Page 1 of 7
Psychology of a victim
Posted: Sat Mar 12, 2016 4:15 pm
I decided to start a new topic, because I´m searching for help, but after I read some stories here, I felt literally physically ill, so I can´t continue, there were so many common signs with my scam, I can´t read that now, I´m sorry.
I have lost a lot of money in this scam. I didn´t have money when the scammer asked me, so I had to borrow and I´ll pay it for many years. Not to mention the psychological trauma, I think I´ll take drugs for long yet. Everybody here says that it´s not the fault of a victim, that everybody who falls in love loses his sense, but I know that it WAS my fault! That there´s something wrong with me. I´m trying to understand myself and explain my behaviour why I did such a foolish thing. I have read many articles about the psychology of scam and of victims after this scam and analysed my life, and I found out that I´m really defective. I can´t say I was in love with the scammer, although I have to admit that he showed some qualities that made me weak at the knees, and there was a moment when I realized that he brings up emotions in me which I had when I was very much in love in the past (for example fear and admiration of a strong man... those were not „healthy“ relationships either).
He contacted me on a social site, I wasn´t searching for anyone there. He literally pushed himself, he begged me to love him and give a chance to him, I didn´t like the conversation with him at all, I told him many times that I have bad feeling from it and that he´s lying to me, I felt that everything he said was lie, I agreed only because there was a personal meeting arranged, so I said to myself, whatever he writes, I´ll see who will come in real to the meeting, I was just wondering why this man lies that much, I had fun of it and I was curious what bullshit he would write to me next. And still, I sent money to him when he asked! I couldn´t understand it, but now I know why.
It´s because I don´t have mechanisms that would protect me from being scammed. This is something that comes immediately, unconsciously and from that moment I don´t have controll over my behaviour and I do what is desirable for the scammer and not for me, and in addition I act as if it was all right and I was happy for it! Intelligence and experience doesn´t help!!! Many people here write that after this experience they learned how to prevent scam, but I have to tell that unfortunately this is not how it works! I found out that this is something that is repeating in my life and not only in romantic relationships but every other aspects of life. As for romantic relationships I was abused even if I was in love with that man but even if I wasn´t, I was suffering for many years because of men! But even in non romantic relationships there are moments when I can´t controll my behaviour. I tell an example: I signed a contract in a hurry and it was followed by a year of suffering and financial loss. I felt when I was signing it that I didn´t have good feeling about it and I didn´t understand why I signed it. So when I was signing a contract next, I asked my boyfriend to help me, I explained him my previous experience that I can´t controll my behaviour sometimes and that I can´t sign a contract in a hurry. So I was aware of my problem. When they were pushing me to sign a contract immediately, I asked my boyfriend to go to another room to discuss it. So I was not only aware of the problem, but I also tried to prevent a bad decision. But my boyfriend said I should sign it, he didn´t take it very seriously and he convinced me that if there will be something wrong, I can sue them. I KNEW that I could sue them, but it´s not only about law but about the peace of mind, I was AWARE of it and still, I was manipulated to it by the counterpart and my boyfriend too. Another year of suffering and financial loss. Then I had another boyfriend when I was signing another contract. I explained to him what happened with my last boyfriend, so not only we both were EDUCATED about the problem and the solution, but we were both educated about the previous EXPERIENCE. Of course again that was in a hurry and I signed a contract and my boyfriend didn´t prevent me. That was followed by another year of suffering and financial loss... When I asked my boyfriend why he didn´t do what I asked of him, he said I looked like I knew what I´m doing!!! The same happened now with the scam, I asked two people to lend me money, the first couldn´t do it that quickly, but the second lent me. I asked both if they didn´t suspect any malice and they both said that maybe yes, but it was „ME“ who asked them and they know me as a reasonable person!!!
