Brum gets first Bitcoin ATM - currency used by 'dark web ...
Brum gets first Bitcoin ATM - currency used by 'dark web ...
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48 next week, after a divorce starting from the bottom again. Is FIRE possible?
As the title says, my divorce came through about 2 weeks ago and I am starting from the bottom rung again. I haven't got any property, and my assets are limited. What prompted me to grab this with both hands is that around that time my eldest daughter gave birth to my first grandchild so it's helped me to focus on the future. I currently live with my parents, as during the week I work away from home and have a rented property near my work. It's nearly 2 hours away from home so commuting isn't an option (plus the client pays an accommodation allowance so not all bad). I do plan to buy a house within the next 5 or so years so that's my short term goal but whilst I don't need to I'm building up my assets. I've been earning average income for the past few years (about £33k). During my marriage I was very limited to what I could do money wise. The wife would rarely contribute to household expenses, and would spend rather than save. I tried to get better paying jobs, but security was preferred over higher income. What little money I had left over I tried to save, but more often than not had to liquidate any investments in order to pay for essentials - like a car repair or replacement washing machine etc. We rented, as neither of us were in a good enough place financially to get a mortgage. Now, as I'm not having to answer to her and being free to do what I want (within reason, we have a 11 year old daughter) I'm in a job earning double what I got in my previous position. Although I'm a contractor, I'm needed for the length of the project which is at least the next 2 years so I'm taking advantage of the boost in income. And thankfully during the lockdown they still paid me, as it would cost too much to get a replacement in if I did leave. For the last year my priority was paying off debts, I still have some (about 10k) but much more manageable than they were this time last year. I could pay everything off in the next 6 months, but I think it's time I started preparing for the future. The way I see it, if I lost my job in a month I'd have no debts but limited or no resources to feed myself. But if I start following more of the FIRE philosophies I'll at least have covered expenses for a few months if the worst happened. I've been a follower of MMM for a few years, haven't always agreed with what he says on some subjects (Cryptocurrency for instance) but I feel I'm ready to start putting FIRE into practice. The two things I'm looking to concentrate on right now are emergency expenses and investing. What I have in place right now is a Moneybox S&S ISA which I intend to use for emergency expenses. For those not familiar with Moneybox it rounds up the pennies for expenses in the bank account to whole pounds. As well as this I do a weekly top up and a payday top up. Approximately £150-200 per month, current value around £600. I also tried to invest in the FTSE 100 with the spare change I had, and used a Halifax Sharebuilder. I put in around £30 per month and each month picked a new share from the FTSE 100. I'm about £960 in and probably about a third of the way through the FTSE100. Thinking about it I should have invested in a tracker fund, but hey, it's been in place for a few years and it's made me put money aside so not all bad. Right now most of it is red, but I put that down to the current economic climate and I'm in it for the long haul so at the moment it doesn't matter. I've dabbled in Cryptocurrency. I work in IT and I've always been very much of a geek, so it comes with the territory. Mostly proof of stake coins, but early in the process more 'traditional' proof of work coins such as Bitcoin and Litecoin. Somewhere I do have a few hundred Bitcoin but can I find the seed phrase I wrote down? If only I'd emailed it to myself! I'm a lot more organised these days, and probably hold £2500 in a mix of different coins. I monitor the price weekly and react if I see a trend but mostly leave this untouched. I also have some premium bonds. Probably around £500. I only started collecting them last year, so far no winnings but again I'm in it for the long haul so I'm looking at the average returns. If it makes me my million then so be it, if it doesn't win anything at all then I'll revisit it but I see it as something I can quickly liquidate if I need the money. If I had to liquidate everything tomorrow, I could probably support myself for 3 months. I want this to be at least 6 months, the end goal to cover potentially 30 or more years of retirement. My budget does have some things I can't avoid, such as paying rent twice (a token amount at home but market rates for work, probably around 1000 in total). The accommodation allowance mentioned above is sufficient to cover the away from home element and more. There's feeding myself, a couple of streaming services and Xbox Live (essential for my mental health when in a 1 bed flat during the work week), car expenses (I have a Skoda Octavia and regularly exceed 50mpg, 70+ on A roads) and the finance and associated fuel and insurance costs for that, and some ad-hoc expenses as they arise such as clothing. Overall I could live on 60% of my salary, the more debt I pay off the better that gets. What's helped here is my obsession with Excel - I monitor everything. I go through bank transactions and enter every penny into a budget planner, so I know where I am. And those budget figures I use in YNAB to keep a day to day eye on how I'm doing, so far it's been quite accurate at predicting what's coming out and when. I know it's going to be difficult, starting so late. But has anybody else been as late to the party as me, and if so how was it for you? Any tips? I'm happy to elaborate on any of the above if I need to.
I ruin people’s lives for fun, this is my story. [Chapter 3]
Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Good morning. It is currently 9 in the morning, and I am just finishing up my coffee at a local shop. I always get the same thing: A large iced coffee with 4 ice cubes and 2 packets of sugar. That concoction makes it the perfect temperature to enjoy. I tend to do everything by routine, because I like to think it makes me more organized if I do it that way. Life is just a whole bunch of patterns someone has yet to figure out. I was looking more into Jason’s assets and accounts. I came across something that made me laugh. He has been paying Kiley $1,000 every week. So from my observations, Kiley looks like an escort. I think that this is helpful, because now I know that she doesn’t have a trustful relationship with him. I mean the money was being paid to the website to hire escorts. I really don’t care about Kiley though. She isn’t important to the game anymore. I have to go to work in about an hour so I need to finish this up pretty quickly. I wanted to make the process of fucking with Jason long. I went on the dark web for a minute to see if I could come across a device that could withdraw money via ATM from previous accounts that had been connected to said ATM. If that made any sense, my plan would be to buy this tool, and steal money from Jason’s account. I know I used bitcoin for the last one, but I thought this would be more eventful. I wanted more hands-on experience if you know what I mean. I forgot to mention that I saw that Jason had a permit for concealed carry, so I need to keep this in mind. After searching on a couple of the markets that I have accounts with, I finally came across it. It was around $200. I just went ahead, and used the funds that were already on my account to purchase it. It says that it ships domestically, so it should be here in the next few days. I will continue with this update after I get done with my shift. I have just finished my shift, and I'm exhausted from how pestering my boss is. That prick just loves his sales quotas. I got a confirmation letter from the vendor to my private email saying: Your purchase was confirmed and the shipping process will now begin … thanks for doing business. Fantastic! Now we can get to the fun part. I wanted to look more into his odd transaction with a car wash in Florida. I looked up the car wash, and it was only 2 miles away from Jason’s vacation home. I went ahead and called. Some women picked up, “JJ’s car wash … how may I help you?" I replied with, “Good, good. I was just wondering if I could get in contact with the owner? I wanted to come over, and do an evaluation on the value of the land … Is he there right now, or could you possibly give me a phone number to reach him?” She hesitated, and said, “Uhhh, I'm sorry, sir, I'm not really sure if I can give that info out. Let me ask my manager.” I interrupted her with, “No, that won’t be necessary. Just give me his email, and I’ll send him the information myself. Thanks.” She said, “Sure … it's [email protected][redacted].com” I hung up saying, “Thanks so much for your help. It means a lot. Thanks.” Some people are just so oblivious to the world that they’ll believe anything they hear. Well, I guess I shouldn’t be complaining because that email is the same as Jason's. He owns some little car wash near his house in Florida. I wanted to look more into this, but thought that for right now it's a waste of time. (Added "that". Apostrophe on "it's", because it's= it is.) Well, I went ahead and drove over to the nightclub Jason goes to every Wednesday night to see what he was up to there. I disguised myself as much as I could. I mean there were a lot of people here so no one would notice me unless I was face to face with them. I had a hat on and a hoodie. I just looked down at the floor as much as I could. I followed Jason in after he arrived with his driver. He went upstairs where VIPS are only allowed. I kept an eye on him for a while. He then disappeared to a back room which had me curious. I needed to figure a way to get upstairs without anyone questioning my authenticity. I went to the back room where I guess the staff gets ready. I found this work shirt that was black and an extra pair of pants that were a size too big. I had a belt on me so that wasn’t an issue and I put on the clothes and now I looked like a waiter. I went to the bar and said I needed 6 “on the rock” martinis and handed her a tray to put them on. She asked, “You work here?” I said, “Yeah, new … these are going upstairs so make it quick.” She nodded and proceeded to make the drinks. She handed me the tray and I carefully made my way up to one of the security guards at the stairs. I looked at him and said, “These are to go up to Mr. Peterson?. He looked at me up and down and waved his hand towards the stairs allowing me to go. I walked up the stairs with the tray in my hands and walked through the back door that Jason had recently disappeared to. I saw a few ladies that were all intoxicated and a couple of men sitting on the couch. There was a nice electric fireplace next to a computer desk that wrapped around the corner of the room. It was a decently big room with a minibar as well. I walked over towards the men. I said, “Excuse me gentlemen but, I have 6 martinis ready to drink in my hand.” I could tell that they all have been drinking because of the way they were slurring their words. Jason spoke up and said, “Perfect thank you … here’s a tip” handing me a $100 bill I took the money and pocketed it saying, “Thank you .. if you need anything else please call down to the bar.” I walked out. That room was soundproof as well because when I walked out my ears were rushed with loud music from the dance floor. I saw another door to my right and my curiosity peaked and I walked through. It was this long hallway and a little red sign saying “Exit”. Nothing special here so I just walked out back downstairs. I went ahead a walked over to the security guard and asked him something, “Which one of those guys is the owner?” He replied with, “You should know this … Mr. Peterson just took over ownership a few weeks ago.” This caught me off guard and I said, “Oh right … thanks.” I was mind blown because of how many properties this guy owned. Where was he getting all of this money … I mean I know that he owns a security company but, 2 houses, 3 companies that all pay in cash, a personal driver, large bank transactions. All of this wasn’t adding up. I went online and did some research. I have the suspicion that Jason is laundering money through his businesses. I don’t know who he is cleaning money for but, it’s probably someone who doesn’t want their money fucked with. This could be an issue because if I fuck with Jason’s life and his financial situation that someone else could be looking after him. I don’t fear anyone will find me because I make sure I do everything very securely. I should be getting the atm snipping tool soon and hope to make a move on Jason and uncover his dirt. I’m getting excited just writing this right now knowing that I could possibly ruin not just Jason's life but his whole operation. Before I do begin my adventure I need to make a couple of precautionary steps. I logged onto the dark web and found a trustful hacking service. I would never hire someone to hack unless I didn’t have the skills to do the task. I mean if somehow I turned up dead my plan would still carry out. So I found someone who could “ruin” his life. I’ve been chatting with him now to see what type of services he offers and I found one that fits my purpose. I also told him I wouldn’t buy unless I failed my game, which means death. He understood and told me how it would work. He said I would need to put the money in escrow and I told him if I don’t respond within 2 weeks that the money will be sent automatically. By putting the money in escrow it means I can’t take it out and he can’t accept the payment unless all conditions are met with a third party. I set up a zombie computer to be the third party. Usually the vendor or market your on will have an escrow system but, I wanted to make sure that he would certainly get the money if anything happens to me. So I set the zombie and sent the escrow away. The payment was $600 to do whatever was necessary to either ruin them financially or put them in jail. This hacker could make them be known as a child porn user by encrypting his computer with files that would have him arrested. I was thinking of this option or go to a darker market which would put a price on Jason’s head. Now that this was all set up I could move on and take Jason’s money. I watched him after work for a few nights to see if he would use an atm. He was at a little food market having lunch and used the atm to withdraw $40. I know this because my little tool tells me. So I watched him from across the street to see when he left. He left after eating and walked back to his car where his driver was waiting. They drove off and I waited about 5 minutes before doing anything. Atm machines have cameras so I needed to cover my face before hacking his account. I checked which account he withdrew from before going inside since I had access to his computer passwords. The account he used had approximately $12,000 in it. I knew going into this that I would only withdraw a couple thousand because I didn’t want the bank instantly freezing his account even though after he noticed, he would call and tell them. So I set up a script that would take $10,000 through tiny transactions with bots and have them located from all over the world so it wouldn’t be able to trace back to me. It would then compile the transactions back to an offshore account that I made. I would set this into action as soon as I withdrew the $2,000 in cash from the atm. This would leave Jason with $0 in his one account. I knew that he had other accounts but, the one that I was targeting had the highest balance. I put on a bandana and some dark sunglasses with a hoodie on and walked inside. I got myself a little drink and paid in cash making sure to keep my fingers off the handle. I then went over to the atm and placed the tool where you put the card in. It loaded up this menu on the screen and it listed a couple of names from the recent customers that withdrew money. I clicked the arrow down to “Jason Peterson” and typed in the box that said “Custom amount” $2,000. It then went to