25th November, 2017
Ok, so I’m not feeling so good today.
I have been so busy with the website, the blog, Facebook page and groups, that I haven’t really allowed myself to consider how being duped has affected me. When I say it hasn’t, I really do think “I protest too much”.
Now that all of the online activity is set up and growing, I have more time on my hands. I guess getting busy filled the void that was created when the mammoth message-exchange stopped.
Now, don’t get me wrong, dear diary. I am not damaged in the same way as some of the women who have been reaching out to me. These women have been left broken hearted and poorer; not able to let go of what happened to them.
I won’t let it get me down
I suppose I am too much of realist to let it affect me too much. After all … it was deliciously exciting whilst in the midst of it – but it wasn’t real. It had crossed my mind a number of times, that if this turned out to be a flake, a fake, or going nowhere – I would simply have enjoyed the ride. It is not always about the destination, after all. Sometimes the journey is the fun part, right?
Good friends don’t give up I guess
This morning, the ex-friend who brought to my attention that “my” Thomas was in fact fake, reached out to me this morning. I know that there is an element of blaming the messenger here, but actually, it is more than than that. The way in which my ex-friend shared what she had discovered with me hurt me more than the dupe.
Of course, once ex-friend had the knowledge, as a good friend (and she was, I have no doubt about that), she had no choice but to let me know. I do feel though, that she could have handled this very differently. Had she said to me “oh, I found this cool app that lets you check out images – I’ve tried it out a couple of times”, without hesitation, I would have used it myself to out Fake-Thomas. I had after all, tried a number of times to verify his identify. I even tried to check out the mobile number he was using – and heck, it was listed as a phone with the maritime service. How he did that I have no idea – but that is how sophisticated this ruse was.
Had my ex-friend taken this approach, I would have retained my dignity. I would not have been quite so humiliated. I know that ex-friend believes she did the right thing; unfortunately she doesn’t seem to understand WHY I am upset. It is not the what, it is the how. As in all things, dear diary, delivery is everything. Not only that, I felt betrayed that she spoke to a mutual friend about it first. This meant that I was not able to limit the public humiliation, and took away my choice as to who I shared this sorry tale with.
My life, my choice
I have shared with a few close girlfriends, but I have only gone into detail with one. The one that ex-friend spoke to. I hadn’t intended to – but I spoke to her to let her know that I knew she knew. In the event, it was actually good to talk to someone in depth. I am thankful to her for that.
Other girlfriends I have only spoken to briefly about what happened (all via text as I haven’t wanted to see anyone), and one or two others picked up on my posts that there was something amiss and guessed. I haven’t responded to those messages.
I haven’t directly posted about this situation on my personal Facebook page, but I have posted a few cryptic messages about strength from adversity yada yada yada. I have though, allowed the link to my new page to be displayed on my profile. So anyone who is particularly nosy (and there are one or two amongst my friend who fit this description), they can easily follow the link and get the low down should they so wish.
I have NO intentions, though, of raking over what happened with those in my day to day life. I have my stock response ready:
I am no longer in touch with Thomas, and that is all I am going to say on the matter, so please don’t ask me any questions, as I simply won’t answer them.
Time to take a step back?
The other thing that I decided that I need to do now that the campaign is established, is stop using Real-Thomas’ images. I messaged him to say so, and he very graciously responded that it was up to me. It doesn’t feel right anymore though. The campaign has grown beyond simply being about my experience. It is about warning women out there (and men for that matter) about the perils and pitfalls of online dating. But hey – maybe I can defer a little on that one Laugh-Out-Loud.
I need, now, to start taking better care of myself. This week has been all about quick food, gut busting takeaways, chocolate and Budweiser! Even my pooch’s routine is out of kilter. As I mentioned in one of my previous posts, I also live with a chronic health condition – and I have found that each day, I am experiencing an excruciating slump much earlier. This is a warning sign to me that I need to slow things down, and start relaxing more.
Real life connections are what it is all about
It is also time to reconnect with my real world, and I have accepted an invitation to Thanksgiving dinner today. (Yep, we celebrate Thanksgiving in the UK too, at least, my American friends do). I have been asked to make a signature cocktail – and the one I have particularly enjoyed recently is Margarita – so later this morning I am off to the shop to buy the ingredients.
As ever, if anything in this post has resonated, please comment, like and share.
Iimages of Captain Thomas Lindegaard are used with his kind permission. Copyright remains with him and these should not be used for any reason without his explicit consent. He can be contacted via Facebook Messenger @CaptainThomasLindegaard to report any profiles that have contacted you using his images. You can also check out his Fake Alert page on Facebook by clicking the link.