Month: August 2016

Two words: F**K CANCER.

I was there at his bedside.  I barely made it in time because the third form of cancer took him so fast, while the other two were in remission/dormant.

A guy in my old youth group also died around the same day.  He wasn’t even old.  Different cause, but still, dang.

To my dad:

My gosh, now my site is running like a dream!

A week of aggravation and banging my head against a wall, and now it’s running beautifully.

And doesn’t it look awesome with the Wordpress 2016 theme?  I don’t know why I didn’t upgrade earlier: It fixed the issues I had with the last one–namely, the lack of color in the links, and putting the sidebar on the left instead of the right!  (Come on, we’re English-based, and read from left to right.  The sidebar belongs on the right because it’s less important and needs to be read last!)  It’s also even more mobile-ready than the last one, even puts the sidebar at the bottom instead of putting it into an icon people never click on.

It was that danged firewall in the WordFence security plugin, something they added to WordFence in the past several months.  It doesn’t play well with my site, though the rest of the plugin works fine.

I replaced the core WordPress files with brand-new ones from the new version 4.6, and re-installed WordFence with brand-new files as well, but then forgot to switch off the danged firewall, which automatically goes into “Learning Mode.”  And then by morning, the danged firewall was screwing it all up again.

Danged firewall.

But I re-installed WordFence and then immediately clicked off the danged firewall this time.

Maybe I’ll keep this site after all.

 

About pondering moving from self-hosted to Blogger: Next Morning

Okay, now I wake up and see a site which appears to be running fluidly again.  Maybe I did finally figure out the problem.

But it took a week to do it, a week of not much else getting done.  No reading.  No studying.  No researching.  Very little daydreaming about my novel.

And yeah, I have family obligations to tend to.

Anyway, last night I went over to my old Blogger site and started adding some pages, to see how well that works.  I have to do it one-by-one because while it’s easy to export from Blogger to Wordpress, Blogger doesn’t play well with Wordpress imports.  You have to go through another site to convert your Wordpress database, which I tried a while back, only to find that it didn’t work on my stuff for some reason.  And you can only export it ONE MB at a time.  That’s not much for a site like mine.

Still, Blogger would be my best option: I can indeed put my pages as well as posts over there, and they let you customize.  Wordpress.com won’t let you use Javascript (so no Analytics or more than a mostly-useless Statcounter, unless you pay $$), won’t let you post affiliate links (so no Project Wonderful ads), and then says, “All your content R belongs to US.”  I’m not entirely sure if I could post links to my books on Lulu, though maybe.

However, because of the trouble importing, and the size of my site, and the huge number of internal links and anchors (those things which allow you to jump farther down in a page) which have to be converted, and the stripping of all my paragraph breaks, it would take considerable time and energy to move my site back.

If this website is now working again, then I will probably leave it alone, at least for now.  But leave this open as a future option.  I can give this self-hosted deal ONE MORE CHANCE.

But I tell ya, they don’t tell you when you do this, about all the long hours non-techies spend trying to troubleshoot their websites.  It’s not as easy as they make it sound.  Sure you can figure out things like FTP, which isn’t really that hard.  (It only seems intimidating till you get the hang of it.)  But when your plugins start acting up, or somebody hacks you, the trouble really begins.

Some googling last night brought up a bunch of blog posts from other people who have made the switch BACK to Blogger from self-hosted, or comments complaining of the long hours spent troubleshooting and maintaining.  I also found a post which recommends non-techies think again before doing this.  But most of the results switched my Google search terms around to going FROM Blogger TO self-hosted.  Because who would want to do that?  [facepalm]

Well, here you go, another blog post warning non-techies to think again.  Unless you’re willing to spend extra $$ to a webhost who manages the site for you, such as WPEngine, which looks like it would be perfect for me–IF I had $30/month, which I don’t.  Or you can pay somebody to manage the site for you.  Or if you’re setting up a business website or a forum or some other such thing that needs more versatility than Blogger or Wordpress.com can give you.  If you want a page with order forms, shopping carts, etc., you’re better off self-hosted.

But just a simple website like mine, where the only “selling” directs people to third-party websites who do the orders/money managing for me, I could easily have stayed on Blogger.

So let this be one little blog post, in a Web full of posts extolling the virtues of self-hosting, which tells the truth to non-techies.

If you just want a personal blog/website showcasing your writing, which I have here, and don’t want to spend long hours troubleshooting plugin malfunctions instead of creating,

If you aren’t particularly technical, or maybe you’re good with computers but a page full of code and techie language makes your eyes bug out,

Then think long and hard about self-hosting.  You may be perfectly happy with Blogger or one of the other platforms.

