Doc Won't Put Up With Abuse:
| April 11, 2001
Those of you who have been following the site for a while will remember wpb, also known as Wayne.Wayne was posting to the Catbox as "HeartBroken" and to the Boards last winter. His (now defunct) Ye Old Yak Board involvement in particular created lots of ruckus and nearly destroyed the safe and pertinent space the board provided it's posters. My mailbox was stuffed with complaints. Wayne, and his estranged wife Melissa, were eventually both banned from site boards. Why ban Melissa? Because her unchecked and misguided empathy for Wayne caused her to fully participate in the disruption. We won't even discuss what it's done to her!
I've posted the correspondence regarding this issue for two reasons: To illustrate Wayne's attempts to intimidate me / manipulate me, and to model a way of handling his engagement attempts. Note the constant double and triple messages: self-righteous indignation, attempts at intimidation, and pleas to "understand" him are almost simultaneous. He giveth and taketh away in one fell swoop. This tactic creates a confusing emotional climate for his victim. Wake up Mel!
Wayne is a very disturbed individual who wants others to take responsibility for his actions so he can continue to get away with mis-behavior. We are repeatedly asked to understand his point of view. What about his understanding ours? When I gave him mine in Catbox, he ignored it. When I emailed him some feedback (included below), again, he threw it back at me. Very sad situation and I do feel badly for him - and Mel. But not as badly as I feel for those he has hurt and continues to hurt - in the name of understanding his perspective, fairness, and personal growth. And I'm angry with his repeated attempts to manipulate, guilt, or intimidate me. Hogwash!
emails began around the time I got involved to check out a second round of
(From Wayne - an appeal; blaming
others for hurting him.)
Have you truly read all the posts.
I have been very patient with the degree of abuse
and paranoia on this board.
I have been diagnosed, evaluated, and picked apart
for most things I have said. Most of which is nothing but sincerity
Before commenting on my affect, try looking towards
the full extent of the discourse taking place.
love to all, wpb
ps. I am saddened by the lack of constructive
input on this board.
Hi Wayne, (From Doc to Wayne)
Not all, but enough. I know your
intentions are good, but they are complaining because, I think, you can be
very rude at times - fine other times.
Please take my feedback and use it. It is
for your own betterment. Spend a little time thinking about how you are
coming across. Learning these written and verbal skills will benefit you
greatly in life.
Best regards, Dr. Irene
2/2 (From Wayne – He asks for input, gets it, refutes it. He wants however to continue our dialogue so I can "understand" him. Unfortunately, he becomes subtly threatening and tries to intimidate me. Big mistake. Doc is done talking to him. There will be no "second chance" because it is clear to me that this individual has no interest in recovery at this time. )
As for being rude, that is a matter of perspective.
I have been far more polite, then many who know of the situation think
I have always felt compassion and empathy for the
I would be interested on your positions re PD's
including particularly BPD, and PTSD. (Is
illness your excuse to insist you be allowed to act out Wayne? It won't
(Is illness your excuse to insist you be allowed to act out Wayne? It won't wash.)
Are you familiar with EMDR.
What is your PhD in?
If you don't mind.
By the way remember that we are participating in a
global village; with many varied perceptions. What is acceptable and
normal to some is offensive to others.
Western Hemisphere chat rooms are offended by ALS
PLS? statements, whereas they are the norm elsewhere.
I think that as much for me as for others, this is
an excellent opportunity for growth. Bridge the Gap.
Remember ... countertransference....
(For the unfamiliar,
“countertransference” is the term used to refer to the therapist’s
unresolved stuff that gets in the way of treating the client.)
Love to all, wpb
(From Wayne - )
ps Dr. Irene
When with a marriage counselor previously, I was informed that I was being too analytical, and promoting feelings of walking on eggshells, by suggesting that my partner reflect on how she might be coming across.
I feel like if I say the sky is blue, people are
going to find fault with that statement.
