Out of the FOG - Member Guidelines

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Out of the FOG - Member Guidelines
« on: October 13, 2007, 11:50:22 PM »
Welcome to Out of the FOG

Welcome to Out of the FOG - we are a community that seeks freedom, compassion and understanding for people who have a family member or loved one who suffers from a personality disorder. Our mission is to provide information and support, without judgment, to anyone who has a family member or loved-one who suffers from a personality disorder.

Member Guidelines
Since we are an anonymous community of people on the internet, we have developed a set of guidelines which help keep us safe as we strive to move forward together in a healthy way. Please be respectful of our community and contact one of our moderators if you have any questions.

Who We Are:

Out of the FOG is a group of peers dedicated to offering support and the opportunity for personal growth for people who have been affected by someone who suffers from a personality disorder.

The spirit of our community is one of compassion and growth.  You have a unique opportunity while you are here to work on your own healing and recovery, and also to offer encouragement and understanding to others who are all in different stages of the learning or healing process.

Who We Are Not:

We are neither medical, legal, nor mental health professionals.  Out of the FOG is not intended as a substitute or replacement for therapy, counseling, or professional mental health services.  See our Disclaimer.html for more info.

This community is not a place to give or receive medical advice, or to share personal details about medical conditions. Posts describing ongoing, detailed discussions of medical conditions will be deleted.

This community is also not a place to give or receive legal advice, and it is an unsafe place to post detailed discussions about legal proceedings, or of any personal events that may create legal liability. (e.g. if a member was engaged in violence, violated a court order or law regarding child custody, or took possession of a home or property in a divorce or separation). Posts describing events or conditions that may create a significant risk of legal liability to a member will be deleted.

This community is also not a place to resolve or describe ongoing domestic violence, child abuse, or neglect. Posts that describe an ongoing threat of domestic violence, child abuse, or neglect will be deleted. These are acute matters that require IRL resources. Please see our Emergency Resources Page for resources.

Topics of Discussion:

All posts must relate specifically to your relationship with a personality disordered individual. Discussions regarding the potential disorders or the bad behavior of celebrities, politicians, and parties to high-profile news events are generally off-topic.

The forum is not to be used as a personal blog, journal, social networking site or for giving and receiving off-topic support or advice. The Cafe is available to enjoy occasional off-topic posts, humor, artistry and discussion. However, excessive off-topic posts will be removed and the member asked to move to a more appropriate forum.

Please respect our readers by not posting the same thing in multiple threads.  Multiple copies or slightly modified copies of the same post are not permitted.

You may post in any of the forums listed, but please post in the forum which best fits the topic you are discussing.  Begin by posting an introduction in our Introductions Board.  Don't worry if you are new to posting online. Most of us were nervous when we made our first post. Take your time and read a few introductions from others and you will soon see that there are lots of others like you in a similar situation.

Please limit yourself to one thread per member on our "Introductions" forum. You can post an update in your original intro thread or start new subjects in another appropriate forum. Please don't post copies of your introductory post in multiple forums.

There are a number of terms and abbreviations that are commonly used here and nowhere else.  Check out our Abbreviations link and Glossary for an explanation of some of the more commonly used terms.

Our individual thoughts and ideas are important to each of us.  However, please try not to "hijack" the threads of others by changing the subject.  Posts should be targeted to the subject matter introduced by the originator of the thread.  You are welcome to introduce new ideas or topics by starting a separate thread. Conversations within a thread will often evolve and develop, and this is a healthy process that can help members come to a deeper understanding of the topic at hand.   However, when someone responds to a serious thread with an unrelated post which is mainly about themselves, an unrelated topic, or with a response that essentially derails the conversation, it is considered hijacking.  Do not hijack others' threads.  If you feel another poster has hijacked your thread, tell us, using the "Report to Moderator" function located at the bottom of the post you wish to report.

Many of our members are survivors of abuse, and some find it extremely difficult to read detailed accounts of the emotional and physical abuse of others. Therefore, any gratuitous or excessively graphic descriptions of acts of violence or abuse which go beyond what is necessary to describe the situation you are in will be removed.

