Saturday, March 17, 2007

Background - Part One

On occasion, I will take things regarding my transition and edit them slightly for public consumption and then repost them.

These will start with the following few posts, since, it appears, my Internet is down for the evening and I'm basically cut off from some of my tools as a result and yes, I believe it has something to do with Topix, lol.

These are the ones that are the most intensely personal. These are the ones that hurt. This first one is the first posting I made about it. Its followed by another one made around the same time.



There's so much inside me that I need to let out in one massive push just so that I can see it it, if nothing else.
 So here I go.
 My name is Vyxyn, and I'm a girl.
 That reads funny to me right now, sitting here in the boy mode I've been in for so long and just now starting to realize that all those nights of wishing and being so utterly disappointed in the morning weren't actually wasted, just misdirected.
 I call myself a girl, though, not a woman. The women I've known in my life generally think that sorta silly, but now, more than ever, I think this is true. I am still a girl. I've got a long way to go to grow up, too.
 I'm sitting here at the place of my release, writing this out, and for the first time in ten years I'm sobbing about this issue. Because it is an issue. Its one that has influenced everything I've ever done in my entire life, and the thought of how different things might have been for me had I known all of this twenty years ago is killing me.
 I don't have a lot of early childhood stories. I've seen a few here and there as I've researched this of late, and I've always been interested in the idea, of course, so I've caught the occasional crap and hope and truth here and there.
 I don't have early childhood stories, though, because I don't remember my early childhood. At all.
 And now, at this point in my life where the one person who could possibly answer questions about them is needed, she's not around anymore. Which isn't her fault, mind you -- she sorta got caught by that always smiling friend that awaits all of us at some point.
 I do have some memories from when I was young. The earliest I can see, though, is one where I was in kindergarten, and I had all my early primers collected (I remember being excited as I collected each one, and how I would read them over and over again, and how Jane was oh so cool, and how you know, when I read my books I laid there just like she did when she read hers).
 I remember that I always did everything I could to hide my body. Not just from the outside world, but from myself. I still do that, in fact. I have only been naked around men three times in my whole life, and each time was far worse than the one that preceded it. The culmination was when I was in the army, and I had no way of getting out of it.
 The second one was when I was a teenager. As I reflect now, it wasn't all that bad. My friend at the time was a boy named E*, and he was exploring his sexuality at the time (he was, last time I heard anything about him, in California, deep in the gay club scene). Somehow he managed to get me to do what even my own mother hadn't been able to make me do: get completely naked. Until that point, I hated being visible.
 Nothing happened from that experience, I should note, other than to confirm to me (secretly, as I somehow managed to even make it apparent to him) that I wasn't "gay", which by that time was something I was worried as all heck about. Still it left an indelible memory that centers around his fascination with the one part of my anatomy that I've never exactly hated, but simply didn't find was of any value.
 As a kid, it annoyed me. Enough that I would try to make it go away. I used to sort of fold and roll it all up into a little bundle (a memory I haven't had in ages, recalled now as I write this). It looked better that way.
 When that obviously wasn't going to work, however, I was in my teens, and I began what has been pretty much my modus operandi ever since.
 I ignored my body, unless I had a need for it.
 This came in handy when I was at the last point in my life where I could have done this the way I feel I need to. I had to move a lot then. I moved every other month for two years. Since I'm a writer, and a reader, and I love books, I sorta had a lot of moving of heavy stuff to do.
 I'm not going to miss that, though. I think I'm going to welcome that, lol.
 I have a pretty strong will. My step mother used to say that I was the only person she knew who could out stubborn a mule for real. Once I set my mind on something, that was it.
 But therein lie the rub
 Since I ignored my body, I paid attention to my mind.
 I lived in it.
 My first closest friend was a girl. Years later, when we met as young adults during a period when I was just beginning to be on my own, I still had the crush on her I'd had back then -- one that had blossomed into her being my first girlfriend.
 She was gay then. And I was no longer as girlish as I once had been.
 I was bullied by the local bullies, of course, but none of them would hit her or pick on her -- she'd have creamed them, lol.
 I always used to go to the slumber parties.
 Then, one day, I wasn't allowed anymore, and after that I wasn't invited anymore, and then puberty hit.
 Puberty was bizarre.
 I was with my step-father/father (hard to explain) for the summer. He's a great guy, and unfortunately I'll never be able to tell him that. At least I was able to tell him I loved him. And I was able to be there for him when my half-brother died.
 He had a motorhome. It was one of my favorite places, because the motorhome held great memories of being a family, which has been, and still is, important to me. For some reason, at the wonderful age of thirteen, a year year after having finally learned to ride a bike and during a period of my life where there was a huge level of concern about me that I was only partially aware of, I was spending the night in the motorhome alone.