 

Pondering moving back to Blogger

After the big crash nearly 3 months ago, I thought I had this site purring along like a kitten.

Then the past weekend came along and I discovered old problems returning.

After spending days and days tinkering with this website and trying to get it to work properly on both the front end and backend, I’m about ready to give up and go back to my old Blogger blog.  I can easily set up redirects and let my hosting plan run out, so that’s no problem.

My site looks great here, and I have so many options–but that does me no good when I spend more time troubleshooting than working on the content itself.  I have some tech knowledge, but a lot of that code makes my eyes bug out.

They tell you, go self-hosted!  It’s best, and you’ll never regret it!  Well, I don’t know about that, when I’m spending hours upon hours trying everything, following every bit of advice I can find on the Web, and still get a goofy site that loads up white screens or stripped-HTML every other pageload.

These site problems have also caused my hits–usually 200+ a day–to TANK.

Even if it is the server and not me, good luck finding it out.  This host used to be good at helping me out, but lately all I get is, “We don’t do anything with that, so you have to sort it out yourself.”  Or they can take weeks to respond to a ticket.

My church website has tech support.  I have trouble, they sort it out.  Three years and that site has given me very few headaches.  It’s also free.

I have trouble here, I sort it out.  Maybe.  I have spent countless hours troubleshooting this site over 3 years.

I didn’t have this problem with Blogger.  I had a blog there for years and did very little to it other than posting/editing content.  It didn’t go down, didn’t take 20 seconds to load for unknown reasons, and unlike Wordpress.com, they let you use Javascript and tinker with the template code.  So I could set up my own redirects or track stats just the same as I do now.  I couldn’t block people, but these days I don’t care about that so much.  I didn’t have to worry about hackers, either.

I have a novel I want to work on.  I have a family, a house to take care of–and, I’m now told, I have emergency family obligations to attend to because of my dad’s declining health.  I don’t want to spend days, my head aching, my arms aching, worrying about my site and why it won’t work no matter what the frick I do to it, and meanwhile barely see my family or enjoy my usual pasttimes.

Screw this.  I’m going to start tinkering with my old blog, writing up code to redirect to it, and see if I can make this big site look good back there again.

I’m a writer, not a computer geek.  Sometimes I think, Would I be good at coding/tech support/IT?  Or am I just better at it than the other people in my family/church?  I look at coding and all the stuff the professionals do, and think, no, code just makes my eyes bleed.  I get along with techies, with computer geeks, but I’m a writer.  I want to spend my days taking care of family stuff and nights on studying/researching/writing.  I want to write posts, not code.

Keep that in mind whenever you read the sites that say, Go self-hosted!  You’ll love it!–Maybe you will, maybe you won’t.

Oh, yeah, and it costs a lot of money.  I never had to pay for hosting with Blogger.  Apparently my host is one of the cheap ones, too, and managed hosting (where somebody else fixes it for you, like my church website) costs even more.

 

Improving….

Ever since I blocked the Unnamed Blogger (UB) last night, I’ve been getting steadily better.  I still suffer from physical effects of last week’s anxiety, but I can concentrate better on other things now.  I could swear this past week has been a blur; it feels like Tuesday was yesterday.  It’s been a blur of fear and anxiety.

As I told my husband, it feels just like when my narc abusers found my blog and threatened me, all over again.  The constant fear and dread of what will happen next, every move you make being watched.  But since I blocked UB, UB has made no attempt to come back in through other means.  So far.

Just knowing someone else can affect me like this, tells me UB is definitely a narcissist, turned into one by all that hatred of narcissists.  Yet another reason not to let hate of the narc consume you.

I hope that will be the end of it now.  I have so much on my plate: my dad’s health declining, house repairs, a cat who probably has cancer but we can’t afford the CAT scan to be sure ($1000!), church fundraiser, primary election, plus all the registration etc. for a child going back to school soon.

I don’t have time or space in my head for a new stalker.

It actually makes me feel a weird sort of fondness for my own pet stalkers, since at least they turned into just a little buzzing in the background.  They’ve been well-behaved for years now.  😉

 

I think I’m doing a bit better.

I blocked a reader who I’m pretty sure was UB (from this post).  After four years of keeping an eye on the sometimes-funny antics of my pet stalkers on this blog (they have changed their IPs and devices many times), I feel I’ve developed a good instinct about identifying stalkers.

This person comes from UB’s region, and has shown a big interest in my blog this past week.  This person has also come on many times over the past couple of months.  If I misidentified this person, I hope they’ll understand, since they have read about the person who threatened me.

