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How Love Saved My Life

Updated on February 29, 2020

Gamergirl, Age 17

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This photo is property of Charlotte Anderson, all rights reserved.
This photo is property of Charlotte Anderson, all rights reserved.
This photo is property of Charlotte Anderson, all rights reserved.

I've always been a plain jane kind of person, looking for love and watching it pass me by. When I was a teenager I was too thin, too flat chested, too clumsy to fit the feminine archtypes most desired. I loved with all my being to have it never returned.

I struggled with this lack of love in my life by reaching out to the wrong type of man. I had boyfriends who just wanted to be with me to 'go all the way,' even though I wasn't going anywhere with anyone. I blamed the constant flux in my life on not being pretty enough, not being funny enough, not being -enough-.

The Spiral Down

I resigned myself to being alone after a boy broke up with me for not succumbing to things I was not yet ready for. I was sad, deeply heartbroken. Why couldn't they love me for myself? So, the summer before my senior year of high school, I transformed myself. I cut off four feet of hair, hair which I'd lovingly grown for the whole of my short life. I spent all my earned money over the summer buying any article of black clothing I could. I acquired collars, chains, spikes, and a repertoir of 'gothic' makeup. I became the stereotypical Gothic Kid.

There was one common thread between my Goth friends and I. We all wanted love. Each and every one of us was an emotionally vulnerable or withdrawn person, each of us needing to mend our broken hearts and spirits. None of us realized that the means by which to fix ourselves was staring us in the face every morning as white face powder and black eyeliner were liberally applied. We didn't recognize the need for self-love as a method to find other forms of love. What can I say, we were fragile.

The First Engagement

By the end of my senior year of high school I had become a witty, falsely confident Goth girl with the world on her shoulders and a big case of depression. I showed the world I loved myself, even though I knew it wasn't true. I rushed into a hasty engagement with a fellow I met three weeks before graduation, just because he was interested in me, and not in what I could have given him behind closed doors. He was very good to me; he was a kind and attentive boyfriend, eager to be with me and holding himself to a sort of code of honor. He loved the vulnerable me behind the makeup and spikes.

I learned a valuable lesson from this, my first substantial relationship. I learned that I had value, that the girl I was inside was not something to be ashamed of, and that even a lanky girl with a flat chest and plain blonde hair could be loved. By the time this man and I parted ways, I had gained a self-confidence and realization of my own worth that has carried with me through the years. I was starting to love myself, and through that, love others.

Never falter from the path of self love.

Young, impetuous, and armed with this newfound self-love, I moved on to relationship after relationship, trying to console my spirit and rejuvenate my love life with the company of people my age, other Gothic type folk, but nothing seemed to be able to adequately fill the gap that my breakup with my first real boyfriend had created. I slowly sank back into my private depression, only this time I never let anyone close enough to mend the emotional pains I felt.

After a particularly messy breakup with a sweet boy from the town I went to high school in, I started going to the clubs, drinking (illegally) and experimenting with drugs. In a few short years, all the lessons I'd learned about treasuring myself as a path to true happiness had gone into the aether, lost for quite some time.

I married a fellow I had only known for a month in the winter before my twenty-first birthday. It was a bold decision, based solely out of the passion of the moment. Little did I know that this man would nearly kill me.

During the three short years he and I bounced back and forth from "good marriage" to "bad marriage," all self-confidence, all of life's joy, all of the tenuous grips on happiness I had were destroyed. He ruined me emotionally, destroyed friendships, and alienated me from my family. I loved him the entire way, honoring vows which he had broken dozens of times out of my desperation to be loved.

He left me, of course, to move back to his home town. I was beyond broken, emotionally drained and deep into depression.

That is when I started cutting myself. I craved some physical partner to the emotional pain. The few friends I had left tread softly around me because even the mention of my husband drove me to tears. I hated myself, blamed myself for his leaving, his infidelity and his lies.

I wanted to die.

