is your friend, not a business relationship. Take all the replies about manipulation and throw them out the window.
Yep.

Hypothetically speaking, there's no reason why she *has* to be a cam model and if her disgust towards the job is authentic, this is not the line of work for her and she needs to figure that out for herself. If she's constantly basing her value as a human being off of income from something as competitive and cut-throat as camming, she's not emotionally healthy enough to be doing this.
Yes. That resonates - I will keep it in my pocket as the "frame" for any discussion of camming.

It isn't that the job is bad, or that she cannot be good at it. It is that she isn't healthy enough to be doing this right now.

These are things a depressed person might say and depression can be very serious, so you should (as her friend) be reaching out to professional supports if it's that upsetting for you to see her be this way..
Yes. I've got my professional support system in place.

It can take a toll on the depressed person's loved ones when all their efforts to be supportive are thwarted and they begin to feel as if they aren't adequate enough to help the depressed person. Understand that it is not your fault she's depressed. It's not her fault, either. It's a chemical imbalance in the brain that is often beyond our control and usually triggered by other things. People don't often wake up one day with depression this severe for no reason. There must have been an event that triggered the depression for her..
Yes. I understand.

She is in the same place I left myself in my youth: convinced that depression is a "mood", and that she could "will herself happy" if she was just "strong enough".

I spent 19 years trying to fight this demon without help, and it took me to the verge of suicide.

If you are that concerned about her emotional and physical well-being, every country has a "suicide hotline" that is only a Google search away. Find that number and give it to her. Make sure she calls that number when she's feeling especially low.
Spot on.

If she's talking about hurting herself, get the authorities involved or contact her other support people whether it's family members or close friends. An "intervention" of sorts could be staged where everyone expresses their concerns for her safety and make it known that you will be there to listen as her friend.
Yes.

Part of her problem, I suspect, is that she's relocated to a new city and hasn't made the effort to go out and build those new close friendships.

Don't doxx her, out her or go digging into her personal life.
Wait, which thread is this? That sounds like our first thread together!

If you really don't want to cease contact with her and you truly believe her state of mind is as toxic as she claims, suggest she gets out of that studio contract immediately and goes independent if it's the guests that are bugging her so much. She needs to find a new site to operate on as an independent model and mute or ban those people.
I think the studio is being deceitful with her. She believes that she will owe more money than she can pay in restitution for the "training" and "support" they have "given" her if she tries to break the contract.

The studio is NOT going to track her down and hold a gun to her head and literally force her to keep that contract. That's ridiculous.
LMAO, okay, okay, I get it!

I personally think that if she's really that thin-skinned or expected that there wouldn't be trolls or mean members coming into her chat when beginning this career, she's fooling herself and her ideals about camming are extremely unrealistic. She's a sexworker now and most people do not have high opinions of us and want to see us suffer or react to rudeness. That comes with the territory. She's not in the right line of work if that's really affecting her that much.
Yes. Theoretically, the studio should be providing support on this topic.

I've never worked with a studio, but I'm pretty sure the people running those studios aren't going to penalize a model for kicking trolls from her room. That makes absolutely no sense.
Yes! That's what I'd think!

As a model, it's my job to make sure there aren't people in my chat disrupting the atmosphere or flow of the chat. Sure, it happens here or there's but I take care of that shit as quickly as possible because I know my members come to me for a fantasy and most fantasies are pleasant.
Amen!

Again, she's not webcam model material whatsoever if she is truly as depressed and naïve as she's presenting herself to be online. She's making herself a bigger target for scammers and freeloaders and trolls.
The bolded really stood out to me during a conversation she and I had - please know that it has already impacted the advice I'm giving to her.

My personal assessment is that she really is that depressed and naïve.

If she's not going to be a big girl and be assertive or stand up for herself, she seriously needs to get out of the industry immediately.
Yep. Focus on her self-love. Goal: for her to be assertive and stand up for herself.

Keep a firm reign on any white knight instincts -- "rescuing" her is the codependent's trap of depression.

You are a brilliant soul, Marina.

Thank you.

Are you sure you're a cam model and not an LMFT in disguise? lol
 
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MarinaThyme

Cam Model
Dec 16, 2017
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My personal assessment is that she really is that depressed and naïve.


Yep. Focus on her self-love. Goal: for her to be assertive and stand up for herself.

Keep a firm reign on any white knight instincts -- "rescuing" her is the codependent's trap of depression.

You are a brilliant soul, Marina.

Thank you.

Are you sure you're a cam model and not an LMFT in disguise? lol
That last sentence I've heard on multiple occasions, even from my own LMFT (; Sadly, no, I do not have the credentials yet.

I am really happy I was able to help. I felt like I was too ramble-y and didn't make sense, but I'm glad you were able to understand what I was trying to say. I really hope your friend gets the help that she needs if her words are as genuine as you believe they are. Honestly, you can link her to my Twitter and have her DM me because I'm literally going through with the advice I gave here...

I have a lot of issues being a pushover and burning myself out when my depression or ptsd gets too intense for me to handle. I needed a break to collect myself and I'm still on that break now. I haven't been on cam in over a week and guess what? My loyal members are in my DMs everyday asking how they can help, what they can do to make me feel better or if I'm accepting offline tips still. It's been such a good experience knowing my truly loyal members are telling me to take all the time I need and are doing their best to support me with offline tips when they can.

I feel like I'm ready to come back, but my supports and therapist are advising I wait another week while I'm working on some pretty heavy stuff that I haven't been able to address in therapy before now. Her main concern is that I'll burn myself out and have a worse breakdown than before, so I'm just taking her advice and working only off-cam (mostly just keeping my Snapchat and Twitter active.) I have more time to put up new content on my store as well, so it's really been worth the pay-cut to take time off to care for myself.

