By | July 20, 2009 54 Comments

BOOK REVIEW: Trading Places, a true story of overcoming abuse

Trading PlacesPeople who have not been entangled in abusive relationships often ask, “Why doesn’t she just leave?” By reading Trading Places, by Natalie Hutchison and Mary Turner Thomson, you begin to understand.

Natalie Hutchison was reproached as a child, ignored by her first husband, then physically abused by her second husband. Finally, she decided enough was enough. Natalie escaped the abuse, went back to work, started a business, and in 2006 won the Barclays Bank Trading Places award, given to individuals who overcome tremendous personal adversity to turn their lives around.

Natalie had health problems as an adolescent, and she tells how her parents reacted to her medical issues.You see the seeds of self-doubt being planted. This is how it starts. This is how some women become primed to be victims of abuse.

Then, Natalie tells her story and how she felt—and that, I believe, is the value of this story. It clearly illustrates the thought processes and emotional hooks experienced by the victims of domestic violence.

But this is a story with a happy ending. Natalie learns to trust herself, then makes a leap of faith to start her own business and rebuild her life. She leaves the pain behind to find joy and success.

Trading Places is available now in the Lovefraud Store.

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Ox Drover

It is nice to hear a story that DOES have a “happy ending” as well as to realize that what happens to prime us to be victims (whatever it is in our individual cases) doesn’t always have to keep us “down.”

“Success” is available to us ALL should also be the message, if we take the “bit in our teeth” and use all our strength to rebuild our selves!


This is a great story; I’m glad it had a happy ending. I also know how “outsiders” are, when it comes to believing that an abused person can “just get out…”

Often there are far more subtextual issues which prevent a person from up and leaving an abusive and/or disordered partner; in fact, there is often a great deal of discouragement BY those well-meaning friends and relatives. I commend Natalie for her courage to do what needed to be done for herslef.

I would like to share a story along similar lines – if you need or want some inspiration to overcome serious obstacles and those pesky, “chaotic life events,” I’d recommend this little-known movie: “Homeless to Harvard.”

Here are the details:

“Based on real-life events, this drama directed by Peter Levin tells the inspiring story of Liz Murray (Thora Birch), a homeless teen forced to care for herself and live on the streets when her parents lose their battle with drug addiction. Determined to find a better future for herself, Murray goes back to high school and manages to get her diploma, capping off her achievements by winning a scholarship to prestigious Harvard University.”

I admired Liz for her determination to overcome her FOO issues, at least enough to finish high school and earning a full ride to Harvard in doing so.

Be well, everyone ~*~


personally,after experiencing life with a sociopath- well before awareness was even around for that personality type..
it seems to me that our society, particularly the marketplace, is structured to reward sociopathic behavior, not in personal life, but in the business world.
i even am of the opinion that salespeople in the 80’s and 90’s were “funneled” into that mindset/behavior….

Ox Drover

Carriesguns, glad to see you back…glad you are still lurking around!



Really valid point about the sales people in the 80’s and 90’s – they are still with us! I have listened to the Dale Carnegie type mentors and their evangelical rantings about ‘success’ – but they seem only to deal in monetary success motivation – I have a theory that it’s a bit like the whole cult ‘induction’ process where they use chanting – it actually changes the brain chemicals. Hardly surprising that it carries over into all areas of people’s lives – it’s like there’s no safety valve.

The S I was unfortunate enough to be involved with was typical of this type and he definitely used ‘sales techniques’ to pressure people into doing what he wanted. It was as though his philosophy was ‘ it worked in making me rich so why not elsewhere’. All this said, I think that a person has to be receptive to this type of ‘brain training’ to begin with. It’s always left me cold – all that high pressure ‘selling’. I never got how the salesman could be ‘comfortable’ knowing that he was making another human being so ‘uncomfortable’ that they would cave in to his pressure.

Just a thought.


This book sounds encouraging. At the moment, I am combing the site for a book I read about here a few months back in someone’s comment, having to do with [mostly] women who are basically nice, decent ppl who tend to be ‘too’ helpful and nurturing, and therefore in their somewhat vulnerable state of mind, tend to attract N,S,P types – can anyone help me with title and author?

