Parents abused by toxic children
Parent Abuse, Scapegoat, This Just In

When the kind parent is the targeted scapegoat

Cluster B parents, whether a mother or a father, love nothing more than using and abusing their romantic partner. But no betrayal of affection or trust cuts deeper than when a toxic parent actually teaches and encourages their offspring to disrespect, ridicule, and socially abuse the nicer parent of the bunch.

When the kind parent is the targeted scapegoat, they are literally doomed to a lifetime of being forced to endure extreme and perverse forms of psychological, social, physical, emotional, and most frequently, financial abuse.

The only true way to protect themselves from an abusive or irrational and sadistic romantic partner is to literally walk away and go full-on “No Contact” — but many parents caught between a rock and a hard place having given birth to offspring who follow in their abusive parent’s footsteps feel that walking away to save themselves is sacrificing their children to the big bad wolf.

Figuring out that taking abuse in front of a child teaches that child not only how to effectively emulate an abuser but to also disrespect their emotionally more together parent is key to Narcissistic Abuse recovery. When it comes to parenting or co-parenting, what we model to youngsters while pretending we have our metaphoric heads together can truly make or break both them (as children or adult children) and a loving parent, too.

Empaths are the preferred emotional and psychological food source for a Cluster B predator. For those wondering what the phrase Cluster B means, typically it’s the psychological grouping term used to refer to a class of human beings who have clearly defined, pattern behavior symptoms of extreme personality disorders.

Narcissistic Personality Disorder is the most COMMON of all the Cluster B personality types, noting the classification’s stipulative grouping is and has historically been defined by the DSM.

By terms laid out in the DSMV edition of the diagnostic manual used by mental health care workers worldwide to treat or describe a variety of both treatable and untreatable psychological “conditions”, NPD — as an epidemic of both biologically and socially influenced personality type — can clinically be used to describe at least a full 6% of the human population [by the year 2015, statistically speaking and confirmed historically] worldwide.

NPD is typically fully formed in a child between the ages of birth and age 4. However, adults with NPD tend to reflect having normal to high IQ’s with regard to innate intelligence but score an EQ [Emotional Intelligence Quota] in most social dynamics that put them emotionally on par with children no older than the age of 6.

Adults who act like children are narcissistic, plain and simple. As role models for children intellectually and emotionally maturing chronologically, they are absolutely toxic to have anywhere near a growing individual.

This is where the kind parent is at a disadvantage. Forced typically by court systems to share parenting responsibilities, if they stay in a relationship with an abusive co-parenting partner, the child learns to both disrespect and effectively emotionally manipulate while psychologically dysregulating the more loving and at least “trying” role model.

On the other hand, if the parent who is the target or marital or romantic abuse leaves their abusive partner, they have to face not only living life in what is likely to be the scapegoat or “preferred target” REVENGE OBSESSION DISCARD PILE. Noting that many times, a rejected suitor or abusive partner will target their former lover for total social and emotional destruction as well as financial ruin for no reason other than spite, the parent who strives to be a better human being and escape abuse is likely to suffer the most extreme forms of C-PTSD producing trauma defined as DOMESTIC ABUSE.

Stay, the children are forced to repeatedly watch one parent target the other for abuse. Leave or find yourself abandoned by a narcissistic partner? Watch the abuse from Flying Monkeys and the angry ex escalate to epic proportions, with the only advantage being that you are able to define your own level of sanctuary within your own living space as a single person.

That is unless your child or children take after their abusive parent. Then, a kind and loving mother or father who seeks private time, social harmony, and the betterment of themselves as well as family is left in the most psychologically and emotionally vulnerable position of them all.

Not only do abusive romantic partners who are angered by rejection or who delight in sadistically striving to ruin their former love interest’s life for no reason other than that person stops agreeing to cover for them socially or to be a narcissistic supply source strive to crush joy from the life of their former partner. They will actually teach and encourage their own child or children how to most effectively emotionally and psychologically destroy their most loving parent!

It’s a game all Cluster B parents seem to love to play, giving the most unloving and truly malevolent Machiavellian of social undermining advice to their own children (extending on as well to grandchildren). Telling a child any advice about how to ignore a caregiver or loving parent’s rules or encouraging them to disregard or disrespect their more emotional parent is the most common way such personality types get the last laugh while truly harming their own flesh and blood.

