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Thread: Mental Health Awareness Month - Discussion Thread

  1. ISO #151
    Manasi's Avatar
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    I think that not having blind trust in a group that people aren't 100% familiar/comfortable with is just human nature. Anyone is fully capable of committing harm, if they accept that, acknowledge that, or not. I mean in the few years MU has existed there have been 3 mods removed for bad faith actions, including so much as harassment and doxxing. Those were people that nobody expected that from and people had mostly trusted, so I think it's unfair to say that users shouldn't have their guard up.

    This is something I talked about in my other posts too. I was worried that mods were doing this to feel like they're making a bigger difference on people which in turn would help them with some of their own issues. It's something I'm super guilty of. I go out of my way and over-extend to help people if I think it'll help them, which in turn makes me feel better even though it's categorically a drain.

    I don't know, I trust a fair amount of the MU mods, nutella and dobby included. Personally, I don't have the rapport with juliets and dunya and others from the Syndicate that I would truly consider them to be worthy of my trust when it comes to pretty severe mental health issues. It's a personal thing, but I'm sure that's a sentiment shared amongst more than just me (probably more with people who are uncaring/unfamiliar with TS as a site vs MU, I guess).

    I think JC came into the thread with really good intentions, however crass and to the point he came off. He also works in the field so dismissing what he's saying as bad faith arguing/trying to get the whole thing shut down is unfair to everyone who has had the same thoughts as he's having as well. I guess I'm just worried that there's too much of an emotional stake in the project itself that seeing flaws in it can be seen as an attack. The banner being opt-out is good. The steps taken as part of the feedback int he thread has been great so far.
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  2. ISO #152
    i've been thinking about making a big well-written post, but i've decided to compromise with a big badly-written post instead.

    a lot of my negative reflexive thoughts w.r.t this stuff have been related to my unfavorable views of how the MU mod team has historically operated, and my issues with how people wield authority/power in general, especially within the medical profession. this whole thing gave me a whole host of flashbacks to incidents that i think were poorly addressed by those in power. is it unfair that these thoughts have arisen in response to a project with only the purest of good intentions? maybe in a sense, but it seems to fit a certain theme of how some have had a negative reaction to this whole thing.

    but rather than flesh out my historical issues with authority explicitly, i'm gonna drop this article, which i highly recommend

    https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine...damage/528711/

    (if youve reached your free article limit for the atlantic, use this instead: https://outline.com/B8vVU9 )

    it's a very good article and i recommend it for anybody who has issues with figures of authority and how they wield their power, including but not limited to medical professionals. if you have had bad experiences with medical professionals, i believe it's healthier to fault them rather than yourself: contact with them can be so expensive and the time so limited that even trying to modulate one's own approach might lead to bad results, and it's hard to get do-overs with certain attempts at seeking help. bad and unproductive experiences with mental health professionals, it seems to me, are more common than the establishment would like to admit. the majority of my contact with mental health professionals has been of questionable benefit at best, and actively harmful at worst. so part of the message i've wanted to convey is, if you've had such bad experiences, your experiences are valid, common, and finding ways to deal with mental health issues without professional help can be more prudent and practical than with. of course, i don't mean to discount that people can be helped professionally, but that's the dominant message that people hear all the time, that's not the new one, at least in my social circles and subcultures.

    i'm aware some social circles and subcultures are the opposite, where professional help is unnecessarily stigmatized, demonized, and dismissed out of hand where it could be genuinely helpful. but the opposite situation can exist, where messaging around mental health is so monolithic and dogmatic that people think theres a "correct" way to think about and/or treat certain mental illnesses, and i think that level of confidence is often unwarranted for the reality of how successful professional mental health treatment often is, which is not very.

    it's complicated and there's no one-size-fits-all, and that's part of my entire point (and the point of some of those who've expressed similar thoughts already): a lot of messaging about mental health that you experience in life might not apply to you, and... it is what it is. that's part of the difficulty. some of us are going through those extra layers of alienation. you're not alone, even if you're not the same as certain other groups who claim you're not alone when you really are alone if you compare yourselves to them. and maybe you are utterly, utterly, alone, but you're not alone in being utterly alone. but you could be. the semantics of the word "alone" can be tricky. some people are comforted by knowing their struggles aren't unique... and some of us have extremely unique struggles. it's all valid. if i had the mental energy to write another few paragraphs, it'd be on the issues of generalization in general and how often generalization poisons discussion around all sorts of things, especially on the internet. it would've been highly meta and ironic and dank.


    anyway, back to power. my recommendation for processing historical power abuse/misuse is forgiveness. it's not the fault of the empowered that they literally, physiologically, lose empathetic capacities in certain situations. and i don't even mean to imply all the issues with this initiative were caused by power imbalance, but it's the aspect i've been thinking about most. i think forgiveness is incredibly important in general, especially for people like me with issues of anger and resentment. it is a capacity that is incredibly important to improve in terms of finding new ways to apply it and more situations to apply it to. forgiving people and letting things go is a timeless and invaluable skill.

    (edit: cuth added some thoughts on forgiveness that i think are important to add here, so im going to edit a quote into the following spoiler)

    Quote Originally Posted by Cuthalion (#157)
    it's important to remember that forgiveness doesn't mean being ok with bad behavior, it means saying "someone did this and i suffered negative consequences, it happened, i'm not torturing myself with it any more"

    if you're the victim of abuse and someone tells you it's important to forgive your reaction is going to be "why the hell would i do that i'm not ok with their behavior"

    but forgiveness is for you, to resolve the turmoil inside yourself

    and it doesn't mean that you have to continue to engage with the person if they continue to behave in the same ways



    sorry if this post has been a bit rambly and disconnected, but i really don't feel compelled to organize my thoughts better as of right now. i also heavily resonate with syn and ranmilia's feelings that their/my personal stories of mental health issues are too extreme/unrelatable/specific to be a good idea to share, and that's why i'm not sharing.
    Last edited by fluffy rabbit; May 6th, 2021 at 03:26 PM.

  3. ISO #153
    Quote Originally Posted by Garden Gnome (#150)
    I think that "man up" and "pull yourself up by your bootstraps" are among the unkindest comments that anyone could possibly make. They are not helpful or constructive in anyway whatsoever. People who are struggling don't need to hear that sort of judgmental commentary from anyone.

    Mental illness is exactly that. An illness. It would be shocking to tell someone going through cancer treatments or having conditions that impede mobility, such as MS or muscular dystrophy, to man up and pull yourself up by your bootstraps. So there is no excuse for the sort of judgmental commentary being aimed toward people with mental health issues.

