So, I finally changed my theme.

Wow!  I changed to the Twenty Eleven theme!  Granted, it’s a similar theme to the Twenty Ten theme I was using.   But I’m proud of myself for taking this scary step.

It took me two years to work up the courage to change my theme at all.  I didn’t dare try anything too drastically different from Twenty Ten.  I was terrified of losing all my information, post counts, etc.

It wasn’t so bad.  In fact, I think it’s a much cleaner look, especially since I changed the color theme and background photo to something less dark and depressing, and more soothing and oceanic.   I changed the font as well.    The only thing I’m displeased with is the header menu.  I can’t seem to change the font in that.  I think it’s clunky looking, so I may get rid of some of the topic headings to make it more streamlined at least.

I was able to replace most of my old widgets (they do disappear when you change your theme, so you have to put them in again) but chose to leave a few out.  Again, I’m going for a cleaner looking, more readable blog.    I also changed the Sharing buttons to the stylized logos, which I think look better.   It appears my post counts weren’t lost, which I was afraid of, so that’s a relief.

I hope you all like my blog’s new look.  Please leave your (honest!) opinions in the comments.  Even if you hate the new look, please let me know.

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New: translation feature!

I just added a Translation feature to this blog.  You can find it in the right hand sidebar, just below the ads and above “Follow this blog.”    I thought this would make things easier for my followers for whom English is not their first language or who don’t speak English at all.   The list of languages available is impressive.

I also have to admit it’s fun to see what this blog looks like in different languages.

New Section: Politics and Trumpism

I have so many political articles now, especially about Trump and Trumpism, that I spent this evening putting all the links into one section, which now appears in the header.   It includes both opinion pieces and more factual ones.  Many of these posts explore Trump’s narcissism and the negative, traumatizing effects that has on an entire country, for those of you interested in that sort of thing.   Other posts are not so much about Trump per se, but about our sickness as a nation.

It was especially interesting re-reading my early posts from back in January, right after Trump’s inauguration, and the ways I processed that.

https://luckyottershaven.com/politics-and-trumpism/

I really had no idea until I started going through all my posts that I had this many!

A few of the posts are reblogs and I have indicated whenever that was the case.

Changed my profile.

My blog has changed since I started it almost three years ago.   Although I still write about narcissistic abuse, I’ve expanded from my personal experience of it to the national experience of it under the new president.

I also write a lot more articles that have nothing or little to do with narcissistic abuse. I find that as my healing progresses, I have little need to write about my own experience anymore.     We all grow and change, and my painful past just isn’t a place where I want to spend too much time anymore.    It happened, I dealt with it (and still deal with it because healing is a process), and now I’ve moved on to other things that concern me (but where my experience and education as a narcissistic abuse victim give me some insight into these matters — at least I think they do).

So in keeping with my new focus, I decided to rewrite my profile.  It’s shorter and I think it’s snappier and more to the point than the old one.

You also might have noticed I changed the fonts and the look slightly.  I think it’s a cleaner look.

I am no longer accepting emails.

sorrynote

I just had to change my contact information.  I am no longer able to accept emails because of the sheer number of them I receive and my inability to reply to them.

I would love to be able to answer each email personally but I don’t have the time to do that.   My friends already know about how bad I am about answering emails promptly, and sometimes  they even think I’m angry with them because days or even weeks pass before I reply.   Of course, this is my problem and not theirs, and is something I need to work on, but I decided it would be best to no longer accept unsolicited emails from readers who stumble on this blog and want to ask a question, tell me their story, or just need someone to listen to them.

I apologize if this seems cold or uncaring.  I do care about my readers, but I was beating myself up with guilt over so many unanswered emails sitting in my Inbox.   There are other ways to contact me though — this blog has a Facebook page and I have a Twitter account (both are in the sidebar).

There’s another reason why I’m no longer accepting emails.   This blog has grown big enough that I get a lot of spam, and I also want to discourage trolls or the possibility of opening up an email virus.

Comment policy:

You can always communicate with me via the comments under almost every post.   I will try to answer most comments, or at least give it a “Like” so you know I read it.

If you’re a first time commenter, your comment will go under moderation but after that, they will appear immediately.   With rare exceptions, abusive or troll comments will not be approved and you may be banned from being able to comment in the future.

I hope this causes no one any inconvenience, and again, I apologize for removing my email address and no longer accepting them.

