Friday, September 30, 2011

It's Only Fear

So I tried puzzling out what bothered me so much about the Parenthood episode. About 3 am I woke up with an AH-HA moment. It was the moment when Kristina had the ultrasound. When she agonized over knowing the sex of the baby simply because having another boy meant a higher chance of autism. BINGO

The baby.

I have 4 boys. One girl just ONE girl so far. I worry each time I have a child that I will have another child like Sammy. Having a child like Tyler doesn't frighten me, I  can do that. Sammy makes me feel ill-equipped and crazy.. it makes me feel like I am in a free fall and there isn't a damn thing I can do to fix it. I hate fighting it every day. I fall into bed each night so tired I can't breath. I feel like I am never off duty, like I am never safe. Like a soldier going into battle day after day. I can't handle giving birth to another Sammy. Felling again like I was somehow at fault, somehow blamed. I cant go through that again. I can't beat myself up over another child being autistic. Those words "your son has autism" still echo all these years later. It makes me second guess what people think, what I think and what I do. I question it all , every day, every...single...second. Different studies with different faults. I know he changed after getting a HiB shot. I have re read it in his baby book over an over, but he was born "different" so what caused that?

More so on days like this when it's been a horrific week. It's been so bad here some days that the fear I have for my son gets so heavy I cannot breath. I cannot think. I feel like I am drowning in it. As though my lungs cannot move , paralyzed by fear and focus. It's been that kind of week.
On top of it I worked this week and I was tired when I watched Parenthood.

My daughter is my fear. Like I could somehow handle it better if Nathaniel was diagnosed tomorrow? There was a fleeting moment when Grace was born, when I looked and saw it was a girl. A quick,fraction of a second that barely existed where that thought crossed my mind. It was almost an unconscious thought barely on the surface.That thought... She's Safe.

 I agonize over everything with Grace as well as with Nathaniel. I am terrified she too will be autistic. Some things already don't seem right. Am I just over analyzing it? I will love her no matter what. The same way I love Sammy fiercely, without reservation. But Lord please not my daughter. I know that sounds horrible to say. Typing is actually placing me on the verge of tears. I want to cry. It isn't that somehow my daughter is better or worth more to me than my sons. It's simply that she should be safe. I know too many moms and dads of autistic girls now to believe that. It may be less prevalent but it isn't any less real. She isn't immune to it. Apparently , neither am I.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Raw emotions

   I am not knows for being warm and cuddly or soft. In fact my husband often refers to me as having "sharp edges"  At some point I replaced the "melodramatic" child  I was with this crusty sharp edged no teary person. I don't like that about me. I am emotional and intense. I get angry, I get cranky, I can even sometimes get down right mean. I do my best to avoid the last one as best I can.It doesn't happen often. Depending on who you ask, they may tell you varying degrees of that. I just don't do soft and squishy. I  am loving and gentle with my children but I don't do empathy or sympathy well. I have gotten better and actually go through a checklist in my head now  when someone says something sad to me or tells me something emotional, even when someone dies I often don't cry about it in front of anyone but will sometimes cry alone.Things often come out of my mouth sans filter. I have asked people if they had a stroke and other embarrassing things. So i now stop before I react and I have trained myself to not react emotionally to things on the outside. Unless, I am tired

   Like today. I worked last night and the babies didn't sleep much then this morning Sammy had yet another  behavior and I had to forcibly dress him. Grace was cranky and got overtired before it was time for her to nap. That resulted in screaming and crying. Nate bonked me in the face which is still sore from surgery. I am down on myself about a ton of stuff and being tired just makes me feel even more vulnerable. So why on Earth I decided it was a good day to watch Parenthood I don't know. I don't understand what I was thinking.

