Every time someone contacts me regarding the nightmare that is Thomas Murray, I laugh a little. I can finally laugh about it. I can finally forgive myself for being so careless with my safety and I can finally shake my head at myself in the mirror.
How could I be so stupid? How could I trust someone without any concern for my own value?
I hate to admit it… but it was fairly easy. I’d gotten to a place I didn’t recognize myself anymore. I’d been broken so deeply I forgot to protect the one thing I couldn’t get back… my life.
I curled, painted & zipped myself into believing I could take risks other people “wouldn’t have the bravery to take”. I was so terribly disenchanted that I took the ultimate leap of ignorance and got on the airplane.
There are a few clear memories that stand out now that I know what a horrible idea it was. The first was the real head-shaking, heart breaking memory of handing my passport to the man in the security line at my local airport.
M- Ohhh Puerto Rico? I’m jealous! Enjoy your trip!
At the time I looked ridiculous, I’m sure. Dressed in a little black dress, heels and blonde curls for days… running on adrenaline because I’d been up all night long with my best friend. Packing and repacking… and still unhappy with what was in my suitcase. Stopping at the book store in the airport to buy Steve Harvey’s book “Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man”.
The second moment hit me on my last flight, and the one that took me into Puerto Rico. I sat with a couple who’d been married for decades, and they urged me to be cautious and warned me to watch my drink.
C- Be careful honey, Puerto Rico is beautiful but it can be a very dangerous place. Keep your wits about you at all times.
I heeded that advice, and it may have saved my life.
The third time I finally realized I was in over my head, on the phone with my red-headed sister Miss Lovely.
L- Please let me call mom, I’m worried about you and I know she would be too. Please.
I told her to call my mom right before I passed out and fell asleep. I still don’t remember calling her and her memories are what I have to fall back on when I panic over the lack of mine. I talked to her for 3 hours in the middle of the night, and told her we’d gotten in a fight, that he’d hit me and I’d packed my things and left. She said she could hear him banging on the door of my room and screaming at me. I don’t remember any of those things beyond fighting with him, but her recollection matches closely what the hotel has told me.
I came home confused and feeling broken and responsible. He tormented and terrorized me until I went public and told the whole truth. As soon as the pieces started to fall into place, he left me alone. As soon as I called his wife, he disappeared and quit harassing me.
…but just as soon as he vanished…the women started to come out of the woodwork.
I’ve been contacted by women he’s been involved with for the past 15 years, women he’d recently tried to schmooze and other women he had on the line. Twenty two women who’d had the misfortune of being targeted by a con man. What’s the one common feeling every one of us have?
We all feel stupid.
We all feel responsible, to a certain degree- and we all regret him.
We’re all right & alright at the same time. We should have known better- we all should have believed more strongly that we ALL deserved the truth.
I’m just thankful for the lesson. It scared me out of my nightmare and made me face my mortality. The experience spanked me deeply enough for me to catch my breath and remember who I was again.
I love my children and my family more than I loved the idea of having someone love me whom I loved and wanted to spend my life with.
I wanted so much more than to settle for an elderly nerdy wanna-be frat boy. He was so bad I remembered how awful it was to settle for the Dirty Boat Thief. I remember waking up hating my existence. I remember being embarrassed by my partner… I never wanted to go back there.
I wanted more and he was never enough to risk my life for.
His ultimate downfall is that he underestimated our voices and disregarded the facts on the ground.
He pursued me AFTER falling in love with my blog. Hello? I suppose because it covered more than the span of a year, people gave it more credence than some Match.com fling, but just given those facts I should have to wear a big red I on my forehead for at least a month.
He had the audacity to buy me a ticket and con me into meeting him there. I say con because that’s truly what he is. He doesn’t tell the truth to anyone, we all get tiny pieces when he decides to “bless” our hearts with to show us more love than we’ve ever known… because we’re important to him, and he’s not finished with us yet. <eyeroll>
I acted like some sort of prison inmate with no prospects and fell for simple flattery and pretty words. That’s all on me, and I take full responsibility. Definitely not a high point in my life, that’s for sure.
