Ricky Prepped the Needle

Fuck, tiled truck stop, ten-mile eyes
Electric trains push through veins heaping metal
Neon bulbs and dimming, dimming out
Tourniquets in bouquets, syringes from mom
Acid-brain, corroding foil and zip-zap bolts
Never say never here you are, kid
Yelling in foreign baby gurgles and weepy gasps
Lie down and let the ceiling melt on your tongue

Guru Ram Das Ashram

As promised, I’m here today with an update from the Ashram! It was an amazing experience. I hope to go back many more times.

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I arrived to the Gurdwara around 3:20 AM. I found parking rather easily for West Hollywood. I stepped in front of the temple, which was playing soft kirtans on the outside speakers. I slipped off my shoes and covered my head with a scarf. When I opened the doors, there was a Sikh meditating on the farthest wall. Later I learned he was the Sewadar- one who guards the Gurdwara 24/7. I was greeted by a very friendly Sikh, Tej. He welcomed me in and kind of showed me around. He briefly explained the schedule for the next 4 hours. I was introduced by a few more people. I felt totally at home.

I walked over to the takhat, where the Guru resides, and touched my forehead to the floor in front of the Guru. I set my intentions for the morning and opened my heart to whatever experience was awaiting.

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I found a place to sit in lotus and I began to meditate. I must have been doing that for about 20 minutes or so. I heard chimes, then, and the Sewadar began to stir from his meditative state. He laughed for a few moments, which made me smile. He stretched his limbs out, walked over to me, and gave me hug. I could feel the energy buzzing off of him.

Tej passed out Holy Books for each of us to follow along to while chanting. Tej led the chants along with another Sikh woman. There 7 of us all together seated on the carpet of the temple, chanting for 30 minutes or so. The chimes sounded again and we were led in a brief prayer to set our intentions for Seva.

It was time to get down to business. Tej played some kirtan music overhead as we got out the vacuums and rolled up our sleeves. As my new friend, Jess, vacuumed each and every (large) Persian rug, we all rolled them up and put them to the side. We delicately took apart the takhat and joined in prayer as we moved the Guru from his resting place.

I swept the marble halls. We all got buckets with clean water and on our hands and knees, we cleaned each inch of the floor and walls with a wet rag. Next, Tej took gallons of milk and poured them where the takhat was. Again on our knees, we used our bare hands to push the milk everywhere, polishing the floor.

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The funnest part is when we flooded the entire place with buckets of water. The actual act of tossing the water along the marble and out of the temple doors was very healing and symbolic of personal cleansing. We all chanted as we did this.

We grabbed large towels and hand-dried the floor. Then, just as carefully as we had started, we put everything back the way it was.

In the next room, the Guru sat along with his Kirpan, swords. We had a procession as we brought the Guru over and we sang to him.

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A few of us sat on the carpet and polished the swords. We bowed to the Guru and touched our foreheads to the floor again.

Finally, we sang kirtans for the next hour with accordions and tambourines.

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We prayed a last time. Tej passed out a ball of pudding for each of us, 5 almonds, and chai tea. We ate together, talked a bit, hugged, and went our separate ways.

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It was a very beautiful experience and I was glad to be apart of the community. They were all friendly and ensured that I felt welcomed.

PS- My body is super sore today!

Twelve -another rape poem

it was the first time of twelve.
the clock’s hand slammed and hammered in
the pulse of his desperate, soused breath.
my blooming plum wept.
they had left the house that day.
December’s paternal comfort was long lost
in the convoluted patterns of wetness,
that which flowed from my mouth-
drooling foolishly at the thought of concern.
sudoral beads bubbled to the tops of
his shoulders, his brow.
this was unfamiliar to me, the ways in which
his eyes looked past me, now.
no longer was I his little gem.
(Oh, the eyes, I will never forget the
infliction- that which infected my matrix.)
now, four months before I knew menstruation,
I bled from the sceptre.
I glared at the back of my skull,
fixing my stare on anything but his big, bright grin.
behind me, my hands flew upward in
a futile attempt to crush his throat.
my face met fire when his hand came down.
minute explosions of starry embers filled
the room. Black, black, black.
my sad, white sheets were destroyed with crimson.
the plum wilted with guilt, lulling with uncertainty.
(should I not have poured out to him?
should I have screamed out?)
soon the palliative tears welled in his eyes.
I, the child of forgiveness, welcomed the man
into my arms, into my chest with budding breasts.
did I not please him?
did I not soothe him?
did I not stay still enough?
did I not say thank you?
he purred into me, onto the floor
and promised one day I would hate him
-for this moment.
my little panties clutched in his left hand.
how could I hate him like this?
so pathetic and woeful.
I licked the lithophanic pearls from his cheeks.
my innocence and bewilderment of the world,
were engulfed in his lust, his sickness.
they live there now in the dark corners
of my childhood bedroom.
they are captured within the stitching of my baby quilt.
they are dying in his brain, the ever-relenting memory
of the virgin blood on his hands.
daughter of abandonment.
daughter of abuse.
daughter of Michael.