I remember another incidents from my life: for example a gipsy woman came to me at a restaurant, she started to tell me a story that sounded like lie, I didn´t like it and still, I gave her money. It seems like I was a robot, somebody says give me money and I give money. But this is not only about money. There was an incident when some people did something in my home without my agreement, they did a change that couldn´t be restored to it´s original state, I didn´t like it, but when I saw it that was such a shock to me, that I started to praise!!!! the change, how beautiful it is, but my heart was aching. Why I couldn´t tell the truth? Then there was an incident with an old man who started stroking my back in the train, it was so disgusting to me, but still, I wasn´t able to go away and to make a scene. And I can tell many stories of this kind from my life, but it´s always the same, that when something is shocking to me, I DENY it totally and replace it with a thought that everything is all right and I´m happy! That´s what happened with the scammer too, when his request for money came, that was such a shock to me and I had to act quickly, that I completely denied his lies before and that he didn´t prove me anything yet, just sweet talk. In fact I started to deny his lies long before, his lies were uncomfortable for me, but the denial let me forget about that and because of this there was a space for idealization! But until the request for money came, I didn´t have even a faint idea that this is about pulling money from me. When the request came, there was a thought that this is the moment when I act in a hurry and that always ends badly. And also I promised to myself before that I would never give or lend money to a man in advance if he doesn´t show me REAL care. I was aware of these things, but what I did was automatic, uncontrollable! I had a relationship in the past where I was wringed out of money, but I also had relationships where a lot of money was invested in me, I HAD caring partners, so experience doesn´t help! That´s why I know now that I will always be a target of cheaters and I can´t do anything against it. OK, I can do, if it´s something like with this scammer, I could finish the conversation in the beginning when I was sure he was lying. That´s what I should do next, because now I know I´ll never win over a cheater, if I communicate with him, he will cheat on me sooner or later and I can´t defend even if I know it´s wrong! That´s an automatic reaction and even if I promised myself thousand times in my life something and I thought it can never happen to me again, now I know it CAN happen! I kept reminding me of the situations I went through from time to time, so it wasn´t that I just promised to myself that forgot. I can´t do anything more than that and still that´s not enough, not a prevention. Knowledge and experience is not enough!!! I have to avoid cheaters and liars in the BEGINNING of the communication! Without explanation, and if he needs explanation, I´ll simply say: I don´t have good feeling about it. That´s all. I think maybe in the beginning I´ll be able to stop it, but I´m not sure, I never tried. But if it´s a situation that life brings immediately (not some longer communication with a cheater), now I know that I´ll never be able to handle it, there will always be that automatic reaction of denial. And that always brings me long term trauma after such experience. It´s not that I don´t have that „gut instincts“ or that I don´t have mechanisms to convict a cheater, but that´s not enough, because when the automatic reaction of denial comes, I´ll start to act in conflict with my needs, and those „gut feelings“ come in full glory later when I have time to think about it and then I´m physically ill from it and mentally traumatized and destroyed. I don´t know what to do with it.
The psychoanalytical explanation is that the denial is a neurotic mechanism that was built in young age when the parents were not caring enough and I needed to see them as perfect... Maybe.
Does someone here have similar experiences or findings? Or can somebody give an advice? Or do you think I´m crazy?...
Re: Psychology of a victim
Posted: Sat Mar 12, 2016 5:31 pm
You pose very difficult questions and your insight and desire to understand is amazing. Don't discount yourself so deeply that you lose sight of the very real possibility of healing. You cannot give up, all is not lost.
First let me begin by saying that I don't have real answers for you. I am not a professional anything . . . well, unless you want jewelry. I make awesome jewelry . . . I only have opinions, observations and experiences that I can share with you.
From my own family experiences, I'm going to guess that you were probably abused or at best neglected, as a child. You don't recognize your own value and worth and have been conditioned from am early age, probably infancy, to take negative attention, hurt and abuse as stimuli to prove you exist and at least feel something. That's my uneducated guess.
But I don't think you really want the how or why. What you really want is how to stop, change or fix. And I'm betting that losing lots of money only exacerbates your issues because now you think you can't afford counseling or therapy.
Still, as I said before, all is not lost. You have options and I will give you the three that I have personal experience with and have witnessed that have worked for others.
1. Professional counseling. The success rate depends on your contribution and finding a therapist who genuinely wants to help and isn't just in it for the money. It will take diligence and research on your part. Especially if your looking for someone who will work within the limitations of your health insurance provider or social services, but money on your end is going to be tight. Look for pro bono, charitable or financial assistance.
2. Self help groups, courses and psychology based seminars. Bonus here is that you get to meet people and share. They can be pricey and they're not always trained professionals but I've done a few that were very enlightening and I did payment plans.