A child manipulated by a toxic parent is likely to show a nasty, disrespectful attitude toward a targeted parent. They are likely to make fun of that person, calling them names, and claim that they don’t have to treat them respectfully in any way.

Why? Because toxic parents and their enabling friends and family members role model both how to abuse other people as situational, private abusers as well as encourage you to join them in the act of MOBBING a kinder parent or scapegoat targeted person.

Why not jump on the bandwagon to make fun of mom for always caring more about the needs of her own children than herself? Clearly, such a trait gets her nowhere socially, emotionally, or financially — so who in their right mind would want to role model after a spineless pushover like her?

Nevermind the very real fact that mothers who put their own needs at times far above their own short or long-term material comfort or security interests are actually role modeling empathic behaviors. Never mind that to do so — to feel a healthy desire to succeed as a person professionally or in life is willfully set aside for the great long-term good of the child or children who the mother feels responsible for having brought into the world. In the mind of a narcissistic predator, such emotionally mature and loving people are simply sheep meant to be slaughtered — nothing more than emotional vampire food.

Why not make fun of dad for always trying to do everything he can to please an irrational, selfish, demanding, and dictatorial wife who is the mother of his children? After all, slaving away all day at some tedious, mindless, boring job for 40, 50, or 60 hours a week followed by handing over nearly 100% of his paycheck to meet her status-oriented material needs while listening to countless hours of shaming, derogatory ridicule must mean that he’s nothing more than a pansy, right? A stupid, lazy, pushover who never aspired to be more in life than a worker bee who comes home for a day or two on the weekend occasionally to mow the grass and help with the housework.

Forget the fact that he’s exhausted. Forget the fact his own self-esteem after years of listening to verbal abuse has taken a hit. Forget the fact he stays knowing that to divorce the harpy is likely to cost him not only MORE money by leaving but that he won’t be present in the home night after night to take some of the social heat off the children the NPD or Malignant Narcissist mommy dearest is likely to spend her lifetime unrelentingly dishing. Or that if he does decide to walk, not only is he likely to lose every material asset he’s spent a lifetime working to gain but that visitation with his own children is likely to be reduced to every other weekend until 6 PM on Sunday and two hours for dinner from 5-7 pm on Wednesday evenings.

Connect the Dots
Guardian Ad Litem programs help children survive custody battles

If a parent has a more extreme form of personality disorder, the plot thickens. Moreover, truly the domestic abuse and/or domestic violence picture tends to darken.

If a parent has HPD — meaning “Histrionic Personality Disorder” — home life is intense. Expect that person or partner to constantly be on the hunt for new people with whom to start clandestine affairs. Know they are likely to constantly have to be the center of attention in all occasions, competing with their spouse or romantic interest, friends, family, co-workers, neighbors, and even their own children at all times. The ultimate drama queens regardless of gender, such personality types are typically so grandiose that women who suffer from the disorder are likened to the character played by actor Nathan Lane in “The Bird Cage” — while the men pull off a bizarre hybrid personality cross somewhere between a circus clown and King Kong playing the raging giant.

Parents who have BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder) show all the same personality traits of a Narcissist but replicate the mood swing patterns of a person who has a bipolar condition. But to say that’s an accurate description is totally INACCURATE — as people with mood swings inspired by chemical imbalances tend to have rises and falls, swinging between mania and depression over the course of weeks, months, or occasionally years. The BORDERLINE parent remains in a perpetual hyper-egocentric state of bullish egocentrism. Their mood swings can literally vary minute by minute and hour by hour — making them totally emotionally draining to have to spend any length of time with as a friend, lover, co-worker, child, or family member.

Borderline parents are some of the strangest people one could ever spend time around. Socially speaking, they appear on the surface to be capable of having empathy for others — but the more time one spends with a person of the type the clearer it becomes that any “empathetic behavior” they display is typically faked.


Oh, yes. The Borderline parent, while swinging wildly back and forth between states of elation, rage, and feigning to be in the depths of a soul-sucking depression, does one thing incredibly well. They force any other human being who is physically in their presence to pay absolute attention to them at all times. Why?

For no other reason than they absolutely fear abandonment and are so self-centered they never once intuitively or innately grasp that another person may have the fundamental human right to have their own personality, time, or needs.

