Honestly Sometimes I Can’t Take It

I have a wide group of friends, acquaintances, and contacts in all of my worlds and endeavors.   They cross a wide range of classifications on any scale, but I do require one absolute trait to be present at all times.   This trait is honesty.   I can take tough feedback, I can accept that we all have flaws and make mistakes from time to time, but if you are the kind of person who tries to cover it up or deny things outright, then I absolutely refuse to have anything to do with you.    I do not equate full disclosure with a prerequisite for honesty, because I believe that we are entitled to our mistakes of the past, and to the extent that they do not impact our present, then they are best left alone.    We can debate what honesty means until we are blue in the face.   This is a discussion which I would love to have, and I will probably tackle this topic in a future post.   At this point though I want to address a particular type of dishonesty.

The whole online world of anonymity offers layers upon layers of deceit for the right type of individual.   There are a lot of assholes, but let me say that there is one in particular that is unusually dangerous.   He is the kind that doesn’t come into your life acting all bad ass and asshole-like from the beginning.   He is the kind that is witty, charming, funny, and preys upon your loneliness.    He will build you up, and pull you into a web of ever growing sympathy.    He will be there for you when things are bad, and offer you a shoulder to cry on.    He will relate to everything negative you have going on in your life.    He will play the part of a victim, and say that he too has been wronged in his life.

The thing you will not be aware of is that he is a complete and total sham.    He is hiding you from his SO, and will one day be found out.    He will then disappear from your life, but only to reappear a few months down the line in another identity with another woman, and the cycle begins anew.    In some cases, he will just kill one alt, to keep going with another which is already moving in on his next prey.   She will construct a fantasy world in which anyone who tries to point out any flaws will be shut out.   She doesn’t realize that she is not the first, nor the last, but she will at some point be another victim tossed to the curb.   A thrill of the moment, and then the moment is passed, or else busted by the truth.

At some point things will catch up with him, and the SO will give up on him, and he will be free to move beyond an alt status into something more with this flame of the moment.    She will be excited, until the pattern completes itself and she finds herself as the SO discovering alts down the road.  Once you have a pattern, most people do not break out of that pattern, until they realize they are wrong and take a serious hard look at themselves.

How are we as a virtual society ever going to combat this type of predator?   I think we have to speak up, and say our minds.   If our friend is willing to dump us because we care enough to broach the topic, then that is not a very solid friendship.   The fact is that we all know people or of people who are running multiple alts for the sole purpose of hiding activities which they would not want discovered by their SO.   If any of your friends, take up with this individual, then you are obliged to call it out.   Throw it out there, and if they don’t listen, then at the very least you don’t have to play the sympathy card on down the road when things turn out for the worse.   Maybe, just maybe, you will actually keep someone from getting hurt.

** If you are reading this and you think it applies to you, then it probably does but I will honestly say that I know many such instances of this type of thing and drew from multiple examples when thinking through it.

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12 Responses to “Honestly Sometimes I Can’t Take It”

  1. Uggg I totally have to agree with this!

    I ended up to be a total idiot to the first person I dated in SL. He showed me SL and blah blah blah, led me along made me feel good you know the drill, then all of a sudden our landlord (his best friend) told me that he was going to get married to some other girl. She then introduced me to Sally. Sally and I hit it off and we dated for a few months. We had an open re’ship and I met Dreu, who I ended up marrying a few months after this cleared up(and that ended up being a total mess as well *sighs at aholes in SL*),- one night Brenda (landlord) tpd me to her house. She let me know that her, dude I dated first, Sally, and a few other people living on the sim were all the same person (and male- not really a surprise) behind the puter- and she wanted me to promise not to tell anyone… like WTF?! How did I not figure this out? Oh yah, because they came up with these ridiculously convincing stories for each person’s RL that you couldn’t refute- and there was always at least 2 of them on at the same time. If it wasn’t for a friend that already knew making him tell me- he would have let me sit there in total ignorance.

    It was totally fked up and now every time I hear about someone lying to a friend about who they are I get so angry. I don’t care if you’re a guy playing a female avie- or if you have tons of alts- but don’t LIE about it and don’t string people along!

    Great post Hawks!

  2. […] Links Ch’Know Half Arsed The Scientific Fundamentalist WordPress.com WordPress.org Wrath Paine vs. Second Life My Two Cents November 26, 2008, 4:01 am Filed under: Uncategorized This is post is in response to the recent post by HawksRock […]

  3. @ Alexa… wow, I had to read that twice to even attempt to make sense of it. That is really messed up! lol

    @ Daila… Well thought out response, I posted my comment back at ya… 🙂

  4. @ Hawks- oh beyond messed up. I left that going WTF?! and not speaking to said person. Apparently their male character that got married was turning into a man whore and he needed to “settle down” and settled with the alt of someone else. Just makes me ANGRY thinking that someone could pull that off so perfectly leaving noone a clue that they may be same person.

    I did see him at a show I did with Vienna James not too long ago- and immediately IMd the girl he was with and told her the whole thing… she was like “holy shit”. Made it totally worth it LMAO.

  5. In every one of the situations like you mentioned, Hawks, it seems as though many people are hit with a sense of WTF?! I, for one, have experienced the hair rising on the back of my neck feeling when confronted with such duplicity… even when it has nothing whatsoever to do with me! The only way I can think to explain my utter horror and fascination that such things happen to others is that… it could happen to any of us… at any time.

