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 Post subject: Re: Relationship advice, decisions, smiles or tears
PostPosted: Tue Aug 05, 2014 8:32 am 
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Hey gunk, sending you so much love and support. I think one hard (sometimes shitty) thing about polyamory is the temptation to push yourself to be ok/happy with something when it's making you feel lousy. There are a lot of good things behind this impulse, often, but in the end you're being really hard on yourself. I know this us not an original thought, but feelings like jealousy, sadness and anger are real feelings too, and deserve acknowledgement. I mean, as long as you're not being an asparagus - and hiding photos is so far from being an asparagus. It's one really gentle, smart way to protect yourself.

Good luck!


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 Post subject: Re: Relationship advice, decisions, smiles or tears
PostPosted: Tue Aug 05, 2014 11:41 am 
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gunk wrote:
(Except my ex is a they, not a he. They used to go by he though, so maybe you were remembering that :) ).


ohjeez ::facepalm:: I'm sorry for being presumptuous! You know what they say about assumptions... ;)

I'm sorry you're going through such a rough time. I would probably lose my shiitake if my ex were to IG a pic of him and a new gal together. I think Olives has some pretty good things to say! Your feelings are just as valid, even if they don't jive with how you would ideally like to handle a poly relationship/breakup. <3

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 Post subject: Re: Relationship advice, decisions, smiles or tears
PostPosted: Tue Aug 05, 2014 4:10 pm 
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gunk, just adding that I think it's a great first step that you're acknowledging your feelings, you know? Your feelings are valuable and worthy of your consideration. (Not sure if that makes sense. It helps me to take a step back and observe myself sometimes.)

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 Post subject: Re: Relationship advice, decisions, smiles or tears
PostPosted: Tue Aug 05, 2014 4:52 pm 
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ndpittman wrote:
gunk, just adding that I think it's a great first step that you're acknowledging your feelings, you know? Your feelings are valuable and worthy of your consideration. (Not sure if that makes sense. It helps me to take a step back and observe myself sometimes.)


I was going to say the same thing. Gunk, it's 100% okay to feel hurt or sad or uncomfortable or angry or any combination of those things. It's also okay to not be friends with your ex if it doesn't work for you. Or to wait to be friends.

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 Post subject: Re: Relationship advice, decisions, smiles or tears
PostPosted: Tue Aug 05, 2014 4:58 pm 
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You guys are all the sweetest. Thank you. Acknowledging my feelings is definitely a big step for me, and I guess it can only get easier to acknowledge and honour them with time and practice!

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 Post subject: Re: Relationship advice, decisions, smiles or tears
PostPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2014 10:20 am 
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I'm angry with my boyfriend right now. He can be so insensitive. Whenever I'm properly freaking out about something he behaves so paternalistic. I just got a bad grade for my BA thesis and I'm so upset and he's all about "well, you know your work was not perfect when you handed it, what did you expect? I saw the faults in your text too but you did say you just wanted to hand it in already". Geez, if you knew exactly what was wrong, you could still have told me. Whenever I'm in a situation like this he makes me feel like I'm overreacting and I hate it so much. After I talked to him on the phone, I talked to my brother on the phone and he calmed me down so fast. i know my brother is super good at this and not everyone can be like this, but I hate when he makes me feel like my feelings are stupid.

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 Post subject: Re: Relationship advice, decisions, smiles or tears
PostPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2014 10:42 am 
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^^^ the other day i was out on a hike with my bf and got a call from work and realized i was horrifically late and that i'd written down the wrong schedule. on our far-too-long drive back, i was driving and voicing how upset i was over the whole scenario, meanwhile he was on his phone in the passenger's seat giving me auto-responses that made it seem like he wasn't really listening at all. as i was getting more upset and realizing he wasn't listening, i kinda wanted to scream at him, but instead i asked what he was doing and told him that i really needed to have his full attention bc i was very upset. he put down his phone and we were able to talk; all i really needed was a sounding board and some empathy and i once i made that clear to him, he was able to try to provide that. i dunno if that helps.


