Tuesday, September 19, 2006

It only goes to show, you never can tell

... as someone (Chuck Berry?) sang.

I recently made the online acquaintance of someone who seemed to be in a somewhat similar position to me - worked in a similar field, was married to someone quite a bit older than her, similar age to me, was unable to get pregnant (in her case because of health issues) so was considering adoption (in her case from China). We had emailed a few times and I was going to call her (I had her mobile number) but was away on holiday so somehow never got to it. She then posted on the forum where I knew her from saying her husband had been in a serious car accident and was in hospital, in intensive care, and texted me asking to post that he was going to need more surgery. Shortly following this she posted that he had died.

This upset me, not surprisingly. However, a few hours after this it was posted that she had in fact been an impostor, and had also had several other (and I have to say, much more extreme) personas in the past, so had been removed from the site with immediate effect. Now I'm not sure what to feel. I know that some of the things she told me and/or posted were very similar to my own situation, and were not written after I had shared my circumstances, so it wasn't particularly a case of her singling me out - but it still feels personal. We've had a death in the family, a friend's father has died, a friend my age has inoperable cancer, and to be told that a husband of a friend who is very, very similar to my husband/marriage in salient ways had died was just TOO close to the bone - I was in bits.

I don't know if this (what appears to be a case of Munchausen by Internet) has ever happened in Infertile World, but it seems as if it could easily happen. And it makes you question your grasp of reality.

I did ask Mr Spouse if he was real, but he declined to answer, on the grounds that he'd have to kill me if he told me. We had been watching Spooks...


DD said...

I've actually have wondered that myself. If there's someone out there posting about wanting to have children; playing on our sympathies who may actually have a Duggar-sized family but just enjoys the interaction and support of blogging.

Someone once told me that there was a blogger who waited until she was 7 mos pregnant before she finally announced it (extreme survivor's guilt) and it's then I wonder if blogging is healthy for everyone.

Thalia said...

We are so excited about spooks being back! But it is also very scary, I need lots of comfort while it's going on.

That's very scary your story. I've been meeting people through the internet for 13 years now, and so far no fakes, although a long time ago on irc someone accused me of being one. I guess it's just one of the prices we pay for being virtual. Not very many fakers, but they're a lot harder to spot than in real life.

perceval said...

It has happened in the Harry Potter fandom - there was a person who was very active both on Livejournal and on one of the major web sites who loved stirring up trouble and led vendettas against other web sites. Not nice.