When the Narcissist is Invisible

Art by Rob Goldstein

Abstract Digital Painting                                        We

In this post I use ‘we’ instead of ‘I’ because my subjective experience is that of multiple separate people.

The children of pathological narcissists must blind themselves to behaviors that healthy people consider unspeakable.

Food deprivation, the theft of money, a lack of boundaries, triangulated relationships in which the child must either see the other parent as an enemy or hate the other parent outright, contempt for the achievements of others, the competitive behavior of a child, and the threat of psychological annihilation.

For the narcissist the worst crime is independent thought.

The child has no needs of his own.

He must have no dreams, and no vision of life without the clinging demands of a parent or parent surrogate who is essentially a two-year old with no insight.

The psychological death-blow is that the child must never surpass the parent.

My Mother despised my intelligence and…

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A Dream About Robert

Art by Rob Goldstein

A Dream About Robert

Robert sits in the Cafe Flore.

He sips a cup of green tea.

He traces words in a note-book.

A stranger flips the table and shouts: “When you are ready to decide who you are let me know!”

His Mother throws poems at me and weeps.

“Such lovely poems,” she says, “but all about me…all about me.”

I wear the black trench coat of mourning.

“Ya know,” I say, “I was taught to be more dispassionate.”

Robert rights the table and smiles: “So was I. We’re Jewish, ya know.”

“Yes.” I sigh. “More tea?”

Robert nods and passes me the cup.

***

“I had a dream about you,” says Robert.

I see all of San Francisco from the summit of Mount Haleakalā.

It is dawn and a dense fog settles as a crown around my head.

There is a scent of roses.

A jagged crack slaps my face.

Then you…

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The Narcissist on the Seventh Floor: Part Two

Art by Rob Goldstein

Plebe                                      Plebe

There is no one as compelling as a selfish woman who covertly wants to enslave and debase me.

Thanks to my Mother, contempt is love, greedy emotional neediness is love, destroying my hopes and dreams is love, manipulating to isolate me from all that is good and healthy is love.

I will always let a narcissist back into my life.

But something has changed because I have made therapy my priority.

This is one of the reasons I must be careful about over-extending myself.

Therapy is working, but it’s painful and I use distraction to avoid pain.

In my previous letter to the narcissist on the Seventh floor I changed gender pronouns to distance myself from my rage.

I have a hard time differentiating between my transference projections and what is real.

My therapist and I are working on my rage in treatment; I can see…

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Mother, You Need Shoes

Art by Rob Goldstein

Mother, You Need Shoes

I would not have noticed her if our car had not cleared of people at Lexington Avenue.

She wore a tattered stocking cap.

She removed it and stuffed it into her jacket.

She held a grimy white bag between her legs.

She reached into it and pulled out half of a doughnut.

That was when I noticed her shoes.

The uppers had split from the soles; her feet were wrapped in newspaper and rags.

I thought, Mother, you need shoes.

I looked up and watched her untangle a lock of matted grey hair.

She reached into her bag and found bobby pins.

She styled the loosened lock of hair into a bun.

I wondered is forty dollars would do.

I had forty dollars.

It was for vitamins; specifically: anti-oxidants.

My body is rusting faster than a wet Ford.

The crows feet around my eyes whispered: erase us, your…

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After the Lovin’- Five things a Narcissist will do after a Breakup

Art by Rob Goldstein

Portrait of My MotherPortrait of My Mother

There is self-esteem and grandiose narcissism..

There is the sense that you can accomplish your goals and grandiose narcissism.

My Mother was brutally narcissistic.

In her mind, I was an object, a toy used to control and dominate my father; a thing she used to secure and please new boyfriends.

A thing.

My Mother’s control over my intellectual and emotional life was so complete that when she cried I cried.

Even when I didn’t know why she was crying.

Today’s therapy session focused on the fact that I still “discover” that someone I cared about and admired is a pathological narcissist.

I repeatedly “discover”  that the breach of boundaries, the use of my resources without consideration, the inflated claims of competence and the derision for anyone who dared to contradict these claims are signs that I’m in another cycle of repetition.

I meet my Mother…

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Lies and Confabulations

Art by Rob Goldstein

Blog for Mental Health 2015

Rachel Dolezal is in the news because she may be a white woman who claims an African-American bloodline.

Why did she lie?

I don’t know the details of Rachel Dolezal’s life, nor am I saying that any aspect of her story is the result of a dissociative disorder.

I’m saying that it sounds to me as if she believes that she is African-American, and if she does she’s not lying.

When is a lie not a lie?

When it is a confabulation.

Confabulation is defined as the spontaneous production of false memories: either memories for events which never occurred, or memories of actual events which are displaced in space or time. These memories may be elaborate and detailed. Some may be obviously bizarre, as a memory of a ride in an alien spaceship; others are quite mundane, as a memory of having eggs for breakfast, so that only a close…

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When it Comes to Filling Out Forms

Art by Rob Goldstein

The Problem with FormsThe Problem with Forms

Pattie Duke’sbi-polar illness is not the same as the bi-polar illness of the woman I saw kneeling and praying on Market Street.

Even if Pattie Duke was broke her illness would be unique to her.

People with schizophrenia also have different symptom patterns and different degrees of abilities.

Some of the more crippling symptoms of schizophrenia are directly related to the quality of a patient’s life.

Researchers at the University of Toronto’s Quality of Life Research Unit define quality of life as “The degree to which a person enjoys the important possibilities of his or her life” 

Their Quality of Life Model is based on the categories “being”, “belonging”, and “becoming”, respectively who one is, how one is not connected to one’s environment, and whether one achieves one’s personal goals, hopes, and aspirations.

Therefore quality of life is defined as the extent to which…

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Ten Tips for Mental Health Bloggers

Art by Rob Goldstein

Blog for Mental Health 2015
The thing about triggers is they don’t have to have any obvious connection to anything.

Something as mundane as finding that I’ve followed someone by mistake can unsettle me for days.

It’s not uncommon for me to find comments about a post that I know nothing about; I often don’t know what’s been posted until I see a comment.

I usually read the post before I reply.

The trigger in this case was that I replied to the comment, went to see what it was about; saw a very nice blog, but not one that I would follow.

It felt odd.

How did it happen?

I told a friend.

She thought that one of my alternates had played a prank.

Why didn’t if feel like something I would do?

Then the trigger kicked in.

Was I hacked?

I rarely discuss the practical problems of being a blogger with Dissociative Identity…

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