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#325840 - 03/21/10 06:31 PM Conference postings
Ken Singer, LCSW Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/24/00
Posts: 5780
Loc: Lambertville, NJ USA
Just returned from the conf in NYC. I've been going to them since they began, missing maybe two over the years. From my perspective, this one was the best. The quality of the presentations, the facilities, the help from student volunteers from John Jay, the food, and the organization of the conference staff was superb. (I wouldn't know where to begin in terms of thanking all that put their energy into this very rewarding but difficult and time-consuming venture, and a lot of credit goes to Trish Massa, our adm assistant who was at the registration desk from the opening bell til the conf ended Sunday.)

Knowing that participants are probably coming back from a real high to real life sharing their experiences with friends and family who weren't there and probably have no idea of what they are talking about, we wanted to use the forum here as a place to post your feelings and experiences, highlights and memories for others who were there to share (or wished they could have come but couldn't for one reason or another.)

So guys, feel free to post your thoughts, rememberances and thank yous in this space. It will be here for a while and maybe those who didn't come will get a taste of what was a powerful conference.


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#325844 - 03/21/10 07:05 PM Re: Conference postings [Re: Ken Singer, LCSW]
pufferfish Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/26/08
Posts: 6875
Loc: USA
What were some of the meetings like?

Or did you spend the whole time eating? smile lol

Allen

pufferfish




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#325890 - 03/22/10 04:41 AM Re: Conference postings [Re: pufferfish]
Trucker51 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/20/08
Posts: 2826
Loc: Denver, CO
Part #1: Getting there, Thursday and Friday morning.

Let's see:

The flight out was uneventful though it was late getting into LGA. By the time that I got checked into my hotel it was nearly 1:00 AM, then I couldn't sleep. I woke-up a little late then some woman stole my taxicab so I had to ride the 8th Avenue subway up to Columbus Circle then walk a fair distance. I know that I need some exercise, but it was getting a bit ridiculous when I finally got there. The guard at the reception desk welcomed me to the conference and pointed me to the elevators. When I arrived on the 6th floor Dale English welcomed me right away, then it was right into Mike Lew's group maybe 20 minutes late, though I missed the opening address.

There were a number of MS guys in Mike Lew's group, most of whom I was expecting, though seeing Larry and Lewis was an added bonus. I took my place and announced that I was the "infamous" Trucker 51 from Denver, and right away it seemed that half of the crowd knew me. Mike's group was a bit overbooked, but another therapist that knows Mike helped facilitate the group, so somehow we managed. There were a few empty chairs left in the room, we probably could have handled a few more people too, though I don't think that the air-conditioning system could have, as it was really struggling to keep up with the load as the outside temperature rose into the low 70s.

Right off there were a couple of New Zealanders that were really friendly, plus Alastair Hilton, another Brit who was also quite friendly, and their immediate friendship set the tone for the next few days. Robert Berube was also there from Canada, he was another very friendly guy who I had previously met on Facebook. Gavin (Logan) and Ryan (Riley) were there, as were Ron, Andy (Nevragan), and Jay (Gentle Soul). In our first one-on-one I got to meet and talk at length with Mike's assistant Jeff Conway, in the afternoon one-on-one I got to meet Mike (Needtobefreed), a newer MS siteuser, and felt that our time together was productive. I went to lunch at Jake's Irish Pub with Larry, Lewis, and Gavin, and we were late getting back, where I totally straight-faced used my "woman stole my taxicab" excuse for the 2nd time, which brought a big laugh from the group. It was such a good joke that Mike used it again later. As we gave our closing thoughts, I lived-up to my "Director of Recreation" position and announced that I had arranged a group dinner at a 5-star hotel 25 blocks from the Conference. After 30 minutes of group interaction and again failing to get a taxicab, Gavin and I led a group of 12 guys on the long walk off to the subway for a ride to 34th St and Herald Square. Have you ever been on a NYC subway in midtown in rush hour??? It was quite an experience for all of us, trapped like rats in the huge surging throng.

