Thoughts On Life, Uncategorized

Dark Internet Fairy Tales: The Big, Bad Wolves of Social Media

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Once upon a time…

A young woman ventured into cyber woods and found shelter on WordPress.  In her possession was a basket filled with poetry and prose ready to be shared with the world.  She eagerly placed all of her poems and thoughts on the window sill of her blog like freshly baked pies and waited for the scent to attract the attention of other digital forest dwellers.  The young woman smiled with glee, as people came to sample her words, but in the midst of her happiness tragedy struck. Just days after starting her blog, she received news that a man she cared deeply for had passed away.  The poor woman was already recovering from two major surgeries and coping with her second close encounter with death.  Now, she had to deal with the loss of someone dear to her heart. Devastated and overwhelmed with pain, the young woman wrote her heart out and placed her feelings of grief on the window sill of her blog, not thinking about the scent of vulnerability and naivety that was pervading the pixelated air.

10440232-352-k440464Exactly a week after airing her words of sorrow, a mysterious man came knocking upon her blog door.  Cloaked in anonymity, he sung praises of the young woman’s poetry and prose, even shared her words with the people of his village.  Humbled by his kind words and gestures, the young woman extended her thanks to the mysterious man, but did not let him enter through the door.  She was about to turn away, until the mysterious man mentioned that he, too, had lost someone he loved. Softened by empathy, the young woman opened her door and was greeted with eyes like kyanite. The mysterious man then told her a story of how he had lost his wife to cancer and how he had been a widow for ten years.  Even after her death, he still remained devoted to her and never had success moving on.  Upon the window sill of his blog, the young woman found poems speaking of his dead wife and she felt great sorrow for him.  The two connected on their shared grief and eventually became blog friends.  A few weeks into their newborn friendship, the mysterious man quickly professed that he was in love with the young woman and tried to convince her that he was Prince Charming.  On the window sill of his blog, he left the most beautiful poetry for her and she was then gifted the title of Muse.  Though she was flattered, the young woman expressed to the mysterious man that she could not reciprocate his feelings because she did not feel that it was love.  After all, they did not know each other and it was far too soon to develop such feelings.  However, the mysterious man persisted in his pursuit of the young woman and insisted that it was indeed love that brought them together.  After months of wooing the young woman, the mysterious man finally broke her down and convinced her that it was love.  

Normally, this would be the part where I would say, “And they lived happily ever after”, but I’m afraid this fairy tale has a dark and bitter ending.

 

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You see, there was no magic castle or kingdom, nor was there ever a prince. In the midst of their fairy tale love, Prince Charming’s spell over the young, naive woman began wearing off and her eyes suddenly saw the tail under his cloak. With his love bombing losing its effect on her, the young woman discovered that Prince Charming was a vicious wolf and she was his prey. The identity he gave her was completely made up and the tragic story of losing his wife to cancer was all a fabricated tale.  The poems he had written about her death were all part of the act and the promises he made of marriage and a life together were now shards of broken dreams, because he was already married. What made it worse was finding out that she was not his first victim.  Sadly, there were others. When the young woman discovered she had fallen for a wolf, she ran away from him and hid. She was devastated, humiliated and felt dirty.  The young woman questioned what did she do so wrong to deserve such ruthless treatment? ’Til this day, she still asks herself that question.  How do I know this?  

Because I’m the young woman.

 

Life teaches us that we are not always prepared for every situation. Even the most levelheaded and cynical people will have moments when they are vulnerable, naive and not that quick to perceive danger when in the presence of it. The harsh reality is some men and women are really great actors and preying on the inexperienced and unaware, for them, is simply a game. Using cancer, death and even abuse are not off limits for some people when it comes to the backstories they create to earn the trust and empathy of their victims. I share my story with you in hopes that it can help you avoid the pitfall I had two years ago.