another screen saying “Please remove your card before money dispenses.” I removed the tool and out came Jasons 2 grand. I put it in my wallet and walked out to my car. I made sure to park in a parking lot that was decently empty with no cameras to catch my plate. I pulled out my phone and went to the Facebook marketplace. I was feeling a new laptop right about now so I started scrolling through. I found one that matched my needs and messaged the seller, “Hey, I am interested in your listing … could we meet today?” He replied back pretty quickly with, “Sure, let’s meet at the [redacted] Starbucks!” The laptop was listed for $250. I told him I would pay in cash and I would be there in 20 minutes. I went to the Starbucks and met with the guy selling it. He was a nice guy who told me he just upgraded so that’s why he was selling it. I asked him to turn it on to make sure it works, which it did. I handed him the cash and wished him well. I walked outside and got into my car. I pulled around to the drive-through and got myself a large coffee with extra cream and sugar. After I got my coffee I went home and got a call from my boss asking where I was today. I told him that I really didn’t feel like working today which he replied telling me to not come back tomorrow and I was finished working there. I had a pretty big smile on my face at this point because now my time would be devoted to ruining Jason’s life. I poured myself a nice glass of whiskey to end off the night right. I mean this would be the perfect time to celebrate. I just got fired and have over 10 grand in my pocket. I don’t want to get ahead of myself yet. It has been a couple of days since I sent that money in escrow and if I don’t get my job done before the 2 weeks are over then someone else will do it for me. This was like a tiny challenge in the midst of the much bigger challenge. Look at this way. I want to take credit for ruining Jason’s life or all of my work will go to waste. I mean the dark web hacker isn’t watching Jason’s every move and reading him like I was. All he had to do was sit on his ass and type on a computer. In this day and age that’s all you need. Hell, that’s how I ruined Connor’s life. I told you from the beginning that I wanted to up my game. I had the proper funds now to really up my game. In the morning, I went to go to a local Walmart to pick up a few things. I wanted to make a homemade suppressor. I was looking at the prices on the dark web but, if I could save some money doing it, then why not right? So I looked up how to make a homemade suppressor and picked up the right supplies to make it. You need some PVC pipes, steel wool, a drill, and a few other things and you got yourself a suppressor. It didn’t take to long to make and it fits real snug on my .50 caliber sniper rifle. No, I wasn’t going to kill Jason because that would be too easy. I wanted to fuck with him a little longer before really getting down and dirty. Pull his strings like a puppet if you will. My plan was this. I would find a time where Jason was alone and I would call him. I would tell him if he wanted his money back that we would have to meet. I would specify that he and only him would come and if anyone else was to show that his funds would be long gone before he ever got there. I would then drug him with chloroform and take him to a secluded place where no one would find us. I would then tell him to give up all of the information on the people he works for or he and Kiley dies. I thought to introduce that I know Kiley that it would motivate him a little more. Just the strings in his life. If that didn’t work my plan would be to tell him that the police were raiding his house for child pornography which I downloaded on his computer. I would show him his files from my laptop remotely to prove it and if that didn’t work we would figure something else out. I wanted to move forward with this as soon as possible. I grabbed my car keys and headed out the door. Today I wasn’t going to do anything with Jason. Today I needed to shop. While I was at Walmart this morning I grabbed some bleach and rubbing alcohol to produce the chemical chloroform which would make Jason unconscious. I also picked up some latex gloves for prints. I bought myself a burner phone at a gas station near my apartment too. Now that I have all of my supplies I headed over to a Starbucks. I ordered my usual large coffee with 4 ice cubes and 2 packets of sugar. I brought my new laptop with me and connected it to the free wifi. This laptop wouldn’t be coming home with me. I was going to use this laptop to connect me to Jason’s stock portfolio. After I hacked into it I would sell all of his stocks that were a part of any company he owned leaving him with nothing in return. Basically sweeping the owner's name tag out from under his feet. I would then corrupt the hard drive and throw the laptop in the dumpster. After this, it was time to burn everything he owned to the ground. I wanted to leave him and the people he worked for with nothing in return … absolutely nothing.
An old friend of mine emailed this to me a while back with the subject line “Hide and Seek” and I’ve been hesitant to post it for reasons that should become obvious as you read it. That said, I feel that enough time has gone by for this to be safe so I’m going to post it here. The only edits I’ve made were swapping out names and formatting, otherwise it’s all exactly as he sent it. T, if you’re reading this then message me. I want to know if you’re alright, and if you are I know you’ll be looking for this story to show up. This is what the email said: Rijento, I’m writing this story because I feel like I need an outlet. I swear to god that you better actually check your email for once in your damn life! Please… As for if you actually are reading this, I want you to wait as long as your (admittedly) better judgment tells you to wait and then post this story online. I know it’s a bit vain, but I want people to know my story. Hell, it might be the last one I ever tell. Double hell, it might actually even help some poor soul out. I’m going to disappear after sending this, hopefully the good kind of disappear and not the death kind. I know nobody but you is going to believe this story but damn if typing this out didn’t make my sorry ass feel better. You were right about that man, I’m sorry for giving you shit for writing so much…
This is the attached file. “Hide and Seek”: Before I get in to the ‘hiding’ and ‘seeking’ I have a bit of a confession that needs to be made. I work as a transporter for a deep web black market site… I hope it doesn’t change your opinion of me too much, sorry for not telling you sooner. I’m the guy they call when they get an order for something they can’t send through the mail. Guns and live animals are two good examples. You’d be pretty hyped to know how many rich assholes just order lions and tigers from the dark web. For obvious reasons, I can’t go in to too much detail, I don’t want to make any dangerous enemies and even after this I still don’t want to lose my job. It’s a pretty sweet gig all things considered, all I have to do is pick up from the seller and deliver to the buyer. I can even choose what jobs I want to take, lets me cling to what little principles I still have. And I DO have principles. After a few years working for the site, my two rules were: no people and no crossing borders. Anyways, I got into a bit of a bind with the cryptocurrency crash that happened early this year. The site mostly pays in Bitcoin and, well, I decided to let my wallet sit and grow. By the time I realized what happened, my savings were destroyed. Nobody expected it to crash that hard… And it probably wouldn’t have been as much of a problem if I hadn’t also gotten used to living a life full of the finer things. I didn’t really ‘save’ all that much to begin with either. So when my savings finally ran dry and the market was still down, I decided to… Lower my standards a bit and take a riskier, higher paying job. Organ transport. I haven’t done it before… I hadn’t been that broke in a long time. Organ jobs pay well too, and I figured I still wasn’t strictly breaking my ‘no people’ rule if it was just their organs. So, I hopped on the site and browsed through the pitiful number of requests in my area till I found what I was looking for. A rich buyer who: had shady connections, was in need of some organs, and lacked either the time or patience to wait for them to come legally. As far as these sort of requests went, this was pretty much the norm from what I’d heard. So I accepted the job and got an email with some additional details about the order: the customer needed two kidneys (which was what I was to transport) and a liver (which they had made a separate request for). From what other people on the site have told me, what should have happened was the job would move to the ‘seeking seller’ section and I’d be on hold till someone… ‘_acquired_’ the kidneys. What actually happened probably should have tipped me off to use my monthly free withdraw… I got a notification two hours later that there was a seller. Rijento, I don’t know how much you know about medicine, but if you do know anything then you’re probably squirming in your own skin about right now. For those who may or may not be reading this that are not in the know, not only do the donor and receiver have to have compatible blood types but kidneys only last about a day outside of a warm body. Not exactly a product you can stockpile. I got another email, about the pickup this time, and began the internal debate between the bad feeling in my gut and my empty wallet… You can probably guess which one of them won out… Anyways, I planned my route; one hour to get to the seller and four hours to get from there to the buyer. I sent the site my plan and within minutes they approve of it and set up an actual meeting point. I sighed and grabbed my things, trying to swallow my nerves the entire hour it took me to reach the meeting point. I sat down on a bench in a city park and waited for what seemed like ages before I felt someone staring at me. It took me a solid minute to pick out who it was even though there were only a few people around. He was sitting with his back to me at a picnic table about ten yards away from me and whenever I looked away I could feel his eyes on me. When we eventually did make eye-contact he bounced excitedly in his seat and waved me over; my heart sank as he also slid a small case into my line of sight. I forced myself to smile, walked over, sat down, and hid my annoyance. Most of the buyers on the site were practically carbon copies of each other. Probably because you could only become a buyer if another buyer knew and endorsed you. The sellers, on the other hand, were all certifiably insane. None of the other transporters I’d chatted with had ever met with a ‘normal’ seller. Because of this, all of them quickly learned to keep conversation to a minimum and to not under any circumstances piss any of them off. I decided to follow in their example. The man sitting in front of me looked friendly enough, overly so if anything. He was scrawny, didn’t look like he would be strong enough to… well… kill someone and harvest their insides. He had a strange smile on his face, and even now I can’t get it out of my head. The kind of overly friendly, wide toothed smile that mothers warned their children to stay away from. It somehow managed to be both inviting and creepy at the same time. I smiled back and spoke up, “So you’re the seller then?” I asked, and the man nodded. He nodded and responded in a sickeningly sweet voice… He sounded like a child in a toy store, his voice strained with excitement and wonder as he droned on to his parents about what toys he wanted. “Oh I’m so glad you found me. For a minute there I thought I’d have to call ‘olly olly oxen free.’” He said with a pleased sigh, pushing the case to my side of the table. “You know… Over the years I’ve gotten quite good at playing hide and seek. So good, in fact, that I’ve never been found. Not. Even. Once. Do you want to know my secret?” the man asked, his voice still just as unsettlingly sweet as his smile. “Sure, what’s your secret?” I asked. I really, really didn’t want to know what the hell he was talking about; but if it kept him happy then… He clapped rapidly and bounced in place, “Oh I’m so glad that you’re a curious one. My secret is that the seekers never know that they’re playing.” “Makes sense…” I said, opening the case momentarily to verify. Two kidneys in pristine condition, doused with preserving fluid, wrapped in plastic. and packed in ice. “If the seeker doesn’t know they’re playing then how would they know to start looking?” I said, leaving out the fact that it would just be stalking at that point before swallowing hard when I thought about where these kidneys came from. “You’re a smart one…” he said with a smile as I sent a message confirming the pickup. All that was left was to wait for the transaction to process. “I was worried about this last one though… she came right up to me. This. Close.” he said, leaning in till our faces almost touched. I struggled to keep my composure, and managed to keep from jumping or pushing him away. “So what did you do?” I asked as he leaned back, my suspicions about these kidneys being all but confirmed. “Why, nothing of course…” He said, a slightly bewildered expression on his face. He looked as though I just asked him how to breathe. I glanced down at my phone to see if the transaction had been verified yet and he snapped his fingers like he remembered something. “Oh I must apologize!” he said, making me look up, “I forgot that you don’t play much… I simply held my breath, closed my eyes, and wished that she would just… go away.” “You’re right… You are good at hide and seek...” I said, wishing to myself that he would just go away and hearing the familiar ding of a successful transaction sound on both of our phones as if to answer my prayers. I reached out my hand as a formality and he grabbed it and shook it vigorously. I forced a smile and stood, although what he said next made my blood nearly freeze. “You’re the first person to find me in oh so long…” He trailed off as he said it, his voice slowly shifting from that of an exited child to the cold blooded maniac that he was. “Maybe my games won’t be so one sided from now on,” He said, his voice disturbingly normal. Although, even without looking back I could tell that the same sickeningly sweet smile was glued to his face. I kept walking but waved my arm as though saying goodbye. The worst part was that I could feel him watching me as I walked back to my car… Not just at first, like if he was watching me leave, but the entire way back, and even as I got in my car. I took a moment to look around and sighed as I saw nothing. It might not sound like much to you. I don’t know, I can still hardly describe it myself, but he had this… creepy way of getting under your skin just by talking to you. I wrote it off as me just being paranoid, the guy harvests organs from people for a living so of course everything he says is creepy. I groaned and started my car, but it wasn’t until I hit the freeway that I was finally able to shake the feeling of his gaze. It’s not like he could’ve been following me, by then I was already paranoid enough to be checking for that, making a few detours just to be sure of it. And because of my detours, I ended up being about an hour past the scheduled drop off with the buyer… Lost my chance at a tip for sure, guy was furious and there was nothing I could tell him to calm him down. I’m pretty sure, ‘sorry I’m late, but the seller was a total psycho and I wanted to make sure he wasn’t following me,’ wouldn’t have been a very good excuse. Whatever, I had my money and the buyer had his organs and plenty of time for whatever operation that used them. Not much to complain about on either side, well except for the fact that I already knew I wouldn’t be sleeping that night. Especially because the feeling of being watched had returned as soon as I set foot out of my car which was, again, impossible. The site never tells the sellers anything about the buyers or transporters, so there’s no way he could have known where I was headed to and no way that he could have followed me. I hopped back in my car and started to head for home, hoping that a few tabs of melatonin would