I’M SO TIRED OF BEING THE SCAPEGOAT/ENABLER, that I’ve intentionally been celibate for many years, while I raised my kids out of their teens aind into universities. Tried dating, yet the nicest guys kept turning out to be more creeps within a handful of dates, so I gave up, thinking I was somehow so damaged that I was the cause – as if I brought out the worst in them. Yet, I still want to understand what the mechanisms are that play into these attractions. My father was a classc N and alcoholic, and mother the strong, silent ‘saintly’ enabler without knowing it. My brother was told at 12 he’d be a thief by 16, and he was and still is… and dad wants nothing to do with him, nor does he want to take any responsibility for the years of physical and mental abuse hurled at our large family, over 40 years later. The really sad thing is he’s been in AA for over 25 years, and is a mentor there, yet another brother lives with him and is enabled to drift from job to job, high on drugs and alcohol…

I’m finding that as trusting and nurturing as I used to be and basically still am, I seem to have raised kids with noiticeable N tendencies, and I need info to help them (and myself) understand what we’ve been through with their father and a later longterm relationship I had, so they can differentiate and understand the influences we’ve had, and, this is why I personally need the support of the aforementioned book I seek.

Thanks so much!



Possibly ‘Women who Love Too Much’ ? – can’t remember the author. You could google the title and see if this might be the one.

Good luck!


I luv your name! I agree totally and even in personal life it is debateable!


P.S. maybe you could visit zklz passingthru ?


Thanks, Escapee, but I think it’s a newer book I’m looking for – pretty sure it was mentioned as being a recent publication. The comment stated it specifically described how apparently nice ppl attract sociopaths and such, and how we blame ourselves without merit.

super chic

classicbenzgirl: Hi. Are you looking for “Women Who Love Psychopaths” ? One of the authors of that books writes articles on Love Fraud, Dr. Liane Leedom. Here’s a link:

It was for sale in the Love Fraud store, I don’t see it there now, but maybe reading the article on LF and the blogs will help.


Classicbenzgirl, I’ll bet you are searching for the book written by “our own” Dr. Leedom and Sandra Brown, called “Women Who Love Psychopaths.” It is available from this website.

Chapter 5 was the chapter that cemeted my assessment all along that “they” only target nice girls because somehow they know they aren’t nice and want to suck it out of us — but it doesn’t work. We may be weakened by the encounter but being strong. nice women with lotz of wounds but stronger in the end for it.

I hope this is the book you are looking for. One of my “favorite horrible things” is to look for something I can’t find.

At present, I can’t find where I hid my wedding rings. I need to sell them for hospital and medical bills! (I knew they would come in “handy” some day!)


Oh, thanks, shabbychic, Great minds run on the same track.
You gave benzgirl the same title. I’ll just bet that’s the one she means. It was published in 2008. A wonderful, helpful book!

I got my copy by downloading the e-book before it was actually published. I wonder if the e-book is still available?

super chic

ANL… you are surfin’ the web!!!!!!!!! I didn’t know it was available as an e-book, maybe benz can find it that way.

Last year I had thrown my favorite ring in my make-up box, and then forgot. I was eyeballing the S… for a while I really suspected he took it. Do’h!


I still feel very weakened by the encounter with my last ex boyfriend P. But i also feel weakened by my “best friend” in class that i just found out was a P. ( I found out when I was using my “12 steps” to treat the P teacher…and low and behold if it didn’t reveal a lot more than that!!
I hope you are right ANL! I hope I feel much stronger in the end for it, because right now, my whole system has clamped down and i am on antibiotics and I have never felt this sick in years!
I know it is stress and there is nothing i can do about it. As well as that i have an infected absyss on my tooth and can’t afford to go to the dentist! (My ex P boyfriend was a dentist!). Any ANL, I am at alow. When does it get good?


I havn’t read any of the books yet, they are not in our libraries or bookshops and even if they were I can’t afford to buy them!
Lucky there is PLENTY of reading on LF!! lol!!


Oh, Tilly, you are already stronger than you were! You probably just can’t recognize your own growth because you are so sick and have so much on your plate.

My experience about “When does it get good?” may discourage you — because it was a SOLID 5 five years (Oct 2001 to August 2005) before I felt my emotions and life were anywhere near “good.” The only consolation for me that it “only” took that long was that an early counselor predicted it would take at least 11 years!! One year of healing to every four years of “hell.” he said. (Dont’ know if there are any statistics on that.)

Of course, the “empty suit” still isn’t gone — keeps periodically rearing his horns and pointy tail as I described just this past week — but it is NEVER in person. That helps!

