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Old 23-11-2010, 05:47 AM   #1
Rynn
 
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Possibly Triggering - Odin's Rune: SI recovery story

Could possibly trigger SI. This is kind of a story-style recording of my first visit to my counselor. It's long. I would've broken it up… but I wasn't sure where to stop it. It kind of rambles.

~~~

The walls are a dark orange and rich, brown-red at the doctors. The front desk is a gentle navy blue square behind which a large woman hides. Her voice is small though - too small for her - when she says "I can help you," to the man in front of me. He has a cane and wild white hair that is folded over his large, bald crown. I take the required, small step forward to fill his place. The clock on the wall gives me seven minutes until 2:30. I watch the second hand tick, tick, tick. I started getting ready at twelve. I admitted I was getting ready at one thirty. I was showered, dressed, deoderized, fed, and shoed by two. I wasted ten minutes looking up music on the interent and then ran out the door - sure to be late… and arrived fifteen minutes early. Even with the wasted time in the restroom, I am early. Not too early now though.

The man at the counter leaves and the quiet lady says "I can help you". I walk to the desk: normal strides. Normal posture. Normal face. I am a Lie. I hand her my ID and medical card. She says thank you because I was prepared with my ID. She asks my phone number, my address. I tell her, and my voice is Normal. I lean on one hip casually. I am so Normal. I am in blue jeans and sneakers and a long sleeve green shirt. My purse is a long strap one than hangs at my hip and one side is tye-dyed. I have my long hair back in a pony tail so I wont fidget with it. I am even wearing silver stud earrings and I didn't forget to wear coverup despite it being an Off day. I have been good. I am Normal looking. One hundred percent Normal looking. She gives me a form on a clipboard to read and fill out. Then she says "All the way down that hall" and I take back my cards and thank her. Normal Normal Normal.

But there is nothing Normal about it. My heart is tripping and stumbling and sprinting on nails. My hands are sweating. The clipboard is held close to me - just short of being clutched to my chest. I feel a thousand eyes upon me as I walk through the virtually empty hall. An infinite number of Knowing eyes - they know my secret. They know. Everyone knows. They know. They JUDGE. (they know how stupid i am)

And the waiting area… I want to hide. Hide me. Invisible. Ignore. Don't notice. But the only hidden chair, blocked by the turn of the hallway, is taken. A woman sits there, short brown hair, a little frizzy - it's probably died. She is pale with large freckles on her face and a nose that is wide and slightly crooked. She is reading a magazine. She ignores me. But I am so tense - she might look up. I wonder why she too is sitting below the cursed Mental Health sign. I wish it'd fall down. I wish I wasn't there. I fidget with my fingers and try not to think. I cannot. I look at the forms on the brown clip board and try to focus.

There are not doodes on the clipboard. At school there would be. There would be comic faces and swear words and lines and shapes. I sort of miss their presence. The doctor’s clip board is… blank. Brown. Smooth. The ones in track are missing edges or have tape on the metal clip or have sharpie words or have scratches or dirt or water damage. This is… store quality. Un-marked. It has no Identity. It is Nothing. I want to draw on it, but all I have is a pen and I do not have that much courage.

The form is about privacy and rules. I read it. I read it twice. Then three times. I do not like their vocabulaire. And I do not like not being absolutely one hundred precent sure of their privacy policy. Not after the asian-lady…

I sign it any ways. I can always not say something. The survey-thing part is worse. ‘How are you feeling?’ it asks with check boxes and numbers and words that are labels but not descriptions. Not definable words. ‘On a scale of one to ten…’ it asks. I read them all first without answering. Angry? Anxious? Depressed? Suicidal? That is one I can answer. No, not suicidal. No, never suicidal. I choose to ignore the mean voice in my head commenting on how Fake and Overdramatic I am. ‘Nothing is Really wrong.’ It says. I tell it it’s stupid and that you can cut without ever wanting to kill yourself.

I sit with the form and the pen and I stare at the letters and fill in the two boxes on suidide over and over and over again until it looks like it was printed pre-filled as part of the page. Pure black, nearly line-less. I stare at it for a long time as I wait and pretend to not notice or care about the people around me and try to pretend I am Normal. I stare and stare, but I leave the rest of the form blank.

A doctor-door opens with an ominous clack. A young man has his hand on the handle. He says "Rynn?" My name. My first name too. I'd expected a last name. This is too… personal. I feel Revealed, Open, as I stand - acknowledging that yes, I am Rynn and yes, I am visiting the Mental Health place. My fingers are tight and sweaty on the clipboard. I am caught between wanting to be Normal and not wanting to meet his eyes. But, he already knows. I can't avoid that. So emotions win out and I look at the carpet - a short, coarse blue carpet with little dots of yellow thread through out. He says "I'm Adam" and my eyes dart to his, but they don't stay. I see he has light brown hair with the slightest of a wave and blue eyes and an open face. I nod in acknowledgment of his words but can't force sound out of my throat. He leads the way to his office and somehow manages to make it feel like we are walking there, not that he is taking me.

He says that the office is not his. He is a graduate student, he explains. He asks me if that's alright - it's an Policy question, I note. Something he has to ask everyone he sees because there must be some Right (real or just polite) that means I am able to ask to see someone more 'real' I guess. A non-student. But I am not rude. And I don't dislike him at all. And I still don't have a voice. I shake my head, a sound comes out. It was sort of like a 'no'.

The office is nice. It has a window. I like windows. I chose to sit in a chair facing the window, but I didn't choose it for the view. It was closest to the door. Not for escape or anything, but it would be… presumptuous? a bad sort of over-confidence? egotism? I don't know, but it would be bad for me to walk across the tiny room and choose a different chair. To choose one purposefully. It would be dangerous. It would be putting me Out There to get hurt. And it is such a tiny, tiny thing - the choosing of a chair - that it is not worth the risk. What if I chose one and he thought it was weird or stupid or presumptuous or he thought about how Bad it was. No. I sit when he says to - because it is bad to sit first - and then he sits down in the spin-able black desk chair (which he doesn’t spin) and tells me that the room isn't his.