Now, my belly is in knots and my head is spinning trying to place where my thoughts are. I can't seem to flesh it out... I promise when I do I will come here first.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

11 months ago

this was Sammy 11 months ago.The night before Halloween. It amazes me how far he has come in less than a year. I keep looking back and wondering  how I didn't realize we were running full steam forward. He has changed so much in just a short 11 months. I wonder what the next year will bring.How will he change? Will he change?
The subtle differences that turned into GIANT leaps the amazing things he can do now. He still can't read. Pushing him results in huge fits and tears. He still can't get dressed by himself. He still cant wipe himself. So many things he CAN'T do

SO many things he CAN
He CAN ride a bike
He CAN climb a tree
He CAN put on his own socks and shoes most days
He CAN tell me he loves me
He CAN improve
after all he Sam the cookie man and he is amazing

show me the funny and amazing things your kids do and join the link up right here

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

planning for the future

These are my children. This is my heart and my entire life. Every one of them just as important. This photo shows so much personality. Nate, the clown in the front. The protective big brother Tyler with Sammy being a goofball. AJ ready to take on the world and Grace happy to just be with momma. I am the all time protector. I watch over each of them constantly. It's my job,It's my privilege and I wouldn't trade it for the world.

However, someday I will be gone. I pray not for a very very long time.  Who is going to take care of them then? How will they survive? Bad things happen all the time. What do we do then? I have no doubt in my mind that my boys and Grace will be ok in the long run on their own but someone will have to care for Sammy, no matter when we die. Now or 20 years from now.

We have begun planning and we are buying life insurance. Each child will also be insured as a way to grow money for their college funds and for Sammy therapy and other things he may need along the way. It's hard to think of the future where I wont be there to take care of him. If you all don't already have life insurance you might want to look into it. The next thing to take care of is a Last Will and Testament. I am not really ready to cross that bridge yet.

How do you decide who will take care of your special needs child?  I wonder how other parents make that decision.

Monday, September 26, 2011

hands free homework

The little neighbor girl lives with her Nana. He mom moved out a while ago. She spends a lot of time here and we love on her. Today her Nana sent her over because she couldn't understand the homework the kids had. She is in second grade with Sammy but in different classes. Same homework.

They sat together and Little Miss caught on fast after we went over it. Sammy was obsessing over snack and chewing his pencil. Once snack came out he got work done. he ate and worked diligently but only on that one paper. I let him save the second one for after dinner.

I reminded him later in the evening about the paper. No argument,no fight nothing just "ok mom" before the paper was even in front of him however he was asking for help. Then something amazing happened
he stopped.Looked at it and said "nope,never mind I got this" and proceeded to do about 3/4 of his math paper alone. WOW. what an awesome night.

it's those little things. the tiny steps that mean so much to parents of special kids. the things most parents take for granted, or loose the wonder of. I know I did before Sammy.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Don't ask me how I do it

Don't ask me how I do it. how I keep things together or how I manage every day. Don't ask me how I manage to get things done, or go fun places. Don't ask me how I manage to cook or clean the house. Don't ask me.please it makes me nuts when people say that. I manage the same way everyone else does. one moment at a time, one breath, one step and I still screw up

Today we had a bad day.First I couldn't sleep last night.Then my computer ate all of the photos from Sammy's birthday party. Sammy was wild last night and it seems to have carried over to today. We were restraining him by 11am just so he wouldn't hurt himself or anyone else. He attacked his little brother over a program they were watching on Netflix. I handled some of the outbursts very well and was proud of myself. I had to walk away after a few hours though. He has a weird rash and it's setting his sensory system out of whack. He's angry and mean sometimes and this was one of those times. An Epsom salts bath and some warm milk with honey seemed to mellow the child out.

He was so wild yesterday I never got around to posting what I wanted to and the playroom still looks like a bomb went off. I think my neighbors may be thinking that white trash moved into the neighborhood because there are toys and pieces of things littering my driveway all the time. We did however have an awesome dinner with a great friend and I did get a little knitting done.Nate and I got to cuddle and I got a couple of great hugs from Sammy

I am not Martha Stewart,or Betty Crocker or Donna Reed. I am just me. I am raising 5 kids and quite often those five kids are far more important that the dishes or laundry. I would rather finger paint and bake than vacuum and dust.It drives my OCD crazy to see everything in the toy room out at once,but there will come a time when it will all be clean and organised. By then all my babies will be grown and i will miss these moments.

Sammy at 2.5
So please don't ask me how I do it because the honest answer is ...I don't

Friday, September 23, 2011

Storming the castle

Like I said last night was open house. Do you think she could have mentioned his behavior is taking a downward spiral? Maybe just a heads up? Anything?


