Its been ages since I first heard the term “catfish” used in a way other than to describe the big, ugly yet delicious (pan-fried or battered yes please!) creature that dwells in lakes and can sting you.
When I was around 15 years old, I was “catfished” by a middle-aged lesbian on an AOL chat room. Back in the day when there were AOL role-playing chats.
It started with the role-playing game we played online, in a world that I only remember being called “Ryden” where she pretended to be a male character. She was doing what I now know is called “grooming” and was most likely a pedophile. I will not say for sure, but I did mention my age, sex and location, so she definitely knew I was a child.
I fell madly in love with her character, whose name escapes me for the moment, but thinking back I believe it was Xavier or Zavier. Or something of that sort. She did change her name a few times in-game I think.
I woke up happy thinking about him, and although I knew it was just a game, hoped that, because of our passionate online relationship, it would develop perhaps out of the game and in to reality one day when I was ready.
The day she took it outside of the game will stick with me forever.
I was in total shock. I stopped playing the game and stopped talking to him/her.
I just, cut him off, and I never returned to the game.
I remember her asking me if I wanted to meet now “url” and she told me about herself, think she was 37? female. and in my mind at that time the word “gross” came to mind. Perhaps I was sent a picture of her, but I can’t remember for sure.
The grooming came in with the excessive “hooking” she did. She knew I was a head over heals madly in love teenager who didn’t know better. She, some woman who obviously had some issues. I mean, we played, sexually. And that’s where it cuts off. Locked away in my DiD brain.
The course of the relationship was over a year. I remember feeling bad. Feeling like I really hurt someone. Feeling repulsed and sickened for being lied to. Feeling like all those conversations and moments we had together were all just lies. The line between “Ryden” and reality was well blurred and by that point I was living in the fantasy.
It took me a long time to get over the deception, the hurt feelings. It cuts deep and at that age I think you don’t know how to deceive people in certain ways, especially relationship wise. I just felt empty, lost, confused. Why would someone do this? That questioned remained for a very long time.
The here and the NOW.
I’ve started to think, with my DiD, I have led people to believe many things about me that were false, much like a catfish, although I behaved this way unknowingly do my actions make me an unassuming catfish???
I’ve had Linked in accounts, I’ve found Facebook accounts that I can only dream what I’ve done with them, I’ve sent pictures of myself to strangers. I wonder, what antics the I’s are up to now? Am I out there? Somewhere… catfishing some poor soul?