Perpetual Change

* Detailed instructions for making comments are in “News Items.”

* Remember that two anthologies are seeking submissions:

1. .Jade Miller is working on an anthology about the difficulty of finding a therapist who can work with DID or other forms of dissociation. Write her at thetraumasurvivorstale@gmail.com

2. I am seeking submissions for an anthology of accounts of forced abortion, sacrifice, or forced adoption of babies in a cult setting. Contact me through the comments section, rahome@ra-info.org or RA Projects, PO Box 14276, 4304 18th St., San Francisco CA 94114.

* DID Awareness Day was a great success. The powertotheplurals Facebook page alone got 100,000 hits! https://www.facebook.com/groups/250575105622931/permalink/ 297502367596871/

* Powertotheplurals presents “Plural Positivity World Conference” on the Internet Saturday, March 30 throug Monday, April 1. Information, including the conference schedule (scroll all the way down) is at https://docs.google.com/document/d/1c2KYOgyKaysMo6NTQYLlv2GKYLeaXzFMBVqSYtdyUEU/edit#heading=h.v0yqprrnr0sphttps://www.facebook.com/groups/250575105622931/permalink/ 297502367596871/

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I’ll be honest. I hate change. I hate it and fear it. When I was a kid, whatever I was doing, I always knew just how safe or unsafe I was. If I was sitting there doing my homework, I knew I was not being beaten or raped or anything, but I never knew what was going to happen the next minute. And therefore for me, even as an adult, change always comes with the possibility of leading to disaster.

When I am really stressed out and lots of old feelings have been stirred up, I can be so afraid that I have a really hard time not just leaving the house, but going from one room to another. I can see what’s in my bedroom, for instance, but I can’t see into the bathroom and therefore I have no idea who or what might be lurking there, waiting to trap me. The fear is so great that I can sit in a trance for an hour or more. I finally get the courage to start talking my way through my fears. That can take another half hour.

There are other situations when I get paralyzed with fear. When driving, I am sure I will get lost and nobody will ever see me again. I have to tell myself that I have a full tank of gas, a charge card, maps, and a mouth I can use to ask directions. I will be okay and I will get home again, even if I do get lost. I have soothed myself with those words zillions of times. Sometimes the ghost of another old threat comes back and I am afraid that if I go out I will be gunned down in the street. That won’t happen if I stay home, of course. My agoraphobia is never simple.

Change never stops, even when I trick myself into thinking everything is stable. I don’t notice the little things, like how my hair grows, and I often close my eyes to medium-sized things, like how my waist grows. I find that the really big things are impossible to ignore, though.

Some people adore change and seek it out. They take risks and get high on the adrenaline rush. They are always on the go, doing things, seeking out new experiences. If for some reason they have to stay still, say in a traffic jam, they get antsy and bored and uncomfortable. Not me, my friend, no, not me.

If these folk have trauma in their past, perhaps they were so flooded with cortisol and adrenaline that they have can’t live without them. When things are calm, they go into withdrawal. They need the jolt of risky behaviors to feel alive. They live fast and hard, always seeking the next thrill.

And then there are those lucky people who are balanced. Either they had pretty darn good childhoods or they have worked through things long enough that they have learned to neither freeze at change nor rush to experience it, creating it if necessary. If they encounter real present-day danger, they can quickly mobilize to fight or escape. If things are calm, they can enjoy the peace and quiet. In between, they can modulate their state of arousal in response to the amount of external stimulus.