    There probably needs to be more education about mental health issues. In my opinion, the mean commentary occurs because people don't have enough education about these issues. Of course, it could also occur because some people are just mean.
    no offense, but this post actually encapsulates a decent amount of what im referring to when i talk about monolithic and dogmatic messaging around mental health.

    i don't think you actualy took the time to understand shad's point; i think you saw parts of his message and then resorted to your dogmatic understanding of what's correct to believe w.r.t mental illness.

    i really don't think it's as simple as you're making it out to be.

  4. ISO #154
    Connoisseur of Spice nutella's Avatar Discord Moderator
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    very, very, very well said rabbit, thanks
    avatar art credit to chardonnay/bland

  5. ISO #155
    Manasi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nutella (#154)
    very, very, very well said rabbit, thanks
    can i get one more very for bingo pls
    Quote Originally Posted by Panther (#5393)
    Take note MU the $%#! bar of 2019 is being set HIGH
    Quote Originally Posted by Zack (#24)
    i need more manasi


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  6. ISO #156
    alien shapeshifter Hally's Avatar Moderator
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    i’m kind of in a weird place in relation to this discussion

    because obviously i’m a mod (albeit one who is at most minimally involved with this initiative) and am friends with the people who are running it, and i know that they care very deeply about what they’re trying to do with this initiative and are not ill-intentioned whatsoever

    but i’m also a community member who struggles with mental illness a lot, and i appreciate and empathize with all the criticisms that have been shared in this thread, and frankly i agree with many of them and might have said them myself if i wasn’t a mod

    i guess my point is that i have a different perspective on all of this from being stuck between both sides so to speak, and from my perspective at least, nobody who is partaking in this discussion, whether it be those running the initiative or those critiquing it, is acting in bad faith

    and i hope people remember that regardless of how much you agree with what a person is saying/doing, it’s pretty clear you all care about the community and mean well

    just my 2 cents
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  7. ISO #157
    some things i wanted to note because they were things i was like "hang on a second" about when i read rabbit's post but then thought over some more

    it's important to remember that forgiveness doesn't mean being ok with bad behavior, it means saying "someone did this and i suffered negative consequences, it happened, i'm not torturing myself with it any more"

    if you're the victim of abuse and someone tells you it's important to forgive your reaction is going to be "why the hell would i do that i'm not ok with their behavior"

    but forgiveness is for you, to resolve the turmoil inside yourself

    and it doesn't mean that you have to continue to engage with the person if they continue to behave in the same ways

    so i would caution against reading that as anything along the lines of "we shouldn't call out the mods' mistakes the problem is ourselves"

    if there are repeated issues with the way the mods handle things, that's a problem

    i think there has been a feeling in a pretty large chunk of the userbase that the mods don't necessarily handle things as well as they could on several levels and a feeling like they personally are concerned about stepping over lines and risk losing out on the community and engagement that mafia can provide out of pettiness or misunderstanding or poor moderational structure for the entire time the site has existed, no matter who the actual mods involved are

    and that could be a good conversation to have and delve into and it is in many ways tied in to mental health to some degree

    but i think it's getting conflated with the conversation about "how can this specific movement do the most good to the most people" and i don't think that's very helpful at addressing either problem because it's both a small pool of publicly named users actually behind this specific effort, not MU Moderation, and the issue of mental health is complex and a long and complicated journey and no month's worth of stories and information is ever going to meet everyone where they're at on that road
    Last edited by Cuthalion; May 6th, 2021 at 03:24 PM.

  8. ISO #158
    Soul Reader Hornet's Avatar
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    yeah. i know too many people who have been hurt by professionals. i couldnt trust professionals.

    and then theres the dogma as you said. breathe deep they say, but ut just makes me more agitated and pros dismiss it because thats noihow its supposed to qork! talk about your emotions they say but i cant. ive spent too long having my very emotions underscored, bringing me only pain and anger anf resentment and sorrow to have /feelings/. and then i cant talk about them, but thats what everyone focuses on - talking about emotions first, and then they get upset because my brain protected itself by shutting out my ability to identify my ferlings, because i dont emote the right way

    and i am so very tired, tired of mental health struggle most people wont understand because they dont have a list of things that are wrong with them and a lifetime of pain made by having and expressing their very emotions

  9. ISO #159
    GOAT Tier Garden Gnome's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fluffy rabbit (#153)
    Quote Originally Posted by Garden Gnome (#150)
    I think that "man up" and "pull yourself up by your bootstraps" are among the unkindest comments that anyone could possibly make. They are not helpful or constructive in anyway whatsoever. People who are struggling don't need to hear that sort of judgmental commentary from anyone.

    Mental illness is exactly that. An illness. It would be shocking to tell someone going through cancer treatments or having conditions that impede mobility, such as MS or muscular dystrophy, to man up and pull yourself up by your bootstraps. So there is no excuse for the sort of judgmental commentary being aimed toward people with mental health issues.

    There probably needs to be more education about mental health issues. In my opinion, the mean commentary occurs because people don't have enough education about these issues. Of course, it could also occur because some people are just mean.
    no offense, but this post actually encapsulates a decent amount of what im referring to when i talk about monolithic and dogmatic messaging around mental health.

    i don't think you actualy took the time to understand shad's point; i think you saw parts of his message and then resorted to your dogmatic understanding of what's correct to believe w.r.t mental illness.

    i really don't think it's as simple as you're making it out to be.
    I think that you made some good points until you went to "resorted to your dogmatic understanding," which seems very judgmental. That was exactly what I was commenting about. Judgmental attitude. Shad had commented several times about "pull yourself up by your bootstraps," and I was addressing that attitude specifically. Not mental illness in general. I do, however, stand by my comment. People who are struggling don't need to hear useless comments like "pull yourself up by your bootstraps."

  10. ISO #160
    Billy GOAT Gruff billymills's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garden Gnome (#159)
    I think that you made some good points until you went to "resorted to your dogmatic understanding," which seems very judgmental. That was exactly what I was commenting about. Judgmental attitude. Shad had commented several times about "pull yourself up by your bootstraps," and I was addressing that attitude specifically. Not mental illness in general. I do, however, stand by my comment. People who are struggling don't need to hear useless comments like "pull yourself up by your bootstraps."
    'dogmatic understanding' isnt meant to be an insult.

    It just means you have some interpretation of how things should be handled. When presented with how someone else handles it, it doesn't mesh with how you think it should be handled, and there's conflict.

    What i interpret iaafr as saying, is that shad has a different approach from you, and that his approach isn't wrong, it's just different from yours.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ranmilia
    Unfortunately I am compelled to say that billymills is 100% correct.

  11. ISO #161
    i apologize, i wasn't trying to be judgmental, and i might've been unnecessarily curt.

    but i still believe you misunderstood and decontextualized how shad was using that phrase. he certainly wasn't trying to actively suggest it as a strategy for anybody else.

