Peer support subsequent to trauma contributes to full recovery

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) -- including complex trauma (cPTSD) -- is debilitating, breaking down the body through anxiety and stress, and it poses a significant suicide risk in sufferers. MyPTSD seeks to help and inform those who are directly or indirectly affected by these conditions through peer-to-peer support and educational resources.

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Sympathy - It Is Creeping Back Here

Discussion in 'Discussion' started by anthony, Apr 2, 2008.

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  1. sunnydaze

    sunnydaze Well-Known Member

    I do understand what you are saying. I do not write clearly as many who have a college education or just have the knack of writing in this forum. I admire how great you give conselling and how wonderful you write. I feel that some of my writings may be interpeted as sympathy but aren't. I want to be helpful to myself and others and hope this is a learning experience and at least make me aware of what I am saying before I send a post.
    it is not easy as you stated in running a forum. I would not want the job. One has to set ground rules as you stated or things can get out of hand. I have checked other forums out and they allow alot of swearing which turns me off.
    I just get overly concerned on my off days of hoping that I don't cross the line and at the time are unaware of it. You are doing a wonderful job but at times it gets intimadating. I will try my best to respect the rules.
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  3. anthony

    anthony Master of none!

    You don't need to be concerned about being put in moderation for doing something wrong, because it doesn't happen that way. You will get warnings, plural, as do the majority. The only people who don't get a warning a straight out spammers, who are just banned and never seen by other members.

    You have to go on a rampage across the forum before I will typically jump in and stop it. If you keep your topic in one thread, you will typically never have an issue with me surrounding rules, policies and editorial policy. If you go on a rampage as was clearly demonstrated from Grace and Herc, you will find yourself in moderation because they don't keep their opinions in one place, they spread the one issue across as many threads as possible in an attempt to garnish support, sympathy, what ever the case is, that is just all bad in my book and warrants moderation to keep a member posting correctly and not disrupting all other members.

    Members choose which threads they read, but no member wants to be faced with the same issue in every thread they read, otherwise people just stop reading.... and that is when you will cross the editorial mark with me personally.

    You do not have to worry about challenging me or the like, or posting.... if you do wrong individually you will know it privately through PM, as I will send a PM a members way outlining any issue. A member will know if they are coming around to being moderated or banned, just like herc posted across many threads, because she knew she was stepping over the marks of respectful posting as a member, even respectful challenging of myself. There are ways to do things, ways not to do things.... most people have enough commonsense of right vs. wrong, even with PTSD.

    There is a lot of space given to every member because off having PTSD, and all you have to understand and accept is that I know all of this because I have been at the worst PTSD has to offer myself, so I know what boundaries to allow and what not to allow. A member who tries to milk it with me, they often find themselves shutdown very quickly because you are talking to someone who has PTSD, thus I have quite a detailed understanding and experience myself.... basically, you can't bullshit someone who understands the bullshit to begin with.

    I hope that answers some of the doubts.... just post as normal and don't attempt to garnish sympathy by going on any forum rampages or the like, anything of extremes constantly, and you will be fine. Just read what is on this forum.... you will find the limits are pretty far and 99% of members will never reach those limits.... ever. Some just become a little too complacent I guess you could say, and think they could influence me over such forum standard procedures.... and they lose every single time.

    You just have to read posts to understand me..... I have PTSD, I have healed and learnt, that doesn't mean I have no tolerance for everyone else to get through what I I have been through myself... not so. I do not go on forum rampages myself, I conform to the exact same policies and rules that members constructed long ago....

    You have a very long rope here..... I would only say not to use it if you can, but just know you have a lot when you need it most....
    Recovery4Me likes this.
  4. grace5555

    grace5555 Well-Known Member

    Just to clarify a couple of points...I only posted in the 2 threads dedicated to this matter. That does not seem to be a "rampage across the boards". Nor did I ever see any PM's of warnings, etc. Not that it matters at this point and I doubt this will be posted anyways but I would prefer the truth of the matter be stated.
  5. anthony

    anthony Master of none!

