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Letters to Lovefraud: He flat out admits he is a sociopath

Editor’s note: The following letter was sent by 26 year-old Lovefraud reader “Clarissa.” Names have been changed.

My name is Clarissa. I have just ended a relationship with someone who I believe is a sociopath. I’m having a difficult time accepting and trying to understand this relationship and getting over the events that occurred.

Reconnecting with Blain after so many years

I will call my ex “Blain.” I had dated him briefly in high school and broke up with him. He randomly contacted me online 9 years later and was very persistent in me going for a coffee with him. At first I ignored him but when I saw he kept messaging me I said ok, I ended up meeting him and didn’t think anything of him except I found him a little creepy  (something about his stare).

At this time I worked late and had to take the subway late at night. He would always offer to pick me up from work and I found that nice and flattering (as he was making such an effort to see me even though my schedule was so difficult). I kept spending time with him almost every day. I began to enjoy his company and shared a lot of personal information with him. He seemed so perfect, listening to me and always being there. He had told me that once he “caught feelings for someone” he would usually disconnect from the relationship.

Things continued this way before I noticed we were seeing each other every day and he was always in contact with me, texting me, calling me always asking what I was doing. He would ask me a lot of questions about myself yet he wasn’t very open or wouldn’t really elaborate about himself (like what he did for work).

Blain becomes a different person

Within the first couple of months he was very attentive and would take me out for dinners. I began to develop an emotional attachment to him. However, I began to notice he would randomly send me strange texts and started criticizing certain things about me; he would call me an alcoholic if I wanted to go for a drink when it wasn’t his idea. He started slowly telling me who was right for me out of my friends and who wasn’t. Even so much as telling me my friends did not want anything good for me.

He had bought me an expensive phone after we dated for about 3 months. One day I noticed he hadn’t called me all day, which never happened. I finally called him in the evening and he was very rude and told me he did not want to be with me anymore. I was extremely upset and pleaded him to tell me why, he was reluctant to answer. He finally told me he doesn’t want a girl like me because I liked one of my classmates (male) photos on Facebook. We ended up getting into a huge fight over it and I begged him to come and see me. After this incident he started becoming a different person.

Obsessed with checking my phone

He became obsessed with checking my phone (the one he had bought me). He would get mad at me for the smallest reasons such as me interrupting him while he was speaking, making plans with my friends, drinking if I wasn’t with him or even when I was with him.

At this point I found myself walking on eggshells always trying to avoid him getting mad at me, which would lead to what I called the “punishment” of him being cold and rude to me. I was afraid to make plans with my friends. He never told me not to, he would rather tell me “go make plans” in a spiteful way, like you will see what happens if and when you do.

When I did go see my friends I would be scared to tell him so I would tell him I was doing other things. He would interrogate to the point I was extremely uncomfortable and tell him the truth. When I would tell him the truth he would consistently accuse me of being a liar over and over, and almost used it as an excuse to question my every move. If there was something I didn’t tell him he would call me a liar and would say he hates liars. He never wanted to trust me almost as if it was more convenient this way for him.
Moody, Distrustful, and Fired

All this behavior started to multiply. He became extremely moody and started checking my phone on a regular basis to the point where if my phone wasn’t on the dashboard in the car he would accuse me of hiding something. Not to mention he had 2 phones and one was used for “business.” I had never looked at his phones.

I started to catch on and told him he was very jealous and paranoid, he denied this and told me he was acting this way because I lied to him in the past. I told him that he is so controlling and his behavior makes me uncomfortable and how does he expect me to be open about everything when he gets mad at me over everything and criticizes my every move.

He didn’t like my job, which had me dealing with people in a high end hotel. He would constantly ask me did you ever go home with anyone you met there or had any relations, which I never did. He told me that job was bad for me . Eventually I got fired from this job, which left me in a very bad place.

At this point he pretty much isolated me from all of my friends, so all I had left was him. I started feeling terrible anxiety. One of my long time friends contacted me, and Blain told me he thought it was embarrassing if I was friends with him and wouldn’t be with me if I was friends with this person.