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 Post subject: Re: Relationship advice, decisions, smiles or tears
PostPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2014 11:28 am 
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VeganinBerlin wrote:
I'm angry with my boyfriend right now. He can be so insensitive. Whenever I'm properly freaking out about something he behaves so paternalistic. I just got a bad grade for my BA thesis and I'm so upset and he's all about "well, you know your work was not perfect when you handed it, what did you expect? I saw the faults in your text too but you did say you just wanted to hand it in already". Geez, if you knew exactly what was wrong, you could still have told me. Whenever I'm in a situation like this he makes me feel like I'm overreacting and I hate it so much. After I talked to him on the phone, I talked to my brother on the phone and he calmed me down so fast. i know my brother is super good at this and not everyone can be like this, but I hate when he makes me feel like my feelings are stupid.


It sounds like there are two things going on:

1. Your boyfriend isn't being very sensitive to your feelings; and

2. You're putting (at least some) responsibility for your feelings onto your boyfriend (and/or other people like your brother).

You can control one of those things, so I'd say it's probably best to focus on that. That's not to say I'm not sympathetic. I've been struggling for most of my adult life with this, and I've only just now begun to see my actions for what they really are. I've spent a lot of time being angry at people in my life (most often my partners) for not making me feel X, Y, or Z. I'm learning now, after 18 years of dating, that, holy crepe, *I* am responsible for my feelings, not my boyfriend or dad or friend, or whoever!

One of the things I struggle with, and it sounds like you struggle with it too, is getting really overwhelmed when I'm hit with negative emotions, and then going into a sort of auto pilot, which for me, involves asking/demanding that someone else fix it/make me feel better. This often results in an argument, since it's pretty rare that the person I want to "help" me behaves exactly as I want, and then I get upset (or transfer the crappy feelings I already have to him). It's gotten so that after the fact, I can recognize that this is a problem, but in the moment, I struggle to remember that the feelings I'm having are mine to deal with, and it's not anyone else's responsibility to make me feel better. I recently learned a few tricks that help me kick my rational brain back into gear in those situations (when I feel myself getting upset and losing my reason, I try to count the books in the room, or name all the colours I can see around me, or do a breathing thing where I breathe in for a count of 3 and out for a count of 5), and that's helpful, but it's still hard.

I hope that doesn't sound unsympathetic. Of course we want (and should get) support and kindness from our partners when we're upset, but it's also really important to remember that our feelings are our responsibility. <3

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 Post subject: Re: Relationship advice, decisions, smiles or tears
PostPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2014 11:32 am 
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That's a really great post, Jordan.

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 Post subject: Re: Relationship advice, decisions, smiles or tears
PostPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2014 11:39 am 
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That is good. I do the same kind of thing, when I get upset I somehow expect someone else to make me feel better immediately. I will try some of your tricks, Jordan.

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 Post subject: Re: Relationship advice, decisions, smiles or tears
PostPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2014 12:10 pm 
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jordanpattern wrote:
or do a breathing thing where I breathe in for a count of 3 and out for a count of 5), and that's helpful, but it's still hard.

Breathing exercises can be great. I used to do them on the subway after a long day of work and would end up home feeling refreshed rather than beat down from a work day and long, packed train ride home.

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 Post subject: Re: Relationship advice, decisions, smiles or tears
PostPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2014 12:52 pm 
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jordanpattern wrote:
One of the things I struggle with, and it sounds like you struggle with it too, is getting really overwhelmed when I'm hit with negative emotions, and then going into a sort of auto pilot, which for me, involves asking/demanding that someone else fix it/make me feel better. This often results in an argument, since it's pretty rare that the person I want to "help" me behaves exactly as I want, and then I get upset (or transfer the crappy feelings I already have to him). It's gotten so that after the fact, I can recognize that this is a problem, but in the moment, I struggle to remember that the feelings I'm having are mine to deal with, and it's not anyone else's responsibility to make me feel better. I recently learned a few tricks that help me kick my rational brain back into gear in those situations (when I feel myself getting upset and losing my reason, I try to count the books in the room, or name all the colours I can see around me, or do a breathing thing where I breathe in for a count of 3 and out for a count of 5), and that's helpful, but it's still hard.

