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Mr Know It All

Some of you might not even be able to listen to music yet. It took me awhile before I could listen to the radio even, it was rather strange because I always turned to music when I was down and this time I couldn’t handle any music let alone love songs.

I would only listen to CBC radio in my truck all day, talk radio; no chance of a sappy love song coming on and ruining my makeup.

I always loved music and somehow he managed to take that away from me also. I still don’t know what that is all about, maybe it was because he was so into music and played his guitar most nights? and he could never have quiet; never, there always had to be noise, when we did have TV he would walk through the door and turn it on, go over to the stereo and put something on and then start playing the guitar. It drove me crazy, being bombarded with all this noise coming from all angles. He played a handful of songs over and over again, never anything new, I think he memorized how to play them and that was all he knew. I am not even sure if he knows how to play the guitar for real, I am sure he must I met his guitar teacher but you know you end up doubting everything about them once you realize how much of what you thought was truth was a lie.

But anyway, eventually I was able to listen to music again, I can even hear songs he used to play and not have it trigger me. I remember him playing certain songs but if anything I have a good feeling come over me. I never thought that would happen either. I never thought I would be able to have a good feeling about James and not miss him or hate him but now I have a memory. Nothing more. I loved when he played his guitar, he would get lost in the music and I liked to see him enjoying himself, what can I say? and now I can remember the good feeling of watching him and appreciate it for what it was, a good time that doesn’t need to be repeated, I can have good memories of him. No one can take those away from us if we want to have them. You don’t have to hate everything about him, there are no “rules” that say “You must hate everything about him forever more.”

Your recovery is just that, YOUR recovery and they are your memories. No one is telling you to stop loving him, all that is required is for you to realize he is toxic in your life and you will never be happy with him in your life, he is dangerous to you and he will never get better, you can not fix him. The rest is up to you.

Some people need to hate the person in order to carry on, I could not do that, I had to allow myself to love him. I just knew I had to love him from a distance. No one could understand that but that was OK, how I dealt with it inside my head was my choice, I just had to stay away from him. I had to accept reality and know that I would never be with him, but if I wanted to love him until the day I died I could. I loved loving him, I could not let it go in the beginning.

I don’t love him any more but I still remember when I did love him, I remember how good it felt to be loved by him and I cherish some memories, he was not bad all the time, there were times I really believed he loved me. When I remember those times I smile. I guess I am talking about this today because I introduced a friend of mine to a guy I know. They are the two nicest people I know. I don’t play match maker, but I couldn’t see anything bad coming of it because they are both such nice people. Anyway, it seems to be going along wonderfully and my friend and I were talking about whether there was an immediate attraction, you know “girl talk”. For the record I do believe in love!  And I was telling her how with some guys you have to get used to their lips and how they kiss etc and that a couple of times in my life I have met a man where our lips just fit. And that is the way it was with James, the first time we kissed I knew I was sunk. I knew that if I had anything to do with it, I was going to bed with this guy. He was the sexiest man I had ever met. Shameful? naw I don’t think so, it was exciting, he was exciting, I had no expectations at that point other than going to bed with him. He talked me into loving him. I was a big girl and thought I could handle anything that happened. The rest is history. But I smile when I remember those times. I think that means I am healed, call it forgiveness if you want I call it being realistic, I don’t want 10 years of my life to be remembered with  hatred in my heart. It has taken me almost 5 years to get here. If hating him gets you by, by all means hate him but if you can’t hate him don’t beat yourself up.

I picked a few songs for your entertainment today.

Kelly Clarkson has a few good “Breaking up with a narcissist songs”, I heard this one today, Mr. Know-It All.  and there is one that I listened too a lot about a year after we split Stronger I found this one today Never Again, Since U Been Gone was voted the best break up song of the decade. This is for the people who stay for the kids,  “Because of You” I never thought of it from this angle until I saw the video, I always thought it was about an abusive relationship breaking up but now I realize it’s about a child watching her parents toxic relationship and the affect it had on her. I like it even more now, because it is so true, the children end up consoling the parent, feeling responsible, afraid and having dysfunctional relationships themselves.

I really liked this one by Pink also, Just Like A Pill because they are an addiction that makes us ill but we keep thinking it is going to kill the pain, but they are what is killing us.