3. Last but not least - FAITH - which is my personal favorite. I came from a difficult family, went into a bad marriage, experienced loss and suffering (as we all do in life) and did my crash and burn in my 40's. At that point I seriously questioned the point and purpose of my own existence.
There's a scripture somewhere, James something or other, that says (I'm paraphrasing and probably out of context), "If any of you lack wisdom, just ask God, who answers liberally and without prejudice towards anyone who asks, and He will answer. " It's a test He offers us. 'Believe I'm here, have a little faith and sincere desire to know and I will give you what you seek.'
I think your problem with this last option though, is going to be even hoping you're worth God's attention. This is where I personally have the most experience. I'm here today to testify to you that our Father in Heaven is literally the father we've always wanted in our mortal state. He waits for us to come to Him, having learned how difficult life is without His help, with our broken hearts and contrite spirits. We're His children and He loves us. He wants us to be happy. He will give you the answers you seek. And while on the surface this option might seem the cheapest - even free - it is not. You will sacrifice and give much in return (usually to others like yourself), but this option is the most life changing and rewarding of all.
And last of all, time. Give yourself time. Emotional wounds are no different than ruptured organs, lacerated tissues and broken bones. The body and spirit does heal, but it takes time and the worst injuries leave scars that always remaine fragile and sensitive. It takes time to heal, most of all.
Re: Psychology of a victim
Posted: Sun Mar 13, 2016 10:52 am
Pinky, thank you for your advice and support, I need it very much now! I think you are right that the best help is faith, I´m at a point now that I believe only a miracle can help me... I tried so hard for so many years to follow my „gut instincts“ and act in consent with my needs and not to be manipulated to something bad and irrational, I thought it was going to be better, but the last experience showed me that it´s always the same. And this is the worst finding, because people even if they can´t trust others, at least they can trust themselves, but I learned now that I can´t. It´s not in my power to defend myself. Another thing I learned, that if somebody wants to talk to me in a strange or surprising way, pushes, flatters, fawns, most likely he wants money. I didn´t think at all that the scammer wanted money, above all he knew that I don´t have money, so it´s very surprising for me that he asked that much, but it just proves that they don´t have any regards or compassion. I wouldn´t borrow that money for myself, and I had been decided never to borrow money from that man, so I broke many of my rules. This is a problem that if somebody shows me love or interest, even if I feel that it´s not sincere, I help if he asks for help, even if I don´t like that person, or maybe especially when I don´t like that person, because of the denial and idealization, and this is very irrational! I wanted to write this here also because other victims can have the same problem, so they have to find another safeguard against being scammed and not to rely only on experience and knowledge. Maybe it helps if there is a person who knows about the problem to it´s whole extent and would be available in a critical moment and stops me doing a mistake even if I look that I know what I´m doing. If somebody has any suggestion how to defend ourselves, I´d like to know. Maybe this is also one of the reasons why recovery scams are so successful, at least at me I think this is the most crucial. I always thought God is with me, maybe God prevented me from doing a bigger mistake, but if he wanted to teach me something by this experience than I should do everything to find out what it is, that´s why I keep searching and asking. I absolved several years of psychoanalytical psychoterapy some 10 years ago, it solved many of my problems, but apparently some problems remained unsolved, this was very surprising for me what happened, after this I felt I´m at the end of the road, that I should be deprived of my rights or I don´t know what foolish thing I´ll do next. I think the best would be some therapy or support group which concentrates on this specific problem, but I doubt there is something like that in my country, but I will try to find. However, some therapy or travelling is not very possible for me now until I fix my financial situation. But there´s a therapist who I have knowns for more that 20 years, he is quite expensive, I visit him maybe once in a year and he helped me a lot in my life, so I´ll visit him sometime in the next months and ask him about this problem, if I learn something new from him I´ll write here. Until then I would be glad if other victims or professionals wrote here their findings about how to solve this problem. I´d like this thread to serve exclusively for advice how to protect ourselves of being scammed again, if there will be some reactions, and not just sharing the course of the scam, it´s too hard to read and remind ourselves of what happened, and doesn´t solve anything, although in the first moment it´s important to share the experience, of course, I read some experiences and learned that they are all very similar to my experience and it was good to know that I´m not alone, but then later we have to look ahead instead of grub around in the course of the scam.
