Articles from April 2013

And Today Was a Good Day….

Holy Week has begun.  Every day has at least one service, sometimes two, until Easter finally arrives on Sunday, May 5.  Yes, it’s quite late this year.

Today was Palm Sunday, and we had a fish luncheon after church.  Lots of people were there; sometimes it’s better attended than even the midnight Easter service.

Then we had another service a few hours later, the Nymphios service, though few people came for that.  It’s a beautiful day after a long wait for spring weather to begin; I rode my bike to/from the Nymphios service.

I have been developing the church’s new website; it, provided for us free from the archdiocese and with a professional-looking template, is both gorgeous and awesome.  I make sure it’s full of the information I kept longing for in our old website, which has been defunct for a while.

And it’s already getting positive remarks from parishioners who have seen it, and from people from other places who have found it and commented to the church about it.

I loaded it up on my cell phone at church; one of our especially pious ladies (from the Old Country) saw the icon of Christ on the screen, and kissed it.  “Mom!” said her daughter.  LOL

My stalkers appear to have lost interest since I began redirecting traffic to my new blog, and finally blocking them at the server level.  They also haven’t been to my church since last August.  The church website has given me purpose and intellectual stimulation.  The clouds seem to be clearing from my head along with the cold of the winter.

By the way: I recommend the plugin Search and Replace if you have to change your WordPress server.  I just switched from my previous, free server to a paid server, because the free server was giving me far too many headaches, with constant downtimes where I couldn’t get into my blog, others couldn’t see my blog, etc.

(Update 10/25/17: You can also use Better Search Replace.  I use a combination of both, depending on my needs at the time.  Though I see that Search and Replace has not been updated for a while, while Better Search Replace has.)

I just want to set up my Blogger redirect to the new blog and forget about it, not keep checking to see if my new blog is up, and then turning off the redirect on the old blog while the new blog is down.

I feared this would mean hours/days of fixing all the internal links in my posts, because that’s how long it took when I switched from Blogger to WordPress.

To clarify, I often link from one post to another; when I changed servers yesterday, all those links, in more than 400 posts, had to be found and redone to read “” instead of “”

But then I heard about the WordPress Search and Replace plugin.  This obviously won’t work if you’re moving from Blogger to WordPress.  But if you’re just migrating your WordPress blog from one server to another, and keeping your permalinks in the same structure, with this plugin, updating all those permalinks takes two seconds!

Yet again, today was a good day….

Reblog: “How I Fell for a Narcissist”

From Tina Swithin’s How I Fell for a Narcissist:

 Part of healing involves research on this personality disorder. I reached out to Dr. Craig Malkin, clinical psychologist and instructor in psychology at Harvard Medical School, for his opinion on how a person could potentially fall for a narcissist. According to Dr. Malkin, narcissists are experts at “impression management.”

Part of what makes narcissists so seductive, especially at the start of a relationship, is that they’re experts at impression management.

According to research, for example, they’re no more physically attractive than the average guy or gal — maybe a 5 or 6 — but they’ve perfected the art of looking like (and acting) like a 10. They can be charming, alluring, and even sensitive (up to a point).

Add to all this the fact that, when we’re in love with someone, the judgment centers of the brain become eerily quiet, and it’s easy to see why narcissists can slip by, red flags and all, and cozy up to us for a good long while.

Narcissists who run hot and cold are especially difficult to leave. The ups and downs put you on what psychologists call a variable-ratio reinforcement schedule — the same pattern of occasional reward that keeps gamblers racing back to the slot machines.

One key to spotting a narcissist is to bring your judgment centers back online. Pay attention to feedback from friends, for instance. They’re more apt to see — and remember — important red flags that you miss, precisely because they’re not under the narcissist’s spell (I call this ‘borrowed judgment’).

Keep a journal of painful moments, and ask yourself, is your partner working with you to understand and prevent them? Learn, and watch out for, some of the hallmarks of narcissism:

Is every mistake he makes, for example, someone else fault (‘externalizing’)? Does she routinely devalue and belittle other people in her stories? If so, it’s only a matter of time before the disdain or indifference comes your way.

Read more at How I Fell for a Narcissist by Tina Swithin.  Also see her blog One Mom’s Battle.

Tracy Fortune wrote in the comments, “Victims exhibit PTSD after interactions with an NPD- it’s THAT bad.”

My own story of narcissistic abuse is here.  (There is another one here, the story of Phil.)

Having written down this story as soon as possible after it happened, has helped a great deal: Whenever I start to weaken, and remember only the good things, thinking the bad things must be my imagination–I read parts of my story again.  I see and remember that everything I wrote is exactly what happened, not my imagination, but truth–and that reminds me that my memory is not my imagination, either, but the truth.

That keeps me from running back to my narcs and making myself into their victim all over again, degrading myself by taking responsibility for their abuses.

It also keeps me strong in my resolve to keep them blocked from my blog, which they monitored for some ten months before I found out how to set up a self-hosted WordPress blog, keep my Blogger traffic, and finally, effectively block them.

