What you see & what you get - getting to know others in cyberspace
Author: 'self

Discovering D/s in cyber space is the equivalent of learning how to cook by periodically standing at a bus stop located in front of a grocery store... Sure, you will get to see some of the fruits and the odd vegetable through the window, and you may even strike up a conversation with individuals who say they can cook... Of course, in time, you learn that everybody thinks they can cook. And, most of these say so promptly in the absence of cooking utensils... They generally wise up in the presence of cooking utensils, or if given the opportunity, present you with Kraft dinner and announce proudly, "See, I told you I could cook!" Sadly, this leaves you, with an unfulfilled and now sadly heightened hunger...for some sinfully rich and rare dish... And, if that were not bad enough, if you are like me, you probably ate very little all day before this meal so that every morsel would be enjoyed. Now, here is the big problem... If Kraft dinner boy is the only source of Epicurean delight in town, or so you think, you may consider your day dreams of Dill Salmon and Chateau neuf du Pape to have been a waste of time, a foolish aspiration, an indication that you need to take up some other life enriching endeavor, like bird watching...

Do not despair... This article is here to help. I can not guarantee true love, but I will do my best to help you avoid 'the Kraft dinner circuit'. You may be thinking, "Hey, I already know how to spot a cyber fake." And so you may. If so, congratulations; you possess a skill few psychiatrists would boast of.... you can read people without visual cues, context, voice inflections and even in the absence of baseline comparison tools, like an r/l crisis... Write a book, I'll buy it! (Have you thought of working for the FBI? They would love you.)

Let us start with chat rooms... Leaving aside a detailed discussion of 'how to spot them', we will talk about you. You are your best defense against 'them', the powdered cheese providers of the cyber world... It is precisely because we have so little information to deal with objectively about people in cyber chat that the danger of 'projection' is so great... 'Projection' is a term used to describe a natural human practice of 'filling in the blanks'.

When I first discovered CastleRealm, (I was looking for Disney...That's my story and I'm sticking to it...) I found my way to Lord Colm's part of the site. Within minutes, I felt comfortable with the words of this total stranger. Why? Because from minute one, I started to gather clues about the person who had written the articles... And, this is the important part, I started, quite naturally, to notice things about him that I recognized from my own life... The level of language used, the cadence of his writing, his sense of humor, the references it contained... Had I been visiting a technical site, this would not have occurred; however, because of its personal nature, a site like CastleRealm, gives clues about personal information... Moreover, this is not something that would happen in real life. One rarely finds people walking around on the street with a sandwich board that details their intimate reflections... The net encourages a sense of intimacy which produces deceptively inaccurate views of the real people behind the cyber images.

As a woman discovering and accepting myself as a submissive, and a person who's living is partly predicated upon a gift for reading total strangers, the cues that I found in this site were very interesting to me... If only as a persona, Lord Colm got my attention... I felt as though I had spotted a tall, dark and handsome man across a crowded floor... A few weeks later I visited the CastleRealm chat room. Instantly, Lord Colm lived up to my expectations.... The activity of the night was a game of online Jeopardy... Wait! Online Jeopardy? Self, your infatuation was cinched by a game of online Jeopardy? That's not much to go on... Have you considered counseling? If this is your reaction, be comforted, it was mine, as well... For several weeks, I wondered about this odd reaction... Then ,perhaps what should have been evident from the first moment I entered the site, started becoming apparent to me...

It is often said that we seek in love the remedy for our past and, in particular, childhood pain. When I imagined, Lord Colm, I imagined him as a 6'2, dark haired, grey/blue eyed and handsome man, which is the exact look my father once had. I even imagined the trench coat, yet did not make the connection.... Now, a long time ago, my father was severely scalded with boiling water. The incident left him in a coma and then with severe memory loss. Despite having been blessed with a rare intelligence, his life since has been one of quiet contemplation. His life has not been dotted with success, though he is well loved by many, including me. The real Lord Colm is blond and I have no idea what his style of dress may be... Still, the image was a powerful one. Then, Lord Colm's start page had a Celtic symbol for infinity tiled onto it... Guess who's father is Irish? And, the concept of infinity didn't do me much good either. Especially, since I have long since lost the father that used to rock me, and cared about me... Infinity seemed dreamy, even to my now adult self. The child in us never gets over the pain of being set aside, even if we know in our adult minds that they didn't leave us on purpose...

Now, for the other 'clues about Lord Colm' that purportedly told me something about him... He was obviously psychologically astute... Back to my childhood... In the absence of my father's emotional presence, my big brother took over the job of being 'Dad' to me. When I was in grade school, he was majoring in psychology at university... (He put me through every psych. test on the planet... He gave me an I.Q. test, after I couldn't figure out my homework and started to cry. He lied and said that it revealed that I was a genius. He said that I shouldn't be hard on the teachers for not knowing... "They're not that smart," he smiled.) He took care of me.

There are other reason's why Lord Colm seemed 'familiar' to me... He has a web link to a Titanic sight... my uncle used to build models of the Titanic... When I was little, we would float, and occasionally watch them sink in my inflatable pool... Good memories. (Luckily, we did not sing 'Nearer my God to Thee', on these occasions... ) Lord Colm speaks Russian... My boss and mentor speaks several languages. He holds degrees in Russian Literature and Linguistics.... I have since learned that Lord Colm has an interest in linguistics... It figures...

So, it is perhaps not so surprising that the sight of a dominant, Celtic, 'tall', 'dark haired', psychologically astute man could have an effect upon me... (I don't mind mentioning that there is also something a little weird about realizing that I like the same type of men my mother does.... eewww!) What is disturbing is that Lord Colm, however he may look, however he may be, is not the man that thrilled me. I was thrilled by a composite picture of the many features, tastes and manners that I want in the Dom. of my dreams. And while there is some comfort in knowing that I'm not a cyber nut myself, my experience with the cyber world has become one of inadvertent personal psychotherapy....

Does this mean that everyone is doomed to project onto cyber buddies their deepest and most acutely personal inner feelings? Well, yes, we are often basically meeting people who we have 'created' within our own minds. The shape of that mental image is affected by the experiences we are living through and what our needs are during that time. In my case, during a three week period, I had just attended three funerals of good people that I had known and of whom I was very fond and I was thinking of the mortality of my own father. I was missing him, though he is still here. And, most of all, missing the man he was for me when I was little. Little girls like to imagine they will grow up to marry their father. Lord Colm's personae reminded me of that memory and, indeed, my view of him was colored by it.

So now that I've sorted this all out, I feel a little more wise and a little lonely. But I am happy that, having sorted all this stuff out, I can now look forward to continue my correspondence with my friend jade, whom I have gotten to know and have gotten to like a whole heck of a lot :)

To be succinct, cyber reality is all too often our own reality... be aware of your needs and that there are real people out there, not all of whom are good, decent and loving people... Be scarce with personal information and remember that prince charming will come along when you can tell him from the cyber frogs... And, as a rule, reality is where you meet real people.

Love yourself, you deserve it.
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