be enough for at least a few hours of sleep. And again, I could feel eyes on me as I drove and I saw his eerie smile everywhere until I hit the highway. I felt a weight lift off of my shoulders then, although I made sure to take the most winding path home that I could afford gas for (which was quite a bit after a job like that). By the time I did get home it was starting to get dark, and I had made a few loops around my apartment just to be sure I didn’t still feel his eyes on me. Luckily, my apartment building has a public parking garage attached to it so even if I was being followed I felt safe enough that nobody would be able to find my room. But Just to be sure, I took the stairs for the first time in months. Have any of you ever climbed seven flights of stairs out of paranoia before Rijento? Well in case you haven’t let me tell you what it’s like. Do you remember running up the stairs from the basement after turning off the lights as a kid? That feeling of unease and terror? Well it’s like that, but you aren’t a kid anymore. It’s not the dark or what imaginary monsters could be lurking in it that frightens you anymore. Instead, you’re worried about who could be hiding in the darkness, what real monster could be following you up those stairs… I’m no slouch when it comes to exercise but it still drained everything out of me hauling my body up those stairs on my hands and feet like an animal as fast as I could. I got inside and locked the door securely behind me, panting, covered in sweat, but I sighed in relief with the fact that I hadn’t felt anyone watching me at all during my climb. I took a moment to catch my breath, slumping down by the door and chuckling to myself while shaking my head. I couldn’t believe that I’d let that freak get so deep under my skin. Once I had caught my breath, I stood up and made my way to my couch before flopping onto it. I wanted nothing more than to go to sleep then and there, but I had to be smart with my money this time. I immediately cashed the Bitcoin out. Better to pay myself out in small increments, but I had bills to pay and I’d already learned my lesson about leaving things in Bitcoin. Once business was taken care of, I grabbed the remote control and flicked on the TV. The familiar faces of the local news anchors greeted me and I began drifting off to sleep while listening to the happenings of our city. It was around seven a.m. when I was woken up by the sound of the ‘breaking news’ alert coming on. “We are just receiving reports of a ghastly murder of one [yeah, I’m not gonna put her name or age here] year old college student living on her own. Police investigators say that several of her organs were found to be missing and that they found evidence of someone living in her home without her knowledge for quite some time before the murder…” The reporters kept talking about how much of a tragedy the situation was… But I wasn’t listening. How could I listen… I’ve never been less happy to be right then I was at that moment. I shuddered thinking about it. My thoughts and paranoia regarding the man I’d met the other day bubbling back up to the surface. It was then that the reality of what I’d done hit me like a freight train. By accepting that contract I doomed that girl to die… All because I needed some quick cash. I stood up and went to the kitchen and opened my liquor cabinet. Without looking, I grabbed a bottle of something with shaking hands and fumbled with the top while trying to keep my mind clear of thoughts. Once I had the cap off I took several deep swigs from the bottle, spilling quite a bit down my chin before I set it down and gasped for air. The burn of the alcohol in my throat gave me something to focus on while it worked its magic on the rest of my body. As my mind slowly clouded I found my way to a chair and found it easier to think about what happened without panicking. My first thought was that I needed to do something. I knew the guy’s face, I should go to the cops! It was at this moment that the… Less impulsive side of my brain kicked in. I go to the cops and all I do is give myself a one way ticket to an early grave. My employers don’t take kindly to police interactions. I slowly resigned myself to the fact that I was going to have to live with the consequences of this job for the rest of my life… I’m a coward, I know. Anyways, the next few days passed by slowly. I was… Not in a good place mentally and I’m sure you remember how much alcohol my cabinets were stocked with. I blacked out more than once only to wake up gasping for breath from drinking too much. It was honestly a miracle that I didn’t kill myself through alcohol poisoning. But I… Managed to come to terms with everything. Don’t get me wrong, I still had nightmares where I was the guy hiding in that girls closet… But I wasn’t drinking my problems away anymore, although I think that was more because of the fact that I’d run out of liquor than any meaningful character development. It was about a week later that I was able to get my first night of actual sleep. I didn’t dream about anything either so that was a plus. I know it probably sounds bad, but I was starting to feel normal again… Like I could maybe find a way to just be myself… Either way, even after all that I still wanted to keep my job. I just added a new rule: no organs. From there I fell back into more or less my old routine. I went to eat out almost every day though, I thought any excuse that got me cleaned up and out of my place was worth taking… And then, I began to feel it again. That skin-crawling sensation of eyes on me from somewhere that I felt the day I met Mr. Hide&Seek. I didn’t think much of it at first, I only felt the eyes when I was surrounded by other people so of course one or two would be looking my way right? I thought I was just guilty and paranoid. But no matter what I did, I would always feel like I was being watched whenever other people were around. So I started driving more and more and eating out less and less. Not driving anywhere in particular, just driving… I felt safe on the open road, I couldn’t feel any eyes on me… For about a week. It started small. A shiver down my spine here and there. A sharp sensation that made my eyes snap to one car or another. Then it came more frequently, and I began to get more and more paranoid as the feeling became stronger and stronger. I started driving less and less, and whenever I did, I kept my eyes on the cars around me. Trying desperately to find where that feeling was coming from. To find who was watching me… Trying to catch a glimpse of his face in a passing car. I even thought I did see him a few times… Except that was just paranoia… I hope. Eventually, I stopped driving unless I had to. I shut myself in my apartment, only going out to get groceries and always, always making sure that I didn’t feel anyone watching me before I parked. But that feeling would always find me whenever I went out. This went on for about a month. I started to drink again, I didn’t go out to eat or drive anymore. I paid someone to deliver my groceries to the garage of my building. All I did was eat, sleep, drink, and watch movies or play games… I’d be living the dream, if I didn’t think a serial killer was stalking me. Part of me believed that I was just being paranoid and to be honest I desperately wanted to believe that part of me… But not enough to stake my life on it. And after another week of living like a shut-in the feeling of being watched started to re-surface. Like before it started off small. I felt a ping of eyes on me and from then on I kept the blinds securely closed. Even then, the feeling persisted for days, gradually gathering in strength. So I emptied out all of my closets and cabinets daily… Eventually I just left all of the doors open and everything on the floor so that I could look in to any hiding spot in an instant… But that feeling still persisted. I stopped drinking because I was terrified of being attacked. I started sleeping less and less and when I had to sleep, I slept inside of my closet and barred the doors shut from the inside. I ate and drank only when I felt hungry and always with my back to a corner of the room or locked in my closet… But I could still feel eyes on me, feel His eyes on me the same way I had back at the park. It was about a month later when I finally discovered my haven. The one place left that I didn’t feel watched. The stairwell of my building. I found that whenever I went down and back up the stars to get my groceries – as I’d long since stopped using the elevator – that I would have a brief respite from the feeling of being watched. I started to spend all of my waking hours there, sat on one of the stairs without a care in the world. I only left them to eat and sleep and whenever I entered the building proper I would feel eyes on me almost immediately. But having those stairs to return to made my life almost bearable. It had been a long time since I had anywhere I felt safe, and like every place before it I kept waiting form the feeling of being watched to follow me into the stairwell… But it never did. For another month, I fell into a somewhat bearable rhythm. I’d wake up in my closet feeling watched, I’d eat in the corner of my kitchen feeling watched, and then I’d scurry off to the stairwell where I could blessedly feel alone – Especially near the top floors where the stairs were seldom used. But all good things must come to an end and all that, and while I never did feel watched in the stairs, I did run out of money. Apartments and cars don’t pay for themselves after all, and while I managed a few months on the blood money from my last job it was finally time to get back to work. In the months since I last logged on to the site, things had calmed down significantly and there were now plenty of jobs that didn’t break any of my rules… So I decided to go with a route that I’d done before a couple of times. A gun run. The seller always treated me to a drink or two at his bar and was also always well armed so I felt that it would be a nice and easy job that I could feel safe doing. After confirming the job I closed my laptop, pulled on a fresh set of clothing, and headed out the door. I wanted to get this over and done with, and thankfully the feeling of being watched was rather light that day. I do admit, however, that I lingered in the stairwell for a bit before heading out. I wanted a bit of time alone before being out in the open for the first time in months. Anyways, I hopped in my car after about thirty minutes of blessed stairwell time and headed to the bar. After about two hours of paranoid and twisting driving I managed to make it just on time and pulled my car into the alleyway behind the bar. The owner greeted me with a smile as I got out of my car, “T, long time no see!” he said, his smile fading as I walked up and he got a better look at me. “Holy shit man, are you feeling okay?” he asked, genuine worry in the eyes of the large man. “No… I’m pretty far from okay…” I said with an exhausted sigh. I could still feel the faintest hint of eyes on me even now, though I know that the owner wouldn’t let me be jumped at his bar. “It’s a long story,” I offered, realizing for the first time that it might be nice to actually tell someone what happened. “Is that so.” he said with a hint of a smile and a shake of his head. “Well, hows about we get you a drink while the boys get ready to load up your car.” He offered in return, making me smile. “There’s always plenty of time for stories at my bar.” He said proudly. “I’d like that…” I said with another exhausted sigh, managing to keep the smile up as he put an arm around me and lead me in the back door of the bar. “Oh, by the way, how did you hold up during the bitcoin crash? I heard it hit a couple of transporters pretty hard.” he said, making me chuckle as we made our way through the kitchen. “Funny you should mention that,” I said, making him raise an eyebrow, “because that’s how my long story star—” I began, only to stop short when I looked at the bar. HE was siting there, sipping on a beer without a care in the world. He noticed me out of the corner of his eye and that same sickeningly sweet smile crept onto his face as his eyes met mine. I froze. There was no way that this was a coincidence. There was no way that he just happened to be at this bar at this time. I was broken from my trance by the bar owner waving his hand in front of my face and saying my name, “Hello? T, you alright?” I quickly ducked back into the kitchen and started to hyperventilate. How did he know? How could he possibly have known that I would be here? Did he follow me? “Did who follow you?” The owner’s voice brought me back to reality once again as I realized I’d been thinking out loud. His face was concerned, bordering on scared. “How long has that guy been at the bar?” I asked, hoping that the owner knew who I was talking about. “If you mean tall, thin, and creepy then about an hour… What is going on T?” He asked, as I slumped against the wall. I started crying. I broke down and burst back into the bar only to see that Mr. Hide&Seek he was already gone. “I… I need to go. I need to get home!” I said, pushing past the owner and running to my car. He called after me, trying to get me to stay and explain what the hell was happening but I wasn’t listening. For all I know, Mr. Hide&Seek could be breaking in to my apartment already. I drove straight home and threw open the door to my apartment. It had still been locked, but I wasn’t taking any chances. I grabbed a knife from the kitchen and checked everywhere. But he wasn’t there. Then, my phone rang and scared the living hell out of me. I checked the number and gulped when I saw that it was blocked. I considered not answering but in the end I picked up the call. “H-Hello?” I asked tentatively. “T… What the hell happened at the bar?” a modulated voice rang through the speaker in my ear, making me wince. It was one of the site admins for sure. I was silent for a moment before telling the admin everything. I couldn’t see the man, but I could feel a sudden change when I mentioned seeing Mr. Hide&Seek at the bar. “T,” the admin began, a serious edge to his voice. “I need you to log in to the site… _Now_” he said, and something in me told me to listen. I booted up my laptop and hopped on to the site. As soon as I logged in a dialog appeared that I’d never seen before. ‘ADMIN would like to take control of this computer. Do you consent to this?’ With two buttons. One for yes. One for no. I clicked yes and watched as my cursor began to move on it’s own. “Thank you T. This will only take a moment…” the admin said, a practiced calm in his voice as he downloaded several files and began to do… Something on my laptop. A minute later a dialog box popped up that said, ‘Threat detected!’ and the admin sighed and his voice sharpened as he spoke. “T… You’ve been compromised. You’ve had a nasty piece of spyware installed on your machine, for about a month by the looks of things. It’s been recording your keystrokes and giving someone remote access to your camera…” the admin explained, making me gulp as I realized that all of my information was insecure. “B-but, there’s no way! I haven’t download anything!” I said, making the admin mutter something as a bout of typing could be heard coming through the phone. The admin’s voice was cold and calculated when he spoke next. “No… No you didn’t…” he said, making me gulp. “This software was installed via _USB_…” the admin said, making my heart nearly stop. Hide&Seek had been in my home! He had been here without me noticing and put that program on my laptop. Even after all of my paranoia, he still found his way into my room without me knowing. “I’m going to delete the program,” the admin said, and a few keystrokes later, “done… What the—” As the admin deleted the program, thousands of windows began popping up on the screen of my laptop. All of them saying the same thing… ‘olly olly oxen free’ After that, I threw my laptop in the trash and got a new one as well as a new phone, sim card and all. I was taking no chances. I got all new accounts for everything and the admin told me he revoked Mr. Hide&Seek’s membership personally. But I’m going to disappear all the same, I have a plane ticket to somewhere and my bags are already packed. Don’t look for me, and if you ever start to feel like you’re being watched… It’s because you are.
