Bella joined a gym. Kitted herself out in Lycra, scooped her shiny jet hair into a swishy pony tail, and exercised. She was fit, healthy, and beautiful.

She was would be affronted by the third factor: The Ipso facto.

The Big I Am spotted Bella, asked her out on a date. Bella told her sister of the invite. Sister already a gym member, knew of the Big I Am. ‘No,’ sister informed, ‘Don’t accept.’

Big I Am approached Bella’s sister, said he’d be the one to treat Bella right. ‘Prove it,’ Sister offered, ‘take it slow, take her somewhere nice.’

To the seaside they went, and held hands, shared ice-cream, came home before dark; came home before the postcards they sent to each other.

The Big I Am carried on doing special things, carried on treating Bella right.

Said he had suffered heartache, understood Bella’s vulnerable side. His parents were dead: killed in a car accident when he was a child.

We didn’t know he fabricated lies. Painted pictures for sympathy. Drew illusions to lure women who assumed they could help him.

Quid pro quo: I need you; you need me.

The first stage of entrapment.

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I am the mother of two adult daughters, both much loved and cared for. The eldest thought she could handle social drinking and party drugs, she could not. There is a journey addicts relate to - their journey. As a mother I have healed through the written word. This is my journey.

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