I really had no idea what to expect when we arrived at the Hotel Metro, but I had made a group dinner reservation there and had requested a private dining room. From the information on their website, they looked like a highend hotel property. We came in and were led right to their private dining room, where Remy and Castle awaited us. Shortly after arrival Steve Bevan showed-up with one of his group members from England, and suddenly we had 17 guys, all jabbering away. Poor Ryan insisted on leaving to catch a train a half-hour later, but the rest of us enjoyed a decent dinner in an above-average setting with quality service at a moderate price. Our bill came to $780. Several of us stayed talking until 9:00 and then it was back to my hotel. Thanks Jason, my hotel was really a good value for $99/night!!!

I stayed at the nearly new Candlewood Suites hotel on 39th Street between 8th and 9th Avenue. It is sort of an unusual property, in that it shares the same building with both a Holiday Inn Select and a Hampton Inn. My room (#1401) had a 37-inch flatscreen, a full kitchen including a fullsize refrigerator, 2-burner cooktop, a built-in microwave, and a dishwasher, with free internet that I didn't use. My room had a nice recliner, a 2-person dining and work table, individually-controllable AC and heat, and a quality queen pillowtop bed, like I said, almost brand-new. The subway was a few blocks away either north or south, this hotel would be a great place for anyone arriving into Penn Station too, as it is just 5 blocks north of the station.

Friday my luck changed, and I caught a cab right away and arrived at John Jay almost on-time. Ryan had given me a personal letter that he had hoped to get to Theo Fleury, the former NHL hockey star who spoke at the morning address. After the morning address concluded I did meet Mr Fluery, got to talk with him for a minute, and he took Ryan's letter. I then bought a couple of copies of his book and he wrote a personal message to Ryan in one of them before autographing it. So that portion of my day went unbelievably well, and Ryan will get a gift that he will remember of a long time. I wrote "Trucker Mark" on my nametag and was really surprised at just how many people in attendance knew me by my site username.

My basic goal from the outset had been to meet some of the people in attendance, a goal which I greatly exceeded right from the start. I ended-up meeting probably 40-50 people during my 3 days there, in fact, most of them were really happy to meet me, more than half of whom were therapists, MS staff, even staff members from other support organizations all over the world. I did really well meeting people, such a good job that I skipped-out on the Friday morning movie that I had been signed-up for, instead meeting several more people and catching-up with a few that I had met on Thursday too. I had a lot of fun meeting all of the people there that I did. All through the Conference I kept bumping into Jim (Geeders), Ron (Sans Logos), Andy (Nevragan), our site Administrator John (Walkingsouth), Ken Singer, and Gavin, plus Ken Followell and a couple of MS BoD members repeatedly too. I learned a whole lot just through my personal interaction with everyone in attendance there. My personal experience was very positive through the Friday lunch, where I met Ken and John, and Ken gave me an autographed copy of his new book, EVICTING THE PERPETRATOR, hoping to replace the pdf copy that I used to write my review in the recent MS newsletter. It seemed that every time that I went out to the sidewalk for a smoke that Gavin or Robert Berube or one of the New Zealanders would be outside too, the conference was a really friendly place, sorry that those of you who didn't make it missed the level of camaraderie and understanding that was present there.

Stay tuned for Part Two, Friday afternoon and Saturday, it is getting late here.

Thanks again for the book Ken,

Mark



_________________________
"We stay here, we die here. We've got to keep moving". Trucker Mark



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#325931 - 03/22/10 05:55 PM Re: Conference postings [Re: Trucker51]
Trucker51 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/20/08
Posts: 2826
Loc: Denver, CO
Part Two: Friday afternoon, Saturday, and the flight home.

