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Shopping And Diet

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1097197_pizzaI just wrapped up some online shopping and am pretty happy with what I bought. I am moving next month and got some really nice plastic storage bins to help me keep my stuff organized (which is definitely something that I need to work on). I also got some much needed new clothes as everything I have now is starting to be too big. That is because in the last 3 months I have lost a nice amount of weight. I decided that this was the year I was finally going to do something about my weight. I am turning 30 later this year and wanted to enter my 30’s in shape.

I have never had a problem working out it is the diet part of it that always screws me up. I like to eat and what I like to eat isn’t healthy. I used to run and go to the gym all week and then when the weekend rolled around I would eat a whole pizza or chicken wings or fast food and a lot of it. It was just the way I was raised as my parents didn’t cook much. We ate out a lot and if we didn’t it was a grilled cheese sandwich or stuff like that. I had to basically teach myself how to cook and it was a lot of trial and error. I remember the first time I tried to make spaghetti and that was a disaster. I used so much garlic a plate of it could have killed 100 vampires.

I also bought myself a new coffee machine this morning. The one I have now I have been using since college and it has seen better days. I never clean the thing and it is almost 6 years old so yeah you can probably imagine. I can’t say I love much in life besides my family but coffee is one thing I do love. I drink a lot of it so I invested in a nice one. I saw it on sale because there’s no way I was going to pay full price on it. I don’t love it that much. I also got a couple DVD’s that I have always wanted. I really need to get a Blu-Ray player. I think I might ask my parents to get one for Christmas this year. We still buy each other gifts although we have scaled back as I got older. I think one of those though would be a perfect request.

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I Even Ate A Mushroom

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1388709_korean_mushroom_steamboatSo I’ve been busy today. I stayed at work until 6pm. Oh, let me clarify; that’s late for me. I usually leave at 5pm. So I was working on this new project all day that is kind of getting to be a pain in the butt because the scope of it keeps expanding and expanding . At first it was cool. Our boss was like “hey, we need you to do this thing” (I don’t really want to get into it here, so “thing” will have to suffice). So we do our research and stuff but our boss keep adding new stuff to it. It’s like, right when we think we have everything figured out, some new parameter gets added.

Ugh.

If they would just give us all the information we needed from the beginning we could be done by now. Instead, it’s like do this… oh, but you also have to keep this other thing in mind… oh, and this third thing… etc.

That’s actually like a metaphor for my job, except normally it’s on a smaller scale so it’s not that big of an issue.

Not the last week, though.

My time over the weekend was spent away from work, but I spent a few hours of it looking for an attorney in Sarasota because I got into a bit of trouble last weekend. But I don’t want to talk about that anymore. I will say, however, that I think the cost of getting an attorney to represent me will save me money in the long run. It’s still going to cost me, though. I guess I won’t have as many funds as usual for the next few months.

I did something I’ve never done before: I ate a mushroom, and it wasn’t totally gross. It seems like everyone loves mushrooms except for me. I don’t like the texture. I think they feel like rubber, and they taste like dirt. But I had some mushrooms with this chicken and pasta meal today and I could almost say I liked them. Maybe it was just because they were mixed in with everything that they didn’t taste so mushroomy. I don’t know. But I’d definitely try them again.

It’s really weird, too, because I loved mushrooms when I was a kid. I used to get them on pizza all the time. And then one day I just realized I didn’t like them. But maybe I’m starting to like them again, and that would be cool because I know they’re pretty healthy.

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More Memory

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old-disk-adIt’s amazing how much the price of computers have come down.  Now don’t get me wrong here, I am absolutely NOT complaining.  Depending on how old you are, you may remember things like the ad to the left.

$2,495.00 for a 15 meg hard disk?  I’ll take two!

On that note, it’s also amazing now that I have .mp3s that are bigger than that entire hard drive!

