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Perception


Athena

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Now that we've all had some time to react to Pseudome's 'unmasking', myself included, I thought I would offer some thoughts that may ease the pain somewhat.

Each of us perceive people uniquely. Some of us are more trusting than others and pretty much believe what people tell us until actions or new information tell us to think differently. We don't really know ANYBODY for sure. The risk for deception is bigger on the internet but the risk for serious hurt is also less, as long as one maintains some anonymity. So a plus and a minus. I'd have to say, I generally feel safer here than in the face-to-face world. Even if I feel somebody's 'watching', what damage can they really do? (As long as it's not my ex, and for that reason, I'm careful what I say about that situation and will mostly keep my private details private.)

In the real world, we learn to trust over time and with confirmation (I'm recalling the saying "trust, but verify"). Quite frankly, after 5 months, I have no verifyable proof that my BF has a mother, that he used to go to my university, that his friends are who he says they are, that he has a job, that he has money, or that he's interested in ME as opposed to hoping he can deceive me like the last guy did. For all I know, he's living off the money he ripped off from the last girlfriend. Given my past experience, I keep my distance. I will never allow him to be in a position to hurt me. He can do far, far more damage than anybody here. So that's probably why he's 'not quite a BF'.

If my perception was different, he probably would be a BF. I'm choosing to believe that the above dangers are real possibilities (well, it's not really a choice, I'm just paranoid and at this point, there's not much I can do about it.) I don't necessarily believe them but I don't disbelieve them either.

I wish I could be more trusting, like some of the individuals here. Unfortunately they've got burned in this situation far more than me because of it. But they probably experience more good things than me too. They form deeper connections, feel more a part of this community, feel needed, accepted, special. I feel like an outsider. So it's a trade off. We need to recognize what each of us get out of our interactions here, even if they turn out to be based on a fabrication of somebody's situation. Did we not hear ourselves offer advice that we were half directing at ourself? Did we not feel like maybe for a moment, we had something to offer besides 'nothing'? And do we not know now that we are not alone in our capacity to have the wool pulled over our eyes? That we are not in fact 'complete idiots' (as my own inner critic likes to tell me). We are in good company. As I've said, I'm somewhat of a paranoid person. I envy those here who can trust. Yet even I, with all my paranoia - got hoodwinked.

But at the end of the day, people here can't take your life savings, they can't beat you up, they can't force you to support them, they can't ruin your future and they can't hurt your kids (unless you move from the internet to the face-to-face world). Mostly, it's hurt feelings. Which I admit is crappy - my initial reaction was to write a post "Real People only - others need not apply". But I know full well, that's not going to stop anybody who's fabricating their story. Just think about it - if Pseudome had not unmasked, it would still be our reality. Who is that reality hurting and who may it have actually helped?

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Athena, I appreciate your comments. I'm sorry to hear that you're so "pranoid" as you say... but I can see that it still protects you from bad deceptions.

I'd like to add something: It seems to me that you presented here the possible attitudes as "black or white", to some extent. I'm sure you admit "there is a gray scale around of each of them [/of the extremites]", but... I'm going even further: I think there is also a place in the middle. Maybe I'm wrong in my percepion, but I feel myself being there and that's why I'm so sure it's possible. So... I don't think there is a reason to envy those who are in the extremity opposed to yours. Because, as you can see, they can be hurt too easily and not only in such specific situations as this one. I suppose that for you, it would be impossible to reach their extreme - and that's why you also feel hopeless about your "paranoia" [because it seems to you that the other extreme would be the only possible solution]. But... I also suppose it wouldn't be impossible for you to reach the middle. Rather, you seem quite close to it in therapy as well as on this site. I know that it's reasonable to keep your precautions in many situations in your life, but... once these become a problem (as when they don't allow you to get a deeper relationship to somebody who had already prooven to you he's not lying in the most important things [and I know this is not yet the case of your current BF]), then... you could learn to "shift closer to the middle" and become more... able to benefit from the depth of such a close relationship...

What do you think?

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But... I also suppose it wouldn't be impossible for you to reach the middle. Rather' date=' you seem quite close to it in therapy as well as on this site. I know that it's reasonable to keep your precautions in many situations in your life, but... once these become a [i']problem (as when they don't allow you to get a deeper relationship to somebody who had already prooven to you he's not lying in the most important things [and I know this is not yet the case of your current BF]), then... you could learn to "shift closer to the middle" and become more... able to benefit from the depth of such a close relationship...

What do you think?

You're right LaLa, I still am thinking in extremes. I feel that to get rid of something that I don't like about myself I have to go to its opposite. That NEVER works. I end up biting off more than I can chew and falling flat on my face. Or I can't even get started as the thought is just too overwhelming. I have to remember - set small achievable goals, rebuild one success at a time, until I am where I want to be.

