Last night, I read a thread that has since been deleted. I came to this site for support and information regarding caregiving. Before posting, I read many discussions. I gained an impression that this was a site that was supportive.

Built into social media there are hidden dangers. The written word is flat. The reader can take the written word in different ways. Intimacy is established quickly. Strangers share details that are personal and yet have a thread of shared experience. Caregiving is a stressful undertaking. It makes us vunerable. Vunerable people are easily hurt and angered.

With my first post, I received some really good information. I also had to sort through some comments that felt somewhat harsh. Many of those posts had helpful hints. I had to sort through the many words to find the gems. They were there. I benefitted from the advice and remain grateful for the tips that I have been given.

Be kind to one another. Caregiving is tough enough without us turning on one another. We are all anonymous here. Our writing and details of our experience gives us an identity that is otherwise not evident. Everyone has good days and bad days. Let's be supportive of one another regarding both types of days. We all have something to offer and gain from one another.

I am grateful to each person with whom I have interacted. I have been on other support sites where similar things have happened. In one instance, I left the group because the benefits did not outweigh the difficulties. My two cents worth as a newbie to the site.

I hope that everyone comes out of this situation whole. It may take some longer than others and that should be okay.

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Amen.  We should all choose our words as carefully as possible and be kind to all who post, as well as those who respond.  If not for sites like this, many may have nowhere else to turn to talk about these things and vent.  Some are afraid to post or even changed their screen names in an effort, presumably, to avoid harsh responses.  No one should be made to feel like that.  Thank you for posting this.
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Reply to lilhelp
anonymous1008861 Jan 28, 2020
Hi lilhelp, Thank you for your support about my opening this discussion. We do need to choose our words as carefully as possible and be kind to all who post and those who respond. That we lost some experienced people makes me feel badly for them and for the people who have lost a valuable resource. Cheers!
I’m sorry if I had offended anybody the other night. I certainly didn’t mean it. I have to remember that when an OP posts something they are usually at a low point and possibly in crisis. I need to remember to have empathy and compassion. I have only been here a few months but Needhelpwithmom, Barbbrooklyn, lealonnie, worriedincali and others have shown me empathy and compassion when I have been at a low point with my mother. You all have helped me. I am so grateful for this site. I am so glad that Barbbrooklyn has come back. She sent me links to borderline personality disorders regarding my mother when I was trying to figure out why she was acting the way she was her whole life. I have been grateful for the links she shared with me. Barbbrooklyn, you truly are a gem. You have a heart of gold. Thank you for sticking around.
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Reply to elaine1962

I can see your point.

I, myself rarely address the emotional issues someone is going through....because, I feel that a virtual *hug* does very little to move the discussion forward.

I suppose that lack of commiserating may be viewed as missing the point. But, also..keeping to the basic facts and the obvious issues, seems more like offering real information, real information is useful to help solve problems.

if I have offended anyone with this fact based approach, it was not intentional.
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Reply to Katiekate
anonymous1008861 Jan 28, 2020
Thank you KatieKate. Your point is oh so valid! Fact based approach is often very helpful. The individual often needs the facts, in bite-sized, actionable steps to get them moving forward.

Sometimes that virtural hug, takes the poster from panic mode to being ready to move into using a real information. Please keep the real information coming. There are so many who need real problem solving!

Thanks for your response. Have a great day.
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I find it very sad that a valuable poster, who offered her professional advice is being maligned after she has left the site. She offered all of us her expertise, that would cost upwards of 250.00 an hour to buy, at no charge and because she didn't sugar coat her answers the attack escalated until she left. I personally saw her name dragged into ugly situations that she had not even posted on.

I hope that we can all be kinder to everyone in the future. Barring that perhaps we can just not say anything if what we have to say is not kind.

Judging others using scripture is unfair, because it is cherry picked to make them wrong, that is not the spirit that scripture should be used for, we should use it to lift one another up. This person has had personal struggles that would break any of us and she grew stronger and hardened her heart because of the unkind treatment she received when she was drowning, this wasn't a safe place for her, shame on us all for every single person that left because they were attacked for their differences.
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Reply to Isthisrealyreal
Geaton777 Jan 29, 2020
Isthisrealyreal, the scriptures referencing what comes out of our mouths is for everyone on this forum, not just some, and me included. In the scriptures where they occur it was also referring to everyone, not just some. Everyone benefits from receiving kind words and everyone should only speak kind words.
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I totally agree!!
I have also had replies to my posts that were extremely harsh.
We come here because we're hurting and in need of some uplifting advice.
Let's be mindful of each other's feelings. None of us is perfect, but we're all in the same boat!
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Reply to xrayjodib

Those involved in that thread have received emails. The Administrator has handled the situation privately.

