Love Hurts

There are two people in this world with the power to caress and crush my heart in the same moment. I cannot, will not, walk away from either completely. One has been absent for a good number of years, the other stays absent only for (relatively) short periods of time, and then pops up with a short text or IM here and there.

Both set my heart throbbing, my mind spinning, my soul searching. Both warm me instantly from inside out, no matter that I realize one will be forever unavailable to me and the other just isn’t capable of reaching out.

And this is yet another reason I will be single for maybe the rest of my life. Anyone coming into my life has to live up to the incredible ways those in my past have touched my life, my heart, and my soul.

And while these two are the ones who unnerve me with their power, there are many others who made huge impacts on my life in positive ways, making me understand what I should not ever be without. A mind that challenges, a smile that melts my heart, a gentle but firm hand, a warm embrace, a shoulder to lean on, a tender kiss, a calming spirit, a capable approach, a positive outlook, a voracious appetite for love, a free spirit (or at the very least, the ability to accept mine), spontaneity, the capacity to love the world, and the desire to help others. These things are the basis of the person who I need to walk into my life. Without them, I cannot see the future extending further than the past.

My heart is pounding, my mind screaming. But I still won’t let go…

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Child Abuse is Not Restricted to One Month A Year

Once upon a time, there was a little girl. She started out fairly cute – a mop of brown curls upon her head, creamy freckled complexion, and bright green eyes. She always had a smile upon her face, a kind word for everyone.

She grew into an awkward preteen who was not pretty by any means … but did not think herself to be as ugly as she was led to believe. She had no talents, no great intelligence, and was nervous and shy. Her smile was sweet, but no longer at the ready. Instead, fear was barely hidden by the bright green eyes in her open-book face.

This young girl dreaded coming home from school in the afternoons. She dreaded showing homework or report cards to her parents. She dreaded being given a new task, fully aware she would find some way to screw it up. Most of all, she dreaded being “punished.”

Her father – the man who raised her, not her biological father – loved to make humiliation part of her punishment. He would call her names, swing his hands and wait for her to flinch, then hit her and say “That is for acting like I was going to hit you!” He would get in her face and scream, his spittle spewing all over her face, in her eyes and mouth. If she dared to wipe it away or make a sour face, he would throw her on the ground and bash her head into the carpeted floor (less likely to leave a mark, after all), screaming at her for calling attention to the spittle and embarrassing him.

Worst of all, when he had “cause,” he would send her marching to the master bedroom closet. He would order her to pull down her pants and panties, and bend over and wait. He would then strip his belt from his pants, or grab one from the hanger in the closet, and strike her with all his might. If she fell forward, he would yank her to her feet by her hair and scream at her to stand still. The entire time he “punished” her, he would yell and holler and scream that she shouldn’t be so stupid, and then he wouldn’t have to do this to teach her a lesson.

When her legs would give out from beneath her because the blood was rushing from her head and to her swollen, bleeding buttocks, back, hips, and thighs, he would kick her and tell her to stand back up. If she could not stand of her own accord, he would once again grab her by the hair – or worse yet, her ear – and yank her to a standing position and throw her out of the closet. He would tell her to get dressed and get out of his sight, because she disgusted him with her stupidity and weakness.

Once, the young girl tried telling her father she was menstruating. He screamed at her for speaking up, then ripped her clothing away. And when she bled on his carpet (she had terribly heavy cycles, and stress only made them worse), he rubbed her face in it and beat her head into the carpet, then ripped her hair out of her head and yelled at her to clean it up. He would not let her dress first, and told her if she got any more mess on the carpet, she would regret it. She did, and she did. He kicked her so hard, she couldn’t breathe for what felt like an eternity. Then, he sent her to bed with no food and no water and no protection from making a mess on her sheets and mattress. The next morning, she was beat again for the mess she made “because of (her) stupidity!”

This young girl, who woke every morning determined to be better, smarter, prettier, so as not to upset her father, had a hard time waking to her alarm. She did not ever feel as though she had enough sleep, despite having a bedtime of 8pm throughout her life, and she always seemed to incorporate her alarm into her dreams, rather than waking up properly. Her father started getting fed up with this, and suddenly one morning, she found herself flying out of bed, and then suffocating beneath her mattress while her father laughed at her struggle to untangle herself from the sheets and blankets and find a way to get her face free from the pressing mattress so she could breathe. It was not the last time she would suffer this fearful awakening, and it did not ever get any easier to handle.