Who owns your content: You own your own words and you have the right to license the content of your posts however you see fit.  However, by submitting posts to Out of the FOG for inclusion on this message board, you agree to grant Out of the FOG a world-wide, royalty-free, non-exclusive license to display the content you have posted on this message board.

Once posted, messages can't be removed by the poster.  This helps to ensure the continuity of threads.  Therefore please consider your words carefully before you post.

Long threads are difficult for readers to follow and will be locked at 5 pages.

Opinions expressed by individual contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of Out of the FOG.

Posting links:

It's OK to share about resources or websites that you enjoy, are involved in or that have helped you. However, it's not OK to "link-bomb" the site with irrelevant or excessive information. Here are some rules for posting links:

- All links must be related to coping, recovery and personal growth from a relationship with an individual who suffers from a personality disorder.
- All links posted must be accompanied with a paragraph summarizing the main content of the link.
- All links posted must be accompanied with a paragraph describing why it is important to the poster.

You may include a link to your own blog or other relevant site in which you are personally involved in your signature line only. This link and its contents must not reveal your own identity or the identity of other individuals whom may have written about on the board and must not solicit any sale, business or personal interaction with board members which is previously prohibited here.

Anyone quoting references or specific information about personality disorders such as clinical studies, published articles etc. must reference the original source of the information and provide a link to the information whenever possible.  This is both as a legally required courtesy to the original authors of the content and so that the information posted can be evaluated in its original context by our readers.

Spam posts and direct solicitation of business, personal contact and direct marketing of products, services, websites, blogs & books or events for organizations, charities, individuals and groups is not permitted, subject to immediate removal and will result in a loss of the members posting privileges.

Out of the FOG can't guarantee the quality or security of links posted by members at our site. Before clicking on any links posted by members, please use caution to protect yourself from phishing, scamming and viruses.

Posting Style Guide

Most of us come here seeking validation from others who have been in similar situations. It can be a tremendous feeling to read an encouragement from another member who has read your post. If you want to have your post read and responded to by others here are a few helpful tips:

Keep your posts short. We have no post size limit and it often feels cathartic to write down your life story. However, if your post fills more than an entire computer screen, some readers may be tempted to "speed read" or skip to the end.


Use paragraphs to break up text and break up text with a double return to create extra space between paragraphs. Don't post a huge block of text 20-50 lines long with no line breaks. Many  people find that very difficult to read and will ignore your post.

As appropriate, moderators may edit the text formatting of posts (e.g. "block of text" or ALL CAPS) to make them more readable for members.

Choose your words wisely. This is a unique place where people who live in places of extreme isolation connect, simply by the sharing of words. Decisions are made and lives can be affected when truth is discovered or revealed for the first time. You want people to be thinking about the meaning of your words, not the formatting. So write in sentences.  Use punctuation. Use a spell checker. Use emoticons and special fonts sparingly.

Dealing with Anger:

Anger and frustration at your own situation is to be expected at times, especially in the early stages of recovery.  However, anger and frustration expressed towards other members can be counter-productive.  Disagreements will happen from time to time.  Speak to others as you would wish to be spoken to, and offer your comments in a respectful, constructive manner.  All members must respect and embrace the opinions of others and recognize diversity as part of the learning process. 

Do not intentionally goad or insult other members, especially those who are new to the board. Flaming other members or inflaming an already volatile thread is not allowed. Mocking or name-calling of another member has no place here, and should not be used when speaking of a person with a personality disorder. Suggesting another member has a mental or personality disorder is expressly forbidden.

You are encouraged to describe situations and behaviors you may have dealt with.  Be as honest and forthright as you can, and discuss openly how you feel about your situation.  Don't exaggerate and don't sugar-coat it but remember that people who suffer from personality disorders are people too, many of whom struggle with the disorder, some of whom are working hard towards their own recovery and some who are members in good standing here at Out of the FOG.  Therefore, you are asked refrain from profane and/or derogatory name-calling of others including people who suffer from personality disorders, which does little in the way of resolving problems and tends to alienate or dehumanize groups of people, particularly when used in a general context.

