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Author Topic: Out of the FOG - Member Guidelines  (Read 33028 times)

eclipse

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Out of the FOG - Member Guidelines
« on: October 13, 2007, 08:50:22 PM »
Welcome to Out of the FOG

Welcome to Out of the FOG - we are a community that seeks freedom, compassion and understanding for people who have a family member or loved one who suffers from a personality disorder. Our mission is to provide information and support, without judgment, to anyone who has a family member or loved-one who suffers from a personality disorder.



Member Guidelines

Since we are an anonymous community of people on the internet, we have developed a set of guidelines which help keep us safe as we strive to move forward together in a healthy way. Please be respectful of our community and contact one of our moderators if you have any questions.

Who We Are:

Out of the FOG is a group of peers dedicated to offering support and the opportunity for personal growth for people who have been affected by someone who suffers from a personality disorder.

The spirit of our community is one of compassion and growth.  You have a unique opportunity while you are here to work on your own healing and recovery, and also to offer encouragement and understanding to others who are all in different stages of the learning or healing process.

Who We Are Not:

We are neither medical nor mental health professionals.  Out of the FOG is not intended as a substitute or replacement for therapy, counseling, or professional mental health services.  See our Disclaimer.html for more info.

Topics of Discussion:

All posts must relate specifically to your relationship with a personality disordered individual. 

The forum is not to be used as a personal blog, journal, social networking site or for giving and receiving off-topic support or advice. The Cafe is available to enjoy occasional off-topic posts, humor, artistry and discussion. However, excessive off-topic posts will be removed and the member asked to move to a more appropriate forum.

Please respect our readers by not posting the same thing in multiple threads.  Multiple copies or slightly modified copies of the same post are not permitted.

You may post in any of the forums listed, but please post in the forum which best fits the topic you are discussing.  Begin by posting an introduction  in our Introductions Board. 

There are a number of terms and abbreviations that are commonly used here and nowhere else.  Check out our Abbreviations link and Glossary for an explanation of some of the more commonly used terms.

Our individual thoughts and ideas are important to each of us.  However, please try not to "hijack" the threads of others by changing the subject.  Posts should be targeted to the subject matter introduced by the originator of the thread.  You are welcome to introduce new ideas or topics by starting a separate thread. Conversations within a thread will often evolve and develop, and this is a healthy process that can help members come to a deeper understanding of the topic at hand.   However, when someone responds to a serious thread with an unrelated post which is mainly about themselves, an unrelated topic, or with a response that essentially derails the conversation, it is considered hijacking.  Do not hijack others' threads.  If you feel another poster has hijacked your thread, tell us, using the "Report to Moderator" function located at the bottom of the post you wish to report.

Many of our members are survivors of abuse, and some find it extremely difficult to read detailed accounts of the emotional and physical abuse of others. Therefore, any gratuitous or excessively graphic descriptions of acts of violence or abuse which go beyond what is necessary to describe the situation you are in will be removed.

Who owns your content: You own your own words and you have the right to license the content of your posts however you see fit.  However, by submitting posts to Out of the FOG for inclusion on this message board, you agree to grant Out of the FOG a world-wide, royalty-free, non-exclusive license to display the content you have posted on this message board.

Once posted, messages can't be removed by the poster.  This helps to ensure the continuity of threads.  Therefore please consider your words carefully before you post.

Long threads are difficult for readers to follow and will be locked at 5 pages.

Opinions expressed by individual contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of Out of the FOG.

Posting links:

It's OK to share about resources or websites that you enjoy, are involved in or that have helped you. However, it's not OK to "link-bomb" the site with irrelevant or excessive information. Here are some rules for posting links:

- All links must be related to coping, recovery and personal growth from a relationship with an individual who suffers from a personality disorder.
- All links posted must be accompanied with a paragraph summarizing the main content of the link.
- All links posted must be accompanied with a paragraph describing why it is important to the poster.
- Links to sites which offer fee-based online counseling sessions are not permitted.

You may include a link to your own blog or other relevant site in which you are personally involved in your signature line only. This link and it's contents must not reveal your own identity or the identity of other individuals whom may have written about on the board and must not solicit any sale, business or personal interaction with board members which is previously prohibited here.

Anyone quoting references or specific information about personality disorders such as clinical studies, published articles etc. must reference the original source of the information and provide a link to the information whenever possible.  This is both as a legally required courtesy to the original authors of the content and so that the information posted can be evaluated in its original context by our readers.