There is a white board in the room. It has purple words on it - purple, the color of magick and Higher Knowledge. There are words about places and people - three of them in a list on the upper left side and one curved purple line connecting them on the right and a word is to the right of that - it is an answer to another person's problem, but I don't remember what it says. I just remember the word below it. Purple white-erase marker. Clear, printed letters. They didn't slope, but the 'i' was dotted in a small streak a bit too much to the right. Imagined, it read. Imagined.

I have my purse in my lap with the strap still across my shoulder. I don't take it off. I don't make myself at home. It is too risky. It is too presumptuous. It is Bad.

Adam is gentle with me. I remember back to a windowless office with depressed blue walls and a royal blue framed painting of a perfectly symmetrical garden. Five straight trees, rectangular clumps of colored flowers. Green, boxy hedges between them. A strip of a grey pavement road at the bottom of the frame. Short brown hair on another young student - a woman - who spoke of herself because I was silent and all I was thinking was Blank and Fluid as I folded the paper in half and half and half and half and half… Creased and dirtied with my sweaty fingers the emergency psychiatrist numbers became illegible.

She had tried to ease me into it too, the brown-haired woman. But we never got past the questions about school. Because it was all locked up in a grey steel box that I didn't mean to create and didn't want to try and open.

Adam's different though. He asks me how I am. I say okay. My voice is not Normal here. I am shocked by it. There is something different in it. It does not sound unusual. It does not break or quiver or whisper or squeak. But it is… seen? It is not the same opaque lie that it is Outside. Because the lie - the habitual, unavoidable, what-else-can-possibly-be-said lie is known here. Adam knows that I am not okay. He doesn't say that though.

He asks looks at the clip board. He comments on me not being siucidal. He comments on me having not finished the questions. He asks if I want to finish them. I say no. He is okay with that. He is okay with that. I am shocked and it is so, so very Good.

He asks about me. He gives prompts too - which is good because I am feeling strange. My leg is jiggling in an unstoppable fit of nerves on the ground. He doesn't mention it. My fingers are playing with the frayed end of my purse’s draw string. The threads spread and gather, spread and gather like fan opening and closing in my hands. I don't look at him. I tell him my favorite class is History. He asks why. I don't know. It is a class. But I tell him Truth: it just makes sense. The order of events and importance of people just click in my head. It is fascinating and applicable and I just like it.

He asks me about my family. That is a short one. I tell him how I have two moms - Mom and Beth - and how I have a little sister and two dogs and my grandparents live next door with my Great Grandmother. I don't mention how Grandpa has five horses and how the barn is literally in my back yard and how I haven't been down there in two months and how all the people come and go and come and go and I don't belong there anymore - they have taken it and there is no place for me there. I don't tell him how grandpa's legs get swollen and how Beth is so over weight and how my family doesn't have sit down dinners and how every time family is brought up in Psychology class and we are asked to write a few sentences about it - I lie. I say things that make my family Good. And I am ashamed of that, because I do love my family.

But all the little questions are just an intro. I know that, and he most certainly knows it too. Plans it. The clock on the wall is high and to my right so I have to turn to see it. I don't check it. That would be rude. And I am not so Tight Inside now. My eyes leave the kids toys to my left - a plastic toy car structure set on the short end-table in the corner between the chair to my left and plastic storage drawers that say "Not For General Use" in black type taped to the top. The type is not cut the right size and the paper over hangs the plastic and I want to trim it.

It was when I looked at him again - maybe it was a sign of relaxation he was waiting for, or maybe just coincidence - that he left the Safe Questions. Adam was lounged in his chair. Not unprofessionally, not in any sort of bad way, just… casual. Just him being him I suppose. I wondered, in a brief, fly-by thought, if he did it to feel approachable. It is cute, a very young thing to do it feels. In psych. class the substitute - Mr. Haggle, a very excitable ex-history teacher - was very passionate about gender differences last year. He seemed to believe firmly in the supposed differences and he found it fascinating. He read statistics; he said that girls sit tiny and close and compact and that boys spread out and lounge and take up space. In my mind I saw the room from the outside like a picture. I imagine Mr. Haggle's laugh and shining blue eyes crinkling deeply around the corners as he looked at the photograph - me with my hands in my lap, their fidgeting stilled by the camera, and my legs crossed and close facing Adam with his arms wide on the arm rests and his body relaxed against the back of the chair and his legs out and so casual. He takes up space in the small office - but not too much. If I look down I can be in Space and Alone and he is Small and Distant and Avoidable.

I look away again instantly, looking on the right at the paper cranes strung up on the wall. "So," Adam says. It was a word with the weight of an anchor being dropped - a foot being planted. I know the conversation's course is changing. My fingers, fidgeting gently with the string tighten. "About why you're here…" I wonder how many cranes there are. I start counting. One, two, "You're mother called, yesterday," he says the date with a slight question, but I am counting. I don’t want to hear. The large pink crane is the seventeenth. "She says you've been cutting yourself." And I lose count. Everything stops inside me. My forearms tingle in a weighty way and my chest is empty because my heart has turned to stone and fallen right away, leaving a long grey hole inside of me. My breaths disappear.

He asks how Mom found out. I say "I wrote her a letter." He asks how she took it. I say "Not well." He asks what she said, what our conversation was like. A short, snort of a sarcastic laugh escapes with my admittance: "I kind of - just threw it at her and left." I tell him she had given me an email telling me about the appointment she'd scheduled for me. I don’t tell him about the tiny note she'd put on my desk chair first and how it make me shake with cold and Emotions. Nor about how I took the note, unopened, in my sports bag with my journal and pen and shoved on my tennis shoes and fled. How I ran to the park and up the dirt paths until I was Alone and Hidden. Only then, in the green-light did I open the letter, terrified. All it said was to check my email. I sat there, digging my fingernails into the dirt and breaths sharp and wild, until the Craziness had died down. Until I could find a thought and hold it together with words. Then I took out my pen and wrote.

