Dr. Coleman Said:
So, my two cents on this is that the purpose of this forum is supportive in nature. This is an important debate, and if it were actually between the family members who had either estranged themselves or had been estranged, I would welcome it, though more likely in my office than in a public forum. I don't like deleting posts, and I do assume that the estranged adult children who are posting here have valid perspectives to be heard. I think there is a lot of pain on both sides of the aisle where estrangement occurs. And it may be true that your purpose and the purpose of other estranged adult children who are posting here is to reduce the pain of the parents on this forum by providing an alternative perspective. If that's the case, I would rather the tone be more one of support and empathy than education.
In other words, I believe Dr. Coleman has just lain down the law in terms of the rules on his forum: it seems to me that he really does intend for his forum to be a place where ONLY estranged parents can talk and be heard. It seems that by explaining how the forum is supposed to be "supportive" in nature, he's making the point that, in his opinion, my blog friends and I have not been supportive.
So my question is, supportive for whom? While my intention was not to "reduce the pain of the parents on this forum" it was also not to increase it. My intention for writing on the forum was to show support for my husband, for my friends, and the rest of my blogging community. I chose to show my support by validating their thoughts and sharing some of my own truths. If Dr. Coleman is being honest when he claims to "assume that the estranged adult children who are posting here have valid perspectives to be heard" then why is he so quick to imply that we don't?
I have been following the forum threads for months now, and I didn't feel that the individuals I was addressing were much different from other emotionally abusive parents that I know, so I felt confident in my assertions.
Having said that, it's Dr. Coleman's forum, and clearly he can set the rules however he wants to.
I just happen to think he should stop being "nice" (as Judy pointed out) and start being real. If he doesn't want anyone else but his narrow-minded, pity-party estranged parents to communicate there, then he might as well be honest and just say it. What I can say, without a doubt, is that I had no intention to show my support for people like Disappointed Mom, or Parent Child Amp by telling them what they want to hear. It is, therefore, not true that my purpose of posting there was to reduce the pain of the parents on the forum. Since that was never my purpose, my tone is not going to reflect much support or empathy for them. I disagree with the mindset of people who believe they are infallible. They can claim that they "aren't perfect" all they want, that doesn't mean that isn't exactly what they think they are.