Following Are the General and Technical Guidelines

The places in which we are seen and heard are holy places. They remind us of our value of human beings. They give us the strength to go on. Eventually, they may even help us to transform our pain into wisdom.

- Rachel Naomi Remen

We're glad you're here at the Welcome to Oz community, which I (Randi Kreger) established in 1996 to enable family members with a borderline or narcissistic loved one to support each other. Our covenant and Community Guidelines are below. You can find this file and our Technical Guidelines in the FILES section of your particular list.

COVENANT

A covenant is a promise that we, the members of the Welcome To Oz (WTO) online support community, make to each other to keep our community and its "neighborhoods" (different groups) a safe place where all feel welcome.

We are a diverse community of people who share a common bond—we are struggling with the confusion, stress, and pain of having a family member with narcissistic or borderline personality disorder.

Our community is a place where questions and doubts can be raised in an environment of acceptance and trust. We are each given the opportunity and gift to learn more about ourselves, validate one another, and be reminded that we are not alone in our struggle.

Whether we are old-timers or new members, we are here to help each other laugh when we're feeling down and cry when something hits home. The support we will get here, sometimes even more than anything else, helps us change our life for the better.

We strive for compassionate, non-judgmental listening, courtesy, and respect for one another as we share our feelings, experiences, and ideas. To this end, we promise to one another to keep our sharing confidential, to understand we're all at different places in our lives, and to work through disagreements in good faith with the help of the staff.

Our email is (nameofyourgroup)-owner@yahoogroups.com. Contact us with any questions or concerns.  Also, Welcome to Oz and Welcome to Oz2 are introductory lists with a variety of types of family relationships. If you are looking for something more specialized for your exact situation and type of family member, please see a list of all the groups at http://www.bpdcentral.com/support-groups/

COMMUNITY GUIDELINES

MISSION: We are a support group, not a therapy group. We recommend you see a therapist; to find the best one, see the article on my website BPDCentral.com.

POSTS:  All posts must reflect the tone of the mission. This means being caring, considerate of people's feelings, couching suggestions in helpful ways, and being aware at all times that everyone on the list is struggling and doing their best. It may be frustrating when you feel you want to blast someone because you are angry, frustrated, and want people to see things your way. You have every right to express your opinion, but it must be done in a kind, considerate way that respects people's feelings.

MODERATION: I am not able to provide this community with moderators to keep everyone on track, enforce guidelines, keep track of personalities, help people work through issues, and so on. It is too cost-prohibitive me to pay someone, and a variety of volunteers I have tried have made things considerably worse. However, as soon as you bring a problem to my attention, I will IMMEDIATELY step in to solve it. For these groups to run smoothly, I need each person to moderate themselves and set up to make sure their posts adhere to guidelines. If they do not, let me know ASAP.

HOW TO REACH OWNER RANDI KREGER: Send a message to (nameofgroup)-owner@yahoogroups.com. For example, WTOTransition-owner@yahoogroups.com (please note the hyphen). The footer of every post contain this email address. The bottom of every email also tells you how to unsubscribe.

ABOUT ADVICE: Refrain from giving direct advice about major life decisions unless physical abuse is present or children are at risk. Do not tell anyone what to do unless you feel they of their children are in imminent danger. Form answers as opinions, not directives.  People may not be ready to hear the "truth" you want to tell them. We are all on our own journey.

EXPERTS: If you present yourself as some kind of an expert--even if you also qualify by having a BPD/NPD family member--please check with Randi (see above address)

CRISIS: If you are being abused physically or emotionally, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233). If you are in a suicide crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255. Also see http://www.upworthy.com/what-happens-if-you-try-to-kill-yourself-and-survive-pg2-2c?c=click

RELIGION: It is fine to talk about your own religious beliefs and what they have to do with YOUR situation. It is NOT fine to talk about your religious beliefs and someone else's situation. We have a group called WTOChristian for those who seek those of similar faith.

ON TOPIC: Posts must have to do with coping with a family member with a personality disorder and associated concerns.

UNWANTED MESSAGES: Anyone who harasses someone off-list will be removed from WTO. If you are receiving unwanted personal messages let us know ASAP.

RESOURCES

Welcome to Oz is free to you, but it is costly to run. Subscribing to my blog or buying my books are a win-win proposition for both of us! Please subscribe to my blog at Psychology Today: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/stop-walking-eggshells. You can purchase my four books and many other booklets and CDs at BPDCentral.com. Click on STORE.

