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Recovery From A Sociopath: New Beginnings

by Quinn Pierce

As with all new beginnings, the New Year always brings a sense of hope for a better tomorrow.  And as this year draws to a close, I have to admit that I feel a sense of relief.  This was definitely one of my more challenging and tumultuous years, and I will be happy to consider it part of my past.

Recognizing Positive Experiences

However, before I do, I think it’s important to acknowledge my accomplishments within the struggles.  Sometimes, when we are plagued by the abuse, and the inevitable drama, from the sociopath in our lives, we may have learned to cope by pushing away the memories that cause us to re-experience the hurt and sadness.

But, as survivors, we need to recognize our strengths and successes along the way.  We may all be at different places along our healing path, but we are all on the path, and that’s what makes us extraordinary.

Enjoying Each Success

Before I make any resolutions for the New Year, I will first take some time to look back over all I have learned and how much I’ve grown.  I will think about the small steps I took to reclaim parts of myself that I unknowingly gave up over the course of my marriage and even my divorce.  And, I will allow myself to enjoy who I am right now, even if I have more learning, and growing, and healing yet to come.

A Year In Review

The funny thing about looking back over an entire year is how different things look from our new perspective.  We realize just how much we go through in such a short time and how clear everything looks in hind-sight.  It can be both a blessing and a curse to have such clarity; the key is to learn from mistakes and move forward, instead of dwelling on what we should have done, as well as giving ourselves credit for our successes.

For me, looking back over the year is an important step in helping me look ahead to the new year.  I often feel like I have accomplished very little in the day-to-day battles and drama created by my ex-husband, but I know that is far from the truth when I look at the big picture, rather than each individual conflict.

Personal Accomplishments

I’ve made many lists over the years that had to do with avoiding conflict with my ex-husband, but now, I can spend my time on much more positive categories of my life.

As is true of each healing path, our accomplishments will vary for each of us.  For some, discovering and accepting that a significant other is a sociopath is a tremendous accomplishment and deserves recognition as such.  It means that we recognize something is wrong, our relationship is not normal, and we deserve a healthier life that includes genuine love and support.

Others may have taken steps to break free of their relationship, while some of us continue to distance ourselves from abuse and take back control of our lives.

My Journey

For me, this year meant discovering my own strength, redefining boundaries, and learning to trust my instincts.

I learned that avoiding conflict at all cost meant giving up the ability to make healthy decisions.  It also meant sending mixed messages to my boys and causing them to think I couldn’t protect them.

All of my good intentions led to my ex feeling confident enough to accuse, blame, and threaten me on a new level that also dragged the rest of my family into the fray.  It was a sort of an awakening for me.  I had to figure out what I was doing wrong, and what I needed to do to make it right.

At the time, it was an exhausting, draining, challenging task.  It was a lot like the bad dream of showing up to class and finding out there is a test you didn’t study for.  Every day was a test I was afraid I would fail.

Letting Go

But each day, I kept trying. Some days were set-backs, and some days I felt like I was treading water, but in the end, each day brought me closer to the healthy place I need to be.

I finally set real boundaries with my ex that are not negotiable.  If he pushes them, I push back. That is a new experience for me, and it takes practice.  But, I learned that in order to take back control of my life, I had to let go of something I didn’t even know I was holding on to: worry.

I was afraid of what the repercussions would be for my children if I challenged their father’s behavior when they were with him.  I finally understood that it didn’t matter what I did, his behavior would be the same.  There is no way for me to change how a sociopath acts; all I was doing was giving myself a false sense of control.

Ironically, it took his most vicious attack for me to figure out my strength.  There is no such thing as an amicable relationship with a sociopath, especially one who has been rejected.  His constant attacks, despite my attempts to keep the peace, demonstrated this fact quite clearly.

Looking Back

When I look at where I was this time last year, I hardly recognize the person standing in my place.  I don’t think I could repeat this past year and all its challenges, and honestly, I don’t even know how I managed to get through most of it.

Fortunately, I won’t have to repeat any of these experiences because of all that I learned along the way.

I look back and realize I took more than a few small steps forward.  I faced each challenge, I asked those I trust for support, I believed in myself, and I went up against the bully.

I’m proud of myself, and I’m proud of my list of accomplishments.  I know I have many challenges ahead, but I will be armed with more knowledge, trust, and experience to guide me through.

