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Hello

Lonely

Active Member
V.I.P Member
Hello everyone. I am a 38-year-old female who moved to NY almost a decade ago on a student visa to pursue my dream of doing a PhD. In my life I have been blessed with two amazing parents who dedicated their lives to their children's education and well-being, but also cursed with the inability to connect to people. I rarely find myself in a relationship, and in every place I tried to work or study people tried to hurt me in one way or another (from trying to make me lose my job, to openly attacking me verbally). This usually happens to my great surprise because I'm always doing my best to be pleasant, discreet, considerate of others, and focus on my work only.

I did self-diagnose with Aspergers but I do not exhibit the traits that would hinder human interaction and communication, such as lack of hygiene or empathy, and I am constantly putting conscious effort into trying to be a better person, defining my plans for the future, looking and behaving decent around others, and so on.

In my personal life, I usually attract narcissistic types who are only interested in superficial gain. My last relationship ended badly with my ex reminding me every day that I am autistic and thus unable to have a family, that I was lucky he wanted to be with me since no one else would, and that I will eventually die alone. He told me very early what others must be thinking of me when they meet me, namely that the only reason I was successful until now was my "pretty face, which is now old", and that I am one of those people who "carry a scar" that makes them different, and under any other circumstances (without my appearance and not being young anymore) they would perish.

After so many years in this great city, I find myself alone with no friends, unable to even find another place to live when my lease expires soon (it's extremely difficult to find somewhere nice and affordable to live without connections and without regular employment). I am struggling to finish my thesis due to the lack of any strong connections to people in my institution who could make this experience more meaningful. I am afraid that I wasted my best years and a good amount of money on a degree that won't secure employment for me in the near future, while also wasting my chances for a good life with someone.

I see my parents growing old together, taking care of each other, having so much to say about their lives, being so proud for everything they have achieved together, and it breaks my heart that I will never be able to offer them a grandchild or at least make them proud through my professional success. I have so much love to give, so much desire for life, but noone to share them with.

I am depressed with the thought that I cannot achieve everything I want because of the way I am, and, even worse, I'm sad watching me lose everything I worked for simply because my disease makes me unlikable. Even when I stop worrying about a future I built on weak foundations, I'm sad with my everyday; I wish I had someone to go for a walk with, talk to, listen to, share my worries or the news, laugh at silly jokes together, take a road trip on the weekend, and so on.

Apologies for the long post, happy to find this forum and to be here,
Thank you for reading.
 

Nitro

Admin/Immoral Turpitude
Staff member
Admin
V.I.P Member
welcome to af.png
 

Neonatal RRT

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
I am a 38-year-old female,...on a student visa to pursue my dream of doing a PhD. In my life I have been blessed with two amazing parents who dedicated their lives to their children's education and well-being, but also cursed with the inability to connect to people. I rarely find myself in a relationship, and in every place I tried to work or study people tried to hurt me in one way or another (from trying to make me lose my job, to openly attacking me verbally). This usually happens to my great surprise because I'm always doing my best to be pleasant, discreet, considerate of others, and focus on my work only. I did self-diagnose with Aspengers but I do not exhibit the traits that would hinder human interaction and communication, such as lack of hygiene or empathy, and I am constantly putting conscious effort into trying to be a better person, defining my plans for the future, looking and behaving decent around others, and so on. In my personal life, I usually attract narcissistic types who are only interested in superficial gain. My last relationship ended badly with my ex reminding me every day that I am autistic and thus unable to have a family, that I was lucky he wanted to be with me since no one else would, and that I will eventually die alone. He told me very early what others must be thinking of me when they meet me, namely that the only reason I was successful until now was my "pretty face, which is now old", and that I am one of those people who "carry a scar" that makes them different, and under any other circumstances (without my appearance and not being young anymore) they would perish. ...
I find myself alone with no friends, ... I am struggling to finish my thesis due to the lack of any strong connections to people in my institution who could make this experience more meaningful. I am afraid that I wasted my best years and a good amount of money on a degree that won't secure employment for me in the near future, while also wasting my chances for a good life with someone. I see my parents growing old together, taking care of each other, having so much to say about their lives, being so proud for everything they have achieved together, and it breaks my heart that I will never be able to offer them a grandchild or at least make them proud through my professional success. I have so much love to give, so much desire for life, but noone to share them with.
I am depressed with the thought that I cannot achieve everything I want because of the way I am, and, even worse, I'm sad watching me lose everything I worked for simply because my disease makes me unlikable. Even when I stop worrying about a future I built on weak foundations, I'm sad with my everyday; I wish I had someone to go for a walk with, talk to, listen to, share my worries or the news, laugh at silly jokes together, take a road trip on the weekend, and so on.
Apologies for the long post, happy to find this forum and to be here,
Thank you for reading.
@Lonely,...Welcome. You're amongst a lot of people in a similar situation in life. I think your story hits home with many of us. You're not alone in this regard.