You'll find love in the least likely places..

I nearly did, die that is. My arms had healed from my latest venture in carving, and I had no more tears for my failed marriage. Then, after months of silence between us, he called.

"I want to make things right, Charlotte." My husband's voice crackled through my cell phone. Immediately I was clenched in despair and hope, the two extreme emotions fighting for dominance in my weary heart.

"No." The short answer, and one that resulted in weeks of sadness. I hated everything in the world. My work, my friends, my life. Nobody could fix the situation, and so I quit college, slacked off at work, and spent my nights alone with sharp objects.

Then, like the calvalry, my friends started rescuing me. One night here, one night there, I was enveloped in the platonic love of the people I'd been faking some sort of half-contentedness to. They didn't know, or find out until much later, that I had planned to kill myself.

My emotional hardships were too numerous, and many self-inflicted. I had lost the path of my own love, kept looking outside to love the inside.

Without realizing it, I let my friends rebuild me. I took solace in their closeness, their cheer. I rambled at them, and soon every single one of my very close friends knew more about my marriage, my background and my despair than I think any of them bargained for. My friends, whom I now count among the dearest, sweetest people I've ever known, brought me back from the never-ending pool of suicidal depression into the warm glow of real and true happiness. I know joy, because these people moved me to know that I am loveable, I am a good person, and I am normal.

What an epic tale it is, the finding and losing wheel of love. The power of friendship, companionship and unconditional affection saved my life, literally. I would be lying to you, my dear readers, if I said that I am without the perfectly normal bouts of worry, lapses in self confidence, or doubts of my own worth. Too often, I learned, people strive for the extreme, the perfect, the storybook scenarios.

It is this straining for the 'perfect love' that hurts us the most, because the love is perfect, but we are not. We aren't meant to be, though we all should embrace the little nicks and scratches in ourselves. You do not have to be perfect to be cherished. Love doesn't care if you're disabled, injured or unwilling. The love of a friend is no less worthy, no less life-saving than the love of a romantic partner.

Most importantly:

There is no deeper love than your love for yourself.

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    • profile image

      janicetib 

      10 years ago

      Thank you, the world needs more of this kind of info, thank you.

    • Gigi2 profile image

      Gigi2 

      11 years ago from UK

      Although this was written long ago I'm glad it's still here and I've found it. I'm in the process of struggling to find self love. This powerful hub is an inspiration and beacon to continue trying, no matter how much i want to give up. Thank you. I hope this finds you well and happy.

    • gamergirl profile imageAUTHOR

      Kiz Robinson 

      11 years ago from New Orleans, Louisiana

      Thank you very much, Lita. I can honestly say that the negativity I wrote about in this hub is a thing of the past, I have had a lot of healing time, the love of amazing friends both offline and online, and life has been very good to me in the last couple of years. I leave this hub up as a testimony that the depression I faced has not conquered me, nor should it be a reason for anyone else in the world to be conquered.

      We really are resilient creatures, capable of amazing thingss. :)

    • Lita C. Malicdem profile image

      Lita C. Malicdem 

      11 years ago from Philippines

      Charlotte,

      This has been written by you almost a year now. I'm positive that your sharing here at HubPages of all your hurts had somehow helped. I'm wishing still that you are now healed, because you are right, to love oneself makes a big difference because the self doesn't hurt you back. Don't hurt yourself, sweetie.

    • gwendymom profile image

      gwendymom 

      12 years ago from Oklahoma

      Charlotte. this is truly a great hub. Loving yourself has to come first. My granmother used to tell me that all the time when I was a kid and I didn't know what she was talking about until I got older and realized that I had to love myself enough to not let people walk on me. That included my marriage and relationships with friends and family. I glad you wrote this hub, and I hope many people read it and understand how important self love is.