Hi again:

As I previously mentioned, I sat with John (Walkingsouth), Ken Singer, Ron, Andy (Nevragan), and Jim for lunch Friday during the MS annual meeting. The lunch buffet was decent group food, with prepared sandwiches, wraps, and several different salads. The annual meeting went well as several key MS personnel gave accounts of their volunteer work for the organization. All of us MS members then got to comment on then vote on several specific proposals, one of which went down in flames, I really didn't think that it would be a good change myself as it would have caused the infliction of public humiliation and shame on the affected party. After lunch the mother/son enmeshment presentation by Kenneth Adams, PH.D, was really good, and I found myself comparing a lot of his aspects to my wife's relationship with her father, which made me wonder whether she had been abused by him. Earlier in my life, my mother and I had been enmeshed, but I grew away from that enmeshment in my late teens and 20s. It was a surprisingly good presentation that left a number of people wiping their eyes.

My late afternoon group did not live up to my expectations. John, Ken, Ron, Larry, and Lewis were all a part of this group, a group entitled "Providing Online Support to Male Survivors". I had hoped to be able to learn the finer points of something that I now have almost 2 years of experience in, instead, we were given what amounted to a sales meeting with a struggling enterprise, where their "learning curve" and past mistakes were glossed over with what they still had hopes to accomplish given their financial constraints. A spokesperson from the women's issues support group RAINN, which 1-in-6 is working with, right off let all of us know how little that she understood about the finer points of "providing online support to male survivors". They were a hopeful group, hoping for another chance to build their organization given their "learning curve", but their presentation made me realize just how lucky that we all are to have MS standing tall and leading the way for us. For those of you that might use their support services, 1-in-6 does offer online male survivor crisis counseling 3 nights per week for 5 hours per night, using "trained" volunteers that have completed 40 hours of crisis management training, 38 hours of which is designed to assist women in crisis. It was my feeling leaving the group at 5:00 PM that my time could have been better spent.

The next event was book signing by a number of authors that had books for sale at the conference. It was here where I reconnected with Mic Hunter, who had been my 4th therapist in 1997-1998. He thanked me for my continuing promotional efforts concerning his first book "ABUSED BOYS", which I have always thought to be a very good introductory recovery text. Right next to Mic was Mikele Rauch, who I had previously talked with on the phone, so I bought her book and both she and Mic signed it. She gave me a big hug and invited me to attend a Weekend of Recovery, where she has in the past acted as a counselor. I ended-up buying 5 different books in fact, and I have already started reading through my copy of THE FRANKLIN SCANDAL, which is about the abuse of children drawn from the population at Boys Town in Omaha and a public governmental effort to cover it up. So far it has been a very good book.

After the book signing the next group would have been the International Panel, but several of us were already getting hungry, so we skipped-out and headed a block down the street to Jake's Irish Pub, where we enjoyed a decent dinner in a boisterous environment. Again Gavin was a part of the dinner, along with Andy (Nevragan) and Jay (Gentle Soul). It was good to get off of our feet, relax, debrief and wind down. I don't know how some of these conference presenters and attendees do it, going nonstop from 7:30 AM right through 10:30 PM, though I have worked many days that long driving a semi, so it is possible. After our dinner I headed back to my hotel, pretty much exhausted, I guess several of the other guys headed over to Times Square, Jim (Geeders) has photos of his trip there on Facebook, plus Ron has a number of conference photos on his Facebook page too.

Saturday morning I woke-up late, then there was a line to check-out of my hotel so I went out for a smoke, and there was an empty cab standing in front of the hotel, so my luck was changing. I got to the conference quite late and missed the DID presentation, and right away there were my friends from Thursday and Friday out on the sidewalk, where we engaged in a round of handshakes and stories from the night before. At the registration desk they were out of nametags but Ken Followell said that by then everyone there knew who I was, (which was pretty much true). I was supposed to attend the movie Favorite Son, but I was also trying to meet with Ann Boyer and Karen Terry concerning my nomination to serve on a committee with them. I found Karen Terry over at the Awards Luncheon well before the event started, and we talked with MS BoD member Marc Spindelman, who I had previously met Friday morning. Then my friends from New Zealand showed up, and I ended-up sitting at their table with Andy and Gavin for the Awards presentation.