One time when he saw I spoke to this friend and when Blain asked me I denied it. He forced me to check my phone and when he saw the phone call he threw a huge fit, swearing and yelling at me in a public place (pharmacy). He again threatened to break up with me and when I tried to calm him down he literally pushed me so hard away from him.

We had nothing

The controlling got worse until I was clearly unhappy, since I wasn’t working. It appeared he had a lot of free time on his hands. He would always want to spend time with me every day, until the point came were we had nothing to talk about anymore.

He told me he was working and he had all these big plans, and he was working on something new. He later admitted to me he was never working during this time. When I wanted to go out like we did in the beginning of the relationship, he would tell me he has no money and that I was too used to how things were in the beginning, that I wasn’t happy unless he spent money on me (which was never the case).

Old friends and new friends don’t mix

One day I decided to go for lunch with a childhood friend. He had known I have been friends with him forever. I was scared to tell Blain this and told him I had gone with my mom. While I was having lunch, he had driven by my house to see which car I was in and was texting me “where are you,””I know where you are.”

I told him the truth and he broke up with me stating, that I’m a liar and he doesn’t want a girl that goes for lunch with another guy and lies (even though he had known he was a good friend of my mine since we were kids.) HE SAID YOU EITHER DROP YOUR FRIEND OR INTRODUCE ME TO HIM (my friend hated him since high school because he said his stare made him uncomfortable).

I’m  a sociopath, you’re a liar

Blain told me he just can’t live with that at all. When he was breaking up with me he stated he was a sociopath and had roaches in his head. When I asked him to elaborate he would tell me he will go to any lengths to get what he wants and that he’s done a lot of things in his life he is not proud of.

Within hours of breaking up with me he was contacting me non-stop. I felt guilty because Blain’s birthday was a day before he broke up with me. I begged him and pleaded him to forgive me until he did, but not fully. He would consistently call me a liar again.

Eventually I told him we couldn’t be together and he did everything in his power to get me back. My parents and friends started hating him because they long noticed his negative effect on me. I was very hesitant to take him back at this point and he had promised he would never hurt me again and would never leave me that he loved me. Then he stated that he only realized he loved me when he broke up with me, which did not make sense, since he had told me he loved me previously. I had the worst feeling about taking him back and eventually since he was so persistent I did.
Not good enough to meet the parents

For about a month, he was on his best behavior. After a month I started to see his old self slowly re-appear. He would have sudden mood swings to the point where I didn’t even know what mood he would wake up in and how he would treat me that day. He started complaining about how little sex we were having in comparison to the beginning of the relationship (which was all the time because I almost felt obligated to. If I didn’t he would get mad at me or act unsatisfied).

We both lived with our parents and he never made any effort to introduce me to his parents and therefore he would never invite me over when his parents were home. When I brought this up to him he made excuses like I didn’t hold the fork in the right hand when I ate and later said he was joking.

I had told him I didn’t want to have sex in his car any more, that it degraded me and made me uncomfortable. He did not like this and threw a tantrum and even tried to manipulate me into feeling guilty, like I wasn’t pleasing him as a man. He once even told me that if I didn’t please him he would find someone who would.

At this point I was confused and told him he was a manipulator and his behavior was disgusting and immature. He admitted to his behavior and said he can’t believe himself and how’s he’s acting, but a day later would go back to complaining and draining my energy over this issue.

During this time I started noticing I was losing my attraction to him, that his immaturity had completely turned me off. I would notice he would sit there and expect me to make a move on him, and when I didn’t, he would treat me badly (ie.”punish me”). I started questioning if I even enjoy his company, because of his constant interrogations, accusations and criticism (which he stated he wanted to better me).

There was so much inconsistency with what he said, based on his moods.  After he could tell me he was crazy, within 20 minutes he would act like he never said and anything and called me crazy. He even told me he had an outer body experience, where he looked in the mirror and didn’t recognize himself that he often looks in the mirror and feels incredibly angry.

It’s over

I had called an old friend one day just to say hi. After the phone rang twice, I had hung up before he answered and later that evening I met up with Blain. As soon as Blain saw my phone light up he got angry and said, “You have a message, why is your phone on silent. What are you hiding from me?”

