About IG-DID Support Forums
IG-DID is an active online support community consisting of mostly trauma-survivors who have a dissociative disorder. Founded some 10 years ago by Felicity Lee and Chistina Blount (deceased), IGDID has a rich history of members learning, growing, and experiencing through interacting with each other in a safe and private environment where policies and guidelines provide for open discussion. Topics vary, but generally relate to everyday struggles and successes. Members interact with validation, support, and respect for each other. New members are welcomed and encouraged to participate with the idea that supporting each other in order to find our own strength and resilience in our own time and way is ‘healing’. Within this community, there is ’empathy’, what experts are suddenly deciding is the foundation for being ‘trauma-informed’.
Today, we are beginning to hear about ‘Trauma-Informed Care” or becoming “Trauma-Informed”. Becoming “Trauma-Informed” means literally understanding that everyone experiences different types of trauma in their lives, that folks who have been traumatized need support, empathy, and understanding; and that survivors can be re-traumatized by well-meaning folks trying to ‘help’. Promoting this recently recognized need for folks to become ‘Trauma-Informed’ are many who have realized that understanding the impact of trauma is an important first step in becoming a compassionate and supportive community. There are reams of current research that substantiates these ‘new’ notions.
IG-DID has a long and rich history beginning about 10 years ago with two trauma survivors who have Dissociative Identity Disorder and had belonged to many different message boards available on the internet during that time. They discovered that most popular message boards and support forums were actually creating atmospheres that allowed for members to be abused – emotionally, sexually, and physically by other members, owners, and outsiders. Survivors of abuse were actually being re-traumatized by the communities they joined to gain support. IGDID was started as an EZBoard, migrated to Yuku, and now is a Forumotion server. Through all of these moves and changes, the membership has mostly remained intact, because the vision of 2 survivors never changed – to provide a healing environment where relationships could be built on trust, validation, and respect in order to encourage strength and resiliency of survivors. Those who have been members since the beginning attest to this fact and understand the meaning of ’empathy’ – what so many experts are now just beginning to realize ‘is’ the answer for survivors to heal.
To better understand the concept of ’empathy’ – please watch this short video:
IGDID is not for every survivor. As is evident in the video, empathy is not any easier than is bearing our feelings to others whom we may not know so well. I have spent some 10 years posting and responding on IGDID forums and still worry that someone may respond with rejection or invalidation. I worry that my responses may hurt someone who was brave enough to share their feelings. It is easier to get a gift, find a friend to call every night, etc. than to hear that someone really does understand without any strings attached. When a member thanks us for a kind response, I feel like crying – knowing that I made a bit of a difference in someone’s life. This sort of interaction is beyond what I have experienced anywhere.
IGDID is a community that has been practicing ‘Trauma-Informed’ care and ‘Resilience Building’ (some new terms) for some 10 years. The vision of such a community came from 2 survivors who were ahead of their time and the vision realized because of members and staff who have volunteered some 12 hours a day keeping this forum going over the years.
We understand that not everyone is at a place in their journey to belong within such a community and respect that choice. We often have members return after many years – and, I smile when I see them – knowing that we are still a community whether interacting online or not. Our thoughts go out to all who have ever been or are members of IGDID.
Felicity Lee, MA
“owner”, IG-DID Support Community