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2012.12.11 05:43 Encouraging Progress since 2012

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2023.06.07 18:59 micktalian The Gardens of Deathworlders (Part 24)

Part 24 Working Towards Peace (Part 1) (Part 23)

“I still don’t understand how the hell you, of all people, were able to score the first live interview with a Nishnabe and I didn’t get anything!” Shelby West’s perfectly choreographed hair, make up, and outfit looked absolutely pristine despite the scowl on her face as she watched the much more simply dressed woman set up a consumer-grade camera system. “I even demanded that my First Amendment Rights to the free press be respected, and they just looked at me like I was stupid!”

“I mean, did you try asking them nicely?” Cherry turned from the equipment she was setting with a sarcastic smirk on her face, her floof of rainbow hair bouncing as she did so. “That’s what I did, and they were really cool with me.”

“Oh, hardy har har. You’re so funny, Cherry.” Shelby rolled her eyes so hard it almost looked like they would get stuck like that. “But seriously though, I’m pissed! That should have been my interview! I got there first!”

As much as Cherry didn’t want to be a sounding board for her ex-girlfriend's childish complaints, she also didn’t want to give Shelby any excuse to cause a scene right before a press conference, especially with other people around. Even though the tight-fitting pin-stripe pants suit, precisely paired by a sharply detailed blazer with a popped up collar, and the completely over the top curled pompadour certainly looked good, the person wearing it could become quite loud quite quickly. When Cherry had initially shown up at the entrance to the Pinkerton facility where a battle had just taken place, she was one of the first to do so, had been recognized by a guard near the gate, and ushered into a tent-like structure for safety. As a few more journalists began to arrive just as she had, they were all informed there would be a press conference soon where they would be given an update on the current situation and have the opportunity to ask questions. As nerve racking and exciting as the past half hour or so had been for the rainbow haired woman, suddenly seeing her ex be ushered into the tent, immediately making eye contact with her, and then just starting to talk to her, had completely ruined this experience.

“I’m surprised they even let you in here." Cherry shot back while returning to her camera to properly align the focus. “I heard STAR Net was implicated in the First Contact Kidnapping Plot.”

“Oh, and where’d you hear that?” The brunette pomp atop the finely dressed woman’s head bobbed as pulled her head back and chin down, crossed her arms, and took up a much more defensive stance.

“I saw the names of the STAR Net board of directors on the list of people the Nishnabe have detained." Cherry nonchalantly replied. "And the charges against them."

“The what?!?” The shout drew the eyes of a few of the other reporters and guards nearby, though none gave the pair of bickering women a second glance.

“You know what a board of directors is.” Cherry had finally gotten her camera just right and started giggling at her own joke.

“The list, god damn it!” Shelby lightly stomped her wedge-heel in indignation.

“Look, Shelbs.” Cherry turned so that she could lock eyes with the other woman. “I told you 5 years ago, I’m not doing your homework anymore. If you want to call yourself a journalist, you need to do your own research.”

“Ahmahgah, no! I have a team for that!” The immaculately dressed woman scoffed with a valley girl accent so thick it made Cherry’s eyes roll in response. "You'd know what that's like if you worked for people who actually had a budget."

"And look how well informed you are." The sarcasm in that statement was palpable as the rainbow haired woman turned her attention to her laptop to finish her broadcasting and recording set up. "You get what you pay for and if you want something done right, you should be able to do it yourself."

"They get paid well!" Shelby shot back, more annoyed that her former lover wasn't giving her more attention than at the fact she wasn't aware of information she should have been reporting on. “But seriously though, what list?”

Rather than continuing with the back and forth, Cherry simply focused on her task and clicked through a few options on her computer to get all of the settings just right. Unlike Shelby and the few other reporters brave or stupid enough to approach the site of a recent battle which included high altitude atomic detonations, the rainbow haired woman from Mars preferred this more hands-on approach to reporting. Where all the others simply trusted their drone-based, AI-operated broadcasting systems to work without any real interaction, Cherry knew better than that. Despite how far simple AI, particularly image-recognition AI, had come over the years, nothing could compare to that human touch which transcended any attempt at emulation. Though she might never consider herself among the legends like Hunter S. Thompson or Bob Woodward, Cherry would rather spend time perfecting her craft than arguing with her ex.

"Ah, come on CareBear, don't be like that." Seeing as her sass was getting her nowhere in a hurry, Shelby tried to change tactics and was now using her sweetest tone of voice. "Pwitty pwease!"

"Oh my god!” Cherry burst out with the most annoyed tone she could muster before pressing in a few commands into her laptop and bringing up a blank internet browser tab. “I swear to God, if it weren’t for me you would never have gotten your degree!”

“So, you’ll tell me?”

“I’m not telling you shit, I’m showing you how to look it up yourself.” The bombastic side eye Cherry shot Shelby’s way did little to hinder the giddy expression on the other woman's prim and proper face. “You just open a new tab on your browser, go to the Nishnabe Web portal, and then it’ll bring a search page that looks like every over search page I’ve ever seen. From there, you can search anything you want, and you can probably find it.” As she was describing the incredibly simple process, she was also giving a live demonstration.

“And if I wanted to search that list you mentioned?” With the prodding this obvious, the demonstration and explanation halted.

“I swear, if you write a report on this and I’m not cre-” Cherry was about to demand she be properly recognized for her work before something particularly hurtful crossed her mind. “Ah, who am I kidding, it’s not like you ever actually write any of your reports yourself. Probably just paying some minimum wage intern to do that for you. And it shows.”

“Harsh…” Shelby faked an offended tone even though she knew it was true. “But… as you were saying…”

“Fine… I looked up military engagements…” The term was quickly typed into the keyboard and the homepage was suddenly replaced by a simplistic though highly informative search results page. “And, you can see the first link is to the Nishnabe Militia War Chief’s Council page. When yah click that, it brings you to the most boring yet transparent government website I’ve ever seen. Here’s a list of active and resolved military actions that goes from the most recent strike on ConSec and the Pinkertons, all the way back to their very first official military engagement just under 1100 years ago.”

“There is no way they just…” Without meaning to, Shelby had suddenly found herself actually reading the information on the screen instead of waiting for it to be told to her.

“Yeup.” Cherry clicked to the link to the most recent, and still unresolved, engagement at the top of the list. “You can see the number killed, wounded, or captured, the total resource expenditure, and even their tactical plans.”

“That has to be bullshit.” The utter disbelief was written all across the overdressed woman’s face. “There is absolutely no way a military, or any government body, would be this transparent. Look! They have a list of everyone who’s supposedly deployed right now. This has to be misinformation or something.”

“I mean…” Cherry clicked the link as she had done earlier and began scrolling down the list of names, some with pictures, until she came to a face that was standing in the room at that moment. “Zab-sh-pak-i-wen?” She attempted to pronounce the name while turning to a nearby guard who was clad in advanced armor, but with his helmet down and face exposed.

“Ehe? Ni je na, ngwabjegen-nankwe?” The Zabshpakiwen turned and looked at the women with a stoic expression and tone.

“Oh my god, he can’t be the same person, no way!” Though Shelby’s make up and hair weren’t disturbed in the least, she now had a look of utter shock on her face. “What did he say?”

“If you put the translator they gave you into your ear, you could understand him just fine.” Cherry began rubbing the bridge of her nose in frustration, the Nishnabe man had started lightly chuckling, and Shelby fumbled with the small translation device she had been given early before wedging it into her ear.

“I said, ‘Yes? What’s up, rainbow-hair?’” Zab repeated himself after he saw the elaborately dressed woman had placed in her translator.

“Sorry, I didn’t mean to bug you.” Cherry answered for herself and Shelby while nodding politely towards the man and putting on a friendly smile. “She just doesn’t believe that your military or government would be this open with information like who is currently deployed and where."

“There is no way-!” Cherry half shouted before quickly calming after realizing how easy it was going to be to have a conversation with this Nishnabe man. “Do you guys really just have personal information like this available to anyone?”

“What? Has Earth not developed social media yet?” Sarcasm oozed from the man as he let a light smirk form on his face.

“Of course!” There was just a bit too much sass in Shelby's response. “I have 30 million followers on-”

“And do y’all ever put links between your social media profiles and your places of employment?”

"I mean…When you put it like that.." Shelby couldn't help but feel embarrassed after realizing she had multiple links between her profile on the company website and her personal social media accounts. "So, like, if I made a profile on your…"

"We just call it the Web. Like a spiderweb." Zab was trying his best not to look at the woman like she was dumb, especially considering he had overheard she had a degree, but he was failing. "And a few randoms have already sent me connection requests. But I haven't responded to any of them yet because I've never actually met any of those people."

"One of those was probably from me." Cherry interjected quietly and drew looks from both of the others. "Sorry, I couldn't help myself when I was doing my research."

"Eee, it's all good." The man chuckled with an almost flirtatious tone. "I think I overheard your name is Cherry, right?"

"Yeup! Cherry Sanchez." There was a hesitant excitement in the rainbow haired woman's voice while the man pulled what looked like a hand-sized panel from his chest armor which was revealed to be a small data-tablet. As the man began typing into his device, Cherry added a bit of clarification. "There's a cherry emoji between the first and last name."

"Huh… I was wondering what that was." Zab commented before pressing in a few commands then placing the panel-like tablet back on his armor. "But, if I'm being completely honest, my profile is pretty boring. You're mostly just gonna see pictures of my family and places I've been."

Before anything else could be said, Cherry’s laptop made a ding sound and a small pop-up notification indicated the request had been accepted. Instinctually, the woman clicked on the notification and was brought to a list of her current and pending connections which revealed that Zab was not the first Nishnabe Cherry had connected with. Seeing how her ex was already far more popular among the Nishnabe than she was, Shelby couldn't help but feel the sting of jealousy hit her soul.

"Shit, how many followers do you already have?" Shelby nearly scoffed at seeing her normally shy and reserved former lover being so outgoing with these Native Americans from space.

"It's just some of the people I met when I interviewed Wish. And a few people like Zabship…" Cherry's relatively shy nature was starting to come out as she struggled to pronounce Zab's full name.

"Just Zab." The flirtiness, though now quite obvious, was still fairly professional. "It can also be hard for the Hi-Koth in my Clan to pronounce Nishnabemwin fully, so I'm use to it."

"What's a Hi-Koth?" Shelby's question, which could have been answered in under a minute if she had just looked it up herself, prompted Zab to nod towards Cherry's laptop.

"Click on my profile, the second picture is me with my clanmate Arichacon." The nonchalant way the man casually mentioned he had a picture with an alien, who was a member of his extended family no less, caused the finely dressed woman’s eyes to grow wide. "He's a Hi-Koth and one of the best forestry specialists I've ever met. The man really gets what it means to be one with nature, if you know what I'm talkin' about."

By the time Shelby had turned from the Nishnabe warrior and back to the laptop, Cherry had already brought up Zab's profile, clicked to the second picture, and enlarged the image so it's contents would be clear. On the screen was the man the women were talking to, wearing a far more ornate, feathered outfit as opposed to his combat armor, standing next to what Shelby could have sworn was a slightly orange-tinted brown bear. At first, she almost thought that this was an AI generated image of a bear dressed like a viking. However, upon realizing the mountain of fur had 4 arms, slightly elongated limb proportions, and entirely unique details on their clothing, she realized this was an actual alien. Where Shelby's mouth was slightly agape, her jaw was now almost on the floor.

"That's an alien?!?" This outburst was both loud enough and interesting enough to catch and keep the attention of a few of the other reporters who were nearby and now trying to catch a glimpse of the laptop's screen without making their efforts obvious.

"Well… we just think of them as people, not… aliens. Especially people like Ari.” Zab tried to explain in the most compassionate way he could despite being mildly annoyed at the over-the-top reporter. “He was born on Shkegpewen, same as me, and only about a week before me. And he’s a member of my Clan so, in my opinion, he’s family.”

“I am so sorry.” Shelby quickly apologized in an accent that was surprisingly neutral and tone that was incredibly honest compared to how she had been speaking up until that point. “I didn’t mean to offend and I promise I won’t make that mistake again. But, if you don't mind me asking what do you mean by Clan? I heard you say 'Dodem', then the translator thingy said 'Clan' and kinda whispered 'extended, community-based family unit' in my ear."

“Um… that sounds about right...” Zab searched the finely dressed woman’s eyes to see if she was messing with him. However, he didn't have long to look before his attention was suddenly taken and he looked off to the side as if listening to someone speaking into his ear. "Sorry but questions are gonna have to wait a bit. I just got word that the conference is going to start in five minutes, so make sure you're ready.”

"Oh shit!" Cherry blurted before returning to her laptop and resuming her set up.

"I guess I should make sure my equipment is working too." Shelby muttered while pulling out her smartphone and scrolling to the app that controlled her camera drone.

Despite not having done any research herself, or even really knowing what to ask in this news conference beyond the script her bosses had already sent her, the overly dressed woman was quite proficient with her own broadcasting and recording equipment. With just a few clicks of her long acrylic nails on her phone screen, the four-legged camera and microphone platform had made all of the necessary adjustments to do its job perfectly. While Cherry had just finished inputting commands into her computer after spending nearly half an hour setting up the camera and mic, Shelby's system was ready to go in just a few moments. Even though her research team may have failed to give her the amount of information necessary to do her job independently, they had uploaded the necessary translation software updates to her drone systems. However, as she stood there for a moment in silence, Shelby couldn’t shake the strange feeling she got whenever she was nervous but not directly interacting with someone.

Before she could try to restart the conversation between herself, her ex-girlfriend, and the Nishnabe warrior who had actually, willingly exchanged more than a few short words with her, a few more Nishnabe entered the tent carrying a fold out table, a couple similarly compacted chairs, a pair of panel-like objects, and something that almost looked like a large perch. As the armored warriors quickly set up the accommodations, the chairs and table were like any other Shelby had seen at dozens of other press conferences. However, the pair of strange technological devices were set up in such a way as to create a sort of a structure with one panel about two meters above the other, and the perch placed in the space between them. Though she heard a slight hum coming from the panels, and she could see that Cherry was now staring at them as well, Shelby had absolutely no idea what they were for. With less than a minute before the conference started, both women knew they would have to ask soon if they wanted any reasonable explanation.

“What’re those?” The pair of women spoke and looked towards Zab in almost perfect synchronization.

“Grav-panels. Have you not developed those yet?” The completely casual tone in Zab’s voice which matched his expression caused both women to stare at him like he was cracking a joke at their expense. “What? Those are super common everywhere on Shkegpewen. Non-humans usually can’t handle deathworld gravity for extended periods without some kind of accommodations.”

Though Zab knew he had just unintentionally let slip was supposed to be a surprise for these reporters who have taken the time, and risked their own safety, to come here in hopes of a story, the reveal was just a moment or two away. In the second it took the women to realize the implications of what the man had just said, it was already too late. The respectful murmur that had filled the tent for well over an hour fell completely silent and broadcasting systems immediately activated. For a few seconds the only sounds that could be heard in the tent were the tapping of high-dollar military dress shoes, the soft thuds of advanced combat boots, and the clicking of talons across the ground. As Cherry and Shelby joined the rest of the reports in the stunned stares towards the front of the long tent, they saw a US Army General they were all familiar with, a Nishnabe warrior in particularly ornate and advanced armor they didn’t recognize, and a non-terrestrial golden avian wearing a beautifully styled red and black vest-like top. With this being the first time any of the reporters in the room had seen an alien in person, all of them were unable to do anything besides stare as the group took their seats and the press conference began.

"Good afternoon, everyone. Please, take a seat and let's get this started." General Andrews addressed the reporters with the tone of a hardened military commander. "As you all likely already know, my name is General Robert Andrews of the United States Army. I arrived at this location a few hours ago at the request of President Carnegie and I just finished briefing him on the Nishnabe presence in American sovereign territory. I have positively assured him, and now I would like to assure the American people, that we have nothing to fear from the Nishnabe Confederacy. Though their actions over the past week may seem aggressive, within their own context they have been quite reserved with their capabilities. Most importantly, they have no intent of undermining or threatening the United States, any of the United Nations of the Earth Sphere of Influence, or any governmental body in the solar system."

The General paused for a moment to allow what he had just said to fully sink in for all those who were now watching all across the Earth and beyond.

"Now, I would like to introduce War Chief Msko-Pkwenech of the Nishnabe Militia, the acting commander of all Nishnabe forces in this system, and Royal Ambassador Viscountess Tarki Gebron Shlin of House Dreyuk, who is currently acting as a neutral diplomat and expert in galactic laws." Despite having only been able to practice the pronunciation of the unfamiliar names a few times, Andrews was able to get them out perfectly as he respectfully indicated towards them. "I will allow them to give more details in a moment but first, I would like to make a request to the American people. As we move past this difficult beginning between ourselves and the Nishnabe, and into a more cooperative phase of this relationship, please take into consideration the fact that the Nishnabe are human beings who have been separated from Earth for nearly 1200 years. We should be welcoming back these stolen members of humanity, not treating them as hostile invaders. Ambassador Shlin, if you would please, explain the legal context surrounding the military actions that have taken place on American soil."

There was a genuinely friendly smile that had formed on the War Chief's face as he nodded his head slightly in agreement with what the General had said while the General motioned for Tarki to speak.

"Thank you, General.” Tarki was speaking in the best English she could muster, much to the shock of reporters who were sitting silently. “To get straight to the important parts, the initial strike against the United Heavy Industries Headquarters was carried out by elements of the First Fleet of the Third Qui’ztar Matriarchy because that was the location where the family members of a member of the human first contact team were held against their will. We have been able to collect irrefutable evidence showing that the board of directors of both UHI and STAR Net conspired together to kidnap a pair of disabled individuals as a means of asserting leverage over the first contact team. However, upon investigating further, it was discovered that both UHI and STAR Net have been engaging in the production of autonomous, non-sentient combat-AI and technologies with which to enslave Awakened AI, both of which are very serious crimes in the eyes of the Galactic Community Council. The investigation into the site will conclude soon and control of the site will be returned to the United States government within the next few days.”

A collective sigh of relief could be felt not just from the reporters in the tent but from every single person watching the live broadcast. Though more and more Nishnabe had been responding to various calls for peaceful forms of aid from people across the Solar System, the major of Earth’s population were still concerned over the potential for a full on invasion despite how limited the military actions so far had been. With a direct announcement from an alien that there was no intent on expanding, or even continuing, military operations alleviated quite a few worried souls.

“As for the military action here at Red Lake…” The golden avian was slightly less confident with herself as she continued and looked towards the Nishnabe warrior who was seated next to her. “I feel it may be better for the War Chief to give proper context.”

"First of all, I would like to apologize for not yet knowing the common language of this land." In contrast to the other two who had spoken before him, Msko made no attempt to speak in English. "And second, I would like to extend my condolences to the families of those slain here today. Up until the moment of those atomic weapons detonated, I truly hoped this would end without bloodshed. Even though the Constellis-Securitas Corporation ordered an assault on a group of Nishnabe aid workers and attempted to murder not only my people, but also the innocent people they were assisting, I hoped we could simply scare them into submission. However, they simply left us no other choice than to end the threat."

Despite the remorseful expression on Msko's face, it was clear he didn't regret his actions. Rather, he simply wished there had been a better alternative than to shed the blood of his own species. As the War Chief continued, his dower expression began to grow brighter as he tried to focus on the future he wanted to see for his whole species.

"When the nuclear fire was absorbed by the shielding of my mechanized walker as I dropped on this facility my worst fear was that those would be the opening volleys of an extended and painful conflict." The War Chief glanced over towards the General with a slight but genuinely friendly smile on his face. "However, after a quite pleasant conversation with General Andrews here, I have real hope that this battle will be the final time weapons will be used in anger between members of our. Moving forward, the Nishnabe Militia is pledging to act strictly in concert with local governments, and to not initiate any military actions without express permission from the local government. We are not here as invaders, nor do we have any intention of forcing your governments to do anything they would not willingly do on their own. All we ask is that if you see a Nishnabe in your local community on an aid or environmental restoration mission, please do not accost or harass them. We are your cousins and we just want to see the home we were stolen from again."