As you can see, I highlighted some of your quotes here, because these are important ones that are common,...and people like us do struggle with them.

"I did self-diagnose with Asperger's but I do not exhibit the traits that would hinder human interaction and communication, such as lack of hygiene or empathy, and I am constantly putting conscious effort into trying to be a better person, defining my plans for the future, looking and behaving decent around others, and so on." Let's assume you have Asperger's Condition,...and you are female (it makes a difference),...it is highly likely you do have the ability to camouflage your autism to a significant degree. But here's the importance here,...from a genetic loading standpoint, from a functional neuro-imaging standpoint, from social-communicative standpoint, it has been only very recently that the scientific community is recognizing the rather significant differences between how a male and a female typically present with their autistic traits and behaviors. The importance of this being that much of the diagnostic processes are still of a male bias,...so either many females "don't meet criteria",...and get missed and diagnosed with "something other",...or, they don't get diagnosed unless they are exhibiting rather severe symptomatology.

Having said that,...your other statements clearly indicate difficulties with human interaction and communication.

You appear to be what one could categorize as "a generally agreeable person",...which can definitely bite you in the rear end when you are having the desire to achieve your life goals,...but then not asserting yourself and then finding yourself "settling" for whatever seems to work in the moment. Your narcissistic partners, ALLOWING people to hurt you, not forcing yourself to have the courage to make those professional networking connections, etc. Unfortunately, you don't have to be on the autism spectrum,...or female,...to exhibit these personality traits,...but certainly, it is MOST common in female autistics. Now, looking at the opposite,...statistically speaking, neurotypical males tend to rise up the ranks much quicker because they are assertive, competitive,...they will fight people tooth and nail, literally,...they do what needs to be done, even if is seems like BS to them,...they will work 60-80hrs/week and forgo personal relationships to get where they need to go in life. Having said that,...THIS is what you are up against in life,...especially in New York,...a place known famously for being amongst a "pack of wolves" with regards to business acumen. Some people can have some horrible personality traits,...especially if they see you as a potential threat to their dominance,...and will try to cut you down personally and professionally,...and they will leave you behind. Knowing that,...you have to have some pretty good defense mechanisms to not only put up with that behavior,...but to overcome it and fight it.

There are legitimate reasons for being in the situation you are in. Some of which you can't help,...some of it you can. The first step is understanding who you are,...being aware of your weaknesses is easy,...but often we are so focused upon our weaknesses that we don't always see our strengths. Focus on your strengths! Believe me when I say those neurotypical males I mentioned earlier,...they have all sorts of weaknesses,...but they focus upon their strengths,...and sometimes they make horrible mistakes because they are not aware of their weaknesses. This is the "Ying and the Yang" of this dynamic. In order to have balance,...you have to understand both. You can superficially camouflage your autism to a certain degree, but unless you understand your autism and what that means socially, communicatively,...your personal and professional situation may not improve. There are a lot of successful people on the autism spectrum,...and there have been throughout history,...obviously, they've figured out what they do best and used it,...and also had the defense mechanisms in place to deal with all the negativity thrown at them. Elon Musk is a classic example of this,...Asperger's,...he will work 80+ hours a week, is self taught for the most part, is running Tesla automotive, Tesla energy, SpaceX, The Boring Company, Neuralink, Open AI,...and as an investor in Tesla, and listening to all the Wall Street analysts, every negative commentary, every negative article about him, his companies, his products, his vision, his quotes,...HOLY MOLY!!! This guy is a serious threat to the status quo and is actively destroying his competitors,...the stuff he is doing will change the world,...literally,...and people don't like change, especially when it means crushing other multi-billion dollar industries in his wake. This guy doesn't give a thought to any of it,...just keeps pushing forward,...totally disregarding the nay sayers,...works his butt off,...time manages,...and gets things done like no one I have ever heard of now or in the past. This guy is a singularity in many respects. Now, I am NOT going to suggest to anyone to "Be like Elon",...but more to the point, there are some attributes that one can use as an inspiration,...an example of what it may take to push forward in life. Also,...here's a guy that has had several marriages and girlfriends,...he can't keep any of them despite his money and success,...he has his weaknesses. Having said that,...I've got a lot of money invested in "the autistic kid",...I believe in him.

