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And then there were 30…

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I haven’t been writing lately. I’ve harvested an acre of veggies and have been busy wearing the hell out of my glass slippers. I rarely check my email. I sleep in. I go to bed early. I suppose you could say I’m simply enjoying the seconds tick by as I swim peacefully in my newfound fairytale. It’s been six months since I met my Superman… yet each day is better than the last.

Those happily ever after rumors… are true. I don’t have nightmares anymore; it’s all one big dream about white veils and baby socks. I AM the luckiest woman, ever born.

I find myself wishing I could erase the past two years of my life. If I could find a way to highlight and delete them, I would.

Alas, I cannot- and I would be remiss to do so. I’ve written so honestly because I find that we’re all in the same boat… the difference between me and so many others, is that I admit it.

I admit I’ve failed and I admit I don’t have all the answers. While I’d love to put my judgemental panties on each morning and convince a bunch of strangers that I’m perfectly perfect and an award winning mother, instead I admit that my firstborn hates me and I have a laundry list of douchebags I never should have gotten within an inch of. All of whom you’ve seen me fall prey to.

Ok so in some instances, I’ve ran towards the fire while being totally and completely convinced that someone as nice as I am, could not possibly get burned, AGAIN.

A word to the wise? I’ve been burned every time. A kind soul and a trusting heart render you highly flammable.

I set the world on fire with a heart determined to believe in true love, armed only with a glamorous pair of rose colored glasses and more faith than any woman should be entrusted with.

For a very long time, I failed. For a VERY long time, I had taste bad enough to qualify me as a serious contender in the douche bag Olympics, willing sacrifice division.

Then I got my delusional ass on a plane to Puerto Rico and learned in the hardest way of all. First hand. It’s safe to say I was at rock bottom. It’s fair to say I was lost. It’s honest to admit I was a train wreck. Having been lied to, cheated on, stolen from and disrespected in every way imaginable, I bought the biggest line of crap I’d ever been offered.

Thomas Joseph Murray had followed my blog for years. He’d read of my heartache, my betrayal and my disappointment. He knew how crushed I was and he knew I was ripe for the picking. A ridiculously expensive ticket later, my hair curled and green eyes clouded with hope… I flew away to collect my glass slippers from my prince.

Only to find he was the original prince of darkness, himself.

Fortunately, I was spared a lifetime with a lying con-man, and came home a helluva lot wiser.

You’ve all read the details of my disastrous island adventure, and though I walked away with an interested publisher and a dozen calls from rabid agents… I came home with the most priceless souvenir of all. My self-respect, gift wrapped with red ribbon and humility. My faith was intact, because I truly believe in good men, and refused to watch it end up in a bitter box of thrift store donations scarred by memories of a trip gone wrong.

I threw my favorite shoes away. I tossed every pair of panties I was ever stupid enough to let him touch. I burned the love letters and dumped my perfume down the drain. I did what I could to wash myself clean of the nightmare that is Thomas.

Then the women started to roll in, after I bared my ass and shared my heartache with the world. The women with so much more lost than me. The woman who’d given him 15 years of her life and never knew he was married. The woman who’d sacrificed her chance with a real man and real babies… to sit around waiting for more strategically planned lies. Worst of all? The woman who took his name and slept beside their child while he slept beside me.

God bless the good saint Natalie- who bears a burden larger than the one anyone else has ever been saddled with.

I’m fairly convinced he regrets me most, which is nothing short of a hilarious point my closest friends laugh about with me.

Thomas, Thomas, Thomas…

When you fall in love with a woman’s angry words and you KNOW what a douchebag you are, it should come as no surprise that you will end up on the chopping block at some point. When you lie to a woman with a very public platform, you have to know you’re going to suffer the brunt of the same drama that attracted you to her in the first place.

Well…assuming you’re not evil, and it’s safe to say after now 30 women have come to me one way or another via Google.

Call me naïve, but I am still so surprised each time someone emails me with another heartbreaking tale of deceit at Thomas’ hands. We’re all so eloquent, so beautiful- and so full of hope. We all have so many stellar qualities in common.

Unfortunately, we all have one bad man in common as well.