Spam posts and direct solicitation of business, personal contact and direct marketing of products, services, websites, blogs & books or events for organizations, charities, individuals and groups is not permitted, subject to immediate removal and will result in a loss of the members posting privileges.

OOTF can't guarantee the quality or security of links posted by members at our site. Before clicking on any links posted by members, please use caution to protect yourself from phishing, scamming and viruses.

Posting Style Guide

Most of us come here seeking validation from others who have been in similar situations. It can be a tremendous feeling to read an encouragement from another member who has read your post. If you want to have your post read and responded to by others here are a few helpful tips:

Keep you posts short. We have no post size limit and it often feels cathartic to write down your life story. However, if your post fills more than an entire computer screen, some readers may be tempted to "speed read" or skip to the end.

DON'T POST IN ALL CAPS. MANY PEOPLE FIND IT HARD TO READ BLOCKS OF TEXT WHICH HAVE BEEN WRITTEN IN ALL CAPS AND SOME PEOPLE INTERPRET THIS AS SHOUTING.

Use paragraphs to break up text and break up text with a double return to create extra space between paragraphs. Don't post a huge block of text 20-50 lines long with no line breaks. Many  people find that very difficult to read and will ignore your post.

As appropriate, moderators may edit the text formatting of posts (e.g. "block of text" or ALL CAPS) to make them more readable for members.

Choose your words wisely. This is a unique place where people who live in places of extreme isolation connect, simply by the sharing of words. Decisions are made and lives can be affected when truth is discovered or revealed for the first time. You want people to be thinking about the meaning of your words, not the formatting. So write in sentences.  Use punctuation. Use a spell checker. Use emoticons and special fonts sparingly.

Dealing with Anger:

Anger and frustration at your own situation is to be expected at times, especially in the early stages of recovery.  However, anger and frustration expressed towards other members can be counter-productive.  Disagreements will happen from time to time.  Speak to others as you would wish to be spoken to, and offer your comments in a respectful, constructive manner.  All members must respect and embrace the opinions of others and recognize diversity as part of the learning process. 

Do not intentionally goad or insult other members, especially those who are new to the board. Flaming other members or inflaming an already volatile thread is not allowed. Mocking or name-calling of another member has no place here, and should not be used when speaking of a person with a personality disorder. Suggesting another member has a mental or personality disorder is expressly forbidden.

You are encouraged to describe situations and behaviors you may have dealt with.  Be as honest and forthright as you can, and discuss openly how you feel about your situation.  Don't exaggerate and don't sugar-coat it but remember that people who suffer from personality disorders are people too, many of whom struggle with the disorder, some of whom are working hard towards their own recovery and some who are members in good standing here at OOTF.  Therefore, you are asked refrain from profane, derogatory name-calling of people who suffer from personality disorders, which does little in the way of resolving problems and tends to alienate or dehumanize groups of people, particularly when used in a general context.

You are encouraged to use your own good sense along with local law enforcement and legal jurisdictions to protect yourself from abusive situations where applicable and discuss your situation with others.  However, do not use OOTF as a platform for discussing or advocating any type of revenge, or ways to harass, hurt, sabotage or get even with people who suffer from personality disorders or whom you feel may have hurt you. 

Often, after we have worked through some of our own pain and grief, we come to realize the role that we ourselves have played in the relationship and, although we may still be very angry with the PD, we can also care a great deal for the person.  If we didn't, we wouldn't be here.

Non-PDís often go through stages of being angry and blaming the person with a PD in their life.  However, these are stages.  When people post, you are seeing a "snapshot" of what is happening with their lives and emotions.

Giving Advice:

This is a confidential peer support group created by men and women who have experienced personal relationships with a personality disordered relative, friend or partner.  We are not mental health professionals, and don't offer this board as a substitute for professional assistance.  Any advice you receive here should be taken in that context.

Feel free to share how you cope or have coped with various situations - that's the purpose of this forum!  But please avoid making blanket statements like "You *should* do this and that" especially when you don't know the person well.  Another person's situation may be very different from yours.  Often, people need to come to their own conclusions in their own time frame.  Also, please avoid making blanket or derogatory generalizations about mental illness, personality disorders, personality disordered individuals or "Nons" that are unsupported by clinical literature.

Having a personality disordered relative, friend or partner can be difficult, and sometimes other posters may say or do things that you donít approve of.  We are all coming from different stages, situations, and backgrounds.  Please be considerate and non-judgmental about how others live their lives.  If you respond harshly or judgmentally, you will make it harder for others to post for fear of being judged.