I got scared and told him it was my friend calling from his work number. He wanted me to call that person back in front of him and I wouldn’t. He called me the next day and said I will either tell him the truth or we are done.

That same day I met Blain after work. I had to use the washroom so he stopped by an ice cream shop. I asked Blain to join me  and/or if he wanted anything.

While I went to use the bathroom he had completely checked my phone and was standing outside the ice cream shop with a very scary intense stare. I had asked if he wanted any of my ice cream and he replied no, I checked your phone lets read it together. I refused. It humiliated me. I had told him it wasn’t like what he thought — nothing happened. He didn’t want to hear it.

This was also 2 weeks before my birthday. He dropped me off at home and told me he needs space. I had not spoken to him in 10 days he didn’t call and I didn’t either.

After 10 days he began calling and texting me non-stop I ignored him for 3 days and he didn’t stop. Eventually I answered and told him I want nothing to do with him any longer. That didn’t stop him. He mailed flowers to my work, bought me a very expensive birthday gift, and flowers again and I still refused to get back with him.

He still continues to contact me randomly either asking to talk, telling me he loves me, at times he admits he’s wrong and at times he gets angry and says hurtful things. He consistently asks me over and over if I’m seeing someone else. I tell him after such an unhealthy relationship it’s very hard to get into another relationship. He constantly asks if I’m sleeping with someone and I tell him honestly that I have not. I even told him that it seems to me that he was always so paranoid of me cheating is because he was doing it himself; since I never did, nor did I question him about it. He says he never did that he’s not a traitor, but I tell him he would never admit to it regardless.

As of today he just says, “I made a mistake. I may be wrong at times don’t be angry at me. I never wanted anything bad for you.” I was going to put a ring on it. It truly seems he just don’t feel any empathy or doesn’t realize how his actions affect others, and just says things without really meaning it.

Based on your previous experience I know you have a good understanding of sociopaths behavior. Does Blain fit the characteristics? This relationship really took a toll on my emotional well being. Please give me some advice based on your opinion?

Clarissa

Donna Andersen responds

Yes, Blain is a sociopath. In fact, he is a textbook case, which is why I wanted to post your letter. If any Lovefraud reader sees this type of behavior, know that you’re dealing with a sociopath. It will never get better. You should end the relationship.

 



11 Comments on "Letters to Lovefraud: He flat out admits he is a sociopath"

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  1. Redwald says:

    Clarissa, I must congratulate you on keeping your head screwed on straight! Although you did get “sucked into” this unfortunate relationship with Blain, it seems clear from your story that you remained very aware of what was happening all along, and realized it was wrong. That’s all to the good.

    When we have no way of knowing about the nature (or even the existence) of personality disorders, anyone can easily fail to realize just WHAT is wrong with a person they’re dating and WHY. Anyone can be confused, as you obviously must have been. “Walking on eggshells” (as you’ve described) is one very common response when people try to cope with something they don’t understand. Whatever exactly is wrong with Blain, there is no doubt that he has a personality disorder of some kind.

    Still, it does seem that you were clearly aware all along that whatever was “wrong” was something wrong with Blain—in which you were entirely correct. That’s a healthy realization on your part. Luckily you didn’t take it too far upon yourself to blame yourself for whatever was “wrong” with the relationship, where some people might have done—and might have remained stuck in that relationship for years, trying to “fix” it. I understand that you did feel “guilty” because you “couldn’t help” the guy—which wasn’t your fault in the least—but although you tried hard to make the relationship work, you did the smart thing by getting out of it! You were obviously operating out of a healthy respect for yourSELF, which is all to the good. Some people, sad to say, don’t have that.

    Oddly enough, even though this guy used the word “sociopath” to describe himself, I’m not sure that he is one. With one or two exceptions, he sounds more like a classic borderline to me. He has the two main traits very clearly. One is his extreme jealousy and possessiveness, rooted in an exaggerated fear of “abandonment.” You used the word “paranoid” yourself to describe him, and it was very accurate. The second notable trait was his mood swings, which could cause his attitude toward you to change unpredictably. These mood changes are also typical of borderline personality disorder. The emotional instability underlying them is quite distinct from the emotional flatness that typifies the psychopath (or “sociopath”).