One part of the finally feeling “good” was that I recovered all of my emotions that had been submerged under the previous daily terror of many years. At first, I couldn’t even remember my good childhood — excpet that I remember that it was good. And that scared me!

What a joy it was to feel joy, excitement, wonder, awe, happiness, peace, serenity (if not ALL the time), and all those good things. In 2005, they came floodng back! The most exciting part was the return of my memory — the summers at the beach, the gymnastics, the music awards, the play practices, the wonderful teachers and professors, even the bee sting on my behind! (I SAT on it!)

I also realized that I had the return of some wonderful and vivid memories with our children and MY friends and MY family during the long “marriage.” (Empty Suit didn’t have any real friends) but there are too many good memories to list. Guess what? NONE of those good memories included the EX!!!!!! (I’m not sure why in the world I would have found that surprising!)

You will have some good days ahead — all of you guys will — with normal daily hills and valleys through in and to be expected. Hang on!!

What we both need to do — and some others suffering physical ailments from the former encounterd stress — is to GET WELL.


Recall that I am mathematically challenged by nature — It was a period of BAD HORRIBLE PAIN from October 2001 to August 2006!!!


Thankyou so much, that was a great post ! That helps me a lot ANL. That means that by the time I am 61 I will have a whole lot of good memories flooding back. And that IS something to look forward to. But you are right. I really should concentrate on getting physically well now. Thanks again ANL, there is something very comforting in your words tonight. xo


But I wish I had of been there for my middle boy. I didn’t realise at the time that I was leaving him with a psychopath. At the time I thought i was the failure not the P. I am grieving for the loss of my middle boy even though he is alive in the flesh in another state. I lost him forever when i let him go and live with the P. I so regret that i did that. It is all my fault that he has gone from me forever.


Even though i left him with the p from when my boy was 12, my boy came to stay with me ( I lived interstate )every school holidays. The p didn’t tell me that my son ran away from home every week for years. The p waited until my son was 20 before he told me that.
I lost my boy when he was 12 and i didn’t even know it until now.


I have a son in law that treats me very badly, only me because i think that i have exposed him. he has been so nasty to my daughter, has thrown her on the street, everytime she really needed him to be nice to her when her family came to visit. He treats his mother badly and brother also, because he thinks that he is right and everybody else are wrong. He is well educated, but has no pride, feels no guilt. Blames all their arguments on me or his mother. He has confused my daughter so she does not know what is right or wrong. He never gives in, no matter how much she cries he will never give her , her way. The only way there is peace in their house is when she agrees with him, if she doesnt he will not even speak to her. She always have to agree with him. He tells me that he doesnt want his kids to see too much of me. I am not good enough. i come from a good family, my daughters are well educated. His mother says that he is jealous of me. She also thinks that there is something wrong with him. He talks about me to everybody, blames me for all the fights he has with my daughter. My daughter is a bit confused i think and she enjoys the good life he gives her specially after he has been nasty to me he gives her what she wants, for a while and then it starts all over again. She knows nothing about their financial situation, she says she doesnt care, because if she did it would be more problems, so she just make asif nothing bothers her. I am not too sure what he is doing. I think he might have an affair, she doesnt want to know as long as he gives her what she wants, but she is unhappy. This man has been so cruel and so nasty. i wish I could tell you what he has said and done, and then he will do something nice and says. Just to show you that i can be nice. He manipulates, controls, uses people and when he has used you he just turns on you. What would you call him.


In my class today my fake P friend gave me an ugly bead, “to help me get better” in front of the p teacher (I am very ill and it is obvious), so they both were doing their acting in front of each other. Then my p teacher made some hideous cruel jokes about my fat head (due to infection), so that she would get a laugh out of the class.
So I laughed at the joke on me. I thanked my fake p friend for her hideous ugly magic bead given to me only to earn brownie points off the p teacher. Then i went and puked in the toilet, and went home. Ah yes, recovery is just pure bliss.


Thanks for all your supportive comments in regard to my son. Anyone would think i was a winger and just feeling sorry for myself.

Ox Drover

Dear Tilly,

If your tooth is infected (abscessed) and swollen jaw, this is a SERIOUS medical condition and you should see a dentist or a physician for some antibiotics IMMEDIATELY. GO TO AN EMERGENCY ROOM AT A HOSPITAL ASAP IF NO OTHER WAY.

putting on CARING, LOVING, KIND nursie hat here now: TILLY, DON’T MAKE ME COME AFTER YOU WITH THE SKILLET! I don’t know if Fat or Hairy can swim to OZ!