Autism doesn't make you unlikeable,...it makes it more difficult to obtain and keep a personal relationship,...a lot more difficult. So what you have around you is a group of friendly acquaintances, but no "true" friends,...welcome to the autism spectrum. You hear of neurotypicals talking about how they have to work at a relationship to keep it going,...and they have all the neurological "software" and "hardware" to make it almost instinctual. WE don't have that,...nothing is instinctual,...WE have to work at it. I've been married for 36+ years,...raised two great young men,...BUT, I don't have communication with my family anymore,...my children were and are always at a bit of an emotional distance,...and I can only focus upon my wife. There is only so much mental energy I can produce to make that all happen.

So, I hope this gives you something to think about,...I hope it gives you some perspective,...I hope it gives you some tools to help you professionally and personally. Take care.
 
Last edited:

Aspychata

Serenity waves, beachy vibes
V.I.P Member
It is possible to meet someone, but it takes a lot of effort. You do date a lot of men to find someone that will commit to you. Perhaps leaving New York and finishing up somewhere else because it seems you are burnt out with your current circumstances. I am confused, why do you feel you are unlikable? Competition is fierce in New York, and l have read that New York is a very hard place to meet men. So it sounds like you have a harsh environment with eroding confidence in yourself and now are doubting your life choices? Perhaps your life choices need some re-evaluation so that you cannot feel so depressed?

What can you do to change your circumstances? You sound like a very intelligent, interesting person who perhaps drifted and needs to reclaim her path of opportunity?

Do you wish to go into more detail here?
 
Last edited:

Gerald Wilgus

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
Welcome, @Lonely , I am shocked by the cruelty of your ex. Every negative thing he told you is a lie. Also, do not discount your education, as the ability to process at a high level is an asset in itself. You are not beyond having a good life. Who of us know the trajectory of our lives?

When I was giving up on dating I met a woman, my future spouse, who was very accepting of me. Our time together started out with adventures and 44 years later we still are having them. Learn how to recognize accepting men. They may be shy and struggle with connections too. My past feeling of rejection drove me to be accepting towards others. You may find shy guys in interest or activity groups. Feed your interests also and celebrate being a valuable and interesting person. With shy guys, though, you may need to take some initiative in making a connection.

I was where you are, struggling with my research and thesis, feeling isolated when I could see people in relationships who seemed to have energy for their work because a basic need was met. I got it done as I was intent on living independently.

Decide to like yourself, feed your interests, and use your skills to learn social communication. I hope you will find a loving and respectful companion.
 

Suzanne

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
How a lot of what you say, resonates with my life! Albeit, when I was a teen. I dated someone, but found out I did not like him, but was afraid to end it, because I would be without another boyfriend, as I felt I was blessed that he at least liked me.

I am a very clean person and pretty good with empathy. I lack when it comes to sympathy though. I also do not have a monatoned voice, nor a blank look. I am very aminated and thus, in the search to see what was going on, I thought I could not have aspergers, until I watched some YouTube videos and saw many females who were exactly as I am.

I got married when I was 21, but our marriage is very tiring, because our personalities do not mesh well. My husband did not want me to get formally diagnosed, in case I used it against him, in an argument. But, ironally enough, he is the one who says things like: I guess you are being that way, because of aspergers lol He sees it as a disease, but on the whole, he can be sweet and he was the one who kicked started me on to the road of diagnosis.

How lovely ( and sadly a bit of envy from me) that you have fantastic parents.

It is a hard road, living the life as an aspie, in a prominent world of NT's.
 