I remember a few years ago when I first started looking for an external hard drive (mostly just to back up my main hard drive but also to store my media files on), they were like $200 for 100 gigs.  Now at the time I thought that was awesome, because the hard drive that came on my computer was only like 80gb.  So not only did I have room to back up everything, but I also had some extra storage space left over.  So I remember buying one of those, and thought it was a good deal.

A few years later I bought a 500gb hard drive for like $150 on sale.  By this point I had a new computer with a 300gb hard drive so I was still able to back up everything without any problem.

I’ve also noticed that, since the early 2000s or so, the prices of computers have stayed more or less constant.  You can go to a big box retailer and reasonably expect to pay between $500 and $1,200 or so to get a decent computer.  It won’t be a super awesome gaming rig with tons of video memory and 2 monitors, but it will be enough for most people.  This is in stark contrast to the 80s and 90s when computers were $2,000 or more.

I also love how everything is getting smaller.  Do you remember laptops from the mid 90s?  They were thick and had small screens with laggy response time.  Of course, you were cool if you had one, but today they’re much thinner and have bigger screens.

But perhaps the coolest thing is that you don’t even need physical media to store your data anymore.  You can just copy all your files to the cloud and access them from wherever you want.  And it’s like $8 a month for 75gb of storage, or about $9 for 250gb (according to this Justcloud review).  I think I can see this being a feasible market if you’re the kind of person who travels a lot and doesn’t want to bring external storage media with you on your trips.  All you’d really need is a laptop, or really just a computer somewhere and you can log in and get what you need.

I wonder if at some point in the future, all hard drive storage will be online.

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Everyone Else Is Not More Exciting Than You

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snowboardHave you ever noticed that there is a lot of pressure to be a certain way?  Look at commercials on TV; what do you see?  Beautiful people doing exciting stuff.  It’s designed to make you feel insecure.  Are you beautiful?  Better buy whatever product they’re selling to make yourself desirable.  Are you doing something exciting?  No?  Then you’re left out, because that’s what all these cool people are doing.

They say the best consumer is someone who is insecure with lots of money to spend.

It’s probably true.

I’m saying, have the courage to do what you want rather than what advertisers think you should do.

Most people get into a habit of highs followed by lows.  They start to feel insecure and then they think “If I buy a new car, I’ll be happy!”  So they buy a new car and they feel awesome, but that feeling only lasts for a few months, and suddenly they’re feeling insecure again.  They decide they need to buy something else.  New clothes.  New headphones.  A new TV.  They think stuff will make them happy.  After all, all the people in the ads have cool stuff, and they sure seem happy.

And that’s exactly what the advertisers want you to think, because it gets you to keep spending money.

Stuff can bring you joy, but only if you’re a happy person to begin with.  You need to switch your mind over to seeing consumerism for what it really is.  See if you can step outside the matrix, so to speak.  Do you see a bunch of people buying a bunch of stuff to try and find happiness?  They don’t really want the stuff; they’re looking for happiness.

People also buy things because they want to give off a certain appearance.  If your neighbor gets a new BMW and you’re driving a 10 year old Honda, would that bother you?  A lot of people would answer “yes” to that question.  Would buying a new car make them happy?  They think it would, but it wouldn’t after the initial excitement goes away.

What if the person with the 10 year old Honda was happy with their life, though?  Do you think they would care if their neighbor gets a new BMW?  Of course not.  In fact, they’d probably even prefer not to spend the money.

That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t buy a new car if you want a new car, it just means you shouldn’t buy a new car (or anything) thinking it will make you happy.

Do you want to exercise and get in shape?  Go to the gym.  Go because you like the way it makes you feel, not because you feel like you’re “not good enough” if you don’t.

Do you want to lose weight?  Diet and exercise and try green coffee bean extract if you want.  Do it because you want to be healthier, not because you think you have to.

Do you want a new car?  Buy a car that you can afford that you like.  Don’t buy it to impress your neighbors or feel good about yourself.

Disconnect yourself from the consumerism mindset and try to find what makes you happy in other ways instead.

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The Year In Review

Categories: Uncategorized

109679_noisemaker5Aaaand it’s just about the end of the year.  That means I have to start thinking about what my resolutions for next year are going to be, as well as doing taxes.

