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May 25, 2018 - Welcome Guest!

Advice » Mental Health

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Could the emails get us in trouble?

Question:

I'm a 22 year-old female who was badly abused as a child (sexually and emotionally). There has been a lot of stress going on for me and I just wanted it all to end (the stress and the constant nightmares). So I had been talking with this guy online whom I had found off of some website and he had also been badly abused (he is 21) and he offered to rape/murder me. We graphically planned how he was going to take my life, what method and under what circumstances (including him mentioning buying a knife specifically to butcher me with). In the emails he talked about several different topics including: snuff, cannibalism, and others (I'M NOT INTO ANY OF THOSE SUBJECTS, he is) and he wanted to take my life by gutting/throat slitting while raping me in front of a camera.

This guy and I formed a strong bond and we used each other as therapy, discussing our problems and the abuse we both suffered. Well, turns out my brother ended up snooping through my emails and read them all. To be honest, it was all basically just a role-play/twisted fantasy for both of us to get our frustrations out with our current situations. Could this get either one of us in trouble with the law? (And by the way, I'm not suicidal!) It was more just venting. Once again, this guy and I have a very close relationship even though we have never met and chances are, we'll never meet). Could (WOULD) a counselor commit me for having this desire?

PitbullLockdown, 22-year-old female

Answer:

My dear, you could be in deadly danger. This is serious, and thank heavens that your brother found out about it.

For you, it's all role play, venting, make-believe. It is possible that the same is true for the guy -- but it's also possible that he is only pretending to be pretending. I do hope you have not let him have any identifying details, like the general area you live in or the like. I hope he doesn't know your real name, or what you look like.

You see, for you the fantasy does not involve harming anyone else. For him it does. The fact that he is imagining doing terrible things to somebody makes it likely that even if he thinks he doesn't actually want to do it now, in the future he may.

Also, what you have been doing with this guy is the opposite of therapy. It has confirmed for you a view of being damaged, faulty, not worthy of life, someone who can be abused and hurt. If you came to me for therapy, this would definitely NOT be the way we'd work.

You have not done anything to break the law, and as far as his interactions with you are concerned, neither has he (he might well be a criminal and you wouldn't know it unless he told you). Your communications are damaging to both of you, but does not involve the kind of thing that calls for inpatient treatment. So, if you seek competent help, it's highly unlikely that you would be locked up.  

I strongly recommend that you:

1. Send just ONE more email to this guy, telling him it's all over. Tell him that he desperately and urgently needs psychotherapy, and that if he keeps going the way he does, he is highly likely to put his fantasies into effect and hurt some poor person. He can then end up on death row, or many years in jail, depending on where he lives.

2. Then change your email address. Don't make it similar to the old one, because that will allow him to guess. Read through your records and see what details about you he may have learned. If there are any identifying details, act on the assumption that you are in danger, and take whatever precautions are necessary, such as moving to a different state. I am serious.

3. Seek therapy for the childhood abuse. You do not need to mention the correspondence with this guy to the therapist until you know that you can trust him/her.

By working through your past trauma, you can build a good life for yourself. You are welcome to email me back.

Look after yourself,

Bob

This question was answered by Dr. Bob Rich. Dr. Rich has 30+ years of experience as a psychotherapist. Dr. Rich is also a writer and a "mudsmith". Bob is now retired from psychological practice, but still works with people as a counselor.

For more information visit the site or contact information page on QueenDom.

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