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#91 of 116 Old 10-31-2004, 07:39 PM
 
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I get where you are coming from simcon. That is why I asked how her dc reacts to him. Children are very innocent though and that isn't always the best measure. I have though, experienced children (and some animals) to be keen readers on character when adults judgement are clouded by judgement. I also agree that M may have some issues mentally and no, I would not want him to be ostercised because of it IF it were in fact true, BUT we do not know and if it were my child, thier safety comes first no mater who or what is the potential threat.
If M did have some disorder, then I feel it should be shared with the rest of the household as well, providing that M is aware of his issues.
I have to say that M may not even be dangerous. I for one, would not wait around to find out for sure. Instimct is with us for a reason, just like the sense of smell, taste ect....
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#92 of 116 Old 11-03-2004, 02:01 PM
 
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I am just curious to know how she and her daughter are faring now. I hope that you are both well and safe.
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#93 of 116 Old 11-03-2004, 02:58 PM
 
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As much as it will really suck to move out of a place that you otherwise adore - I would recommend you do it. It's not worth the risk and this guy just sounds too creepy. You are a single mother and you can't have your eyes on her 24x7 nor can you expect the other house guests to pay as close attention to your daughter as you would yourself. Get out of dodge and fast. I'm afraid that the fact that you love the rest of the living arrangement so much may be clouding your maternal instinct to flee (not blaming you in any way it is understandable - just offering an outside view).

Hugs to you and DD.

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#94 of 116 Old 11-03-2004, 03:15 PM
 
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ok, i'm not american, let me say that first. therefore i never understood the "scared all the time thing" and running away from your probs.
that said i "do" think you have a reason to be concerned and i'm very glad you're not being judgemental about this and making rash decisions that could very well harm your daughter also. i think you're doing the rightthing by attempting to talk it out and resolve the issue with out calling the guy a freak before you up and move. cuz in my experience, moving all the time is not very good for kids either, it happend to me and i'm still a bit screwed up. i totally understad the churning in your stomach thing but yet not wanting to hurt anyone's feelings.
my advice? keep doing what you're doing. don't make any rash decisions and stay true to you and what you're feeling.
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#95 of 116 Old 11-04-2004, 03:13 PM
 
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Well, I think you're doing a pretty good job following your instinct as of now.
However.....I just wanted to add the fact that there have been two different instances in my life where I didn't follow that sick pitted feeling in my belly and I ended up being raped both times. I knew both men very well and I never thought they would do something like they did. Yeah, I had a weird feeling in my belly around them, but I just totally dismissed it telling myself I was just being parinoid (sp?) and that they would never do anything do me. I mean, why would they? They were really nice to me and helped me out a lot. Very sweet guys. The first time I was raped the guy was my boyfriend (I was 13) and he was a very very nice guy, kind of controlling, but I thought that was normal. That's why I decided to ignore this gut instinct I had to run away. Well, he raped me a total of 9 times (btw, while he was raping me the first time he was telling me about the other girls he raped too). He then stalked me for almost a year. I hate flowers (especially roses) to this day because he would send me huge boquetts everyday. I hate a bunch of normal stuff that I assosiate with him. The band Metalica, green mustangs, no hair on guys "down there", etc..
The second time I was raped it was by my boss. I was 17, he was 47. I had known him for over 4 years. I babysat his kids. I was really good friends with his wife. I taught him yoga. I actually no longer teach yoga because of the feelings and flashbacks I get. I also no longer can stand black Ford Rangers, UT fans, and certain tattoos I liked before.
Needless to say everytime I get a funky feeling that makes my skin crawl about someone whether it be related to me or someother person I know, I flee as fast as I can. For instance, my husbands cousin gives me the major heebie jeebies. I let my husband know more than once that I refuse to be left alone in a room with him or close to him without very many people by my side. I also (now that my daughter is born) will never let him touch her or be alone with her. I just don't trust him. I trust ME!
I guess what I trying to say is: You might make him unhappy or you might be uncomfortable living elsewhere for a while and yes, it might disrupt your babys life for a while, BUT, wouldn't that be better than possibly having her molested or abducted? I'm not saying that he will do these things, but what if he does? You don't have a crystal ball, you can know what's going to happen, but you know how hard it would be for both of you if something did.
I really hope you find the answer in yourself.
Lots of love and support,
Kathryn