Deathstroke The Terminator aka Slade Wilson is a DC Comics comic book character that has been around since 1980. This respect thread which may be updated in the future, will be about the "DC Rebirth" version of Deathstroke, which has been the main version/Earth 0 version of the character since he was more or less rebooted back in 2016. The main writer of this Deathstroke is Christopher Priest which is why this Deathstroke may be known as "Prieststroke". Christopher Priest is virtually the Word of God when it comes to this Deathstroke, and he has a site specifically dedicated to this Deathstroke: http://lamerciepark.com/comics/deathstroke/ Most quotations will be from that site, and I recommend reading it for the best intro into the series and an understanding of this Deathstroke. Also for an idea of how this Deathstroke is meant to look, This is Deathstroke's Rebirth Design version 1.1. Now, Who is DC Rebirth's Deathstroke?:
He is not a mercenary, profesional soldier, military subcontractor or any other clever euphemism used to round the edges off of his description. Deathstroke kills people for money. Lots of money. He spends a great deal of that money on a virtual army of lawyers who expertly prevent police and/or covert entities from ever positively proving Lt. Colonel Slade Wilson (Ret.) and Deathstroke are, in fact, one and the same.
Deathstroke is approximately 55 years of age but appears to be 20 years younger due to the tissue regeneration caused by his rapid healing power. He is 6'4", taller than Superman or Batman, (and very intimidating). Slade is an extremely cool customer, much like the first act or so of the Michael Mann-Tom Cruise film Collateral. He occasionally wears sunglasses so the eye patch (a stick-on white patch) isn’t necessarily seen. It is very difficult to get Deathstroke to lose his temper.
Deathstroke is an emotional cripple along the lines of Hugh Laurie's House M.D., a guy who desperately loves and desires to be close to his children, but is too emotionally damaged to ever achieve that. He was a terrible father and is now haunted by a lot of poor choices made with his wife Adeline and his boys, especially.
The only people he actually talks to are his longtime partner Major William Randolph Wintergreen, British SAS (Ret.), his kids and his ex-wife. Wintergreen, approximately 65, is a reluctant partner who has ethical conflicts about DS's line of work. Other than that, Deathstroke is (in my version) much more laconic than as he's traditionally been portrayed. He trusts no one, thinks most everyone is an idiot, speaks only when absolutely necessary.
Deathstroke works for himself, is suspicious of all governments (especially ours). You hire him by posting an offer on the Dark Web along with a six-figure deposit in untraceable Bitcoin.
Deathstroke's basic powers are:
Enhanced Strength: Roughly that of Captain America. YMMV. Enhanced Reflexes: Roughly that of Captain America. YMMV.
Note* Christopher Priest has written Captain America before (The Captain America and Falcon series if i recall), so what his Captain America did may be usable for his Deathstroke. Also YMMV is "Your Milleage May Vary", which means basically it may be different in your view. Deathstroke also has
Enhanced Intellect: Post-Rebirth, we're redefining this a little. We no longer say Deathstroke uses "90% of his brain capacity." If Deathstroke used 90% of his brain capacity, he'd be Charles Xavier. Now we just say he's really, really smart. Deathstroke is probably the smartest guy in the DC Universe. He is easily the equal of Batman in terms of strategic planning. Deathstroke's intellect is deadlier than his sword. He typically out-thinks and out-strategizes everybody in the book. He is a keen observer and expert detective. He usually has several balls in the air at one time.
Rapid Healing: Post-Rebirth, we're redefining this a little. Deathstroke's rapid healing clots blood in seconds and seals wounds in minutes. The time it takes for full healing depends upon the wound: a bee sting, maybe a couple seconds. A gunshot wound: a few hours. It depends on the complexity of the knitting process, how much tissue needs to be regenerated and other factors. It is not an instant process. Deathstroke's rapid healing cannot regenerate organs. It can heal organs, but, for example, it won't regenerate a liver if a bad guy rips his out. Therefore, his rapid healing power did not simply create a new eye (or, in the case of Marvel's over-the-top Deathstroke parody Deadpool, grow a new hand). Deathstroke experiences pain like anyone else. Just because he has rapid healing doesn't mean he'd just sit around and let people gut him with swords. This is why he wears a protective uniform.. Deathstroke experiences trauma like anyone else and is capable of going into traumatic shock from injury. If he does not allow his rapid healing process to properly close a wound, Deathstroke can bleed out and die just like anyone else.
Deathstroke's intellect in Rebirth: "Deathstroke is probably the smartest guy in DC." "Easily the equal of Batman in terms of strategic planning", and He is also an "Expert Detective". "Outsmarting Deathstroke is likely not possible." And "He is at least as resourceful and intelligent and well prepared as Batman."
The 2016 Deathstroke comic book series has concluded and Christopher Priest has finished his Deathstroke series, so, this is likely the end of this respect thread for the foreseeable future. Nevertheless, The Legend Continues..
Copied and pasted a long thread about the 2020s (part 2)
I have found a very interesting thread in a forum, I decided to copy and paste all the comments that the author of the post had made. The author posted this in 2019, the author also posted another in the past in 2018 about the same subject. But this will be about the 2019 post (part 2) I won't be sharing the link to the website because I want to protect the identity of the users since it is a mental health forum. But here is the link to part 1: https://www.reddit.com/The2020s/comments/dzpb6l/copied_and_pasted_a_long_thread_about_the_2020s/ --------------- Here we are! Today it is the year 2019, the near end of the 2010s.The 2010s was an interesting decade to say the least, internet use continued to spread like wildfire worldwide with more and more people becoming dependent on the internet. When I was a kid in the 2000s I felt like the odd one out because I was addicted to the desktop and I didn't know many other people who were addicted to computers, but today in the 2010s this seems like the new normal except now most people are carrying desktops in their own pockets (cellphones). In the 2000s politics was very moderate and there was much less polarization, now polarization is pretty much a growing trend with many people sharing very strong political believes on the internet. The internet became a political tool and metaphorically a source of political fuel in the 2010s, everyone can now share their believes on the internet and inspire a new group of followers, something that the world didn't have or realized it had until the 2010s and we are still getting used to this. In 2010 there were 6.9 billion people and 1.9 billion internet users, in 2019 there are about 7.8 billion people and about 4.5 billion internet users. Which means that internet use has increased by 237% while the world population has increased by at least 12%.By 2030 the world population is expected to reach 8.5 billion people and more than 7.5 billion people are expected to be internet users, that could very well be 90% of the worlds population. This means that the internet will truly begin to take over the world during the 2020s, it will continue to make big changes on how we will live and how we will communicate, it may become almost impossible to live in the western world without being online. Climate change is a big issue, in 2010 the global average temperature was 0.62 Celsius above 20th century average, in 2018 it was 0.79 Celsius above 20th century average. The 2018 temperatures may not seem like much but everyone who is informed about the summer of 2018 will agree that it was a very hot year, so hot that record wildfires within the arctic circle happened.By 2030 we could potentially reach 1.5 degrees Celsius of warming since pre-industrial times, again the number does not seem much but the consequences are huge. Mudslides from melting soil will turn mountains in death zones, lower food harvests and nutritional value will increase risks of starvation, loss of fresh water will result in wars over water, the Maldives will be flooded as well as Bangladesh which will cause huge mass migrations, the ice will melt even faster which are increasing sea levels, you get the idea.In the 2020s global warming will become a much bigger problem, but there is no guarantee that enough will be done to cut emissions. Developing countries such as India want nothing more than to have the same quality of life as the western world does, not much can be done to dissuade India until the country suffers greatly from global warming and the potential for growth seems impossible. As long as developing countries believe that growth is possible they will contribute massively to global emissions just as soon as the developed world begin to cut their emissions, and worse yet developing countries often have very high populations which will contribute to global warming even more than it could have done. In the 2020s there will be a new global superpower which would be decided by 2030, it is unlikely that America will remain the superpower due to its stagnant economy and the potential loss of trade partners in the near future. The most likely contenders for being the next global superpower is Russia and China, this struggle for power could potentially trigger a 2nd cold war. Global relations will change, there has been a growing loss of trust in the 2010s between nations and that trend will continue to escalate during the 2020s while new crises emerge.This loss of trust could result in balkanization in some parts of the world, particularly in ethnically diverse countries such as Papua New Guinea and Tanzania. Countries will begin to do their own thing and ignore international agreements as trust disintegrates, the Paris Agreement and the United Nations might be abandoned in the 2020s.To put it shortly, the world power will likely shift from Anglo-America to Asio-China/Russia, international co-operation and aid may regress into nationalistic autonomy, and from democracy to populism. Technologically, most breakthroughs will be related to the huge spread of the internet in some way, in other words most technological advances will be adaptations to the way we live with the internet and learning the full capability and power of it. 5g will be adopted reluctantly due to health concerns, but it will be adopted anyway at some point in the 2020s quickly and this will cause even more dramatic changes within our society. If you think our world has changed drastically so far just wait until 5g comes! By 2030 we could have fridges that are connected to the internet, many other inanimate objects would also be connected to the internet and whatever information is processed will be used to benefit companies as well as sniffing out bad behavior. Because of 5g, the 2020s may be the last decade when privacy is possible in society. Lastly, I am going to talk about generations and their role in the 2020s. Pretty much all Baby Boomers are going to retire in this decade to have their previous role as leaders replaced by Gen X, Gen Y will all be adults and will be trying to make big changes in the world, Gen Z will begin to grow into adults, there will be a new generation in the 2020s (generation beta). What do you think will happen in the 2020s? Very keen to read your thoughts about this topic!Have a good day. ------------------------- reply to user: Honestly I will never be able to answer with confidence about Brexit! I think many people in the parliament don't seem to know what to do, I think most likely Brexit will be on hold until the EU itself fails. Today the EU is already struggling to survive.How will the EU fail? When its financial situation gives European nations the incentive to leave so they can grow their economies by themselves without restrictions, the Syrian refugee crisis (5 million people) destabilized the EU to its core and it was the refugee crisis that started Brexit in the first place.Imagine what would happen to global politics if 20 million migrants went into Europe, it would certainly change a lot of things. reply to user:Religion could make a comeback in the 2020s, particularly in a scenario where climate change pushes people to turn to religion for comfort. Islam is on a sharp rise due to the fact that they have a lot of children, it will also become the biggest religion in the world in the near future, at that point most people on Earth will be Muslim.I think ISIS largely happened because of food shortages in Syria which resulted in civil war, if a similar thing happened in another vulnerable Muslim country then you can expect another wave of suicidal radicals wrecking havoc and forming another radical group.I have once predicted a similar uprising in North Africa resulting in a mass Christian migration into Europe, the number of Christian migrants could exceed 20 million. ----------------------- reply to user: Yeah the idea of the European Union has been a flawed and overly ambitious project right from the start, Europe is quite a divided continent with many countries having a strong sense of identity, trying to make Europe into one country will inevitably backfire. Without much doubt the EU will collapse, however it will live on under a different name by one or a few countries that still cling onto the vision.After EU falls there is a chance that a few