Thursday, September 29, 2011

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Great News!

We now have a new Yahoo Group! We are very excited about this addition to be able to help all those who are going through the heartache of a romance scam. Please do check out our egroup


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

It Works For Me

After my scam, I was dealing with all sorts of feelings, emotional, mental and physical. I ran the gamut of all the emotions, pain, heartache, desolation. Mentally I kept chastising myself,"How could I have fallen for this?" "Where was your head?"  Physically I felt worn out, like I had run a race on a treadmill and no matter how I tried  I just couldn't catch up!
My mind was constantly whirling, "if I had only done this or done that" I just didn't know what to think or believe anymore.
The daughter of my friend up the street was a power walker. She really loved to walk and told me it set her mind free, not to mention the physical benefits, cardio vascular workout and helped her keep her body toned. I thought why not? So I started to power walk. I started out slowly, only a few minutes a day. Lo and behold I started to see the benefits. 
After a couple of weeks I had gradually worked up to about a half hour a day. Then after another month I was up to 45 minutes. I felt so good when I did this, like I was finally taking charge of my life and doing something constructive. It worked for me! Up to this point I have lost 38 pounds and when I don't get out and walk I feel so blah! lol  I now walk an hour to an hour and a half a day and it really energizes me and has also helped my self esteem and confidence. Of course this might not work for everyone and you should check with your doctor first to make sure you are physically capable of doing this type of exercise.
For me it gives me that physical outlet for my frustration and anger over what happened to me. Swinging your arms is also an excellent way to get rid of anger. It also gets you out into the world again and into the fresh air! It revitalizes you! It gave me hope that I could get back to myself and my life and gave me a freedom and joy I hadn't experienced in a long time. It may seem simple, but it works for me and it might work for you!

Monday, September 12, 2011

An Anniverary to Remember

I believed I’d fallen for an Irish immigrant by the name of “Daniel Hayes,” a man my age, a clever scientist employed by a well know Pharmaceutical company. I was horrified to discover that I’d been taken by a Nigerian romance scammer. I’m a smart, college educated, professional woman – how could this happen to me? I’m not wealthy, nor am I a socialite. Why would a scammer target me?

The long and short of it is that it has nothing to do with your age, intelligence level or education. Scammers, no matter which country they’re from, find their marks by sending out thousands of ‘winks’ on dating sites. They use stolen credit cards to sign up with fake profiles, and of course, they use those “free” weekends to establish connections. They use special software to comb thousands of sites where you may have left an inadvertent product review, or signed a guest book for a friend who has passed on. I’ve seen more than one on “LinkedIn” or “”. They use these sites to legitimize their faked profiles. Then, they send out an innocuous sounding email which you might answer. I have friends who were targeted on “MySpace” or “Facebook” and thought they were safe because they weren’t involved in online dating.

Many stereotype the victims of this crime as lonely hearts: overweight, middle aged women who have nothing better to do with their time. However, in the two years that have passed since my scam realization, I’ve talked to men and women, from their mid twenties to their late seventies. I’ve talked to a scientist, therapists, nurses, long haul truckers, insurance people, accountants and students, from the US, Canada, Australia and everywhere in between. I’ve learned that the stereotype is wrong. And no matter what you look like or might do for a living, the pain of having your trust betrayed and your pocket book emptied is the same.

Two years later, my life is back to some semblance of normal. While working my way through the stages of grief, I was unemployed and sent out over a hundred resumes. I finally found work, but in my spare time, I chatted with other victims, and together, we transformed into survivors. Our chat room exists for the sole reason that someone was there to talk to each of us at our moment of despair. I hope you never have to feel that degree of devastation. But if you do, I hope you find a group like ours, ready to help you feel less alone, and to find your way to recovery. /mw

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Taking Care of Me

One of the things we have been talking about in the chat room lately is that no matter what we are going through, we still need to put some focus on taking care of ourselves.  For one thing, after a scam, after a broken heart, it is so easy to fall into depression.  Depression can mean different things for different people.  For some it may involve isolating oneself.  For another it may involve loss of sleep or too much sleep.  Others may overeat, or not eat at all.  There can be many ways depression manifests itself in one's life.  
Lack of sleep is a big problem for many victims of romance scams.  For some it may have already been a problem before the scam, like with me.  For others, it is something they never dealt with before the scam, but because the scammers use sleep deprivation as one of the methods to help gain control over us, the sleep deprivation can become a serious problem.  Lack of proper sleep is one of my issues but it was a problem for me before I was scammed.   For me, not getting enough sleep makes any kind of mental, emotional, or physical problem I am dealing with even worse.  Luckily I can usually get some sleep during the daytime, but nights are the hardest for me.  One reason is that I have always been a night owl and my brain seems to function better from the late afternoon until an hour or two after midnight.  But if I could go to sleep then, I would be okay.  This week I had to go to the doctor to see if I could get a change in prescription because the sleep aid I was taking was no longer working.  Tonight I try something new.  Hopefully it will do the trick.

Besides solving sleep problems, we need to take care of ourselves in other ways.  We may need to take a serious look at what we are eating, if we are eating, and how much we are eating.  We might need to see if we are avoiding social situations or time spent with family.  If we need to take care of physical conditions that we are neglecting, then that should be put at the top of the list of things to do to take care of ourselves.  

It's not easy for me to always do the right thing to take care of me.  I have a lot of physical issues I am dealing with.  The physical issues effect my social life at times, as well.  If I am not eating properly, meaning the kinds of foods that are healthy for me rather than those that are harmful for me, then I don't feel good physically.  Add that to lack of sleep and I can shut down physically as well as emotionally and mentally.  Everything is connected.  We need to get our lives into a healthy balance, physically, socially, emotionally/mentally, and spiritually.  Once I had a counselor who had me draw a circle and divide it into quarters like a pie.  Then I was to label each part as follows:  physical, emotional/mental, social, spiritual.  After I had done that she had me list the activities in my life that fit into each quarter.  When I was done, if there was anything off balance, I could readily see where I needed to do the most work.  This is something I have not done in a long time and think it would be a good time to do it again in the process of taking care of me.  I already know I am off balance in a few places. (Ha ha, those of you who know me, no comments here please.  LOL)  

The main point here is to look at your life and see if there is something that you might need to do to get yourself back into balance so you can take care of you.  When you go through something like a romance scam you are going to come out of it a little lopsided in some way or another.  Taking care of yourself is of prime importance now.  Whether you are new to having been scammed or it's been awhile, it's never too late to start taking care of you.  In AA and Alanon it is said that it is a "selfish program".  That is because to heal, to recover, you have to put yourself first at least for awhile.  Just like a car can't go anywhere until you put fuel in the gas tank (or plug it in for these new electric cars), you can't be expected to function properly without being fueled and refueled as needed.  Waiting until you are on empty while you expend all your energies on others does not help you or them.  Sometimes we all need to take a little time to take care of ourselves.  Daily, weekly, monthly, annually.  When we neglect ourselves, we end up not working properly at all.  We all need our batteries recharged sometimes, just like our cell phones and other electronic gadgets do.

What is it that you need to do today to take care of you?  

Saturday, September 3, 2011

What The Heck Is Squidoo???

Our Squidoo page is up and running.  Please take some time to check it out, vote on the polls, post your comments.  It is still in the process of design and growth but keep your eyes on it as it may end up being as much fun as it is informational.  If you have suggestions on topics you want more information about, let us know and we will do our best to post whatever we can for you.  So, okay, take the plunge and find out what Squidoo is.  Check us out at Scams Of The Heart on Squidoo!