So his behavior card comes in today and he received 2 warnings Wednesday and today. In fact today he HURT someone. He jumped on a child. The child went to the nurse and an accident report was filed. Why didn’t anyone call me about this? No warning, just a note and his behavior slip. The note actually made me chuckle and then I got mad. Maybe I am just over sensitive and maybe it’s just my baggage. The note  reads

Mr + Mrs Chagnon,
 Today  at music Sam “jumped” and hit another student in the arm pretty hard. The student had to go to the nurse and an accident report was written up. please speak with Sam about trying to think before he acts He did say he was sorry

Now to be fair this is only the third or fourth week of school so some adjustment is to be expected. And to be fair, we were spoiled last year with one of “those” teachers. You know the ones that make you feel really great about he school your child is in. So his teacher this year has a long way to go in our eyes to “measure up” She seems great, intelligent and reasonably understanding but she is missing that special something the other teacher had. I don’t feel certain with his placement this year but I am also rather protective of Sammy. So we wait.

What angers me is the “please speak with Sam about trying to think before he acts” WOW a few weeks in and she has it all figured out . How did we miss this so long? We just have to speak with him about not being impulsive. DUDE why didn’t I think of that? Seriously could have saved myself a ton of extra crap. I want to write back

Dear Teacher,
Sammy has autism and ADHD there for he is extremely impulsive. That is why we outline restrictive safety measures for Sammy when out in the community. He has very few safety skills and even less empathy. He can be a danger to other students as well as himself. How did my child get high enough on something to jump on another child and hurt him this way? Please review his IEP ASAP.

I want to send that note in, but I wont. I will write something along those lines  but far nicer. I will send her in lot’s of reading material about impulsivity and ASD kids. I will remind her that  a few years ago he got away from a teacher and ran into the street. I will reiterate my concern for his safety. But not one bit of it will be snarky or angry. Sarcasm helps no one right?

That’s what this blog is for…

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Hi, I want to introduce you to my mom

Today was Sammy's open house  and normally I hate them. Seriously It makes me feel like a caged animal. I always wonder if the teachers are all watching me thinking "ahhh that's why he is the way he is" totally my baggage I get it. still. I hate it. The minute I walk in I can almost hear the circus music playing in the back ground. I look around hoping no one is tossing a beach ball at me expecting me to balance it on my nose or something crazy. It's always the same stuff, see the place Sammy sits (near the teacher)  see all the work he does (with help) and meet the teacher. She seems pretty nice.but she isn't Mrs. Tynan!(last year's teacher who had that special something that made her super amazing) I warned her about Sammy's best friend make believe Max and it turns out she has already been warned. (yay for this school district so far) All in all he seems to be doing far better this year than last which to me is a surprise.  I spoke with Mrs. Gent (the special ed liaison) and got some great info on what he is doing, signed him up for a program at recess for social skills and spoke to the gym and music teacher about how Sam seems to be doing socially in those classes(since it is far less structured)

There was one huge highlight of the night. each person he brought me to he smiled and said "i want to introduce you to my mom" and then looked back at me smiled and said "mom  this is _______ my teacher" it was amazing.INCREDIBLE. I have never seen him do anything like this before in his life! He has a "best friend" as well now and when they saw each other the conversation was fluid.He even said "hey great to see you,I want you to meet my mom"

That may not seem like much for some. The parents of NT kids reading this may not understand the huge accomplishment this is. It's the equivalent of Sammy building a space ship and flying to the moon. I can only imagine he learned this at Social Skills group, but not only did he LEARN it he USED it! I am one very proud momma today.It almost made it worth it when he had a behavior before bed.

linking this for today!
I decided this week to jump along with Toddle Along Tuesday with Mama G at Growing up Geeky. The topic this week is “Something you love about your kid(s).”

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

do I have to?

I hated homework as a kid.seriously it was like filing my own teeth with an emery board. I hated it so much. I decided I liked it by college but only because by then the OCD had tipped the scale in favor of neat written papers and straight lines.