more so-called unions may form, these unions may be alliances that share the same political views which could result in a polarization.Germany had a good shot at attempting to rule Europe again though, we tried it and probably won't do it again for a while. ----------------------- reply to user: Funny enough I have just very recently found out that the UK is going to have another general election, so far at the moment it looks like Labour is doing well with public approval, it is a likely possibility that Jeremy Corbyn may become the next prime minister.If Jeremy Corbyn becomes the next prime minister that would mean that Brexit will be cancelled, this could cause major polarization and unrest if there are still people who really want Brexit. Who knows what would happen if the majority of pro-Brexiteers protest in the streets because they didn't get what was promised to them? A British revolution is another real possibility. reply to user:Predicting elections will always be difficult for me because of how uncertain and at times random they all are, who would of thought that Trump would win in 2016? Would Trump win again in 2020? I mean it sounds crazy but if it happened in 2016 then it can certainly happen again in 2020. Although I do think that Trump has less of a chance of winning in 2020.A good thing to take note of is when Trump withdrew from the Paris Agreement much of America didn't follow suite, there are many American companies who still follow the Paris Agreement guidelines because they don't agree with Trump, there are many Americans who have not been implementing Trumps policies.Elections can never be predicted with 100% confidence, but Trump is more likely to lose in 2020 than 2016. ------------------------------- Thank you all for your replies, they have been smart and intuitive contributions. :-D Last night I just began researching about the 1920s out of interest (I think I might have mentioned the 1920s in the old 2020s thread). I have just started learning about the 1920s so there is a lot that I don't know about it but there are a few themes that resonates with today trends, which I will mention below.And because I am not well informed about the 1920s the below information would be hypothetical and open to speculation. The 1920s was an economically prosperous time for the Western World, but the economic prosperity abruptly ended with the Stock Market Crash in 1929 and resulted in the Great Depression in the 1930s. A very similar situation is happening today but is happening much slower and at the moment is less severe, the Stock Market Crash in 2007-2008 resulted in an economic crawl that is still persisting to this day. I have a feeling however that the full effect of the 2007-2008 economic crisis is yet to be felt in full force. Political movements such as Socialism and Fascism were on the rise in the 1920s-1930s partly because of the economic situation, those parties believed that capitalism is out of control and needs intervention to prevent the degeneration of society. The term supercapitalism was created by Fascists, it pretty much means a degenerated form of capitalism that is doing more harm than good to society. The blame of the 1929 Stock Market Crash was placed on Capitalism by both Socialists and Fascists, anti-capitalism exploded in the 1930s which resulted in far-left/far-right nations fighting one another by the end of that decade. Lets say that the next Great Depression is to start in the early 2020s, we already have a lot of young people who have a favorable view on Socialism, on some level there are many people who are blaming Capitalism for the economic crisis. Nations have already been polarizing in the 2010s, so what would happen if we enter the next Great Depression and then a massive surge of Socialism/Fascism happens straight after? The world would be in a very similar situation as the world in pre-WWII. If the 2020s Great Depression happens then Capitalism in the Western World could end, the more young people has power over America the more likely that the nation will transition into a Socialist state. Kinda ironic because in the 20th century Anglo-America fought against Socialist Russia and in the end capitalism unexpectantly won as the leading world policy, but in the 2020s Russia may abandon their socialist past and turn to capitalism as they take advantage of the new resources revealed by global warming, just as Anglo-America turns Socialist Asio-Russia will turn Capitalist (I'm not sure about China, but I'm pretty sure that India is taking the capitalist route too). The Arctic will melt a lot during the 2020s, Russia may likely claim most of the new oil reserves which will cause worldwide tension as oil will be running out, America will be stuck with the last remaining reserves of oil in Alaska and Canada which may result in poor relations between Canada and America, eventually China may have most of the oil reserves in the Middle East because I believe that the Middle East will turn to China for economic interests as America begins to lose its grip on the region. Nothing is forever, everything changes.To those who fear for the future of America I just want to say this, even if America loses influence on the world America will still cling onto their core values in their own home and I can't see America giving up on the American dream, I think that the American dream is redefined by each of its passing generations. ------------------------------ This is probably the last comment I will post in this thread so I'll be sure to write out anything else I can predict or think about the 2020s, again I may be repeating things but at this point its hard to avoid because I posted quite alot about the 2020s at this point. I definitely agree with :user: that if WW3 were to happen in the 2020s it would be similar to how WW1 started, everything was fine then suddenly everything wasn't and the world fell into further chaos resulting in a world war. Currently I believe that the 2020s will start off with a cautious optimism, the decade where Gen X and Gen Y fully realises that the world is in their hands and they will bring about changes. If I could name a main theme of the end of the 2010s I would say 'youth in protest'. A growing number of young people believe that civilization won't be there when they grow up, they see no point in taking part in a society that they believe will inevitably fail due to climate change. In the 2020s the 'youth in protest' will grow to such a degree that societal values of the 20th century will be rendered obsolete. But where does the cautious optimism comes in? I believe the optimism is the result of hope of a better future as the youth wields more power to make changes. We will likely see a big wave of new famous Gen Z's and who knows what they could contribute to this world? Today(Nov,2019) we can all sense that things are changing but what if the changes of the 2010s are volcanic rumbles compared to the eruption of the 2020s? The 2020s will likely be a social and societal fragmentation, the crossroads of a post-consumerist world. Baby Boomers are largely responsible for the world we live in today, very soon Baby Boomers will lose their power over the world and that power will be passed onto the younger generations who have different values. Most Baby Boomers favor capitalism, a growing number of younger generations favor socialism. Conspiracy theories are a growing trend, due to the upheaval of technology it has become easier to believe in conspiracy theories because what was crazy 10 years ago seems feasible today. I think if everyone starts to believe in conspiracy theories then a lack of trust would become so hard to overcome that the government would have no choice but to allow a degree of autonomy. Allowing autonomy would cause more and more lands to demand independence, most of them will be city states like Hong Kong or Singapore. I can't think of anything else, going to conclude it here.The 2020s would either be the beginning of a new era or a long-winded dying of the present post-consumerist era. The Baby Boomers will recline on their chairs and leave the whole world to Gen X and Y, Gen Z will become adults. I haven't mentioned robots but they will begin to take some of our jobs, which can possibly trigger a neo-luddite movement. WW3 hopefully won't happen, a 2nd Cold War is more likely to happen though. Hopefully there won't be an epidemic like the Spanish flu, in this case it will most likely evolve from a strain of bird flu. Climate change will trigger protests and changes, some fear that its already too late to stop global warming. Thank you for reading, lets make the 2020s as good of a decade as possible. ---------------------------------- reply to user: Yeah I've been getting a growing sense that a British Civil War might happen, last year I could not see a civil war happening but now it seems like a real possibility, today it is easy to figure out why it would happen. I bet not many people in the 17th century civil war wanted it to happen and didn't think that it would happen but you can learn what ended up happening, Charles I got beheaded and maybe Boris Johnson might meet a similar fate.Not a certainty, I can never be certain but its something worth worrying and preparing for. In the 2020s, I think the U.A.E is a possible candidate for a world power and I can see them cutting deals from America and making deals with China instead 'The enemy of my enemy is my friend.'. Imagine if America-UK runs out of energy and oil resources, in this scenario it is likely that U.A.E+China+Russia will own all the remaining deposits by then and we may have no choice but to give up a degree of independence in exchange for some of their oil and energy.Another scenario is the race for the last of the remaining resources that our society still largely depends on, the nation that has the most resources will have the most power and nations that lack those resources will form alliances with them for resources in return.We may possibly see the first super-corporations being established, a very large and powerful corporation that may be the true power behind everything and maybe even more powerful than political figureheads.Those super-corporations may become independent nations that have their own goals and projects, mostly they involve technologies for either saving our eco-systems or to control us. I have once thought about the year 2075, I imagined a huge city (at that time many countries collapsed, civilization largely being left with city-states ran by trillionaires) the city uses mind control technology to maintain order, the A.I is used to help the elites figure out the next best course of action, human clones are used for labor and war, everyone is constantly being watched due to surveillance that will be almost everywhere.The 2020s will be the start of the new world that future generations will recognized as the true 21st century, 2000-2030 will be seen as a transitional period. ------------------------ We are only 2 days away from the 2020s, I am going to post about the decade predictions to avoid the regret of not posting it before the 2010s ends. I will have a bit of closure about my 2020s threads now that I'm doing this for the last time, I might be a bit risky and do my best to make a scenario story for fun even though about half of it will be inaccurate haha, since accurately predicting the future is like trying to fly without wings. But still, some of the predictions I have thought about have already come true even before the 2020s has started, which makes it clear that the world is changing faster than we thought and will continue to increase the throttle. There is already some tension between America and China over trade, at the moment as I write this they have agreed to a truce after a trade war that not many knew about but there is tension and might escalate in the near future, if America attacks another nation again then half of the world will turn against America and will cut all trade-ties with it which would cause America to descend into chaos. In short, America could get sanctioned but other nations will be at risk of being sanctioned if they commit any future acts of aggression. There would likely be more riots and terrorism, there will likely be a much worse refugee crisis caused both by climate change and acts of aggression by ISIS or a nation. There could be more online communities that provide a source of humanitarian relief and charity, some online communities will run on bitcoin(or other forms of cryptocurrency) so that they can afford more resources to help people with.I have once predicted that there will be a mass migration of Christians from North Africa due to Islamic radicalism, well as of 2019 there already are Christians in Nigeria (North Africa!) being beheaded by ISIS so a mass migration from North Africa is very possible, in fact the whole Arab Spring and its neighbors could produce masses of migrants due to the continuous descent into chaos. Out of all the Muslim nations Turkey-Saudi Arabia-Iran-U.A.E appear to be the most stable while others are highly vulnerable, I have a good feeling about U.A.E solely because it has many long-term goals to ensure economic security so I can see them having a good influence on Iran and Saudi Arabia, U.A.E will likely make trade deals with China and China could offer U.A.E military protection thus protecting the U.A.E from Saudi Arabia and Iran since the risk of a war going on in the Persian Gulf is high.Dubai will become a more important city and will become a cultural as well as scientific center, much of its workforce would likely be desperate people from South Asia looking for work. If a new superpower enters world-stage then the West could face sanctions for acts of war against the Arab Spring, especially if the new power is disapproving