When any of the young girl’s neighbors, or her parents’ friends, or her extended family, made a comment about how good or sweet or kind or wonderful she was, her father would look at her with a secret smile and say, “Oh yeah, she’s a good kid.” Later, she knew she what was coming. He would come to her room when she was reading or doing homework, and he would tirade about how she had the world fooled, and how only he knew the truth about how stupid and ignorant she really was.

In many ways, this young girl knew she had a good life. She had a beautiful bedroom in a beautiful home. She never went hungry – unless she was being punished – and she did not lack clothing or toys or books or games. She knew she was lucky to have new clothes when so many of her friends did not. She knew she was fortunate to have a warm house in the winter and a cool house in the summer. She was thankful her parents could afford to buy nice things for the family – the beautiful home, the beautiful things that filled it, the boat that was so much fun on the weekends, and delicious food.

These blessings did not stop this young girl from wishing she had something more. A kind word. A mother with whom she could have an honest conversation, without fear she would then inform her husband of everything the girl had said. The permission to have friends call or come over so they could play games or talk or ride bikes. The knowledge that if she tried her best, it would be good enough, and not a reason for more “punishment.”

Despite her many shortcomings, the young girl felt shame for only one reason: asking her younger sister to take the blame for the broken glass, or spilled drink, or torn clothing, or unfinished chores. While she knew her sister was not ever “punished,” she still wept if her sister was spoken to in a stern voice, or put on restriction from her favorite toy. Knowing her sister would not be hit was not enough to stop the shame she felt for not just allowing, but BEGGING, her sister to take the blame for even the smallest of discrepencies. Worse, feeling the shame was not enough to stop her from asking – begging – again. Which made her feel even worse.

It is very rare that a person has an exact period of time pinpointed when their personality changes. This young girl has a letter from a teacher that adored her, asking her to please come forward if she was being hurt or abused. He noticed her smile no longer came freely, that she no longer reached out to students who were hurting or scared or being made fun of by peers. She no longer volunteered to help him in the classroom, and she no longer came to school with a bounce in her step. He asked her if someone was ill, or had passed away, or if she was being hurt by anyhone at home.

She was in fourth grade. There *had* been abuse before then: a favorite of her father was to put her in the corner, make her stand on her tip toes, and put needles or thumb tacks under her heels, so if she dared to try to relax her feet – or worse, if she lost her balance or her feet cramped up and she fell down from the tip to perch – she would be pierced. Other punishments were being forced to eat food until she threw up because she ate too quickly, or being told to slam her hand in the sliding glass door because she ALMOST accidentally closed it on her sister’s fingers. Or being picked up by an ear or her hair and shaken violently. Or the time she was stabbed with a fork because she wasn’t hungry when her father told her to eat. Or hit with her doll – busting her head open and scaring her mother to death because she was found trying to hide bloody napkins so as not to get in trouble from her mother as well.

But prior to the fourth grade, the punishments were more sporadic, with many more loving and kind things being brought her way. More hugs. More kisses. More laughter.

Mostly, though, prior to the fourth grade, her mother took most of the punishment. And the girl much prefered to be punished INSTEAD of her mother, because it was terrible lying in bed and hearing her mother sobbing in pain and fear. It was much easier to be the one crying and hurting. Especially when she could make sure it happened before her mother came home, so she didn’t even know how often it was happening.

At one point, the girl was forced into lying to the guidance counseler, the police, and the social workers. Until they made her lift her shirt so they could examine her back, and they found the crisscrosses of bruises, broken skin, and scabs. Then, it was a relief to finally admit what happened to someone who might do something.

Except it happened again … and again … and when it stopped happening, finally, she also stopped receiving any love. She was told she caused her parents, and her siblings, too much pain. That she didn’t deserve to spend evenings with the family so she should go to her room and sit at her desk. No, she couldn’t read her books. Just sit there. Think about what she’d done to the family. Think about what she’d done to her father’s career. Think about how she’d embarassed her mother. Think about how she’d almost broken their family apart and ruined her siblings’ lives. Think … think … think.

