I've long had a personal policy to just not respond to trolls and flaming, be they from an anonytroll guest or from a regular. It only fans the fire, and you'll rarely convince them their behavior is inappropriate. And I've been successful at keeping to that pledge most of the time. I know, I know, I don't really post that much any more, so that helps in keeping one's yap shut.
But wouldn't you know that the one time in ages I jump into one (the D-Chord thread, which in true Mudcat fashion has this morning started to actually evolve into a useful thread), it's exactly the wrong one to do. I hadn't even clicked on the "sliding into depression" thread, let alone read it, before posting on the D-Chord thread--still haven't except for a brief skim. I felt, and still do, that the "D" thread was started almost entirely as a personal attack on Spaw from the get-go--and it didn't help that when I challenged Bob on that he jumped right to the left-field conclusion that I was obviously a completely "undeveloped" player, which of course pushed my buttons, being still a mildly sensitive issue for me since it's been a long, slow, self-taught learning curve for me from hack strummy guy to mostly halfway-decent rhythm player--but had I read the "depression" thread, I would've stayed out of it. I don't think I actually flamed Bob, but having more of the full story, I regret having made those posts. Had I known what buttons I was pushing, I'd've had no eagerness to push 'em--a cheap, lazy combination of shootin' fish in a barrel and kickin' a feller while he's down.
And, as Susan has been so rightly pointing out to us for a long time, there's not substitute for actually getting to know another human being.
So you have my apologies, Bob. You're in a hard place, and I shouldn't have made it worse. Like I said in the "D" thread, I have seen you make some very worthwhile posts--the bit in the squeaky-string-noise thread was, as others have pointed out, downright poetic--and I hope you're able to get away, get some perspective, and come back. Whenever a forum is upsetting you too much, I think it is a good idea to take a break for a bit, but I do hope it's not permanent.