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#189278 - 10/30/07 10:05 PM How the MS conference helped me....
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
So many of us are talking about the NY conference, and I thought it might be valuable if those of us who were there would comment briefly on how it helped us.

For me a big part of the conference was the way the plenary sessions were used to address survivor issues in a way that really helped all of us. Most powerful for me was the session in which Jim Clemente and Richard Gartner discussed their relationship as T and client.

Also huge for me was the Mike Lew workshop on Thursday, where I met 26 other survivors none of whom had ever seen me before. It was great. I made a lot of new friends and learned so much about myself.

  • In the Mike Lew workshop I was able, for the first time in my life, to write down the name of the abuser in San Francisco. The following evening, thanks to Tom (Muldoon), I was able to speak his name.
  • In our small group in the workshop we were listing the ways in which abuse messed us up later on in life, and I screwed up my courage and said "promiscuity" and "prostitution". No one blamed me and two guys said, yep! Me too!
  • One of the speakers helped me to see that I could hold onto the positive memories I have of being in the Boy Scouts and keep them from being contaminated by what the abuser did to me. It was like suddenly getting part of my childhood back.
  • At the Leo House, a Catholic charitable establishment where I stayed, a priest whose name I will never know told me I was welcome in his chapel. When I told him I was a Protestant, and a broken one at that, he smiled and replied, "Very good, come sit with a broken Catholic and let's talk about it."

Much love,

Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

#189280 - 10/30/07 10:11 PM Re: How the MS conference helped me.... [Re: roadrunner]
Army Offline

Registered: 06/27/07
Posts: 90
Loc: California
Hey Larry,

Just wanted to say I was glad to see that someone who offers so much hope and healing to others on this site. Got some just due time! Congatulations.


07 Peebbles WOR Alummni

#189286 - 10/30/07 11:01 PM Re: How the MS conference helped me.... [Re: Army]
tartugas Offline

Registered: 02/12/07
Posts: 513
Loc: NYC

What a great topic!

The whole weekend was as positive and healing an experience for me as the WOR I attended was. One thing that was really great was our WOR reunion on Sat. afternoon. Reconnecting to the group, even though there was only one fellow Napa alum there, was a powerful experience. I was able to really take a moment and take stock of how far I've come in these past 8-9 months since Napa. The abuse kept me feeling isolated and alone for my whole life. In the past year, so many of those barriers have started to come down I'm seeing positive differences in almost every area of my life.

Let's see... other highlights:

Dr. Steve Gold's first plenary talk about the importance of providing survivors with access to the skills emotional support that they never received in their homes was a talk that literally burned into my soul.

Mike Lew's workshop was challenging and stirring. He challenged all of us to watch as the faces of those strangers we met Thursday morning slowly changes into different faces, faces of love, warmth, support, strength, and courage. I did watch that transformation take place, and time and time again I was able to see the changes in my own face reflected in the faces of others.

Another special moment for me was seeing, for the first time, the pain I carry inside but have always stopped myself from feeling reflected back to me in the eyes of my partner in one of the toughest, but most rewarding, one on one exercises I've ever done in the course of my healing.

Of course the biggest highlight for me was being given the opportunity to speak out on the specific needs of survivors in the therapeutic relationship. But far more rewarding than the postive reviews I got from those who heard me speak were the votes of confidence and support I received from so many of my fellow survivors who told me that I was, indeed, speaking for them as well. I take that honor very, very seriously, and I promise to all of you to continue to stand up and speak out for all of us.

And of course, it was such a privelege to meet you, Larry. I only now know who exactly it is that you are! I so wish I had had the presence of mind to ask you what your screen name was (/dope slap!). Oh well, next time.


"I am not a mechanism, an assembly of various sections.
And it is not because the mechanism is working wrongly, that I am ill.
I am ill because of wounds to the soul, to the deep emotional self...."
Healing D.H. Lawrence

#189287 - 10/30/07 11:02 PM Re: How the MS conference helped me.... [Re: Army]
MemoryVault Offline

Registered: 03/02/07
Posts: 693
Loc: NJ
Hey, Larry --

Great idea for a thread. Such a big bag of connections I brought home--I'm still unpacking it.