He asks me what made me want to cut. I have counted the cranes - there are probably fifty to seventy of them, taking into account my inability to focus. I look out the window - the blinds are down but tilted open. The leaves of birch trees flutter in green blurs outside, mixed with yellow blotches of sunlight. He asks hard questions. He asks questions that I don’t want to think, let alone say. But… he asks them so much Better.

Better than the brown-haired woman who I never told anything. Better than the whispering asian lady who hurt my trust in doctors. She sat in her grey-walled office in a bland, blue chair across from me and I thought it was confidential. She asked why I cut, and I thought 'I have to answer' so I said what I thought would work, because back then I didn't know. I was a small, grey girl myself, blending into the walls of her empty office. I told her "control". And she brought in Mom at the end, and told her everything. With me sitting there. Me, fidgeting and pulling away inside. Cringing and screaming and sobbing inside. So ASHAMED. So BAD. So SHOCKED.

The next time I went in, I saw the brown-haired woman. I never told her a thing.

But Adam… I had asked him about privacy. Right at the start. And he didn't whisper. He didn't hold a clip board like the asian woman and write down things I couldn't see and didn't know where they were going. So I tell him a Truth. As incomplete, and as imperfect and incorrect as it was. "It's for different things." Words flow in my head and tumble and tangle and Press. I stare at the white board. Imagined. I don't count. I don't count. I'm not Real. Not a Real cutter. There’s not Really anything wrong. Fake. Looser. Pathetic. Attention-seeking. BadBadBadbadbadbadbadbad, Imagined. Words are there, but nothing else comes out.

Adam waits.

Waits.

And it is the most… the best… the hardest…… It is Good.

The brown-haired lady did not wait. I did not speak, and so she filled the time with words. She said things about herself. She said things about coping. She said things and things and things. And, I don't remember a word that she said. Just that ugly symetrical picture, and her brown hair cut in a straight bob at her ear lobes and the feeling of her behind a tall, long, dark-blue desk that touches the floor in the front and hides most of her from view. The desk between us. Her leaning her elbows on it and looking at me, and me curled up small, small, small in the big, padded chair turned slightly away from her folding the paper over and over and over.

Adam breaks the silence, but doesn't give up and move on. He alters it. He asks if I have any recent cuts. I say yes. Truth. He asks where. I say on my thighs. He asks why.

Outside the leaves flutter in the wind and dance so blurrily they are like an impressionist painting - like I have my glasses off. I know why. I am rocking back and forth - just a little bit. My fingernails are pulling at the strings hard. My leg is moving faster, faster. My lips are shut. I am shut. Locked. Inside, I am Back.

I remember. Remember like a scene in a movie - close up flashes. Dark grainy wood of the open desk drawer. Band aids. Vet wrap - red and re-used. Bare feet running on carpet, wood, carpet, tile. A door shutting, hiding the click of the lock in the bigger sound of it's closing. Kneeling. Pants shoved off. Tool. Fast. Hard. Angry. (hurt me)

And the anger is less now. The disgust is not. The shame, the self loathing, hatred, revoltion… My mind is leaving the room. Safer place please. The top of the hill, walking the tiny path from the forest clearing out to the large grass field. Standing at the edge, looking out over the tall green grass that is blooming and bowing beneath the brilliant summer sun. The world is framed green with the leaves all around me. Berry bushes hum with bees.

He is waiting.

I glance at Adam. He watches me. But I don't feel scrutinized. I don't feel like the roly-poly bug we named Claudius - because we were reading Hamlet - and tortured in Biology. I look at my fingers. I stop opening and closing the string and begin to braid and unbraid it. "I'll tell you something else," I offer.

"Okay," he says. But I don't have something else to say. My mind scrambles, but nothing is Safe to say. There are nasty thoughts and feelings in me - what ever I tell him, it will be BAD. Awful. Badbadbadbadbad.

Adam is gentle again. He asks easier questions for a little bit and I tell him about my walks. I walk my dog at the park that is a hill and a grass field and dirt trails with no playground. I tell him that “Walks are Good” in that, I don’t hurt myself there, because he had asked. It is later that I realize that is not completely true. I didn’t mean to lie though. My fingers are still playing with the string. They are back to folding it like a fan.

He returns to the original question. He wont let me ignore it. "I don't want to talk about it." I tell him. But he keeps giving me chances. I can't say it. I can't. Nonononononono. "Was it something you did with someone?" he asks, prying ever so kindly. I want him to stop.

"No," I say too quickly. It is a truth, but I want to take it back. If I said yes, maybe he'd think I tried drugs or skipped school or stole something. He probably wasn't just meaning sex - which is what my stupid teenage brain jumped to. I can't take it back though. The 'No' hangs in the air in permanent-marker black. Is it obvious? Does he know? I am so BAD. I am so DISGUSTING. I am HORRIBLE. He asks again and again and again. Throughout the rest of the hour he gives me chances. Silence. Inside I am three thousand miles per hour.

No.

I tell him: "If I do it again, I promise to tell you." I wonder if he knows that promise is a threat to myself. A threat even more potent than the already-existing threat of more Hate Cuts and Punishment Cuts. I wonder if he knows that, if it happens again, I will tear myself to pieces. It will not happen again.

When it is over, Adam asks me if I want to come back. I wish he would just tell me to. Because then it would be Safe. But choosing… choosing to return is Bad. It is not Safe. It means I am selfish enough to take his time. It means I am self-centered enough and attention-seeking enough to want a full hour to talk about myself - to annoy him with my trivial problems. I am not a Real Cutter. I don't have a Valid reason - nothing Real and Actual. No traumatic event has screwed me up. It's all just me. Just in my head and chasing around in my thoughts. It is my Stupid actions and childish choices. It is my Mistake. And he must know it.

