Just stumbled across something that would have made me pull down Razing Ruth's story from NLQ even if I had not become convinced that she was likely plagiarizing elements of her story or just plain old vanilla lying about it. It's this posting from right around the time Vyckie Garrison and her daughter Angel were having their disagreements (which I'm not going to comment on. Their business, not mine. Recovery is hard on everyone in the family.) But did you see that Angel wrote a wonderful ode to her mother's courage that I posted this evening at NLQ? Love the photos of her and her husband!)
It's from a Ruth posting titled Ambivalent Egoist and it makes me sort of disgusted. Why? Because of what it claims about Razing Ruth's popularity and how Vyckie and NLQ had nothing to do with that, in fact, Ruth claims that NLQ might have been diverting/stealing her web traffic numbers. I think she likely does owe a majority of her blog traffic back then to NLQ. To say otherwise is simply disingenuous.
Misconception number one - I owe all of my blog traffic to Vyckie and therefore have some sort of obligation to her. This is not true. I owe *some* of my blog traffic to Vyckie. Mostly, however, my blog has traffic has increased by word of mouth and a few other means. I don't promote my blog, really. If anything, and this is no slight on Vyckie or NLQ, NLQ takes traffic from my blog because my stories are reposted there - no one has to come here to read them. I'm fine with this. I don't really care about the numbers. The thought that I "owe" Vyckie suggests that she's done something for me that wouldn't have happened without NLQ or Vyckie herself. This gets tricky. In some respects, NLQ has meant a lot to me because it's a gathering place for people who have lived in this system and decided not to continue. It's been great having Vyckie to turn to when I had questions about why my mom might have made the choices she did. However, and I have said this to Vyckie, given the accusation that she suggested Princess Jo start a "doubters thread" about me on QF - I have also had my feelings hurt. Because, whether she did or didn't do that, it makes me feel manipulated. Either a woman I trusted enough to disclose my identity to, after the fact, started the stressor that resulted in me giving up information I wasn't totally comfortable giving - OR- I am now being put in the position I was in most of my life ("Who can I trust?", "Am I trusting the RIGHT person?", "Is there anyone trustworthy out there?") by someone (Princess Jo) who has walked this road, too, and knows what an issue trust is. Neither of those is good.There is nothing I despise more than when someone that has benefited from the help of another, help given without cost or strings attached, then decides to display flagrant ingratitude. Flippant dismissal of the aid rendered. Or deciding whatever help you received is negated by rather flimsy reasons.
Sadly Ruth is not the only one out there like this, lacking all gratitude, graciousness or .memory of what they came from.
The internet seems to breed one upmanship to toxic levels, everyone seeking to be the alpha in whatever large or small internet pond they live in. It's unhealthy and unrealistic. The worst disgraceful aspect of this is when various people who are survivors of the same sorts of things end up in direct conflict. Survivor Wars. Really, let's all survive various toxic cults and then snipe at each other. Whatever happened to putting aside personal junk to achieve unity of purpose?
Ruth claims she doesn't care about her numbers. Clearly that's a lie or she never would have brought up the issue in the first place. She cared greatly about hit numbers. Which, of course, is what informed the subjects and lines of thought on her blog. I don't know if she started the Ruth blog to try and scam people, or if it was a concerted effort to try and win approval from strangers.
Another internet truth. You cannot write for an audience merely to achieve numbers and/or popularity. Eventually faking it is going to be too much the gargantuan task and you'll mix up the post it notes on the wall that you store your fakery on, your character guide you've developed. It will come out.
Be grateful, be honest, don't write about things you know nothing about. Numbers don't matter really in the long run.
I've had time to ponder all of these things as I've been mostly offline for the better part of several weeks with a particularly nasty case of the flu. But I'm back, at least until I leave for a fall vacation at the end of the week. And I don't give a rats ass about hit numbers. It's too petty.