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Bit of a concern

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Xo50
Xo50's picture
Bit of a concern

So, I have several pen pals, all is going well with the books, art, music, photos, etc. I got a letter from one today and he told me he’s starting to feel a bit obsessed with it all, trading mail with me, pen paling, thinking about me.  He asked for some things that I already know I’m going to say no too, like he’d really like more pictures of me.  I already send some every week and I don’t want to take pictures of myself constantly.  That gets boring.  Now I knew when I signed up it was to brighten someone’s day and we all know about the scams from doing research.  I don’t think this is a scam or anything remotely alarming and I COULD see how a person might get excited over fun mail and focus a lot on it.  I was thinking about writing a letter back saying I didn’t want to cause any bad feelings (as obsession isn’t a nice one to feel, I’m certain, I get like that over movies or tv shows, thinking a lot about them, but definitely not people, I always thought it was best to just focus on our own lives, then work toward healthy friendships.) since I wanted this to be fun, and I just needed a break for a bit so it doesn’t get overwhelming and I’ll pick up writing again when I’m ready.  I think that would help that feeling he has over it to settle out.  Does that sound okay?  Am I reading into it too much, and maybe it’s just a more common feeling/request than I think?  I know everyone here is pretty honest and will be upfront about it if this is a normal thing you all experience as well.  Thanks in advance!

 

101112
101112's picture

Hm well before you start your “going on a break” letter I would ask him to clarify exactly what he means by obsessed. I think that word could mean many different things to different people. For example, I check my PO Box basically daily, get HYPED when I get a letter, and think of my pen pal every day. Am I obsessed?? Maybe. Is that what he means by obsessed? Or does he mean you consume his every thought and he’s picking out baby names? Or he wishes he had a lock of your hair to put in his Athena shrine?? Lol! I think it’s important to clarify his definition of “obsessed” before you back off.  

101112
101112's picture

Also, I’m realizing with some of my penpals that they have a more serious disposition than I do. One of my friends told me that he was “devoted to” his letters to me. Another said that if I had plans to abandon him to let him know from the start. So maybe it’s just the nature of their situation? I think some of the more experiences penpallers can let us know if this is common or not!

Xo50
Xo50's picture

Lol Buddha at the Athena shrine!!  Yeah I didn’t want to act like I was treating that letter like the “Lifetime Movie of the Week” because people do use the term “obsessed” in various context.  I think I was more like ehhh, about him requesting more pictures, when I know some people can get overly into that, “send me a pic!!” and I didn’t want to lead this guy on when it’s just not like that for me, it would just cause problems.  Plus I get annoyed with it, I guess, I’m just the type of person who would rather do things on her own terms and I already send them in. How many pictures of a person does someone need??  Lol. True, I thought maybe it had something to do with the situation, and other people had things in the letters from pen pals that seemed a bit similar or serious.  This pen pal is fun in the way we talk about some common interests but I would say he’s a lot more interested in talking about people, the psychology and nature of people, past relationships, thoughts, etc. when I have less interest talking about in that stuff.

davey1800
davey1800's picture

I’d suggest NOT going down the “taking a break” route as that has abandonment connotations. Just slow things down from your end... take a few more days to reply, think of new topics to distract him etc. Sending loads of photos of yourself doesn’t seem right, not for a new pen pal, so I’d suggest not sending any and see how he reacts. Just don’t mention it though. If he makes a big thing about it then yes, maybe he is obsessed.

Xo50
Xo50's picture

Thanks, dave, I think that sounds like fair advice.  It gives him the benefit of the doubt, and then I don’t have to be uncomfortable with the whole “send pics” thing.  

@nderson
@nderson's picture

Did he say that he's feeling bad about the obsession he developed for you? I really doubt he is feeling bad.

If he fell in love for you, cutting contact for 1 month is not going to make this feeling go away. He will be desperated after this time, and will be even more "obsessed". He will not understand that he overwhelmed and scared you... Trust me, this already happened to me with a non-prisoner, and cutting contact failed catastrophically.

I don't know which suggestion I could give you, because I don't know what exactly do you want from him... But, sending many photos weekly surely is making him dream about you.

Xo50
Xo50's picture

Anderson, nope, he didn’t say he felt bad, I think I just assumed that feeling wasn’t a good one?

I’ve been upfront with all my pen pals about wanting friendship only.