I’m glad the past year is over, and I’m looking forward to the upcoming year with a cautious optimism.  In the meantime, I’ll keep moving forward one day, one step at a time on my own unique journey, grateful for the chance to share my steps along the way with all of you.

Wishing you all a happy, healthy, safe New Year.

-Quinn


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23 Comments on "Recovery From A Sociopath: New Beginnings"

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Quinn – thank you so much for sharing your journey with Lovefraud!

And to all Lovefraud readers, Happy New Year! May you find strength, peace and optimism that you didn’t know you had!

Donna

aintgonnatakeitnomore

just trying to figure out WHERE to find this healing??
where does one go for help to figure out what caused her to get in this trap? ive looked for mental health workers b4 but there is none on my insurance, that is, that my ins would pay for or that a therapist would accept as payment.
im a christian but pastors do not have the ability to deal with this. they just dont get it.
i’d like to get past this, i have 2 kids to raise. the chaos that filled my life was vast and now theres a void. i can not just go for walk, take a long bath, go to a pretty place, take up a new hobby, as I have kids 24/7/365 and i am so broke wen we left the abuse, we were instantly homeless. we live with a friend who was abused for decades herself till he got ill, stopped the physical abuse, and then died 5 yrs later–she kinda gets my situation. no i have no family or even close friends to help. i very much enjoy being with my kids and dont feel burdened by them, theyre very good kids and I Love Being A Mom.
it just seems everyone has these months or yrs of solitude and self-awareness processes and thats wat does it; they figure their shyt out.
i am sure others have done this tho in my situation, or close to it.
where is the healing help others find? ive racked my brain and failed to see the help.
thanx
Hélène

Hi,

I think you are much stronger than you think. You left. That is the hardest part. I know that everyone who has left this type of person has suffered and lost more than they ever thought they could be capable of enduring.

I know that therapy always is what is suggested for healing. In my case therapy messed me up much worse. If you are talking to people here and reading as much as you can about this topic, you will heal. Save the money that you would have to spend on a therapist and order some take out for you and your children. How old are your kids? Thank The Lord every day that you have your children. I lost mine due to the behavior of my x.

I have a 17 and 15 year old. They are both boys and they live with their father. When I left my x worked out of the house. I couldn’t go home , I couldn’t breathe there. Literally. I had a terrible panic attack that took me a long time to get over. My boys refused to leave their home. My x successfully brainwashed and lied to by precious sons leaving them both furious with me. My 17 year old has not said one word to me in six months. The judge let the kids choose if they want to be with me or not because of their ages.

It hurts every minute of everyday to not have my sons with me. I try every single day to show them how much I love them. I have to rely on faith that they will one day respond to my cries and give me another chance. I also know that I was and am a good mother, they will come back.

On that day, they will see the best person that I can be. They will see that I am strong, that I have goals and dreams, that I love them. It is my driving force every minute of every day to keep healing. I want my sons to see that I survived and that I am strong.

As much as my heart hurts for my sons, my soul is healing. I feel my old self emerging out of the fog into a beautiful clearing.

We all have our burdens and our struggles are all unique. We can only care for what we have and find our own gifts.

Pray and be strong. You are not alone in your pain.

aintgonnatakeitnomore

lol theres no take-out food money, i have nothing. christmas was my friend buying some dollar store gifts for the girls. ive always only gotten them a little & they dont watch tv with all those ads aimed at kids, just some pbs sometimes, so they were fine.
Hon, i have prayed for decades now…i thot i had met a miracle wen i met the spath a decade ago. it had taken me a full ten yrs to get over my husband dying in 1990. then 3 yrs where i would have liked to meet someone but wasnt dating even. then i met the spath.
then my life quickly went to hell. after the spath, i got with a NPD/BPD, idk which he is, god idk WHAT he is! my head still reeling. 2 yrs there, just left FOR GOOD Nov 9th.
praying obviously isnt working for me lol…im a patient soul, witness my singlehood (with 3 kids to boot)for almost 15 yrs, ive been praying for almost 25 yrs now.
being strong is a myth. surviving has been my whole life. it sucks. i dont even care who i help anymore, who learns from me. i dont care that anyone’s in it with me, it doesnt help me, knowing that. wen my 20yo daughter died, ppl tried saying that to me. i was like seriously? my husband had died 20 yrs b4, honey i KNEW better. but of course i was nice and smiled; ppl who’ve never been there dont know, theyre simply ignorant.

i just dont want to do this again. i just want to get well this time.

