Love resides here…

17 03 2014

I am in the mist of this really good thing.  It is a world of enough.  Enough money, enough love, enough time, where bad things never happen.  Like some paralleled universe to my own and when I am in his arms I am so safe.  Everything is quiet and wonderful and the world was created to be enjoyed.

I had to fight back the fear that hit when I first went there.  It felt irrational to feel safe and scared.   Fear that I didn’t belong there and would never live in that world.   I get angry at my brain but I also appreciate it.  I don’t stay stuck too long.  I move on to being OK with who and where I am in my life.

It doesn’t matter if I don’t belong… for what ever reason I am here.  Life is good.  I have for this moment a respite if I take it.  A few days a week of visiting a foreign country and experiencing what the world might have been like had the dice rolled differently on the day I was born.

I take it knowing that the days may be numbered.  That it is just another thing to add to my experience bank.  I drink it in and steal back to my life which is abnormally good right now.  A world of sharing new baby’s, having my needs provided for and being appreciated.

For now we pass from one world to the other seamlessly without settling in.  We are, just for a time, observing.

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Recently inspired…

27 07 2013

“The Beautiful thing is that healing happens and one day you can actually wake up and find that what “defined you” is just part of a long ago history that really isn’t important at all. It is easier said than done, but sometimes you’re looking so hard at a way to make it happen that you don’t realize, it just does.

You wake up and find loving yourself doesn’t need excuses, it doesn’t need validation, it isn’t something you need to earn. You were born deserving it and one day you just know that nothing anyone did to you after birth changed that fact.

Then you look around and realize this is YOUR life and every moment is a new one to start fresh and paint again what you want it to look like from here on and THAT becomes the focus of your whole life, just to be in the beautiful world that you want to live in.”

I have landed in a place in my life that there is little for me to feel inspired to share anymore.  It has become a drama free zone and like someone slipping into a pool on a warm day I am just soaking in it and feeling blessed.

I really am not painting or creating anything.  It is part of the tapes of my growing up to feel that there is something really wrong with that.  The just breathing and taking up air without contributing to the world in any way that others profit from, but strangely enough they are missing from all the moments of my life now.

I feel Gratitude.  I feel love.  I hear silence where there has never been silence before and don’t question it.  Don’t fear that it’s a fleeting gift.  I aim for being a mirror of it.

I don’t fear being a sponge.  I know who and what I am, finally.  I am soaking in what I have now.  This part of my life is no longer connected to the life I had.  It’s not even based on who I was before.

Something miraculous has happened.  I reached a point where I stopped believing I earned pain in this life: That I deserved pain.   I can almost put my finger on when it happened and I can see the whole world changed to accommodate that new belief.

When you stop the way the world is spinning and spin it in the other direction, for a moment everything stops and you’re caught in the blur as you’re still spinning.  That’s where I have been and I feel like I am IN the moment of clarity, peace and silence that is that moment before it changes direction and everything begins again.

I am moving into a selfish zone where I get something for myself out of the life I have left.  I KNOW the reason we were put on the planet was so that something existed here that could appreciate all that God has done and I do.

I don’t know if you will want to be where I am.  I don’t even know if I will wake up tomorrow and be here myself but for this moment in time Life is so beautiful.

Without any artificial enhancements of any kind I assure you, the sadness, the blackness, they are all perfectly balanced and perfectly beautiful and it’s really OK to experience the other side.





Confessions of a Grooveshark Junky…

13 06 2013

I though “Crimson and Clover”was the most beautiful song alive.  I would lay on the floor with a speaker on each side of my head, and listen in awe as the music shifted from one side to the other.  It was one of my first experiences with STEREO sound!  Most of my records were passed down by my parents and all mono till then.  I had a “stereo”, but you couldn’t experience that sound without a stereo record!

I have one real addiction in my old age, Grooveshark.  All my music is on cassettes.  I discovered that not everything is replaceable  when I went out looking for a new one to replace the stereo from my grandfather.   It had begun to eat my tapes.  You know you can’t buy a decent cassette player anymore!

Somewhere in a plastic grocery sack, in a box, in a storage unit, in California, is my cassette collection, complete with about 20 personal recordings of my own family, that will never be played again.  Oh well.  Such is life.  It was more heartbreaking then when I discovered I could no longer buy 126 film for my camera that was literally glued to my right hand till then.

