You made a very good observation. I think that this forum (and any other survivor forum) can be highly charged emotionally. I once belonged to a chronic pain forum and found the same phenomenon.
I think that it is a by-product of a group of people coming together who are in emotional and/or physical pain. Just by its very nature, this pain can make us hypervigilent, edgy, and very sensitive. These are the ingredients for a potential powder keg. Sometimes it takes only one comment, question or word that someone can misconstrue and WHAM! you can have an all-out war on your hands.
Add to this the fact that Internet groups are MUCH more anonymous and removed than the "real world" groups. It's much easier to blast someone in black and white and press the "send" button than it is to do the same thing in front of another human being while watching tears streaming down his face or his hands trembling.
That's why I believe that telephones and computers are great tools for communication, but they also depersonalize to a certain extend. PLUS we have a generation of children growing up, a few of whose parents allow Nintendo and MTV to be the babysitter. They are isolated from interaction with other kids and this makes a recipe for disaster. It is no wonder that we see ever-increasing violence in our schools today. Many children are NOT learning the critical social skills necessary in life to resolve conflicts in a humane and civilized manner.
But, getting back to the matter at hand, you are completely right. It takes an extra amount of energy and care on our part in forums such as this that toes are not stepped on. It's not easy - as careful as I have always been to consider the other person's feelings, I even got caught up into blasting someone in a posting because a major button was pushed that triggered rage inside of me.
To further complicate the issues, when we are maybe in the midst of a "bad space" created from flashbacks, night terrors, and triggers, our rational thinking may be clouded. We may find it hard to sort out what our feelings are and our perceived motives of others may be skewed.
In come the moderators and the BOD therapists. That's why they are in place - to be sort of the "check valve" for the group. Now, in the real world groups, they have an immediate effect in quieting things down because everyone has to listen to them at once - it's a captive audience. On a message board, it is more difficult because they have to depend on the fact that everyone will read their message AND read it completely and not just the first couple of sentences.
So, in a way, these groups are a little surreal. Even though we are helping each other with issues and supporting each other, there are some elements missing that could temper some situations so that they don't run out of control. I think that this is why the mods and BOD members sometimes have to completely remove threads or lock them out for the good of the community.
I'm sure that many folks noticed that I sort of "disappeared" for a few days and sadly, through a knee-jerk reaction, I edited all of my posts blank. I had a MAJOR button pushed which threw me into a terrifying fear of trust. I now regret that I had erased everything because several folks had written me saying that I had really helped them with some insightful words. But, what's done is done. I must move on.
For what it's worth, here is my personal resolve to help the situation in general that you're talking about: I've resolved that I'm not going to allow myself to focus on the 1% negative posts. I can't afford it anymore. It consumes my energy and does nothing more than bring my personal recovery to a screeching halt.
I resolve to concentrate on the 99% of the positive things going on. Because early on in my healing, there were many people available to pick me up, kick me in the rear-end when I needed it, and gently held me, I want to return that kindness by helping someone else who may just be starting out. Only by getting out of myself and helping someone else, I help myself in the process.
Is this an easy task? Not by any stretch of the imagination. We are inundated every day in the media with negativity. Just turn on the 5PM news... murder, theft, rape, extortion, and every other possible horrible thing that the cameras can capture. Once in a while, they throw in the occasional "token" human interest story. So we are bombarded by negative, negative, negative. It is a very subtle brainwashing (non-intentional, I'm not saying it's a conspiracy) caused by media that's hungry for sensationalism and high ratings.
It is very difficult to break out of that mold. Just listen sometime to conversations in the break rooms at work, on the street, just about anywhere. You'll hear people complain about their jobs, their health, their spouses, etc.
So in conclusion, how can we make this a productive and fruitful place? It takes a concerted effort to concentrate on what's important: our own healing and helping someone else along the way. That's a challenge for most of us because we were once betrayed, thrown away, and beaten down. But it IS possible.
My heart leapt for joy when delta.tetra announced that he overcame total panic at having to use the telephone and ask for help because he had no hot water for a week.... something that most of us take for granted.
A smile flew across my face when I read CrazyRob's suggestion that we post some good things about ourselves and saw that incredible artwork!
Anyway, I've babbled long enough.... I think that you have some very valid points and it does take a concerted effort on everyone's part. But, being human, **it WILL sometimes hit the fan. But hopefully, we will be able to recognize it for what it is and stay on task with a path of healing.
That's my humble opinion.
There are no unresolved issues - they just didn't resolve themselves the way we would have liked. "Grinder and Bandler - Neuro-Linguistic Programming"