The P4² DID Conference format has recently been changed to P4 DID Retreats!
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P IS FOR….
Patience, Perseverance and Persistence
The healing work for a DID system is full of challenges, obstacles and dilemmas. If we did not bring our patience, perseverance and persistence to the process, and then commit to growing this set of muscles like we were in training for the Olympics, none of us would get very far!
Let’s be frank: the DID journey is not straight-forward, or simple, or linear, or quick, or easy. Most of the time we are following multiple processes in several parts of our system — each with its own rhythm, each with its own theme, and each with its own subset of threads linking to other parts and processes yet again. This is multi-layered, complexly-interconnected, emotionally-challenging stuff!
Sometimes we just need to back up a hundred paces, sit down, get as still as we can, and simply be. This takes patience. When the complexity gets too overwhelming, or none of the pieces are fitting together, or our people are getting more distressed about something instead of less so, it’s time to stop. Take a breath. “You can’t push the river,” someone once said to us. We’ve found that we need to return to our trust that there is some innate collective wisdom which guides the dissociative recollection and healing journey. Just like a river, sometimes it’s rushing along fast and strong, other times it ebbs and eddies.
We’ve found that being able to tune into this level of our system’s knowledge is incredibly valuable. When the river is surging full-tilt, that is the moment for perseverance, for summoning all our forward-forging energies and channelling them into memory work, internal communication, and making big and brave steps in our external lives. When we’re going with the natural flow like this, we seem to be able to make great strides towards our goals. When we hit obstacles in this phase — imagine a leaf zipping downstream that gets caught up against a rock which is just the right size and shape to stop its movement — that is the time for persistence. We need to work with what we know about the water’s movement to get us back on track. This might be about changing our angles, the way we’re looking at something, or the way we’re approaching a person or situation. Sometimes the subtlest adaptation will have us zipping off with the current of change again.
Seasons turn, river courses bend and widen, and so the pace of flow will eventually slow down. The tide comes in, and then it goes out; we’re working with less juice. We’re not always so good at immediately recognizing and listening to this change of rhythm. We tend to run ourselves aground because we persevere at a level of energy and pace that is not suited to the natural conditions.
In psychology, the term perseveration is used to refer to an unhelpful repetition of a behaviour, or thought, kind of like getting stuck in a frantic loop. Perseverance is not always helpful. It depends what we’re gunning at. Albert Einstein said that the definition of ‘crazy’ was doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. When we find ourselves frustrated, exhausted and somewhat defeated from outpouring energy that is of little or no avail, we know we need to back up. Let it go. Shake it out. Cultivate patience.
One of our greatest misconceptions is that the periods of ebbs and eddies are not productive or constructive; when in fact, some of our most crucial recollections, realizations and revelations have occurred in those kinds of waters. The amount and intensity of information held within a dissociative system is so immense that we have to circle back round on parts of it from time to time. We’ll see connections between things we didn’t see the last time. We’ll notice a tree on the river bank we didn’t see on the first passing because we were watching the birds on the other side of the water. Sometimes it’s incredibly useful to retrace a section of internal work at a slower pace — now that its content is not so fresh and raw to us — to begin tending to hurt, or to put some of the shards back together with a whole heap of gentle care. There might be some crucial detail that was missed before, or someone who wasn’t ready to show themselves when we were charging through, guns blazing, on a mission to …..
What is the mission, again?
Oh, yes. Recollection and healing. Finding and developing good relationships with all our people. Working out how to live together in a life that fits us all well. With this many people and parts, so complexly-interrelated, that is going to take time.
Patience. Perseverance. Persistence.
All in good measures.
All in the right moments.
P IS FOR….
Patience, Perseverance and Persistence, and…… PUZZLERS!
Just like our incredible writer from The Writing Team, (such great writing, and heart-felt sharing, and again… thank you!), we’ve had another dedicated member of the Discussing Dissociation team join in with great patience, perseverance and persistence by creating over 500 puzzle pieces.
Yep. Over 500.
These photos show a partial portion of the handmade puzzlers that will be in Chicago this weekend. THIS WEEKEND. 22 – 24 October — just a few days away! In fact, I’m popping up to Chicago tomorrow, so I’ll be there soon. Holy moly! It’s that time already….!
These fun little puzzler sparklies, like all delicate projects, have required heaps of patience, perseverance, and persistence as well. The process of creating a puzzler is not quick. It’s sticky. Messy. But fun, and wonderful. These puzzlers have become a hugely creative work, with a bigger and ever expanding variety of styles and colors available. Just like any plural system, these little dissociative-like puzzlers have continued to find new ways to express themselves. New ways to be. Different looks. Varying preferences.
If you’re coming to Chicago, you’ll be able to pick out your very own puzzler, plus a few extras if you’d like. The plan is to get them listed onto the P4DIDConference site where those of you who are further away or Zooming it can purchase some of your own as well.
All proceeds from the puzzlers will go towards Conference expenses and scholarships for attendees.
I’m almost out the door and on my way to the Sonesta.
Take care, travel safely, and I’ll see you in Chicago!
Well…. we had an awesome time in Chicago, October 2021. Oh, the stories I can tell. It was a fantastic weekend, with a powerful impact. Check out the P4 Gallery for pictures and videos.
However, the more time we spent together talking as a group, the more I realized that the biggest healing came in the group discussions, the group camaraderie, the group experience, which led to deeper personal connections, both inside and out. THAT’s what people liked best. SO…. instead of another conference, the next year, we planned a retreat. A specialized DID-inspired retreat for dissociative trauma survivors. HIGHLY unique, and a one-of-a-kind retreat.
Then we went to Montana for the first P4 Retreat. MONTANA 2022 was an amazing experience. Life changing for people. The Retreat format is far more personal, and we could tailor our time to addressing more specific questions and add in a whole lot of fun into our experience together. So… the retreat format seems to be the most effective. And that’s the plan. To keep having more and more retreats.
NOW, in 2023, we are headed to North Carolina, for NC ’23.
And YES, of course, every person who attends the P4 events will still get a puzzler. 🙂
The P4DIDConference.com site will give you the latest information about the next event. We will just have more and more of these unique DID-inspired events, year after year, and hopefully, we will be near a location, or be scheduled at a time that works for you. Contact me / email Discussing Dissociation for more information, or have a peek at the latest P4 event yourself.
Check it out:
I wish you the best on your healing journey…. and hopefully, that journey will include a few P4 events!
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