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Author Topic: Force Visitation?  (Read 4872 times)

evilstep

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Force Visitation?
« on: Sep 09, 2004, 09:17:54 PM »
Hi, new here.  I've been reading some of the other posts, and I've seen a lot of stories similar to what my DH is going through.

DH's kids, 14 and 12, have been gradually pulling away from him for quite some time, and we suspect PA to be the culprit.  The CO visitation is supposed to be three weekends a month, but about a year ago, BM talked him into dropping it to two weekends, because she wasn't getting enough "fun" time with the kids.  (she later told him that this decrease in visitation was actually at the kids request, but she's a liar, so who knows?)  Well, the last time he saw his kids, they basically told him that having to spend two weekends a month with him is too much of an infringement on their personal lives, and seemingly NO weekends would be preferable to them.

There's more to it, but to make a long story short:  that was three months ago, and they haven't come since then.  He's contacted both kids, either by phone or email, several times, and was blown off; basically, "don't call us, we'll call you."  Naturally, BM is permitting this, and saying that "they think for themselves" and "they make up their own minds."

Anyhow, to get to my question... we've considered forcing the visitation, but why bother?  I mean, how will it help things for DH to drag his kids here against there will?  They'll just sulk and be rotten the whole time, and DH gets more salt rubbed into his wounds!  Personally, I don't care if they never come back, and I've already told DH that if they do, our son and I will be spending the weekend elsewhere.  DH isn't really too keen on the idea of forcing them to visit, either; he would never admit this but, after some of the hurtful things that they said to him, I don't think he's really too eager to spend any time with them, either!  The kids, of course, have already been "reprogrammed" by their so-called mother, so any inkling of remorse or accountability that they might have had is long gone!

So, that's my question... if they hate us so much, and don't want to be here, why add insult to injury by forcing the issue?


Peanutsdad

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RE: Force Visitation?
« Reply #1 on: Sep 10, 2004, 03:15:57 AM »
LOL


Dont ya luv it when a cp says " they think for themselves",,,,yet,, oh HELL no if the thoughts they have are move to the ncp home.



Your DH is the only one that knows whats right to do in this.


I think it's important to note,, the things unsaid. Your own feelings in the matter tell me that there are hard feelings between the half sibs, and hard feelings toards the (your steps) and yourself. I also feel that its been an ongoing thing for quite some time. Would I be far off the mark if I thought some of this tension is brought about by resentment the steps have for their half sib?



Considering the dynamics in place between everyone, no, I wouldnt endorse "forcing" the issue unless there was a long round of family therapy between the steps, yours and your DH's child, DH and yourself.

SLYarnell

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Think about this for just a moment...
« Reply #2 on: Sep 10, 2004, 10:27:27 AM »
If the children didnt want to go to school, would your force them?

If the children were ill and needed Dr.s care and didnt want to go, would you force them?

If the children wanted to do something harmful, would you stop them?

OF COURSE!!!

How is visitation with his children any different???

Those children NEED a relationship with their father and YOU need to encourage it!

There never should have been a decision to give up ordered visitation time and when the first time visitation didnt occur there should have been notification you would be filing contempt charges.  It isnt a decision she can make, the court made the decisions and until the court changes them they should be followed or contempt threatened.

I know they might not state it your husbands children need a STABLE relationship they can count on from him.  How would you feel if he just gave up on you?  Why should it be any different for them?

I know it is often a longhard battle... but please please please dont ever give up on a child...


Ref

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Just my opinion
« Reply #3 on: Sep 10, 2004, 11:41:43 AM »
If you see the parenting forum you will see that I have been going through the same type of stuff. In my case it IS the BM. When SD actually came to our house, even after threats of sulking the whole time or even running away,  she was just fine. I thought I was going to have a heart attack and didn't have  any real sleep the week before, but I think it was worth it.

The only reason why I say that forcing it might be good for them is without your influence they WILL pick sides and it wont be yours. You need for them to come to your home and be a part of your family and even if it means sulking and pissing and moaning, eventually they will figure out that it isn't so bad.

Do you think that their BM is capable of teaching them how to be well balanced adults? Chances are not. They need you. More importantly, they need their dad.

On another note, I had a hard time looking at SD after some of the crap she pulled. I figured out what the benefits of being a SM were. I could make a hair appointment, run errands or do whatever and I could escape the drama. Ofcourse, I love DH and wouldn't want to abandon his needs but sometimes I think it is great to be able to run away and come bak refreshed.  Plus the one on one time that they get is wonderful.

Why don't you and your child spend an overnight at a family member's house or go camping and come back and spend only half the time with your SKs?

