abuse, abusive men, abusive relationships, domestic abuse, healing from narcissistic abuse, narcissistic abuse, Uncategorized

PTSD from Mental Emotional Abuse

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All people have needs to survive. We need to have proper shelter, food and health care. People need to feel safe and that their needs will be met.

 

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Maslow developed the hierarchy of needs theory in 1943. He stated that people have needs that must be met before other ones. The basic needs for shelter and safety must be met for all people.

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There is no room for fun, learning, socializing or self-actualizing without the basic needs being met first.

The person fails to thrive. All the things other people do are just not the priority. The safety is the priority and dominates the person’s thoughts and emotions.

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When someone is in a living situation where these needs are not met, they are left feeling vulnerable and afraid. The situation is unsafe and potentially life threatening.

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There are different types of domestic abuse. All of them involve the person being stripped of their self-esteem and being denied basic needs that every human has.

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There are men and women who experience violence against them in their own home. There are episodes of violence and there is a constant threat of violence.

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This threat forces the brain to be on alert and suspicious all the time. Your brain learns that it needs to be on high alert at all times, to search the environment for danger. 

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The brain is not designed to be in this state for a prolonged periods of time and damage can occur to the way the brain assesses the possibility and level of potential threats for years to come.

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There are domestic abuse situations which involve financial abuse. People are controlled financially and cannot take care of their own needs. This kind of abuse can keep the victim feeling trapped into the relationship, because they have no means to support themselves on their own. 

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I lived in an abuse situation years ago in which I had to go without heat for most of a very cold winter.

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My money was controlled and I was not “allowed” to purchase heating oil. I still fear the cold and fee post traumatic stress reaction when the winter season begins to make its way into my state.

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When a person is not taken care of and not permitted to take care of themselves, it causes a trauma.

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It is terrifying to feel that you are in danger of freezing, going hungry, going without medical care and any other basic needs. When someone denies you basic human needs it is frightening and creates a horrible feeling of vulnerability.

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Living in these types of abusing situations also causes severe damage to a person’s self-esteem. They may doubt their own ability to provide for their own basic needs for years after the original trauma.

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The feeling of being vulnerable and in danger is carried in the brain and in the nervous system.

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Any situation which is a reminder of the original traumatic abusive situation can trigger a post traumatic stress attack. The person will collapse under the weight of the fear and not be able to function normally.

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In addition to traumatic attacks (like severe panic attacks), the person can have a constant feeling of being unsafe. They feel that any minute something could happen to put them in a place of fear and danger.

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Most people have never been in a dangerous situation of violence of of being in danger of starving or freezing to death. They have never been in a situation where someone threatened to cause them to lose their job unless they were compliant.

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We have lived through an on-going situation of terror and physical and mental abuse. Being forced to go without basic needs is mentally abusive as well as physically abusive.

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It is also emotionally abuse to be shunned and made to feel like an outcast in your own home.  We need to be loved. You need to be accepted and supported by others. It is a survival instinct to be part of a family or tribe of some kind.

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How could the person we trusted and loved, allow us to suffer like that? They made us feel that we were at fault or that we did not deserve to be taken care of?  We did not deserve to be able to take care of ourselves.

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It is difficult for people to understand the post traumatic stress that can result from living in a domestic abuse situation. It can take years to feel safe again or the person may never feel truly safe

 

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..A person who survived domestic abuse trusted someone who violated them in the worst possible way. They treated them like they were not human. It is very hard to truly trust anyone again after that happens to you.

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It is a terrible thing to live with post traumatic stress disorder. It is sad that so many people do not understand how we feel. 

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We have lived through situations where there was a very real threat. In our minds, what is to keep it from happening again. Our good judgement?

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We feel like our judgement let us down already. How can we trust ourselves? With time you can re-wire the neural pathways that have been affected by the abuse.

 

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One of the things to understand is that it is not your judgement that let you down. You probably had a gut feeling that something was wrong, early in the relationship. But you were conditioned during your lifetime to ignore that intuition, especially if the evidence you perceive tells you that your gut reaction is not warranted.

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If you grew up in an emotionally abusive house as a child, then your feelings were not given any priority. Your thoughts and feelings were shut down. So you learned to discount them as an adult. 

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You have to learn to listen to your intuition and know that your feelings are there to guide you, as well as to protect you. Your feelings will warn you about predators and people that are unhealthy for you to be with.

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My hope is for awareness that will generate some understanding. I also pray that all of the many people suffering PTSD from domestic abuse are able to one day find peace and a feeling of safety.