Let’s start with resolutions.  This year I wanted to get in shape, to read more, and to spend more time on my hobbies.  Did I accomplish any of those?  Well, I did work out more this year than previous years.  In fact, I did quite a bit of running this year, I feel better, and I lost a little bit of fat.  It’s amazing how good working out makes you feel.  Sometimes I’ll go for a run in the morning and I feel great for the rest of the day.  It’s like it gets me started for the day, kind of like what most people rely on coffee for.

Next up was reading.  Did I read more this year?  No (unless you include reading forums online, in which case, yes, I absolutely read a lot this year, lol).  But I still have a bookcase full of books that I bought with the intention of reading, but haven’t read most of yet.  They’re almost all non-fiction books, ranging from finance to art to foreign language.  I will go to bookstores and pick up books that I totally plan on reading, and then end up not reading them.  I also buy a lot of used books on Amazon and do the same thing with them.

And next up is hobbies.  Did I spend more time on my hobbies?  No.  Why?  Mostly cuz I was working a lot, so I guess that’s a legit excuse, right?  Except it’s not, really.  I recently took an interest in painting and have been wanting to learn how to paint.  I’m really not very good, but I do enjoy it.

So my resolutions for next year: keep exercising, actually read some of the books I have, and try to paint a few days each week.

On to taxes.  I always do my taxes myself to try and save money and I always wonder if I’m leaving money on the table.  It also seems that each year my taxes get more an more complicated.  It was easy when I was just working and that was it.  Then I started investing and had to pay taxes on dividends and capital gains.  Then I bought a house and a mortgage made everything more complicated.  My best friend keeps telling me to just hire an accountant.  He uses a chartered accountant Five Dock and says he just drops everything off and it all gets taken care of.  I may actually have to give that a try, seeing as how I spend hours and hours on mine and I’m still not sure if I’m getting all the money back that I could be.

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Things You Shouldn’t Talk About

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speak-no-evilIt seems that everyone will come across a few topics here and there that are difficult to discuss with other people.  Everyone always hears that you shouldn’t discuss politics, religion, or money with people, which, by the way, is good advice.  People have really strong political beliefs and finding out that the person you’re talking to believes the opposite of what you believe can create a huge rift of awkwardness.  I think this is because one’s political beliefs tie into the core of who that person is, and so when someone has beliefs that aren’t compatible with yours, you might assume that person isn’t compatible with you, either.

Obviously religion is an even bigger hot topic issue which I don’t even need to explain here.

And then you’ve got money.  It’s not people’s beliefs about money that cause the issue, but rather it’s how much of it they have (or make).  It causes jealousy, bitterness, and resentment.  Take two friends who are about the same age.  Then one day they find out that one friend makes $80,000 and the other friend makes $30,000.  Do you think things are going to be the same between them anymore?

I’ve found another topic that can cause people to become just as heated as the above topics, and that is guns.  People tend to have very strong beliefs about gun control, ranging from the extreme “give everyone a firearm” to the opposite extreme “take all firearms away,” to everything in the middle.

And I’ve found that personally, unlike with politics, it’s been much harder for me to decide where I fall in the gun control issue.  Do I think that keeping firearms away from criminals and the mentally unstable is a good idea?  Yes.  Do I think that Americans should be able to have guns to defend themselves?  Yes.  Do I think that making guns illegal is going to prevent criminals from getting them?  Of course not.  It didn’t work in Chicago, and I don’t think it’s going to work anywhere else.

I think that owing a firearm is a privilege and not a right.  Only responsible people should be allowed to have guns, and they should be required to have the appropriate gun safe accessories to go with it.  Obviously no system is going to be perfect, however.  Oh, and no high powered assault weapons.  Seriously.  You don’t need to be able to spray 500 rounds per minute.  Sure, they might be cool if you’re a gun nut, but you don’t need one.  Military fighter jets are also cool if you’re a plane nut but that doesn’t mean you can go buy an F-16 and keep it in your backyard.

