LETTERS FROM READERS - FEBRUARY '01


Now on medications!

My tale begin in July 1999. I met B (he is 31 and I'm 27) online in ICQ, we were mates for about 6 months. Then it progressed to love (in the New Year) and then after that he asked me to marry him (March 19). We had never met but it was so real. We were both free and single. Not looking for love on the net and it just happened I suppose. He was very goodlooking. He said I was cute! We telephoned each other. At work and home all the time - I would page him too and he would ring then when he was near a phone. Sent Valentine cards, birhtday cards, little packages to each other, ok mine was bigger than his :-( I was a little sad but treasured what he sent.

He was to come to visit me before my parents would let me go anywhere, they never knew about the love or marriage bit. Things began to get sexual, I used to NetMeet with a very dear friend (also met online, purely platonic) so then he got a cam and we started to. He looked just as good in NM and he said he loved my accent and said I was cutier with my ways - I was gone, hook line and sinker!

We sent explicit pictures to each other, he did things online for me, but never pressured me to and I never did. Things seemed great. Then we began to fight about things - mostly him not actually coming here each time he said he would. 1st time was supposed to be in May, but he was in a car accident and hurt his back and couldn't work so couldn't afford to. Ok, come in September for my birthday. OK, we make more plans. Then there was the thing about us waiting until we were married before we would be sexual with each other - his idea, I giggled and said if only you knew - eventually I told him I was a virgin. He seemed totally indifferent to that. I was upset, but never said. I really expected a better answer than 'That's nice'. I felt so stupid from then on, inferior in a way.

He'd be on and off and on as usual. He lost his job and I paid his phone bill with my CC so I could still have contact with him. I loaned him money until he got a new job on 3 different occasions, all on the idea of paying back when a new job turned up and he was on his feet. New job - my birthday came and went and he couldn't come cuz he hadn't enough for the flight (Canada to Ireland), his birthday card was a week late. I was so disappointed, I cried a lot now, and had began drinking when he wasn't online with me.

He would call my work nearly every day to tell me he loved me, but yet never left a message online or emailed me. We rowed about him wasting money on phone calls when he could just sit at the pc and send an ecard or email, I was so easy to keep happy I told him, just the odd one, please? The odd one I got, of 3 sentences and no more. I was always disappointed with his emails. I got about 4 emails and 2 ecards in total. Things that he had said at times were different when I would repeat them - like he had first said that the last time he saw his son was aged 3mths, then it changed to 6 mths - when I pointed this out he snapped that it was so long ago that he didn't really remember. How can you NOT remember that kind of thing????

He had said he didn't even know his name, then he could tell me his name - snapped when I pointed this out too. We did a little quiz, kind of truth thing, in it it asked if you ever slept with a virgin, he said no, but he had previously told me that his girlfriend of the 5yrs had been one when they began and she hadn't told him until after the had zex the first time, I never pointed that lie out to him - I just wondered how much more was lies - like he had said he lived with his pregnant girlfriend only for the last month of her pregnancy. Later it came out (innocently enough) that they were living together for Christmas of that time - but his son was born in JULY, so that was another row when I pointed out that Christmas wasn't in JUNE. He 'couldn't remember every single detail' he said madly - I said if he was going to lie about things it would be a good idea if he did!!

Things seemed different all along but I never actually was brave enough to point out the inconsistencies for fear of losing him I suppose. He didn't ask to NM anymore only twice after that really, was too tired to stay online long or had to be in work soon...etc etc. Ages before that my good pal, all along, had sent me this site, I had read it and sent it to B, who went nuts when he saw it, saying it was a man bashing site and not to be filling my head with rubbish, asking me why didn't I trust him, I said I did, but to calm down and be realistic, we didn't really know each other, he finally agreed that yes it was true that people could do these things but that that wasn't him at all and that he loved me and all the rest.

Coming up to Christmas, again he was to come, but no, not enough money - so then we decided not to torture ourselves with this visiting thing until he had some money - 2001. I hadn't heard from him in a week after a fight we had - on the phone - and so rang him at work, he was fine but then we started to row on the phone again and he hung up on me (I had hung up on him a few times before that night). He didn't ring me back and I was out of my mind so I eventually rang him about 2 wks before Christmas, he said he was afriad I had left him and then there was the tears from both of us and we were all perfect again, he told me he also got another job part time and that was why he wasn't able to be on as much and was too tired to do any net, I said I understood and that things would be ok, I supported him and it would be ok (I had also taken another job - to pay for a phone bill that I was going to be taken to court over if not paid. I told him I had sent his card in the post and was sending a package the next day too. He said he was going out to GET my card and SEND it the next day. He never mentioned a package, I assumed he forgot to say it. I never heard from him. Not on Christmas Day, when we had said ages ago that we would spend Chrismas on NM. I never slept at all, but cried all the time, I snappped at my family and spent the entire time in my room waiting for him to call or email me.