The story is especially helpful because Richard did to me what Tina’s ex-husband did to her: He made himself so charming, played so well on my loneliness, naivete and desire for that Best, Closest Platonic Friend Like Sam/Frodo Who Would Be There Forever, that I overlooked the red flags.

And the red flags were there.  But because he love-bombed me so effectively that I thought our friendship was real, enduring and God-ordained, I ignored the red flags.  And he did run hot and cold, as in the quote above, making me addicted to the rewards.

After dealing with Phil, my narcissistic ex, I relied more on the judgment of friends to help me find a good husband.  But with Richard, I had been isolated so long because of life circumstances–including a small child, shyness, church changes and my husband having a falling-out with a friend–that I had no close friends nearby to watch and make observations about my platonic friendships.

My husband was also under the spell, had also been charmed to some degree, thought that Richard was a good guy–until my husband experienced the “WTF moment” himself on 7/1/10.  (That’s when Richard blew up at him and became a raging, intimidating machine, not the gentle friend he had been to us.)

Articles such as the above help us figure out how we fell prey to narcissists, and how to avoid falling prey again.  Because why would we want to be prey to narcissists again and again?

A return to a peaceful spirit as my stalkers are defanged at last; also, glad to see my blog back!

Finally, my web host has finished whatever they were doing to protect us against botnet attacks, and my blog is back to normal functioning (I hope)!

But it was down for about a week, a long, frustrating week as my blog would go up and down, up and down.  I often had to turn off the redirect sending readers here from my old blog.

During uptimes, I installed better security and made adjustments, since you can’t rely on your host to protect you completely, especially on a free server.

I see from my security files that just in the last 24 hours, some bot from the Ukraine continuously tried to get into my blog’s dashboard for malicious purposes.  Apparently it would try, Wordfence would block it for a short time, then it would come back and try again.

But because of my security fixes, it could not come in.  😀  And now, because of Wordfence, I’ve blocked it permanently from trying again.

I have seen my stalkers trying to get in as well.  They are aware of this new blog, and have done searches for it which led them to my old blog, but not the new one.

I’ve seen them go to my old blog, but because the redirect for mobile phones was turned on, they got redirected here–and couldn’t get in.

I saw them try six times one evening to get in, when the mobile redirect was on, but they failed!

All they can ever see is the old blog, which is rarely updated now.  Now that my blog is back up and more stable again, the mobile redirect is back up, so they can’t get to the old or new blogs at all.

When the redirect is up, the only trace I can see of them is in Blogger’s stat page, when an Android browser is accompanied by a search term which I can recognize as theirs.  They do not show up in any other hit count trackers, because they are blocked.

I haven’t seen them back in a little more than a week, even though they had a long-established routine of checking in at least once a week, often twice or more–and several times a day when they discovered me trying to block them on my old blog a couple of months ago.

Strange how they won’t say a word to me otherwise, but will express their displeasure with me through their unwanted blog hits…..

Must be because they know I’ve been to the police about them already because of the e-mail they sent me, so they know I’m capable of doing so again.

This has been extremely helpful in restoring my broken spirit.  For almost a year I have feared what they may be planning next:

  • Will I get served with a lawsuit for telling the truth?
  • Will they send me another nasty message, threaten me, or assault me as Richard had once almost done to the person who evicted them?
  • Will they come to my church again on purpose to upset me and rub my nose in their lack of remorse for hurting and abusing me?

But none of this has happened.  No lawsuit.  No more nasty messages.  No assaults.  I haven’t even seen them at church since last August.  Their presence on my blog has been a constant irritant, but now I have successfully blocked them.

They are beginning to disappear from my life, even on the edges (ie, checking my blog), since I switched to and blocked them.  They are also beginning to disappear from my thoughts.  Not completely, but it is a huge step forward.

There is still the risk of seeing them more often eventually at church, if one of our parishes fails financially and our separate congregations begin blending.  I dearly hope that does not happen.

But for now, our two parishes remain open, and they are not directly in my life (just occasionally seen on the street).  My spirit is moving toward peace, toward calm.

I am working to accept that Richard was never the friend or the person he claimed to be, or he would never have let things get this way, that he must have been conning and using me.

I have become the webmaster for my church, and that has predominated my thoughts (and time) lately as I struggle to understand the content management system it uses.

My son just bought a couple of adorable spice finches who are very attached to each other.

Life is slowly but surely moving on.

Take Care Before Signing “Contracts” to Volunteer at a Church….. (Spiritual Abuse)

TWW has posted this about a legalese contract at Elevation Church which requires you to keep your mouth shut or you could be sued:

Elevation Church and Steven Furtick: Volunteer to be Sued!

I can understand restricting contact lists.  But this includes new ideas for the church.  This even includes information about church finances, which should be freely available.

Heck, my church prints up the finances every quarter for General Assembly meetings, and posts a summary in each newsletter, which could be seen by anyone!  My husband’s church does the same.

And this is not just for employees.  This is for volunteers!

The post also links to other warning posts about membership covenants/contracts, which have become quite common in churches lately–and make it easier to allow spiritual abuse to run unchecked.