Embarrassed by the commercialization of a person's
love to all, wpb
(From a poster - an example of the complaints
I was receiving.)
have to be honest and tell you that I believe that this Wayne situation is
ruining the board. I agree with you that there are always going to be
people like him who will show up from time to time, and I think there are
many who have attempted to ignore his obviously sick and desperate antics.
the man is dominating every discussion, and harassing the other posters. I
received an E-Mail from him, and I know others have as well. I just
blocked his address, and suggested this to others. Personally I have begun
to question just how healthy it is to be forced to ignore and endure
endlessly with this man. It has begun to seem like another form of abuse
to me, and I am nowhere near as vulnerable as some of the women who post
on the board. On the moderated boards that I post on he would be banned or
at the very least warned to stop what he is doing or be banned. Part of
this is not only because he would be harassing others, but also because
the webmaster did not want people or the advertisers that they pay money
for to be run off the site because of one very sick person.
am convinced that a moderated board would curb a lot of these not very
frequent situations like the Wayne one, and I do believe that many of the
regular posters would be in favor of one if they had a better
understanding of what a moderated board really is. Some seem to have the
mistaken impression it is about censorship. The Dr. Irene site and the
discussion board are excellent overall, and it would be very sad to see
something like this be allowed to ruin it.
2/5 (From Mel,
Wayne’s estranged wife, writing from a shelter. Mel is victim rage
personified. But she can't help her big heart from giving him her support
and benefit of the doubt. Time after time, despite how his actions have
affected her life, she excuses his stuff.)
Dear Dr. Irene,
I don't know how you made your decision to try having a moderated board, but the vote was by far in favour of leaving it alone. Most people were not offended by some of the so-called offensive posts. Personally, the thing I found most offensive was the behavior of those calling for moderation who were making big deals out of someone signing off "love to all". I have seen many sign off that way and nothing was said. There was a lot of prejudging going on with replies being made not to what was actually said but to the person who was a victim of verbal abuse the moment he appeared on the board. Many posters would likely agree that the ones calling for moderation were the ones initiating the abuse on the board, understandably because they were triggered by the appearance of an abuser who was supposed to be welcome on the site.
Also, this moderating changes everything that I
valued about the board. I used to recommend it because if someone was
hurting or suffering they could post a message and receive support almost
instantly since it was such an active board. Now there is a few hours
before ones call for help appears and several more hours before replies
can be read. Not much of a supportive place anymore. Very sad. :(
Even Wayne posted supportive replies to people and
was bashed by others as being insincere. Only victims are welcome here
now, those who were asking for moderation were the ones being judgmental
and disruptive by the presence of an admitted abuser who wants to change.
A quote from your message board page: "Where Abuser People &
Victim People Can Yak & Learn About Each Other..." I think maybe
that should be changed now. I know you probably didn't read all of what
happened over on the yak board, I know you are busy, but perhaps a poll
would be a good idea to show you that most people were not scared off by
Wayne’s presence nor do they want moderation.
Thanks for your consideration of these matters.
Have a good day. Melissa
2/9 (From Wayne
– attempts to persuade and to guilt as Wayne finds his posts banned.)
Can you advise as to the reasons behind censorship
Wayne - tries to put Doc on the defensive/ guilt her.)
I will try again.
I am requesting an explanation as to why I was
censored from the board.
Additionally I would ask for some reasoning as to
why you felt I was rude, etc. (Amazing. He is asking
me to defend my actions when he was the offender. Sound familiar?)
I have tried to come to terms with my behaviour, I
have really hurt some people. I have traumatized them.
(Do you think admission of your mis-behavior
constitutes an excuse for continued abuse?)
(Do you think admission of your mis-behavior constitutes an excuse for continued abuse?)
There could be so many positive outcomes to the
growth experience that could be gained. (I am
depriving him and others of the opportunity to grow. Giggle!)
I would like to mention also that nor Melissa or I agree with what is happening. Personally I feel terrible. I wish some of the posters, could see that their behaviour is questionable, and that I mean absolutely no harm. My posting here is not to win back or otherwise communicate with Melissa.
We are enjoying communication at all levels.
We are trying. We are learning. I have a lot to make amends
for, regardless of the outcome.
Please Doc, know that I would love to work with
this, despite the abuse I have received at this site of yours. ( !!!
If you would even prefer to discuss this personally I would not hesitate in offering you the following: (Deleted)
I have other methods as well if some other comm.
channel would be more suitable.
If you could only just see clearly both sides (no
offense intended) I truly believe you would understand WHY.
Why I want to continue posting.
Why Melissa still cares.
Why I behaved so awfully.
WOULD I ALSO BE MANIPULATING MYSELF? (There was
some speculation at this time whether he and Mel were one person.)
And, why we all deserve a chance to offer what good
we have, ever it be so little.
LOVE TO ALL,
(From Wayne – veiled intimidation
attempts during a time when there was talk about hacking of the Board.)