Adam doesn't say it though. He doesn't tell me that I am wasting his time and that he doesn't want to see me again and that he thinks I am Pathetic and a Stupid Little Girl. I "uh" and "um" and can't look at him at all. I am being so bad… but, I say 'okay' anyways. And he doesn't really react. We set a date - one week away. He turns to writing out a quick summary of the visit. With his back to me, I readjust my position, scooting around in the chair for the first time in an hour and a half. And, tentatively, looking at the cranes on the wall, I ask him:

"Are those your paper cranes?"

And he says no, and I remember that he said it was not his office. I feel a little stupid but shove it back. The clack of computer keys fill the office. He isn't a very good typer.

"I have paper cranes." I tell him. It is safer feeling now for some reason. And they are important. He turns back to me, his chair swiveling without a sound. Ours at home creaks and groans. It is strange how much attention he can give. I ask him: "Do you know the story of the paper crane?" He says no. I tell him. I tell him in short, little words the barest bones about the most life-changing tale. In my head I can see the story in pictures.

It is about a girl with long black hair - straight in the asian way - who is young and lively and likes to run. A girl who is bright and happy and superstitious in a good way, who falls sick with leukemia because of the atomic bomb. And when she is sick, she makes paper cranes to get well because if you make one thousand paper cranes your wish will come true. She is weak though, too weak for her tired hands to make a thousand cranes before she dies. Her classmates finish the thousand for her and a book was written and her story spread and she became part of the World Peace movement because her sad story shows the effects of war. There is a large, memorial statue for her and they put cranes at its base every year for Peace.

In seventh grade my history teacher read my class that story. And she had her student aide teach us how to make paper cranes. We all wished for peace that day, as we were supposed to. It was later that I wished for things that had Meaning to me. I tell Adam how I have over a thousand up on my ceiling in my bedroom.

In my head words are unsaid - like Basketball, Improvement, and Happiness. Ones like 'Fix me' and 'Don't mess up' and I think of paper cranes that are Red inside their colorful shells. Paper heartbeats - I think of how, sometimes, I can feel the wishes and thoughts and dreams and fears and Emotions I trapped inside them fluttering to get out. About how I can still sense them - feel the Weight of their desperate creation - when I lye beneath them at night. I don’t say that though, because how could I explain it? It is a mess of symbolism and emotion and dreams and pictures in my head. So I keep it Inside and say smiple, safe things.

He says he would like to learn how to make a crane. He says I will have to show him how next time. That was good of him, to say that. Because without a Light idea, a feeling of Innocence, tied to that office, I am not sure I could have gone back.



Silence can be golden but gold can sometimes suffocate
Like that girl in that James Bond film, too late to respirate
Tragedy can be plain to see with lights and sirens
But sometimes it ain't quite so clear, Domestic Silence

~Scroobius Pip


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Old 24-11-2010, 02:16 PM   #2
crazykat
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Wow I really liked this, would love to read more



"Recovery is something that you have to work
on every single day and it's
something that doesn't
get a day off."


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Old 25-11-2010, 12:03 AM   #3
Rynn
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazykat View Post
Wow I really liked this, would love to read more
Thanks. I was about to delete it. It's making me nervous…



Silence can be golden but gold can sometimes suffocate
Like that girl in that James Bond film, too late to respirate
Tragedy can be plain to see with lights and sirens
But sometimes it ain't quite so clear, Domestic Silence

~Scroobius Pip


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Old 25-11-2010, 12:19 AM   #4
shieldworld
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This is really good! Please don't delete it. You've managed to express pretty much everything that I'm feeling about being sent for CBT.




Psychology, NCL, 2010.




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Old 25-11-2010, 02:48 PM   #5
crazykat
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I hope you don't delete it, will you be writing more?



"Recovery is something that you have to work
on every single day and it's
something that doesn't
get a day off."


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Old 25-11-2010, 07:04 PM   #6
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i read this last night (it wouldnt let me comment randomly :P) and thought that this was brilliant :) please write more soon its reallly good :)

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Old 25-11-2010, 09:07 PM   #7
Louise
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i hope you do not delete it, it's really good. x





“Never lose faith in yourself,
and never lose hope;
remember, even when this world throws its worst and then turns its back,
there is still always hope.”


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Old 28-11-2010, 06:42 AM   #8
Rynn
 
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Thanks for all the nice comments. :) I think this part might be a bit boring… kind of really detail-y…

~~#~~#~~

The waiting room that one normally checks in at is closed for some reason; it has been for a month now. So I check in at the desk in the dark orange room with the little children sitting in the small plastic chairs to my right. I can remember green crayons and off-white coloring pages on that short table years ago when I was still in primary school and would come here with my mom and my sister. Innocent things happen with family it seems. Only Bad things and Secret things happen on my own. This is a Secret visit. I told Mom I was going to Mia's house to study math (Mia hasn't really spoken to me since August). The woman at the desk is brisk and I am nothing to her. She hands back the cards and I slip away to the left - she wouldn't recognize me if I got back in line and stood before her again in three minutes.

I walk down the hall. I go through the waiting room for the blood work lab first. I don't like that because the man and the two women in the white coats are sitting at the desks and are just feet from me. The desks are tall and have light wooden fronts that touch the ground in front. I walk by and don't meet their eyes. But, I am acting Normal so I pretend I am looking at other things, like the fake greenery that is on the end-tables covered in ancient magazines. That's a bit tricky because I don't want to meet the eyes of anyone sitting by those pots of greenery either. I make it though and arrive steps later, sweaty palmed, in the big, blue waiting room that Mental Health is supposed to check into. There are four people in the whole big, open space. One woman, a little hunched figure with Asian black haircut to her shoulders and a flat face looking down at a magazine, sits against the wall that divides this room from the last waiting room. She is in the shadows - I guess they don't bother with all the lights when the waiting room isn't being used to check people in.