You are encouraged to use your own good sense along with local law enforcement and legal jurisdictions to protect yourself from abusive situations where applicable and discuss your situation with others.  However, do not use Out of the FOG as a platform for discussing or advocating any type of revenge, or ways to harass, hurt, sabotage or get even with people who suffer from personality disorders or whom you feel may have hurt you. 

Often, after we have worked through some of our own pain and grief, we come to realize the role that we ourselves have played in the relationship and, although we may still be very angry with the PD, we can also care a great deal for the person.  If we didn't, we wouldn't be here.

Non-PDís often go through stages of being angry and blaming the person with a PD in their life.  However, these are stages.  When people post, you are seeing a "snapshot" of what is happening with their lives and emotions.

Giving Advice:

This is a confidential peer support group created by men and women who have experienced personal relationships with a personality disordered relative, friend or partner.  We are not mental health professionals, and don't offer this board as a substitute for professional assistance.  Any advice you receive here should be taken in that context.

Feel free to share how you cope or have coped with various situations - that's the purpose of this forum!  But please avoid making blanket statements like "You *should* do this and that" especially when you don't know the person well.  Another person's situation may be very different from yours.  Often, people need to come to their own conclusions in their own time frame.  Also, please avoid making blanket or derogatory generalizations about mental illness, personality disorders, personality disordered individuals or "Nons" that are unsupported by clinical literature.

Having a personality disordered relative, friend or partner can be difficult, and sometimes other posters may say or do things that you donít approve of.  We are all coming from different stages, situations, and backgrounds.  Please be considerate and non-judgmental about how others live their lives.  If you respond harshly or judgmentally, you will make it harder for others to post for fear of being judged.

You are welcome to ask questions about what you think is going on in the mind of a particular person you are close to. However, broad generalizations about entire groups of people who suffer from personality disorders, such as "they can't help it" or "they have no feelings" are misleading to others. Members who repeatedly post such generalizations are subject to moderation and will be asked to refrain.

We are sometimes moved to provide therapeutic or medical advice to members who are struggling and may benefit from counselling, therapy, or medication. Especially in such cases, great caution and humility is required. In broaching such a personal and sensitive topic, members may not present as a medical or mental health expert ("I've worked in the psychiatric industry, so..."), may not make their recommendation with certitude ("from what you've told us, you would definitely benefit from some meds"), and may not propose a diagnosis ("I think you are suffering from..."). When necessary at all, therapeutic or medical suggestions should be connected to your own experience. We should always proceed with great respect for what we don't know about any member's experience, background, or condition. Recommendations made without appropriate caution and humility will be removed.

Threats to Harm Self or Others:

It's OK to describe and discuss suicidal threats or threats of violence which have been made towards you by the personality disordered person in your life. However, do not embellish or include graphic descriptions of real or imaginary violence in these descriptions. Gratuitous violent content will be removed. Simply state what happened or what was said and move on to your current response.

Many of our members are themselves depressed at one time or another.  However, we are not professionals and this community is not equipped to assist anyone who is experiencing an ongoing suicidal or threatening depression.  Suicidal and threatening statements are not allowed and will be removed from the boards immediately, along with any responses from other members, and the poster encouraged to seek professional assistance in his or her "real life" community.  If you are experiencing suicidal or violent thoughts, please check for relevant telephone numbers and links in our Emergency Page.

One exception to this rule is describing suicidal or self-harm thoughts which you may have experienced in the past, but are no longer currently dealing with.

What's OK to post:
Descriptions of self harm or suicidal intent from a personality disordered person in your life (e.g. "he said: 'I'm going to kill myself'")
Non-gratuitous descriptions of threats or acts of violence which have occurred in the past. (e.g. "she smashed the mirror and said 'You will be sorry'")
Descriptions of your own self harm or suicidal intent from the past, which you are no longer dealing with (e.g. "At the time, I just wanted to end it all")

What's Not OK to post, will be removed and the member encouraged to seek professional help:
Describing an intent or fantasy of self-harm or suicide which may occur in the near present (today through past 3 months) or future (e.g. "I just want to end it all")
Posts (including humor) describing intent or fantasy of violence towards others.

Any member who receives a personal message containing an intent, threat or fantasy of harm towards self or others should stop the conversation and report the PM using the "Report To Admin" link provided at the bottom of each message.