DID- a Personal Interview

I’ve been wanting to write an update, but every time I sit at my keyboard, I lose focus and have no idea where to start.

I’m okay. Things are better. I’m more stable. I have a new psychiatrist. I have a new scrip for Buspirone. My mom is talking to me. I haven’t been feeling the need to swallow a bunch of pills to kill myself. Work is going well. My social life is going well. The system is okay- though we are working through something at the moment.

Everything is okay.

I didn’t want to just leave a paragraph update, so I decided to post an interview regarding DID  that I recently did (which the article itself will hopefully be published within the next couple months!).

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Age:
24

Location:
California, USA

What’s your current profession?
I currently work in HR. When I’m not bustling around the office floors, I’m writing. I recently published my first book ever! It’s called, Solipsist, and it is a collection of confessional poetry that I’ve been writing during my journey in therapy. (Self promoting! It’s available on Amazon and on Kindle!)

When were you diagnosed with DID? What was your journey up to your diagnosis like?
I was diagnosed in the early summer of 2015. Before that, I had been diagnosed with both Bipolar I when I was 16 and Schizoaffective Disorder when I was 22. I struggled a lot with the latter. I had checked myself in to outpatient services once I was hearing malicious voices. It was really intense, frightening, and confusing. I didn’t know what was wrong with me and the misdiagnoses of SAD really set me back a little bit. It was difficult.

When did your different alters start to develop?
This is a tricky question. I suppose they really began developing around 4-5 years of age. My first alter, I suppose you could call her, was Allie. She’s been my best friend ever since. I’ve been told by friends that even in high school sometimes I would act oddly, or would even introduce myself by a different name.

How many alters do you have in your system? Can you tell me about about each different alter and their character traits?
So far, I’ve come to know 6 main alters. However, I know there are at least 3 more and a possible co-host.

Victoria is 24 and loves to write. She’s the host, typically.

Allie is a southern belle. She manages the system and works time out for everyone. If someone has an issue within the system, she is the go-to.

Goldie, or Marigold, is my protector. She’s from New Jersey, she’s tough, and she absolutely has no problem telling someone how we really feel.

Senka is 5. She’s sweet, loves dinosaurs, and likes to color.

Dee is 16, although I think she may age-slide. She’s a typical teenager and enjoys a good party.

Rogue has no identified age. She was angry abusive, and hypersexual. Now through therapy she seems to just bob around in the background.

Those are the 6. The others are:

Citizen, who is quiet and observant.

Lucy Lovelace, who is a more recently realized alter and I don’t have much information on her as of yet. I know that she was “born” in a mental institution.She has been taking on co-host responsibilities and traits.

Celia. She’s what I call the “emotional accountant” of the system.

How does Marigold protect all of you?
Goldie possesses the quality that I wish I always had: She doesn’t take abuse from anyone or anything. If something hurts the system, she’s usually the first to come out. To anyone who has met her, she’s been described as a little “rough around the edges” due to her brutal honesty. However, she is loving. She offers advice to me when I need it, even if I don’t want it.

How often can you switch between alters? Are you aware of what’s happening during a switch or when you’re a different alter?
To be honest, I don’t know how often it happens. 99% of the time, I don’t think I’m aware. I don’t feel that I even switch. Sometimes, I just feel fuzzy and my eyesight starts to shift. My girlfriend is usually the one to let me know, “so-and-so just came out.” Besides her telling me, I don’t know. However, there are times when they are louder, and there are times that I feel that I may be co-fronting, but I still don’t have any way to confirm that that means I’m switching.

