P4 DID Conference having an impact on creating significant life changes? Let me start at the beginning of this story.
One of my favorite writing exercises is ACRONYM writing. Some of the most absolutely amazing thoughts, unexpected paragraphs, and surprizing ideas can come flooding out of an acronym even before you realize it is happening. This is especially true if you allow your insiders to participate in the writing! If you learn how to work with acronyms, you will be pleasantly impressed again and again, with the creative writing that you and your internal system will be able to do.
Acronyms are a great writing exercise to let your system folks and headmates participate as well. Don’t edit their words! Let everyone contribute! The words and thoughts can come from any direction, so either let your different people take individual turns doing the same acronym phrase, or… let everyone join in as complete the acronym as a team. Both approaches are valuable.
I have recommended acronym writing exercises for many years, and at the P4 2020 Conference, on day-2, we did acronym writing in the afternoon, connected to one of my piano songs. This was the first time for some of the conference attendees to do acronym writing. This one exercise started a whole series of hundreds and hundreds of more acronyms.
At the P4² DID Conference in Chicago, 2021, we had an incredible display of puzzles with correlating acronym exercises. Our venue was filled with beautiful, colorful puzzles! And their acronyms!
You can bet that at the P4 event in 2022, 2023, 2024….there will be acronym exercises again, and again, and again! [ Update — yes, that is true for both MONTANA 22 and NC ’23 !]
One of the DDCF Community Forum members has created a massive artwork display with the use of puzzles. Big 1000-piece jigsaw puzzles. Dozens of puzzles. All the acronyms are written as educational information — teaching you, the reader, educational information about DID, how life with DID can look, how dissociation can feel, how to relate to or understand Dissociative Identity Disorder.
Here is an example of one of the sets that was on display in Chicago at P4². Please not that both the completing of the puzzle and the writing of the acronyms were completed by a treasured member of The Writing Team.
PUZZLE: Phrasing inspired from the puzzle image shown in the picture at the top of this page.
Original PHRASE: P4: The Beginning
WORDS Selected: Phoenix, 4, Treat, Hope, Establish, Before, Embarrassed, Guess, Intimate, Nucleus, Noticed, Identify, Normal, Greeted. (underlined in paragraphs below)
Paragraphs Created from the Words:
It started last year in Phoenix. Well I’m sure that the idea, planning, and organization of a conference about and for those whose lives have been touched in some way by dissociation had its origins much earlier than that. But for me/us (I hate the whole concept of pronouns! I never know which one to use!) that was the beginning.
Before traveling to Arizona, I had never knowingly met other people who carried the diagnosis of DID. Only a couple months before having joined the Discussing Dissociation forums. That was scary enough. Then risking exposure by showing my face in a group? Even a small group? Terrifying! I guess that I must have been more desperate than afraid. Because I went.
And it was one of the very best decisions of my life!
Familiar names from the forum developed faces, voices. They became “people”. Like me they had unique personalities. I think we were all a bit intimidated. Embarrassed. Unsure how to proceed that first night.
I didn’t realize it at the time but even Kathy hadn’t seen most of our faces before. Fortunately we recognized Kathy from her forum and blog videos, and she greeted each of us warmly.
As the conference progressed I believe the participants were able to establish real connections. There is something powerful about being part of a group. Accepted.
And oh how freeing to not have to explain everything to other people! It helped to reduce my shame. I didn’t have to explain or justify a sudden change in personality. They knew.
Maybe they noticed when I was super triggered and maybe not. Either way really didn’t matter. Because being triggered or switching was NORMAL! Understood implicitly. And so accepted without need for justification!
Ohhhh, my littles loved being there. Kathy recognized when they came out and made a point of welcoming them! What a treat!
I began to open the door to the idea that maybe — just perhaps — there might be hope for me. I met at least four (okay, more than four) people at the conference who later joined the forum. So they were already familiar to us so more easily trusted. And a huge huge benefit which in itself would be worth attending was how much our time together physically — in a room, face to face — became a healthy intimate time.
Those forum names were now friends who I knew had my back. And since P4 those friends have formed the nucleus of my forum supporters. An added layer of trust. And that connection has only grown and been strengthened since then.
It has helped me be willing to say stuff on the forum I never thought I’d share. The secrets that are so important. The ones that can kill or destroy me. The hardest ones to admit.
That has now expanded to zoom chats! So I’ve been able to see and meet even more people. What a blessing! The risk has undoubtedly exponentially been worth it! I don’t want to let anything keep me from this year’s conference!
That said, I do want to identify one danger and give fair warning. (Probably Laura does too but I haven’t gotten to experience it first hand very much…) but definitely Kathy sees your insiders. And TALKS to them! I gotta tell you that she ruined me! Since meeting Kathy my kidlets have never been the same! They pop out all over the place! They don’t hide any more! They expect to be seen and greeted.
And often inconvenient.
I’m on my way!
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Thank you for that encouraging acronym!
AND NOW…. because time has passed since our amazing week at P4² landed in Chicago, Oct 2021, you might have heard about our NEXT P4 adventures.
Instead of following up with another conference, we changed our event format to a more personalized RETREAT! Yep! We went from the big windy city to the wide open country. From tall skyscrapers to majestic mountains. From urban architecture to wilderness landscapes. We went rural, remote, with privacy, yet completely surrounded by breathtaking beauty in every direction. P4 Retreat: MONTANA 2022.
A highly unique event specifically designed for DID trauma survivors.
And because P4 Retreat: MONTANA 2022 was so successful, we followed that event with another retreat.
(and yes, of course, we did acronym writing in Montana.)
In July 2023, we are headed to NORTH CAROLINA for NC ’23
We’re experiencing amazing waterfalls and rainforest mountains this time.
And yes, of course, more acronym writing!
You too can come to the next P4 Event:
P4 Retreat: North Carolina 2023
Maybe your life will be changed as well?
21 – 30 July 2023
various dates and options available
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REGISTRATION and Information found at:
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Hope to see you there!
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