  12. ISO #162
    Season 5 Champion GeneralHankerchief's Avatar
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    I don't think anyone in this thread has acted in bad faith. Some comments, including the OP in its original form (and even the initiative itself, perhaps) were perhaps not as well thought-out as they could have been, but in my personal opinion every single comment written here and in the related threads have come from the heart with nothing but the best possible intent behind them.

    Furthermore, I think that we as a community, especially a community based around the exact shared interest of playing a game where we interpret the meaning behind text and try to distinguish if said text has ulterior motives, would be pretty effective at sniffing out any truly bad faith comments said ITT. Said comments and the person behind them would almost certainly be swiftly dealt with, both on a community basis and at a moderation level.

    All of this is to say that I don't think we should be so hasty to drop the "bad faith" line in arguments in this thread in particular.

    ---

    I think the initial rollout of this initiative was severely flawed in a number of areas, many of which have been addressed in previous posts in this thread. I also think that the people running this initiative are actively working to correct those flaws, and we've seen a lot of progress made on this front so far. I furthermore think that a number of these flaws continue to exist, and these remaining ones are more built in to the entire point of the initiative in the first place and will thus be far more difficult to correct, if not impossible assuming they didn't want to rework the entire thing.

    All of these things can be true at once. This doesn't need to be an "either/or" dichotomy here where you're either on the side of "this initiative is good" or "this initiative is poorly thought-out".

    While I personally will not be taking part in this initiative, largely because I do not feel comfortable sharing something so personal with a community of hundreds (and that's not even getting into the fact that it's in partnership with a second community that I have no connection with), I commend those who have done so so far - at any level. I think every reaction to this thread has been equally valid and appropriate, and we should keep that in mind when responding to such.
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  13. ISO #163
    Soul Reader Syn's Avatar
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    I'd be interested in hearing more about the flaws that still exist and how they could be resolved.

    I'll admit I haven't been able to suss those out because it feels like this has become personal. That's of course inevitable, due to the subject matter, but it's difficult to separate what can come across like personal insult and what is valid criticism of the overarching concept.

    I'm not involved with the backend of this initiative at all and I was one of the first to voice criticism, so hopefully the above can be seen as a good-faith query. I would like to reach a point where there isn't as much suspicion and more collaboration.

  14. ISO #164
    I'm not sure what personal insults or bad faith arguments people are seeing

    ?

  15. ISO #165
    GOAT Tier Garden Gnome's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hally (#156)
    i’m kind of in a weird place in relation to this discussion

    because obviously i’m a mod (albeit one who is at most minimally involved with this initiative) and am friends with the people who are running it, and i know that they care very deeply about what they’re trying to do with this initiative and are not ill-intentioned whatsoever

    but i’m also a community member who struggles with mental illness a lot, and i appreciate and empathize with all the criticisms that have been shared in this thread, and frankly i agree with many of them and might have said them myself if i wasn’t a mod

    i guess my point is that i have a different perspective on all of this from being stuck between both sides so to speak, and from my perspective at least, nobody who is partaking in this discussion, whether it be those running the initiative or those critiquing it, is acting in bad faith

    and i hope people remember that regardless of how much you agree with what a person is saying/doing, it’s pretty clear you all care about the community and mean well

    just my 2 cents
    I have not struggled much with actual mental illness, other than some phobias. I have, however, struggled with some pretty terrible misdiagnoses when I was a kid. Also bullying, which, as it turned out, came from both adults and kids. I was labeled as "emotionally disturbed" and as pretty defective. I found out later that the psychiatrist even said that I was a "psychotic little girl." All of that destroyed my self esteem and resulted in nightmares for years until I found a therapist who was able to help me put that meanness out of my head. That was when the nightmares ended. I did manage to find the right help in getting to what my real issues were (sensory processing disorder, auditory processing disorder, and hyperacusis). Misdiagnoses happen, and I am not insensitive to the needs of people with actual mental health issues. I just have different struggles.

  16. ISO #166
    Soul Reader MartinGG99's Avatar
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    I think out of all of what I've seen so far here, Rabbit's p#152 is probably the most I would have similar views with tbh. I also agree with their resonation with Ranmilla and Syn. I actually haven't had a "bad" experience with mental health professionals, but that's mostly because I stopped getting professional help long ago for a few personal reasons (mostly surrounding the thought that they wouldn't be able to effectively help me; and I say this as I have an A.A. in psychology) and I was very fortunate enough to find other ways that helped me a lot more than I think professional, paid, help could've ever given me.

    I personally have been debating sharing my story, but in terms of it likely helping anything are very low and at most (I think) it could provide to another is perhaps inspiration or hope but honestly I haven't had a sort of "success" in my life yet that would work that effect well. If I graduate with college in my current studies or something of the sort that has the mark of an "achievement" to people then I guess I will share it in the future. But right now? It just doesn't seem very useful to do, especially that I'm currently dealing with a newer unique set of problems that I think I have to resolve before my story has potentially any very significant positive effect.

    I would caution about the topic of "forgiveness" though. That's an incredibly touchy subject in some circumstances imo; especially if one has to forgive themselves for something that they (or believe they) had a part in or were potentially responsible for and I don't think just a single paragraph is going to fix that. Hell, trying to suggest forgiving oneself for what they did (either intentionally or unintentionally) just so they can better themselves is just...a minefield if you're asking me. I personally had to travel that road and it wasn't easy at all; Even though what I had to "forgive" myself for (I don't even really use the word or consider "forgiveness" and etc, though I suppose effect-wise what I came to was the same thing) was something that I did as a very young teenager.

    Remember when I said I wasn't going to share any of my story? Good job me.

  17. ISO #167
    GOAT Tier Garden Gnome's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fluffy rabbit (#161)
    i apologize, i wasn't trying to be judgmental, and i might've been unnecessarily curt.

    but i still believe you misunderstood and decontextualized how shad was using that phrase. he certainly wasn't trying to actively suggest it as a strategy for anybody else.
    Most likely, a misunderstanding.
    I do have learning disabilities so sometimes I come off as impressively clueless.
    Thank you for your response.

  18. ISO #168
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    Quote Originally Posted by dunya (#144)
    agree to disagree then, because it's my experience as one of the people involved. numerous posts were projecting that the organizers could not be trusted one way or another, etc. etc.

    i felt like my actual character was definitely disrespected in a way that could have been avoided if people were more conscience of how they were voicing their criticism.

    i really don't want to turn this into a back and forth with you; we clearly disagree on a lot and that's fine. that's life.

    i was just hoping we can, as a thread and community, be more mindful of how we criticize and call out people by name even, and just be aware that everyone involved had good intentions going into this. that is all.
    If this devolves into a slugfest between the organizers and the people they're trying to help, then the end result is just some grim parody.

