The idea of a venting board was actually tried about 10 years ago at the previous incarnation of OOTF which was called "The Nook". The new board was called "Ranting and Raving." It only lasted about a month though before it was shut down because the moderators found that the amount of anger being expressed on all the boards - not just the "Ranting and Raving" board - suddenly started to rise exponentially creating a ton of extra work for the moderators to try to contain it. We've got a section of our posting guidelines called "Dealing with anger" that has rules about what is OK to say/not say here for a similar reason - it's amazing how quickly a thread changes tone after a poster calls their significant other a jackass. If the mods don't catch it within a couple of hours there will be half a dozen other posters using even less attractive terms in the same thread and within a day or two there will be multiple threads peppered with name calling. It quickly becomes a slippery slope and a huge job for the mods who have to decide "if we allowed Joe to say this don't we have to allow Jane to say that?" It's far easier just to say "no name-calling."There's also been quite a bit of psychological research done over the past few years on the subject of whether venting anger is a good or a bad idea which is really interesting. Most of the research says that expressing anger feels good at the time and gives you a catharsis but - sigh - it also gently lowers the threshold for feeling angry next time - a bit like the way a beaten path slowly forms in the grass after you walk over it enough times - eventually that path becomes "the way.”Turns out our brains work the same way - developing new connections every time we choose to think, speak or act in a certain way in response to a situation. Each time I vent - even in a safe place like this - I reinforce the habit and increase the likelihood I will feel angry and potentially vent in a not-so-safe place later. The path forms a whole lot faster if lots of people walk on it with you - hence a board called "venting" becomes a catalyst for anger - that probably explains why the "Ranting and Raving" board became a problem so quickly.On the other hand, research also shows there is a ton of good in accurately describing a situation you are in and how that makes you feel and combining that with talk about healthy, constructive choices you can make in response to a situation that initially makes you feel angry. Talking or writing about what you feel and connecting it to healthy responses takes more mental effort - a bit like trying to start a new beaten path in the long grass at first. If you do it enough times eventually there's a new path where you want to go and like magic the grass starts to grow over the old venting path. Eventually it's just easier not to vent.So please do use our board to describe how you feel - that's what we're here for - and describe what has happened to you - that's reality. And also talk about healthy responses to unhealthy situations - that's the magic. We are all survivors here and we share a unique understanding. There is no distinction here between "major" and "mild" abuse. It all feels the same. If someone treats you nicely 99% of the time and treats you horribly 1% of the time you feel lousy 100% of the time. People here understand that. We want to validate you when you feel that and we also want you to find a way to "let it go" just like you said. Lots of the old timers here (myself included) were full of pain and confusion and hot with anger when we first arrived here. After a long time and a lot of validation from dear friends here and also after making some good decisions it just doesn't get me angry very much anymore - it just is what it is. I hope a few years from now you can say the same thing to a newbie here.There are some good books on the subject of "Emotional Intelligence" or you can Google "Is Venting good for you" if you're interested.
Although feelings of rage and grief run deep, please remember that name calling is not allowed regardless of how heinous the crime. Name calling can actually mask and generalize the true depths of a perpetrator's actions. For example, calling a rapist or child molester a demon dilutes the perpetrator's accountability; their actual actions of brutalizing another human being and the accurate label are much more damning than a word that could be used for any "bad" person. We can facilitate our own healing by accurately considering and stating what a person is - womanizer, misogynist, molester, abuser, attacker, criminal, etc. - than by unconsciously disassociating their actions through use of a general, albeit derogatory term.Finally, I understand how freeing and relieving it can be to finally let go of our innermost pain and horrors. However, please be mindful that, as supportive as the members are anyone on the Internet can read what is posted here. Although we all have a certain amount of anonymity, many millions of people have the potential ability to read this now and for years to come. If you have any concerns or questions, please do not hesitate to contact a member of our mod/admin team.