The awards luncheon buffet was decent food, with several hot dishes and several cold salads. It was a good event that enabled me to put more names with faces. Most of our mod team was seated at a table adjacent to ours, and they got a big round of applause when their names were announced. John then gave a group speech, then he handed me Andy's (Former Texan) trophy, which I delivered to him last night when we had dinner out in Boulder with Alan (Hauser). Alastair Hilton, my by now British friend, was given an award for his work. Currently he is trying to set-up survivor support services in Cambodia. After the luncheon and another smoke with Gavin, I was finally able to meet with Ann Boyer about our upcoming committee assignment. The afternoon featured speaker presentation entitled "Assigning Blame: An Understanding of Responsibility" with Larry Lessig, was a great multimedia presentation in John Jay's largest theater.

After the Larry Lessig presentation it was 3:15 PM and my flight home out of LaGuardia was at 5:45 PM. I said my goodbyes and was surprised by how many people were really sorry to see me have to leave early. I got to fly for free on Southwest Airlines, but Sunday and Monday were blackout dates, looking back I wish that I had been able to stay until Tuesday. I saw Gavin one last time, and got hugs from both of my friends from New Zealand, Ken Clearwater and David Passell, and they gave me their business cards. (Reminder: Have business cards printed up before the next conference)!!! It turned-out that both of them represent an organization called Male Survivors of Sexual Abuse Trust, David out of Auckland and Ken out of Christchurch. I guess that now New Zealand is on my list of places that I want to visit someday, both David and Ken were really friendly guys. Even Alastair Hilton and I hugged. I shook hands one last time with Jim, Andy, Robert, and Ron, then Jim and I walked across the street where I flagged a taxi and we said goodbye.

My MS Conference experience was a powerful experience, where I made many new friends and met many people active in supporting victims of childhood sexual abuse. Not only that, but I have been invited back to NYC to stay for free this time. Thanks a lot Gavin, and you are certainly welcome too. I have business cards from both of the New Zealanders and Alastair Hilton too. Should I put Cambodia on my list of places to visit too??? Now I have to write a little letter and get Ryan's book in the mail, a great reward for having the courage to participate in his first recovery event, thanks Theo. I'm going to have to get back to Ontario one of these days too, back to both Toronto and London, so that I can yet buy Jim that drink that I promised him, and hang-out some more with Robert Berube, who also helped greatly in making this conference a survivor-friendly place.

Thanks to all of us, this conference was a great success. Are we doing anything special for all of the John Jay student volunteers? They did a superb job and deserve some recognition certainly. Even my NYC cabbies were friendly, several people out at LaGuardia too. I slept all the way to Midway, then on the flight from there to Denver I sat with a Canadian guy and some Republican gal who was highly opposed to health care reform, so we went round and round about the failings of our system of providing health care here. Our Canadian seatmate seemed to be generally supportive of his health care options at home, so he helped me tagteam our poor Republican friend, who ended-up spilling her drink down in her crotch, "oooh" she said, as she squirmed helplessly around as the ice melted and soaked in, trapped in the middle seat with no way out!!! All that I could think of was "serves you right", man was it funny!!!

Next time I hope to see all of you guys there, it was really a lot of fun for me being a part of my first MS conference, and I know that a lot of us had a good deal of fun and perhaps learned a little something about recovery and each other attending too.

Mark

_________________________
"We stay here, we die here. We've got to keep moving". Trucker Mark



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#325932 - 03/22/10 06:24 PM Re: Conference postings [Re: Trucker51]
king tut Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/13/08
Posts: 2469
Loc: UK
Wow, after i finish reading Marks posts and get a little time i am going to give my review and i will post it here- in short- it was fantastic! best experience of my life so far i think. Really really great. I'm still in New York! fly home wednesday, a great city!

