A few weeks ago I made the decision to talk to a newspaper about a subject I’d previously written about here on my blog. It’s a decision I agonised over for a long time and gave me a fair few sleepless nights. But after the reaction I’ve since received from all over the world, I know in my heart it was the right one.
I’ve never been in the papers before. Well yes I’ve been in local papers for work related stuff, but I’ve never given a story about me to a paper, and certainly not a national one. It’s a world I’m fairly uncomfortable with. Working in the media though, I’m aware of it happening on a daily basis. I know of people who regularly court the press with sleazy offerings to keep the panto gigs coming in year in year out. And indeed my partner has had his fair share of it in the past. But when I was approached to do an interview – I was terrified. Mostly about what people would think of me. Subsequently – the biggest lesson I’ve learnt from all this is that you can’t always worry what everyone will think. People WILL disagree, they WILL judge. But let them. After all, it’s your life, your truth. And it’s yours to tell as you see fit.
So after I published this blog – the response was literally phenomenal. Thank you if you read it. The evening I published it I went for a shower and couldn’t believe how many tweets, facebooks and emails I’d received when I came out! From there various publications and broadcasters got in touch wanting me to tell my story. To be honest I was shocked. I think because I’d lived with the reality of what happened for so long, it had almost become normal in my head. I’d forgotten what a sickening web of lies I’d been dragged in to. It wasn’t until I saw other peoples’ reactions that the magnitude of it all hit me.
My agent and I eventually decided to tell my story to the Daily Mail. Yes, the Mail comes with a reputation that I am very aware of – but I was assured by lots of people who became involved that they would deal with the story the most sensitively and accurately, and they weren’t wrong. Although I was terrified the night before it was published, everything was precisely as I’d said it – and the feedback was astounding.
Here are just some snippets (don’t worry all identities protected) from some of the emails I’ve received:
‘I read your story in the mail about ‘Lucy’ and the hoax. It sent shivers down my spine!!
From 2005 to 2010, I was sucked into the life of a ‘Lucy’ ’
‘ ‘’Was moved to write after reading your account in the papers of the hoaxer you were the victim of and admire you enormously for speaking out….’’
‘’I got chills reading it, as the whole tale echoed an experience I am some of my colleagues went through back in the 1990s …’’ ‘
‘I’ve personally been through the same ordeal myself 3 years back all turned out to be a hoax fake I even met them also like you had …’
‘I am so sorry this happened to you but as you can see from the thread I sent you, you are not alone’
This is just a tiny snapshot of the messages I’ve received and doesn’t even take into account the ones I got after my initial blog that I published on here. So although some may sit in judgement at my decision to speak out, I sleep easy every night now knowing that I made the right decision.
This was compounded when I found out that Lucy’s family, when informed of her actions, basically couldn’t have cared less. Which may go some way to explain why she does the things she does.
I’m not the first and I won’t be the last victim of an online hoax or scam, or virtual bullying. But I know I’ve helped others to tackle their bullies and speak out, and that’s all I can ask.