I'm a storyteller. Not as in a writer, although when I was little, I always assumed I'd be a writer when I grew up. I admired them, I always did. Still do. I also assumed I'd marry Jack Lemmon someday, and we can see how well that turned out.
But I've always told stories. Not lies to others, but stories in my head, to myself. I'd see a worm in the rain, and he'd have a name (Fred, after the father I never met who wasn't my father) and a backstory (he was braving the elements to bring back provisions for the wife and little worms but he really wanted to work at a big company like CC Baxter) within a minute. I make up stories for everything - animal, vegetable and mineral. Is it any wonder that Hans Christian Andersen was my read of choice as a child? Still is, did you know I visited his house in Odense? No, you didn't, because you don't know anything about me.
I become immersed in good art the same way. I can see what the artist had in mind, I'm inside that hot, dusty room, hearing the dull sound of the tools in Caillebotte's The Floor Scrapers. I can smell the tang of the suddenly exposed wood. And the sweat.
Good movies and television can also wreck my head, because I embellish - I finish the filmmaker's sentences. I see where they're going, or maybe it's just where I'm going. I started weeping during the first five minutes of Amelie because the way Jeunet writes the beginning, telling people's life stories in less than a minute, that's the way I think most of the time.
In my face-to-face dealings, say a job interview or even just meeting someone new, I still go through dozens of different scenarios in my head, working out the different ways a conversation might go, to prepare myself for any eventuality. I analyze everything, and most of the time I believe in Occam's Razor: the simpler answer is often correct.
This works evidently in my disfavor also, in the case of "Jesse Jubilee James." The TV show Deadwood sucked me in, the density of the story, and how beautifully it was shot and acted. I wanted to talk about it with others. And then I met "Jesse." Who had a story, quite a strange one, but I've known real people with stranger stories. And stranger names. (No llamas, though.)
Why am I a storyteller? What made me like this? Who knows? I'm an only child - lots of only children have to spend a lot of time entertaining themselves. I had bad shit happen to me as a child, lots of upheaval, maybe that's one of the ways I dealt with it, and now it's just a part of who I am. My therapist says I have excellent coping tools, perhaps because they never stay in the shed long enough to rust.
Don't get me wrong, I have a great life, an awesome life. I'm not a sad sack who generally sits around moping about what Janna did to me. I deal with the aftershocks of Janna the way I dealt with the aftershocks of the rest of my life. The difference with Janna is that most of the other bad shit was accidental or exceedingly brief. They were short sharp shocks.
What Janna did to me was intentional and orchestrated to hurt me, over a long period of time when she was aware I was fragile. Who invents a purported love of someone's life and then has them DIE? Janna could have closed up shop anytime she wanted. All I had for "Jesse" was a cellphone number and PO Box address. She could have disappeared at any time, or said "hey, y'know, I found a nice local girl to date." I would have chalked it up to disinterest and forgotten about it. But she milked this, she fed off my grief with the personas of more than a dozen people. She watched me get sick and, impersonating "Jesse's" doctor friend, diagnosed me. (don't worry, it was a weekend when I couldn't see my regular doctor, and I did see him right away that Monday, I'm not that stupid). She could have not given me an address, or accepted any of the gifts I sent, or at the very least, not encouraged me.
It's the malice aforethought I have problems with. I was on that message board for a year before Janna showed up. She watched me, she learned things about me, and then she struck.
And yes, perhaps Janna and I are two sides of the same coin, perhaps that's how I fell for her scam - by being the kind of person who fills in the blanks, and for trusting that since every other individual I'd actually met in person from this message board had proved to be real, that "Jesse" would be too. And because, who does that? The other women that Janna scammed, I think they're all storytellers too. I think she chooses us for that reason. It makes her job easier.
Janna's a storyteller, too, but she uses her talent to take things from others under false pretenses. Doesn't that deserve punishment?
I've tried to be patient here, I really have. I've answered many questions over the past several weeks. Because it doesn't seem to be letting up and I'd like to continue to remain a non-sad sack, I'm going to step away from this for a bit. Rest assured, I'll be back at some point, and I'll try to answer your questions in a civil manner.
If something interesting happens with the case, I'll update, of course.