A few weeks ago I was fighting a bout of insomnia on the couch and a story came on one of my favorite shows. “Who the bleep did I marry” showcased a blogger, named Andie Nash who had her very own Thomas. Simon Reid had lied and cheated her. He’d made an unwitting homewrecker of her as well. She wrote about her heartache and his deceit, and had the same experience I did. Women started to contact her, and ultimately they arranged a little “coming to Jesus” party for Simon, complete with news crews. Andie isn’t stupid, and as a beautiful successful woman, was by no means a charity case.

Simon is simply of the same tribe as Thomas. The lying, cheating douchebag tribe.

The women they conned were hopeful, loving and wanting the same things we all want. A man to love that will love them back, honestly. They all wanted someone to treasure and bless with the beauty of a wonderful woman. Nobody sets out to find a liar. Not a woman alive wants another woman’s cheating husband.

There are bad men in the world, but there are also superhero men who pride themselves on being different from the assholes carrying the same genitalia.

Andie Nash and I have gotten our happily ever after end results to a rocky path we both unwittingly stumbled upon. We’ve gone on and done better and found happiness that’s real and fulfilling. We’re the successful end to a cautionary tale. We’re also a bold reminder for anyone looking to deceive someone. Whatever you do- don’t fuck with a blogger.

Thomas will never darken another day, for me. He’s relocated to the cold Pennsylvania he claimed to loathe, he’s definitely lost the wife who made his home warm and inviting and hopefully his children have turned away from the poor example he sets. It’s safe to assume Simon has felt the same karmic slap in the face. It doesn’t pay to lie, but when you lie to a blogger with an intense following, you’ll find yourself working overtime to cover your ass.

Then there’s that pesky Google… which has really taken the douchebag to task, in my experience. A new email comes weekly, sometimes two…. hell sometimes ten. It always starts with “I’m not sure why, but I Googled his name and found you”. We have an arsenal of tools available that thwart even the shadiest of jerks and any woman who fails to use them will certainly kick herself at some point. The amount of information that hit me upon my return from Puerto Rico was stunning. His wife’s phone number was listed on their vacation rental. She was blogging too, and with pictures he’d sent me from THEIR home. If I’d done my research, I could have found her before I learned the hard way.

Google. Use it. Believe what you see. Inform yourself and set your feet on a smooth path as a result. I don’t share intimate details of my nightmare to torment him; I share them to protect the unsuspecting women in his path who are poised to suffer the same fate.

I have a gold plated vagina card, and I am not afraid to use it. I have an extensive vocabulary and a platform and I will burn a motherfucker’s house of cards down, if need be. I’m a woman, I’m a deadly threat and I’m a wealth of nasty adjectives when the opportunity calls for it. I heard from three women last week that are positively broken by the lies and broken promises that Thomas fed them.

I’ll proudly put on a pair of redundant panties if it means I don’t hear from another devastated lovely woman.

Dammit Thomas, would you fucking quit already? It’s gotten REAL old and I’m not at all amused about having to take off my glass slippers to put my shit kickers on.

Thomas Murray: Happiness is the best revenge

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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.

Until then…

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.

I Liebster you too!

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I suck at these awards, so I generally ignore them (sorry, I’m aware that makes me a thankless asshole). I was so incredibly touched by this one, though… so I’m breaking tradition, and participating. (Go ahead… write it down, lol)

Ok so the rules are…. I have to post the award thingy.

Awww it’s my favorite so far. Who is Liebster? I’m an information junkie… so I searched for this wonderful Mr. Or Miss Liebster… and found something even better.

Liebster is a German word that means favorite, beloved or dearest… Oh. My. Somebody likes my blog. Gush.

The rules are pretty simple, I have to:

  1. Thank your Liebster Blog Award presenter on your blog.
  2. Link back to the blogger who awarded you.
  3. Copy & paste the blog award on your blog.
  4. Reveal your 5 blog picks.
  5. Let them know you chose them by posting on their blog.

Anyone who follows my blog, knows it’s been a long fucking month….year… lifetime. I’m waking up exhausted already, heading to work hoping it’s busy because I have bills to pay. I have 2 new emails from more Thomas victims. I refuse to update the total to 19 because I don’t want to. I’m at my wits end and it’s only 9 AM. I click over to read about this award thingy and this is what greets me:

4. Another Beautiful Day in Chaos.  Oddly enough, my old friend <insert sarcasm here> Thomas Murray, introduced me to Jenni’s blog about a year ago.  I came late to her party, and, to be honest, while her writing blew me away immediately, I did not immediately relate to her. She’s younger than me by many years and our lives are very different in many ways.  However, something kept me coming back and what I discovered (along with many thousands of other readers) is an authenticity and vulnerability that is both touching and inspiring.    Jenni holds almost nothing back from her readers and the ensuing intimacy she establishes with them is real and powerful.  It’s no wonder she has the massive following she does.