Namaste,
Annie

abuse, abuse red flags, abusive relationships, emotional abuse, gaslighting, narcissistic abuse, Uncategorized

Abusive Partners “Bait and Switch” the Relationship

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One of the reasons I hear from my clients that makes it hard for certain people to to leave an abusive relationship, is that they are not fully sure in their own minds if the partner is abusive them intentionally. 

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Here’s the thing…It doesn’t really matter. 

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If someone is making you feel like you are crazy and interfering with your ability to live and thrive, then it is okay to leave them. 

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But what about the agreement? What about the commitment that I made to that person? 

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A commitment like  a marriage or a partner agreement had two sides to it. You are not the only one who should be accountable for your behaviors. You are not responsible for keeping up your end of a verbal or written contract, when the other person acts as if they have no obligation to that contract. 

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When you ask “What about my commitment?” …what you really should be asking is “What about the partner’s side to that agreement?”

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Have they made a “bait and switch” arrangement with you. You can look up the term bait and switch on google and you will find how it is used in the context of business deals.

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If you see an advertisement for a certain product at a price that you find fair, and then the sales person tries to get you to buy a different product (usually more expensive) , telling you that the original product is no longer available, then this might be a bait and switch.If they advertised the original product with no intention of giving you that product. and with the premeditated plan of talking you into the other one. then it is a bait and switch.

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How does the narcissist or psychopath pull of a bait and switch?

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Well, it is really the same thing as the way this tactic is used in business. Your partner pretended that a certain kind of relationship was available to you. They manufactured a personality that you would like, and then lured you with that persona.

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They had no intention of fulfilling any promises they made you. They had no intention of keeping up that personality during the relationship. They were aware that they had no desire to maintain a fair and balanced relationship.

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Now, we come back to the question of the partner’s behavior being intentional and whether or not the particular person is aware of their behavior being unfair and abusive. 

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Here’s the thing…

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If this is an adult that is unaware when they are being abusive to you, then you do not want to be with them. If this adult is incapable of understanding how adult relationships work, then you will never have a fulfilling relationship with them. 

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So, whether or not they are aware that their behavior is abusive….if this person is abusive to you, then you do not need to feel obligated to stay in the relationship, or to be “a good person” by putting up with a miserable relationship. 

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It is a bait and switch if the person has intentionally mislead you. If they have not intentionally mislead you…then why did their behavior dramatically change after a few months of being in the relationship?

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How could they be thoughtful and kind to you for a few months, and then suddenly change into a completely different person who is cruel and selfish?

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If they were able to maintain a certain persona during the idealization phase. then truly they are probably fully aware that they manipulated you into falling for them by pretending to be someone they are not. 

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But if they acted like a selfless, caring person until they entrapped you, and then changed their behavior in a dramatic way after that…and they are not aware that they did that…then this is a disordered person that you cannot change, and you will not be able to have a loving relationship with. 

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The issue of whether or not the person knows how abusive they are simply cannot be a factor in whether or not you have to feel obligated to continue to tolerate their abuse. You are not “a bad person” if you leave the relationship. 

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In fact, if they suddenly change back into that thoughtful person again, just when you mention wanting to eave them, then that should be your clue as to whether or not they are able to control their behavior. This should be a clue to you, as to whether or not the person is intentionally being selfish and abusive.

 

abuse, abusive relationships, aftermath of narcissistic abuse, anti-social personality disorder, domestic abuse, emotional abuse, narcissism, narcissist, Psychopath, Uncategorized

What are the Traits of Narcissistic Personality Disorder?

Here are the nine traits of narcissistic personality disorder.

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1. Grandiosity –  This is an unrealistic view of oneself that they are bigger than life and better than others. They feel that they have a godlike, divine or extremely powerful purpose of being on the earth. Their very being is to be admired and obeyed. Nothing is more important than they are.

2. Arrogant and Domineering – think they are better than everyone else. They know more than anyone else. Controlling of others and dominating. They see others as inferior to them in intelligence, vision, looks, and everything else. They expect other people to admire and be in awe of them.

3. Preoccupation with Success and Power – They have a need to be powerful and have a cult of followers that admire them. They like to have a harem of sorts of people around them, as if they are a king or a queen. Their drive for success and power is due to their need for narcissistic supply and to get into positions where they have manipulate people.

4. Lack of empathy – an inability to care about the feelings of others or put themselves in someone else’s shoes in an emotional way. Actually narcissists and psychopaths have a cold empathy which allows them to understand your fears, weaknesses, hopes and dreams. They can take an inventory of you and then use the your feelings against you.

5. Belief of being unique – They believe that they are very special and that they are better than everyone else. They often think that they have a unique powerful purpose that sets them above everyone else and gives them an excuse to do whatever they want and take whatever they want.