Just a thought

Ref

LizaLou1

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RE: Force Visitation?
« Reply #4 on: Sep 10, 2004, 01:14:30 PM »
Been in your shoes, expect the visitation is long distance.  The BM is very active with PA.   DH "forced" kids to visit, even going to court over it.  Allowing the kids to make the decision only puts them in the middle.  Judge said kids don't get to decide when and when not to visit.  BM was found in contempt even though it was the kids' decision.  The truth of the matter was the kids were afraid of what their mom would do if the "wanted" to visit.  Now they are punished for visiting by being put on 18 hour bus trip instead of transporting them herself.  Judge has warned her not to do it again, but we'll see.

Most, recently the BM's need to trash DH to the kids and  need to control everything is pushing the kids away.  OSS was kicked out because he wanted to live with Dad.  He has been with us for about a month and a joy to have around.

Best of luck

Lizalou


cinb85

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I am a CP
« Reply #5 on: Sep 10, 2004, 01:52:45 PM »
and I've got to say that once children reach the age of 13, they do not want to spend time with either parent.  My daughter wants to spend all of her time with her friends.  

It isn't always the CP who causes the children to now want to visit the NCP.  I know that's not true in all cases, but just remember that once children become teenagers, their interests change dramatically!

I ENCOURAGE our daughter to visit her grandparents (her father is incarcerated).  I am the one who makes sure that she calls from time to time (since they never call her) to keep in touch with his family.  Not all CPs discourage their children from visiting the NCP.

I don't think that forcing your DH's children to visit will do any good.  Just tell him to call them often to let them know that he is thinking about them and "maybe" they'll call back and ask to come for a visit!

Good luck!

cinb85

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TYPO!
« Reply #6 on: Sep 10, 2004, 01:56:33 PM »
meant to say "It isn't always the CP who causes the children to NOT want to visit the NCP"

Ref

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Just curious
« Reply #7 on: Sep 10, 2004, 02:08:37 PM »
Do you think it would be ok for your 13 year old to live with her friends because she doesn't want to spend the time with either parent? Then why can it be justified that a parent can be shut out of the kids life (either CP or NCP) because of their social life.

I understand the point that these kids are more active at these ages, but this is also such a crucial age for kids, especially girls, to have as much contact with their dad as possible.

I was bummed when I was a kid and had to go to my dad's. I sucked it up and always survived. Not that I am older I am so happy that I had that time with him, even if I fought it then.

My dad fighting for me DID do good and I encourage anyone out there to keep fighting. Don't settle for your child to "maybe " call you back. If you are a parent, your child should never be allowed to ignore your calls or refuse your time because they don't feel like it. No CP would put up with it and I don't think and NCP should either.

Best of Luck to all


Kitty C.

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'Scuse me, but that's just lame............
« Reply #8 on: Sep 10, 2004, 02:56:18 PM »
I have a 15 y.o. son, and many here know the trials that child has gone thru.  Then when you add hormones on top of that and contributing to it, it can be hell sometimes.  But I don't equate this as being ANY different than anything else he HAS to do.  Unfortunately, his father passed away 2 years ago, but even back then he had mentioned what would happen if he had a summer job, what if he didn't want to go see his dad for the summer??  I told him that under NO uncertain terms he would be going, whether he liked it or not.  I didn't care if he had a good-paying job or a girlfriend, he was going.  After that, he never questioned it.

As it is, he will still be going there next summer.  The only reason why he didn't this year was because of summer school and his SM and half sister said that education was more important.  But I know that he will be making plans eventually and I keep reminding him that he MUST make room for his dad's family as well.

He equates it to just exactly what the other poster spoke of:  it is considered as HIGH a priority as school and my responsibility to keep him safe.  That is one very strong boundary that, when parents establish it, the children will NOT question.  Sure, they may grouse for a while, but I'm not here to be his friend, I'm his PARENT.

There were many things that my parents forced me to do, or forbid me to do, when I was a teenager...and I know that at the time I hated them for it.  But within just a few years, I understood why they did what they did, because they loved and cared for me.  That means more to me now then a few hurt feelings then.

And I know that DS would say the same thing..........  
Handle every stressful situation like a dog........if you can't play with it or eat it, pee on it and walk away.......

msme

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Think of this..........
« Reply #9 on: Sep 11, 2004, 07:39:00 AM »
By not forcing visitation, your hubby is reinforcing her PAS. She is probably telling them that he is no good, he doesn't love them, he really doesn't want them or to be with them, he really only saw them because the court ordered him to, see how glad he is not to have them, etc, etc, etc.