Then for those of you who like a bit heavier music there is Korn, Narcissistic Cannibal

Got any break up songs you like? Tell us about them. I know there are tons of them.

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Donations – PayPal Screw Up





paypalI have had a regular on the blog go to donate money and wasn’t able to. She is in the US and when she put in her country it didn’t switch to the US, the drop down where you pick what state you are in didn’t appear, instead she got a list of Canadian provinces. She tried many times apparently and still could not make a donation.

She got a hold of me via email and I have spent the last week trying to sort the problem out. I really hate automation sometimes (I know how ironic it is that I say that because without automation there would be no paypal) because they give you so many choices to pick from and none of them were the problem I was having. I got tired of battling with them in emails and broke down and phoned them. Which I most definitely did not want to do seeing as I can ill afford a higher phone bill.

Excuse me I am still so very frustrated!!

Anyway, after two phone calls and much frustration I believe the Donate button is working again. If anyone has any problems please let me know so I can fix it. I had no idea it was not working and if not for my friend Ellie I still wouldn’t know there was a problem.

Thank you Ellie for letting me know. You’re a doll!

At A Loss For Words

I had a question posed to me yesterday that I thought I would answer in a post because it is not something I have talked about before but I bet many other people are experiencing the same problem.

The question:



I have a question: Do you think is normal after an abusive relationship break is up to “8 months” that the victim doesn’t know how to deal with others? I feel I am foolish and don’t know how and what words I may use to speak; paranoia may be? very different from before. I miss my spontaneous way of being.. I am afraid to never be the same as before.

The answer:

OMG a resounding yes! I have always been shy when I first meet people but even so I had a quick wit and was able to talk to anyone about anything. I was never at a loss for words. (not surprising I know) But after the N I felt totally inept in social situations, I found I would have a thought and not be able to come up with the words to express it. I would start to speak and 1/2 way through what I was saying I would trail off unable to find the words. Whereas I used to be able to come up with a witty one liner at the drop of a hat any attempts at wit fell flat. I had a hard time even pronouncing words properly and stumbled and stammered, nothing felt natural. I started to avoid going anywhere I would be expected to make small talk because it was so much work and I always came away feeling totally inadequate socially. I couldn’t even decide what I wanted to eat in a restaurant, for that matter I had a hell of a time even deciding what to wear to any social event. I would end up changing 1/2 a dozen times and then change again just as I was about to go out the door and feel uncomfortable all night because I chose the wrong thing to wear. I would go home and review and critique every conversatio and chastise myself for saying something dumb.

I am not even sure when, but I assure you it passes. Actually, it wasn’t until you asked the question that I realized I no longer have that problem and am almost totally back to myself. I think it took me 2 or more years to get to the point where I felt relaxed in social situations.

The thing that bothered me the most was losing my quick wit, I had never been able to tell a joke but I was the queen of the one liners and had always been able to be flirty and light-hearted and I missed that part of me. I felt boring and serious all the time. After the N I would go to social functions and listen to the conversations going on around me in order to try to remember how to make simple small talk, I felt like an idiot, what was wrong with me?

I think there are many reasons this happens:

- The narcissist twisted our words, corrected our grammar, ridiculed our thought processes, told us we didn’t know what we were talking about. Whereas we used to be able to discuss anything with him after the abuse started we could discuss nothing with him without it ending in a fight. Of course now we are very hesitant to say anything to anyone, even if we know the person isn’t our ex we have developed a fear of expressing ourselves.

- While with the narcissist casual conversation became impossible, our fear of saying the wrong thing made us paranoid to say anything. It is going to take a while to get your spontaneity back. When I first met my ex he and I could banter back and forth with ease but after we had been together a while all that stopped, he was witty and funny but if I tried to be funny it fell flat, he wouldn’t “understand” what I meant or would totally not respond. I lost my confidence when it came to being quick-witted.

- Lets’ face it, life with the narcissist was far from light-hearted and fun and left us with PTSD or at the very least depressed, it’s hard to make small talk when a person is depressed, when your thoughts are consumed with the pain you carry in your heart.

- When a person is suffering from PTSD I think it is pretty common to have a hard time formulating your thoughts, I remember thinking of something I wanted to say, some event I had recently experienced or something and start to tell the story and half way through stumble over my words, not be able to find the words to express myself and end up trailing off and giving up. I felt like a total idiot. What was wrong with me? I knew what I wanted to say but my thoughts just didn’t come out my mouth. I could type out what I wanted to say but to speak the same thing was impossible.