The center of the room is well lit. A skylight lets in the fading sunlight. A man is sitting in a chair in the middle facing the TV. He has two daughters with him but I only see one at first. She is a big girl, heavy. She has dark hair and is ruffling her father’s hair as she leans against him as if the two chairs were a couch. I walk past, trying not to look like I am purposely avoiding them but also not like I am staring. I have no clue if I managed that. I go to my normal seat, sitting self-consciously in the second seat. There are three to choose from. One right next to the Door - mere inches from the door handle, and two more after a little table. I choose the first of those two because the third is in the corner - directly in the corner with the two walls fitting perfectly against the back corner of the chair. I am nervous, yes. I want to be hidden, yes. But I don't need to be in the corner where everyone can look and know that I am terrified. I am stronger than that. I am Normal. I sit in the second chair and pull the paper from my pocket.

I see the second daughter then. She is lying on the floor beneath the man and the first daughter. She is also big and dark haired. She looks like she might be in fifth grade. The other one might be in seventh. I watch them for a long time. They are disgusting. (I shouldn't judge so much, but it is all in my head. Really, it should be a bit okay, I tell myself, because I won’t tell anyone). They hold themselves in a way that screams Not-Popular. It is hard to pin point. They cling to the father, petting him, touching him, goofing off the whole time. At one point the father gets up to look at something on the wall and the two daughters follow. One stands behind and the other in front and they hug the father on a count of three and seem to be trying to lift him off the ground. Or just squeeze him. I can't tell. The father says to stop. The girls do not listen. The father has a quiet voice. A kind of sad, resigned voice. I can't help but wonder why they are here, in the waiting room by Mental Health. I feel embarrassed for the father.

The girls glance at me, long glances. Too long. Most people would make them shorter and more secret and more polite. The girls don't understand that yet. I don't know if the looks are curiosity as to why I am sitting alone in a chair beneath the mental health sign (it is big and bold and dark blue. It feels like it is neon green and flashing) or because they are goofing off in response to my older, 'cooler' presence. I would not call myself cool. But I have done that - been stupid with distracted thoughts of older, cooler people being near by. They are not clear thoughts. They are kind of wild, disconnected thoughts. I hate them. Looking back I always regret it. Regret it so badly…

I look at the paper in my hands. It is a tan note card. On one side is a list of Distractions: look at the sky, Breathe, journal, draw, etc. It is the other side I read now. "Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean it is not real?". I found the quote when looking for Theory of Knowledge quotes. I love that quote -

A man walks up. He is big. Very tall. He is built with large bones and he has short brown hair and a square jaw. He says "Hello." is a big voice. It is uncomfortable. It is far too loud for that whisper-silent waiting room made of lots of space and air particles. The man fills the space. All I can see is him in his heavy brown coat with snap pockets and slacks and brown leather shoes. He doesn't feel business-formal though. He feels like a bear. "Yeah, it's Thompson." he says, and I realize he is talking on a phone. The phone is one of the machines in his ear. He speaks in a booming voice about being somewhere and doing something. I wish he'd leave. I feel… open. I feel… like he is upsetting something. Like the room is different now that he is there - it is split into the waiting room, and my tiny rectangle of hallway. I wish he'd walk by. But he is pacing in a strange, decision-changing pattern in front of the Door.

The Door opens. A woman walks out, leaving. She is heavy in a good way. She feels like an old, Russian mother from the fairy tales - minus the headscarf and peasant dress, of course. A small woman's head pokes around the doorframe after her. The woman is a Doctor and has curly dark hair that is thin and also short. The booming-voice man moves toward her and she pauses and stops shutting the door. I don't understand what he is doing. She says, "Do you have an appointment with Dr. Skye?" and he says: "With Doctor Minsky" and she holds open the door so that it is perpendicular with the frame and lets him in. She has painted fingernails. They are baby blue. I hear the man say: "I have a doctors appointment - yeah, right now" as he walks in. The door closes with a huge CLACK and he hangs up his phone and it is silent.

I breathe. And breathe again. I look back down at the card and my hands are shaking. I do not like that loud man.

The quote is nice though. It is distracting because it doesn't apply to the big man with an earphone who paces too close to me. It applies to past things. To how I worry about things not counting. Sometimes I get so angry at myself… because I am really stupid. I don't have some Event I can point to and say 'Here, this is why I feel so bad I cut'. I just have… me. Just me. But the quote… I like to read it with my name instead of Harry's. I read it like Dumbledore is sitting in a big purple chair - a comfortable one that has gold stars and is purple - and he is saying 'It's okay, Rynn. It is just your thoughts… but why one earth should that mean it's not Real? Why should the fact that it is your thoughts mean it is invalid?' And it is a rhetorical question so I know he is really saying that thoughts count. And that is a very good thing to think of…

I fiddle with the paper. I crease it in half. And then in half the other way. In quarters and quarters and the corners fold down onto the mid lines and those fold down again… I fold and fold and try to memorize the quote and try not to think about Adam. Because I have been sitting out here for a very long time. And I am getting very, very nervous. I am wondering if folks are supposed to walk in like the loud man - but I have never heard of such a thing and I most certainly am not about to try it. I am wondering if Mr. Adam doesn't want to see me. I know I can be annoying. I --

I push that thought away. But more are there to fill the space. Is it the right day? Am I at the right place? Hush, I tell myself. The woman at the desk let you in. Just wait. Be patient. And I wait.

The table beside me has a pile of blank clipboards and one can of pens and one magazine. I take a black pen. The can clanks loudly. I feel as if every eye jerks towards me and I shrink into myself. I turn over my note card and try to add: "Give someone a compliment" to my list of distractions. But the pen doesn't really work. Well, it works on my skin, which I keep squiggling on to try and make it work on the paper. I get 'Give a comp' written down before the Door finally opens again.

