It’s important to understand that Sabrina’s victims are not limited to white people nor are all her betrayals actionable. Despite her online talk about fighting against systemic racism Sabrina has no qualms about using the life experiences of other Black Women to manipulate them.
This is Ebony’s story.
How many faces can one person have?
I’m not just talking about online avatars, but personas and traumas designed to reel people in.
Up until now I’ve refrained from talking about how this situation has personally affected me, partly because I wanted to make space for those who needed to be heard and partly because I often tell myself that my own hurt isn’t a big deal. That my own experiences don’t really count, or that I’m being too dramatic. A lifetime of gaslighting will ultimately lead to you doing the dirty work yourself.
At the end of 2016 I left my husband because of abuse of many a kind. I found a new home thanks to the kindness of friends donating to help me. I moved in, again with the help of kind friends.
Around this time I made some flippant comment on my friend Lauren’s Facebook that in 2017 I was going to be petty and call myself Petty White. Sabrina saw this post asked me to give her a petty name and friend requested me. I accepted because I generally do that for friends of friends. Over the next few weeks she’d comment and inundated herself into my posts about dealing with my horrible divorce. I was a fragile mess at the time and welcomed people who seemed to want to support me.
(April 2017 ) She offered to courier some things from America to my new home and I was grateful. My son and I met up with her and Shane in Shinjuku and Kathryn joined as well. That was my first time meeting everyone. Sabrina was nice and bought LionO (Ebony’s son) a Minions book, and I did notice that day her Japanese wasn’t very good, which surprised me as she claimed to translate manga. She also mentioned a Japanese grandma, even going so far as to mention a Japanese family name. But a sa person who gets her ethnicity questioned regularly I wasn’t going to do that to her.
After that she would make chat groups for those of us in Japan, to ask about things or tell us when she was coming yet again. She came during the summer, and I saw her a grand total of 2 times. She then came again in December and I saw her once. We still chatted online.
She often turned to me when she wanted another black woman to validate her. Whether it was people choosing to have children, other black nerds ostensibly attacking her, or being kicked out of black spaces for rule breaking she routinely turned to me as her black voice of solidarity. I would listen, try to give reasonable and compassionate advice, and point out that I am very ethnically ambiguous. My lived experience is not that of more visibly black women. It’s also because of this I felt like I needed to let her voice all these complaints. I couldn’t know what she went through on a daily basis, and didn’t want her to feel discredited.
Eventually I asked if she could do me a huge favor. I’m adopted and had been doing a lot of research to track down my birth family. That serendipitously led me to Seattle. I asked her if she could stop by a business that I believe belongs to my biological uncle. She agreed and asked for my abandonment story and a lot of documentation to show him, like my original birth certificate etc. I obliged. She empathized with me, going so far as to claim a now dead aunt of hers had given a baby away in college. Weeks went by and then in the middle of a different conversation she flippantly mentioned she stopped by the location a week ago and left her business card.
I never heard anything again and assumed my birth family wanted nothing to do with me.
After this thing started unraveling I looked at the message and realized she said she’d stopped by the “house”. It’s not a house. Also, she doesn’t have any business cards. She had lied.
When I approached her with the favor I’d told her it was sensitive subject and that it took a lot of emotional preparation for me to get to this place of trying.
After that she would send me messages about my divorce or fighting with my family over LGBTQ rights. She claimed to have a strained relationship with her family and that at one point she had lived with relatives here in Japan and also had gone through chemotherapy secretly without telling them.
When talk turned to my divorce she would give me advice, mostly uninformed and unhelpful, advocating for me to kidnap my son and move to Seattle with Lauren. That conversation ended when she asked if she, Lauren, and an unnamed person could stay at my house on their next trip to Japan. Her claims were that all the Airbnb were too expensive. Later I compared the messages she sent me about her Airbnb and the messages she sent Kathryn (the first time they met) and they were eerily similar.
Once this whole thing went down I found out she’d been telling people I was her cousin through a Shinto priestess grandmother. She couldn’t even connect us through a black relative. When she was confronted about it she claimed I told her she could say it because “Ebony doesn’t have any family”. That’s a categorically false statement, but shows she will manipulate information to fit her narrative.
In the end I got off easy. I got a few presents designed to ingratiate me to her so she could get emotional labor and free housing in Japan from me.
I’ve added a few italicized parenthesis for clarification. I also cannot post this without personally adding that I do not feel that Ebony “got off easy” by the mere fact that she didn’t lose money to Sabrina. Not. At. All. -Kathryn