“being strong is a myth. surviving has been my whole life.”

aint,,,let me tell you,,only the strong survive.

remember that always no matter how weak you feel.

aintgonnatakeitnomore

well my point, dave, is being strong brings no rewards. surviving even isnt the prize its made out to be.
i dont feel weak, not rly at all. i know that being strong is not a panacea tho. that sucks to have that knowledge. i have survived too many things. its no blessing, surviving.
if it helps you to think about getting stronger, that’s great. but it does nothing for me.
strength just lets me survive another tragedy…is that rly a blessing? rly, looking at it objectively?
my age has worn me out i think…i have no idealism of youth.

I can hear your sadness and frustration through your words and it breaks my heart. Sometimes the trauma is hard to deal with and it clouds our mind and confuses our thought process. Hurt and betrayal are powerful emotions. Feeling like there are no avenues of escape can frustrate our ability to deal with our circumstances. I feel like your emotions are more common than you realize .

I know for me, there was no amount of support that could have helped me when I was in the emotional place I hear from you. I was too injured. My brain couldn’t deal with it. I felt like there were no options but to hurt and relive to abuse. It was an awful time.

Now that I’m coming through that stage, I can tell you that the greatest blessing I had during that time was my responsibilities. My children, my life, our future required that accomplish certain things everyday. I had to continue on. I didn’t want to. I wanted to lay in bed, curled up and crying. I refused to listen to God. I moved away from him. I thought I would never heal. But I had no choice but to keep going. One moment at a time.
I resisted healing with such voracity that I actually kept myself in a bad place.

But one day, it just hit me….”Hey, you are here and you are needed. You can either fight this process and stay down, or you can accept it and start to rise above.” I didn’t get that point because someone helped me, or supported me, or because I relaxed. I got there because my brain began to heal. It’s a normal physical process. Trauma is a brain injury of sorts. After the abuse is removed, your brain has to reset itself and learn to function differently. It takes time. But it WILL COME.

One thing that helped me was to journal. I wrote down everything my heart had to say. If I didn’t feel like writing, I would draw a picture. Sometimes I just wrote Bible verses or the words to a song. But the expression of my emotions helped me. Slowly, I began to feel some peace. I began to look forward to the minutes I used to journal.
But all this has to come when you are ready..when You feel comfortable. No one can tell you when or how. You will know its time when you accept it all. I believe it’s closer than you think.

As I read your post, I’m so impressed with what a strong person you are. For yourself and your kids. God’s love is coming out of you and healing you every time you care for your children. They are lucky to have a mom who can give them what they need, even when she’s lost so much. You are a very strong loving person.

Good for you Quinn, its good to hear you have taken back control and are moving on to a better situation, it gives hope for some of us still in the middle of our own situation that there is a choice and it can be better.

As always I truly enjoy your stories of success. You are still my “hero”. As this last year ended I am still staying strong in the midst of “ugly” divorce proceedings. My soon to be ex has taken almost everything away from me and my son. There is only one thing left for him to “destroy”. Of course he does not want me to remain in the marital home because he knows how much I like this house. So his response is to let it go into foreclosure. I came to the conclusion that no material asset is worth staying with this evil creature. I also know that I had my priorities wrong for the past 20 years. Because I “enjoyed” my so called “princess life” so much that I put up with his abuse and lies. It feels so great not having to worry about him cheating on me, lying to me and disrespecting me. I will probably lose most of my material possessions. But I am ok with it now. I have my beautiful son, my health and my sanity. It is a tremendous improvement to my former life. I finally can act “myself” again and enjoy life without worrying if he is going to leave us. Because he already left and I am so thankful for that. Going on 9 months no contact. I hope this new year will be a good one for everyone on this website.

Aint,

I hear a lot of sorrow and frustration in your ‘voice’ as you ask these questions. Your situation sounds bleak. I am glad you have your kids, as they seem like they give you an anchor, and some joy.

I don’t have the answer to your specific situation. I could barely figure that out for myself at one time, and it seems, in some way, like all I did was hang on for dear life, and I began to feel better.

