Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Things are not always what they Seem in the Mirror

So, on with the Hall of Mirrors Saga from my last blog.

I get back to work after having a bit of reflection time. I know I'm feeling sore, but my need to support Berlin now outweighs any pain I'm feeling. And I know his pain is high. Bewildered. Disoriented. Coming out of the fog. Not knowing what's real and what's not. So I'm lighthearted about my own pain for now - absolutely the wrong time to call him on how he dealt me. Most definitely saved for another day!

I'm here Be. But when we're past this, whatever it ends up being, you're in for
a fkn huge bollocking from me. I'm a patient woman.
What's a fkn huge bollocking?
For not telling me about this girl and leaving me hanging for a very long time.
But I'm REALLY not going to bollocks you when you're
this taken down. I've actually got your back.
Oh maybe I should stay a little longer in Hamburg then and avoid Dubai in near future...
And Barcelona

let's see how you are by then. I may stalk you in Hamburg. 
Then you'll have to WATCH your back!
For now -- we focus on this very sore thing of yours.

Ok. Lighthearted banter done. He knows I'm not OK. I'm not pretending and hiding my feelings from him. But not nailing him with guilt and bitterness now. He's not in any state to hear or deal it. Good Trudy - GIANT steps away from how you would have dealt this in the past.

On with the practical stuff:

Have you Googled the images yet?
I'm on an iPad and for some reason I can't paste a picture into the search line
You don't want me to do it?
Ok I'll forward you a pic by email.
Too late. Load shedding just hit
My guys trying to start the generator now
Jeez load shedding is bad at the moment right?
Every time I communicate with someone in Joburg
they struggle with load shedding...
Was just settling down to search for some catfish doccies for you
How are you feeling Berlin?

Load shedding seems to knock out the 
Vodacom 3g towers too. My messages not getting through to you
It's every day now.
Ok. Generator on. Internet on soon. You can email me on my work address

OK will send you some now
I have a match
Can you send me a link?
Didn't get anything yet
Is she South African?
Yes. At Wits
Runs an event company
Does that mean she would be the one I spoke to or is it stolen identity?
Could be either
Search for XXXX XXXXX on linkedin
I only got a hit on the one image. White pants orange top
Others nothing
Berlin Google her
Something is definitely wrong
I'm so sorry
Yes I've got her Trudy. I even think it actually is her
She often spoke about Islamic topics

I have to dash to therapy now. But I'll check in with you again 
in a couple of hours
And often about Arabic topics
What do you think
Be strong. Be a journalist now, not a lover
Shall I send her a message on LinkedIn
Or pop up on her doorstep?
Wait. Find facts first.
Watch some catfish.
Someone means you harm. Don't tip them off
OK chief I feel much better now! Thanks!!
Just a reminder before I go in
You are in mindfuck mode now
You need some recovery time first
Trust me. I've walked this path. It's fucking horrible

I head into therapy and have the 'Hall of Mirrors' conversation with my shrink. I come out more bullet proof than when I went in. I am grounded and clear about what's happening here for me.

Just sent her a message on LinkedIn
I couldn't prevent it
Tried though
Any response?
How are you?
In your hall of mirrors

Yes she responded that she didn't get an email
And the brother of that "dead" woman just wrote that "hey those are pictures of my sister, this is fucked up"
I asked him if the name says anything to him and told him to Google the images
So you're most probably right Trudy
But there was real love in her voice
For hours
I'm sorry.
It's better than her killing herself over you
But a whole other level of mindfuck.
I'm here. I get this. I'll walk next to you a bit. You're going to need a friend.
Yip, good to know I have one!

I'm stopping here for a moment. This bit really hurt. and it all echoes in that Hall of Mirrors. I remember saying just this to my friend Nikki when talking about Berlin and trying to understand why he had disappeared: "But there was real love in his voice. I can't have imagined it".

I remember a moment when we were talking to each other on Skype. I was so besotted with him and when I actually saw him on the screen I was just flooded with joy. I felt already that I loved him so. We just watched each other. Quiet. Taking each other in. Then he said "I want to kiss you right now".

Real? Mirrors? Fuck knows.

