One of the hallmarks of being a responsible moderator is that you never really know whether you're doing a good job. The second-guessing and self-critique is constant: am I being too harsh? am I being too lenient? is there a better way to approach the problem than what I'm doing? can I think of it in time to be effective? In the thick of the moment, when tempers run high from all directions and decisions must be made quickly with no time to think things through, when people you expected to count on for support and input during a difficult time instead turn on you, when even with people you can count on for support and input you still really stand alone: it's easy to fail.
Six months ago I tried, and stumbled, and failed, and wondered if I'd gotten any of it right. Three weeks ago I discovered just how much rage I still hold for how things turned out. One week ago I had cause to show the records to another moderator - one whom I highly respect and whose opinion I very much trust. She said:
"shit you're a lot more patient than I am."
Despite all the things that still remain unresolved, some peace of mind finally came. I wasn't harsh at all, and I did get it right in the end. And I think I can let go the worst of the rage now.