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New Years in Indonesia

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1370377_mountainI got some exciting news today.  My brother and his family invited me to come celebrate New Years with them in Indonesia!  I enjoy traveling but haven’t really been able to do much recently, and I think he knew that I was getting the urge to go somewhere again, plus I haven’t seen him since he got married, so it must’ve seemed like a good reason to invite me.

So am I going to go?  Of course!  I’ve already started reading about the different islands and seeing everything that is available to do.  I know my brother and his family probably have some specific things in mind that they want to show me, too.  One thing that is nice about this arrangement is that I can stay with them, which means I don’t have to spend money on a hotel.

My brother moved to Indonesia a few years ago because of his work, and he is always talking about how nice it is.  He actually got another job there with a different company, and I remember when he was telling me that he wasn’t really sure he was happy at his then current job, and I asked him if he was planning on moving back home to America and he laughed and said no, he wanted to stay in Indonesia.  And I remember when he called me to say he had found another job and was going to be staying there.

I have to admit, it does look nice from the pictures I’ve seen.  Growing up in the north, we’ve never had tropical weather or beaches or anything like that.  That’s the kind of thing I think of when I think of a vacation, but he lives there.  It almost seems like another world to me.

Speaking of things that are different, my brother was explaining to me that Indonesia is actually a bunch of different islands, so it’s not like in the US when you can just drive wherever you want to go.  If you want to from, say, Jakarta to Bali, you’d have to fly or take a boat.  That seems so strange coming from a country that is pretty much all connected by land.  But he said there are some local airlines like Garuda Indonesia and tickets are really cheap (by US standards).  When I first heard that you have to fly to get around like that I figured it would be expensive like it is here.

Anyway, I’m looking forward to it.  My brother says I’m going to fall in love with the country and want to stay there like he did.  Considering it’s like 30 degrees Fahrenheit here today, he might be right!

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Getting Back Into Shape

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This year is the year that I finally decide to get in shape. I have a really good friend who started running last year and his results have been impressive to say the least. He started out completely out of shape and barely able to run, and after a little over a year he can run a 5K race with a pretty good time.

I was in shape in high school. I was actually in really good shape. Life happened after high school, though. I stopped playing sports and I started college. College life was a little too “good” to me, and I gained around ten kilograms. Then, I graduated college, got married and started working in an office environment. Not to anyone’s surprise, I actually packed on another 15 kilos. Well, I’ve noticed that I’ve been having issues doing tasks that should be relatively simple lately, so I’ve made the commitment to start getting into shape.

My friend, the runner, is going to help me do this. I started on my own about a week ago, but after trying to run on the treadmill for a few minutes, my legs felt like they were on fire. I talked to my buddy and he told me that I needed better equipment for the job. One of the first things I need to do is go to a decent shoe place and get a nice set of trainers from getthelabel.com The problems I had with my ankles and calves, according to my friend, are because my shoes are not designed for running at all and I need to address this before I move on.

When I was younger, I’m sure having the best equipment didn’t matter as much, but now that I’m older and seem to break easier for lack of a better phrase, it makes sense that I should invest in  some quality trainers to protect myself from injury. I’ve did some research online and I think I’m going to end up going to get fitted for the perfect shoes next weekend. I honestly didn’t realize exactly how many options there were nor did I realize how many different measurements / variables there are in correctly choosing a pair of trainers.

I’m hoping that through my own willpower and the help of my friend that I’m able to at least finish a 5k in six months and in one year, I’d like to be able to finish within a couple of minutes of him. I know that’s quite a goal because he is a beast when it comes to running but I have no doubt in my mind that I can do this as long as I stay on track.

