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Why Are People So Hurtful?

September 25, 2009

I’m generally a pretty friendly and outgoing person. I talk to people easily and while I can sometimes be a little slow to open up, once I do, I don’t hold back. I try to trust people and assume that people are inherently good. I don’t think I will ever understand people though. Why do people use, manipulate, and otherwise hurt each other? What ever happened to the golden rule?

A while back, when I had first begun talking to the Writer, I heard some things about him in a rather indirect way. These were things that certainly raised some red flags, but it was all little more than rumor and gossip and speculation. I did a good bit of research about him and the person who relayed these accusations to me. I found the accuser to be less than credible. I confronted the Writer with what I had heard and what I had learned and he was very honest with me about these things. Frankly, much of the speculation and innuendo was regarding situations and events that I already knew about because the Writer had been very open about them from the beginning. The rest was easily explained and I was satisfied that he was who he said and that his motives were pure.

Since that time, we’ve continued to talk and gotten friendlier. He’s shared some pretty intimate details about his past with me and I’ve shared with him. It’s only been a few months that we’ve been talking but I do feel like he is a friend. As you all know now, he’s also made some pretty hefty promises to me. The Disney vacation, the professional opportunities, etc. He’s never asked for anything from me and from what I can tell, he’s come through on most of what he’s offered. He has been promising me some contract work for several weeks and things keep getting pushed back but again, that’s easily explained. I’ve been slow to follow through on some things that I have done for him as well.

The night before last, I found out some more “interesting” background on him. It was many of the same things I already knew but with a few new twists. Again, I told him that someone had reached out to me (and a few others) to warn me and he talked to me for quite a while about all of it and the individuals involved. When all was said and done, I still felt ok about him. Yesterday, I got a phone call first thing in the morning from the person who had e-mailed me the night before. He talked to me for more than two hours and after listening to him, he had very little credibility. Once again, everything that he claimed he “knew for a fact” was gossip from a friend of his who is currently involved in litigation with the Writer and has apparently set out on a witch hunt. This guy kept telling me over and over again that if I needed verification of anything he was telling me, I could ask (let’s just call her) the kindergarten teacher. This is a woman who heads up a large charitable organization and knows way more than anyone should about all of these individuals and their various backgrounds. He assured me that she could confirm that the Writer was a con man, a scam artist, etc and even offered to send me copies of the e-mails that she had sent him regarding the Writer. I thought that was a little odd, because the Writer has told me on numerous occasions that the teacher is a close friend of his and that if I had any doubts at all about him, she could put those to rest. Guess what though, I’ve e-mailed the teacher several times over the past few months trying to get some information for an article I want to write and she has consistently blown me off and refused to talk to me. So yeah, I’d love to ask the teacher, but she won’t answer me.

Well, while I was on the phone with the accuser, the Writer called me at least 4 times and left voice mails…with the teacher conferenced in! As soon as I hung up the phone, the Writer was finally able to get through and I spent almost 3 hours listening to him and the teacher explain to me what is going on with this witch hunt. She also offered to forward me the e-mails she had sent to the accuser regarding all of this. While we were on the phone, I got another e-mail from the accuser apologizing and saying how embarrassed he was but he had just this morning gotten some new information and it appears that the Writer is legit and the whole thing is a big misunderstanding. By then it was time to pick the boys up from school and I was completely emotionally drained. I told myself that I would proceed with caution, but that I wasn’t going to burn any bridges yet. The good thing that came out of all of this is that some people I’d been trying to make contact with for months were finally talking to me…not about the issues I wanted to discuss, but about the Writer and hey, any contact is a start.

This evening, FG came over and we took the boys out for dinner. No sooner had I gotten them in bed and snuggled up next to him on the couch than my phone rang. The number was familiar but I couldn’t put a name with it so I answered. On one level, I’m glad I did, because it was a very high profile person (who again, has only barely acknowledged my existence up until now despite my reaching out repeatedly) but, the call was not what I was hoping it would be. He’s also been doing some research on the Writer and because of his current situation and “celebrity” status, he has access to some people and information that I don’t. He kept repeating that while the Writer has never been anything but nice and helpful to him, there are some huge red flags out there and he has been advised by some very credible people to proceed with caution. Basically, he’s been warned not to sever all ties with this man or burn the bridge, because that has a tendency to turn out badly (in terms of slander, libel, legal actions, etc.) but not to get to close to him either. This is all less of an issue for me, because I really have less to offer him than the celebrity (whatever it is he wants from me…) and am presumably easily replaced and I have less to lose if he did get pissed off and try to make my life miserable. The celebrity is in a very precarious legal situation right now (hence, his celebrity status) and cannot afford to have any kind of slander going around. It could literally be life or death.

So while FG sat on my couch, I talked to the celebrity for nearly 3 hours. The cool thing is that once we had each shared all we knew about the Writer and what our feelings were on that, the conversation proceeded to the topic I’d been wanting to talk to him about all along and wow! I got some amazing insight and information from him. I’m really not sure what I’m supposed to do with it all…I don’t know if it was “on the record” or not, but he told me several times that he will stay in touch and that from this point forward, he will keep me updated personally rather than feeding me information through the Writer. So that is at least cool. I felt horrible because about 2.5 hours into this conversation, FG left. He said he understood (he knew who I was talking to and had a pretty good idea about what) but I still feel like a total heel for leaving him hanging like that.

So I really don’t know what to think about the Writer now. I know the simplest explanation is usually true and the simplest explanation is that this guy has a checkered past and questionable motives right now. But I want to believe in him. Even though he comes across as larger than life and too good to be true, I want to trust him. If the speculation is true, then he is preying on some of the most vulnerable people you can imagine and it’s just dispicable. I keep telling myself to go with my gut. But my gut says that when you get past the speculation and gossip, there’s really not much left to hold against him and when I talk to him, he seems very genuine. I guess all con men do, though…they couldn’t get away with things otherwise.

So once again, I’m very confused and emotionally drained. I hadn’t really realized how emotionally invested I was in this guy, but supposedly that’s part of the game. If he is using and scamming people, I just don’t understand why. How can people do that to each other? On the other hand, if he’s innocent, how can the people who are participating in the witch hunt try to hurt him this way? I just don’t get people.

As soon as I got off the phone with the celebrity, I got a call from a single father in Canada whose daughter was abducted to the US. He is working to get her back and wants me to write about their story at Examiner. Talking to him about what his ex is putting him and his daughter through, it really just makes me want to move to a deserted island somewhere and write off people altogether.

****

On a more positive note, Squirt’s tooth fell out today at school. Oh well, at least it wasn’t at his dad’s house this weekend! I wasn’t ready for the tooth fairy thing yet so I just had to make do. The tooth fairy left him a photo of his snaggletooth smile, a note reminding him to brush his teeth, and a gold dollar.

When he got home and I found out about the tooth, I texted my sister and included a photo. She just responded “that’s nice…I’m trying to get off work in time to pick the boys up tomorrow.” I asked Squirt if he wanted to call his mom to tell him about the tooth (apparently the last time they were over there, he forgot to even tell his mom it was loose…which is interesting because he’s told EVERYBODY in the neighborhood, the grocery store, the library, school, etc.) He just said nah, he’ll tell her whenever he sees her again. I’m not really sure what to think of that. He wanted to call Grandma and FG and few of his friends, but not his mom. I made the offer, that’s all I can do.

I’m so ready for this weekend. I need to just turn the phone off and relax. I need to turn my brain off too.

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