Re: Psychology of a victim
Posted: Tue Mar 15, 2016 12:51 am
Keira - a lot of what Pinky wrote is very accurate. I read your post with a great deal of sadness because it does sound like professional help is what you need. I can only imagine how difficult it is every month when you repay the loan you secured for the scammer that you relive that awful time.
I, too, was scammed for an amount of money that when I look back did not cripple me financially but definitely I felt the pinch for awhile. I sought professional help but was unable to find someone who understood what a romance scam was so I felt like I was trying to help educate the professional and finally gave up and focused on myself. I told my family what happened, I forgave myself, I let the financial loss go and I moved on. I have a rule of thumb now - I will talk to someone online with a great deal of reserve - I don't go into great detail about myself, I push for a face to face meeting and at the first sign of asking for money I just end the conversation and block the individual. I feel this way I remain open to the possibility of the person being real but guarded about myself until I believe the time is right to open up. You will also realize very quickly who the scammers are and aren't.
You wrote an interesting statement about a gypsy you gave money to. You realize that there will always be instances where someone in person will ask you for monetary help and in your gut you know they are lying but something tells you to give them the money anyway? It's during those times you have to have the discipline to know that what you are about to do could be considered a scam or you choose to not give them the money. Once your decision is made it is at that moment you need to let that particular situation go and move on because you made a decision, acted on it and now it is done and over with.
I am a very well educated woman who fell victim to someone I believed cared about me as much as I cared about them. I made decisions that my gut told me were wrong but I made them anyway.I had not been in a relationship in a very long time and as such as ripe for the picking as they say. I had friends encouraging me to give my scammer a chance and I did and I lost not only money but self esteem and ego. I have no one to blame but myself for my decisions. I reconciled with myself a long time ago and what's done is done. I subscribe to the belief that if someone needs something from me bad enough to steal it from me then they clearly need it worse than I do.
I don't think you need to defend yourself - I think you need to figure out how to protect yourself. It appears you have a habit of making quick and hasty decisions and maybe going forward you set an example for yourself that you only act on something after a set period of time has gone by which gives you time to examine and evaluate the decision you are about to make.
I'm not an overly religious person but I am a spiritual person and I believe it is important for those of us who have been scammed to reconcile our hearts and minds and not let the scam change who we are as people. I wish you the best of luck as you work through the difficulties the scam has brought into your life. Keep your head up, your mind clear and your heart open because this too shall pass.
Re: Psychology of a victim
Posted: Tue Mar 15, 2016 7:10 pm
JulieNP, thank you, your words are very encouraging! I try to believe that I´ll be able to resist and not to get into trouble again. I´m happy to read that you were able to continue meeting people online and I like your advices. I try to recover, there are days when I think it´s going to be all right, but then the memories of the threatening come back again. It might sound crazy but when I go somewhere and see people around, I always think about that this could never happen to them. Or at least they would never admit that this could happen to them. In fact I believe that many of them are just lucky that for example they don´t speak English well enough or they are not adventurous enough to go into a relationship with a foreigner, otherwise they would become easily a victim of a scam too. I´m sorry that I´ll not be very constructive in this post, but I need to complain a little bit, I need a little compassion and understanding, because I can´t find it anywhere but here.
I tried to google something about romance scam in my country, but it´s like this problem didn´t exist! There is something written about Nigerian scam, but only in connection with trading and that the scammers wanted to send the goods to Nigeria. I´ve found only one article about a woman who was romance scammed and the comments to the article were horrible, at best they wrote that it must be a joke, but most often they were blaming the woman, that she should be punished instead of the scammer and she should be locked in an asylum for many years because she was so stupid. No one was interested why this happened. It´s easier to judge when they don´t know the details. I think many people would deserve to experience this if they are so „clever“.