6. Sense of entitlement – They feel that they are entitled to anything and anyone they want.   This includes things that belong to other people. It includes taking over the lives of other people and using people and then throwing them away like trash.  There is no appreciation when people do anything for them because they were entitled to it, in the first place.

7. Requires excessive admiration – they want to be admired and paid attention to all the time. They have no tolerance for anyone else being in the spotlight. Because they need to have their false self validated, they need people to pay attention to, talk about, admire and basically worship their false self. That way the illusion of the false self stays strong.

8. Exploitative – they will take advantage of other people for their own best interest. They will take more than they give, refuse to pay people for their services in a fair way …if at all, and use people up until there is nothing left of them

9. Envious of others – they are resentful when other people have things that they feel entitled to. They become angry when they see that other people have things that they do not.

abuse, abusive relationships, emotional abuse, leaving an abuser, narcissist, narcissistic abuse, Uncategorized

Why do Codependents and Narcissists Attract

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.image from pinterest here 

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This is a video interview style conversation between Teal Swan and Ross Rosenberg. 

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They discuss the reasons why codependents and narcissists attract each other, and why they are attracted  to each other. The level of need …the level of the emotional wounds they carry…usually from childhood abuse and neglect…usually matches. 

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The worse the toxic loneliness the codependent has, the farther on the scale of narcissism the partner they are attracted to will be. If someone is very needy to the point of a 7 on a scale of 1 to 10, then they are likely to end up with a narcissist who is a 7 on the scale of needing to dominate and control someone. 
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Both partners have old emotional wounds. The severity of the wounds usually  match, with couples that end up attracting and staying together. Although the relationship is very painful to the codependent, they stay because the pathological loneliness that occurs when they are alone feels worse than when they are with the abusive partner. 

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Teal and Rosenberg agree with each other on some points, including that most all narcissist and codependents come from a family with a narcissistic parent, or a psychopathic parent. The children in these families have to learn how to survive. 
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Codependents learn that they have to make their narcissist parent happy by taking care of their needs and worrying about their feelings all the time. It is a “conditional” kind of love. They learn that love is based on how much you sacrifice, care for, and comply with the needs of the other person. 
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It is an interesting chat between the two of them. There are some places where they present different views. I agree with a lot of things that are said here, with some exceptions. 
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I disagree with Ross Rosenberg when he says that the narcissist was the child that was not favored by the parents and that their level of trauma was worse than that of the codependent. He might be seeing things from his personal experience and assuming that it is the same for everyone. 
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From listening to my clients, I know that the narcissists were not all “more abused” than the codependents. I have heard stories of horrific abuse from the clients I have, and these clients came out to be very compassionate and kind people .
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So everyone that experienced terrible abuse does not come out to be a narcissist. People develop based on their own soul and their own natural personality traits , and how that interacted with the atmosphere in the home growing up. 
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Codependents tend to have trouble setting boundaries because they were conditioned to feel selfish when they would ask to be heard, or when they expressed their own needs. Even though the codependent can realize that the narcissist is demanding and overstepping their rights in the relationship…the codependent cannot always tell how to set boundaries for themselves in a way that feels like they deserve it. 

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There is a heavy conditioning in the home with a narcissistic parent. The parent is the focus of the universe in the home. They demand that everything revolves around them and their wants and needs. Children are often punished or shamed for expressing their feelings about anything.

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The narcissist needs to disassociate from the abuse while it is occurring. They create a false reality to endure the abuse. The codependent also may do this, but not in the same way the narcissist does. 
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The narcissist creates a false self that is able to endure the abuse. This false self continues into adulthood and become the mask they live behind. They become demanding and manipulative like their narcissistic parent. 
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The codependent is desensitized to the abuse, because they had to endure so much of it as a child. They often to not recognize abuse for what it is, when it begins in the relationship. By the time they do realize it, the time has passed for easily leaving the relationship, because the addiction is fully kicked in. 

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abuse, abusive relationships, aftermath of abuse, anti-social personality disorder, healing from narcissistic abuse, narcissism, narcissist, narcissistic abuse, Uncategorized

Can you Warn the New Victim of Your Narcissist?

Just because we point out the hole someone is about to fall into, does not mean we are being cruel to the person who dug the hole.

We are just trying to keep the person from falling in, because we recognize the hunter who is patiently watching them….and waiting for that person to fall into their carefully crafted trap. 

When the prey sees the hunter through the rose colored glasses he gave them, they think we are demonizing the hunter. 

They are under the spell of the narcissist. The narcissist usually anticipates that their discarded victim will try to warn other about them. Always 5 steps ahead of you, the narcissist has already gotten to the people you might warn, before you ever think of telling them the truth. 

