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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Support Groups » Moving backwards after going forward

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Author Topic: Moving backwards after going forward
bookwormfairy
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Some days I feel so alone and depressed. On those days, I just want to end it all,to die and give up. I of course know that I can't do this, I've been through so much and moved on. It's just hard sometimes, dealing with school, my past traumas and all the memories that come with it. I don't know how to deal with it all anymore.

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~Lillian

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Stephanie_1
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bookwormfairy: I'm sorry to hear you're having such a rough time right now. I know you've been around a while, so I'm not sure if right now you're seeing someone professionally. Can I ask if you're seeing a counselor?

[ 11-06-2011, 09:00 PM: Message edited by: Stephanie_1 ]

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"Sometimes the majority only means that all the fools are on the same side" ~Anon

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bookwormfairy
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Yes, I'm seeing a counselor at my university.

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~Lillian

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Stephanie_1
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Have you talked with him/her about these feelings? It's really important when feeling like this that we have someone there as a support.

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"Sometimes the majority only means that all the fools are on the same side" ~Anon

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bookwormfairy
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Yes, I have and she says that I have to work on it slowly so not to overwhem myself. It's just hard, since I'm pushing myself a little too quickly to get better causing me more anxiety.

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~Lillian

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Stephanie_1
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You know, one think you may find helps in terms of not pushing yourself so hard to get better is starting little routines to help you relax. Like getting involved in yoga, or working on something you like, such as drawing, writing, painting, sewing, running, etc. It helps take your mind off of things and relaxes you at the same time.

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"Sometimes the majority only means that all the fools are on the same side" ~Anon

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bookwormfairy
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I know, one of my problems is that I do things that I know will cause me anxiety. Like right now I'm typing up a research paper on self-injury which is something I've faced, in turn making me cry.

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~Lillian

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Stephanie_1
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So, can we maybe then work on some ways of you not putting yourself in those positions? For instance, you likely will always be sensitive about self-injury as it's a part of your life/past, but right now when you're having so much trouble working through your feelings on it you could find other things to research and write about. Sometimes the biggest part of self-care for anyone is in knowing what we can and can't deal with at any time and finding ways to set boundaries for ourselves around those. Most importantly in that we really follow those boundaries we set.

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"Sometimes the majority only means that all the fools are on the same side" ~Anon

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bookwormfairy
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So it's Thanksgiving, one of the holidays where you should be happy for what you have. What I'm happy for, although at times it's uncertian, haha, is that I'm still alive.

I think it's time to tell my mom about whats going on. I want to tell her about my depression, suicide attempts, and my general outlook on life right now. I write a letter to give her but I don't know what to say when she asks me questions. It seems easier to keep it to myself, but there's the whole what if I try to do something like kill myself again and succeed, she'll be totally shocked and wouldn't know what to do.

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~Lillian

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eryn_smiles
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I hope that talking with your mom goes well for you, bookwormfairy. It sounds like things are really tough at the moment. Do you also have other friends and family you are able to talk to, other than your counsellor and mom? I hope that your mood improves soon and that if you are ever feeling suicidal again, please do seek help from someone who cares about you.

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"Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation and that is an act of political warfare."

Audre Lorde

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bookwormfairy
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I didn't tell her yet but tonight, maybe.

I'm going to the movies with a friend, to take my mind of off things for a while, I'm getting tired of school and want to give up again.

I don't know why everything is so hard for me now. Everything I have dealt with is over now, but all the emotions are still there and are stronger.

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~Lillian

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Heather
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Healing is a process, and like most processes of tough emotional things or trauma, getting further down a healing road doesn't mean things will just always get easier and easier. As we heal and as we process our trauma and go through our lives, sometimes we're going to have a tougher time.

Of course, it's clear there are still some things you have left to deal with, some really big ones, like your mother, for instance, handling all of this like she has.

Remember that a trauma being over doesn't mean its impact is over. The impact of trauma is lasting, even as we heal.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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bookwormfairy
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I know, but it's hard especially when before I held back my emotions because of the situations. So, now I'm letting them come and didn't expect them to be this strong. It's good that I'm expressing my emotions, but it takes its toll sometimes. I'm working through them slowly with my counselor, who said that there's a lot of things and trauma that I've expereinced so it will a long time to heal and work through.

Right now, all I'm saying to myself over and over is I'm going to get through this, no matter what. The feelings of giving up and everything will eventually go away and I'm going to do what I want to and end up helping others. That's my motto.

[ 11-25-2011, 05:42 PM: Message edited by: bookwormfairy ]

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~Lillian

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Heather
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Yep: when you start letting how you feel out more and more, it absolutely tends to feel harder.