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Oh, I Got You Something

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mgySXCmWhat’s the deal with giving people gifts?  Sorry, I’m not trying to sound like Jerry Seinfeld here.  But really.  The way I see it, there are 3 possible situations in which people give gifts:

1) to try and get in someone’s good graces/make them like you

2) obligation (like your friend’s birthday)

3) because you see something you think the person would like/were thinking of the person

Alright, number one up there is a bunch of nonsense.  I know that people do that all the time, whether they’re supplicating to someone they’re dating or trying to butter someone up at work, or even trying to bribe someone, but it’s still nonsense.  If you think about a high value person, they’re not really going to change their opinion of you based on if you give them a present or not (although if you disagree, you are welcome to send me presents…)

Number 2.  Social convention.  This is the one that gives me issues.  When I give my friends gifts, it’s more because of reason 3 than this one.  I know you’re supposed to give a gift on someone’s birthday, but I do it because I want to.  Do you see the difference?  Although I have a love/hate relationship with this custom because sometimes I can find some really cool gifts, but other times I just can’t think of anything and have to get my gift ideas from the internet.

The third reason up there is the best.  Looking back, the best gifts I have been given were gifts that people got me just because, not because they felt like they had to.  Not only does that take the pressure off of everything, but you also know you’re getting the gift for the right reason, because someone saw something and it reminded them of you, or they were like “hey, I know who would love this!”  That’s the way to do it.

I have some friends who give gifts all the time, and honestly I love my friends, but it’s just like hey, you don’t really have to do this.  I’ll still like you even if you don’t get me stuff.  Plus, then it’s like what, are you expecting me to get you stuff all the time, too?  Cuz I’m probably not going to.  No offense, it’s just not how I am.

And then you’ve got the people who actually do expect gifts.  I dated someone like that once.  They thought that if I didn’t get them things that I didn’t like them.  It was like giving gifts was the only expression of love they understood.  You may have guessed that relationship didn’t last.

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Everyone Loves Their Phones

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I was just thinking early today about how much time I spend on my phone each day. We were talking about it during lunch at work, too, because we were all sitting at a table in the cafe eating and one of my coworkers made the comment that every few minutes someone pulled their phone out to check something.  She was right!  We all started to laugh every time it happened after that.  We looked around at the other people (who didn’t know they were being observed) and people were indeed checking their phones every few minutes.  Some people even had their phones out on the table in case they got an important text or whatever.

I’m guilty of doing the same thing, though, so I can’t really judge, I can just laugh along with it.  What did we all do 15 years ago before we all had cell phones?  Or if we did have a phone, it was a huge Zack Morris phone that cost $2/min to use and didn’t have any games?

Speaking of games, cell phone games are awesome.  I’m not even kidding when I say that probably half of the time I spend on my phone is not doing work or talking to someone, but playing games.  In the last 24 hours I have played Words With Friends (basically like Scrabble) with my sister, who always beats me.  She’s younger than me by a few years so you would assume that I would win, right?  Pssh!  She crushes me.  In the game we’re playing right now, there are 8 words on the board and I’m already losing by 30 points.  I can’t leave out Angry Birds, which was the first game that got me into cell phone games.  I remember when I downloaded it and ended up going to be an hour late because I was playing it.  I kept telling myself “ok, just one more round.”  Ha, that didn’t work very well.  Recently I found a site with Angry Birds walkthrough videos, so when I can’t beat a level, I can see the solution.  I also have a chess game.  I’m terrible at chess but I like it and want to get better.  Fortunately, this game has like 10 difficulty settings.  I usually leave it on the easiest, and even then sometimes I still lose.  And then I have Draw Something, which is my new obsession.   Half the time when I check my phone, I’m looking to see if someone has sent me a drawing yet.  The only thing I don’t like about that game are the ads that force you to watch a video between turns, and the fact that sometimes the drawings I send don’t go through.

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Distracted at work

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I can’t believe it’s already 3pm.  I even got to work early today and I feel like I haven’t gotten anything done yet.  I haven’t even eaten lunch yet!  We actually have a cafeteria in our building which is pretty cool because you can just run downstairs and get lunch.  Sometimes there are long lines, but at least you don’t have to go anywhere, and if it’s a day that you happen to be really busy, you can just bring your lunch back upstairs and eat it at your desk.  My problem right now is that the cafeteria closes at 3pm and it’s 3:11pm right now, so that means I’m gonna have to order a pizza or something.