Seriously, an abscessed tooth is a medical emergency and can lead to DEATH!!!!!

Yor teacher and your FAKE friend laughing at your pain and infection is like some one making fun of a blind man, or a legless person—-but what else could you expect from a P?

((((TILLY)))) xoxoxox Oxy


Don’t worry Oxy, i been down at the emergency every night for 5 nights. ( a 6 hour wait everytime in hell, all the p nurses work in emergency). The Inside of the bone in the gum is full of infection. but it costs 2 thousand two hundred to fix it the specialist/dentist. and the hospital won’t touch it here. But they gave me morphine if you hadn’t noticed. But i am not a junkie and i hate morphine. It just makes you vomit and doesn’t take the pain away. Then leaves me with a massive headache.
Its gone through my whole body.
I reckon God is trying to tell me something.
BUT WHAT???????????????????????????????????????????????


Should I go see the ex p dentist?? ha ha

Ox Drover

Dear Tilly,

MORPHINE IS NOT WHAT YOU NEED, it is ANTIBIOTICS! I am serious as cancer sweetie, I have worked in ICU with patients who DIED from this—antibiotics won’t “cure” it but will knock it down for a while until you can find some way to get it fixed, or the tooth pulled. It CANNOT be pulled while it is hot with infection. I can’t believe the ER did not give you antibiotics immediately!!!!!

The infection must be knocked down and the tooth either root canaled (drilled the nerve out) or the tooth must be pulled as soon as the infection is knocked down. Tilly, go to SOME dentist and get some antibiotics at the VERY LEAST. Morphine isn’t gonna help th eproblem, it is like putting a band aid on a bullet wound!!!

No dentist should charge you an arm or a leg for a short visit where they will give you antibiotics….and then you can figure out some way besides letting this run on and DYING. And YES, I AM WORRIED!!!!! That was what I did for a living was to WORRY about people!!!!

This is your last chance, Tilly, or I get the skillet out and get Fat some swim fins and a snorkle—wonder what a bray would sound like through a snorkle???? (((hugs))))

Ox Drover

ps. Tilly,

God is telling you to LISTEN TO OXY CAUSE SHE LOVES YOU!!!


I got the antibiotics !, but your right they won’t do anything till the swelling is gone and by the look of my head that will be in a month! Its Ok Oxy, I’ve had enough. I would prefer to die at this point in time.
It is all rubbish about “australias good health system” Oxy. If you saw our emegency unit here you would DIE of shock..its DISGUSTING! Its like something out of a horror film. And the whole dentist /doctor thing is ridiculous. Like everywhere, Its only a “good health system”, if you are rich.
The p nurse in emergency threw out all my papers, twice ( they “disappeared), because i complained that I had been there six hours and I said that she put the others that were in less danger, before me). There are lots of p nurses in Aussie Oxy..thats where we breed em. Serious.
I am not going into class this anymore this week. And if I die my youngest son gets the lot. i.e. all of my paintings of psychopaths…just what you want aye Oxy.. (there is nothing else left!).


All the Ps of the world have all of my belongings including my dogs scattered throughout three states of Oz, between them all. What a joke.

Ox Drover

Dear Tilly,

Summer before last I caught a very bad tick borne fever, and was running a fever, felt like pounded dog do, no energy, and litterally couldn’t stand up to wash a small sink of dishes, and DIDN’T EVEN REALIZE I WAS DEATHLY ILL, I was in so much emotional pain, chaos etc. (you know the drill) and at the time, frankly I didn’t much care either if I lived or died, I was living in my little travel trailer, and you know, I finally got medical insurance and went to the doctor after two months. It is a wonder I didn’t die. 20% of the people who get this and are not treated die. 7% of those that DO get treatment die, and I was ONE sick puppy. But I am SO glad now, Tilly, that I didn’t die. SO VERY GLAD!!! I know things are difficult for you right now, and I am living on a very reduced budget for a retirement, because even if I had WANTED to work any more, I have enough short term memory that I would no longer be safe working where I took people’s lives in my hands. I HAD TO RETIRE, and so cut my income by 80%===but I do know how to live on the cheap and so do my kiddos.

