The Covenant and Guidelines of the Welcome to Oz Online Support Community
The places in which we are seen and heard are holy places. They remind us of our value of human beings. They give us the strength to go on. Eventually, they may even help us to transform our pain into wisdom.
- Rachel Naomi Remen
We're glad you're here at the Welcome to Oz community, which I (Randi Kreger) established in 1996 to enable family members with a borderline or narcissistic loved one to support each other. Our covenant and Community Guidelines are below. You can find this file and our Technical Guidelines in the FILES section of your particular list.
A covenant is a promise that we, the members of the Welcome To Oz (WTO) online support community, make to each other to keep our community and its "neighborhoods" (different groups) a safe place where all feel welcome.
We are a diverse community of people who share a common bond—we are struggling with the confusion, stress, and pain of having a family member with narcissistic or borderline personality disorder.
Our community is a place where questions and doubts can be raised in an environment of acceptance and trust. We are each given the opportunity and gift to learn more about ourselves, validate one another, and be reminded that we are not alone in our struggle.
Whether we are old-timers or new members, we are here to help each other laugh when we're feeling down and cry when something hits home. The support we will get here, sometimes even more than anything else, helps us change our life for the better.
We strive for compassionate, non-judgmental listening, courtesy, and respect for one another as we share our feelings, experiences, and ideas. To this end, we promise to one another to keep our sharing confidential, to understand we're all at different places in our lives, and to work through disagreements in good faith with the help of the staff.
Our email is (nameofyourgroup)-email@example.com. Contact us with any questions or concerns. Also, Welcome to Oz and Welcome to Oz2 are introductory lists with a variety of types of family relationships. If you are looking for something more specialized for your exact situation and type of family member, please see a list of all the groups at http://www.bpdcentral.com/support-groups/
MISSION: We are a support group, not a therapy group. We recommend you see a therapist; to find the best one, see the article on my website BPDCentral.com.
POSTS: All posts must reflect the tone of the mission. This means being caring, considerate of people's feelings, couching suggestions in helpful ways, and being aware at all times that everyone on the list is struggling and doing their best. It may be frustrating when you feel you want to blast someone because you are angry, frustrated, and want people to see things your way. You have every right to express your opinion, but it must be done in a kind, considerate way that respects people's feelings.
MODERATION: I am not able to provide this community with moderators to keep everyone on track, enforce guidelines, keep track of personalities, help people work through issues, and so on. It is too cost-prohibitive me to pay someone, and a variety of volunteers I have tried have made things considerably worse. However, as soon as you bring a problem to my attention, I will IMMEDIATELY step in to solve it. For these groups to run smoothly, I need each person to moderate themselves and set up to make sure their posts adhere to guidelines. If they do not, let me know ASAP.
HOW TO REACH OWNER RANDI KREGER: Send a message to (nameofgroup)-firstname.lastname@example.org. For example, WTOTransitionemail@example.com (please note the hyphen). The footer of every post contain this email address. The bottom of every email also tells you how to unsubscribe.
ABOUT ADVICE: Refrain from giving direct advice about major life decisions unless physical abuse is present or children are at risk. Do not tell anyone what to do unless you feel they of their children are in imminent danger. Form answers as opinions, not directives. People may not be ready to hear the "truth" you want to tell them. We are all on our own journey.
EXPERTS: If you present yourself as some kind of an expert--even if you also qualify by having a BPD/NPD family member--please check with Randi (see above address)
CRISIS: If you are being abused physically or emotionally, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233). If you are in a suicide crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255. Also see http://www.upworthy.com/what-happens-if-you-try-to-kill-yourself-and-survive-pg2-2c?c=click
RELIGION: It is fine to talk about your own religious beliefs and what they have to do with YOUR situation. It is NOT fine to talk about your religious beliefs and someone else's situation. We have a group called WTOChristian for those who seek those of similar faith.
ON TOPIC: Posts must have to do with coping with a family member with a personality disorder and associated concerns.
UNWANTED MESSAGES: Anyone who harasses someone off-list will be removed from WTO. If you are receiving unwanted personal messages let us know ASAP.
Welcome to Oz is free to you, but it is costly to run. Subscribing to my blog or buying my books are a win-win proposition for both of us! Please subscribe to my blog at Psychology Today: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/stop-walking-eggshells. You can purchase my four books and many other booklets and CDs at BPDCentral.com. Click on STORE.
While many people will suggest buying my book Stop Walking on Eggshells (SWOE), I actually recommend first getting my most recent book, The Essential Family Guide to BPD (EFG). EFG contains my Beyond Blame system, which is a set of five Power Tools that should be learned in order:
1. Take good care of yourself 2. Uncover what keeps you stuck 3.Communicate to be heard
4. Set limits with love 5. Reinforce the right behaviors.
To learn what you need to know about the Beyond Blame system, go to BPDCentral.com and click "Help for Families."
By subscribing to this discussion group and participating in these discussions, you agree to the following waiver of liability:
The owner of this group, moderators and volunteers are just that: volunteers. They shall not be liable for any damages of any kind or character whatsoever, including direct, indirect, incidental, consequential or intangible damages arising from or related in any way to the use or inability to use any of the Welcome to Oz groups, the BPDCentral.com website, or any of its sponsored groups, whether the claim is based on warranty, contract, tort (including negligence) or any other legal theory, express or implied. We strongly suggest you see a therapist.
People may give you suggestions or feedback, but you are under no obligation to take their suggestions. Their suggestions are just suggestions. Additionally, the owner of this group, moderators and volunteers are not clinicians and not responsible in any way for any direct indirect, incidental, consequential, or intangible damages experienced from your participation on these groups or message boards.
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