Can you tell me a bit more about your day-to-day life is like?
I wake up, sometimes I’ll have a morning “meeting” with everyone depending on how we’re feeling. I’ll drive to work and Goldie typically drives with me. Every now and then Senka will be in the backseat. I work a full-job. I’d be lying to you if I said it’s not stressful because there have been moments where I’ve switched at work. Senka came out once that I know of- imagine working at your desk and then all of a sudden there’s a 5-year-old and no one knows what to do with you!

When I get home, I like to write. I blog. It’s therapy for me. I’ll spend time with my cat, Rita. I’ll play guitar sometimes. Then, bedtime!

Everyday is so different, but this is basically what it looks like.

When and why did you start vlogging and blogging about living with DID?
I started blogging a little over a year ago. I didn’t begin my blog focusing on DID. I had been battling depression for years, as well as drug addiction and rehabilitating from suicide attempts. My blog was created with the sole intention of helping other people by sharing my story. Then of course, as time went on and therapy opened up my trauma, I decided to spread awareness about DID.

The vlog came about 6 months after.

What are your ambitions for the future?
I have two goals:

1) I want to spread awareness, not just about DID, but about mental health and specifically the stigma against suicide. I’m astonished at the lack of information on the topic of DID and I would LOVE to educate people!

2) I want to continue writing and publish my autobiography.

What are the positive aspects to having DID, is it comforting to have the company of your alters?
Even though it’s scary and painful, my alters have shown me so much about myself, my past, and what I am truly capable of as a survivor. There’s not one boring day with all of us. When I’m really depressed and feeling lost, Allie is there by my side, ready to comfort me. When I feel threatened, Goldie protects me. There are a lot of positive aspects.

How did it feel to be finally diagnosed with DID in 2015? Did you feel a sense of relief or elucidation about yourself after your diagnosis?
I had mixed emotions about it. I think I had just been getting used to accepting Schizoaffective as my diagnoses and I didn’t know what to do with myself. I didn’t do any research at first. Then, slowly after working with my therapist, I realized that DID was not a fluke in brain chemistry; rather it is an adaptive and coping disorder. This is when the relief set in, because I knew there could be an “end result.” Integration. I began delving into books and forums. I picked up the DSM-V for the first time. I was so incredibly surprised to see how textbook my case was! There was definitely a sense of relief. I finally feel confident in the accuracy of my diagnoses.

I think you made a really moving point about how your alters have helped you survive trauma in your life and you hate to call DID a disorder. Can you tell me a bit more about this and describe how your alters have helped you?
I had coined this term in my blog when I first began writing- Glitter Rainbow Imagination, in lieu of the word disorder. I feel that “disorder” implies something that you want to get rid of, something negative and that is harmful to your psyche. My experience is quite the contrary! I had suffered through a lot of abuse, both verbally and physically. If I hadn’t have split, I promise you I would not be here today. Some of my alters, specifically Rogue, carry a lot of intense trauma.

I suppose if you look at it for a more psychological viewpoint, each of my alters are kind of like a filing drawer, and I’m the cabinet itself. Each drawer contains information and memories that are unique to that drawer. My brain has compartmentalized my childhood up until now. Through therapy, I am learning how to unlock the drawers safely, how to read through the files and accept the information.

 

What happened when Senka came out at work and did your work colleagues realise what was happening?
I don’t think anyone really noticed except for one co-worker. At the time, my girlfriend was working at the same office and Senka asked for her. So, the receptionist called her and my girlfriend took Senka for a drive. I don’t think she’s been out since then; she knows she’s not allowed to be out at work.

What sort of things do you discuss with your alters at your morning meetings?
We do a quick “scan” of how everyone is feeling usually. More recently, we discuss if anyone needs to take over for a while. For example, Goldie likes to drive in the morning and smoke a cigarette. Sometimes Senka wants to color after work. It all depends.

