Wednesday, June 20, 2012

When bloggers lie about loss.

I posted earlier about a blog I had come across that devastated me. It was one I had never read before on which a BLM reported that her sweet little rainbow had been killed in a car accident.  

A short while later a firestorm of comments showed up on her blog, and around blogland, claiming the story to be false. Some of the info to back up these accusations were the fact that some of this blogger's dates on her timeline didn't add up, or that her actions (such as blogging as her daughter was passing or shortly thereafter) didn't make sense.

The truth is, I don't know what the truth on this story is. I don't know anything beyond what this woman has chosen to share on her blog, and I can only react in the way that feels right and good in my heart to the information I have been given.

Are her dates screwy? Maybe. But in the spirit of full disclosure, until someone mentioned them, I hadn't even read her timeline.

Is blogging right after the death of your child strange? Define strange. After Peyton died, the first thing, and I mean THE FIRST THING I did when I got home, was march across the street to return a bowl I had borrowed to a neighbor. Why? I don't know. Maybe I needed to say out loud, "my daughter died." Maybe I wanted to rub some of my pain off onto someone else. Maybe I was just plain crazy. People do strange things in the face of the unimaginable, who am I to judge?

I don't know if this woman is lying. Lord knows this community has had more than it's fair share of heartache over trolls and scams through the years, but I would rather show compassion and support to someone who turns out to be a troll, than have to live with having compounded someone's grief with accusations.

I will never understand how or why someone would pretend to be a babylost mom. This is a club that no sane person would ever join by choice, so to try to understand the actions of someone like that just seems a terrible waste of time. 

If this woman (or any other) is lying, then wouldn't the "worst case scenario" of reaching out to comfort her be that another little girl never died, and we as a community sent love and compassion out into the universe? If that is the worst case scenario of offering condolences to someone without knowing all of the facts... I can live with that. 

Babyloss is taboo and infertility is taboo and because of that many bloggers here choose to blog anonymously making fact checking near impossible at best and so yes, there is always the chance that someone in blogland isn't telling the truth. But that is something the person telling the lies has to live with, not me.

I have to live with how I choose to respond. 

47 comments:

  1. I'm still trying to wrap my head around this too. But like you said we should all send her love and support, in the event that she is telling the truth. What could it hurt?

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    1. Or if your heart is telling you it is not true, just choose not to visit the blog, I guess. I just don't see what good any other action is.

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  2. I gave her support this afternoon and even posted the link to her blog on fb so that others could go and offer love and support. I did remove the link off fb since all these developments because I don't want more hearts to be broken over what is most likely a false story. I definitely agree with you, why would anyone want to pretend to be a blm? It's insane...

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  3. Lovely post and I think your response is definitely the right one. I had been getting a bunch of traffic from her site, so I clicked over and didn't know what to think after reading some of the comments I was seeing...

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  4. Oh wow I read that blog today and was so heartbroken for that woman. How sad that it could possibly be false.

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  5. I'm not sure what comments to her are being referred to, apparently I missed it, but I will say that I did visit that blog and was so incredibly sad for her but something just struck me wrong. Not so much that she had posted yesterday, but the fact that her subheader mentioned two angels when her second baby had just died. Etc. I decided not to comment either way. But I agree with her, if telling her you are sorry for her loss and it turns out there never was a loss (or two losses) is the worst thing that happens, that's really not bad at all. My concern would be where people start collecting money, but as far as I know, that's not an issue here.

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    1. Yes folks. Please don't send money to people you can't verify. I think if something felt "off" for you Angie, saying nothing was the right response.

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  6. I love this post; so beautifully said. Including your comment above pointing out that there are more options: don't visit the blog. But leaving words of kindness while holding your own emotions in check is something everyone can do if they choose.

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  7. Beautifully written! I had read her blog yesterday after another blogger posted about it and was so saddened for her and her family, I did't know anything about people suggesting she is lying until I saw your post.

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  8. I've visited the blog of the woman to which you're referring and spent last night crying and in pain for this woman. Today, I don't know what to believe...... Your post was well written. I am a babylost mom and don't know why anyone would want to join our ranks......

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  9. Thank you for this post. I posted supportive comments on that blog last night but today, I'm confused. I like the idea that even if our support was unnecessary, it can't hurt to have some extra positive energy out there.