    Grace, yours was more the sympathetic aspect, but the majority was your want to challenge and conflict across many threads, which comes close to what is called a "troll" upon the Internet... a person who goes onto communities to cause trouble, to debate everything whether agreed or not, to just be disruptive. I had enough of it.... plain and simple.
  6. sunnydaze

    sunnydaze Well-Known Member


    Thanks so much.
    It's just what I said in post #42 that you backed me up. I am truly grateful for all your hard work in keeping this forum from going out of control. You are a real blessing to society for wanting to help others in getting rid of the pain from our past.
  7. Grama-Herc

    Grama-Herc I'm a VIP


    With all due respect, I think that Grace got caught up in my little mini breakdown. I was the one who was causing the most trouble.

    While she did express her share of questionable comments, she really did not participate that much in my mini fit.

    I would like to see her given her access back. She has helped others here and her absence here will be felt.

    I know the rules regarding the request to be taken out of moderation, however, I am not asking for myself. I am asking for some one who I unfortunately drug along with me during my mini breakdown.
  8. anthony

    anthony Master of none!

    Hi Herc.... Whilst you are trying to defend another here which may be admirable on its merits, the facts are that each person here makes their own decisions. Grace made hers, regardless what you say here, Grace made her decision to endorse and create her own rant. Not good enough.
  9. Nicolette

    Nicolette ♡ Supporter Admin ♡
    Supporter Admin

    I can vouch for what Anthony is saying as Grace and I had words and it had nothing to do with you Herc. Most interaction I have had with Grace has been with her posting a conflicting or argumentative post to something I have written.
    Recovery4Me likes this.
  10. Grama-Herc

    Grama-Herc I'm a VIP

    Anthony and Nicolette, you are right. There are underlying facts that I am apparently unaware of.

    I do, however, appreciate you answers/replies Thanx
    Recovery4Me likes this.
  11. Trent

    Trent Member

    Monkey is right

    I tell you what, Monkey, you're right in citing the dictionary definitions. Those ppl here who "bragged" about being unsympathetic made me want to stay away. I ventured back today to see what was said, and it seems that most ppl really do not sympathize with others. And that is just wrong.

    New ppl coming in here might be looking for pity, and if I stick around, maybe I'll run into them. On the other hand, every person coming in here either has a problem or they're looking to help others with their problems. Shouting out that there is no sympathy is really counterproductive and scares us away.

    Especially, if you don't know what the word means.

    My first reaction was to just ditch the site. Now that I've taken another look, my reaction is to verbalize a string of abusive epithets and see if there is a way to block certain posts from appearing on my screen. And finally, my reaction is, "maybe I'm overreacting. It wouldn't be the first time. Relax and see what there is of value here."

    *ERRRRRRR.... grinds teeth and thinks "will we ever get beyond our past?"
  12. Trent

    Trent Member

    Ok ... what kind of crap is that... 10 minute limit on editing! For crying out loud, it took me 10 minutes to type the edit.

    Here's what the edit would have said...something like it, since I now have to retype the whole thing.

    I would have deleted the above post because it seems totally out of line with the climate of correctness for this forum. And everyone knows, I'm 100% politically correct.

    One of the "symptoms" of ptsd seems to be a resistance to rules, so I'm glad to wind up here where the rules seem to involve my choice of words and whether I tell a story or relate a symptom or incident and someone might take it as looking for sympathy.

    I apologize if I seem to be looking for sympathy (none sought, none offered, just like kindness in Combat). But would it be wrong to tell a newbie that "I'm sorry you're going thru such a tough time." Would it be wrong to tell someone you're holding their hand or walking with them on this difficult journey?

    I'm not posting this more than one time in multiple threads, worrying that someone might happen on it again. I'm not challenging anyone. I do not hope to gather support from anyone. I'm sorry if anything I say offends anyone in the whole world. I'm sorry if the past controls the present. Oh, and I wouldn't want anyone to think my remarks are sarcastic or given with double meaning. I sympathize with the ppl running the forum for such a hard job it is. Basically, I'm sorry for living.