The police had the same attitude, they told me maybe 5 times that I was stupid and it was only my fault (although they accepted cheating as a crime), they didn´t want to know the details, but the details are the most important, that manipulation! I thought he was really dependent on my help and I wanted to help him, because I thought he is in love with me so I didn´t want to disappoint him. And there was that fear, that if he loses his money because of me, he would revenge. I felt that he needs that money very much and that I´m not strong enough to cope with some threatening and that I couldn´t live with a fear that he can revenge even years later, so I did my best to satisfy him. At the police they said that my fear was illegitimate and it was only my fantasy about the revenge, nobody was threatening me. Ok, it was my fantasy when I was sending the money, but I think it was quite logical, I thought he must be dangerous and he must have connections if he sends me such a big amount and if he lost it because of me he would not forget about it that easily. I thought they are in the USA and England and they could come and find me anytime. Because of the time pressure there was no time to verify the information and I couldn´t risk his revenge. Why nobody understands this? Could I risk this? If I couldn´t find that money I should have risked it, but why should I risk if there was a way how to send money? If there was more time maybe I would find out that there is another solution and even if I didn´t send money I would not be in danger. And my fear was legitimate, because the threatening really happened later (if I refused to send money from the beginning, they would threaten me from the beginning for sure), because they claimed that my payment was late, then when he somehow „saved“ the money, he was threatening because I was not willing to pay the tax and because of that he would lose the money, then when I said it´s all fake, he threatened that I´m an accomplice of the banker and we escaped with the money... Crazy... Even if I knew from the day after I sent the money that there´s no money of the scammer that would be dependent on me, that threatening destroyed me, because even if they just lied that there´s money they would do to me something just because I didn´t want to give them another money, even if for fabricated reason. I learned only a week after I sent the money that they are Africans and I´m not in danger, that was a big shock to me and I still didn´t understand what this was about and still thought that this is something personal, so I thought the real man on the pictures could give me an answer. I found romancescam.com only another 2 weeks later, for long I couldn´t even name the problem, I had never heard this expression before. After I found these pages I could fully understand, and I learned that the real man can´t give me an answer, because even if he was communicating with some scammer that must have been many years ago and maybe my scammer doesn´t have any connection with the beginning of abusing the pictures and videos of this man.
I thought that on Facebook I meet people from around the world, and this is who I met... I was so naive! I wasn´t prepared that I meet this kind of people at all! Now I don´t want to meet anybody else but the people who I already know.
It seems that this problem is not very well known here so I can´t really open up to anyone. As JulieNP says, I don ´t really believe that some psychotherapist could help, I have the same feeling, that I would educate the psychotherapist, after I saw that even on the internet there´s no information about romance scam.
As you wrote that your friends encouraged you to give a chance to the scammer, that´s so ironic! They wished you the best and in the end they caused you such a disaster!
I keep asking myself if this is some punishment, did I something bad to someone? But then what about the scammers if they intentionally ruined so many people´s lives? And they are ok, happy, and continue to scam... I don´t understand how they can be so ruthless and deceitful.
The money is not my biggest problem, because I´m a person with a very strong sense of discipline, I can eat less, avoid shops not to be sad that I can´t afford to buy anything above my basic needs... But the worst are the memories of the threatening and the disappointment in people and myself.
I learned a lot about internet scamming now, so I think at least in these situations I will be able to protect myself. But I don´t trust myself in real life situations. You are right, I have problem with hasty decisions, but not in general, only in emotionally unpleasant situations with unpleasant people who push me somewhere, then I suppress all the negative feelings and this is automatic, so I act automatically in consent with the needs of the counterpart and in conflict with my needs.
But I still want to believe most of the people are not cheaters and they hate cheating. Now I see the world as if it was full of cheaters and an honest person was a rarity, but I hope this will change soon.
Re: Psychology of a victim
Posted: Tue Mar 15, 2016 8:08 pm
Keira - you should come out of this a stronger person. The fear of revenge is real but unnecessary once you realize the scammer has no desire to leave the protection of the very corrupt government of Nigeria. The memories will always be there and that's okay because they serve to remind us that we came out of this experience stronger women. Unfortunately, even my government considers romance scams a victimless crime because we were not coerced into giving the money by threat or intimidation -we did it because we believed the individual really needed our help. This is part of the psychology of the scam - they brainwash you into believing they are destitute and only you can save them. If you do this one thing it will mean the difference to them.
I think psychotherapy might be beneficial to help you understand why you are impulsive in your decision making and why it appears that you lack self esteem and confidence - but it will not help you overcome the scam. And that's how good my scammer was - my well educated friends did not see through the psychological warfare he waged to part me from my money. I don't resent them - they truly wanted what was best for me.