 


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PASSING WHAT I HAVE LEARNED ON TO YOU

  • Just like a shark can smell blood, vulnerability can draw in the attention of social media wolves.  When bearing your soul in your posts, be aware that predators are always watching and any sign of pain and emotional weakness can be used to get close to you.
  • Be wary if someone you just met is suddenly love bombing you and pressuring you to have a romantic relationship with them. Rushed romance can sometimes be used as a tool of manipulation.  If things are moving too fast for you, don’t be afraid to slow things down and tell the person you don’t feel the same way. If they persist, stand your ground and get firmer. When they see they are not getting anywhere with you, they’ll catch the hint and move along.  
  • Ask questions and, sometimes, ask the same question in a different way. By doing this, you open the door to finding any inconsistencies that may be lurking in a predator’s stories.

I hope that you never experience a dark internet fairy tale and I pray you never encounter the big, bad wolves of social media.  However, if you do, I hope that my story and the lessons I have learned can serve as a guide on how to protect yourself while living in these cyber woods. Be safe and, whatever you do, don’t let any wolf steal your happily ever after.

 

Signature Manessah B

 

 

* Images courtesy of Google

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56 thoughts on “Dark Internet Fairy Tales: The Big, Bad Wolves of Social Media”

  1. First comment!! YAY!! This is so intense and brave. I love… love…. love IT! You should never dim down your experiences or hide them because of shame. We all make mistakes and we learn from them. Sharing is a huge part of healing and I’m so proud you shared ♥♥

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah sis.. thank you so much for your support and encouragement. You’ve been such a huge help in getting me to open up about my life experiences and I really can’t thank you enough for this.

      It’s always scary sharing something with the world that has brought so much shame and pain, but it does no justice sitting on valuable knowledge and not helping someone else. I’m so happy that you appreciate the message in this post, twinny. Even more happier that you’re proud of me. 💕💕❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This was an intense story, but I am very familiar with this tactic from men. It is also why I refuse to join dating apps. I totally understand this and it feels to real. Hopefully, we are not talking about the same guy. 😆 nonetheless, these men pull all tricks to woo you with empty words. Romance doesn’t happen right off the bat, because he says it. And I don’t get to know anyone through texting, messenger, or social media. Hiding behind a screen doesn’t build a relationship 🤨

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lol. That would be so weird if we were talking about the same guy. 😄

      Sadly, this happens to men, as well. Women are not the only victims of this. And, unfortunately, the bad ones can ruin it for the good people who are online and aren’t hiding any ulterior motives behind a screen. Not all people we meet online are up to no good, but there are some who see anonymity as a good way to have a little “fun” and that can lead to people getting hurt, especially people who are experiencing vulnerability.

      I’m so sorry you had to experience this, Tiffany, but experiences like this help us grow and become wiser. As for getting to know people, I’ve learned that the online world and the real world are just different playing fields, but the players and the game are still the same. We just have to adjust to a different venue nowadays when it comes to learning about people.

      I’m so happy you could appreciate the message in this post and I thank you so much for taking the time to read and share your experiences and thoughts with me. I really do appreciate it! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I agree with all you said. It happens to both sides of the aisle, there are some good men online, but honestly I’ve not met any. And they need to stop hiding, be courageous, like the Bible says! Be the difference maker! 🙌🏼

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Lol. I’ve been fortunate to meet some really good people online and, because of those chance meetings, it gave me hope that not all is lost. Sometimes it seems like the good ones are hiding, but a lot of times they are right in front of us, some people are just too busy looking at the shinier distractions. Keep the faith. They’re out there. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. you weaved this with sensitivity and so eloquently. when we are trusting and vulnerable we let our guard down, that is true, but you are a sincere person, so I think you would never doubt someone’s words that they shared with you. I am sorry this happened to you, but never change your heart, it is caring and beautiful. Monsters are out there in many shapes, forms and disguises. But there are also good and kind people, it’s not what we have done to deserve any of the bad things, life teaches us lessons to become better people. I really appreciate this post, it is most valuable to all bloggers.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Aw, Gina… you are so kind and such a wonderful person and friend. You are a great example of the beautiful souls that are in these cyber woods. Thank you so much for your warm and sincere words. I really do appreciate them so much. You’re so right. There are many great and wonderful people online and, unfortunately, there are monsters too. I’m learning to embrace every experience and try to find the good out of every situation, even the painful ones. This experience taught me that I should be more careful with my heart, especially online, but at the same time it taught me that my heart was not completely closed like I thought. I had lost someone I truly cared about and I thought my heart would never feel again, but it did. Although, under false circumstances, it worked. And I do my best to keep my heart open and grow from this.