As to therapy, you are very perceptive. I was writing this blog with that in mind. At the moment THE most important relationship is with my therapist and I am so completely stuck. I can't say that I don't trust him. I just don't feel accepted anymore. I feel like if we met on the street he wouldn't give me the time of day. Or if he needed more time for his personal life, I'd be the first he'd let go. Invisibility, abandonment, rejection - recurring themes with me. I feel the only way I can get 'unstuck' is to get to know him better. I asked him something about himself today, along with the explanation that "I need to know something you've struggled with, I need to see your humanity". He obliged and I did feel better for a moment, but I have a feeling this is going to have to be repeated many times for me not to feel nervous and upset around him. I need a different reality than what I have in my head because that is just so unbearable. Perception - I have to make it work FOR me, not AGAINST me. But unfortunately I cannot simply 'imagine' the relationship to be the opposite of how I feel and the opposite to my actual life experiences. I can't even imagine it to be half way there.

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Hm. Now I feel stuck :) because... you explained it so well and in such detials that... I can't find (at least today - I'm reading it for the 2nd time now) an objection/argument that would say "yes, BUT..." and bring something new and useful. :) Just maybe a short remark: Your therapist may at least like your ability to express yourself and to explain in detail your problems. That's actually a kind of talent. Do you give or read him sometimes your blogs or other texts? ... Anyway, I suppose that there are many more qualities in you which he can see. However, maybe you could try to analyze more the reasons - why, by which behaviour does he make you feel rejected? You mentioned only that you feel you need to know more about him (I know this feeling :)...) and that it helps when he shows you "his humanity". I think I understand this very well... However, we still may ask why you need it and if it's really necessary or there is also another way of feeling better in that relationship. What exactly does this proof of his humanity bring to you? ... I don't know, maybe it wouldn't be helpful; that was just my idea...

BTW, isn't there a way how you could verify (I don't mean secretly, but with him!) the facts about your BF that you can't be sure about? Or that would imply a too deep realtionship which you don't want yet? Maybe not, maybe... he could just... for instance show you some photos from his past and other "proofs", ... (And... I have a stupid question, sorry: Is this BF the same man you've been already talking about here - that he doesn't attract you physically but he seemed so ideal psychically in the beginning? :))

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Do you give or read him sometimes your blogs or other texts? ...
Yes - if I feel I can't express myself verbally or it's just easier to show him the blog.
why' date=' by which behaviour does he make you feel rejected?[/quote'] The fact that I tell him all the things I don't like about myself - because that's what I want to change. Could also be some transference going on wrt my current BF, more on that below. Also - my memory and concentration are deteriorating rapidly, there's no activities I enjoy doing, I can't identify any new career I could do that I would enjoy, I have no particular talents, particularly that would earn me a living and I could be living in poverty soon if my ex and/or another guy (which I seldom talk about here) get their way. And that's just the short list.
You mentioned only that you feel you need to know more about him (I know this feeling :)...) and that it helps when he shows you "his humanity". I think I understand this very well... However' date=' we still may ask why you need it and if it's really necessary or there is also another way of feeling better in that relationship. What [i']exactly does this proof of his humanity bring to you[/i']?
Because without it, I feel nothing coming back. There's no connection at all. If I don't feel rejected by him, I feel isolated and completely on my own even though he's in the same room.

BTW' date=' isn't there a way how you could verify (I don't mean secretly, but with him!) the facts about your BF that you can't be sure about? Or that would imply a too deep realtionship which you don't want yet? ...Is this BF the same man you've been already talking about here - that he doesn't attract you physically but he seemed so ideal psychically in the beginning? :))[/quote'] I doubt it matters now. We had been speaking every day since July. However he has dropped all contact since last Friday. I've called him a few times. No return call. I just sent him an email asking "You still alive?" No response yet. I've checked the crash reports and the obits. Nothing. Don't know whether I should be upset because he's dead or incapacitated or because he's decided to end things in a very immature way. We didn't have a fight or anything, this is just so odd. However he has told me that this is what he does when he doesn't want to be bothered with somebody anymore. I told him he should just tell people what he's thinking, not play head games. I didn't get any comment back. The relationship was slowly dying anyway but I was hoping we could remain friends. We got along so well most of the time. Don't think I can be friends with somebody who treats me like that. Anyway, I'm holding back a lot from writing how I feel in case something bad has happened to him. He was so private, I can't even call his Mom or his friends to find out what's going on. I made my blogs private because the need to vent is becoming unbearable. Since we did not fight, the only thing I can think of is that he's been reading my stuff here and decided to cut loose. Outside of my therapist, he's been my sole support. I suspect it got too much for him but honestly, I'd like to be treated like a human being! Where do I find these guys?

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