- I wasn’t interested in small talk, it seemed dumb to me, I would listen to people talk at great length about really mundane things I couldn’t relate to. MY world was falling apart, I had nothing to add to conversations about a new outfit I had bought or trip I had gone on, or what colour to paint the kitchen. Nothing was normal or ordinary about my life and I knew they didn’t want to hear the reality of my existence and I could not relate to their very normal life.

- I don’t know if it is this way for everyone but after leaving the narcissist I became very concerned about all injustices in the world, the wars, the famine, the poverty and it weighed me down. I simply was not in a light-hearted frame of mind.

- I avoided visiting with friends because I felt so inept at conversation and isolating myself did nothing to help the situation, it only served to silence me even more and gave me less to talk about.

- When you think about it, when a person goes out with friends or even at work talking with workmates energizes a person. The narcissist hated that you derived any pleasure from anything that didn’t involve him, he hated you being happy period so he isolated you. Imagine being shipwrecked on a desert island with no one to talk to for years and then you are rescued, what would you talk about? What would you have to talk about? how you struggled everyday to find food and water, how you waited for a ship to rescue you? how you made clothes out of palm tree leaves? You would feel totally inept at making small talk. It is no different after leaving the narcissist. You have lived on an island created by the narcissist, deprived of human contact; it makes sense that you would have nothing to talk about.

- Use it or lose it. If you don’t use your ability to function socially you will lose it for a period of time. If you are constantly criticized for saying something stupid you stop talking and you lose your confidence to say anything intelligent.

- In most abusive relationships the abuser talks about some undefined flaw of the victim. With my ex he used to always say things like; “I always knew your warped views of the world bothered me but I thought I could live with it.” but he could never tell me exactly what he meant by my “warped viewed”, in what way were my views warped? Or, he should have known better than to think he could “help” me but he was too healthy and couldn’t relate to me. It wasn’t my fault because I had such a dysfunctional upbringing but he had been raised in such a normal loving home he just could not deal with “it”. But he could never give me an example of what I was doing that was so weird or unacceptable. There is nothing worse than being criticized for some terrible flaw and not be told what that flaw is, how can you correct it? So you shut up and isolate yourself out of fear other people will discover how flawed you are.

- I found I could talk at great length about the narcissist with people who knew him. His sister and I could get together and laugh about the crazy things he did. We could discuss how angry he made us etc But that made sense, he had basically occupied my every thought for 10 years, he was all I knew, he told me what to feel, what to do, when to be happy and he could take it away. I am reminded of a dog who is well-trained, he will sit at your feet waiting for your next command.

How did I get over it?

It basically just happened. The longer I have been away from my ex the more I have to talk about in a social situation and the more comfortable I feel in social situations the easier it is to make small talk.

At first I was isolated, I was self-employed, I lived in a remote area and did nothing but work and in my off hours I spent my time with my dog. I worked 7 days a week, only taking a day off if I was sick simply because I had nothing else to do. I have never minded being alone but after the N I was more comfortable with my own company that anywhere else which can be a really bad thing. Isolation is NOT the way to get over being uncomfortable socially. The more you do it the better you get at it. Like anything, if we don’t use a talent we are going to lose the ability and have to practice to stay proficient at it.

Just like I used to be an excellent cook, I never had a flop when I cooked, I would entertain all the time and cook dinners for a dozen or more people any time and people always raved about my cooking. While with the N we often didn’t live in a place conducive to entertaining, didn’t even have a kitchen for a period of time. All my tried and true recipes were “stolen”  and over time I lost my ability to cook. I had forgotten how to season things, nothing ever tasted good, I lost my confidence and cooking was no longer a natural thing to do, I grew fearful of failing and consequently I would fail. I have found more and more I am able to cook a tasty meal but it always surprises me when I do whereas in the past I was shocked if something didn’t turn out. Use it or lose it.

I used to go to the gym 5 days a week, I had very low body fat. If you stop working out you lose muscle mass very quickly but once you have developed a muscle it has a memory and comes back amazingly fast, it is the same with any talent we develop over our lives. You just have to exercise that ability.