We are a diverse community, comprising many races, religions, value systems, and beliefs.  Sometimes people of certain religions or of a particular political persuasion assume that everyone shares their values & beliefs or want to impose these beliefs on everyone.  Feel free to speak about what's important to you and how your values and beliefs affect your situation but please don't assume that everyone else is the same.  Degrading comments about groups of people are subject to removal.

We have created a number of different forums to make Out of the FOG a safe and encouraging place for a diverse group of people. Members who are committed to a relationship sometimes feel uncomfortable with comments which advocate immediate separation or "no contact". Members who have exited an abusive relationship often feel uncomfortable with statements which advocate unconditional commitment. All members have a responsibility to be sensitive to the needs of other members. Comments which are submitted in an inappropriate forum or insensitive way are subject to removal and repeat offenders will be asked to leave.

Multiple Members from the Same Relationship:

We are here to support our members, who are dealing with and learning to cope with others in their lives who suffer from a personality disorder.  We are not here to mediate ongoing family conflicts or to serve as a platform for "he said /she said" type discussions. Identifying yourself as a family member, spouse, partner or acquaintance of an existing member and offering a contradictory account is not permitted. This is counter-productive to the purpose of this anonymous community and distracts other members from the work they have come to do here on themselves, by undermining the promise of a safe, anonymous forum in which to share their struggles. 

Therefore, if it is determined by the administration that two (or more) members are in a relationship and posting contradictory information or accounts, only one of those members will be allowed to maintain membership at Out of the FOG.   Preference will be given to the member who joined the community first.

Members who suffer from Personality Disorders:

There are some people who have been diagnosed with a personality disorder, who themselves have loved ones or family members who also have a personality disorder.  If you suffer from, or suspect you suffer from a personality disorder, you are welcome to join if the discussion still revolves around dealing with the loved ones in your life with a PD and not on your own recovery from a PD.  There are other excellent sites for support in your own recovery (See our Links for more info). 

Also, please be aware that people at a site like this need a safe place to discuss openly how a person with a PD may have hurt them.  If you suffer from a PD and choose to participate on this board please do not take such comments personally or attempt to speak on behalf of another person, who you do not know, who suffers from the same disorder as you.
Mental health professionals, Legal Professionals, Authors & Journalists:

Mental health and legal professionals are welcome to join this forum.  However, for ethical and legal considerations, mental health and legal professionals must not share any information or stories derived from confidential client or therapy sessions on Out of the FOG. You may also not identify yourself as working in these professions and must refrain from offering any direct diagnostic or prescriptive advice to other members. This includes staff members such as nurses, paralegals, administrators and assistants, who may appear to some of our members as though they speak with special knowledge. Therefore, do not use statements such as "I have a degree in psychology", "I am a social worker", "I am a psych nurse", "I am a lawyer's receptionist" or "I am a therapist's spouse" etc.

We sometimes receive requests from researchers, authors and journalists to conduct surveys or interviews among our members. While we welcome and support the broad global effort to better understand and communicate the latest findings about personality disorders, we don't have the resources at here Out of the FOG to investigate the credentials of everyone who approaches us, verify the confidentiality assurances for our members or to endorse the conclusions of every publisher. Therefore, please don't use Out of the FOG as a place to solicit academic survey participants or article interviewees. There are other sites online which offer these kind of services for researchers and journalists.

Publishers are welcome to contact us to request the use of short excerpts from the information pages at our site & e-book (not member discussions) under the normal doctrine of Fair Use in US Copyright Law.


Confidentiality is important to the safety of everybody on our board.  It is strongly recommended that members not directly or indirectly disclose their own identity.  Itís not uncommon for members to discover that the person with a personality disorder in their life has been reading at this site. 

You are also discouraged from registering with a user name, email address or avatar that could be recognized.  Sites such as Yahoo and Google offer free anonymous email hosting.   You are strongly encouraged not to register using any email address that other people may have access to as the board will occasionally send information about your account to that address.

Please donít post any information that directly or indirectly discloses the identity of family members, friends or relationship partners.  This includes (but is not limited to) direct information such as real names, photographs, addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, etc., as well as, indirect information such as pet names, local venues, etc.

