I was going to say nothing, but in the last hour things have changed. However, is it a struggle? It is bothersome and it does make me wish I had the ability to electrically zap people… but if I had that kind of power, would I really use it?
There’s this conundrum which presents itself when it comes to wishing for things like magic powers when you don’t have them – Since you don’t have them you can freely imagine what you’d do if you had them, but what would you actually do if you had those magic powers?
If I could kill people with my mind, would I do it?
Yes, I know it escalated from non-fatal zapping to psychic killing rather quickly… it’s weird how that happens, isn’t it.
One minute you’re all peace, love, and joy-joy, and the next minute you’re pressing the kill them kill them all button.
Let’s rewind a bit.
It all started innocently enough this morning with a bit of bleary-eyed and foggy-brained contemplation of:
Should have known it would take a turn for the mama just killed a man, since it all began with Fandango’s Provocative Question #9:
What are you struggling with the most right now?
As a blogger, do you enjoy ‘virtual relationships’? Do you consider them to be real?
But the should have known’s always come after the caught in a landslide, don’t they. Hindsight keeps quiet while you’re trying to figure out what to do or not do, and waits for it to go all thunderbolt and lightning, then suddenly it has much to say, including “I could have told you that would happen…”
Yeah, Hindsight, you could have told me but you didn’t, did you, because that’s not your style. You wait for me to make a mistake and then you tell me all about how much smarter you would have been, how you would never have made a mistake like that.
As I was staring blankly at the new cyber page I’d opened in the editor, thinking about the first of the two FPQ’s, all I could come up with was nothing.
My life at this time is remarkably free from struggle, I didn’t even struggle to get out of bed today. Perhaps it’s because last year was chock full O’ struggling and I finally gave up the struggle… it’s strange to give up the habit of a lifetime.
So there I was without a care in the world, and Brrring Brrring… the phone rang. I rushed to get it before it woke my partner, otherwise I would have just let it ring because my ESP told me that it was exactly what it turned out to be – A scam call.
They’re not even using people anymore, the new scam calls are automated. There’s always a few seconds of silence after you say “Hello?” then click and “This is a recorded message from your phone company…” and that’s when I go click. Hang up and add the number to my real phone company’s blocking service.
I settled back into staring at the blank post in my editor, still thinking that “Nothing” was my answer to the first FPQ. And Brrring Brrring. Same message, same scam call, using a different phone number to add to the block list.
Those kinds of virtual relationships are a real pain, and I don’t enjoy them.
Relationships have been a struggle for me for most of my life. Mainly due to my very first experience of relationships being with narcissists.
There’s not much difference between what phone scammers do and what narcissists do. The relationship is all about them taking and you being duped into giving.
They’re super sneaky smart and you’re an idiot. They’re a clever con artist and you’re a stupid mark.
They offer you a fantasy and then watch as you jump through burning hoops to grab it before it disappears or someone else gets their hands on it.
They invent a terrible monster chasing you to eat you up and then offer to save you from it. Or they demand that you save them from something that doesn’t exist.
They pretend to be a friend you can trust, maybe you should exchange secrets to seal the deal, you go first… but they’re really the enemy in disguise and everything you tell them will be used against you to their advantage.
A relationship with a narcissist is invariably a virtual one. Almost, nearly, seems real, but it’s just not quite real… even if you really want to believe that it’s real there’s just something substantial missing.
They’re a Catfish, and like with many of the Catfishers on the MTV show, if they get caught and confronted, somehow it’s never their fault, there’s a long sad sob story…
cue violins and a flood of emotional cons…
And if you refuse to be swayed from victim to sympathiser with your victimiser, you then become the victimiser of the poor Catfish, who hates your effing guts for being and having everything while they have and are nothing. All they had left to keep them afloat was their Catfish identity and you’ve just killed it brutally.
Scammers and narcissists are the Robin Hoods while all of their victims are the Sheriff of Nottingham.
They’re the heroes and we’re the villains, and there’s no convincing them otherwise because the life story they craft for themselves is the only story they want to hear (and no, they don’t listen to it properly because if they did they might notice all the inconsistencies and clash of the titanic facts).
They’re so attached to that tale that they become rather intrepid salesmen, battering us with propaganda, the one and only true story, all other stories are lies.
Virtual reality, virtual relationships, virtual appearances, virtual emotions, virtual lives, virtual personas is the natural realm of the narcissist.