Honestly I think that was my bad about the pictures thing, I did that with all my pen pals because they liked a lot of the same movies and shows and comics I do and I cosplay and go to conventions and so I have a ton of photos of me as the characters I love, so I sent them in with the nature/pet/art photos simply thinking “oh this is part of our conventions and will help us get to know each other better!”  Plus all my pen pals said that if I send in any pictures of me they’ll be treasured, so I did a lot of thinking hey this makes them happy, cool.  I know occasionally people at the conventions kind of...get the wrong idea about cosplaying and think it means the person might like them and start acting like the cosplayer is doing it “just for them” (which isn’t the way it really is, people dress up because they like the character) but I guess I didn’t stop and think about possibility with the photos too, like people blur the line with a person dressed as a character.  Maybe that’s it.

I never minded the whole “hey, love your pictures, send in as many as you want, I appreciate it” but when it turns into “hey, double up on your pics” and “send me this or that type of pic” it’s like wait, whaaaat ?

Xo50
Xo50's picture

I dunno, maybe I’m being too touchy about the “send more pics” thing because I knew a few people from conventions who had pictures of me and they made them their cell phone background without asking me (they were just friends) and those friendships did NOT end well when they got demanding and weird, and finally very angry.  So maybe I’m just projecting ?  Sometimes it’s hard to tell with people.

 

 

KateAndrews
KateAndrews's picture

From my personal experience I have a penpal who has a tendency to be obsessive or perhaps compulsive. Now if you look at his criminal record you can see that it is a continuing pattern. You can see how his obsession lead to his crime and how its lead to become part of our friendship.
Now I'm not about to abandon him or take a break. All I have done is reduce the amount of correspondence and backed off. Unfortunately this poor chap, I doubt will ever change. He is in for Life without parole and currently working on his case for sentence reduction. Another thing to get overly passionate about.
There is no cure. No right way to deal with this. You either adjust how you interact with this person or you leave well alone. Just be sure in your commitment.

ShadeyBiz89
ShadeyBiz89's picture

Well, I don't have infinity years of experience, but I have been writing for close to 8 years now. I've written both men and women and am very explicit and clear in that I am seeking friendship only. Nobody has tried to pull any shit with me because they know I won't stand for it. 

I can't say that I've ever had people pressure me in such a way for more photos... they've asked me if I have photos I can share if we are discussing various things of my life such as my trip to Mexico for example and whatever else, but never in such a strong way. I've never had anyone say they're obsessed in any kind of way with our correspondence, or with me.... if I did, I would do what Buddha suggested and clarify in what way he means, that's always a good idea because taking things out of context does cause problems, it may not be as disconcerting as it seems right now... or you might be on to something, who knows. But it's a good idea to clarify first, give him the benefit of the doubt, because things don't always get expressed as meant, some people don't have that way with words that some of us do. 

Based on what you've shared and know up to now, I don't think he means any harm necessarily, I'd read that as overzealous but I definitely would be a lil guarded until I knew more context to that "obsessed" part of it. Just ask him what he means and invite him to discuss this with you and I'm sure you'll get your answer soon enough.

@nderson
@nderson's picture

"I think I just assumed that feeling wasn’t a good one?"

Maybe it's better to feel obsessed than feeling empty. There's a music that says something like that. Having something to be obsessed about could be joyful, if it fills an existential void. But I'm not sure if you would like this much attention, seems that you wouldn't like.

"I cosplay and go to conventions and so I have a ton of photos of me as the characters I love"

I understand now: there was a good reason for sending many photos of you! I first thought you were just seeking "likes", exactly as people do on Facebook, Instagram, or Tinder to please their vanities. But I was wrong.

"I guess I didn’t stop and think about possibility with the photos too, like people blur the line with a person dressed as a character.  Maybe that’s it."

I don't think this has anything to do with being dressed like a character or not. I think it's more like: the prisoner feels lonely and has not seen a woman in years. Then he gets many photos of 1 (one, and only one) beautiful woman... Obviously he would get excited, masturbate, and have his mind flooded by thoughts about you all day. Specially if he has nothing to do all day long, for many years... If he had access to many woman's photos, it would be different, but maybe you're the only woman whose pictures he got access. This makes things really different than it's outside prison, where anyone with internet access can get as many pictures of as many people as they want to.

Anyway, I'm just supposing things... I don't know, yet, which kind of obsession he has. You'll need to ask him. Maybe he just thinks you're the nicest woman on Earth, because he never met a good woman before. I believe this kind of obsession would be desirable. It would be a deserved veneration, if you're really like he is thinking you are.

The first example is a bestial obsession, the second is a platonic one. The second wouldn't do any harm to you. The first one could do, or could not do...

"I knew a few people from conventions who had pictures of me and they made them their cell phone background without asking me (they were just friends) and those friendships did NOT end well when they got demanding and weird, and finally very angry. So maybe I’m just projecting? Sometimes it’s hard to tell with people."

I know one woman from a city I lived before. She was cosplayer using one name, was an erotic model (suicide girls' website) using another name, and was a shop owner using a third name. You can imagine how many "fans" she had, and how often she had to resort to the police, right? They always crossed the lines between her personas, and ignored she had a boyfriend.

