Socially engineered pain
April 6, 2011 11:19 AM Subscribe
How do you deal with the loss of what turned out to be something you never had? Social engineering relationship question
posted by anonymous to human relations (18 answers total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
I found out that an evolving intimate written relationship - call it a penpal - was a social engineering game. I was the "real player" between two teams, one whose goal was to make me leave and one whose goal was to evoke enough emotion to make me stay. I am in a foreign country and had already left four months ago due to the harassment but I returned for what I was led to believe was a community and a relationship. I found out a couple of days when I had the opportunity to directly meet with the person I assumed I was in contact with and he had no knowledge of the ongoing communication ostensibly from his side.
The last couple of days have been spent in cleaning up and getting them to stop the game. Today, I'm finally hit with the hurting. They snatched away an emotional relationship I had built together "with someone" who had written me sensitive and nuanced sharings of their thoughts and view on life. "Someone" I came to like and respect over time. Now there is no "someone" - how to make sense of this? Its not even a simple break up where you know why you are grieving and what your loss is. Now, I am at a loss with how to cope. I don't even know whom I have lost anymore.
The internet has become a funny place these days I tell myself that at least its not a video of me gone viral :)
Where are the limits to lulz? I keep thinking about that teenager who committed suicide because some woman pretended to be her online boyfriend. So I know these things can happen, nowadays, at random. Luckily I am not there and much older.
Any advice welcome - this is neither a conventional breakup nor a traditional loss.