Do you have to buy or do certain things to accommodate all your different alters? e.g do you buy toys for Senka or different clothes for your some alters?
Senka definitely has a lot of stuffed animals. She loves dragons and dinosaurs so we have plenty of those! I wouldn’t say that the alters have different clothes- however, when we go shopping, they will come forward and give their opinions on what we should buy, or not buy. So, you can imagine how indecisive I could be!

What’s the most common misconception about DID?
Well, first of all, I find that the majority of the population doesn’t even know the term DID. They know Multiple Personality Disorder. Unfortunately, the extent of their exposure to MPD/DID is what they’ve seen on screen- i.e Sybil, United States of Tara, etc.

The common misconception is there are wild switches and that’s it. One day you’re Jane, the next you’re Rachel. At least in my own experience, it’s not like this. Sure, I switch sometimes. But there is SO MUCH MORE to it than that. It’s complex, it’s painful, there are so many layers. DID is not a little thing to work through. Honestly, I believe I’ll be working on it for the rest of my life.

 

Magic Man

We were out at a bar in Hollywood on Saturday night- 1970s themed. As soon as my feet hit the carpet of the bar, I could feel Dee vibrate.

A while later, Magic Man by Heart came on overhead- Dee’s favorite song. I was feeling just fine. While sipping my drink, I told my girlfriend about this song…

When I was around 12-years-old, and before Michael (my perpetrator) was abusing me, he was still spending some nights at my house. There were these two girls who were best friends- Brooke and Edie. I had a massive school girl crush on Edie. They were born in the wrong era. Brooke was free-loving, flower-wearing hippie and Edie sported long, straight blonde 70s hair. She was vibrant, friendly, popular, out-going, beautiful.. she had a vinyl record player and was a straight-edge.

Back before blogger, facebook, myspace, etc, there was Xanga. Posted on their Xanga pages, they publicly broadcasted their love for Heart, The Ramones, Jimi Hendrix, The Grateful Dead, etc, etc.

I wanted to embody Edie. She was SO cool and I wanted so badly to be like her and to be LIKED by her. So, one day after school, I took a white poster board and scribbled in big letters “Bands I Love.” I’m not sure what point I was trying to make… but there on my bedroom wall above my bed were all these bands, bands that I had no idea who they were.

The next day, Michael saw my poster board and asked flatly, “Do you even know who these bands are?”

“Of course I do!” I snapped. He looked at me doubtfully, then opened his laptop. He played Magic Man.

“Who is this?” he asked me as I stared blankly back at him. He sighed, “Okay, if you don’t know who this is, do you know the name of the song?” Nothing.

For the next few weeks, as we would have our tutoring sessions, he would play songs and quiz me on the bands and song titles. It was a really fun time. Before he fucked everything up, this is my favorite memory of him. He had become such a father figure for me. I loved that I could make him proud. I loved learning about music, and laughing with him, looking forward to tutoring after school.

I told him about my crush on Edie and he accepted me. He didn’t make me feel bad or weird about it. He was the very first person I talked to about my sexuality. Later on, he would take advantage of it, but at the time, I was so very appreciative of his open mind and his support.

He encouraged me to “go after the girl,” another fond memory as it felt like yet another father-daughter moment. He helped me rehearse what I would say to Edie, how I would say it. Then, the day came. I went up to her, swallowed my fear, and with sweaty palms, I asked her if she liked Heart. She beamed and proceeded to tell me that it was her favorite band. We became friends. Then, a year later she moved back to the east coast with her family. I am still friends with Brooke to this day. Edie went missing about 5 years ago, and no one has heard from her since.

I Keep Listening to Trent Reznor

I wish I could give a straight answer.. when she asks me, “What’s wrong?”… I wish I could be certain and say I’m just feeling depressed, or angry, or moody- any definitive answer would be great. It’s frustrating for her. It’s frustrating for me.

I feel like a broken record.

The closest feeling I can think of is empty. My handy thesaurus spits these synonyms out: cold, devoid, hollow, uninhabited, vacant, deflated, depleted, exhausted.

I keep drumming it up to the simple med change I’ve had. Maybe that’s it. It’s not ALL day, either. I feel okay most of the time. Sure, I have moments of wanting to take a pair of scissors to wrist, wanting to jump off of a building, that sort of thing. Fleeting feelings of which I will take no action upon.