    Bang the gavel
  13. She Cat

    She Cat I'm a VIP
    Premium Member

    If you or anyone is looking for *PITY* the this isn't the place to get it. We understand, we empathies, we offer hope, we offer a shoulder, we try to offer solutions, but NO PITY here. You will get a kick in the ass if needed, set straight, maybe even told off, but you won't get pity. It serves NO point, it stops a person from healing, and it ends up hurting them in the end.
  14. anthony

    anthony Master of none!

    Hi Trent.... you have done nothing wrong, nor did I take your post as sympathetic... just your view. The forum has an editing limit due to experience of sufferers. You answered the question you asked really; in that you would have deleted what you said if allowed to edit your own posts. People would chop and change their content with their mood.... the forum information would be useless to anyone, and a waste of time to those who take the time to respond to those very posts in the first place. I am sure you would not want to respond to a post and have the person come along and just delete the original post of theirs to begin with... kind off makes your time a waste then.... ha?
    gizmo likes this.
  15. cec

    cec Active Member


    I have to thank you for this post for I am guilty of this. I understand that empathy acknowledges and validates experience; sympathy perpetuates it.

    But, as a new member and new to a PTSD diagnosis, it takes time to understand what I"m experiencing. This understanding, in turn, will provide the basis I need to accurately reflect the experience of others. It is hard for new people to know how to interact. Sympathy, therefore, may be all us newbies are capable of.

    Your post has certainly brought me into check and for this I'm grateful, but I'm glad I was shown patience.

  16. anthony

    anthony Master of none!

    Its a hard one for us all to come to terms with Paul... though one we must if we want to help ourselves. No other can help us, only we can help ourselves. This is why you have a great difference typically in therapy trends... some who get in and get the job done, then those who get in and go all round the hard stuff, never really into the core of the problem. This type of thing invokes a sympathetic mood when approaching therapy vs. someone who just lets go and tells the therapist every little truth to be told, holding nothing back, no secrets.... that can be empathised with IMO.
  17. Trent

    Trent Member

    No sympathy wanted. No empathy wanted. I don't even want to tell you my story. I'm not sure why I even checked back here. I'd be afraid to post any "secrets" anyway. It's one thing to have them out there with ppl who care and another to post them where someone is going to check the sympathy-meter to see what is "intended."

    For all I know what Anthony is saying cud be hundred percent correct, but it seems like an odd way to greet newbies ...

    Come on in, Whack!
    Watch what you're saying, Whack!
    We care what happens to you, Whack!
    Tell your story (but be sure all possible interpretations are included because someone else can't see your eye movement and hand gestures), Whack!
    Put your story in a diary (where it will be kept a secret, or maybe you'd like to just type it in Word and file it in the back of ur PC -- Is that the same as telling someone?) - Whack!

    It's a good thing all of you are patient ... maybe some of it will rub off on me. Logic says that no one would go to the trouble of maintaining such a site if they didn't care about ppl like me. Logic says that no one would post replies if they really didn't care. And then there is that part of my brain, or Memory, or body or whatever that says "don't trust anyone."

    I swear, everything I think or say seems like it's too sarcastic, too cynical, or too antagonistic to post here. I guess I could just open the way for my fingers to key in the thoughts that pass through my body and see what happens.

    Or, maybe I'd just better crawl away into another dark place and keep the lid on my secrets. (or does that sound like looking for sympathy) ...
  18. Marlene

    Marlene I'm a VIP
    Premium Member


    I've been on this forum for going on two years now. I guess that makes me an old-bie.

    Wanting to keep your secrets to yourself, not trusting people, etc. are part and parcel or PTSD. I'm still oh so careful about who I talk to and who gets to know my story. Mainly because it's no one's business but mine.

