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Emotional Violation

By Bernard G. Vance, Dr.Ed and Dimitria McCreary, RN/MHN

Romance Scams, Part 7

Why Me; All I was doing was looking for friendship and love? What did I do to deserve this heartache and financial loss? Why do I feel so emotionally devastated and lost? How could I be so stupid and gullible? I should have seen this coming! These are some of the questions that will run through you head when you discover that you were “Romance Scammed”. Feelings of remorse, humiliation, shame, stupidity, fear, rage, hate, anger are common when we discover that we have been scammed.

How could we get taken by this scam? What did we do wrong? The answer is that we did not do anything wrong, as we were honestly looking for friendship, companionship and love We were attacked by a group of Sophisticated Pathological Criminals who planned to entrap us with the promise and vision of love and happiness. These criminals use some of the current psychological programing to entrap and ensnare their victims in to their criminal activities with implied promises of love and happiness. They use Avatars (stolen pictures of beautiful and handsome people) to meet our dreams and boost our egos. This is the first introduction to the romance scam. This is followed with a well written letter, tailored around the information that they found in your profile or social website. This letter is the come-on to make you feel that here is someone that enjoys many of the same things that you like.

Then these criminals slowly weave a net of emotional attachments that are to bind their victim to them emotionally. This starts by getting the victim to move away from a protected site to their Instant messenger, direct email, Skype, and/ or phone contact. Hypnotic wallpaper (falling hearts backgrounds and soft music) is used to set the victim at ease and guide the mind into thinking that they are falling in love with this Avatar. The scammer starts using words of endearment, flowers, and small gifts to slowly weave a picture in our minds of love and happiness and a new life together. Poems and beautiful ecards are used to reinforce the feelings of friendship and love. The victims have been isolated and dependent on the scammer arranging their time and life to meet the need to communicate with the scammer

All of this lulls us into a feeling of trust and happiness, our mind (heart) is in love and ensnared in the trap that was set for us by these Pathological Criminals. Once they feel that we are emotional bound to them, they begin to put into motion their scam, many time it starts with a request of hint for a small present to show your love, and slowly increases with the need for assistance for travel, passport/visa cost, educational, or healthcare for sudden injures from sudden accident or illness, loss of money due to being mugged, inability to cash a payroll check or get money transferred through the bank, and many of other schemes (These scams will vary in accordance with the profile of the victim). The victims feels obligated to help with money as they have are already projecting in their mind and heart that this avatar is family as they are soon to be together and starting a new life.

Each time that the scammer ask of assistance it is programed with a reward/punishment influence (I love you and if you love me you will). This relationship continues until the victim either finds out about the scam or is totally financially drained and then discarded by the scammers. Here is where the real emotional devastation sets in, the feeling of betrayal, loss, anguish, remorse, humiliation, shame, stupidity, fear, rage, hate, and anger. The victim now is totally isolated not knowing where to turn, as already many of their friends and family had have ridiculed them for seeking companionship in an unconventional means (the internet). Without help and understanding many of the victims are driven into despair and self-loathing because of the emotional loss that they have suffered, not fully understanding that they were a victim of a sinister plot to entrap, ensnare and steal from them in the name of love and happiness.

The victim is, many times finically destroyed and emotionally violated, afraid to ask for help for fear of radicle ridicule or does not know where to turn. These pathological criminals are pros at psychological warfare and the betrayal hurts so deeply that the victim wants to tear their heart out. That’s exactly what the scammers were doing when they send the tantalizing words, floating emoticons, beautiful pictures, ecards and loving emails, etc., they are getting us ensnared in their scheme and binding us to them emotionally.

"Emotional Violation"

Emotional Violations is the use of manipulation, deception or deprivation intended to violate the emotional or psychological integrity of the abused. Emotional Violations carry more of an underlying premeditated psychopathic evil ring to it; it is true that some emotional abuse evolves out of lack of empathy. If you encounter either verbal or emotional abuse patterns in any relationship you will need to learn about recognizing it, coping with it and ending it's insidious flow before it spirals out of control.

