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Missing David O


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I wasn't sure where to post this thread but after careful consideration I thought the Sanctuary and Spirituality section might be a "safe" place to say that I miss David O.

David was a very knowlegable, kind, compassionate, positive and lovable man. His real life experiences and his knowlege showed through in his replies that he graciousley shared that with all of the members on this site.

His insights not only from an intelectual but a very personal and always with a joking twist point of view will be very much missed. And I personally followed along with his posts to understand and learn and I was amazed at the time and effort he would put in a post to help another member.

So for any member who didn't have the capacity to understand his helpful insights, I feel sorry for you.

I do not understand all of the events that occured to having such a valued member of this site have to make a decision to leave.

I am not sure I want to either because sometimes posting with other members on this site sometimes seems to leave us very frustrated. So maybe I do understand but doesn't mean I like it.

Blame it on meds, blame it on the fact that there are mental health members who might not always be thinking appropriately, but it seems to me that maybe having members be triggered by others who are not considerate of others maybe should not be able to remain on the site and be able to continue a long drawn out negative thread.

I understand the basis for all of our opinions but sometimes it is clear that not all members are able to fully comprehend others opinions or suggestions.

Any member who posts a thread or replies to anothers should know ahead of time that not everyone will agree or that not everyone will take it the right way.

I think a very valuable lesson can be learned here that we need to pick and choose who we reply to and communicate with because of the varied issues and personalities that are going on.

Some may not be appropriate to read or reply to so as adults maybe this is a good time to set our boundaries on a site that can seem to be traumatic rather then therapeutic...

I miss you David O and I wish you well :)

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Guest GingerSnap

When did he leave? I always enjoyed reading his posts/stories and he always went an extra 1,000 miles in his posts. Did anyone try to talk him into staying. Is there some area where his leaving is discussed. I don't keep up with all the threads anymore. Cathy

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No, there isn't a thread about it Cathy, you didn't miss anything.

I'm speculating, but I do know that he got despondent sometimes, as we all do. He is exceptionally resilient as we've seen, but he grew frustrated at mean remarks directed at him at various times. I suspect the straw broke the camel's back. I know he also needed more time for pursuits in his real life, so I would guess that was a factor too.

I miss him dreadfully too and was very cut up when he left, as many were, I'm sure. In true David style, he has bounced back and is well. Somehow, knowing that, makes me feel happy, even as I miss him. For me, it's an example and demonstration of self-care. (I don't know this, it's just how I want to look at it to see a meaning.) I like to think he did what he needed to do, to look after, and be kind to himself, he showed respect for himself in doing what was best for him.

He'll never stop being an inspiration to me and so many others. May you flourish and prosper, David! :) Pop back in from time to time?

Edited by Luna-
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Well I guess this is a reality check for all of us and how vulnerable and protective we are to keep conflict away.

I definately have some thinking to do about how I will proceeding here on the forum and like I said in my original post this site can create trauma and conflict to each and everyone of us in a variety of ways instead of it being therapeutic....

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Guest SomethingOrOther

Thank you for explaining the situation.

I was getting really worried actually, upon reading about loss and what a person he was, and I had already felt overly responsible.

So, he IS a knowlegable, kind, compassionate, positive and lovable man, then. :)

Hopefully one who knows that I never meant to upset him, even when I was less then friendly.

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David O left because he was bullied. I don't post a lot but I do follow some of the threads (I'm in training to be a therapist, and I learn from doing this). So, I noticed that several times, a poster would go after David in a really over-the-top way, making bigoted remarks, questioning his professional credentials, etc. Also, apparently, from what David wrote in his own posts, these same individuals would PM David with even more severe remarks, some of which felt truly threatening to him.

The stunning thing to me about all of this is that no one backed him up or defended him beyond little peeps of dismay. I did defend him once but am guilty also of not doing so again because I was trying to take an observer's stance. It's obvious that the last straw was Lifeless Existence who wrote absolutely horrible things about David (I recall a poster by the name of Ray Smith getting banned FOR A MONTH for simply writing negative (and true) things about the AA program--so why on earth LE wasn't banned for taking shots at David I will never know).

I'm don't want to come across as scolding others when I'm just as guilty. I suppose all I am trying to say is that perhaps it's time to reconsider moderation policies to better protect people. It is just too bad that a valuable resource like David is now lost to the community and obviously was terribly hurt in the process. I am sure that David will bounce back, but it's so sad that the thanks he got for all his time and effort was to be attacked and never really defended. And I suppose that the final insult is that David was one of the few mods who would defend OTHERS when THEY were attacked (he once banned someone for attacking me, for example).

