Post #437, Why the silence.

So much has happened in the last few months that I’ve been unable to write about, so instead  I kept notes in a draft titled “Post #437.”  Mostly Post #437 was a bullet point list of Laelia’s firsts: first time she learned to unstraped  her AFO  shoe, first time she pulled the baby monitor out of her crib, first time she threw her arm while it was in a splint (and almost broke my nose), first time she moved her right leg towards her body, first time she learned to play the game where you pull every single tissue out of the box,  etc. etc. Then one day she blew all our expectations and rolled over! I was so overjoyed that, despite my Internet diet, I  just had to post a blog  about it!

The reason this site has not been updated for a while  was because of some Internet predators who found  us online.  For the most part I have met only wonderful people online, but several months ago I started meeting more and more mommies affected by children born with AMC.  And, well, I wasn’t as careful as I should have been.  A sociopath  who I spent many hours a day emailing, crept into my life. I stayed up very late at night helping them through the dark times that never seemed to end. I poured out a lot of my heart, and in the end (as we’re now convinced) this person (who we think pretended to be many different people) never had a child (children) with AMC.  These  people  writing me were all from the same place, they all had the same style of writing, and all of them had the same MO. They were leaches of sympathy. They never got better. And their stories didn’t always add up. It was like they had researched AMC but never really lived with it.

In fact when I started to ask for pictures of their  kids, these kids would suddenly  have a medical emergency or, and I’m serious, die!   Sorry I can’t send you a picture of him because he  died from mysterious circumstances yesterday. (Insert frowny emoticon.)   They killed off their pretend kids! I can’t believe it! And then  the mom would become  worse off than before and need me so much more. And I let  her use me that much more because what else could I do? Tell her that she was a liar and her kid never existed?!  She already seemed suicidal!    

I would try to send them links to people who could help them, people from the AMC support group in their area, phone numbers or pages of counseling centers and all of that, but they only ever wanted to talk to me. Then  by the time I found out they were fake, I  had already put so many hours into  consoling, sympathizing, encouraging, helping, counseling and crying  that  it just destroyed me more than it should have.  

This sent me to a dark place. I never knew I could be so depressed over lies. But I did pour a lot of my heart into these moms. I stayed up until 4 in the morning writing to people who “needed” me. I chose to  write them over going out, over family.  I felt needed. I don’t know how to explain that besides saying that I finally felt like there was a reason that this awful thing (AMC)  happened to me and my family– so I could help others. Now I find out that the “others” don’t exist. And, truthfully, I wondered all over again why this happened to my daughter and what in the world  God’s purpose in this was.

So I reacted by avoiding this website, and also my personal email, YouTube, other blogs, etc. I avoided my computer in general. I didn’t respond to emails when friends and family asked if I was okay. I felt stupid to say I wasn’t when Lali is doing well and things have gotten better.  

So from now on, I ask for a picture of a potential new Internet friend showing their (or their child’s) AMC. I also ask for them to hold a sign that says, “Hi Alexis!” so I know they didn’t just find this picture online. I am just so thankful that the people who I called, mailed packages to and actually  met in person  were legit! I was lucky.  But I’ve learned my lesson. I also took Lali’s last name off the website as well. And then thought a lot of good that will do since she’s one of the only Laelias out there! :)

I knew Internet predators were out there, but I didn’t realize they were after more than your credit card number or social security card–some of them want control over your emotions. They want to toy with you.  They prey on grieving mothers as part of a sick game. Sociopaths do exist! And the Internet is a new, anonymous playground for them. I have been so angry and depressed and sickened over this that I finally went on the AMC support  group’s website and posted about my experience. I gave them all the emails and  names  that I thought were fake.  I learned that this person may have been on the support group’s forums too, only she (or he?) played a different role, but it was a very similar person that they found out wasn’t real.

So there it is. I  feel  so incredibly foolish, but now you all know what happened. Lali rolled over for the first time in her life,  way ahead of any schedule put to her,  and I couldn’t keep myself from posting about it. But I did feel like I then  owed  this website’s readers an explanation. Especially those of you signed  up for  the posts to be emailed to you; it must have seemed we dropped off the face of the earth! :) Now I’m setting  some safety nets in place  so I can continue to  post about this amazing little girl who has overcome so much.  Though this Internet psycho is the last thing we thought  we would need to overcome.  

6 Responses to “Post #437, Why the silence.”

  1. Amy says:

    Ummmm…Count me in as one of the foolish ones. I also got sucked into a relationship with someone who wasn’t who they said they were. I felt D-U-M-B…

    Safety nets are a good idea! I look forward to seeing your precious daughter in action again very soon!!

  2. thainamu says:

    Wow, that was quite a story. (And although I don’t comment often, I do read your blog and I had noticed there had been no recent posts.) I’m sorry you had to go through all of that–as if you haven’t had enough things to deal already! But it also sounds like you were able to figure out the truth eventually and are dealing with the person/persons in an effective way. I especially thought your photo idea was great to make sure you have a better idea who you are talking to. You don’t need to feel dumb on my account–you’ve dealt with it well.

    I’ve recently started collecting photos of myself with people whom I originally met online. It is actually quite a few people! I hope you and Laelia will be among them sometime soon.

    I’m so happy to hear of Laelia’s progress. The little videos of her laughing make me laugh too.

    God bless–Thainamu, aka “Aunt Linda” and I hope Charley will still vouch for me!!

  3. admin says:

    Since my experience I’ve heard worse stories than mine. At least my person just wanted to mess with me; they didn’t want to kill me, steal from me or worse.

    And I am glad for the many friends who email me online! I hope you don’t all think I am now suspicious of you now! The people emailing me (although I didn’t put a ton of details in my blog) were distinctive enough to avoid. :)

  4. Joel Kreider says:

    That’s just un-real. Someone must have to be in extremely bad shape to pick an obscure website, and use one of the most disconnected forms of communication, only to derive compassion out of a concerned individual. Your reaction is totally understandable.

    I guess these people also need to have some prayer put on them. As counterintuitive as that seems.

    Hope you guys are doing Ok in spite. I’ve also been missing Laelie’s laugh videos!

    Praying for you three (too).
    -Joel K

  5. Desiree says:

    Hello,
    I lurk here so de-lurking I guess. This a terrible thing to have happen. I just wanted to let you know, your girl inspired me. I have always wanted to work with children and I wanted to help them medically. (I follow many kids blogs with different challenges, to increase my awareness of different ailments) I had come to the conclusion I wanted to research medicine for children, however recently decided that wasn’t the true calling for me. I happened upon your site and it hit me… I would love to be a pediatric physical therapist. So, I am now pursuing that road and hope one day to make a difference for at least one child. Oh and laelie is adorable to boot!!
    -Desiree

  6. Robin Clark says:

    I share your complete shock and disappointment regarding the people who “used” you in their posting and online contacts. I completely understand why you feel the way that you do.

    Blessings for a peaceful Christmas!

    Robin Clark

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