It wasn’t like I didn’t try all kinds of things, including therapy. But I had been in therapy for DECADES and still found myself attracted to a few disordered abusers. What the key was for me is still kind of a mystery…but something shifted inside, some sense of real RESOLUTION took hold, and I said NO MORE.

I read everything I could get my hands on. Tried to take the advice of people here (and from others’) to exercise, sleep as much as needed, cry, be angry, allow myself to feel like poop, eat, spend time with people who really cared about me, and just STAY with the pain. I examined my upbringing (for the jillionth time!). I did yoga, walked. I got rid of anyone who couldn’t hang with my ‘reality’. I got a cat. I quit my stressful job and took an enormous pay cut. I cut my hair off. I quit wearing make up. I asked over and over and over again what my attraction was to these liars. I didn’t like a lot of my answers. They hurt.

I don’t know what ‘did it’.

Eventually the pain and anxiety began to lift.

It took YEARS. Not months. Not days. Years. Years of layers of sorrow.

Your story has so many layers of grief it is no wonder you are feeling resigned to suffer. My heart goes out to you. I hope you will find your way. I hope my story can help you find your unique healing path, and follow it, no matter how meaningless and slow it might seem to be.

Hugs,
Slim

aintgonnatakeitnomore

u know, i think im NOT resigned to suffer anymore. i think thats the problem. ive never gotten well and just went on evenso. (you’d think after ten yrs of healing after I was widowed i’d have gotten over it, but wat we had was incredible compatibility plus talk about layers of sorrow, watching our baby learn to walk, our older kids learn to read and drive, all the while alone, without him)
now i aint gonna take it no more. not just this stupid relationship, but my stupid life.
2mrws my birthday and today has been AWFUL; terribly restless and stuck here as my cars dead and i dont have but a tiny bit of gas anyway and that was to get me to my post-op appt monday. my dad sent me money for my bday, god bless him, so i’ll have gas money to give my friend, if she doesnt have to work. if she does i just wont go. they want me to have more surgery probably anyway and i had very little help this time post-op and just cant go thru that again rite now. i hate seeing my kids suffer.

aint,

I know how you feel, im driving my peeps crazy cause I pace around the house constantly with this shit on my mind, I have 20 dollars to my name, no job, a car that’s ready to blow up that I cant hardly drive, some fishing poles and some clothes while living in mommys basement at 34 yrs old.

I have (had) a business I helped get off the ground flourishing right now while this jerk gets all the rewards and takes all the credit, while I sit here having my friends sister drive me to temp services to get crap ass 9 dollar an hour jobs, while my mother and her sister are constantly bitching at me for everything they can to make me uncomfortable so ill leave cause they don’t really want me here. While at the same time my spath emails me and tells me everything is all my fault and that she will never forgive me for jepordizing her business and her day job (even though she the one who kicked me out without having anybody hired to run the business) while telling me the only reason I had marks on me from our fight 1 month ago is cause she was trying to get me off of her when in reality she attacked me 3 times and I shoved her off of me. I had fingernail gouges in my hands/wrist, a red mark on my neck, and a large bruise on my inside thigh where she tried to kick me in the nuts.

And you know what worse than all this? EVERYBODY is coming out of the woodwork to help her, because she is running a pity party and making everyone feel sorry for her,,what I don’t get is how these stupid ass people don’t see something here,,that something is this,,she runs around telling everyone that she does it all, and im just using her while doing barely anything,,yet when she kicks me out she requires A BUNCH of help from friends and family, do these people not put 2 and 2 together? If I did nothing, why when im gone does she need so much help?

For all of you here who have heard my ramblings,,,this business we started was a dog waste removal company in Columbus ohio,,IT WAS MY IDEA several years ago, she said no. All the sudden 2 years ago she wanted to do it, while in a business class her instructor mentioned making it “green” (recycle the poop) cause our competition was not doing so. Again NOT her idea,,NONE of this was her idea, she took it and ran with it,,i worked for a rival company while she was researching ours, I had signed a no compete clause that last 1 year after im no longer employed which is up next month, so the business had to be in her name, she refused to make me a co-owner unless I handed her a large amount of money even though

#1 was my idea

@2 I helped market it

#3 I did all the routing

#4 I watched the kids while she did events for marketing

#5 I ran all the customer routes 4 days a week

Do you know how full of rage I am when I look at our company facebook page and its got nothing but pics of HER and NOTHING about ME?? How she gives that fake ass smile like shes some good girl whos trying to save the world and taking all the damn credit!!