Storm Hess

Permanent Spaceman
Hello. :D

A realtionship is additive. A partner should add to your life, not suck the life out of it or drag you down because of their own fears. Mainly, love who your are...then having someone love you for it, is that much easier. :)
 

Lonely

Active Member
V.I.P Member
@Lonely,...Welcome. You're amongst a lot of people in a similar situation in life. I think your story hits home with many of us. You're not alone in this regard.

As you can see, I highlighted some of your quotes here, because these are important ones that are common,...and people like us do struggle with them.

"I did self-diagnose with Asperger's but I do not exhibit the traits that would hinder human interaction and communication, such as lack of hygiene or empathy, and I am constantly putting conscious effort into trying to be a better person, defining my plans for the future, looking and behaving decent around others, and so on." Let's assume you have Asperger's Condition,...and you are female (it makes a difference),...it is highly likely you do have the ability to camouflage your autism to a significant degree. But here's the importance here,...from a genetic loading standpoint, from a functional neuro-imaging standpoint, from social-communicative standpoint, it has been only very recently that the scientific community is recognizing the rather significant differences between how a male and a female typically present with their autistic traits and behaviors. The importance of this being that much of the diagnostic processes are still of a male bias,...so either many females "don't meet criteria",...and get missed and diagnosed with "something other",...or, they don't get diagnosed unless they are exhibiting rather severe symptomatology.

Having said that,...your other statements clearly indicate difficulties with human interaction and communication.

You appear to be what one could categorize as "a generally agreeable person",...which can definitely bite you in the rear end when you are having the desire to achieve your life goals,...but then not asserting yourself and then finding yourself "settling" for whatever seems to work in the moment. Your narcissistic partners, ALLOWING people to hurt you, not forcing yourself to have the courage to make those professional networking connections, etc. Unfortunately, you don't have to be on the autism spectrum,...or female,...to exhibit these personality traits,...but certainly, it is MOST common in female autistics. Now, looking at the opposite,...statistically speaking, neurotypical males tend to rise up the ranks much quicker because they are assertive, competitive,...they will fight people tooth and nail, literally,...they do what needs to be done, even if is seems like BS to them,...they will work 60-80hrs/week and forgo personal relationships to get where they need to go in life. Having said that,...THIS is what you are up against in life,...especially in New York,...a place known famously for being amongst a "pack of wolves" with regards to business acumen. Some people can have some horrible personality traits,...especially if they see you as a potential threat to their dominance,...and will try to cut you down personally and professionally,...and they will leave you behind. Knowing that,...you have to have some pretty good defense mechanisms to not only put up with that behavior,...but to overcome it and fight it.

There are legitimate reasons for being in the situation you are in. Some of which you can't help,...some of it you can. The first step is understanding who you are,...being aware of your weaknesses is easy,...but often we are so focused upon our weaknesses that we don't always see our strengths. Focus on your strengths! Believe me when I say those neurotypical males I mentioned earlier,...they have all sorts of weaknesses,...but they focus upon their strengths,...and sometimes they make horrible mistakes because they are not aware of their weaknesses. This is the "Ying and the Yang" of this dynamic. In order to have balance,...you have to understand both. You can superficially camouflage your autism to a certain degree, but unless you understand your autism and what that means socially, communicatively,...your personal and professional situation may not improve. There are a lot of successful people on the autism spectrum,...and there have been throughout history,...obviously, they've figured out what they do best and used it,...and also had the defense mechanisms in place to deal with all the negativity thrown at them. Elon Musk is a classic example of this,...Asperger's,...he will work 80+ hours a week, is self taught for the most part, is running Tesla automotive, Tesla energy, SpaceX, The Boring Company, Neuralink, Open AI,...and as an investor in Tesla, and listening to all the Wall Street analysts, every negative commentary, every negative article about him, his companies, his products, his vision, his quotes,...HOLY MOLY!!! This guy is a serious threat to the status quo and is actively destroying his competitors,...the stuff he is doing will change the world,...literally,...and people don't like change, especially when it means crushing other multi-billion dollar industries in his wake. This guy doesn't give a thought to any of it,...just keeps pushing forward,...totally disregarding the nay sayers,...works his butt off,...time manages,...and gets things done like no one I have ever heard of now or in the past. This guy is a singularity in many respects. Now, I am NOT going to suggest to anyone to "Be like Elon",...but more to the point, there are some attributes that one can use as an inspiration,...an example of what it may take to push forward in life. Also,...here's a guy that has had several marriages and girlfriends,...he can't keep any of them despite his money and success,...he has his weaknesses. Having said that,...I've got a lot of money invested in "the autistic kid",...I believe in him.