I hope that doesn't sound unsympathetic. Of course we want (and should get) support and kindness from our partners when we're upset, but it's also really important to remember that our feelings are our responsibility. <3


Thank you. I know my feelings are my own responsibility. I have a hard time accepting negative emotions I feel. It's one of those things I'm really trying to work on so it's very difficult for me now when my boyfriend basically says "this is not an appropriate feeling" whenever I freak out because I know that suppressing these negative feelings is where it goes really wrong.

I know I have to deal with my own emotions. I didn't expect him to change my emotion this time. I expected him to just listen to me vent, not lecture me. I talked with him again an hour ago and it's fine now but I did bring it up.

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I have never thought "This coffee is okay, but it would be better if it were oily."


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 Post subject: Re: Relationship advice, decisions, smiles or tears
PostPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2014 2:31 pm 
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I'm pretty bad at being sympathetic. When someone tells me a problem I give a solution. It's what I want from others when I relate a problem. I guess I've never felt the need to dwell on things or vent. I should work on it, but it's often hard to tell what someone wants if they don't say something like "I don't want a solution, just listen and don't help."


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 Post subject: Re: Relationship advice, decisions, smiles or tears
PostPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2014 3:48 pm 
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Sometimes I'll ask if the person is just looking to vent, if they want to brainstorm solutions, or they want to hear my thoughts. I really try to remember that sometimes people do just need to say all their frustrations out loud.

Jordan, you're absolutely right, and that's a brilliant post. I've become my mom's sounding board for her work frustrations, and when I do offer suggestions, it's usually just that she can only control how she feels and her reactions. Usually I just listen though because I feel like she just wants to complain about it.

I'm really glad that you're finding ways to help you, Jordan. I usually try to remind myself that people aren't mind readers, and that if I want something, I need to ask. That being said, learning to deal with issues on my own in a healthy manner has been rough, so I may try some of your techniques. I'm also reading 50 Ways to Soothe Yourself Without Food, because if I usually just end up eating my feelings.

Panda--that's an excellent idea! I usually come home from work and take a nap because I feel like I need to mentally end the work day, but it'd be a lot more productive to do some breathing exercises and then come home and be awake to do things!

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 Post subject: Re: Relationship advice, decisions, smiles or tears
PostPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2014 3:56 pm 
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ndpittman wrote:
I'm really glad that you're finding ways to help you, Jordan. I usually try to remind myself that people aren't mind readers, and that if I want something, I need to ask. That being said, learning to deal with issues on my own in a healthy manner has been rough, so I may try some of your techniques. I'm also reading 50 Ways to Soothe Yourself Without Food, because if I usually just end up eating my feelings.


For me, I am very good at asking for what I want. That was part of my problem, actually; I would ask my partner to do X, Y, or Z to make me feel better, or more generally, to "make me feel better," which was better than expecting that without asking, but still not good, since it still puts responsibility for my feelings on them. Since I was so good at asking, I'd be even more upset if/when they didn't do what I wanted, and I saw that as further evidence that they didn't care about me, which is a very unhelpful way to think about things!

It's a weird thing, particularly for women, I think. We're taught that the Right guy is going to be super in tune with us and will, in a weird way, take control of our feelings by doing and saying the Right things in response to our feelings. When you think about it, that's a super unhealthy way to relate to another person!

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 Post subject: Re: Relationship advice, decisions, smiles or tears
PostPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2014 4:00 pm 
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Quote:
I'm really glad that you're finding ways to help you, Jordan. I usually try to remind myself that people aren't mind readers, and that if I want something, I need to ask. That being said, learning to deal with issues on my own in a healthy manner has been rough, so I may try some of your techniques. I'm also reading 50 Ways to Soothe Yourself Without Food, because if I usually just end up eating my feelings.


Yes, that is me. I cannot ask yet. So even when I get angry afterwards I am so scared about bringing it up again.

And is that book good? Because it sounds like something I'd need.

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ashley wrote:
I have never thought "This coffee is okay, but it would be better if it were oily."


