Venmo is up on your blog, Jamie the tech guy at my web designer email me. Then he sent me a link on how to clean my cache which he thought I’d have to do in order to see this new addition to my blog.
What happened next would take up my whole day, but also be a lesson in trusting myself and my instincts.
When I clicked on the link that Jamie sent, I was directed to a computer security and protection plan. I didn’t realize it at the time, but it was actually a well-disguised pop-up ad for this company.
Jamie hadn’t sent it to me at all.
Before I knew it I was buying their protection program and they were trying to sell me another package to help keep my computer clean ironically of things like pop-up ads. It took all morning to install, there was always something else they wanted to do. Finally, I just ended the session, feeling more and more uncomfortable about it.
After a late lunch and feeding the animals, I got more anxious thinking about the interaction I had installing the program on my computer. So I called Apple Support and they said I should remove it. That took much less time and the woman who helped me was understanding, patient and kind.
It all eventually worked out. But for the whole day, I was in a state of fear over what happened. I felt invaded and was blaming myself as if I had done something wrong.
I also felt stupid for having fallen for ad and wasting my whole day. Even though the company wasn’t trying to hack my computer or steal my identity (which I have insurance against) and I removed the program a few hours after installing it, I couldn’t let go of the fear.
Because the fear I was feeling was an old fear.
It came from growing up in an environment where my instincts were dismissed and I was expected to placate a controlling father. This issue of not standing up for myself, especially when men are involved, is one that I still struggle with. It’s less a fear of physical harm and more a fear of hurting the person by rejecting them or what they’re trying to get me to do.
This is why I stayed in the session for so long yesterday, as they tried to sell me one thing after another when everything inside of me was screaming that something was wrong.
Even when it was all over and nothing bad had happened, I couldn’t shake the feeling that it was my fault, that I had done something wrong. It was only when Jon pointed out that I had actually handled the situation well that I began to see it clearly.
Ultimately I had trusted my instincts, called Apple Support, and asked for help from the right place. I even got my money back after raising a complaint through Paypal.
So what I learned from yesterday goes beyond protecting my computer. It was a day-long lesson in protecting myself. In trusting that when something feels bad to me, there’s a reason for it.
So instead of blaming myself, I can see that I really do have good instincts. And when I start to feel diminished, it’s not because I’m doing something wrong, it’s because I need to stop whatever is going on and speak up for myself.
I’m not stupid and I didn’t do anything wrong. I just got tricked and caught up in a high-pressure sales scheme. But I also saw that I do have good instincts, and I’m learning to act on them.