But I like my widgets!

keep-calm-and-be-tacky

Almost every article that lists do’s and don’ts for bloggers says that having too many widgets and plug-ins in your sidebar is a big no-no.    They say they make your blog look cluttered and unprofessional, and even worse, they slow down load time, so that potential followers grow impatient with waiting for all your digital doo-dads to load, and go elsewhere.

It’s said that if you have too much “flair” in your sidebar, it makes your blog look amateurish.   It screams “newbie.”   New bloggers love widgets.   They’re eye-catching, colorful, and they’re a novelty that hasn’t had time to wear off.  Sometimes they also give a blogger bragging rights (such as those blog awards that only new or new-ish bloggers accept) or information that may be of interest to the blogger but probably not to anyone else (those little maps that you can click on for a real-time traffic report).

I’m guilty of having a lot of widgets.   I might even have too many widgets (oh, the horror!)  I like widgets.  They’re fun and I like the way they look, dammit. But I certainly don’t want to be seen as a “newbie” or someone who has tacky taste.  Or the blogging equivalent of some attention-hog on the road whose car bumper is obscured by bumper stickers.  I also hate the possibility of people growing impatient with the slow load time and going somewhere else in exasperation.  So last night I decided to say adios to some of my beloved widgets.

But I couldn’t do it.   Well, not much anyway.   I got rid of “community” and the friend faces under the Facebook Like box.  Also the captions under the awards because they were redundant.  And that’s all.   I simply couldn’t bear to part with anything else, no matter how useless or annoying they may be to my readers.   I love my widgets!   So they are going to stay (for now).  Suck it up, readers!  I probably won’t add any new ones though.

Advertisements

The awkwardness of being a Borderline ACON.

awkward-1

I won’t lie.  It’s incredibly awkward being a blogger who blogs about two things that seem diametrically opposed to many people in the narcissistic abuse community:  being a victim of narcissists, and having a Cluster B disorder (BPD).   To those of you who aren’t familiar with the ACON (adult children of narcissists) blogosphere,  there are a few ACON bloggers (not too many on WordPress, fortunately) who seem to think if you have BPD then you can’t also be an abuse victim and certainly shouldn’t be blogging about it.  Because, you see, if you have BPD then you are one of the soulless abusers.  If you are any kind of “cluster B person” blogging about abuse, then of it follows that you must have an “agenda.”  What that agenda is is never specified though.

I have been accused of many things, none of which are pretty, and few of which are true. Most are crass generalizations made out of ignorance and a refusal to think outside the box or consider that not everything is all black or all white or that all people can be shoved into a box. .   Here are just a few of the things I’ve been accused of.

  1. I have an “agenda” and dishonest motives.
  2. I am not really an abuse victim.
  3. I am being paid off or otherwise compensated  other people (like Sam Vaknin) or psychiatric organizations (like the APA) to promote my “evil” views and blur the lines between Cluster B disorders and complex PTSD caused by abuse.
  4. I’m “evil.”
  5. I’m crazy.
  6. I’m confused.
  7. I only care about being “popular”
  8. As a Borderline, I have “no right” to be writing posts about narcissistic abuse.

To these accusations,  here are my responses:

  1. Um, no.  I’m not clear what “agenda” it is I’d be trying to promote. My only “agenda” is healing for myself, fun (because I love to write), and hopefully, helping a few others along the way.
  2. I guess some people never really read this blog because it’s filled with personal accounts of narcissistic abuse by both my family of origin and my ex-husband.   Oh, that’s right.  I’m just making it all up. 🙄   I couldn’t make up these accounts if I tried.  I try not to dwell too much on the abuse though, because doing that doesn’t help me and only makes me miserable.  That doesn’t mean it didn’t happen, though.
  3. This really makes me scratch my head.   It almost makes me laugh how far a few people are reaching by saying this.  The only monetary compensation I get is about $30 – $40 a month from running ads on this blog.   I still live in poverty and I don’t have any kind of shady business dealings with any organization or person.  I write this blog because I want to.
  4. That’s quite a value judgment there.   You don’t even know me.   I don’t point fingers and call anyone evil unless I have real good reason to, and even then I’m hesitant because I don’t want to be a judgmental person (I can’t stand judgmental people).   I think it’s always better to use the term “evil” for actions, not people.   I guess this idea that I’m evil is because I’m zOMG “Cluster B.”  I’m not a narcissist (even if I do have a few of the traits) and I’m not antisocial and I do have empathy and an almost excessively strong conscience.   But some people have the idea that even if you’re a self-aware borderline who practices mindfulness, you’re still as bad as one of the narcs.  “Sociopath” is another thing I’ve been called but it means pretty much the same thing.
  5. Maybe there’s a bit of truth to this.  After all, I do have four mental disorders–BPD, complex PTSD,  Avoidant PD, and Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).  I can act pretty crazy sometimes too.   But at least I’m self-aware crazy and can see myself pretty objectively and control my urges to act crazy when they get out of hand. But just because you don’t agree with me doesn’t mean I’m crazy.  I just have a different opinion than you do.  Deal with it.
  6. There’s also some truth to this.    It is VERY confusing being both an abuse victim and having a Cluster B disorder, even though the Cluster B disorder was caused by abuse!   And like it or not, I DO think BPD and complex PTSD are almost the same disorder.   Of course, this is just my opinion and no one’s paying me off or brainwashing me to “blur the lines.”
  7. No.  My primary motive in blogging is healing myself and helping people.   A secondary motive is fun.    Yes, of course I look at my stats and always get a small thrill when they’re growing, but I don’t write to be popular or famous.  Yes, I’d like to write a book someday and be able to make a living from my writing, but who wouldn’t?   Even if I never make a penny from my writings and even if no one read my blog, I’d still be doing it because it’s something I really like to do.
  8. As a Borderline, I *AM*  victim of narcissitic abuse.  (see reply #6).  ANYONE who was an abuse victim and wants to heal from the damage they endured has EVERY right to blog about it, and yes, that even includes people with self aware NPD!

