How did the mods and you all sense this and the rest of us just get completely sucked in? What was it that tipped you off?
I got sucked in for a long time. I'm not mad at myself for that--hope you're not, either. I like the fact that I can still be innocent and trusting. Even when I was getting annoyed at the game-playing, I still thought the story was basically true.
But I started to notice --
--Nothing was getting through to "Dan" -- it was like talking to a tape loop of self-blame.
--He'd make remarks that were guaranteed to provoke a reaction. Older brother--"I shouldn't have slapped him." No context. Everyone's forced to go "What???" He PMed me out of the blue once with "It makes me sick...very very sick." Okay, what does?
--I haven't gone back and counted, but he announced he was leaving forever and came back the next day, I think six times
in a month.
--When he did offer support, it was almost too much - "I love you all." "You're my big brother."
I don't know. Right now, I'd like to believe that I was talking to a real kid, in real pain. And maybe even she doesn't know what's driving her. Maybe she will realize she is a survivor of something after all (no big stretch of imagination there!)