The number of women, and of men, who fell under Lawrence's spell is astonishing given how unpleasant he could be. In almost every case the relationship began in friendship -- with frank talks, exchanges of confidences, a spiritual bond. Then, invariably, he would suddenly turn against them, voicing harsh personal criticisms. He would know them well by that time, and the criticisms were often quite accurate, and hit a nerve. This would inevitably trigger confusion in his victims, and a sense of anxiety, a feeling that something was wrong with them. Jolted out of their usual sense of normality, they would feel divided inside. With half of their minds they wondered why he was doing this, and felt he was unfair; with the other half, they believed it was all true. Then, in those moments of self-doubt, they would get a letter or a visit from him in which he was his old charming self.
Now they saw him differently. Now they were weak and vulnerable, in need of something; and he would seem so strong. Now he drew them to him, feelings of friendship turning into affection and desire. Once they felt uncertain about themselves, they were susceptible to falling in love.
Most of us protect ourselves from the harshness of life by succumbing to routines and patterns, by closing ourselves off from others. But underlying these habits is a tremendous sense of insecurity and defensiveness. We feel we are not really living. The seducer must pick at this wound and bring these semiconscious thoughts into full awareness.