I suspect that most of the readers of this blog already know what’s going on with Nicky Cooper’s blog. If not, read this and this first and come back here. I’ll wait.
My first response, before knowing the full story, was the same response I have now, assuming I will never know the whole story. It doesn’t matter. I know enough. After the gut reaction of a sense of betrayal, all I can feel now is sorrow. But not for me. This isn’t about me. I’m fine; I have not changed. And my basic good hope for people has not changed.
Now that I know that Nicky Cooper is a fiction, I am sad that I’ve lost a friend. Some are quite angry, having been far more emotionally invested in their friendship. It is as though Nicky has been ripped from our lives. She stole words and with them our hearts. The greatest treasure she stole was our trust: valuable, intangible, easily lost and so difficult to regain. Others may pay a price for that, having a wall of protection put between them and their Internet friends.
I have been mulling over the basis for all of this: the need for attention. Nicky’s need is extreme, given that this is the latest in a series of deceptions, and perhaps not the last. If Nicky has created a new persona, a new lie to cover her creation of Cooper, then the deception continues. I pray that she finds a counselor and medication to deal with this difficult obsession.
We all want attention. If you’re honest with yourself, it’s why you have a blog. I know that, while I write to please myself, I do want feedback from readers—whether it is supportive, disagreeing, whatever. I need to write, but I could do so without an audience if that was all it was. I want conversation and connection. I want to reach out to teach, learn, move and be moved.
I am grateful for being able to do so with the Internet; and the connections I’ve made I feel to be the start of genuine friendships. Yes, genuine. What I felt for Nicky was real, whether he was or not. That hasn’t changed. And think about what all of us gained: each other. Nicky’s bloglist was the single greatest source for my bookmarks. The people who came and stayed were all bound by the world created by Nicky. It’s what we have in common. And that hasn’t changed, either. We still have each other, and that friendship and commonality are still there.
What does the future hold for Nicky? I hope that she seeks healing. Those grandsons of hers need her present in their lives. If she can explore the reasons behind what she has done, she can use her experience to give them the love they need—and receive it in turn.
What about our future, bound as we are by Nicky? I would hope fervently that it includes forgiveness. There is great freedom in forgiveness, for us and for Nicky, regardless of whatever happens next. Nicky wants to be loved. I told her that I know absolutely that God loves her exactly as she is, unchanged. When each of us can accept that, it makes forgiveness so much easier. We can forgive ourselves for failing to be the person we hope; and we can forgive others for failing to be the person we want. It really is that simple, not to say that it is easy. But let me tell you about the difference it can bring to you: the deep peace you seek, that Nicky seeks, is attainable through forgiveness, mercy and love.