The Ivory Garden Trauma and Dissociation Conference 2014

First of all- I was wrong about Pat Goodwin aka Felicity Lee. It is funny how some people know all the right things to say to get a person to start doubting themselves and start questioning the intentions of those around them. Somehow knowing all the right things to say to instill fear and distrust, they will go to any lengths and stop at nothing to achieve their goal- that is keeping survivors divided, contained, and isolated. Felicity and I have worked with each other for several years now- and is one of the dearest friends I have. I fell prey to rumors and lies about Felicity and the disinformation campaign that was waging against her and acted a fool as a result. Still, she reached out- forgave me- and then asked me to come to the conference after all of the ugly and incorrect things I claimed about her. Despite being overwhelmed, incredibly unappreciated, and facing attacks much worse than my sad rant- she single handedly created one of the finest conferences that has been ever been held. Even through it all, she took the time to reach out and offer me forgiveness even though she had no reason too. She is one of the kindest, most giving, and talented human beings that I have ever had the grace to meet- and the fact that she has physically put her time and money and effort into helping people over and over is testament to this woman’s strength, perseverance, and warmheartedness.

The conference itself was a one of a kind- as no one anywhere has brought therapists, advocates, and Dissociative Identity Disorder clients into one room before. All of the misconceptions of what survivors are like were dispelled in the three day conference- as survivors, for all intents and purpose, are articulate, intelligent, and talented in ways that amazed me. They didn’t carry around teddy bears, they didn’t act out, and they each had a self knowledge about themselves that only comes with deep introspection. Survivors were able to join together- meet, and listen to some amazing info from the stellar line up of speakers that came to talk.

The info presented by Sandra Paulsen and Colin Ross got top ratings, as did every one of the speakers that spoke. All of the people presenting at the conference knew their stuff inside and out- and each were incredibly gracious and patient- answering as many questions as they could from a group of people who openly seemed relieved that they were all in a room where everyone was able to speak intelligently and knowingly about what we went through and where we could just be ourselves. Many of the speakers spoke about feeling uplifted and almost changed from the conference- as so much was learned by the bringing us all together.

The conference was incredibly secure- but funny enough- except for a small gang of women who were the customary grumblers you have at such an event- there was absolutely no drama. In fact people couldn’t say enough good about the conference, and it now has each group- therapists, advocates, and survivors, thinking how each of us can network together to make a lasting change for the betterment of mankind. No longer isolated from each other- we all began a dialogue that, in the end, will give a much more solid view of the issues we are facing when people are subjected to incredible and repeated trauma throughout their childhoods.

The fact that this was all put together and made possible by one person is truly amazing. Felicity, never stopping or failing to act upon her desire to help people- faced incredible adversity to make this event possible- and yet, in the end, despite it all, provided something that was desperately needing and greatly enjoyed by the people she has proven over and over that she would honor and help, myself being one of them.

Great things are coming and a second conference next year on the second weekend of October- the 8th through the 11th in Seattle at the Double Tree, (same place as this year), is already in the works. This time, however, one of the big changes will be that lunches will be offered so that we all can network even more. Felicity is inspiring by what she DOES- and those out there who would speak against her, to them I say WHATEVER. The only one who has been willing to stand on the front lines with me and try to expose this mess in every way possible, Felicity has proven over and over what an inspirational soul she has- and everyone should book seats at the next conference early- cause I have a distinct feeling that it is going to be an almost instant sellout. Kudos Felicity- and thank you!

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