The Borderline parent demands full and total psychological and emotional control of every person they come into contact with without exception. Children are expected to tolerate screaming bouts and rants, as are partners, without complaint or questioning.

Everyone in the presence of a BPD person is left feeling emotionally exhausted after talking to one, but typically have a hard time putting their finger on exactly why. But the people closest to them always know — it’s because at their core they value no one else’s opinion but their own, that they openly resent any person who makes a suggestion or a constructive criticism, and that they are some of the most passive-aggressive situational abusers of all times.

Then, there’s the parent with ASPD. Such is the emotionally disconnected, psychologically ruthless personality type. People with ASPD have the least emotional capacity to feel emotions like true love or empathy. Such people have “favorite” narcissistic supply sources who enable them… and if and when that person is fortunate, they are rewarded for selfless devotion to the anti-social person with deliberately staged bouts of intermittent love-bombing or hoovering reinforcement.

Children of such adults tend to grow up striving to be liked in order to please that parent. Willing to go the extra mile to try to please them and gain their love or trust is their schtick.

Kids of people with ASPD typically grow up watching that parent enact the worst forms of social abuse on the opposite parent as well as see them for what they are — moral criminals who do nothing but use, abuse, and destroy any person or social group that comes in their path. Such people are those with a criminal past, a long history of traffic violations rooted in reckless disregard for both the law and others on the road, and have a history of rolling in the proverbial shit while coming up smelling like roses.

Calculating, cold, guilt-free, and without conscience, a parent with Anti-Social personality traits tend to want to surround themselves with a friend and family circle of people who are weaker than themselves but just like them. Ultimately, their personality types can simply be described as pack animals, meaning they expect to be treated like royalty at all times while creating a home and work environment that resembles the one led by Simba’s uncle Scar in the hit Disney cartoon “The Lion King”.

All Cluster B personality types — NPD, HPD, BPD, and ASPD — make the most nightmarish of romantic partners, but they are even worse at co-parenting and as role models “adulting”.

All routinely have massive falling outs with co-workers, clients, and other business professionals… typically after normal people figure out they were targeted for some sort of major social, love fraud, “time-wasting”, or financial con. It makes most of them furious with psychologists and abuse advocates who report the factual claim that people with Cluster B personality disorders all pathologically lie randomly for their own advantage or idle amusement without shame.

But it breaks the heart of a kind parent forced to watch a predator lie to, manipulate, and give seriously injurious intentionally bad advice to youngsters of any age, noting that while the parental Abuser “gets off” psychologically and emotionally in the short term for successfully have run a con, the person hurt most long term is ALWAYS, invariably and without question, the blindly following and trusting offspring.

If you are the targeted caregiver or preferred scapegoat parent, understand that the absolutely right moral and ethical decision is to go absolutely NO CONTACT with your former romantic interest as soon as is physically practicable, which includes setting healthy lifestyle boundaries within your home and personal life, too. One has to put on their own oxygen mask first as an adult about to crash land in an airplane, noting that age bears a certain experiential burden on people that young people are not ethically expected from the get-go to even be aware is a moral task to do.

Putting on your own oxygen mask before seeking to save a child is crucial to setting a proper long-term role model example. Kind parents might be guilty of magical thinking to hope their own offspring will see the psychological light before it’s too late in life for them to change or improve their own interior (mental) home life, but it happens to the best of humans.

If your child is acting narcissistic or abusive because they are copycatting the behavior they were taught by a toxic personality type (rather than biologically lacking the capacity to feel empathy for others themselves), then time and hopefully, maturity will eventually cause them to realize why it’s so incredibly morally and socially wrong to betray the hospitality of kind people or to abuse.  But if they actually have shown traits of developing a personality disorder like that of an Abusive parent or family leader like a domineering grandparent?

Honest Narcissistic Abuse survivors (rather than victims or people continuing to willingly allow themselves to be victimized) will all tell you the very same thing. Child or not, a Cluster B person is to be avoided completely if possible.

It’s a crushing realization to know that the same techniques used to escape an abusive spouse or romantic partner are the exact same psychological and social tools needed to limit a teen or adult child with Cluster B’s ability to abuse. As parents of such children, all realize that parenting and lifestyle choices made in the child’s early life — typically before a parent even had a clue about what the phrase NARCISSISTIC ABUSE or Cluster B even meant — greatly contribute to the formation of a child’s toxic personality issues.

