Huge Site Restructuring: Recent story of abuse moved

After moving my old HTML website here to Wordpress in September of 2013, I had to fix the formatting issues that caused.

Then I upgraded to the 2015 Wordpress theme last December, which caused new formatting issues with the quotes: Bolded text no longer showed up as bold, and quotes were often rammed together.

I also tended, as a baby blogger, to write HUMONGOUS paragraphs because I just kept adding and tweaking over time.  That had to be fixed.

The older pages also needed updated links and major revisions.  Some were ten years old and hadn’t been touched in years.

Because my site has about 1000 posts and pages (!!!), and because I actually have a life outside of the computer to run, it has taken me TWO YEARS to fix all of this.

But it’s finally finished.

YAY!

Now, while doing this, I recently realized that this series of posts–The Darkness Engulfs Me–needs to be moved.  It’s so huge that it clutters up the first several months of 2014, shoved in there with a bunch of College Memoir posts as well.

Also, it was actually written between 2010 and 2012, only revised in 2014.  It reflects all sorts of anger, anxiety and pain which filled me between 2010 and 2012, but which no longer spend much time in my heart or head.

This series took my webbook, The Darkness Engulfs Me, and broke it into blog-post-sized chunks, just as I did with my College Memoirs, which are also their own webbook here.

Basically–

–to better show a sense of flow through time, from anger and pain to healing, and

–to reflect the time period in which these things were actually written,

I wish to change the publication dates to 2010 and 2011.  This will take 109 posts and spread them out over a period of time when I posted very little on my blog, but during which I wrote thousands of words on my HTML website.  You could say it WAS a blog, a diary of my pain, so it fits well in that part of my blog.

This post is to explain this to newcomers who may get confused, because sometimes I refer to the Darkness Engulfs Me posts in 2014 as being written.  Yet now they will show as having been written already, in 2010/2011.  Because, well, they were.

 

 

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Reflecting on A Year Ago….

In preparation for the third Hobbit movie, my family has been watching the previous two installments.  Tonight, we saw movie #2.  As Bilbo went up against the dragon, I remembered where I was last year as I watched this in the theater:

I was just beginning to revise and re-post the story of Richard and Tracy.  I saw my depression, Richard’s betrayal, my loss of a best/close friend (Richard) because of this, discovering that my spiritual mentor (Richard) was never actually my friend, loneliness, doubts about God, and Tracy’s bullying and abuse, as the Dragon.

I was Bilbo fighting it, wondering how I would ever get out of it.  I was Bilbo telling my story now, so others can know what happened and glean their own lessons from it, for fighting their own dragon.

Tonight, as I watched the dragon again, and little Bilbo finding his courage to fight goblins, Gollum and the dragon, I realized that those feelings were no longer in my head.

(I also noted that I could understand people’s expressions much better now.  As a child/teenager, I often said I preferred books so I could find out what people were thinking.  Now I can see it better.)

Sure my story is still about the dragon I had to face with courage and fortitude.  But it is now a story that is done, just as Bilbo could relate his story years later without the fear he once felt as the events took place.

The dragon has been slain.  The depression is gone, nothing now but a distant memory, not even a recent one anymore.

The loneliness still comes up now and again, but is diminished because I am building various friendships and acquaintances at various levels now.

Somebody in the writer’s group called me his friend, and he and his dad cry out welcomes when I come in.  The president said he likes my quiet and respectful demeanor, and there is no reason to change that because some people don’t understand it.

Richard’s betrayal only stings a little bit now.  It still leaves me with sadness at times, but more and more over the years since, I have realized the magnitude not only of his betrayal, but of his deceptions.  I see only too clearly the Pharisee behind the false piety.

I just plain don’t care anymore.

Just as I used to feel so hurt after severed relationships that I wanted to die, but eventually, I forgot all about that person, and moved on.  I might e-mail an ex occasionally or friend him on Facebook, but all the pain, hurt and even desire for his company, is gone.

Just as I was sad when my former boss left the company in a spectacularly bad fashion, and I missed him, but now I barely ever think of him.  Especially after I found out his wife divorced him for being abusive, and he went to jail for threatening and violent behavior.

