It’s been a long time since there has been a beginning here. Lots of water has gone under the bridge. This site started as just a collection of abuse-related links in my bookmarks page on lynx, back when there weren’t very many. When I learned how to make web documents, I made pages for all of the sections of my bookmarks page, and I wrote little introductions to the topics for each section. Every document had my name in its title, because it would give the page some identity — who made it, and what it was about. This one needed to be different than most, because there was really no ground-level information about abuse written for people involved in it in those days.
I was six months into recovery. I had learned a lot in that time — the basic principles I’ve used since then to understand abuse and healthiness in life and in intimate/romantic relationships. I wanted people around the world to have a chance to learn the things I had learned. Every week for six months I’d read part of the Spouse Abuser’s Creed, which ended with “I believe that I must play an active part in helping to build a society in which abuse between spouses, parents and children, friends, lovers, strangers, neighbors and nations is forever unacceptable.” So this page needed to be a part of that effort.
The beginning, basic things I had learned weren’t to be found online, so I built this page to be a place where people who stumbled here could have a chance to see the abuse in their lives. When they had clarity about that, they would then have the option to seek help in changing their part of the abuse, whatever role in the abuse they played. I didn’t look down my nose at anyone for being involved in abuse — I didn’t think I had a right to look down my nose at anyone. I still don’t.
In time, I added more material, including a number of personal stories from people who had experience with abuse, including my own, and a submission from Faith. I submitted the site to the earliest search engines, and it got noticed, winning several awards, and earning mention in books and news stories around the world. That was cool. I tried keeping the site up-to-date in terms of the html I coded it in, to make it more visually interesting (which I sucked at, and still do), and to keep the information available here as good as I could.
And, then, bit by bit, I spent less and less time with it, because I had nothing new to say. Life got busy, and making changes got harder, until things got pretty stagnant. I still kept getting hits regularly from all over the world, but the web was now full of abuse-related sites that were fresher and prettier, and was changing to be more of a social place than we could have thought back in the days when this all got started. Where I once had to tell people I had this thing called a website, now virtually everyone I come into contact with uses the web daily.
For other reasons, I started looking into WordPress. It was available through my web-hosts, so I thought I’d take it for a spin for my personal website. I transferred the still-relevant information into pages on it, and imported my posts from LiveJournal, and it became my personal blog. When that was stable, I started thinking about doing the same thing with this site. The technical side wasn’t hard, and I had that done in a week or two. But I had to ask myself what the purpose of such a blog would be. Blogs aren’t just repositories of old information — they are places for new information, new ideas, new realizations. I realized that this wasn’t something I could just do for and by myself — I would need to invite others to join with me to help. And I would need to find a way to maintain the things which were really important to me while sharing this space with people in a way I never had.
That stopped me. In my tracks. I couldn’t figure out how to do that, who to ask, or how it could go. I experienced what I’ve since learned are periods of depression,, when I’m easily overwhelmed and withdraw from the world as much as I can. I walked away from here and hadn’t touched the site for more than three years.
And then life brought me back here. I’m not in a romantic relationship (still), and I’m not trying to gain or maintain power or control over anybody. The story of why isn’t mine to tell, but I had reason to look at this site again to point it to someone, and I came to think that, perhaps, this is the time to take this public. October is coming up (as it does every year) and that’s the anniversary of when I first posted this site (back in 1994), and that seems to be a good time to roll out something new.
I don’t yet know if I’ll have this ready to go by October (perhaps during October will do), but I am willing to give it a try. I need to invite some people to come post here, and see if they might want to do so on a regular basis. And I need to find what this blog can be that will make it a unique contribution to the world of abuse and the world at large. That means I need to share the responsibility and control of this site beyond myself, for the first time.
We’ll see how that goes, I guess.