A boy walks out. He is Hispanic and slightly chubby but mostly big boned. He wears a large white tee shirt and jeans and his black hair is shaved down close and he slouches. Adam is holding open the door. The boy goes over to the father and the two girls and they begin to walk away. I suppose the boy must be under 16 if his parents are bringing him here, but he definitely looks like a high schooler. Adam is looking at me.

I stand. It's kind of an awkward pause as I look at him and don't move - my note card is already safe in my bag. Then I catch on and step forward and step inside first because he was holding the door open for me and waiting for me to step in first. I cross the threshold to stand off to the side and let Adam walk first. He does, the door closing with a CLACK behind us. He leads with strong strides. I hadn't noticed that before. He steps with brisk, long strides. The type that make me imagine a ridged head bent down wards and long, straight arms swinging dramatically back and forth with each step. He doesn't do that though (which is good). He just steps big and brisk and decidedly.

Instead of following the hall down and going left, we stop for a door on the right.

It is a new room.

I don't like it.

I guess I have forgotten how Adam had said that he did not have a consistent room, how he had always said that 'today' he is in a room, and not simply that he has the room. This office is just Wrong.

It is empty. That's how it feels. Spartan bare. And it is brown. Overwhelmingly tan. On the wall to the right are life-size pictures of Cherry Tree branches. Adam says, "The cherry tree is a bit much, huh." but he says it in a polite way though. A joking, light-hearted way and he follows right up with a compliment to the woman who really owns the office. He gestures for me to sit, and I do. He sits. Between us is a board game.

"Since I have this out still, how about we play some?" he says like it is a question. As if I could say no, but I obviously can't. That would be unimaginably rude and just can't be done in that sort of context. I would say it, and he would blink in shock, maybe even move his head or something minor, but he would still be good and would not speak like I had to do it, but he would probably explain his reasons for wanting to do the game and then ask again. I don't mind playing a game though. I kind of shrug and nod.

I don't like the seating. I am not facing him. I am to the side of him. I am facing the cherry branches. They are parallel to each other, straight lines of computer-printed wood with pink blossoms. And they are all diagonal, going down the wall from right to left. They emphasize the fact that there are no other decorations on the walls.

He asks me what color I want to be. I shrug. I still have no voice. I haven't said anything for more than an hour. He pushes on though. He makes me speak in the nicest of ways. Never directly. Just by the questions he asks. This time it is not a yes or no one he offers. Adam pulls a bag from a game box behind him and says: "Which color?" The pieces look like tiny pawns. In the bag is a grey one, a purple one, a yellow one, and a green one. I don't want him to have to keep asking. I say, quickly, "Blue" but is comes out choked in my silent voice and he asks what I said. I say "Orange" this time, the other color that was already out on the board, and the irony doesn't escape me. I wonder if it crosses his mind. Maybe it's just another self-harmer thing. Another side effect of having cutting on my mind, all of the time, every day. Orange is the color for self-harm.

Adam has me go first. He offers me the dice. I say, "I don't know what to do." He is setting out the last of four piles of cards in the center of the board. He says "Just roll the dice" and he says it without sounding at all like ‘Come on, idiot, just go with it. What are you stalling for? Just play, for pete's sake. It's not exactly complicated!' which would, actually, not be an unusual thing to hear if I was with anyone but him. Adam is different. I don't know how he manages to be Good all the time - even in the little comments.



Silence can be golden but gold can sometimes suffocate
Like that girl in that James Bond film, too late to respirate
Tragedy can be plain to see with lights and sirens
But sometimes it ain't quite so clear, Domestic Silence

~Scroobius Pip


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Old 28-11-2010, 07:29 AM   #9
crazykat
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Oooh really good update



"Recovery is something that you have to work
on every single day and it's
something that doesn't
get a day off."


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Old 30-11-2010, 10:49 PM   #10
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love the update :)

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Old 02-12-2010, 05:56 PM   #11
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keep going its really good :)

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Old 03-12-2010, 06:32 AM   #12
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Who was your worst/best teacher? the card asks in black, italic font. There's a little clipart picture at the bottom of the centered words. It's a slice of pizza. I have no idea why pizza is the symbol for the cards titled 'Memories'. Adam asks what the card says. I turn it so he can see and he reads it aloud. I am thinking. I can see her in my mind. A short woman, blonde hair cut to her shoulders in a straight, flat line. Blue eyes that smile - because she always seems to be smiling when I think of her. An oval face, she stands in front of the black board with a map of the world drawn down and she tells us stories. Well, I was supposed to be learning geography - but I forgot all those jumbles of countries and capitals as soon as I handed in the quiz. What I remembered were the stories. What I remembered more than that was the Hope I had put upon her.

Ms. Williams taught me to make a paper crane. Ms. Williams was my seventh grade teacher - two periods per day as we covered English and History, and she was there in my life the year when I first cut myself. The year when I started wearing sweatshirts with my thumbs through them. When I began keeping a journal and writing things down and hating myself more directly and questioning and worrying… and maybe it was just because I saw her twice - more than the average teacher - that I grew so mentally attached. I was no one to her. Just another of the hundred plus students she had sit before her every day. But she was everything to me.

I remember one picture clearly. I was in the barn, cleaning Tabb’s stall. It was cold, brisk outside so it must've been winter. But I like cleaning stalls. Reba McEntire was singing softly from the barn radio and I was a million miles away in my thoughts. I was thinking ‘Dear Ms. Williams’ and telling her anything and everything that crossed my mind. Uncensored. Unsweetened. Just blunt feelings and truths. I did that a lot. Thought to her, I mean.

I look at the card and say, "Mr. Evans was my worst teacher." Ms. Williams… I don't know if it's because she is so wrapped up in self-harm stuff, or because the letters are embarrassing to think about - obsessing over someone who hardly knows how to pronounce my name - or because she is mine, but I don't want to share her just yet. It feels Bad.

"He was your math teacher, right?" Adam says and I look at him, surprised.

"I told you about him?" slips out of my mouth before I can think better.