While many people will suggest buying my book Stop Walking on Eggshells (SWOE), I actually recommend first getting my most recent book, The Essential Family Guide to BPD (EFG). EFG contains my Beyond Blame system, which is a set of five Power Tools that should be learned in order:

1. Take good care of yourself  2. Uncover what keeps you stuck 3.Communicate to be heard

4. Set limits with love 5. Reinforce the right behaviors.

To learn what you need to know about the Beyond Blame system, go to BPDCentral.com and click "Help for Families."

.....................................................................................................................................................

 

 Technical Guidelines

Technical Guidelines to the Welcome to Oz Community

Welcome to the Oz community. I'm Randi Kreger, the owner since 1995. We're here to help and support you with your borderline or narcissistic family member. We have two sets of guidelines: this, the Technical  Guidelines, shows you all the things you're able to do on the Yahoogroups platform (such as sending a message or changing your name). The Community Guidelines discuss what to talk about and general list netiquette. Please keep both sets handy as you will need them!

YOU ARE REPONSIBLE FOR KNOWING THIS INFORMATION. For anything you don't find here, there is a HELP link at the bottom of Yahoogroups pages. The URL is https://help.yahoo.com/kb/groups.  Keep this email. If you lose it, you can find it under FILES from your group's homepage.

How to Reach the Moderators or Community Owner Randi Kreger

Send a message to (nameofgroup)-owner@yahoogroups.com. For example, WTOTransition-owner@yahoogroups.com (please note the hyphen). The footer of every post contain this email address. The bottom of every email also tells you how to unsubscribe.

How to Subscribe

The largest two lists we offer are WelcomeToOz  and WelcomeToOz2. They contain all types of family members. Please also check out our smaller specialized lists, e.g., those for parents, siblings, adult children, partners in various situations, and more. You can find a complete list at https://www.bpdcentral.com/support-groups/

Once you choose a group (you can always change your mind) go to wherever you keep your email (such as Outlook) and send a blank email to (nameofgroup)-subscribe@yahoogroups.com; for example, WTOStaying-subscribe@yahoogroups.com. Please note the hyphen. The first time you join Yahoogroups, yahoo will ask you your birth date and such. You will need to decide your frequency preferences.

How To Set Your Frequency Preferences

Most groups are extremely active; some get many dozens a day. You will get overwhelmed unless you set your group to Daily Digest or No Mail (meaning read messages on the web). We strongly suggest you NOT use your work mail.

From your group's main page, click Membership | select Edit Membership.

Next to "Subscription," click the Edit icon. Then select a message delivery option and click Save.

A) Individual Emails - Messages are delivered to you one at a time.

B) Daily Digest - Messages are delivered in batches of 15 or daily, whichever comes sooner. You can also switch to the Daily Digest by sending a blank email to (nameofgroup)-digest@yahoogroups.com

D) No Email - Messages are only available to read on the Web in the archives. WTOStaying, WTOTransition, and WTODivorcing do not contain archives. If you are in these groups, you must go with A) or B).

You can also switch to No Email by sending a blank email to (nameofgroup)-nomail@yahoogroups.com.

How to Unsubscribe (Our Most Common Question)

You must do this yourself. Send a blank email to (nameofgroup)-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com; for example, WTOStaying-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com. Please note the hyphen. If you don't get a message confirming that change, it's likely you've made one of two common mistakes:

You didn't use the hyphen (e.g. "WTOStayingunsubscribe@yahoogroups.com.

You sent your message to the list owner (e.g., WTOStaying-owner@yahoogroups.com).

Please be a hero for handling your own subscription because we only have two volunteers for 20,000 people. Ask any list member for help if you need to. This is very easy.

Privacy Features and Guidelines

Keep in mind that every list except WTODivorcing, WTOTransition, and WTOStaying contain archives of posts since the year 2000. Thus, every member must use an email address that is not their real name and must remove all contact info from the bottom of the list. Upon joining Welcome to Oz you agree to hold harmless Welcome To Oz from all liability for any consequences for using your real name or using contact information. You are also required to have a separate email address from your BPD family member with a password known only to you. If you have trouble setting up a web-based address, please go to the help section of that site.

To create privacy, create a web-based email at Gmail, AOL, or elsewhere. When you create the account, do not use your real name even if they insist you do so. Use a fictitious first and last name. This way you don't have to worry about exactly how and why your names is used.

.

GMAIL: Be careful with Gmail! By default, it includes your account name in the email header. Not just the email address.

Change your email settings before sending any messages.

- goto gmail.com

- click the gear box in the upper right

- click "Settings" in the drop down box

- click "Accounts and Import" on the top Settings menu

- click "Send mail as" and enter something non-identifying

It's a good idea to send mail to one of your other accounts first to make sure it comes through with no identifying information.

YAHOO: Because WTO exists on Yahoogroups, if you are using a yahoo address, you can block your name from going on a post, Go to: https://help.yahoo.com/kb/groups/alias-display-yahoo-post-sln2445.html.