    Mind you, that doesn’t necessarily mean borderlines are “not as bad” as psychopaths. Many of them can every bit as bad, even dangerously violent. Unlike the psychopath, they may be more capable of empathy and of having a “conscience” at times, but they’re so wrapped up in their own issues that those faculties aren’t functioning much of the time. And just like the psychopath, borderlines are well known for being manipulative, just as you noticed that Blain was.

    Whatever precise personality disorder he has, no doubt it’s one of those nasty “Cluster B” ones, and the details don’t make too much difference in the long run. It’s all the same in two broad ways. The first is that you can’t possibly live happily with anyone like that. The second is that no matter what was “wrong” with him, you were, fortunately, able to recognize that he was messed up, too messed up for you to waste your time with.

    Only one or two minor details are missing from your story. If you can remember, it might be interesting to know why you broke up with Blain after dating him in high school. Of course, people in high school do date and then break up. It is a period of experimentation with dating. Just the same, I wouldn’t mind betting that you broke up with him originally because you “sensed” something wrong with him back then, even if you couldn’t put your finger on it at the time.

    Also, while I may be wrong, it wouldn’t surprise me if you originally grew up in a family that was healthy enough for you to know how normal people relate to one another, so that you could tell quite soon when something was “different” and “not right” with the way someone like Blain was treating you.

    Anyway if all this was an unpleasant experience, I hope you’ve been able to learn something from it so that you can spot all the quicker if there’s anything badly “off kilter” about anyone you may date in the future. Good luck!



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  2. Redwald,

    A terrific, thoughtful response to Clarissa – thank you do much! You made many valuable observations.



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  3. onmyown says:

    Clarissa, RUN! He might be a sociopath, he might be BPD. He definitely has something going on and none of it is good. This is a very bad dude. It’s textbook emotional abuse and manipulation.

    I think every woman on the planet should be leery of an old flame, especially an old high school boyfriend, who finds you and tries to reconnect on Facebook. For every one story you hear about people reconnecting with their one true love, there are a thousand stories of deeply disturbed and emotionally stunted men who come back and hurt a woman a second time. I have my own story of a high school sweetheart who found me on FB 25 years after graduation, and he turned out to be a raging alcoholic who wanted to use me for sex and money. So be careful,ladies,and listen to your intuition!



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  4. LadyA says:

    Clarissa,

    I am trying to think how to put my current feelings into words. Reading this is like looking in a mirror. The familiar knot in my stomach tightened and my heart started to beat faster. My body involuntarily started kicking back into survival mode. I know all too well what you have gone through physically and emotionally. That is why I needed to reply to your letter.

    Please, please, please do not talk to that man ever again. I promise you it will be the best thing you ever did. He is a Sociopath. No doubt about it. Don’t for a minute feel guilty for what you think you are doing to him. He doesn’t feel hurt or betrayed. He is upset that he lost his toy. A healthy relationship will find you some day but this is not it.

    LadyA



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  5. learnedmylesson says:

    What I noticed with my s/path…is that they accuse you of the things THEY are.Right to the bitter end.Once I figured THAT out…I pretty much laughed at how pathetic s/paths are….and predi ctable .



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  6. Stargazer says:

    Clarissa, you had enough of a sense of yourself not to completely lose yourself in this relationship. I completely understand how you can get worn down by dysfunctional behaviors until they become more tolerable. Once your energy has been drained and you have become isolated from your friends, it becomes more difficult to make the break. But you did it, with your sense of yourself still intact. This shows a lot of strength.

    A good question to ask yourself in the aftermath is why you stayed after seeing the first signs of abusive disrespectful behavior. This is a really good question because it will lead to discovering whatever your vulnerability was in being targeted. For me, I stayed in a few dysfunctional relationships long past their expiration date. The reason was a deep fear of abandonment. I would rather be with someone who treated me badly then to be abandoned by that person. I didn’t have a problem with being alone in general. I have spent much time alone. It’s the abandonment that was so painful. In facing the fear of abandonment, I began to heal, and I’m still confronting this issue.



