This is an entry I’m really not sure how to write…but I’ll do my best. This is going to be somewhat (and quite deliberately) vague, and no names will be mentioned (I’m far too familiar with the power of Google, and should things change in the future, I don’t want past sins to come back to haunt anyone), but overall, I hope things are clear enough for those who need to know.

Those of you who’ve been checking in here over the past year or so may remember a few entries I made regarding an old friend of mine from high school, who I reconnected with last spring (hereafter referred to as Xebeth*). Not long after we got back in touch, the news broke that she was suffering from a rare degenerative disease. For Prairie and I, much of the next eight months was spent devoting a large amount of our spare time to doing what we could to support a friend in a bad situation. It was difficult and at times extremely stressful, but we wanted to help in whatever way we could.

Unfortunately, as time wore on, doubts started to surface. At first, we brushed them off as little more than a very understandable combination of shock and denial at the situation we were dealing with. However, as events continued to progress with no sign of letting up — rather, getting progressively more bizarre — we eventually reached a point where we couldn’t simply shrug the doubts away.

When we confronted Xebeth with our questions, rather than simple explanations, we were met with anger, denial, and stonewalling. Repeated attempts to verify those aspects of the situation we found questionable were met with everything from outright refusal to ‘clarifications’ that outright contradicted things we had been told earlier.

In short, to the best of our knowledge, most to all of what we’ve been dealing with for much of the past year has been a series of lies.

A short and not at all comprehensive list of what we believe to be fabrications:

  • Xebeth is not suffering from a rare and little-known form of malignant hyperthermia. She may have malignant hyperthermia, but we have not been able to find any information on any form other than the admittedly somewhat uncommon, but known, treatable, and preventable form of MH that is generally triggered by anesthetics during surgery.
  • She is not facing immanent death. Not this week, month, year, or in the foreseeable future (at least, no more than any of the rest of us are).
  • She does not appear to be a published author in the education field.
  • She did not legally change the spelling of her name to use a ‘y’ instead of an ‘e’ shortly after either her eighteenth or twenty-second birthday (each of which were presented at one point or another).
  • She did not receive an extremely rare, virtually unheard of nearly full-body muscle transplant that replaced around 80-90% of her degenerating muscle mass with healthy donor muscles from an organ donor.
  • She did not get divorced from her husband after he
    • locked her away from access to her finances while she was in the hospital,
    • cheated on her as she was in the hospital,
    • viciously beat her as she lie half-paralyzed in her hospital bed,
    • was discovered to have faked his own vasectomy (by going to a movie during the assumed day surgery, then ‘faking’ the discomfort for the next few days) after a prior friend of Xebeth’s was discovered to be pregnant with twins fathered by him.
  • All in all, we think that while we were led to believe that she and her husband were having some rather major issues culminating in the dissolution of their marriage due to his being a complete and utter shlub, we now believe that he’s probably a good guy overall…he just happens to be married to someone who’s not able to live in the world as the rest of us know it.
  • We’re pretty sure that e-mail conversations that we believed we were having with Xebeth’s husband, two close friends, her mother, and one lawyer were actually false identities set up by Xebeth using multiple e-mail accounts at various free vanity domains.

There are other bits too, but these cover the major issues. Laid out in a list like that, it seems mind boggling that we believed any of it, let alone got strung along as long as we did. However, as the majority of our communication was via e-mail, and as we thought we had no reason not to believe what we were being told, it was easy for stories to build on prior stories. Every house of cards falls over eventually, though, and we’re just glad this one didn’t wait any longer than it did.

Even after it became more and more apparent that we were dealing with a situation extremely different than we had believed, we made every attempt to assist. If Xebeth had at any point admitted to us what was going on, we would have accepted that and done what we could (within reason and ability, both of which would be far different by this point) to help her get past the need to lie to us. However, in the end, she instead chose to entirely cut off contact with us.

At this point, we’ve attempted to do what we can to help her, only to be rebuffed. We even attempted to contact her husband without her as an intermediary, in the hope that he’d be able to help her where we couldn’t. That also seems to have gone nowhere, as we’ve still heard nothing from either her or her husband.

In the end, it appears that we spent roughly eight months going through emotional hell trying to support someone we thought was a friend, only to discover that it was all a lie.

As I mentioned Xebeth and her situation a few times on this site, I’ve gotten a few inquiries as to her current situation, as it’s been a while since I’ve mentioned her. This is why. She’s not dying — but, I’m sad to say, it appears that she’s not well, either.

For those of you who know Xebeth and have her e-mail address, I’d strongly ask that you not attempt to contact her about any of this. First off, she’d be likely to either ignore any such messages. More important, though, is that harassing her about this would do nothing to help either her or anyone else. She needs to find help — but if that’s going to happen, it will need to come from those actually close to her. Angry missives from old acquaintances scattered across the ‘net aren’t likely to do anything but cause more problems — and I don’t see any need to make things any worse for her or anyone else than they might already be.

Thanks for your consideration in this, and my apologies to those of you who I unwittingly worried about her situation.

6 thoughts on “Drama and Disappointment

  1. Ugh, I’m so, so sorry to hear about this, babe. I hope she gets the help she needs, and I also hope this doesn’t stop you from being the incredibly warm, caring, and giving person you are. The world needs more people like you. big hugs

  2. I am sorry you had to go through all that, and hope that you are able to move past it and enjoy all the time you have not supporting a friend in need. Life’s too short.

  3. That’s really too bad. I’m sorry. And the really sad thing is that you’re not the last folks this is going to happen to.

  4. This almost sounds like Munchausen syndrome?

    Munchausen syndrome is a type of factitious disorder, or mental illness, in which a person repeatedly acts as if he or she has a physical or mental disorder when, in truth, they have caused the symptoms. People with factitious disorders act this way because of an inner need to be seen as ill or injured, not to achieve a concrete benefit, such as financial gain.

    Although a person with Munchausen syndrome actively seeks treatment for the various disorders he or she invents, the person often is unwilling to admit to and seek treatment for the syndrome itself. This makes treating people with Munchausen syndrome very challenging.
    For more information on Munchausen syndrome go Here
    I say let it go and move on. I don’t see anything to be gained from further contact.

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