When are you leaving for Dubai?
And what's Tinder?
31 Dec
You reading my blog?
Oh. I mentioned it here. .. just wrote a blog about Tinder this morning so I was confused
Dating app
You should stay the fuck away from it right now

Tinder I mean
Not my blog
So something like AM?
Ja. But mobile based
Why stay away?
Thought you'd be broken right now
Not really up for more scamming
Well I'm a little dazed and confused but I'm not going to jump from a bridge
Resilient fellow
Or totally in denial
There aren't any high bridges here anyway
All flat

(Sent him a pic of the gym running track with my shoulder in it)
I'm here again
No I'm confused
That's a beautiful shoulder
Thanks. But I'm showing you the gym over my shoulder

Oh, not the cold shoulder?
Yes, looks pretty
That gym...
I'm doing the opposite
Should also be in a gym
But testing European wines
The brother of the deceased is bombarding me with messages now.
Asking what's wrong... I'm insecure...
Play along
You'll probably find out what they're after
For 3 months?
Watch the fucking catfish movies already
OK ma'khosi!
It's a hall of mirrors Berlin. Only you are going to be able to figure out what's real
And its going to take time
and land in stages
I watched part of one but was a little boring so got distracted
Some are
Some are sweet
Some are devastating

What some?
OK will get back into it
You carry on sweating in the meantime
Doesn't look very sweaty yet that shoulder by the way...
Takes a lot to make me sweat
Nice save! Cheers I'll have a sip of Bordeaux on you and for you
Hmmmm..... No drunk dialling phantom girl
The deceased
Heartbroken people do stupid shit when pissed
Just saying
Gotta go. Rehab session now
Jeez... you know me well !
OK cool
Will tell you what it's like to chat with deceased
So they said they would make a packet for me with
some things that remind me of her and I could
collect it from a certain Nadhreen.

Look what I just got here on FB:

my name is nashreen hendrix-nassiep ,
my entire identity , including my accounts , forged signatures , facebook account has
been stolen and used . I believe my phone number , pictures from facebook has
been posted on some dating sites . Very private information has been used to my
greatest embarrassment and Ive just received an email from aysungulerosman
saying that I have been dating you . Im a very proper Muslim woman from Cape
Town and I have a husband and three daughters . Is there any way you would talk
to me , i need to find all the damage that has been done. This isnt a scam saying
that you won money , call this number for lottery in the UK. My phones have been
cloned including my office line. I work from home . I humbly implore you to please
atlk to me. I have given all the information I have so you dont think Im a nut.
It starts to unravel
But when i searched for that chicks name it didn't come up
Which one?
Might still be part of the scam Berlin
It is
I checked her profile
xxxx xxxxx
Among her cover pics there are 1-2 that "Tash" sent me 2-3 months ago...
Animations that I've never seen anywhere else
It's xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxx
weird. I really did search that name this afternoon and it wasn't there
The full name and parts thereof
It's on LinkedIn
I only found her on linked in
Just got another message from Nashreen in
Curiouser and curioser
This is what she writes now:

Feel free to look at my linked in profile , I've invited you to Facebook
so you see who I am , I just need to understand the damage done ,
there has been financial ones but the other damage is not quantifiable

See what i mean
These things land in stages. Be careful. Trust no one.
Just trying to figure out what they're planning
Or were planning
Her linked in profile said something about wits. Now cape town??
Driving home now. Can't type.
No it's not the same lady Trudy
The first one, the one at Wits (if it's not also fake) is xxxxxxxx
(or Natashia -Tash- for the past few months). This one is the
name that was given to me to collect the parcel with deceased
Tash's belongings for me. Now she says she was framed into
something..... But she has identical pics on her profile, she's
part of it.... Just not quite sure what they're playing

Heading inside to family dinner and mommy time 
now. I'll catch up with you in a couple of hours.
OK, Bon appetit
Hi. I'm back
How are you doing?
Any more supersleuth revelations?
Ok. It's very odd. I still can't find her when i search
Facebook. I wonder if her privacy settings are blocking everyone except
scam targets?
XXXXX XXXXXXX turns up nothing for me on my pc or my phone
Facebook phone or pc i mean
But you gave that name and when I googled she was on LinkedIn
Yes i Googled the photo and it turned up the linked in profile pic
But nothing on Facebook
You ok Berlin? What's happening?

We're now late into last night. Unpacking and thinking. I've started doing what I do whenever someone I care about hits a hurdle I don't know a lot about. I Google. And read. And find forums. And learn from people who have been through the same stuff. I start to send some of this to Berlin, but I get concerned that he won't read it all. Talk about co-dependent dysfunctional helping... I want to help people I care about even more than they want to help themselves!!