May I ask how you are managing to implement security
on your current OS platform.
You may be having some undetectable access to your
servers. Whether you are resident or using host service, the UNIX,
derivative, or MS OS may not be set up correctly with respect to firewall,
Additionally are you employing a RAID level as part
of an overall data management program?
I hope that the concepts of IP sniffing,
interrogation, and port control are being considered by your IT staff, to
include as well your moderator.
love to all, wpb
2/20 (From Wayne
– appeals and attempts at persuasion.)
I am posting to a board of Dr. Irene's
I left a post last night, which is evident in my
user profile, but has since disappeared from the general forum view.
Could you please explain, and encourage democracy.
I have not been in violation of any of the following:
You agree to the following terms and conditions:
2/20 (From Wayne
– mocking; more pleas/appeals; more intimidation attempts.)
Now I am being censored from the new board,
Missing threads, as they would say.
And You suddenly after my email, alert the public to
being hacked, I am confident there is no coincidence.
If my suspicions are correct... well, I might be
But the benefit of doubt is desirable.
Please Try to communicate what is going on.
The moderator said you would.
Is this an incorrect statement?
I believe, that the information contained on my
hard drive which reflects the entirety of the debacle since I first posted
to your cat board, up to and including this email would be a fascinating
research item for the APA, and a host of American, and
International Ethics committees. Professional Associations are
starting to examine the liability issues surrounding the dissemination of
services via this new medium of communication.
What a terrific landmark our current situation can
provide for developing new legislative, and policy directives, governing the
participants. Consumers are powerful lobbyists, and plaintiffs.
love to all, wpb
2/22 (From an
indignant Wayne – who now prays for Doc and pleas - while still making
I apologize Dr. Irene it was never my intention to
But if you do kick people from your practice for my
supposed behaviour, I am appalled.
I have the experience to draw intelligent and
I have never seen a situation as has unfolded where
the consumers and practitioner alike didn't reign in their behaviour.
I haven't done anything wrong.
I will continue to monitor, and post as I desire.
If you feel that you effectively can culture a specific environment of
hostility for your financial or other gain, I am sorry for all
You are not only breaking amendments of your
constitution, betraying trust, and medical ethics, but you are blatantly
slandering and bashing people openly while denouncing any
opportunity for rebuttal. (Giggle!
I PRAY FOR YOU
I WISH AS MELISSA TO CONTINUE POSTING TO TAKE PART IN
HELPING EACH OTHER AND EVERYONE IN OUR WORLD COMMUNITY
HOW WOULD YOU FEEL IN A REVERSE POSITION
HAVE YOU EVER REALLY SUFFERED
ARE YOU TALKING FROM EXPERIENCE?
PLEASE DR. IRENE
TURN THIS AROUND; WHAT DO I HAVE TO GAIN.
I WOULD LOVE FOR ALL OF US TO HUG AND DECLARE
HOW CAN YOU FIND FAULT IN THAT
IF YOU CAN SEE ME DIFFERENTLY
PLEASE TELL ME
YOU HAVE YET TO RESPOND
DESPITE THE FACT THAT THE MODERATOR SAID YOU WOULD
WHAT IS THE PROBLEM
IS GORDON, MARYA, MELISSA, ETC. ALL WRONG.
IS GORDON A FOOL, A GENDER BIASED CHAUVINIST. COME ON WAKE UP STOP
THIS CHILDISH BEHAVIOUR ITS PATHETIC AND BORDERS CRIMINAL (Wow!)
LOVE AND PEACE
2/23 (From Mel,
Wayne’s estranged wife, whose misplaced empathy for her husband gets in
her way. I get totally blasted by her on a board while wpb gets
Dear Dr. Irene,
I just want to let you know that in my experience
with many therapists as a couple, individually and in-group support, there
are others who share my view. I don't mind if people don't accept my view,
I respect other opinions, but I do believe in myself and have found a
different approach works wonders. One of the biggest hurdles I have had to
overcome in my lifetime is your concept, "Do
not take the things your partner says personally. They are not about you.
