So… it’s been about a year since I took the WordPress plunge. How time flies!
I won’t lie. The change to WordPress was difficult. It was a necessary change, to be sure, but moving platforms definitely created a pain in the ass for me. My original blog, which started almost ten years ago on the Blogger platform, got a slow start. For the first few years of its existence, I didn’t really share it with friends, so it wasn’t read by many and got very few comments. I never thought I’d ever get to the point at which I’d need the extra features offered by WordPress. My blog was just a place for me to record my thoughts.
It was my husband’s younger daughter who initially prompted me to start blogging. Back in 2010, she was sixteen years old and extremely alienated from Bill. Her mother raised her in the LDS religion and she had swallowed the whole thing with gusto. Back then, blogging was popular pastime for Mormons and Bill’s daughter had embraced the hobby. Bill found her blog by accident; it was full of religion and sanctimony, and her tone was offensively arrogant. She wrote a lot like her mother does, which greatly distressed Bill, because his ex wife is very narcissistic and toxic. He didn’t want his daughter to be the same way. Still, Bill had been kept completely in the dark about his daughters since Christmas 2004. He missed his girls and wanted to know how they were doing. As their father, he felt he had the right to know, especially since his younger daughter was still a minor. So he kept reading his daughter’s blog, and he told me about what he’d read. I chose not to read the blog myself, because I knew it would upset me.
Then, in March 2010, when I started the original incarnation of this blog, I was making some money writing online. I had been doing it for years, was good at it, and I enjoyed the process. Since I had a lot of free time and writing is something I like doing, I decided to start a blog of my own. I figured if Bill’s daughter could blog, so could I. My blog started off kind of boring, but as time passed, I started finding more things to write about. I also found it a good place for venting, especially since no one really read the blog in those days.
Four years after I started blogging, the places where I wrote for money all went *poof* pretty much simultaneously. Then, a few months after that, we moved back to Germany, where my travel blog became somewhat popular. Although I mostly just advertised the travel blog, people in the military community eventually found my main blog, although not as many as I would have expected.
Some people seemed to like the blogs. A vocal few hated my blogs, and told me so. I think most of them were either threatened or jealous, since they mostly complained about the name of the blog and not the content. Most of the haters eventually moved on, but there’s always at least one asshole in every crowd. A few of the assholes felt the need to invade my privacy. A year ago, we left that community, and I finally got sick of the intrusions. So, since we had just moved house, I decided my blog would be moving, too. It was definitely time.
I had been thinking about moving the blog for awhile. Blogger is a great platform for starting out, but it has limited functionality. Quite a lot of the functions Blogger did offer were consistently wonky. For instance, regular commenters were having trouble using their screen names and were coming up as “Unknown” when they’d leave feedback. Comments couldn’t be edited easily; I’d make a typo and have to copy and paste, edit, then repost. The search function was terrible; it would only go back a couple of years, when I had almost nine years worth of content.
I didn’t like having Google as my “landlord”, either, since I cherish the ability to be free to write as I like. WordPress is great for that, since I can password protect posts that are “troublesome”, and I paid for the domain, so I don’t have to worry about offending Google advertisers. I also like that there are more options for controlling comments, which means I get a whole lot less spam and/or inappropriate comments.
Still, the old blog was easy to find, free to use, and had regular readers. It was helpful for many people, with book reviews, commentary on current events, and discussions about mental health and other topics. More people liked the blog than disliked it, as far as I could tell. It made me some money, and I had been there for years. There was a lot of history there. Some of the history wasn’t pretty, but it was still important.
I didn’t like the idea of moving my blog just because of a couple of intrusive, dishonest, bullying snakes in the grass who wanted to silence me and refused to mind their own business. On the other hand, there’s something to be said for being less popular. I missed the peace and anonymity I enjoyed before people cared about my writing. I missed feeling free to express myself without a bunch of backlash from people who weren’t interested in my side of the story and just wanted to be shitty. I knew resetting the blog would make it easier to go back to basics.
Ultimately, the positives of changing venues outweighed the negatives, and I made the move. I think I’m better off for it, because most of the people who now read regularly have gotten to know me and don’t seem to think I’m the devil simply because I speak my mind. A few of them have even become friends, of sorts. I still don’t feel free to write the way I’d like to, but it’s getting better. I don’t care that this blog doesn’t make money. I don’t write for money or popularity. I write for my sanity. Some people don’t understand that and judge me, but I guess everyone judges, and everyone gets judged. That’s life. You don’t approve of me or my lifestyle? Build a bridge and get over it.
There are days when I don’t even get ten hits on this blog. When I was on my old platform, I’d get a whole lot more traffic. Sometimes, the hits were gratifying, but after awhile, they made me feel kind of paranoid, particularly when it became clear that some people simply wanted to paint me as someone I’m not and use my writing against me. Hang around narcissistic people and you’ll soon find out what a smear campaign is. I could tell one was brewing because I refused to be silent and tolerate their bullying.
2020 is going to be a better year. I already feel a lot better this year than I did a year ago, which is typically what happens when one leaves a destructive environment. It takes awhile to “detox”, but then things are better. That’s how I feel now. I’d like to write about last year in more detail, and I probably will at some point, although obviously I can’t make it public. At least not until some more time has passed.
I don’t think the people who prompted my “move” understand or care about the damage that was done to me by them. As far as I can tell, they are squarely focused on themselves, putting all the blame on me, and are completely unwilling to take any responsibility. Clearly, they don’t care about my perspective because, as usual, I make a convenient scapegoat– just like I once did to my husband’s ex wife and daughters. To them, harassing me was about safeguarding dishonest, unscrupulous, abusive people who seemed determined to make my life hell. Story of my life. Well, at least one of my husband’s daughters has discovered the truth. The truth always comes out. I’m optimistic that this is the year it will happen on several levels. 2020 is the year of clarity, after all.
So I’m going to keep writing, and although I won’t be reopening my old blog, I will keep reposting some of the better content to this one. I don’t know how long I’ll keep writing here… maybe I’ll move on at some point. Maybe I’ll even rejoin the work force at some point. Or maybe I’ll get lucky and be struck by lightening so I can escape this existence. All I ever really wanted was to be left alone, anyway.