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I met a girl online and we went out on a couple of dates. Texted every day, the whole courting process. Then she disappeared on me for a couple days and told me her grandfather died and she had to go back to the UK for that. She emailed me every day and the letter writing was very intimate and personal and I was falling for her more and more. She would tell me where she was and what she was up to sending me pics here and there. She then sent me a picture that was not of her, yet she said it was her. I google searched it (obviously) and found the owner of the picture to be someone else entirely. I emailed her asking why she was sending me pictures that were obviously of someone else. She responded by saying “that is me, I got lip fillers and botox. This is silly.” I wrote her back stating that I knew who that was a picture of and wanting to know why she was lying to me and what was going on. I did not receive a response. I now have a million conspiracy theories in my head about the possibility that maybe the girl I met in person was not the same girl writing me these emails, yet they were from the same email address that originally linked us. I’m almost afraid that this could be more SVU than Punk’d.
Oh dear. Ginger, your best move at this point would be to do the cyber-equivalent of backing slowly out of the room. I do think that the girl you met in person is the same girl who sent you those emails, though, and I don’t think you’re in danger.
I feel weird speculating about what’s going on with this third party I’ve never met and am only hearing about through you… BUT I CAN’T HELP IT. Because I think I know what’s going on!
Before I go on, some background: I was best friends with a really wildly ambitious liar for a little over a year, and there were times at which she was busted for this or that lie and we’d talk openly about it and I’d get some insight into her psychology. Nothing about what she did made sense or fit into a psychological diagnosis, yet her behavior was remarkably consistent with other liars I’d know, or know of, in the future. While we were still friends and about 50% of her lies had been disclosed (which we thought at the time was 100% because we’re just dumb animals), she even alerted us to red flags about two other people who came into our lives with sketchy stories and she was correct about both of them. Those conversations gave me a lot of insight. After severing ties with My Liar, other people she’d messed with reached out to me and shared their stories, too. I’ve also read every story I can get my hands on about similar situations. Furthermore, due to the epic shitshow that resulted from my Liar, I’ve also become a de facto Liar Expert, often called upon by other people who suspect they’ve gotten involved with a Liar and want to get down to the truth of the matter. At least your friend isn’t pretending to be a duchess, offering to record your album or renting an imaginary apartment with you!
So that’s where I’m coming from. I could be 100% wrong. I realize in some way I am speaking on behalf of a club of which I am not a member, and perhaps other readers will have other ideas. I don’t think this is Punk’d or even SVU. It’s just a person with a lot of issues who unfortunately wedged her way into your life and is now fleeing the scene.
Here’s the best case scenario: She was kidding. She sent you a picture of somebody else as a joke and when you said it wasn’t her, she made a joke about plastic surgery, and then for whatever reason, dropped off.
Here’s what I think is happening: You started dating a liar! You like her and she likes you. She maybe lied to you about things when you hung out, or maybe she didn’t. Maybe she was pretty honest with you about who she is and what she’s into (if you can, see what you can verify about her life/stories through social media — who comments on her facebook page, who she has pictures of, etc). But of course there comes a time when a liar has to be real about how deep they can get with anybody, at which point she told you her grandfather was sick in order to justify ghosting on you for some reason she cannot disclose.
Having safely placed you at a physical distance (which may be imaginary, I’m not sure if you can confirm that her pictures were taken when/where she says they were), she felt more comfortable getting in just a little bit deeper. Or maybe she thought you were gonna vanish when she ghosted on you to begin with, and the fact that you didn’t has given her a temporary ability to rationalize remaining in touch. Perhaps she felt like she’d already done one thing to protect you — removing herself from your physical vicinity, as far as you know — which gave her the peace of mind to continue your cyber-courtship.
And then… she fucked up. Maybe she was also courting somebody else and with that person she’d been using photographs of somebody else to represent herself, and she screwed up and sent the wrong picture to the wrong person. (My Liar often passed off photos of other people as herself with other people she just knew online.) Maybe she just uploaded the wrong file. Or maybe she did it on purpose because she couldn’t keep lying and she also couldn’t admit she had been lying, so she did something intentionally to spook you, and then ghosted again. In which case, honestly, she kinda did you a favor.
Why is this person a liar? What are they hiding? Why do they tell such clumsy lies? Why do they even bother forming intimate relationships that they know are not going to last? I don’t know. She might not know, either. It might be something about how she grew up, it might be part of a personality disorder. Whatever it is, it doesn’t have to be your burden.
Go forth and prosper with people who really exist!
Keeping it Real,