I suspected that he must have found someone, there was no way he would NOT phone me if it wasn't that. I rang his work the day after Christmas, he wouldn't be there until the next day, I was told in a round about way that they thought there was another woman involved, they were used to me ringing him there so they probably felt it only right to tell me. When finished on the phone I went and got sick, more than once, I shook from inside out and cried so much my nose bled and my eyes stayed swollen. I never slept at all, I was drinking heavily now and my folks wouldn't let me out in my car.

The next day I decided to ring him at work, see what his reaction would be. He seemed a little surprised, but I never let on I knew a thing. He said he was sorry for not being around and that he had been so busy between the 2 jobs. I had to ask if he got my package, he said he did, I asked if he got my letter in the package, he said no, what letter. He had opened it in a rush and must have missed it, I asked him if he got my card, no he said, but maybe his landlady had it, she was collecting his post from his box for him, he'd ask when he got home, I told him his answering machine at home was FULL, he said he hadn't time to listen to them all. ??? He promised to take time off to spend with me. I said I hadn't got his card yet, he said he didn't get a chance to send it!! He said he'd ring if he could. I said I loved him and he said he loved me.

I rang him again on the the Friday before New Years, he said he'd take Saturday off. He'd ring me when he finished work on the Friday night/Sat morning and then spend Saturday with me online, this time he said he loved me before I said it. I slept that night for the first time in a week. He never rang. He never came online. I rang his work and they said he was due in on New Years Eve at 4pm, I asked how exactly they thought he had another, they said to ask him who Debbie was. I was sick again. I told my brother briefly. He said to see what he did next. I was sick that night never slept but rang his work on New Years Eve, he hadn't come in yet. It was like living on Death Row. When I rang back at 6 their time (2 hrs after he was due) he still wasn't there. So I asked what exactly did they know about Debbie - she is a cute blond, he met her at the bar where he works a couple of months ago. He would be there with her when not at work sometimes. They supposed he was there now, like I did. They were really nice to me, and told me to take care, we left it for them to mention I had called and would he call me. He never has so far.

The thing that kills me is that he always made fun of blonds, said they weren't his 'type'. And the bit about waiting until we were married and here he is sleeping with some blond slut he met just a few months ago!!!!!!! WHY?????? Shit he even asked me not to get a vibrator!!!!!! How could he have looked at the things in my package to him and go and have sex with! her, why did he not think of me once when screwing her? I never even looked at another man! I don't think I'll be able to for a very long time. He was the only one I wanted and he told me the same. WHY??????

I told my family everything except about the money and sexual bits. They have been fantastic, I thought they would think me stupid and not understand how much I love him, but my mother was FANTASTIC, she said she knew that it was as real as if we lived in the same area.

I am now on medication for my nerves, I shake for no reason and cry if not on my 'sweaties'. If I see 2 people on tv making out, I steam up and think of him and her and shake, then get sick. The doctor says it's shock - as real as any other type of shock. He owes me over $600 and I am in the process of looking into how to get it back seeing as he lives in Canada and I live in Ireland, not to mention the money I spent on phone bills, sending him things etc. He still hasn't told me it's over and neither have I. I'm not going to ring his work even if it means ripping out my phone line for good! But the mad thing is, I think I might still want contact with him even if he dumps her, my sister and mother both say he'll be back once she has enough of him - just to ignore him. My good pal has been super and I've turned to God as well for help. Take it from me, NEVER let your heart go - give it to God first then no one can hurt you.

I start councilling soon, partly because I haven't stopped loving him and would take him back if he rang me tomorrow and because of my dependence on drink since it all started. Contact me if you have been conned by someone called B from Ottawa or are currently involved with him - he might have done this to more than me.

Wild's Reply - It's not so much that you never stopped loving him as he never really loved you. He loved the money, he loved the gifts, he loved the attention. But you were too far away to do him any harm or to really mean anything to him. The tip off was that he had zero interest in reciprocating. He never sent you cards, even emails were too much trouble. He's had girlfriends all along. He has a child that he has zero contact with. Is that somebody you want to consider a future with? Who knows what else he has - except for a cute little blonde named Debbie. If your family knew the whole truth, which if you want to know what they really think you will tell them, they'll tell you he's a louse. That he never intended to come and meet you just like he never intends to pay you back.

NEVER send explicit pictures of yourself to ANYBODY you met on the net EVER. Until you've met in person, and as you've found out, those meetings may never happen, that's putting yourself at risk for all kinds of problems!


Great Site!

Hi Wild, I just wanted to say that i absolutely LOVE your site. I have been involved in a net relationship for about 18 months now, and so far everything seems to be going really well, but that doesnt mean im not aware of the types of people that prowl around the internet! Anyway, I would just like to find out where your story is published? I have seen you mention that you have written it, but i cant seem to find it anywhere on the site, unless im just looking in the wrong spot? I apologise for taking up your time when im sure you must get hundreds of emails, but i was just curious. Well Thanks for providing such a useful and informative site. Great Job!!!!!

