What would you do with, or for, this person?

I know a person, let’s call her ‘A’ for ‘anonymous’, although frankly I’m not sure why I think she needs to be protected.

I know, as base information, that she was in an abusive marriage, which ended over a year ago. I do not know the extent of the abuse, only that the verbal/emotional end of it was devastating to her.

Now, since then, I have increasingly observed and occasionally been on the receiving end of some bizarre, obsessive, and frightening behavior. Bear in mind I only know her via a text-based roleplaying game.

To begin with, she appears to define herself in terms of the desirability of her characters. Her characters are always female, and they must always be in romantic relationships. Those relationships must be exclusive. In fact, if the character with whom hers is involved wants to interact with any other characters, she thinks her character ought to be present. If she is not invited, she will begin paging the other player and haranging them - sometimes for hours if they don’t give in, or log out, before then - about how neglectful, cruel and thoughtless they are.

If A’s character becomes upset, she also becomes upset. Then she will (again) begin paging the other player about how their character’s actions were inappropriate, etc., and hurtful, and how neglectful, cruel and thoughtless they are. I have even heard of her becoming angry because two other characters were discussing her character. Why? Because they didn’t ask her, as a player, if it was okay to discuss her character first.

If people do not bow to her entirely irrational anger and demands, she tends to trot out her coup de grace, the line “You’re just like my ex! I feel just that abused by you!”

Recently, for about 3 days solid, she had all the attention she could possibly want (though all of it negative) when she was angry with, and “negotiating” with, about 5 different players, all male. For those 3 days she kept all of them occupied, trying to reason with her, trying to reassure her, trying to defend themselves. In general, they were trying not to have to apologise for things they never did. I think most of them eventually gave in just to have some peace, because she swings between ‘You hurt me!’ to ‘I just want things to be okay between us’. (And for those 3 days, those people didn’t get to play, and I couldn’t play with them either, so while this would appear to be ‘none of my business’, it has been affecting me directly in this instance and many others. Also because many of these people have come to me in their distress, asking what they should do.)

The thing is, nobody wants to hurt her feelings. They all seem convinced that she’s fragile and will simply shatter if she’s “abandoned”. And one by one she sucks them dry, burns them out…until they are forced to cut her off cold turkey in simple self-defense…and off she goes to the next “supportive” person.

My advice to people has become “Run away. Run far away. /gag her, pagelock her, make her invisible, you cannot help her because online ‘help’ is not the kind she needs. If she cannot find anyone to suck dry online, she will be forced to turn to “real” people in the real world, where real help may be possible.”

Are there any other approaches to take? I’m at a loss. I cannot think there are any sane actions now except to refuse this woman any of the attention she demands. But I confess my experience with folks like her are very limited.

She sounds like a narcissitic manipulative psychopath. Are you sure she was even in the relationship you describe? Frankly there is nothing you can do for her at all. Just be glad you only have to deal with her in an online RPG and not IRL. I’ve had to deal with similar people. I wouldn’t worry about her falling apart if you and your fellow gamers blow her off. People like that can always find someone else to manipulate.

Another board I visited allowed people to post links to audio files. One that was commonly used was a whole set of bits from Monty Python and the Holy Grail with everybody yelling “Run away!” spliced together.

This would be a good time for that.

She’s getting jealous about what people are doing in a role playing game? Man, how does she behave in a real relationship?

Never mind. I don’t want to know. :eek:

Best to avoid her. She needs serious help.

That’s about the best course of action. You could try messaging her and telling her so just before you block her yourself though.

Kill her character and don’t let her make a new one. Or if there’s no way to stop her from making a new one, kill that one too. Keep killing her until she gives up. If she’s that wrapped into the role playing then real life anything is not going to get through to her.

She reminds me of a guy I went to college with. He also got wrapped up in role playing (in our case, plain old fashioned D&D) to the point where he would get angry for days if something bad happened to his character. Of course being 18 year-old bastards we took that as a sign from God to do every awful thing to his character we could think of…

First of all, any woman coming from any sort of abusive relationship should immediately seek therapy, whether they think they need it or not.

This person sounds like someone you just don’t need to be around. If she can’t even play a simple game without getting insanely jealous, then pulling the “you’re just like my abusive ex” card, particularly to five players at the same time, inhibiting everyone from playing the game, you should just stop playing with her. She sounds like she’s got some serious emotional power issues - she has the upper hand by forcing you all to apologize to her (whether you want to or not), just to make her shut up, which probably makes her feel important, because she can completely stall the game if she’s feeling the least bit insecure, and she probably knows you’re too nice to naysay her when she says you’re being just like her ex. So I’d say cut her loose - she’s not good for any of you.

