Cybermunchers

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You know that scene in Fight Club where Marla is accused of being a tourist? Well, we have those in our on-line forums. Munchhausen’s by Internet. Wikipedia calls them Cybermunchers.

It starts out innocently enough. We all have been through hell and back on the TFMR boards, so we are used to gut-wrenching stories. But every now and then, one comes along that just doesn’t feel right. It could be the numbers don’t add up. That the post is a little too dramatic (or not dramatic enough). It could be the flooding of the message boards looking for sympathy. The repetition of information and posting in inappropriate forums. Diagnoses aren’t clear – rather, general problems are stated. They live in another country so their way of doing things is foreign.

But you don’t immediately recognize the poster for what she really is. No, you question YOURSELF first. How horrible of you to think the worst about this person! This is a person in crisis, and here you are, passing judgment! Are you jealous because her story is worse than yours?

And so you keep silent about it, because you don’t want to look like the asshole who is attacking a newly grieving mother.

But it just doesn’t add up. Ages get changed. Dates get changed. They start talking about life in the UK, which is something you know a little about. And slowly but surely, other people start mentioning it. The outrageousness of it all, the inconsistencies, the fact that the story keeps changing.

How much of an attention whore do you have to be in order to make this up? There was even one post where I think she had created multiple accounts and accidentally commented on her own post, giving herself sympathy so it seemed! I couldn’t be sure, as her writing skills weren’t very clear. She just has a tendency to repeat everything without making any new comments.

I think it’s just best to ignore in this position, otherwise I’d end up just adding fuel to the fire for not being supportive. I’ve noticed that she spends her time in other baby loss boards, specifically miscarriage. It just seems odd to me, because I’ve never pretended that I miscarried. I specifically spend time in the TFMR boards because I don’t want to pretend, and those ladies have been through what I’m going through. I don’t think she gets the reception she wants on the TFMR boards, so she spends all of her time on the boards that give her the reaction she so desperately wants.

It just disgusts me that someone would go around taking advantage of sympathy.

Update: This is also in the comments, but I wanted to make sure any new readers who don’t read comments read the update.

I did a little cybersleuthing and found her FB page – which seems to back up her entire story. Maybe it really did happen, but I still don’t understand the inconsistencies (read: lies) in her posts. If it is a hoax, it’s pretty complicated.

The whole situation is odd and unsettling, and now I feel like the skeptical asshole again. The only thing that I’m taking comfort in is the fact that I’m not the only one is has caught the lies.

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7 thoughts on “Cybermunchers

  1. That is awful! I feel disgusted just reading about it! I’ve known the “trolls” where they go onto online forums (often where Pit Bull lovers are) and say something ridiculous to make everyone irate and egg them on just for pure enjoyment…that is frustrating in itself…but THIS?! this take it to an all new level of awfulness! I’m sorry people are such ass holes.

    • I don’t really feed into her psychotic ramblings, but it’s like Toddlers and Tiaras – I can’t stop watching it!

      She also claims that she’s 16 and charting cervical mucus and temping. I LOL’d on the temping part – I’m 34 and *I* don’t have the stamina to temp! I get so worked up I start waking up earlier and earlier every day – the last time I tried to do it, my body started waking naturally around 3:45-4:00 am!

      There are so many weird things, like she claims to have started her period at age, 6, 8, and/or 9. I want to tell her to make up her mind, but again, I try not to feed the trolls – I just blog about them. 😉

  2. WOW!!! Maybe she has Münchausen syndrome??? Münchausen is a psychiatric factitious disorder wherein those affected feign disease, illness, or psychological trauma to draw attention, sympathy, or reassurance to themselves

  3. Ok, so here’s an update – I did a little cybersleuthing and found her FB page – which seems to back up her entire story. Maybe it really did happen, but I still don’t understand the inconsistencies (read: lies) in her posts. If it is a hoax, it’s pretty complicated.

    The whole situation is odd and unsettling, and now I feel like the skeptical asshole again. The only thing that I’m taking comfort in is the fact that I’m not the only one is has caught the lies.

  4. I know someone like this-I am from the UK too, so for a brief second I thought it might actually be the girl I know-that would have been beyond weird..

    I can’t understand people like this either and although I was incredibly angry with the person I know when she was doing this type of “attention whoring” I share your feeling of “am I the bad person”. There’s a side of me that wants to give people the benefit of the doubt and assume there must be something mentally wrong with them to be like this. Other days I just think they’re arseholes!!!

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