Msko let his plea hang in the air for a long few seconds to ensure that the translation was completed and the people of Earth and the Sol System would be able to absorb what he had just said. Regardless of the technological gap between the Nishnabe and the rest of humanity, the explicit pledge of peace was so sincere that many people watching the press conference at home were beginning to cheer. However, Msko knew that wouldn't be enough for some, especially those most paranoid and scared of change.

"Over the past few days, and especially over the past few hours, Nishnabe diplomatic teams have been reaching out to the various governmental bodies across the Sol System in an attempt to arrange a grand meeting between all of the various political and economic groups in this system to discuss a peaceful and voluntary transition towards Galactic Standards." This revelation by the War Chief, though already known to those who had done sufficient research, was not something that the majority of humanity was aware of. "Aside from particular military technologies and clandestine corporate actions, which are already mostly illegal under your own laws, your diverse governments are largely in compliance with galactic laws and thus will be granted access to all of the technologies my people have access to. In order to better facilitate that transition, and to promote a mutual sense of compassion and understanding, Fleet Admiral Atxika of the First Fleet of the Third Matriarchy has agreed to host a convention on The Hammer. We are now publicly extending an invitation to all government, corporate, and media representatives to join us in the Council of Peace in order to lay the groundwork for a long and prosperous future for humanity. We will now be fielding questions."
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2023.06.07 17:28 missmegzy106 AITA for telling my mom she has terrible taste in friends?

I (29f) have always had a rocky relationship with my mom, we just have never clicked. She wanted the perfect preppy daughter and I've always been the eclectic kid. She wanted me to shop at stores like Hollister and American eagle and I preferred thrift stores, making my own clothes, and rag stock. She wanted me to play sports or be a cheerleader but after I broke my back in 7th grade, I couldn't.
Cut to this year and my mom is telling me about this group of friends that she's going on all these trips with. I told her that's great and I'm happy that her and my dad are traveling. Then she tells me that one of the girls she's traveling with is a girl my age... It's my high school bully. This woman, let's call her Laura, tormented me. She made fun of me, spread a rumor through our confirmation class that I was pregnant and a druggie even though I was a virgin till after high school, used to shove pictures of pigs in my locker because she said my nose made me look like babe, pushed me into lockers, stole my clothes from gym class, and so much more.
I didn't say anything. I figured 10 years is a long time and I'm not going to ruin my mom's new friendships by reminding her of our past. That was until she told me about their latest trip. She told me all the things that Laura was doing and how her mom must be so proud. Marrying her husband, her high school sweetheart. Opening a business with her husband in downtown our hometown. All that I bit my tongue through. But then she started making comments about how Laura takes care of herself better than I do. Her words, she actually takes pride in how she looks. Make sure her hair is always curled for her husband and maybe if I took an extra half hour I could get a husband like Laura did.
I snapped. I said Laura had to make sure her hair was perfectly curled to distract from the fact that she was cheating with other guys, I mean she's been doing it since high school. My mom said that is a cruel rumor to say after all these years. I said you didn't seem to care when she was cruel to me and spreading rumors that I was a drug addict and knocked up. My mom said she wished I could be more mature and move on from stuff that happened so long ago. I said I wished you had better taste in friends and found some halfway decent people to spend time with instead of a narcissistic former cheerleader who peaked in high school and now has to find her friends in people our parents age.
I left and I haven't talked to my mom since. That was a couple days ago but hearing from my dad she wants an apology and she thinks I should contact Laura and apologize and maybe take her out for lunch to get past this. I have no interest in either of those. I feel like I might be being petty, honestly I was fine with when my mom was friends with her but hearing her compare me to Laura and how I don't stack up to this person who terrorized me was more than I could take...
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2023.06.07 12:54 User_Friendly_Guide Are the butterflies in my stomach or are these wasps

A little background about the situation it was around 7th grade when I meet them, we hitted off right away and became mutuals to the point I think both of us wouldn't mind if we wanted to make it romantic or not. However our little bond was ruined because my father didn't like them so I had no choice but to back out for their sake and my fathers sake. Fast forward present time I've come in contact with them and right away we clicked like as if the barrier I spent endless hours creating got destroyed when I responded to them. Now here's the issue that I'm facing with, a conflicting feeling that I have stirring in my gut and in my heart I genuinely see them as a friend I really do they make me happy , but for some reason whenever they compliment me or give me things I instantly feel this weird sense of dread like any moment now they would say those 3 words...I dont know what wrong I genuinely don't really know I see them as a friend but at the same time I feel really scared being around them...Countless nightmares of them saying those 3 words..which I'm assuming is from all the bad relationships I was exposed to...Is there anyone out there who can label what I'm feeling right now and what I should do??
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2023.06.07 04:06 Glittering_Writing13 how to help my transgender sibling and deal with my own feelings?

apologies for the long post and rambling, I'm just at a loss and need to get this out and get some help on what to do.... for privacy's sake, I have a sibling who I'll call O. they're transgender and this isn't new or anything to me, but what's new is my worries for them.
before this year, I really didn't give much thought to O being transgender. they're just my sibling and we annoy each other 24/7. basically they're like all of my other siblings. but now I feel immensely guilty for never giving much thought to their struggles or ever even thinking about how they might feel being "different"
just a bit of background: O has been interested in dating since 7th grade (they're in high school now) and I was aware that things were different for O than me when it comes to dating. it maybe crossed my mind once or twice like "oh, I hope the person will be accepting of O and I hope things work out." flash forward to yesterday when I'm actually with my boyfriend who I've been dating for 2 years (the best guy in the world) and we get home to find O upset in their room. O has been seeing this person (who I'll call A) for a month or so and what happened was that O tried to be up front about being transgender and A must not have taken it well and ended the relationship
while I wish more than anything that A wouldn't have ended it, I know that not everyone is open to dating someone who is transgender so after some thought I realize it's not my place to blame A
at the same time, I'm worried about O and almost feel guilty for being in a relationship myself. I know it sounds silly but I really hope someone understands where I'm coming from; it's just been really upsetting to see O upset
I can't really talk about this with anyone except a limited number of people and idk if posting anonymously was the right thing to do I'm just really upset and not sure how to best help.
thanks for reading, sorry it's long I don't know if anyone has ever been in the same boat; I just feel very alone right now
submitted by Glittering_Writing13 to asktransgender [link] [comments]

2023.06.07 03:35 Glittering_Writing13 how to support my sibling?

apologies for the long post and rambling, I'm just at a loss and need to get this out and get some help on what to do.... for privacy's sake, I have a sibling who I'll call O. they're transgender and this isn't new or anything to me, but what's new is my worries for them.
before this year, I really didn't give much thought to O being transgender. they're just my sibling and we annoy each other 24/7. basically they're like all of my other siblings. but now I feel immensely guilty for never giving much thought to their struggles or ever even thinking about how they might feel being "different"
just a bit of background: O has been interested in dating since 7th grade (they're in high school now) and I was aware that things were different for O than me when it comes to dating. it maybe crossed my mind once or twice like "oh, I hope the person will be accepting of O and I hope things work out." flash forward to yesterday when I'm actually with my boyfriend who I've been dating for 2 years (the best guy in the world) and we get home to find O upset in their room. O has been seeing this person (who I'll call A) for a month or so and what happened was that O tried to be up front about being transgender and A must not have taken it well and ended the relationship
while I wish more than anything that A wouldn't have ended it, I know that not everyone is open to dating someone who is transgender so after some thought I realize it's not my place to blame A
at the same time, I'm worried about O and almost feel guilty for being in a relationship myself. I know it sounds silly but I really hope someone understands where I'm coming from; it's just been really upsetting to see O upset
I can't really talk about this with anyone except a limited number of people and idk if posting anonymously was the right thing to do I'm just really upset and not sure how to best help.
thanks for reading, sorry it's long
I don't know if anyone has ever been in the same boat; I just feel very alone right now
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2023.06.07 00:43 Dizzy_Difficulty1888 Was I sa’d?

In 7th grade my first year of middle school my friends hung out after school and we went to the bathroom because someone wanted us to come to “hang out”. When my friends checked if anyone was in there they started kissing, they were all in a poly relationship except for me. I didn’t expect them to start kissing so I was a little uncomfortable, not because they were all girls, but because they were all making out in front of little 13 year old me. I sat on the bathroom counter because we had been in there for a solid 10 minutes. After they were done kissing each other one of them came up to me and said “you wanna kiss?” I didn’t like her so I said no. She continuously asked if I wanted to kiss even though I said no every time. After the second time they asked they put their hands on my thigh and rubbed my thighs up and down, it made me uncomfortable and my face showed that. After she stopped touching my inner thigh I got out of the bathroom and just walked in circles. One of my other friends asked if I was okay and said that they could tell I was very uncomfortable. Anyway, I can never tell what happened to me.
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2023.06.06 21:48 cloud_mom The NOT Not notfredrhodes Love Island Recap S10EP1 - the ick heard round the world

Bonjour ! We have been waiting 2 years for the Legend Fred to return, and seeing as his resurrection seems to be permanently delayed, I have made the difficult decision to continue the legacy of Point Systems, Rankings, and Generally Scathing Commentary. Inspired by Fred's wit, charm, and heroic recaps, please remember that points are arbitrary but also 100% backed by facts and science.
ANYHOW - we start off with the usual blah blah opening sequence that only served to prove to us that the Love Island producers are trolls who reverse-catfish us with promo pictures. Seriously, its been a decade, please free us from the pain and nonsense !! (-50 points to the stinky producers)
We are then introduced to our first two islanders with a back shot of their bum bums. Jump scare ! Jess immediately asks Ruchee about her type, and Ruchee panders to the ugly men of the world by leading with personality (+5 points for being polite -5 points for lying). Blah blah blah height, blah fashion, Jess is a real one for her anti white skinny jeans platform (+15 points for proactively setting boundaries).
Ruchee has been single for four months which leads me to believe she was in a relationship while applying for LI which is a Textbook MAN MOVE so +15 points to Ruchee for breaking the glass ceiling. Her feet are very small and her shoes are very large (+4 points for fashion risks) .
Following this, a MAN shows up ?!? The girls haven't had a minute alone before being whacked in the face by a medium-tall man with veneers and red bottoms. Mitchell (Red Bottoms) is just as confused as the girlies & we (the viewers) seem to be, but OK good lad for running with the punches and taking it on the chin (+1 point for going with the flow). Jess & Ruchee are both from the SOE (south of England) and Red Bottoms sees this as an opportunity to let them both know he is NOT interested. Or maybe he's just negging them. Red Bottoms asks the girls if he has to pour the drink himself, and Jess reminds him that he is a man and should behave accordingly ( RB -10 points for thinking he's hot enough to be poured for, Jess +10 points for MILF behavior). Red Bottoms asks the girls to guess his job, and is offended that Jess & Ruchee assume he's a plumber. +30 points to Jess for knowing what a Gas Safety License is. In his VT Red Bottoms mentioned that he is a "nice guy" ???? Nice try buddy, you're not fooling anyone (-200 points for Fraudulent Behavior). Also he lives with his parents.
In walks another MAN, Andre, who, unlike Red Bottoms, IS hot enough for the girls to pour him a drink so +5 points for being hot and +5 points for being so hot that Ruchee spills the champagne while pouring. He is also 21 and owns a business which feels illegal but isn't. Andre does a double cheek kiss to let the ladies know that he respects women AND is Portuguese (+8 points for being smooth). Andre is a menace, and he outs himself as such by proclaiming that one of his top features in a woman is her "bum bum". ew. (- 9 points for 7th grade terminology, -3 points for making me miss the days of "BUNDA").
BOOM - Lily Rose De- I mean Ella, shows up. She looks like Lily Rose Depp. Blah Blah what's your type blah blah tall blah blah tan blah bla- did she just say DARSKIN??? +30 points for setting the world record for LIUK girls saying tall dark and handsome and MEANING IT. Red Bottoms basically punches Andres as if he didn't hear that himself (-40 points for violence). OK he didn't PUNCH him but that nudge/smack was very cringey. Andres is living his best life (+15 points for being hot). Ella's VT is fun because she forgets how old she is. Also her VT dress has elbow cutouts (iconic).
Blah blah whats your type blah blah personality (liar) blah blah he says Ella Rose Depp is his type (-4 points for calling her Madam). Maya comes in looking BOMB AS HELL (+50 points to her stylist). Maya explains that they're switching it up a bit, and Andres is outed for flirting w/ Ella Rose Depp. He is LOUD and PROUD about it ( +10 points to Andres for having no chill). Jess proclaims that she LOVES Turkey Teef (veneers) (+4 points for radical honesty).
Maya reveals that she's a JOKESTER because none of them are coupling up with each other, the days of gender isolationism are OVER and the new ERA has begun. Unfortunately the public voted again (sigh) and all agency is taken away from the Islanders (-100 points to the stinky producers for removing the harsh reality of the subs bench). Jess is PISSED but tryna be nice because Maya is there. George arrives (barf), proving once again that the stinky producers A. don't do any due diligence before casting nasty ass people or B. literally don't care (google is your friend and this recap is already long enough without going into details). -100000 points for his hateful language and treatment of people, -4 points because his mom calls him a casanova. George (barf) thinks that 40 year olds play bingo.
George (barf) is matched with Jess which is very sad for her. She is PISSED but Polite. Molly comes in and Red Bottom nearly faints bc she is also wearing Red Bottoms (and top and lipstick) which means that the stinky producers are nudging them to be #theoneswholast. Molly also lives at home and has a chicken (+3 points for owning a chicken). Molly (who owns a chicken) smiles so big and immediately sets her eyes on Red Bottoms. CATHERINE all caps enters the villa, she is so beautiful I could CRY (+5 points for being hot). Molly (who owns a chicken) is partnered with Red Bottoms (SHOCKER) and CATHERINE all caps is coupled up with Andres. +10 points to each of them for being hot.
Mehdi comes strolling in with a swing in his hips and a French Accent. He says "bonjour" to let everyone know that he's French. Ella Rose Depp is praying to the gods above that she is NOT matched w this man. Also, Mehdi looks like he EATS Kitty (+14 points for looking like a MUNCH expert). I just know this man LAYS pipe. Tyrique follows Mehdi and is a semi-pro footballer (- 3 points based on my own prejudice against semi-pro players) . This is good news as he has filled the square head athlete quota of the season. (+9 points to the stinky producers for giving the public what we want).
Mehdi is matched with Ruchee. She is PISSED. Tyrique is matched with Ella Rose Depp. Ella Rose Depp claims they've met and Tyrique doesn't remember??? Is he lying or is she overestimating her Impact? Only time will tell (+2 points to Ella Rose Depp for being Bold, -3 points to Tyrique for forgetting a girl he (probably) made out with). Tyrique has terrible posture so -2 points for his short neck hunch. Maya says "expect the unexpected" ! Scary !
The girls and boys make formal introductions and then Gender Isolationism commences with boys sitting on the U couch and girls sitting at the firepit. Girls chat about their couples, Molly (who owns a chicken) is SO HAPPY and Red Bottoms is ALSO happy (+1 point for true love). Mehdi is all smiles, loving that Ruchee is a brunette. Ruchee is PISSED because he's french and also not her type. Andres says bum bum again (-3 points) which is painful and cruel to the general public. Ella Rose Depp reiterates that she's met Tyrique before and accuses Tyrique of lying (-2 points for standing her ground because is it really that serious?). Jess is PISSED because George (barf) gives off bad vibes but says she's interested in Red Bottoms and Tyrique (+10 points for radical honesty). George (barf) makes a joke about being WD40 and that is very off putting. (-283 points do I really have to explain this)
The boys walk over to the girls and Jess is loud but in a good way. Molly (who owns a chicken) notices that her and Tyrique have matching lightning bolt tattoos behind their left ears. Tyrique is outed for his deaf ear and Molly is outed for picking her tattoo from a Pinterest board (+1 point to Molly for radical honesty). Red Bottoms is about to melt into the couch bc his girl has a matching tattoo with a semi pro footballer.
The crew enters the villa for the first time and everyone is blah blah soooo excited. Molly (who owns a chicken) and Red Bottoms lay in bed immediately. She is really pretty and also funny. Molly (who owns a chicken) and Red Bottoms role play that she is showering and he is peeking to take a look. Jess is still PISSED and George (barf) try to have a conversation but it's giving bland. Jess is very clear that she's playing the game (+13 points for radical honesty). CATHERINE all caps is FAWNING over Andres (deserved) and their eye contact is 10/10 they are so horny for romance.
Ella Rose Depp asks Tyrique if he's ever been further than "exclusive" with a girl (no). Tyrique brings up that they've never met and Ella Rose Depp is PISSED. Ella reveals that she did have blonde hair (-3 points because I checked her instagram and she definitely looks different). Tyrique pretends that he knows what she's talking about (he doesn't). Also he tells her she looks better now ????? nice try buddy but that's not exactly a compliment.
Mehdi and Ruchee sit on OPPOSITE ends of a U couch and he is giving her the eyes. He's into fiery girls and she's into men who put her in her place. She mentions that mannerisms (yikes) are v important but that he's growing on her. Molly (who owns a chicken) and Red Bottoms are having a good time and it's LAFS (love at first sight).
The crew gets ready for the night and Jess asks the girls if they find George (barf) attractive. George (barf) loves to brush his teeth (ZERO points for hygiene because that is simply expected). Jess does the toast and the dancing to no music commences (PS is it confirmed that they dance to silence??) Molly (who owns a chicken) and Red Bottoms plan on coordinating outfits and also gaslighting the villa into thinking it's an accident (+3 points to each for scheming). CATHERINE all caps and Tyrique start chatting and he's checking her temperature bc he's ready to SLIP and SLIDE into her heart (at least for the moment). She clocks him as a life ruiner (to be confirmed). Andre joins Red Bottoms, Jess, and Ruchee to announce that he is VERY interested in CATHERINE all caps. Red Bottoms calls Ruchee and Jess pretty but also friend zones them by calling them "family".
Medhi turns on the charm with Ella Rose Depp and once again reminds us that he's ANTI blonde hair. He tells Ella that she's his type but is also realistic saying that him & Ruchee don't have a vibe YET. Ella Rose Depp does NOT tell him that he's her type.
Beer pong (sober) commences, reminding us of the long gone days of binge drinking on TV (RIP). Red Bottoms kisses Molly (who owns a chicken) and Jess and ALSO Ella Rose Depp. Ella is not about it and says he's a bad kisser (yikes). Jess takes any excuse to mug off George (barf) and makes out with Red Bottoms. Molly (who owns a chicken) is PISSED.
George (barf) proceeds to hit us with the ick heard round the world and demonstrates his org*sm (which involves falling over? weird). Molly (who owns a chicken) and Jess have a pushup competition and Molly wins (-5 points to Molly for not taking off her shoes). More of the usual commences, CATHERINE all caps kisses Andres and Tyrique, Tyrique's terrible posture is terribly distracting. Molly (who owns a chicken) bit Red Bottoms ear or wha'eva. -12 points to the stinky producers for messing up the cups and making Andres ride CATHERINE all caps like a horse. Ella Rose Depp has a dance off with Mehdi who takes it like a champ. -10 points to the stinky producers who EXPLICITY write that kisses have to be of the opposite gender. GAY RIGHTS!
SURPRISE!! Maya is in the building, and in a very transparent attempt to kick George (barf) out of the villa immediately, asks the girls who aren't happy in their couples to step forward (Jess and Ruchee immediately move away). These girls are ready to jump ship. Jess thinks George (barf) is ugly and Ruchee thinks Mehdi's mannerisms are a turn off. Is Ruchee mad that Mehdi isn't upset? We shall see.
Zachariah walks in and is a personal trainer, "drama follows me around", NOT shocking babes ! Jess's face lights up like it's christmas morning and she is no longer PISSED. Classic Love Island, he has 24hrs to pair up w a girl (and kick George (barf) out of the house.
Hope you enjoyed xoxo cloud_mom
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2023.06.06 20:57 Chico237 #NIOCORP~DoE/LPO MONTHLY APPLICATION ACTIVITY REPORT Loan Programs Office for MAY 2023 (Show an Increase of 9 Applications) & A Recap of 2023 activities & responses to date!