If you should accidentally post information which compromises the confidentiality of yourself or someone close to you, you may contact a moderator or administrator designating the specific confidential information to be removed.  One administrative edit, of up to a maximum of 3 posts, will be given to each member.  After the first request, subsequent requests to edit posts by the same member will be denied.

Do not copy the contents of any personal or legal communications, documents, written correspondence, email, social media posts, personal messages, texts and recorded conversations verbatim into posts.

Members having off-board information about another member shall not disclose it. 

Do not solicit personal contact information from other members on the boards or in PM, as this is considered a violation of privacy.  If someone volunteers their information in a personal context, it is their right to do so, but you are under no obligation to reciprocate.   Please respect the privacy of others as you wish your own privacy to be respected.   If someone solicits personal contact information from you and the solicitation makes you uncomfortable in any way, you are encouraged to report the incident to any Moderator or Administrator.

Any information posted which reveals identifying information about another individual will be modified or removed by the moderators.

Private Messages

Private Messages can only be viewed by the poster and recipient. The same rules which apply to forum posts at Out of the FOG also apply to Personal Messages. However, Private Messages are not moderated. If you should receive an inappropriate private message please use the "Report to Admin" link at the bottom of each private message. Take particular care to protect yourself when corresponding with strangers using this feature. You are not obliged to answer any Private Message you receive or to provide any information to any individual, no matter how friendly or trustworthy they may appear. Avoid giving out any personal or confidential information to anyone you do not know well.

Out of the FOG is a forum for public discussion about personality disorders. It is not permitted to post an invite on any of our forums to begin or continue a conversation by Private Message.

Moderation of the Boards:

This is a moderated forum.  The moderators are also people who have dealt with or are dealing with a personality disordered person in their own lives.  The moderating team can move, delete, split and combine threads.  They also have the discretion to edit or delete member posts when such posts are determined to be in conflict with these guidelines.

Advertisements, solicitations, offensive, sexually explicit, adult-oriented, violent or gratuitous, unrelated attention-seeking material will be removed and the member notified or given a warning.

Moderators can suspend accounts if a poster is not respecting others or contributing constructively in the spirit of the community.  A warning will be given to any regular member before an account is suspended.  Drive-by spammers who sign up and immediately post inappropriate content will have their post removed and their account removed without a warning.

If you have a question or concern about a moderating decision or how the board is run you can send a Personal Message to one of the Moderating & Admin Team or ask about it on our Questions Forum.  Do not use the original thread or any other forum to question or debate moderating decisions as this is a further distraction from the original thread topic. 

Note that Personal Messages and Requests sent to Moderators, Admins and the Site Owner regarding the operation of Out of the FOG are shared with the other team members.  After an initial acknowledgment, a consensus will be reached among the leadership team prior to a response being made or action being taken.

For more information about the role of Moderators & Admins and the process for selecting Moderators & Admins please refer to the Out of the FOG Leadership Guidelines

Warning System

Maintaining a welcoming, supportive and undistracted environment for our members to learn about personality disorders is a priority at Out of the FOG. In order to achieve this, posts which fall outside of the posting guidelines will be edited or removed by a moderator and the poster will receive a notification by personal message.

Out of the FOG uses an automated warning system to notify members of any actions taken on their posts. If your post is edited or deleted by a moderator or admin, you will receive a Personal Message from the system explaining the action taken.

If you receive a notification that your post was removed or edited, it is not intended as a judgment on your character, it is intended as an explanation of why the post was moderated and how you can post in future within the guidelines.

Warnings are usually given in discrete levels

0% ("harmless" newbie mistakes & notifications (e.g. new member posting on wrong board, using own real name, etc.)
25% 1st warning of a Guidelines violation
50%  2nd warning - member sees a "Watched" flag under their profile
100% 3rd warning - member sees a "Muted" flag under their profile and receives a 6 day suspension

Warning levels and the "Watched" and "Muted" flags are not visible to all members, only the receiving member and the moderating/admin team.
All warning levels automatically reduce by 5% each day.
A warn level of 75% or higher will suspend a member's ability to post.