My oldest son Tyler has Aspergers and at 16 is delayed only in the executive functioning skills (planning,organizing and follow through) and he does have a written language disability called Dysgraphia. For those of you that don't know what that is, it means his writing sucks. it's really bad. To this day at 16 he still spells red- R-A-D on paper. He knows it's red, he can do it verbally and he is not lacking by any means for intelligence. The signal gets jammed from his head to his hands. We tried an assisted technology eval a few years ago and found something called  A minor miracle for our household and the writing of papers and book reports. Tyler hates homework as well . It is hard and complicated and he struggles with it. In 7th grade he almost failed because of homework. A's and high B's on tests,classwork and all projects without writing and they still wanted to fail him for homework. It did not happen, and while I understand the importance of following directions and doing the required work, I don't think any kid should fail based on homework. If it can help their grade, awesome!

So here we are with Sammy.2 pages of homework every night. One math,One spelling. Sammy.Hates. Homework! Every night it's the same battle,the same argument the same tears and gnashing of teeth. Would it be terrible of me to not have him do it? To have him try and encourage him to try but if he just can't get himself together to let him skip it? Does it make me a horrible mom?  Snacks during the work help him since that child will eat until he pops if we let him. So  how hard do I push.

son Rise program

This is the first I have heard of this program. Tell me what do you think?

daring to dream and wanting to fly

      I am allowing myself this moment, to dream...
 It's been harder and harder for me to dream about Sammy's future. We just went to speak to someone about life insurance and in doing so had to prepare for the eventuality someone WILL have to help care for Sammy in some capacity when we are gone.
      But for now I am taking the time to dream...
That some day he will find something he loves to do,that is amazing. That he will find love and have dreams. That he will succeed in life and someday outrun autism enough that it is in his shadow and not the other way around. Because Damn it It should be that way.
The simple things we take for granted as moms and dads and grandparents of  neurotypical kids. He should be learning to tie his shoes and instead he's screaming and writhing on the floor just trying to put them on. It hurts watching him struggle.
       But for now I am taking the time to dream...
That this morning he wakes up with a smile. That his windows are wide open and the sun is shining bright. I miss my Sunshine Sam, it's been too long. I am dreaming of a morning where breakfast isn't full of tears and everyone is ready on time. Where I don't spend my morning trying to figure out what new issue has been created in his mind or by his clothes. That this morning he looks at me and really LOOKS AT ME tells me he loves me with a smile and gives me a hug, without me having to ask. Without me having to take him by the shoulders and hug him and force myself into his world. Because Damn it I am tired. I don't want to feel like I have to force myself on him every day. I want to be in his world. I want him to want me there. Today, he does, because I am taking the time to dream...


Silly arbitrary number. BUT we hit 4000 views. It always amazes me that people look at this blog! So thanks guys for reading and feel free to drop a note and say hello.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The chaos of mermaids

Sammy loves movies and will often watch them over and over. he perseverates on bits and pieces. Little sections that are part of the whole. Things that often aren't noticed by anyone but him. It makes figuring out what movie he means to watch very difficult sometimes. He cannot often remember the name of the movie and instead gives us a quote or a detail.

Sammy watching Hercules 
yesterday it was the little mermaid . he was crying and flailing because no one understood him or what he wanted. He just kept insisting that he watched it at the cops house and the girl got skinny. Daniel could not figure out what he meant.

turns out Sammy thought Daddy was trying to trick him and not watch the whole movie. He was convinced that Daddy had somehow started it in the middle and was very upset. He was talking about the one time he watched it at Daniel's friend Jeremy's(the cop) house. He thought the movie started where Ursula turned into the girl who stole away the prince. No convincing him otherwise. He did settle down after a few times rewinding it until it stopped (yes its a VHS) Then he watched the movie through.

Someday These things wont catch me by surprise...right?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


Sammy is gorgeous. perhaps it is simply my love for him that makes him so. Often we run into people amazed by how handsome and physically perfect he is. Across the board I find a lot of parents of kids like Sammy are told the same thing. Perhaps it is some sort of survival mechanism for them? Who knows. I take a ton of photos of Sammy, almost daily in fact. I love pictures of Sammy, especially the ones where you catch the fleeting glimps of who he is behind the autism. Every once in a while we get "that" photo. The one where autism lets my son come out and play. I love those photos.