You are welcome to ask questions about what you think is going on in the mind of a particular person you are close to. However, broad generalizations about entire groups of people who suffer from personality disorders, such as "they can't help it" or "they have no feelings" are misleading to others. Members who repeatedly post such generalizations are subject to moderation and will be asked to refrain.

Threats to Harm Self or Others:

Many of our members are depressed at one time or another.  However, we are not professionals and, therefore, are not equipped to counsel anyone in the throes of a suicidal or threatening depression.  Suicidal and threatening posts and personal messages are not allowed and will be removed from the boards immediately, and the poster encouraged to seek professional assistance in his or her "real life" community.  Please check for relevant telephone numbers and links in our Emergency Page.

One exception to this rule is describing suicidal or self harm thoughts which have happened in the past:

What's OK to post:
Descriptions of self harm or suicidal ideation from the past, (e.g. "he said he was going to kill himself" or "I just wanted to end it all")
Non-gratuitous descriptions of threats or acts of violence which have occurred in the past.

What's Not OK to post, will be removed and the member encouraged to seek professional help:
Describing a self-harm or suicidal ideation in the present or future (e.g. "I think he is going to kill himself" or "I just want to end it all")
Posts (including humor) describing an ideation or fantasy of violence towards others.

Any member who receives a personal message containing an ideation or threat of violence or self-harm should stop the conversation and report the PM using the "Report To Admin" link provided at the bottom of each message.

Diversity:

We are a diverse community, comprising many races, religions, value systems, and beliefs.  Sometimes people of certain religions or of a particular political persuasion assume that everyone shares their values & beliefs or want to impose these beliefs on everyone.  Feel free to speak about what's important to you and how your values and beliefs affect your situation but please don't assume that everyone else is the same.  Degrading comments about groups of people are subject to removal.

We have created a number of different forums to make OOTF a safe and encouraging place for a diverse group of people. Members who are committed to a relationship sometimes feel uncomfortable with comments which advocate immediate separation or "no contact". Members who have exited an abusive relationship often feel uncomfortable with statements which advocate unconditional commitment. All members have a responsibility to be sensitive to the needs of other members. Comments which are submitted in an inappropriate forum or insensitive way are subject to removal and repeat offenders will be asked to leave.

Multiple Members from the Same Relationship:

We are here to support our members, who are dealing with and learning to cope with others in their lives who suffer from a personality disorder.  We are not here to mediate ongoing family conflicts or to serve as a platform for "he said /she said" type discussions. Identifying yourself as a family member, spouse, partner or acquaintance of an existing member and offering a contradictory account is not permitted. This is counter-productive to the purpose of this anonymous community and distracts other members from the work they have come to do here on themselves, by undermining the promise of a safe, anonymous forum in which to share their struggles. 

Therefore, if it is determined by the administration that two (or more) members are in a relationship and posting contradictory information or accounts, only one of those members will be allowed to maintain membership at OOTF.   Preference will be given to the member who joined the community first.

Members who suffer from Personality Disorders:

There are some people who have been diagnosed with a personality disorder, who themselves have loved ones or family members who also have a personality disorder.  If you suffer from, or suspect you suffer from a personality disorder, you are welcome to join if the discussion still revolves around dealing with the loved ones in your life with a PD and not on your own recovery from a PD.  There are other excellent sites for support in your own recovery (See our Links for more info). 

Also, please be aware that people at a site like this need a safe place to discuss openly how a person with a PD may have hurt them.  If you suffer from a PD and choose to participate on this board please do not take such comments personally or attempt to speak on behalf of another person, who you do not know, who suffers from the same disorder as you.
 
Mental health professionals, Authors & Journalists:

Mental health professionals are welcome to join this forum.  However, for ethical and legal considerations, we request that anyone identifying themselves as a mental health professional refrain from offering any direct diagnostic or prescriptive advice to other members. Mental health professionals must not share any information or stories derived from confidential therapy sessions on OOTF.

We sometimes receive requests from researchers, authors and journalists to conduct surveys or interviews among our members. While we welcome and support the broad global effort to better understand and communicate the latest findings about personality disorders, we don't have the resources at here OOTF to investigate the credentials of everyone who approaches us, verify the confidentiality assurances for our members or to endorse the conclusions of every publisher. Therefore, please don't use OOTF as a place to solicit academic survey participants or article interviewees. There are other sites online which offer these kind of services for researchers and journalists.

Publishers are welcome to contact us to request the use of short excerpts from the information pages at our site & e-book (not member discussions) under the normal doctrine of Fair Use in US Copyright Law.