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#96 of 116 Old 11-05-2004, 03:05 PM
 
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I wanted to point out that just moving won't instantly make the situation disappear!
I second the thought that speaking openly is the best way to go, with an escape plan in place:
I'm thinking it seems very likely that M is going to want to follow you and continue his (perceived) relationship with your DD, and this is certain if you simply move without communicating some boundaries (Total Boundary) with him. Then where will you be? In a comparatively new place, with a comparatively new support system- if any at all. Would that be an improvement? Only you can answer that.

Another thought:
Moving out may not have to be permanent!
after you leave and make it clear he's not going to be visiting you, he's bound (hopefully) to find something new to focus on, and/or may move away,

OR the other co-op members could wait until you're out of the situation and out of his mind and THEN kick him out, in which case, if he demonizes anyone, it'll be the collective, and not you. This seems safer for your family, and when you move back in after a little while, it won't seem so much as if you and M are adversaries, even with the earlier boundary conversations.

It's so tricky keeping the peace and keeping safe at the same time. We have to choose safety over politeness, but then how can we know just how rude we need to be to get what we need? and when being "too" rude will cause more trouble??

I was attacked at 16 by a "friendly" stranger in public, and for years put myself down for "only" talking my way out of it, and physically only resisting passively- not fighting him. But looking back now, I wonder if, had I hit him or showed anger, would it have escalated into more force on his part, and would he have succeeded in raping me?
It seems this too is a case of Acknowlege the Conflict Without Escalating It.

(P.S. to a previous poster: Not finding a person's name in the Sex Offender Registry is no guarantee that his name does not belong there.)

...who says that we're only justified in limiting contact with people who creep us out if they are dangerous? Nobody has any right to our space, our bodies, our children. We decide who is allowed to get close, and they'll just have to deal with that.

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#97 of 116 Old 11-05-2004, 05:52 PM
 
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I agree with most of what has been posted here about M. but would also like to add another warning. I would be very wary of ANY men changing diapers/clothes or bathing your daughter. I would not be comfortable having men living within the household having that kind of contact with your daughter

I know this might seem paranoid but men are very visual and I would guess that most of them are not fathers. So, changing diapers is not within the norm of their routine and can be arousing and really how well do you know anyone?

I know your coop might seem like some recreation of the way people used to live with extended family members taking care of childdren. But, these are not your extended family members and in the "old days", other women would have bathed and diapered another woman's baby. (And yes I realize that a lot of abuse is from extended family members.) I would never put my child in this kind of a situation.

Most good day cares/nureries have rules that a child never be changed in private by a staff member (male or female!).

In some of the communes, coops and meditation centers that sprang up in the 60's and 70's, there are stories of abuse. I think some of this stems from the lack of accountability (everyone was in charge of a child) and by the convenience of it (it was very easy for anyone to get away with).

Wishing you all the best, Spring

PS I am very big on boundaries for all people but most importantly for little people.
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#98 of 116 Old 11-05-2004, 06:03 PM
 
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Men are not the enemy, pedophiles and those that are aroused by children are the enemy. It has been shown that more women than we thought are aroused by naked children, and because women do not penetrate when they sexually abuse, most of it goes unreported.

Get off this "man" thing, it is offensive. Men have a hard enough time being affectionate without seeming to cross bounderies as it is. My own father was always hesitant to be too affectionate with me because of how it might "look". Males have a hard time going into childcare work because of this stigma.

If we are going to warn people against exposing our children, at least don't perpetuate this mood in society and lay the blanket over men and women, because that is the fact of it.

Hunger is political.  Wherever there is widespread hunger, it is because people with guns are preventing other people from bringing in food.  
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#99 of 116 Old 11-05-2004, 06:39 PM
 
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Calm!