      I’m so happy that you appreciated the message in this post and so grateful for you taking the time to share your thoughts with me. Thank you again for always being so loving, supportive and encouraging, G. Your friendship means the world to me. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      1. as yours does to me my sweet friend! what is also amazing coming out of your experience is that you never lost your self-confidence! I value you very much, be brave, shine and let the monsters recoil in shame. you are amazing!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Your words make me smile on this beautiful night of mine! Thank you!!! It is always so scary sharing our moments of shame and hurt with others, but this was the most freeing thing I could ever write. I bottled this up inside for so long and to finally release this to the winds and let the experience help others gives me a sense of purpose – that this experience was not in vain.

        You are such a wonderful person, Gina! Never change! (((HUGS)))

        Liked by 2 people

  4. I had to read this, allow myself to digest it, and come back to it. I am truly heartbroken that someone took advantage of your beautiful nature like this. Seriously, how DARE someone do that, it brings out my mama bear instinct.
    Notwithstanding this, i love the way you have written this, beautifully and with incredible insight and reflection. Love to you my friend 💛❤️

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Rachel… that mama bear instinct is the very thing that drove me to write this. I didn’t want this situation to happen to someone I care about and love and I couldn’t live with myself knowing that I’m sitting on valuable knowledge and not using it to help others avoid the mistakes I have made. So, when I read your words, I am deeply moved that we share that protective nature.

      You are so kind with your words and I could never find enough words to say how grateful I am for your love and support. You have been such a wonderful friend and I thank you so much for that. I am humbled and happy that this post touched your heart and that you were able to appreciate the message in it. Thank you, again, for everything. Sending you lots of love and hugs, R! Hope you have a beautiful weekend, my friend. 💚💜

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I honestly can’t believe the lengths this person went to to lie to you. That makes the betrayal all the worse. You are someone who always seems to rise above things and thank goodness. You have retained such a beautiful and kind nature. I am lucky to call you my friend ❤️💜

        Liked by 2 people

      2. I felt the same way you feel, R. Believe me. But, I’m just glad that I was able to see the truth and accept it. It took me a while to forgive myself for this oversight and this is my way of reflecting on the things I have done, both right and wrong, in my life. 🙂

        You are such a wonderful friend and I thank you so much for being who you are. Thank you for your kind words and encouragement, R. It really means a lot to me. 💚💜

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m so sorry that happened to you Manessah, you 100% don’t deserve that 😦 But this post was very eye-opening and was extremely well-written. Thank you for the very important message, and again, I’m so sorry ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are so sweet, Sky. Thank you. I am sorry it happened, too, but I am thankful it happened. It made me grow, it helped me learn more about the world around me and it allowed me to learn some things about myself I never knew. So, in the end, it was kind of a “happily ever after”. 🙂

      I am happy that the message in this post was appreciated by you and others and I am humbled by your kind words, my beautiful friend. Thank you, again, for everything. Hope you have a beautiful Easter weekend, Sky! ☺️💕

      Liked by 1 person

  6. “Thou I clothe my naked villainy in old odd ends stolen fourth from holy writ. I seem a saint when most I play the Devil!” ~McBeth~
    A wolf in sheep’s clothing, inserts I used to write on. This was a hard hitting write up fam and not so much a fairy tale because it strikes midnight a lot for people, women and men alike. There are wolves, cougars, lions, tigers and bears…oh my!!! And the fact that you been through that forest and came out shows you are the wiser and the fact that it doesn’t change your perception of people makes you better because there are good people out there. We can’t treat the world cold because one star wasn’t bright. You keep shinning fam, you’re amazing! Love this tale and the fact that the princess prevailed.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ah, I love that McBeth quote you shared, fam! It’s so appropriate for the experience I shared in this post. As always, your words are full of wisdom and encouragement. That clock does strike midnight for many of us and sometimes the pumpkin carriages and the glass slippers turn into something from the Twilight Zone. But those “midnight” moments are what help us grow. Just another lesson learned and another experience that I can share to help another person get through life a little easier.

