Monday, September 11, 2006

An old wound

Today's post isn't about September 11th. I've already done a 9/11 blog on my MySpace blog. Today's post is about another old wound that I have, an experience which introduced me to what it's like to feel deep love and then heartsickness all in the course of one month.

The thing that even brought this up in the first place was a comment my ex made to me today.

When my ex comes over to visit with our daughter, he will play a computer game (he figures as long as he's THERE, he's "visiting" with her. Oh, well!). I have mentioned before on my MS blog of how I have a folder devoted to pictures of Jonathan Knight (the former New Kid on the Block). I have also used a pic of his as my icon for my account on this computer. (All three of us have one; my daughter received the honor of having her own account on the computer after she turned one of my documents into a ZIP file and I couldn't open it anymore. Grr!!) He asked, "Who's that a picture of?"

I sheepishly grinned and fingerspelled, "Jonathan Knight."

He rolled his eyes then proceeded to open his account. Then, while I was making dinner, he came into the kitchen and asked, "Isn't that the guy who offered to marry you, dumped you, then came back again to see if you were still married?"

Yes. Well, kind of. Sort of.

The "guy" who did all that wasn't really Jonathan Knight.

What happened was, I saw that someone had favourited a poem I posted on deviantART. I checked out the profile and saw "wannabe novelist" under their nickname. Now, on the heels of getting a book published called 365 TIPS FOR WRITERS, that "writing mentor" in me took notice. (Note: I am not OFFICIALLY mentoring new/aspiring writers. I have taken a few mentees under my wing, but I'm not looking to take any more.) I noted his AOL screenname and, when I saw him online one day, I IMed him to thank him for the favourite. My REAL intention was to go into that whole "wannabe novelist" thing and I asked him about writing. He didn't really seem interested in continuing that topic, so we just chatted casually. The first chat went well, but in the course of our second chat, we steered towards my dream experiences with someone named Jonathan. (That experience was later published in a book by Martha Jette called "Glimpses 2: It can happen to you" and the link to it is on my Web site.) When I told him the Jonathan in my dreams looked exactly like Jonathan Knight, he immediately signed off. I was sitting there thinking "what the heck?" then pieces of the conversation came back to me and I was like, "Ohhh." We continued to chat later but as I asked him more questions about things, I started to become dubious of if I was ACTUALLY chatting with Jonathan Knight. I mean, first of all, he said his only sibling was his brother, Jordan. (At the time, I wondered 'doesn't he have a sister?' and I later learned that, yes, he DID. Actually, he has two.) And second, he said he lived in Boston when I knew Jonathan Knight lives in Essex, MA. (I would actually later find out his address in Essex.)

Well, anyway, I wasn't 100% convinced this WASN'T Jonathan Knight. I was sort of leaning on that he WAS! Anyway. we chatted frequently, practically every day. And at some point, I started to feel some kind of a "connection" to him. Now, at this point in time, I would think I was pretty darn stupid falling for someone over the Internet. But, I know I was very vulnerable at that time. And, I just needed love. At this point in time, my ex and I were not divorced yet. I had come out of an episode of emotional abuse with him and then there was that whole traumatic experience of losing precious possessions after I moved out of state. (I was also dealing with depression, homesickness and loneliness and my emotions were just a complete mess.) I ended up falling in love with him. This "fantasy" was very real for me.

Then one evening, this person said he wanted me to be his wife. I wanted that, too. But I told him in an email, "I'm not legally divorced yet."

The next day, as we chatted, he became enraged, saying I told him I was divorced and that I've probably lied about everything else. Etc., etc. He ended things, told me he never wanted to speak to me again, then signed off.

I collapsed in my chair, in tears. During that whole mess, I got confused and tried to sort through what was going on. I spent days lying in my bed, heartbroken and numb. I had really felt something for him. I barely ate, barely slept, cried all the time. It was horrible.