    You're going to feel affronted and unfairly judged here. I'm sorry, and it's not fair, but it was inevitable from the outset. Yes, there are cautions to keep a "civil and respectful tone" and all of that. But it still invites people with mental health issues to open up. It still entices people to state how they really feel.

    Keeping my mouth shut to avoid disturbing or distressing or annoying people who have no vested interest in my issues is standard practice. The veneer of a safe space gets my guard down, gives me a false sense of comfort to express myself more emotionally than I would in a normal civil engagement, helps me trick myself into assuming a selfless audience that will hear what I have to say and digest it unconditionally. Anger and frustration and distrust from years of dealing with self-serving support systems that do the bare minimum and turn defensive if I don't show signs of appreciation is real. Anger and frustration and distrust from years of people dismissing me and treating me like I must be the issue is real. And I'm sorry, and I know it's not fair to the organizers, and I knew that the polite thing to do was keep my mouth shut, and I didn't, and I should have.

    But it's not just that. A part of me feels angry, baited, exploited, disappointed, foolish. Not just now, but any time mental health is on the table, and to a highly unwarranted degree, because these things play out over and over, and I've seen where they go in the past. And it ultimately always resolves out to jaded awareness that human nature predetermines emotionally-laden topics like these to always work out this way, and the best we can ever do is try to appreciate each other and keep our troubles to ourselves.

    Until the drive kicks back in and I tell myself no, I can have an impact, and I reengage, and the cycle repeats. Maybe a lot of people who give up just run out of energy to keep doing that. I don't know. I gave up on my own situation eventually.

    I don't hold you responsible for me feeling these things. But if you want windows into why someone might opt for silence, I'm offering one. I'm sorry I contributed to making you and Dobby and everyone else feel bad. I think there's something comical in this ending with an apology to the organizers, but that was inevitable too.
    Quote Originally Posted by Panther
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  19. ISO #169
    Galaxy Brain Shad's Avatar
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    Last edited by Shad; May 6th, 2021 at 03:57 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Panther
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  20. ISO #170
    Season 5 Champion GeneralHankerchief's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Syn (#163)
    I'd be interested in hearing more about the flaws that still exist and how they could be resolved.
    Speaking personally:

    1) Banner design. This one is probably correctable. The emphasis is on it being a sort of cross-community event, which makes sense since both MU and the Syndicate are taking part, but at the same time the subject matter isn't something that really meshes well with a typical cross-community promotion. This isn't Champs, this is people talking about their mental health. It's probably just a little bit too advertise-y in general, but I don't know how you can get around that particular aspect without scrapping the banner entirely (and I don't really have an opinion on if that should be the answer or not).

    2) Branding in general, really. The "MUental Health Awareness" account has been somewhat deemphasized, and I think this is a good thing, but it still exists. I don't really know a way around this one without a hard reset, which is difficult to do a week into the "event".

    3) The main mod-led points of emphasis, specifically, sharing your stories. This format has no attraction to me personally as a potential sharer. Others might and have felt differently, as evidenced by the stories we've seen posted.

    Some months ago, during the most recent modteam Q&A, there was an option to submit questions anonymously via a site feature. Once that post was approved by the modteam i.e. determined it wasn't just trolling, it got posted in the thread under a dummy account. In the OP of that thread, the exact level of anonymity provided was clearly indicated - specifically, the mods wouldn't check who submitted the question unless the question was a clear troll or otherwise broke rules, but to still be careful of putting in any indicating information if you were worried about that. To me, as a non-mod at the time, it seemed like a reasonable way of accomplishing the goal and nobody really had any issue with it.

    I'm uncertain of the level of disclosure and anonymity for this one. This might be on me - I knew right away that I wouldn't be submitting or sharing or anything right when the OP dropped, so I was less inclined to pay attention to the exact specifics, but from memory it wasn't as clearly specified beyond which specific mods had access. Maybe I'm wrong, maybe someone can point that out. It won't matter to me, I'm not submitting regardless, but it would be good to clarify in case anyone else doesn't know.

    4) The cross-forum connection. I appreciate that a number of the main organizers across both forums involved are on good terms with each other and were able to cooperate to this extent. I appreciate that the impetus for this initiative was that a well-regarded member on the Syndicate passed away recently. I didn't know them personally, but literally everyone I've heard the person mentioned before and after their passing had nothing but good things to say about them, and I'm sure they were right. The greater mafia community as a whole has been coalescing into a more unified entity over the years, largely thanks to the existence of such sites as both MU and the Syndicate.

    However, these are still two separate communities. There is some crossover between players, but there's not a lot. Not to the point where I'd call them sister sites that share 80% of the same playerbase. Your average MUer is a complete unknown to your average Syndicate player. Your average Syndicate player is a complete unknown to your average MUer. There are certainly commendable ways to bring the communities closer together, but I feel for something as personal as a mental health awareness initiative where the point is to share stories and raise awareness as a whole, doing so as part of a larger effort where you do not know a lot of the other people taking part seems like not the right way to go about doing that. At least from my POV.
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  21. ISO #171
    Soul Reader Syn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shad (#168)
    I don't hold you responsible for me feeling these things. But if you want windows into why someone might opt for silence, I'm offering one. I'm sorry I contributed to making you and Dobby and everyone else feel bad. I think there's something comical in this ending with an apology to the organizers, but that was inevitable too.
    You are in a position to apologize because they have made it known they've been hurt.

    Have they hurt you?

    That isn't a leading question. It's easier to apologize to someone if they clearly say they've been hurt. An apology offered preemptively is less impactful and can come across empty, and it's particularly at risk of "I'm sorry if..." statements.

    The intent of my question is so that they can directly offer an apology to you. There's no need for you to feel as though your own hurt is secondary here, because it isn't and shouldn't be.

    At risk of speaking for Dunia, I don't believe the intent was to silence criticism. Contrast her language with the language of some other replies to the thread. They are similar. People are hurt and speaking out. This isn't a call for silence, but a call for more compassionate dialogue.

    Ideally, we can share our viewpoints about the subject without committing undue harm to the other party. Maybe not everyone can "win," but we can certainly reduce the risks involved.