Confidentiality:

Confidentiality is important to the safety of everybody on our board.  It is strongly recommended that members not directly or indirectly disclose their own identity.  Itís not uncommon for members to discover that the person with a personality disorder in their life has been reading at this site. 

You are also discouraged from registering with a user name, email address or avatar that could be recognized.  Sites such as Yahoo and Google offer free anonymous email hosting.   You are strongly encouraged not to register using any email address that other people may have access to as the board will occasionally send information about your account to that address.

Please donít post any information that directly or indirectly discloses the identity of family members, friends or relationship partners.  This includes (but is not limited to) direct information such as real names, photographs, addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, etc., as well as, indirect information such as pet names, local venues, etc.

If you should accidentally post information which compromises the confidentiality of yourself or someone close to you, you may contact a moderator or administrator designating the specific confidential information to be removed.  One administrative edit will be given to each member.  After the first request, subsequent requests to edit posts by the same member will be denied.

Members having off-board information about another member shall not disclose it.  This extends to the contents of personal communications, email, personal messages, text and telephone conversations.  Any information posted which reveals identifying information about another individual will be modified or removed by the moderators.

Do not solicit personal contact information from other members on the boards or in PM, as this is considered a violation of privacy.  If someone volunteers their information in a personal context, it is their right to do so, but you are under no obligation to reciprocate.   Please respect the privacy of others as you wish your own privacy to be respected.   If someone solicits personal contact information from you and the solicitation makes you uncomfortable in any way, you are encouraged to report the incident to any Moderator or Administrator.

Private Messages

Private Messages can only be viewed by the poster and recipient. The same rules which apply to forum posts at OOTF also apply to Personal Messages. However, Private Messages are not moderated. If you should receive an inappropriate private message please use the "Report to Admin" link at the bottom of each private message. Take particular care to protect yourself when corresponding with strangers using this feature. You are not obliged to answer any Private Message you receive or to provide any information to any individual, no matter how friendly or trustworthy they may appear. Avoid giving out any personal or confidential information to anyone you do not know well.

OOTF is a forum for public discussion about personality disorders. It is not permitted to post an invite on any of our forums to begin or continue a conversation by Private Message.

Moderation of the Boards:

This is a moderated forum.  The moderators are also people who have dealt with or are dealing with a personality disordered person in their own lives.  The moderating team can move, delete, split and combine threads.  They also have the discretion to edit or delete member posts when such posts are determined to be in conflict with these guidelines.

Advertisements, solicitations, offensive, sexually explicit, adult-oriented, violent or gratuitous, unrelated attention-seeking material will be removed and the member notified or given a warning.

Moderators can suspend accounts if a poster is not respecting others or contributing constructively in the spirit of the community.  A warning will be given to any regular member before an account is suspended.  Drive-by spammers who sign up and immediately post inappropriate content will have their post removed and their account removed without a warning.

If you have a question or concern about a moderating decision or how the board is run you can send a Personal Message to one of the Moderating & Admin Team or ask about it on our Questions Forum.  Do not use the original thread or any other forum to question or debate moderating decisions as this is a further distraction from the original thread topic. 

Note that Personal Messages and Requests sent to Moderators, Admins and the Site Owner regarding the operation of Out of the FOG are shared with the other team members.  After an initial acknowledgment, a consensus will be reached among the leadership team prior to a response being made or action being taken.

For more information about the role of Moderators & Admins and the process for selecting Moderators & Admins please refer to the Out of the FOG Leadership Guidelines

Creating and Deleting Accounts

When you open an account at Out of the FOG you will be asked to create an account name and provide a valid email address.  An email will be sent to you which will ask you to confirm your registration.  After you have completed this step you will be able to post to topics.  Posting under multiple accounts or under account names containing solicitations, offensive or adult-oriented references is not permitted.

Posters from certain domains who have a track record of generating non-permissible content are prevented from creating accounts.  If you have trouble creating an account try using an email address from a more reputable provider.

Deleting an account can't be reversed shouldn't be done unless the member is sure they will not want access to the account again.  Note that deleting an account will not delete your posts.  Anyone wishing to rejoin after deleting their account will need to sign up with a new account.

In order to keep our membership roster meaningful, we may periodically remove accounts which have never submitted a post and have been inactive for an extended period of time.  Members who have submitted at least one (not spam) post to the boards will not have their accounts pruned because of inactivity.  Members who have had their account pruned because of inactivity have the option to create a new account with the same user name if they wish.
« Last Edit: August 28, 2014, 09:07:42 PM by eclipse »