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  7. Viewpoint says:

    What’s done is done and it’s probably best to start fresh but with some lessons to be learned. The most important point of your story is that neither one of you is independent yet…And there’s a big learning curve out there for both of you.
    #1: Anyone who attaches to you better be wanting you to meet his people and they meet you at some point. You should resist getting attached until he’s extended that invitation. And if he doesn’t, for whatever reason, it’s a red flag. It can mean he’s not going far with you, it can mean he has family issues (that you’re going to feel/suffer somewhere in the relationship) or it can be a sign of immaturity. Call me traditional but it’s a good tradition as well as a heartening sign of the relationship moving to solidarity.
    #2 This business of your male friends(e.g.male friend’s facebooking, calling, lunching, etc.) looks like your mishandling from naivete. All of us have insecurities. We tend to find out about the other’s insecurities for an incident. If we want our insecurities respected, we must give the same in return. And if doing that, will narrow our lives or cost our lives too much, we must recognize that as such. In other words, the boyfriend is not wrong for his insecurity about other men involved in your life anymore than you are wrong for having male friends. What goes to bad, is if you either don’t respect his insecurity or haven’t calculated what caring about his insecurity will cost you.
    He wanted to break up with you when he learned of this Facebook friend. Regardless of what that Facebook friend meant to you or didn’t mean to you, it meant something other for him. And his choice to save himself from what it would mean to him was his to do… It was actually a clean choice; although, as life can be, poorly timed or wound up with a scene in the drug store. (Which you may have been instrumental in by pushing and pushing with him. Men are actually rather black and white. We women can make the mistake of deterring them with our “reasonings”…Deterring them for the moment, that is. And that can add to their furor. It very well may have been you to have put him in the situation where the furor came out publicly.)
    He couldn’t handle you associating with males outside of him. He may have been agreeable to you both associating with your male friends but not okay with you doing so alone, outside of his earshot. Interestingly, you went on to doing just that again. You had no choice but to hide the fact because you knew how it was for him but you still did it. That was unfair of you: You really only had the fair choice of respecting his insecurity or letting him know that you would not be able to do that. Your actions may have led him to scrutinize you more and be uneasy.
    Here’s the thing I’d like you to get: This wasn’t a relationship that was going to go anywhere to your dreams and there won’t be that until you are independent and your suitor is independent; having done your time with real time adult issues of financial responsibilities, vocational responsibilities and strains/stressors of navigating all of those. This was just a relationship to cut your teeth on. And one thing you can take with you from it now is give to the other what you would want given in return and be true to that. He wanted you to respect how he felt about other guys in the picture, you wanted him to respect how it felt not to meet his parents (and you might felt the same about other gals in the picture for him.) If you can’t respect another’s insecurity or it will cost you too much to abide by it, then recognize it as that and about yourself… Nothing wrong with that and nothing wrong with his insecurity either. It’s just wrong to make people wrong with how it is for them…plus, you don’t make many friends doing that.
    As for the in and out business going on: Honey,don’t go to psych labels so fast to overlook that people always have ambivalences… except in the movies. You do, yourself. You stayed clear for 2 weeks after the last episode and then you caved to the calls. You probably lived those two weeks on the staying power of anger;just like he did for 10 days. When that ebbs, folks are now settling into what’s next: The loss. It can be hard to take…as much for him as you.
    He’s not “love bombing” you in some pathologic way, he’s expressing the loss he feels and he’s doing the best he can with what he knows to engage you. Don’t misunderstand this. He’s not a psych prototype, he’s just a young person. And so are you a young person who doesn’t know that we don’t get matched up with heroes, we get matched up with faulty human beings. That’s the truth and you will come to find that out in your years ahead.
    What can you do at this point? You can acknowledge to him your own misunderstanding about relationships because you are young: That you didn’t appreciate that you, yourself, had let him down engaging with males even though you knew it disturbed him.(Doesn’t make you a criminal or lousy/unworthy person… You were just a bit too short sighted; didn’t step into his shoes.) And you can drop all the emotionalism/passion stuff to both look at where you guys really are in the stage of life you are at: Young, inexperienced, having more notions than facts about so many things including relationships… That you’re both ripe for failing each other at this point even though never your intents. That you’d both be wise to get more life under your belts and self sufficiency before you involve yourselves in a serious relationship. And from that acknowledgement you learn this: Having a classy break up rather the theatrical kind. Those latter kind only do this: They delay the feelings that come with loss and disappointment…. That’s all they really do. And for that delay, you’ve wasted time in self righteous angers or diagnoses that occupy you until those just don’t work anymore and you’re left to get back on track with life.
    I know the pill is bitter: To just accept that neither of you were prepared for a serious relationship and to be back alone to do your life. The only way you’ll take that pill is to believe what I say… You’ll only be putting it off and not coming away with much useful to you in the future.