Man, I'm really sad about this. What a damn shame.

ML

Edited by Mona Lisa
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Thank you for speaking your opinion :D

I was not part of the thread at all and by the time I realized David wasnt posting I asked and then read through as much as I could and saw there was conflict.

I agree with you and as I said in my original post, why a thread that had turned negative was allowed to continue???

I'm sure there was more to this then we all see but just as you and I have said he gave tremendous time and effort and cared about each and every one of us only to be forced into a difficult situation of fear and retaliation of his personal life.

I think I can find some stronger words then Bullied, but I think everyone gets the point as to the severity of what happened....

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I did my very best to defend him. I'm not naturally an aggressive type of person and it all happened so quickly. I was very sad that he was hurt. He has been a great friend to me over the pasts months and I have very much valued that. I would never want him hurt in any way. I hope to learn from my mistakes with this. I know David well enough to know that he forgives me. If something like this ever happens again, I intend to handle things differently.

Edited by IrmaJean
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I miss him, too!!! :D And I agree with what has been written here....

Thank you David for everything you gave to me and to others here!!! I wish you to come and read at least this one thread - to know how we all like you and your posts!

That's so sad and unfair that few terrible exeptions caused you to leave! (Maybe it was only one person!?) What are few shameful flints in comparison with the plenty of others who like you???

Sorry, too much emotions...

Take care and good luck!!! :D

Edited by LaLa3
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Please don't be sorry Irma Jean. It happened and you too are in the same situation as David was. You offer your time to help, to encourage and also to moderate and maybe this is a lesson to be learned but please dont take it upon yourself to bear the brunt of this. I read through the post and I know stuff was deleted but even what was left I saw was just very defensive and antagonizing replies.

Like I said in my original post, I think sometimes people are just incapable at times of reasonable comprehension and then get defensive and start attacking. In the little time I have been here I have seen it occur and I think maybe there could be some adjustments made in how the moderators handle it?

Lessons learned but I very much appreciate ALL of the moderators and their time and effort given to the forum. :D

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Guest SomethingOrOther

Can I ask you something I don't understand?

David is a moderator himself, isn't he?

Couldn't he have banned LE himself, if he had thought that was right?

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I am ashamed to say I have been guilty of reacting badly to David a few times and I hope no one minds me saying this one thing. I have had a weekend of reflection after feeling bad about things that have happened on here and I can only think to say this....

...I have always been slightly immature for my age and I think I was a bit like a petulant teenager rebelling against a teacher or guardian. It was like that person knows whats best and advises but because I don't feel I can do it I react badly, rather than just admitting that. Like the teenager "don't be stupid, you don't know anything, leave me alone" Not "I'm scared, I can't, I'm not strong enough" Deflecting the blame. And I'm so sorry I did that.

But like most moody teenagers this wasn't what I really felt deep down. I have the utmost respect for David and what he was doing here. And the obvious amount of time he spent replying to people. And I always hoped to see his words of wisdom on my posts even though I realise now I never made that obvious. I think I was daunted by his experience and knowledge. And actually I would love to have the friendship and respect of someone like that. But because I didn't feel worthy or able to follow his advice I did that proverbial teenage thing again "what do you know?" Rather than "I'm not good enough for your time and help"

I think it's such a shame he has gone and I am just very very sorry I didn't say that to the right person.

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IrmaJean; I agree absolutely with Linda. Please, don't blame yourself! :(

Calla; you've shown us that this sad "incident" has also a positive consequence: We are questioning our conscience and some of us - like you - come to some important insights about their behaviour. ;)

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Yes, I agree that perhaps it's best that we reserve all judgments in this, and that includes any potential judgments of Lifeless. We learn by living. Judgments don't move us forward or help us to be more efficient. I feel the best course now is to take the energy surrounding this and use that energy in a positive way to help make this board a safer place.

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"We learn by living."

Yes, we do. And often, the best teacher is the consequences of our actions. Lifeless learned that he could get away with outrageous insults directed at David (and others). Apparently, JT has learned the same thing--even now that David is gone, she's still beating him up.

My hope here is simply that the mods have learned from the consequences of their actions (or inactions), too.

