Compassion Fatigue

Compassion fatigue is where you have seen so many needy people you have absolutely no sympathy for the next needy person in line.  I've got compassion fatigue about the people demanding we put message boards back on the Christian Depression Pages web site.  Message boards were an experiment that turned into a life-draining burden.  People with depression shouldn't be solely dependant on message boards for support.  Yes, the boards were helping people connect, proving they weren't an isolated case, and offering hope for a better life.  But they were also used as a weapon, and were brought down by threats, gossip, and outright lies, all coming from people who called themselves Christians.

We didn't have the emotional resources to counsel forty or so people 24/7, and it was never our intention to try.  We just wanted to connect people with depression to others like them, so the users could support each other.  That would have been self-sustaining, and we admin could have faded into the background, like gardeners in a well established park.  But we had to keep coming out to deal with multiple problem users, break up fights, impose some logical and common sense rules, and apply discipline for those who broke the rules.  "Discipline" and "rules" for some people were synonymous with "vicious personal attack" and "arbitrary punishment."  It was a huge relief when we took the message boards offline.

The Christian emotional blackmail is a degree worse than the average stuff, because it comes from people we expect to more of.  Maybe we are being unChristian, callous, acting out of pride, disobeying God, putting our egos first, wounding God's people, destroying God's ministry, and whatever, but the boards will stay down, until we feel 100% ready to put them back, if that point ever comes, and until we have recovered from the damage wrought by the first set of boards.  If that's disobeying God (and I'm pretty sure it isn't), so be it.

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