#NIOCORP~DoE/LPO MONTHLY APPLICATION ACTIVITY REPORT Loan Programs Office for MAY 2023 (Show an Increase of 9 Applications) & A Recap of 2023 activities & responses to date!





Each month, the LPO Monthly Application Activity report updates:
  1. The total number of current active applications that have been formally submitted to LPO (150)
  2. The cumulative dollar amount of LPO financing requested in these active applications ($127.7 billion)
  3. The 24-week rolling average of new applications per week as of the close of the previous month (1.7)
  4. Technology sectors represented by applications
  5. Proposed project locations represented by applications

6. Status of where applications stand in the review process: Of the 150 active applications, approximately 45% of applications are under initial review, approximately 40% are under advanced review, and roughly 15% are in due diligence



FOLLOW THE TRAIL & CONTEXT OF THE QUESTIONS ASKED TO NIOCORP MANAGEMENT BELOW: Sharing Jims's responses to " Relevant" questions on 11/15/2022:

1) - Has Niocorp recently applied for a DoE/LPO loan for "debt"..?
"We are indeed in discussions with several U.S. federal agencies about potential financial assistance to the Project, but all have very strict rules about disclosure of those discussions and processes. I’m sorry but I cannot say anything more about this at present. "
2) - Could any additional CO2 capture methods still be possible by ex-situ, direct mineralization, or other methods now being undertaken via the New Process?
"The reagent recycling tied to the Calcium and Magnesium removal, which we recently announced as part of our demonstration plant operations, is effectively a carbon sink and is expected to reduce the carbon footprint of the eventual operation*."*
3) - Who owns the patent/rights to this New Process being implemented? Or can it be licensed moving forward?
"We hold the rights to any intellectual property developed and related to the Elk Creek process by virtue of our contractual relationships with L3 and other entities involved in the work. While our focus remains on using proven commercial technologies in the public domain, we will act to protect the parts of our process that may be novel. "


ON JUNE 6, 2022 ~Process Enhancements to NioCorp’s Critical Minerals Project Plans Point to Possible CAPEX and OPEX Reductions and Possible Lower Greenhouse Gas Emissions~

Process Enhancements to NioCorp’s Critical Minerals Project Plans Point to Possible CAPEX and OPEX Reductions and Possible Lower Greenhouse Gas Emissions - NioCorp Developments Ltd.
CENTENNIAL, Colo. (June 6, 2022) – Metallurgical testing being conducted now by NioCorp Developments Ltd. (“NioCorp” or the “Company“) (TSX: NB; OTCQX: NIOBF) in Quebec, Canada, is intended to quantify the Company’s ability to extract rare earth elements (“REEs”) from Elk Creek ore. It is also aimed at testing a carbonation process that can be used to recycle key reagents used in the removal of calcium and magnesium carbonates from the Elk Creek ore ahead of operations that are expected to extract and recover niobium, scandium, titanium, and rare earths once project financing is secured!

JANUARY 2023 National Defense Act Calls out NIOBIUM & TITANIUM & SCANDIUM & the need to establish a U.S. Industrial Base for the Supply & Processing of ALL!

Please see Jim's responses to questions posed for comment-3/17/2022.

~A) Could you comment on what the production of higher purity Niobium & Titanium could be utilized for once realized?
"If the higher purity niobium and titanium intermediates that L3 was able to produce at bench-scale are replicated and proven at demonstration scale, this would put us in a position to more easily move to other products beyond those outlined in our 2019 Feasibility Study. Niobium oxide for use in Li-Ion batteries is one possible example, although the production of that product would require additional processing steps beyond the higher-purity niobium intermediate that we discussed in last week’s news release. The company is not yet in a position to make a determination on whether or not, and when, to possibly expand our Niobium product offering. Higher grade TiO2 could expose us to additional markets where higher margins could be obtained. But, again, we are not in a position to speak to those possibilities in any detail yet. "
~ B) Niocorp’s preferred separation method is SX. Are these higher purity processes part of an improved SX process or “something else”?
"No, the processes we recently discussed occur in the earlier stages of the flowsheet, prior to any SX processing. We look forward to unveiling those details once these processes are verified at the demonstration plant level and once all associated work needed to complete an updated Feasibility Study is completed. "
Sharing Responses from Jim Sims to three relevant questions on 3/13/2023
\*Jim-**A) Could you offer comment on What Scope 3 emissions mean for the Elk Creek mine moving forward into production & to the end users utilizing the products being processed at the mine? & Would Niocorp's Scope 3 Carbon Emission Reductions qualify foas "Carbon Credits" in the context above? Could/Does Niocorp's "Carbon Friendly GHG/ESG" mining processes & work scope qualify for- INNOVATIVE CLEAN ENERGY LOAN GUARANTEES Department of Energy?*
"We have made an internal estimate of the benefits of our planned products at a Scope 3 emissions level. However, the definition and applicability of Scope 3 emissions must eventually be determined by government regulators, and the SEC is examining many aspects of this issue now. At present and in general, carbon credits are created by mitigation measures taken at the Scope 1 emissions level, although there are several different approaches being examined across the U.S. As to DOE programs, I am not allowed to comment on that at this time."
B) Is/Could an "ANCHOR" Investos still have interest in the Elk Creek Project? Comment If you can... (A,B,C,D.... as all options are on the table.)

"Yes. "

C) (Follow up) - Is Niocorp still engaged with "Several Federal Agencies" other than the EXIM Bank as sources for "Debt" or Off-take agreements? Comment if you can...

"Yes, multiple federal agencies, elected officials in the Congress, and the WH. "

What were they doing in D.C.????

MARCH 2023~Export-Import Bank of the United States Issues Letter of Interest to NioCorp for Potential Debt Financing of up to $800 Million for NioCorp’s Elk Creek Critical Minerals Project~

Export-Import Bank of the United States Issues Letter of Interest to NioCorp for Potential Debt Financing of up to $800 Million for NioCorp's Elk Creek Critical Minerals Project - NioCorp Developments Ltd.

CENTENNIAL, Colo. – March 6, 2023 – NioCorp Developments Ltd. (“NioCorp” or the “Company“) (TSX:NB) (OTCQX:NIOBF) is pleased to announce the receipt of a Letter of Interest from the Export-Import Bank of the United States (“EXIM“) for potential debt financing of up to $800 million through EXIM’s “Make More In America” initiative to fund the project costs of NioCorp’s proposed Elk Creek Critical Minerals Project.
EXIM’s communication to NioCorp states: “We are pleased to extend this Letter of Interest in support of the proposed capital funding plan by Elk Creek Resources Corp. for the Elk Creek Project. Based on the preliminary information submitted on expected exports and jobs supported, EXIM may be able to consider potential financing of up to $800,000,000.00 of the project’s costs under EXIM’s Make More In America initiative.” Elk Creek Resources Corp. is a Nebraska corporation wholly owned by NioCorp.
A project finance letter of interest from EXIM represents only a preliminary step in the formal EXIM application process, and the Letter of Interest states that the communication “does not represent a financing commitment” and “is not an explicit indication of the financial or commercial viability of a transaction.”
NioCorp expects to submit an application to EXIM to begin the first phase of the underwriting process (“Phase I”) as soon as possible. As stated in the Letter of Interest, “Upon receipt of NioCorp’s application for financing, EXIM will conduct all requisite due diligence necessary to determine if a Final Commitment may be issued for this transaction.” The process from submission of a Phase I application to a final commitment of financing by EXIM, if any, is expected to take approximately six to nine months and is subject to a number of risks and uncertainties. See “About NioCorp’s Application Process” and “Forward-Looking Statements Disclaimers” below for additional information. As explained in the Letter of Interest, “Any final commitment will be dependent on meeting EXIM’s underwriting criteria, authorization process, and finalization and satisfaction of terms and conditions. All Final Commitments must be in compliance with EXIM policies as well as program, legal, and eligibility requirements.”
“We are very pleased with this Letter of Interest from the Export-Import Bank of the United States for NioCorp’s Elk Creek Critical Minerals Project, and with the fact that we may qualify for as much as $800 million in debt financing from EXIM,” said Mark A. Smith, Chairman and CEO of NioCorp. “We look forward to finalizing and submitting a formal loan application to EXIM and working closely with them through this process.”
The debt financing is subject to the satisfactory completion of due diligence, the negotiation and settlement of final terms, and the negotiation of definitive documentation. There can be no assurance that the debt financing will be completed on the terms as described above or at all.
As noted on EXIM’s website, in February 2021, President Biden signed Executive Order 14017 directing an all-of-government approach to assessing vulnerabilities in – and strengthening the resilience of – the United States’ critical supply chains. From that Executive Order, the White House released findings from its comprehensive 100-day supply chain assessments for four critical products: semiconductor manufacturing and advanced packaging; large capacity batteries, like those for electric vehicles; critical minerals and materials; and pharmaceuticals and active pharmaceutical ingredients.
More information on EXIM’s Make More In America initiative can be seen here:
The information on or accessible from any social media postings or sites, or EXIM’s website, is not, and will not be deemed to be, incorporated by reference into this press release or any filings with the SEC.


Over a year ago I asked what improved Nb & Ti could be utilized for moving forward.
  1. Could the improved Niobium & Titanium oxides now under development be utilized in/for Batteries, Electronics, Xenes, SuperAlloys & Titanium Sponge production in the future? Comment if you can, or maybe 🤔 we’ll have to wait just a bit more?


2) The last remaining 25%of Niobium production has yet to be placed under an enforceable contract since 2020. Is the MOU still in place with a major U.S. steel producer or…Are “Other” Entities interested? (Comment if you can)


3) Has Niocorp applied for a DoE/LPO loan?


Or still dealing with several federal agencies in addition to the EXIM Bank?

" YES "

ON APRIL 4, 2023 ~NioCorp Achieves Processing Breakthrough in Demonstration Plant Testing of Niobium and Titanium Production~

NioCorp Achieves Processing Breakthrough in Demonstration Plant Testing of Niobium and Titanium Production - NioCorp Developments Ltd.

New Process May Allow NioCorp to Produce Higher-Purity Versions of its Niobium and Titanium Products, Which May Open New Markets to the Company
CENTENNIAL, Colo. (April 4, 2023) – NioCorp Developments Ltd. (“NioCorp” or the “Company“) (Nasdaq:NB; TSX: NB) and L3 Process Developments (“L3“) are pleased to announce a process breakthrough in niobium and titanium recovery achieved at L3’s demonstration-scale processing plant Trois-Rivieres, Quebec. The breakthrough points to a potentially more efficient way to process niobium and titanium into higher-purity products, which may in turn open up new markets for NioCorp’s proposed Elk Creek Critical Minerals Project (the “Project“) planned products, once sufficient financing is obtained to allow the Project to proceed to commercial operation.

JIM SIMS RESPONDS TO TWO ONGOING RELEVANT QUESTIONS MAY 5, 2023 (***Please see all earlier posted responses to this line of questions for reference)

RESPONSE: "There are several DOE programs, including the LGP program (Title XVII), that could potentially provide debt assistance to NioCorp."

RESPONSE: " As I have stated many times before, we are not allowed to confirm or deny whether we have a pending application with the DOE for this or other programs." -

MAY 25th 2023 ~NioCorp Demonstrates Higher Niobium Recovery Rates New Processing Approach Demonstrates the Ability to Make More Niobium per Tonne of Ore, Produce a Higher Purity Product, and Potentially Address New Markets with Different Niobium Products
New Processing Approach Demonstrates the Ability to Make More Niobium per Tonne of Ore, Produce a Higher Purity Product, and Potentially Address New Markets with Different Niobium Products

More Streamlined Production Process Demonstrated

NioCorp’s new process has been demonstrated to be more efficient than the previous design, is expected to require fewer processing steps, and may allow the elimination of entire processes in NioCorp’s planned processing plant in Nebraska, such as acid regeneration.
“I am very pleased with the results shown in our demonstration plant for niobium recovery,” said Mark A. Smith, CEO and Executive Chairman of NioCorp. “These results point strongly to the likelihood of NioCorp producing more niobium from each tonne of Elk Creek Project ore, which could have positive impacts on our Project’s anticipated overall financial returns. These results also point to the prospect of our Project producing more forms of niobium for a greater range of global markets.”
“These are very exciting results and they point to potentially greater production levels and additional optionality in terms of where we can sell niobium and the prices these products command,” said Scott Honan, NioCorp Chief Operating Officer. “While the demonstration plant has performed well, the pace of operations has gone at a slower rate than any of us would have liked. That is often the case with demonstration plants, which by their nature are designed to investigate innovate pathways for producing commercial products as well as stress testing those processes. Our top priority in this project has always been to maintain a very high standard for technical feasibility and testing, and to conduct the work safely and efficiently. Adhering to high standards is critical to the project’s success, including being able to attract necessary financing to bring projects such as ours to commercial reality.”

MAY 26th 2023~NioCorp Demonstrates the Ability to Potentially Double Projected Titanium Recovery Rates for the Elk Creek Project
Demonstration Plant Shows New Recovery Process May Double NioCorp’s Titanium Production per Tonne of Ore as well as Produce a Higher Purity Product that May Command Higher Market Prices
CENTENNIAL, Colo. (May 26, 2023) – NioCorp Developments Ltd. (“NioCorp” or the “Company”) (NASDAQ:NB) (TSX:NB) is pleased to announce that it has successfully demonstrated an ability to potentially double the recovery of titanium from each tonne of ore the Company expects to mine at its Nebraska-based Elk Creek Critical Minerals Project (the “Project”), once project financing is obtained and the commercial plant is constructed. The new process is expected to produce a purer form of titanium that may command a higher price than is assumed in NioCorp’s June 2022 feasibility study for the Project (the “Feasibility Study”). NioCorp’s demonstration plant in Trois Rivieres, Quebec, has shown that the Company’s new and improved recovery process can likely achieve an 83.7% rate of overall titanium recovery to final product. This compares to a 40.3% titanium recovery rate in NioCorp’s previous process approach. This new result points to a potentially large increase in the amount of titanium that NioCorp can potentially produce at currently planned rates of mining.

MAY 29th 2023~NioCorp Launches Phased Approach to Commercial Production of Made-in-America Aluminum-Scandium Master Alloy
NioCorp Partnering with Nanoscale Powders LLC to Explore the Possibility of Establishing the First US-Based Mine-to-Master-Alloy Vertically Integrated Production of the High-Performance MaterialNioCorp’s Potential Commercial Production of Al-Sc Master Alloy Could Launch Prior to the Company’s Planned Production of >100 Tonnes/Year of Scandium Oxide at its Proposed Elk Creek Critical Minerals Project in Nebraska and Would Use Scandium Produced at the Elk Creek Facility as well as From Other SourcesChina Now Dominates the Scandium World, but North America is Now Positioned to Emerge as a “Leading Scandium Producer,” says NioCorp CEO

MAY 29th 2023~ Jim/NIOCORP respond to question on recent Scandium News Release above:What comes to mind right off the bat is:

*A)"How is this Scandium AlSc master Alloy different than what Niocorp produced with IBC & AMES laboratory???"*Response:

"It is a different process that will be utilized. "

*B) Will this be a Patentable approach now moving forward? in conjunction with Nanoscale???*Response:

" Yes and yes. But we do not discuss the details of intellectual property matters except as required by law"

(\****This is very interesting indeed because a few years back Niocorp was not interested in patenting any such materials!)*
*C) IS NIOCORP still engaged with IBC, AMES & OTHER ENTITIES in regards to Scandium Alloy production & uses moving forward? and with the New Niobium & Titanium oxides as well!!!!*Response:

"We are focusing on our partnership with Nanoscale on the production of AlSc master alloy, but we engaged with a number of parties on various elements of our scandium-aluminum master alloy business development. We are not working with IBC on niobium or titanium product development efforts."



Sharing Jims response as Niocorp does have legal DISCLOSURE constraints to deal with in regards to all "Material News releases"! When asked about Rare Earths ON ~MAY, 26th 2023~
"NioCorp has not made a final determination on which REE products we will make, including tonnages, etc.. That determination can only be made in the context of publication of an updated Feasibility Study"


Hmmm... LAtest batch of Questions to Team Niocorp has gone "unanswered????" I don't think they can answer them until they can! Although these latest Niocorp material NEWS releases are AWEFULLY ENCOURAGING!


Home - NioCorp Developments Ltd.
submitted by Chico237 to NIOCORP_MINE [link] [comments]

2023.06.06 19:09 JJTheUnusAnnusFan14 My (NB16) boyfriend/ex (M16) is moving out of state

Hi, you can call me Jay, I’ll use a fake name for my boyfriend… or ex. Let’s call him Dante. Me and Dante met in 7th grade, it wasnt until 9th grade after all the covid lockdown stuff that we met again and became friends, but it didn’t take long for us to realize we liked each other. So we were dating for over a year and a half but everything started to go wrong when he mentioned that his parents wanted to move to Texas which is over 1,000 miles away from the state we currently live in. I have a bad history with long distance relationships so I told him if he leaves I don’t think we’ll work out, which is obviously not what I want. Ever since he asked me out he has been the biggest light in my life, even with my mental illnesses he never gave up on me. Last night we started arguing because I don’t want him to leave and I said some hurtful things towards his family which I shouldn’t have. But now we’re basically over. I don’t know what to do, I feel like my life is over without him. He was my first everything, we lost our virginity to each other and we planned out so many things in the future together. He said we could meet in person to talk, but now he won’t respond to me my calls or texts. Any information on what to do or how to cope would be very helpful, thank you.
submitted by JJTheUnusAnnusFan14 to teenrelationships [link] [comments]

2023.06.06 08:55 skeeeeb I want to develop deep connections with people, but I don't know how.

