What's the purpose of a support board?

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-14-2003
What's the purpose of a support board?
Tue, 06-10-2003 - 12:04am
If you're anything like me, the Debt Support Group has helped you in more ways than you can think of. It's been here to remind me why I try to not repeat past mistakes. It's been here to pull me up because I am not alone. Could it have done this if I was going to be subjected to judgments on my every action? Nope, I'm afraid not.

Whom am I accountable to? Myself, my husband, and the creditors who loaned me money. I'm not accountable to anyone here. I don't need to rationalize my actions to avoid someone telling me I blew it. LOL! If I blew it, no one knows better than I.

But what if some of my fellow DSGers think I am accountable here and that I should strictly be held to it and called on it? Yikes! I'd probably just stop posting to DSG. And do we want to lose out on the opportunity to help so many more people? Heck no!

This is a support board. This is a no judgments zone. Thank heaven for that! I'm safe here. And I need that. I need a safe and secure place to vent about my stumbles and imperfections. I need to know that no matter how alone I feel, I'm not. Do you know how comforting that is? Of course you do! You're here with me.

Does providing emotional support mean we have to pat everyone on the head, say it's not your fault and you don't have to accept responsibility for overspending? No. But there are ways to say it that don't leave people seething and wondering what a cut down is if this is support.

Please remember that not everyone learns with the same curve. Some people need to make mistakes more than once. And no one needs to be scared away from this board. Debt is not a dirty word. Bankruptcy is not a dirty word. Please remember that behind every screen name there's an actual person on the other end. And for every person that actually gets up the nerve to post here (and yes, it takes a lot of courage), there are at least ten who only read. I want those ten posting. They need to experience us and the great things we do. In order for that to happen, the welcome mat has to be out. If you find that there's a debt topic that you just must air, please do so respectfully.


CM Ms Joe Cool

Senior Community Moderator


Ms Joe
CM Ms Joe Cool
Senior Community Moderator


iVillage Member
Registered: 05-08-2003
Tue, 06-10-2003 - 7:39am
Well then I would like the CL's of ivillage's Money section to consider changing the format.

I would like to see a separate board in Money which covers people who are actively repaying debt then, where discussion which isn't always sunshine & lollipops is freely welcome. Somewhere for people who have made the commitment to becoming debt free and can go to discuss their opinions and their ups and downs.

If you called it the Debt Repayment Group or something to that effect that would be quite fitting, as apparently a Debt Support Group is not what I (and I'm assuming some others) need right now. I don't want unconditional support for my debting actions and lifestyle, I want your opinions, your praise when due, and a kick in the pants when I'm due one.

I *need* posts like the Accountability thread started by momof2boys which you deleted. I thought it was the best and most straight forward thought provoking food for thought I had read on here ever. It was a very neutral post in that it did not attack anyone, I do not agree with you deleting it. I'm willing to bet it got more than a couple people thinking about what they're doing to themselves and their families by not owning their actions too, alot more helpful than blind support.

I came here for help keeping on the straight and narrow and to be pointed in the right direction if I start to stray. I welcome peoples' opinions of my actions, if I don't agree with what they say I'll tell them so myself. People are allowed to disagree with each other. It is impossible to post on a subject such as debt and what people are doing with their debt without stepping on a few toes I would suspect, just as you have all levels of the learning curve out there , you also have alot of levels of emotional conditioning in this area. Some people are in pity mode, some people are mad, some people are in acceptance, some forever in denial. People are going to get offended no matter how hard I try to sweeten up a response.

I guess I need an open "discussion" board, not a censored "support board" then. Do those exist here?

Edited 6/10/2003 8:44:46 AM ET by birdiecheeks

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-14-2002
Tue, 06-10-2003 - 8:47am
How about it, folks? Take a poll: Would any of you be interested in seeing a new board on IVillage that is not a dedicated "support" group, a safe zone, as this board is intended to be - but rather a new board like Birdiecheeks describes, where you can come for honest debate and a kick in the pants when it's needed?

I agree with cmmsjoecool, in that the Debt Support Group serves a wonderful purpose for those people who do not want to be judged, or those who need emotional support while they work their way out of debt. Many people lurk here, and a few work up the courage to post, who would be very easily "scared" away by judgmental remarks or scoldings. I agree - these people *need* a no-judgment zone where they can vent in safety, and we need to understand and respect that.

So I'm thinking there are many others here, like Birdiecheeks and me, who would prefer an honest assessment of our posted problems, and the freedom to debate others' problems, rather than emotional support. This board has been a wonderful starting place for me, and in NO way do I intend to undermine its purpose here and the many, many people it has helped. I just feel that perhaps we need an alternative board - even perhaps a "sister" board to this one, where the environment is not so safe.

Your thoughts or ideas - anyone?



Avatar for meandmypea
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Tue, 06-10-2003 - 9:13am
I can see both cmmsjoecool and birdiecheeks points of view. I'm mostly a lurker, but I thoroughly enjoyed reading the Accountability thread. If I decided to go on a whirlwind shopping spree, my DH (who is my biggest support person) wouldn't hesitate to say, "Hey goofy - you're supposed to be getting yourself OUT of debt." And you know what? I wouldn't be offended if someone pointed that out to me.