This does not apply to my friends who already email me.   I’m not just suddenly going to stop replying.   You can certainly continue to communicate with me that way, but don’t expect a reply right away.

 

 

Lucky Otters Haven is 2 years old! (Part One)

wordpress2yrs

Yes, this blog has officially entered its Terrible Twos!

In celebration of this milestone,  I’m going to be showing you how it’s evolved since it’s inception (well, actually, 4 months after its inception), thanks to The Wayback Machine, which crawls the web periodically and takes screenshots of websites so they’re forever caught in time.

While I’ve stuck with the free Twenty-Ten theme the whole time, I’ve changed its look rather drastically several times (thanks to Custom Design, which I recommend because it gives you more options than the free plan). I definitely think this blog looks a LOT more professional than it did when it was new.   But I was learning as I went along.

This is Part One of two.  I’ll post Part Two immediately after this.  Both should be up later tonight.

Screenshots from The Wayback Machine:

January 18, 2015

loh_11815

This was the first time LOH was “crawled” and photographed.   At the time, I still believed I had Aspergers (self diagnosed), which explains the subheader.   Early posts of mine were a lot more angry and “narc-hating,” since I had only been No Contact for a short time.  I had far less awareness into myself than I do now.  Spiritually, I was also still an agnostic.   Reading back over some of these early posts is a little embarrassing because I’ve changed so much, but is also fascinating for the same reason.   But it was blogging that got the ball rolling on all the awesome changes I’m undergoing.   It was probably the best decision I ever made.

If you’re interested in reading these earlier posts, they can be accessed through the Archives drop-down menu in the sidebar. Just pick the month and year you want to see.

You can’t see the whole sidebar, but when this screenshot was taken, this blog had just 437 followers.   That’s still quite a few, considering it was only 4 months old!

In case it’s not obvious, the painting in the subhead is the same one I’m now using as the wallpaper.

*****

February 21, 2015

Not many changes.  563 followers now.

loh_21815

*****

March 18, 2015

LOH’s first “facelift”:  I rather like the cute otter wallpaper I chose and the gray color scheme is easier on the eyes (as is the title font), and the subhead is in a more eye-catching font too.  But I have no earthly idea what I was thinking when I chose to take out “Haven” in favor of the atrocious “Museum of Narcissism.”  LOL!  It makes me laugh now, but I guess I still thought of narcs as some kind of zoo creatures to be gawked at (which they certainly can be!)  I’m also not sure why I decided to put “The” in front of the title.  Whatever!   There were 679 followers by now.

loh_31815

*****

April 23, 2015

Not too many new changes, but by now I’d added the “Borderline” into the subhead title.   Due to the stigma, I’d been kind of in the closet about it at first, but had “come out” by now.  I still believed I had Aspergers though. I also notice I’d removed the idiotic “The” from the title.  776 followers.

loh_42315

*****

I didn’t want too many graphics in the same post, because it slows down load time, which is why it’s in two parts.

(Continued in Part Two)

 

Lucky Otters Haven has a new look.

Sample of colorful paint. Cans of red, yellow, blue and green paint.

Boredom isn’t always the devil’s playground.     Sometimes boredom is so intolerable it can lead you to desperate actions to rid yourself of its special kind of pain–actions like, hmm…getting falling down drunk, hitting the mall and buying a bunch of stuff you don’t even want, sleeping the day away, eating an entire roll of chocolate chunk cookie dough, watching Internet porn, having sex with strangers, building a giraffe made out of toothpicks, crafting a voodoo doll of your narcissist ex (hey, if anyone has ever done this, can you post a picture of it, pretty please?), or…remodeling your blog.

So that’s what I did.   I’m too scared to change my whole theme yet (I’m still on Twenty Ten) because of my (probably irrational) phobia about losing everything or the slightly more likely nightmare of my blog becoming FUBAR, or at the very least, all my Shares and Likes disappearing. But t I did make some pretty drastic changes within the same theme: the title font, the background, the header graphic, the sub-header, and the color scheme.

I think this look is more eye catching and the fonts and font background colors easier to read.  I also think the new sub-head (up in the header graphic) fits my new focus–while I still will cover personality disorders (especially Cluster B disorders), narcissistic abuse, and healing,  I realize that only about 60-70% of my posts have much or anything to do with those topics.   I cover a lot of other topics that interest, inspire, or entertain me too, and have been doing so for awhile.  So I wanted a sub-header that might attract followers and readers who just like general purpose blogs that have a lot of different kinds of content.

