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: https://annualconference.isst-d.org/

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: https://www.isst-d.org/training-and-conferences/upcoming-conferences/london-regional-conference/

* “Diagnosis and “Treatment of DID and PTSD in Indigenous Peoples” is in Fairbanks AK on June 17 – 20. Information: https://www.isst-d.org/training-and-conferences/upcoming-conferences/fairbanks-regional-conference/

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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.

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Upcoming Holidays

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

March 
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

April
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.)


Ritual Abuse Things on My Mind This Week

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

* Additional information on the following holidays is available at:
 August Ritual Dates https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2012/07/23/august-ritual-dates/
 Fall Equinox https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2012/09/16/the-fall-equinox/
Halloween: https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2016/10/11/halloween/ 
Halloween: (personal): https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2011/10/02/samhainhalloween/
and https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2018/10/20/halloween-2018/


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An Infinite Mind’s “Healing Together” Conference on February 7 – 9, 2020

I attended last year and had a really good time. This year I got brave and submitted a proposal for a presentation I call “Ritual Abuse 101: Recognizing and Treating Survivors.” It’s for therapists, but all are welcome. Last year there was little opportunity for RA/MC people to connect, and I hope they will attend and network. I’ll also be leading a lunch-time support/networking group.

It’s been a long time since I have spoken at a conference, and my fears have had time to regroup. I know I may well be having flashbacks while talking, which is never fun. If that happens, I know I have handled it in the past and can manage again. It will just make things more exciting!

If any of you happen to be at the conference, come introduce yourself. It will make my day.

Some information is available now at https://www.aninfinitemind.com/healing-together.html The conference schedule will be posted in October.

 

Ritual Abuse Correlated with Ovarian Cancer

I got livid with rage when I saw a story about an article in the Harvard Gazette. It was titled “PTSD linked to increased risk of ovarian cancer: Trauma associated with the most aggressive types of ovarian cancers, even decades later.”

The abuse we went through as kids guaranteed that we were flooded with a steady stream of stress hormones. I have known for years that the extreme stress of ritual abuse sets us up to be at risk for a myriad of diseases as adults, but I thought that most of these diseases were autoimmune or cardiovascular diseases. Now it seems that cancer is on the list, too! Is there anything at all that is not an aftereffect of ritual abuse and just happens by chance? I was enraged!

I calmed down when I tracked down the original article, published in this month’s Cancer Research. “Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is associated with increased risk of ovarian cancer: a prospective and retrospective longitudinal cohort study.” by Andrea L. Roberts, Tianyi Huang, Karestan C. Koenen, Yongjoo Kim, Laura D. Kubzansky and Shelley S. Tworoger.

Only the abstract was available to me, but it was enough to give me some perspective. The methodology looked good. Data was obtained from the Nurses’ Health Study, which followed 4,710 nurses for 26 years. However, only 110 ovarian cancers were reported, and analysis showed that subjects with PTSD symptoms were only twice as likely to have ovarian cancer. I don’t think that is a large enough number of excess cancers to worry about. I’ll save my energy for worrying about excess eating disorders and other addictions, excess suicides, all those good things.

You can read the article that set me off at https://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2019/09/ptsd-linked-to-increased-risk-of-ovarian-cancer/?utm_source=SilverpopMailing&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Daily%20Gazette%2020190906%20(1)   and the abstract at https://cancerres.aacrjournals.org/content/early/2019/09/04/0008-5472.CAN-19-1222

 

ZLibrary

I just discovered ZLibrary. It offers 4,836,367 free ebooks and 75,268184 articles. (That’s of today – it’s probably more by now.) Search for “ritual abuse” in books; the first page contains some excellent titles, and a few more interesting ones are scattered through the following pages. Haven’t yet explored the article section, but there must be many articles on ritual abuse. https://b-ok.org/

And there must be books on growing indestructible, six-foot-tall flowering houseplants, fairy tales of ancient Norway, crafts, including how to make a curtain from old CD’s and fishing wire, art of Pre-Columbian civilizations, and all sorts of other interesting things. In college, I allowed myself to rummage through random parts of the main library every Thursday afternoon. I better be careful with ZLibrary’s almost five million books, or it won’t just be Thursday afternoon!

 

Conference: European Society for Trauma and Dissociation

I wish I could drop everything and take a quick trip to Rome. Rome, of course, is beautiful, the food is great, the people wonderful. But the main draw is the ESTD Biennial Conference: “The Legacy of Trauma and Dissociation: Body and Mind in a New Perspective” on October 24 – 26, 2019. Every time I have heard a European presenter at the ISSTD conference, I have come away with fresh new insights. Just reading the titles makes me want to learn more. Check it out at http://www.estd2019.org/.

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Upcoming Holidays

September
9/13 Full moon
9/13 Friday the 13th
9/23 Fall equinox
October
10/13 Full moon
10/13 Backward Halloween
10/14 (?) Columbus Day
10/31 Halloween/start of Celtic New Year/start of the dark half of the year
November
11/1 All Saints’ Day
11/2 All Souls’ Day
11/11 (?) Veterans’ Day
11/12 Full moon
11/28 US Thanksgiving

Dates Important to Nazi and Neo-Nazi groups
9/29 – 10/1 Rosh Hashanah (New Year, Day of Judgement)
10/8 – 10/9 Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement)
10/16 Death of Rosenburg
10/13 – 10/20 Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles, harvest festival)
10/19 Death of Goering
10/20 Hitler’s actual half-birthday
10/21 Hitler’s alternative half-birthday (Note: Hitler was born on Easter, so Nazis celebrate his actual birthday and half-birthday on 4/20 and 10/20. His alternate birthday is celebrated on Easter of the current year and his alternate half-birthday six months later.)
10/21 – 10/22 Simchat Torah (celebration of the annual complete cycle of reading of the Torah)
11/9 Kristallnacht State-ordered pogroms against Jews in Germany and Austria)
(NOTE: Not all groups meet on Jewish holidays. Some groups also mark Candlemas, Beltane, Lammas, Halloween, the solstices and the equinoxes)