Add to that: see how much mom loves you, mom won't make you go see that awful person, mom will protect you from him, mom can give you everything you need so you don't need him, etc, etc, etc.

By not fighting, you are telling the kids that she is right, dad doesn't love us enough to fight for us, dad doesn't really care what happens to us, dad really is the jerk that mom says he is, etc, etc, etc.

He needs to send her a letter of intent to exercise his visitation. When he arrives, he can tell the kids that he tried it her way but it is intolerable & they will visit. If they refuse, call the sheriff. Make sure you have a copy of the CO in hand.

If the sheriff will not intervene, get a copy of the incident report & file contempt. Inform her that he will file contempt every time they do not come.

Good luck & God bless.

You never get a second chance to make a first impression!

evilstep

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RE: Force Visitation?
« Reply #10 on: Sep 11, 2004, 08:04:17 AM »
you're right...I do feel a lot of resentment toward the skids, and it has been building for quite some time.  I've seen this coming for over two years, and DH just kept his head in the sand and refused to do anything about it.

As for our son, he is only 2, so there are no "he gets more privelages..." kind of issues, and it's always seemed that they adored him.  But in the past three months, during the contact that DH initiated, they never once asked about their brother.  Apparently, his being a by-product of me makes him not worth their time, either!  (this is where BM would jump in and remind everyone that he's only their HALF-brother!)

I did not come into this situation feeling this way.  When DH and I got together, I was under the impression that I was unable to conceive, and I looked at this as maybe God's intended way of giving me children.  But, it has since come out, they hated me from the start, for no reason other than my mere existence.  I came into this ready to try; they came seeking to destroy things right from the start.

evilstep

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RE: Just my opinion
« Reply #11 on: Sep 11, 2004, 08:11:52 AM »
Thanks for the input, it helps.  I have been talking to DH about forcing the issue, but for the time being I don' t think I should be here when his kids come, and I've told him that's how it's going to be.  On one hand, I want to hold my ground and let SKs know that they can't chase me out of my own house.  But on the other hand, this is DH's house too, and he should be seeing his kids, so if that's what it takes... I think it's hard for him, too, because they basically told him that he is an embarassment to them (because he's "just a truck driver") and everything he does for them isn't good enough for them, it doesn't meet their high standards.  That really hurt him a lot, and he's having trouble dealing with that.

Anyhow, thanks again for your advice!

evilstep

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RE: I am a CP
« Reply #12 on: Sep 11, 2004, 08:14:00 AM »
Thanks, that sounds like someplace to start; I'll suggest it to DH.

p.s.--I wish you were my skids biomom! :)

evilstep

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RE: Just curious
« Reply #13 on: Sep 11, 2004, 08:17:58 AM »
Right on!  DH and I have been over and over this, and we figured out one crucial mistake that he has been making over the past almost-four years:  he's been confusing "fighting ABOUT the kids" with "fighting FOR the kids"!  By cowering down to his ex and not fighting, he assumed he was doing what was best for the kids; in doing that, he essentially stood by and watched her take them from him.

Thanks for your input.

evilstep

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RE: 'Scuse me, but that's just lame............
« Reply #14 on: Sep 11, 2004, 08:21:30 AM »
So much of what you said echoes things that I have said to DH!  I don't know what happens to parents during a divorce--they start out doing their job, then the divorce happens, and all of a sudden they're afraid of their own kids, afraid that if they say "no", the kids won't like them anymore!  But, just as you said, it's not our job to make our kids "like" us!

Thanks for your two cents worth!

evilstep

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RE: Think of this..........
« Reply #15 on: Sep 11, 2004, 08:25:42 AM »
I think that she puts a negative spin on it no matter what DH does.  If he lets them skip visitation, she implies that he doesn't care; if he forces them to come, she makes him out to be the bad guy.

I've suggested to him just what you said, showing up at her door with CO and the sherriff, but he didn't seem to keen on that--he's worried about pissing off BM and having her pull him into court.  (I've told him he ought to worry less about her and more about his kids, but to no avail.)  Maybe when another three months passes, he'll be mad enough to do something about it!

Thanks.

StPaulieGirl

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RE: Force Visitation?
« Reply #16 on: Sep 13, 2004, 11:02:52 AM »
Hmmm.  My suggestion would be for your husband to show up at every court appointed visitation weekend.  Then document the refusal.  Document unanswered phone calls, or their mother refusing to put them on the phone. Remain calm.  Then when you have enough evidence, go to court.

12 and 14 isn't exactly old enough to decide whether to choose to comply with the visitation schedule, imo.