Even here, medical care for those with insurance isn’t great, and people who are very low income or no income usually get fair care and those with out insurance get zippo unless they are bleeding.\

My son C’s new jjob’s insurance hasn’t kicked in yet, and I took him to the doctor today to have a suspicious BLACK MOLE that popped up on his foot, was $340 to have a dime sized piece of skin taken off, and if it is the BAD kind of skin cancer that can be fatal he will have NO insurance if he requires chemo etrc. because when his insurance kicks in a month, this will be a “preexisting” condition. But he showed it to me and I didn’t like the looks of it and neither did the dermotologist….because I am also her patient and a retred advanced practice nurse, I got him in before her “first” new patient appointment the last day of October. But this could not wait. Now we WAIT for results.

What I want is your living breathing body making smart cracks on LF for the rest of our lives, sweet cheeks! So you have to be ALIVE in order to do that.

I have had some pretty gnarly abscessed teeth and have had many of them rootcanaled, but if I get another one, and the price is too high, I will take the anitibiotics and then get it pulled.

BTW an ice pack on your face will help. Let me tell you the greatest and cheapest ice pack in the world! Get TWO one or two pound bags of GREEN PEAS (Frozen ones) and wrap it into a thin towel and put it on your face swelling, then when it gets soft, put it back iton the freezer, and take out the frozen one. then just change them out. Don’t let them get too soft and mushy. If they refreeze kind of in a chunk, though, just slap the bag donw on a flat counter and they will be like marbles again. amd ,mold to your face or whereever you need one.

The ice hellps the swelling go down and also helps some with the pain. If the tooth has a big cavity in it in US the pharmists sell some numbing medication to put on cotton and push down into the hole, then every so often you put a couple more drops on it.

Toothaches are one of the worst pain next to child birth I think. Take either tylenol or asprin (and you can take two tylenon and two hours later two asprin and then two hours later two more tylenon, and that way you can get better pain frelief. Try to lay with your head up a bit, and on the side where it is swollen put it up as well. Drink lots of liquics and rest easy and give yourself a break and try not to stress out!!! I will be keeping you in my thoughts and prayers, as well as my son C until we get his biopsy results back in a few days. (((((hugs)))))


Your body is telling you something!!! Listen!
I wish strength for you to heal and move towards peace.
Stop looking at your current ‘position’ and focus on where you are heading, your future is bright, you need to seek the sun girl!
Every step of our lives is teaching us something…….gain strength from the lessons.
Take care of yourself.


Dear Oxy,

Will keep you and your son C in mind and hope that he will be just fine, and have an unremarkable biopsy report.

All the Best,


This hit’s close to home…..I am glad you got your son in……no amont of money is worth the wait…..there are options on the money/ins. side!!!
I will send good mojo your way! Please let us know.
Until then……stay busy and know your a special lady!


Thankyou Oxy, I will pray for your son. I’m already doin “the peas thing” and i do have the morphine and nurafen plus and panadein forte and boy do they make you SICK! YUK, and all the while my head is gettin bigger. Your right i don’t have health insurance so i don’t have zip. But if i can put up with it unti 20th august i will have enough money to have it pulled.


Can you have the infected bone inside your gum pulled? Anyway i have made an appointment for 20 aug to have somethin pulled. Hope its not my leg.


I reckon God gave me this toothache to make me hate the ex p dentist even more.

Ox Drover

Thanks Guys, I’ll take all the prayers we can get, for sure!

Tilly, if the abscess is a “normal” one, the antibiotics (and it may take a while) will get the swelling down and then when the tooth itself is pulled (or teeth if it is a huge one) the thing will heal up and that is the end of it. I have seen two cases where the abscess went down into the throat and thethroat started to swell and required drainage of the infection from through the neck—so watch for your neck swelling or getting stiff.

If the swelling in your jaw doesn’t start to get better in 4-5 days, or continues to get much bigger instead, go to the docs and you may need a change of antibiiotic. Sometimes there may come up a “gum boil” inside your mouith near the tooth and it may drain some nasty stuff so if it does, don’t be alarmed.

I just love the green pea frozen pack for facial especially ice packs. A plastic surgeon suggested that to his patients and I got the idea from him. For hot packs I have some bags of rice in little cloth bags, and I heat in the microwave for about 1 1/2 minutes and makes a great hot pack or a nice warm thing to take to bed with you on a cold night. A friend also makes one for heating up that has some other kind of seeds in it as well as some lavender and it is nice, too. She makes hers long and skinny where you can wrap it around your neck or ankle etc.