  22. ISO #172
    Connoisseur of Spice nutella's Avatar Discord Moderator
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    to be clear we are checking with each submitter regarding their comfort level with the posts being shared on both sites, and won't post something on the syndicate that someone isn't ok with sharing there etc

    on second thought that should be a checkbox on the form for anonymous cases though

    edit: added
    Last edited by nutella; May 6th, 2021 at 04:11 PM.
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  23. ISO #173
    Soul Reader Syn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeneralHankerchief (#170)
    Quote Originally Posted by Syn (#163)
    I'd be interested in hearing more about the flaws that still exist and how they could be resolved.
    Speaking personally:

    1) Banner design. This one is probably correctable. The emphasis is on it being a sort of cross-community event, which makes sense since both MU and the Syndicate are taking part, but at the same time the subject matter isn't something that really meshes well with a typical cross-community promotion. This isn't Champs, this is people talking about their mental health. It's probably just a little bit too advertise-y in general, but I don't know how you can get around that particular aspect without scrapping the banner entirely (and I don't really have an opinion on if that should be the answer or not).

    2) Branding in general, really. The "MUental Health Awareness" account has been somewhat deemphasized, and I think this is a good thing, but it still exists. I don't really know a way around this one without a hard reset, which is difficult to do a week into the "event".

    3) The main mod-led points of emphasis, specifically, sharing your stories. This format has no attraction to me personally as a potential sharer. Others might and have felt differently, as evidenced by the stories we've seen posted.

    Some months ago, during the most recent modteam Q&A, there was an option to submit questions anonymously via a site feature. Once that post was approved by the modteam i.e. determined it wasn't just trolling, it got posted in the thread under a dummy account. In the OP of that thread, the exact level of anonymity provided was clearly indicated - specifically, the mods wouldn't check who submitted the question unless the question was a clear troll or otherwise broke rules, but to still be careful of putting in any indicating information if you were worried about that. To me, as a non-mod at the time, it seemed like a reasonable way of accomplishing the goal and nobody really had any issue with it.

    I'm uncertain of the level of disclosure and anonymity for this one. This might be on me - I knew right away that I wouldn't be submitting or sharing or anything right when the OP dropped, so I was less inclined to pay attention to the exact specifics, but from memory it wasn't as clearly specified beyond which specific mods had access. Maybe I'm wrong, maybe someone can point that out. It won't matter to me, I'm not submitting regardless, but it would be good to clarify in case anyone else doesn't know.

    4) The cross-forum connection. I appreciate that a number of the main organizers across both forums involved are on good terms with each other and were able to cooperate to this extent. I appreciate that the impetus for this initiative was that a well-regarded member on the Syndicate passed away recently. I didn't know them personally, but literally everyone I've heard the person mentioned before and after their passing had nothing but good things to say about them, and I'm sure they were right. The greater mafia community as a whole has been coalescing into a more unified entity over the years, largely thanks to the existence of such sites as both MU and the Syndicate.

    However, these are still two separate communities. There is some crossover between players, but there's not a lot. Not to the point where I'd call them sister sites that share 80% of the same playerbase. Your average MUer is a complete unknown to your average Syndicate player. Your average Syndicate player is a complete unknown to your average MUer. There are certainly commendable ways to bring the communities closer together, but I feel for something as personal as a mental health awareness initiative where the point is to share stories and raise awareness as a whole, doing so as part of a larger effort where you do not know a lot of the other people taking part seems like not the right way to go about doing that. At least from my POV.
    Thank you!

    I agree with #2 in particular.

    About the cross-community stuff, I can see it. I'm not sure about a solution for it, because I know the TS people involved more than I know the MU people involved. They know each other well, but you're right that the average player has no knowledge of this.

    Do your feelings about that change now that Juliets and Dunia have shared their own mental health stories, or do they remain unchanged?

    There's an anonymous form somewhere for submitting stories, and I asked if it was tied to Google account info (it's not). I'm not sure where that is. I think it might be in the announcement posts that go out every day; I haven't made use of it so, like you, I haven't thought to check. I just know that it's possible to submit anonymously.

  24. ISO #174
    1610 roro__b's Avatar Moderator
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    I uh..

    I've tried all day to address this thread, and I've found it hard. Maybe it comes down to cultural differences, where in my experience I've dealt with near all stratums in society, and growing up in a super unprivileged suburb of a very privileged country, spent a few months in a huge over-populated city in India, and seeing a completely different part of the world and how health care works there, to having close cooperation with people across the world in similar matters.

    From the start, I've tried to have in mind that healthcare, especially for mental health, is not easily accessible around the world, and I've tried to involve the idea of having others than health care proffessionals as some that one could possibly turn to. I know very well the distrust that many have towards health care proffessionals. I deal with that on a daily basis, and much of the challenge is actually building up a trust to the person you're meeting. I know the same thing applies here, and while I've taken part and arranged similar intiatives before very successfully, I knew this would be a challenge, but the strategy was clear - I'm not doing this as a therapist or moderator. I'm doing this as a fellow user, who has struggled with most all of the issues brought up, myself, all my life, count in bullying, abuse, repeated sexual abuse, suicidal thoughts, anxiety, depression, OCD... I don't see myself as a moderator. I see myself as a user. I quit moderating for a few months a while back because it felt like the day I became a moderator to help improve the site, and deal with the things that I felt were wrong, I lost many friends, simply attributed to "you are a moderator now". Correct or not, that's my impression of it, and I truly miss being in contact with some of them.

    The approach for this has been very clear. Despite having about a hundred comments in here with negative feedback - they are all legitimate thoughts and opinions, and I've tried to find something in every post that can help me adapt and adjust this initiative to something better. It really, really warms my heart that some people see this, and have gone from criticising the initiative very hard, to wanting to contribute with something. There has been some comments that have felt (and been) sharply directed at me, that I could answer in detail that I disagree with, but for me that counteracts the purpose of this whole thing. I don't find any value in trying to disprove another user for the sake of it. If it is something I can address and try to turn into something useful, or change something about this project, I'd be glad to address it or discuss with the moderator team. It has been listed, latest by Syn, and I appreciate having been noticed and put forth that way.

    The main regret I have is not discussing this in detail with the others taking part in the project, and explaining exactly what we should expect and how it would be preferable to approach it. And for that I feel a lot of guilt and similar, since it has affected several of them, unfortunately. Yes, Shad's points make sense, but. idk. I blame myself for this, and so should you.

    I can only try and assure you that reading this thread as the main initiative taker, has been ALL BUT beneficial for my own health. It's one thing doing it with patients I meet every few weeks, and a completley different thing with people I interact with on a personal level on a daily basis. Maybe I wasn't fully prepared for this, but with the amount of mental breakdowns in game after game (this includes myself), the amount of minors saying they're worthless, self-hate expressed, being axious coming across as being the norm in here, and so on, I really felt like something needed to be done. And I tried to make it completely unrelated to me, but fairly soon realised that was not a great idea - but with that changed, it's meeting some criticism from another viewpoint as well.