That’s the direction I am going in and I feel frozen in panic much, much less often. I’ve learned to welcome and embrace some changes, even to rejoice in them. (Like how much better life is knowing what was the matter all those long years and learning new ways of living with my past.) Acceptance brings a certain peace. I know I cannot prevent changes from happening, they are part of all life, and of the existence of all inanimate things, too. Why fight it? Why be afraid of all changes? Better to save my energy for those battles I can fight and fight them with courage and perseverance and patience and grace.

~~~~~

Upcoming Holidays

March
3/17 St Patrick’s Day
3/20 Full moon
3/20 Spring Equinox
3/24 Feast of the Beast/Bride of Satan
April
4/1 April Fools’ Day
4/8 Day of the Masters
4/14 Palm Sunday
4/19 Full moon
4/19 Good Friday
4/20 Holy Saturday
4/21 Easter Sunday
4/26 Grand Climax/De Meur
4/30 Walpurgisnacht/May Eve
May
5/1 Beltane
5/12 Mothers’ Day
5/18 Full moon
5/18 Armed Forces Day
5/27 Memorial Day

Dates Important to Nazi and Neo-Nazi groups
3/20 – 3/21 Purim (Deliverance of the Jewish people from Haman in Persia)
4/19 – 4/27 Passover/Pesach (Deliverance of the Jewish people from slavery in Egypt)
4/20 Hitler´s actual birthday
4/21 Hitler’s alternative birthday (Note: Hitler was born on Easter, so Nazis celebrate his actual birthday and half-birthday on 4/20 and 10/20 and his actual birthday and half-birthday on Easter of the current year and six months later.)
4/30 Anniversary of Hitler’s death
5/1 – 5/2 Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Memorial Day)
5/8 V-E Day (Victory in Europe, WW2)
5/7 – 5/8 Yom HaZikaron (Memorial Day, Day of Remembrance)
5/8 – 5/9 Yom HaAtzma´ut (Israeli Independence Day)
(NOTE: Not all groups meet on Jewish holidays. Some groups also mark Candlemas, Beltane, Lammas, Halloween, the solstices and the equinoxes)

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“Healing Together:” An Infinite Mind’s DID Conference

* Detailed instructions for making comments are in “News Items.”

* News items about research on DID Awareness Day and research on ritual abuse survivors’ experiences with social media are just above “Upcoming Holidays.”

At the beginning of February, I went to “An Infinite Mind’s” conference in Orlando, Florida. It was wonderful! Almost all of the 300 attendees were multiple and very few identified as ritual abuse survivors. This was new for me – new being around so many dissociated people – and new being outside of my own community.

One thing I noticed was that there was a greater percentage of men there. I don’t know whether men who lived through ritual abuse are more reluctant to be public or whether “An Infinite Mind” is especially welcoming to men. All I know is that when I was running Survivorship’s conferences I made a commitment to have at least one male speaker at each conference. I usually really had to scramble to find speakers.

It also seemed to me that there were more disabled people than at RA/MC gatherings, either of survivors or of therapists. Usually, I am the only person using a walker, which makes me a little self-conscious. Here there were people with walkers, crutches, and canes, even somebody with an electric scooter. Probably 2% of the attendees were blind. This felt very good.

I organized an informal lunch meeting for RA/MC people. It was great to be with “my people” and the group was helpful and supportive. We plan to stay in touch by email.

“An Infinite Mind” provided an abundance of presentations and workshops. There were six ninety-minute slots for presentations and you could choose between five different topics. Some of the subjects covered: eating disorders, creating financial opportunities, Dialectic Behavioral Therapy (DBT), chronic disease, public education, integration, self-harm, and affect regulation. Art workshops, drama workshops, a workshop on yoga as therapy, and panel discussions were also included.

There were survivor support groups and yoga and meditation sessions before and after the official program. A Creative Corner with art supplies was always available and there was a labyrinth to walk and a quiet room with a volunteer for support if requested. The sponsors’ tables also had nifty things, like jewelry and books.

The hotel was right next to Disney World, if that seemed appealing. It didn’t to me, nor did the prospect of having breakfast with Disney characters, but I am sure some people enjoyed it. There was a wonderfully large warm pool with primo bird watching. I saw ospreys bringing food to their chick in a big nest in a fork formed by branches. A small white egret calmly drank from the pool and watched the swimmers from a rock formation in the center of the pool.

The people at “An Infinite Mind” have a wonderful energy. The whole Board of Directors volunteered for two and a half days straight! They were energetic and they were also always immensely optimistic and friendly. Nobody seemed the least bit anxious or uptight.

Obviously, I had a good time.

There was a bonus for me at the end of the conference. A group of people interested in activism met and, of course, I volunteered, even though I have more than enough to fill my spare time ten times over. The spark was Sarah Clark of PowertothePlurals, who must never sleep. She has made six websites, two Facebook pages, a Facebook groups, a shop, and a YouTube channel with a hundred videos. Start with these two: www.powertotheplurals.com and www.youtube.com/powertotheplurals.

~~~~~

March 5 is DID Awareness Day. You are invited to celebrate it by explaining to somebody what DID is and what it isn’t. Certainly it is nothing like what is depicted on television! You can also explain to your insiders. There will in all probability be littles listening in, so it is good to keep your language simple

Power to the Plurals has a free poster. https://powertotheplurals.com/2019/02/15/free-poster-for-dissociative-identity-disorder-awareness-day/ You can print it on 8 1/2 by 11 paper. (A4 paper is what most of the rest of the world uses; it is about 8 1/4 x 11 3/4 inches.)

There is also a lovely ribbon available. Read about it at http://www.copingincrazyville.com/index/table-of-contents/didmpd-awareness-ribbon-links-and-info/ Read more at http://traumadissociation.com/awareness.

And here is a blog entry I liked: https://www.discussingdissociation.com/2018/03/dissociative-identity-disorder-awareness-day-march-5/.

~~~~~

You can help gather data for a Ph.D. thesis on ritual abuse survivors’ experiences with social media. I took the survey yesterday. It wasn’t triggering to me and it made me grateful for the sense of community the Internet gives me.

(By the way, Izzy’s Promise is Scotland’s foremost RA resource.)

“My name is Joseph Lumbasi, the manager for Izzy’s Promise, www.izzyspromise.org.uk, and currently a Ph.D. Student at the University of Dundee, School of Social Work and Education.

“To participate in this research please copy and paste this link into your browser [do not click the link]\] https://dundee.onlinesurveys.ac.uk/views-and-experiences-of-self-identified-ra-survivors-on-t-4

“Please help me by completing and circulating the survey to your networks.”