I'm going to publish the resources here in my next blog - if anyone reading this is in the middle of a suspected online con, these may help you also begin to understand what's happening. The more I read, the more I realise that this is SUCH a common thing. And that one of the boys I said 'Yes' to on Tinder a couple of days ago was one of these scamsters (the one that disappeared after I asked where he was, suddenly over a thousand miles away). So I was THIS close to walking into a similar trap that Berlin was in!! Flip, Online dating isn't just about protecting your heart. It's about dodging the thousands of scamsters out there just WAITING to work their way into your heart and wallet!!!! Fuck -people are evil!!!

I'm a little worried about my family now
What information did you share?
Of course I happily chatted away about my daughters and which school they go to a.s.o.
I wonder what it's about Berlin
Nothing sinister like spying?
Al jezeera cloak and dagger stuff?
Who found who on AM?
I don't know... Or they simply want to threaten me now or blackmail me with emails to my wife a.s.o.
I contacted her on AM after I thought I was set up by you
So I told my wife I've been chatting with another woman and suspect something dodgy
How would your wife handle this if she knew? Like how afraid are you of them. Blackmailing you?
She was quite cool
How come she so cool?
I told her a while ago that I'd go look to get what she doesn't want to give me...
And she was ok with that?
She basically signaled that she'd turn a blind eye
Maybe she's just happy that she doesn't have to have sex anymore
But honestly.... She really is OK, she's a great woman
Yes. That's a mature way to deal it. ..
She just isn't much into sex
And at some stage I was so pissed off I told her I'd go looking now
Did phantom girl know this
If she did then wife blackmail threats not the object
Not really
But they want to keep the kettle boiling, I'm getting requests on FB and LinkedIn from this other woman
Declined of course
Otherwise they'll post all sorts of stuff on my timeline
Ok. But then you can't keep playing the game w the 'BROTHER'. They'll know you're onto them
Although I'm a bit confused about how it all hangs together
How's your heart Berlin?
You've gone from your lovers suicide to being a con victim in 24 hours
While waiting for cancer verdict from your doc.
Mindfuck territory!
Yes but I'm quite OK Got a good friend by my side.
I am a little confused and puzzled
Just a little?
But not heartbroken like this morning
Well quite confused actually

Another HUGE ouch for me! Flip! Berlin has actually had the conversation he told me he wanted to have with his wife about sleeping with other people. When we were connecting, he was feeling too afraid of her reaction to raise it with her. It would have been such a perfect relationship if he had done that for us, rather than phantom girl: with both his and my spouses on board we could have had a legitimate relationship without hiding it from anyone. What are the chances of that happening, like,ever, for me with someone else. Fuck man! Talk about the road not travelled!!!

Anyway - back to the saga:

Now I see there's a missed call to my mailbox
From her or them or whatever
But it doesn't show as a missed call
Shit Berlin. It's weird
Only an SMS saying that my mailbox was called from that number....
I've been scammed twice. First time I lost 30k. It was to some arb guy who wanted my help. Bullshitter.
But it only lasted 3 days. He took my money and baled
How did they do it?
But it fuckn hurt for years. I was so angry and felt so stupid
I think these guys are pretty good hackers
Second time is now. With John. One day I'll tell you that story over a lot of wine
But I know this one will hurt for the rest of my life
Hackers? Why?
Well she even told me her brother was a hacker and these weird things with calls that don't appear as missed calls a.s.o...
Heartbreak doesn't disappear in half a day. Even if she was a con, you still felt what you felt. Once we figure what happened here you must have grieving time. You're dealing a lot.
What's the purpose of those invisible missed calls?
I don't know
Especially after I was told this morning that everybody is leaving that house (the call was from the landline)
So I've got a landline and several cell numbers
Which is not too bad actually
Might be worth googling those
But these people are tricky as you can see
What, just google the numbers?
Yup. You never know what comes up
Why am I a better sleuth than you? You're a journo...
But not one of those investigative guys
There are often patterns to scams
Like mine was "the precious gemstones scam'
Or there's the 401k scam in Nigeria
And some are very personal. John was acting alone in conning me
You mean 419
Yup. That.
I shot a little film on that up in Lagos
I now I fall for something like that myself
While you thought I was setting you up. .. Yes the irony isn't escaping me
well that's also something I'll explain to you over a glass of wine
Was very similar to what happened now
A fake account
Like fishing

Sigh. Ag. Whatever.

I think I'll post the resources in my next blog - too much info here, and the text messaging takes up so much space. Please go on to the next blog if you need to find help.

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