What she thought about was killing herself. Nobody would miss her, would they? Not if she only caused pain and anger.

And then her grandparents called her … and she was reminded: SOMEONE loved her. A lot of someones. Just because they were not in her physical world every day to soothe her heart and shield her from feeling unwelome in her own home did not mean they would not miss her. And for that day, she could no longer imagine killing herself, because it would cause her grandparents too much pain.

When she went to school, her friends – and their friends – would surround her, protect her from prying eyes and questions. Love her, completely. Her two closest friends – they were cousins – would hold her cold hands, infuse her with warmth and love, pour their strength into her. Their boyfriends would walk her to class, keep everyone else away from her. Her other friends would wave and smile, unsure what was going on, but knowing it was worse than normal.

And again she remembered … SOMEONE loved her. A lot of someones. Just because they could not go home with her and protect her from the hatred and guilt being projected from her parents eyes and mannerisms and words did not mean they would not miss her. And for that day, she could no longer imagine killing herself, because it would cause her friends too much pain.

Her aunt, uncle, and cousins came for the holidays. They made sure to treat her as a teenager and not as though she were the same age as her siblings and cousins – all seven years and more her junior. They bought her grown-up gifts and spoke to her as though she could make her own decisions, and would pull her aside and tell her to be strong, that they loved her, and they would always be there for her.

And again she remembered … SOMEONE loved her. A lot of someones. Just because they could not stay in her home forever and protect her from the anger and abuse did not mean they would not miss her. And for that day, she could no longer imagine killing herself, because it would cause her aunt and uncle too much pain.

She still believed she was a bad influence on her siblings, because her parents told her they only did things wrong when she was there to influence them. That when she wasn’t allowed to spend time with them, they were good children who did as they were told and tried to please their parents. That all the things she did wrong were making them want to do wrong too, because they saw all the attention she got from her parents and it was taking attention away from them. So, she withdrew inside of herself. And when she was old enough to move away, she stayed away. She did not want her siblings to be like her. She wanted them to grown up strong, and smart, and beautiful. She wanted them to feel love from their parents and not use her as a role model. She wanted them to succeed in life. And she knew if she was there, and they acted like her, they too would fail.

She lost the opportunity to make her brother see how much she loved and cherished him, for he died in a car wreck with three of his friends. She still reaches out to her sister, to try to make her understand … but always feels as though she falls short.

————————————

Originally, when I began writing this, it was in response to finding out that a FRIEND of mine was being prosecuted for abusing her daughter. Her excuse was, “I didn’t know better.” Bullshit. It hurt you … so why would you do it to your own child? I have written her a letter, careful to keep my anger at bay. But I needed to vent in some way. This was how it came out.

I had much more to say, but I’d been up all night crying and frustrated, and by the time I got to that last paragraph, I was feeling overwhelmed with grief and needed to sleep. I intended to get back to this and write more, but I just cannot do it. I’ve worked so hard to put my own abuse in the past, where it belongs. Sometimes it jumps out at me, but I don’t like letting it take a front seat to my life.

Child abuse does not always affect a person’s whole life the way it has mine. I find it easier to connect with strangers over the web than with my family. I find my anger boils forth quickly and explosively, no matter how hard I try to control it. And I find that fear stops me from doing a lot of things I know I should be doing. Or could be doing.

I don’t use abuse as an excuse for any of my shortcomings. I readily accept that I am flawed. I try apologize when necessary, and I do my best to make sure the people I love know they are loved. Still, abuse DID shape me. I’ve come to terms with many things, I could probably work on others some more. The biggest, most positive thing I have done is to stop the cycle of abuse. My daughter knows she is loved, appreciated, valued, and adored. She may not always want to come to me with everything (though she does with most things), but she does know that when she or her trusted adult come to me with a problem, I am not going to abuse her … I am going to work with her to correct the situation.

I will say, the two girls who found help for me are still a core part of my life. My BFF and I have been through hell and back together. She reminds me of my strengths, she buoys me when I feel as though I could drown, and she loves me unconditionally. She is the ONE person who has seen me at my worst, my ugliest, my meanest, on more than one occasion, and STILL fights for our friendship.  My friend K and I lost touch for a while, and reconnected a couple of years ago – and I am grateful we did. She reminds me in a different way of my strengths, she brings a different perspective to my life, and she shares in my joys and sorrows. In two very different yet very similar ways, I admire these two women and aspire to be as strong and beautiful as they are. And I am forever grateful to them for saving my life … had they not stepped in, I may have eventually given in to the desire to disappear.