Anyway I found myself alone for the first time in my life only about 5 years ago.  I left my husband.  I had my clothes and my computer, and a tiny apartment on the second floor of a converted building that was once a flour mill.

I borrowed camping gear from my kids till I could get some furniture.  I bought two bath towels and 2 knives, forks, and spoons from the open stock at Walmart.  I cooked in the same pot that I ate out of and slept in a sleeping bag on the floor.

I had 2 camp chairs so I could have company and that was it.  My apartment echoed for the whole first month because I had to save every last penny I earned to pay off the deposit that my landlord graciously let me move in without paying.

It was then that I discovered Grooveshark.  There were several versions of it but it took me no time at all to realize that laying on my stomach on the bare wood floor for hours picking out music wasn’t working for me, so Grooveshark was it.  I am up to 10 playlists to fit my every mood now, and this is what has made me the junky that I am.

I have all my favorites from when I first discovered music in my teens on one.  I have all the country that my mother loved and those old fifty’s tunes of my fathers that I grew up with on others.  I have my workout music, and my suicidal music, dish washing music some clasical, some jazz, 80’s hits, and a whole list of odd ball stuff I have collected that I can’t put a heading on.  Pat Metheny, Alanis Morissette, Dan Hicks, and Nils Molvaer couldn’t have less in common but their all on that list!

My best friend lived right next door and often brought me coffee in the mornings.  She would sit with me and listen and talk for hours some days and we made her up a list so we could play her favorites when she was there.

Tommie was just a few years older than I, and we didn’t listen to a lot of the same stuff, but she knew music.  You could say a few lines and she could tell you what the song was, what year it came out and who did it.  When she wasn’t around I would remember a few words and have to type them into Google, so that I could add it to one of my lists.  We spent a lot of our hours together just remembering all the music we ever loved and sharing it with each other.

When I wasn’t at work, back in that empty apartment it was all I had; just me and the music.  I would lay on that sleeping bag and crank it up.  In just a few seconds I would be whisked away.  With one song I would be 11 again, laying on the diving board enjoying the sun and the calm of my Aunts pool just getting a tan.  With another I would be crying out all the pain my heart was hanging on to with long choking sobs.  With others I would be heart to heart right next to my parents, both gone for years now.

For three years I lived in that apartment and I never got used to living alone.  I hated every minute when someone else wasn’t there, and it seemed like it would never end.  The music often went all night long.  One of my first acquisitions when I started buying things were a set of headphones so that I could crank it up without disturbing Alice downstairs.

One day I just decided I couldn’t do it anymore.  Living alone wasn’t for me and I went about changing my life, yet again.  Now here I am living in Florida, over 2000 miles away from my kids, my friend and everything I knew then.

Funny thing that playlist of my best friends picks has become my favorite list now; and it always takes me right back there to the two of us having coffee and Groovesharking music together.

This one is for you Tommie!  “It’s My Life”  Heart to Heart again.





Flashbacks

12 06 2013

window

It’s late on a Thursday night in 1991 when the ambulance brings me into the back entrance and they take me inside.   The sound of the door is heavy and metallic clanging shut behind us.  They show me to a small bare white room with only a sink, a toilet and a bare mattress.

I curl up on the mattress and can’t sleep the words sticking my haid wrong wrong wrong wrong head and scaring me.  stop stop stop stop malfunction lockup lockup lockup lockup lockup … long animal like screams coming from other rooms…terrify me.

He is there “please, please, please, don’t, send, a man, in here!” … I am under the sink and won’t come out and cry; He returns again and again so that is where I stay.

This and the screaming go on late into the night.  Several cycles of me sleeping intermittently between the visits where he seems as uncomfortable as I am with his presence there.  They keep tormenting us both by sending him in again and again.

Time passes and I can’t stand my teeth.  I am tormented as much by them as by the men they keep sending into my room.  They just stand inside the door.  Out, out outoutoutoutoutoutout!, I scream at him.  But they don’t move.  When I turn and face the wall quiet he finally leaves.

The next one is just a kid and looks as scared as I am and I feel sorry for him.  We just stay in our assigned places till the time has passed and he too is allowed to leave.

