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JANUARY 31, 2011 8:07PM

Online Predators

Rate: 11 Flag

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. 

 

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Au contraire, AndNow, this is a rather common story.
This deplorable tale does end on a positive note. Being there is what matters. Good for you.
It took you seven years to find out he was married?
You were 25 years old and he was 65 years old?
This went on for seven years? Really? At what point did you discover that he was in his 60s? You flew somewhere to meet him, and then slept with him. Did you not notice that he was 40 years older than you at that point?

This story really strains credibility.
Thanks for sharing this. My kids are just now getting online and I'm reminded by this piece to be soooo careful to watch where they're surfing. I hope you recover fully from this abuse and no doubt, with help, you will.
"Miss Cleo has been authorized to issue you a Special Tarot Reading!... it is vital that you call immediately!"
"I just turned 18... was 40 years older than I was... Who took me to a major hotel, and took my virginity."

Would you care to explain why when you got off the plane and found a 58 year old man waiting for you that you went to a hotel to give him your virginity?

While the point of this post, being careful of the leaches on the internet, is correct I'm starting to hear my BS detector go off. There may be more to this story which is why it hasn't gone off but it's really close.
"I just turned 18... was 40 years older than I was... Who took me to a major hotel, and took my virginity."

Would you care to explain why when you got off the plane and found a 58 year old man waiting for you that you went to a hotel to give him your virginity?

While the point of this post, being careful of the leaches on the internet, is correct I'm starting to hear my BS detector about to go off. There may be more to this story which is why it hasn't gone off but it's really close.
Sorry it posted twice.
Sexual predators of all stripes count on the seduction. They are masters of gently paving the path toward the unbelievable, until boundaries are blurred and crossed. Usually, by the time the mask slips, the prey is caught by their own niavete at best, pure shame at falling for the lie at worst.

It's really easy to think that "no one" could be that naive. But ask the woman seduced by the handsome guy with no wedding ring who turns out to be married, and then can't bring herself to break it off... Or your nephew or niece seduced by your best friend, the neighborhood priest or nice old Mr. Smith down the street. Add in divorce and a kid without a parent at home and anyone could fall prey to a charming predator.

Thank you for sharing your story!
AndNow, not 'believing' anyone could be this naive just perpetuates the problem. I don't think the lady ever asked to be believed. All you did was prove you are close-minded....and, oh! naive. Is that what is so CompletelyDifferent about you?
I totally understand how this could have happened to you and, of course, you understand that it was not your fault. I'm just sorry you had to go through the pain of learning such hard lessons so young. There's an incredibly good movie out now called Catfish that us a documentary of a young man's developing relationship with a family through facebook. It's a wake up call for anyone who uses this social networking too. Great writing and honesty. R
You opened up the internet looking for something. You made the choice. You were 18 and got involved with a weird situation. He is not the one who is evil...he is merely horny, like most middle age guys. Face the music. Humans like to fuck. They are fascinated by genitalia. Stop acting so naive' just because you feel like a tramp, outcast for fucking a 58 year old man.
To all you suckers who fell for this, I can tell you I am perfectly aware of women who offload their thinking onto men then blame for manipulation afterwards while pretending to be helpless and naive.

However, this story has so many holes in it you could drive a Mack truck through it, probably posted to see how gullible people would be. Life is a contact sport, thinking is allowed. The only predator in this story is the author.
What predators do is to repeat everything their target says. The target loves Jacob from Twilight. The predator promptly Googles it, masters enough to write, "Yeah, werewolves are awesome." Because the target gets fed back so much of what she believes and thinks, she thinks she's found a soulmate.

This can be done in person and on the phone, but it's much, much easier on-line, because the predator can research stuff (like what the hell is Twilight), print out previous e-mails to remind himself of what he's said he's into.

In the mean time, the victim makes an emotional attachment. So, finally, after months or even years of "knowing" the predator. After thousands of conversations, they meet. How soon does she give up her idea of who he is? He's not going to say, I'm an aging pervert but I still want to screw you. He's going to say, that's the only lie I ever told you, because I know we're meant to be together. We're such soul mates. We're perfect for each other. Why should a few years stand in the way?

I have a friend who took close to a year of knowing the guy in real life to figure out her internet fantasy guy whom she dated, moved in with, got in engaged to, was actually nothing like the facade he showed to her. And yes, he, too, did some stalking afterwards.

I've told my daughter to watch out for people who seem perfect because they feed back to you what you want to hear. People who won't show you who they are, usually do it because they (often correctly) think you won't like them if you know who they really are.
"People who won't show you who they are, usually do it because they (often correctly) think you won't like them if you know who they really are.
Malusinka, I think that's profound.
As for the realism of the story - I am amazed some people doubt it. Manipulation and mind f***ing looks like this. And young people - and eighteen is very young - are perfect targets. So are a lot of older people, too, though. It's too easy to say, after the fact, you idiot. Everyone has yearnings - to be loved, to be rich, to be special. When someone comes along with an interest in foolin you, they'll just pretend to be able to fulfil one of those needs. It's not that hard to understand. Blue Heron, I hope you can now heal.