*** Note: this was written late one night (5ish in the morning, really). There may be a ton of spelling/grammar/etc mistakes that you would not typically see from me. I’m not re-reading this to correct them, though. It was painful enough the first time.

xoxo

15 Years Ago …

My ex-husband and I welcomed a beautiful baby girl into this world. She was 8 lbs 2 oz, 21.5″ long. She had a head full of curly dark brown hair, silky white porcelain skin, and the prettiest grey eyes I had ever seen.

This past Sunday, the very same baby girl looked like a regal princess as she celebrated her Quinceañera with family & friends.  She had picked out five “inspiration” cakes and requested that all five patterns make it onto her cake. She’d also specifically requested a bow on top.

For her outfit, she’d requested a new dress and a tiara. And she’d very specifically asked for a small celebration.

My best friend did an amazing job combining all five inspiration cakes into a single fabulous cake. We managed to get a few bows made in time to put on top of the cake. And the birthday girl received a fabulous tiara, dress, earrings, and bracelet for her birthday outfit.

It was a very happy day for her, and she couldn’t stop smiling all day. ❤


                        

THANK YOU, my friends

Many of you became my friends because you were busy helping me root on my BFF’s baby, who was born with cancer. Her first year was spent mostly in the hospital, both during chemotherapy treatment and in the days after chemotherapy when her AP levels would freak out and we’d have to rush her in to be stabilized again.

It was a scary freaking year. We spent a lot of time deliberately looking for joyful things to celebrate, but we really just wanted to cry through a lot of it. Yes, I say “we” like I am one of her parents … I love BFF’s kids just as much as I do my own, and they treat me like a Mom when I’m around. Their father – who trusts NO ONE with his children – trusts me implicitly to care for them when he or BFF cannot be there (and, even when one of them IS but needs help).

Those of you who were there, rooting Baby S along, sending gifts and postcards and emails and blog comments, money for the hospital trips, food, and hospital care packages … thank you. Those of you who prayed, sent out positive thoughts and vibes, meditated, sent along warm thoughts, and sang her praises … thank you. Those of you who read along and cried with us, for us .. thank you. Those of you who were suffering your own scary rides but spared a moment for us, thank you. Thank you all for every little or big contribution you made.

Baby S is now a daredevil little THREE YEAR OLD girl who reminds us more of her older brother than anything, because she’s constantly dirty from running around outside. She’s like Pigpen from Peanuts, she just cannot stay clean. We can bathe her, dress her, and turn around … by the time we finish a full circle, she’s dirty. It is HILARIOUS. BFF is mortified sometimes, because we’ll go out and realize her feet are black or her clothes are dirty or her hair looks like it hasn’t been brushed in a decade (though in reality, it is usually multiple times daily). The girl is just a mess.

And we love every stinking dirty millimeter of that mess. She is so full of life and love and energy and happiness and excitement and pure joy. For a little girl who started out life constantly being prodded, unable to spend more than a couple of days OUT of the hospital … she has rebounded perfectly.

She isn’t completely out of the woods – she’s only been cancer-free for two years. But every single day is a gift with ANY child, and especially the ones like Baby S – who started life with seemingly insurmountable odds.

A couple of photos in the last few weeks of Baby S … At Disney World with her siblings this past week, on the back porch with my daughter, in the car on the way to Disney, and posing in the grass at the strawberry fields. Enjoy, rejoice, and remember: positive energy from you helped to create these beautiful moments.

Rant.

Yes, I’m great at ranting. And since this will be a rant, let me start off by saying YES I know my blog is ugly. NO I don’t care. I can’t afford to host it anywhere else to give it my own domain name (which I lost when I wasn’t able to pay for it … I don’t even remember when it was due). YES I know there are places I can get a new “look” from, but I just don’t have the patience to deal with it. I’ve been itching to blog, and this blog was still here (incredible, since I haven’t used it in … years). So here I am, blogging. Bitching. It IS what I do best, isn’t it?