Hang on Tilly, sweetie, I think the two worst things in the world (above child birth) are ear ache and tooth ache, so just take care of YOU right now and try to keep your stress level as low as possible—the stress just craps out our immune system and makes us more apt to get infections, etc. etc. I know that’s easier said than done!!!! (((Tilly)))) and God bless.


((((OXY))))) You are my angel ! xo

super chic

I’m praying for all of us, and for son C too!!!

Ox Drover

Thanks for the prayers and support, guys, just being able to ‘tell someone” and to have them empathize is always uplifting when we are down and knowing someone prays for us is also very affirming, in ANY burden we bear, but especially when dealing with a psychopath. I would rather face cancer (or even a tooth ache) any day than a psychopath! At least you know the cancer or the tooth ache isn’t ENJOYING hurting you, and you also know it isn’t “personal” (though it feels that way!)

Also, waiting for the biopsy results is what I have always said, about things being WORSE when you are WONDERING than even KNOWING the WORST. The results should be here in a few days, though, as there is pretty good turn around time at her office. There is also a good possibility that even if the mole on C’s foot is Melanoma that just removing it and careful watching of his skin is all that will need to be “done.”

HE is the one more worried about it (and of course HE is the one directly effected) but just the worry is an increasing stress for him. The last month or so has been a covey of anniversaries for him. The anniversary and birthday of his step son’s death (same day), the anniversary of the Trojan Horse & his wife trying to kill him, the 5th annniversary of my husband’s death, then the worry about his own health. Plus he is laid off to 3 days a week from his job recently, AND the swelling in his foot has kept him off work even those 3 days this week.

The small and large events of “life,” the memories of other, earlier, events connected to the psychopaths, etc. all work together to increase the stress so that they don’t ADD UP, they MULTIPLY UP!!!!

We can’t DO anything about the events of life, the flat tires and the broken legs, etc. except endure them but as long as we are working dilligently in learning about the psychopaths and about ourselves and our reactions to them, i.e. HEALING, and avoiding FUTURE “close encounters” with them (at least emotionally close) we are more able to “work through” the “life crisis” more easily.

I remember what a huge BURDEN was sort of “lifted” off my shoulders and how I didn’t feel so burdened and beat down, when I just RECOGNIZED once and for all that my P-son was irredemable and that my egg donor wasn’t the loving mother that I had “INVENTED IN MY MIND”–just not having to keep up that internal FANTASY was so liberating. It takes ENERGY to worry, and to CARE. If you don’t CARE about them then you can LIBERATE yourself from so much in trying to keep up an internal fantasy and an external attempt to “fix” them or the situation.

I think about Betty’s pain and her loss of her degree being so painful because she CARED not only about the degree and the Psychopath. Tilly is hurting because she is AFRAID this psychopathic teacher will RUIN HER DEGREE and deprive her of something she has worked so hard for. I think if you can get your mind wrapped around BOTH the STICK and the CARROT and get to a point where you NO LONGER FEAR the STICK, and NO LONGER DESIRE SO MUCH the CARROT, and just realize that it is not in your power either way, the not CARING either way, will decrease your stress.

My FEAR was losing my home here on this farm that meant so much to me, on which I had worked so hard, and my ancestors had worked so hard, my CARROT was “a happy family” with my P-son “reformed” here on this farm—-but having to move away from here made me reaize that this piece of dirt is NOT what is really important in life, the land, the dirt itself, and even my house are simply OBJECTS and no matter how much labor I hav eput into them, expecting to enjoy them the rest of my life, I CAN MOVE ON TO SOMETHING ELSE AND STILL BE HAPPY, BE CONTENT….I CAN lose it all and still not be destitute.

Living in my little RV parked on someone else’s property was NOT the end of the world for me, and if I end up having to do that again, and never being able to come back here it won’t be the end of the world for me then either. My P-son and my egg donor no longer have a carrot big enough to make me put up with their crap, and they no longer have a stick big enough to make me despondant in far of it either…they can have their carrot or their stick (and stick them where the sun don’t shine) because I know that without their carrot I will be find, and I am NOT going to live in fear of their stick either cause even if they take away my home, or make me give it up in order to preserve life, I am NOT dependent on what they can withhold or ruin, and I am NOT dependent on what they can offer either. Where they are concerned, the “give a chit” factor is what caused the worst of the pain. Only I can control what I “give a chit” about. Where they are concerned, there is no “give a chit” about the relationshit with them.