    • Bard of Ely profile image

      Steve Andrews 

      12 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

      Thank you for sharing your experiences and misery in such an open and powerful way, Gamergirl! I too know a lot about loneliness and depression and looking for love. It was my downfall when I was much younger and was really ill from drugs, alcohol and self destructiveness so I can relate to what you are saying. I have never managed to find a partner and have an awful history of very short term and infrequent relationships, but don't make looking for love a priority or a worry anymore and I live happily with my cat as a companion. I am very glad to hear that you found your way and moved on from all your years of pain!

    • gamergirl profile imageAUTHOR

      Kiz Robinson 

      12 years ago from New Orleans, Louisiana

      Teresa, thank you very much for your comment. *hugs* I think I've said it before, I read this hub a lot, just to keep it fresh (not the pain, but the memory of how far one truly goes in life.) Much love!

    • Teresa McGurk profile image

      Sheila 

      12 years ago from The Other Bangor

      This is an eloquent explanation of Goth culture as well as a very touching account of your state of mind. Cutting hair, cutting skin, reflects what we think our worth is.

      This is a lovely piece of writing, I have the feeling I'll return to it again and again.

    • gamergirl profile imageAUTHOR

      Kiz Robinson 

      12 years ago from New Orleans, Louisiana

      Thank you so much, Rob, and everyone else who has commented lately. I find myself coming back to this Hub just to remind myself of all the positive changes in my life, and can only hope that the folks who come to read it are similarly reminded of positive things in their own lives.

      Much love to all!

    • Rob Jundt profile image

      Rob Jundt 

      12 years ago from Midwest USA

      Your story is an amazing affirmation of the truth you have so poignantly expressed with a wisdom and freshness warming to the heart! -- To be honest, this is the first hub of yours I've read, but it WON'T be the last. You have a gift and you use it well! --Your transparency is bright and vivid. Blessings in all you do!

    • Pam Roberson profile image

      Pam Roberson 

      12 years ago from Virginia

      Gamergirl, this is incredibly touching, bravely expressed, and written so well that I couldn't stop reading if I wanted to. Thank you so much for sharing yourself here. You did it very well, and I identified with many things you said on lots of different levels. You're an awesome person. :)

      OH, and thank you for putting a link to this hub at the hubber's hangout so that I could find it!

    • KT pdx profile image

      KT pdx 

      12 years ago from Vancouver, WA, USA

      *hugs*

    • Mighty Mom profile image

      Susan Reid 

      12 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA

      Hi Gamergirl. You are a beautuful and strong woman. Hope the cutting is a thing of the past and that you no longer suffer from depression (or if you do you get therapy). Speaking of therapy -- isn't it cathartic to be able to write our truths here and have others appreciate them!!!??? Cheers, MM

    • William F. Torpey profile image

      William F Torpey 

      12 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y.

      Few people are able to bear their souls as you've done here, gamergirl. Your story will undoubtedly help many youngsters whose low self-esteem would otherwise lead them astray. You deserve a lot of credit. Love of self must necessarily come before we can love others, but, by the same token, that love of self must not be dependent on the love of others. Dependency leads to disappointment. I'm so glad you found your way through the maze.

    • gamergirl profile imageAUTHOR

      Kiz Robinson 

      12 years ago from New Orleans, Louisiana

      Thank you all, truly, I wish every one of you the same blessings I have found - good friends, good love, courage to share and to do something you've never done before.

      ((HUGS))

    • countrywomen profile image

      countrywomen 

      12 years ago from Washington, USA

      I admire you for the brave journey in life that you have endured. Glad to know that you have such good friends who have restored your confidence and made you love life again. Iam sure this new change would make some good guy notice you and the magic can happen.

    • trish1048 profile image

      trish1048 

      12 years ago

      An amazing, heartfelt story.  I wish you all the joy your heart can hold.  Thank you for sharing this personal story not only of heartbreak but of triumph.

    • Christoph Reilly profile image

      Christoph Reilly 

      12 years ago from St. Louis

      This is truly a touching work. The way you reveal your soul is both telling and captivating, and not just about you, but about an entire sub-culture that I have very little knowledge of. It is a powerful thing to not just say we are all people underneath our public image, but to show it in such a heartfelt and emotional way.