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  10. I still cannot believe she is lying. I cannot believe any heart could even contemplate the creation of that horror. I updated FB within minutes of getting into the car when we lost Trey. I updated my blog's profile that night. I had, had, had, had, HAD to get it out somehow. I do not and will not judge her because she wasn't giving enough time to appropriately blog/change info.

    But dear God, I pray she is not lying. I cannot imagine.
    xoxo

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  11. I don't believe she's lying, but you're completely right, it's better to extend compassion and risk looking a fool, than burn someone at the stake and later find out that they were being honest. Your post is written beautfully - a refreshing, welcome alternative to all the "OMG DRAMA" posts about this that are popping up all over the place at the moment.

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  12. This post was exactly what I needed to read right now. After posting about this and crying about this... to now think CRAP, it might be a hoax...but in a way...WOW, it might be a hoax! (as is, no little girl(s) died...it's such a conundrum. All I can do it continue to offer my condolences and support.

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  13. I was upset by the initial "updates" that I just couldn't sleep last night...it sat in my throat most of the day. MY GOODNESS! To lose your baby in a car accident...I was devastated for her and her husband. Then came all of the strange timing of posts and blog adjustments ect. etc. It just all seems a bit odd.

    I think my issue with it being a (alleged) made up situation is that it HAS happened to me. My child DID die. WHY would someone try and use my (all of our) pain to attract attention (and or eventual money)?? I guess I have no right to judge her, but I am entitled to my opinions right? :)

    Thank you for this post...I think the subject has been on the minds of many in this community, but no one want to point a finger and say YOU LIED...because we just don't know right?

    I personally won't be going back to the blog because I can't trust what's been written now...and at the end of the day, that is the saddest part.

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  14. Thank you for this post.

    I was very upset by what happened, even though something seemed off to me. I woke up this morning still upset. I often avoid comments and formed my own opinion not to comment or become involved, but honestly it still hurt my feelings to come to my conclusion that my heart strings had been taken for a ride.

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  15. It was horrible to read about her having to let go of her sweet baby.

    I am not sure if she is lying or not...but yes, if she is, her lies remain with her. If she is telling the truth, her pain would be too great at this point of time - any compassion would be good.

    But just to become a subject of such scrutiny in itself is very discomforting....

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  16. I am coming over from Stirrup Queens - thank you for this thoughtful and well-written post. I make no judgments about whether or not this particular story is true, although, like others, I have had a strange feeling about it. But I agree with your "worst case scenario" principle and have left several supportive comments over the last few days, in line with that.

    It will be interesting to see how this story unfolds.

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  17. I, too, was very shaken by her story. It never occurred to me that it wasn't true, to be honest. I get wanting to pretend to be someone else right now, but I would choose to be the opposite of what I am, which is a mom with a dead baby; so it's impossible for me to understand why someone would choose that as their identity. But I completely agree that I'd rather send love and caring out into the universe than hatred.

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  18. The blog is deleted now. I can only hope that the story false because if it was true and people don't believe her I can imagine that would be devastating. Also I hope it is false because I would rather have someone lie than to have a beautiful baby girl killed. I looked at the blog today and thought it was weird that there wasn't one picture of her babies. I know some people choose not to share photos, but most do. Especially people who have beautiful rainbows.

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  19. It is a hoax. See www.warriorelihoax.wordpress.com for confession.

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  20. The blog has been taken down now. I visited, but hadn't commented. To be honest I didn't even smell a rat, and I have in the past. I just felt devastated for them. So to hear it may have been a hoax was a bit of a shock to me. Like you though, I didn't read any of the back story or the timelines.
    No matter which way you look at it or what the truth is, this is all very sad.
    xo

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  21. I attempted to go check her blog this morning to see if there were any new posts from her but it seems like the blog has been removed. I can't help but wonder if it's been removed because she's knows she's been found out or if it's removed because she felt sadness/anger/betrayl at all the comments accusing her to be a hoax...

    I've decided to keep praying for her as if it is real...God knows what she needs best and if that's comfort during grieving than I know that she will get it but if it's healing from some psychiatric illness than I know He'll work on her...Either way, this whole story is tragic.

