Mental Health: Friendship and Dissociative Identity Disorder

Art by Rob Goldstein

This was my post for mental health week.

I think I’m late.

Animated Gif

This post is directed to abuse survivors and their families, but don’t
let that stop you from reading it.

My therapist sent me a copy of 101+ Ways to See DID, by Kathy Brody, a specialist in treating Dissociative Identity Disorder.

Screenshot
101 Ways To See DID by Kathy Broady MSW

These are a few of the symptoms described by Kathy Brody that I experience:

feeling completely blank
the sensation of not having a body
a sense of seeing through the eyes of other people
an inability to recognize myself
Confusion about age
and hyper-vigilance.

I have trouble,

Maintaining relationships
connecting to others
being touched
and physical intimacy

I have numerous perspectives and completely opposing interests.

For every yes, there is a no; for every trigger, a chorus of reactions.

A sense of being alien in a…

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The Monkey Dance of the Narcissist

Art by Rob Goldstein

“It’s not hard to spot the monkey dance. It happens any time you disagree with, confront, ignore or inadvertently shame or confuse a narcissist. Narcissists are hard-wired to monkey dance anytime they’re not sleeping, sucking up or looking for new victims. It’s who they are.

Emails are digital monkey dances. Use filters on your email to ensure that whenever they email you, their email goes directly to a folder where you don’t know about it, you don’t see it, and you’re not tempted to read it. 

Ignoring the Narcissist—How to Spot The Monkey Dance

This post is inspired by laurelwolfelives

It is a response to a comment that she left on my post, Dissociative Identity Disorder and Reality Testing and to another on her post, What Exactly Is A Narcissist?

Laurel wrote: “I understand what you are saying and you haven’t been the first. There are two ways to look at…

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Mental Health: Our Useless Rights

Art by Rob Goldstein

For this post’s purpose, I define a severe mental illness as a chronic medical condition that affects behavior, insight and judgment.

Picture it:

A filthy young man, confused and raging on Market Street, collapses at an intersection and rolls into traffic.

The police arrive.

An officer drags him to the curb and asks him if he has plans to hurt himself or anyone else. The young man shakes his head no.

The officer asks if he knows his way to the local soup kitchen and homeless shelter.

The young man shakes his head, yes.

Because he affirms that he is not an immediate danger to himself or others and claims he knows where to get food and shelter, the officers have no legal basis to mandate treatment.

The police drive off, and the young man rolls back into traffic.

The police cannot stop a sick and confused young man from…

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#WordlessWednesday: Trump’s Dystopia

Art by Rob Goldstein

Photographs of San Francisco during the #Covid-19 Pandemic CVS pharmacy boarded up on Haight and Fillmore, June 26, 2020

A tent on 17th Street, Sept 2020- A tent on 17th Street, September 2020-

Photographs of San Francisco during the #Covid-19 Pandemic Fillmore Street, October 2020

Photographs of San Francisco during the #Covid-19 Pandemic A row of tents on 16th Street, September 2020

Photographs of San Francisco during the #Covid-19 Pandemic The San Francisco Civic Center and City Hall, September 23rd, 2020

A photograph of stickers on Valencia Street Stickers on Valencia Street October 2020

Photographs of San Francisco during the #Covid-19 Pandemic A drawing of George Floyd on a shuttered business on 7th Street

Photographs of San Francisco during the #Covid-19 Pandemic Tents at 16th and Dolores Streets, August 2020

Photographs of San Francisco during the #Covid-19 Pandemic Dolores Street, October 2020

Photographs of San Francisco during the #Covid-19 Pandemic A drawing of Icarus on the plywood on the windows of a closed business in Hayes Valley August 4, 2020

A drawing on plywood on Market Street A drawing on plywood on Market Street

Tents on Dolores Street, Sept 2020 Tents on Dolores Street, Sept 2020

Tents on Dolores Street, August 23 2020 Tents on Dolores Street, August 23, 2020

Photographs of San Francisco during the #Covid-19 Pandemic History lessons on a garage on 18th Street August 4, 2020

A photograph of a sign that reads frab them by the ballot box A photograph of a sign on Fillmore Street October 6, 2020

Photographs of San Francisco during the #Covid-19 Pandemic Geary Street at Powell September 23rd

Photographs of San Francisco during the #Covid-19 Pandemic ‘Have Hope’ – The Bus Shelter on Fillmore at Haight

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#MentalHealth: Ten Tips for Blogging With DID — Art by Rob Goldstein

I’ve learned a few things about blogging with Dissociative Identity Disorder in the years since I first posted this. I’ve learned that most people can’t and won’t understand DID; the people I want in my life are the people who try. I’ve learned that I do not owe anyone an apology for the DID, nor […]

#MentalHealth: Ten Tips for Blogging With DID — Art by Rob Goldstein

#Politics: The 10 (or more) Top Reasons I Stand with Joe Biden

Art by Rob Goldstein

Trump and his Flying Monkeys are branding average Americans as radical
left-wing extremists. Therefore, I must state what I stand for:

I stand for the principle that all people are equal before the law.