 I was going through the whole thing, looking in all those nooks and crannies and there I came across the bikini.
 I was a girl for the first time in years for that moment. I say that that way because I knew it was different, but I didn't care.
 I slept in it, lol. I wanted my breasts to fill in, to prove to them when I got up that I was a girl, and stop being so darn weird.
 I don't think I was ever discovered about that.
 I wasn't so lucky a few months later when I had overslept on a weekend, and my mother came in to wake me up for school and found me in her dress.
 She was in shock, and upset, and my little brother sniggered, and I was utterly mortified.
 My mom was a good mom. If she were alive today, at this point in my life, if I were to turn to her and say I needed to be a girl, she'd help. It would take her a week or so -- maybe a month at the outside. But she'd have done it all.
 I realize that now, because hindsight is a wonderful thing, and I wish I'd had the presence of mind and the sense of what the trouble is when I could have had her help.
 She bought me books on sexuality. bought herself books on parenting, lol. And, I have to say, from that point on, she always did have this thought I was gay in her mind. I think this would have been a relief, lol.
 She didn't think gay was very cool, though,. We used to argue as adults about such things when she would ask. I'd say "well, what if I was?" and she'd have that look that I see even in myself when I've been had gay men ask me out -- a wriggling to get away, a sliding of the eyes away.
 Given that usually the men were my friends is a whole 'nother issue, lol. When Jerry told me about the crush he'd had on me for ten years, I was floored.
 Even my own wife has said she thinks I'm gay sometimes, lol.
 And each time I had to say no, I'm not, and then *stop*. Because how the heck am I going to tell them that I'm not gay, I'm a girl, I just look so damned horrible you can't tell.
 I didn't fit the look of a girl, and I couldn't live in the role of one. The teachers when I was thirteen were concerned for my emotional 'maturity'. I wasn't as 'mature' as the other boys. I was overly body conscious, apathetic about sports, avoided any large group of boys, had very few male friends.
 I was asked one night, late, lying in bed, if I wanted to go on with school or skip a grade.
 It had been a tough time. First their had been the whole bikini joy, and then I got caught, and then I got shipped off to be with my very masculine uncle on his ranch.
 I loved the time on the ranch. Except for the sheep. The pigs were really cool, though -- I kept hoping I'd see a Wilbur for myself.
 My answer was yes, of course.
 what wasn't spoken was that I needed to be more like the boys.
 I loved my mom. She was the only person on the planet who could calm my rages. And she was the only one who ever knew the reasons for them. I don't think she ever told me all of them, just enough to sorta push me along towards finding out.
 But by then I was sliding into the denial that I've developed so strongly, I guess.
 It was sad. I had two girlfriends in high school. Never had sex. I remember how the one that gave me the most cred (cause she was hot) was always so upset with me. We'd get all hot and heavy in the petting, and I'd never go anywhere with it.
 I eventually did have sex. It was eh. I fathered a little girl, I found out later. Had to sign away custody, and she was adopted away.
 I went into the army.  I was *jealous* of the female recruits though, when in bootcamp. The only benefit was that at that time I was still darn enough in skin tone that I could pass for half black, which, as some of you probably know, isn't a term -- you are either black or you are white, and half way doesn't cut it.
 I didn't have a problem -- it was nice. I always had big guys around me when we went out.
 But then, I went out almost never.
 The army ended, and the last time I had a chance for going my own way was there, and I had no clue about what was possible or even what was wrong.
 I know -- I've had more chances since then and I can do this anytime and all that.
 no, sorry, It wouldn't work that way for me. Would have been nice.
 Would have me a happier girl by far.
 Went to college. Wanted to be a teacher. Fat chance. At that time, there was a huge bias against men in early childhood education. No one said anything to me, but I was once again surrounded by girls, and I had tons in common with them, and it felt right, and once again people made that same strange association.
 Ended up taking anthropology. That led to taking sociology.
 Then I had to survive, because my money ran out and I've always had a huge problem asking for help.
 I'm stubborn, independent, all that crap -- right?
 it was a good front. I'm not stubborn. I'm very good at ignoring things I dislike, and when I ignore something, it ceases to exist. I wasn't independent -- hell, if anything, I think I've been co-dependent for my entire life. As for asking for help, well, how does one look at someone and say "help me to be a girl to everyone else, too, please.".
 Cause that's the help I want. But I couldn't say that -- it would be wrong.
 I've studied sociology constantly since then. And I've always had a keen interest in women's rights and history. More so than the regular history.
 did I mention that since I live in my head, I ruin the best things in my life really easily?
 I never graduated high school. In my senior year, I was challenged by a Poli-sci professor to prove I didn't need to take his class on the constitution. So I looked into how I could do that, and found out that the GED had a great section on it, and I skipped school for two weeks and went off and took the GED and scored high in history and English and ok in math.
 And then took it school to show him and was promptly ejected, because the laws said that once I'd done that, I was done with school.