Members who continue to post outside the guidelines after multiple warnings will permanently be denied access.

Creating and Deleting Accounts

When you open an account at Out of the FOG you will be asked to create an account name and provide a valid email address.  An email will be sent to you which will ask you to confirm your registration.  After you have completed this step you will be able to post to topics. 

Posting from multiple accounts is not permitted. If our system flags a member as potentially accessing the site from two or more separate accounts, the earliest registered of the accounts will be kept active and the other(s) will be blocked.

Account names containing solicitations, or containing offensive or adult-oriented references are not permitted.

Posters from certain domains who have a track record of generating non-permissible content are prevented from creating accounts.  If you have trouble creating an account try using an email address from a more reputable provider.

Deleting an account can't be reversed shouldn't be done unless the member is sure they will not want access to the account again.  Note that deleting an account will not delete your posts.  Anyone wishing to rejoin after deleting their account will need to sign up with a new account.

In order to keep our membership roster meaningful, we may periodically remove accounts which have never submitted a post and have been inactive for an extended period of time.  Members who have submitted at least one (not spam) post to the boards will not have their accounts pruned because of inactivity.  Members who have had their account pruned because of inactivity have the option to create a new account with the same user name if they wish.

Member Groups

There are a number of member groups within our community.

Registered Member, 0 Posts
New Member, 1 Post, must pass verification to send PM
Jr. Member, 27    Posts, May post links and customize profile
Full Member, 100 Posts, Participate in leadership polls
Sr. Member, 500 Posts
Hero Member, 1000   Posts
« Last Edit: July 07, 2022, 02:40:59 PM by Starboard Song »


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Re: Out of the FOG - Member Guidelines
« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2017, 02:30:22 PM »
Registration Agreement

Below is a copy of the Registration Agreement all members approve and agree to upon joining the forum.

You agree, through your use of this forum, that you will not post any material which is false, defamatory, inaccurate, abusive, vulgar, hateful, harassing, obscene, profane, sexually oriented, threatening, invasive of a person's privacy, adult material, or otherwise in violation of any International or United States Federal law. You also agree not to post any copyrighted material unless you own the copyright or you have written consent from the owner of the copyrighted material. Spam, flooding, advertisements, chain letters, pyramid schemes, and solicitations are also forbidden on this forum.

Note that it is impossible for the staff or the owners of this forum to confirm the validity of posts. Please remember that we do not actively monitor the posted messages, and as such, are not responsible for the content contained within. We do not warrant the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information presented. The posted messages express the views of the author, and not necessarily the views of this forum, its staff, its subsidiaries, or this forum's owner. Anyone who feels that a posted message is objectionable is encouraged to notify an administrator or moderator of this forum immediately. The staff and the owner of this forum reserve the right to remove objectionable content, within a reasonable time frame, if they determine that removal is necessary. This is a manual process, however, please realize that they may not be able to remove or edit particular messages immediately. This policy applies to member profile information as well.

You remain solely responsible for the content of your posted messages. Furthermore, you agree to indemnify and hold harmless the owners of this forum, any related websites to this forum, its staff, and its subsidiaries. The owners of this forum also reserve the right to reveal your identity (or any other related information collected on this service) in the event of a formal complaint or legal action arising from any situation caused by your use of this forum.

You have the ability, as you register, to choose your username. We advise that you keep the name appropriate. With this user account you are about to register, you agree to never give your password out to another person except an administrator, for your protection and for validity reasons. You also agree to NEVER use another person's account for any reason.  We also HIGHLY recommend you use a complex and unique password for your account, to prevent account theft.

After you register and login to this forum, you will be able to fill out a detailed profile. It is your responsibility to present clean and accurate information. Any information the forum owner or staff determines to be inaccurate or vulgar in nature will be removed, with or without prior notice. Appropriate sanctions may be applicable.

Please note that with each post, your IP address is recorded, in the event that you need to be banned from this forum or your ISP contacted. This will only happen in the event of a major violation of this agreement.

Also note that the software places a cookie, a text file containing bits of information (such as your username and password), in your browser's cache. This is ONLY used to keep you logged in/out. The software does not collect or send any other form of information to your computer.
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