    This forum isn't about whacking new people into shape. This forum is set up and fuctions as a community where people who have PTSD and the folks that love them come to learn how to live with disorder. People who are further along in recovery share what they've learned with others here. And you're right, the person who started this forum and who maintains it does it because he does care about people like us. And the fact that Anthony does have PTSD as well give him an insight that others wouldn't have.

    All that said, there has been some really goofy, silly and occasionally nasty shit that has been said and done on this site. The reason for so many rules is because it's been learned through experience that when you put a such diverse group of people together that without rules there's absolute pandemonium. If it weren't for things being kept safe and sane, a lot of us wouldn't be here. Myself included.

    I'm with you that I don't wany sympathy. What I was looking for and found here was a place where I wasn't alone. With my PTSD I felt like the only freak in the side show. Here I don't feel like that. It's a place I can be myself without watching everything I say in case I let something out of the bag. If you don't want to write your story, that's fine. It's everyone's choice what they share or don't share here. If you just want to read and learn, that's cool, too. There is no expectation other than respecting others.

    Hope this helps.

    Recovery4Me likes this.
  19. FightingLily

    FightingLily Active Member

    Anthony is right

    Wow. Why is anyone taking Anthony's post personal? I agree. This is a support site, not a sympathy site, and if it were, I would not be a member....There is a huge difference between seeking support and seeking sympathy.

    For example: a person writes a post about ongoing issues with a sufferer that is causing their relationship to fail, other members comment the post with validation (ie been there- hang in there) or will provide info or insight. This is seeking support.

    But then if the same person repeatedly posts essentially the same sob story, all with different titles, this is a very annoying attempt at seeking sympathy and attention. Yes, we have one here. And I must say, I have to refrain from reading the garbage because it really pisses me off and IMHO, is counterproductive to what this community is suppose to be about.
  20. anthony

    anthony Master of none!

    People take it personal because PTSD oftens fills them with the only shown emotional response.... anger, hatred, attack, defend. Not emotions, but emotional responses. People often think this site is about telling their story... when that is just not even close. Telling your story is part of the process of asking for help... nothing more, nothing less. As stated here already, this place is about getting help, not having a chit chat fun time doing nothing for yourself. Yes, fun can be had.... but if your not here seeking help, seeking knowledge, seeking how to better yourself because what you're doing just isn't working.... then you're in the wrong place.

    People take a negative and express their immediate thought, because their brain is only capable of finding the negatives... social aspects have an impact on this, just look at the news. People only want bad news, they want the worst of it all.... not what this forum is about. Get the worst out and start opening one's eyes to the reality of life, the reality of how to live a better life with PTSD. This is why people take things personal.... they cannot see past themselves, they cannot accept it is them that is broken. They would rather find a statement and attack, because that gives them a sense off accomplishment.

    For those who have been here years, you would know all this. Point: New members need to do more reading of existing threads, sifting through the real content already contained here.... less arguing and venting of their own insecurities and anger. Learn from here how to change your life, not keep repeating the same cycle your already stuck within.

    Honestly.... I love reading those members who come here and introduce themselves.... "I have been reading here for months, a year even" has been said. Those people often post in a very different manner right from start. They have already been learning from all the experience and knowledge here... taking what works for them from others sharing and trying to find the best methods for themselves... throwing the rest away. Those members are not here to argue or cause conflict, they have already begun bettering themselves and now just need to fill in some blanks. Congrats to all those who fit that criteria as a new member....

    Trent: You started to make an admission:
    Things your saying here fit this criteria that you think you're doing. Why? Because that is how your trying to fit yourself in here. PTSD consumes us with anger, which is an emotional response, not an emotion. Males are the worst at emotions.... I know, being male and ex-Military of all things.... emotions are just not what we instilled within. Took a lot to change myself after realising it was me that was broken, not the rest of the world.
    Recovery4Me likes this.
  21. pandora

    pandora I'm a VIP

    Trent when i started at this forum over a year ago....I was having a huge pity party for myself too. I read and read and have learned and continue therapy.....I have learned more about myself, shared more about myself, learned how to change and improve the negative aspects of PTSD that I was unable to do on my own and at that time with a very highlt trained professional. She commente4d once that I have done more work and healing here in that year than I have with her over a number of years. This illness takes time, understanding, patience and above all a willingness to learn all that you can about yourself and return you may help people along the way. There is a lot of positive people and the information that can be learned here is invaluable..IMO. You are the only one that can change the situation and you have to be the one to WANT to do that. I am living proof as are many others that this is a wonderful place to come when we need support.......I hope you try to give it a chance it will only help you and in the long run you will be the one to benefit as well as the people in your life, interpersonal relationships etc. Take care.
    Recovery4Me likes this.
  22. Trent

