My Presentation at the An Infinite Mind’s “Healing Together” Conference

* The International’s Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation (ISSTD) Annual Conference is coming up. The pre-conference is March 12 – 13, and the main conference is March 14 – 16. It’s being held in San Francisco. Information:

I’m attending the conference this year and would love to connect with anybody who is going. We could hang out at break times and get to know each other better.

ISSTD is also offering two regional conferences. 

*A Day With Professor Michael Salter” – plus Margot Sunderland, Adah Sachs, Kathryn Livingston, Mark Linington, Elly Hanson, Sue Richardson, Valerie Sinason, and Nancy Borrett – is in London on March 5. Information:

* “Diagnosis and “Treatment of DID and PTSD in Indigenous Peoples” is in Fairbanks AK on June 17 – 20. Information:


The vibe at An Infinite Mind’s conference was just like last year’s, except stronger. It was warm and friendly and accepting, also open and trusting and real. Once again, there was a great deal of diversity compared to other conferences I have been to. There were more men, more differently-abled people, more people of different races, more gay, lesbian, bi, and trans people, a wider range of ages, and more people with green or blue or pink hair. That is greatly to be celebrated.

And guess what? There were almost 100 more people there than there were last year! They must be doing something right.

I learned some new things, met some amazing people, touched base with people I had hung out with last year. It’s relaxing and energizing at the same time to be with others who are like me in so many ways, and I wish I could experience it 24/365. But I’m not complaining – the memory of those 24/48-plus hours will buoy me up for many a day.

So – the presentation. I survived, obviously. There were about 30, 35 people there, over half survivors, and the rest split between therapists and support people. I had prepared the talk for therapists, so I made it more general, more inclusive, as I went along. There was time for questions after each section, and that worked very nicely, People quickly engaged and they liked that format.

It felt weird because I went into flashback almost immediately. I’d expected the flashback to come after the presentation, the way it did at previous conferences. But no, it was 90 minutes of flashback, which gradually lifted afterwards. I felt like an actress playing a part, and I could feel that the way I moved my body and my hands was not normal for me. I couldn’t tell about my voice because I was using a microphone, so, of course, my voice sounded very different to me. Although I didn’t feel like a different person, you might say I switched, and another part gave the presentation. I don’t know.

I lost my place once, fell silent, and then said, “I don’t know where I am.” Nobody seemed to take it literally. I quickly found my footing, apologized, and continued. And I did let one set of questions go on too long and had to rush through the end. None of this was a disaster. People came up to me afterwards and thanked me and were very warm and supportive. And nobody knew I was in a flashback unless I told on myself!

So it was just fine – it really was.

One thing I really love about being in a group of RA survivors is that we can go from tears to laughter in a minute. So many of us seem to have the same sense of humor. It’s a bond. I love it! And I’m glad that people think I am funny – humor is such a gift.

The ice is broken, and now there can be other RA presentations. Maybe even a panel! There is plenty of time to brainstorm and plan.

Perhaps you-all could help start the brainstorming and share your ideas in the comments section. If you could go to a conference on DID, what would you want the RA sessions to be like? Let your imagination soar!! Topics, of course, but also format. Academic presentations, art shows, music, anything.

Perhaps I could develop some of those ideas into a blog post.


PS This is not an apology; it’s an explanation. The post is late this time because I was on the plane coming home on the 10th. Yesterday, I made time to write it, but I didn’t post it until today. I read it with fresh eyes, did some editing, and and then clicked “publish.” I still have lots of every-day life things to do – get some food in the fridge, read 150 emails and sort out the important ones, laundry, things like that.

PPS The cat is much better! I was afraid he would die when I was away, and I wouldn’t get to say goodbye. Luckily, I worried for nothing. Magical thinking tells me that it was my fretting that made him better, but logically I think it was his resilient little body.


Upcoming Holidays

2/14 Valentine’s Day
2/25 Shrove Tuesday/Mardi Gras
2/25 Walpurgis Day
2/26 Ash Wednesday

3/1 St. Eichstadt’s Day
3/9 Full moon<
3/13 Friday the Thirteenth
3/17 Spring Equinox
3/17 St. Patrick’s Day
3/24 Feast of the Beast/Bride of Satan

4/1 April Fool´s Day
4/5 Palm Sunday
4/7 Full moon
4/8 Day of the Masters
4/9 Maundy Thursday (commemoration of the Last Supper)
4/10 Good Friday
4/11 Holy Saturday
4/12 Easter Sunday<
4/26 Grand Climax/De Meur
4/30 Walpurgisnacht/May Eve

Dates Important to Nazi and Neo-Nazi groups
2/10 Tu Bishvat/Tu B’Shevat (celebration of spring)

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

“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: and


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. 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 Read more at

And here is a blog entry I liked:


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,, 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]\]

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


Upcoming Holidays

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

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

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)