Shut The Internet Down

Debbie is calling because her mother got involved in internet scams. She’s still participating in them. Dave says she needs to be cut off from the internet.

QUESTION: Debbie in Texas is calling because her mother’s ex-husband beat her, and he controlled all of the money. Her mother got involved in scams by giving them his checking account number. She’s making $1,500 a month from Social Security and her first marriage. She’s still participating in scams. Dave says she needs to be cut off from the internet.

ANSWER: I guess you need to ask her, “Mom, are you ill? Are you not thinking right? Or are you just being stupid?” This is stupid. You don’t take canned goods back to buy a roast for your grandkids after you’ve been playing the Nigerian letter scam on the internet.

Here’s the deal: I’m going to hold you accountable; you’re off the internet. You don’t need to be on there at all. You don’t even need an email address. People used to exist without it. I know it’s a foreign concept, but we used to do fine without it. Here’s a neat thing called a telephone. That’s all you get. You’re not allowed to give money to anything other than food, lights, water or shelter without talking to us for your own good. We don’t want your money. You can have all your money, but you need to spend it wisely and on you. Otherwise, we’re going to end up having to feed you because you’re getting scammed all the time.

She needs to spend some time with a counselor. That many years of having the crap beat out of her, your brain just doesn’t work right. Her emotions are damaged in an unbelievable way. For her to process normal relationships and information is a very, very difficult thing. This is like someone who just came out of a prisoner of war camp. That’s the way you have to treat it. She just doesn’t have the ability to process things logically and normally like people who haven’t been abused at that level. She needs to get with a pastor and begin a counseling process to unpack some of these wounds and begin some healing on all of that. That will also help her have more competence and confidence on this other stuff.

In the meantime, you really need to hold her hand—not controlling, not taking over—but hold her accountable and explain to her what stupid looks like. You need to cut the computer off.