I should have known better.
I think this what anyone who has ever been scammed by another person thinks.
The feeling is an overwhelming sense of shame and anger. Shame because surely if I had been smarter, paid more attention, checked out more things, etc. then I wouldn't have been taken. Anger because the disruption and damage hurt. Anger, also, because the world is a little tougher and I'm a little more jaded each time this happens.
The "confidence" man (or woman, I've been scammed by both genders) counts on the fear and shame. I don't like people who take things for granted about me. They hope that I will be too naive to understand that I've taken. Failing that, they hope I will be too embarrassed to report them.
I've been recently scammed and this one hurt badly. I was vulnerable and I think this guy saw that vulnerability and took advantage. Yes, I should have known better. I should have looked things up. I should have checked things out. I've got the knowledge. I've got the resources. But I thought I could trust. I shouldn't have.
Essentially I've lost an amount that might not be a lot for many people, but represents a large amount for me. I've lost it at the worst time of the year to lose it. And it is a set-back that happened when I thought I might be actually recovering from the last set-back (which, btw, also began with a scam).
Let me be clear. I'm doing what I should do at this point. I'm talking with my prepaid lawyer about it. I'm collecting evidence. I'm taking it one step at a time. I am determined not to just let it go because I believe this person is targeting vulnerable people and he needs to be stopped.
What I'm not doing is coping well with it emotionally. I'm trying. After all I feel worse after each breakdown, like he's winning again, making me more vulnerable. I also feel ungrateful to the people who are helping me survive this. But I am crying. A lot. I have this feeling of having been socked in the gut. I'm a little nervous, anxious, jumpy. And just about anything can trigger tears.
I'm also withdrawing. Being civil to people is hard to do right now. I'm wishing I could run far away from humans. I'm feeling disgusted with the whole human race.
I'm also fighting to not let this change me. I'm basically an optimistic person who believes that people should just be straight with each other. Okay, I know most people are not and I have healthy skepticism. But one of the reasons I'm vulnerable is the my first inclination is to trust, to believe. I hate, hate, hate that people don't respect that. I hate, hate, hate that now I have to distrust, check out, test people. I hate, hate, hate that now I have to build a taller wall and keep more people out in order to stay safe.
I also hate the insecurity of the loss. I worked hard this past semester, taking on an extra course. Basically I've lost 3/4 of what I made on the extra course. This was supposed to be money that would cushion the summer months, making it an easier time. Now it is going to be one of the worst summers yet. I really don't need another bad time. I've survived so many. I want a break. I deserve a break.
A part of me believes that I must have been a monster in my previous life because it feels like I'm punished over and over again. Bad karma.
I probably shouldn't write about this in public, but doing so affirms my desire to remain a basically open and honest person. So here it is, raw.
I have been through scams and set-backs and hard times so often that I know I will survive. But the emotions are still real.
I also write in the hope that writing will make it better. Sometimes things stated out loud lose their power.
Finally I write because others may feel the same thing. I want you to know that the feelings do not prohibit taking action. You can do all the right things and still feel these feelings.
I'd like to say it is all better now, but it is not. I'm still anxious and on the verge of tears and overwhelmed. But it did help. At least I know I'm not defeated. Something important to remember.
I should have known better.