BTW, how are you doing lately CHIC? n& TILLY How is the swelling in your jaw? You guys take care!!!! and thanks for your prayers and friendship!!! (((hugs))))


Oxy, I just read about your son. Sending lots of prayers your way for a good report back from the Dr!


” get your mind wrapped around BOTH the STICK and the CARROT and get to a point where you NO LONGER FEAR the STICK, and NO LONGER DESIRE SO MUCH the CARROT, and just realize that it is not in your power either way, the not CARING either way, will decrease your stress”
This is so true Oxy. When I lost my home and assets and money was charged by the p solicitor then thrown in the prison watchhouse and the nuthouse by the P solicitor and his corrupt empire, all I cared about was my 11 year old son at home on his own. Up until they did that i was desperately trying to hang on to all of the above and prove what a p a#sole that solicitor was. I cared too much about everything and lost everything but my son. If I had used my “inner” psychopath ( which I knew nothing about at the time), I would have won everything.
God did me a favour with this tooth. The antibiotics have kicked in and even though the swelling hasn’t gone down the pain has decreased a lot. So for a few weeks I can come and go as I please in the class. My fake P friend has found no use for me (as I can’t give her information as I “can’t speak” (to her), so she has dropped me like a ton o bricks and gone to her next victim like the leech she is.
My P teacher is being kept at bay by our “other teacher” (that I insisted on having). Unfortunately he has lost all his “balls” and become her lap dog ( its pathetic), but when he is in the room she is kept in check. When he has to leave to teach another class for an hour and a half, we get a tirade of how we are no good and she is so awesome. Because I have a swollen face i no longer have to make eye contact with her for this entire parade. Which is a relief. I just draw pictures of the psychopath and she doesn’t know.
However she has sensed she has lost her hold over me and last night she text (sms) me this message with a big smiley face:
“Hi mate, hope you got home safe!! Once i get my car back I think we should have a catch up out side of class and talk art xx”
Of course I agreed, ( with no intention of complying)
Her next text was:
“Kewl! I’m excited for ya Tilly..Ya gonna make some awesome stuff!”
My interpretation of this in P speak is:
“CHIT! I have just noticed that I have lost MY control over you!! I am very poor but I will set aside priveledged time for you, out side of class where I can bully and threaten you, to tell you what you will do in art to pass.”
” I have your number Tilly, you will do what i say and give me narcissistic supply so that I get all the credit for all of your work that you have done without any help from me and i will devulge any of you your new secrets or personal life to all the staff to devalue you and you will make what i say in the class as well as your own art and I will get my n supply off you in class as well as out of class or i wont pass you and i will put shit on you every time i possibly can, which, you gotta admit Tilly, is a hellofalot!”


Since I am on the painkillers and have a swollen head, I no longer fear the stick BUT I WANT THE CARROT ( my degree).Thats why I am moving lock stock and barrel to another city next year. But I have to put up with the Ps in this class ( and there are more than two) for three more months.


Your son sure has a lot on his plate. But with you there to see him through he will be fine. I am still praying for him and you. My P daughter has been busy causing havoc behind my back since I went NC. ( I love your word “relationshit” ! lol!) My parents and her have been at my youngest son, so that when he turns up here he is on the defensive and wanting me to argue with him about stuff they have put in his head. So I said to him I am much happier not to have any contact with any of them and tell them all to go sit on a carrot. But he didn’t laugh. Then I asked how my p daught was ( I know…that was dumb!) and he said ” you don’t need to know any of that!” so I thanked him and we settled back into a calmer time. I can’t wait until she has gone back overseas and my P parents die. I prayed for my p parents to die every single night when I was a child from age five. I never missed one night until I left home. Now I am 54 and they are still going strong. God had a joke on me with that one!


Should I just keep being unavailable for this meeting “outside of class” with the P ? ( I know that will bring out the worst in her) Or should I use another strategy?? I have no idea what to do with this one Oxy.

Ox Drover

Dear Tilly,

I have an X-friend who I have realized is a border-line personality disorder, and drama-queen. She calls all the time and she also calls my sons and wants them to do things for her, and they can’t stand to be around her. Her husband though is a dear DEAR friend and very ill with heart problems etc. and we want to be around him so we ahve to have some contact with her.