      I feel I have learned something about you today - something very important - and I enjoyed this closeness to you that you have permitted. It sounds like you came out on the other side all right, and that makes me feel happy for you. My wife and I were very close friends for 20 years before we got married, and it's worked for us. I wish you the same contented, comfortable happiness that we have found. Peace.

    • AEvans profile image

      Julianna 

      12 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

      Blessings to you gamegirl and I am happy to hear that you now have found true love.:)

    • gamergirl profile imageAUTHOR

      Kiz Robinson 

      12 years ago from New Orleans, Louisiana

      Thank you all so much. *hugs for everyone* It's been a long road, that's for sure. I am due to marry my dear sweet friend Morgan in May next year, he has helped me through so much and shown me that you really can be loved for who you are without reservation.

    • AEvans profile image

      Julianna 

      12 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

      Charlotte, First and foremost thank you for sharing apart of yourself with us, and I am so happy that you found that loving yourself was the most important. My little sister went through the entire goth thing when she was a teenager and I was so concerned for her, as we all loved her but apparently she did not feel loved and was feeliing lost. She was also a cutter , we however took her back under our wing the entire family and embraced her. My sister is beautiful not only on the inside but on the outside, and if we would have lost her we would have been devastated. I hope that not only will your friends continue to love you, but that you someone will find you not only as beautiful inside and out , but also as a very important loving human being that has so much to give someone special. I have noticed that the avatar reflects someone who is hiding their pain but I embrace you as you are a lovely person and have so much to give, hang in there and it will come. :)

    • Marian Swift profile image

      Marian Swift 

      12 years ago from San Francisco Bay Area

      This is so powerful. Thank you. Your Hub holds lessons that I'm still trying to learn and retain.

    • Benson Yeung profile image

      Benson Yeung 

      12 years ago from Hong Kong

      Thanks for sharing. Pieces like this make reading worthwhile.

    • gamergirl profile imageAUTHOR

      Kiz Robinson 

      12 years ago from New Orleans, Louisiana

      Thanks Shadesbreath. Some days reading this hub makes me teary eyed, others it almost feel surreal, like it happened to someone else. I'm blessed to have come so far, to have the friends I do, and to be able to share my story with the world.

    • Shadesbreath profile image

      Shadesbreath 

      12 years ago from California

      Wow, Gamergirl. This is an amazing work of honesty and a testimony to triumph, albeit ever underway. Seriously awesome and I'm glad you put this on that forum post for buried treasure hubs.

    • gamergirl profile imageAUTHOR

      Kiz Robinson 

      12 years ago from New Orleans, Louisiana

      It was difficult to put into words, sometimes you feel something so strongly that you really don't know -how- to write it down. I did find myself being very immersed in the experiences I've shared here, but my fiance actually held me during part of the writing process and it helped ground me in the present instead of being swallowed up by the past. Thank you for reading, and for sharing this with me.

    • ceounlimited profile image

      ceounlimited 

      12 years ago from California

      Hi Gamergirl,

      I wonder if this piece was as difficult for you to write, as it was for me to read... What I mean by that is, I find when I write from an experience that was deep and somewhat painful, I tend to re-live and/or experience all of the emotions and feelings that I had at that time; it leaves me exhausted. (probably why I have wimped out of doing it... yet) This hub takes me there... thanks for sharing

    • shibashake profile image

      shibashake 

      12 years ago

      Thanks for sharing. I too was not in the popular crowd in school. I was in the geek crowd - chess club and all that >< Things got a lot better in college. I went to a liberal arts college and the professors there were very encouraging and supportive. Life gets a lot better when there are nice people around who are interesting and inspiring. Also, I see that you are owned by a Siberian Husky. They are awesome dogs - I have one too and I love her to bits.