Feel free to share my story with her as well if you think it will help her. I know how hard it is to put your pride down and admit you're not okay, but it is essential in any industry and even more in this one.
 
May 11, 2017
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There's some great advice here already. All I can really say is to "listen" to what and how she is saying things, such as you are now. Be patient, supporting and encouraging to her. But, don't falsify or exaggerate what/how you say things. Optimistic, yet realistic.
 
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Moffle

V.I.P. AmberLander
Mar 18, 2016
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Just something for those jumping to conclusions earlier in the thread... Maybe there are some studio girls encouraged into pertending things but having watched a non-studio EE friend slowly over months disappear from cam and become reclusive, depressive, fatalistic and ultimately suicidal I can tell you it is very real. There were no requests for financial support or support of any kind, just unconcious cries for help in the form of reaching out for fleeting contact away from camsites. It can be a real thing and don't ever be quick to make assumptions.

Fortunately after much persuasion and refusal she is now seeing a therapist and on medication. Long way from fixed but much more stable.

Mental health issues can happen to anyone.
 
Hey there, I’ve worked past these kinds of feelings myself. My thoughts on this are really personal so you’re welcome to private message me (or she is) to discuss it further. If she has a twitter she is welcome to DM me - mine is @MojitosJourney
 
Dec 19, 2017
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I wanted to provide an update to this thread, to again thank you guys so very much for your help and support!

In large part thanks to @MarinaThyme 's advice, I benched my white knight and focused on providing my friend with tools which she could use to stand up for herself. I flew out to Romania at the start of February, and made two financial investments: I paid for a lawyer, and I paid for her health insurance. Both were surprisingly cheap to my American mindset, and had seemed impossibly out of reach to her mind.

suggest she gets out of that studio contract immediately and goes independent if it's the guests that are bugging her so much.

The studio is NOT going to track her down and hold a gun to her head and literally force her to keep that contract. That's ridiculous.
The studio had a crazy manipulative technique in operation, where they were withholding the models' pay for "disciplinary infractions", which the models "had to" work off in order to receive their paychecks. This was, of course, not mentioned anywhere in her Contract of Collaboration with the studio. The infractions were capriciously awarded, and sometimes the models only learned of them on the day they expected to get a paycheck. With the lawyer's help, she was able to free herself of the contract, and extract her back pay from the studio.

I won't discuss her medical issues, but the health insurance was a win, as well, helping her to, among other things, begin seeing a therapist, and address one of the underlying physical issues that may have been contributing to the depression. Though perhaps just defeating the contract was sufficient for that!

Have you ever watched the movie Sliding Doors?

In a strange twist of fate, my friend moved out of her flat, and moved in with a friend of hers -- a model from the same studio, who had refused our offer to join with her at the lawyer's. I seriously think all of this studio's models should have joined in a class action lawsuit, but my friend only trusted two of them enough to ask; both were too scared to rock the boat.

While my friend proceeded to get better over the course of spring, her roommate fell further and further behind on these disciplinary points, and became increasingly depressed herself, culminating in the roommate attempting suicide a few weeks ago. My friend found her in time, and was able to get her medical assistance in time to save her life.

It makes me convinced that we did, correctly, identify a person on a downward spiral in my friend, and ultimately, I think we must credit saving the roommate's life back to this thread ... I cannot help but think "There, but for your advice, go two lives." Its a crazy world, isn't it?

My friend is now camming from their flat, no contract, no studio, no disciplinary points. Her depression is in remission, and her health is vastly improved from where she was in January. Her roommate is home from the hospital, in treatment as well, and the lawyer is working to get her back pay released.

Thank you!
 
Oct 29, 2017
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I wanted to provide an update to this thread, to again thank you guys so very much for your help and support!

In large part thanks to @MarinaThyme 's advice, I benched my white knight and focused on providing my friend with tools which she could use to stand up for herself. I flew out to Romania at the start of February, and made two financial investments: I paid for a lawyer, and I paid for her health insurance. Both were surprisingly cheap to my American mindset, and had seemed impossibly out of reach to her mind.


The studio had a crazy manipulative technique in operation, where they were withholding the models' pay for "disciplinary infractions", which the models "had to" work off in order to receive their paychecks. This was, of course, not mentioned anywhere in her Contract of Collaboration with the studio. The infractions were capriciously awarded, and sometimes the models only learned of them on the day they expected to get a paycheck. With the lawyer's help, she was able to free herself of the contract, and extract her back pay from the studio.

I won't discuss her medical issues, but the health insurance was a win, as well, helping her to, among other things, begin seeing a therapist, and address one of the underlying physical issues that may have been contributing to the depression. Though perhaps just defeating the contract was sufficient for that!

Have you ever watched the movie Sliding Doors?

In a strange twist of fate, my friend moved out of her flat, and moved in with a friend of hers -- a model from the same studio, who had refused our offer to join with her at the lawyer's. I seriously think all of this studio's models should have joined in a class action lawsuit, but my friend only trusted two of them enough to ask; both were too scared to rock the boat.

While my friend proceeded to get better over the course of spring, her roommate fell further and further behind on these disciplinary points, and became increasingly depressed herself, culminating in the roommate attempting suicide a few weeks ago. My friend found her in time, and was able to get her medical assistance in time to save her life.

It makes me convinced that we did, correctly, identify a person on a downward spiral in my friend, and ultimately, I think we must credit saving the roommate's life back to this thread ... I cannot help but think "There, but for your advice, go two lives." Its a crazy world, isn't it?

My friend is now camming from their flat, no contract, no studio, no disciplinary points. Her depression is in remission, and her health is vastly improved from where she was in January. Her roommate is home from the hospital, in treatment as well, and the lawyer is working to get her back pay released.

Thank you!
Glad things worked out
 
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