They love this world where at the push of a button they can be whoever they want to be, all they need to do is say it and, hey presto, they’re it.
They can wear whatever face they please, wear different faces for every one of their different online personas. Steal the faces of others and use them as their own, steal the hearts of those who are so superficial they fall in love with pictures, are fooled by easily said I ❤ U’s, and believe everything they’re told.
They can create new accounts in the blink of an eye, and kill them off the moment that creation becomes a problem for them or they lose interest in that facade the story it’s currently telling.
No one can get close to them, no one can touch them, they’re invincible, unbreakable, no one can ever find out who they really are, but they can get close to others, study them, take from them, take what they want without consequences.
They can amass followers and use them as they please to fuel and feed their persona, and grow their cult of a virtual personality.
Falling for a scam or a narcissist can inspire you to reassess yourself, what you value, what you have and don’t have, who you are and who you are not, what you look at and look for in life, in yourself and in others, in relationships and interactions, transactions.
It can help you to understand how your relationship with yourself influences all your other relationships, with things, with ambitions, with ideas, with technology, with people, including the one you have with your social media self.
Who is this person that you are online, is it you?
Who is this person following your online self? Why are they really following you?
Who is that person your online self follows? Why are you really following them?
Blogging is a bit different from other social media. The pace is slower. But the comings and goings are in some ways quicker than on the faster social media.
It requires consistency to blog. It requires substance to hold it together, and true grit to keep it going.
Especially once the honeymoon phase ends, and the real relationship between blogger and blog gets tested to see whether it was a fling, a Summer romance, temporary virtual insanity or something deeper which will last longer.
Most narcissists and scammers tend to fall by the wayside in the blogging world. They tend to do too much all at once, they go too big too fast, they burn the candle at both ends and snuff themselves out. Their dreams of blogging superstardom tend to burst like a balloon which has been over-filled, over-stretched, the skin is too fragile.
The ones who stick it out tend to be those who have become dedicated to one scam, one persona, they’ve invested too much in it to abandon and discard it, the virtual facade has set in place, the mask can no longer be removed, it has become real for them.
They tend to be very rigid in the way that they express themselves, they will not be moved, and behave in a manner similar to the description in the quote below:
“But one of the saddest, most deprecating misuses of power is the withholding of love, affirmation, and delight from other people. Few things keep people in line with our wishes more than an attitude of reserve or aloofness. It is paradoxical that in the power struggle of relationships, the one who loves and encourages the least, gains the most power. This puts people on edge, keeps them guessing, and plays on their need for assurance about their worth.”
― Lloyd Ogilvie, Lord of the Loose Ends
Bloggers reveal themselves in every post, in every word, every story told, every image created or chosen to accompany a post, every action taken or not taken.
Bloggers expose themselves over and over again… it helps if who you’re exposing is actually who you are.
As a blogger I do enjoy the relationship I have with my virtual self, my blogging self, my blog… I’ve learned a lot about who I am and who I am not through the experience.
I’ve struggled a lot with what was real and what was not, who was real and who was not, both past and present, in offline and online worlds, and shared much of that struggle in my posts.
That has helped me feel more comfortable in my own skin.
I enjoy the relationships I have with other bloggers, through interacting with them, reading their blogs, with the people who comment on my posts, with those I talk with through my posts as I have conversations with myself…
I don’t know if they’re hearing what I’m hearing in my words, if they read what I say the way I read it, if the images I use speak to them the way they speak to me, if they notice what I notice, see what is there as I see it.
I sometimes wonder if I’m real to them… but that is an old wondering I used to have long before the virtual world became a reality.
Yes, I consider them to be real.
They’re as real as I am.
Make of that what you will.
“There’s something, no doubt, in the hand you may hold;
Health, family, culture, wit, beauty, and gold
The fortunate owner may fairly regard
As, each in its way, a most excellent card;
Yet the game may be lost, with all these for your own,
Unless you’ve the courage to go it alone!
In battle or business, whatever the game,– John Godfrey Saxe, The Game of Life
In law or in love, it is ever the same;
In the struggle for power, or the scramble for pelf,
Let this be your motto—Rely on yourself!
For, whether the prize be a ribbon or throne,
The victor is he who can go it alone!”
Featured image is Tell No One Not Even Her! a WWII Careless Talk poster