The longer I have been away from the N the more normal my life has become giving me more to talk about. I don’t have the N occupying my every thought which leaves room for other things to think about. Makes sense right?

The pain of the narcissist has faded into being just a part of my past. I can discuss him without feeling any pain or anger, he is no more important in my life than any of my exs. He is simply the past. He plays no part in my today or my tomorrows so my heart is lighter, life is brighter, it makes sense that my conversations are lighter and brighter and my sense of humor is coming back.

I used to be very aware of NOT talking about the N or our relationship because I felt people didn’t want to hear it, like they say about subjects to avoid when making small talk in social situations, avoid talking about religion, politics, and they should add, narcissists. But now when women I am with start talking about some stupid thing an ex did or even a nice thing an ex did I can join in the conversation and relate some story about JC without it being depressing, I can relate a story of some experience I had with him without it becoming some depressing diatribe about domestic violence.

I had to realize also that I may be an advocate of raising awareness about domestic abuse but not everyone is going to be passionate about it like I am and I don’t want it to be my whole life. I have other interests, other things to talk about, and I have developed those other interests in order to have something else to talk about.

I most importantly I gave myself a break. We all have expectations of ourselves and those in our lives. We get to know a person to be a certain way. I was known for being the life of the party, rather loud, funny, excited, outgoing and the first one to say, “The party’s at my place!” or “You’re all invited for breakfast tomorrow morning.” I will never be that person again and I had to get comfortable with the new me and so did everyone who knew me.

I used to drink a lot, it is much easier to be the life of the party when you are half snapped, without booze I am much more sedate. I like myself sober, I cringe at the thought of over drinking and having a hangover. I have to accept that without a bottle of wine in my system I am not as funny (and I don’t find drunks as funny as I used to) that has nothing to do with the narcissist.

I am more interested in what other people have to say and have become a better listener. I don’t have to be the life of the party, it is not my responsibility to keep the conversation flowing. It took awhile for other people to accept the new me and learn how to interact with the new me. People in general don’t like change, they want a person to stay the same, they are uncomfortable with change, especially with something like drinking. If a person stops drinking the people they used to party with feel uncomfortable with you as a nondrinker, so you may lose some friends.


Life happens, events change people, divorce, the death of a child, bankruptcy, having children, many things can affect how a person relates to the world around them. Victims of a narcissist had a life altering experience, it is unreasonable to think it is not going to have an effect on a person’s personality, it doesn’t have to be a bad thing and everyone eventually levels out and gets comfortable with their new personality and the people who love them accept this new person; or they don’t. Sometimes friends leave our lives and new ones take their place, it is part of life.

I found that over time I stopped trying to be everything to all people and found my happy place, a place where I am totally myself and although I want people to like me I accept that not all people will, and that is ok.


Victims of narcissists tend to be perfectionists and to have very high standards for themselves and we have to learn to be kind to ourselves and not hold ourselves to higher standards than we hold the people around us to.

best day of your life

Try to relax and know this is just another step in your recovery, there will come a day when the narcissist is not part of your daily life, the scars have healed, you are comfortable in your own skin again and you once again have friends who love you for who you are.




‘Tis The Season

xmas tree

This is my 5th Christmas away from the wospos. I am sitting here remembering that first Christmas away from him, I just wanted to give up and die, but like someone here recently said, they would give up if they could but they don’t know how. That is the problem, we have to carry on even when we don’t want to because we don’t know how to give up. We don’t feel strong enough to carry on, we don’t know how to carry on, but we don’t know how to give up so we end up doing the impossible. We may feel weak, other people who can’t relate to what we have endured may think we are weak because they see us crying, not eating, and looking so broken but the truth is we are being the strongest we will probably ever have to be. Somehow we make it through every single day, some days hanging on to one little frail strand of our sanity.