Although, the paramedics that came to my aid last night seemed slightly convinced otherwise; they offered several times to drive me over to the hospital for an evaluation. I told them I was fine. I just had a panic attack. No big deal. I passed out and dissociated for a second. No big deal.

I have them quasi-frequently now. No big deal. I had a flashback the other morning of being pulled into a van, forced to go down on some guy. I kept hearing him say, “What did you do? What did you do?” over and over, because I bit down on him. Hard. No big deal.

And remember when I found my best friend in his back house when he tried to hang himself? We were in 8th grade. We’d walk to school together. He lives on the other side of the tracks, literally…. flashbacks.

No big deal.

As long as I keep myself cool, calm, and collected, I can handle anything that pops my way.

Goldie told me that it’s time for me to accept help again from everyone else. I did a fantastic job steering us away from immediate danger after his suicide, but now, I need to take a breath. Let the medication do it’s thing. Go to therapy. Accept help.

I’m having trouble asking for help. Since the very beginning of this month, I handled everything and made it through with minimal assistance. Now I’m experiencing a slight turbulence in regards to anxiety. But, I can do it.

I’m okay. I’m sorry I don’t have any straight answers… I have just felt floopered every now and then. I’m OKAY though. Everything is okay.

Usually, when I feel like this, I want to curl up and be held. Human contact, affection, warmth, love, familiarity. Right now, I want to crawl beneath the earth and bury myself. Do you see my predicament? I feel FINE. I’m not depressed. Yet, I want to simply disappear.

Maybe I just feel angry? Slightly hostile? Angry at what, I’m not entirely sure. Well, fuck, maybe that’s the emotion. I would love to punch something really hard.

It is kind of “that time of the month” as well. My hormones are just all jumbled up. No big deal.

Fuck it, scratch everything I just said. I’m totally okay.

Tegretol and Ideation

Back to PHP I went.

I don’t even know where to begin with an update. It went well. I don’t remember driving to group. I signed in, had a little assessment, went to 3 groups. It was nice to be back. The therapist and social worker remembered me and welcomed me back. Everyone was just as sweet as they were when I left. New patients walk around freely, as I feel like a senior in high school; I know how everything works, which vending machine to avoid for the exploding sodas, so on and so forth.

I saw my therapist yesterday as well before she took off for a couple of weeks. I’ve gotta to say, she is the BEST therapist I’ve ever worked with. I’m so very fortunate to have her in my life. Completely. I don’t know how I would have come to the realizations that I have without her.

So, that was yesterday.

Today was a brand new day. I went to group, felt fuzzy like I had the day before. I met with my doctor. She asked me the usual questions, then mentioned something very serious: She said with the work that I’m doing now with my therapist, it may be an option for me in the near future to check in as inpatient, or even a resident. I think she is taking my opiate addiction and running with it a little… and my alcohol use. I don’t necessarily believe that I need inpatient treatment. I think I’m functioning, but I do need a little care I suppose.

She told me she is concerned about my eating habits. I guess I used to be concerned as well?

She also wants me to think about Tegretol. Has anyone used Tegretol? Did it help? It would be used (for me) to treat not only my bipolar disorder, but curb alcohol cravings. She also mentioned Vistaril, which I am interested in taking. I read up a little on Tegretol and it makes me a little nervous. I would rather take Lithium because I know for a fact it helps my swings and mood. However, she’s worried about my alcohol binging. I think I can control my binges with groups, etc.

Am I doing okay? I don’t know. I feel that I’m slipping. I feel apathetic. I feel… kind of lost, fuzzy, split, compartmentalized at times. I don’t feel all “myself” a lot. I’m scared of being alone because honestly, I’m very triggered to self harm. At least I’m being truthful with myself. I really, really, really want to harm myself and cut.

I feel very disconnected from my system.. very much like Rogue; she is isolated. Actually, I feel very much like Rogue.

I’ve met some really awesome people already. I’m glad to be getting help again. I hope that I can accept it. I feel very, undeserving and very sad right now. I feel a little bit like I’m wasting space.

It’ll be okay though.

Thank you for listening. You all have been such a great support system. I know we limited to letters on a screen, but honestly, I feel very loved here on WordPress.