I stand for our right as Americans to have a President who treats us with dignity and respect.

I stand for our centuries-long commitment to building a more perfect Union.

I stand for our military and its right to a Commander in Chief who is worthy of respect.

I stand for healthy children who have plenty to eat and safe schools.

I stand for investing in our future with a fully funded system of public education.

I stand for science over superstition, fact over opinion, and reason over violence.

I stand for a government based on compassion, one that works for all of us.

I stand for American Democracy, our NATO Allies, the Paris Accords and

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Meditation: A Portrait of the Christ — Art by Rob Goldstein

Matthew 38-48 38 Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: 39 But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40 And if any man will sue thee at the […]

Meditation: A Portrait of the Christ — Art by Rob Goldstein

Poetry: The Prayer

Art by Rob Goldstein

I have loved me

some men, Lord:

me always in

command

as God

intended —

The redheads and

the blonds,

where are they now,

I wonder —

wretched without me,

I assume.

So, who is this twit

with a mind of

his own?

Does he know I

can’t live

without him?

Will you tell him,

Lord

in a dream,

as a dazzling insight?

Will you whisper

he mustn’t hurt

me.

That he, please, please

mustn’t hurt me.


(c) Rob Goldstein August 1991-October 2019

Portrait of Rob Goldstein, based on a photograph by Nina Glaser
(c) Rob Goldstein 2019

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The Politics of Everyday Evil

Art by Rob Goldstein

The American Civil War was the topic of U.S. History; the teacher asked us to imagine what life was like for a slave.

I was fresh from South Carolina and had just finished reading ‘Mandingo,’ so I raised my hand and said, “I think it would be awful to get bred.”

“Get — bread?” the teacher asked.

“Yes, ma’am. They bred slaves for the babies.”

“Where did you hear that? I’ve never heard such a thing.”

I instinctively knew Mandingo was not a good source, so I said, “Everyonein the South knows how to breed livestock. Slaves was livestock.”

The teacher smiled. “Were,” she corrected. “I’ll research this tonight, and if you’re right, I’ll apologize tomorrow.”

The next day I got an apology.

“By the laws of competition no one can carry on a thriving business in breeding slaves for the market, unless the rights of mothers be…

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Rosa Parks and the Power of No

Art by Rob Goldstein

In 1900, Montgomery, Alabama passed a city ordinance for the purpose of segregating bus passengers by race

Conductors had the power to assign seats to carry out that purpose; however, no passengers were required to move or give up their seat and stand if the bus was crowded and there were no other seats available.

Over time Montgomery bus drivers adopted the practice of requiring black riders to move or stand for whites.

Blacks had the ‘right’ to stay seated, but they had no support from law enforcement for exercising that right.

A right that isn’t enforced by law is useless.

In the South, when Blacks asserted any of their God-given rights under Federal law, the result was an arrest, a beating, or a murder.

When he (the driver) saw me still sitting, he asked if I was going to stand up, and I said, ‘No, I’m not.’…

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Guest Blogger, Rena Korb: Fighting for a More Perfect Union

Art by Rob Goldstein

This guest post is from Rena Korb.

Rena is a professional writer and editor, and one of many extraordinary volunteers working with #DemCastUSA to get out the vote.


Ronald Reagan plays a starring role in my political awakening.

Believe me, I take no pride in these words.

My first memory of Reagan dates back to seventh-grade sewing class. A voice breaks across the loudspeaker, over the clacking of 30 machines, to announce an attempt has been made on the president’s life. He has been shot and injured, taken to a hospital in Washington, D.C. To this day, I can recall my crushing sense of disappointment.

Fast forward two years. Now it’s ninth grade and I’m sitting at the back of the Los Angeles city bus with my friends, a group of smart but cocky misfits. We are scheming to kill Ronald Reagan. We whisper possible ideas and plots. Every one…

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Gerontophobia

Art by Rob Goldstein

Gerontophobia

  1. Fear of the elderly.
  2. Fear of aging.

In the United States, we define “old” in a number of ways.

