My poor blog attacked by moths

Every year I notice another hole in another jumper, a discreet hole, and not one caused by carelessness, snagged at a door or a grabbed by a greedy tree branch.

No, these moth holes are neat, as if someone has taken to the jumper with nail scissors and sliced out a tiny section from which the fibres begin to unravel.

This is the work of some other hidden creature who cannot abide my cupboard full of food but will only munch on the finest samples.

There has to be a metaphor in here somehow, but it eludes me, though even, as I say that, I think of my poor blog, attacked by spammers over these past several weeks.

My daughter’s tech-savvy boyfriend is helping me by getting inside the system  to establish what’s going on.

He tells me I have certain corrupt files.

I know not from where they came but once in place some unknown people – I assume they’re people and not robots – have used the space of my blog in which to conduct a scamming enterprise.

I have no idea how any of this happens or how it’s possible. But these gremlins come from France it seems, or so my daughter’s boyfriend tells me, and they use my blog as a means of sending out spam to others.

It scares me.

It makes me hesitant about keeping my blog going. Though I will not shut it down.

My daughter’s boyfriend has enlisted the help of his father, a technology specialist, who will download files to help us eradicate these unsafe files and get them out of my system, so these nefarious types can no longer use the safe appearance of my innocuous blog from which they can run their business of cheating on other people and stealing their money.

Presumably that’s the aim. To steal other people’s money without any of them knowing it’s happened until it’s too late.

It’s strange to be the front of house for such an activity, especially when I had no knowledge of its existence and it’s only the dutiful scouts from Google who picked it up and then warned everyone away from me.

Whenever anyone clicked on my blog, they were warned it was no longer safe.

I try not to take these things personally, but I find I cannot help but feel offended at the idea of being accused of being a danger unto others.

That’s what happens to writers. We write things and before you know it we’re  accused of all sorts of nefarious things that others glean from our writing.

At least this has happened to me.

Even as I write this, a thin wash of paranoia creeps over me as if my enemies might be reading and know  that I am onto them or they might object to me alerting the rest of the world to their existence; the thought police, the censors who tell me I must not write about such and such for fear of upsetting people who do not like my way of representing the world; these thought police who flutter inside my mind, like the moths in my wardrobe and chew holes into my most tender thin skinned confidence.

Blogging and the desire for revenge

Some thoughts from my thesis on life writing and the desire for revenge:

I keep a blog as a means of practising my autobiographical writing. I keep a blog as a means of expressing myself on the page, but not only for myself. I keep a blog to draw to me an external audience of other people whose voices might endorse my thoughts, or challenge them, and thereby help me develop.

As Steven wrote in a comment some time back, blogging acts as a ‘call and response’ form of communication, whereby the blogger leaves a post to which other bloggers and readers of blogs might comment.

My desire for revenge trickles through my blog posts in subtle ways that may or may not not be obvious. They are nevertheless apparent to me, at least to the part of me that has long felt silenced, in the first instance within my family of origin, in which I am the sixth of nine.

In keeping a blog I subvert the overlapping restrictions on my life and battle my way out of the fog of censorship. I reconstruct myself and in so doing I enact my desire for revenge.

I pay back those who might wish to silence me by writing about the process of being silenced. I thereby expose actions and events, which were once secret, hidden, concealed from view, because they were assessed as taboo.

I explore these concealments through elements of self-disclosure, aware that the desire for revenge when given voice can attract a counter attack, a different version of the desire on the part of those who would prefer that I ‘shut up’, and let them have the only say.

Like Natalie Goldberg, ‘I write because I kept my mouth shut all my life…I write out of hurt and how to make hurt okay’. In so doing I may well hurt or offend others and they in turn can respond accordingly.

As a blogger I have access to identities, my own and those of others, that I could not have known had I continued my writing life in hard copy only.

My blogging life highlights the fluidity of my mind states and how quickly they can change. Likewise, other bloggers come and go. A blog’s shelf life is limited. Blogs that once started in a welter of enthusiasm now lie dormant, but they remain accessible forevermore through the Internet, like relics of the past.

The rapid speed of connection via the Internet enables a response such that by the time I have written and posted an autobiographical reflection; for example, on my resentment and frustrations about the struggle to write free of internal censorship, my state of mind has changed. I no longer feel as I did when I wrote the piece. I may feel that way again one day but for the time I become enthused again and fired up.

My comments to my blog followers, my ‘bleeders’ as Julie Powell calls them, begin to feel fraudulent. I am no longer the person I was when I wrote the piece in the first instance. I have resumed my confident writing stance, a position I am more likely to take up in response to others’ comments about my writing and when I comment on other people’s blogs.

There is a mantra that underlies many blogs: This is your blog. You can write what you like. You can do, as you will. This is your space. Yet there are unwritten constraints that demand consideration if one is to attract a readership.

Bloggers, like all writers, desire a readership. Otherwise why blog? Why write?