I'm an only child, and I've never really had a close relationship with my parents. My mother took all her stresses out on me since I was old enough to talk, so I never got close with her. She thinks we were close when I was a kid, but I guess she mistook her constantly venting to me as a deep connection. My father worked 2 jobs, so he never really had free time to develop a closer bond with me. By the time he was able to give me his time, I closed myself off.
I never had a consistent group of friends from a young age. When I made the switch from pre-K to K, all my pre-K friends moved away. Next year after I made new friends, I skipped a grade. Once again, I was the outsider. I didn't have friends for a few months, but I finally made a few "friends" by the end of that year. From 3rd grade to 7th grade, my only friends were people who basically used me as a punching bag. They consistently excluded me from things, shot down my ideas or suggestions, and made fun of me. At the end of 7th grade, I moved again to a new school. Because of my previous experience, I started keeping my friends at arms length. I tried not to speak unless spoken to, and I never told them any personal things.
In 8th grade, I got into my first "relationship". I thought we were dating, but she didn't think we were. A guy came around and she was basically flirting with him right in front of my face, and neither of them seemed to care or acknowledge me. When I confronted her, she blew up at me and accused me of trying to pressure her into a relationship.
After that situation ended, I met another girl. She was the greatest person I've ever met. I think it was the first time I felt like I could say anything and I wasn't going to be judged. We were friends for a year, and she asked me out. We dated for only 3 months, but it was such a great 3 months. I felt like I was finally with a person who wasn't going to treat me like I was disposable. Shortly after the 3 month mark, she broke up with me at 2 A.M. over text.
That was over 4 years ago, but I felt like my whole world fell apart. I think that was the moment when I stopped being able to develop a genuine connection with people. That whole situation hurt me so much. It hurt me so much that I suppressed my emotions so much that I can't even access them anymore. It hurt me so much that I've haven't made any new friends or dated anyone since then. I don't want to experience that again, because it changed the course of my life so drastically.
Even though I'm over her, the broader picture still really hurts. The idea that you can feel so safe and loved with someone, only to have them break your heart in an instant is so crazy to me.
I haven't made a new friend in 3 years. That's crazy right? I'm 18, and most people my age make new friends all the time. For the longest time, I convinced myself that I was totally fine with not making any new friends. For the most part, I'm happy being alone at all times. But sometimes, I get this slight feeling of wanting to have a deep connection with someone. I desperately want to have someone in my life that totally understands me. I want to have someone reliable that I know I can go to no matter what.
The problem is that I literally have no idea how to let people see that deeper side of me. Like I said earlier, I can't even access my emotions anymore. I feel like I'm in a suit of armor that I put on years ago, and it's been so long that I can't take it off anymore.
I don't know. Sometimes I wonder how my life would have turned out if there was just 1 person who didn't leave me. What if I wasn't an only child? What if my Mom wasn't a horrible person? What if my Dad had time for me? What if I didn't move around so much as a kid? What if I never skipped a grade? What if the only person I ever felt truly comfortable around didn't shatter my heart into a million pieces?
I've reflected on all this a lot. And it all comes down to 1 thing. I want to develop genuine connections, but I don't even know how. And that sucks... :(
submitted by skeeeeb to self [link] [comments]

2023.06.05 23:50 Pack2299 I (m21) might've ruined my 10-year friendship because I hinted that I liked her (f21)

I (m21) and my friend (f21) Have been friends since 7th grade. We've always been good friends and I've liked her since I first met her. However, I've always put our friendship first. We've dated other people while being friends and she was aware of my crush on her and even admitted she had a crush on me. Throughout our relationship, we had instances of us not talking for one reason or another due to mental health issues or one of us was dating someone. This last time we stopped talking for 3 years because her boyfriend at the time made her block me (understandable to an extent but I missed my friend). Covid hit our senior year and we were leaving for different colleges soon after that. Since I couldn't text or call her I decided to write her a letter letting her know what she meant to me and how I've always appreciated our time together. She wrote back asking to continue the letters, which I did but I never got a letter back, so I did what any rational person would do and kept writing letters without a response, but I did stop eventually (found out later she never got them). A few months ago I was wondering how she was doing and I wasn't in a great place mentally, so I sought the advice and friendship she had shared with me long ago. She responded and said she had been rid of her boyfriend for a few months. It was like old times and I loved being able to talk to her again, it was a huge relief. We were texting and calling often, it was terrific! We live a few states away, but she still lives in our hometown. My father was about to retire so I had to come home and we arranged to hang out while I was there. We were so excited to see each other that we planned a whole evening of activities that would be fun (baking cookies, playing a drinking game she had, and watching a whole season of a show she liked). I flew to my hometown and celebrated with my family and as the night went late I got a bit tired and overstimulated by the celebration so I asked if we could hang out a day early. She agreed and it was amazing! We went to her house (which was close by) talked for hours drinking, catching up, playing games, and overall had a great time, we were both so tired we ended up passing out at 4 am on her couch together (separately). In the morning I went home, hung out with my family, and then went back to her house as we originally planned, but something was off. We hung out and did everything as planned (minus the drinking game) but everything was awkward and off. I thought it was all in my head so I tried to be chill about it. We watched the show she wanted to show me and it was really good, but it made me think about our relationship. I hinted at us being a thing but she got quieter than she already was. I tried to talk about the awkwardness but she did not want to. As I left I gave her a gift I planned on giving her, a letter with quotes from the letters she never got (which didn't help because the quotes were super sappy). I went home feeling horrible and pissed at myself. When I got home I texted her apologizing if I was being weird or making her uncomfortable. She responded that she was uncomfortable and apologized if she wasn't clear but she wasn't in the market for a relationship. I again apologized as the last thing I wanted was to make her feel bad for any reason and I thanked her for telling me as that wasn't an easy thing for her to do. We haven't talked since. That was three weeks ago now. I understand that she needs some time, but I don't want this to end up another 3 years of not talking I don't think I can handle that again. I don't want to lose this amazing person and yet I can't keep doing this song and dance of distancing for years instead of talking it through and moving on. I've asked multiple people for advice but kept getting opposing answers so I'm turning to Reddit. Should I give her more time or should I try and message her?
submitted by Pack2299 to relationship_advice [link] [comments]

2023.06.05 19:39 Hot_Ad5291 Im losing my bff and i cant do anything about it

So, my best friend and I (both 20f) have known eachother since 7th grade and became instantly inseperatable. I'm talking about spending 1 whole month at her summer house during almost every summer holiday and sleeping over at eachothers house surely once a week. In these 8 years of knowing and loving her I have seen both her and myself grow as people and have gone through an abundance of emotional situations. She has always been supportive of me when I was at my lowest points due to issues considering serious family/health problems and has treated me better than my relatives did at those rather dark times. Even her parents were there for me and made me feel extreamly loved and welcomed at moments where a lost and disoriented teenager needs a shoulder to cry on. Needless to say I love her tremendously and she is one of the very few people I can actually trust and rely on. I think I should give context at this point and say that I am a person struggling with my anxiety and low self esteem and that fact leads me to be able to open up to about 5 people total in my life even though I consider myself rather social and have plenty of people around me that i appreciate.
So let's fast forward to senior year in high school, where in the place of the world we live in the exams you have to sit in order to get accepted in some university are highly stressful and many kids get diagnosed with depression or anxiety disorder during that time. So, if one also has in mind that during that period of time a whole pandemic was happening around us and everyone was basically isolated in their own homes,both hers and my anxiety went through the roof. But again we were there for each other and did the best we could. So, we sit the exams and because we were both pretty good students we manage to collect a rather decent amount of points that could get us in the same city (the city that we had always lived that happens to be the capital of our country). She then decides she would like to go to another city to study, about a 6 hour drive from our home due to her wanting to get to see and experience new things, grow as a person, find herself and also live alone. I of course respected her decision and was happy she wanted to do such a step for herself even though it was pretty obvious it saddened me to have my best friend living so far away. But we knew our friendship was built on solid grounds and we have nothing but love for one another so there wasnt anything to worry about (spoiler alert: there was)
At this point I should mention that we are 3 best friends :me , the girl we have been talking about (lets call her Rachel) and Elle (also 20f, from the same school also). So, after the exams I talked about earlier (summer 2021) we had of course free time for summer holidays. We were supposed to all go to Elle's summer house in August and so we did. But Rachel was at her own summer house before that, and thats where she met her current boyfriend Matt 23M. They weren't in a relationship until the begining of 2023. She was head over heels for him, absolutely in love always wanted to talk about him and didnt want to leave his side not even for a single day. I was very happy for her and wanted to hear about him as much as possible because in our friendship what makes one happy makes all 3 of us. So, when August rolled around she was hesitant of coming to Elle's house as we had agreed upon and even told me she didn't want to be there. She wanted to be with him more and also said she had regrets over coming. At that point I was a bit saddened but I also have been in love and can understand that she was very very excited so I just left it at that.
Anyway, all 3 of us have a great time at Elles house and I had almost forgotten about her rather careless comment of not wanting to come. Summer goes by and she has to leave to the city that she studies whereas both me and Elle stayed at home and started uni here. Our first year of uni was pretty great,we all got to meet new people, start new hobbies go out more, party more etc. Me and Elle went to Rachels city 5 times in the span of 2 semesters and always had a blast when we did. We would regularly text and talk about ecerything going on in our lives so it was as if she hadnt moved at all. Our friendship wasnt impacted at all, which is what we feared, especially in the first year of uni, where everything is new and trying to get used to the new stuff you can be carried away. At one point I thought to myself that it maybe wasnt so cool of Rachel not to come visit us at all (except for the holidays where she practically had to come back and see her family), since she knew I was rather tight with money and even though I wanted to go as much as possible it wasnt always easy.
I'm skiping some parts here because this would go on for too long but lets just say that the things that she was doing for our friendship were little to none at this point and I was seeing her giving more energy to other of her friendships(not new, also from our hometown). I tried to say that I was starting to feel neglected but she basically told me that she will always consider me and Elle her closest people despite what happens or who she does more stuff with. Time goes by and even though she said she was pretty sad about me feeling this way and she would try to change the stuf she does nothing changes. At this point I want to say that Elle agreed with me that Rachel was neglecting us but she is much more of a chill person so she didnt want to cause trouble out of things that then seemed small.
At this point it's Christmas 2022 and Rachel and Matt (who is living in the same city as me and Elle) are official. Up until this moment the distance made it hard for them to do so and also the fact that Matt was not feeling ready for a relationship, let alone a long distance one so they would just talk or hang out when Rachel was back for Christmas time or Easter. So, the extream love I talked about earlier came back, she would always want to be with him and he would too. She would come home only for him (she never did that for any of us, not even her family), they would go on trips almost every weekend and wouldnt make time time for us in the 5 days she would be home. Matt is also kind of a prick, he used to treat Rachel badly and talk to her in a bad manner, but he has since changed and now treats her really nice. He has continued though to talk very rudely to all of Rachels friends, including fat shaming me in front of Rachel and her telling him nothing about it. I am really insecure about my body (even though now that I am working on my self i see that that shouldnt be the case because I am subjectively normal looking, for reference about 70kg to 1.75m) so that kind of a comment took a toll on me, a fact she understood and talked to me about, that I shouldnt care what anyone has to say etc.
The day after he made that rude comment on me being fat, Rachel came with heart eyes telling me how much in love she is and how perfectly he now treats her. I didnt want to ruin this for her so I didn't complain that she hadn't told him anything about that. I can't blame her for everyhting though, I know how it is to be completely lost in your feelings for somebody and that fact sometimes changes your prespective and your ability to tell right from wrong. Matt was and still is the most perfect human in her eyes and she can't bring herself to change that idea. Fine until now
Our texting would get drier and drier, we wouldnt talk on the phone at all and on top of everything, I started working so I havent been able to go to the city she studies during this academic year. She would tell us how she talks on the phone with Matt for about 6-8 hours a day on the phone and how they are planning to go there and there together, but whatever plans me and Elle wanted to make she always said she was out of money or time. So we decided to talk to her about it. Me and Elle told her we felt neglected and that the only thing that we have changed was the fact that we couldn't go to her place as often or as spontaneously as last year. The things she had changed on the other hand were a lot. She didnt make any time for us, any effort, nothing.Even when I would call her to check up on her she would find a very obvious lie to hang up and never called back. Everything was and still is all about Matt.
When talking to her about it she first said that she is feeling many things and doesnt know how to deal with that abundance of emotions and that's why her priorities may appear shifted but she tried to ensure us that that's not the case. We were still her favourite people and she felt sorry we felt that way but all she wanted to do is experience her lust about Matt. She even told us she felt guilty because what she was doing was making her so happy but at the same time it was something that made us angry or sad, maybe both. Rachel slighlty accused Elle and I of ruining the dream for her because she was split between her love for Matt and the love for her friends and this whole situation put her in a really uncomfortable place. She said she couldnt talk to her best friends about a very happy time in her life because we were bitter about it. I was and still am not bitter about her being in a relationship. i love that for her and want to listen about her feelings as much as possible. its not matt or their relationship that i have a problem with, its that she doesnt care enough for everybody else in this enamored state she is sunk in.Yes, it pains me to see that the person who has always been my no1 priority and vice versa now can go weeks without asking me how i have been
All I could say was that I had no problem with him, as long as she is happy, I am too. I just couldn't accept that I was losing her and that we would go days and days without talking to eachother. She told me that it's normal for friends to not talk at all times, and yes that is the case, I too have some friends to which i talk once a month or once in two weeks, but it was never like that with her. We had been for 7,5 years suuuper close and talked about everything all the time ,she even knew when I went peeing and now she is unaware of my struggles and I am of hers. I really tried to bridge the gap she had created and call or text more but i quickly found out that that isnt possible to do on my own.
So, after having talked to her and her saying that she will try to make things better all Elle and I were able to do was just wait to see things changing. but that isnt happening and now i am feeling like this is the new norm and i am completely hurt by it. Rachel says that we remain family to her and she cries for hours when we seem distant to her but i dont know what else to do. I am not seeing any type of effort, on the other hand more and more time spent on her relationship as if i am some random person.
What should i do? let go or try?
submitted by Hot_Ad5291 to GetOffMyChest [link] [comments]

2023.06.05 17:37 Affectionate_Guide61 I Believe True Love Exists

Story about how my husband and I got together-

Freshman year of high school, 14 years old, I had 1st lunch which sucked because I was the only freshman out of my whole class that had that lunch. I didn't know anyone, but I ended up befriending some girls in the grade above me. After I ate, I would go sit in the library with them and one of them brought their boyfriend in to sit with us. He was in a cast and on crutches, she was honestly kind of rude to him but she was my friend, so I didn't say anything. He struggled to get into his chair because we were sitting at a high-top table, so I helped him. I couldn't stop looking at him, I have no idea why. We both just KEPT making eye contact, despite the fact that we had never met before.
Fast forward a few days later, they sit at our breakfast table and he tells my friend (his girlfriend) "Your hair looks so pretty today" and she was so rude. She rolled her eyes and walked away. I think they dated for like a week and then broke up lmao. Anyways, at the breakfast table again, we kept looking at each other. It was such a strange feeling.
Then come December, everyone goes on Christmas break. I grew up in a very strict household so I wasn't really allowed to go out with friends, only specific ones and never if there was snow on the ground. So I was in my room cleaning, when I saw (who I thought was) that previous boy active on facebook. I was a super shy person, I wasn't a crazy outcast in school but I definitely wasn't well known and for me to message a boy let alone one I went to school with was not like me at all but I did it anyways. I messaged him "Dank" and he responded a few seconds later with "memes" (it's stupid I know, leave me alone) and then we started talking.
I figured when we got back from Christmas break, he would come up to me and talk to me in person but he never did. It wasn't like we were consistently texting everyday but we would text frequently. At this point, I had never ever had a relationship or boyfriend before and I wasn't looking for that, I just wanted to talk to him as a friend but progressively that changed. Throughout January we would speak through snapchat and messenger pretty frequently, but again never in person. I saw him looking at me a few times, but he never came up to me and there was no way in hell I was about to go up to him. Through messages though, I could tell he at least had a little bit of a crush on me. There was a moment he called me cute, and I ended up developing a crush on him as well.
Come February 2nd, and the messages stopped. It was like he was ghosting me. Any and all messages I had sent to him were left on delivered and he just stopped responding. I figured he maybe got a girlfriend, but it didn't really seem like it because I would still see him throughout the halls. I felt crushed because the moment I let myself accept that I liked this boy, he ghosted me ;(. So all of February, I had hoped something would change but towards the end of the month I just accepted it and tried to not think about it. It doesn't seem like a big deal now but that the time, that was the first emotional connection with a boy I had like that and it definitely stung.
On March 5th, I was sitting in the living room when FINALLY his name popped up on my screen through a snapchat notification. When I tell you I was PUMPED. It turned out he was grounded that whole time so he wasn't allowed to have technology... anyways... We started talking again and I'm not sure what it was, but it was just different. The rest of that day, on March 5th we texted constantly. Then, on March 6th I was standing in the lunch line when he came up behind me and TALKED TO ME. We kind of awkwardly talked because I was really nervous and didn't say much, but he followed me to my seat and sat with me. We were sitting so close together our arms and legs were touching. Then he bought some duct tape and invited me to tape the principal to the wall with him. It was some stupid contest the students won who knows.
That next day, March 7th, he sat with me at breakfast, again at lunch, and texted me whenever he could. Then that night he said "do you wanna like date or something" in those exact words.. lmao. And that's when it started. He was my first boyfriend, and will be my last. We've been together 7 years now, married for 2 years. We have a baby boy together, and when I tell you I love this man like no other, I MEAN IT. There's been rough patches, absolutely. I think the reason people don't stay together after high school is because they aren't able to adapt to the changes they are making regarding themselves. We stuck through it though. He's genuinely my best friend and the best father to our son, everyday is a blessing. And it all started with the word "dank".
submitted by Affectionate_Guide61 to Marriage [link] [comments]

2023.06.05 13:09 KooKooKangaRoo42 My Chiari Surgery Experience (Part II) - Emotional Effects

