I was in my teens. I was 16 when my mom bought me a hewlett packard computer for my birthday. It was so exciting, a novelty. This was during a time when under half the students in my school had a computer at home. Instead of hand-writing my papers I could type them. No more rough drafts!
My mother also divorced about that time and spent a lot of time out. I was a junior and taking a couple of college courses while attending high school and I was often up late working on papers. I was alone. But, I would have AOL open. A nice chatting device. A way for me to reach out, meet people, and chill.
I used to watch Kung Fu The Legend Continues. David Carradine was my hero! But now my favorite thing to do was surf the Internet.
Unfortunately I met the wrong kind of people.
I didn't have someone there to tell me otherwise. No warning.
How could anyone have known that the Internet was a place where EVERYONE good or bad hung out? A way to be incognito. Make up a male username, oh heck, make up a female one. Pretend you are a teen. Pretend you are an adult. These are the games people played when I was too naive to know.
I met a man who claimed he was a bit older, which was fine with me, I just turned 18 two weeks earlier. This instant message lasted me 7 years. Seven wasted years with someone who I eventually found out was married, was 40 years older than I was, who had children older than I was, who got me to fly to see him. Who took me to a major hotel, and took my virginity.
I had only dated one guy in high school and we didn't even kiss.
The mental manipulation of these predators is amazing. When I finally finished college and broke off all communication with this person, I moved to the same area (where I found a job), and he had the audacity to stalk me (in a way), by trying to send me roses (in an attempt to "make up") to try and lure me back. WHen that didn't work he sent me nasty voicemails. When that was cut off, he mailed me nasty letters through the post office. When that didn't work he started calling any number he could find of friends I had to tell them what he did with me.
Even so far as to involve the police.
I calmly asked police to ask this man to stay away from me and go on with ours lives. After they called him (when his wife wasn't home to save him the embarrassment) he responded by claiming I was the one taking advantage of him!
Three years later, after they moved away, he moved back in the area. I found out that they were divorced, and he was on the sex offender registry.
No kidding! I would have never guessed! :sarcasm:
He damaged me, but in my naivety I never thought he would have done something to his second wife's young grandchild.
After this whole thing blew up, my mother and I spoke and she told me that she felt he was evil. She felt helpless.
She was. She wasn't there to tell me how to deal with this kind of thing.
There was nothing she could have done to combat the Internet.
I don't have children yet but I am married. I have seen a psychologist for four years now to help deal with what I've described above. And when I do have children, the computer will be public access and tightly controlled.