ML

Edited by Mona Lisa
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Mona Lisa, I feel you are being hard on the moderators when there is no need to be. If you know what that exact line is when someone needs to be cut off, his freedom of expression taken away, you are very lucky. I do not, even as a moderator. The other factor is that things happen very quickly sometimes. I came to this forum as someone who is struggling with her own mental health issues and found it so helpful and comforting. I was asked to moderate because I come here often I suppose, and because I care about what happens here, I care about how people are treated here. That does not mean I have all the answers or that I know how to handle someone who needs to vent his anger/rage/discontent. Most of the moderators here are not professionals and are new at this. They need support and encouragement just like everyone else here ...:rolleyes:

Edited by Symora
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catsirish,

If you are stalked or bullied in any way, you should please report it immediately, to one of the moderators or just say so in a forum, if you're not sure how. Harassment isn't tolerated and will be dealt with.

This situation was more complex ... and we all learned a WHOLE lot from it. But it's not a situation that a member need fear.

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I also don't think that stalking and bullying is something that you need to worry about here. In the heat of one conversation things got a little out of control and probably should have been shut down sooner. Heck...even David thinks that once he had a little distance from the moment. Anyone who has worked in the helping professions....hmmmm scratch that.....I think that everyone who breathes air has at times said things in the heat of the moment that they may regret later. I sure have and am very lucky that I have people in my life who recognize I have a bad day now and then and love me anyway. Now let's think about a person who is hurting and struggling and is having a hard time with expressing that. They lash out inapppropriately at times and we need to look past that to support them the best we can.

That said, The moderators ultimately did what they needed to do....they shut down the discussion so those involved in the thread could cool down.

Mona, I also think you are being a little harsh with the moderators. I want to let you know that you only know a part of the situation that occured on that thread so it's really not fair to judge what should and shouldn't have happened based on the surface content of a thread of conversation. The moderators care deeply about the community as a whole and that includes the people you pointed out to have been less than caring. These are probably the people who need it our patience and support the most. Please be careful that you have all the facts before making judgements.

That said....is there things that could have gone better that day? Yes, of course! Hindsight is 20/20 they say and it's a lot easier and clearer to do the woulda/coulda/shoulda's after the fact than when in the middle of the situation. I'd like to think I learn something from every interaction I have with people, not just the ones that go badly. To tell the truth, I've made mistakes in the past, I've made mistakes today, and I'll make mistakes in the future. The best I can do is learn from them and try not to repeat them. I think it's time to stop finger pointing and start supporting the people who come to the board. Ocassionally things will probably still happen that the moderators will need to get a handle on but overall, I feel that this board is a very kind, caring and safe community for anyone who wants to come to feel supported and cared for.

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I miss David O, also.

But no one here made him go away, and no one's keeping him away.

He's coping with things the way he needs to. I hope he'll be back, soon.

Blasting the moderators for not controlling the uncontrollable isn't helpful, though. You can be sure that 'IrmaJean' and the other moderators who were present (keeping in mind that David O is himself a moderator) did the best they could with the situation at the time.

We all feel the loss of members as painful, and yes, I include the loss of 'lifeless existence', whose words were inappropriate but whose pain is just as real. We would all wish that it needn't have come to this, that we could make this place completely safe for all who need it.

We can't, though. All we can do is our best, and that goes for each and every member.

----------------

Please consider the impact of your words on others. Will your words help, or harm?

Please consider the impact of others' words on you. Have they triggered you to the point that extra time is needed to respond, or possibly, would it be better to ignore them completely?

I would suggest that if you can't find something positive and supportive to say in reply to someone, whatever you may think of what they wrote, it would be better to remain silent, or blog about it, or speak it to a friend in private.

This is our "home". Please, let's work together to make it a happy, safe place.

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I am locking this thread at the request of David O. Here is the message he asked me to add....

There is a difference between recognizing that a problem occurred and obsessing over it. At this point, the community is much too engaged in second guessing itself, especially the mods, at the expense of helping members who are struggling. All of us learned from this tough experience and have committed to doing things differently in the future to try to prevent and resolve similar conflicts, and that the best we can do now is to move forward in the best interest of the "family" as a whole.

I am asking all participants in this thread, in respect of David, to please move forward and spend more time supporting those who come to this board for compassion and support and less time pointing fingers. Let's spend our energy supporting each other and the newcomers to this board.

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