6/5/23 Update (Part II of my Amazing Chiari Recovery Tale):
"The Cerebellum Ain't Just About Balance, Baby"
So I want to make something very clear. From here on out, I wouldn't consider this a typical Chiari recovery tale at all anymore. As far as I know, it is not usual to have this level of emotion regulation benefit from a Chiari Surgery. But... that doesn't mean it /can't/ happen. Because clearly it's happened for me.
If you watch Dr. Stieg's "This Is Your Brain Podcast: Chiari in Adults" (the same one that convinced me to drive to NYC for consultation with him):
... you'll see he takes questions at the end. And one of the questions he answers is about whether there are any big cognitive and emotional effects from Chiari. And he essentially says no -- unless there's hydrocephalus, water on the brain, being caused too -- why would there be? The cerebellum isn't really involved with higher cognitive and emotional stuff. It's more about the balance and all that. Of course, the stress and misery and anxiety of living with any chronic pain condition affects people's mental health, he acknowledges. So certainly resolving the Chiari may still sort of indirectly help with their mental health in all sorts of very significant ways.
Ok. Fair enough. But here's where, if I were having an argument with him about this here and now (which I guess I am! Because that's apparently just how I am -- sorry, Dr. Stieg, intending no disrespect to your knowledge and authority -- you're the best!)... I would turn the same phrase he used with me in discussing my physical symptom resolution right back at him: "The proof is in the pudding." What he meant when he used that phrase was that, although of course we are going to do a follow-up MRI in a few months, and see how things stand, the imaging is not really important. The evidence is clear. I had the surgery, and all my physical problems (the crippling head aches and neck aches, the trouble choking on liquids and drooling, the numb/weak hands, episodes of dizziness, etc.) almost instantly resolved. We already know the surgery worked.
I would say the proof is in the pudding about the drastic mental health/emotional changes I have experienced since the Chiari decompression as well.
So first, I guess I'm going to have to get real with you about the the psychiatric struggles. (Oh well. I never was that private of a person to start. I'll talk to just about anyone about just about anything. Always been that way.) So my struggles in this area, summarized:
I had my first bad episode of depression when I was about 13. There were definite stressors, and I would define it as the worst year of my life. Among the stressors, in brief: I was in 7th grade, first year of junior high. I was HORRIBLY bullied, harassed, and teased by the other kids. Mostly girls. They'd wait for me at my locker in mean girl gaggles, taunt and laugh at me throughout the halls, etc. It was *BAD*. Very bad. I can only speculate as to the reasons I got it so bad. I had gender-non-conforming interests. I hated wearing dresses and didn't like the stupid girl stuff I was supposed to care about. I liked Dungeons & Dragons and fighting video games and would rather hang out with my brother and his friends than any of the boring girls I knew. I kind of felt like I /was/ a boy, actually. No different from my brother. But needless to say, no one else really saw it that way. What they DID see... was that I was different, and not following the rules of what I was supposed to like and how I was supposed to act. And boy -- the shit I got for it. Like I said... it was bad.
They called me "The Thing" when they passed me in the halls ("Look at that THING! What is it? A boy or a girl? We don't know -- we'll just have to call it THING. Ha ha!"). They harassed and teased me about my breasts, because I was one of the first to develop ("There goes the goddess of puberty -- ha ha, goddess of puberty!") And, of course, I was smart - a nerd - always raising my hand to answer the questions in class - so that probably didn't help my popularity any, either.
Anyway. No one ever stuck up for me. There were the kids who actively harassed me, and the ones who desperately avoided me to avoid being associated with me. I had no friends in the 7th grade. I had a few, back in the 6th. But lost them all when the 3 elementary schools got merged into the big junior high or whatever. Absolutely NO ONE thought it would be a good idea to associate with me. And so they didn't. It was SO bad, SO miserable, I thought about doing all kinds of crazy things to escape having to go back to school.
Maybe... if I did something REALLY crazy, like stab my brother or something (who, by the way, I adored, but that was how desperate I was - like, you know, just a LITTLE stab wound, just for show) -- they'd just put me in a psych hospital or something and I'd never have to go back to school again? I obviously spent a lot of time thinking about killing myself. My mother ultimately ended up having to move me to an entirely different school because of the level of bullying. And it did help somewhat. (Also, the next year, I met my first boyfriend - which meant that I finally also had a friend - and it's no exaggeration to say that probably saved my life. We were inseparable for the next 3 years. He didn't care that I was a girl who kicked ass at Streetfighter. We spent our time playing Streetfighter together.)
13 was also the year my parents divorced. So like I said. A bad, bad year. And... I know that is about the time when I started to come emotionally off the rails and things changed for me. So I always sort of just assumed... that my brokenness was all the result of this social trauma I'd been through or what not. I mean, we all try to make sense of ourselves and our experiences somehow, through some sort of story, explanation. And that became my self-narrative.
Specifically, the sort of mental health struggles I ended up with were major emotion regulation issues. Like way-exaggerated reactions to small things. High level of emotional reactivity, particularly rejection sensitivity, and high level of obsessive-compulsive level rumination and depression. Struggled with these things basically for life since, and always just assumed, well, that's how I am. Guess my experiences broke me, or maybe I was broken from birth. The way I tend to characterize myself in short-hand is as a "mini-borderline." (I'm a genuine licensed psychologist, so I can throw terms like that around if I want to!) And you can look up symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder if you're interested in learning more about that. But here is how I would qualitatively describe my problems:
A high level of emotional immaturity. It is like a 4-year-old child is running the show emotionally. And I can SEE it happening at the time (I have no problem with my higher cognitive functions!) -- I can KNOW I am being ridiculous, over-reacting, being childish, whatever, but I unfortunately can't CONTROL that reaction. My stunted capacity for emotional regulation lost me a lot of friends. A lot of relationships. I was "too much" for a lot of people to deal with in that way. When I was sad, I was *TOO* intensely sad, boyfriends told me. SCARY sad. I was clingy. I was needy. I couldn't self-soothe. I hated being alone more than anything. My 4-year-old emotional self was always quivering in fear and always looking for somebody to save them. But there was never anybody around when they desperately needed that comfort and reassurance.
No problem with higher cognitive capacities. And was always of course embarrassed, ashamed, and so on for knowing there was something wrong with me and I wasn't able to function like other people in a "mature" emotional way. But I couldn't change it. Not after more than 12 years of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy or Dialective Behavioral Therapy or insight-oriented therapy or trauma-based therapy. Not after trying a dozen different anti-depressants and mood stabilizers. I guessed it was just who I was. I guessed I was just too broken by my trauma history or whatever to ever really fix.
And that was the story I told myself. To make sense of who I was and why.
Only... what IF. It had never really been true.
What if... there had been a pretty significant organic component the whole entire time?
What if it had a little something to do with my brain sliding into my spinal canal and blocking CSF flow?
Well... let's talk about the what-if.
In doing my week of deep-dive research into Chiari (since being diagnosed on 5/5/23, and meeting with Dr. Stieg for MRI review and consultation on 5/18), I learned a thing or two about Chiari
For example, I learned from Dr. Judy Hwang at Johns Hopkins
... that although Chiari is congenital, there is OFTEN a particular moment that people can remember that triggered their symptoms. That these are often things like head blows and whiplash. (Which, of course, makes total sense. The force of the incident made the herniation worse, or as she mentions, due to the Chiari the person probably doesn't have the natural reserve of CSF that they should bathing and protecting the brain either.
And I learned this. That there's a good amount of evidence to show the cerebellum ain't just about balance, baby:
"Recently, different studies have provided evidence that the presence of cerebellar degeneration or stroke may involve cognitive deficits beyond motor impairment, including the ability to form concepts and other language disorders [1, 2], impairment in executive functions [3], and visuospatial deficits [4], accompanied in many cases by a regressive personality, and emotional lability or dramatic mood swings."
[...] "cerebellar cognitive affective syndrome described by Schmahmann and Sherman [5] as characterized by the following: (a) Disturbances of executive function, including deficient planning, set-shifting, abstract reasoning, working memory, and decreased verbal fluency, (b) Impaired spatial cognition, including visuospatial disorganization and impaired visuospatial memory, (c) Linguistic difficulties, including dysprosodia, agrammatism, and mild anomia, and (d) Personality change, characterized by flattening or blunting of affect, and disinhibited or inappropriate behavior. [...] Personality changes include flattening or blunting of affect, disinhibited behaviors, such as over-familiarity, flamboyance, impulsive actions, humorous but inappropriate and flippant comments, regressive, childlike behaviors, and obsessive-compulsive traits."
Now, far be it from me to gain-say personal hero and actual expert in the field Dr. Philip Stieg (those who know me are laughing -- I am the sort of person who will argue with anyone about anything. KIND of a favorite personal hobby, and at times a bit annoying, as my family and friends would attest). I know he said in that lecture that Chiari wouldn't be expected to have significant cognitive or emotional effects unless hydrocephalus was also at play.
And maybe this is all just simple, 100% placebo effect. And the seemingly miraculous benefits will all fade away soon. I'm just saying... since waking up from my Chiari surgery, my mood has been wonderful. Calm, happy. No more depression, anxious rumination, weird obsessive-compulsive fixations... I kept assuming, of course, that this was just a temporary effect of pain medications, or muscle relaxant medications, or steroids, or SOMETHING. Maybe the steroids had triggered a hypomanic high, as the body's hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis was working on straightening itself back out. Maybe it was just the VAST, VAST relief of pretty much all the physical pain and problems that had been torturing me for the past 7 years suddenly being gone. I mean, obviously a mood this great wasn't actually going to LAST. Right? But nice to enjoy it while it does, anyway.
I literallly called my first week after surgery "magical." My magical week. Emotionally calm and happy in a way I literally could not remember EVER having experienced. Sure, my neck and skull had been split open and hurt a little. But I honestly didn't care. I just felt so overall good. And DIFFERENT, emotionally. And it manifested in all kinds of little ways
I told you about my 4-year-old child emotional part. Always needy and scared. It's practically like I have no sense of object-permanence - like within a few days of a friend being out of sight, I can't even be sure that they exist anymore. And so that causes a lot of issues for me with this one particularly close friend of ours. He's not really a caller or a texter or a stay-in-touch type. Which has caused me all kinds of misery and struggles, because of my own emotional deficits and neediness. But.... from the moment I woke up from surgery. I didn't /have/ that constant quivering 4-year-old fear anymore. I knew this friend was my friend and cared about me. I knew I'd see him again soon, even if not right then. It was completely, completely different.
Another example -- weird obsessive-compulsive stuff around eating. I would often be petrified with fear, due to this overpowering conviction that if I got too fat, no one would love me anymore. I'd do weird highly unhealthy restricted eating and over-exercising things when I got into that mode because I was just so fixated on it and terrified about it. Another 5 lbs, and maybe no one would be capable of loving me anymore.
I noticed immediately after the Chiari surgery I had no concerns about it. I was able to eat when I was hungry without any worry at all. I knew people would love me whether I was fat or not. It had nothing to do with whether my friends (or my husband) loved me. I could just like... eat like a normal person without worrying about it at all. As much as I wanted. Whenever I was hungry. So nice, right???
So even though I warned myself not to get ahead of myself, and that these were probably just temporary effects of feeling a whole hell of a lot of instant pain relief... as the days passed... and passed... and I remained content and happy and basically didn't have ANY of my former mental health struggles at all... I began to wonder if something else had really been going on here all along.
And thinking back, and back, on when my real mood regulation difficulties first began. Age 13. And what Dr. Judy Hwang had said about trauma. About a lot of people being able to recall a particular trauma -- head blow, whiplash -- around the time their symptoms began. And then I remembered something that I'd never even told Dr. Stieg about my history -- because it hadn't fit the personal narrative I'd created, right, of my own emotional struggles, and I'd kind of forgotten about it.
I *did* have my first traumatic brain injury at age 13. My family was frolicking at a winter party and we foolishly decided it would be a good idea to try to navigate this metal canoe down this steep icy hill as a sled. We hit a tree. I hit my head and was thrown out. I was unconscious and seizing on the ground. I had a bit of a headache and concussion afterward, but doc said I could count down by 7s, and was probably fine.
What if I had Chiari to start, and that herniation was made worse by the TBI, and *that* is why all the real emotional struggles began for me at that time? And what if it had been this cognitive-affective cerebellar syndrome thing *ALL* the goddamned time, my whole entire life since?
I've had MORE trauma since, whiplash from car accident in recent years, so that could again explain a worsening of herniation and rapid escalation of symptoms in recent years.
Another thing I wonder about is my severe visual-spacial deficits. I am one of those people who can drive a route every day, a thousand times, and still need a GPS to get there. I have a true disability in that regard. I wonder if that has anything to do with the Chiari. I wonder if that should have been a clue all along to the organic nature of the problem
So I am still thinking, and processing, and exploring, and figuring out.
But the exciting upshot is, it really DOES appear so far that the Chiari surgery solved not only all my PHYSICAL problems... but emotional problems I'd been struggling with since the age of 13 as well.
Here's another thing in favor of a cerebellar cognitive-affective syndrome being a significant contributing cause of my emotional regulation issues.
Let's look at what happened with my mood the first week post-surgery:
Day 1 (5/24): (immediately after waking up from surgery)
A little lability. That night at dinner, I cried because I couldn't get the food cart slid over enough over the hospital bed to eat without dropping two pieces of saucy pasta on my night shirt, and couldn't move my neck more forward to eat because of the surgery. (My husband solved the problem by holding the plate close to my mouth while I ate. Thanks, dear. After food I felt better.)
Day 2 (5/25): Wonderful mood
Day 3 (5/26): Wonderful mood
Day 4 (5/27): Wonderful mood
Day 5 (5/28): Wonderful mood
Day 6 (5/29): Wonderful mood
Day 7 (5/30): Wonderful mood
Day 8 (5/31): Wonderful mood.
So 8 days of consecutive great mood and none of my typical emotional issues or struggles.
BUT then... we have Day 9. 6/1.
When I started to feel really terrible. In all the ways I /usually/ feel terrible again. Here's an excerpt I was writing to my friend about it: "Well, first major downturn in mood last night at about 10:30 pm. I guess I am still me. And Chiari surgery didn’t fix EVERYTHING. I was feeling *SO* good for a few days I guess I must have left my hopes get a little unrealistically high." Back to pacing, crying, agitated, depressive rumination, feeling that nobody loved me. Like I'd always felt before. Assumed that was going to be the end of my "magical" post-surgery week.
Except that... it WASN'T the end of my happy mood bubble.
I continued feeling pretty good every day since then.
But you know what WAS different that night? The one night I felt so terrible? I'd apparently developed... a strep infection.
So that gets you thinking, doesn't it? An infection, causing maybe some swelling... and triggering a return to symptoms like I had always had before. Strep was treated with antibiotics and my mood has continued to be wonderful since, with no returns to the old emotional troubles. No depression, my extreme mood reactivity, no anxious panicky feelings of friends "disappearing" when they are out of my sight. Just a seemingly full and complete ability to emotionally process as an adult rather than a 4-year-old.
Could all those emotion regulation problems REALLY just have been the result of cerebellar cognitive-affective syndrome?
What story do I tell myself now? About why I have always been the way I have... and how that has suddenly so drastically changed?
And pretty drastic it is. Let me give you an example of what my typical emotional functioning before Chiari surgery was like.
Strep/swollen brain night (old brain): "Boo hoo, I have no friends, my friend's aren't talking to me, nobody loves me, I have no friends, nobody even gave me any cards.." Followed by frantic pacing and crying. I then proceeded to send one of my dearest friends an e-mail accusing him of wishing I had died or clearly not caring at all if I had. (Clingy, terrified 4-year-old clearly driving the emotional truck. It is embarrassing, the way that 4-year-old acts. But I could never control it.)
And then here, for point of comparison, is my emotional functioning AFTER Chiari surgery: (once I got the strep infection sorted)
Chiari-fixed brain: "Wow. I should probably let all my friends know what's going on." Proceeds to email 15 friends and tell them what is going on, receiving lots of instant emails and concern and support from everyone, and one particularly impressive get-well bouquet.
It just seems like it is much easier for me to function like a reasonable, emotionally mature adult and process emotional information appropriately -- now that my brain is no longer falling down my spine. (And I guess that's really maybe not SO surprising, right?? 😂)
So overall, I continue to be amazed and delighted by the results of my surgery. But there is really a LOT to process here.
I feel like a whole brand new person, a Version 2.0. (I hope my friends like the new me!)
It is definitely going to take some time to get to know this new me myself.
But don't get me wrong... I totally can't wait to get started!!
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2023.06.05 06:51 PancakeArtiste77 I don't want to be in contact with my father anymore

(Sorry if you don't understand some of the things I say, English is my second language so I am still learning)
I (21M) have lived a relatively easy life. Parents are divorced since I was 2, but kept being good friends to make sure I grew up with a good relationship with both of them. My mother used to work as a "quality-controller" in pharmaceutical research, she traveled a lot(mostly the US and Canada) to do conferences and check ups on some clients projects and my father has been working at the same Company for the last 21 years (missed his first day of work because my mom delivered the same day). Since my mother wasn't home often, I spent most of my childhood at my father's place (even tho the custody was 50/50, my father was glad to have me more). I developed a strong bond with my father until I got to 7th grade. I don't know what happened, but he started to make comments about my weight (which was a lot more than usual for my age), my grades, my look, my passions...
One night I received my grades for my first semester (11th grade) and out of the 9 subjects, 3 were in the 90s, 4 in the 80s and 2 in the 60s and he flipped. My mom had moved away with her new boyfriend (5+ hours away) at that time but was still seeing me every 2-3 weeks. He punched a hole in the wall and cursed me out for at least 3 hours before kicking me out. My grades arrived on Wednesday and I was gone the day after. I had to leave everything behind, friends, cat, GF, football team, school, everything...
The first thing I did was join the football team so I could make new connections quickly, and it worked. Coming from a bigger division team to a rock bottom team made me shine un my last season in 2018. I got recruited by a high-school that was exactly halfway from my parents houses, so about 2.5 hours in each direction. For the first time, I wasn't gonna have to choose between a toxic father or step father, I was to be free and on my own. When my father learned that I wasn't moving back with him, it got ugly. My mother was the devil and it was her fault if I was pulling away from him.
I moved to the high-school residential campus in 2019, i quickly realized that I needed to put more effort in school and in football to succeed, but didn't do it. COVID made me become the laziest person of all time. I wasn't studying or training and it took a hit on me. I almost got expected for failing classes and sucking at football (which is bad in D1, Canadian D1). My father, in his own words "was always doing it out of loneliness and sadness". I always felt bad for not caring about his problems, him kicking me out and being violent (physically but mostly verbally) changed the vision I had of the man who raised me. Out of nowhere, I got my life together and decided that I was to make my own path to success, so I worked my ass of to become the best on class and in football (went from failing all my classes and not playing, to being awarded for my grades and becoming a big name in my region) .
When I saw him the last time, we had spent about 1 weeks time together in 4 years, so he doesn't really know me anymore and I don't know what's going on in his life either. In December 2022 I got a scholarship to play football in university and got accepted for a bachelor's degree in political sciences. I didn't tell my father about any of that, he found out on Facebook like everyone else and I don't feel guilty. I feel like I am in the place a want mentally and physically and I don't feel like he's coming back to me for the good reasons. I've tried to rebuild our relationship but I feel like a stranger to him.
Should I try to let him back in my life?
submitted by PancakeArtiste77 to offmychest [link] [comments]

2023.06.05 05:37 Theorpo I Got Rejected for the first time. (And a little more stuff from today)

When I saw posts here. I really wanted to have a happy situation to tell. But as of 3 1/2 hours ago I got rejected. I'll start top to bottom of my day. But first Backstory. I've been loving the heck out of this girl since 7th grade and we are now sophomores. At the Beginning of Freshman year, I asked my friend who did have her number If I could have it. (I could at that point never have done it myself.) Finally last day of Freshman year I texted here saying
"Hey -----! This is ----, I got your number from a friend. Just wanted to say Hello! We've been waving in the hallway and such all year. But how's life going? How have you been doing this year? Anyways just saying hi right now and I hope to see you next year!"
I sent this May 26th and didn't get a response and I decided to make sure I had the right number even
Hey! it's me ----. Is this -----'s phone number? Just wondering.
Then about 4 hours ago I got a response finally.
Sorry, wrong number. Please stop texting this number.
My heart sank. I truly was in denial I went to my friend that gave me the number and I asked him Did I get the right number like is that ----- -----------'s number? and he said
"Yes it is."
And I just broke down crying I haven't done anything but sit in silence I don't think I've said a single word accept insulting myself while crying. I have been building up this day and putting many things of my very small attention size due to ADHD to the side for this and I'm just defeated... I don't know what to do. What doesn't help is that earlier today I put down my dog that has been in the family for 14 years (he was a 19 year old Labrador) I've known him all my life and I've put that guy down. I've known this girl since pre school and this relationship Is either put down or will never be the same. Idk what to do. I have nothing to support mey mom can't drive me to counseling and I will be working this year my family hasn't had a job in 7 years now so I have been carrying this household family friends bring me to the store and I grab items and soon that's gone cause I will have to drive. I'm crying and I don't know what to do. I need something out there I've got no one.
submitted by Theorpo to offmychest [link] [comments]