    I've considered just leaving my post as a mod to just be freed of the argument that I'm acting from a position of power, more than a hundred times only the last few weeks. Maybe that would allow me to play and enjoy mafia again as well, I don't know, but at the same time, I enjoy helping out in this community, and I care about it, and I believe each of you that has posted in here have the same sentiment and ultimately that's what matter. I don't have the energy to address each comment individually, but I've read them, and most likely already brought it up for discussion with the others involved here. I am always available for private discussion if you'd like that, whatever you'd want to bring up.

    probably the most ranty post of the thread but idk my head is kinda swamped with thoughts rn.
    1610

  25. ISO #175
    Connoisseur of Spice nutella's Avatar Discord Moderator
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    for what it's worth @Shad, I do not think you crossed any lines and I cannot speak for dunya but I don't think your comments specifically made her upset (could be wrong) -- I don't believe you need to "just keep your mouth shut" -- you were fully justified in everything you said. And I can relate to the cycle of engaging/not engaging with stuff.
    Last edited by nutella; May 6th, 2021 at 04:15 PM.
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  26. ISO #176
    Quote Originally Posted by nutella (#175)
    for what it's worth @Shad, I do not think you crossed any lines and I cannot speak for dunya but I don't think your comments specifically made her upset (could be wrong) -- I don't believe you need to "just keep your mouth shut" -- you were fully justified in everything you said. And I can relate to the cycle of engaging/not engaging with stuff.
    mmm. when one of the organizers of the event lashes out and makes sweeping statements about people posting in bad faith, people are gonna feel targeted by that on some level even if it wasn't meant to be directed at them. I certainly felt targeted (even if that was not the intention) and those posts from dunya rubbed me the wrong way, even though I don't believe I did anything wrong and the issues I raised were legitimate ones. Maybe some people have been curt or aggressive in their criticism, but I highly doubt anyone was arguing in bad faith, and that can be a really frustrating accusation when it's false, especially in a topic such as this.

    anyway i'm done with this thread

  27. ISO #177
    Connoisseur of Spice nutella's Avatar Discord Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zack (#176)
    Quote Originally Posted by nutella (#175)
    for what it's worth @Shad, I do not think you crossed any lines and I cannot speak for dunya but I don't think your comments specifically made her upset (could be wrong) -- I don't believe you need to "just keep your mouth shut" -- you were fully justified in everything you said. And I can relate to the cycle of engaging/not engaging with stuff.
    mmm. when one of the organizers of the event lashes out and makes sweeping statements about people posting in bad faith, people are gonna feel targeted by that on some level even if it wasn't meant to be directed at them. I certainly felt targeted (even if that was not the intention) and those posts from dunya rubbed me the wrong way, even though I don't believe I did anything wrong and the issues I raised were legitimate ones. Maybe some people have been curt or aggressive in their criticism, but I highly doubt anyone was arguing in bad faith, and that can be a really frustrating accusation when it's false, especially in a topic such as this.

    anyway i'm done with this thread
    it was an emotional response and that's bound to happen tbh, not everything can or should be held back when it feels personal. I can't speak for dunya but for my part, I do regret the "bad faith" comment that I made and retract it, I felt upset that the changes that had been made due to feedback weren't being recognized but I do not think any comments had bad intentions.
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  28. ISO #178
    Connoisseur of Spice nutella's Avatar Discord Moderator
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    this is sort of meta and just about me so feel free to disregard but I'm just noticing that a lot of how I've engaged with this thread is similar to something I do a TON in mafia games (and in other discussion contexts) which is that I'm a total weathervane, I'm really easily swayed by words and will often simply just agree with whatever someone posted last. and this can sometimes result in kind of simultaneously holding conflicting views by absorbing others' views and ultimately not being sure where I stand myself. I'm fairly self-conscious about this because I'm concerned that it leads to my responses coming across as disingenuous or contradictory (or that I don't even have original thoughts/opinions, which I often fear is somewhat true), but it's an important part of how I process things. and I at least believe in what I'm typing in the moment even if I don't end up holding that conviction later. Sometimes I think I should just shut up and hold back from responding to each new thought, and just take a step back if I'm not adding anything. But on the other hand I want to make that process clear both to myself and to others so it doesn't look like I'm just not thinking for myself. I admire those who have more conviction in their views, and I don't want this to sound like some "humble brag" about how I consider every perspective equally-- because of course I absolutely don't, I have plenty of biases. I just don't always know where to land because issues like this can be so multifaceted, and that's ok.
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  29. ISO #179
    Most Likely Asleep Secondhand Revenant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nutella (#177)
    Quote Originally Posted by Zack (#176)
    Quote Originally Posted by nutella (#175)
    for what it's worth @Shad, I do not think you crossed any lines and I cannot speak for dunya but I don't think your comments specifically made her upset (could be wrong) -- I don't believe you need to "just keep your mouth shut" -- you were fully justified in everything you said. And I can relate to the cycle of engaging/not engaging with stuff.
    mmm. when one of the organizers of the event lashes out and makes sweeping statements about people posting in bad faith, people are gonna feel targeted by that on some level even if it wasn't meant to be directed at them. I certainly felt targeted (even if that was not the intention) and those posts from dunya rubbed me the wrong way, even though I don't believe I did anything wrong and the issues I raised were legitimate ones. Maybe some people have been curt or aggressive in their criticism, but I highly doubt anyone was arguing in bad faith, and that can be a really frustrating accusation when it's false, especially in a topic such as this.

    anyway i'm done with this thread
    it was an emotional response and that's bound to happen tbh, not everything can or should be held back when it feels personal. I can't speak for dunya but for my part, I do regret the "bad faith" comment that I made and retract it, I felt upset that the changes that had been made due to feedback weren't being recognized but I do not think any comments had bad intentions.
    I think some things should be held back or vented in a more appropriate location. In this instance, that post was very accusatory towards some and their intentions. And that has extra weight if someone is an organizer too. Do you think people will feel like they can or should contribute their thoughts if accusations of malice are coming out from organizers? And the accusations may not be directed at everyone, but it was more or less left to guess for each individual if they were part of the accused.
    Last edited by Secondhand Revenant; May 6th, 2021 at 05:28 PM.
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  30. ISO #180
    Season 5 Champion GeneralHankerchief's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Syn (#173)
    About the cross-community stuff, I can see it. I'm not sure about a solution for it, because I know the TS people involved more than I know the MU people involved. They know each other well, but you're right that the average player has no knowledge of this.

    Do your feelings about that change now that Juliets and Dunia have shared their own mental health stories, or do they remain unchanged?
    Not really. I respect and appreciate them for doing so, but it doesn't change the overall calculus for me.

    Tangent that's probably a poor comparison to the current situation in the below spoiler:

    My homesite is a fan community for the Total War video game series. In March 2011, our longtime and beloved forum administrator, TosaInu, passed away unexpectedly (it wasn't suicide). Aside from a lot of logistical concerns that we had to deal with in order to keep the site running in this event's aftermath, it emotionally shook us all to the core in a way that I have not since seen repeated.