Anyway, if they have a picture, and it's their cellphones in question, I don't think they would need to ask you for permission to use it as their computer or cellphone backgrounds.

 

 

What I do to pictures is the following: if the prisoners send me photos, I retribute sending pictures of me too. Otherwise, I don't send any pictures, besides a very tiny picture showing my face, on the first letter. But I'll make this clearer in the future, telling all my penpals about this retribution possibility. Most didn't send me photos until now, nor did they ask me for photos. But I don't mind sharing a few ones.

One female pen-pal promised sending me one picture of her someday, but I'm not sure if I really should send her one picture of me. She seems to be seeking only romance, and I first need to make sure to her that this isn't going to happen. Or just make an agreement that everything we do through mail is just kidding and not leading to anything more serious... I still need to understand her thought process better.

Another female pen-pal promised sending me photos of her previous international trips. That's really nice, and I'll send photos of my city to show her how things are here. So, photos are not inherently evil...

Xo50
Xo50's picture

Thank you, Kate.  I’m glad to know I’m not alone in this experience and will keep in mind there isn’t a cure for it.

Shade, yeah I didn’t get a “bad vibe” from reading it, more like...a “wait, am I affecting this person in a negative way?” vibe.  You’ll have to tell me your secret of making sure everyone knows you won’t stand for certain things, I do often put my boundaries down for people, pen pal and otherwise, but some keep trying to push.

Xo50
Xo50's picture

Anderson, looking back at the previous letters I’ve received this pen pal has more romantic intentions, and my letters have firmly stated just friendship, but I’ve missed a lot of the signs.  It’s been stuff I dismissed as him just joking around.  Annnd now I feel totally oblivious, lol.  

As far as background photos go, it wasn’t like they weren’t allowed or anything like that, it was just weird for me because I had no interest in making them my background.  I honestly thought that should be a mutual thing, because it seems disrespectful if I’m like “okay look at me and enjoy me but I’m not going to do the same back to you” but maybe people don’t feel that way.  It’s like someone saying “I love you” and I’m like “uhhh, thank you?”  It just seems wrong.

I don’t think photos in general are bad.  I simply get annoyed with someone asking me to send them in abundance, or if I’m with people and they are demanding pictures and documentation of EVERYTHING.  I know to some people every second recorded for social media is very important, but for me it’s very annoying when I just want to go to lunch and people are acting like there has to be some gorgeous photo to make it sound fabulous.  To each their own with that tho, I post fun things too, and like photos occasionally but I don’t live my life by it.  If other people do, I’ll applaud them, and offer them a like, but I don’t see why people try to pressure me or drag me sharing every last detail about my life for a like on Snapchat.  People act horrified I’ve never used an online dating service and never will, I don’t even have a Snapchat, I don’t tweet what I had for dinner.  But it’s just not me.  There’s just no way I can be whoever other people want me to be and also be happy.  So I think people pressuring me for photos isn’t in my comfort zone.  I did so much of that stuff for most of my life, plays, commercials, makeup artistry industry, etc. where people demand all this looking nice for the camera and I got totally burnt out in it. Picture shoots with cosplay always bring me joy, so I do them.  

I like doing things for other people, but when it gets too demanding, I get burnt out and exhausted, especially because I’d never treat anyone that way, and a friendship that’s one-sided often doesn’t end up working out for me.  Maybe it’s different for other people.

Xo50
Xo50's picture

While we’re on this topic - have your pen pals ever asked you anything a bit personal?  Like your middle name, where you work, what your relationships have been like?  I just gave vague answers/or said some stuff I’m more private about until I get to know people.  I know those are “getting to know you” questions for some people but for me I was like...let’s do cool questions, like what black and white movie do you like, what would be the album of your life, etc.  I can’t tell if I just hate personal questions or find them mundane, lol.

Kirsten
Kirsten's picture

Hi Athena,

some good points have already been made, but I want to add sth. else, coming out of the context you chose to act in:

I remember from reading your other posts that all the guys you picked are lifers, plus, they were being at a pretty young age.

So, what are you dealing with? Men who were sentenced as boys or at least very young men. Seriously, lady, what are you going to expect? Men at the peak of fertility, with little experience with girls/women (there may or may not have been a gf before their incarceration) and with little to no chance of ever getting these experiences (considering we're talking juvenile LWOP here). Now, just for the logic:

What do you think someone in this situation is craving for? Films, art and music? Fine - and later? The birds and the bees, I guess.

Obsessed? Oh, well, if you're the only woman he's seen in ages and is probably going to see for years (unless guards, family members or maybe another penpal) I can very well get that "obsession".