While I was taking my little “sabbatical” I was still reading the comments every day and was touched by the caring and compassion shown each other, there are some people who have really reached out lately, Ellie, who says it like it is and calls a spade a spade with compassion and caring, Fee, who has been through SO much herself shares so openly and gently in hopes of helping someone else, a new person to the blog Lonely who is right in the middle of her own nightmare and inrecovery who is also facing her own  battles still reach out to others. Ellie is one of the “old timers” as are others who sit quietly in the background reading people’s comments and reach out to offer support when they see a need, (I can’t possibly remember all their names without forgetting someone so please do not be offended if I don’t mention you by name). I am naming those who have been actively commenting recently, but throughout the time I have had this blog there have been many who have offered up their loving support. At times my eyes fill with tears that leak down my cheeks as I read a comment from someone I know only a few days or weeks ago was going through their own terrible pain and self-doubt yet they offer support to someone else. It is such a testament to the type of people who fall victim to a narcissist, even gripped with their own pain they hold out a hand of understanding and support to others. They allow themselves to be vulnerable and reveal their own skeletons in order to put a person at ease and show they are not alone, we all have things we are not proud of.

As I read, a picture came to mind.

Another victim comes in and is hanging over the edge of some huge drop off, they are dangling there, they are tired and struggling to not let go of the frayed rope of sanity they cling to. Below them is a huge black abyss, nothingness waiting to gobble them up and they are so tempted to just let go and allow themselves to fall fall fall and just get it over with but as another strand of rope breaks away a hand appears, and then another one and another and the victim hears voices saying, “Don’t let go, we are here, we will help you.” When she looks up she sees smiling faces and all these hands reaching out and just as her grip on the rope let’s go someone grabs her hand and she feels herself being pulled back to the light and safety.

I get all choked up reading someone who themselves were hanging from that cliff not long ago reaching out to others.

I remember the surprise I felt the first time someone called me strong and said I was an inspiration and my insights had helped them be strong. The LAST thing I had been feeling was strong! but it made me assess where I was and I realized I was no longer hanging by my fingernails, I had some how made it through the days and nights that were a living hell. I didn’t know how, I never thought I would make it but I had so that had to mean I was stronger than I thought.

That’s the thing about strength, we never know how strong we are until we are tested, if we knew we could make it through something it wouldn’t require strength. If you catch my drift.  It is only when we are pushed to the brink of total despair do we exercise our strength.

Let me give you an analogy;

I had never wanted to be a scrap metal hauler, it was actually the LAST thing I wanted to do but I had wanted a truck and any other avenues I had tried to make money with a truck had not been successful so I finally agreed to haul scrap out of desperation. When I first started I was embarrassed, there was such a stigma attached to scrap haulers, that they were uneducated, dishonest and thieves, so I worked after businesses closed for the day as often as I could, so I wasn’t seen by people I knew.

I had a hell of a time lifting some things and on occasion worked hours struggling to load heavy things onto my truck. I would get so frustrated, thinking I could never do it, even end up in tears at times; but my pride would not let me quit. I was determined to figure out a way to get whatever onto my truck. I became quite imaginative in my efforts. I remember one night imparticular I had a big brake drum from a semi that I had run one of my tie downs through and had managed to hoist it up to the edge of my deck but no matter how hard I tried I could not lift it over the edge and onto my deck. I ended up driving all the way home with this thing dangling off the back of my truck. If I would have been seen by the police I would have been ticketed for sure and I am sure any one driving behind me didn’t tail gate watching this 100 lb brake drum swinging from my deck. The next day I was able to stand on something and lift it onto the deck.

After about a year I was able to single-handedly hoist 16 brake drums in a row onto my truck while the mechanic stood watching me, saying he needed a woman like me. (In your dreams buddy, hump your own steel) The day before my first heart attack I had such a load on my truck and was lifting such weight that I had attracted an audience and got a standing ovation when I put the last piece on the truck.

I felt so discouraged that night struggling to get that brake drum on the truck but the next day I managed to get it on and as time went on and as I struggled with other things I started to enjoy the challenge. The embarrassment and shame I had felt about being a scrap hauler was replaced by pride and confidence.  I am still proud of what I was able to accomplish and I am still remembered as the Lady Witha Truck and the first and only woman on the west coast to successfully, honestly and legally and without the help of a man haul scrap for a living.

And so it has been with finding my strength since leaving the wospos, I started off as most victims do, feeling ashamed, embarrassed and very weak. It has only been with time that I have come to realize I am strong and I can do it and over time the shame and embarrassment has been replaced with pride and confidence. I no longer care what assumptions people make about me when they find out I was a victim of abuse because I have proven I am not weak, stupid or in some way lacking. I have gone from being a victim to being a proud survivor and I hope now I can be an example to other victims and a voice for those who come behind me and not found their voice yet.