He paid for nearly everything, except for dinner and drinks the last two nights I was there. So all told I got to go to Puerto Rico in February for $300, I got the story of a lifetime in the history of internet dating and just the slap in the face I needed.
I never claimed to learn the easy way, and I try all the time to be a nicer person.
Ultimately I’ve met my Superman as a result of raising my standards, who happens to be the love of my life. I regret every man that came before him. I’m happier than I’ve ever known and I know love deeper than I ever thought possible.
All things Thomas promised I would do and/or have, so I suppose I’m thankful for the reminder that it’s nice to have someone treat you kindly. The charming Thomas Murray quickly morphs into Tommy Boy when you add booze, and unlike the charming dancing Lothario he claimed the infamous “Tommy” was? He’s more like an abusive jackass with no filter.
With my wits about me, I witnessed what I never wanted my life to include. I came home in one piece, but broken and compromised. Surviving it and telling the truth.
Making Friends with the other “Other” women.
Forgiving myself in the process and moving on in my life. Wanting more and being blessed by God, all the angels & saints with the greatest man I’ve ever known.
The Karma fairy gave me new wings, a future to be envied and the love of a lifetime. A man as devoted to wanting my happily ever after as I am his.
That guy I always dreamed existed, is going to be my husband and the father of my youngest child(ren).
All that limitless faith and deep abiding love Thomas loved to go on and on about? I have that and it’s rumored that Thomas relocated to Pennsylvania since all the truth came out . Some ladies were suspicious of him at a singles meeting, did a little fact checking & contacted me.
I never wanted someone like Thomas in my life.
The step father to my children that will love them as his own and set a good example? Yeah… my Superman is as good as Thomas is bad. My life is as blessed as his is cursed.
I have a few dozen new friends, countless women he was lying to now know the truth and I am happy.
I learned my lesson… and I sure hope at some point he’ll learn his.
Drink up, Tommy Boy… and know that I have friends in every circle you walk in. Your closest confidants have apologized for your behavior and commiserated with me. The women you’ve spoken to about me have all shared your words with me. Being young at heart is one thing, being immature is another. It’s time to grow up and be a man. It’s time to care about your own soul and your severe lack of integrity. Carpe Diem… and Cowboy Up.
Just as you treated me, in every way that you disrespected me, my intelligence, my safety and self respect? Just as much as you cared about what you had to offer… I’ve returned that effort. I’ve refused the burden of you in my life and forced you to hold your own truth.
I don’t have time in my life to hate you because I’m loved too deeply and love too much. I have nothing but a smile to offer you, and a little gratitude. Without my trip to Puerto Rico I could have stumbled along in my own misery… and you snapped me out of it. I was scared sober at the sight of the bottom of the barrel and I realized first hand that I really am shallow. I love a bald man better than a hairy one- but not all bald men are created equal and I am not the kind of girl that could handle people mistaking my boyfriend for my grandfather.
You’d be a distant memory if your scandal wasn’t so widespread, and I would have washed my hands of you if you hadn’t continued to harass me. Your own ego got the best of you, and instead of the puff piece you demanded I write… I told the truth and your other targets came out of the woodwork.
So many women in addition to your wife. Shame on you for making all of us complicit in your betrayal.
Surely you can understand then why we’re all enjoying your expose.
All 24 of us… you reprehensible douche bag.
Ohhh and some words from you that were stumbled upon and recognized immediately. You’re a bad apple, Tommy Boy– and I’d be willing to bet my life that’s exactly what Cylie figured out.
You have a team of helpers, as my ticket was purchased under a different name and the same person signed for your package in Saint Thomas.
You’re a bargain basement con-artist who’s had his cover blown and we’re a vibrant group of smart women who ended up a little wiser for the bad experience.
I can’t say the same for you.