    Trent Member

    Knee bent, head down, apologies to all who take offense to my remarks.

    I’m really having a hard time getting my brain around all of this. Some of the comments make sense and others make the writers sound arrogant. Some of the remarks are just confusing to me.

    Let me give you some examples of what concerns me … and this is just an indication, not all of them, and not picking on specific people, just the type remarks that get under my skin. (From the replies, I take it that no one will be offended, but on the other hand, the word choice and phrasing make me think that some people are already offended).

    Here are some things.

    “You started to make an admission:” -- (What does this mean, started to make an admission that what I was saying seemed cynical, sarcastic, antagonistic … I’m telling you that it DOES seem that way – so why would I want to continue to load up the forum with this stuff that no one wants to hear and only causes trouble. I’ve caused enough trouble small globe.)

    “I was having a huge pity party for myself too.” (Hmmmm… so now I’m having a pity party – think about how what you said sounds to me).

    “You have to be the one to WANT to do that” (Can someone tell me what I’m saying that reads like I’m looking for someone else to make these change?)

    “This is why people take things personal (ly).... they cannot see past themselves, they cannot accept it is them that is broken. They would rather find a statement and attack, because that gives them a sense off accomplishment.” (Does this mean that my taking exception to the “sympathy remarks” indicates that I can only see my own problem, that I’m “attacking” because it gives me a “sense of accomplishment? – Some accomplishment - "attacking" some anonymous person who is trying to help me. Are you sure your word choice is correct here? Is this really what you believe about me?

    I have to say that you Experts are either entirely misreading my comments or I’m totally miscommunicating them. And, if this is an indication of how the remarks of new people are perceived, it will be a long road for me to find acceptance.

    That phrase about being unable to accept that it is me that is broken… whew, you are way off base with that thinking. Of course it’s me who is broken. Broken way back there when the bullets were flying and people were dying. Broken on the inside and broken on the outside. Patched up. Stood up. Saluted. Moved on….and now earning another Whack as I’m perceived to be blaming someone else. *shakes his head and says, “I really don’t get it.”

    I don’t really expect anyone to answer these questions. I just needed to ask them.

    I’ll come back and read these replies a forth time and see if the meaning is any clearer.

    Now, I’ll back out of the room and close the door quietly, saying mia culpa, mia culpa.
  23. Auburngirl

    Auburngirl Well-Known Member

    Trent, I can understand why this is hard. PTSD is hard and feeling like you are being judged makes it harder. But people on this forum don't know you and are basing their responses on what you write, no one knows you or your context, or your intentions or facial expressions when you were writing. It's hard not to take things personally, but maybe more useful to see comments here as responses to your posts, rather than to you.

    Also, use the forum if and in ways that works for you. It is your choice about how much you say and don't say. It can be a good place to get information, because people are going through similar things. This doesn't have to be your life line. Different things work for different people and there are different paths to recovery. I find it's good to have support in a few different places, that way no one gets too worn out and you get different perspectives.

    Just as you are responding to posts in a certain way, viewed from a certain place, others are responding to you. It's not a perfect mirror. Take a step back, remember that many people also welcomed you and seek out what will help you.

    Best of luck.
  24. pandora

    pandora I'm a VIP

    Trent...I didn't mean to offend you. Sorry that i did.
  25. Trent

    Trent Member

    I thought I'd take a break from the forum, but in essence, I probably won't be back.

