By now I’m sure most of you have heard the story about Notre Dame Football star Manti Te’o’s alleged fake girlfriend scenario. He opened up to Katie Couric today on her daytime talk show to give his first on-camera interview about the situation he was involved in.
When I first heard this story on the news, I had to stop what I was doing for a minute and just listen. I felt this chill run through me. When I was 15, I was involved in a similar situation. I never wanted anyone to know mainly because it was embarrassing and to put it bluntly, to this day I just feel plain STUPID. I feel stupid for believing such nonsense; things I knew were strange at the time yet I ignored it all because the person feeding me those lies was a friend, or at least I thought she was, and I wanted to give her the benefit of the doubt.
That friend of mine was indeed a real person but she created this web of lies that I couldn’t escape. When I think about it, not only did she hurt me but she hurt herself in the process as well, mainly because she lost a lot of friends because of this. I would have been her friend regardless of what she felt like she was lacking in her life. Most people who do these sorts of things feel as if they have nothing special about them, so they create this fictitious world and sometimes they go so far as to believe in their own lies. In fact, after I learned the truth about everything, I felt relieved yet very angry at the fact that I invested so much of myself into all of it. I was angry for being duped. I was angry for having to lie to my friends; lies she told me that I so naively believed. I’m not here to humiliate this person; therefore I won’t go into the details of what happened. I only wish the best for her. I'll be honest, it took some time to feel this way towards her but now that it's all said and done, I truly want her to be happy. I just sometimes wonder how different things would have been if she had just been honest. I did walk away from it all with two amazing new friends so in the end, it all worked out. In fact, I'd do it all over again because those two friends mean the world to me.
So here’s to you, Manti Te’o, for being so honest in your interview today. That couldn’t have been easy what with all of the media speculation and ridiculous reports of you being behind the whole thing just to hide your sexual orientation. Ignore those people who write those horrible things. Those people aren’t “writers,” they are bullies, and you’ve been bullied enough. You are brave and you will get through this. I guess we can try to blame it on being young and naive but the truth is we really should have known better. Now that the media has turned this story into a sort of frenzy, I wonder how they would of reacted if I had been in the public eye and told my story back then.
Keep your head up, Manti. The lies are all in the past. All there’s left to look forward to is the future and it looks pretty bright. :)
Have you ever been in a sticky situation like Manti's?