As for taking a break, you might or might not choose to do it. I did it with one of my penpals (though for another reason)  and it was helpful. But it doesn't necessarily always have to be the case. It's a two-edged sword, so use it carefully. 

And let me add one other thing (though this might very well subject for another thread): Reading your postings I see that you're stressing the point of boundaries a lot.

While I certainly agree with you that it's necessary andd healthy to have them, I want to say that there is as well sth. like too many boundaries.

If we (coming from the free world) go into this whole experience with: "I only want this and never that and if a happens I'll ignore it and if b happens, I'm out of it fully" we bereave ourselves and our penpals of a lot of liveliness and beauty in the experience.

If I meet a person (inside or outside) I'll never know what kind of experience and contact it's going to be unless I commit myself to diving into the experience. Life knows no guarantees and it is never to be taken for granted in whatever form it appears.

Go with what's alive in yourself at any given moment and you're gonna have a productive, exciting and non-average kind of life.But don't go forcing it into molds- it usually doesn't work out well.

Best regards,

Kirsten

Kirsten
Kirsten's picture

Quote:
While we’re on this topic - have your pen pals ever asked you anything a bit personal?

Yes, of course.

Quote:
like what black and white movie do you like, what would be the album of your life,

How boring. I'm not joking, I find those questions you labeled as cool really rather boring and the "getting to know you" the really interesting, cool and important ones.

Xo50
Xo50's picture

Hey Kirsten!  I really didn’t know what to expect - people are all so different.  I DID (perhaps wrongly) assume that everyone who put an ad was getting mail, (the needs mail section is still a bit confusing to me) so they would without a doubt have someone writing in, who was more interested in that sort of thing.  And yes, all of mine have mentioned they didn’t get a chance to have any sort of healthy or very serious relationship before going into prison, or the ones they were in were very toxic.  Tbh, they mostly have been respectful and wanted friendship too, just the whole “obsessed” and “photo requests” thing took me by surprise because it was out of the norm.

Really!  I believe you, it’s all good to have a different outlook, my one pen pal always worried I’ll get mad if he doesn’t like certain things I don’t like but I told him it makes things more interesting if he has his own opinions.  I know everyone asks those type of questions, that *may* explain why people, including my pen pals have said I’m quirky and obscure, lol. 

Xo50
Xo50's picture

The problem is I know myself too well.  I don’t want anything more than friendships, for my own personal reasons.  Sometimes comfort zones are there for a reason, and it’s best they stay that way.  I know people often say but what about this or that, you never know, etc. but I honestly think that’s a very personal choice.

101112
101112's picture

I’ve shared a lot of personal things with my penpals because I’m comfortable doing so. My middle name is public information so I don’t mind telling them when they ask. I keep my address a secret for other reasons (don’t want anyone else in my household to know about the writing). I’m in the process of telling my penpal everything there is to know about my family life and childhood (cause he asked). These things I am not ashamed of, even the bad stuff, and would tell anything to anyone who asked. But that’s just me. You don’t have to share anything that makes you uncomfortable. I’m not firm on boundaries because I want life to take me where it wants. But everyone is different. If boundaries keep you comfortable, keep you safe, then stick by them. Depends on what do you want out of your penfriends? Real, true friendship or just offer them entertainment? I told my penpals from the first letter that I wanted to know more about “the human experience” and to share our lives with each other. Tell me what it’s like to be you and I’ll tell you what it’s like to be me. And so it’s been! But anyways, maybe you should consider why you write and what you want from this pen pal and go from there. 

101112
101112's picture

Also, you’re beautiful! Why wouldn’t he want 100 photos of you? Especially if he’s in for life and a young, straight man with little to no female interactions. I think that’s OK unless he starts asking for cameltoe pics (lol!) or something. :) just simply tell him you don’t usually take a lot of pictures of yourself but will try to take one or two next time you do something fun. 

Xo50
Xo50's picture

I promise I have a straight answer for you Buddha but right now I am laughing too hard at the thought of us in the MoMA explaining to everyone our art series, “Cameltoe to Prison Pen Pals” 

I explain we were going through a serious Dadaism phase at the time, and you make a witty orange is the new black quote, and everyone claps and throws money and prizes at us 

Xo50
Xo50's picture

Also, Obama is there, fist bumps for everyone 

(Sorry I got into the Easter candy and got a little silly)

101112
101112's picture

I have been to MoMA and I said with complete confidence that our Convict Cameltoe Collection would be world renowned . Displayed right next to the golden toilet

Xo50
Xo50's picture

Duchamp would have been so proud of us.

Reception @ The Knickerbocker, after-party on Moxy Times Square rooftop!  The entire board of directors of the Guggenheim crashes our party, but it’s cool, they can stay.

