Fellow #thearchers tweetalongers have been exercised for some months now about the revolting, slithery, Machiavellian character of Rob Titchenor, quickly dubbed The Titchyknob. Now that his character has developed in such a sinister way, I can no longer bring myself to refer to him by a comical moniker.

Quite apart from his gradual, yet stunning takeover of Helen‘s personality and independence, which is systematically robbing her of any self-confidence she might once have possessed, Rob Titchenor likes to meddle in other people’s affairs.

He works by charming people to trust him and share their confidences with him, perhaps while under the influence of alcohol or in other unguarded moments – because we can’t all be on our guard al the time, right? He then uses these tiny shards of information against people to pursue goodness knows what personal agenda.

Last night he informed soon-to-be wed LovelyIan about Adam, his intended’s, minor misdemeanour. We Tweetalongers, as well as the 5 million or so other avid The Archers fans, had our ears pinned to the radio tonight, phones on divert, to hear the dénouement of this story. Would Ian call off the wedding at the last minute? Would Rob stand up and declare an impediment? Many of us are beyond ready for evil Rob to get his comeuppance and we want to see his blood-oozing entrails spread out for a sky burial with the crows on Lakey Hill, so despised a character (and so well written and acted) is he.

Alas, we shall have to wait a while longer for our bloody revenge as Ian decided to be the bigger man and forgive Adam’s transgressions. We are all but flesh, I guess.

Rob was denied his messy scene – how choked he was at this realisation – and we shall have to wait a little longer for a resolution of this terrible storyline that has many devout listeners reaching for the off switch as they are finding this domestic abuse storyline so painful. It’s realistic, I’m told. Horribly so.

But I set to wondering exactly why someone feels that they have to meddle in other people’s lives; to extract incriminating disclosures from vulnerable, trusting people and use them only to for harm. What is their motivation? Why do they do it?

Could it be that they seek attention or validation? Is it that passing on heavily-embroidered gossip empowers them? Do they wish people to fear their impact? I don’t know.

I am a simple soul, I know this, and the thought of extracting and using such information to manipulate and humiliate people would never even occur to me. What sort of person would I be if it did? How could it do anything but harm my credibility?

And yet this has happened to me fairly recently in real life – I’m not going into the details again – and I’m left wondering about the motivation of the person who did it. Yes, I was indiscreet and I should not have replied with such candour to a leading question on Social Media, but generally one trusts those who purport to be one’s friends. And this friend was not worthy of my trust.

This person has now lost my trust and friendship and, it would seem, that of someone whom she valued more than me. Other people are still taken in by the charm and the flirtatiousness, but I am grateful to have now seen the other side of this.

Luckily this friendship wasn’t particularly close or longstanding, and I now see how my naive good faith was ruthlessly manipulated and exploited, but I still don’t understand what would prompt someone to meddle in such a harmful and undignified way.

It’s left me feeling bruised and wary. Who is watching? How can I be myself in public? How will any slight indiscretion be exploited and held against me? I also feel defensive: I seem surrounded by people only too keen to remind me and reiterate the “dangers” of exposing one’s soul on Social Media. I wonder how superior it makes them feel when they say those things that reflect their own personal prejudices. This just makes it worse.

It’s a December Monday night and I’m tired and hormonal and so this situation looks bleaker than it otherwise might. I am shaking my head and still finding it astounding that someone would behave like this. I have no doubt that Rob Titchenor will get Karma’s reward in the end – that’s how fiction works. I only wish that real life were quite so neat and tidy.