"We talked about you being nervous about that math test…" he prompts. And I remember. Of course. I remember sitting on the concrete of the garage at home, rubbing fuzz and dog-fur off of a Welcome mat that was stored beneath a shelf as I held the phone close in the dark. I remember moving and moving and not being able to sit still as I 'uh' and 'um' my way to admitting that I… sort of skipped school because I wasn't ready for the test and I was so nervous and I just couldn't fail it. And I would make it up but my homework wasn't done and none of it made sense… I remember feeling a lot of words in my mouth, but only letting out a few. They were short, choppy sentences like staccato notes at a snails pace. Like periods dotting their way between. Every. Single. Word.

He asks me how the test went, "by the way". I look at the card without seeing it and say:

"Well… I haven't actually made it up yet." And he is surprised. After all, I told him I was a good student. My grades say I am a good student. I've had a couple B's, I'm not like Leo, but still, mostly A's is supposed to mean that I work hard and work well and study and am Good.

He asks if I am going to make it up. Like, ‘Will you ever make it up? Or are you going to slack off forever and just take a zero?’. He doesn't say that; he is nice. But he might as well say it, anyone else would. I would. But I am going to make it up, I actually have scheduled it already and so I tell him. He asks if "I should call you to make sure you take it". And that hurts a bit. Not bad, of course, because Adam is Good and he says everything nicely. But still. I will make up the test. I tell him he doesn't need to call me.

Adam goes next. He rolls a one. He jokes around like it is any old game - like a board game between school children in after school day-care and he is me and I am Leo and we are sitting on the edge of the stage in the gym and we are playing sorry again (because Guess Who is taken) and Leo rolled a five and I just rolled a one and I am put out, but since it is the start of the game I just joke and carry on about it a bit because that's how people play board games. He doesn't seem put-out though, which is good because I don't even see an ending-spot on the game, just a celtic-knot sort of everlasting hopping around the path of dots and answering questions. I think it's silly to try to call it a board game if there is no winning. It's just a poor disguise for a bunch of Gentle Questions. I don't say that though. I don't say anything. Adam landed on a pizza slice too and took a memory card from the pile.

"Who taught you your manners?" he reads aloud to me. "Well…" he says, leaning back in his chair, "My mother did, of course." He leans forward now. He is more animated today. I feel a bit small as he moves around. He keeps it just okay, but if he moves anymore I feel like I'll be pushed into the back corner of my chair by his Presence. He feels bigger in this office. Like the office is smaller than the other ones, but I doubt it really is. He tells me how his grandma was the manners-person, really. "But she was always really rude when she corrected our manners!" he says. I smile at that because I think that is just how things are.

I picture a mother walking with her kid through a line for food and saying ‘What do you say?’ in that rude, demanding and demeaning voice that most mother's get after a few years, or worse a few kids, worth of asking that question. He says how one time, when he "probably was too young to be calling our mother 'mommy'" his grandmother heard them and… he builds it up so much that I expect some crazy, awesome quote. He says, in a voice mean and grouchy enough to be on Monster's Inc.: "When are you going to stop calling your mother mommy?!" The quote is a bit of a let down, in a story it'd be better. But I kind of like it because it's true that little things matter. And how she said it, in a mean, grouchy, anti-Adam voice is why it would have hurt and is remembered.

Ms. Smith had a comment like that. I had a late assignment. I thought it was because I'd been gone during track (only later did I realize how stupid that was because she coaches track), but at the time I really thought the missing assignment was no big deal. So I stayed after to ask her about it.

She said, “I have already told the class.” and “I've been reminding people about it for days!” And the whole time her back was to me and I could feel myself standing there pathetically behind her as she shuffled papers in a way that said ‘Can't you see I'm busy?’ and ‘You are bugging me. I don't have time for you.’ Maybe it was worse feeling because I liked her. Maybe it was worse because I had a lower grade in the class to start with. Maybe it was just a bad day. But when I stood there and listened to her and didn't make excuses - because it is BAD to make excuses. You are supposed to take the blame you deserve - I just felt… tight. Icky. Bad. I was mad at myself. Her words hurt.

They hurt in the way that pulls you from your mind and sits you off to the side while she talks and talks and sticks you with needles of words that sting and burn in your Center. She gave me the assignment, finally, for partial credit but at that time I didn't care. I didn't even bother to snap it safe in the rings of my binder. I just shoved it all in my backpack and left.

My hands shook. Words like that make me hate myself. Because they are Right. They are so unavoidably Right. I should have paid more attention. What was I doing? I should be more responsible. I should be a better student. A better Person. Better, better, better. And the more the words rang in my head, the fewer words there were and the more emotions began to fill me. And by the time I was down the stairs I was single-minded. Nothing else even registered. Was Alisha at her locker that day to wave 'Hi' like normal? I didn't respond if she did. I just took the left and then the right and found the stall and locked the door and fished for a Sharp.

Because there were no more words in me. Just some big, hurting feeling. Something too big to be in me. It didn't fit, it was hurting me. So I let it out.



Silence can be golden but gold can sometimes suffocate
Like that girl in that James Bond film, too late to respirate
Tragedy can be plain to see with lights and sirens
But sometimes it ain't quite so clear, Domestic Silence

~Scroobius Pip


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Old 03-12-2010, 05:53 PM   #13
crazykat
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Loved the update, hope you write more soon



"Recovery is something that you have to work
on every single day and it's
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Old 03-12-2010, 10:22 PM   #14
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ooo love it. Very descriptive.....



your tears dont fall they crash around me- bullet for my valentine.

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Old 04-12-2010, 06:45 PM   #15
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this is so good

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Old 04-12-2010, 08:45 PM   #16
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I've just read this and i think it's brilliant! You're a very talented writer and capture the sessions brilliantly.




This is Marvin, He is my Be Safe Bee.


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Old 07-12-2010, 06:05 AM   #17
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Just want to say thanks for all the replies. You guys are really, really nice.

