This is the last entry that will be posted on this blog.
I’ve been hemming and hawing over what to do with it for months. When I started it, it was supposed to be the record of my ADF studies. I quickly learned that the ADF and I weren’t a good match, but grew to appreciate the weekly check-ins the Dedicant Path demanded. I thought that something like the Pagan Blog Project might give me similar reason to poke at my spirituality on a regular basis, so I decided to give that a try. I’m nearly through it now. It probably would have worked out fine for me if I kept it focused solely on my practice and left my opinions on community drama out of it.
I’m sorry that I ever commented on pop culture paganism. What I said about pop culture practice itself is irrelevant. No one cares. All anyone seems to care about is who called out who and how nasty it got. To this day, it still seems to be a juicy piece of community gossip. The number of hits on those entries grows daily. That is my sound bite on the web. It makes me sad. I admit that it makes me sad because I want to be seen as more than that one incident, and none of my entries have ever stirred as much interest as those ones did. Honestly, though–knowing that I care about that kind of thing at all makes me even sadder.
There is nothing wrong with wanting to be popular. There is nothing wrong with wanting to have your blog read or wanting to increase your audience. I could forgive myself those things because none of them are sins. The problem I have is that during the shitfest that followed my posts on pop culture paganism, I was stupid enough to install a statcounter on this blog. While WordPress already had one, the one I installed is far more robust and gives me quite a bit more information about who is reading my blog. I used the information I gleaned from it to block people that were harassing me here and on Tumblr, and in that way it was very useful. It also made me much more aware of what was and wasn’t popular on my blog. That might have been useful too if I hadn’t spent most of my life like a kid on the outside of a circle looking in. My statcounter told me in no uncertain terms what I could do to bring more people to my blog. It told me what I could do to be more popular, more or less. I don’t want to be that person. Popularity isn’t worth the harassment and the stress.
I learned one other thing from my statcounter. I learned that someone I asked to stay out of my life was reading my blog. It’s a public blog. Anyone can visit it. Legally they were doing nothing wrong. Despite this, they were an abuser that I’d asked to leave me alone and who had vowed would leave me alone, yet there they were hitting my WordPress every day. Sometimes they were hitting it multiple times a day. I installed statcounters on my other internet haunts and discovered they’d been visiting them too, in the exact same fashion. I called them out. I used some coding wizardry to send them away, and they used proxies to keep visiting. They were not going to leave me alone. Just as no had meant nothing in my childhood, no meant nothing now. I shut down an account that meant a lot to me to get away from them. I kept this one up because… because I wanted to finish the Pagan Blog Project, of all things. I wanted to prove to myself that I could do something for a whole year, that I could give myself that year of introspection. I decided they had scared me away from one space by couldn’t take away that.
Today, after posting the entry just before this one, I happened to look at my stats on WordPress. An influx of new hits had come in from someone that had been specifically Googling me. They weren’t Googling the pop culture pagan drama; I’m fairly used to that at this point, and as much as it annoys me it doesn’t make me raise an eyebrow anymore. This was different. They were specifically looking for my internet handle and had gone to the trouble to find blogs I used to comment on and trace me back here. They were trying to find me everywhere, and they then proceeded to read just about everything I’d written. I checked WordPress’s stats against those of my other statcounter. Proxy, proxy, proxy. Someone was covering their ass.
Do I know it’s my abuser? Nope. I don’t have a shred of proof, but the feeling of violation was exactly the same. I felt sick right in the pit of my stomach. Tears pricked the back of my eyes. I started to shake. Then, strangely, I started to laugh. I thought, “Hey, this is the PTSD that I talked about in the last entry…” And it wasn’t funny. It wasn’t funny at all, but I was still laughing under my breath, laughing and nearly crying.
No amount of spiritual introspection is worth this. Like I said in the last entry, consent is paramount to me. I could say I don’t consent one more time by staying here and claiming my space yet again, but I’ll admit it: I’m not equipped. The gift I’m giving myself this Christmas is the gift of walking away. Even if I remove the statcounter I installed, WordPress will always show me its own stats every time I log in. If something weird shows up in that little graph like it did this morning, I’ll be tempted to look. I know I will be, and what I see will do one of two things: it will either make me sad or it will trigger me. It’s time I passed on both.
I’d like to thank those that followed this blog. I’d like to that those that took the time to comment. Merry Christmas to those that celebrate it, Happy Yule to others, and a Happy Holiday Season to the rest. May next year bring you all you want and more.
This blog is now closed.