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I Wish I Skipped ABAI

I wish I'd skipped ABAI.

I was really torn on presenting at ABAI this year- I had canceled my membership years ago in protest of their policie$. I joined again to vote on their measure for electric shock. I decided to go this time because it was only 2 hours away by train away, I had the opportunity to do a 6 hour workshop, I could disseminate my handbook to so many people, I was able to present in a panel, I could learn from many presenters, and I could see so many colleagues I hadn't seen in a long time who were also attending with trepidation. It was the age old question- change from within and talk to allll the people I'd see about change in the field and the things happening now or keep my money away. 

I made the wrong choice. Of the thousands of people there, I only talked to the tiniest tiniest %.  Even if 200 people had attended my workshop (they did not) that didn't scrape the surface of the folx who attended. I can reach that many with a webinar or another conference. Even if I'd sold all my books (which I didn't) that's still only a drop in the bucket of attendees. I talked to so few people because:

1. I was so late for everything I never even checked in so I didn't have my badge so no one knew who I was to approach me like usually happens at conferences 

2. I was so exhausted and I was sleeping when I wasn't presenting

3. I ended up only attending one workshop due to 1 and 2

4. My seizures were fragile from 1 and 2 that I was wearing my neck brace a lot and I was exhausted explaining what it was for (I even stopped taking selfies because I was nervous about DMs which I now feel silly about)

5. While I did not see this personally, The Judge Rottenburg Center wasn't just allowed to sponsor, but made a joke of the controversy by giving away branded power phone  plugs

I promoted my workshop and activities beforehand, not to promote ABAI, but to promote my work. I wish I'd explained my concerns with ABAI in those posts. 

Next year the conference will be in DC- my city. I will not attend. I'd love to host a dinner for my friends who are in town. Maybe I'll give a free Trauma Workshop to folx who are in town. Who wants to do a tiny shadow conference so we can see each other still? Not me lol. See1 and 2 and 4. But I'll be your cheerleader. 

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