Sammy has started grabbing the camera and taking pictures of his world, his view and his ideas. often it's an unfocused picture of his fingers flying and stimming, or someone's knees, or books out of place. But a few times now he has caught an excellent picture that makes us smile. We are going to encourage this with him. I want him to find something he loves. If that means going off in every possible direction just so he can find his. I am there 100%

picture of grace taken by sammy

Monday, September 12, 2011

drawing boards

Sammy likes to draw pictures. He often sits and colors page after page after page. He loves it so much he has even stopped eating the crayons, which for Sammy is an amazing feat. A  few days ago he began drawing something that resembled a funnel and an ant farm combined. I asked him about it. Turns out my son was drawing a water treatment facility powered by a tornado that made drinking water and filtered out poop. I have no idea where he learned this or figured this out. I was pretty amazed honestly. What have your kids said or done that has amazed you?

Edit ~ I noticed this post has become very popular. How did you find your way here today? drop me a comment or send me an email to let me know

sunshine, lillipops and rainbows everywhere

Cloudy with a chance of meatballs. My brother loved that book and often checked it out of the library in Fairhaven. However, Sammy seems to have some sort of mental block with reading. He CAN do it word by word but insists he cannot. I am struggling (along with the Special Education teacher) to figure out why. I want him to love books like I do. I want him to find his imagination wrapped in  a book and create authentic enjoyment for them. He needs an outlet for that incredible imagination he has locked inside his amazing intellect. It's dying to get out, I can see it bouncing around in there when I look into his eyes, much like a super bounce ball in a small room.

He does however LOVE the movie of Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. How can I turn his love for movies into a love for reading? Is that fair? I hate the reward/token economy that we often fall into with Sammy. I feel it's taking away an intrinsic need to be a good person and replacing it with stickers and dollar store treats. It works, for now. Will he ever get to a point where it doesn't work anymore? What then? I guess that is a bridge we will cross when we get closer. Right now we are just to busy climbing the mountain to worry about it

He went off to school today chipper and woke up full of The Awesome (

Thursday, September 8, 2011

mornings and sock toes

I am not a morning person.Not even close. Perhaps it is some sort of genetic trait to be passed on to children. Perhaps it is simply a learned behavior. Whatever it is I have no idea. I can say however,that undoubtedly I am raising 2 non-morning people. AJ who is 13 and Sammy who is now 7.
What is a morning person~ Nate wakes and bounces out of bed, twittering and chirping and babbling about something.smiles and giggles and requests for breakfast at 5:30am. Am I being punished for something? Seriously, no child should be that chipper before I have had coffee.

I appreciate a slow start to my mornings. Prayer and coffee in the one spot of my house that is bathed in intense light. Moments of reflection on the clean of my kitchen and the sparkle of my sink. I enjoy the slow waking of the day.

It's school time here which means no quiet mornings.No blissful cups of coffee unless I plan to be up at 4:30 am. Did I mention I am not a morning person?
Every morning here is akin to the front lines in Afganistan. Getting all the kids and the hubby out the door in the morning is chaotic at best. Thankfully hubby tries not to wake me up until he has to (to remind me to pump before baby girl wakes up) Tyler leaves at 6:30am, AJ at 7:30, Sammy at 8am and Nates lessons start at 8:30. In that time I have t make breakfasts and nurse a baby.

 It takes me almost an hour and a half to get Sammy out of bed each day and ready for school. Gentle wake ups  followed by more insistent directives to get up and get dressed. We have found shoes and socks he will pout on so far this year. Our big issue...cold pants. He HATES THEM. With spazzing screaming flailing flapping intensity. I have tried sitting on them,ironing them,blow drying them, tucking them underneath me while I sleep.Nope not having it. Today I woke him and was told "you just don't wake people like that" followed by screaming about cold waist bands on his pants. Then I looked, he was wearing pants already....Hmmmm OK. WIN he wore the ones he had on. It's a solution I can live with!

He then spent the next 25 minutes looking at me cross-eyed and telling me his shirt was too long,that he wasn't going to school in the rain,that breakfast smelled funny and I shouldn't wear purple. He went to school against his better judgement.
He came home a mess. Homework and an unacceptable snack have set him off and he tried to run away. He is now chilling out in his room until he feels like being around us again. His homework is still undone and he still has not had snack yet.
It's only the second week of school here people. I am tired already.  Five days in and I am already in a funk. I am re-reading Unconditional parenting in the hopes of gleaning some better insight on how to fix this

Thursday, September 1, 2011

today Ayn's dad goes into court

Today, the forces of darkness are being challenged. The hearing is set for today.I can only pray for wisdom and discernment for the judges and re-post her father's plea for her return. 