    When it comes to friends and honesty, if you can’t be there to help them out, then who will? I don’t believe that devastating honesty is necessary at all times, but I’ve found myself in the position of saying things I didn’t want to many times, because I really feel that we are all responsible for each other. And what if that friend doesn’t have someone else to tell them I I think they should hear? It’s a friend’s obligation, IMHO.

  6. I’ve had that happen to me in SL, although the first few times he changed women, he didn’t change identity, but he did use alts to spend time with these people whilst in a “relationship” with me.

    I firmly believe people like this will go through life chopping and changing partners and never truly find happiness and won’t really care about the trail of devestation they leave in their wake, which is fine if you have no emotions but lets face it, most of us do.

    I am kinda thankful mine happened though, it made me a MUCH stronger person and it made me realise that I wasn’t truly “happy” with my life, and I wanted more out of my RL, so I went and fixed what I should have fixed in the first place, instead of looking for something not quite so real to fix it, it’s easy to believe that someone on the internet that you can’t see or physically fight with will help you fix your shit, they won’t… they just add to it!

    Bah, I lost my train of thought if I didn’t make sense tell me and i’ll recomment 😛

  7. Two of the women I met on SL were ‘elders’, one 1 year old the other 2 years old. Both initially thought I was an alt of their ex. They were the very first people I met on SL and it was really depressing finding out that these things are so common. The woman who is on SL for two years now was totally paranoid and actually never believed me I’m not her ex. I think I can use the term ‘burnt out’ here.
    It’s hard approaching women now because if I say or do something which their ex used to say or do, they will get paranoid and I’m really walking on eggs the first time we talk.
    It’s terrible that their suffering doesn’t end when they leave the guy that hurt them, instead they get hurt again and again by being paranoid with new ones.
    All those men are RiL bastards and should have every bone in their pathetic low life body broken for hurting women which probably have been hurt before SL or RL it doesn’t matter, it just breaks my heart 😦

  8. bandnerdtx Says:

    Some of these people don’t just do it online through sites like SL. Some of them create these relationships and worlds through email and messaging with women they meet in real life. I married one who conned me, and I found out 5 months after the marriage that it was ALL a sham.

  9. I really feel bad for guys in Sl to be completely honest with you. Girls give them such bad raps. I think we often forget there are also girls doing this same thing to guys all over the grid. It really is a two way street as to who is preying on who.

    Although I would have to say that I see more often, the guy being honest about not wanting a serious relationship and the girl just not believing him then suddenly screams ‘foul’ because he’s been caught dancing with another girl or you know, whatever it is boys and girls do on the grid.

    Tough situation all the way around and I’m a firm believer that there is no such thing as really being able to hide who you really are. After a period of time, real personalities will shine through loud and clear.

    Sometimes all it takes to see it, is to open your eyes and look. Other times, it’s a bit harder (OMG Alexa!) and you won’t know your in a train wreck until your clearing debri.

    My heart goes out to anyone that was caught in someone else’s web. What a nightmare!

  10. Elizabeth Hallstrom Says:

    I’m late to comment as always. I’m still dealing with the relationship I had for most of my SL and can’t seem to put behind me. He came into my life and painted a picture of his RL and how our relationship would be that was just that – a picture. Now after learning of his many lies I still cannot seem to forget him. What is someone to do to get over this?

  11. ok, so I’m reading through this post, nodding at everyone’s response, and come across Envi’s response. Unless I miss my guess, I’m the one year old, lol. I met my ex husband on Dec. 26, 2007 and we broke up Oct. 24. After the breakup I found out (for a fact) he was screwing my best friend since June as an alt, and she lives next door to me. A little suspicious of everyone?? YES Am I moving on? you bet. I’ve come to truly believe that it isn’t me that was a fool, it is him that is one pathetic MF. And to Envi: I’m so sorry I reacted the way I did, I was still pretty raw…

  12. blaubeermund Says:

    I feel kinda lucky here… I’ve never dabbled in the SL dating game, and hopefully, I never will.

    I’ve had something similar happen on another site, though. The guy drew me in – he talked about therians [people with animal spirits in them. yeah yeah, mock all you want], and how he got an energy vibe from me that told him I was a therian. I seriously believed him for a few months – I was into that kinda thing. I added him to MSN when I stopped going on the site as much.

    We talked a lot for a few days, then it kinda dropped. A few weeks later, we started talking again, but then he started getting…weird. Like, talking about finding ‘special someones’ and everything. I was like “alright, lonely guy, that’s nice… not interested”. I have a RL boyfriend kthx. I didn’t tell him that though. I didn’t think anything’d come up, haha.

    He was saying a lot about how his RL life was messed up, about how he had to move away from family, and how coyote [his therian animal, i guess] was really lonely. I don’t mind listening to people when they’re like this, but this guy brought it up a lot, and it seriously started weirding me out.

    Then he started on about how he liked me, a lot.

    I told him right there I wasn’t going through that again* and blocked him.
    I feel bad doing it – that’s my nice self feeling bad. It’s better to be safe than sorry though, I guess.
    *One of my closest friends, when we first met, he had a serious crush on me, apparently. It went on for a while until I finally got through that I was already with somebody. Least, he wasn’t creepy about it like this guy was.

    Though my little story here was… odd, and a bit hard on me, I can’t imagine what these other people are going through when these people get to them. Just by what Envi said, it looks like this kinda thing really messes somebody up. This type of predator should be [insert assorted inappropriately corny torture references here].

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