I disagree with keeping concerns in PMs. This allows the cruel comment to go unanswered publicly. It then normalizes that it is OK to comment cruelly on someone's post. It also means that each individual person has to figure out for themselves that certain people on here give very painful or misleading advice that can keep people in a place of self-blame for far too long, instead of actually using limerence for the wake-up call to growth and awareness that it is.
I also disagree that this forum should be more "I"centered. One of the things that I learned through therapy is that I thought any pain that I was in was my own fault and took full responsibility for it. So if someone slapped me, I thought I had earned that slap. If someone called me selfish, I thought it was because I was not putting that person's needs above my own, as I had been taught to do since birth. If someone called me too emotional, I thought it was because I was too emotional. In short, I took on all problems that others (read my ex and my mother) had with me as my own and desperately tried to fix myself. Until I just couldn't do it anymore.
I learned this because in therapy when I would say something that someone did that was hurtful, in a matter of fact way, my therapist would cringe a bit and make a tiny face. And I would stop and think, why did she just make that face. And then I realized that I just said that someone had done something profoundly hurtful to me and was acting as if it did not hurt at all. This is a coping mechanism for those of us living with someone who cannot handle other's emotions because they cannot handle their own.
So after years, I have finally started to feel pain, actually feel it, instead of just intellectually recognize it, when someone says something painful.
And after years, I finally recognize that it is not always my fault when someone says something painful to me. That the cure is not to fix myself for them, but to understand that this is about that person and not me.
This is why I so profoundly disagree with the advice to look inside. For me, it was so important to realize first, that there are people who thrive on other's pain, who seek to control, and who want to keep others down to elevate themselves. Call it whatever you want, narcissism, bpd, pyschopathy, cluster B, lack of empathy, but these people exist and when they criticize you they are doing it for themselves and not to help you be a better person.
Then, and only then, can we look inside and see why we are so vulnerable to these kinds of people. First, any discussion of narcissism will say that many of us are susceptible. There is usually a love-bombing very pleasant stage at the beginning. But some of us are more susceptible than others. And that is likely because we were raised by someone who has these dark qualities. We have associated love with abuse. And that is likely why we suffer so much in our relationships.
I am very sorry to see that David appears to want to let this forum proceed as an unsafe and harmful place. I am doubly sorry to see that L-F has doubled down on her advice to "look within" and do the "heavy lifting." The way out of this, and it is so very hard to do, is self-compassion. Re-parent yourself. Forgive yourself. Love yourself. Look at your own actions with curiosity and kindness. Realize it is normal to feel pain when someone does something to hurt you. You can not fix them, but you can remove yourself from the situation.
And I am now recognizing that I am doing the thing I like to do, which is watch out for others. But alas, I cannot help those who seek out this forum in pain, without realizing that by opening up to people that they think will finally understand, they will subject themselves to further shaming and harm. I am, thus, also taking my own advice and removing myself.