Cement, I hope everyone reads your post here! In fact I've shared that with my fellow modertors already. This is so well-put, such an expression of what I suspect we all feel, at least to some degree. And to whatever degree we may feel it, very thot-provoking.
As someone else said, the nature of this entire site is somewhat triggering. We should be able to share & express ourselves freely, as we can perhaps no where else in the world except in our loneliness. I want to know someone is hearing me, whether I even expect a response or not (I guess that's why I talk so much! :rolleyes: :p
Yet, while I agree with you this site can never be 100% safe & we can't expect it to be, many survivors myself included are going to feel more free to share more openly if we know the chances of being in some way abused, put down, flamed, or whatever are being minimized by some guidelines & moderating & safety checks.
That's where separate forums specifically for different things we may want to share & vent about have their value. The value of their being relatively secure I think we've seen in recent incidents no one wants to go into anymore.
I guess I'm saying openness, freedom, still requires limits, boundaries, guidelines, whatever.
It's like in the 60's here in the U.S. at least there was this craze in the public elementary schools for taking down the fences around the playgrounds. The thot was that the fences were inhibiting the children's freedoms, and that if they were taken down the children would feel & play more freely. But in school after school they found that in some cases kids would nervously skitter around in a small area near the center of the playground, others just huddled there not sure what to do. Experiment failed, fad over, fences back up, happier more playful kids.
This is different & we're not kids (at least not chronologically; many of us are emotionally & sexually). But even adults need boundaries. Especially survivors, whose trusts have been so shattered & boundaries so battered.
Yet we need to trust, we need to start to learn to trust. If we can't do it here, then where? So we need to be able to open up. Part of me says, tear down all the damned fences. No boundaries, the sky's the limit. But we need sufficient boundaries to keep our freedoms intact & active.
What boundaries are sufficient? Well that's what we're struggling with here. My thots on that for what they're worth, are that I want to be assured of some protection against perps who may prowl our site seeking something besides help, as I seek help & seek to help. I want to know that I, all of us, can open up without being shot down.
Basic boundaries here for me are:
1) In the words of the twelve step programs, "principles not personalities." Keep names & name-calling out of it. Agree or disagree, stick to principles. Our persons have all been abused enuf.
2) This is a site for support in recovery. Period. If a message, won't help support you and others in recovery, don't post it. If a reply won't help support you, the one you reply to, and others, don't post it. Unless you can post it where it will fit, in a different forum.
3) Silence can be golden for us, deafening for those apparently not interested in support in recovery. Case in point: the recent lack of response to the recent posts of "contender" & "keeptrucking" about "factsperson".
I'm not saying be quiet, don't disagree, don't open up. I'm talking about the simple boundaries of mutual support & sharing. Disagree yes, disagreeable no. Constructive criticism yes, corrosive crudeness no. Stand up for principles yes, stomp on people no.
Beyond that I think we should be able to be pretty wide open. But different ones of us on this support in recovery site are here wanting to or able to share about or hear about or deal with only certain things at a given point.
There again is the value of separate forums for different topics, for sharing, venting, whatever.
I guess I see this site like a big house, all survivors welcome, the main male survivors public forum (this one) kinda being the entranceway & lobby (as its called on some sites I've noticed), where people are getting to know each other, not sure where to go what to do, cautious, searching, trying to be open.
Other forums are other rooms for particular interests & emphases. The members forums are rooms allowing for more intimacy with the assurance of more tho not perfect safety, again with different interests & emphases.
I value this. There are some things I simply am not ready to risk sharing on a public forum available to basically anyone & everyone, until they cause trouble and/or are found out. Some struggles I share only in Members, At Risk Survivors. My real name I share only in the members area. I like being able to do that.
Discussion is going on even now about having more forums, more rooms, that will be limited to & understood to be for certain specific areas of recovery & thus enter at your own risk. The possibility of some of these being public forums, possibly with some safety measures added, is being discussed. Nothing definite at this point. But its a thot.
Cement, maybe it now sounds like I'm not agreeing with what you're saying. Believe me at the core I do, and I think its beautiful. I don't think the things I've shared & the possibilities being considered necessarily contradict what you've said & what you desire. Ideally, I think they could reather enable & enhance it.
I'll put it this way: even in my own house, while I feel free to say/do anything somewhere sometime someway, I don't say/do it anywhere anytime anyway. What I say/do, when & how I say/do it, depends on who else is in the house. What room we are in. What the time & circumstances are. Very open, still different rooms for different things.
Man this has gotten long (like that's a first! :rolleyes: ). But this is what I do; I think out my thots as I write, and try not to write (or even think) what could be hurtful. Seeing nothing like that here I'll post as is.
Gang, as always, take what you want & leave the rest. These are the ramblings of someone trying to sort out mixed feelings about this whole thing. And I hope I'm doing just what Cement is talking about.