_________________________
"...until lambs become lions"

I love you, little lewis, and i will never leave you. We are the same. You brighten my day, and i will make sure that i brighten yours. Hugs and kisses.


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#325934 - 03/22/10 06:30 PM Re: Conference postings [Re: Trucker51]
Ever-fixed Mark Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/02/10
Posts: 729
Loc: United States
Thanks for the recap Trucker Mark, I wish I'd been able to make it there myself. Having worked on a lot of conferences as Staff, Crew, or Speaker I know how much work they are and how much effort it takes to pull them off.

Congratulations to the whole Board, Staff, and Volunteer team for such a success. Here's hoping I can make it next time.

-efm

_________________________

Everybody here's got a story to tell
Everybody's been through their own hell
There's nothing too special about getting hurt
Getting over it, that takes the work

- "Duck and Cover" by Glen Phillips

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#325939 - 03/22/10 07:01 PM Re: Conference postings [Re: pufferfish]
Sans Logos Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/31/03
Posts: 5791
Loc: in my own world in pittsburgh,...
allen, you would have loved the general session led by robert oxnam. i think you have spoken of him in posts here before, but he is the poster child for DID and they actually did a segment on him with 60 minutes. the session began as they showed that segment, and then robert took the podium and shared his struggles and triumphs. i thought of you the entire time.

warm regards,

ron

_________________________
  1. the past
  2. ReClaiming Now
  3. advocacy


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#325952 - 03/22/10 08:49 PM Re: Conference postings [Re: Sans Logos]
petercorbett Online   content
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/27/08
Posts: 2450
Loc: TEXAS
Hi, my fraternal brothers,

Thanks for the brieing on that conference.


I would liked to have been there, but little Pete needs a WoR more. Many difficult things to work through.

Thanks again, Trucker51 (Mark), heal well, my brother, heal well.

Little Pete & big Pete, trying desperately to become 1.

_________________________
Working Boys' Home 10-14 yrs old, grades 5-8. 1949-1953
____________________________________________________________
A very humble alumni of the WOR Dahlonega, GA.
May 15-17 2009, Alta, Sep. 2009. Sequoia, 2010.
Hope Springs, 2010.


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#325958 - 03/22/10 10:10 PM Re: Conference postings [Re: petercorbett]
Riley Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/11/09
Posts: 597
Loc: USA
Well I only attended Mike Lew's workshop on Thursday but it was AMAZING. It was the very first time I met ANY open survivor and even though I was 30 min late I was met with open arms and by the end I made 50 brand new friends. Gavin, Mark (you have no idea how much delivering that letter means to me), Robert Berube, Dave from Vancouver (who was at the gold medal hockey game I may add) and Bruce McKay from Canada were all absolutely amazing to me and they deserve a real thanks. Plus meeting Lewis, Jay, Ron, Andy, and Ken Clearwater were really icing on the cake that made it the most amazing experience in my recovery if not my life. I am awful with names but there were so many more that made the experience wonderful.

After this experience I can guarantee I will stay the entire conference next time and take Mark's advice to stay in NYC rather then leave late and sleep through my train stop (long story).

I'm still in awe from the experience and can not wait to send out e-mails to my new friends.


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#325963 - 03/22/10 11:49 PM Re: Conference postings [Re: Sans Logos]
pufferfish Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/26/08
Posts: 6875
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: Sans Logos
allen, you would have loved the general session led by robert oxnam. i think you have spoken of him in posts here before, but he is the poster child for DID and they actually did a segment on him with 60 minutes. the session began as they showed that segment, and then robert took the podium and shared his struggles and triumphs. i thought of you the entire time.

warm regards,

ron


Thanks ron

I would have loved to have been there. This session sounds like it would have been extremely important to me and others. I am just about through with his book now. The great variability of DID / MPD from one person to the next makes it hard to figure out.

Allen

pufferfish


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