I'm a woman with sole physical custody.  My ex is not a nice person.  I handled my son's refusals to visit their father, by asking him to look out for his little sister.  She is now 10, and he will be turning 17 soon.  Now I'm hearing that he wants to take dad for everything he can get out of him.  Vile and disgusting.  This is not what visitation is supposed to be about.  This is not healthy or moral.

Personally, if I was your husband....I would have a talk with the kids and tell them how much he loves them, that they will always be welcome in you and their father's home.  They have a little brother, and that will not change, except in years wasted not getting to know each other.  Specifically invite them for whatever religious holidays you celebrate.  If they don't show up, don't buy them gifts.  Just send a cordial card marking all occasions, including birthdays.  Cold hearted?  Hey, they started it.  Let me guess that they know how to call him when they want something?

This is a real bummer for your 2 yr old :-(


MixedBag

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RE: I am a CP
« Reply #17 on: Sep 13, 2004, 07:08:28 PM »
And my answer to that is to let a friend come too.....

Let your child enjoy their friends at YOUR place just as much as at the CP's place.

They have to hang out somewhere!

evilstep

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RE: I am a CP
« Reply #18 on: Sep 13, 2004, 07:15:06 PM »
We've made countless offers to get his kids to invite their friends over; it's a 30+ minute drive one way, so we make sure to say that we'll provide the transportation, too.  No takers.  It recently came out that SD has dumped her friends from last year to follow the "in" crowd, and is having trouble fitting in with the rich kids.  Apparently, her father, being just a truck driver, is too much of an embarassment to her to bring her friends around.  Whatever.

evilstep

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RE: Force Visitation?
« Reply #19 on: Sep 13, 2004, 07:38:14 PM »
DH has had soooo many heart-to-hearts with his kids, to no avail.  BM, and DH too, have spent so much time catering to these kids (b/c of divorce guilt) that the kids are entirely self-centered--they KNOW that they're hurting their father and their brother, they just DON'T CARE!  As long as they get what they want, they couldn't care less how it affects anybody else!  I could go on and on with examples of their selfishness and self-centeredness, but their isn't enough room on this board!

I don't know what we're going to do about the holidays.  I suspect that we won't hear from them until Christmas, and then they'll only be coming because they're expecting presents!  DH says that he won't allow that to happen, but we'll see.  That's how it's been set up, though:  BM has phased him out to the point that he's nothing more than a checkbook.  As far as I'm concerned, if DH isn't good enough for them, then his money isn't, either!  


StPaulieGirl

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Yank the checkbook
« Reply #20 on: Sep 14, 2004, 12:15:34 AM »
Being raised by parents old enough to be my grandparents,  exposed me to to standards not held by this generation.  There are no standards of decent behavior anymore.

Don't let them use you anymore.  I suggest sending them invitations for Thanksgiving and Christmas next month.  Of course considering the visitation schedule.  In my family, we generally don't send out cards for Thanksgiving, but we do for Christmas.  Send them a card with a photo of Santa, regretting their absence, and send them a nice present.  See how it goes.  Kids get away with far too much these days, and I think it's time to reign them back in.

My kids are pretty bad as far as this goes, and I've called them on the carpet for it.  Shame doesn't go far these days.  Always keep in mind that your baby is seeing more than you think he is.  You can't do anything to change their attitudes, besides withholding goodies that they feel that they're entitled to, but you can shape your little boy's life.

msme

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Holiday gifts..........
« Reply #21 on: Sep 14, 2004, 07:58:00 AM »
should be given out of love, not out of obligation. They're his kids & he loves them, no matter what.  Of course, the quality & quantity of the gifts should be based on behavior & maturity. If I were you, I would base my Christmas shopping on that premise.

I would also drop them a note, telling them that you are starting your holiday shopping & if there is something particular they want, they should let you know. That way you can choose something that they will really enjoy but just not the quantity they will be expecting.

If they say something, he can just ask them if someone was rude to them, hateful, wouldn't visit them & generally treated them like crap, just how much would THEY spend on gifts for those people?

Who knows, you might just get through to them.

Good luck & God bless.

You never get a second chance to make a first impression!

Kitty C.

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JMO, but.................
« Reply #22 on: Sep 14, 2004, 08:10:03 AM »
.........if it were me, the ONLY thing they'd be getting from me would be a card!  I also remember someone saying once about making a charitable donation in the kids' names, then telling them about it in the card.  The premise would be that since they don't apear to give a damn about their father, he would spend the Christmas/birthday money somewhere where it would REALLY BE APPRECIATED, but would still be letting them know he cared for them, even if they didn't for him.