My name is Derek I am a single father of three wonderful young children, aged 9, 10 and 11; my youngest two have both been diagnosed with severe autism. Though a constant and challenging struggle, I have done my best to protect and nurture them, as I love them so much and have dedicated my life to their achievement of happiness. My youngest child is a bright and beautiful little spitfire named Ayn. She has and is blossoming so well here at home and has come so far to overcome her obvious disability, she does however continue to struggle and outburst when in other environments, particularly at school. Ayn is naive and unaware of the dangers that exist in the world at large, so when on Sunday June 12th she escaped the backyard we were very worried for her safety. With each passing moment the likelihood that something terrible had happened increased, as Ayn should stand out from other children easily and should have been quickly spotted. Fortunately Ayn was discovered two doors down playing in a neighbours backyard, the neighbour had taken an afternoon nap which provided Ayn with the ability to play undisturbed. The challenges I have faced in caring for my daughter have been encompassing and life altering, these challenges are very dynamic and new challenges arise as fast as the old one depart. Now with her discovery of the neighbours nearby trampoline and pool, she will undoubtedly seek to return there, vigilance will be required to face this new found challenge, but it is one which I must now face just as I have with each prior challenge and as i would have to with our future challenges as well. As it stands today I may never get that opportunity. On the morning of June 16th two workers from CPS arrived at my home to request that I "voluntarily" give Ayn over to them (she was at school at the time), if I refused they would simply coercively remove her. There should be no illusions here when someone approaches you and says "give me your child or i'm taking her" you should not pretend that any such choice would be done "voluntarily". Within hours of her removal Ayn had hospitalized and drugged with powerful neuroleptics, one of which at double the maximum daily dose. Her whereabouts has been concealed from me, due to me refusing to sign the voluntary agreement. And I will not be given the opportunity to argue before an impartial court as per why this was a wrongful removal for months. After twelve days of hospitalization, in which the hospital noted "no bruises or evidence of physical abuse and her body status showed no evidence of neglect" , and "Initially there was some suspicion of ADHD along with autistic aggression, but this dissipated as Ayn improved...". The hospital insisted on discharging her (june 28th), she is now in foster care awaiting further hospitalization as the Ministry has waitlisted Ayn for a longer term residential based psychiatric assessment. My little girl is autistic, she does not require a psychiatric assessment, I am aware that she does not understand the dangers that lurk, I love her and I protect her, when Ayn has a tantrum at school it is me they either call in to calm her or send her home to, when she is injured it is to me whom she turns because she "needs a bandage". The greatest successes this little girl has had were nurtured in the home, she loves it here, she loves her brothers and she loves her Dad, It is my firm belief that if our system of child protection has reached a point where a happy thriving child who was not abused and in no need of medicating, can be coercively removed from their family, forcibly medicated within hours, denied access to that family punitively, and the family is given no redress for months potentially years; then we are indeed facing a serious systemic problem. A problem which unfortunately is not confined to my city or province, nor even my country, for these acts are playing out around the world. Please help me get my little girl back and to address this issue in such a way that it never affects another family again.

I would be forever in your debt, 
Derek (July28th)

 The preceding was updated on the 28th of July, and with a meeting on the 29th at my home with a social worker from the MCFD, came many new developments. I hesitate to sound overly optimistic, but what a difference: a day, the public spotlight and an experts opinion can make. Though I still lack a firm commitment from the Ministry, they have informed me that Ayn's case has now been reviewed by their resident autism expert. This expert has advised them against placing Ayn in the psychiatric facility, why this expert was not introduced to this case earlier is unknown. In addition the Ministry has ironically informed me that all they would like to see is for Ayn to have proper supports in place, something which I have been advocating for years now. With these supports in place she can come home... reason to rejoice? Perhaps, but without a firm Ministerial commitment to this I cannot relent in my quest for her return. Nor will I relent in my advocacy for the reformation necessary to prevent these systemic failures from ever effecting another family as it has mine. And I ask the same of all those whom have chosen to support Ayn, myself. and all those families facing this threat in the future.  Please join us in ensuring Ayn comes home promptly and a positive reformation of the very system which allowed and endorsed these unjust actions. (Aug 1)