I wont do this, but ill tell yall, I want so bad to do anything I can to ruin that business I cant stand it, but I will not stoop to that level as I will only be letting her turn me even more so into her yet again.

The house that I helped pay mortgage payments on that I am not co-owner of that I keep getting kicked out of every year,,all the things I helped pay for that I don’t get to take with me, or get my money back,,all the work I did in there to help make it nicer, or fix things, I just painted the whole inside of that house this spring, I replaced the bathroom sink, and light switch, ive ripped up the plumbing numerous times in the kitchen to fix it, I put in French doors separating the living room and kitchen and stained them (they are wood and nice) I put in plumbing from a sink she wanted out in the garage through the crawl space and into the basement washbasin. Ive helped 2 times to rearrange the garage by building shelves and hanging metal things from the raftors to hang stuff on for more space,,i was the one who washed both our vehicles in the summer, mowed the grass, grew vege garden, I grew tomatos, cucumbers, green beans, peppers, basil, rosemary, chives, onions, radishes, garlic, watermelon.

I can go on and on and on for hours, while this jerk sits up there enjoying much of my hard work while I sit here broke and telling people how she did it all and I just used her and how sad she is I want to puke right in her face everytime I think of this.

This is no offense to you ladies, but as a man I am utterly disgusted at how loyal I am to a woman only to be shit on repeatedly then sit and listen to women talk about all these crappy men all the time that treat them bad (put yourselves in my shoes) I know men can be pigs and I believe you all on here when you talk about your messed up ex husbands and its wrong they did you like that, but many people just don’t seem to think that women can be as bad or worse to a man.

My apologies for the rant, im in a foul mood right now.

Aint I didn’t mean to take nothing from you,,only to show you how angry I am and what has been done, and how I feel, to at least show you that we know how you feel, I wish all of us on here right now were NOT on here and never even knew of this place cause we never went through this, but that is a pipe dream, we are here, so we must deal with it, im tired of dealing with it, I just want it gone, but it wont leave, I just want her back, but it will only get worse, I wish I never met her, but I have no time machine to stop myself. And even after all I just said, my stupid ass still loves her and is vulnerable to possibly going back if she says the right things, all I can hope is she never tries, or im smart and strong enough to tell her to take a flying leap.

sorry all I had to get that out of me.

aintgonnatakeitnomore

dave, guess wat the narc does for a living? oh just guess…yeah, this company is called Pooper Scooper. seriously dave, u just made my day. i was like no way, when i first read wat u were writing, then i was like wat are the chances of that, EVERYTHING i come in contact with has to make me miss him/my life/wat i thot we had —> WTF. then I just laughed, a smile and all…cuz cmon, wat are the chances?? 🙂
i dont want him back, but i cant say i dont wish i never met him. there was alot of good in the past 2 yrs. i would have missed that. im trying to just learn from it all, and MOVE ON. wat makes it hard is the very very good stuff. thats the stuff i have to forget. i try to focus on the bad, his inability to want to get better, etc.
hey u could start ur own biz doing the poop scooping u know…ur 100 miles away from the other biz! put ads on CL for free and blanket neighborhoods with flyers…u aint got nuttin else to do, rite? charge little and learn to do a yard in 3-5 min, u can be done in 4 hrs a day easy or work 10 hrs if u can get that many houses. think of the possibilities.

aintgonnatakeitnomore

one important thing about her trying to get u back again–when she does…dont say no…dont say A WORD. ignore her.
if its got nothing to do with the kids—>u dont hear her voicemail/see her txt/see her email. for goodness sakes dont answer the phone when she calls, no matter wat she threatens on the vmail she leaves wen u dont answer next time either or return the call if its not to set up something for the kids!! (I have been there, hon, oh I have BEEN THERE with the spath — dad of my kids)
she is done having control of you. she will threaten insane things. ignore her. let her have everything she wants, material-wise. NOTHING IS WORTH UR SANITY.
get back ur sanity. its a priceless gift.

