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Personality Disorders
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Mental Disorders

Ask Dr. DombeckAsk Dr. Dombeck:
Psychotherapy and Mental Health Questions

I choose victims to comfort me

OK I know I have a mental illness, I'm a logical young woman, but I don't understand it, and no-one has ever been able to help me so far, you're my last chance before I actually do go insane!

You see, ever since I was little, I always thought I was a bit different, I always assumed that maybe I saw the world a little bit differently to everyone else, and I do, I just don't really understand it. I like to be the centre of attention, but it's not just attention I crave, it's empathy and comfort, a bit of love. And you may think that makes me normal, but it gets wierder...

I don't want this attention, empathy and comfort, (now known as the ultimate trinity), from just anyone you see, I choose people. I choose sometimes a sister figure, and sometimes a um, little bit older, but never old enough to be a mother figure.

For example, when I was 13 I had my first prime victim, called Lucy, she's 4 years older than me, like a sister figure, and I wanted her to care, I wanted her to empathize with me, and comfort me. So i came up with plans of how to make this happen, I was bullied a lot in my old school, so much so that I changed schools, and I'd never really talked it out. So I would come up with scenarios in my mind, places where i would sit down and talk to her about it all, and she would feel sorry for me and comfort me, and I would cry and she would give me a hug.

I planned similar scenarios using the same issue with a few other 'victims', but these scenarios were never enough, not only did i come up with those, I came up with unrealistic ones too, I imagined the school burning down and us 2 being trapped and me being badly injured and 1 of them rescuing me, I imagined being held hostage, and 1 of them comforting me after watching the whole scene. I came up with it all, but it became so real in my head I felt almost desperate to make 1 of these fantasies real, sounds sick doesn't it?

So eventually I plucked up the courage to make my fantasies a reality, i organized to meet up with lucy and talk to her about and it went ok, i talked, she comforted and felt sorry, but i didn't cry, and I didn't understand why. This was ok, I was happy to have finally got what i wanted, but to me, it felt like a drug, ok so I got it once, now i felt indestructible. I was getting older, and becoming more aware of issues, and becoming more involved in different issues.

for about a year I would let myself get involved with issues that would upset me, and then pick a victim to help me out. or i would make myself ill or something and then a victim would have to help me out, it was so simple. The problem was, these issues weren't serious enough, I wanted to go nuclear so to speak, take it much bigger and get some proper attention and some proper comfort.

About that time I was dating a guy who treated me quite badly and he took advantage of me, naturally I used it to my advantage and told a victim about it, I also didn't break up with him as early as I should, in a sick kind of way I wanted it to keep happening, because the attention i was getting out of it, was greater than the pain,

it got me thinking, and by this time I knew i was sick, I knew i must be mentally ill, I just don't know what the illness is, and how it can be helped. OK, this was where my um, addiction took over and I took things to a much more serious level. i watch a lot of TV, and I mainly focus on Casualty, Holby City, and CSI, and these 3 shows contain a lot of what I want, the most serious case of that is often rape. It makes my part vulnerable and the 'victim's heart often just cries out, wanting desperately to help. I became inspired, after a lot of going back and forth I found a guy who was up for the challenge. He lived in London, and I had no intention of calling the cops on him anyway, so when my folks finally decided it was ok to leave me home alone for a weekend, my brother was looking after me but at 18, he was partying instead obviously! I planned to have this guy come down to mine and basically rape me, but he didn't want to do it alone, he brought 2 of his friends along too.

So it happened, and I was 14, and unexperienced apart from with my previous boyfriend, so I didn't know what to expect, and it was a pretty horrible experience, but i still let it happen, and i let it go on longer than i needed to, for pure effect. I wanted to really experience it, before i could even think about getting anything out of it

And so now, 2 years on, I'm still meeting new victims, leading them in slowly, giving off subtle hints and slowly revealing what happened, (with a few minor details changed) and I still want more! I want, I don't' know, something more serial, more life-threatening, a real bonding time with my victim, where we can share, and open up, and also look out for each other, but ultimately her feel as though she wants to protect me, look after me,

I'm still letting things happen to me that shouldn't, I'm still creating situations for myself, and I still don't know what's wrong with me, if you have any ideas as to what might be wrong with me, or how i can be helped, (and I don't mean by seeing a damn shrink I don't do that) then please let me know! I'm desperate! and scared I might one day take things a step too far, and someone else might get hurt in the process!!



  • Dr. Dombeck responds to questions about psychotherapy and mental health problems, from the perspective of his training in clinical psychology.
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