~~~~~

Upcoming Holidays

March
3/1 St. Eichstadt’s Day
3/5 Shrove Tuesday/Mardi Gras
3/6 Ash Wednesday/Beginning of Lent
3/17 St. Patrick’s Day
3/20 Full moon
3/20 Spring Equinox
3/24 Feast of the Beast/Bride of Satan

April
4/1 April Fool´s Day
4/8 Day of the Masters
4/14 Palm Sunday
4/19 Full moon
4/19 Good Friday
4/21 Easter Sunday
4/26 Grand Climax/De Meur
4/30 Walpurgisnacht/May Eve

May
5/1 Beltane
5/12 Mothers’ Day
5/18 Full moon
5/27 Memorial Day

Dates Important to Nazi and Neo-Nazi groups
1/20 – 1/21 Tu B´Shvat (Celebration of spring)
1/30 Hitler named Chancellor of Germany
3/20 – 3/21 Purim (Deliverance of the Jewish people from Haman in Persia)
4/19 – 4/27 Passover/Pesach (Deliverance of the Jewish people from slavery in Egypt)
4/20 Hitler´s actual birthday
4/21 Hitler’s alternative birthday (Note: Hitler was born on Easter, so Nazis celebrate his actual birthday and half-birthday on 4/20 and his actual birthday and half-birthday on Easter of the current year.)
4/30 Anniversary of Hitler’s death
5/1 – 5/2 Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Memorial Day)
5/7 – 5/8 Yom HaZikaron (Memorial Day, Day of Remembrance)
5/8 N V-E Day (Victory in Europe, WW2)
5/8 – 5/9 Yom HaAtzma´ut (Israeli Independence Day)

(Note: Not all groups meet on Jewish holidays. Some groups also mark Candlemas, Beltane, Lammas, Halloween, the solstices and the equinoxes)

I’m on the Radio on February 20 – And Other News Items

The Infinite Mind Conference was a blast. I’ve never been in a room with 300 people, most of whom were multiple. I’ll write more about it later.

The only bad thing about it was that my sister-in-law, who I have known for fifty years, died while I was flying home. I immediately left to be with the family for the memorial service. I’m very sad and not feeling up to writing a whole post, but I have gathered some news items.

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I’m going to be interviewed on the radio on Wednesday Feb 20 at 5 PM Pacific time! It will be 90 minutes. I’d love if some of you tuned in so I could imagine friendly ears as I talked. If you cannot make it, no biggie – all shows are archived.

Go to http://www.blogtalkradio.com/NAASCA and click on number 3 in the box below the description. Then click anywhere on the description. The show starts with an ad, then some music, and then the interviewer explains the series and makes the introduction.

Two people have already been interviewed: Ellen Lacter, a therapist who works with both children and adult survivors and Kim Kubal, an RA survivor. To listen, go to the bottom of the page and click through the numbers until you find the archived show you want. Ellen’s website is http://endritualabuse.org/ and Kim’s is https://kimkubal.com/your-strength-to-heal-healing-from-trauma/

It would be great if some of you would also like to be interviewed – it’s such a great way to share your story, educate people about RA, and/or give them resources. If you are interested, write to Bill Murray and tell him you heard about the series on my blog. You can reach him at support@blogtalkradio.com

~~~~~

Please consider helping with gathering data for a PhD thesis on ritual abuse survivors’ experiences with social media. I took the survey yesterday. It wasn’t triggering to me, and it made me grateful for the sense of community the Internet gives me.

By the way, Izzy’s Promise is Scotland’s foremost resource.

“My name is Joseph Lumbasi, the manager for Izzy’s Promise http://www.izzyspromise.org.uk and currently a PhD Student at the University of Dundee, School of Social Work and Education.

“To participate in this research please copy and paste this link into your browser [do not click the link please] https://dundee.onlinesurveys.ac.uk/views-and-experiences-of-self-identified-ra-survivors-on-t-4

“Please help me by completing and circulating the survey to your networks.”

~~~~~

March 5 is Dissociative Identity Disorder Awareness Day. You are invited to celebrate it by explaining to somebody what DID is and what it isn’t. Certainly it is nothing like what is depicted on television! You can also explain to your insiders. There will in all probability littles listening in, so it’s good to keep your language smple.

Power to the Plurals has a free poster. https://powertotheplurals.com/2019/02/15/free-poster-for-dissociative-identity-disorder-awareness-day/ You can print it on 8 1/2 by 11 paper. (A4 paper is what most of the rest of the world uses; it is about 8 1/4 x 11 3/4 inches.)

There is also a lovely ribbon available. Read about it at http://www.copingincrazyville.com/index/table-of-contents/didmpd-awareness-ribbon-links-and-info/ Read still more at: http://traumadissociation.com/awareness

And here is a blog entry I liked https://www.discussingdissociation.com/2018/03/dissociative-identity-disorder-awareness-day-march-5/

~~~~

Power to the Plurals is planning an online conference for March 28 – April 1. If you would like to participate, let me know and I will pass along your message (it’s not officially announced, so there is no formal contact information published.)