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    • Stargazer says:

      You know, though I do think this guy sounds disturbed, I have to give some credence to some of the points Vision makes. I say this only because I have just had a budding relationship end abruptly (just recently) due to misunderstandings fueled by Facebook. Not sure if I should go into details, but I have learned to be very careful what I post and who I tag. Pictures and stories posted could seem very innocent but could trigger insecurity and doubt in someone you’re dating. And vice versa. And they can be downright hurtful without your even realizing it. There are ways to keep someone as a FB friend but to prevent them from seeing your stuff and vice versa. I have started practicing very strict boundaries in this regard because too much information on Facebook can destroy trust and invade privacy, especially with someone you don’t know well.

      The other part of this is that non-disordered people do also have insecurities and trust issues. What I have learned from my recent romance that ended is how important it is to communicate clearly to the other person in a way that doesn’t criticize them or confuse them. And how to set boundaries over what I will and will not tolerate. For instance, I don’t have a problem with my partner having lunch with an old female friend. However, I draw the line at dinner, going out drinking alone with her, or going away for the weekend with her. This is my personal boundary. I don’t think there is anything wrong with having boundaries so I can feel emotionally safe and comfortable with my partner. This does not mean that I would control them or tell them what to do. But it might mean that I would not continue being in a relationship where my limits were not being respected because it erodes trust.

      Usually, insecurity is based on fear of loss of love. And it can go both ways. If only both partners could share this fear with each other, instead of accusing each other of lying and cheating, it could bring them closer. Through our partners, we are trying to heal our unresolved past – that deep down sense that we are not worthy of love. Sharing our fear on a very deep level and having the person not abandon us can be very healing. I know for myself, my first response when my fear of abandonment gets triggered is to become jealous and assume the worst, rather than to use my feelings and doubts to question and set limits. I observe that this is true of many other people. I now use my therapist as a dating coach. He is teaching me how to express myself clearly and respectfully in my dating relationships. Unfortunately, his advice came too late to save the last one. Personally, I am of the belief that we don’t need to be perfect to enter into a relationship with another. We do need a solid sense of ourselves and the ability to love. However, we do enter into relationships with our unresolved issues. It’s how we handle them that can make or break a relationship.

      A final point I want to make is that “borderline” is a catch-all phrase for anyone acting out abandonment issues. According to my therapist, recent research is showing that PTSD can have the same symptoms of borderline disorder. Labels can be very damaging when misapplied.

      After reading Vision’s post, I reread the original article, and it does appear that this guy is sociopathic, however. I don’t see any kind of healthy discussion going anywhere with this guy, and it’s good you are out.



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  8. Shelby says:

    In several aspects, this has been an enlightening experience for you… although it has been painful, please continue to be grateful that something awakened you to very troublesome issues with this man.
    I feel as if those painful times can serve to protect us all in the future. If we listen to what has transpired, we may find that it’s not so much a specific label that is required. Perhaps it is more a listing of a cluster of traits and behaviors someone has shown that highlights severe pathology. It’s the type of pathology that is dangerous for one’s mind, body, and spirit. I was thinking about a certain relative from my past for whom no better word pops up rather than ‘toxic’. I used to search for a proper term for her according to criteria and there was so much crossover with symptoms that I came to the conclusion that ‘toxic’ was best and I have since stayed out of contact.
    You will do well to stay out of contact with this man and make it your goal to maintain relationships with healthier ones who show respect for you and your concerns. Best of Luck to you and many happy years ahead!



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