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 Post subject: Re: Relationship advice, decisions, smiles or tears
PostPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2014 4:31 pm 
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jordanpattern wrote:
For me, I am very good at asking for what I want. That was part of my problem, actually; I would ask my partner to do X, Y, or Z to make me feel better, or more generally, to "make me feel better," which was better than expecting that without asking, but still not good, since it still puts responsibility for my feelings on them. Since I was so good at asking, I'd be even more upset if/when they didn't do what I wanted, and I saw that as further evidence that they didn't care about me, which is a very unhelpful way to think about things!

It's a weird thing, particularly for women, I think. We're taught that the Right guy is going to be super in tune with us and will, in a weird way, take control of our feelings by doing and saying the Right things in response to our feelings. When you think about it, that's a super unhealthy way to relate to another person!


Are we the same person? Because this describes my issues in relationship to a T. Thank you so much for sharing your insights, its been really enlightening.

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Last edited by Tofulish on Thu Aug 07, 2014 4:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Relationship advice, decisions, smiles or tears
PostPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2014 4:31 pm 
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VeganinBerlin wrote:
Quote:
I'm really glad that you're finding ways to help you, Jordan. I usually try to remind myself that people aren't mind readers, and that if I want something, I need to ask. That being said, learning to deal with issues on my own in a healthy manner has been rough, so I may try some of your techniques. I'm also reading 50 Ways to Soothe Yourself Without Food, because if I usually just end up eating my feelings.


Yes, that is me. I cannot ask yet. So even when I get angry afterwards I am so scared about bringing it up again.

And is that book good? Because it sounds like something I'd need.


Yeah, I could do with that book too, if it's any good. I've eaten about 20lbs of feeling over the past year!


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 Post subject: Re: Relationship advice, decisions, smiles or tears
PostPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2014 6:56 pm 
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A friend posted this today and it was really profound. It's about letting go of people in life who no longer bring purpose:

http://elitedaily.com/life/motivation/8 ... fe/650186/


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 Post subject: Re: Relationship advice, decisions, smiles or tears
PostPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2014 6:56 pm 
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fezza wrote:
VeganinBerlin wrote:
Quote:
I'm really glad that you're finding ways to help you, Jordan. I usually try to remind myself that people aren't mind readers, and that if I want something, I need to ask. That being said, learning to deal with issues on my own in a healthy manner has been rough, so I may try some of your techniques. I'm also reading 50 Ways to Soothe Yourself Without Food, because if I usually just end up eating my feelings.


Yes, that is me. I cannot ask yet. So even when I get angry afterwards I am so scared about bringing it up again.

And is that book good? Because it sounds like something I'd need.


Yeah, I could do with that book too, if it's any good. I've eaten about 20lbs of feeling over the past year!


I'm still at the beginning, but so far I like it. It's more of that "how is this book describing me so exactly" feeling so far. Hopefully as I keep working through it I'll get some good insight.

One of the most interesting bits to me so far is talking about how we learn to self soothe as children from the way our parents soothe us, like if we fell as a child the parent my give us a hug and say sweet things. It brought up this memory of my first time riding a bike, and my dad told me not to brake in the gravel. I used the brakes in the gravel, fell off, skinned my knee, and he paddled me for not listening to him. I'm not blaming him for anything; he was older and a nervous wreck about having this little girl to take care of. At the same time I can't help wondering how different it'd have been if he would have calmly explained that's why he told me not to do that and given me a hug or something. Regardless, it's a good time to learn how to deal with it now!

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 Post subject: Re: Relationship advice, decisions, smiles or tears
PostPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2014 8:20 pm 
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Tomorrow is my recent ex's birthday. I'm glad it's over for a lot of reasons, but I'm also a little sad. Before my birthday (two months ago), he suggested that we switch birthdays, celebrate his on mine and mine on his. I didn't really agree because his birthday came after mine and at that point I wasn't sure we'd last that long, and now I'm just disappointed that I was right. Still, I spent my birthday with him, and while I don't regret that, I regret that now I don't get to celebrate his birthday with him. I've been thinking about texting him to wish him a happy birthday, in a friendly kind of way, but our relationship ended weirdly, sort of gradual and open-ended. There was never any point where either of us said we were done, we just eventually stopped talking to each other, so I don't want to open that door again. I don't know, PPK, I'm just sad.