The whole thing culminated through other messages sent through deviantART. I TRIED to reach out to him. To resolve things. Explain things. He had me convinced I HAD told him I was divorced when, on looking back, I'd later see that I hadn't said that. I had just told him "things didn't work out." (I have EVERYTHING saved on my hard drive.) That part is interesting, because not too long before I even IMed him for the first time, I was trying to figure out what I should say to people if they asked me my relationship status. At this point, I was no longer identifying myself as my ex's wife. I didn't even use his last name anymore. There was no love between us; we were just two people now. We WERE going through a divorce, but because we weren't divorced yet, I couldn't say that. I later realized I should have said "I'm going through a divorce." But, no, I never told this guy I was divorced.

Anyways. Fast forward. I still questioned some of the things that guy had told me about himself. I din't know a WHOLE LOT about Jonathan Knight, but my sister was THE FAN so I sort of read and saw snippets here and there. (And let us NOT forget the many times she kept me apprised on things going on with those guys.) I knew Jonathan had sisters. I knew he had more than one brother. I KNEW he did. So why did this person CLAIMING to be him tell me he only had one brother? That didn't make sense.

I hit the Internet, and a lot of OTHER things didn't make sense, either. For one thing, he said the last person he was involved with was Laura. True. But the picture I got of him with "Laura" wasn't Laura at all. I know because I asked. I also found out certain details that conflicted with what he told me. To top it all off, I even contacted someone who knew him, asked her if Jonathan would REALLY do something like that to someone, and she totally, completely vouched for his credibility, assuring me he'd never do something like THAT. (And especially a little something else I'd rather not go into details about here.)

To say the least, I did my homework. I wasn't a fan before this happened (well, I'm deaf! It's not like I can sing along to their music!) but after this, I made myself one. And I made it my mission to learn EVERYTHING I could about Jonathan AND the other guys, because I wasn't going to let this happen to me again.

The end result is, I realized that I'd got taken by some poser. That hadn't been the REAL Jonathan Knight I'd been chatting with. Just some fake. The guy used "easy" conclusions to avoid ever talking to me again (first because I "lied" to him, then because I have "multiple issues"). Plus, I later learned that someone on MySpace was going around saying he was Donnie Wahlberg, sending messages to fans and everything, pretending to be him. I also learned that Jonathan Knight even had his identity stolen. (Good grief, the poor guy!!) I also learned of some other bizarre things obsessive fans have done, but I don't know if the posers can fall into that group. More like... "pathetic losers." That's EXACTLY what an online friend of mine thought of the guy who pulled this stunt with me.

But, I have moved past this WHOLE situation. I used to read our chats and cry over losing him, but now I know I never really lost him at all. That was just a fake. It wasn't the REAL guy I was talking to. It was all just part of that game the poser was playing.

I did post the essay about it online, but during the course of writing a disclaimer for it AFTER it was posted, an editor I know (who I chat with) suggested I take it down. Take it ALL down. The REAL Jonathan Knight might hit me with a lawsuit! (Obviously, it's not online anymore.)

So, why am I talking about it now? Why, after I have moved past that experience that happened over a year ago and am 100% convinced it was all just some game? I didn't feel the need to talk publicly about this. It's just ONE OTHER BS experience I have had in life. I'm not sitting in a corner going "poor me" over this, or anything. I'm not looking for sympathy and I don't want to be known as "the girl who got played by some Jonathan Knight poser." I ALSO don't want to be the girl who DOES end up getting sued by the real Jonathan Knight over even TALKING about this! WHY am I even talking about this now??

Because of something that my ex said to me after I answered his question with, "That was just some poser."

He said, "You need to be careful."

Yes. That is true. The only reason WHY I posted that essay in the first place was because I wanted to get the word out on this kind of thing going on. Some posers pulling crap like this with people. I know I need to be careful. I know this. If there's ANYTHING that whole experience taught me, it's that I can't wear my heart on my sleeve online. I WOULD like to find love again, someday. But if it happens, it has to be in real life, and not through the Internet. It was a hard, painful lesson to learn, yes. But one I am glad I learned nonetheless.

As to why I have Jonathan Knight's pictures on my computer, and as my account icon? Well, who CAN resist those dreamy eyes? And sometimes, just some of the time, I allow myself a tiny bit of fantasizing, and thinking about what might have been if it HAD really been him. :)

Update, 2/11/14: That really WAS Jonathan Knight. He may have been hating me all of these years, but I will never hate him back.

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