Have you seen these documentaries on romance scammers? Dirty John, Tinder Swindler, Bad Vegan…
If you did, I bet you found yourself yelling at the screen for every bad choice! I implore you to try your best not to judge these women. Hey, it’s easy to blame the victim because when you aren’t the one being blinded by chemistry or gaslighting tactics, the warning signs are as plain as day! For me, hearing these stories left my heart aching. It was all too familiar.
When I was nineteen, I too, found myself attached to a predator. The sad part was I remained in this dark place for six painstaking years! If I’m being truly honest, the deep shame and self-loathing remained much longer than the relationship itself.
Although it was rough, I learned some valuable lessons and my hope is by sharing them, more women will protect themselves from falling prey.
I pondered why this parasite had such a pull on me and my formative years kept coming to mind. You see, when we make choices that make no common sense there’s usually a root of emotion attached to them.
I am certain my disengaged father effected how I saw myself, the profession I chose, and even the types of friends influencing my life. Although I wasn’t aware these invisible wounds existed, my lack of self worth said it all. You see, an insecure mind is a predator’s playground. And my brain was ripe for the brainwashing.
Since re-doing childhood is an impossibility, we must move through life with careful intention; to pause and ask ourselves the important questions before allowing anyone access to our hearts, bodies or bank accounts.
Questions to Ask:
-Why am I drawn to this person?
-Do they bring chaos?
-Is chaos familiar to me?
-Are they selling me a fantasy I’m dying to believe?
-Am I being rushed into a relationship or important decisions?
-Is this person relying on me in an unhealthy way?
Being a Predator’s Prey cost me:
– 6 Years of my youth as I was enveloped in his chaos.
-Thousands of dollars were stolen in every way possible.
-My car and furniture were stolen
-My safe, wallets and accounts were constantly getting broken into.
-My health was endangered because he cheated on me.
-My life was endangered because he was now involved in illegal activities with my money.
-I never felt safe as I was literally sleeping with the enemy.
The perfect victim is:
-If you are a parent, it’s important to expose your children to the truth in a safe environment. Do not shield them to the degree that they aren’t aware of predators or how to protect themselves. Teach and warn kids what to look out for. Do this from the time they are young until they are ready to leave the home.
As a parent, it’s your job to speak life into your kids and help build confidence and self-esteem. Make sure they know they are valued, treasured and loved even if (and especially when) they aren’t acting perfect.
The less friends and family you have, the better. If anyone encourages you to cut ties with family or healthy influences, they aren’t a good person with stellar intentions. You should always feel you have control over your own life.
How my predator targeted me:
- I was alone, intimidated, and afraid, and he offered to rescue me.
- He used words of flattery and praise and because I was so depleted, his fawning filled me up.
- My relationship with my family was not good and he put a greater divide in it.
Signs of a Predator:
- Someone consumed with fashion labels and brands. My ex lusted after flashy cars (stole mine!) He was all about embellishing himself, not adorning his woman.
- A person who competes against you for attention. My ex could not handle attention given to me. He took it as a personal assault and was outwardly resentful of my success and good standing with others.
- One who displays no remorse for shameful behavior. There is always an excuse for the entitlement.
Reasons women stay too long:
- She has invested far too much and doesn’t want to face the reality of her losses.
- The Predator sold the illusion his victim is dependent upon him.
- The woman may be a hopeless romantic, believing the best in someone who hasn’t earned that right yet.
What I’ve learned:
- A healthy provider man never asks for a woman’s financial or physical support.
- He does not play the victim
- He does not make excuses.
- He does not deplete a woman.
- He builds his woman up and supports her.
How to avoid falling for a scammer:
- Don’t get into a relationship too fast; vet this person so you don’t get emotionally attached to the wrong person. This leaves you vulnerable!
- Do not sleep with any man that’s not your God-ordained husband. Exchanging DNA messes with your hormones and clouds your thinking.
- Have friends who honor God give their honest feedback on your suitor.
- Do your Inner Work with the Holy Spirit; find out your father wounds, abandonment issues, or unhealthy relationship dynamics you learned from childhood. I do this work through therapy books and journaling with the Holy Spirit before you go out on the dating scene. That way you are attracting healthy people because you are healthy yourself.
- Make a commitment to yourself to never finance a man. Ever.
- Stop seeking validation from others; find it in God and in your God-given purpose.
God warns us to:
“Guard your heart with all vigilance, for from it flows the springs of life.” Proverbs 4:23
“Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body.” 1 Corinthians 13:4
“For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.” Galatians 1:10
*To learn more about my predator story, watch my testimony playlist on YouTube.