Do you ever wonder how a con artist came to be who they are? What act or life experience led them down that path? When was their first act of manipulation or lies? Was it to someone they knew or a random stranger? Were they missing something in their life that this fulfilled gaping holes inside? This story goes to show a con artist in the making, growing from a young girl to full-fledged manipulative psychopath…
The dynamics of this story are pretty wild, the triangle of people and their connections are intertwined. The story was told by a girl, who we will call Gracie for the sake of keeping it simple. Gracie is suiting because she so graciously welcomes people into her life and tries impeccably to do right by everyone.
Gracie takes us all the way back to the beginning when she first became friends with Lisa, who was like a little sad, abandoned puppy dog. Lisa’s childhood was not ideal and it was definitely a cause for concern for Gracie and Gracie’s mom. Lisa’s mom was a single mother after Lisa’s dad ditched her when Lisa was born and decided to have his own family without them. Her mom struggled to make ends meet due to job instability and living as a drifter. As a result, Lisa lived with Gracie for awhile and Gracie and her mom tried to do everything they could to help out Lisa. Even after Lisa moved two hours away from Gracie, they still remained close.
You know those girls that always go after the person you have a crush on? I wouldn’t call those people true friends because they are constantly only looking out for themselves instead of thinking about their friends. Lisa was that type. If only Gracie had seen flags at this young of an age, she could have saved people from heartache and schemes.
List went after and dated Gracie’s first and second crush spanning several years from middle school to high school. Although Gracie didn’t care because she recognized she was young and considered it a “stupid crush”, she does recount that in hindsight it was “sort of odd”.
Adding to the friend dynamics, Gracie had a friend named Ryan whom she had been friends with before Lisa. Their friendship was strong throughout middle school and high school and hung out regularly. One time Lisa was visiting and that’s when they met… Oh I wish Gracie could have seen this a mile away and not introduced her good friend Ryan to the backstabbing, crazy Lisa. A couple months later, Lisa and Ryan were dating. Things started progressing with the two of them and even despite all of Lisa’s problems with drugs and drinking, nobody stopped caring for her. Ryan and Gracie constantly tried helping her out because they knew she had a hard life. When Ryan turned 21, he proposed to Lisa and they got engaged. He was so loyal to Lisa and Lisa’s mom. He did everything he could to take care of them, helping them around their apartment and giving them money to help support them. Ultimately, he spent all of the money he had saved for college and even gave up his dream job to take care of Lisa.
The year was 2014. Gracie had her first ever boyfriend.
“It was long distance relationship (I know it wouldn’t have worked out) but I absolutely adored and loved him. I was so excited, I told Lisa all about him.”
Huge mistake. I wish Gracie had learned by now that you just don’t share anything about boys to Lisa.
Gracie and Joe dated several months when she decided to break it off. There were a lot of reasons that came into play that were minor but Gracie was essentially prioritizing school over a long distance fling. Fair enough. Joe was heart broken though, he tried to reach out to Gracie but instead he oddly thought it was a good idea to reach out to Gracie through Lisa. Here’s the kicker, Lisa never told Gracie that Joe reached out at all. To top it all off, Lisa was still engaged to Ryan, but didn’t tell him about her communication with Joe.
About 4 months passed and a lot of stuff changed. Gracie was dating someone new and was extremely happy. Lisa had moved out of state and she and Ryan had broken off their engagement. Joe and Gracie finally reconnected and tried to rekindle a strictly platonic friendship. In the midst of everything going on, Joe casually dropped a bomb that he had been talking to Lisa regularly. Although Gracie was taken off guard, she encouraged Joe to befriend Lisa. She knew the type of friend Joe could be to someone and Gracie loved Lisa and only wanted what was best for her. In her mind, Lisa could use a good friend like Joe.
Throughout 2015, Ryan and Lisa called their engagement on and off multiple times. It’s kind of a whole charade with them at this point. Sometimes when I hear about people like this I’m just kinda like – when are you going to get it through your thick skull that you aren’t good for each other. Make the break and make it final.
Gracie stayed in contact with all parties. She knew what was going on with all their relationships. Although Lisa and Ryan had broken off their engagement, they were still dating; and Lisa still remained friends with Joe. The Joe-Lisa-Ryan triangle was still holding strong.
It wasn’t until Summer 2016 that things really got heated. Pokemon Go had come out and like most of the population, Gracie and Ryan were equally obsessed with the game. They were spending much more time together and Gracie thought she knew everything that was going on. But the crazy thing is that Summer 2016 was the time when everyone would find out they were all being played.
Ryan was just one of those guys that was constantly going after someone regardless of them being a negative impact on his life. Even though he and Lisa broke up and Gracie thought it was the final straw, Ryan was still trying to get her back. It seemed like Lisa was getting her life together and it would be an optimistic thought that she could actually do that. Regardless, she was trying to find a job and was taking classes at the local community college.
Gracie had been busy and hadn’t been keeping up with Lisa or Joe. Gracie had been busy with everything going on in her life, and just assumed that was the same case for Lisa and Joe. One thing I’ve learned in life is that it’s never good to assume. When people get quiet, there is usually a reason.
