Plural Positivity World Conference

* 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.

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At An Infinite Mind’s “Healing Together” conference this year, a group of people got together and talked about putting on an Internet-based conference at the same time as the annual International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation’s conference. And it is happening! Three whole days of free presentations, panels, and interviews on March 30, March 31, and April 1, 2019. All of it will be recorded and archived.

The conference is put on by a group of dissociated people who call themselves plural rather than multiple – Thus “Power to the Plurals.” The spark that keeps the activist group inspired is The Stronghold System, who makes and edits videos and has created many webpages., including two Facebook groups, Power to the Plurals – A safe empowerment group and AlterNation – A safe support group for those with DID/OSDD. There is also a Youtube channel with over 100 educational videos on multiplicity/DID/DDNOS. etc.

Information, including the conference schedule, topics, and speaker bios (scroll all the way down), is at https://docs.google.com/document/d/1c2KYOgyKaysMo6NTQYLlv2GKYLeaXzFMBVqSYtdyUEU/edit#heading=h.v0yqprrnr0sp

By the way, I was interviewed on “what is SRA?” (SRA can also stand for “sexual ritual abuse” and “sadisitc ritual abuse.) I talked about my particular kind of polyfragmented system as well.

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The impetus for this online conference is their belief that the ISSTD does not ask for input from people with dissociative disorders. They honor research findings and tend to shape treatment around those research findings. This follows the trend of evidence-based medicine in the realm of physical disorders.

I’m generally all for evidence-based medicine, as it shows me that my doctor has at least kept up with the literature. But I am savvy enough to know that some research has serious limitations – very small samples, small time periods, no control group, exclusion of women, etc. And I am also savvy enough to know that thinking outside the box can be very helpful. After all, the ideas that are being tested today are the result of somebody being creative and trying something new yesterday.

ISSTD guidelines outline the recommended treatment of DID. The problem is that the guidelines are not taken as suggestions and therapists in many settings do not incorporate anything in their work that is not written up in the guidelines. Therapists who work outside the guidelines, or who use treatment modalities in addition to the guidelines, are marginalized. Submitting papers with original concepts to the ISSTD journal are discouraged as are presentations at their conferences.

What happens when a client does not respond to evidence-based therapy? What happens when the client does not feel heard? What happens if the client feels no need to integrate and is seeking increased communication and cooperation between alters? What happens when the client has religious or cultural beliefs that do not fit within the guidelines? What happens when the therapist has had success with approaches that are not covered in the guidelines? The questions pile up,

I have been on both sides of the couch, so to speak. I’ve been a clinical social worker (with ritual abuse survivors as clients) and have been (and am) a ritual abuse survivor with DDNOS. This is how I see the process. Things work very well when therapists and clients are equal partners and tend to stall or be very bumpy when the therapist is seen as an authority who knows better than the client. It doesn’t matter if it is therapists who are elevating themselves or it is clients who are placing their therapists on a pedestal. Either way, it’s a power imbalance.

So, at the “Healing Together” conference, I found it very refreshing to see dissociative people standing tall and stating that they are intelligent human beings and have ideas, suggestions, and beliefs that warrant attention. I mean, aren’t they the experts on their own system as it is manifesting itself at the moment? Their understanding of their system may change in time, but for now, this is what they have to work with.

Aren’t they in charge of their own healing? The truth is that no therapist can “fix” them. They heal themselves, with the coaching of the therapist. And this should not only be acknowledged, but honored.

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Upcoming Holidays

March
3/20 Full moon
3/20 Spring Equinox
3/24 Feast of the Beast/Bride of Satan
April
4/1 April Fool´s Day
4/5 New moon
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
5/4 New moon
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 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 – 5/9 Yom HaAtzma´ut (Israeli Independence Day)
5/8 V-E Day (Victory in Europe, WW2)
(NOTE: Not all groups meet on Jewish holidays. Some groups also mark Candlemas, Beltane, Lammas, Halloween, the solstices and the equinoxes)

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.

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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)