Atemwende
Atemwende's picture

Hmm, seeing some of these responses makes the forum feel a little outdated (new here, BTW — let's hope I get the format right in responding!). @Kirsten, particularly some of the comments you have made. 

      "So, what are you dealing with? Men who were sentenced as boys or at least very young men. Seriously, lady, what are you going to expect? Men at the peak of fertility, with little experience with girls/women (there may or may not have been a gf before their incarceration) and with little to no chance of ever getting these experiences (considering we're talking juvenile LWOP here). Now, just for the logic: What do you think someone in this situation is craving for? Films, art and music? Fine - and later? The birds and the bees, I guess."  

But do men at the peak of their fertility inherently lack all ability to control themselves, to not act on impulse? To say, "Seriously, what are you going to expect?" assumes they do and suggests that these men should not be held accountable for their actions, even when said actions cause discomfort (which was the case here) to another party (for they are at the peak of their fertility, after all); nor, it suggests, should they be subject to being held to a certain set—and reasonable, might I add!—standard.

 

Obsessed? Oh, well, if you're the only woman he's seen in ages and is probably going to see for years (unless guards, family members or maybe another penpal) I can very well get that "obsession".

Respectfully, whether understandable should be irrelevant here. This completely disregards the feelings of the person being obsessed over, which should come foremost. No one is entitled to their obsession, principally when their obsession is another person, and if someone is not okay with someone being obsessed with them, then they are not okay with that, and that should not be disregarded or brushed off because the obsession is understandable or even natural in context.

To think on it a moment longer, I would argue no obession is healthy to any extent anyhow. Being obsessed with anything is being overly attached to it, and being overly attached to something will inevitably lead to hurt. Nothing we attach ourselves to is going to be permanent or unchangeable, no matter how much we may will them to be. And I simply don't see that (or fostering that obession, rather) being good for an inmate's morale.

 

Atemwende
Atemwende's picture

Ugh, that one part about obsession is supposed to be quoted and in italics.

Natascha
Natascha's picture

Hey,

It’s pretty common to use those pen pal pics as yard pics

They get traded for commissary or stamps maybe in his pod there is a high demand of pictures like yours and he makes good profit of them. Regards Natascha  

 

Xo50
Xo50's picture

Welcome to the forum, belongs!  And thank you.  For me, when the term “obsession” has been brought up, it’s always been very dramatic, what follows.  I had a boyfriend who told me he felt that way, and he would get antsy while I was busy at swim team. He would get upset and clingy and feel I was taking too long to get ready to see him afterwards, then that would get me frustrated, push away from him, and then he would get more upset and cling more.  That can get to be a very vicious cycle.  Or I’ve Known people who get “obsessed” and then reality sets in that we’re all human and people aren’t perfect, and they skulk off in hopes of finding some perfect person who will “complete” them and magically take away all their issues when that’s not even realistic.  To me it’s just bad news and it doesn’t work for me.  I even wrote to my pen pal I don’t like it when people fixate on me or try to drag me into their drama, it’s weird for me.  So that’s a big part of why I was feeling that pause. 

Xo50
Xo50's picture

Natascha, yard pics??  Like, trading baseball cards?  Lol.  Thanks for letting me know.  That explains the whole “can I see a picture of you dressed up as such and such as well” and crazy amount of enthusiasm over pics I was getting in letters and I was like woah, everyone REALLY likes pictures...  I read online that inmates really loved pictures but I had no clue it was any sort of business with pen pal pics.  

“I’ll trade you three Betty’s at the beach for three Jane’s at the lake!  And with a limited time offer, you can get one Susan at the sunflower field.”

Kirsten
Kirsten's picture

Hi Athena,

Quote:
I really didn’t know what to expect - people are all so different.

Yes, they are - on a personal level. Remember the other thread where you mentioned the lady with the field of developmental psychology? There are phases of psychological development, puberty and transition into young adulthood is one of them. And while these guys had to become adults in very harsh circumstances and had to grow up fast when they got into prison, they still suffer a break and a gap in a process which normally (under healthier circumstances) are not as abrupt and go far more smoothly. And this developmental break is the same foreach, though they probably deal with it differently.

 

Quote:
I DID (perhaps wrongly) assume that everyone who put an ad was getting mail, (the needs mail section is still a bit confusing to me) so they would without a doubt have someone writing in, who was more interested in that sort of thing.

Which may be the case with some, but not all of them. There really ARE ppl, who don't have anyone writing in to them, as sad as this is. Though, of course, I don't know whether that's the case with that particular pp or not.

Quote:
Tbh, they mostly have been respectful and wanted friendship too,

Yes, this mirrors my experience. Most are respectful and considerate of limits and boundaries.