I wonder if UB would have a conniption fit if UB knew I printed up some of UB’s posts back in around 2012 or 2013, since I wanted to take my time and read them closely.  I then filed them with other articles I’ve printed and/or clipped about abuse.  Maybe UB would tell me to burn the printouts.  And what about the Wayback Machine?  Will UB threaten the Wayback Machine next?  Especially since the Wayback Machine takes donations, so you know, maybe that’s “profiting” from UB’s blog.

I haven’t seen any more furious e-mails, though, or some of the same behavior in the stats that caused me alarm before the e-mail came.  I am upset that such an e-mail was ever forwarded to me in the first place; it should never have come to me.

I am closed-off to comments and contact information on this website for a reason.  And that reason is there are stalkers on the Net, not just my pet stalkers but the faceless psychopaths who lurk looking for victims, or the mentally disordered people who take offense at the slightest reason.

And yet my safeguards were breached.

By a stalker.

I’m really not happy about that.

I hope that the threat from this stalker will now diminish, leaving me to deal with real-life issues.  I will need strength to deal with them, not a panic-ridden body.  My dad’s illness is most distressing, plus we have other things going on.

And now I want to watch a movie.

 

What a sucky week….bad news

Along with being traumatized and now stalked by another blogger who, out of the blue, chose me as this blogger’s latest target, I just got some bad news about my dad.

Along with my cat dying of cancer but not sick enough to put her down, so it drags on.

And having to make repairs to the house without knowing where the money will come from.

And now I get bad news about my dad.

ENOUGH!

Beware: Sometimes even the narcissist bloggers are themselves narcissists

Take special care which bloggers you follow on the Net.

Unnamed Blogger (UB) rails against narc behaviors, but I see UB use them as well.  I often felt nervous on UB’s blog, afraid to say the wrong thing, because UB goes off on commenters all the time if something seems even slightly narcissistic to UB.  Especially if you’re still traumatized, this can traumatize you all over again.  My comments often were not posted, despite being positive and affirming of UB’s posts and UB’s experiences.  I began trying less and less when I saw how others got treated for saying the “wrong” thing.

UB posts things–naming names–about other bloggers and researchers and the like, which sound very slanderous, making false accusations.  I do not dispute UB’s own experiences, and it may very well be that UB tells the truth about narcissistic behaviors, but I found such posts about other bloggers/researchers to be very disturbing.  I often could not understand why UB made such accusations.

UB found a very narcissistic, abusive way to attack me Tuesday, out of the blue, while making no attempt whatsoever to resolve things peacefully first.  I had never said one unkind word against or to UB, and had in fact been very supportive.

UB’s attack was frightening and slanderous.  The measures used were overblown and litigious.  The attack was intimidating, a favorite narc tactic.  It made me feel like a frickin’ criminal, and was humiliating.

It is the sort of thing corporations and people like Trump do to silence people who can’t possibly afford to fight back.

Threatening someone for quoting something in her online diary which she found helpful in her journey of recovery, is a good way to throw her back into her traumatized state of 4 years ago.  But I have worked hard to get out of that state, so hopefully I won’t stay terrorized for long by UB.

As far as I’m concerned, if you really care about helping people, then you won’t threaten them with lawyers for liking your stuff and telling friends to read it.  That just strikes me as being more concerned for your own self than the people you claim to want to help.  It also shoots you in the foot, because word-of-mouth (i.e., reblogs and the like) is how your site builds readers.

And why the threats?  Because, three years ago, I quoted a tiny portion of UB’s blog, with full attributes to UB and links to UB’s blog.  As always, I obeyed Fair Use, which states that you can legally copy small portions of a work for the purposes of review, critique, satire, research, that sort of thing, as long as you cite the source.  We need this to keep the marketplace of ideas going, or else our free speech will be stifled.  I did it to promote UB’s blog, or to show my abusers (who were reading) that I wasn’t crazy, or to cite the sources for things I wrote.

I fully set off quotes as quotes.  I never copy an entire post or page, but brief portions of it.  Wordpress also automatically pings the sites I link to, which leaves traces for the site owner that they have been linked.  And Internet practice among blogs is to cite author and link; I do this.

I love it when somebody links me.  This leads to a spike in hits, and helps my Google ranking.  I’m doing to others what I want them to do to me.

Heck, I shouldn’t even HAVE to defend myself or explain myself, because I did nothing wrong or illegal.  Pretty much every blog I’ve ever read does the same thing now and then.  Including UB’s.

Not only that, but for ELEVEN YEARS, this website has been full of various attributed quotes found in the course of my research into such diverse topics as religion, abuse, marriage, narcissism, literature, movies–taken everywhere from other blogs to church websites to Wikipedia to experts–and this is the one and only time I’ve received a message like this.