So anyway, I got distracted this morning because I’ve been looking for a new truck recently, and when I got to work this morning I was the only one on my team in the office, so I decided before I started my work, I was going to look around on Neo Trucks while I had my coffee.  Well, that turned into like 2 hours and before I knew it, everyone was here.  Whoops.

My current truck has around 180,000 miles on it and it’s just starting to have one issue after another now.  I feel like it’s been in the shop more than it’s been in my garage over the last few months.  I figure 180,000 miles if decent and it’s time to start thinking about a replacement.

I never buy new vehicles, though.  You know the old saying about how they lose 15% of their value as soon as you drive them off the lot or whatever.  I prefer to buy them with between 10,000-40,000 miles on them so they’re still relatively “new” but don’t carry the price tag of a new vehicle.  I know some people like getting a new vehicle so that they’re the only owner, but it’s worth it to me to save a few thousand dollars.

I also can’t believe I’ve had this much time to write this post right now.  I’m waiting for this job to finish running in Mainframe (yes, we still use Mainframe) and it’s taking its time.  Anyway, I should finish this up so I can go order my pizza.  I want to hurry up and get my work done so I can go home and spend the rest of the evening looking at used trucks.  I’d like to have purchased one before winter gets here.

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More Reponses to “Moving Past…”

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This seems to be a strong topic!  Here is some more input that people had:

I am against it, putting your emotions in the hands of the wrong people is always wrong regardless whether they are family or not. I also had this black hole family syndrome, were id be getting sucked up in the drama of the family of my fathers side, stuff started as kids, my mother got denied by my grandmother, she even held separate santa party’s for one side of the family and us.

We just stopped going there, and when my grandmother died i didn’t even attend her funeral, why the heck should i ? I don’t consider them as family, albeit your situation is worse because your mother is the crazy one in this, but the principle is the same.

You shouldn’t consider them as family anymore, screw them and their problems. The thing is you feel ‘ involved ‘ because you are her son, and feel a ‘natural’ responsibility to take care blah blah blah. But to hell with it, she chased you out of your life , and now you are gone forever, you shouldn’t even debate about it, just don’t consider her as family anymore, don’t answer her or your family calls, goodbye and good riddance.

This because these people only added misery to your life, and you need to choose to add only good things in your life. You are an adult and you don’t need her anymore in your life, and she’s supposed to be old enough to understand the consequences of her own actions, you stay out of it, just consider her and the others as strangers and not as family anymore, detach and start living your own life.

You need to know where to draw the lines in your life, think about it ‘you aren’t the one who made her mad, she herself caused this mess to begin with, and not everything is your responsibility in your life, but because its family you ‘feel its got something to do with you’, which leads to you being sucked into a sickening psychological black hole, thru a game that your mother is playing with your heart, well guess what , you aint buying it, you have to protect yourself against the wrong people in this life, even if they are family,even if it is your mother, it doesn’t automatically mean that these people have the ‘best’ of interest in their children, does the alcoholic father who beats up his children do that because he loves them? , no because he’s a sick psycho who belongs in jail and get psychiatric treatment as well as a treatment to get rid of his alcohol addiction, you think a child should stay with such a person? Now that you are an adult you’d say ‘NO WAY IN HELL’, but for you its the same principle, except its a more subtle form of emotional abuse.

“you were a kid, no one including yourself will or should hold it against you for not being able to understand this and no one could expect a kid to ‘deal’ with this’ , therefore you should leave that in peace, and be at peace with the thought that you finally made the right decision in your life when you had the opportunity, which was to throw this sicko out of your life. You aren’t the appointed person to ‘fix’ the parent, its not a childs job to mentally correct their parents, its the psychiatrists job to do that. So distanceyourself, and just let the doctors do the work instead, and don’t worry about it anymore.

You draw a line because you also have your limits as a human being, and you just happily live your own life forever, case closed end of it.

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