Quote:
just the whole “obsessed” and “photo requests” thing took me by surprise because it was out of the norm.

I'm not much of a photographer, so I rarely send pictures. It's never been a problem, as they letters I write and get are mostly conversational ones.

As for the guy you mentioned, well, there are different ways to go about it: I don't know who said it yesterday (davey?), but I think, clearing up what he means by using the word "obsessed" would be a good idea, as well as telling him that his request makes you feel uncomfortable. You might even pick the role of a character (dunno which ones you play so pick an appropriate one) and write a dialogue between the character and you to explain the situation.   

Quote:
The problem is I know myself too well.  I don’t want anything more than friendships, for my own personal reasons.  Sometimes comfort zones are there for a reason, and it’s best they stay that way.  I know people often say but what about this or that, you never know, etc. but I honestly think that’s a very personal choice

Of course it is and I'm sure you have your reasons for this choice and I won't go prying. Plus, you have EVERY right to say no and to expect this to be respected.

But I don't find it astonishing at all for a guy in his situation to react the way he did.

Quote:
But do men at the peak of their fertility inherently lack all ability to control themselves, to not act on impulse?

Who said they did and who said they shouldn't? Certainly not me. Before you interpret my words, read them and be aware that interpretation and observation are two different things.

I never said anywhere (nor will I ever) that a "no" isn't to be respected. But I'll always say that ppl should be aware of mental and developmental things as well.

And sending pictures in every week (though harmless ones) does set a habit and nurture expectation. That's all I said.

Quote:
assumes they do and suggests that these men should not be held accountable for their actions, even when said actions cause discomfort (which was the case here) to another party (for they are at the peak of their fertility, after all); nor, it suggests, should they be subject to being held to a certain set—and reasonable, might I add!—standard.

That's your interpretation. It's neither what I said (as I do hold ppl accountable for their actions), nor what happened in that particular situation.

The situation is a beautiful young woman weekly sending pics of herself in role games characters costumes to a guy who is (for probably good reasons) deprived of human contact, let alone bodily contact. Probably many of the other guys look at these pics as well. The only difference might be he's talking about it.

So, in the end are you "punishing" someone who is trusting enough to be open and honest?

In my opinion, the critical part comes now: Will he accept it, if she doesn't send any more pics to him and will he be respectful, considerate and fair when she tells him how uncomfortable his words made her feel? If yes, no harm done. If no, quit writing.

There is the accountability. But so far, there hasn't anything happened towards her he could be held accountable for.

Quote:
whether understandable should be irrelevant here

I object clearly to that and I'll tell you why: In the context of capital crimes (which probably is what LWOPs are in for), motives and intentions are absolutely crucial! It DOES make a difference whether someone acts out of being retarded, being mentally ill or disturbed or simply because the action seemed like fun. It's absolutely crucial and the differences in the evaluation of deeds are huge.

The feelings of the person he's getting obsessed over have not even been claimed and you're already playing the blame game. See what you're doing?

What if Athena tells him: "Hey, listen, that last letter of yours really gave me the creeps. I really feel uncomfortable when I read that you want to have more pics, though I already send some each week. Remember how I told you I can only offer friendship when we started our conversation? I feel worried know that you might see sth. in me that I'm not and which I won't be giviing to you." and he replies sth. like:

"Oh, yes, I sometimes really miss being needed and being special to someone, but hey, I'd never want you to feel uncomfortable because of me. So, sorry, if it hurt you, I'd really wish to keep you as a friend."

Some people (especially those with little relationship experience) have no idea what their words cause in others, other ppl don't possess the ability to look at situations from a perspective other than their own, some ppl are thoughtless, but would act differently if they thought about things for a minute and others simply don't care. As long as Athena didn't write to him and got his answer to that, anybody (including you and me) doesn't know what's the case with this guy.

Quote:
This completely disregards the feelings of the person being obsessed over, which should come foremost.

As a penpal (and in other relationships, too) I am responsible for communicating my feelings and for how I communicate them. Other ppl aren't mindreaders, therefore unable to know them. The responsibility to communicate my feelings as authentically as possible is mine.

Quote:
I would argue no obession is healthy to any extent anyhow.

True.

The feelings of the person he's getting obsessed over have not even been claimed and you're already playing the blame game. See what you're doing?

What if Athena tells him: "Hey, listen, that last letter of yours really gave me the creeps. I really feel uncomfortable when I read that you want to have more pics, though I already send some each week. Remember how I told you I can only offer friendship when we started our conversation? I feel worried know that you might see sth. in me that I'm not and which I won't be giviing to you." and he replies sth. like:

"Oh, yes, I sometimes really miss being needed and being special to someone, but hey, I'd never want you to feel uncomfortable because of me. So, sorry, if it hurt you, I'd really wish to keep you as a friend."