OT, but my dh was better at changing diapers than I was. Sure he's my dh and I trust him.
I have a very good friend who used to watch dd on occasion for me if dh was working late and I had class. I trusted him to change dd's diaper and not leave her soaking wet for 2 hours. He has children, who at the time didn't live with him. I never got a bad feeling from him, and he and his dp are some of my best friends, and still 2 of the only people I would trust to watch dd.
I have since reciprocated and changed his ds's diaper while his dp napped after their baby was born.
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#100 of 116 Old 11-05-2004, 06:44 PM
 
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I agree with you to a point, Calm, but seriously, are not more men than women guilty of violent and/or sexual crimes? A class I took about keeping dd safe stressed that a lost child seek out a *woman* for help, because she is so much less likely to harm the child. I don't think men should be bashed, but, in general I think it is prudent to be more aware of leaving children alone with men. I know women can be abusive, too, but statistically much less likely to do so.

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#101 of 116 Old 11-05-2004, 07:11 PM
 
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Good point, Kara. And yes, I would prefer my DD seek out a woman if she is in trouble. But I have a problem with someone saying

"I would be very wary of ANY men changing diapers/clothes or bathing your daughter. I would not be comfortable having men living within the household having that kind of contact with your daughter "

When it could have said "anyone", not "any man". My husband is sitting here beside me fuming and dictating I write some things to illustrate how frustrating this is for men. I am telling him to go away (LOL). But just one point, I was sexually interfered with by a woman, actually, a teenage girl when I was four years old. There was no penetration, but it is a vivid memory and one of the few I hold from my fourth year. Statistics did not prevent what happened to me. Statistics don't keep your child safe. For every innocent male you keep from your child, there could be a sinister female you allow near them.

My point is to keep an eye on your child, regardless of who they are with (to a point of course, let's leave grandma out of this), and just as with women, allow a man to be close to a child, just be there. A female who has been starved of male affection, (in psychology studies at least), it has been shown they will seek it out when they mature.

Hunger is political.  Wherever there is widespread hunger, it is because people with guns are preventing other people from bringing in food.  
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#102 of 116 Old 11-05-2004, 11:47 PM
 
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That's like saying more men than women are murderers. No, more men than women GET CAUGHT. Big difference.
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#103 of 116 Old 11-06-2004, 12:09 AM
 
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Excuse me? You honestly believe that women are on a killing spree but just not "getting caught"???? Where are the bodies? Why are men convicted of the killings, then?
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#104 of 116 Old 11-06-2004, 12:14 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by urklemama
That's like saying more men than women are murderers. No, more men than women GET CAUGHT. Big difference.
: Where are you getting this? Has a new study come out or something? I've read the stastics and data and what you say is simply not true.

Please, everyone who has not yet read Protecting the Gift, do yourself and your children a favor and go read it now. Please?
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#105 of 116 Old 11-06-2004, 12:25 AM
 
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Calm - I tried to post earlier but the forums went down. I do not want to hijack this thread from the OP. Nor do I want to argue with you about men-bashing. I will try to clarify my statments and then that is it - I am letting it go. This thread is about Crystal's situation not me or you.

I sincerly doubt that more women than men abuse children. Yes, woman do but it is the minority. Abuse is so common in this country (isn't it at least 1 in 4 girls) and every person that I know that has been abussed has been abused by a male (whether the victim was a girl or boy). Looking through the forums here, I have never seen an account of a female (I know it happens but again the minority).

Parthenia (who applauded your kind reply) stated that she only trusts TWO people to watch child and they are "dear friends". From the OP, I get the impression that she has not been living with her roomates long - they are not "dear friends". Yes, the could become life-long friends but they are not at this time. It would be a little like knowing that a house in your neighborhood had organic, crunchy people in it and saying "I am going to let all of those people babysit my child".

These men are not child care providers. They have not been trained or screened. They are not old, trusted friends. They are roomates she has not been living with long. She does not even know if they will stick with her in this situation with M.

I was not trying to say that I would not let ANY man change the diapers, I would not let ANY man that I happened to be roomates with but had not know prior to being roomates. The relationship is too short and casual.

Living in a communal setting is tricky. It provides instant intimacy but you don't really have a history with the people. Haven't you ever really hit off with someone and thought they would be your best friend/spouse and then over the months of getting to know them, you come to realize differences or they are not the people you thought they were?