 Sorta like how I've always said that if I wish hard enough, and believe enough, then one day I could wake up and be a girl.
 My fantasies aren't about me being a boy. I've never been male in any of my fantasies that I can recall. I've written stories about male heroes and they've been manly men, men I would love to know.
 But they always had girlfriends or lovers or wives, and that what I wanted to be.
 I played role playing games for years. I hated being a "player". As a player, I was supposed to be a boy character. As the game master, I could be all of them. And I always had a lot of girls to play, lol.
 The one time I did play? I played a character who was turned into a girl.
 Life was, well, life.
 I wrote a novel about that character. I tried hard to change the way the character was set up, but, in the end, that character was me, still, just like in the role playing game.
 I was miserable. I hit the first big depression of my life then. Pulled away from everything and everyone.
 I remember how I was around 25, and I was going through a huge crises internally.
 I finally realized that I was never going to get my secret wish, and that I was never going to be happy, and that I might as well just become a bachelor, and live alone and just exist.
 I could cross dress in private maybe, I thought. That would be cool, was my line of reasoning, And I might not feel so terrible.
 I got a job, minimum wage, entry level, retail.
 I enjoyed it.
 I intrigued my boss, a woman. Then she went through a really bad time.
 She turned to me. Out of the blue. For comfort, really -- she said I struck her as someone who was wise and comforting.
 We dated a little, and some passion developed. She was *very* much a girl. I love to watch her. She's like a primer in being a woman, lol. She's also a mommy, something I've wanted to be as long as I can remember.
 I know it'll never happen, now. That's ok, as long as I can at least move forward with being a girl. Sometimes, when you see a chance like this, you can lose little things.
 We married. It kept me from having to be a "bachelor". bachelor's who don't date or go out to clubs are usually considered pretty weird, it seemed to me.
 I didn't want to be weird, I just wanted to be happy.
 We also married because she was pregnant. With my son.
 He is everything to me. I can't *possibly* express that more clearly, and yet, I know that because of this, I will lose him.
 I can do that. It hurts, but I know that there's no other outcome. It hurts a lot.
 There isn't a moment of his conception and gestation that I don't know about, and I was there for everything, and the first person to hold him and hug him and weep on him in joy was me.
 And I did get up in the middle of the nights to care for him and change him and feed him and I was sooo damned jealous and resentful that I couldn't do all of it that it put the first major dent in our marriage.
 He was my baby.
 And my inner rages were spawned by something similar. For my brother is younger than I am -- I am the oldest, the first. And when he was young he had a developmental disability and never really learned to speak to anyone but his primary caregiver, I'm told.
 who was me.
 And about the time that my memory stops utterly, I was told that I had to stop caring for him.
 My mother telling me that when she did was fortuitous. My mother never thought my marriage would last three years, for that matter, lol. I think she knew. Really.
 She told me because she was worried that my rages would endanger my son or my wife.
 And her telling me was like an epiphany. Its really sad, but I've only had a few of those moments in my life -- and one of them is the one that has led me here to this moment.
 That one, that simple revelation by her, literally gave me the ability to tackle my anger issues and reduce them incredibly.
 Not totally. But enough.
 he was two when I finally got around to building my first computer and getting an Internet connection set up for it.
 He was three when she found my last note like this. It was written for myself, though, a private letter to me.
 In it I mentioned how terrible it would be if she ever found out I was really a girl.
 She lost it.
 I said the right things, did the right things, charmed and tweaked her and felt like every slick sociopath you've ever seen on TV ever rolled into one and loathed myself for it.