Joining the Circus! Be Back Soon

  
Since I’ll be on leave for at least 6 weeks, I’ve decided to tell everyone that I’ve gone and joined the circus- you know, instead of telling them I’ve checked myself into the funny farm (again). 

Yes! That’s me up there! Credits to my girlfriend for her ever-inspiring art! And thank you, Instagram, for your odd filters.

I’m a bit nervous for tomorrow, to say the least. I’m excited to get back to stabilizing myself and my emotions. I’m just very anxious about the inevitable pain, discomfort, and realizations that are to come.

Off to the circus I go!

When I Kissed the Cement

Last night was difficult. I’m not even sure if I ever fell asleep. My body is tired, my eyes burn, I feel slightly off balance.

I sat out on my back porch steps watching the rain fall. I was on the phone with my girlfriend, sobbing, rocking myself back and forth. Just hours before, I was standing in the drizzle, talking to God like I always did, begging Him to please make it go away. I bent down to the floor and kissed the warm cement repeatedly, waiting to feel absolution.

I haven’t been this despondent since February.

I texted my therapist telling her I felt suicidal and I’m too scared to admit myself into a hospital. I don’t even know if that would be the right move. I keep waiting for this to go away. Tomorrow, it’ll be better again. I’ll be happy and cheery, this mess will be behind me. Yet tomorrow has shown its face over and over again. I’m not getting better.

I feel as if I’ve contracted an illness and all I can do is rest, try to recover. I know I’m not alone, but I feel like I am.

Perhaps going back to group would behoove my mental crises. I have no idea.

Last night was really painful.

Bedrooms and Bipolar Flicks

As I sat in the movie theater, the lights above me darkened and the noise began to dull. Somewhere from behind my eyes, tears pushed themselves and hurdled onto my unsuspecting lap. Surrounded by an audience of 40 people or so, how could I feel so alone?

The familiar “movie feeling” has infected my every thought again. Nothing feels real, and when it does, it passes by me so quickly that I barely have time to enjoy it.

I am depressed. 

Hello, friend, with your dark cape and roots. Have you packed a bag? If so, you know where the sofa is. Would you care for sugar in your tea as well? No? That’s right…you like it bitter. I’ll be over here…well, you know where to find me…

At first, I thought that the episode was the usual two day bug. It’s been 22 days since I looked out the hotel window from the 22nd floor and really wondered if I would die on impact.

Wow. 22 days. It feels like it’s only been about a week. I’m looking at my calendar right now in disbelief. Almost a month. It’s scary. Actually, terrifying, usually. I lose myself. But what’s really terrifying is when I stop being terrified. Instead, I feel nothing. Instead, death no longer frightens me.

What a fucked up illness. There’s not even a “problem.” There’s nothing to solve. You ride it, or it rides you. Unfortunately, we’re too tired to strap on our riding boots, so we become the buck.

I want to be held. All night, never to be let go. And if I wake up crying, fuck it, let me lie there and cry it out. Hold on to me so I don’t have to hold on to myself. Because I can’t.

What a maudlin rant. Excuse me, bloggees and bloggers.

This weekend, my girlfriend’s friend came in from out of state, I did have a great time with them both. I thoroughly enjoyed the laughs and meals we all shared together. The weather has been very out of character for California. We are experiencing humid thunderstorms and heavy rain. It’s my favorite weather, minus the suffocating humidity floating in the air. It’s nice for a while, though.

Tonight we watched Infinitely Polar Bear in the theater. It was a GREAT movie. I don’t normally give reviews of any kind on my blog, but this is worth a watch. It’s about a manic depressive father who is basically raising two daughters on his own because his wife and mother of his children decides to pursue her education. I’ll post the trailer so you can check it out…

It was interesting to watch the translation of an adult living with bipolar disorder. The movie made me think of my own future as a parent- something I think of frequently.

The system has kept quiet and have retreated to their respective bedrooms. Or, maybe I’ve retreated to mine and I’m just unaware of them. Dee leaves me notes every now and then. Allie is taking care of Senka. Rogue is sad and isn’t doing so well.

This is what the hallways looks like:

1989c_40hallway-contThis is what the common room looks like:

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In other news, my girlfriend has cut my hair short! I like it.