I still have many doubts about God, and often about Orthodoxy as well, but I have stayed put in my church.

In it are people, services and events connecting me to this church, as they have begun to depend on my husband and me for many things: Bible readings, making candles, running the website, washing dishes at Greekfest, etc.

I feel that if I left, many people would be not only disappointed, but in the lurch.

I was once scared of Tracy.  This is why I never spoke up to her face about her abuses of others or her treatment of me.  This is why I did not stand up when she smacked her toddler upside the head, or started yanking/spanking/slapping/screaming at two little girls who had done absolutely nothing wrong.

I feared what she would do to me if I did speak up.  This is why I went into a tailspin of fear after she found my blog, threatened and began stalking me.

Now I no longer fear her.

Heck, now she’s become more of a symbol to me than a real person: a symbol of a pathetically self-deceived abuser who tries to force everyone to see her as what she wishes she were.  But instead of fear and loathing, now I feel something else:

Sometimes, it’s a laugh at how pitiful her antics were, at her pathetic attempts to be superior and keep others under her control, at how obvious she was.

Sometimes, it’s fascination at how someone can act the way she does, as I study the Cluster B disorders which obviously drive her behavior, no longer as an abuse victim but like a curious scientist.

But it’s a feeling which is oddly divorced from the fact that her abuses happened to me.  It’s not forgiveness exactly, but more like when you’ve watched a movie: You feel pain, anger, joy, etc., while watching the movie, as if you were the characters.

But when the movie is over, these emotions are now detached from you because it was only a movie, and the characters live only in one’s imagination.

In my case, the events and things I described really happened, and they happened to me, but when I revise old posts or remember something, I feel as if it were only a movie I watched once long ago.

Basically, the same way I feel when revising or writing memoirs about abuse or other things.

If these people ever repent of what they did, my Orthodox faith compels me to forgive.  So I have one little window perpetually open for that, never closing it because that could condemn me to Hell. 

I know they will read this, and just want to be clear on that in case–maybe twenty or thirty years from now–they reflect on their actions and feel remorse out of fear of Hell. 

But forgiveness does NOT necessarily mean restoring friendship.  I no longer have that pull toward Richard which would make me desire friendship in the least.

But the healing has finally come, without forgiveness.  The moving on.  The dismissal of all former feelings of fear and sadness, with no trace left over.  Like when every last bit of snow is finally gone mid-spring, even from the mall parking lot.

The dragon is gone and nothing is left but the gold.

 

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The Richard and Tracy story is finished at last!

Now I can get back to my College Memoirs.  We’re starting to get into the fun part, past the abusive exes and into the fun of the second half of senior year: meeting weird people online (such as a psychic vampire), flame wars with a girl who was very much like Tracy, Celtic class, learning to play the tin whistle, SCA, meeting the Hubby….

Which also means slowing way down on my number of posts, maybe a few a week except when inspiration hits.  But I also plan to sticky-post old posts every day, so my new subscribers can check out my old stuff as well (and so I can fix formatting problems in pre-Wordpress posts 😛 ).

I also want to, over time, use my website the way I have used it ever since it was created in 2004 or 2005, and my blog in 2009: to showcase my writing in all its variety.  It’s not all about abuse blogging.  I have now combined my website with this blog into one big website: Just look at the page menu at the top of each page.  🙂  And look at that, my total hits are very close to 50,000!  🙂

I have all sorts of juvenilia that I hope to find and post, or at least describe if it’s lost.  I want my childhood imagination to be preserved, some of the stories possibly made into children’s books, because I fear it all being lost after I die.  I want to spark creativity again, start writing fictional stories again, not just book reviews, essays, memoirs and blogs.

And now that the story of Richard and Tracy is completely revised and out, I can do this again, because the cobwebs are cleared out of my mind, the chains of grief, anger and pain finally pushed out.

As for my stalkers, Richard and Tracy–We’ll see if I can still hold their attention now that their story is basically going to be old stuff stickied, rather than new stuff.  Of course, I see them going through my old stuff constantly lately, reading the same posts over and over again, so maybe it won’t matter to them.  LOL

 

 

 

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