As far as the scammers and their belief system - karma is a bitch and I hold steadfast in my belief that good things come to those who wait and while I may never get to know what the outcome is I do know they have a firm belief in Allah and the afterlife and that afterlife will be less than they expect it to be because of their actions. I've even had a bit of fun telling them I have contacted witch doctors to cast spells because they asked me for money - that really gets a rise out of them! :-)
Re: Psychology of a victim
Posted: Wed Mar 16, 2016 2:22 am
Keira: I was scammed two years ago by a person who friended me on Facebook. I was so happy and never thought he was a scammer until I googled his e-mail address and found out he had been in business since 08. For many months, I was blaming myself for being so stupid but I know now how scammers prey on the emotions and use them to take advantage. My faith and counseling has helped me. You too will overcome this. It may take time but be patient. There is no time limit on the healing process. One thing that helped me was getting involved in victim support. After I was scammed I wanted to bait but over time realized that is not for me. I wanted revenge and that was not conducive to my healing. I commend you for telling your story. It takes alot of courage. The folks on this cite have helped me.
Re: Psychology of a victim
Posted: Wed Mar 16, 2016 3:46 pm
Mystery lady - the interesting thing is I googled my scammer, did tineye, reverse image search the whole 9 yards and nothing came up which firmed my belief he was a real person experiencing a awful time in his job.
I too wanted revenge but quickly realized that was not possible. I only bait sporadically when I'm feeling the need for a little payback. I bait to waste their time because I believe if I am wasting their time it might give someone else time to realize what is happening. I've also found it throws the scammer off their game for a bit because they get so angry it takes time for them to regroup and I choose to believe they then question every person they are trying to scam. It's a bit of soul satisfying for me :-)
Re: Psychology of a victim
Posted: Thu Mar 17, 2016 9:10 am
Thank you all very much for your replies, it´s nice to read, I feel much better now!
Re: Psychology of a victim
Posted: Fri Mar 18, 2016 8:14 am
I´d like to share my newest findings. I believe that there are people here who have the same problem and it can help them. I was surfing on the internet and have found another possible explanation of the problem. „Learned helplessness“ is for example when you lock a dog in a cage and give him electric shocks, later he doesn´t escape even if the cage is open. So if somebody learned in the past that he can´t escape and doesn´t have control over the situation, he learns to be helpless, and this experience spreads to other situations in life too. That´s why I couldn´t escape even if there was no „real“ obstacle. There is some invisible irrational obstacle that prevents me from seeing the real options and I have the feeling that I have no other option just to act in agreement with the counterparts.
In me there is another defence mechanism which piles up on this, and that is hypercompensation, that I turn the negative thing into positive, denying my true gut feelings. For example: That is great that the old man is harassing me, we are like family! That is great that they destroyed my furniture, it is beautiful! That is great that a complete stranger asks money from me, I am helping him! But the truth is that I´m not responsible for the bad decisions of a complete stranger who I know only from the internet and it is not my duty to rescue him, even if he claims that he loves me (although in this case part of me really wanted to help him, that was not just the defence mechanism, but the defence mechanism caused that I didn´t see any other option).
I don´t remember the situation which caused this disorder, because what I remember from my childhood was already the phase of the learned helplessness (although I was told something and maybe that was the reason, I don´t know), when I was a child I was like a robot, I did everything what adults said, even if it caused such a stress to me that I was near to faint. As an adult I realized that other children would escape from situations when they feel something bad, but I didn´t and there was nobody who would help me. Maybe that´s why these reactions are so rooted and resistant to knowledge and experience, because it was created in a very early childhood that I don´t even remember. I have been hating my childhood all my life and since I was an adult I was happy that I would never experience childhood again! I had been planning suicide since I was 10 years old. I remember when I was already a bigger child that a teacher wanted me something to do, and then she stopped me and said she would be so happy if at least once I said „no“. Maybe this was the beginning of my healing. When I think back to my life and compare, I can say that every decade of my life was much better in listening to my "gut feelings" then the previous, so this is great news, because that means that it is improving! The fact that I keep doing mistakes doesn´t mean that there is no improvement! I have to be prepared that there will be situations which I can´t handle, but 10 years from now many of the today´s situations I can´t handle, I will be able to handle, so there´s no need to lose hope! I started to believe that from now at least these internet scams I will be able to resist!
