This time last week I was all excited.
I was getting some 'me' time.
I was driving to the Sunshine Coast all by myself.
I was having lunch with my sister and meeting some online friends for the first time.
I was nervous, but also very excited.
Shame it turned out to be one of the most stupid things I've ever done.
I haven't been able to blog about it until now.
I've been up and down and everything in between all week.
I've been happy & sad, angry & confused, smiling & crying within the space of minutes.
I've tried to shake my head and get over it but it's not that easy.
I was duped.
By an online friend I met on Twitter sometime at the end of last year.
This friend had stage IV melanoma.
This friend was in a coma for weeks.
This friend asked all of her friends to do a painting for her to celebrate the birthday her doctors told her she wouldn't see.
This friend turn out to be a fraud.
From what I know about the searches other online friends have done, she lied about EVERYTHING!
I prayed for her.
I painted for her.
I agreed to meet her.
I feel like an idiot.
My husband is a police officer and is always so sceptical.
I'm not. I am the complete opposite.
I always trust what people tell me, until I find a reason not to.
I've never been duped before, I guess that's why it's been so easy to trust.
Now, who do I trust?
I feel a bit better knowing it wasn't just me.
She fooled a whole big group of us.
Sass has blogged about it all here and here.
Bern blogged about it here.
And Taryn blogged about it here.
Please read them all so you get the whole picture of how elaborate her lies were.
She must have spent all day, every day, piecing it all together.
Why? Why would someone go to such lengths??
She did get some money but not enough to make it all worthwhile.
However she was possibly buttering us all up for the biggie....the $30 000 her brain surgery with Australia's leading surgeon was going to cost.
Who will ever know?
She has responded to no one.
We've all called or emailed or sent messages.
Not one reply.
She has my address which has me totally freaking out.
She offered to babysit my kids which makes me feel ill.
I don't know what will happen from here.
I don't know how far reaching the effects of this will have on me.
I do know it's left me very sad and feeling very stupid.
What's the lesson?
Be very, very careful.