Amen.
I’ve had experience with this type of person, starting with my mother. They aren’t weak and pitiful – they’re strong and powerful. The pitiful act is how they suck people in. I’ve never known one of these people to change or get better. They’re not interested in healthy relationships; they’re interested in being the center of attention and watching others jump through hoops trying to make them feel better. I don’t know if these people are as miserable as they’d like you to believe, but I do know that they get a powerful reward for their behavior. If they didn’t, they would stop.

It’s human nature to want to help someone who is hurting. But when you realize that your help is hurting you and not helping them, it’s time to walk away. If it’s necessary for that person to remain in your life (like your mother), you have to set limits and stick to them.

Geez - she sounds like she’s got borderline personality disorder. If you knew her in real life, it’d be nice if you could get her some therapy. (Not that that’s ever particularly effective with borderline people, though.) But since you don’t, I’d say the solution is to use whatever ignore tools the setup allows to avoid her, and try to get the system’s manager to kick her off.

Geez, why are people always so afraid to lay the smack down on behavior like this? You’re all enabling her, even though you’re not explicitly condoning her behavior.

Tell her straight out you think she’s being manipulative and that she needs help, and that none of you enjoy playing with her. Make sure you get the other players to back you up on this. And then don’t let her play again. And make sure you enforce that.

You cannot help her, and shielding her from the consequences of her behavior will only serve as justification in her mind that she really is being rational when it’s plainly obvious she is not.

I’m with XJet .

Is it possible to just ignore her posts? I know nothing about online RPGs but that’s the approach I take with my idiot SIL. Seems to work. After a bit she gives up.

Send her the link to Jack T. Chick’s DARK DUNGEONS… the Mystery Science Theatre 3000 version. (Too lazy to look it up at the moment.)

Well, of course, that’s what /gag is for. It makes the person invisible to you (assuming you have a program such as SimpleMU running, rather than using raw telnet.) Pagelock prevents them from sending you Out of Character messages of any kind.

The game runs in “real time”. It’s not like abulletin board, where you can come back anytime and see what people have said. You’re either there, playing it, or you’re not there, and you’ll have to hear about events 2nd- or 3rd-hand. Yes, of course it’s possible to ignore her. Harder is to justify why her characters have become invisible In Character (IC), because the problems are always and exclusively Out Of Character (OOC).

What happens is this: your character meets her character. She actually writes very well, and as one of her former victims said “When you meet her, you don’t realise she’s crazy.” By the time you figure it out, usually, your character is involved with hers to enough of a degree that suddenly rendering her invisible OOC creates damage to the IC continuity of story. But invariably she pushes other players to the point where they must damage credibility and continuity just to get away from her. It’s awkward. You have to make up alternate stories, you have to explain your IC behavior somehow. Most people don’t want to “make that kind of trouble”. That’s why they don’t lay the smack down on her. Well, that and being convinced that she’s just a wounded individual whom they don’t want to hurt further.

More recently she went spang at someone the first time they ever played together. I mean, right down to the “You’re just as abusive as my ex husband!” line in response to something his character said IC. The poor guy was just bewildered. He didn’t understand what was going on. And he was not amused. The next time they met IC, he was on his way out OOC because his wife wanted him to shut off the computer and go to bed. And she went SPANG again because it was NOT okay with HER if he left. He said he will take it to the admins if she ever does it again. Which she will. See, she hadn’t trapped him yet. It was a tactical error on her part - she hadn’t created the necessary IC relationship to tie him into the OOC one.

So, one of the fellows who has been the most stubborn about trying to work with her sat her down and read her the ‘courtesy in RP’ list he and I had worked out together. 6 points regarding possessiveness, jealousy, taking IC problems and turning them OOC, and so on. Well, she sat sullenly through it, tried to hijack the discussion a couple of times, and eventually declared that she despised being talked down to and condescended to. He said he was, of course, doing none of those things: he was giving her the guidelines she would have to follow if he was going to continue interacting with her. And he said, please think about it for a couple of days and then they could discuss it again and he’d like to hear her answer.

A couple of days went by. He finally asked her if she’d come up with an answer, and she did the old passive-aggressive thing, you know, “I already gave you an answer, what’s your problem, when are we going to play together again?” Well, he’s done with her. It damages the story for at least 2 of his characters - absolutely ruins one - but he has to do it. And I pointed him here, to see what folks here say. I’ve been pointing a number of people here. Because the SD is full of experienced, and above all objective people, who can look at a behavior and call it what it is. For which I thank you folks. It’s hard to call a spade a spade sometimes, even when you’re using it to dig yourself into a hole.

Oh yeah, she’s a narcissitic manipulative psychopath. She’s not fragile at all, she’ll just move on to the next victim. I’d also be real, REAL shocked if she was actually abused. It’s more likely she was the abuser. She sounds just like someone I know IRL, that I fervently wish I could get out of my life entirely, but it’s not possible. So I minimize contact as much as humanly possible.