towards the West, if the West is sanctioned then it will enter a long-term economic depression and could be forced to house refugees.Populism will spread as more people feel like they are living through a crisis, populist candidates appeal to people by presenting themselves as the solution to their crisis. Populism has been on the rise in the 2010s and many people believe that most populist movements have been right-wing, the most common theme of 2010s-populism are anti-immigration and America/Britain first, those populist movements have resulted in Brexit and Donald Trumps presidency.If populism continues to spread in the 2020s then we will see more and more nations implementing anti-emigration policies and we will see them turn away from globalization as they retreat into the concerns of their own nation. The European Union will decay due to countries leaving, the United Nations too will decay as countries start to defy and leave so they can do their own thing, globalization is at a big risk in the 2020s. Largely due to technology more and more people will begin to lose their jobs, and more people will lose their homes to man-made disasters. Self-driving cars will begin to render Uber Drivers and Taxi drivers obsolete, mass-production is becoming more automatic so more people who work in mass-production will lose their jobs, self-checkout machines in shops will continue to slowly render retailers obsolete. Newspapers are dead, and soon TV will be.Nations will be able to provide more resources with robots but there will be less consumers since not many people would be able to afford to buy many things, this would cause a worldwide economic crisis and we are overdue for a 1920s-style economic crash.What will the government do with all those homeless and unemployed people? Universal income will be the most likely solution but it is highly unlikely that many people would live comfortably since they will have to work very hard to survive and you'd have to be very lucky to get a job, in turn people will begin to reject the government and the system, some (hopefully many) people could turn to online communities to support one another and due to the failing economy will turn to cryptocurrency which they use to support themselves. The Sagrada Familia will finally be complete, I think it would be nice to make the wonder of Sagrada Familia the icon of the 2020s. Other projects will be completed as well such as The London Super Sewer, The Giant Magellan Telescope, The Square Kilometer Array radio telescope, a few big bridges (and a tunnel for boats in Norway) and a few new railways here and there. There will be at least a few major space achievements thanks to Elon Musk and some privatized science projects will offer few more major breakthroughs in science, the first manned mission to Mars is scheduled in the 2020s but its chance for success is low due to the many risks and dangers, space junk will become a much bigger problem and will need to be cleaned up before we will never be able to leave the Earth. The mission to Mars would likely be re-scheduled or postponed. 3D printing is expected to enter mainstream which in itself will change many things, 3D printing could even render some shops obsolete because you could print whatever stuff you want at home instead of going to a shop looking for what you want, a creator sub-culture may develop from 3D printing enthusiasts.Vertical farms are expected to be erected for the first time in cities, this trend will grow because agriculture is also expected to fail in the long-run so there is a lot of funding put into vertical farming because vertical farming could replace conventional field farming, in the 2020s however vertical farms will only generate a very small percentage of food and its produce would not be sold in mainstream shops for a while.Lab grown meat will be a new growing trend in the 2020s, but its adoption will be slow due to skepticism and lack of popularity. Will there be wars? Likely more than the 2010s.Because not much has been resolved at 2019 we can expect things to grow more tense, especially since we are all facing an impending global warming crisis and a decline of globalization. Russia and China will become more dominant and influential throughout the world, developing countries will bear the brunt of climate change while the developed countries are increasingly destabilized by the flocks of refugees flooding in, developing countries could be reduced into war-zones like Syria in the 2010s.The trade-wars between America and China could involve other world powers and it could escalate into the 2nd Cold War, with a Cold War there is always the chance of a 3rd World War looming.The west will decay as the western economy worsens, Russia and China would exploit whatever resource they can get with their new influence in a decaying world but their economic growth will be fragile too.China is threatened by the loss of fresh water once the Himalayan ice melts, much of Chinese agriculture is threatened by floods, when the Chinese eco-system fails then you can expect them to attack their neighbours or best-case scenario demand resources from their allies.Russia is threatened by the same thing that will give them economic prosperity, global warming, when the ice melts the methane would doom us all and will also release long-forgotten epidemics into our world, Russia will face a huge refugee crisis coming from the south due to water shortages so you can expect Russia to heavily enforce their borders.European politics will change drastically due to responses from refugees, if Europe refuses most refugees then it is possible that armies of angry refugees could invade Europe in the future.Africa is gaining so much but that growth will not be expected to last due to climate change, water wars reduce some areas into anarchy like Libya in the 2010s, Nigeria-Ethiopia-South Africa would likely be the most prosperous countries of the continent, the African countries that are developing would likely begin to adopt the same lifestyle as the West is living like eating fast food and being online all day long. I do not know much about South America but some parts appear to be on a verge of political change and turmoil, I do believe that they are at risk for water shortages due to melting ice in the Andes, I can't see them stopping the destruction of the Amazon so that will be ongoing. South America will grow economically but like the rest of the world it will be a highly vulnerable growth.Australia will continue to be burnt alive by wildfires, we should start seeing more and more Australians moving to colder areas such as Tasmania New Zealand and Britain. Indonesia will continue to destroy their rain-forests to make money out of palm oil, don't know what their political situation would be though but would most likely go down the capitalist path. All in all the 2020s will be a time of disruption, the pace of life will get faster and faster, fake news and deep fakes will spread, misinformation will be rife, as the internet spreads and becomes more disruptive more restrictions will be put on the internet, because we are growing more dependent on technology cyber-attacks or power-cuts could bring us back to the late 20th century, people will grow more scared and desperate and may turn to drastic courses of action if said course of action is the only solution.We are at risk of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and bird flu, obesity and depression will become a bigger burden than it already is, transgender people will be the new normal as people are now coming out as transhuman, in some parts of cities driving a car could be banned because of driverless cars replacing transportation in some city centers, cars are switching to hybrid/electricity as electric car plugs appear in many built-up areas, more and more people have had their DNA stored into a database and I can't say for sure how this data will be used. Online communities give me hope, and I hope that online communities become so rich with cryptocurrency and popular that when the decaying society that thrived in the 20th century fails we got the new online society to fall back onto and rebuild a new society from scratch instead of trying to rebuilt a society that failed us. I wish us all the best of luck. --------- reply to user: I think you are definitely right about 2020 Britain being pretty much the same as 2019 Britain except that it could get worse especially since the NHS is in the process of being privatized which sucks for me too because I am a Type 1 Diabetic, I am inclined to think that Boris Johnson will resign in the near future just to be replaced by another equally unqualified/unpopular Tory. I am going to be a bit controversial and biased but I want to blame Democracy for the situation that Britain is in right now and I want to explain why I am skeptical towards Democracy.So the idea of Democracy is to get the public to choose who becomes the leader and its down to the public to make that important choice, but many people do not want to run the country and many people do not know what is best for their country.In a Democratic society the best way to win a vote is to promise the public everything and appeal to them, you don't have to be good at politics to win and you don't have to tell people of your true intentions all you have to do is lie and be charismatic. Politicians probably hire professional psychologists to trick people into voting for them because they know how to trick the system to get them into the position that they both don't deserve or are qualified for. Its no wonder why Politicians are losing their efficiency, they do it as a job because many politicians do not need to be good at running a country to become the leader and like I said they just need to know what the people want to hear and to put on a charismatic face.I believe that running the country should be reserved for those who want to run the country and have the countries best interest at heart, it should be reserved for professionals who know what they are doing and have had years of training as well as experience. In a Democracy if you get two candidates, one is a businessman who is very charismatic but only knows about business, the other one is a ex-Sergeant who has had 20 years of experience in the administrative field but he is not as charismatic. Even though the Businessman is less qualified he will win because he is charismatic and knows how to trick people into voting for him instead of the professional, repeat this process and you'll end up with a very ineffective government or circus full of charismatic millionaires who trick and lie to the public to maintain their lofty position in society. And that is probably how Britain ended up with the government it has, people have been lied to and people don't know who is best for their country so we end up voting for the wrong people or get tricked into believing that Democracy is the best form of government.Sadly Democracy will put Britain(as well as other nations) at risk of a power hungry Populist who will present him/herself as against the present government and will use his/her charisma to appeal to us to make us believe that the Populist is the solution to all of our problems caused by the government, but once the Populist gets elected s/he will show his/her true colors and the public will soon regret their vote.This process will keep repeating itself while we have Democracy, I believe that its not working and maybe we are better off leaving our politics to the professionals elected by professionals. I also want to thank you for all the replies you posted on my 2020s posts, they have helped keeping the 2020s posts alive. Again, thank you. --------------------- reply to user: Not only that but many people are also misinformed because Democratic candidates lie and be all fake to get votes and on top that they also spread rumors about other candidates or pretty much anything so that they'll get more votes, its bad because not only many people already don't know what is best for their country but they will find it very difficult to know for sure what will be best because of all the lies and misinformation. --------------------- reply to user: Its scary that some people out there actually believe that Jeremy Corbyn is anti-semetic, its such a ridiculous and desperate accusation just to make Jeremy Corbyn look bad and lose. And its scary because if people actually believe those bogus anti-Semetic accusations then it just shows how much the media controls us all.Donald Trump is indeed right about journalists and fake news being an issue, but I think the reason why journalism is such a joke in America is because it is privatized and they are becoming desperate so that they can survive kinda like 'IT' from the Steven King novel.Capitalism and privatization can corrupt journalism because capitalism makes journalism more about money and getting attention so it degenerates into what it currently is, but Donald Trump is very capitalist, which could mean that Donald Trump is a cause of journalism gone wrong and he is getting backlash from the world he helped to create whether he knows it or not. Journalism does need to be regulated, especially now we are becoming fully aware of how powerful mass media can be. I could be blaming capitalism because of mass media and it could turn out that capitalism isn't to blame after all, but I still believe that its probably best for journalism to just focus on entertainment and to leave actual news to a more professional environment where the professionals highly focus on telling the people about unbiased truths. ------------------------------
My wife (32F) is threatening to leave me if I (30M) don't get what she considers help for my depression. This isn't the first time she has threatened to leave me.