No matter which route you take, it's a good idea to send an email to a friend beforehand so confirm nothing personal comes through. Don't be one of those panicked people who send us and ask that we stop a post from going through. This is impossible.

OOPS, I MESSED UP! MY NAME IS ON THE LIST!

If you posted something to the group with your name on it, you can delete it (see below). You can only delete your own message.

1. On your group's main page, click Conversations.

2. Click Messages.

3. Click the title of the message you want to delete.

- The message loads.

4. Mouse over the message's text, then click the Delete icon.

OOPS, I MESSED UP! MY FAMILY MEMBER HACKED INTO MY LIST!

Notify us immediately with your name and the list you are on. We will take care of it. Change your password right away. Delete any posts they made. If your family member tries to shame you, ask us for help.

How to Switch Lists or Change Your Email

Many people decide to switch names on a list for privacy, drop off lists, or subscribe to new lists. This may sound hard, but everything you need to do is outlined right here!

1. HOW TO SWITCH NAMES ON A LIST: If you want to change your email address on list XXX, simply unsubscribe from the "old" address you're using now and subscribe with your new address.  Do not subscribe with a new name to pretend you're a different person.

2. HOW TO ADD A LIST: You can subscribe to as many lists as you want.

3. HOW TO DROP A LIST: See "Unsubscribe."

How to Send a Message to the List

1. Open a new email message as you normally do from your email program (Outlook, Gmail, etc).

2. Enter (nameofgroup)@yahoogroups.com into the "To" field; for example WelcomeToOz@yahoogroups.com.  (If you are replying to someone else's message, the To field will already be filled out.)  If this is your first message, please introduce yourself and tell us about your situation. Or, just ask a question. There is no wrong way to send a first message. This is a welcoming group and people will be happy you are here. You don't need to apologize for writing a long post (honestly).I assure you we will believe you and we have all been there.  If you are shy or want to get your bearings before introducing yourself, you can just read messages (be a lurker).

3. Enter your message content into the email body.

4. Send your email to submit your post

5. Attachments are not allowed, but links to reputable, relevant sites are OK.

As an alternative, you can also post from the home page of your group. This is convenient if you are reading messages from the web site.

1. On your group's main page, click New Topic. (On mobile, tap the Post topic icon ).

3. Enter your message and press send.

How to Reply to a Message to the List

Just hit reply to any message you get in your email inbox.  Please trim long messages using your delete key. You can also reply from the homepage of your group (press "reply" at the end of a post, write your comments, and press Send).

Moderation

Everyone on the list is either ON moderation or OFF moderation. To simplify things, if you are on moderation, it means your post will take a few hours or as long as a day to appear on the list. This is because we glance at each post to make sure it isn't spam, porn, otherwise inappropriate, or someone's spouse who broke into the group (please keep a separate email address).

How to Search The Archives (except for WTOStaying and WTODivorcing)

The Welcome to Oz Community has been going on Yahoogroups (and its predecessors) since 2000. You can search the archives for any word (or group of words enclosed by quotation marks) that interest you. However, years ago members of WTODivorcing and WTOStaying  voted not to keep archives for privacy purposes. If you wish to search past posts from similar threads from a totally different community, search at the family message board BPDFamily.com. The stories and problems of family members are the same wherever you go.

RESOURCES (AND HOW TO GIVE BACK)

Welcome to Oz is free to you, but it is costly to run. Subscribing to my blog or buying my books are a win-win proposition for both of us! Please subscribe to my blog at Psychology Today: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/stop-walking-eggshells. You can purchase my four books at BPDCentral.com. Click on STORE.

While many people will suggest buying my book Stop Walking on Eggshells (SWOE), I actually recommend first getting my most recent book, The Essential Family Guide to BPD (EFG). EFG contains my Beyond Blame system, which is a set of five Power Tools that should be learned in order:

1. Take good care of yourself  2. Uncover what keeps you stuck 3.Communicate to be heard

4. Set limits with love 5. Reinforce the right behaviors. To learn what you need to know about the Beyond Blame system, go to BPDCentral.com and click "Help for Families."

My four books are:

The Essential Family Guide to Borderline Personality Disorder: New Tools and Techniques to Stop Walking on Eggshells

Stop Walking on Eggshells Workbook: Practical Strategies for Living with Someone Who Has Borderline Personality Disorder (with Paul Shirley)

Stop Walking on Eggshells Taking Your Life Back When Someone You Care About Has Borderline Personality Disorder (with Paul Mason)

Splitting: Divorcing a Borderline or Narcissist  (really written by attorney/therapist Bill Eddy)

 
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