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  22. I was devastated for her, but I did think it perhaps a little unusual that she was blogging from the hospital room as she sat by her dying child's bedside, but then I thought of how much I was online in the days after Jacob died. I got home from the hospital and immediately emailed the prenatal teacher of the class I was suspposed to go to that night to say I wouldn't be attending. My kid just died, why would I care if I was a no-show for a free class? Right after finding out he died, I asked my OB if I could leave my car in her parking lot while I walked to the hospital (they patrol it to make sure people don't do that). I can't imagine why I even thought or cared about that, I just found out my son died and I would be giving birth to him in the next day or so. So I could understand the blog updates. But I did wonder about her adding new sections to the blog, but just figured grief doesn't make you think straight and whatever helps helps. I hadn't seen the comments on her blog yet, or read her timeline. I'm not convinced she made it up yet, but we'll see.

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  23. I don't know anything about this blog, but it sounds like a very sad situation- I feel sorry for a woman who wants to pretend to be part of our dreadful club..her need for attention is that bad....
    I know of someone who really, TRULY needs all of our love and support right now. Her name is Chelsea, and please send her some encouragement as they lost their sweet, beautiful boy today- Trek. Her last post will bring back some difficult memories for most of you; I sobbed gut wrenching sobs as I read it; remembering the moment Amryn died in my arms...
    If you have a chance, read the rest of their story- it is inspiring and a reminder to all to live life fully!

    http://oursonnylife.com/2012/06/21/we-lost-our-baby-today

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  24. Thank you for a compassionate response. Through love we heal and change the world. I wish more people would respond to death, loss, sadness, all of it with empathy. And own their reactions. Thank you for being a pillar of strength and reason

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  25. Honestly, if it's not true, I'm just really glad that a little girl didn't die. Whew!

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  26. What you wrote is how I have always felt about scams and trolls but you said it so beautifully. I have always been aware that in setting up a blog, seeking support & offering support through words, I am opening myself up to the possibility of being lied too. But, in the end, I choose to believe what I read and offer compassion because the alternative (adding further pain and grief to a real bereaved parent) is unacceptable to me.

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  27. shades of april rose, anyone?

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  28. It's never pleasant to be emotionally played, or to think we might have been, but it's suffering soul who went to those lengths. If she's trying to get sympathy and concern with a made up tragedy, that in itself is a tragedy. It's not right for people to troll someone who does that: they're still suffering human beings, just not suffering from what they claimed to be suffering with.

    I think your take on this is completely right. All of it. Even the differences in how people grieve. I posted about my loss of my son a couple of weeks after we lost him, but I had been journaling that whole time, and I'm glad I did. I can finally look back and feel like I've moved forward, without losing "him" -- I think you understand what I mean. I have seen long internet cons play out, and really there's no way to know the truth. Attacking a person you suspect of lying is a terrible, thoughtless risk to take with that person's private pain.

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  29. I totally agree with you. the reaction that someone has to the loss of a baby, a child...is different for everyone. I went out and brought a bracelet only days after because I wanted something to hold onto to represent her and I went shopping for boots because I wanted to look my best at her farewell and I started blogging only weeks after because I needed to get everything out and yet I had family to talk with but needed to say things on paper i couldnt say outloud. I searched the net for the 'perfect' song for the farewell and during the ceremony I didnt cry once yet I have drowned myself in sorrow and many tears in private. For someone to make something up for sympathy and attention, they really do need to take a hard look at themselves if that is what has happened.

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  30. I agree totally with you, Losing a child is not something I would ever wish on anyone and it is ceartinly not something I wanted to happen. Grief is different for everyone, After my daughter passed a few days later we went to the beach to try to get away. I guess to try to escape the pain which was crazy because the pain follows you where ever you go. Maybe this women did lose her child maybe not, Yet I agree show her kindness instead of chossing to be being mean.

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  31. I love your point ... that it's less about them, and more about us, about the people we are, about living with our responses to tragedy and crisis. Yes, emotional manipulation is awful ... but how are we to know what the truth is? All we can do is act on the information we have.

    You're also right about our varied reactions to grief ... it's entirely possible that she needed to tell someone and couldn't bear to tell anyone but an anonymous, faceless reader.

    Thank you for showing this woman compassion, no matter what the truth might be.

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  32. I honestly could not have said this any better!!!