 When we met, I was still enjoying the occasional gaming session with the same group of friends I'd had since high school. For half our lives, we'd known each other and been there for each other, and suddenly I was put in a position where I had to chose between them or my son and wife.
 I'll be straight: my wife hasn't mattered nearly as much to me as my son. But at that time, he was still the tiniest baby and he went everywhere I did and I never left him.
 I lost my friends that day.
 Suddenly, it was just me and my family.
 My mother and I got closer. We would cook together, and plan outings together.
 My wife grew jealous, and so I stepped back and they did those things.
 And then my mother became ill.
 That destroyed my bond with my brother, in a long series of events.
 It devastated me. Totally, utterly.
 I spent a year with her dying five feet away, and as she did so, I sat on my computer and I escaped into being what I was as I did so.
 It sounds really stupid to say here, to all of you, when I haven't even begun the merest babysteps, but I'm sitting here now and I know what it is.
 I started transitioning while my mother died in the same room, but I did it the only way I could.
 I became a woman online. It took me 6 months months to erase the presence I had established online in boymode.
 And I just sat down and let my self come out. I did everything I would do normally, but online I was a woman.
 I have been for nearly five years now, lol. In fact, it will be five years in just a few days.
 The wife was partially accepting of that. My excuse was that it protected her and the family.
 I ignored the rest.
 My mother passed. She's still with me today, in a tiny box stuck in a closet, I think. I became deeply depressed. More and more I turned to the one place that I was happy.
 More and more I stepped out of my safe zone and my shell.
 More and more I began to ignore things.
 I'm very good at it, as I told you.
 My wife had children from a previous marriage. Three girls, one boy.
 The girls were all teenagers. One of them managed to get pregnant her senior year.
 She gave birth to my granddaughter, who is like a beam of lightning. Totally untamed to all but me.
 I have seen her perhaps 5 times in the last 3 years. My step daughters hate me. My step son is terrified of me. My son thinks I'm the bees knees.
 This is because three years ago I lost my temper, and I had a shouting match with my daughters, and my family was split apart.
 I have lived alone since.
 And then I was introduced by accident to a couple of sites one night, late, when I was bored.
 And suddenly I discovered that I could be this the whole time.
 You see, despite seeing and sort of keeping an eye on all this stuff, there was no really good example of what happens that I'd ever seen. It was never presented fairly in the media. Still isn't.
 And I've never been one for the "scene" of gays and lesbians and all these strange labels that have so many negative connotations to them. I'm just a girl who's miserable and wants to live a nice quiet little life and be happier and have a family and all of that stuff.
 ok, yeah, I confess: I want a picket fence, too. Sorry. I'm 40-something years old, and we are all a product of our times.
 I have no friends.
 I work for myself, barely scraping by each month right now, and have no insurance -- but then, I have no coworkers around me, and no boss to deal with. And my company is growing.
 I have only one significant tie to my "boy" life of any significance, and that's my son, who for now would be better off where he is now and will almost certainly be denied to me once I start openly transitioning.
 I'm aiming for SRS in five years. I'd do it sooner, but I have grave concerns about being able to pass, and as I've noted, I sorta ignored my body.
 I'm not fat, mind you. I have the same build as all the women in my family, but I'm taller than they were (though not by much -- my mother was 5'8, and her siblings are taller than her), lol. I'm very thin, not prone to weight gain, and I expect that the best hormones will do for me is an a cup and a slimmer waist (a 31 right now).
 I have sparse, fine body hair everywhere except for my underarms and my legs, both of which I shaved in secret for many years.