Adam hands me the dice. He says "Your turn". I reach out and let it roll off stiff fingers. A six. The orange pawn clacks loudly on the board as I count out my six places. Another pizza slice.

What is the best letter you've ever received? I can't remember a letter. Not a 'best' one. "What does it say?" Adam asks and I turn the card in my fingers so he can read. He says it aloud. "Have you gotten any more letters from your Mom?" he asks. I have. I don't want to think about it -

"Rynn, would you check your e-mail some time tonight?"

"Sure," I'd said. "Why?" But I knew. It's the sort of thing you know but ask hoping it will be something else. Hoping she'll say, 'Oh, I sent you a link to a faerie costume site.' or 'One of my authors wrote a really interesting post. I'm going to reply, but wanted to see what you thought about it first.' She didn't say that, just said: "It's no rush, just some time tonight."

And I did check it. I went to the g-mail account where all the other things I want to, but shouldn't, avoid are on. Between a college ad and a scholarship e-mail was the one from Mom. I put all the pens and pencils on my desk into the pencil-cup. I moved "A Heart of Darkness" and my rewrite of "The Teeny Tiny Woman" into my backpack and got up to throw away a stray gum wrapper. I straightened the picture of Zoë and Hannah and I from the 8th grade dance. It's in a nice gray frame with the word Friends in cursive at the top. Zoë gave it to me. I hardly know her now. Same with Hannah. I can go weeks without seeing them.

I contemplated re-braiding my hair.

I shook my head, took a breath, and opened the e-mail -


Adam is waiting. Silence. My fingers scrabble against my skin. They scratch at my knuckles and dig into my palm, running along a recent scar as if searching for the edge of a scab to tear. I stare at lines, tan with black shadows. Only later does it even register that I am staring at the closed blinds on the door's window. "I got some letters." I tell him,

"What were they about?"

Emma. They were about her. My sister. My sister. Emma. She read my diary, you know. Once upon a time when I was in 8th grade - four years ago. When I'd returned to cutting. When Mom thought I had stopped. She read my diary - red and yellow Griffindor crest on the front. Her in a teal blue room crying on her bed. Me: awkward, thankful she'd read an old journal. Me saying 'cutting isn't a good thing' and 'I'm done.' Telling her from across the room in a whisper-small voice that I am "over it". Me: lying.

And a modern image. The back of a foreign hand in a white truck's passenger seat. A side glance with purpose. Mom's words "She told me it was a berry bush… I don't believe her. Do you?' Do you? Do you? Do you?

Crisscrossing lines, small. A safety pin could do that. Light lines. Light cuts. Cuts. Cuts. Cuts…

I am loosing myself in the tan and black lines. My eyes scramble over the cherry blossoms raining in a diagonal fall. My fingers are pinching. It doesn't help. I can't tell him. I can't tell him. I just can't face it. I've never even written it down. Not even in Runes - safe, secret runes in a secret journal in a secret place. No. No where. I don't name it. Don't put words to it. I look at Adam. His dark dark blue shirt over a white shirt with a pointed collar poking out. Slacks with a line down the center of each leg. Black shinny shoes - business man shoes, but he makes them Good. He is looking at me. I - I have nothing to say. He is human. He is human. He is a good, good, person and he is not Mind-Adam. He is not the completely 100% safe Mind Adam that I can tell anything to because it's just an Idea. No, he is Real Adam. And Real Adam is… not completely safe. Because -

He said to trust him. Sort of. He said that a counseling relationship is "built on trust". He said he understood that it might be hard for me to trust him since he will be leaving - he is a Graduate student. Like a student teacher. But time isn't the problem - not all of it. I don't think it's even most of it. I am scared of him leaving - I don't think about that either. But…

There is a… rule in me. Rules. An ugly, dirty-yellow colored membrane around my thoughts that says Don't tell and feels like Major Bad Things will happen if I tell. It doesn't have words. It is just… a feeling. A powerful, powerful, irrational-but-controlling feeling.

He prompts me: "Volleyball?"

And I remember other letters. A smily face with long hair in green ink. "Yeah," I say. He asks from who. I think that is weird. "From Mom," I say. They are all from Mom. Only from Mom. I thought he knew that. He asks me how they make me feel. He helps too, prompts me with words when I struggle to find them Inside me. And then he says "Guilty?" and… it is Right. "Yes." I tell him. Guilty. Guilty for not playing enough. For not being athletic enough or good at volleyball. For being lazy and quiet and feeling bad and playing bad and practicing poorly. For being stupid and being scared crazy to sit side-by-side with coaches and players in short sleeves and coverup that doesn't really work. I feel guilty for failing and for letting my grandparents sit through a game on the hard, mean-to-arthritic-bones bleachers and not see me play. I feel guilty for not being Good Enough. Not Good Enough. Not Good. Not ever.

But Adam asks if there were more letters. And I am silent because the temporary peace from The E-mail is gone. And I am silent for a long time. Silent and fidgeting. I realize my legs have been vibrating up and down the whole time. I am moving moving moving as if I can move right past the question and avoid it forever. Finally I say, "No. Just those." And I know he knows I'm lying. And I shouldn't have lied. Trust. But… I just can't talk about it. If I say it, he'll want to hear more. More and more and I can't. I just CAN'T. So I let my lie hang in the air. He takes up the dice again. It's his turn.



Silence can be golden but gold can sometimes suffocate
Like that girl in that James Bond film, too late to respirate
Tragedy can be plain to see with lights and sirens
But sometimes it ain't quite so clear, Domestic Silence

~Scroobius Pip


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Old 07-12-2010, 07:29 PM   #18
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i feel like im right there in your shoes.

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Old 10-12-2010, 01:18 PM   #19
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:)
talent makes me smile




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Old 10-12-2010, 01:39 PM   #20
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Really good update



"Recovery is something that you have to work
on every single day and it's
something that doesn't
get a day off."


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