I scramble back to my mattress and try again to sleep.  Words words words words…the chanter guy comes back and mumbles over the top of them so that i don’t hear them any more.

It must be getting close to morning as the screaming is back.  Long wild monkey wails of grief and torment.  ”48 hour hold”.  I can do this,  but then it is the weekend and no one comes; NO ONE.

I am alone for how long;  I don’t know.  I sleep till I can sleep no more and drink water from the sink.  The lights are always on and I can’t tell the day from the night.  The screams come and go and I am left alone.

My teeth are making me crazy and no one has been here for a very long time.  It is quiet again.  I try the door and it opens.

I hadn’t seen anything when I came in.  The fear was shutting me down.  Now I look out and mine is the first door in a long hall next to the nurses station.  A small square room with windows on all sides with the one that has a pass through and a metal vented circle to speak through on my side.

A much larger room surrounds it  with lots of chairs and a TV up in the corner high up on the wall.

The floor is brown with a path of cream tiles going all around the outside of the room just one tile space from the walls.  No one is out and I think if I stay on the cream tiles it is safe.

I slip out the door and walk that safe path to the window and whisper to the nurse.  ”may I have a toothbrush please?”  She makes me repeat it and it is almost more than I can do.  The tired weighs down on me again and the need to go back to my room.

She can see that it is hard for me and steps out and presses one into my hands.  It is cheep, white, and wrapped in cellophane with a small envelope of pink powder.

Suddenly there are people moving everywhere, someone brings me a peanut butter sandwich and chocolate milk I forget to follow the path and let them lead me to a table where I can sit down to eat.

For the first time since I came I realize that I am hungry.   I have no idea how long its been since I have eaten.  I manage a thank you but other than that we don’t speak.  When I am done I ask to go back to my room.

Now there is a problem: The table is in the middle of the room.  I don’t remember leaving the white trail of tiles against the wall but am suddenly very anxious about it.  Just do it; there is no other way!

I take several big steps and get back to the wall and am breathing hard when I get there.  Now I can safely make my way around the room to the corner, turn, then to the first wall of the nurses station, turn, to the corner, turn, to the corner, turn, carefully retracing the path back to my room.

When I step inside I am unsure that this is the room I left.  Sink and toilet are in the same place but now there is a cot so that the mattress is up off the floor and there are crisp clean white sheets, a blanket and a pillow on it.

I went to the sink, wet the brush and poured the pink powder into my palm and rubbed the brush into it.  I scrubbed and scrubbed my teeth until they returned to their normal state of smoothness.

The sheets smell of bleach and it is such a comfort to slip between them that in moment I am sound asleep… but as I do I get it…They offered me nothing till I made some request.  I did something right and this was my reward.

Monday comes and the therapist has me brought to his office.  They have extended my 48 hour hold “my behavior is to bizarre, to return me to the general population”.  I cry as they take me back to my room.  It is clear they can keep me as long as I don’t conform to what they want from me.

I am assigned a psychiatrist.  He asks what medications they have given me in the past and I tell him that everyone wants to give me Lithium and that I hate it because it makes me feel drugged.  I tell him my Dr’s keep telling me its only a salt and CAN’T do that.

He says IF you need Lithium you feel nothing when you take it, but if a normal person takes Lithium they feel drugged.  Finally I feel heard.  I have found someone who listens and will work with me to fix this.

He is trying me on some medication.  I take it the first few times but don’t like it’s effects and begin to refuse to take it.  I get called back into his office and he says he will change it.

Now I am lucid in my mind but my body is stiff and robotic.  I feel the drool from the side of my mouth and can only imagine what I must look like.  I grieve for what I have become…this shell of a person that can’t function or interact with others in any tangible way.

I get it.  I feel angry and tricked.  I have a right to refuse but they can do worse.  I will do what ever he wants.  Get me off this and out of here.  I can’t be this anymore.

Once I start to co-operate I am off the locked ward and sharing a room with someone else.  My roommate tries to cut her wrist with a safety razor, I am thinking of ways to remove the blade from the plastic but say nothing.  She is an idiot.

I ask for something to draw on and am given a rather nice flip book of blank paper and some pencils.  I am beyond grateful for the gift.

Now I am required to go to group.  There are men in the group.  The first day they confront me about my behavior when I was first admitted.  I tell them I was afraid.  Of what?  I say “I don’t know”.