“One day I saw on Joe’s Snapchat the back of Lisa in Joe’s room. I recognized her hair, clothes etc. I felt really confused and didn’t mention it to Lisa, Joe or Ryan. I am terrible at confrontation with friends. Several days later I got a call at 3 in the morning from Joe. He was grinning and smiling a bunch and seemed happy. He tells me that he has a new girlfriend and that he felt wrong for me not knowing who it was. He told me flat out that it was Lisa and that he paid for a flight for her to visit him. He told me because he still thought of me as an important friend in his life and he felt wrong with me not knowing that him and Lisa were in an apparent relationship. I thought it was weird she was dating someone new after ending her engagement with a man she’d been since she was 14 so quickly but I endorsed Joe and her. I was appreciative of Joe telling me. He expressed that Lisa was really nervous about telling me and that she feels like she’s betraying me somehow by dating Joe.”
I wonder why Lisa was nervous… Could it be because she is a liar? Could it be because she’s now succumb to a full-fledge con artist? The embers are burning and it feels like there is going to be a full explosion.
Gracie wasn’t going to confront Lisa. She wanted to give Lisa the time she needed and felt that Lisa would come to her when she wanted to talk about it.
It was still Summer 2016, Ryan and Gracie were up playing Pokemon Go late at night. Somehow, amidst their conversation Ryan casually brought up the fact that he was really excited to see Lisa when she got back from “girls trip around the US”. Ummm excuse me? Ryan was paying for Lisa to come visit when her girls road trip was over. Gracie was seriously confused. The conversation went back and forth until Gracie let the cat out of the bag. She stopped Ryan dead in his tracks and blurted out that Lisa had not been on a road trip but was instead was visiting Joe.
That’s when things unraveled quickly and all respect Gracie had for Lisa was gone. Gracie saw the things that Lisa was telling Ryan. She made him believe there was a future, even kept the engagement ring and kept telling Ryan sweet things to keep stringing him along. Ryan was such a kind-hearted guy, he believed everything Lisa was saying. I mean, wouldn’t you believe someone that you’ve been dating for years?
Throughout the conversation many things were said on both ends. Gracie had told Ryan about Joe and then Ryan turned around and told Gracie why he and Lisa kept breaking up. It was now brought to Gracie’s attention that Lisa was a two-timing, backstabbing, attention monger. Lisa had been cheating on Ryan with a guy Ryan knew named Tim. When Ryan found out about Tim, they broke up and she moved onto Joe.
What would you have done?
“I felt sick to my stomach. Joe was heart broken when I broke up with him. He had all sorts of dreams, he was a virgin, he just graduated high school. Lisa was someone who lost her virginity in middle school, did drugs, drank way too much, was a year older than I was. Joe was barely 18 while Lisa was 20. Joe was lucky that he quickly got a welding job and was making good money out of high school. I couldn’t believe it.
I had to find a way to tell Joe but I didn’t know how. I knew he’d be angry. She was supposed to be there the whole summer and he paid for her to be there. I eventually called him and broke the news.”
If you were Joe would you accept the information as the truth? It’s hard to say. He doesn’t know all the facts about Lisa and she has a very manipulative way about her. Gracie had told Joe all about Lisa’s indiscretions with Tim and Ryan. Fortunately, Gracie had proof in text messages and screenshots that she shared with Joe. There was no stopping Gracie now though. She wasn’t going to let Lisa hurt anyone in her life again.
Joe was furious. He had paid for Lisa to come stay with him the whole summer. Joe had been played and he was just another pawn in Lisa’s game. But Lisa, sorry girl, the Karma police is coming for ya.
“I get a call a week later of him basically treating her like a dog. He set up a tent and made her sleep in his backyard. Said he wasn’t going to pay for an early flight home as he paid already for the later flight. He was saying things in a video call showing me her.”
The things that were said were pretty terrible, even Gracie didn’t encourage the behavior and wanted to defend Lisa. There were a lot of choice words, making fun of her about a number of things and Joe was vocal about how Lisa had taken money from him and used it on various expensive electronics.
At this point, everything was out in the open. Lisa had spent her whole life scamming people. She hurt and took from all the people who cared about her, starting with Gracie and Gracie’s mom. That fed her manipulative and obsessive personality that she then began to prey on Ryan and later Joe. We can only guess that they were not the only ones that were used as collateral damage.
Gracie gave Lisa so many opportunities to tell her side of the story. She had been given years to come clean throughout their friendship and Gracie was such a sweetheart, she always wanted to believe the best in someone and just attribute the negatives to Lisa’s upbringing. She had been severely betrayed though.
One week after the incident with Joe, Gracie finally heard from Lisa.
“You ruined my life.”
That was the beginning of Lisa’s long winded explanations and allegations about how terrible Gracie was for not talking to Lisa before enlightening Joe and Ryan on the truth. In the end though, Gracie did the right thing. She was a true friend to the people that deserved it. She made every excuse for Lisa with no avail.
“She was a terrible friend and looking back now I’m only furious thinking about how many issues she caused me. I didn’t get a boyfriend till 18 because of her. I didn’t do a lot of things because of her. Many of my odd phobias were disclosed because of her. I wish I yelled at her and defended myself. I didn’t. I told her that I was sorry and that it was reasonable if she didn’t want to talk to me for a while but that I was always here when she was ready.
I’m still strong friends with Joe and Ryan. I don’t know if Tim ever fully escaped her.
Screw you Lisa. I’m glad Joe made your life terrible for those two months. You deserve to live in a tent and be fed trash food.”