Real Live Catfish

I’d like to tell the true story (or the story as I know it) of @nikkolascage/@theokayest. I don’t really know how to begin… I am not the best writer, so I will just say everything that comes to mind and let you struggle through it.

I started following her sometime early in the year. Maybe March or April. She was always funny, quirky and positive about everything. I think at the time, I only followed approximately 350 accounts or so. She was 1 of my favorite people to interact with. I often joked around with her and other friends I’d made on twitter. Eventually, I came to realize that she lived in the same city as I did and thought it would be cool to get to know her better. We talked a bit in DMs about nothing really in particular. Mostly just jokes and things we noticed about other people on twitter. Then we exchanged kik (messenger app) usernames and started interacting more privately. I asked her if she would ever like to meet up for coffee or just hang out. She said she’d love to and thought I was really funny and found me attractive. I started to get almost a childish type crush on her because of the personality she had and the person she claimed to be. She really opened up to me about herself and told me the story of how she had to quit her job as a nurse to take care of her terminally ill mother. I felt awful for her and knew that must be so difficult to talk about as well as deal with on a daily basis. After a few weeks of talking and getting to know each other, she gave me her phone number and started to talk on the phone. She told me that there would be nights that she couldn’t talk or would possibly have to hang up abruptly to take care of her mom. It seemed so reasonable to me at the time. She told me she had to go to a town approximately 8 hours away for a family wedding and that we could go on a date when she got back. She never ended up coming back. I constantly just made excuses for her in my own head because everything she said always seemed to add up. For example, there was a time that I texted her and said “what are you up to today?” She told me she was out golfing with her sister and had her family in town. She sent me a picture of her and her sister in a golf cart without me asking or saying anything. Seems like a completely reasonable thing for a person to be doing. During the time that we were “together,” she sent me at least 30-40 photos exactly like that. Just what she was up to or selfies she took for me to say hi. I was unbelievably patient with her because I couldn’t imagine how hard it was for her to be dealing with a sick and dying mother. I just felt like the person she was would be worth waiting for I guess. I’m not the type of person to give up on someone while they’re down or when they’re in need. I tried to just be there for her and be patient. Try to be something for her when she felt like no one else was there. I just treated it like a temporary long distance relationship and didn’t mind not actually meeting in person because of all the pictures and things she sent me. She was so pretty. So smart. So funny. Why wouldn’t I try to invest some time and feelings into something like that?

 

Now, to explain how I discovered that she was stealing someone’s identity and her entire story was a lie. Because we didn’t have a physical relationship… she would send me photos of herself. Often topless pics where her face was cropped out or other sexy type photos similar to the ones she posted on twitter. I guess I just accepted sexy pics and stuff like that as a temporary replacement for not having a physical relationship. One afternoon, I was scrolling my twitter feed and someone I follow retweeted a picture from a porn account (@ilikesexdaily). It instantly caught my eye because it was a picture that Nikki had sent me. In my head, I was like “holy shit, that’s my girlfriend” haha. I confronted her on it right away. Thinking that it might not be her hadn’t even crossed my mind at this point. I just assumed that she was sending pics like that to other people as well. She told me that she had sent some pics to her last ex and that he must’ve posted them online. She actually made me feel guilty for being mad at her for sending me the same pic she sent to another guy prior to me. I accepted her excuse and felt bad that she had been victimized by some asshole that didn’t take a breakup well. Something still just didn’t feel quite right. I started searching popular porn accounts on twitter just to see if any of the other pictures she had sent me would surface. Sure enough, they did. I found another picture of her that she sent to me where she had told me she had “just got out of the shower.” So now I knew she either lied about the pic being new, sending it to other people, or being her at all, period. I confronted her again and she immediately lied to cover her tracks again. She told me that she doesn’t feel good about herself and that she used to run an anonymous tumblr account. She said she used the anonymous account to feel good about herself and didn’t really think anything of it because it was before her and I started and didn’t think anyone would ever find out it was her. Immediately I called bullshit. I told her to send me a picture of herself with her twitter handle so that she could prove who she was. She continued to lie and sent me a couple photos of the girl she was pretending to be and photoshopped a fake sign onto the front of one of them. I said she was lying and wanted a pic of her making the peace sign so that I knew for sure it was her. FINALLY the game was up. She admitted that she was in fact not the girl she had been pretending to be for the last year. She said it was her sister and that she didn’t feel pretty enough to post pictures of herself. I made her take new pictures of the real her. I then told her that she had to reactivate her twitter accounts and write a blog to apologize to everyone and tell the truth about her identity. She complied to my request but with more lies. The girl in the photos was not her sister. I continued to interrogate her about it and told her to send me a picture of her and her sister in the same photo. Then she said it was actually her cousin that had moved to the states. I told her that she had to stop lying and just tell me the fucking truth. Eventually I got it out of her that she actually stole all of the pictures from a girl she found on instagram. I made her tell me the username of the girl she was stealing photos from. @NLarks on twitter is the real Nikki (who’s name coincidently is Nicole). I reached out to the real person and told her that her identity had been taken from a girl on the internet.

 

This is the truth as best as I know it. I don’t know what is real and what is a lie. I think the fake Nikki probably really did have feelings for me but just in a fantasy type fictional world. She was so wound up in lies and deceit that she knew she would never be able to get out of them so just tried to hold onto me as long as she could. I feel so stupid and embarrassed. Even just reading this blog back to myself makes me feel like I must be crazy too. I don’t know if the person we all knew and trusted is actually a decent person deep down and just lacks confidence and has personal problems. But she has been a compulsive liar and unfairly took advantage of so many people’s trust. I am not writing this to have the internet attack her and belittle her for what she’s done. I simply wanted to let people know the truth because of how many of my followers and her followers this effected. This whole thing is such a fucked up situation and I truly cannot believe that something like this would happen to me… It just seemed so real. There is no way to ask someone if they are lying about their mother having cancer. Especially because we talked every day on the phone almost and it never ever felt like she could be lying.

 

I’ve had many of you messaging me asking if I’m okay. I am fine. Just ashamed that I believed something like this for so long and how fucking stupid I must look. I’m glad that I know at least enough of the truth to not carry on the charade anymore. If you comment on this post, I likely will not reply on twitter. If you have any questions or have anything to say, you can DM me but I don’t really have much else to say about it. Thank you for reading. I’ve attached some screen shots to show exactly what was said and the fake photos I was sent.

 

Ryan.

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