I was not on last night so didn't see it. I think at this point we should just let it go.
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Reply to JoAnn29
anonymous1008861 Jan 28, 2020
I was going to let this comment go. I did not write this thread to prolong the situation. I wrote to give voice to the people who are still here and the affect that this type of situation has on a community. People become shy of posting because of potential or actual controversy. For example, I will be away for a while after this. Addressing this was done with good intention.

The role of an Administrator is to "handle the situation privately." As you say, "At this point we should just let it go."
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Really sad and sick is a poster who is here playing people. Giving alot of long winded replies when it seems to truthfully be stalking!
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Reply to Riverdale

It is sad to be sure when bickering occurs. I came here through the advice of a social worker that I found while researching support for caregivers. It’s very helpful to speak to others in similar situations.

Later I went to a caregiver group that was held at an assisted living facility. I found out about it because I had toured the facility for my mom and the lovely receptionist was friends with the social worker who ran the group. She asked if she could give my phone number to the social worker. I said yes.

The social worker called me personally and even though mom didn’t live at the assisted living facility she invited me to attend the group. It’s held once a month for the families of the people living at the facility. I was happy to attend it.

I met some nice people at the meetings. The social worker who leads the group has a mom at the assisted living facility so she relates to caregivers very well.

I think going to an in person support group is more personal but that isn’t possible for everyone. One drawback is only meeting once a month instead of weekly. Some of us have met for coffee outside of the group which is nice.

The social worker and I meet independently too. Our personalities clicked. I feel it’s natural to be drawn to certain people and feel a closer connection because of similar views on experiences.

Although, in general I am accepting of differences. I’m open minded to a variety of opinions on issues and enjoy differences because I have a chance to see another point of view.

In person meetings are similar to this forum focusing on different needs. For instance, a woman in our group is having trouble adjusting to her husband not being able to remain in the assisted living facility that she loves.

Her husband became too ill and she had to place him in a skilled nursing facility. Another woman was dealing with a diagnosis of ALZ with her husband and he never wanted her to leave his side. She was going stir crazy. One woman was saying she had a difficult time with her mom’s constant insults.

The leader teaches coping skills and she also informs the group about community events such as awareness walks to raise money for ALZ and so forth.

Some people are religious. Some aren’t but everyone has been respectful. Live and let live. The leader is not religious. She doesn’t stop religious discussions though. No one tries to convert anyone which is how I feel it should be. If someone wants more information they can ask.

Caregivers are under a lot of pressure and shouldn’t be pushed. Offering prayers is kind and even the non religious people are not offended in our group and say thanks.

I generally feel people aren’t as brazen in real life. I suppose the ‘cyber bullying’ happens sometimes because of the anonymity on a forum.

I love the convenience of an online group. Some people may like the anonymity.

The bottom line is whether it’s an in person or online group everyone should feel welcome and safe to speak. It’s important to remember that new people are entering all the time and they deserve a warm welcome and to feel harmony within the group.

If a misunderstanding occurs we can do our best to explain, apologize if necessary and respect someone’s space if they desire a break.

Let me take the opportunity to say thank you to all who have helped me and also say I am sorry for any misunderstandings on my part or saying something that hurt anyone due to my own frustration.

No one is perfect. If something wasn’t intentional forgive, let it go and move on. I think if we are stressed and what caregiver or former caregiver that is healing doesn’t feel stress, then we may be a bit more sensitive than usual.
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Reply to NeedHelpWithMom

I won't harp on this but will just say this once that it seemed to make some go anonymous which I find sad. People should be able to stand behind their comments.
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Reply to Riverdale
lealonnie1 Jan 28, 2020
When a person chooses 'delete account' on their profile page, their user name automatically goes to "Anonymous" and a number afterward.
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There is a wonderful book, the 5 Languages of Love. It discusses how we each give and receive love differently.

I sure an equivalent book could be written on the sharing of advice. Geaton777 has given us quite a few references to Scripture. I respect that, but I am not religious. It does not mean I cannot find truth or comfort in her quotes.

I am a problem solver at heart. I push past the emotions and get right to what I see as the main issue that needs to be solved. I may see abrupt or uncaring, but that is far from true. If I did not care, I would not post.

If I comment that some one appears to be enmeshed with their parent to the point it is harming their other relationships, it is because I was there. I have had years of therapy to get past it.

When I say hang up the phone, it is because I was taught that I was not allowed to turn away from an elder, no matter the harm they were doing to me. To the point I became very ill from the stress. I could sugar coat it, but it does not have the impact of saying you can hang up, you can walk away, you do not have to answer the phone.

Was it Dear Abby or Ann Landers that said the only person you can change is yourself? How many first posts ask, "How can I change x,y,z, in my sibling, parent, spouse or child?"
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Reply to Tothill

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