 I don't think I'm particularly feminine looking, though, in the face. Its a round face, and its ugly, and I have severe hair loss that I've never done anything about.
 And my teeth are bad.
 So my first order of business will be to deal with those things, and as I'm a "starving artist pursing a dream business", I expect money to be a nightmare, lol.
 But I'll do it. I know how to get in shape again. And now I have cause. Now I have a reason to go on those long hikes again, and to go out of my house and do something above and beyond simply staying in here and living this half life online.
 Now I can be myself offline too.
 But I'm so scared. And I'm going to miss my son soo much. And I have no one to turn to and say help to, even though right now, finally, I'm able to say it.
 Its funny, you know.
 I've never said how ugly I am to myself before.
 Even to myself.
 I've always said "well, its not bad.".
 And then hid myself. Behind rumpled clothing. Behind an unshaven face that I go to great lengths not to look at.
 I've cheated all my life, too, lol. I grew my hair out before I was married, had a ponytail. That got chopped. I kept it until it was found out and thrown away.
 I've always kept my nails somewhat longer than is "common". I once had even managed to stop biting them long enough to let them grow out a half inch.
 I had my ears pierced once. They've closed. I forgot about that until now. I think when I have it done again, I get about as wild as I can, lol, and get a stud in my nose. to remind me every time I look down, that I finally am able to be happy.
 Its amazing all the little things. How one moment, one realization can make you see all of them and see what you've been so horrifically sad about for so long.
 And even though I'm maddeningly jealous of anyone who has started to transition before they were 18, I'm also so, so so happy for them. To not have to go through all this for so long.
 To not have to be so damned ashamed of everything, and to lose so much of their lives to simply surviving and making do.
 Thank you.
 Saying this has been a huge catharsis.
 I don't have to go out tomorrow and be a boy just cause they say so anymore.
 I will, mind you. I'm not that brave yet. But the minute I think I'll pass enough for me, No matter what else, I'm goin out, dang nabbit.
 I'm gonna go out and enjoy it and I might not cover myself up all over.
 Tomorrow I see a therapist. I've read how some folks here don't feel a need for them.
 All my life, whenever a therapist has wanted to see me -- hell, even a "guidance counselor" -- I have run the other direction.
 Therapists are for people who have something wrong with them.
 I've been forced to see one twice. The first time was a group session on anger management. I ended up giving classes on it -- no joke, and I was told I should go into the field and offered a recommendation for it.
 I might look him back up. He'll be happy to know that the anger in me is going away with each minute -- I can feel feel it leaving, and I know the source of it now.
 And maybe if I do, I can help others out.
 The other time I had to go was when I was in college. I was rude, and difficult, and silent, and confrontational. I now wish I hadn't been. They might have helped me to transition early.
 The price is the same, either way, for me.
 A therapist, for me, is going to be important. I hope we click tomorrow. I hope I can strike a bargain, a barter.
 One benefit to living in my head is that in all these years, I've learned so many different things, and learned them well. I've started companies and sold them, I've worked for big retailers and seen how they work and what makes them tick, I can build a restaurant in my sleep, cook any meal I want to except a few french method ones that I just don't quite get, write a contract that has had lawyers cringe, and more. And I've reached that peculiar, strange, and mystical age where some things don't freaking matter anymore.
 I'm free. I'll have to pay for that freedom, I know. I'll pay a penalty that will sit there for the rest of my life.
 I've weighted it against the one I've already been paying, though. If I'm lucky, I'll get another 20 years after srs.
 It'll even out.
 Thank you again.




