Saturday, January 03, 2009

The Real Deal

I've sufficiently recovered from my new year's eve hangover now and I wasn't going to get any more involved in this drama since the blog in question has now been deleted. But it's late and I can't sleep. And I feel like there's a point to be made here.

Some of you may have noticed some stuff floating around about a "fake blogger". Here's the real deal. I started following this particular blog. But the more I read, the more I realized that something just didn't seem right. I'm a detective by profession, after all. It's in my nature to be observant and intuitive. And suspicious when I get that kind of vibe. So I started digging around. Then I alerted some of my homegirls in order to get their opinions about what they thought. And they started digging. The more digging that was done, the more dishonesty we uncovered.

And it was really ridiculous things to be dishonest about. This person pulled images off the web and incorporated stories of her life around them. Now don't get me wrong. We ALL "borrow" web images sometimes to make a point or illustrate a story. But to "borrow" an image and say, for example, that it's your nursery, your front door, your parent's house, what you ate for Thanksgiving, the bruise you got on your leg, the pumpkins your family carved, the Christmas tree your cousin decorated for you, etc, etc. etc when the pics belong to other people or other websites is just .... I don't know.... a little strange, to say the least. And wrong.

This bothered me because other people were following this blog and buying into all of it when it was all so obviously untrue. People were "praying" for this blogger and offering her support. And it just upset me that they were being made fools of. I don't like to be lied to. Do you?

So some comments started being made on her blog basically calling her out on the dishonesty. So she turned off the anon comment option. And then set it to moderate all the comments when the accusations again came but this time with names attached. Then she put her blog "under construction" and re-worked it. She changed the template, profile pic and removed all of her archives. I was fine with that.

But then she posted that someone had threatened her through an e-mail even going so far as to quote her address to her. And that just pissed me off because it was a blatant lie. She said "it was scary stuff" and claimed it was the reason for removing her archives. But then she continued her blog with the same URL, same blog name, same profile name and even replaced her "fake" profile pic with one that appeared to be her AND her children. Now does that make sense to any one of you? Cuz it didn't to me. If someone directly threatened me AND knew where I lived.... I think I'd be shutting down my blog. That she thought any of us were stupid enough to believe this story was beyond me. It was a complete insult to the intelligence of anyone reading her blog.

At that point, I think many of us that were "on to her" felt like she had gone too far. Heather took it upon herself to start a blog basically "outing" this blogger. The basic point being that she was dishonest and that people needed to be aware of it so as to protect themselves from falling victim to it. There are many, many examples on this new blog proving that point. You can also go to G0ogle Reader and add www.carefulwisher.blogspot.com into your subscription. It'll show all of the archives even though she's now deleted the entire thing in an attempt to destroy the evidence so to speak. So judge for yourself.

Melissa...
yes this whole thing is "ridiculous" but no it's not "too much like high school". It was kind of ironic that you said "I never knew there was a Blog Police Squad who takes it upon themselves to rid the Blog World of evil!" since that IS what I do for a living. But I didn't call you evil. Those are your words.

I know that you feel like this is a witch hunt and I'm truly sorry for that. But it's not. It's just a group of caring people trying to protect other caring people. I can't speak for others... but I'm not out to personally hurt you in any way. This isn't some unwarranted personal attack on you. We don't even know "you". Although, I know you ARE being hurt by it. Again, I'm sorry for that.

I do, however, take deep offense to someone who so completely represents themselves as something they're not. I just couldn't, in good conscience, let you continue to deceive people within this blogging community that I like and respect. You've been so dishonest on your blog that I'm not even sure if you are "Melissa". At this point, it's hard to believe anything you say.

I'm not sure what the point of all of it was. Especially since you say you "would never do anything to intentionally hurt anyone". I hope you understand now that is exactly what you've done. In the China adoption community, we tend to get emotionally invested in each other's stories.... more so than most internet connections. So betrayal definitely damages that bond.

I hope you're able to come to terms with all of this and learn from your mistakes. Integrity is everything. Especially in this "blogging" forum where we don't have the luxury of knowing each other in real life and judging mannerisms, body language, etc. All we have is our word.

And, Melissa, if you truly are on the road to an adoption from China, I hope you're able to look inside yourself and fix whatever it is that seems to be broken. Whatever it is that makes you need to invent a different life instead of sharing your real one. For your children's sake if nothing else. Again... it's hard to read a person's tone in the written word... but know that none of what I've directed to you is meant to be mean or hurtful. I just simply believe in honesty. I care about people. And I feel an obligation to stand up for what's right. I do,sincerely and genuinely, wish you the best on your journey.

41 comments:

HuluMama said...

FINALLY! I never followed this blog but have read comments about it on others' blogs. Now that I have read it, I can see why you became suspicious.