  1. Age 40 is the age at and beyond which a person may not be discriminated against in employment. (Age Discrimination in Employment Act–ADEA)
  2. Age 55 is the age at which low-income people might qualify for subsidized employment and learn new work skills. (Title V of the Older Americans Act)

  3. Age 60 is the age of eligibility for Older Americans Act services. Due to limited funding, however, services tend to be targeted to those aged who are most needy. (Older Americans Act of 1965)

  4. Age 62 is the age at which persons can take “early retirement.” (The Social Security Act)

  5. Age 65 has been the “traditional” age for full retirement. However, because of longer life  expectancy, the full retirement age is increasing for…

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#WordlessWednesday: Soliloquy

Art by Rob Goldstein

I’m going to level up with my blogging buddies. First, thank you to the people who read Art by Rob Goldstein. You are my teachers and friends, and I am grateful to you.

I have lived alone and in quarantine for almost five months as our President weaponizes COVID19 and divides our nation. I’m stressed and afraid, and this feels like it is never going to end.

Our press and political leaders behave as if we are the powerless victims of a king over whom the law has no authority.

None of it makes sense. I don’t understand why we can’t arrest and remove a criminal president who threatens our nation and our lives.

It looks to me as if Trump and his Republicans are killing us on purpose. Am I right, or is this paranoia?

This confusion and anxiety are intolerable. I am continually dissociating and losing time.

For…

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The Man Who Forgot He Doesn’t Exist — Art by Rob Goldstein

Dissociative Identity Disorder is a childhood-onset trauma symptom induced by an overwhelming confrontation with human evil before the brain can create a functional mind. When my psychiatrist diagnosed DID in 2009, I was already too symptomatic to work. I had no interest in social media, but I compulsively staged virtual photoshoots in Second Life and […]

The Man Who Forgot He Doesn’t Exist — Art by Rob Goldstein

June 27th: National PTSD Awareness Day — Art by Rob Goldstein

Originally posted on Addicted To Living: (Image source: http://covingtonweekly.com/2017/06/29/disposable-heroes-ptsd-awareness-day/ ) More often than not, people tend to associate the acronym, PTSD, with veterans returning from war. This is because throughout the years of World War I and after World War II, many veterans faced severe PTSD, or “shell shock.” However, this is only one possible…

June 27th: National PTSD Awareness Day — Art by Rob Goldstein

Trauma in a Culture of Abuse

Art by Rob Goldstein

In late November, I planned a short break from my blog to focus on Trump’s Impeachment.

I listened in shock as witnesses like Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch testified to crimes that included threats on her life.

Screenshot_2020-05-21 Marie Yovanovitch calls Trump's disparaging tweet 'intimidating'

After the House impeached Trump for extortion, I watched in horror as elected Republican officials used their positions, and media access to spread the smear Trump demanded of the President of Ukraine.

Republican Senator threatens to impeach Joe Biden
I felt personally betrayed when the Republican Senate voted to acquit Trump without hearing witnesses.

I went numb with fear and shut down.

When faced with life-threatening circumstances, most mammals shut down and play dead and hope the predator will go away.

I felt like a five-year-old trapped in a community of violent and corrupt adults. I switched to an abusive ‘protector’ alternate that silences me by telling me I am a nothing, doing nothing, and hopelessly bad at it.

Threatened children must…

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I Believe

Art by Rob Goldstein

Thank you to Karen Kleis for sharing this with me.

I Believe….

I believe that Donald Trump, his Cabinet and administration, and his Republican enablers in Congress are a real and active threat to the people I love and to me.

Trump says he won the election and wants us to “work together” to “Make America Great Again”.

This is my response:

•I will not forget how badly he and so many others treated former President Barack Obama for 8 years.

•I will not “work together” to privatize Medicare, cut Social Security and Medicaid.

•I will not “work together” to build a wall.

•I will not “work together” to persecute Muslims.

•I will not “work together” to shut out refugees from other countries.

•I will not “work together” to lower taxes on the 1% and increase taxes on the middle class and poor.

•I will not “work together” to help…

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This relationship is killing us

Art by Rob Goldstein

When we elect a President, we expect him to treat his power with humility and respect.

We expect him to be an American President.

What we have is a selfish gaslighting narcissist whose only obsession is staying in power.

Perhaps Trump saw the demographic of who was dying and decided to use Covid19 to purge voter rolls.

