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."