Acting On My Instincts

The altar in my studio

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.

11 thoughts on “Acting On My Instincts

  1. All this beating up ourselves nonsense I can so relate to. It just happened to me, just now. I put up a post because I was so excited about having more and more International Visitors on my blog page. Then, I beat up myself for “showing off” which I was not doing, it was a critical voice in my head. I deleted the original post which got mailed out, and rewrote it. I hate that. I pride myself on being authentic and than I beat myself up for doing being real.
    OMG…always learning to remember to be good to ourselves, aren’t we:)

  2. Happy belated Birthday wish to you Maria! Hope it was a creative day in all ways for you. I’m glad you got through those difficult computer moments one can have. I want to add how quiet and calm I feel after my “visit” at your Bedlam Farm days. Also when you next sew any more potholders can you let me know? I would like to buy one and hang it as a piece of art from you. I thank you ☺️ Joan

    1. Thanks Joan. And yes, I’ll let you know when I have more potholders. I keep thinking about making some, but it hasn’t happened yet. Maybe this will help.

  3. Maria…
    Don’t beat yourself up over this incident. I worked in computer security for several years. But hackers and salespeople have learned a lot about online human behaviors. They sometimes trip me up, when I get rushed and act without thinking it through. On the internet, things often are not what they first appear to be.

  4. Oh, Maria, thank you for sharing your story! I did a very similar thing early in December. I allowed myself to be tricked into spending all day dealing with some scammers, and the whole time I knew that the whole thing went against everything I knew, but I just kept going! So far I don’t think I have incurred any permanent or costly damage, but I was scared and then MAD–at them and at myself for going along with these guys. I haven’t shared this story with anyone except close family members. It has taken at least 6 weeks to calm down. Give yourself a hug from me, sistah, I know how you feel!

  5. Your post really got into my head Maria. I have been where you were, on the computer and in my life. Feeling like I had to go along to get along. It is a bad feeling, and I sometimes lose sleep for obsessing over it. I’m glad you were able to recognize your strength. I’m working on it, it is an ongoing process. Happy Birthday lovely human. Thank you for your words. ❤️

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