Out of the FOG - GuidelinesWho We Are:
Out of the FOG is dedicated to offering support and the opportunity for personal growth for people who have been affected by someone who suffers from a personality disorder. Who We Are Not:
We are neither medical nor mental health professionals here, but rather a peer-support group. Out of the FOG is not intended as a substitute or replacement for therapy, counseling, or professional mental health services. See our Disclaimer
for more info.Topics of Discussion:
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.
You are welcome to post in any of the forums listed. We ask that your posts relate specifically to your relationship with a personality disordered individual. The Cafe is available for all members to enjoy off-topic posts, humor, artistry and discussion.
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 and will be removed.
There are a number of terms and abbreviations that are commonly used here and nowhere else. Check out our 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.
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.
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.
You may include a link to your own blog or other relevant site in which you are personally involved in your signature line only.
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.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 other members, flame other members or inflame a sensitive or volatile situation. Mocking, name-calling or suggesting another member has a mental disorder is expressly forbidden. Such posts are subject to removal without warning, and may result in a removal of posting privileges.
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. Such posts are subject to removal.
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.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 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
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.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. Attempting to draw others into participating in an ongoing conflict or baiting them into choosing sides is not permitted. This is counter-productive the purpose of this 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 attempting to use this forum as an arena to play out adversarial real-life conflicts, 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:
Mental health professionals are very 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.
Anyone (mental health professional or otherwise) posting references or specific information about personality disorders such as clinical studies, published articles etc. is asked to please reference the source of the information and provide a link to the information whenever possible. This is both as a courtesy to the original authors of the content and so that the information posted can be evaluated in its original context by our readers. 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.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 the guidelines.
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 unrelated content or advertisements, solicitations, offensive, adult-oriented or gratuitous, unrelated attention-seeking material will have their post removed and their account removed without a warning.
All moderators decisions are final. 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. Such comments are subject to removal with a possible suspension of posting privileges.
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 GuidelinesCreating 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 by the moderators and shouldn't be requested 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.