On or about October 10th, 20-- (that's the day that seems to have been the final straw, I think), I was looking at a site.

I had just finished reading a story titled "for a girl", about a young man who gets "ill" and is slowly turned into a girl, and then deals with it.  Reasonably well written, definitely researched, presented believably -- basically, it was really good TG fiction.  Sorta like "I will fear no evil" or stuff by Jack Chalker, lol.

As usual when I read really good stories like that, I went and looked around the web for stuff about TG's.  It was the usual crud -- sex, porn, ick ick, blah blah

What this?  tsroadmap?

I went, and I found myself sitting up in my chair.  I started following links, reading, going in and out of the site and studying what I read. What made this site different was the way the creator presented the info.  They were conservative, like me, and this was only about GID.
There was this thing that I had never seen before, ever. "FFS" -- facial feminization surgery.  Plastic surgery to make you look pretty.

Sounds silly, perhaps, but just because I've never done much about my personal appearance doesn't mean I haven't wanted to -- just that I didn't think it was possible to do what I wanted to.

That changed things.

I looked and looked and looked for some sort of local support group or contact point that I could get a hold of to ask something about this.

There was plenty of stuff in Tucson. Very little in Phoenix, and that was all based on the opposite side of town.

I gave up, went to bed.

I got up less than an hour later, because I was crying about it again, I was wishing -- just like I've done every night for as long as I can remember.

I went to one of the websites linked to from the tsroadmap site.

The email to Dr. Becky took me about 30 minutes to write.  Four times.  I salved myself by saying hey, she doesn't know me, we aren't likely to cross paths, its safe -- I can vanish.

The urging to call the therapist recommended wasn't very strong -- but my *need* to do something was.

Huge war inside me. I picked up the phone two dozen times.  I knew that if I called, I'd have to commit to dealing with it. If I let it drop right then, then I could go on. No one would ever know -- it was just me. I read some of Dr Becky's experiences during her year of RTE.

Like me, she was older. She was sharp, aware, capable. Funny. But she was older.  There was so much out there for the young folks -- 20 somethings, kids with their whole lives ahead of them.

Not me, who probably has 20 years if I'm luckier than my mom.  Not me, who's pretty much wrecked his body over the years by neglect.

I called. Got the answering machine. Left the message, half mumbled, as if there had actually been anyone around.

I hung up, feeling defeated again. I made ready to get on with my life.

My therapist called back.

Its funny, how things go.  How a simple thing like calling back very quickly can make all the difference in the world. That call back, and her *willingness* to simply accept what I was really talking around as something that I believed was true.

That was a home run.

The bells went off. The dogs of war were let loose.  The floodgates were opened.

I set up the appointment -- and not only that, but she was kind about something. She worked a trade for me.  A deal.  It was the *perfect* thing, it was exactly what I wanted, what I needed.

She will always get paid by me. I will starve to pay her.  I NEVER forget a kindness done me. And having been a boy for so long, I am very much instilled with a sense of honor.

I was wired all night.

I wrote back to Dr, Becky, somewhat hesitantly, thanked her.

I found the support forum online, read a few things, felt the tension in me building up to a point where I was going to literally explode.

I joined.  That was hard.  I had to think of some sort of passcode and double blind protection to prevent my identity from being compromised because what I wanted to do was go stealth -- total stealth. I wanted to literally just up and utterly vanish as this miserable boy that I've been all my life and start a new as a girl -- throw away the sadness and step forth into a new life, just like in my dreams and wishes and fantasies.

I made my peace with losing my son.  I've already lost my wife, with the acceptance of this, but there's little or no pain there.

I made my peace with losing my only remaining friend, J*. This was to be more difficult, though.  It snuck back up on me later.

I posted at the forum.  This is the 12th into the 13th.  I'm a night person.  At 7:00 in the morning I called J*, left a message.

He called back, and I told him.

From that point on, things have moved quickly for me.

Its now Monday. Two days ago I had a meeting that has changed my life forever. In the last three days I have felt the anger that has constantly been a hard ache in me almost evaporate -- its but a shell now.

I've sobbed and cried and laughed and giggled (oh yeah, it was a giggle -- and it felt good).

I feel like I'm 9.  There is so much energy and happiness and emotion and simple, direct "girlness" in me.

I was walking back from the bus stop to the apartment after the meeting.  I had my backpack on my shoulder. I tucked my arm around it like I usually do.  This is one of my tells, lol -- It is intentionally done the way a girl holds her purse.

Suddenly I noticed I was walking funny.

I looked down.  I was taking shorter steps than my usual stride. My toes were pointed straight ahead instead of to the sides.

I could feel my hips as I walked.  They weren't wiggling (it wasn't an exaggerated "gay" walk I do that I picked up from E* and that I do to be silly), but they were moving.  It was a stride utterly alien to me. My arms were falling funny, too.  Its hard to explain, and its very freaky, but:

It was kinda like a girl walk, though.

I "tried" yesterday to do it again. No pack.  It didn't work. I need a purse to pull it off. I have to relax, just be me, let the me that has been inside for decades simply have its way.

It feels so good.

I can't stop talking about it, obviously. LOL




I'm attempting to place these somewhat sequentially. Because my memory is associative, and not tied to time, and when I remember something I relive it, one thing that will be noticed is that I tend to float timings when I look back.

As I go forward with this, you'll see me reaching into those memories more deeply, and timeline will be more rigidly accurate.

Reading back over these, for me, is painful. I dislike dealing with my past.

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