When I read the original post, I had red flags about M. Most of these were addressed by others and I did not have any thing else to add. But knowing what it is like to live like that, I also had red flags about the babysitting situation.

I think it is great to be living in a group, cooking, hanging out. But, I think you have to move slowly with your boundaries. As one person said, it is hard to get 10 people to agree on what dish soap to buy. Well, imagaine getting all of them on the same page as you are in raising your daughter.

Consider how often do people move out of the house? How soon do you let a new person watch your child? If A. is watching your child do they really get that B., C. D. E. and F. are OK but you have been avoiding having G watch your child? Do they know that you don't want G. to watch your child while they take a shower or run to the bank? Maybe not even because they might abuse your child but for minor issues.

Crystal said that she is worried when other people babysit that M. might have access to her daughter. If one of your friends knew the situation, do you think that you would worry when your daughter was in there care? I doubt it. They would be as concerned as you are and they would keep her away from M. It just sounds like too many people and too loose to ensure that her daughter would be safe. But that also means her daughter is vulnerable to other roomates too (especially since they have not been identified as "suspicous").

I am not a man-basher and my husband changed a billion diapers. But I would not let someone that new to me change my daughter's diaper.

Of course, men and women are able to perform the same duties and they have the same capacity for parenting skills and men are an important part of any school but given our current society, there need to be precautions. I don't know if men are wired differently or if our society is causing it but I can see the effect and that effect is that children are being abused.

Calm - like I said, I don't want to hijack this thread. Everyone is saying trust your instincts. Well, my instincts told me that there were other red flags.

Crystal - I have no idea if this rings true to you in any way. If it does, great. If it doesn't, ignore it. And I have no idea who or how the babysitting arrangement works so I could be way off track on that.

If you stay, be sure not to invest all your eggs in the house. Often, I have experienced a "honeymooom" period in living in that type of housing and over time even the best of people can get on your nerves. It is always nice to have others to hang with (I know it might be difficult given work/school). Do you have a Mom's group? Anyone in Iowa City that is getting together and could include Crystal?

And I always say it is easier to say more/share more later than it is to take it back. The same goes with your boundaries with your daughter. I would take it slow with everyone.

Whew!! OK - sorry for the long post. Crystal - I think you sound wonderful and I wish I could invite you and your babe over for a cup of tea. I am very impressed with your thoughtfulness, sensitivity and perseverance. I wish you the best - I don't know where life will take you but I have a good vibe about your path.

Peace Mamas, Spring
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#106 of 116 Old 11-06-2004, 12:35 AM
 
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We cross posted, I will read what spring has posted before I post.

Hunger is political.  Wherever there is widespread hunger, it is because people with guns are preventing other people from bringing in food.  
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#107 of 116 Old 11-06-2004, 12:38 AM
 
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Calm - I had no intention of replying again but I had not seen your last post. I am sorry to hear about your situation when your were 4 years old. It must be very painful and I am so sad. Please know that I don't take it lightly. I still believe what I posted but that doesn't change what happened to you. And I really wish that I could.

Spring
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#108 of 116 Old 11-06-2004, 12:52 AM
 
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I haven't read the last few posts, but I wanted to say that Spring2 that I thought your posts on this page were excellent.

I am far from a man basher - I have actually fought with my mom about this because I hate to hear generalized "men" type complaints. But in the case of sexual abuse (and violence), the stats are unrefutable: more men abuse than do women. Some women do, yes. But sexual abuse is perpetrated by something like 90% heterosexual men. (I can get the exact number from you in a book I have once I don't have a kid on my lap.)

This is not man bashing - it is the truth of our society.
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#109 of 116 Old 11-06-2004, 01:01 AM
 
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Ok, I read your post Spring, and fair enough. I just wrote a whole post and deleted it because I can't be bothered anymore. Your post above is quite eloquent, and I appreciate you clarifying for me. As for hijacking though, I disagree, as it is an important point that is valid for the OP. But yeah, I am outta here too. Thank you.

PS, I protect all my gifts, five of which are men I love - my four brothers and my husband. The greatest gift I have is my daughter, and she comes first. But my activism does not stop there.