      “The princess prevailed” … that touched me more than you know, fam. It was not an easy thing to go through, but I’m here. And that’s all that matters, right? 🙂

      Thank you so much for your warm and encouraging words, Wild. I really do appreciate them so much and I’m so glad that you appreciated the message in this post, fam. Stay awesome!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. A lesson learned is a lesson earned fam and as long as you took that and grew from it, strength is the reward. You are amazing and to share and teach is so noble on your part. Stay special and keep being awesome!😉🌹

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I sincerely appreciate your words….

    I am so sorry for all these….

    One must be very careful, because just like there are honest people online who are worth meeting, there are also people on the complete opposite of the spectrum who are sick and deceiving.

    Thank you for help others with this post… may i repost it ????

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Efi, you are such a wonderful friend and a beautiful person. You are truly a blessing in my life. Thank you for your kind words and warm love. I’m sorry this happened too, but grateful for the experience because it taught me so much about life and myself. The beauty of it all is that I learned and still found happiness despite it all.

      You are so right, my friend. I totally agree. We must be careful of who we let into our worlds, whether it be online or offline. Some people mean us no good, sadly.

      I am so humbled that you would like to repost this, Efi, and I would be delighted if you did. Thank you so much! Sending you lots of love and kisses, my dear friend! Hope you have a beautiful week ahead. I’ll be catching up on your wonderful posts this week!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. If only could tell you about mine adventures…. Thank you i will repost it because it’s so great to be shared!!!

        Be careful you are an angel and the angels are rare in our world!!!!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Your words really fill my heart with warmth, my friend. Thank you so, so much for your kindness and for taking the time to read this post. It’s never easy speaking of things that hurt us, but knowing that it can help others makes it a little easier to share. I am happy you found this post helpful.
      Love and hugs and plenty of smiles to you!! ❤️

      Like

    1. You are so sweet, my friend, and I am sorry this happened, too. But, I’m thankful that I experienced this, because it taught me something valuable that can help others. Your kindness really means a lot to me, Ash, and I thank you so much for taking the time to read and share your thoughts with me. Much love to you, my friend. ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

    1. This means a lot coming from you, Tamara. You always show such courage speaking about what you’ve gone through and speaking out against abuse from narcissism. So to read these words from you lifts me up.

      Sadly, this happened to me, but it is a lesson learned and another experience earned. If I can spare someone this heartache, or at least act as a guide for someone in a similar situation, that means this experience was not in vain.

      I really appreciate you taking the time to read and share your thoughts! You are truly an amazing soul, Tamara! And, yes, we would be great sisters! (((HUGS)))

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, my friend, for your kind words. Yes, it was very heartbreaking, but it toughens you up and opens your eyes, so there was still a happily ever after in the end. ☺️

      I’m so happy and humbled that you appreciated the message in this post. Thank you for taking the time to read and share your amazing thoughts with me. I hope you have an awesome day!! 😊❤️

      Like

  8. OMG, Dear Brandi!! I am so amazed at your powerful and insightful post of your personal experience!! I am struck with your strength after having been horribly exploited by such a person as this internet wolf!! You are so thoughtful, caring and brave to share this experience for your own healing but more importantly as a warning and lesson for others so they can avoid what happened to you!! I so admire your bravery and tender heart in thinking of others!! Happy you have not closed off your heart!! Makes me understand your comment – “A Vulnerable Moment” so much more after reading this post!! I so appreciate you sharing this! I will have to tag it to what I sent you!!

    Loved the way you so cleverly invented a means of presenting this!! Stunning!! Bellissimo, Dear Brandi, Bellissimo!!
    xoxoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Chuck, your words leave me filled with joy. Thank you so much for taking the time to read and for your encouraging and thoughtful words. It was one of those moments where everything in life hit me at once and I wasn’t able to guard myself, as I normally would have. So, when it seemed like I had a chance at something real, I fell deeply into it. We live, we learn. It hurt, but it made me stronger and hopefully smarter. This post was my way of getting this off my chest and also helping others to avoid this situation.

      I’m so happy and humbled that you appreciated the message in this personal story of mine and that you also loved the way I presented it. That means so much to me, my dear friend! Thank you, again, for everything!
      xoxoxo

      Like

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