Hi Dave! It’s great to find a fellow Buckeye here!

I have to ask you a question – is there a reason why you still communicate with this woman? Do you have children together? I mean it very seriously when I say that you have to break free and go no-contact if at all possible. Stop looking at Facebook stuff and emails, and definitely stop communicating via telephone/texts. If you do have children, then you have to keep communication to the subject of them alone and none of this other stuff she’s using to keep you on the hook. It keeps you enmeshed in her BS when you have to concentrate now on you and you alone!

I know the smear campaign she’s doing against you is very painful and rage-inducing. Almost all of us have been through it. We all felt compelled to constantly defend ourselves and try to show people that it wasn’t us, it was the spath who did the using and abusing. I know it’s tough but the best thing you can do is IGNORE it, at least outwardly. People are going to believe whatever they want to believe. The people who truly matter will not pass judgments. The ones who do aren’t worth keeping in your life anyway.

It’s pretty obvious that this business you two started is going to fail without you. The people who are helping her now will fall to the wayside because they have their own lives to live. I don’t think you have to do a thing to sabotage it, and you know in your heart already that you don’t want to go there. So bide your time – you might be able to start a new business in very little time to pick up where the old left off. And this time, you’ll have full control of it. You sound like a creative guy with good ideas. Use that! There’s no limit to what you can do with yourself, if you find a way to get past all this madness and tap into it again.

I know it sounds like magical thinking right now, but you have to resign yourself to a better life without the constant insanity of having a sociopath in it. Then you can start making plans and following through.

done having control of me,,,thats what worries me,,as if I don’t beg her back, she will wind up trying to get me back and say sweet nothings to me (like she did in the bed only to kick me out weeks later) but I know its bullshit, but ill want it to be true, that’s the problem and that’s where im weak.

that’s ironic both pooper scooper business lol.

onmyown,

yes we have 2 kids, we do not speak on the phone when I call to talk to them though.

I highly doubt that business will fail, its caught quite a lot of popularity, she would lose her day job that pays the bills before she lets that business go under shes obsessed with it. I don’t know if she has hired anyone yet, I do know she was calling off work 2 days a week to run the two big routes for 3 weeks straight. Even if she hires someone I doubt they will stick around, first off that’s not the job someone wants to do to make a living/career,,secondly she only has about 20 hours worth of work for the whole week right now, third she doesn’t take out taxes yet, so whoever works will owe at the end of the year.

Shes really put herself in a bind right now, as she just spent 18k on a new van for the business, 350 a month payment plus have to have full coverage, she can afford it, but barely, her brother has to pick up my daughter and take her to a babysitter, her other brother has been running my chainsaw and woodsplitter so she has wood for heat, one of our friends around the corner is running the weds route, and her parents just took the kids yet again for the 3rd time since thanksgiving (they live 100 miles away mind you) now they took them for a whole 7 days, no doubt cause they feel sorry for her and are trying to help. She now has to do all the housework and cook for those kids (which scares me cause she hates cooking, she wont make them nice meals like me, she will make grilled cheese and spaghetios)

Amazing how someone can screw themselves like this and is still arrogant enough to not apologize and keep making their own life harder lol.

I don’t think I could go back unless she agreed to put me on the house and the business, go seek professional help, and sit down with her parents while im there and explain to them that it hasn’t been all me all these years, and that she has a problem, however I don’t see that ever happening, and even if she did, that doesn’t guarantee things will get better.

Quinn,
Your post is a great outline for me to focus on in 2014. 2013 was a year of extreme growth…no, really it was just a really awful year. If I grew, I didn’t realize it until the end of the year. This year, I’m focusing on the positive! Your list will begin that process.
Thanks!

aintgonnatakeitnomore

dont know if i posted this yet on this site, but i will post it again nonetheless…
A victim is one who is under the pile after a battle.
A survivor is one who is still standing when the battle is over. He hasn’t won, but he’s still standing.
An overcomer is one who has won the battle.
One who is more than a conqueror has not only won the battle, but he has strength and wisdom to help others win. Always be looking up to the next level of victory so you can someday help others!
i dont want to survive, i have never wanted to survive but THRIVE. i want to be an overcomer. a conqueror seems out of my reach but idc anymore. if i just overcome, i’ll be happy 🙂

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