Your TOOTHACHE is a great excuse—use it to the max. Like “oh, dear, I would just LOVE to spend some time out of class with you, I miss our times together, BUT, you know what horrible dental problems I have and I think I have another abscessed tooth, I am just barely able to get to class and back and do my work, it just takes all my strength, but if I felt better I would LOVE to spend time with you. I hope next week or next month or NEXT DECADE, I can find the time to visit with you.” Yea right! NOT!!!

Act down in class or in pain *(even if you aren’t) and “sick” and use that as an excuse to not interact with anyone any more than absolutely NECESSARY. Become a pitiful sick “hermit” barely able to get to class and do your work. It is only for three months, you can pull that one off since no one can SEe you don’t ahve a tooth ache.

Glad the tooth is easing up on the pain, that actually means that it is hitting the infection and you are actually getting better. Pain is a great symptom when we need it to motivate us to FIX the problem.

Thank you and everyone fo ryour prayers. Yep, actually both guys are having a fairly ahrd time lately. I have son D back on antidepressants and will set up some therapy for him as well ASAP.

Son C’s toe (second from little on left) has a dime-sized chunk taken out between them so there is swelling of entire foot (no work this week) but hope it will be better enough by next week he can go back to work on Wednesday. He couldn’t get his shoe on this morning but seems a bit less swollen tonight.

Tilly, I think with your son, the best thing is to not even discuss the Ps with him. They, OF COURSE, will bad-mouth you ALL the time (thus making him uncomfortable and him not wanting to hear it so he may start avoiding THEM) which will make them want to BAD MOUTH YOU MORE, so it may be a gift in disguise for them bad mouthing you, and may have the OPPOSITE effect they intend.

I don’t talk to my cousin about my egg donor at all.

Well, got to get up and get ready for supper, so catch you guys later or tomorrow. Love and hugs and always prayers. Oxy


Dear Oxy,

You said, “I think if you can get your mind wrapped around BOTH the STICK and the CARROT and get to a point where you NO LONGER FEAR the STICK, and NO LONGER DESIRE SO MUCH the CARROT, and just realize that it is not in your power either way, the not CARING either way, will decrease your stress.”

Thank you so much for this post!

I have been busting tush with the job search, and it’s been hard because I see so few jobs in administrative support that my BA in psych might get me in the door for — and TONS of nursing jobs open right now. If I hadn’t listened to the n/p professor and put my RN license on inactive status, I’d be working now. SO I was beating myself up over and over for being so incredible stupid…and so on.

But I don’t undo those past actions today, and I can’t make my inactive Texas license and active California one with worry! It will take time and money that I don’t have right now, and the worry will only sap my strength and prevent me from moving towards a job I can (hopefully) get.

I did fall in love with teaching. There’s nothing wrong with loving the carrot (sounds kinky, but you know what I mean)– but the carrot isn’t me! It was one really nice dream — and I overlooked a really big MEAN stick (the n/p professor and what she did to me). Not good.

I am learning to value my own inner peace above having a certain career, or having life go the way I planned, or even the dream of a happy relationship. I don’t think I have the guts to live outside in a park, but I’ve never tried. I do have the guts to face my brother now, and I didn’t think I’d get this far. I am keeping my eyes on the job search, and even getting a little snaky — when I realized how much it infuriated my brother that I’m frequently just happy for no reason, I stopped sharing that with him, on my niece’s advice. She said it just makes me more a target for his anger and insecurity. “You won’t like it, she said, “but act down for now.” I’m still spontaneously happy — I just take it outside. For now.

I don’t know what my future holds. Today I applied for a terrific job in admin at one of the local hospitals, and I found myself daydreaming about it, for a few minutes. If I got that job, I’d have enough money to take care of my needs, pay my bills, and save a little. Thinking of it, I noticed the huge weight was lifted offmy shoulders, and I felt joyful, confident and strong! Then of course I remembered I hadn’t even snagged an interview.

But I also realized: HEY! Those good feelings came from me! Just when I thought I didn’t have those things anymore (confidence or strength and certainly not joy), there they were! MINE. It was quite the moment.

Now that my carrot attraction factor (caf) has calmed down a bit, I don’t believe I’ll be so vulnerable to the stick! And I’ll keep that image in my head, thanks to you!

Please keep us posted on both your sons.

Lots of love,

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