Blink, blink, blink. Funny how I can write my tail off but in one short paragraph of someone writing about me, I’m struck speechless.

My writing blew HER away? Is that a good thing? I have a massive following? Really? Yikes. I still have no idea why anyone reads any of this. Ok… so panic over praise aside… I have to follow the rules.

1. Thank the person who gave you the award.

That Precarious Gait…

Um. How do you thank someone who gave you back to yourself? I came home from Puerto Rico and she was the first person to email me when I was intentionally diving head first into the rocks, day after day. I was nothing more than a crying broken mess, and she offered me truth to save my spirit. She reached out, across who knows how many miles and years that separate us in age and she dusted me off with the hands of real friendship. She did the searching I couldn’t do. She told me she’d listen any time I needed to just rant or cry about it. She apologized for not telling me what she knew, even though she knew I couldn’t hear it and wanted so much for me to have the fairytale I’d manifested for so long. Like the big sister I always longed for, she stepped in when she knew I needed help, put her verbal arm around me and stood next to me in solidarity when I didn’t know how to stand up for myself. She did something not many people have done for me in my life. She put her words out there. She stood up for me, and for truth and for what matters when it’s all said and done. She’s a woman, divinely and exquisitely female. She goes through the same things we all do, and it’s with great comfort that we read about it because if it can happen to someone so amazing, we all have to know we’re ok when it happens to us too. She’s the woman we all hope we resemble- her blog is simply delicious reading- Enjoy!

4. Ok I already covered 2 & 3… so for the next rule I have to list my 5 favorite bloggers. I’m assuming I can’t pick my lovely darling friend above, so 5 more? That’s so painfully difficult this could take me a week. In this single phase of my life, my blogger friends help ease the silence. They fill my quiet solitary hours with laughter <my own> and make me feel like I’m really not the only fabulous single woman without a light at the end of the tunnel. There are so many of us. Perhaps one day we’ll find the tribe of fabulous men looking for the same light. We are that light… and along those lines, I pick my favorite women bloggers, and damn you TPG for taking some of them, lol….

1. A Bourbon For Silvia. My first blog habit. I love her dearly and I treasure her blog. She the first one to write something that took my breath away. She’s openly sexual and taught me to be ok with being the same. She taught me to write truthfully. Shes dynamic and amazing and a mother and I love, love, love me some Sylvia. I only wish she were close enough that I could leave a bottle of bourbon on her porch.

2. Everybody Wants Some. Ohhhh I love Crystal. LOVE her. I love laughing with her, I love everything she writes and I cannot give a better gift than the link to her blog. Enjoy. You’re welcome.

3. Little Cotton Rabbits. I’ve tried to get one of her damn knit treasures for oh… at least 10 years now. I’ve never been successful, but I absolutely LOVE this woman. I learned to knit because of her. I needed my own bunny and I needed to find peace in my life. I found it through my knitting needles and I knit my baby girl the cutest bunny ever. I love her message, I envy her life and I strive to be more like her. This, ladies and gentlemen… is my mommy muse.

4. Snarky Snatch. OMG my new favorite. I freakin’ LOVE this woman. Her lesson on good head is absolutely priceless and I love a woman that embraces her sexuality with a middle finger flown at the jealous bitches. I love her, I love her words and well… don’t be surprised if you end up in wet panties after an hour on her blog. She’s got mad skills, and I love a sassy girl. Kudos baby- you write like I did before I knew my neighbors and kids teachers were reading. Thank God. I love every syllable. Today’s entry? “Random thoughts I have when I don’t have a penis in my mouth” I rest my case. Go. Read. Enjoy, or better yet? Take notes.

5. I have to break my promise and share my very favorite blogger, who happens to be a guy…. Your Pal Jason. I love this man. I get the whole fan thing when it comes to him because I have a bit of a crush. He’s smart and funny… OMG so so so funny…. and well… I love a man armed with words. Out of the 150 blogs I follow, he’s the only one on immediate delivery and if I had a million dollars I’d pay him to write for me day and night. I ♥ Jason. Awww.

Phew. Done. I followed all the rules- write it down. 🙂

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