I’m taking a short break before I post the next part of my story, and I apologize for that. That project is giving me a lot of clarity and insight into both myself and my abusers, but it’s emotionally and mentally exhausting, so today’s posts are a bit lighter.
I read an article yesterday by another survivor whose work I really admire (An Upturned Soul) which brought up the question of how you can tell whether a blogger who writes about narcissism is actually a narcissist. It’s an interesting question and one that left me scratching my head and a little bemused. The answer is, you can’t. Not really. There are some clues (which can be found largely in the way the blogger react to comments), but unless you meet the person or are very familiar with their posts and online behavior, there’s really no way to tell for sure. After all, how do you know the blogger isn’t the real narcissist shifting the blame to the “narcissist” who is really the real victim? Here is her article. Make of it what you will, but it does raise intriguing questions. I think as survivors of abuse, we have to suspend disbelief to some degree and just assume the authors on this topic are on the level until we get to know them better. We must assume they are innocent until proven guilty. It’s all we can do.
Which brings me to the main reason I dragged my feet for so long about starting this blog: I was afraid if I started a blog about narcissism, people might think I was a narcissist. After all, isn’t blogging about your personal life story to complete strangers kind of a narcissistic activity, especially when we make use of things like “Like” buttons, “Share” buttons that send our posts to other social media, comments sections (we want proof people are reading our posts!), rankings and ratings, and various and sundry other widgets that call further attention to our posts and ensure we get as many hits as possible? Oh, and there’s the stats, which let us know how we’re doing and how much our blog is being read and how much it’s liked, and even if out posts are being read by people in foreign countries! On top of that, we want our blogs to look great too. I broke down today and even though I couldn’t really afford it, bought the “custom design” package for $30 so I could change the fonts and color strip on the header to something I thought looked more striking and professional. (I have no idea how CSS works yet though). We want our blogs to be the sharpest and coolest looking ones out there! We want to be noticed and our work admired! Isn’t this all pretty narcissistic when you think about it?
But you know what? I don’t care if it’s narcissistic or not, because I decided I love blogging. Now that I’ve started I can’t stop! In less than a week, I’ve discovered so much about myself, even remembering things long forgotten. Blogging’s a lot cheaper (and maybe sometimes even better) than one on one therapy. I no longer feel so alone, knowing how many of you fellow bloggers have been through similar experiences. I think people who have been through our kind of experience tend to feel more comfortable writing about it than talking to someone, because so many of us have trust issues with the people we are closest to irl, who have all too often disappointed us, proven to be untrustworthy, or have even triangulated with our abusers against us.
Here’s my other reasons I waited so long to start doing this.
— I thought you had to be an expert on something. I’m not an expert on anything; I just know a little about a lot, but am deeply interested in certain topics. So I guess that makes me expert enough.
— Even though I know I can write, I was afraid people might hate my writing.
— I’ve never had a blog before. The closest I ever came was posts on message boards, forums, and other people’s blogs. It’s like diving into the deep end for the first time. Even though you already know how to swim, the deep end is a lot scarier than the shallow end at first.
— I thought it would be hard. People told me WordPress was really hard to learn, but actually it isn’t at all. There’s a little bit of a learning curve, but by my 3rd post I felt like I knew what I was doing.
–I thought you had to know coding or be a tech geek. I only know a little rudimentary HTML, the sort you can use on any forum post. I thought you had to have some sort of esoteric programming knowledge.
— I thought my story would bore people.
— I thought my blog would look like crap.
— I thought it would be time consuming. Well it is, but I’m fine with that.
I’m pretty damn proud of my blog–does that make me sound like a narcissist?