    Aside from us, there were two other Total War fan communities at the time: the official forums, and another fansite. I believe both sites acknowledged Tosa's passing, and the game developers even put in a small easter egg to commemorate the man in their next patch/expansion, but that was as far as it went. We did a good bit more to grieve/commemorate him, naturally, but it was just us. Tosa ran the Org. He didn't have a presence on the other sites. There wasn't any massive cross-community initiative in the aftermath.

    I'm not trying to compare TosaInu to Turnip Head. Obviously the circumstances of their deaths are vastly different. I'm not saying TH's passing isn't worthy of something like this, or that Tosa deserved more. The relationship between MU/TS and the Org/the other Total War sites is different. Dobby has clarified, multiple times, that TH's passing was only part of the impetus for this initiative's happening. He's said that a large part of it is just due to the fact that mafia players have a higher than average chance of having a mental breakdown, especially with the unique stresses this game, played at this level, places on us. I fully agree with that assessment. The same sort of thing just isn't present in the Total War fan community (at least it wasn't a decade ago, anyway).

    But I do think that Turnip Head's passing was certainly a catalyst to this initiative happening in the first place. I also think that a large part of the reason why this entire thing has, presumably, been less well-received on MU as compared to The Syndicate, is that we simply have not been affected by Turnip Head's passing in the same way that the Syndicate community has. How could we? There are secondhand stories of what a great presence and person TH was, but that's all they are to most of us: secondhand stories. We never got the firsthand experience. We never got that jarring event of the knowledge of their passing and how that would impact us. We don't have the same history of interactions and good times with Turnip Head. The same way that the other two Total War fan communities did not have the same history with TosaInu that the Org did.

    As a result, MU, as a community, was simply not "primed" for something like this the same way that The Syndicate was. All out of nowhere, we got these announcements from this account and this big push to take part in this initiative, and it was, well, jarring. It wasn't super salient in our minds and all at once, it was.

    To get back to Syn's original point, I guess my overall thesis in this tangent is that due to the unfortunate context behind these events, this was never going to go down on MU the same way that it (presumably) did on the Syndicate. It's an impossible thing to account for, especially without hindsight, but at the end of the day that rawer connection to this is certainly going to be more present in a community that is actively dealing with the aftermath of the loss of one of their members than one without it.
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  31. ISO #181
    Thread Analyst dunya's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Secondhand Revenant (#179)
    I think some things should be held back or vented in a more appropriate location. In this instance, that post was very accusatory towards some and their intentions. And that has extra weight if someone is an organizer too. Do you think people will feel like they can or should contribute their thoughts if accusations of malice are coming out from organizers? And the accusations may not be directed at everyone, but it was more or less left to guess for each individual if they were part of the accused.
    you are absolutely right. i would like to apologize for my post and any negative feelings it may have caused anyone. i am emotional and sensitive, and i do make mistakes when i am emotional. i never intended to offend, but rather get across how i felt and ask for a more gentle discussion in a mental health thread that is close to the hearts of many. i'm sorry if i crossed any lines doing that. i can't apologize for describing how this thread has made me personally feel, however, because...that was how i felt.

    but i have stepped down from any involvement in this project.

    i hope no one regards my posts as any official statement from "organizers" of this event, especially from MU. i was never part of "MU staff" and handling of info shared on MU. i was always just someone helping spread the message across to TS and coordinate events between both communities; nothing more, nothing less. i was never a spokesperson from this end, so please don't hold the rest of the team accountable for my moment of weakness.

    good luck to all and stay healthy out there!!

  32. ISO #182
    Most Likely Asleep Secondhand Revenant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dunya (#181)
    Quote Originally Posted by Secondhand Revenant (#179)
    I think some things should be held back or vented in a more appropriate location. In this instance, that post was very accusatory towards some and their intentions. And that has extra weight if someone is an organizer too. Do you think people will feel like they can or should contribute their thoughts if accusations of malice are coming out from organizers? And the accusations may not be directed at everyone, but it was more or less left to guess for each individual if they were part of the accused.
    you are absolutely right. i would like to apologize for my post and any negative feelings it may have caused anyone. i am emotional and sensitive, and i do make mistakes when i am emotional. i never intended to offend, but rather get across how i felt and ask for a more gentle discussion in a mental health thread that is close to the hearts of many. i'm sorry if i crossed any lines doing that. i can't apologize for describing how this thread has made me personally feel, however, because...that was how i felt.

    but i have stepped down from any involvement in this project.

    i hope no one regards my posts as any official statement from "organizers" of this event, especially from MU. i was never part of "MU staff" and handling of info shared on MU. i was always just someone helping spread the message across to TS and coordinate events between both communities; nothing more, nothing less. i was never a spokesperson from this end, so please don't hold the rest of the team accountable for my moment of weakness.

    good luck to all and stay healthy out there!!
    Oh and I do wanna be clear, don't mean to say anything wrong with the feelings or having them, was just me thinking there was an issue with venue where they were aired. I do hope you feel better and am sorry you felt it necessary to step down. Realize the thread is a place of high emotions on all sides here
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  33. ISO #183
    GOAT Tier JohnCarter's Avatar
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    Perhaps I should have been clearer in my posts that I saw the good intentions from, quite literally, every moderator and participator in this thread.

    I did say as much in each of my posts, though I should have put more emphasis on it given my stance which could have suggested otherwise, given the seriousness of the topic.

    Specifically around feedback, absolutely the team mean well, and of course they have done a huge chunk of work to be receptive to feedback in many instances.

    My issue with feedback lies with keeping the banner as opt-out rather than opt-in, which should not be the case for this topic. And absolutely not in this environment, which is: online, uncontrolled, across different cultures, with no independent, external team to oversee choices made.

    Anyway, thank you everyone for sharing, for taking the time, and I am glad that I got to say my piece about something that had me quite upset about the potential consequences.

    Everyone responds differently to everything, so let’s just all continue to do our best.

  34. ISO #184
    Hype! Arapocalypse's Avatar Discord Moderator
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    Appreciate the input you've given, JohnCarter; the criticism is nice to hear from a point where it is at least being voiced from a place that shows you care versus not being voiced at all!!! Personally I think having the banner going forward is a bit pointless considering lack of potential benefit (doesn't really seem to have any positive reception/raised awareness, which was its intent); it's under discussion to remove though!!

    It somewhat contradicts the purpose of the banner regardless if it were to be opt-in versus opt-out regardless, so it'd just be removed anyways!!!
    Message a ghost at Arapocalypse#0834!