The groups facilitator is quiet a moment like he is thinking about that.  Then he says.  ”I believe that”.  ”I really believe that you don’t know” and he moves on to the next person.

Every day I take my drugs.  I go to meals, and to our exercise periods, and I go to group.  Other than that I lay on my bed and draw.  I think about my children and wonder what they know.

Some how I let it out that i have been raped in one of those groups.  I don’t even know when or how.  I just know that one day I am in a group with a guy who has been in them with me before and he is talking about “going down to the boulevard and picking them sweet young strawberries.”WP_003086

I ask him what he means, and he says he picks up underage girls that will trade sex for drugs.  I totally lose it then and think I will rip his hair out, I am screaming as they pull me from the room and He is saying “I ain’t the one who raped you bitch! “

That night I am dreaming that I am sitting on my bed and there are lots of pills on the night table.   I am sliding them off and taking them one at a time saying “I don’t want to go home”.  ”I don’t want to go home”, and taking another and another.

They don’t make me go to group anymore.

I have been in almost 2 months when I am called in for a long conference with the psychiatrist who has been prescribing my drugs.  He tells me they are thinking of letting me go home and I break down and cry.

He asks about the side effects of the drugs they have been giving me lately and I tell him that I don’t notice them anymore.  I feel good.  In fact that this is the first time anyone has given me anything that seemed like it really helped.  They give me one months supply of med’s and release me to go home.

For the first three days I am curled up on the couch when I am not asleep I pretend that I am so that I don’t have to deal with anyone, till I realize that no one will push me.  I can do what I can and rest when I must.

Finally I begin to do what I used to do.  I wake up and clean and help with homework and we learn what it is to be a family again.  In a short time I go back to work.  At first its clear they are watching me but before long they forget to do so and everything is normal again.

I have my life back and that is more than I ever hoped for just 2 short months ago.





I’m up early…

6 06 2013

and sitting by the window watching the fog lift on our back yard.  As I lay in bed for over an hour this morning going over what the day would bring, I was looking for that first glimpse of light that would signal it had arrived.  Finally, tired of waiting got up to find that it was here but obstructed by the haze.

I came to WordPress looking to make a separate life for myself from the world that I find myself in and the move was a good one.  I find I don’t just come here to write but to read and it’s become a place of inspiration and encouragement.  I have several blogs that I follow now and add more daily.   If you weed carefully through the sites that are clearly here for self promotion you find blooms of extraordinary value.

I forget sometimes that this identity crisis that I am going through is pretty normal for people my age, and way past expected for what I just did!   I have ended a long term relationship; my children have all moved on; I have moved clear across the country leaving loved ones, pets, and all my possessions behind; I am going through “the change” and I don’t have a job!

Top that off with the fact that I shaved my head and for so long didn’t recognize the person that I saw in the mirror and it’s no wonder at all that I felt a bit crazy!  I get wrapped up in the fact that my own stuff compounds it, but boy oh boy is this normal!

Daily exercise was something that took me years to incorporate into my life and I just seemed to let go of it when I got here.  I thought picking it back up when I was ready would be easy as I have so much time now to do it, but it has turned into more of a challenge then I thought.

It was kind of funny to experience that first day as it was several days coming, and just to finally get to it, I was having to yell at myself every minute like I was a small child not wanting to get ready for school.  “I don’t care that you don’t want to … YOU HAVE TO… just DO IT!”   The second day was easier and today before my eyes even opened I was feeling around for my ball to work out with.

I am still only doing a few exercises every morning but I know myself well enough to know I will do more and more as I feel my body getting stronger.  I do love working out.  I am surprised that I have to let my body discover that again and again.   Someday every part of me will know this and I won’t have to try so hard to keep at it.

Sometimes we think we need a closet full of shoes…when just one boot will do.

Speaking of time… I have a huge awareness of the fact that I have so much of it that I can really experience so many things that I have missed since I was a child.  Once I had children of my own it was easy to feel overwhelmed by all that had to be done each day, and not take a moment to really feel and enjoy just being alive.