Autism doesn't make you unlikeable,...it makes it more difficult to obtain and keep a personal relationship,...a lot more difficult. So what you have around you is a group of friendly acquaintances, but no "true" friends,...welcome to the autism spectrum. You hear of neurotypicals talking about how they have to work at a relationship to keep it going,...and they have all the neurological "software" and "hardware" to make it almost instinctual. WE don't have that,...nothing is instinctual,...WE have to work at it. I've been married for 36+ years,...raised two great young men,...BUT, I don't have communication with my family anymore,...my children were and are always at a bit of an emotional distance,...and I can only focus upon my wife. There is only so much mental energy I can produce to make that all happen.

So, I hope this gives you something to think about,...I hope it gives you some perspective,...I hope it gives you some tools to help you professionally and personally. Take care.
Thank you for dedicating the time to respond and offer some advice and encouraging words. I can confirm that female Asperger's is hard to diagnose; I did seek counseling once when I was accepted in a new workplace and I was afraid of having the same experience (people getting excited to make my acquaintance at the beginning, before quickly becoming disenchanted and even aggressive), but the psychologist insisted that I simply have some behavioral problems stemming from my awkward personality, and suggested some CBT which never worked. Every time I visited I felt worse and worse about the person I am.
Thank you for giving me some perspective in regard to what to except from people in the highly competitive environment I (we) live in. I'm taking your advice about focusing on my strengths to heart
 

Lonely

Active Member
V.I.P Member
How a lot of what you say, resonates with my life! Albeit, when I was a teen. I dated someone, but found out I did not like him, but was afraid to end it, because I would be without another boyfriend, as I felt I was blessed that he at least liked me.

I am a very clean person and pretty good with empathy. I lack when it comes to sympathy though. I also do not have a monatoned voice, nor a blank look. I am very aminated and thus, in the search to see what was going on, I thought I could not have aspergers, until I watched some YouTube videos and saw many females who were exactly as I am.

I got married when I was 21, but our marriage is very tiring, because our personalities do not mesh well. My husband did not want me to get formally diagnosed, in case I used it against him, in an argument. But, ironally enough, he is the one who says things like: I guess you are being that way, because of aspergers lol He sees it as a disease, but on the whole, he can be sweet and he was the one who kicked started me on to the road of diagnosis.

How lovely ( and sadly a bit of envy from me) that you have fantastic parents.

It is a hard road, living the life as an aspie, in a prominent world of NT's.
Nice to meet you, we do have a lot in common. I'm happy for you for being in a marriage and thus not having to deal with dating in a NT world, and most importantly for having a husband who is understanding and even encouraging you to explore what makes you exceptional. Great parents is indeed a blessing, but being an aspie complicates this relationship too. My mother never understood why I cannot be normal, have friends, etc, while my dad is constantly worried about what will happen with me after they are not in my life anymore. Disappointing them is perhaps the worst effect of my situation.
 

Lonely

Active Member
V.I.P Member
Welcome, @Lonely , I am shocked by the cruelty of your ex. Every negative thing he told you is a lie. Also, do not discount your education, as the ability to process at a high level is an asset in itself. You are not beyond having a good life. Who of us know the trajectory of our lives?

When I was giving up on dating I met a woman, my future spouse, who was very accepting of me. Our time together started out with adventures and 44 years later we still are having them. Learn how to recognize accepting men. They may be shy and struggle with connections too. My past feeling of rejection drove me to be accepting towards others. You may find shy guys in interest or activity groups. Feed your interests also and celebrate being a valuable and interesting person. With shy guys, though, you may need to take some initiative in making a connection.

I was where you are, struggling with my research and thesis, feeling isolated when I could see people in relationships who seemed to have energy for their work because a basic need was met. I got it done as I was intent on living independently.

Decide to like yourself, feed your interests, and use your skills to learn social communication. I hope you will find a loving and respectful companion.
Thank you for your advice and well wishes. I do like men, and I understand that life is even harder for them, NT or not.
 