I also took the apostrophe out of Otters, so now the title is Lucky Otters Haven instead of Lucky Otter’s Haven.  I think the look is cleaner, and it isn’t ungrammatical either, because I know I’m not the only otter here swimming up from the dark and murky waters of a traumatic past.  I kept the word “borderline” in there because it’s an important part of this blog’s focus and my recovery, but it’s far from being my only focus. I wanted to draw less attention to BPD being an affliction, even though it is (BPD is to Marburg Virus what NPD is to Ebola) and more to the unusual and sometimes surreal vantage point it gives me when looking at myself and this crazy, horrible, and wonderful world I find myself a part of.

I hope everyone likes the facelift and new attitude. Please feel free to let me know if you think it could be even better or even if you hate it.   I do listen to suggestions and unlike real otters, I don’t bite (well not usually, anyway).

On September 10th, this blog will be entering its Terrible Twos!

I can hardly believe it’s been that long and at the same time, it seems like I’ve been doing this forever.   That’s next weekend.  I’ll be doing a big post about all the changes Lucky Otter’s Haven  has gone through since its inception, including screenshots (thanks to The Wayback Machine) of what this blog has looked like over time since September 2014.

Why I changed my blog’s description.

I just changed this blog’s header description slightly.  It now says “Confessions of a Recovering Borderline.”  There are two good reasons for this.

  1. This blog has always has been (and probably always will be) confessional in nature.
  2. In my last session, my therapist gave me some more information about my current diagnosis (he said he had to think about it for awhile before he was sure).  The verdict is that I used to have BPD but no longer qualify for that label!   How cool is that! This is a huge, HUGE deal for me.     I wrote more about it in this post, which I decided not to put on this blog.  Blogging (among other things) had a lot to do with this “impossible” achievement.  Now I just have residual PTSD (actually C-PTSD if you’re not a DSM purist, which he is not, thank goodness) and that’s what I’m still working through and imagine I will be for some time.

I wanted to keep BPD somewhere in the blog’s header but don’t want to misrepresent myself by calling myself something  that no longer applies.  So that’s why I changed it a little.   Like me, this blog has been through many changes since I started it in September 2014, and it will keep growing and evolving with me.   I have no plans to ever take it down.

 

Changes to this blog.

I’ve been snowbound for over two days so I’ve had lots of time to blog, and play with this blog when not writing. I think the minor changes I made are an improvement.

1. I simplified the titles in the headers for a cleaner look

2. I edited down some of the text in my header pages to make understanding and navigating them less confusing

3. Besides changing the name of “My Disorders” to “Read About My Crazy,” I added a Seasonal Affective Disorder tab under it (it now joins BPD and AvPD). I don’t have a complex PTSD tab because that would include almost every post I’ve written.

4. I changed the font. I like it better.

Tomorrow I’ll probably be snowed in again (it’s that bad), so I think I’m going to add a new header tab that lists my essays and humorous stories.

Important updates about this blog.

alice3
New blog Down The Rabbit Hole

Things are beginning to gel together finally, after not quite knowing what direction this blog was going to take, after my shattering discovery about myself early this month.

I’ve been writing (and of course reading) a lot more about healing/treating NPD and BPD, but I felt strongly that those types of articles were out of place on a blog meant for survivors of narcissistic abuse. In the past, I posted them here, but they were becoming numerous as my own self awareness began to percolate to the surface of my conscious mind.

When I made my devastating self-discovery (which is actually one of the three best things that ever happened to me!), I didn’t feel at all comfortable posting those articles here anymore, and decided a separate blog was necessary, so I created Down The Rabbit Hole, intended to document my own experiences on this next stretch of my journey as well as try to offer support to people with BPD and self-aware NPD who want to be well again. A secondary goal is to help spread awareness of mental illness stigma, especially the Cluster B disorders.

It’s all a lot to process but I’ve decided, for now, to keep this blog the same as it’s always been. Almost everyone has been really supportive, and as a victim of abuse myself, I’m there with you. So I’m going to keep posting articles about how to survive narcissistic abuse, my own personal experiences, how to get away from abusers, recognize narcissistic behaviors, research, etc., as well as posting unrelated material as I see fit (and have always done). So you won’t be seeing too many changes. 🙂

Certain articles will (and have been) posted on both blogs, if they’re relevant to both. That’s why you might see double entries on my Twitter feed.