    • Babbyii profile image

      Barb Johnson 

      12 years ago from Alaska's Kenai Peninsula

      Telling your story is a powerful healer in itself, for you and for everyone else who reads it who has been there. I've been there too and I'm not too old to remember the pain. There is joy ahead. Keep looking for it in those unexpected places.

      Babbyii

    • profile image

      enkhuush 

      13 years ago

      Heartbreaking story, nothing else i can say...

    • Zsuzsy Bee profile image

      Zsuzsy Bee 

      13 years ago from Ontario/Canada

      Charlotte! My dear young friend! My whole being still aches for you. You know anything I could say to you would sound like an old foggy trying to pass on advice. (I'm not) the great thing you have learned to appreciate your own being. All that counts is that you become comfortable in your own skin...but remember whenever you get blue take Sierra into your arms and hug her and spend time with her...her unconditional love will heal you, believe me...warmest regards Zsuzsy

    • wilhb81 profile image

      Rayno Pon 

      13 years ago from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

      This really a touching real story, Charlotte.

      Thanks for sharing it.

      Wilson.

    • marisuewrites profile image

      marisuewrites 

      13 years ago from USA

      As young people we are so vulnerable...there seemed to be no one to pick up your pieces when life hard knocks exploded on you....O, to arm our children with armour...shields even  - the ability to bounce back did come to you though  and thank you for never giving up.

      you said so beautifully what many have felt - what all of us have felt in smaller pieces perhaps...in smaller pieces of time...

      Keep writing...keep thinking, keep loving, keep giving....!  Thanks for sharing even the dark times of your journey.    May you always have the light of others in your life...and always see your own.  Marisue

    • G-Ma Johnson profile image

      Merle Ann Johnson 

      13 years ago from NW in the land of the Free

      oh dear, oh my gamegirl what a hub you have written..I too was in tears..you hit home with so many points.it was hard to continue to read for me. but it is true about loving yourself along with God...there is no other real satisfying way..you are one of a kind..as we all are actually..is so good to have the hubs to share with people. THANK YOU EVER SO MUCH for your honesty G-Ma :o) hugs

    • Angela Harris profile image

      Angela Harris 

      13 years ago from Around the USA

      Talk about putting yourself out there. This is one of the bravest things I've read in awhile. I'm sorry for all you've been through, Gamergirl. From 'talking' to you online, I know you deserved none of it. You seem so full of kindness, love, and compassion. It seems things are much brighter for you now. I am so glad for that.

    • MarloByDesign profile image

      MarloByDesign 

      13 years ago from United States

      I really enjoyed reading your hub, what a brave person you are to share this. I am glad you realize that no man is worth it, and you are special just the way you are. Emotional scars can heal (although it is not easy), and I am glad you found confidence in yourself again. I can tell you are a special person.

    • In The Doghouse profile image

      In The Doghouse 

      13 years ago from California

      Charlotte

      Thank you for sharing that which is most personal to you. I am sure you were guided to share that for someone specifically out there that may need to be lifted by it, but you must know that everyone who reads it will feel some sort of benefit in their own life by having read that which you shared. It is a hard thing to express a personal feeling which involves more than logical thinking. It is simply a feeling that one must experience for themselves. That said, I feel that loving yourself is so powerful, but I also must concur with Peter, in the fact that the knowledge of "who you are" and the love of a Father in Heaven who loves you is indeed the greatest power you can gain. I love the simple adage, "God don't make Junk!" Thank you again for sharing.

    • gamergirl profile imageAUTHOR

      Kiz Robinson 

      13 years ago from New Orleans, Louisiana

      It does, kind of. If you want you can add me to AIM - (and since this AIM addy is viewed by millions of people on myspace, I don't mind broadcasting it and relieve Hubpages of any liability)

      my aim sn is - opaldreamer

    • profile image

      Sarah 

      13 years ago

      Charlotte??? I don't know if I know you but, that image looks fimilar. So does your life when you were a teen. Sorry, don't know if I know you or not. I just stumbled upon hubpages on some online college blog. Let me know if the name Sarah Wiseman sounds familar.