Hard to believe that someone has the time to invent a blog!

Johnny said...

You go!

Anonymous said...

Sorry to post this as Anon Special K, but you'll understand later.

I used to follow a very popular a-Mom blogger. There were these dramatic ups and lows. Something awful/terrible would happen to her daughter or to her (the Mom), but with the help, love, and support of those in the blogsphere, she endured.

However, at one point, a commenter pointed out that, "You know, I'm in the health professional field, and I think you might need to see some help. I'm not sure if all these dramatic events are occurring like you say. You may have munchausen syndrome."

I and a whole host of supportive bloggers really jumped down the throat of this commentator and thus began a long time of PW protection for this popular blogger.

But in the back of my mind, that comment always stayed with me. And then I slowly came to the realization that this A-Mom sure had a lot of dramatic events - almost as if her blog was a TV show and she was running dramatic posts during "sweeps week".

Instead of confronting her, I just delisted and and slipped slowly away in the night.

I still see her in photos with other waiting A-Moms and think, "well, that's their perogative if they still see her in an innocent light."

Anyway, you're a detective, your site meter will let you know who I am. I jotted this down as anonymous because I don't want people asking me "Who" it is. I'll let that sleeping dog lie.

(and sorry for making your comments section a blog post)

"M" said...

Man, I missed some good drama. I think I have been under a rock or something. Anyway, good for you Special K! When I read what has been going on it just makes me sad for everyone. How sad to have to play on other's emotions to get attention. How sad for a community to be trusting, offer support, only to feel taken.

As a mental health professional, I totally agree with the munchausen-like feel this has.

Anonymous said...

I'm doing this comment anonymously as well. I just learned of this fake blog a day or two ago. And a great blogger who was "in the know" exchanged e-mails about it with me.

For me, the one thing that made this inexcusable was when she stated that her child drew pictured artwork about 9/11... and the drawing was stolen off the web from someone else. That may seem small to others, but... As someone who lost others on 9/11 and could have lost my husband... that crosses the line for me. In a big way.

And now you might have figured out who I am, Special K. I did this anonymously because I don't want people checking out my blog "to read the 9/11 story." Don't worry - you aren't missing much. And it's just one post.

kris said...

Krista. I said it I believe the day after the first night I met you. YOU, more than anyone, surprised me most of all. You have this heart- this heart that I truly love. You are someone I admire SO much your kindness and your gentle nature. Thank you for this post, for being honest and for being loving in your approach. I pray that this blogger Melissa, if she truly is a woman and a person who suffers loneliness, depression, or some other form of mental dysfunction, seeks help if that's what is needed.

I could learn so much from you. I hope this New Year I take on kindness like this.

kris said...

ps. sorry that came out wrong- didn't mean to imply that loneliness was some form of "mental dysfunction", but only to say that if there was something more serious going on, that I pray she finds the help she needs.

Pug Mama said...

word.

Joannah said...

I am totally out of the loop, I guess, and I'm okay with that! But I think it's honorable for you, and others, to recognize BS when you see it and kindly hold someone accountable. We are totally taking one another at our word out here on the Internet, and no one wants to be taken advantage of, emotionally or otherwise.

There are some weird people out there...

Joannah said...

Wow! Just read Heather's blog. What an elaborate hoax. The blogger in question is definitely an attention seeker to go to such lengths to be a part of the China adoption community. Bizarre!

Marla said...

Great post, Krista, thank you. I think sadness is what I feel most for this person, as I can't imagine how miserable her life must be if she felt the need to make up a new, "better" one online.

A Beautiful Mess said...

Hey Nance:)

Thanks for circling this up in a kind way krista.

miss ya!

my3 kids said...

It amazes me that someone would create a "fake" life...very strange and very sad. Thanks for the heads up Krista...us China blogger mama's need to stay close and watch out for each other...I thank you for your honesty!

Janice

Miche said...

wow. I would have never even thought of someone creating a fake world in a blog. It kinda shakes your faith in the people you think you "know" online. Good job weeding her out, and I hope that she does fix whatever is obviously broken in her life.

Lisa and Tate said...

I am totally out of the loop with what is happening in blogland and specifically this offending blog.

At first I thought "why does it matter?". Started thinking about how so much of what we write affects so many readers out there. So glad your posse outted the offending blog.

For the life of me, I cannot seem to get on the deleted blog to read....

Lisa

Hedgetoad said...

Everyone should do semi-annual google searches of their own content and photos that are uploaded. "Fake bloggers" lift them all the time... there's more than one way to generate renevue that outright asking.

It's happened to me.

Beth said...

I can't get the blog to load either. I am curious if I would recognize it.

Sounds like this person recognized what she was doing was wrong by her comments to you. I think the China Adoption community is an easy target for this kind of thing because we are a trusting and kind-hearted bunch. Kind of a shame that someone took advantage of that.