I lived next to a church steeple once and it was the only clock I had at the time.  I loved hearing it chime.  While I was walking down town yesterday it turned 2 o’clock.  I was in the very center of town and could hear several Church clocks chiming at once.  I can’t tell you how blessed I felt just sitting there experiencing that moment.  I experienced total heartfelt joy just existing in that point and time.

Writing what I am grateful for was also on my to do list, and today that was mine.





I have been wrapping myself in depression…

3 03 2013

curled in a ball unable to do even the simplest things that I KNOW pull me out.  I have been here so many times before that I knew this was coming!  I tried not to predict its path.  I knew what I needed and because I felt what was best for me was bad for others and I waited till I am stuck in the mist of it.   I have been here before.

I keep trying to grab onto the positive.  Keep looking forward.  Keep holding on to some thread of a dream that might draw me back into this life.

This last week I have done not one good thing!  NOTHING!  I have to work to keep the pain of just that from overwhelming me.  I am fighting back the fear that says I am nothing… just like my Aunt and my Father used to say, “You are trash like your mother”,  “You will never be anything, you will never have anything.” This morning I was thinking “All this crap swimming around in my head!” and you know what that got me???

Dory!  God knows that I have been beaten with HIS Bible so he speaks to me in the silliest things.  He sent me Dory.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBtc254NIMc

I watch that stupid video and know God is speaking to me and as the tears are flowing I feel not so alone anymore.  Not so afraid to move forward with faith and watch what HE can do with what others have discarded!

I am not an artist; I am not beautiful, or creative, or strong, and I don’t feel capable of big things, but God knows I need to be.  God YOU make wonderful things!  Make something of ME!  Please don’t leave me this pile of trash that so many see so clearly!  I know that’s why you brought me here to be with Val.

Val never preached.  She never judged.  She never told me of her faith but she lived it every day.  She isn’t the only one.  Why Carla?  Why would you send me Carla to lift me up and tell me of your love when I abandoned her child, my Grandchild, and made a life without them?

I see them contrasted with the Christians in my life and I see, really see, that the hurt that robbed me of being able to wrap myself in the label, hasn’t robbed me of YOUR love.

Today I am Grateful.  I will swim, even though I am afraid; even though I feel wrapped in darkness without any sense of direction or peace, even though I don’t feel like I have the strength to move forward anymore.  I will just keep moving, because I know that is what your telling me to do.

I am following YOU.





Found it…

28 01 2013

here in my cat!  I have to thank God constantly for his wisdom and the grace he has shown me.  I didn’t know when God brought her into my life that I would be the one to need her.  I didn’t know how little human touch would soothe my hurts or how soon I would find out: when he pushed up the urgency for me to go get her… but I truly believe HE did.

She starved herself to the point I worried about her just to get to be in the same room with me.  The more pain I am in the closer she stays.  Right now she is perched watching just inches from the keyboard patient with my need to write.

This morning she let me sob into her fur and nuzzled against my cheek, not minding the snot and tears, or caring about the wetness.  Last night she pushed so closely up against me that I felt her heart beating against mine.  Her CPR keeping mine going.

She puts a paw up to my cheek and pulls me closer to her to give me soft little nose kisses and leans in to give me whole body hugs.  How perfect a creature and how great the love of the one who sent her to me.

Yesterday I could feel only pain and anger and today because of her I have a heart full of Gratitude.  Thank You… How Great YOU are.  Thank you.





Please forgive me …

28 12 2012
for not being able to share the happy moments we had over the holidays.  There are some moments when we are able to laugh but I have sat here for 2 days now trying to share Christmas dinner with you and just can’t.  I only feel the sadness and just don’t have it in me to be able to pull anything else up right now.
Valerie hasn’t eaten anything in 5 full days now and has radically reduced the amount that she drinks and smokes as well.  Her body is shutting down.  For my Dad and Bunny it was about 3 weeks from the time they stopped eating till they died.  For both the last few days were in a coma state.
I managed to get her to her Dr appointment yesterday and they gave her fluids and steroids to boost her up.  She has another appointment for Monday but the way he shook his head I could see he doesn’t feel we should be doing this … he thinks we should just let her go.  Bob was totally freaking out when it looked like she wasn’t going to the Dr.   I feel judged by him but we are not ready!
The Doctor wants her on Hospice but Val refuses hospice services.  She says she still wants to fight this, but when we try to push her to do what she needs to to stay alive, she swears that she just can’t.  I feel stuck unable to feel or function really.  No tears or crying just nothing.
Part of me is shutting down too because if I feel anything its angry.  She wants me here but I no longer feel that I am able to do anything to help her anymore.  She doesn’t want me getting up with her,  She says it’s not good for me not to sleep through out the night.  I cook and she says nothing tastes right.  I am throwing out her tea and refreshing only to have her barely sip when she gets it.   I will drive anywhere to get her anything that she wants and she doesn’t eat or drink it when she gets it.