There are some regression therapies which take back the client to his past situations he doesn´t remember with hypnoses and by experiencing them it helps to solve problems, I was considering many times to try this, but I never did, I don´t know if this would be useful, but it´s one of the options.
Re: Psychology of a victim
Posted: Fri Mar 18, 2016 7:37 pm
Hello keira I hope you don't mind a man pipping in. I'm sure right now you may see all of us as public enemy number one. But after reading this thread, seeing the pain you are feeling, and learning the difficulties you are going through I could not just sit this one out on the side lines. And it may surprise you to know that this crime dose happen to men as well. It's not nearly as common but it dose. And to be honest I think the reason it's not more commonly known is because most male victims will not admit to anyone including themselves that they could be romance scammed. After all the male ego is a fragile thing and can bruise very easily.
You have already covered so much ground in this thread I'm not exactly sure where to begin, but with all of this talk about following your gut I think I'll take your advice and follow mine. Lets start off with blame and where it truly belongs. You keep saying that it's your fault. That your the one to blame for this happening to you. This could not be farther from the truth, but you insist it is. Why ?
Because you did not listen to your gut ?
If that is a valid reason then we are all guilty of that one.
But the main reason you say your to blame is because of having a submissive nature.
First off you have already mentioned that this submissiveness within you was not brought on by your own doing and goes all the way back to your childhood. How were you supposed to have any control over that ?
Answer; You couldn't. You were at the mercy of others that had a significant negative impact on your childhood development.
And where did this leave you before the scam ?
In a vulnerable state, just like most of us.
And it dose not matter which of the states it is. It could be widowed, divorce, lack of self esteem or self worth, or like myself just plan old loneliness. Before any of our scams many of us were in such a state of vulnerability. And this is a key trait that scammers are trained to seek out and exploit. It may also help you to know that a large number of scammers have had training in psychology and some scammers have even earned degrees on the subject. All so that they can improve their skills at manipulation and exploiting possible vulnerabilities.
I was like you in the beginning when I first started to look at social media as a new way of meeting people. Yes I knew about fraudsters and money scamming. But I had no idea that such a low life vile creature called the romance scammer even existed. And without prier knowledge of a thing regardless of what it is how in the world do you prepare for it ?
Answer; You can't.
That's why sites like this one was created. To get the word out about these criminals in the hopes of preventing someone else going through this hell like we did. And to help support those who fall victim.
Yes you have a submissive nature.
But they are the criminals that took advantage of that fact.
You did not ask for this.
They are the ones who hunted you down like the rats they are.
All you wanted was to meet new people.
All they wanted was commit robbery.
And keep this in mind. All of their efforts were deliberate and deeply premeditated.
None of this is an answer to helping out with your problem of having a submissive nature. But it is my sincere hope that what I have said will help lift some of this responsibility you seem to feel is yours. It's not. It's only an added weight on your shoulders that is not only unnecessary but undeserved. You already have more then your share on your plate without adding this additional weight that is not yours to carry in the first place.
Let the blame rest where it truly belongs. With the criminals, not their victims.
On a different note I think you maybe on to something with the hypnotic-regression therapy, you know find out where the root of the trouble all started. But what do I know. I'm no professional on the subject. I'm just another scam survivor trying to give back some of the help and support I was given when I was the one in need.
I know that change of subject just came out of no where didn't it.
What can I say. It's how my brain works some times.
Re: Psychology of a victim
Posted: Fri Mar 18, 2016 11:08 pm
Wingman, your message is so awesome. RS needs a like button.
What you say is entirely true. The scammers target men just as much as women but pride, embarrassment and shame keep them silent for the most part. Their scams often include larger dollar amounts too, which usually brings them way more debt and legal problems.
But it's so good to have you here for another reason. For the women here, it's comforting to know there really are good men out there.