But I agree with you: this is a really big-deal, very important forward step. And I am SO glad you finally have a counselor to talk with.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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bookwormfairy
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So, I told my mom about everything and she took it well.

It's nice to finally tell her what I'm feeling and I also found out some things about her too.

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~Lillian

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Heather
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That's so fantastic!

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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bookwormfairy
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Ok, I did something yesterday that I don't know how to process.

Here's the situation, I went to an audition for the school fashion show and met a guy that I've known and is attracted to. We started talking and he said something about him being sexually frustrated and I answered back with well I think pretty much everyone in college who has sexual experiences are. From there we walked back to our dorm, I ended up in his room and there’s that awkward moment where none of us wants to say wants on our mind because you can feel that something sexual is going to happen. Well, we ended up having sex and now I don’t know what to think about it.

On one hand I always wanted to do something sexual with him, but on the other I told myself when I got to college I wouldn’t get involved with a guy in any way for at least a year. So, I’m at a loss, like I didn’t feel regret about it like I usually do, not even now. I just don’t know what I’m feeling about this.

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~Lillian

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Heather
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Okay.

So, let me first ask this, since this has been an issue in the past: where do you feel like you're at at this point when it comes to actively and very clearly negotiating sex, rather than seeing or treating it as something that "just happens?"

Do you feel able to talk about it clearly and candidly yet, like voicing what you do or don't want sexually to someone or not? Obviously, with someone you barely know, this can be even harder, so how equipped do you feel for that?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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bookwormfairy
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I feel like I am more able to talk to someone about what I want and how far I feel comfortable with because with my last boyfriend I wanted to be able to have a relationship that is fair where I would feel like a part of relationship instead of feeling like the guy is doing everything.

The whole time he and I were together, I always had the chance to stop it if I wanted to. He would ask me if I'm ok or if I wanted to stop and I'd tell him no don't stop, I'm fine. I mean I kinda wanted it, for the first time, my mind wasn't in lala land while we were having sex. But with all things that happened, I don't know whether I should trust my body and mind in situations.So, it's hard to determine whether I truly wanted it or just did it to please him. I want to say that I truly wanted it, but there's that nagging voice in the back of my head.

[ 11-30-2011, 11:51 AM: Message edited by: bookwormfairy ]

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~Lillian

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Heather
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Can I share my sense with you of where I've felt like you're at with all of this? We haven't spoken in a few months about this, so I might be a bit out of the loop, but I can certainly speak to my sense of things before that, and I think that might be helpful to you in figuring out where you're at now.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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bookwormfairy
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Sure, Heather.

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~Lillian

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Heather
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Okay. I think we know each other well enough that you know anything I say here comes out of the utmost respect for you. I hope you do, anyway.

My sense has been that you really WANT to be at a place where you're more ready to engage in consensual sex with partners, and where you are active, not passive, and where it is healthy, but that you have been pushing yourself to be in a place when you're just not there yet, going steps ahead of where you are. The way you've talked about it, it's often felt like you know the right answers or things to say to make it sound like you're there to an outsider, but from my view, it kind of has felt/sounded/read like someone going through the motions, reading a script, more than someone who is really there. in the place where these things are actual, rather than wishes or wants.

I think this exchange with this person at school for instance, makes pretty clear you're not there yet, like presenting sex as "happening," rather than as something you both chose to do, and feeling like you couldn't say what was on your mind BECAUSE one or both of you had sexual desires. When we're really ready for this kind of situation, and it's a situation we feel good about, sexual feelings on anyone's part aren't a barrier to talking about them and talking about what you do and don't want to do.

I keep hearing you, here and in the past, setting limits for yourself based on what you have determined would be best for you, but having a very hard time maintaining them once a sexual partner is in the mix. That says to me that those limits are probably just as sound as you think they are: that getting into situations, for now, where you have to state them in high-stakes settings -- like alone in a dorm room -- is just not something you're really ready for yet.

How does all of that sound to you?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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bookwormfairy
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That sounds exactly what I what I was thinking.

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~Lillian

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bookwormfairy
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Haha, this is just not my week. I think I know have a UTI. I took an at home test this morning and it was positive for nitrite. Right now I'm debating whether to make an appointment with the health center for today or to take another test and wait until monday.

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~Lillian

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Heather
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Oh, grr. With the UTI, if you feel pretty strongly like you know that's what's going on, I'd get into the health center sooner rather than later.

On the other stuff: glad to see we're on the same page.

So, can you acknowledge that you still seem to be putting yourself in positions you'd really like to be able to handle well now, but know you just can't?

If so, I have a little trick to suggest, as someone who can tend to have that same habit when it comes to work sometimes, and that's this: wherever you think you're at or can be at in the moment, see if you can't scale your expectations of yourself like, two steps back.

