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Respect and vulnerability

devils daughter


I saw a thread that was on the forum briefly yesterday. I was apparently removed for inappropriate content and I can understand that. But it makes me sad to think about the possible reactions of one the people who has been a regular contributor. Someone working on his stuff, not perfect, but what are the options?

Several years ago I used to “joke” about going to the walk-in clinic at the funeral home. There is no such place, of course. But if society rejects those of us who are clueless, and we can’t get a clue in the assigned location (the mental health profession), then why not just let us walk-in, send our families a good-bye letter if we want, and then get things over with?

I never got to the point that I made any actual plans to commit suicide. The general social opinion was that it would be bad for my children. I’m not so sure about that, but given the general social opinion, my daughter especially would think that I had done something “bad” to her by committing suicide. I didn’t want that to happen. Not good for her. (Maybe I’m not very loving in a way that she would like for me to be but my reason and sense of responsibility still work, I think.)

My in-person support group is 12-step based and all volunteer. We adhere to a strict format that allows people to express themselves but does not permit any direct interaction until after the formal meeting. This prevents disruptions and disagreements but has not allowed me much room to learn and develop additional social skills which I think I need. I’ve tried general group therapy in the past and it hasn’t helped much.

What happened, for those of you who didn’t see the thread, was that someone apparently got offended by the comments of another member, who may have intended to be funny, but the comments could definitely be interpreted as belittling.

It seemed to me that what happened there speaks to the heart of what I – and maybe others – struggle with. How to respect ourselves, when we know that we do and feel things we don’t like, and hence how to respect ourselves even when others don’t.

Another thing is vulnerability. When we are honest about ourselves, our feelings and opinions, we leave ourselves open to the judgments and mocking of others. If I had a good sense of myself and some honest self-respect about who I was, then I expect that maybe I could take some clues from other people’s judgments and poking fun at me. But for whatever blankety-blankety-blank reasons I don’t and I can’t – at least not yet. I can pretend and fake being unaffected by other people’s judgments, but that’s all it is for right now. It would be nice if there were more safe places where that could be respected.

Basically it seems like the Mentalhelpnet is such a place. But nothing is perfect.


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DD this is a great place. However, nothing is any better than the flawed human beings that participate in it. Offense is in the eye of the beholder. Emotions are a bit of a curse. Why would God or the universe (or whatever you believe), create a being with emotions and no clear directions on how to control or cope with them?

I appreciate that I do not suffer emotional defecits and can accept myself for what I am. It helps me to help others without being judgemental or easily offended by your personal issues or style of conveyance.

Always here to help :)

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Why would God or the universe (or whatever you believe), create a being with emotions and no clear directions on how to control or cope with them?

Because She has a sense of humor? :-)

I would suggest that our forum does a fair job of being non-threatening (which is why I removed the thread in question.)

Usually, one person posts about their current suffering and others who aren't triggered manage to offer support. Notice that I don't say that the respondents aren't also suffering; most everyone is suffering, in some way. But for the purposes of their reply, they manage to put their own issues aside in order to support someone else.

What sometimes complicates the process is when one of the respondents is also triggered, whether by the actual words of the original poster, or some perception or transference to the OP, or is just having a bad day themselves. As pointed out earlier, we are all human, though that's not an excuse. It's up to each one of us to deal with our own triggers.

The rather tricky job of moderating a forum like this one is to allow for humanity while minimizing one of humanity's principal vulnerabilities, the tendency to get hurt.

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