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  33. she admitted to another friend of mine that she lied, when she got caught she deleted her blog. i don't feel sorry for her at all. she knew what she was doing was wrong and she did it anyway. boo freaking hoo lady. your little scam "spiraled out of control" as you put it and i don't feel one bit sorry. you are ALL giving this girl what she wants, and it's called attention. and go ahead people - look it up. try and find an infant who is the same age, named chloe who died in a car accident earlier this week. oh what's that? yeah there isn't one!

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    1. I'm in Michelle's camp...
      Yes, the person is sick in another way to make up such a thing but to use the guise of an infant/child overall? I.just.can't.

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  34. Someone above posted the link to her confession about the blog actually being fake. She admits it and talks about taking it down. It saddens me that anyone would pretend to live the life of a mom who has lost a child(ren). I love your outlook on this though. I was not sure if it was true or not. My first instinct was yes because I like to think people are being honest. When I found out it was indeed made up, I was sickened. But it being false just means that there are not two more babies gone too soon like the blog says.

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  35. What a thoughtful and compassionate post. You share some really helpful ways to think about all of this. It does bother me that people are capable of screwing with other’s emotions through such hoaxes, however I appreciate the idea that to “go there” they are likely not mentally stable and need our kindness, compassion and prayers as much as our disappointment, frustration and anger.

    I also really love your last line, about having to live with how we respond. That is so true in this instance and every interaction we have with others in our lives. Thank you for putting this out here and encouraging our community to look at this situation from a perspective that not everyone might otherwise consider.

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  36. I agree that it is preposterous that someone might lie about being a BLM; but then again, some people have special circumstances - I'm talking about delusions, or Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy, or any number of mental health issues.
    My thought is, if all they are seeking is emotional or psychological support - as opposed to fundraising - does it really matter if their story is real or not? Does someone who feels the need to fake such a loss not deserve compassion and sympathy by simple virtue of being disturbed? I don't know....
    I'm on the same page as you, I'd rather send love and support out to someone who does not truly need it than deny love and support to someone who does.

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  37. One of my husbands clients lied about baby loss a few years ago. She'd found out about our loss, and suddenly she was calling him to tell him that she had just had a miscarriage. At first, he believed her. I remember him crying...because even though he shouldn't have told me (patient confidentiality) he couldn't bear the pain. I didn't know her, so he figured it was fine to vent to me. He knew I'd understand...he hoped I could help her, as another BLM. So I reached out to her. But then...it started sounding weird. It had been "an early loss"...and was defined by the doctors as a loss because of the presence of "teeth and hair" in her blood. WTF? Teeth and hair??? I started to smell...lies. So I asked her more questions. Lots of questions. LOTS. She had all kinds of bizarre answers. Answers that didn't add up. Not even a little. Clearly she knew nothing about actually experiencing loss of any kind. She then thanked me for "accepting her into my family." ???? I went home and told my husband that his client was delusional, had NOT had a loss, was lying to him in an effort to get closer...and he confronted her. She confessed. I told my husband that when a person with severe mental illness is in his office, that it's okay to not believe EVERY WORD they say. He wanted to give her the benefit of the doubt, and his own broken heart made him vulnerable. Some people will pretend to have a loss to get sympathy in a broken life that feels void of connection. I wanted to shove her head in the toilet...MAKE her feel the pain that IS loss so that she would know how ugly it is to pretend such a thing....but...in the end, the loss she has is of her integrity. What a horrible thing to lose. :o(

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  38. Horrible story, but you know what? It made me ever more thankful for the health of my family and made me slow down in my own driving, so I'll choose to believe that something good came from it.

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  39. Great post...can't believe how much this news spread around "blogland." Apparently she confessed to lying. I said the same thing as you...I can't imagine any sane person wanting to "escape reality" and enter the reality of a babylost parent. Not the kind of made-up life I'd choose for myself. I hope this doesn't stop people from sharing or reaching out to others through blogging. <3

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  40. Amen to this. I missed this whole ordeal and, it seems as though it has now turned out that she really was lying. That is a travesty in itself, but it doesn't change anything. I'll pick leaving supportive comments on a lier's blog over leaving hurtful ones on the blog of someone who is telling the truth every time.

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  41. Absolutely. Kindness/compassion is wonderful response, either the person is hurting from the situation or hurting from something else which is causing them to act out.

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  42. Here from the Creme.

    It's truly sad that people need to invent pain and loss to feel whatever it is they need to feel. But I love how you have responded and it is so true. We are only responsible for how we react and that is what we have to live with in the end.

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