Lonely

Active Member
V.I.P Member
It is possible to meet someone, but it takes a lot of effort. You do date a lot of men to find someone that will commit to you. Perhaps leaving New York and finishing up somewhere else because it seems you are burnt-out with your current circumstances. I am confused why you feel you are unlikable? Competition is fierce in New York, and l have read that New York is a very hard place to meet men. So it sounds like you have a harsh environment with eroding confidence in yourself and now are doubting your life choices? Perhaps your life choices need some re-evaluation so that you cannot feel so depressed?

What can you do to change your circumstances? You sound like a very intelligent, interesting person who perhaps drifted and needs to reclaim her path of opportunity?

Do you wish to go into more detail here?
Thank you. It is indeed extremely hard to meet quality men in NY, because of the types of personality city life attracts, their confused sexuality, and so on. I can change my circumstances by going back home, and, in this way, risking not finishing my degree, and losing any opportunities for professional networking and employment. I either find a way to survive here, or I go back home with little to show after so many years, and no guarantees of at least building a family life in exchange of what I will be giving up. What makes me depressed is realizing that I have this disease so late in life, because perhaps I could have taken different decisions if i knew that my dreams are not feasible because of my condition. It's also sad to know that this never goes away, and seeing that its effects become graver the older I get.
 

Aspychata

Serenity waves, beachy vibes
V.I.P Member
These are important realizations that you needed to have, an internal conversation so to speak. You now need to perhaps focus on damage control. And more importantly, do you decide do pursue the education or the man? Which holds more importance at this junction? How much longer for your degree? Or Masters, can you do this online somewhere else? What is going to give you personal satisfaction in life right this minute? Anyways, just trying to be helpful, and life planning seems to be ongoing in my life, weighing considerations of what l am trying to achieve.

How you look at this helps others who are faced with uncertainty at this point. Many here seem caught in the web of life, trying to balance life with happiness and progressing ahead also.
 

Gerald Wilgus

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
What makes me depressed is realizing that I have this disease so late in life, because perhaps I could have taken different decisions if i knew that my dreams are not feasible because of my condition. It's also sad to know that this never goes away
Do not discount your education.You may be struggling now, but once completed it is a victory for you. I was not diagnosed until 60 and this past year have been in CPT for my earlier social trauma. I had to make major changes in myself to socially mature all the while not knowing I am ASD. Whatever you do, value yourself!

I have learned, it is never too late to put together a decent life. Be kind to yourself and recognize the best in yourself.
 

Lonely

Active Member
V.I.P Member
Do not discount your education.You may be struggling now, but once completed it is a victory for you. I was not diagnosed until 60 and this past year have been in CPT for my earlier social trauma. I had to make major changes in myself to socially mature all the while not knowing I am ASD. Whatever you do, value yourself!

I have learned, it is never too late to put together a decent life. Be kind to yourself and recognize the best in yourself.
thank you
 

Matthias

Well-Known Member
In my life I have been blessed with two amazing parents who dedicated their lives to their children's education and well-being, but also cursed with the inability to connect to people.

The difficulties you described are likely caused by childhood emotional neglect. It may be hard to believe your dedicated parents had neglected you but social connection is an essential need and not meeting this need (regardless of the reason) is neglect (which is often unintentional). I recommend the book "Running on Empty" by Dr. Jonice Webb. About Emotional Neglect | Dr. Jonice Webb
 

Rodafina

Hopefully Human
V.I.P Member
hi @Lonely, I am running out of words for the day… But I wanted to save a few for you. I am just a few years ahead of you, and, although my life circumstances are different, there are many many similarities with what you described. All I can muster for support and advice right now is to say please stay here on the forum. It has been so good and meaningful and helpful to me and I know to many others as well. Please stay, interact if you like, read as much as you want, and realize that we are all alone, but we are doing it together.
 

Lonely

Active Member
V.I.P Member
The difficulties you described are likely caused by childhood emotional neglect. It may be hard to believe your dedicated parents had neglected you but social connection is an essential need and not meeting this need (regardless of the reason) is neglect (which is often unintentional). I recommend the book "Running on Empty" by Dr. Jonice Webb. About Emotional Neglect | Dr. Jonice Webb
Thank you suggesting this
 

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