So, for instance, in this last situation, that would look something like being able to handle that casual conversation about sex or sexual feelings in a public place but NOT to escalate it to being in a private room with the person who has expressed -- albeit passively, but still, it was clear enough -- a desire for sex to you for whom you also feel some desire.

What you can do with that from there is know you both have those feelings, but take some more time to build trust and communication before you get to a point like that.

Know what I mean?

You might also try a bit harder to identify feeling like you have to be silent about sex when it happens. If speaking up about wants and limits feels awkward, that's not a cue to be silent and move forward, it's a cue that you're probably not in a situation or space where sex is sound, because when it is, it'll feel way more okay to speak up and out and voice things. That piece where it feels like once sex is on the table, you're kind of struck mute is, I think, more about abuse leftovers than anything else.

I do want to make sure you know that learning to manage sexual situations like this isn't something you're dealing with just because you're an abuse survivor. This is something most people at college, many of whom haven't survived sexual abuse, are just starting to learn, too. I know it can get frustrating when healing to feel like there are so many things abuse impacts, and this may be one of them, but chances are this is also just part of the typical learning process with sex, sexual negotiation, sexual decision-making and communication EVERYONE goes through.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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bookwormfairy
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Today I was in class and we were talking about the justice system and rape. For some reason, I started to get a panic attack. The thing is I've noticed that I only get panic attacks when rape or sexual assault and even sexting is mentioned in the context of the justice system/ the law but don't get a panic attacks when it's talked about in a psychological sense. I need some help trying to figure out why I get panic attacks when rape is talked about only in certain situations.

Other than this, I'm doing well. I'm in my second year of college and have been with my boyfriend with almost a year now. I'm still living with my parents with mom still minimizing what happened to me and sometimes blaming me for letting it happen. But my boyfriend is a great support in dealing with everything.

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~Lillian

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Heather
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It's great to hear from you. [Smile]

You know, in your case -- as, I'd suspect, is probably the case for a lot of survivors who saw their cases through the justice system -- I'd suspect you have two things that can get triggered: the trauma of your abuse, but then also the trauma of the case itself, and that whole process. It seems to me that talking about sexual abuse and assault in a legal context might be a double whammy for you. What do you think?

I'm really sorry to hear that it sounds like your Mom both still isn't taking any responsibility and still isn't treating you with care. [Frown] But I am glad to hear how well it sounds like everything else is going!

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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bookwormfairy
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I don't really know, I think it is more of the case because before the abuse went to trial, I never got panic attacks. I wasn't until later after the trial that they started occurring.

Well it was mostly well since I last posted - here http://www.scarleteen.com/forum/ultimatebb.php?/ubb/get_topic/f/3/t/011676/p/1.html#000000

I tried to kill myself over the summer, and I'm amazed that I'm doing well after this, I'm just happy that I finally have a boyfriend that understands what I'm going though and is willing to help.

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~Lillian

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Heather
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Well, when in abuse, especially the kind of abuse you suffered, it's very common for victims to repress a lot of feelings and also not fully realize what exactly is going on, and that was certainly the case with you, as I recall.

But all the same, I can't imagine that hearing about rape cases and policies wouldn't be at least somewhat traumatic for you.

I'm so sorry to hear about your suicide attempt. How are you doing with support from sources other than your boyfriend, like friends or a counselor?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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bookwormfairy
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I have a counselor at the college I'm attending, very rarely do I call on friends for support. Mostly right now I'm relying on my boyfriend, he is the one I trust more with how I'm feeling when I'm experiencing a panic attack, depressed or whatever. The reason being is that he knows the whole story, about everything from when the first time I was abused to the trial whereas everyone else only knows bits and pieces. I just feel comfortable with him so I end up talking to him the most.

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~Lillian

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Robin Lee
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Hi Lillian,

I think there isn't always a rhyme or reason for why things are triggering in one context and not another. I've known people who have experienced abuse who, for example, were able to hear about rape through certain media (say, written media) but really struggled when it was discussed in other types of media (for example, fiction or nonfiction film).

I'm not sure what your experiences have been with the justice system (I've been on ST a relatively short period of time) but regardless of what they were, it makes sense to me that you would find mention of rape and the justice system distressing.

It's fantastic that your boyfriend is so supportive and helpful to you. I think it's also helpful and healthy for relationships to have a broad support network in general, and particularly when we are, as you are, dealing with heavy stuff.

What do you think about reaching out more to your friends for general support? I know it's tough when you feel like they're not completely clued in to what's up with you, but really, they don't always need to be in order to help or support you through a difficult moment or day.

I'm also wondering if, since it is important to you to get support from people who are clued in to your particular history and just generally on the same page, if finding a survivors' support group might be beneficial to you. What do you think?

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Robin

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