    This obsession that some of us are looking for sympathy has really taken the wind out of my sails. I'm not back at square one. I'm way back beyond that and furious about this accusation --- and digging in my heels the way us ptsd ppl do, over reacting, taking the "I'll show you I can do it" route, pretty much deciding that I'd really rather go it alone.

    Thank you to everyone here who cares, but this remark of Anthony's just puts me back in my corner.

    I'm putting all the secrets back in the box and locking the lid. It was a mistake to think I could bring them to light, that things would be better if someone else knew the stories.

    I told a number of stories that affect me on another forum. At first it felt very positive, like I was making huge progress, but now I can clearly see that I have only been rubbing old wounds and making them raw. I must have been looking for pity, for sympathy.

    I tried the business of acting happy, trying to laugh again, trying to actually fit the "stage face" that I've worn for so long. Seems like I should just go back to acting and leave the real me out of it. Just today, I thought I was acting happy-go-lucky, and someone close to me asked if I was ok. ... that I was acting as though I was very mad about something. Shows how good an actor I am.

    The anger is under the skin. People seldom see it. No one knows that the rage simmers there. I don't think I really need those "would be" friends, and the damage will just be greater when they depart as I know they will anyway, especially if they find out the real me.

    People really don't give a s* about the warriors anyway. Even when they ask, I can see the glaze come over their eyes as they start to get the answer -- and those are the mild answers, not the hard core stuff.

    There are way too many "I's" in this writing, but they seem to be necessary to describe what's going on.

    I was one of America's toughest soldiers, one of the toughest in the world. Trained to survive and thrive in the worst conditions, to reach the objective, succeed in the mission, and live to tell about it. This sojurn into the survivor/ptsd arena was maybe a distraction. I can do this on my own.

    I'll just pack these thoughts back into the box and resume the position I was in when I arrived here. It seems that I have escaped the desperate things I was doing when I arrived on the scene with survivor sites. The thought crosses my mind sometimes, but I don't feel that strong attraction that I did earlier. For this I thank everyone.

    As I type this, I'm having a serious deja vous and feeling like I've typed it before. The stories about my deja vous experiences and clairvoyancy haven't been told here (or elsewhere), but the upshot is that such a strong deja vous means that I must be very cautious; something bad is imminent. It can be avoided if I'm vigilant. The deja vous is a warning to change direction. This confirms my thoughts about jumping out of the forum.

    I don't know what's on the other side, but it seems that following this path of telling the stories and being accused of self pity just isn't the route I want to take. My fingers were getting pretty good at revealing stories I'd forgotten, but even a wounded psyche isn't going to put up with a whack over the head.

    Regretfully, leaving here means losing contact with some cyber friends. I don't know how this is going to impact me. I haven't had a friend for decades IRL. Your support is very much appreciated. These simple words don't seem enough to tell you how much your support has meant to me.

    I don't have the nerve to PM a farewell to individuals. Perhaps some of them will visit this post and see what has happened.

    If we were actually together, I'd hug you good bye, have very brief eye contact as the tears started to surface, and turn away for a long walk to the nearby airplane. The sun is setting behind the airplane and shines on your face as you look toward me.

    Just before stepping into the aircraft at the top of the stairs, I'd turn, almost look at you, and raise a hand, almost like a wave, before stumbling over the threshold because of the tears flooding my eyes as I go through the door.

    From the window, I'll watch you shrink into history as the plane picks up speed and takes off.

    That's how I'd say good bye IRL. I don't know how to say good bye here. I am sorry. *tears ... and later, much later, after I calm down, I'd write a letter to Anthony and thank him for freeing me from any desire to give attention to the ptsd.
  26. linasmom

    linasmom Well-Known Member


    I feel that your entire post is a big bag of B.S. Sorry. It is riddled with stark sarcasm. Not sure what your point is in posting this "poetic manifesto" other than to garner attention. If I've misinterpreted your intention, then I apologize. But, from what I can see - it seems that you are at the same time thankful for certain revelations while scorning the forum for doing so.

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