Re: Psychology of a victim
Posted: Sat Mar 19, 2016 8:43 am
Wingman182, thank you for your reaction, it´s nice to read! I appreciate it very much and I don´t think men are enemies, at all. It´s good to read that there are people who doesn´t blame me, there are so many judgemental people and even if I know that´s only because of lack of information, it´s very painful. I have to tell that many things I wrote in my first posts now I see differently, I was too anxious, so even if I knew many things, somehow I couldn´t see things clearly and my memories were also somehow confused and I couldn´t connect them to each other. Now for a few days I already don´t feel that anxiety, so I can see things more clearly, I see that my ability of listening to my gut feelings is still not perfect, but it´s improving and that´s very positive and it´s not that all my efforts in past were useless! That is interesting what you write that some scammers have degree in psychology. Yes, that was all planned and they just take advantage of people´s weaknesses no matter what is that. And not only weaknesses but even their GOOD TRAITS! like helpfulness, agreeableness, tolerance and so on, which are in fact very PROSOCIAL TRAITS THAT HELP PEOPLE TO BUILD A GOOD SOCIETY, so we mustn´t blame ourselves for that! In fact these traits of mine help me in my professional and private life too, that´s why people love me and trust me! So we have to be pride of that! I can´t imagine what kind of society is where the scammers live, I don´t believe they can trust each other and love each other, that must be very weird! I wonder what benefit they have from that? How can be money more important than trustful relationships for somebody? They were set for robbery and we were not prepared so it was easy for them to rob us, that´s it, it happened, all we can do is be more careful the next time when somebody flatters too much and want to push himself to us. Submissive personality traits are very dangerous in this, because scammers don´t even have to make that much efforts, it´s enough to push and be directive and to flatter a little bit and it´s no matter what he writes, I´m too tolerant to that... Romance scamming is something I couldn´t even imagine, the worst thing I thought can happen in online relationships was that the man doesn´t take the relationship that seriously as he claims or he has a wife or something like that and he wants to cheat her. Now I see I was so naive! But I don´t blame myself for this, I just didn´t know, that´s all.
Re: Psychology of a victim
Posted: Sun Mar 20, 2016 3:51 am
We learn from our experiences and for some it makes a stronger person. Just because one is nieve does not make them stupid. Scammers are experts in their field. They have no regard for others, just looking for money. The one that scammed me got 1200 and was also trying to get money from others while declaring his love for me. They are sitting in cyber cafes looking for easy targets. Since I upgraded my security settings on FB and my e-mail account, I have not received any e-mails from Scammers. Also, I clean my computer after I am on the internet,
Re: Psychology of a victim
Posted: Sun Mar 20, 2016 2:42 pm
Hello keira and thank you for not seeing me or other men in general as the enemy. It's just that being a man who's only intent is to try and help on a web site mostly populated by hurt and wounded women I tend to tread carefully at first. Like a long tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs. And to me it did look like you had been setteling down some what as this thread progressed. But I needed to be sure that my popping in would not cause a negitive reaction. That would be the last thing I would ever want.
First off you are absolutely correct about scammers using our good traits against us along with our weaknesses. I have never heard a bad selfish person falling into one of these scams. It's always the kind giving souls that get hurt. But that also makes sense if you think about it. Only good, kind hearted souls like us could be as giving of ourselves. Scammers see this as a weakness to exploit. We see this as one of our strengths. And this site is proof of that power of selfless giving.
I'm also glad you nolonger see yourself at fault. It's very common for victims to feel this way at first, and they tend to beat themselves up over it at first. That's because it is so hard to see clearly throught a fog of pain. But it sound like that fog may have lifted just a bit for you.
I can´t imagine what kind of society is where the scammers live, I don´t believe they can trust each other and love each other, that must be very weird! I wonder what benefit they have from that? How can be money more important than trustful relationships for somebody?
Your not going to like the answer. For scammers going on line to commit crime is no differant then us going to our jobs. For them it's just another day at the office. And when their done they go home and live their day to day lives with no regaurd of the destruction they cause. Just because they work in a world of deceit it dose not mean they live in a world of deceit. I wish that was true but it's not. It's just another form of organized crime in a differant part of the world.
Now it's my turn to ask a questions.
It's common for victims to suffer from sleeping and eating disorders after a scam. Partly because of the trauma of it all, partly because of bad habits from all of the sacrificing they were doing over the scam.
So it's natural for me to ask. Are you getting enough rest and nutrition ?
Yes it's important to deal with what you are going through. But you also need to take care of yourself and keep your strength up while you are doing it.