Because, well, Fair Use.  UB must’ve found some shady ambulance-chaser.

I was accused of owning a business and profiting from this.  I own no business: I am a hobbyist blogger and writer.  I receive no profits related to UB’s blog in any way, shape or form.  This is an online DIARY, NOT a business.  But UB made no attempt whatsoever to find this out, just set an attack in motion and terrorized me.  Treated me like some kind of content scraper for making a note in my online DIARY.

My online diary of recovery from abuse, I might add.  What I use for therapy.

My therapy was under attack.

What I used to heal from various abusive relationships, was threatened with scary language and lawyers.  Let that sink in and see how egregious it is for someone to do this.

Imagine you have poured your heart, fears, worst abusive incidents, including things which could be considered rape, into a blog for years.  And then someone comes along and sends scary lawyers to threaten you for it, sends you into panic-mode for days.

This is what happened, from someone who claims to be here to help narc abuse victims.

From UB’s past comments, UB’s blog gets more hits in a day than mine gets in a week, or maybe longer.  So this is a big blogger beating up a little one.

UB’s accusations and attacks were slanderous, libelous, insulting.

UB’s attack also ignores that UB has, in the past, posted things about others which could have caused those people to sue for libel.  All I did was cite my sources, a practice which I had mentioned a couple of times to UB, without UB ever telling me to stop.  I did not defame UB; I had only positive things to say.  In fact, it was BECAUSE OF UB that I examined every single link on my site a couple of years ago to make sure it included the author.  This is because UB stated that quotes from UB’s site should include authors and not just links.

This attack has caused me a great deal of anxiety and reminds me of attacks from my own narc abusers.  My physical, emotional and mental responses have been exactly like when my real-life narc abusers attacked me.

For days, my mind and body have been on high-alert, panic mode.  My body is weakened.  I am afraid of more attacks.  I can barely manage to keep up with my household responsibilities; my research has stopped; my studies have stopped.  I jump every time the phone rings, and dread checking my e-mail and snail mail.

And now I have learned that my father has taken ill; I have quite enough to deal with, without someone on the Net stalking me.

I have discovered the history of UB’s visits to my own blog, and see that UB had been looking at it for months–but without making any attempt to find out who I really am.  There was no concern shown for my stories of trauma and abuse.  UB did nothing but go on the warpath.

I see UB continuing to visit my blog regularly now, showing that I have picked up another stalker.  I have blocked UB and hope that will end it.

UB has attacked other bloggers as well just for linking to UB’s posts, and carried out smear campaigns against them, another narc tactic.

I wonder if UB would have a conniption fit if UB knew I printed up some of UB’s posts back in around 2012 or 2013.  Maybe UB would tell me to burn the printouts.  And what about the Wayback Machine?  Will UB threaten the Wayback Machine next?

In my opinion, UB has a very black-and-white, negative viewpoint which causes UB to accuse far too many people of narcissism, and keeps UB “stuck.”  UB has created a hierarchy of narc abuse victims, which excludes anyone who has not experienced UB’s select kind of abuse.  Each kind of abuse from each kind of narc relationship has its own traumas which differ from others.  All kinds of abuse also have similarities.  They should not be turned into some kind of cliquish separatism.

I have seen comments by UB and friends which actually sound like they look down on people who have not experienced their particular kind of narc abuse.  As if only one kind of abuse victim deserves to be called a victim.  It ignores all the different ways people can be sucked into abuse, without showing lack of the victim’s character.

It makes light of the real trauma experienced by all kinds of abuse victims–and re-traumatizes victims of other kinds of abuse by making them think it’s somehow their own “fault.”  You know, just like the abusers told them.  When they’d hoped to find a support system on UB’s blog, people who don’t judge them.

UB appears to hate anyone who tries to move on from negativity and hatred of abusers.  But each person needs to decide his or her own path to healing.

UB has a group of friends who gang up on targets, using very narcissistic, bullying behaviors, just like the narcissists which UB rails against.  This kind of behavior has caused abuse victims to be re-traumatized.

Beware of such behavior, claiming to support victims, but instead terrorizing and alienating them.  I have read the testimonies of people who have relapsed because of UB and friends.  I will no longer associate with that group.

I also have to reconsider everything they taught me about narcissists and dealing with them.

I will not identify this blogger, nor the blog, nor will I give any other identifying information.  So as far as the public knows, it could be anybody.  But do keep an eye out for behaviors like this as you wander the Net looking for support groups after abuse.  An inhospitable environment, full of landmines and litigious site owners, is no place to find healing, but rather further trauma.