Our education, environment or belief system does not always teach us to be suspicious of the ones that we are falling in love with, at times on the contrary, some individuals are taught a belief system, that when we fall in love to give our heart completely, we are not looking to be scammed and heart broken, so where do we turn to break free of the emotional bonds that are ensnaring us.

Breaking the emotional bond with the scammer:

First, we have to remember that we did not perpetrate this crime; we were the victim of an organized gang of sophisticated pathological criminals who planned to use our emotions against us to ensnare us in their scheme. We did not do anything wrong as we were looking for love and companionship, and had started to invest our life in a new life and relationship. We have been isolated and programed to need to hear from the scammer and our heart and mind just does not want to let go of the dream we had. We crave those words of love and endearment, soothing our egos and strengthening our dreams and plans for the future and we look for anything to affirm that the dream was and is real, as we do not want to let go. This is the hardest part where we must convince ourselves that this relationship that we were in was a lie and a scam.

Second, we must understand that this was a crime against us by criminals hiding behind a beautiful or handsome Avatar that was used to trick our mind in believing in someone again. This use of a beautiful or Handsome Avatar was all a mirage for our mind using the best psychological programs to ensnare us. We did not willingly participate in the crime against us; we were cohered and ensnared, then used. In the ways of this crime we were not stupid, ignorant gullible or mentally unstable, we were just not educated to the fact that someone that we trusted and loved was really just planning to take advantage of our love and empathy.

Third, we were violated, used and left emotionally distraught; we have suffered a loss of innocence, and the heartbreak of the loss of a love and our dream, many times not knowing where to turn for help and emotional support as we feel isolated and do not know if anyone will understand what we are going through. This is part of the deprograming that we must accomplish to be able to break free as the scammers had slowly trained our minds (programed) to respond to their wishes and needs. We were programed and found that we were staying up late to meet the scammer’s time schedule, breaking engagements so we would not miss our chat time, breathlessly waited for emails and that buzz saying that the scammer was online and looking for us. This type of programing is similar to Stockholm syndrome where captives or victim begin to identify with their captors or abusers.

Now that we know that we were emotional programed, we have to rebuild new behaviors that will assist us in breaking the emotional bonds that were slowly programed on to into our mind and heart by the scammers. We must build healthy boundaries and new behaviors, to help us overcome the emotional violation or physiological abuse:

In order to motivate yourself to establish healthy boundaries in your life, you first need to do a self-assessment if any symptoms of ignored or violated boundaries that exist in your life. In a journal, record the symptoms that you identify in you. For each symptom identified, detail what was the stimulus in that affects your behavior; also, detail how this symptom affects your current life. Lastly describe how you feel about theses symptom's effect on your life.

Here is an example of behavior that you may use to explore and build your own list.

1. Trust

2. Insecurity

3. Fear of rejection

4. Inability to take a risk

5. Vulnerable

6. Intimacy

7. Goal setting in Relationships

8. Overcoming fears

9. Improving Assertive Behavior

10. Accepting personal responsibility

11. Guilt

12. Overcoming the role of Victim or Martyr

13. Forgiving and Forgetting

14. Creating a healing Environment

15. Developing detachment

16. Eliminating Manipulation

17. Tempering survival behaviors

18. Developing self-control

Once you have completed understanding your behaviors, you now can start developing countermeasures that will help you break the bonds of the scammer and set healthy boundaries for your recovery from the emotional and psychological violation. Day by day build new healthy behaviors and begin to implement them as you proceed in your relationships at home, work and your community. If it too much or overwhelming at the start, seek professional help and join some of the online support networks where there are others who have been through what you are going through, they will talk, encourage and assist in educating you without recriminations or judgment.

“Do Not Feed the Scammers”

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