April 7, 2020, According to new data about the scope of the Coronavirus pandemic in the U.S., COVID-19 is hitting Americans of color especially hard. The CDC has not published racial breakdowns of deaths, but some states are — and they show that patients dying of the disease are disproportionately Blacks and Latinos.

We know Trump got a heads up about a spreading pandemic in November 2019.

April 8, 2020, ABC reports the National Center for Medical Intelligence warned the military and White House about the spread of the virus in China in…

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The Value of Life in a Pandemic

A story from DemCast

Art by Rob Goldstein

The Value of Life in a Pandemic

As of the morning of April 23, 2020, 47,992 Americans have died of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus sweeping across the earth.  The first known US death from COVID-19 was on February 6, 2020, so all of the 47,992 died in slightly less than 2 ½ months.  In comparison, the 15-year US military death toll in the Vietnam War, from 1961-1975, was 58,220.  On April…

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Trina: Madison Speaks

Art by Rob Goldstein

This is a response to the November Writing Prompt on Myths of the Mirror, which is to write something from a non-human perspective.

Madison Speaks

A girl and a doll under a red sun

We’re at her imaginary park again.

I hate this park!

It’s not like I can DO anything.

I can watch, I can listen, I can politely speak my mind.

Last week she made a big ugly Doll, a horrible thing.

She says I’m priggish and judgmental, but I say I’m
a sensible doll; she’s twisted, that’s what I think.

Oh God, here comes that bloated elephant and his
seven ratty mice.

Why are those mice dressed like dwarves?

It’s sooo derivative.

Where does she get these creeps?

I’m gonna throw myself off the bench.

Illustration of a girl and a doll

Not that she cares.

(c) Rob Goldstein 2019

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Trina: Madison Speaks — Art by Rob Goldstein

This is a response to the November Writing Prompt on Myths of the Mirror, which is to write something from a non-human perspective. Madison Speaks We’re at her imaginary park again. I hate this park! It’s not like I can DO anything. I can watch, I can listen, I can politely speak my mind. Last […]

Trina: Madison Speaks — Art by Rob Goldstein

It Ain’t Easy Being Meat

Art by Rob Goldstein

A drunken old man leaves a party.

Three young men shove him and
laugh as he staggers and cries.

They glide into a tunnel.

Suddenly, one of the men snaps the
old man’s arms and slips a knife into
his chest.

Three young men vanish in a spray
of red.

The old man falls.

I land by the body and pull out the knife.

The old man turns to me and says: “It ain’t
easy being meat.”

Rob Goldstein (c) 2015-2017 All Rights Reserved

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Introducing My First Chapbook: A Skeleton in the Attic

Art by Rob Goldstein

I took a break in September, returned in early October to post Teagan Geneviene’s feature, then decided I wasn’t ready to resume posting.

Why?

Trump’s impeachment.

There is so much news; keeping up with it feels like a full time job.

I may limit myself to two posts a week during the impeachment.

Now to the point of this post:

A Skeleton in the Attic

Illustration for a Skeleton in the Attic Illustration for a Skeleton in the Attic

I realized my goal of publishing a book of poems was unreasonable for a man with no experience in online publishing, so I took a break.

I started the break by evaluating different programs for self-publishing and discovered Ourboox.

Ourboox is a free platform and seems ideal for writers who are new to online publishing.

I researched the company and the founder, Mel Rosenberg, is exactly who he
says he is:

Mel Rosenberg is a…

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Introducing My First Chapbook: A Skeleton in the Attic — Art by Rob Goldstein

I took a break in September, returned in early October to post Teagan Geneviene’s feature, then decided I wasn’t ready to resume posting. Why? Trump’s impeachment. There is so much news; keeping up with it feels like a full time job. I may limit myself to two posts a week during the impeachment. Now to […]

Introducing My First Chapbook: A Skeleton in the Attic — Art by Rob Goldstein

Circumstances of Childhood — Art by Rob Goldstein

Originally posted on Author & Songwriter Kevin Cooper: When a former pro football star and broadcaster, now a Wall Street maven is accused of insider trading, will he be able to prove his innocence and expose those who are guilty?Greg and his boyhood pal dreamed of big success in professional football and then later in…

Circumstances of Childhood — Art by Rob Goldstein

October’s Featured Blogger: Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene — Art by Rob Goldstein

I am back from my break and the good news is I finished my project. I’ll go into that project in another post. October’s Featured Blogger is Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene Teagan was my first Featured Blogger in 2017. I asked Teagan to come back to give us an update because while I was on break, Teagan […]

October’s Featured Blogger: Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene — Art by Rob Goldstein