    • Peter M. Lopez profile image

      Peter M. Lopez 

      13 years ago from Sweetwater, TX

      Wow, what an amazing bit of sharing. I would note that there is but one deeper love than the love for yourself, and that is God's love. When you truly feel that love, there is nothing that even compares. All you have to do is ask.

      You're a hero GG.

    • gamergirl profile imageAUTHOR

      Kiz Robinson 

      13 years ago from New Orleans, Louisiana

      Thank you all for your kind and supportive words. Hug a friend today, you really do never know when they will be needed the most.

    • Patience Virtue profile image

      Patience Virtue 

      13 years ago from All Over

      Your writing is simply amazing. Thank you so much for sharing such an incredible story with us, and teaching us all about love. Wonderful writing!

    • ajcor profile image

      ajcor 

      13 years ago from NSW. Australia

      what an incredibly brave person you are - and you are right love is a powerful healer. Thank you for teling us your story

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish MS 

      13 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      You should receive many points for your courageous story.

      People need a vaccine against heartbreak in the teen years, do they not?

    • ripplemaker profile image

      Michelle Simtoco 

      13 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Charlotte, you have struck a chord in me. You are sooooo right...love has to come first for ourselves. Otherwise, we will go on searching for that something or someone to fill us. Thank you for sharing.

    • About-The-Home profile image

      About-The-Home 

      13 years ago

      That was a very brave and powerful piece of raw emotion.

      I'm sure it will help people faced with the same kinds of challenges.

      GerryM

    • gamergirl profile imageAUTHOR

      Kiz Robinson 

      13 years ago from New Orleans, Louisiana

      Oh Bob, thanks! :D

      Bonnie, you're so right.

    • Bonnie Ramsey profile image

      Bonnie Ramsey 

      13 years ago from United States

      Great Hub! There are so many things you have written about that I can relate to. While I was fortunate enough that, in my depression, I had a wonderful string of family and friends to help keep me from reaching the extremes that you did, I, too, had to learn the hard way about self-love and self-confidence after a husband (now ex) destroyed me totally as a person.

      You WILL find the right person for you just as I did and when you do, it will be so worth the time it has taken. It will be a bit strange (but in a good way) to feel love returned, respect shown and total trust you will receive from that love and it will take some time to adjust to not having to defend every action or not having to walk on eggshells in your new relationship. However, the emotional scars will begin to heal and it will only strengthen your new relationship all the more.

      I am forever grateful to my family and friends for sticking by me when many would have walked away. But it was through them that I finally learned to be content with myself and realize that I didn'e HAVE to have a man to be happy. Once I accepted that, I became a happier person. Then, I finally met my soulmate and the past began to seem farther and farther away and the future became brighter and brighter!

      I am so happy that you have found the kind of friendships that make the kind of difference that you needed in your life and I wish you continued happiness and contentment. Blessings to you!

      Bonnie Ramsey

    • Bob Ewing profile image

      Bob Ewing 

      13 years ago from New Brunswick

      This is a powerful hub with a very vital message, thank you,

    • gamergirl profile imageAUTHOR

      Kiz Robinson 

      13 years ago from New Orleans, Louisiana

      I was not sure how to share this, but something moved me to do so. It was hard to put it all to words, to be honest.

      Whoever it is that is supposed to see this, I really feel that I wrote this, published this, for a reason beyond my ken. So, to the person for whom I felt drawn to write this Hub, I love you.

    • stephhicks68 profile image

      Stephanie Marshall 

      13 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Charlotte - what a powerful hub! The things we do to ourselves.... love yourself.

    • C.M. Vanderlinden profile image

      C.M. Vanderlinden 

      13 years ago from Metro Detroit

      Charlotte, you had me in tears. Thank you for sharing that.

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