Pity play: Faking cancer to raise money

For years, Martha Nicholas, 42, of Mechanicsville, Virginia, has been telling everyone, including her children, that she has cancer. Fundraisers were held to help her pay for her treatment. Except there was no treatment, because Nicholas allegedly never had cancer. Her attorney says she has a “mental illness.”

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47 Comments on "Pity play: Faking cancer to raise money"

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Sky and Star, I think “time” is relatively different in different circumstances. If you are waiting for something to happen, time goes slowly. I think time is also different for us at different stages in our lives. When I was a kid, summer was VERY LONG, now it goes by in a flash. “The days go slowly and the years go fast.”

How long it takes for us to heal depends on a lot of different variables, including how much we work at the healing, how much support we have and what else is going on in our lives at the same time.

Oh, BTW…

Though I’m not attached to my ex-spath anymore, I know I still let the guy from Costa Rica rent space in my head from time to time. I have had ample time to grieve him, and I know I need to be more proactive about this. For me, the close connection felt like a marriage (as it did with the spath). But since the CR guy is not a spath, I didn’t kick him out of my head so easily because I still had a glimmer of hope. It is MY choice to hold onto him. I can’t say that time will heal because it’s been long enough. I have to energetically disconnect from him, and that takes a concerted effort. I’m at about 95%, so the 5% is not troublesome enough for me to be proactive about. I have moved on and am enjoying dating right now. But I still find myself comparing men to him (and also to other past lovers).

I honestly don’t know how you know when it’s time to work at letting go or when to just let be. I don’t think there’s a formula or magic time period. But I believe that everyone knows their own answers deep down if they have the courage to look and to ask.

I agree, Star, it is individual in how we know “when” to let go…..and I think there are many many different considerations in each situation, and for us as individuals in that situation. Bottom line is that each of us has to do it ourselves.

I know that in situation A I have let go, and am indifferent, completely, but in situation B I can easily be upset if I were to see that person, but in situation C I feel completely different than A or B, so why the differences? I think it is because of a different closeness in each relationship, as well as the amount of time/effort I spent in that relationship, and how badly they hurt me to start with.

In relationships where we spent little time, didn’t have much in the way of expectations and they didn’t really hurt us rather than just being something we didn’t expect….it is EASY to emotionally kick them to the curb. Like the woman in the article where the investment banker wanted the second date and she didn’t. I doubt that she worried or was hurt or cared a flip what the jerk thought! He may very well have been a psychopath but he didn’t hurt her, and at worst she might have been irritated by his calls and texts. LOL

No, but look at how invested he was in HER after the first date! I think degree of emotional investment does not necessarily have to do with time. (To demonstrate that, I spent all of two weeks with the guy in CR!) But if a person puts energy into the fantasy over a long period of time, then it can become a habit or addiction and create a particular neuropathway in the mind. It can be hard to break the addiction. Having said that, I know people who broke addictions in a moment of will. It can happen.

I think spending years with a spath or narcissist (as I did with my parents) does not necessarily have to be a long sentence of suffering. There are things we can do to recircuit the brain. One of them is travel. Travel to foreign countries or even visiting new parts of town or ethnic restaurants can jar the mind into change. New things, new environments can spark new ways of thinking.


Thanks Donna.

Bob, in actual fact, there are some really horrible stories of things that bloggers here have endured. I am sorry if you are one of the people who has endured a horrific nightmare at the hands of a psychopath. Many times it leaves us untrusting of ourselves or untrusting of others.

To learn about LoveFraud, I suggest you Go back through the articles in the archives and read them (for a start, just read the articles and leave reading the comments for later) get a real feel for what LoveFraud is about before you harshly judge us for being too judgmental or critical.

Like I said in my first post to you, we are not a jury here, we are allowed our opinions based on evidence from the media. And yes, we have already decided that we think Jerry Sandusky is a pedophile. Of course the law has not followed as quickly as our opinions have, and like OJ Simpson, he may get off in the court of law, but that doesn’t change and won’t change what my opinion is in the matter. Does that make me unjust? Not in my opinion, but it might in yours.

Does the woman in this story have Munchausens? Probably not is my opinion, because she wasn’t actually making herself sick, she was RAISING MONEY. Did she get some sort of sick attention out of the pretending to be sick, by playing the “sick roll” and having people comfort and nurse her? Yea, probably. Does that give her a pass? Nope, not in my book. Did she know she didn’t have cancer? If the answer is “yes” (and I believe it is) then she is liable for her actions legally and morally. If a psychiatrist wasn’t to interview her and label it Munchausens then fine, I still don’t give her a pass.

Donna’s x husband played at being a war hero, and he knew he was NOT a war hero, the same way this woman played at being a poor cancer patient! Should we pity these people? Should we feel sorry for anyone so bereft of a conscience and a moral compass that they can do these things? They must be “sick” right? and if they are “sick” and have Munchausen syndrome we must feel sorry for them, shouldn’t we? NO is my answer to that question.

I am sorry that there are cruel people in this world. Those same cruel people are unable to love and be loved, to connect and be connected, and to me being able to love and being loved are the most precious things on this earth and they don’t have that, and it is sad that any thinking creature that God made would not be able to feel some form of love or connectedness. That said though, I am not going to spend my time feeling sorry for them. Giving them my pity, but will save my empathy for the trail of victims that they leave behind.

Bob, if you have been wounded by a psychopath, then welcome to LoveFraud and I hope that you will find comfort and support in the bloggers here. We are an opinionated bunch at times, but learning to spot psychopaths by the red flags they wave is as much an art as a science. I hope you will become part of the Love Fraud community. Joyce Alexander, RNP (retired) AKA “Oxy”

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