me_and_my_evil_crazy_me_in_minecraft_by_sonatathesiren-d90wfu7
“Me and My Evil Crazy Me” (Minecraft image by Sonatathesiren)

I know my opinions are sometimes controversial and won’t sit well with everyone, but unless I’m presented with a convincing argument to discard my personal beliefs and opinions, they aren’t going to change.   I ‘m a critical thinker who likes to explore all angles of an issue and then form my own opinions when I’ve gathered enough information.  I’ve always walked to the beat of my own drummer, rather than mindlessly following what other people tell me I “should” do or believe.   Being a “lone wolf” who walks to the beat of my own drummer and refuses to conform to the “popular” view is one of the biggest reasons why I was ostracized by so many people all my life–including my own family.  But you know what?  I don’t care.  This is who I am and I’m going to keep running with it.     I seriously don’t understand why people who dislike my opinions and views so much keep reading my posts anyway if it’s only going to make them angry.  No one is forcing my opinions on those people. Just hit the backspace button!  It’s easy.

I’m aware some people have a problem with this because it doesn’t fit into the almost cult-like mentality I’ve seen among certain (fortunately only a few) ACON bloggers. If you piss them off, be prepared to be mobbed. Maybe they’ll leave you alone on your own blog but make no mistake–they will be trashing you and your character on their own blogs. At the same time, there are so many more people (and bloggers) who appreciate my reluctance to put people into boxes and think in only black and white terms.  There are many beautiful shades of grey in between the extremes.  That’s one of the best takeaways of moving away from BPD black and white thinking and replacing that with critical thinking and mindfulness.  If that’s evil and crazy, then evil and crazy I guess I will be.   But I really don’t think it is.

balance

Many people have told me my more open-minded approach has been refreshing and has helped them come to terms with the abuse they had to endure and move past the rage and anger they felt coming out of their abusive relationships, or when they went No Contact. At the same time, one of my aims has become reducing the awful stigma against people suffering from BPD. It’s a delicate balance, but I don’t think it’s undoable.

Being a borderline and a trauma victim who writes about narcissistic abuse issues as well as my own (and other) cluster B disorders,  it’s sometimes a delicate balance.   But they are not mutually exclusive.   I  feel driven to write  about my disorders as they relate to my abuse and attempt to reconcile them because I need to for my own sanity and healing.

Search terms that make the hairs stand up on the back of your neck.

plastic_cat

I just read a short post by another blogger who wrote that in her search terms, she found her full (real) name followed by “bad parent.”

That’s pretty alarming and would suggest this blogger may be being stalked by someone she knows.   I’ve been lucky that way I guess, but I remember a few months ago, I did see a search term that said “Lucky Otter is an idiot and a psychopath.”   That made me sort of cringe a little inside.   I hate it when people hate me.   I have no idea who used a search term like that, nor do I want to know.   Probably someone I pissed off in a blog post.  Who cares?   Much more creepy than that was the time I found this in my list of terms:  “I want to f*** Lauren Bennett.” (That isn’t even my real name). This was followed by a few more words describing doing something that was even more unmentionable on a blog like this one. I bet I’m twice the age of whatever sociopathic basement dweller searched for this blog that way.

Most of my search terms are pretty boring.  So boring that I stopped making posts listing the “funny” search terms because there really aren’t any funny ones.  They’re all about as interesting as staring at a beige cinder block wall.