Tuesday, May 10, 2011

In reply

This is going here though in truth it should be posted on Fet. The thing is if one does that every person with a gripe will find it and one will spend almost as much time defending it as one does the group. More probably... there aren't mods for journals. So it is going here... you lucky things you J Why? Well just sometimes it is nice to vent and that option isn't open on Fet until such a time as journals can be set to private or no comments allowed.

When we formed the group on Fet it was to create a haven for those of us in co-habiting relationships. We did it for the simple reason that it was impossible to find such a group on Fet, that wasn't overwhelmed by those in other types of arrangements. Most of us had ended up homeless when other boards were overrun by them, and we had been told in no uncertain terms that we were supposed to get along with them. Even if conversations were often rendered nigh on impossible due to philosophical differences. Fet gave us the opportunity to start our own corner for those in similar situations... well that was the idea.

The group was an uphill battle from day one. There were continual issues with the caretakers who thought we should all get along, there were issues with people who just don't see why their views were redundant to discussions, and there were issues with those that thought we should do X, Y or Z to appease their views. In the end we hashed out a definition of what we were, so we at least had something to point people at and go... this is why your views are unacceptable here.  Now the definition is still not perfect... it makes some feel that they are not welcome and still doesn't have enough teeth to discourage those that should feel that way. Those ones we usually have to resort to applying heat to, and even then they still persist in many cases.

In part these issues are why our group has caused more splitter groups than any other on Fet. And it is worth noting that most fail. Even when they get good numbers. The reason for this is simple. When someone stomps off to start their own group, they have no idea how much work is actually involved in keeping one running, particularly in the beginning. It takes a year or so of hard slog to get things to where people feel enough of an emotional investment, that they are prepared to stick their necks out and start things. And that caution is wise.

The group has cost personal friendships, it has alienated people, and it has upset people (often ones we had no real issue with). The group has resulted in threats, lies, intimidation and bad mouthing from one end of Fet to the other. Not to mention inboxes that are full of dreck, and sneering from the sidelines via journal entries and posts in other groups. All of this aggravation because we wanted a place to call our own and to chat (not continually defend or debate) about what was important to us.

That our group is successful is testimony to hours of bloody hard work. Ours and the members alike. It is damned hard week after week to think of new topics that will appeal to members. There are weeks there where we look at the blank page and know we are just tapped. Other days we just wonder why the hell we keep doing it. We persist because having a home is important to us... and we hope a useful resource to others who come to read and learn.

And you wonder why we don't want to change the groups parameters to include you? Well we have to a certain extent. When we started it was only meant for those in O/p relationships, but we realised that there were those of you who were nosing around the edge of the hole, who had no one to ask questions of. Basic stuff like are we going mad? So we included you, as best we could without losing too much of what we were, and in doing so many would argue that we have leant too far. It is a delicate balancing act that sometimes we slip on... yet we persist.

Then there are those who have no place being there at all, who want to be part of things and wonder why (usually all over other groups) we aren't kinder to them or close down their threads. The answer is very simple... if we don't erect some barriers we will lose what makes the group unique. What makes our group special is that it does have people who actually live together, or are working on it, and trying to make this work. The group is where we exchange ideas, learn things, incorporate new ideas and support each other in the knowledge that we are in similar boats.

If we do not draw the line we will end up with threads filled with people needing advice about something. See the sad fact is that we are old and grumpy and we feel no obligation to hold your hand while you figure out which way is up. There are groups all over Fet for that purpose... go join one of those. Even you will get to the stage where you groan a little on the inside as you read yet another debate on those topics.  

Now we try to welcome you, we try to start topics that you can add to and we try to support you as you find your way. What we will not do is change for you. And one day when you are in a 24/7 cohabiting relationship you will thank us... if we are still around. See the sad fact is some of us are tired... of the incessant whining and complaining and of being bad mouthed. And eventually we will go fuck it, enough is enough. Until then if you do not like the way things are, start your own group. 

4 comments:

littlemonkey said...

I am giving you a standing ovation, can you hear me clapping? Brava!

I appreciate that I was allowed to join, even though I am not in a 24/7 O/p relationship. I was curious. I try to respect the fact that I don't meet the criteria, and act accordingly (not start irrelevant threads). The description of the parameters of the group are very clear. Some people are just stupid.

Sadist's magick said...

joins littlemonkey in the standing ovation. The hard work and dedication shows - thank you!!

xantu said...

I completely understand the sheer difficulty of creating a group and keeping it alive. It is a huge amount of work. I see so many start and peter out in days if not weeks. I personally have started a group and realized very soon that what it was going to take and regretted my ambition.

Regarding the O/p group... it is one of the few I read and comment on. It is the only one the really resonates for me. Yes it is for 24/7 people... but it also has a distinct awareness that each 24/7 O/p relationship is unique and manages to make us all feel welcome.

Thanks for your (and all the other moderators') hard work.

layla said...

I enjoy the group and truly didn't realise how much work goes into keeping a group interesting.

My hat off to you guys that start and maintain such groups.

I am in such a relationship and the group always has such interesting threads.

Keep up the great work