This is going to be a long post. I met my wife online 8 years ago. We lived across the country from each other and kept a long distance relationship going well, and go the opportunity to see each other every few months for weeks at a time. We would fall asleep on Skype together every night, text each other throughout the day, and phone each other when we had time to talk or wanted to play games together. In 2013 after a year and a half of dating I asked her to marry me and she said yes. I was overjoyed! I had spent my highschool years as the guy that everyone avoided because my mother had been sending me to therapy for over 10 years for issues that may have been real at the time of my childhood, but regressed as I grew into adulthood. I would routinely take a cocktail of 8 different medications in the morning and before bed, and my friends are the time would better describe me as a zombie over a functional human being. I had issues holding conversation, would regularly space out, could not perform sexually, and could not get good grades in college. After I got married to my wife, we got an apartment together, and I stopped my medication cold turkey of my own volition. I was a new man, I no longer any of my previous issues and I felt free and full of life. I never resented my mother because she only had my best interests in mind, and was not doing sending me to therapy and keeping me medicated for her own peace of mind. My parents gave me a great life growing up and gave me everything I ever wanted, being from an upper class household, they bought me a brand new car for college, anything I wanted growing up, and would support me financially on almost anything I wanted within reason. My college was fully paid for and I went to one of the best private schools in the area while growing up. I had been to every continent in the world, visited tons of grand architecture and theme parks, and seen so many wonderful things, and I was looking forward to sharing that life with my new wife. My wife did not have the upbringing I did. She was the second oldest of 6 children. Growing up, she did not get any luxury. From having to work a summer job to buy her own school supplies and clothes, to dealing with an elder brother that sexually assaulted her every month while her parents slept, to a junkie father that would work odd jobs only to get money to get high, and a mother that worked 3 jobs to keep a roof over her children's head, her child hood was not easy. Her parents got divorced when she was 17, after being together for 23 years. Her father never gave her any love despite her efforts, she would regularly make love notes and lunches for him growing up, only to find them crumpled up and thrown in the trash and never responded to. Her elder brother would force her to give him oral at least a few times a month from the age of 15-16 while everyone in the house was asleep. Her father left and had no contact with her since she was 19, only showing back up in her life for our wedding, just to disappear again. He hasn't spoken to her in 4 years now. Before we got married, I flew out to meet her, and we packed up everything she owned and put it in her car. We drove 2900 miles across the US to move her into our house with my parents, and after we got married, my parents paid for us to get an apartment near their house. We were so happy! After we moved in together after getting married, we both were young, only 23 and 25. We worked fast food and don't have a lot of money, surviving on only a hundred dollars of food a month. But, because we were together, everything was ok. Or so I thought. My wife has constantly struggled with insecurity since we got married. We made sure when we got married that we would keep our finances separate. She was a bad money manager and didn't want to "ruin me" like she had ruined herself. She would break down sometimes for no reason begging me not to leave her, and I have never done anything to make it seem like I was. My parents decided that since I had gotten married and was doing OK, they were going to give me part of my inheritance up front. I took this money to pay off all our debt, I paid off half her student loans, and I would take care of any issues that came up for her that she couldn't handle without complaint. She crashed her car, I helped her buy a new one, she couldn't pay a bill, no problem, I've got her covered. Anything she felt she couldn't handle, I was always right there to support her. Near the end of our first year together, my wife for some reason had reached the end of her rope. If we didn't move out of the big city where she didn't have any friends or know how to get anywhere, she was going to leave me. It wasn't me, but she said was devastatingly homesick, and said she couldn't live here any longer. She had made a real home away from her parents at her college town, and her best friend of 6 years lived there, who had supported her through thick and thin. Despite my aversion to this at first, I could tell that moving back home where her best friend lived and what was familiar to her was important. After 2 weeks of talking about it, I agreed to move with her back to what she considered home. My parents were planning to move around this time as well, as they no longer had any children and we're looking to downsize their home. So, for her, I left my hometown of 25 years, and all my friends that I grew up with. My parents gave me money for us to buy our first house, and another 30 thousand on top. My wife and I found a nice 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom single family home, and bought it outright with cash. Because there was money left over, we used that for moving costs, and I began searching for a job I knew I would enjoy, while living off the interest on my savings. We were working on having a child and I knew that a kid was going to be expensive, so I was trying to make sure we had the money to support our child, and I could still make my wife happy. In 2015, 2 years after we moved into our house, my wife said she was going to leave me again. Despite her only ever needing to pay her bills (she had gotten herself into more credit card debt), despite her crashing another car and me paying a $5,000 down payment to buy her another new one (she had to get a loan out), despite me spending time with her every night and never going anywhere without her, taking her on trips and little date nights to make her happy, she was threatening to leave again. A month after her telling me this, my father passed away from early onset Alzheimer's. I was having a rough few months. We were having trouble conceiving and she was having severe body confidence issues. She was convinced that before I left her for someone else, she was going to have to leave me. Since we had gotten married, she had gained over 100 pounds, and I had never made an issue about it, other than showing concern for her health (her family has a history of diabetes and heart disease). She said that despite me continuing to support her in all her hobbies (she likes dancing and volunteering at the pet shelter), me not having a job was stressing her out because she wasn't sure that I could keep helping her. Despite my reassurances, she believed that I was going to leave her for someone better, and that she needed to leave before I did. No re-assurance I gave her would stop her from believing that I was going to be gone the next time she came home from work. She started self harming. When she was younger, she frequently thought that the reason that her mother was never around, her father left, her brother abused her, was all her fault. Hurting herself made her feel like she was being punished, and that her sins were being forgiven. Her church growing up was very abusive. They would make people stand up in front of the entire congregation and "confess" their sins in front of everyone. When she had premarital sex with her first boyfriend, she almost killed herself after when her mother found out and made her "confess" to the congregation. She hospitalized herself with a suicide attempt after this happened, and has never respected her mother since. I called up our PCP and told her that my wife dseperately needed help. After an appointment, blood work, and a CT scan for the issues with concieving, she was diagnosed with Severe Depression, Insulin Resistance, and PCOS. She was put on medication and around this time I had found a job, so I told her that she could cut back on her hours and I would start helping her with her bills. We also started looking for a therapist for her. She started going to the therapist and she seemed a lot happier. We were having fun with friends again, and she felt like the happy, bubbly woman I married again. In early 2016, we got great news! We were pregnant! Because I was making enough money at the time to pay her bills and mine, she was able to only work 20 hours a week through her pregnancy, and then her job gave her 6 months leave when the baby was due. While she was a few months along, she unfortunately got into another car accident, and so again, I helped her buy a new care, this time a minivan, because she wanted it for our kids. She was going to pay for it again, because she said she was tired of me paying for everything for her again. I have no issues with this as I never have, because whenever I try to pay for something, she doesn't let me. When we had our child, I had saved up enough money to start my own business. Using the money I had saved, I started up a computer system building company, and servicing the local area, I was able to be home a lot more than working my job, and still make the same amount of money. The business started doing extremely well, and I hired a few employees and a friend of mine to work for me, letting me spend more time with my wife and newborn daughter. Then, we started having problems again. My wife was in a lot of credit card debt from not managing her money ($30,000), and she had been hiding it from me. She was having issues breastfeeding our kid and would break down for hours at a time over not being able to do it. She was diagnosed with post-partum depression and started going to a different therapist. I wasn't making enough money for paying for our insurance, electrical, car payments, taxes and the credit card debt she had built up. I was upset, but it's extremely uncharacteristic for me to get mad about money, because I have always had money. I offered to use our house savings (we were saving up for a bigger house to have more kids) and pay off her debt again. She said no. She decided she was going work full time again. I helped her get a debt consolidation loan for her cards, and she began working full time while I took care of our daughter. This was in the beginning of 2017. Towards the middle of 2017, our life was going great. My business had taken off, and I was making $10,000 dollars profit a month. I had gotten early in on cryptocurrency back in 2013, and was riding high on the bull run from Bitcoin. My company made crypto mining machines due to having a ton of stock from system building, and we were selling those for record amounts. My wife had cut down to part time because I could afford the extra to help her bills, and she could spend more time with me and our daughter. Things couldn't of been better. Then in 2018, the crypto market crashed. My cryptocurrency that had been worth almost $500k crashed down to $60k of value in the span of a month and a half. I had to start selling it to pay off debt the company had taken on to expand, or else it was going to hurt me more. But I kept holding onto the majority of it. I kept my business running, but things were winding down because the crypto run was over. We were operating on razor thin margins. In May of 2018, I stopped paying myself while still running the business to make sure I could keep paying my employees. I was still getting a stipend from investments every month in the amount of a few thousand, so I could afford to not pay myself. I was still taking care of my daughter, but my wife had to go back up to full time. I started looking for jobs, figuring with my 2 associates degrees and my master degree, I could get a good job easy. In the beginning of 2019, I found out my wife had gotten another $25,000 of credit card debt she was hiding from me. She was eating out daily, bringing home for us to eat, and telling me she was making enough money to afford it. She was now up to almost $45,000 of debt, not including her car. I was upset. I told her she can't keep spending money like we have millions. My business wasn't going well, and we needed to cut back our spending so we can get a bigger house to have another kid like she wants. She broke down again. She admitted she had a money management issue. She locked all her credit cards up in the house safe, and she agreed to only spend money off her debit card. Then, the trade wars hit. Our stock account took a huge hit, and because I didn't have strong hands, I sold, at a loss of almost $55,000 dollars. Our stock brokerage trading account that had almost 70k of assets was only worth around $15k dollars. I no longer had the money to cover paying off my wife's debt in an emergency. In April of 2019, we just received our income taxes, due to my losses from last year, and reduced income, we were due back a large amount. I had unfortunately cut down the business to only myself working for it, as the company still had debt that was used a few years ago to expand to pay off. I still have kept the business operating, unable to pay myself for close to a year now, having to sell crypto to cover bills when business wasn't good enough. The first day of May, I took this money and put it back in the stock market, but due to weak hands again, I lost 60% of it again before the markets rebounded. The trade wars had taken a ton of my wealth again. Our brokerage account was now worth less than $10k, and I withdrew the rest to put it into my checking account. Over the past 6 months, I've had to sell off all my remaining cryptocurrency. I have none left. I have to continue running my business in it's dilapidated state, only making enough to pay the bills at the end of the month. I have gotten down to my last $5,000 in cash, and my monthly inheritance stipend, barely pays the bills for the house. All of the money my wife makes goes to paying off her credit card debt, her student loans, and her car payment. When she comes home, she sits down and plays video games while letting our 3 year old run wild and destroy the house while I sleep. We are trying to potty train, but that's not going well, and when I'm sleeping, our daughter will routinely use the bathroom on the floor then smear it on the walls. My wife will not always notice, and I will wake up having to clean up shit off the walls. I have been breaking down nonstop. I cannot handle the level of stress I have been having. I have interviewed for 12 jobs in the past 6 months, and not gotten hired. I have applied to over 30. I have lost over $100k of our savings in the past year alone. I never get to see my wife because when she is working, I have to take care of our daughter, and when she gets home, I have to sleep so I can make sure I'm able to work while they are sleeping, because I am unable to work while they're both awake. I make it a priority to make sure I spend a few hours with my wife and daughter a day, so they have time with me. My wife has not been a responsible adult for months now. She doesn't do her small part of the chores, which is simply do the laundry every week. Every week I take out the trash, clean up the yard, do all the dishes, cook dinner daily, vacuum the house daily, clean up my daughters shit and piss off the floor daily, clean up the mess that my daughter makes when she's playing. We recently found out my daughter is going to need speech therapy. Our house looks like a disaster zone. Our PCP said the speech therapist will come to our house to make it a more "secure environment" for our daughter to get help in. I'm terrified that we're going to get social services called for the state of our house and lose our daughter, but I physically cannot keep up with keeping it clean by myself, because every time I clean something, something else gets destroyed because my wife doesn't watch our daughter. My wife will throw trash on the floor in the house. She won't pick up dishes. She won't clean up the toys or help our daughter do that when I'm sleeping. There is shit caked on the wall in the nursery because almost every day I can't find it all and clean it all up when my daughter is awake. I cracked. I cursed at her for the first time in my life. She broke down, she said she's been so stressed and she's trying. I understand how it is to be stressed, I'm stressed too, but I said we need to try harder for our daughter. I told her I don't want to lose her. Then 2 weeks ago, a text sent late. I'm sure everyone heard about the Verizon bug where texts got send late. You can read about it https://www.theverge.com/2019/11/7/20953422/text-messages-delayed-received-overnight-valentines-day-delay I had an old text get sent that said "Do you still need me?" My wife thought I was going to commit suicide. She said that if I don't get help she's going to leave me and take our daughter with her. She didn't believe me when I showed her the text issue. She says I've been having depression issues for months, and that she's been asking me to get help. She said her therapist has been telling her for months that I need to go get help, and that the idea to threaten to leave me was her THERAPIST'S IDEA, because that threat has MOTIVATED ME BEFORE. This made me extremely upset. I tell her the same thing I did every time, unless they are going to give me a well paying job or hand me a million dollars, therapy is not going to help me. But I need advice. I love my wife. I have no reason to leave her. In the almost 8 years we've been married, I've never told her I was going to leave her. I pointed this out to her, she still says she can't trust me when I tell her that. I told her why am I being punished for her insecurity. I have done nothing but try to give her a great life. Yes, we've been having a hard time with money for the past year, and I've been very frustrated, but all couples have issues throughout their relationships. She says she doesn't want our daughter growing up hearing her daddy talk about suicide and her maybe hear that. I'm just trying to figure out how to handle this. I have friends telling me I should leave her. I don't see why I should. I love my wife. I would never leave her, and I feel like now she needs help again. She has gotten happier in person or at least it seems so, but her therapist telling her to threaten me to make me take action seems like a flag for her therapist. But she likes her therapist and likely wouldn't listen if I asked her to find a new one. I asked her to get therapy when she was severely depressed because she didn't seem like the woman I fell in love with anymore. Maybe part of her has come back, but the woman I fell in love with wouldn't be so irresponsible with our daughter, and wouldn't ignore her chores like she does. I just don't know what to do. I'm scheduled to see our PCP in Janurary for depression, but I don't think it's going to go like she expects, and she hasn't set any expectations of what she's expecting me to get out of this. She says I'm not the man she married any more, but of course I'm not when I'm broke and at the end of my rope with trying to find a job. I feel like anyone would be frustrated and upset if they were in the same position as me. Every day I wake up, work for my failing business that doesn't pay me, take care of my toddler while my wife works, and never get to do anything fun with my family because we have no money and no one will hire me. I just don't know what to do. I don't want to lose my wife. I have sacrificed so much for her. I want to make her happy. I want my daughter to not have a broken family like my wife had and grow up happy. After her threatening to leave me again, it feels like she doesn't need me anymore. It hurts me severely that she can say that so easily after everything I have done for her. I know she is stressed, and I feel like her saying she's going to leave me helps her cope somehow. I'm resenting her still seeing the same therapist, giving her advice on her home life off my wife's singular perspective. I just don't know what to think anymore. I want to make the people I love happy.