2023.06.04 14:34 Dirtclodkoolaid AMA RESOLUTION 235

“Resolution 235 asks that our AMA applaud the CDC for its efforts to prevent the incidence of new cases of opioid misuse, addiction, and overdose deaths; and be it further, that no entity should use MME thresholds as anything more than guidance and that MME thresholds should not be used to completely prohibit the prescribing of, or the filling of prescriptions for, medications used in oncology care, palliative medicine care, and addiction medicine care: and be it further, that our AMA communicate with the nation’s largest pharmacy chains and pharmacy benefit managers to recommend that they cease and desist with writing threatening letters to physicians and cease and desist with presenting policies, procedures and directives to retail pharmacists that include a blanket proscription against filling prescriptions for opioids that exceed certain numerical thresholds without taking into account the diagnosis and previous response to treatment for a patient and any clinical nuances that would support such prescribing as falling within standards of good quality patient care; and be it further, that AMA Policy opposing the legislating of numerical limits on medication dosage, duration of therapy, numbers of pills/tablets, etc., be reaffirmed; and be it further, that physicians should not be subject to professional discipline or loss of board certification or loss of clinical privileges simply for prescribing opioids at a quantitative level that exceeds the MME thresholds found in the CDC Guidelines; and be it further, that our AMA encourage the Federation of State Medical Boards and its member boards, medical specialty societies, and other entities to develop improved guidance on management of pain and management of potential withdrawal syndromes and other aspects of patient care for “legacy patients” who may have been treated for extended periods of time with high-dose opioid therapy for chronic non-malignant pain.
RESOLVED, that our American Medical Association (AMA) applaud the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for its efforts to prevent the incidence of new cases of opioid misuse, addiction, and overdose deaths
RESOLVED, that our AMA actively continue to communicate and engage with the nation’s largest pharmacy chains, pharmacy benefit managers, National Association of Insurance Commissioners, Federation of State Medical Boards, and National Association of Boards of Pharmacy in opposition to communications being sent to physicians that include a blanket proscription against filing prescriptions for opioids that exceed numerical thresholds without taking into account the diagnosis and previous response to treatment for a patient and any clinical nuances that would support such prescribing as falling within standards of good quality patient care.
RESOLVED, that our AMA affirms that some patients with acute or chronic pain can benefit from taking opioid pain medications at doses greater than generally recommended in the CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain and that such care may be medically necessary and appropriate, and be it further
RESOLVED, that our AMA advocate against misapplication of the CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids by pharmacists, health insurers, pharmacy benefit managers, legislatures, and governmental and private regulatory bodies in ways that prevent or limit patients’ medical access to opioid analgesia, and be it further
RESOLVED, that our AMA advocate that no entity should use MME (morphine milligram equivalents) thresholds as anything more than guidance, and physicians should not be subject to professional discipline, loss of board certification, loss of clinical privileges, criminal prosecution, civil liability, or other penalties or practice limitations solely for prescribing opioids at a quantitative level above the MME thresholds found in the CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids.””
Pain Management Best Practices Inter-Agency Task Force - Draft Report on Pain Management Best Practices: Updates, Gaps, Inconsistencies, and Recommendations Official Health and Human Services Department Released December 2018
“The Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) of 2016 led to the creation of the Pain Management Best Practices Inter-Agency Task Force (Task Force), whose mission is to determine whether gaps in or inconsistencies between best practices for acute and chronic pain management exist and to propose updates and recommendations to those best practices. The Task Force consists of 29 experts who have significant experience across the disciplines of pain management, patient advocacy, substance use disorders, mental health, and minority health.”
In addition to identifying approximately 60 gaps in clinical best practices and the current treatment of pain in the United States, HHS PMTF provided recommendations for each of these major areas of concern. In alignment with their original charter, the PMTF will submit these recommendations to Congress to become our ‘National Pain Policy’. The 60+ gaps and inconsistencies with their recommendations will serve to fill gaps in pain treatment at both the state and federal level; and the overwhelming consensus was that the treatment of pain should be multimodal and completely individualized based on the individual patient. The heart of each recommendation in each section was a resounding call for individualization for each patient, in regards to both non-pharmacological and pharmacological modalities; including individualizations in both opioid and non-opioid pharmacological treatments.
While each of the gap+recommendation sections of what is poised to become our national pain policy is extremely important, one that stands out the most (in regards to opioid prescribing) is the Stigma section. Contained in this section is one of the core statements that shows our Health and Human Services agency - the one that should have always been looked to and followed - knew the true depth of the relationship (or lack of) between the overdose crisis and compassionate prescribing to patients with painful conditions:
“The national crisis of illicit drug use, with overdose deaths, is confused with appropriate therapy for patients who are being treated for pain. This confusion has created a stigma that contributes to raise barriers to proper access to care.”
The recommendation that follows - “Identify strategies to reduce stigma in opioid use so that it is never a barrier to patients receiving appropriate treatment, with all cautions and considerations for the management of their chronic pain conditions” - illustrates an acknowledgment by the top health agency of the federal government that the current national narrative conflating and confusing compassionate treatment of pain with illicit drug use, addiction, and overdose death is incorrect and only serving to harm patients.
Since March of 2016 when the CDC Guidelines were released, advocates, patients, clinicians, stakeholders, and others, have began pointing out limitations and unintended consequences as they emerged. In order to address the unintended consequences emerging from the CDC Guidelines, this task force was also charged with review of these guidelines; from expert selection, evidence selection, creation, and continuing to current misapplication in order to provide recommendations to begin to remedy these issues.
“A commentary by Busse et al. identified several limitations to the CDC guideline related to expert selection, evidence inclusion criteria, method of evidence quality grading, support of recommendations with low-quality evidence, and instances of vague recommendations. In addition, the CDC used the criterion of a lack of clinical trials with a duration of one year or longer as lack of evidence for the clinical effectiveness of opioids, whereas Tayeb et al. found that that was true for all common medication and behavioral therapy studies.
Interpretation of the guideline, in addition to some gaps in the guideline, have led to unintended consequences, some of which are the result of misapplication or misinterpretation of the CDC guideline.
However, at least 28 states have enacted legislation related to opioid prescription limits, and many states and organizations have implemented the guideline without recognizing that the intended audience was PCPs; have used legislation for what should be medical decision making by healthcare professionals; and have applied them to all physicians, dentists, NPs, and PAs, including pain specialists.441–444 Some stakeholders have interpreted the guideline as intended to broadly reduce the amount of opioids prescribed for treating pain; some experts have noted that the guideline emphasizes the risk of opioids while minimizing the benefit of this medication class when properly managed.”
“The CDC guideline was not intended to be model legislation for state legislators to enact”
“In essence, clinicians should be able to use their clinical judgment to determine opioid duration for their patients”
HHS Review of 2016 CDC Guidelines for responsible opioid prescribing
The Pain Management Task Force addressed 8 areas that are in need of update or expansion with recommendations to begin remediation for each problem area:
Lack of high-quality data exists for duration of effectiveness of opioids for chronic pain; this has been interpreted as a lack of benefit Conduct studies Focus on patient variability and response for effectiveness of opioids; use real-world applicable trials
Absence of criteria for identifying patients for whom opioids make up significant part of their pain treatment Conduct clinical trials and/or reviews to identify sub-populations of patients where long-term opioid treatment is appropriate
Wide variation in factors that affect optimal dose of opioids Consider patient variables for opioid therapy: Respiratory compromise Patient metabolic variables Differences in opioid medications/plasma concentrations Preform comprehensive initial assessment it’s understanding of need for comprehensive reevaluations to adjust dose Give careful considerations to patients on opioid pain regimen with additional risk factors for OUD
Specific guidelines for opioid tapering and escalation need to be further clarified A thorough assessment of risk-benefit ratio should occur whenever tapering or escalation of dose This should include collaboration with patient whenever possible Develop taper or dose escalation guidelines for sub-populations that include consideration of their comorbidities When benefit outweighs the risk, consider maintaining therapy for stable patients on long term opioid therapy
Causes of worsening pain are not often recognized or considered. Non-tolerance related factors: surgery, flares, increased physical demands, or emotional distress Avoid increase in dose for stable patient (2+ month stable dose) until patient is re-evaluated for underlying cause of elevated pain or possible OUD risk Considerations to avoid dose escalation include: Opioid rotation Non-opioid medication Interventional strategies Cognitive behavior strategies Complementary and integrative health approaches Physical therapy
In patients with chronic pain AND anxiety or spasticity, benzodiazepine co-prescribed with opioids still have clinical value; although the risk of overdose is well established When clinically indicated, co-prescription should be managed by specialist who have knowledge, training, and experience with co-prescribing. When co-prescribed for anxiety or SUD collaboration with mental health should be considered Develop clinical practice guidelines focused on tapering for co-prescription of benzodiazepines and opioids
The risk-benefit balance varies for individual patients. Doses >90MME may be favorable for some where doses <90MME may be for other patients due to individual patient factors. Variability in effectiveness and safety between high and low doses of opioids are not clearly defined. Clinicians should use caution with higher doses in general Using carefully monitored trial with frequent monitoring with each dose adjustment and regular risk reassessment, physicians should individualize doses, using lowest effective opioid dose that balances benefit, risk, and adverse reactions Many factors influence benefits and risk, therefore, guidance of dose should not be applied as strict limits. Use established and measurable goals: Functionality ADL Quality of Life
Duration of pain following acute and severely painful event is widely variable Appropriate duration is best considered within guidelines, but is ultimately determined by treating clinician. CDC recommendation for duration should be emphasized as guidance only with individualized patient care as the goal Develop acute pain management guidelines for common surgical procedures and traumas To address variability and provide easy solution, consideration should be given to partial refill system
Human Rights Watch December 2018 (Excerpt from 109 page report)
“If harms to chronic pain patients are an unintended consequence of policies to reduce inappropriate prescribing, the government should seek to immediately minimize and measure the negative impacts of these policies. Any response should avoid further stigmatizing chronic pain patients, who are increasingly associated with — and sometimes blamed for — the overdose crisis and characterized as “drug seekers,” rather than people with serious health problems that require treatment.
Top government officials, including the President, have said the country should aim for drastic cutbacks in prescribing. State legislatures encourage restrictions on prescribing through new legislation or regulations. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has investigated medical practitioners accused of overprescribing or fraudulent practice. State health agencies and insurance companies routinely warn physicians who prescribe more opioids than their peers and encourage them to reduce prescribing. Private insurance companies have imposed additional requirements for covering opioids, some state Medicaid programs have mandated tapering to lower doses for patients, and pharmacy chains are actively trying to reduce the volumes of opioids they dispense.
The medical community at large recognized that certain key steps were necessary to tackle the overdose crisis: identifying and cracking down on “pill mills” and reducing the use of opioids for less severe pain, particularly for children and adolescents. However, the urgency to tackle the overdose crisis has put pressure on physicians in other potentially negative ways: our interviews with dozens of physicians found that the atmosphere around prescribing for chronic pain had become so fraught that physicians felt they must avoid opioid analgesics even in cases when it contradicted their view of what would provide the best care for their patients. In some cases, this desire to cut back on opioid prescribing translated to doctors tapering patients off their medications without patient consent, while in others it meant that physicians would no longer accept patients who had a history of needing high-dose opioids.
The consequences to patients, according to Human Rights Watch research, have been catastrophic.”
Opioid Prescribing Workgroup December 2018
This is material from the Board of Scientific Counselors in regards to their December 12, 2018 meeting that culminated the works of a project titled the “Opioid Prescribing Estimates Project.” This project is a descriptive study that is examining opioid prescribing patterns at a population level. Pain management is a very individualized process that belongs with the patient and provider. The Workgroup reviewed work done by CDC and provided additional recommendations.
SUMMARY There were several recurrent themes throughout the sessions.
Repeated concern was voiced from many Workgroup members that the CDC may not be able to prevent conclusions from this research (i.e. the benchmarks, developed from limited data) from being used by states or payors or clinical care systems to constrain clinical care or as pay-for- performance standards – i.e. interpreted as “guidelines”. This issue was raised by several members on each of the four calls, raising the possibility that providers or clinical systems could thus be incentivized against caring for patients requiring above average amounts of opioid medication.
Risk for misuse of the analysis. Several members expressed concerns that this analysis could be interpreted as guidance by regulators, health plans, or clinical care systems. Even though the CDC does not plan to issue this as a guideline, but instead as research, payors and clinical care systems searching for ways to reign in opioid prescribing may utilize CDC “benchmarks” to establish pay-for-performance or other means to limit opioid prescribing. Such uses of this work could have the unintended effect of incentivizing providers against caring for patients reliant upon opioids.
…It was also noted that, in order to obtain sufficient granularity to establish the need for, dosage, and duration of opioid therapy, it would be necessary to have much more extensive electronic medical record data. In addition, pain and functional outcomes are absent from the dataset, but were felt to be important when considering risk and benefit of opioids.
...Tapering: Concerns about benchmarks and the implications for tapering were voiced. If tapering occurs, guidance was felt to be needed regarding how, when, in whom tapering should occur. This issue was felt to be particularly challenging for patients on chronic opioids (i.e. “legacy” patients). In addition, the importance of measuring risk and benefit of tapering was noted. Not all high-dose patient populations benefit from tapering.
Post-Surgical Pain
General comments. Workgroup members noted that most patients prescribed opioids do not experience adverse events, including use disorder. Many suggested that further discussion of opioids with patients prior to surgery was important, with an emphasis on expectations and duration of treatment. A member suggested that take-back programs would be more effective than prescribing restrictions.
Procedure-related care. Members noted that patient factors may drive opioid need more than characteristics of a procedure.
Patient-level factors. Members noted that opioid-experienced patients should be considered differently from opioid-inexperienced patients, due to tolerance.
Chronic Pain
It was noted that anything coming out of the CDC might be considered as guidelines and that this misinterpretation can be difficult to counter. There was extensive discussion of the 50 and 90 MME levels included in the CDC Guidelines. It was recommended that the CDC look into the adverse effects of opioid tapering and discontinuation, such as illicit opioid use, acute care utilization, dropping out of care, and suicide. It was also noted that there are major gaps in guidelines for legacy patients, patients with multiple diagnoses, pediatric and geriatric patients, and patients transitioning to lower doses.
There were concerns that insufficient clinical data will be available from the dataset to appropriately consider the individual-level factors that weigh into determination of opioid therapy. The data would also fail to account for the shared decision-making process involved in opioid prescribing for chronic pain conditions, which may be dependent on primary care providers as well as ancillary care providers (e.g. physical therapists, psychologists, etc).
Patient-level factors. Members repeatedly noted that opioid-experienced patients should be considered differently from opioid-experienced patients, due to tolerance.
Members noted that the current CDC guidelines have been used by states, insurance companies, and some clinical care systems in ways that were not intended by the CDC, resulting in cases of and the perception of patient abandonment. One option raised in this context was to exclude patients on high doses of opioids, as those individuals would be qualitatively different from others. A variant of this concern was about management of “legacy” patients who are inherited on high doses of opioids. Members voiced concerns that results of this work has caused harm to patients currently reliant upon opioids prescribed by their providers.
Acute Non-Surgical Pain
Patient-level factors. Members felt that opioid naïve versus experienced patients might again be considered separately, as opioid requirements among those experienced could vary widely.
...Guidelines were also noted to be often based on consensus, which may be incorrect.
Cancer-Related and Palliative Care Pain
It was noted that the CDC guidelines have been misinterpreted to create a limit to the dose of opioids that can be provided to people at all stages of cancer and its treatment. It was also noted that the cancer field is rapidly evolving, with immunotherapy, CAR-T, and other novel treatments that affect response rates and limit our ability to rely upon historical data in establishing opioid prescribing benchmarks.
Concern that data would not be able to identify all of the conditions responsible for pain in a patient with a history of cancer (e.g. people who survive cancer but with severe residual pain). Further, it was noted that certain complications of cancer and cancer treatment may require the least restrictive long-term therapy with opioids.
The definition of palliative care was also complicated and it was suggested that this include patients with life-limiting conditions.
Overall, it was felt that in patients who may not have long to live, and/or for whom returning to work is not a possibility, higher doses of opioids may be warranted.
CDC Scientists Anonymous ‘Spider Letter’ to CDC
Carmen S. Villar, MSW Chief of Staff Office of the Director MS D­14 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 1600 Clifton Road Atlanta, Georgia 30329­-4027
August 29, 2016
Dear Ms. Villar:
We are a group of scientists at CDC that are very concerned about the current state of ethics at our agency. It appears that our mission is being influenced and shaped by outside parties and rogue interests. It seems that our mission and Congressional intent for our agency is being circumvented by some of our leaders. What concerns us most, is that it is becoming the norm and not the rare exception. Some senior management officials at CDC are clearly aware and even condone these behaviors. Others see it and turn the other way. Some staff are intimidated and pressed to do things they know are not right. We have representatives from across the agency that witness this unacceptable behavior. It occurs at all levels and in all of our respective units. These questionable and unethical practices threaten to undermine our credibility and reputation as a trusted leader in public health. We would like to see high ethical standards and thoughtful, responsible management restored at CDC. We are asking that you do your part to help clean up this house!
It is puzzling to read about transgressions in national media outlets like USA Today, The Huffington Post and The Hill. It is equally puzzling that nothing has changed here at CDC as a result. It’s business as usual. The litany of issues detailed over the summer are of particular concern:
Recently, the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (NCCDPHP) has been implicated in a “cover up” of inaccurate screening data for the Wise Woman (WW) Program. There was a coordinated effort by that Center to “bury” the fact that screening numbers for the WW program were misrepresented in documents sent to Congress; screening numbers for 2014 and 2015 did not meet expectations despite a multi­million dollar investment; and definitions were changed and data “cooked” to make the results look better than they were. Data were clearly manipulated in irregular ways. An “internal review” that involved staff across CDC occurred and its findings were essentially suppressed so media and/or Congressional staff would not become aware of the problems. Now that both the media and Congresswoman DeLauro are aware of these issues, CDC staff have gone out of their way to delay FOIAs and obstruct any inquiry. Shouldn’t NCCDPHP come clean and stop playing games? Would the ethical thing be to answer the questions fully and honestly. The public should know the true results of what they paid for, shouldn’t they?
Another troubling issue at the NCCDPHP are the adventures of Drs. Barbara Bowman and Michael Pratt (also detailed in national media outlets). Both seemed to have irregular (if not questionable) relationships with Coca­Cola and ILSI representatives. Neither of these relationships were necessary (or appropriate) to uphold our mission. Neither organization added any value to the good work and science already underway at CDC. In fact, these ties have now called into question and undermined CDC’s work. A cloud has been cast over the ethical and excellent work of scientists due to this wanton behavior. Was cultivating these relationships worth dragging CDC through the mud? Did Drs. Bowman and Pratt have permission to pursue these relationships from their supervisor Dr. Ursula Bauer? Did they seek and receive approval of these outside activities? CDC has a process by which such things should be vetted and reported in an ethics review, tracking and approval system (EPATS). Furthermore, did they disclose these conflicts of interest on their yearly OGE 450 filing. Is there an approved HHS 520, HHS 521 or “Request for Official Duty Activities Involving an Outside Organization” approved by Dr. Bauer or her Deputy Director Ms. Dana Shelton? An August 28, 2016 item in The Hill details these issues and others related to Dr. Pratt.
It appears to us that something very strange is going on with Dr. Pratt. He is an active duty Commissioned Corps Officer in the USPHS, yet he was “assigned to” Emory University for a quite some time. How and under what authority was this done? Did Emory University pay his salary under the terms of an IPA? Did he seek and receive an outside activity approval through EPATS and work at Emory on Annual Leave? Formal supervisor endorsement and approval (from Dr. Bauer or Ms. Shelton) is required whether done as an official duty or outside activity.
If deemed official, did he file a “Request for Official Duty Activities Involving an Outside Organization” in EPATS? Apparently Dr. Pratt’s position at Emory University has ended and he has accepted another position at the University of California ­ San Diego? Again, how is this possible while he is still an active duty USPHS Officer. Did he retire and leave government service? Is UCSD paying for his time via an IPA? Does he have an outside activity approval to do this? Will this be done during duty hours? It is rumored that Dr. Pratt will occupy this position while on Annual Leave? Really? Will Dr. Pratt be spending time in Atlanta when not on Annual Leave? Will he make an appearance at NCCDPHP (where he hasn’t been seen for months). Most staff do not enjoy such unique positions supported and approved by a Center Director (Dr. Bauer). Dr. Pratt has scored a sweet deal (not available to most other scientists at CDC). Concerns about these two positions and others were recently described in The Huffington Post and The Hill. His behavior and that of management surrounding this is very troubling.
Finally, most of the scientists at CDC operate with the utmost integrity and ethics. However, this “climate of disregard” puts many of us in difficult positions. We are often directed to do things we know are not right. For example, Congress has made it very clear that domestic funding for NCCDPHP (and other CIOs) should be used for domestic work and that the bulk of NCCDPHP funding should be allocated to program (not research). If this is the case, why then is NCCDPHP taking domestic staff resources away from domestic priorities to work on global health issues? Why in FY17 is NCCDPHP diverting money away from program priorities that directly benefit the public to support an expensive research FOA that may not yield anything that benefits the public? These actions do not serve the public well. Why is nothing being done to address these problems? Why has the CDC OD turned a blind eye to these things. The lack of respect for science and scientists that support CDC’s legacy is astonishing.
Please do the right thing. Please be an agent of change.
CDC Spider (CDC Scientists Preserving Integrity, Diligence and Ethics in Research)
January 13, 2016
Thomas Frieden, MD, MPH Director Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 1600 Clifton Road Atlanta, GA 30329-4027
Re: Docket No. CDC-2015-0112; Proposed 2016 Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain
Dear Dr. Frieden:
There is no question that there is an opioid misuse epidemic and that efforts need to be made to control it. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is applauded for its steps to undertake this lofty effort. However, based on the American Academy of Family Physicians’ (AAFP’s) review of the guideline, it is apparent that the presented recommendations are not graded at a level consistent with currently available evidence. The AAFP certainly wants to promote safe and appropriate prescribing of opioids; however, we recommend that the CDC still adhere to the rigorous standards for reliable and trustworthy guidelines set forth by the Institute of Medicine (IOM). The AAFP believes that giving a strong recommendation derived from generalizations based on consensus expert opinion does not adhere to evidence-based standards for developing clinical guideline recommendations.
The AAFP’s specific concerns with the CDC’s methodology, evidence base, and recommendations are outlined below.
Methodology and Evidence Base
All of the recommendations are based on low or very low quality evidence, yet all but one are Category A (or strong) recommendations. The guideline states that in the GRADE methodology "a particular quality of evidence does not necessarily imply a particular strength of recommendation." While this is true, it applies when benefits significantly outweigh harms (or vice versa). When there is insufficient evidence to determine the benefits and harms of a recommendation, that determination should not be made.
When evaluating the benefits of opioids, the evidence review only included studies with outcomes of at least one year. However, studies with shorter intervals were allowed for analysis of the benefits of nonopioid treatments. The guideline states that no evidence shows long-term benefit of opioid use (because there are few studies), yet the guideline reports "extensive evidence" of potential harms, even though these studies were of low quality. The accompanying text also states "extensive evidence" of the benefits of non-opioid treatments, yet this evidence was from shorter term studies, was part of the contextual review rather than the clinical systematic review, and did not compare non- opioid treatments to opioids.
The patient voice and preferences were not explicitly included in the guideline. This raises concerns about the patient-centeredness of the guideline. The Myth of Morphine Equivalent Daily Dosage Medscape Neuro Perspective
For far too many years, pain researchers and clinicians have relied on the concept of the morphine equivalent daily dosage (MEDD), or some variant of it, as a means of comparing the "relative corresponding quantity" of the numerous opioid molecules that are important tools in the treatment of chronic pain.
...And, most unfortunately, opioid prescribing guideline committees have relied on this concept as a means of placing (usually arbitrary) limits on the levels of opioids that a physician or other clinician should be allowed to prescribe. Although these guidelines typically bill themselves as "voluntary," their chilling effect on prescribers and adaptation into state laws[2] makes calling them "voluntary" disingenuous.
Although some scientists and clinicians have been questioning the conceptual validity of MEDD for several years, a recent study[3] has indicated that the concept is unequivocally flawed—thereby invalidating its use empirically and as a tool in prescribing guideline development.
The authors used survey data from pharmacists, physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants to estimate daily morphine equivalents and found great inconsistency in their conversions of hydrocodone, fentanyl transdermal patches, methadone, oxycodone, and hydromorphone—illustrating the potential for dramatic underdosing or, in other cases, fatal overdosing.
Patients with chronic pain (particularly that of noncancer origin) who are reliant on opioid analgesia are already sufficiently stigmatized and marginalized[7] to allow this type of practice to continue to be the norm.
Although the use of MEDD in research and, to a greater extent, in practice, is probably due to unawareness of its inaccuracy, we posit that the use of MEDD by recent opioid guideline committees (eg, the Washington State Opioid Guideline Committee[8] and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Guideline Committee[9]) in the drafting of their guidelines is based more heavily on disregarding available evidence rather than ignorance. Furthermore, their misconduct in doing so has been more pernicious than the use of MEDD by researchers and individual clinicians, because these guidelines widely affect society as a whole as well as individual patients with persistent pain syndromes. We opine that these committees are strongly dominated by the antiopioid community, whose agenda is to essentially restrict opioid access—irrespective of the lack of data indicating that opioids cannot be a useful tool in the comprehensive treatment of carefully selected and closely monitored patients with chronic pain.
Above 100% extracted from: Medscape Journal Brief
Actual Study
Are Non-Opioid Medications Superior in Treatment of Pain than Opioid Pain Medicine? Ice Cream Flavor Analogy...
In the Oxford University Press, a November 2018 scientific white paper[5] was released that examined the quality of one of the primary studies that have been used to justify the urgent call to drastically reduce opioid pain medication prescribing while claiming that patients are not being harmed in the process.
The study is commonly referred to as ‘the Krebs study’. “The authors concluded that treatment with opioids was not superior to treatment with non opioid medications for improving pain-related function over 12 months.”
Here is an excerpt from the first paragraph of the design section (usually behind a paywall) from the Krebs study that gives the first hint of the bias that led to them to ‘prove’ that opioids were not effective for chronic pain:
“The study was intended to assess long-term outcomes of opioids compared with non opioid medications for chronic pain. The patient selection, though, specifically excluded patients on long-term opioid therapy.” 
Here is an analogy given in the Oxford Journal white paper to illustrate how the study design was compromised:
If I want to do a randomized control study about ice cream flavor preferences (choices being: vanilla, chocolate, or no preference), the results could be manipulated as follows based on these scenarios:
Scenario A: If a study was done that included only current ice-cream consumers, the outcome would certainly be vanilla or chocolate, because of course they have tried it and know which they like.
Scenario B: If a study was done that included all consumers of all food, then it can change the outcome. If the majority of study participants do not even eat ice-cream, than the result would certainly be ‘no preference’. If the majority do eat ice-cream it would likely be ‘chocolate’. Although this study is wider based, it still does not reflect real world findings.
Scenario C: In an even more extreme example, if this same study is conducted excluding anyone who has ever ate ice-cream at all, then the conclusion will again be ‘no preference’ and the entire study/original question becomes so ludicrous that there is no useful information to be extracted from this study and one would logically question why this type of study would even be conducted (although we know the answer to that)
Scenario C above is how the study that has been used to shift the attitudes towards the treatment of pain in our nation's medical community was designed. “One has to look deep into the study to find that they began with 9403 possible patients and excluded 3836 of them just because they had opioids in their EMR. In the JAMA article, they do not state these obvious biases and instead begin the explanation of participants stating they started with 4485 patients and excluded 224 who were opioid or benzo users.” That is the tip of the iceberg to how it is extremely misleading. The Oxford white paper goes into further detail of the studies “many flaws and biases (including the narrow focus on conditions that are historically known to respond poorly to opioid medication management of pain)”, but the study design and participant selection criteria is enough to discredit this entire body of work. Based on study design alone, regardless of what happened next, the result would be that opioids are no more effective than NSAIDs and other non-opioid alternatives.
The DEA Is Fostering a Bounty Hunter Culture in its Drug Diversion Investigators[8]
A Good Man Speaks Truth to Power January 2019
Because I write and speak widely on public health issues and the so-called “opioid crisis”, people frequently send me references to others’ work. One of the more startling articles I’ve seen lately was published November 20, 2018 in Pharmacy Times. It is titled “Should We Believe Patients With Pain?”[9]. The unlikely author is Commander John Burke, “a 40-year veteran of law enforcement, the past president of the National Association of Drug Diversion Investigators, and the president and cofounder of the International Health Facility Diversion Association.”
The last paragraph of Commander Burke’s article is worth repeating here.
“Let’s get back to dealing with each person claiming to be in legitimate pain and believe them until we have solid evidence that they are scamming the system. If they are, then let’s pursue them through vigorous prosecution, but let’s not punish the majority of people receiving opioids who are legitimate patients with pain.”
This seems a remarkable insight from anyone in law enforcement — especially from one who has expressed this view in both Pain News Network, and Dr Lynn Webster’s video “The Painful Truth”. Recognizing Commander Burke’s unique perspective, I followed up by phone to ask several related questions. He has granted permission to publish my paraphrases of his answers here.
“Are there any available source documents which establish widely accepted standards for what comprises “over-prescription?” as viewed by diversion investigators?” Burke’s answer was a resounding “NO”. Each State and Federal Agency that investigates doctors for potentially illegal or inappropriate opioid prescribing is pretty much making up their own standards as they go. Some make reference to the 2016 CDC Guidelines, but others do not.
  1. “Thousands of individual doctors have left pain management practice in recent years due to fears they may be investigated, sanctioned, and lose their licenses if they continue to treat patients with opioid pain relievers.. Are DEA and State authorities really pursuing the worst “bad actors”, or is something else going on?
Burke’s answer: “Regulatory policy varies greatly between jurisdictions. But a hidden factor may be contributing significantly to the aggressiveness of Federal investigators. Federal Agencies may grant financial bonuses to their in-house diversion investigators, based on the volume of fines collected from doctors, nurse practitioners, PAs and others whom they investigate.