But some major things:

  • Spoke about being a survivor face to face for the first time in many years & didn't fall apart! \:D \:D \:D It really was just a part of my life.
  • Cried in public (Mike Moran's play) where people could see me.
  • Understood for the first time that the things I didn't learn growing up were really important. Stopped thinking of myself at 21-22 as an immature fool, and realized how much I was raising myself. Felt real pride in how far I'd come.
  • Decided to go looking for a T in the new year.
  • Mike Lew's group...actually spoke to the guy who attacked me. Actually stood up for my kid without hesitating.
  • Met some amazing folks. Saw healing happening.

That's a good start!


#189359 - 10/31/07 12:40 PM Re: How the MS conference helped me.... [Re: MemoryVault]
Paul1959 Offline

Registered: 05/17/06
Posts: 525
Loc: NYC
Good thread....
hmmm where do I start. First off, on top of the sessions and talks, is the same resonating theme that I imagine is at all survivor meetings of any kind. The connection we all share and the relief at being around guys who understand exactly how we feel. That sense of being connected is what so many of us missed out on throughout much of life. That alone is worth the experience.

The plenary sessions for me, were almost like sermons or had an air of sanctity about them. They were very deep and moving.
-The opening talk about finding "home" or a place where we felt safe and allowing ourselves to feel less anxious.
-Jim clemente's presentation with R. Gartner was so profoundly moving to me that I needed to take that afternoon off. (My T made me promise to not get overwhelmed and I was actually quite proud of myself that I could feel when I had reached my emotional limit. It's not good to have to dissociate to get through anything!)
- Chris's (Tartugas) impromptu practice run when our first workshop guy was a no-show. I heard a survivor talk openly about a lot of things we all were feeling. It was fun and warm at the same time.
- my workshop sessions with WOR staff on the negative self talk and how to get rid of it. At the end we had to introduce ourselves to each other with a positive self statement. The impromptu affirmation and hugs left me overwhelmed in a good way.
- meeting Roadrunner, memoryvault, Trish, Charlie2004, Tartugas, and really bummed at not meeting Muldoon!!! Meeting all kinds of survivors who assured us they would soon be on the boards here.
- seeing eleven therapists from eleven countries discuss CSA in their worlds.
It's not at all the same as a WOR, but still life-changing. in two more years, let's meet again, ok?

#189431 - 11/01/07 12:30 AM Re: How the MS conference helped me.... [Re: Paul1959]
Chester Offline

Registered: 10/29/07
Posts: 48
Loc: Long Island, NY
How did the conference help me? Even though I was triggered a couple of times and was on the verge of freaking out for most of the weekend, I had a great time.

I have always kept some protective layer over myself because I've been so alone in my experiences, it takes so much of my energy to keep it up. Well, I had no need whatsoever to keep up any barriers. I was surrounded by so many other men who have the same history as me. I was able to drop my guard, and let myself experience everything.

I could have gone as a clinician, or a cop, either of the convenient shields I usually hide behind. I was able to be a survivor in need of healing, which would not have been possible if everyone wasn't so nice! Even the students and security that helped out were awesome. I half expected sideways glances and snickers because they would "know" what happened to me just by being at the conference. It never happened even once. I even saw one conference member knitting in between sessions, in the middle of a group of students, and no one said boo. I thought he had such courage. I was impressed by everyone.

Meeting the authors of the only books I'd ever found about abused boys was just amazing! These people are real, too. I got so much out of every session I attended, but I have to say, Ken's Screaming Native New Zealand performance was just brilliant! I'll never get that out of my head. If he had the courage to do that, what can the rest of us do?

I'm new to this crew, and I had no idea what to expect, but because of this conference, I don't feel alone anymore. Shit, if a Weekend of Recovery is anything like this, I'd probably melt.

rock: left pocket

#189435 - 11/01/07 01:24 AM Re: How the MS conference helped me.... [Re: roadrunner]
testingWaters Offline

Registered: 07/19/06
Posts: 508
Originally Posted By: roadrunner
At the Leo House, a Catholic charitable establishment where I stayed, a priest whose name I will never know told me I was welcome in his chapel. When I told him I was a Protestant, and a broken one at that, he smiled and replied, "Very good, come sit with a broken Catholic and let's talk about it."

Larry, thanks for making me smile. That's a very pretty story.


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