Janet said...

I find the whole situation very odd. I would actually be quite annoyed if I found out the blog I had been reading was a complete farce. Still, we have to remember that everything that people write on their blogs is only PART of what we know. Everyone is living a whole other life out there....you only see what they give you. That being said, there are quite a few bloggers who I would love to meet just from their "blog" personality.

Diana said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ava's family said...

You rock, sista!

Kristen said...

Great post Krista... your compassion is admirable...

I however just feel plain pissed about her flippant attitude about the whole thing. I just wish she will go away.. right now that's all I can wish for her!

Keep up the good work... I really enjoyed our day of amateur (on our part) detective work... It felt like we were all hanging out for the day together... FUN!!!

sea star said...

1st of all, you summed that up perfectly. I hate that this blogger might feel hurt, but I do believe that integrity is everything in life and tho this may be a virtual world, it does not matter any less.

2nd of all, back off Kris, she's my lov-ah.....awwww, I miss you.

Lumpy said...

I pretend to be a different person every day. Wait till the word gets out that my blog is a complete farce!

Donna said...

I've never read this blog, but I find the whole thing so sad for everyone involved.

Colleen said...

Wow! How sad that someone would take the time to invent a fake blog. And why would you come up with a fake blog about adoption. Who ever this person is I think they need some help they obviously have created a fake world.
Thank you for posting this. This is one blog I have never read and I'm so happy that I didn't.
I popped on over here to say that I really enjoy reading your blog and it's time to delurk (my New Years resolution)
Thanks again for the warning. How sweet of you to worry about the adoption community.

Traci said...

To the first anonymous poster and Special K,

I so wish I could talk to this anonymous commenter because I too have a story about a very popular a-parent who is most likely a fake. (She is an adoptive Mom but the rest of her story is made up.) As soon a I read this post of Kristas I thought of this other a-Mom. It sounds like the commenter and I may be talking about the same person.

I happened to meet this a-Mom at a blogging get together in the south. I knew within a VERY short period of time (an hour tops) that she was not who she claimed to be. Shortly after that get together she was ousted on her blog and she was defended strongly by her supporters. She made her blog password protected and is still out there blogging today. I chose not to be involved in her drama and never requested a password.

Although I have no proof and wouldn't name her for that reason, I wonder if she's still pulling off her lie. Although I don't see her comments on other blogs as much as I did three years ago.

I'm a nurse and her drama NEVER added up - especially when I spent time with her.

Sorry for everyone who was duped this time around and good for those of you who did your homework and ousted her.

Not afraid to sign,

Traci

kris said...

don't worry tracy, i'm pretty happy with my own LOV-AH (hehe)... but still, i mean.. CAN'T YA SHARE ALREADY????

Laura said...

Sad that some people don't have enough in their own lives to keep them real. Hope she works our her issues.

amy said...

man, thanks for the update

Half Gaelic, Half Garlic! said...

I am so thankful you and your girls outed this person!! How strange this whole thing was.....it does make me think twice about how easily someone could grab any of the photos that we post on our blogs!!

Liene said...

Never read the blog until I checked in with you to see what you were up to. I had to go see it with my own eyes.

Even if I had stumbled upon the blog myself, I would've found her stories very far fetched. Especially one after the next!!! We all have drama in our lives, but if you have that much drama on a day to day basis why would you "brag" about it.

I didn't read every post, I don't have time, I've got a 5 yr old to keep up with and I still have to finish unpacking my house. But you're right there were things that didn't add up. There were 2 things that really stuck out in my mind:

1. A PIC (all caps, not just Pic) line for 7 days??? I know for a fact that PIC line is used for a long extended period of time, usually a minimum of 3-4 weeks. How do I know this? I had one for nearly 6 weeks when I got a horrible staph infection in the spring of 2005 and was in the hospital for over a week before they could even isolate the damn thing and figure out what antibiotics would kill the SOB. I've had plenty of IV's in my day and have had some VERY strong drugs administered through them without a problem. If someone inserted a PIC line in her son's arm for 7 days...well, all I can say is that's one stupid medical professional. Plus if she went to nursing school as she claimed whether she was a practicing nurse or not she should question a PIC line for 7 days! I would! There is no way that being administered antibiotics would require a new IV every day! After I had my last surgery they gave me nearly 4 days of super strong antibiotics through an IV without having to replace it every day.

2. She's a kindergarten teacher of 38 kids? Most states have laws as to how many kids can be in 1 room. And even if she did have 38 kids, most state laws require that per every so many kids you have to have an aide. I don't know a single classroom big enough to contain 38 five-year-olds. And 5 yr-olds who don't know how to crawl through a tube...BS!!! Eriks just turned 5 a few weeks ago and he's been able to crawl through a tube like the one she showed since he was 2!! I don't know a single 5 yr-old who can't! Puhleese!