Connect the Dots
Recovering from Narcissistic Abuse takes time and education

But a parent who strives to communicate respectfully, to understand the child, to validate their pain, and to clear up any fact details that can lead a child to have an incomplete memory (not tied to circumstance) or an errant comprehension of situational events from their past is simply not the same type of parent who strives to sweep complex emotionally charged memories under the rug while striving to shame and invalidate abuse victims.

Parents who are kind and loving own up to their parenting mistakes and stand ready to rip themselves open emotionally to the core typically in ways their own toxic parents never in a million years were willing or even psychologically capable of proffering. While the toxic parent gyrates, lies, strives to triangulate, constantly manufactures chaos, and teaches any young person observing how to get away with socially, emotionally, psychologically, legally, and financially (as a criminal) to avoid accountability, the scapegoat parent lovingly makes themselves at the ready to help their offspring heal from any experienced or witnessed trauma to wit they themselves were directly or even tangentially responsible for having caused or failed to protect them from as children.

If the teen shows signs of having Oppositional Defiant Disorder, understand that they are well on their way to becoming a full-fledged Narcissist with NPD in adulthood. If they showed signs from a young age of having Childhood Conduct Disorder they are likely to grow up to have mild ASPD at best. The more violent they are and prone to engaging in illegal criminal acts of aggression, the more likely they are (as a personality type) to grow up to physically abuse their own children and romantic partners.

People who have ASPD vary a great deal in how they present themselves to the general public, however, so don’t be totally disheartened as a parent of a child with Conduct Disorder. Many people who have antisocial personality types do quite well in the military, working independently on complex building or engineering projects, perform well in medical fields that require performing acts like surgical procedures likely to cause pain for a patient and that “gross-out” others, or running companies as logical (rather than “caring”) business executives. People working on Wall Street, tax collectors, collections agents, police (oddly enough), and many times [sadly enough] nursing staff tend to score high with regard to anti-social traits.

As such, it’s the true biological Psychopaths who have sadistic streaks who tend to engage in more passionate examples of violent crime while others who are more sociopathic by nature tend to appear cold, calculating, socially ruthless, or simply prone to aggressive stonewalling in their efforts to feel powerful and controlling.

But all of these descriptors of abusive, Cluster B personality types do nothing more than showcase how far a kind parent or life partner goes to understand and respect the emotional and psychological needs of others. It does not in any way, shape, or form behoove the scapegoat target parent to educate themselves about personality disorders if all they are going to do is sit back, take abuse on the chin, beg for more, and die a lonely and most likely painful death as a C-PTSD suffering abuse type of martyr.

Staying in a domestic abuse setting willingly — no matter WHAT the social justification or moral excuse — is passive suicide at best. The extreme physical duress of being exposed to constant abuse or repeated traumatization is life-destroying, all thought and emotion consuming, and for most abuse victims eventually lethal.

If you feel too guilty to set healthy boundaries with your own child or children, then it’s time to find a counselor who works with people who suffer from extreme C-PTSD, who have expertise working with Cluster B victims, and who make a living professionally counseling people who have Stockholm Syndrome. Think we’re kidding? Look it up. Seriously. Refuse to take our word for it.

Letting a child abuse you as their parent is simply keeping yourself hooked into the same pattern of the Narcissistic Abuse power and control wheel their bio-mom or bio-dad kept both you and them perpetually trapped in; triangulated into the position of a preferred scapegoat, the victimized parent becomes the abuse enabler by default. One must of pure survival necessity learn how to disengage from abuse dynamics in such a way that as a parent we can love our children and former partners (if we so choose) from a distance, never again letting them get physically or socially close enough to abuse.

Knowing that Cluster B people abuse by habit as well as compulsion can help take the sting out a bit for parents who have high levels of emotional intelligence but for whatever reason fell into the habit of letting toxic friends, family, partners, co-workers, or their own children abuse. If you grew up with a Cluster B parent or person in the family but yourself are not abusive to others, chances are you’re likely to be a People Pleaser.

While some may say people-pleasing personality types are “co-dependent” or “masochistic” by nature, others who have spent more honest time learning about the forensic psychological development of Empath traits have a much different understanding of why People Pleasers truly put themselves out there.