We are all sleeping a lot.   She didn’t want to die and ruin the holidays.  She has no obtainable goals left.  This isn’t going to be an easy Month.

“She wants me here but I no longer feel that I am able to do anything to help her anymore”.   Wow… that was a light bulb moment …I need to actively do things to feel useful but what she needs is just me…not anything but the emotional support of loving her and being here.
She just wants me to hold her hand and be here and really that is the hardest job of all.
It is incredible to me how just the act of writing helps.  The second I got that I realized that I don’t feel helpless or angry anymore. To love, is to be happy with.  Love is the only thing that really does help.  I hate it when I forget that and react to my own insecurities and hurt feelings.
So today we start again and just hope to get it right.




You should listen to your Mother.

11 12 2012

Years ago, my mother started me walking with her so that I could lose weight, and I did, but that’s really not what stuck with me.  It was this one thing she said as we were walking that still sticks with me 25 years later.

Up until that day I was a barefoot girl.  Mom said, “put some shoes on” and I said “I have really tough soles on my feet, I can walk without them”, and she let me.  I didn’t know that us walking 5 miles was any different from when I just doddled around town, but she did.

“You should take a coat”…”I never need one”.  I never spent days on the Oregon coast, but she did.

“You shouldn’t marry that man”…”He is more wonderful than you know”…and more trouble than I knew, but she did.

Each time I  hear the words she said as we were ending that walk; although she never again repeated,  “You should listen to your Mother.”

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

“You should take your fiber.”  For years I have resisted…I mean have you tasted that stuff? blek!

I am also over 50 and realizing that the confounded woman is always right, have invested in a daily fiber beverage.  I swear for all time now I will write down every word she says and live it like my bible.  She may have been right before…but this has forced my total conversion.

If you don’t care for bathroom talk…don’t read any further.  I can’t hold myself back from my exclamation that this one thing alone I should have at least adhered to!

Just want to dance when I think of all the savings in toilet paper alone!

For years I have resented having to go.  I will avoid it for days because I just don’t want to spend all that time.  Sheet after sheet of toilet paper and no matter how much I wiped I never felt clean enough.

This stuff is a miracle!  It’s almost as good as if she had invented it herself! Fiber doesn’t just clean you out … It leaves you clean!

Oh Mamma,  I love ya!





Imitation of life…

26 11 2012

The movie was on this week and is one of Val’s favorites.  We watched it together.  It’s about a Black girl who looks white and hates the way people treat her because of her race enough to leave her Mother and everyone she loves behind and try to live life as a white girl.

I am guilty of this as well.

I realized how public this forum was and went about cropping anything from it that might point to the fact that I am mentally ill.  I want to be “NORMAL”.  This is one of those rare times in my life that I actually think I could pass and people wouldn’t suspect that I am anything but who I represent myself to be.

There is an extreme bias against the mentally ill.  I have seen their fear when they looked at me and felt sick inside.  They had no way of knowing what it took for me to even be in public and how much more afraid of them I was, then they ever could be of me.

I have felt so good lately. That peace has had me wanting to let go of everything that hasn’t contributed to it.  I want more than anything to exist every day within the same stress as everyone else without fear of losing control of who I am and how I present to others.

I am guilty of deleting anything that makes me look less than normal.  Having DID seems too conspicuous and I am uncomfortable openly living with it.

So uncomfortable that I deleted a whole blog that was meant to help others understand DID better and see it for what I truly feel it is, a developmentally based normal reaction to repeated trauma.  Like the lead character in the in Imitation of life, I eventually became ashamed of the fact that I tried to hide who I am.

This is the time of year for giving Thanks and I have so much to be Thankful for.  My apologies are being left here with my gratitude for these months of peace.   Till we meet again…sincerely SB.








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