Wild's Reply - I'll give you a hint. My story is one of the worst.


Gentleman's Companion on Your Site

dear wild,

I came across your website recently and I found it very well done and informative. Thank you for taking the time to make it and maintain it. However, there were some elements that I found problematic. Specifically the sections written by men about women, particularly the "Gentleman's Companion" section, really grated on my nerves.

These sections make comments that really impress me as coming from a misogynistic state of mind, and I think it's sad and even offensive to me, as a male, that such men have an easy platform everywhere, seemingly, to make these statements and writings on behalf of "all men" or all "good guys". The man who wrote the "Gentleman's Companion" section says: "I believe that about two women in three that you meet on the internet will exhibit a serious personal problem that you need to consider. For about one in three, the problem will be so serious, that you will NOT want that woman in your life."

All of us have our problems, some significant and some minor, but this statement, specifically about women, I really find outrageous and simply untrue, and I don't think there is a justification for singling out women for having problems. "Some are alchoholics or on drugs. They WILL lie about it. Run. Enough said."

I myself have survived abuse by a man who was an alcoholic and I'm definitely no fan of alcoholism or drug abuse, but this pretentious statement, "they WILL lie about it" -- they meaning women -- is just really awful. "Men pretending to be women. EEEEnuf said."

Having someone tell you any sorts of lies is very betraying, but this seems to imply a kind of homophobic revulsion for being lied to about someone's sex, when it's just like any other lie people tell about themselves. He says: "Many women have serious emotional problems. You should familiarize yourself with what paranoid, histrionic and narcissistic neuroses are, and pay particular attention to what a Borderline Personality disorder is. You WILL meet them, and they hide it well at first. Consult the DSM IV in a Library, and read about this." This really struck me as offensive in the extreme, especially having myself survived anorexia and depressive episodes.

I think it's really insulting, and I'd like to think this kind of thinking about both women and emotional problems would be relegated to ancient history books by now. It seems to say women are specially prone to these particular emotional disorders, which is a bald faced lie. As far as neuroses and insecurities go, my experience has been that men *excel* at them, excel at perpetuating them, causing them, maintaining them and denying them.

Additionally, I find this offensive being that I and many whom I know (women and men) have their own emotional difficulties, and none of us "lie" about them. It is possible to be quite up front and honest about one's emotional state and tendencies and difficulties, and actually that's the only way I've ever found anyone could ever deal with them and address their problems and resolve them -- even men, even men who like to pretend they have no emotional problems at all, which is an emotional problem itself afaic. The rest of the list, which I won't go into specifically any more, I also found incredibly stereotypical and harboring very old-fashioned patriarchal attitudes about 'what women are like' and 'what men are like', etc. I think it could be applied to all people regardless of sex, but it isn't, it's applied specifically to women (and by extension that denies that any men are like that or have any such problems either) and that really grates on me. Finally although I like a lot of your website and what it says, it always assumes heterosexual relationships which is very alienating to people who aren't heterosexual -- who also exist, and who also meet people on the internet. And on the issue of "mail-order-brides" from poor desolate countries for American men.... I'm sorry but as far as I'm concerned, that's nothing more than international sex slave trafficking.

Wild's Reply - Would it be fair to say that your pretending to be a man, when you're really a woman is insulting to me, and probably to any man who read this, thinking it was written by a man?

You like to quote, so allow me to quote certain parts of your letter: "I myself have survived abuse by a man who.." Well, given your comments about homophobia, etc., you are either a homosexual male or a female. Which one? Then "As far as neuroses and insecurities go, my experience has been that men *excel* at them, excel at perpetuating them, causing them, maintaining them and denying them." What man would write that? Neurosis implies neurologic. Neurologic implies brain action/chemical. It's not something that any one person can cause in another.

Right up to the point where you said you were a man, when clearly you are not, you had credibility. I don't doubt that the Gentleman's Internet Companion infuritates a lot of women. But I also don't dispute it's validity as written by a man who has had many experiences, and having received a great deal of validation from other men who read it, my husband - a former active internet dater - included.


Tips

On my recent first date with an on-line guy, I was very cautious and took almost every precaution you'd mentioned, plus one. Not only did I tell one friend where I was, who I was with, all phone #'s involved, but I also gave him a call in time.

I met my date at 8 and told my firend by 11, I'd politely excuse myself for the bathroom and call in. If for some reason i was having to much fun and lost track of time, or God forbid something actually happened, he was to call my cell by 12, if he got no answer, to try my apartment...perhaps I'd made it an early night and forgot to call. Then, if he still got no answer, I gave him the numbers of two other friends that lived near where we were meeting and asked that he call them, explain the cituation, and ask them to check it out. Then, if none of that worked...well...you know...call the police. I think perhaps that might make a good addition to the list of to-do's

Wild's Reply - I think it would at that! Consider it done!


PAGE TWO OF FEBRUARY '01 LETTERS

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