People Pleasers, ultimately, are PROBLEM SOLVERS seeking to self-actualize. A quick review of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs helps bring the point to light — nothing that a person who strives to improve life conditions for other humans does not need that person… they literally seek to help that person.

A co-dependent person will claim they cannot live without another. They will put their own selfish emotional attachment needs to be involved with a romantic interest, a prestigious company or job title, or their own desire to keep abuse hidden for the sake of saving face above the security and validation needs of their own children or child. Highly covert about hiding their own narcissistic tendencies, most co-dependent people are literally Co-Narcissists. Such personality types are NOT like Empaths in any way shape or form. In fact, many would have been referred to as “Passive Aggressive” people by our great grandparents or grandparents, noting the term COVERT NARCISSIST (in 21st-century psychiatry) now applies.

If your parent is or was either Co-Dependent or a Narcissist, expect them to have always put their own material and emotional needs above yours as their child. Don’t use the term co-dependent to describe yourself or your parent unless you are 100% certain that egocentrism and selfish desire to “gain” emotional or material comfort was at the root of their decision-making process — or yours.

Co-dependency is based on a need to have another person or outside “thing” complete you. It’s the person who feels that without another, a romantic tie, or even a family unit that they are somehow less than a 100% whole person. It’s thinking that if you quit or lose that job that won you social accolades that somehow you are less of a person. It’s the belief that if you are a single person not romantically validated by a love interest that you are somehow anything less than a complete human.

But it’s also the core of waking up to the very real fact that if you walk away from an abusive relationship as the preferred scapegoat target of a Cluster B adult child that somehow you are broken or less than whole as a person. It’s incredibly toxic thinking to believe that you are made less as a human because your own child (as flesh and blood) refused to treat you with respect or to validate that at YOUR core, you are as you have most likely always been — a loving parent.

Connect the Dots
How smear campaigns work

Whether you have to employ a “tough love strategy” to protect yourself, your finances, and your belongings from a toxic partner or your own offspring or they themselves stonewall and throw you in the discard pile makes no difference. Either way, a parent has to grieve the loss of their self-identity as a functional member of what should have been a loving, supportive, and lifelong family unit.

Expect to cry. Expect to feel numb. Expect to get mad. Expect to feel dumb. But let every wave of complex emotion wash over you like a cleansing wave of healing. Resist the urge to hang on to the feelings of overwhelming grief, social humiliation, and toxic despair that inevitably come up during self-shaming moments.

If your child has a Cluster B personality disorder, learn how to set boundaries. Protect yourself from legal and financial harm by securing assets in trust funds managed by outside sources. Make sure that your love interest and other children are protected from grab-me gotcha moves many Cluster B social monsters pull when and if an elderly person or parent becomes ill or dies. Make sure you have a game plan for your senior years that is written clearly out in something like a living trust so that you don’t find yourself 70 years old, unable to get out of a bed, and having to rely on your mean-spirited, sadistic child to take care of you while playing nursemaid in total control of your finances in later life.

But most importantly, learn to treat your living space and personal like as truly a protected sanctuary, as it should be. Refuse to fund an adult child’s willful depravity. Keep your home a place that is kind-word and loving deed oriented. Avoid allowing an abusive adult child to call, show up, or verbally abuse you face to face, by phone, or over Skype.

If they truly need something but they are an adult, it’s okay to encourage them in the right direction of how to have their needs met financially or emotionally without doing it for them. Let them put in their own time, money, effort, and emotional commitment to solving their personal problems. Your job as their parent is to be there to cheer them on — never to go through the motions of psychologically assuming responsibility for their success or failures. What’s more, it certainly is defined by no biblical or man-made law that you assume physical responsibility for them during their adulthood.

If they are kind and loving, offer you as much emotional and financial support as you offer them, and they are honestly loving without manipulating, then helping them all you can (as a parent) is part of being a normal family member.

But any person from a family influenced or tarnished by association with a Cluster B personality type or who comes from a toxic family environment home to more than one person with a personality disorder will tell you that is crap advice to follow. To do so makes a person guilty of something called “Magical Thinking” — acting as if the social dynamic is in any way normal with regard to engaging socially or emotionally with a pack-behavior oriented, pathologically lying, and ultimately socially destructive and toxic family member.