    [9:07 AM] boq, bbt's boss: Be Boq
    [9:07 AM] boq, bbt's boss: Wait for the principal in the cafeteria
    [9:07 AM] boq, bbt's boss: Be offered coffee by the peeps there
    [9:08 AM] boq, bbt's boss: "Nice"
    [9:08 AM] boq, bbt's boss: Grab a random mug. Enjoy your coffee. Notice that it says "principal's mug" on it

  35. ISO #185
    Soul Reader Virtuoso's Avatar
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    Thank you, MU, for supporting mental heath advocacy.
    "Virtuoso, you wifomy piece of chocolate
    -Insomnia in mentor/mentee DVC

  36. ISO #186
    Hype! Arapocalypse's Avatar Discord Moderator
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    On another note, I was recently reminded that A Silent Voice is an excellent movie, would highly recommend!!!!

    Yes I remember it was a MUvie night already recently, and I would be down for a rerun, fight me!!!
    Message a ghost at Arapocalypse#0834!

    [9:07 AM] boq, bbt's boss: Be Boq
    [9:07 AM] boq, bbt's boss: Wait for the principal in the cafeteria
    [9:07 AM] boq, bbt's boss: Be offered coffee by the peeps there
    [9:08 AM] boq, bbt's boss: "Nice"
    [9:08 AM] boq, bbt's boss: Grab a random mug. Enjoy your coffee. Notice that it says "principal's mug" on it

  37. ISO #187
    Soul Reader Syn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arapocalypse (#186)
    On another note, I was recently reminded that A Silent Voice is an excellent movie, would highly recommend!!!!

    Yes I remember it was a MUvie night already recently, and I would be down for a rerun, fight me!!!
    Can confirm. First and only anime I've ever loved. Bawled like a baby.

  38. ISO #188
    im gay staypositivefriend's Avatar Moderator
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    quick note: i am not speaking on behalf of the moderation team with this post. these are my thoughts as an observer that has been following the thread fairly closely.

    i've had so many frustrating experiences w/regards to how mental health is treated and talked about. in my experience, mental health has been one of those things that you just Don't Talk About unless it's in a very cold and calculated medical context that you oftentimes have to spend an exorbitant amount of money to be able to afford.

    most frustratingly, professional mental health treatment has let down so many people in so many ways, and caused such a significant amount of hurt. i've had deeply frustrating experiences with mental health professionals that almost singlehandedly turned me off of getting professional treatment ever again. i have felt so let down by so many mental health initiatives that are ultimately shallow in nature - initiatives that seem to treat "getting professional help" as a cure for mental illness and an end-all solution, instead of something deeply challenging and painful that requires a lifetime of effort. i've seen mental health initiatives that have implicitly treated me and people like me as completely disposable and merely cogs that are intended to go through the system in a very narrow and binary way.

    as such, there is so much pain and so much frustration from members of our community (myself included) that have felt left behind and invalidated by initiatives that are similar to this exact one. people want their pain to be validated, people want their frustrations to be validated, and having a sockpuppet pun account making broad generalizations about how to "get better" can feel downright condescending. it can feel cloying and disingenuous.

    as such, when you're dealing with a sensitive topic that carries so much emotional baggage with so many people. there is no real way to do this kind of initiative that won't make some of the members of our community feel frustrated and spoken down to.

    and honestly? if i wasn't a mod, there's a decent chance that i would feel the same way. i have the privilege of knowing that the people involved with this initiative are doing it with the best possible intentions, and that they are taking every single piece of feedback to heart. i can't realistically expect anyone else to feel that way, especially when the initiative got off to a rocky start w/issues of transparency, privacy, and a lack of clear communication regarding our intentions

    i strongly believe that the best way to destigmatize mental illness is to cultivate environments where people can be open and honest about their own struggles. i have felt encouraged by the stories and experiences that are being shared by the members of our community, and i am hopeful that this initiative will bring a sense of comfort to those who are going through their own struggles.

    we are not professionals, and we do not have the capacity to truly "help" anyone with their mental health struggles (nor should we place that unrealistic responsibility on ourselves!). that said, we do have the capacity to create a culture where people feel more comfortable being their authentic selves, struggles and all, and that is a goal that i consider worth fighting for.

    at the same time, i acknowledge and empathize with the criticisms and frustrations that have been levied against this initiative. i have not perceived a single comment in this thread to be in bad faith, and it's clear that this is an issue that the community collectively cares about very deeply.

    i do not have an overarching point to this post, beyond simply saying: "i hear you" to the criticisms that have been posted in this thread. if nothing else, i hope that the launch of this initiative will open up a conversation between the moderation team and the community about how issues involving transparency, privacy, and mental health should be handled in the future.

  39. ISO #189
    after reading most of the thread i felt compelled to chime in a few things, i will commend the organizers for being open/responsive to the initial critical-leaning response and i can see how the involved staff may have felt frustration and assumed that despite their best intentions no amount of change would be good enough for some. and that GH laid out quite well that outstanding concerns could very well be because of the sort of 'original sin' baked into the event.

    i also sympathize with nutella / other mods here who feel some responsibility to toe the 'thin blue line' / but also want to speak freely about their own mental health and the sort of tension/mental toll created by the dissonance of being a mod/part of a mod team/and also a user.

    Syn, i thought your first reply absolutely nailed something that i think a lot of people feel about these sort of initiatives and i thought it was quite profound. thank you for posting your thoughts.

    iaafr that article was kind of mind blowing. thank you for sharing

    on the issue of trust; i think a lot of people are (rightfully so) centering it around personal trust ie mostly related to familiarity and confidence, but there is also a level of custodial trust involved in the exchange of deeply personal stories, as in, do i trust my story to not be leaked or mishandled (whether maliciously or accidentally) and i do not think that all (any?) of the mistrust should be taken personally.

    i do kind of think a bright spot in all this is the depth of most of the discourse in this thread. which i kind of agree with FTF/a few others that in off-topic threads is kind of seldom found here in regards to subject matter like this (i could be/likely am mistaken though.. this wasnt supposed to be backhanded)


    Quote Originally Posted by Arapocalypse (#186)
    On another note, I was recently reminded that A Silent Voice is an excellent movie, would highly recommend!!!!

    Yes I remember it was a MUvie night already recently, and I would be down for a rerun, fight me!!!
    by the time i had watched it, it was very highly regarded so i had highish expectations and it still delivered. very affecting.
    Last edited by jonnyd; May 7th, 2021 at 01:43 AM.

  40. ISO #190
    1610 roro__b's Avatar Moderator
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    Post for 7th of May is up!!

    There are two polls posted there, regarding the Movie Night, go vote - more than one option is possible to vote for, might do more than one if there's enough interest!

    The two polls are here:

    Movies Poll

    Dates Poll
    1610

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