I wonder about how helpful sites like this are, too. I used to be on here all the time, and it seemed more destructive sometimes. I was curious about whether or not my healing was hindered by it, but looking back on it, as much as I did revel in my pain on here now and then, I really got everything out.
It was kind of like ripping off a band-aid as opposed to rinsing it under hot water for several minutes and then letting it fall off on it's own. I really could've just worked through it on my own and avoided a lot of heartbreak and pain, but it may have stuck with me a lot longer and I know I would've spent a long time waiting for relief to come rather than just deciding to find it for myself. This website and the people on it helped me to lay all of the trauma out in front of me, but as something concrete and separate from myself in a way. It was a strange sort of clarity I don't know if I would've achieved otherwise. I was able to tackle the trauma head on, but there was a lot of residual pain involved.
It's weird to think about, but it's almost made my trauma into an emotional tumor. I could identify it as something that was technically a part of me, but it wasn't supposed to be there and it could be removed. I could see that what I was feeling and experiencing wasn't mine, it was something influencing me and it could be taken care of. Being able to separate what had happened from myself was huge. Here I could see the same issues and trends plaguing multiple people and understand that this was something that was not my fault. I was not causing this pain. It was something else, and once I could identify it I could work on removing it from my emotional self. Relapses happen, of course, but it gets easier. This site was like chemo to my metaphoric emotional tumor. More pain than if I had just left it alone initially, but the results were worth it.
... I'm rambling a little, but I have a paper to write and I don't really want to, so it was bound to happen. I hope that all made sense. This site can be counter productive in certain short run situations, but in the long run-- for me-- it can really help.
I've been better at not thinking about it recently. It's starting to get to the point where I only think about him when I remember that I haven't thought about him in a while. Then it's like I'm winning or something.
btw, you totally weren't hijacking. The first post just started the thread. for all I care, we could spend the next three pages of it discussing pictures of bunnies or the appropriate way to put on pants-- I am told that you're actually not supposed to put them on my feeling around in the dark closet until you find something that vaguely resembles something that feels like pants. (I have a roommate who goes to bed earlier than I do, so I try not to wake her up through turning on the lights.)
I'm being ridiculous, now, so I'm going to stop before I make a fool of myself. :D