I know you are reading this. You know who you are. This game has went on for long enough. It has been almost a year. Please, let it end. I am begging you. I just want my life back. For everyone else, I will start at the beginning. I am sure all of you have seen those youtube or twitch streamers who like to scam the scammers by wasting their time, right? I thought it was funny so I decided I would do the same thing, except without broadcasting it to the world. It was a lot of fun to see how long I could keep these assholes tied up on the phone with me instead of your trusting grandma. Then I heard about the “Dark Web” and how there are also people on there who like to scam people. I admit, I had never been on the dark web before, but I had heard the stories. It was the wild west where you could buy drugs and have them delivered to your door and the police couldn’t track you. You could hire a hitman to kill anybody you wanted as long as you had bitcoins to pay them with. Sadly, I also heard about the child porn rings and knew I did not want to accidentally land on one of those pages. The anonymous nature of the dark web can both a blessing and a curse. I logged on to the dark web and was able to find a page advertising hacking services. Not real hacking, but more stuff like hacking into your significant others facebook account or email to see if they are cheating on you. Stuff a simple keylogger would accomplish but they were asking for hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars. It was clearly a scam and was exactly what I was looking for. Before I talk to any scammer, I spoof my number and have a virtual machine set up so if they take command of my computer, they are not actually doing anything real. It is all just a charade. I never use my real name, or real telephone number. It started off the same way these things always start off. I act interested in a service, but I am not smart enough to know how to buy and send bitcoin. I string them along, and they eventually try to walk me through it over the phone. No matter how easy they make it, I am just too dumb to figure it out. They eventually get tired of dealing with me and hang up. All I wasted was both of our time. This call was different. After about 5 minutes of me playing dumb, they figured it out and were pissed. “You think you’re funny?” “What are you talking about?” “Trying to waste our time?” “Yea, the more time you waste on me, the less time you have to scam other people.” “You fucked up this time. You fucked with the wrong people.” “Why do you do this? Scam people? Does it make you feel good?” “We aren’t the spam callers you normally talk to in Nigeria or India, Jason. You are on the Dark Web now, and you should have known better than to fuck with people on the Dark Web.” How the hell did they know my name was Jason? I told them my name was David. What the fuck? I better get off here now. “You are a scammer. Get a real job and stop trying to scam people.” I ended the call. Less than a minute later, my phone rang from my own number. I knew I shouldn’t have answered it, but I did. I knew who it was. “Hello?” “Jason, we don’t like it when people hang up on us.” “Listen, I clearly messed with the wrong person. I’m sorry. I am just trying to annoy scammers who scam innocent people. That’s all. This is just a big misunderstanding. Let’s just go our separate ways. I am sorry.” “That is not how this is going to work Jason Keys” “How do you know my name?” “You found hackers on the Dark Web, are you surprised we know who you are and that your address is XXXXX ?” Yes, they knew my address. “Okay, you were able to trace my phone and get my personal information. I get it. I fucked up.” “Where are you right now, Jason?” “I’m at work.” I lied. ‘No, you’re not, Jason. You are in your kitchen.” “Okay, you somehow have used my phone’s GPS to find my location. I get it. You are real hackers. I will never waste your time or anyone else’s time again. I swear.” “Do you like games, Jason?” “What do you mean? I have an xbox.” “Were going to play a game.” “No, we don’t have to do that. We can just go our own way.” “We are going to play Hide and Seek. You know how to play Hide and Seek right Jason?” “The kids game. Yea. Everyone knows how to play that but I don’t want to play this game. I don’t even know who you are.” “That is what makes this game so much fun for us. We know who you are. But to you, we could be anyone, anywhere, at anytime.” “No. I am not going to play your game.” “You don’t seem to understand. You don’t have a choice in the matter.” “What happens when you catch me?” “Then you will have to hide again.” “What if I just don’t play?” “Bad things will happen to you.” they said. “You have 12 hours to hide. Good luck.” They hung up. . They are just fucking with me I thought. I clicked on the Facebook app on my phone and a message popped up saying No Account Found. I tried my twitter and gmail account and everything was gone. Somehow they had deleted my entire online presence while they were on the phone with me. I knew I never should have went onto the Dark Web. I should have believed all the rumors I read about that place. Maybe this person was serious about playing their game of Hide and Seek. At worst, I thought, I should find a different place to sleep for a few days just to let this pass over. I grabbed my backpack and threw in a few pairs of clothes to last three days, a pillow, and a toothbrush. That should be enough, I thought. I called out of work and told them I had a family emergency and would be gone for a few days. I wasn’t sure where I was going to go yet, but a full tank of gas was a start. I slid my card into the gas pump and it came back denied. That is weird, I had just gotten paid 2 days before and had plenty of money in my account. I pulled out a credit card and tried again. It was also denied. I went to the bank to get this problem sorted out. I told the teller my card was declined but I had money in my account earlier. She took my details to pull up my account, but their system showed no account ever existed under my name. I told her that was impossible! I showed her I have a debit card with my name on it. She called a manager over and they took the card away and told me I could be charged with fraud for having a fake debit card. I tried to explain but they were certain they have never had an account under my name or social security number. Even if I had an account in the past, their system would have been able to find it under my social. I left the bank dumbfounded. My card had worked the day before and I have had an account at that bank since I turned 18 over five years ago. There is no way even hackers could delete my accounts that fast, if it is even possible at all. It had been less than an hour. I sat on the hood of my car and called the credit card companies, but they had no records of me on file either. The one positive thing about this entire experience is they wiped off a few grand in my credit card debt, so I guess thank you for that much. I went back to my car and the reality of the situation came crashing down on me. They knew who I was, where I lived, and now I had no access to any money. I sat down in the car to think over my options of what to do next when I saw an envelope on the passenger seat. I opened it up and it contained $100 cash (5 twenty dollar bills) and a note. Time is ticking. You have $100 dollars and 11 hours left. You better go hide, because soon I will start to seek. They found me already? How were they already in my town and knew where I was and what kind of car I drove? What am I going to do now? They are already watching me and what kind of car I drive, I am not even going to be able to use my own car. After some thinking, I drove to the bus stop and bought a ticket for a bus heading North. It would be making 6 stops between here and Chicago so I can get out of town and decide where to get off later. They can’t know where I am going to be if I don’t even know where I’ll be. The ticket was $50 dollars so that only leaves me $50. I decided I would just have to deal with it later. The bus ride itself is a nightmare on its own, but that is a story for another time. I got on the bus and finally decided enough was enough in Indianapolis. I left a warm Atlanta for Indiana with nothing but a few changes of clothes in my backpack. Could life be much worse? I got something to eat at a McDonalds close to the bus stop and saved what little money I had left. There wasn’t enough money to spare for a motel, no matter how shady it was. I needed to save every penny I had right now. I slept outside and froze my ass off. I didn’t know a soul there. I just decided it would be best if I kept a low profile and tried to stay out of sight. I didn’t have any sort of electronics for them to track and I don’t have any credit cards to trace. They shouldn’t have any idea where I got off the bus at. I could be in any city between Atlanta and Chicago if they had seen what bus I got off on. That night, I found a starbucks and decided to grab myself a coffee. I put in my order and went to the restroom to clean myself up a little. I got back just as they were calling my name telling me my drink was ready. I grabbed my coffee and the employee said someone had given him a note to give me with my coffee. My heart sank as I sat down and opened the envelope. They had found me in less than 24 hours after I traveled over 500 miles away without telling a soul. Inside was another $100 dollars and a note. Not a bad start, most aren’t smart enough to ditch their car and town so fast. You have $100 dollars and 24 hours to find a new hiding spot. Try a little harder next time. I like a challenge. I sat in the starbucks exhausted and defeated. If they found me that easily then was there any way to escape them? I decided to do what I should have done when all of this started. I went to the police. The police listened to my story and then took my ID. They asked some questions and clearly did not believe I was telling the truth. They asked if I had taken any drugs and then ran my ID. When he came back he asked me if it was a fake ID because it was not pulling any information on me. I asked him to try one more time. Before he tried again, he asked if I might be having some mental problems or off my medicine because I sounded like I might be having an episode. I’m pretty sure he wanted to take me to the hospital for a psychiatric hold. When he went to run my ID again, I quietly slipped out the door and escaped. I knew what they had done. I no longer exist. At least in the eyes of the law and the public. My identity was deleted. My bank accounts were gone. My credit cards were gone. My social media was gone. Everything that proved who I was is gone. Outside of those who know me, I do not exist. And if I don’t exist, they can kill me with ease. I walked to a truck stop near the interstate and was able to hitch a ride to Chicago for $20 dollars. A random trucker seemed a lot safer than a Greyhound bus full of drug addicts and creeps like I had taken to get this far. At least I got 2 hours of sleep in a warm cab. In Chicago, I bought a burner phone and decided it was time to call home. It was prepaid, cheap, and new. The only number I knew was my own and my mom’s so I had to call her. I called her up and she was worried and asked where I was. I told her Chicago and started to explain what had led me here, but the call dropped. I looked at my phone and it said it had no service. A few moments later I got a text message. YOU CAN USE A PHONE. YOU CAN’T ASK FOR HELP. THE RULES ARE SIMPLE YOU HIDE. WE SEEK. I threw the phone against the wall and it shattered into pieces. It was a brand new phone. Nobody should have been able to know or hack it so fast. I am alone. Nobody can help me. I don’t know what to do anymore. The only option I had was to play their stupid game. Since January 16th, my life has been constantly moving from town to town, sleeping in homeless shelters or park benches. Every night I go to sleep wondering if I will wake up to a note next to my head telling me to hide again. Every day I worry a random person will hand me an envelope. I know some of you guys must be asking yourself why I even play the game? Why don’t I just stop running? They are just playing with me. They would not actually hurt me. I have tried that before. In Colorado, I was tired, cold, and wet when they found me. I decided enough was enough. They left me the note mocking my attempts to run away and gave me another $50 dollars. I said screw it, let them kill me. I got me a nice hotel at the Hilton and spent all the money I had on a nice steak dinner. If they decided to kill me, at least I would have a nice last meal and a warm bed on my last night. I thought I would have been up all night worried, but I was too worn out to care. I slept like a baby. I was shocked to open my eyes the next morning and not find someone with a gun pointed at my head. I smiled and thought to myself it had all been a game. A stupid fucking game that I believed was real. I spent months on the road, homeless, cold, and hungry for nothing. Then I looked over and saw a note on the bed with a sharp knife lying across it. Someone had been here while I was sleeping. They had broken into my room and were in the same room with me. They could have killed me and I never would have known. I almost wish they had, but they let me live. Those assholes had let me live. We aren’t ready for the game to end yet. Keep running and hiding Jason. The next time, we will not be so nice. Now back to Hide and Seek! See you soon. There was no money with the note. My backpack was gone. I was completely broke after spending all my money on food and a hotel. I wish they would have killed me. I don’t know why I didn’t just stay where I was and let them kill me, but letting someone kill you and doing nothing to stop it isn’t easy. This game of cat and mouse continued. And that is what it was. A game of cat and mouse. I realized there was no hiding from them. They always knew where I was and there was no escape. They just liked playing the game. I don’t know what the fun of this game is for them except to watch someone suffer. I don’t know how they seem to be everywhere and know everything. It doesn’t matter how fast or far I run, they will always be the steps ahead of me. Every person I see or talk to could be them. I constantly try to look at the faces around me to see if any of them look familiar but everyone is a stranger. They are ghost. Always close by. Always watching. Always invisible. They find me almost as soon as I stayed in the same place for more than a night or two. Sometimes they would be nice and let me settle somewhere for a week or two, but never long enough to be comfortable. I think they just like to keep me guessing and to give me hope that they decided to stop this game. They also always gave me exactly what I need to survive. Most of the time it was just enough money to keep me fed but still hungry with a little left over. If it was deathly cold outside I may have a little extra to afford a place inside or even a warm jacket to keep me cold but alive. If I was sick, a bag of medicine would show up. They give me just enough to live a miserable life. I know you are reading this. And I quit. I quit your game. I’m tired of playing. You’ve taken everything from me. If you want to kill me then kill me. I would rather be dead than to keep playing your game. You know where I am. You always do. Give me my life back or kill me. I quit. Update: Jason was right. Our game of Hide and Seek really is a cat and mouse game. We are the cat and Jason was the mouse. Here is the thing about a cat and a mouse, a cat likes to play with the mouse, to scare a mouse, to corner a mouse, to slap the mouse with its claws. When the mouse quits playing the cats game, the mouse dies. It looks like we have to find a new mouse since our last one decided to stop playing our game. Luckily nosleep has plenty of mice to choose from and the accounts have a comment history so we can find the perfect mouse for our next game of Hide and Seek. If you see your own number pop up on your caller ID, don’t answer. It just might be us. LCS
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