I love this support board because seeing people's successes inspire me to make better choices. The snowflaking section is a big part of that for me. Sometimes people go through struggles along the journey to debt repayment, and when that happens, the posters here are very supportive. But a 'struggle' shouldn't be defined as, "I can't afford it, but I bought it anyway. Can I get a hug?" There's a different board for that. It's called the Compulsive Spenders Board. That's along the same lines as going to an AA meeting and saying, "I drank a bottle of Jack Daniels over the weekend. Is that ok?" Yeah, sometimes we fall down and need help being picked back up. But sometimes what's needed is a (gentle) kick in the butt to remind us what our journey's supposed to be.

On the other hand, this board shouldn't turn into the Debt Police wagging their fingers in the faces of every poster who said that say they spent money on something. That could get out of hand. There's a difference in spending money on what you need and what you want. I think the purpose of the accountability thread was directed to those who wanted approval for buying things they wanted and can't afford. Yes, this is a support board, but sometimes support means "being real", in the words of Dr. Phil.


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 06-10-2003 - 9:14am
Darnit! Stupid computer I just wrote a great post and lost it!

In a nutshell, I agree. I enjoyed momsof2boys accountability thread. I often need a swift kick in the butt and because of posters wide range of circimstances I am sometimes hesitant to post things.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-19-2003
Tue, 06-10-2003 - 9:29am
I for one, am considering not coming back. The whole *purpose* of the thread was to point out it was not about *judgement*, therefore there was no need to *justify*. I cannot stress that enough. Everyone here, share your ups and downs etc. I was not trying to *kick everyone or anyone in the pants*. I also think that it is possible to give someone a wake up call without it being judgemental. It was not about right or wrong. That is NOT what accountability is about.

I also think that if a whole thread has been removed than for the future, perhaps the CM and or CL's could post a thread explaining it sooner rather than later. Would anyone have said anything had no one asked? Out of respect for everyone here I think posting a explanation in a more timely manner is not out of line.


iVillage Member
Registered: 04-19-2003
Tue, 06-10-2003 - 9:47am

Are you saying that the whole thread was disrespectful? I beg to differ. It took a lot of thought for me to start that thread and respect was utmost in my mind in writing it.

This is what I was trying to convey! You use the word *rationalize* and I used the word *justify*. No one needs to justify to me (be accountable to me or rationize to me HOW they spend their money). I thought I made that clear. I want people to be accountable to themselves!

Is this not what a support group is supposed to be? To be called on the lack of accoutability the person has to themselves? NOT to the rest of us. I thought for sure, most people here, at a support group of all places, would understand accountablility but I guess I was wrong in assuming that. It is not about right/wrong, it is not about answering to the rest of us, its not about beating anyone up for where they choose to spend their money. Accountability is about being honest with one self (there by being honest with the rest of us) about what is going on for them (emotionally). It is about getting real with each other.

I am very dissappointed and I don't think I will be back. I have some thinking to do.


Edited 6/10/2003 2:06:37 PM ET by momof2boys1663

Edited 6/10/2003 2:10:05 PM ET by momof2boys1663

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 06-10-2003 - 10:01am
I hope you stay on this board. I have always enjoyed your posts and to be honest they have usually saved me money. I can't remember which one specifially but I do remember one post you wrote and it made me think and becuase of what you had written I made the choice not to order out our dinner that night. That is a good thing - it saved me money!

Please do stay, I very much respect what you post. Did you ever find out why your accountability post was removed??? I don't recall anything that was out of line.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-30-2003
Tue, 06-10-2003 - 10:10am
Oh, boy do I know what you are talking about. Unfortunately, due to time constraints I have not been able to post much to this board. But, last week I did post a question regarding confusion about a relationship issue on another board. I only got one response and that was from a poster who basically lambasted me for not "seeing" the issue and pretty much called me stupid. Their words were "no offense but, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to understand this issue". YIKES!! I will never post there again. She probably meant well but, I WAS offended!!! I agree...we need to reread our posts from the point of view of the person who may be on the receiving end. Thanks for the reminder!!
Avatar for gidgetgirl
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 06-10-2003 - 1:09pm
I'm one of your lurkers that has to post as a result of this hulabaloo. And speaking (writing?) as a lurker, I must let you know that really enjoyed the accountability and found it valuable.

A support group shouldn't be "you go girl" while you drive yourself into the ground. As long as the "hold on a minute" message is spoken with gentleness and sensitivity, it shound not only be accepted, but encouraged!

I thought the original thread was well thought-out and tried to not step on toes yet get the point across. And the responses were fabulous.

I've lurked for YEARS and to be honest, the main reason why I don't post is because what I have viewed to be overzealous gatekeeping in that I don't want to get told to take it to another board (you really should take that post to XYZ board) and get the whole "post here for EMOTIONAL support"), when many times the issues (for me anyway) are intertwined. I have found that MUCH MORE rejecting than actually getting feedback, pro or con.

Just my 2 cents

Gidget the lurker

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-04-2003
Tue, 06-10-2003 - 2:26pm
This is my opinion..I personally love this board. There have been times I am hesitate in telling my financial business because of such boards that flame u or critize you for doing something you werent suppose to..But, this board isnt like that and I HOPE this board doesnt change. Even though I havent gotten into full details with me personally. Having a board that offers the support and advice is what brings me back. Nobody here that I know of judges anybody and they offered positive advice or ways of going about things to help you and not critizing or putting anybody down just to slap someone on the hand if they spent to much or arent living beneath their means. So I vote for "Support Group"! Hugs Trish