Some people (especially those with little relationship experience) have no idea what their words cause in others, other ppl don't possess the ability to look at situations from a perspective other than their own, some ppl are thoughtless, but would act differently if they thought about things for a minute and others simply don't care. As long as Athena didn't write to him and got his answer to that, anybody (including you and me) doesn't know what's the case with this guy.

Quote:
No one is entitled to their obsession

If someone is obsessed in the clinical sense of the word, the person doesn't have any choice, bc it is compulsive. Kate pointed that out beautifully yesterday already. If someone can control things, it's not an obsession. But since I do not know whether this guy suffers from an obsessive compulsive disorder or only used the term in a figurative sense, I won't say anything about it. One thing you can be sure of, though: If someone is suffering from OCD, you won't get anywhere with "You're not entitled to ... (fill in the blank)".

Quote:
and that should not be disregarded or brushed off because the obsession is understandable or even natural in context.

It wasn't and it isn't. But before the discomfort isn't being communicated, anybody can't react accordingly to it. Got it now? Before the limit has been set, how should he know he crossed it?

@nderson
@nderson's picture

"While we’re on this topic - have your pen pals ever asked you anything a bit personal?  Like your middle name, where you work, what your relationships have been like?"

In my country, the naming scheme for people doesn't have "middle names". I never thought it would be personal in USA... Maybe I offended some penpals by writing their complete names on the envelopes? The naming here is more like: "name" + "surnames". I have a name that you already know (albeit it's just a patronymic in other countries, it's my name), and 3 surnames after it: 1 from my mother + 2 from my father. Think about USA's latino(a)s names and maybe you'll get how it works. I don't give all my surnames because I don't like people googling my past. But no penpal asked me for my other surnames yet, and I wouldn't give them, because Google.

I don't mind telling where I do work. The city I live is very small and, by knowing where I live, they could easily find where I work. There is no place to hide here, and anyways, I'm pretty clear on my "profile" letter about my work.

I had no romantic relationships yet, so there's nothing to tell about them. Noone asked about that yet.

Take into consideration that I live overseas, so my conversations happens very slowly... For each penpal, I get one letter each 2 months. So there was not much "space" for asking those questions, yet. What happens for you on one month would take one year to me. It's not very intense yet.

@nderson
@nderson's picture

"But do men at the peak of their fertility inherently lack all ability to control themselves, to not act on impulse?"

If they were able to fully control themselves and not act on impulse, they wouldn't have killed someone else and be in prison, right?

 

I'll not reply to the rest of your post because there's a lot of fallacies and jumps to conclusion there. It seems like you deformed what was said so it could fit on your feminist mindset (shoehorning). Like, wanted to find an oppressor to blame...

Kirsten already pointed your logical errors and I'm not sure if it would be worth to risk having you deform what I say to label me as an enemy too.

Natascha
Natascha's picture

Oh yes, yard pics or kill shots are currency they worth some stamps or coffee there are guys for sure that really like pictures to see about the outside but if you already feel obsession you maybe right but it seems to be connected with getting much pictures I send my friend killshots I print so he can trade them for stamps bc I know overseas postage is high

 

Xo50
Xo50's picture

Now I’m going to wonder what my yard pics go for, like a pack of gum?  Oriental or beef ramen?  I want to know which flavor.  A honeybun?  

I’ll probably never know but maybe one day some random person will stop me and say “hey you!  You cost me a honeybun back in the day.”  I’ll be like “wow, my life was really weird.  Maybe I should have stopped doing weird things.”  And he’ll say “I wasn’t complaining.”  And I tell everyone I used to be worth honeybuns back in the day, but I still had so much more to offer the world, and to never let anyone tell them they’re only worth honeybuns.

Yeah, sorry I can’t take this thread seriously anymore knowing people on the inside trade our pics like that lmao 

Atemwende
Atemwende's picture

That is nice, @nderson. But as I haven't addressed a response to you, I fail to see why you've responded to anything I've said at all, especially to say you won't be responding, as if that was at all necessary. Ah, but I'm guessing you just wanted to attack me. And turning this political (i.e. identity politics)? Why? I fail to see how attempting to validate the OP's feelings, to counter the clear dismisiveness in the tone of previous responses (even if unintended, as can often be the case with tone), to say, "Hey, now, she has a right to feel this way," is feminist as opposed to simply being basic human decency and showing manners, showing that someone has been heard. But if it is, alright, I suppose.