The other thing that really bothered me was the whole Mama Satan thing. There is no way I would publicly say anything negative about any family member no matter how much they drive me crazy. Directly related to me or in-lawed. Someone you're related to is bound to find out and tell the person being negatively talked about.

I feel very sad for this person that they have to make up this much drama to get the attention they crave. I've met a few people like this who would make up extremely far fetched scenarios to get people to pay attention to them. I really hope that she gets the help she needs, especially if she really is adopting from China. She definitely has a lot of issues she has to come to terms with.

Sorry to ramble. BTW, when are you coming down to GA to visit PugMama??? I want to meet you and have some margaritas!

Beverly said...

that blog has been removed but I wouldn't be surprised if she starts it again. sad really.

Daniella said...

I was completely out of the loop on this one. I never followed her/him and now I can't see all the drams - rats. Oh well pretty sad and quite honestly who the heck has that kind of time.

Donna said...

First of all, let me admit that I've not followed this story from the beginning (or, really, at all until now). That being said,
I guess I don't understand this.

I barely have time to blog 2% of the real stuff that happens in my life so what would the motivation be to totally fabricate an entire blog? Was she really not an adoptive parent at all? Was everything on the blog a total farce? If so, why?

Or are we just talking about the photos she built her stories around? Are we presuming that her stories are false just because the bruise or the Hummer she's writing about weren't the ACTUAL bruise or Hummer that appeared on her leg or in her driveway?

I ask this because I sometimes run to Google Images or Flickr when I need a photo to go with one of my TRUE stories and don't have anything good to offer up on my own. For example, several years ago, I blogged about taking my daughter to the Pediatrician for her first set of shots. I included a photo of a cute little pudgy baby thigh with an Elmo band-aid because it really looked like my little sweetie. Truth is, that photo came from Google because I was too busy holding my screaming child to whip out my SLR and start taking pictures. Is this what this blogger was doing? Or was she making up the stories AND the photos?

The Internet gives us the opportunity to share some of the most personal parts of our life in a very anonymous way. Many of my closest blogger friends don't list their real name on their blog. Many only refer to their children by pet names and/or deliberately post misleading information about their location to better ensure the safety of their family. Is their deception more acceptable just because they're more obvious about it?

I ask this because I was denied membership at Yahoo's huge China adoptive families group (AFC) because I used the name Becca instead of Donna. The moderator said it wasn't acceptable to misrepresent myself on their board so I rejoined with my real name only to see other members with obviously fake names such as ChinaMom2B, IwannaKid, GuangdongDad, etc. Is this what "Melissa" did?

Like I said, I've not followed this story from the beginning and I've had almost no contact with the blogger in question (she commented just once on my blog). Is she really just guilty of borrowing photos from the Internet to illustrate her blog or is there more to this?

By the way, I'm a former cop and social worker so I'm pretty quick to spot blatant deception but this just doesn't make my BS radar go berserk. What am I missing?



Donna
Our Blog: Double Happiness!

Donna said...

I just tried to email her and it bounced. You don't delete your entire gmail account unless you're a big fat fraud so I guess I answered my own question!

Donna

wzgirl said...

Yikes. I am blissfully unawares...and glad for it. Know about Munchausen's, though. Did you know that Eminem accused his mother of having it? Thought you might find that interesting.

Its not just kids that need to be careful with the internet - there's all kinds of crazy out there. Thanks for helping keep our community safe, KristaK. xoxox

Special K said...

Donna-
I'm going to e-mail you... because the only thing I can get from your comment is that maybe you didn't pay close enough attention to what I wrote here? And you didn't click over to Heather's blog to see the other dozen or so examples?

Because when you swipe pics off the internet from a Good Housekeeping website and call it YOUR front door or from HGTV's Rate My Space and call it YOUR nursery or from a Christopher Radko website and call it YOUR Christmas tree.... that's lying. And these are only a few of the MANY, MANY examples of what she did.

Kristy said...

Where have I been?? WOW ,. who fakes a blog. One must pray for this lady, because there really seems to be some deeper issues. I respect you "K" , and I am so glad that you posted this. Thank you for watching out for the rest of us.

Love and blessings, Kristy

Buckeyes & Eggrolls said...

OMG,,I'm away from blogger for two weeks and look what I miss. Geez..
Glad you had a great new year.. I hope this year brings on a few more babies than last.

Miss ya! Go Bucks

Donna said...

Thanks for the clarification, K. It still makes me scratch my head because I've encountered some really heartwarming honesty in my dealings with the blogging community. Especially amazing when you balance that against what I usually encountered while on routine patrol.

Donna
Our Blog: Double Happiness!

Debz said...

Oh my! Where have I been!