Now down to the REAL reason for this rant session.
My whole life, I have eaten steak well-done. My parents raised me that way. My Mother & Stepfather, I should say. My Dad is horrified every time I tell him I want my steak well-done, and he harasses me about eating cardboard blah blah blah. Let me tell you – both my Mom & Stepdad can cook my steaks all the way through WITHOUT making it taste like cardboard or feel as heavy as a rock. So maybe the problem is that nobody else knows how to cook it that way and make it taste good? Maybe they don’t have the talent to cook a steak through without drying it out? That’s the only reason I can think of that anyone would get OFFENDED that when I eat at their house, I would request my steak well-done. I mean, what’s it to you? I’m the one who has to eat the damned thing.

And here’s the deal. When I eat a steak anything less than medium-well-well (more well than medium-well, less well than rock-hard lump of coal), I get sick. The smell of the blood makes me nauseous WHILE I eat. Then, later – hours later – my stomach cramps up. My body starts shaking. My head starts pounding. I feel like I am dying. And it lasts, FOR HOURS.

So you tell me. Is it easier for you to just cook the damned steak for another 5 minutes, or for me to pay the consequences of not offending you?

My daughter has watched this transaction for years. YEARS. I used to let her try to eat her steaks less-than-well-done. After all, all the experts say that a steak shouldn’t be cooked well-done. “They” say that meat is best at a medium or medium-rare state. However, about 5 years ago, her body started reacting in a similar manner. So I started ordering hers the same as mine. And she watches while people ridicule me, berate me, and bitch at me.

Yesterday, she went to her boyfriend’s house for a cookout. They serve their steaks medium without asking whether anyone wants it cooked a different way. She wasn’t thinking about how the steak should be cooked until she sat down to eat. She cut into it, saw the juice running out, and – not wanting to offend her boyfriend’s family – ate it anyway.

Fast forward to today. School. She’s up early, out the door, in a great mood because she spent the whole afternoon and evening with her boyfriend yesterday. In her first class of the day, she starts cramping up. She assumes it will go away. Second class, her hands start shaking. Her head starts pounding. Her teacher has to have someone HELP  her to the clinic – she can’t even stand up straight. She’s shaking, and now she’s crying because she’s scared. She has no idea what’s wrong. She tries to call me, but can’t get through so she calls her Aunt Christy … who can’t even recognize it is her on the phone because she sounds so terrible.

I’m angry. Unreasonably so. And not at her, or her boyfriend’s family. At all the damn people who have harassed me over the  years about my choice to eat meat well-done. This is not something I do lightly. I do it because for whatever reason, that’s how my body needs it to be cooked. And who are YOU to judge me for that? Screw you.

Don’t get me wrong. I pick on people when they are allergic to something I automatically throw into my meals (mushrooms, onions, garlic). PICK on them. I don’t harass them. I don’t get angry that I have to do something different. I joke with them. And then I tell them my steak stories. Because I know. I KNOW.

So … next time someone tells you they can’t eat something a certain way, please don’t get angry. How you do things in your family is NOT how everyone does it. And I can guarantee you that there are more people who do it a different way than you can possibly imagine. You just don’t happen to be surrounded by them. Just like that person isn’t surrounded by people who do it THEIR way.

Ok. I think I’m done ranting about this. I’m going to check on my baby girl, who is miserable and in bed, and I can’t do anything to fix her. :/

Status: Unknown :(

I’m a pretty simple gyrl. I like happiness in my life, and I enjoy people. All kinds of people. I am something different to many people, but my many “personalities” do not mean I am trying to hide myself. Rather, I am a person who enjoys many things and I adapt well to the things that people need from me.

What I want from life is to enjoy my life, live it well, live it in a peaceful manner, and to bring happiness to those around me in the things I do and say.

Something that has been brought up to me recently is that in many of my online hotspots, my relationship status is listed as “taken.” This has, I believe, recently changed, although that has nothing to do with my flirty manner. I am always flirty, moreso when I have people that cavort with me. Whether or not i am in a relationship has nothing to do with the way I respond to people and converse online. It has little to do with the way i conduct myself in a person-to-person situation, either, since I do not go hopping from one person’s bedroom to another.

I hug a lot in person. I link arms with people. I hold hands with my friends when we’re talking or walking. It is something i have always done, and it is a way to connect with the people i care about. It doesn’t stop because I’ve given my heart to a person to hold.