Xo50
Xo50's picture

I really didn’t mean to start any type of argument on the thread and I appreciate everyone’s advice, you all made good points and I got something from it.  It was just a case of me not feeling like my wishes were being respected or listened to and I would have understood no matter what gender came into play.  Yet, the word obsession was puzzling to some, and a little troubling to others.  All I can do in the end since even though I think yard pics are a bit of funny concept, I’m not interested in that, and can just say “hey, that’s not me, I mentioned I just want to be friends, I don’t do pic requests with anyone.  Someone feeling obsessed with me would make me very uncomfortable, hope we can still be pals.”  If the bugging me for pics and obsession stuff keeps coming up, then my hands are tied, I can’t be someone I’m not, and he and I would both be better off with different pen pals.  So I do appreciate everyone’s advice and support (and sense of humor!)

@nderson
@nderson's picture

"I send my friend killshots I print so he can trade them for stamps bc I know overseas postage is high"

What killshots are? Urban dictionary has failed me this time, it only gives very literal interpretation of a dead person and a firearm, besides unrelated things.

101112
101112's picture

Also would love to know more about picture currency LOL

Natascha
Natascha's picture

Kill shots are explicit pictures 

Or men’s magazines are worth a lot my friend traded one page of a men’s magazine for a very much needed law book there is no cash flow in there so it’s other stuff to pay with 

 

Natascha
Natascha's picture

Kill shots are explicit pictures 

Or men’s magazines are worth a lot my friend traded one page of a men’s magazine for a very much needed law book there is no cash flow in there so it’s other stuff to pay with 

 

Xo50
Xo50's picture

I believe a “killshot” is another term for a “moneyshot” which is an, erm, photograph or moment in a film that would cause the viewer to...finish their viewing happily ?  I have no way of saying this politely but I tried lmao 

So it might not be something like a nude, as that is banned from the facility, but perhaps a lovely photo of a sweet woman in a bikini washing her car, smiling in a certain way.  Might be more appealing to think about all of that than some than a centerfold they’d never see irl.

Feel free to correct me if I’m wrong but I’m pretty sure those terms are related to each other 

This thread got off the rails funny this forum turns into Spawn of Reddit quite often  lol 

Xo50
Xo50's picture

Buddha, you are worth at least 12 boxes of honeybuns!!!  Haha, I’ll try to find out even more about all this, this is funny!  Thanks for telling us, Natascha.  It’s weird but slightly flattering to be an accidental honeybun yard model.

Reyenah
Reyenah's picture

Regarding the "obsession" part, I think that can just be wording. I've had a PP say how they were going to "spend all day with me", or how "this is the day of the week I look forward to" - as in literally sitting in the cell and going through my letter and replying. I thought it a bit strange to begin with but it's just what they do. So I think saying they're "obsessed" isn't a bad thing, it's just that for the time it takes to reply to you, you are literally everything to them for that time :)

KateAndrews
KateAndrews's picture

Now I just don't wish to send photos, as funny as yard pic trade business goes, I'm not sure I wish to put my name to that.
I know I am on a few walls and hanging above them as they sleep. But yard pics I am so asking. Lol.

101112
101112's picture

I’m dying. I can’t wait to ask my arizona pp how much a sexy pic is worth . And Athena , well ain’t you sweet! I think you’re worth 5 packs of shrimp flavored Ramen and 2 king cones!

@nderson
@nderson's picture

Natascha's contribution to this thread was amazing, and very funny.

I believe I would appreciate to have pictures of me being traded for things. I would feel very valuable! Sending pictures on the internets is for-free, so this don't please my vanity so much... They are easily forgotten and can't be sold/traded for things.

Xo50
Xo50's picture

Thanks Reyenah!  I appreciate it, I know I took it a little harsh, the word obsession being used but I admit I can be a little sensitive over that type of thing.  I did jot down a letter just letting him know I had a concern due to some past experiences, so I think it’ll be solved very soon.  I also stopped to think about how isolating prison is, and how we’re all the types who do enjoy bringing in as much of the real world as possible by using pictures and funny stories.  So it’s an important thing when a person lacks the good stuff in life like nice friends and a fun trip somewhere to share it with us !!

Xo50
Xo50's picture

Lol Kate, me too!!  And that is so sweet, you’re like a guardian angel on their walls.  I have a feeling a lot of our pen pals will be getting letters next week asking about yard pics lol 

Xo50
Xo50's picture

Thank you Buddha !!!  Me too, I sort of want to make a list of every state/facility and we’ll all know what a yard pic is worth there lmao 

Xo50
Xo50's picture

I feel the same way Anderson.  At first I was like, that is...kinda weird, lol, but then I watched the latest Game of Thrones last night and now there are at least three new cosplays I want to do.  Their costumes were on fire!

Those cosplay pics would be worth an extra ice cream and soda, AF