They are about your partner's attempt to engage you." I grew up with
a critical father who was always putting me down and saying things that
hurt my feelings. When I found myself with an angry man who had also been
victimized by many different people in his life, an opportunity arose to
see myself in a mirror. He would overreact to things I would say (and I'm
not saying overreact to belittle his feelings, I'm referring to sudden
attacks because he perceived he was being attacked). This brought back all
kinds of feelings from my childhood where I felt helpless to defend my
character, and as a result I made an unconscious decision to not take that
sh*t anymore. I became very angry and hurt and put myself on hyper alert
for any indication of putdowns or disapproval. Now suddenly I found myself
overreacting to perceived attacks, not from everyone, but with respect to
my partner whom I loved and cared for so much. I couldn't cope with the
idea that he thought so little of me and at times would jump to defend
myself when it wasn't necessary. Now, I'm not denying that it was his
abuse that triggered this sensitivity (along with childhood frustrations),
but my point is that suddenly I'm doing the same thing he was doing to me.
Now he was triggered by my disapproval of his innocent words and again the
situation would escalate, this time with me being the one who overreacted.
So now I look at this concept, ""Do not take the things your
partner says personally. They are not about you. They are about your
partner's attempt to engage you." and I see a new lesson. Do not take
the things your partner says personally. They are not about you. They are
not about your partner trying to engage you, they are about 2 people who
are both hurting overreacting to one another because they just want so
badly to be loved and understood. I believe in MOST cases no one is trying
to engage their partner in a power struggle. It is not necessarily about
power and control. (Although there are definitely controlling people who
do want their partners to be submissive to them) But like myself I have
seen others in troubled relationships where it has nothing to do with
control. It has everything to do with triggered misperceptions which
definitely escalates to something dangerous when one or the other starts
reading or counseling and uses the latest lingo to throw back in the
others face. Labeling our partners as codependents or controllers, etc. is
not something we should be doing when obviously we have our own problems
and could be making a mountain out of a molehill thereby being the cause
of the escalation ourselves. This is what I saw happening on the board
after Wayne's appearance. He has always been sensitive to the feelings of
others and never in denial about his abusive behavior. Yes, he has
problems, but his behavior on this board was not out of line. Perhaps he
should have ignored all of the attacks on him that were unjustified, but
at least he responded with dignity and understanding. He tried (perhaps
too desperately) to defend himself from everyone’s triggered responses.
Had he appeared before me on this site I'm sure he would have been
welcomed with open arms as another "victim". I did overreact to
one of his posts where he was describing a few particular incidents that
had occurred in our relationship, and I think now I should have kept my
defense to myself, because had everyone not heard my side or even known
how abusive he was, he would have received sympathy and understanding and
the advice typical of the message boards "She is abusive, she is
controlling, you need to get away from her" How dangerous is that????
How many other posters are posting about their own misperceptions about an
incident and receiving this terrible biased advice, which creates division
instead of reunion. My goal is to break the cycle, and I would have
supported anyone who has been slammed like Wayne was. There are others who
post who are understandably contributing to their relationship issues
because of their own baggage, but very few people ever talk about their
own responsibility for uncalled for heightened emotional responses.
Instead they are allowing themselves to believe that they just need to
work on disengaging when in fact they are the ones who have engaged in the
first place because of a triggered response to innocent words or actions.
There are many on the board who agree
with me, many who feel the same way about what happened. I don't
understand why you have allowed what happened to happen. I can speculate,
but I don't want to judge. Anyway, just thought I'd share with you the
same message I've been trying to share with others. Some don't agree and
that's ok with me because we could all be wrong. As for Wayne hacking into
the boards or anyone’s system, that is a heightened emotional response
based on fear or paranoia. He is very intelligent and knowledgeable about
computers, but he is not a programmer and not into such things. He sent me
copies of his emails to you and I know he was just trying to suggest
security issues because of the disappearing posts and such. He
really was trying to help people here, while helping himself at the same
time. Oh well, time to focus on my own growth and forget about the ones
stuck in the righteous anger stage. It worked for me while I was there,
but I outgrew that and have no choice but to move ahead now ;) It's just a
shame that this is being perpetuated and encouraged on this board. Some
have been there longer than I was and I hope that they make friends
elsewhere who can help them see what I see now so they can get out of
their "pity pots" and find happiness someday. Validation is one
thing, perpetuating abusive behavior is another. Good luck to you and your
Well gang, now you have it. Wayne and Mel are both banned from site boards. They don't want to / are unable to help themselves right now - and I will not waste precious energy fighting their battle. I have disengaged.
Ps: Trubble sends many, many thanks to KittyKat, whose help was and continues to be invaluable.
I just want to read the posts.