Recently, my S.O. has been … missing. We go through this every other year or so, for a few months. This time, though, I believe I have lost my patience, and I do think that if he decides to start calling/texting/emailing/IMing again, I will not be receptive in the “everything is ok” way. I think this time I will pick up where we left off, but keep it on a friends-only basis. The fact that he lives 2600 miles from me makes a serious relationship difficult enough. But he’s afraid of the commitment I require before picking up and moving, and I refuse to change my demands in that respect. I’m not asking for a marriage proposal. Just an I-love-you without restraint. An open heart, and a promise to try hard to work things out. I deserve that much, and have not yet gotten it. I love him, but I cannot sacrifice my security and safety of being near people that love me to move to a state so far away without knowing that I will be loved in return once I get there.

This is all a very pared-down version of our story. It is long, complicated, and difficult to express. Suffice to say that I love him, want to be with him … am pretty sure he loves me and wants to be with me … but I know his fear of being crushed a second time in his life is hindering his ability to open up to me in the ways that I need.

Thanks for listening. I will try to correct the “taken” statuses to lessen the confusion of the people around me.

Peace.Love.Happiness.

DevylGyrl  

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Family Recipe

I promised my sweet friend (and online-adopted-daughter) Hunee that I would share my recipe of Mole (pronounced moh-lay) with her. However, two or three other people asked too, so I decided to share it via blog! How lucky are you? ~smiles~

All kidding aside, if you like Mexican dishes and a little heat, you’ll like this.

I have been told by my friend Stalking Happiness that this is not a traditional “Mole” recipe, but is more like another dish (I believe she called it pipian, which is also mentioned in the Wiki Mole Sauce page). I’ve found though, this depends on where in Mexico you are from. My family’s Mole recipe lacks the sweet, sugary, chocolate flavor. I don’t do sweet chocolate sauce on chicken. It just isn’t appealing to me. I’ve always added the chocolate to the recipe, just in smaller doses I guess. This sauce is a warm, highly seasoned, hearty sauce. I hope you enjoy!

NoteOur recipe calls for plain “chili powder” and then also a branded chili powder called “Mexene“. The Mexene is basically a chili powder blend with cumin & other spices in it – it is far superior to most brands that we have found. So, try your best to find it, but if you can’t, just use another kind that has similar ingredients (you can see the ingredient list on their website).

I hope you enjoy the recipes. 

 

 

MEXICAN RICE

 

1 ½ cups long grain rice         1 ½ Tbsp oil

½ tsp salt                                    ½ tsp pepper

¼ tsp garlic powder                1 tomato peeled

1 bay leaf                                    2 cups hot water

 

Wash and drain rice.  Heat oil in skillet, then add rice.  Brown and stir carefully! In blender add tomato, salt, pepper, garlic and blend.  Add to rice with 2 cups hot water.  Bring to a boil then cover on medium heat till boils dry.  DON’T STIR!!!  Add enough cold water to cover rice about 1- ½ cups. DON’T STIR!!  Bring to a boil then cover and cook dry.


In case you didn’t notice, it is imperative to AVOID the temptation to stir!!


Hint: I also add about a teaspoon of Mexene to this recipe, and toss it into the blender with the other seasonings. 🙂

 

MOLE

 

Pork Roast                        2  Bay leaves

2 Tbsp oil                          4  slices of toast

1 large Tbsp of flour        4  tsp  chili powder

½ tsp cumin                      ½ tsp  garlic powder

Salt and pepper               2  tsp  Mexene Chili Powder (a specific brand)

1 tbsp chocolate powder or chocolate sauce

Hint: The amount of Mexene you use should correspond to the amount of heat you like in your food. I use a whole small bottle or a 3/4 of the larger bottle. I like the taste 😀

Cut pork into bite size pieces and brown in oil.  Simmer with 3 cups of water for 1 hour.   In blender add toast pieces, flour, chili powder, cumin, garlic, salt and pepper, chocolate powder/sauce, and Mexene.  Add 2 c of Hot water, cover and blend.  Add to the pork. 


Add water to thin the sauce if needed (it should have a thick, gravy-like consistancy). 


Simmer for 30 minutes.


I really hope you enjoy the recipe. It takes a while to cook, but it is SO worth the wait!

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