Get a backbone, grow a spine, and water yourself daily if you plan to survive as the parent or child of a Cluster B person. Learn how to go “gray rock”, meaning observe and analyze (rather than react to) abuse. Self-educate all you can so you don’t accidentally fall victim to a mind-control tactic or brainwashing technique. Learn how to say no lovingly without feeling guilty. But most importantly, spend time each and every day for the rest of your natural-born life doing something pro-active for your own mental, spiritual, financial, and emotional health.

It’s only by learning how to BE a healthy person who is psychologically fit to parent that we become proper role models for anyone’s children, our own especially included. Learning how to set healthy boundaries, how to show one’s self and other people MUTUAL respect… those are both key elements of non-toxic parenting any adult trapped in the role of abuse victim when a child was young failed from the start to properly role model to them.

If adult children cannot learn to think back in time reflectively and with empathy, their brains quite simply from a medical and psychiatric standpoint don’t work properly. Love them all you want, feel sorry for them all you want, but don’t make the mistake of believing you (as a parent) have even the slightest chance of changing who they are as adult people.

Parents have a brief window of opportunity to be loving with their children. That time expires by the time a child reaches an age-old enough to wander off alone to Kindergarten. The rest of their years on the planet, just like ourselves, are spent trying to understand themselves and others as the world around them relates to them on a personal nature.

If you could not fix your own parents, grandparents, or siblings who show or showed traits of narcissism or Cluster B, chances are you were drawn to romantic partners who ended up having many of the core personality traits of people who vexed your home life during childhood or infancy. If you were stressed out of your gourd while raising a child, abused by a partner or toxic family, chances are your little one or ones are likely to end up acting out. For that, once they reach the age of maturity, they are solely self-responsible for lifestyle choice as well as behavior.

Parents are human beings. Great parents who are kind and loving people are the most likely to be socially targeted for emotional destruction as preferred scapegoats for people with personality disorders. Don’t let stupid thinking — literally STUPID THINKING — cause you to feel guilt, pain, or emotional shame when and if you are psychologically healthy enough to draw a line in the sand and tell your Abusers (man, woman, child, or adult child) to back off and take personal responsibility for their own actions.

Bottom line, your heart is not a target to be lanced with arrows. Your back is not a pin cushion for metaphoric knife-stabs. And in no way does it make you a proper role model or “better parent” to overlook or enable a child to abuse themselves, you, or other people.

Enabling abuse is a moral crime arguably worse to commit that those crimes committed by Cluster B people who simply fail on a biological level to have their ability to control themselves. Be the better parent by refusing to play the martyr. If you save yourself, understand it’s perfectly okay to consider yourself a light bearer and way-shower emulating the Christ conscience.

Forgiving your child for them not knowing what they do is a key part of effectively parenting or co-parenting a Cluster B individual. Saving yourself is a moral imperative. And, if you feel so inclined, keep a journal or share your stories of how to heal in a blog or write a book.

If you feel so inclined, leaving a breadcrumb trail to Narcissistic Abuse recovery your own adult children or grandchildren can someday use with their own therapist should they ever elect to try to better their own nature or socially improve is one of the kindest and most healing gifts to leave them. Even if they fail to appreciate it, going through the motion of sharing personal reflections and history about the family unit as a psychological whole can help abuse victims process while creating the future space opportunity for estranged children to get to know you as a person someday when and if they take the time to care enough or show interest in forming a reciprocal (rather than strictly utilitarian use-base) adult relationship with you.

Adult Children with Cluster B personalities tend to use and abuse loving parents. Learn how to help them and yourself by setting and subsequently enforcing healthy lifestyle boundaries, guilt-free.

Plato's Stunt Double

DISCLOSURE: The author of this post is in no way offering professional advice or psychiatric counseling services. Please contact your local authorities IMMEDIATELY if you feel you are in danger. If you suspect your partner, a loved one, co-worker, or family member has a Cluster B personality disorder, contact your local victim's advocate or domestic violence shelter for more information about how to protect your rights legally and to discuss the potential benefits or dangers of electing to go "no contact" with your abuser(s). Due to the nature of this website's content, we prefer to keep our writer's names ANONYMOUS. Please contact directly to discuss content posted on this website, make special requests, or share your confidential story about Narcissistic Abuse with our staff writers. All correspondence will be kept strictly confidential.

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