Thanks for posting that link, SD. I need to remind myself of those things.


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 Post subject: Re: Relationship advice, decisions, smiles or tears
PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2014 1:50 am 
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The dude I'm seeing got back into town yesterday, and I picked him up at the airport because I genuinely enjoy the drive. I just assumed I'd be dropping him off and going home (it was eleven pm by the time he got in my car), but he asked if I'd like to get a drink and stay over. We snuggled up and passed out and in the morning (he gets up at six for work), instead of complaining every ten seconds like he has before, he would say, "Okay! I'm getting up now!" but would grab me and cuddle me really tightly for a minute. He did it like five times before getting up with no complaints! It was all sorts of an adorable way to wake up.

Next up: Getting us in bed before midnight!

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 Post subject: Re: Relationship advice, decisions, smiles or tears
PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2014 11:28 am 
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Sometimes I feel genuinely baffled as to what my parents think about me. There seems to be this unbridgeable gap between us, and I know I sound like a teenager saying this, but they just seem to have no idea where I'm coming from and I don't know what to do about it.

My mum just came to pick my son up so they can babysit while I do something for my 24th birthday, and as usual it turned into her criticising me. She said it was disappointment because "I seem like I'm finally getting my life together and career on track and then she finds that I've shaved my head." To clarify, I've shaved the sides of my head in a kind of undercut, but I explained that I'm growing the top out so that I can choose to either hide the shaved bits or style my hair so that they're visible. In fact I can already style my hair so that the undercut is barely visible. I've got onto a teacher training course in September and she thinks my hair is unprofessional and doesn't understand why I have to cut my hair "to look like an anarchist and make a point."

I can understand the criticism that having a punk haircut isn't particularly suited to a professional environment, which is why I'm growing it out so that I can hide the shaved bits. But I really, really don't understand what she's saying about "making a point" and "looking like an anarchist." When I decide what to wear and how to present myself, I do whatever makes me feel most like myself. I don't know and I don't understand what point she thinks I'm trying to make and I can't seem to get her to explain either. I also have no idea what my politics have to do with any of this. I'm a libertarian communist, but I get the impression that my parents just think I'm trying to be rebellious or something when I call myself an anarchist. Which is stupid and untrue and makes me feel as though they don't respect me, and no matter how many times I try to explain the coherent ideology behind my political views nothing sinks in and they just don't take me seriously. My anarchism is something serious which I have thought through and greatly influences my worldview (including my veganism, feminism, etc), not just some stupid childish rebellion, and a political worldview doesn't have a uniform for christ's sake. I could dress super-feminine, shave my legs and wear make-up and I'd still be a bloody anarchist, but that's just not who I am. I don't feel comfortable presenting myself in that way.

I think the crux of this post is, my parents still treat me like a child, despite the fact I'm 24 tomorrow and have a child of my own, and I don't know how to improve our relationship or even get them to vaguely understand where I'm coming from.


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 Post subject: Re: Relationship advice, decisions, smiles or tears
PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2014 12:21 pm 
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i think the only solution is to create an alternate family system. i would love to be someone's aunt or gramma, and my own family is so worthless (i can totally sympathize with your situation- i'm forty, successful by my own standards, have accomplished most of what i wanted to do in life, etc, but my family is still so judgmental. So I have tattoos? If they knew *half* of who I really am, they'd pass out.)

So, now to find people. One day, when the kid is older and it won't seem insulting, I am going to put a want ad in the paper: wanted, surrogate child whose own family treats them terribly. I want to make you sweaters and birthday cakes and see you succeed. Interesting haircuts, piercings, and politics a plus.

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 Post subject: Re: Relationship advice, decisions, smiles or tears
PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2014 1:05 pm 
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torque wrote:
One day, when the kid is older and it won't seem insulting, I am going to put a want ad in the paper: wanted, surrogate child whose own family treats them terribly. I want to make you sweaters and birthday cakes and see you succeed. Interesting haircuts, piercings, and politics a plus.


I love this so so much! You can sign me up for this program, too.


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