Just MIGHT make them think............
Handle every stressful situation like a dog........if you can't play with it or eat it, pee on it and walk away.......

evilstep

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RE: JMO, but.................
« Reply #23 on: Sep 14, 2004, 05:21:42 PM »
OMG!!!  What a fabulous idea!  Year before last, we attempted to start a "family" tradition of each of us choosing a name from the Salvation Army Angel Tree, and purchasing a gift to be given to that child--of course, his kids acted like it was the dumbest thing they've ever had to do, and dragged their feet the whole time while DH and I shopped for the gifts.  This is the perfect solution--DH gets to acknowledge his kids, I'm not forced to buy them gifts that they don't deserve, and a less-fortunate child benefits in the process...excellent!!  Thank you so much!

Kitty C.

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RE: JMO, but.................
« Reply #24 on: Sep 15, 2004, 08:16:11 AM »
We do that at our church, we have an Angel Tree and you just take a paper 'ornament' from the tree that specifies what age of child, size if for clothes, or what specific toy they want.  We have familes that are referred by local agancies, last year we had three families.

If you can also participate in delivering the gifts, and have the kids go with you, I think it would be a HUGE eye opener to them.  Or volunteer at a homeless shelter serving a meal.  Our church is also in charge of the local free lunch program once every three months at a local homeless shelter.  I haven't taken DS to help, but I plan on it very soon.  If he ever starts grousing about what HE wants, I plan to give him a dose of reality!

But I think part of the reason why he doesn't much is because I already volunteer a LOT in the community and he sees that.  That could be another way to show them...by your actions.  I know that actions always spoke louder than words with what my parents did and I know that it certianly has an effect on DS with what I do.  He's also gone on mission trip with the church youth group last year to New Mexico.  I hope to go with him and the group next summer when they go to Appalachia.  I have been told that NOTHING can prepare you for what you see and do on a mission trip there and that it can be life-altering.
Handle every stressful situation like a dog........if you can't play with it or eat it, pee on it and walk away.......

wendl

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RE: Force Visitation?
« Reply #25 on: Sep 15, 2004, 08:49:28 AM »
LIfe is to short to not see your parents, as a child at times I didn't want to go to my dads, but he did what he could to have a space of my own at his house.

What my dad did to help was every saturday night he let me have a friend spend the night then Sunday mornings he took myself and girlfriend out to breakfast and I still can remember how much fun my dad and I and my friend had at those breakfasts.

I lost my dad to cancer when I was in highschool and I am so thankfull for all the time I was able to share with him.

I can admit when my dad got married I hated my stepmom, she was sooo oldschool it drove me nuts, but my stepmom stood by her beliefs and let me tell you she is my rock now, I love her so much.

:)

**These are my opinions, they are not legal advice**

annas mom

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RE: Force Visitation?
« Reply #26 on: Sep 21, 2004, 08:43:22 AM »
Hi there. Sounds like you're having a rough time. As a custodial parent and a child of divorce I just wanted to give you my thoughts.  
It is very normal for children entering their teens and throughout their teens to resent you as a 'step' parent. Remember that their world has been turned upside down, children of this age often still dream of their parents reuniting. Their 'CP' may not necessarily be to blame for their feelings (trust me, my stepdad and I had daily arguments for at least 3 years after he and my mom married. Sidenote - now I love him to death!). All you can do is continue to try and hope for the best. Do not push them away because ultimately this will cause problems between you and Dad.
Also remember that as teenagers their personal lives will require much, much  more of their time. They want to be free to spend time with their friends when they're not in school. Tell your husband to try and work with them. I know that alot of times I had plans with friends on Friday nights, so my dad would come and pick me up around 10 on Saturday morning and we would spend Sat and Sun together.  As they get older, schedules will get more hectic, so try to implement a plan of working with the kids to schedule visitation now and hopefully that will encourage them to ask for altered visitation time instead of just deciding not to come at all. Also, try to involve yourself in their lives. Your family should try to attend events that they are involved in, such as ball games, school events ie 'PTO', school concerts, scounting events...they may act like they don't care if you come, but in the end it will show them that you care and that you are committed to being a part of their lives.
Also, at some point during each visit have Dad set aside time to do something just with them. It could be as simple as going to McDonald's for lunch or playing basketball in the driveway. Anything to show them that although he is remarried and has a new family, they are still very important to him. This should also give you and your son a break.
Tell Dad to call them often, send them cards, letters, anything to show that he's thinking of them.  When they don't visit, call and let them know that you all miss them and you love them. Children thrive on love and attention and if you continually show them that, they will eventually respond.
Once again, these are just my thoughts, but I hope they help. I wish you all the best in the years to come!

 

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