Five years ago no one could have convinced me that I would ever feel strong again, it was the worst Christmas of my life. JC was introduced to a woman through friends (because unbeknownst to me he had been complaining bitterly about my mistreatment of him for months beforehand), I was hurt, broke, without family or friends. I had been homeless and a girlfriend had arranged for me to move into the trailer next door to her. The guy worked out-of-town and was only home 6 weeks out of the year. I didn’t know him, had only talked to him on the phone and I was hesitant but I didn’t have any options and I could live there for free. I moved in sight unseen and was horrified when I saw the place. It looked like a crack shack if I had ever seen one, filthy, cobwebs draped from the ceiling and brushed my hair as I walked in. He was a heavy smoker and the walls were stained brown, it was dark and dank and God I wanted to run away, but I couldn’t go running back to the wospos so I stayed. I slept with my coat on and put a blanket down for Kato so he didn’t get bugs from the couch on him and I cried. I don’t know what I would have done without my little buddy, he laid his head on my lap, I just remember thinking I can’t do this, I can’t do this!!

It was 3 weeks before Christmas. I wore two pairs of rubber gloves when I cleaned the bathroom and threw the rags away, it took me 8 hours. I went through a couple dozen green garbage bags loading up the garbage, I opened the curtains, washed walls, vacuumed, and washed dishes that had stuff growing on them, I threw away some pots that I just could not stomach trying to clean. One week before Christmas I was finished and the owner was expected home in a few days. I had nowhere to go for Christmas and was not looking forward to spending it with a total stranger, but I was proud of my cleaning job and despite the depression that had overcome me when I saw Christmas trees on sale for $10 I bought one on an impulse. I put it up, it was dry and left needles everywhere but once I got the lights and decorations on it, it looked pretty good. I strung lights outside and decorate the porch with evergreen boughs. I wanted to show my appreciation for him letting me stay there but I had no money and hoped my efforts would convey my gratitude. He was so impressed when he got home, he said he didn’t think he was at the right place.

He wasn’t there more than an hour when he told me he had something to tell me; he had a “little’ crack problem and when he had time off he liked to have a couple of beers and do a “little” crack.  My stomach flipped, I had suspected but had thought my friend would never set it up for me to move in with a crackhead, I thought she must not know.  Long story short, his “little” problem with crack was a huge problem and he spent most of his days home locked in his bedroom. I slept on the couch because he brought a woman home and I didn’t want to be in the bedroom next door to his. They spent all night answering the door, she told me it was her daughter bringing her something. The next time there was someone at the door I answered and an asian man almost jumped off the porch, he looked at the house number to make sure he had the right place and I said, “Wait right here, I’ll go get them.” I couldn’t help myself, I knocked on the bedroom door and told her that her daughter was at the door.

I did cook a turkey and he did come out and eat. I was absolutely and utterly broken. My truck was broken down, I was living with a crackhead stranger, and my family had turned their back on me. It is a blur of misery and every single day I swore I could not survive another day.

I know this Christmas there are a lot of broken souls out there. I know there are people who are thinking they cannot possibly make it through the holidays,  that you will never again enjoy Christmas or have anything to be joyful for again in your life. There is little I can do to ease your pain, I wish I had a magic formula that I could share that would make it all ok for everyone, but I don’t. It is something you are going to have to endure anyway you can, if you have children you will have to put a smile on your face and fake it as best you can and find time for a private little cry when you can. If you do have family or friends, force yourself to go out even for a little while, you will feel better to get out of the house. Surround yourself with loving caring friends if you can. Christmas can be a tough time for some families and if you don’t feel comfortable being with your family don’t force yourself to partake in the sickness, do what feels good for you.

And know, just like every other day of the year, this one also only has 24 hours and it will pass. Try to look forward, not back, there is a new year waiting for you and you don’t know what it holds. That can be scary but it can also be exciting, it is a chance to start your new life, you are in control, you make the decisions from this day forward.

And always remember that you are not alone, we may be thousands of miles apart or only a few blocks, we have never physically hugged or held each other’s hand but we all have a bond and are there for each other. We have a shared knowledge and strength that not everyone else has, we have slept with the devil and survived. If you can survive that you can do one Christmas.




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