"No law enforcement agency at any level should be rewarded with monetary gain and/or promotion due to their work efforts or successes. This practice has always worried me with Federal investigators and is unheard of at the local or state levels of enforcement.”

Commander Burke’s revelation hit me like a thunder-clap. It would explain many of the complaints I have heard from doctors who have been “investigated” or prosecuted. It’s a well known principle that when we subsidize a behavior, we get more of it. Financial rewards to investigators must inevitably foster a “bounty hunter” mentality in some. It seems at least plausible that such bonuses might lead DEA regulators to focus on “low hanging fruit” among doctors who may not be able to defend themselves without being ruined financially. The practice is at the very least unethical. Arguably it can be corrupting.
I also inquired concerning a third issue:
  1. I read complaints from doctors that they have been pursued on trumped-up grounds, coerced and denied appropriate legal defense by confiscation of their assets – which are then added to Agency funds for further actions against other doctors. Investigations are also commonly announced prominently, even before indictments are obtained – a step that seems calculated to destroy the doctor’s practice, regardless of legal outcomes. Some reports indicate that DEA or State authorities have threatened employees with prosecution if they do not confirm improper practices by the doctor. Do you believe such practices are common?”

Burke’s answer: “I hear the same reports you do – and the irony is that such tactics are unnecessary. Lacking an accepted standard for over-prescribing, the gross volume of a doctor’s prescriptions or the dose levels prescribed to their patients can be poor indicators of professional misbehavior. Investigators should instead be looking into the totality of the case, which can include patient reports of poor doctor oversight, overdose-related hospital admissions, and patterns of overdose related deaths that may be linked to a “cocktail” of illicit prescribing. Especially important can be information gleaned from confidential informants – with independent verification – prior patients, and pharmacy information.”

No formal legal prosecution should ever proceed from the testimony of only one witness — even one as well informed as Commander John Burke. But it seems to me that it is high time for the US Senate Judiciary Committee to invite the testimony of others in open public hearings, concerning the practice of possible bounty hunting among Federal investigators.
C50 Patient, Civil Rights Attorney, Maine Department of Health, and Maine Legislature Collaborative Enacted Definition of Palliative Care
One suggestion that our organization would like to make is altering the definition of “palliative care” in such a manner that it can include high-impact or intractable patients; those who are not dying this year, but our lives have been shattered and/or shortened by our diseases and for whom Quality of Life should be the focus. Many of our conditions may not SIGNIFICANTLY shorten my life, therefore I could legitimately be facing 30-40 years of severe pain with little relief; that is no way to live and therefore the concern is a rapidly increasing suicide rate.
This is a definition that one of our coalition members with a civil rights attorney and the Maine Department of Health agreed upon and legislators enacted into statues in Maine. This was in response to a 100mme restriction. This attorney had prepared a lawsuit based on the Americans with Disability Act that the Department of Health in Maine agreed was valid; litigation was never the goal, it was always patient-centered care.
A. "Palliative care" means patient-centered and family-focused medical care that optimizes quality of life by anticipating, preventing and treating suffering caused by a medical illness or a physical injury or condition that substantially affects a patient's quality of life, including, but not limited to, addressing physical, emotional, social and spiritual needs; facilitating patient autonomy and choice of care; providing access to information; discussing the patient's goals for treatment and treatment options, including, when appropriate, hospice care; and managing pain and symptoms comprehensively. Palliative care does not always include a requirement for hospice care or attention to spiritual needs. B. "Serious illness" means a medical illness or physical injury or condition that substantially affects quality of life for more than a short period of time. "Serious illness" includes, but is not limited to, Alzheimer's disease and related dementias, lung disease, cancer, heart, renal or liver failure and chronic, unremitting or intractable pain such as neuropathic pain.
Here is the link to the most recent update, including these definitions within the entire statute:
January 23, 2019
Dear Pharmacists,
The Board of Pharmacy has had an influx of communication concerning patients not able to get controlled substance prescriptions filled for various reasons, even when signs of forgery or fraudulence were not presented. As a result of the increased “refusals to fill,” the board is issuing the following guidance and reminders regarding the practice of pharmacy and dispensing of controlled substances:
  1. Pharmacists must use reasonable knowledge, skill, and professional judgment when evaluating whether to fill a prescription. Extreme caution should be used when deciding not to fill a prescription. A patient who suddenly discontinues a chronic medication may experience negative health consequences;
  2. Part of being a licensed healthcare professional is that you put the patient first. This means that if a pharmacist has any concern regarding a prescription, they should attempt to have a professional conversation with the practitioner to resolve those concerns and not simply refuse the prescription. Being a healthcare professional also means that you use your medication expertise during that dialogue in offering advice on potential alternatives, changes in the prescription strength, directions etc. Simply refusing to fill a prescription without trying to resolve the concern may call into question the knowledge, skill or judgment of the pharmacist and may be deemed unprofessional conduct;
  3. Controlled substance prescriptions are not a “bartering” mechanism. In other words, a pharmacist should not tell a patient that they have refused to fill a prescription and then explain that if they go to a pain specialist to get the same prescription then they will reconsider filling it. Again, this may call into question the knowledge, skill or judgment of the pharmacist;
  4. Yes, there is an opioid crisis. However, this should in no way alter our professional approach to treatment of patients in end-of-life or palliative care situations. Again, the fundamentals of using our professional judgment, skill and knowledge of treatments plays an integral role in who we are as professionals. Refusing to fill prescriptions for these patients without a solid medical reason may call into question whether the pharmacist is informed of current professional practice in the treatment of these medical cases.
  5. If a prescription is refused, there should be sound professional reasons for doing so. Each patient is a unique medical case and should be treated independently as such. Making blanket decisions regarding dispensing of controlled substances may call into question the motivation of the pharmacist and how they are using their knowledge, skill or judgment to best serve the public.
As a professional reminder, failing to practice pharmacy using reasonable knowledge, skill, competence, and safety for the public may result in disciplinary actions under Alaska statute and regulation. These laws are:
(a)The board may deny a license to an applicant or, after a hearing, impose a disciplinary sanction authorized under AS 08.01.075 on a person licensed under this chapter when the board finds that the applicant or licensee, as applicable, …
(7) is incapable of engaging in the practice of pharmacy with reasonable skill, competence, and safety for the public because of
(A) professional incompetence; (B) failure to keep informed of or use current professional theories or practices; or (E) other factors determined by the board;
(14) engaged in unprofessional conduct, as defined in regulations of the board.
(a) In addition to acts specified in AS 08.80 or elsewhere in this chapter, each of the following constitutes engaging in unprofessional conduct and is a basis for the imposition of disciplinary sanctions under AS 08.01.075; …
(15) failing to use reasonable knowledge, skills, or judgment in the practice of pharmacy;
(b) The board will, in its discretion, revoke a license if the licensee …
(4) intentionally or negligently engages in conduct that results in a significant risk to the health or safety of a patient or injury to a patient; (5) is professionally incompetent if the incompetence results in a significant risk of injury to a patient.
(c) The board will, in its discretion, suspend a license for up to two years followed by probation of not less than two years if the licensee ...
(2) is professionally incompetent if the incompetence results in the public health, safety, or welfare being placed at risk.
We all acknowledge that Alaska is in the midst of an opioid crisis. While there are published guidelines and literature to assist all healthcare professionals in up to date approaches and recommendations for medical treatments per diagnosis, do not confuse guidelines with law; they are not the same thing.
Pharmacists have an obligation and responsibility under Title 21 Code of Federal Regulations 1306.04(a), and a pharmacist may use professional judgment to refuse filling a prescription. However, how an individual pharmacist approaches that particular situation is unique and can be complex. The Board of Pharmacy does not recommend refusing prescriptions without first trying to resolve your concerns with the prescribing practitioner as the primary member of the healthcare team. Patients may also serve as a basic source of information to understand some aspects of their treatment; do not rule them out in your dialogue.
If in doubt, we always recommend partnering with the prescribing practitioner. We are all licensed healthcare professionals and have a duty to use our knowledge, skill, and judgment to improve patient outcomes and keep them safe.
Richard Holt, BS Pharm, PharmD, MBA Chair, Alaska Board of Pharmacy
FDA in Brief: FDA finalizes new policy to encourage widespread innovation and development of new buprenorphine treatments for opioid use disorder
February 6, 2018
Media Inquiries Michael Felberbaum 240-402-9548
“The opioid crisis has had a tragic impact on individuals, families, and communities throughout the country. We’re in urgent need of new and better treatment options for opioid use disorder. The guidance we’re finalizing today is one of the many steps we’re taking to help advance the development of new treatments for opioid use disorder, and promote novel formulations or delivery mechanisms of existing drugs to better tailor available medicines to individuals’ needs,” said FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D. “Our goal is to advance the development of new and better ways of treating opioid use disorder to help more Americans access successful treatments. Unfortunately, far too few people who are addicted to opioids are offered an adequate chance for treatment that uses medications. In part, this is because private insurance coverage for treatment with medications is often inadequate. Even among those who can access some sort of treatment, it’s often prohibitively difficult to access FDA-approved addiction medications. While states are adopting better coverage owing to new legislation and resources, among public insurance plans there are still a number of states that are not covering all three FDA-approved addiction medications. To support more widespread adoption of medication-assisted treatment, the FDA will also continue to take steps to address the unfortunate stigma that’s sometimes associated with use of these products. It’s part of the FDA’s public health mandate to promote appropriate use of therapies.
Misunderstanding around these products, even among some in the medical and addiction fields, enables stigma to attach to their use. These views can serve to keep patients who are seeking treatment from reaching their goal. That stigma reflects a perspective some have that a patient is still suffering from addiction even when they’re in full recovery, just because they require medication to treat their illness. This owes to a key misunderstanding of the difference between a physical dependence and an addiction. Because of the biology of the human body, everyone who uses a meaningful dose of opioids for a modest length of time develops a physical dependence. This means that there are withdrawal symptoms after the use stops.
A physical dependence to an opioid drug is very different than being addicted to such a medication. Addiction requires the continued use of opioids despite harmful consequences on someone’s life. Addiction involves a psychological preoccupation to obtain and use opioids above and beyond a physical dependence.
But someone who is physically dependent on opioids as a result of the treatment of pain but who is not craving the drugs is not addicted.
The same principle applies to replacement therapy used to treat opioid addiction. Someone who requires long-term treatment for opioid addiction with medications, including those that are partial or complete opioid agonists and can create a physical dependence, isn’t addicted to those medications. With the right treatments coupled to psychosocial support, recovery from opioid addiction is possible. The FDA remains committed to using all of our tools and authorities to help those currently addicted to opioids, while taking steps to prevent new cases of addiction.”
Above is the full statement, find full statement with options for study requests:
Maryland’s co-prescribing new laws/ amendments regarding benzos and opioids
Chapter 215 AN ACT concerning Health Care Providers – Opioid and Benzodiazepine Prescriptions – Discussion of Information Benefits and Risks
FOR the purpose of requiring that certain patients be advised of the benefits and risks associated with the prescription of certain opioids, and benzodiazepines under certain circumstances, providing that a violation of this Act is grounds for disciplinary action by a certain health occupations board; and generally relating to advice regarding benefits and risks associated with opioids and benzodiazepines that are controlled dangerous substances.
Section 1–223 Article – Health Occupations Section 4–315(a)(35), 8–316(a)(36), 14–404(a)(43), and 16–311(a)(8) SECTION 1. BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF MARYLAND, That the Laws of Maryland read as follows: Article – Health Occupations (a) In this section, “controlled dangerous substance” has the meaning stated in § 5–101 of the Criminal Law Article.
Ch. 215 2018 LAWS OF MARYLAND (B) On treatment for pain, a health care provider, based on the clinical judgment of the health care provider, shall prescribe: (1) The lowest effective dose of an opioid; and (2)A quantity that is no greater than the quantity needed for the expected duration of pain severe enough to require an opioid that is a controlled dangerous substance unless the opioid is prescribed to treat: (a.) A substance–related disorder; (b.) Pain associated with a cancer diagnosis; (c.) Pain experienced while the patient is receiving end–of–life, hospice, or palliative care services; or (d.) Chronic pain
(C.) The dosage, quantity, and duration of an opioid prescribed under [subsection (b)] of this [section] shall be based on an evidence–based clinical guideline for prescribing controlled dangerous substances that is appropriate for: (1.) The health care service delivery setting for the patient; (2.) The type of health care services required by the patient; (3.) and The age and health status of the patient.
(E) A violation of [subsection (b) OR (D) of] this section is grounds for disciplinary action by the health occupations board that regulates the health care provider who commits the violation.
4-315 (a) Subject to the hearing provisions of § 4–318 of this subtitle, the Board may deny a general license to practice dentistry, a limited license to practice dentistry, or a teacher’s license to practice dentistry to any applicant, reprimand any licensed dentist, place any licensed dentist on probation, or suspend or revoke the license of any licensed dentist, if the applicant or licensee: (35) Fails to comply with § 1–223 of this article.
8–316. (a) Subject to the hearing provisions of § 8–317 of this subtitle, the Board may deny a license or grant a license, including a license subject to a reprimand, probation, or suspension, to any applicant, reprimand any licensee, place any licensee on probation, or suspend or revoke the license of a licensee if the applicant or licensee: (36) Fails to comply with § 1–223 of this article.
14–404. (a) Subject to the hearing provisions of § 14–405 of this subtitle, a disciplinary panel, on the affirmative vote of a majority of the quorum of the disciplinary panel, may reprimand any licensee, place any licensee on probation, or suspend or revoke a license if the licensee: (43) Fails to comply with § 1–223 of this article.
16–311. (a) Subject to the hearing provisions of § 16–313 of this subtitle, the Board, on the affirmative vote of a majority of its members then serving, may deny a license or a limited license to any applicant, reprimand any licensee or holder of a limited license, impose an administrative monetary penalty not exceeding $50,000 on any licensee or holder of a limited license, place any licensee or holder of a limited license on probation, or suspend or revoke a license or a limited license if the applicant, licensee, or holder:
(8) Prescribes or distributes a controlled dangerous substance to any other person in violation of the law, including in violation of § 1–223 of this article;
SECTION 2. AND BE IT FURTHER ENACTED, That this Act shall take effect October 1, 2018.
Approved by the Governor, April 24, 2018.
submitted by Dirtclodkoolaid to ChronicPain [link] [comments]