You have most likely already been discredited by your abuser, with lies about your anger disorder, your mental instability and your desire to be vindictive. It does not have to be the truth for the new victim to believe it. It simply has to come out of the mouth of the narcissist that they are now under the spell of. 

You have little to no chance to convince the new victim to believe you about the nature of the abuser. It is just the same as when you were first under the spell of the predator yourself.

You probably would not have believed an emotional ex girlfriend who they had already told you was abusive to them. They will think you are either trying to get the narcissist back for yourself, or that you want to break them up to prevent their happiness.

abuse, abusive relationships, aftermath of abuse, aftermath of narcissistic abuse, domestic abuse, narcissist, narcissistic abuse, narcissistic abuse syndrome, Uncategorized

Adult Children of Abusive Parents – Two Cluster B Parents

Two abusive parents can come in various combinations of Cluster B personality disorders. If you grew up with two parents that were abusive, then you went through hell and there is emotional trauma that is still affecting you as an adult. 

The DSM designates narcissistic personality disorder as a personality disorder, along with a few others. Malignant Borderline personality disorder is often co-morbid with narcissistic personality disorder. But is has some extra characteristics including extreme mood disregulation and fear of abandonment. 

Psychopathy is called anti-social personality disorder in the DSM. It is extreme narcissism with some other characteristsics, including a disregard for the law and rules of society. Narcissism is on a spectrum, which has anti=social personality disorder at the far right side. 

Histrionic personality disorder is also a Cluster B personality disorder. It is narcissism with an obsession with sex. The histrionic is a female disorder, whereas the majority of psychopaths are male…but not all. 

Two people with a cluster B personality disorder sometimes get together for various reasons. Neither of the partners is equipped to raise children with kindness or compassion. They care about themselves and not the needs of the children. 

Depending on the combination of personality disorders, the couple may stay together or break up. Two narcissists can sometimes work together to each get their needs for narcissistic supply met. This is not a loving relationship, but a functional agreement.

Children of two narcissists will be subject to extreme manipulation and control by the parents. Both parents are abusive, in an emotional and mental way. One or both may be sexually inappropriate with the children. Often one parent will turn a blind eye to what the other one does to the child. 

Adult children of narcissists have C-PTSD from the years of on-going abuse. Covert abuse can damage the child as much or more than overt physical abuse. Adult children of parents that were covertly, mentally abusive don’t always know that they were abused at all. The damage is there, but the adult child of mental abuse does not know what is wrong with them. 

People with C-PTSD from abuse often have depression, and anxiety disorders. They may have problems with executive function, which is the part of the brain that helps us to organize,  manage our lives and other skills that most “normal” people use to survive. 

Day to day tasks can be difficult for people with C-PTSD. Sometimes people do pretty well surviving for years, and then suddenly have an emotional / mental crash, when the repressed trauma begins to bubble its way to the surface. 

It is common for adult victims of abuse to be lured by narcissistic predators. There are certain characteristics of a survivor of abuse, that attract predators to prey on them. Low self esteem makes it easy for the predator to invade the victim;s boundaries. A desensitization to abuse makes it easy for the abuser to confuse the victim into rationalizing the abuse. 

The first step to recovering from C-PTSD from childhood abuse is to recognize abuse…and to call abuse “abuse.”

Recovery from abuse requires re-wiring the neural pathways of your brain. Growing up with narcissist means years if conditioning and brainwashing. Many of the beliefs that you hold deep in your subconscious are false. Negative feelings about yourself and your capabilities come from brainwashing from the narcissistic family. 

Getting therapy of coaching can help you to sift through the abuse, and to identify what false beliefs you are carrying. If you are being held back in life by mental tapes that keep playing in your head, these messages can be changed and your brain can be re-wired so that you can be your authentic self. 

There is nothing wrong with you. You have great self worth. Understanding the true value to your authentic, natural self can help to get your life back on track. Any therapist or life coach you work with needs to have an understanding of narcissistic abuse and narcissistic abuse syndrome. 

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If you are interested in coaching for overcoming narcissistic abuse and C-PTSD from abuse, you can check out the gentlekindness web site. There is a contact page where you can send me a message to let me know you are interested in setting up coaching. 

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Visit the site here..http://www.gentlekindnesscoaching.com/

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You can also get more information and connect with other victims at the facebook  page here….https://www.facebook.com/gentlekindnesscoaching/?ref=bookmarks

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I have videos about abuse and abuse recovery at my YouTube channel here.https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJw1QUDzb59PbWTcnGjGJ7g/videos

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