Hunger is political.  Wherever there is widespread hunger, it is because people with guns are preventing other people from bringing in food.  
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#110 of 116 Old 11-06-2004, 01:07 AM
 
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Just got your last post, Spring - thank you. And I believe what you said, because you sound like a big hearted person.

Edited of the percentage thingy I was gonna do because I am not in activist mood at the moment. I feel sick. woe is me. Sorry. gotta go to bed.

Hunger is political.  Wherever there is widespread hunger, it is because people with guns are preventing other people from bringing in food.  
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#111 of 116 Old 12-11-2004, 10:13 PM
 
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Crystal, haven't heard from you in a while... just wondering... what ever happened? Did you move? How are you doing?
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#112 of 116 Old 12-15-2004, 01:24 PM
 
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I read this ENTIRE post.

I agree with most of what was said, in that I think you should definitely trust your instincts. I also wanted to add that... if his behaviour does seem unusual (obsessive and such) you can't assume that it's going to stop at any "safe" point. It is most likely going to continue getting worse, especially considering the nature of it (i.e. obsession IS extreme).

I hope you'll be careful in confronting him, simply because you wouldn't want him to feel defensive... I would be afraid he would feel that he needs to ensure that your dd is not taken away from him, by whatever means possible.

Anyway, I'm just wondering how things have been going! I hope you're doing okay, and I can imagine this is a really difficult situation for you. It's just that your talk of the bad feelings you got really scare me! I felt like I could imagine JUST how you're feeling... and I know that personally, I would also second-guess myself. But I think it would be really important for you to trust your instincts and leave.

Take care. I hope you're well.
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#113 of 116 Old 12-17-2004, 06:17 AM
 
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Completely OT, but ladies, come on. Statistics and studies won't ever you show the people who didn't get caught. I can't prove to you that women do indeed abuse, or murder, but you can't prove they don't.

In terms of sexual abuse, I think people very foolishly talk themselves out of their gut feelings about "nice ladies" all too frequently, and I also think they refuse to see the evidence because it doesn't jive with what they think they know about people.

As for murder, again, pretty OT, but there are lots of unsolved murders and lots of mysterious deaths. Personally, I think the only difference between men and women when it comes to violence is women are better at it, calmer, less rageful, and don't get caught.
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#114 of 116 Old 12-19-2004, 02:39 AM - Thread Starter
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Ha. Had almost forgotten about this thread, and then it popped up on the first page again.

Have a connection that I am discussing a rental arrangement with. May be getting into a two br apt for a relatively low amount, and no deposit, which would make it almost doable. Nice area of town, new apts. This very nice man (friend of a friend, yk, but trustworthy and vouched for) is out of town for the holidays however and I won't get to look at the apt until the second week of Jan.

As for the situation in the house, it's been fairly ok. I think that the ickiness my female roomies and I felt changed the energy in the house significantly, and things were really yucky-ola for a few weeks. Slowly, though, I think that M felt the general vibe and he backed off considerably.

In the meantime, I have been diligent about keeping an eye on the situation, and keeping dd within my arm's reach. M stopped the petting and the obsessiveness on his own, which I am hugely thankful for, as I was on the brink of insanity having the ickiness "thrown in my face" anytime I was in his presence. This way at least I have it at the back of my mind and have changed our lifestyle in accordance to that, but have also been able to live fairly happily. I am (as I said above) planning on leaving soon anyway - but it was simply not possible at the time of this original post.

Thank you all for your support, and also the book recommendation - Becker is an amazing author and I appreciated his book a great deal. Reread parts of it every once in a while to keep me on my toes.

love
crystal
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#115 of 116 Old 12-19-2004, 11:56 AM
 
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Cool, I'm so glad to hear that everything is under control. Thanks for the update!
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#116 of 116 Old 12-19-2004, 06:24 PM
 
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Hey Crystal! Thank you for the update, I love it when updates come in. I am so glad he backed off without the need for a whole lotta hullabaloo, and I am also glad that you now have the time to sort your situation out with some peace.

Hunger is political.  Wherever there is widespread hunger, it is because people with guns are preventing other people from bringing in food.  
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