2023.06.04 12:27 Loud_Pipe3346 Idk what’s wrong with me

(Trigger warning: I’ve always struggled w emotions.I started self harming in 2nd grade for little things like to get out of PE😭😂 suicidal in 5th I started drinking in 6/7th smoking in 11th) I’ve always been extremely ashamed of my emotions and being “overly dramatic” “crazy” “insane” as well as other words used to describe me by past friends and family. I wouldn’t let myself feel anything bc I was ashamed of having emotions or pretended not to😭like wtf. I became friends with people who had BPD coincidentally they made me feel like I had a place like I wasn’t “crazy”.one of them told me they thought that I might have bpd and that I should be real with my therapist. Lol
relationships have always been hell. I liked it. I took a break from relationships. But now I’m having them again but it’s still like they leave the room and my heart breaks. The say goodnight I feel like I’im not good enough. if their demeanor changes like they seem mad I be sitting there abt to throw up bc what did I do if not that who or what?!?! Sitting there trying to think of how to handle it lol. And it’s just like almost EVERYTHING else I relate to when I see bpd posts. Like the is something wrong w me , am I the problem, feels like everyone hates me. (I was so ashamed of feeling that way. I felt so pathetic. Like I would gaslight myself into thinking I don’t think that.) n when ur heart breaks and panic over little sht like it’s helped me feel like I’m not lying. In my head the only possibility for me feeling something was that I actually dont and that I’m lying and that I can’t possibly feel this way, because how could I it’s silly and I just want attention and I feel so ashamed of how I feel all the f**ing time. And here I feel less ashamed. That’s it. I over shared so much it was so much longer but I deleted it obviously because it was embarrassing. But like should I talk to my to my psychiatrist. If so, what do I even say where do I begin?
submitted by Loud_Pipe3346 to BPD [link] [comments]

2023.06.04 07:50 Pack2299 I hinted to my friend of 10 years I liked her and it might've ruined our relationship

I (m21) and my friend (f21) Have been friends since 7th grade. We've always been good friends and I've liked her since I first met her. However, I've always put our friendship first. We've dated other people while being friends and she was aware of my crush on her and even admitted she had a crush on me. Throughout our relationship, we had instances of us not talking for one reason or another due to mental health issues or one of us was dating someone. This last time we stopped talking for 3 years because her boyfriend at the time made her block me (understandable to an extent but I missed my friend). Covid hit our senior year and we were leaving for different colleges soon after that. Since I couldn't text or call her I decided to write her a letter letting her know what she meant to me and how I've always appreciated our time together. She wrote back asking to continue the letters, which I did but I never got a letter back, so I did what any rational person would do and kept writing letters without a response, but I did stop eventually (found out later she never got them).
A few months ago I was wondering how she was doing and I wasn't in a great place mentally so I sought the advice and friendship that she had shared with me a long time ago. She responded and said she had been rid of her boyfriend for a few months. It was like old times and I loved being able to talk to her again, it was a huge relief. We were texting and calling often, it was terrific! We live a few states away, but she still lives in our hometown. My father was about to retire so I had to come home and we arranged to hang out while I was there. We were so excited to see each other that we planned a whole evening of activities that would be fun (baking cookies, playing a drinking game she had, and watching a whole season of a show she liked).
I flew to my hometown and celebrated with my family and as the night went late I got a bit tired and overstimulated by the celebration so I asked if we could hang out a day early. She agreed and it was amazing! We went to her house (which was close by) talked for hours drinking, catching up, playing games, and overall had a great time, we were both so tired we ended up passing out at 4 am on her couch together (separately). In the morning I went home, hung out with my family, and then went back to her house as we originally planned, but something was off. We hung out and did everything as planned (minus the drinking game) but everything was awkward and off. I thought it was all in my head so I tried to be chill about it. We watched the show she wanted to show me and it was really good, but it made me think about our relationship. I hinted at us being a thing but she got quieter than she already was. I tried to talk about the awkwardness but she obviously did not want to. As I left I gave her a gift I planned on giving her, a letter with quotes from the letters she never got (which didn't help because the quotes were super sappy). I went home feeling horrible and pissed at myself.
When I got home I texted her apologizing if I was being weird or making her uncomfortable. She responded that she was uncomfortable and apologized if she wasn't clear but she wasn't in the market for a relationship. I again apologized as the last thing I wanted was to make her feel bad for any reason and I thanked her for telling me as that wasn't an easy thing for her to do. We haven't talked since. That was three weeks ago now. I understand that she needs some time, but I don't want this to end up another 3 years of not talking I don't think I can handle that again. I don't want to lose this amazing person and yet I can't keep doing this song and dance of distancing for years instead of talking it through and moving on. I've asked multiple people for advice but kept getting opposing answers so I'm turning to Reddit. What should I do?
submitted by Pack2299 to Advice [link] [comments]

2023.06.03 18:32 deepsoulsucker I (18F) went no contact with my mother who is on the bridge of suicide

Hi! There is a lot of context to this but I have thought of posting this before, including some other people I have spoken with. Some background (without too much info) I have two other siblings, we are the same age and the same birthday, hope you get what I mean here. Growing up my mom has always tried to commit, my earliest memory (3 years old) is her running out the door after taking a hand full of pills and me and my siblings running down the street after her. Things did get okay for a little bit, but it was still hard sometimes as my grandfather, who we lived with, had very bad BPD and they would often get into fights. For example: he almost broke her jaw and this caused her to almost bite her own tongue off.
Now I will skip to when most of this started in a more intense way: In around 6th grade, my mom (who was single up to this point) get with a guy she grew up with. He moved in two weeks after me knowing him and I knew immediately he wasn’t a good guy. For example, when I met him for the first time at a Chilis or something he was drunk off his ass explaining that he and my mom are together now and etc etc trying to say I can’t take her away from him. He and I did not get along, I went to a middle school soon after for 7th grade and all he did was embarrass me ( he also did other stuff such as SA my mom, abuse our dogs, and my grandfather he fell I’ll with Alzheimer’s and early Dementia at a very young age, down the road). As being new to the school I was trying to make friends, and I did. But whenever he was involved it went bad. One time I was at the basketball game for my siblings, they are apart of the team. He heard the people around me swearing, and then sat down next to me and started to speak to everyone and embarrass me. It should also be known that he isn’t your typical Midwest guy, he grew up with gangs and all sorts of stuff, nothing super new to out town. He would also sexualize me often l, if I wore a hoodie and leggings, that covered my ass, he would say that all the dudes around me are going to want to have sex with me basically, and that he would have to chase them away. This was very triggering for me, as in elementary school I was abused by my classmate and he then assaulted me and humiliated in-front of everyone, including other boys in my grade sexualizing me as well ( it was from 2nd to 4th grade). Continuing to talk about that period of middle school, my mom was also not great with physical things. When she was upset or something she would get handsy, one time I came back home late at night in middle school, she texted that it was okay so I hopped in the shower when I got inside the house. Well as I am showering, the shower curtain opens and she proceeds to hit me. Stuff like that, get what I mean?
Eventually the two of them spilt up and made there way to a messy divorce and this did not effect my mother well, who already had trauma from her childhood etc. My mom tapped out, and wasn’t taking it well, basically living on the couch for two years. She was also assaulted again. Throughout High school she would slip into my bed and hold me, which I was super uncomfortable with oand wake me up so she could talk about my feelings. At some point when people in the family and their health failed (my two dogs and my grandfather). It was my job to take care of them, to feed to bathe, change diapers etc. It was something I did not want to do and was hard for me especially my grandfather who sometimes abused me as well, who kicked me in the stomach when I was four and etc. At some point trying to keep our mom alive, not leaving the house and etc, it started to really take a toll and my siblings and I. It was starting to be the last two years of high school and after seeing a SA counselor, my mom would threaten to not have me see her anymore and etc.She would constantly invalidating my trauma, therapist tried talking about it but to no avail.
Things came to a head in my senior year, I was in a school program that let me get college credits. In short, my mom stormed in onto the premise to talk to someone (my professor) and it ended up with her not being allowed there anymore and charged with tes passing. That same night she came home after saying to clean the house and we had no idea where she was, we got out of classes at this point. At at the same time the police were there to give her the papers about trespassing she came home. At this point she saw me and beat me, screamed at me to get out. So I ran out down the street with no shoes and shorts and a t-shirt. To skip a bunch, my siblings and I bonded together to create a plan to live with distant relative down south, that never happened. My sibling ended up in the hospital after trying to go back to get our legal documents, both of them (my mom and sibling) tried to commit while I was at a friends house waiting for my sisters with my phone dead. Long story short I was out into foster care living with said friend. Afterwards there was lots of crying from my end, and terrible messages from my mom who messaged my high school telling them of CSA and sending pictures of our private rooms and stuff to faculty. She tried to commit again multiple times in a month which resulted in multiple police calls from us and wellness checks. Before this happened, the month this happened she tried to commit twice that month and took a bunch of her pills to be numb, her body could not support herself and I would take care of herself.
In short there is lots of terrible things that happened, and through the months I have been harassed by my mom never knowing if she has finally done it or not.
Recently she contacted me again after trying to go no contact with her during the spring semester and she is blaming her attempts on me and saying it is my fault, putting sword in my mouth and being cruel. She is about to be homeless and my sibling sent her money for rent and she has been begging to let her continue her education by asking me to co-sign a loan. I have always been my moms reason to live and wake up and it is all to much. It is simply a lot of pressure and I can’t do it anymore, I sent her a text saying I live and care for her but at this moment I can’t have any relationship with her. She has asked my siblings and I to come move up by her and take care of our dog and make sacrifices for the family. I feel guilt about not doing it but I have my dorm next years and all sorts of stuff. I have never been healthier after not taking to my mom for months.
What do you guys think? I hope this made sense, I will answer any questions!
submitted by deepsoulsucker to AITAH [link] [comments]

2023.06.03 14:29 ThornOfTheDowns "I saw then, a great steed gallop across the waves" - Andrea Morgan, son of Castor

“Life is like the ocean, it goes up and down.“
Name: Andrea Morgan Date of Birth: 7th of July
Age: 16 Gender: Male
Sexual Orientation: Homosexual Nationality: American
Race: White Fatal Flaw: Recklessness
Demigod Conundrums: ADHD, Dyslexia Hometown: Skaneateles, New York


Member Name Relationship
Mother Sandra Morgan They get along rather well, though she tends to be busy. Andrea doesn't really bicker with her and hates making her upset.
Father Castor Essentially none, given that he's never met his father before. He'd heard stories from his mother and his brother and he's keen on meeting with the god, but he's also never really felt his absence.
Brother Beckett Morgan Andrea's best friend and the person he confided in most. He was young, when Beckett died, and the experience still haunts him. The older boy was also a demigod, and one who attended camp at that.
Stepfather Dominic Morgan-Peters Andrea's second best friend. A kind and understanding man, he often took out his stepson on fishing trips.


Name Type Description
Horse Affinity Domain A trait where horses are naturally friendly.
Superior Athleticism Domain A trait where one displays athletic and physical capabilities above the average for half-bloods. Their skill is on par with Olympic athletes.
Escape Artist Proficiency Domain A trait where one is adept at escaping traps, kidnappings, dire situations, and awkward conversations.
Water Manipulation (Hydrokinesis) Minor The ability to control water to a degree.
Climbing Proficiency Minor A trait where one is naturally adept at scaling surfaces.
??? Minor ???
Hydrogenesis Major The ability to generate water, up to 1 gallon at a time. He can only do this once per post and overuse of this ability leaves him dehydrated and light-headed. Additionally, the water he manifests must come from somewhere - the moisture in the air, his own sweat, from the ground or from seashells.

Favorite Things:

  • Foods: PB&Js, pickled banana peppers, pork ribs, omelettes. Can't handle anything more spicy than the banana peppers, but otherwise he isn't a particularly picky eater.
  • Drinks: Orange juice, Coca Cola and especially slushies.
  • Hobbies: From a very young age, Andrea has loved wrestling. His imposing frame and enhanced strength made him great at it too, and he's gotten a few medals for it. Though his dyslexia makes it hard to read, he still really likes books, though listening to them as audiobooks is obviously easier.

Items and Equipment:

Type Name Age Description
Spear None ??? A celestial bronze, double pronged fishing spear


Faceclaim Voiceclaim Height Weight Hair color Eye color
NA NA 6'2 187 lbs. Dark Brown Sea Blue


Loyal to a fault, calm and usually relaxed, Andrea has a strong will and once he sets his mind on something, he almost always accomplishes it. While not particularly bright, he's smarter than most give him credit for and is able to think on his feet fairly well. He's a fairly cheerful person, though the topic of his brother is a very sore spot still.


  • A big fantasy nerd, surprisingly, as it's his favorite genre of books and games.
  • Regularly goes to the gym, but mostly for fun and as a way to relax.
  • Loves water and any sports or activities relating to it. It wasn't much of a surprise then when he learned he could control it.
  • Horses have always been his favorite animal, ever since he got to see one in person.
  • Wears sleeveless shirts and hoodies to show off his toned arms. Despite what this might imply, he's not very confident in his body.
  • While he's never tried, he's always wanted to paint his nails.


All in all, Andrea led a relatively normal life for a time. He got along great with his mother and stepfather, had a fair few friends and a strong bond with his older brother Beckett. His world was shaken when Beckett died. He was only twelve when it happened and he didn't know how or why he'd died. While they were never too good to begin with, his grades in school plummeted after the tragedy, and he became more reserved. This was when he discovered his demigod powers and only shortly before his divine parent claimed him with the burning symbol of the constellation Gemini.
Beckett was a son of Castor, just like Andrea, and he had attended Camp Half-Blood, which both of their parents knew. After his passing, Sandra refused to send her other son to the camp, believeling it too dangerous. When monsters finally began to attack, she was forced to confront the harsh truth that, for him, there wasn't any other safe option. So, with sadness and guilt in her heart, she sent the now 1y year old demigod on his way, packing his things and arranging for his travel.

Present Day:

Looking down from the top of Half-Blood Hill, Andrea sighed. This was it huh? He wasn't scared, no. But he was still a bit unsure. This camp was what took his brother's life, wasn't it? He supposed it wasn't nearly as brutal as the young son of Castor had expected.
He carefully made his way down, entering through the camp's gates, and was struck by how stunning it really was. Andrea's gaze wandered around, mouth agape. Maybe this place wasn't so bad.
submitted by ThornOfTheDowns to CampHalfBloodRP [link] [comments]

2023.06.03 04:31 tomiokapearl_ im starting to doubt my friendgroup

Okay. So ive been in this friend group of 6 for almost a year now, but we've all known eachother for 6 years. We always have occiasional hangouts now and then, and we seem to enjoy it alot everytime. We all also have a good relationship with eachother. But it does have its flaws. The friendgroup tends to break down into smaller groups such as trios and duos which can form a bond of favoritism in the friendgroup as a whole which can really change and affect things. An example, two people realized they like eachother and now are a couple. that affects the friendgroup and our hangouts alot because of that because again, favoritism. But i wanted to talk about the most is this one instance. One day during 7th grade we had this picture taking and we could take custom pictures with our friendgroups. One of the members told me during lunchbreak that the friendgroup would take pictures. But we had to pay. I didn't bring my wallet that day, so i had no money. I told my friend i didnt bring any money for the picture because i didnt know about it beforehand. Anyway, i thought they werent gonna do it anyway because we silly like that. I also wasnt aware that they were gonna do it at lunchtime. So as i was in the cafeteria going to buy something for lunch, i see the friend group going to the booth.. without me. It pissed me off and made me cry for a few days because they left me out so easily. I have never been left out in the friend group. atleast i didnt feel like i was. If they actually cared about me in the friendgroup then wouldnt they feel bad that i was left out? they couldnt even take care of it for now and ill just pay it the day after.. didnt even consider it.. tell you this, they werent broke. they had $$$. This is were the couple i mentioned kinda breaks the concept of the friendgroup. one of them paid for the other while everyone else had to pay for themselves. i know im not as special but the one who got their taken cared of couldve taken care of mine for now.. as i stare in the window from the distance, i see the camera flashing as they pose with eachother. without me. Whats worse is that when the pictures were printed and they started giving them out, i saw the friendgroup swarm the booth to collect the prints. i was so so so sad kajsksmskx
This was way back in January and i havent talked to them about it yet because im afraid they'll judge me. Mind you this is an instance of many. i may be a little biased because i am me but yeah i couldnt just leave this with me. atleast its with the world now. sorry if i used unecessary deep words because i just got thru an emotional breakdown💀💀
submitted by tomiokapearl_ to offmychest [link] [comments]