2015 Conference Testimonials
Hi my IG screen name is Mamabear, I am a licensed social worker with the State of Michigan, and I’m a survivor living with DID. I have spent the last 25yrs working hard to help others in their journey of healing. I have focused a lot of my training on building skills to effectively guide people dealing with trauma, addiction, and mental illness. Being an advocate and support person for those who have lost their voice, finding the power that has always lived within. Modeling the power of building options in the most difficult times gives many people the hope they need to take the next step in the healing process. Learning at a young age that together “We” as a community can make the impossible possible. I have been a part of various communities in my life time and the Ivory Gardens community offers exceptional opportunities to learn an grow. I believe in the power of community and our collective power to build a loving community. I’m sharing this with you because this is important work/healing. I has been a major contributor in my healing process. Knowing that there is a community for me has accelerated my healing process, and I want to say thank you to all who participate in the Ivory Garden support group and Conference.
In my journey to find community for those who have experienced trauma I found the Ivory Gardens online support forum 2.5yrs ago. As part of my continuing education process I have continued to access this online group for several reasons: the group holds onto several core values that provide safety, privacy, and support in a way that is respectful to each person’s process and the creators of the board are actively participating on the board daily which gives them more credibility and awareness of what is actually happening on the board. They put the action behind their ideals of promoting safety for all who enter the board. I love that they are a non-profit organization which means they are not connected to an entity that would use any information on the board to damage someone’s identity or pile on a bunch junk emails. I love the peer-to-peer work that they do. The online chat groups and Go to Mtg groups provide additional support to all. Everyone is very knowledgeable, welcoming and supportive.
Two years ago Ivory Gardens had their 1st Conference in Seattle, Washington. I was so excited to meet the people that had shared so much with me. I wasn’t sure what to expect from the conference being the first one and being a small non-profit. I must tell you I was simply amazed! The speakers were authors, doctors, clinicians, and survivors; folks that lecture all over the world! Plus they went to all the trouble to get Continuing Education Units for nurses and clinicians. Really top notch conference! The 2nd year was bigger than the first year with a live band in the evening, which was a lot of fun! So many volunteers, doctors, nurse, and clinicians that were truly passionate about doing this very difficult work. Family members, friends, and survivors are looking for ways to build knowledge and feel empowered to continue their journey with grace, it was truly awesome! The volunteers had a spark in their eye and offered hope to those who were struggling.
At the beginning of May it hit me that given my limited income I would not be able to go this year. It stopped me cold in my tracks and I spent several weeks trying to rework my budget. I should have $200.00 dollars by October which will pay for my registration, and a few miscellaneous items that may come up, but won’t cover my flight, food, or hotel for three days. I have to fly in on Thursday, the conference starts at 8am Friday, Saturday, Sunday and ends at 5pm each day. The whole weekend is jam packed full of good topics and tables of books, info, art, and more. For some people they might see this as “just another conference,” for me this is my fueling station, my source, and resource. I can’t imagine not going. So I am doing something that I have never done before and asking for a token of your support. My goal is $1,200.00 for the hotel, food, and flight expenses. Any amount big or small would be a blessing to me. You can donate once or once a month until October 1st. I believe together this dream a reality. Thank you so much!
We expect the 2016 Trauma and Dissociation Conference to be even more of a success. We have changed the venue and made other adjustments in order to create the most conducive environment for attendees.
Be prepared, if you go to the 2016 conference to be strengthened and supported, like going from a place of isolation to a place where solitude is okay and where there are even potential friendships .
Just remembering the first time I met another survivor/thriver in the hotel hallway the first few minutes I was at the hotel. I was just overcome with emotions, joy, nerves, shyness and bravery. We smiled, said hello to each other and I think we both thought the other one knew more than ourselves about where to go and what to do. To look into the eyes of someone who ‘knows’ something of being DID and just seeing the acceptance is a brand new level of healing.
For me talking to ‘like others’ who were people we had interacted with on iVORY GARDEN forum was like, really, almost spiritual or something. That’s a loaded way to put it but for me, kinda true.
Looking around, I found the people at the registration desk busy but helpful; then I saw some of the faces of the speakers and felt like I was at a rock concert (lol).
The hotel was lovely, the rooms clean and in safe locations. (Iv’e already booked my room for this year).
I liked that there was freedom to be involved with others or not. Some got together for meals, some not. Seeing people for the second time at the second conference was like the best, like safe, friends or family, dreamlike.
The speakers were amazing and I learned so much more the 2nd time. If possible, bring a little extra cash for book buying. I have a few liitle momentos from the gift tables too.
I’m not sure what I liked best because I liked so much. I really hope I can go again and meet some new people and renew acquaintance with others.
it was almost spiritual to meet other survivors who had been on the Board, to put a name to a another name, to a live face.
it was great the first time and even more wonderful the second time.
i intend to carry some money for books -or dedicate a credit card, and money for food and gifts of course.
listening to speakers was a great part of the conference–they knew a lot about DID and other topics, but i found meeting the people behind IG was the best.