Strange Dream #09

Art by Rob Goldstein

Reprocessed Public Domain Publicity Shot 

I am born in the slums of a jungle;

It is hot and I am always thirsty.

I drink water from the fountain

marked Colored.

It has magic that quenches

my thirst.

My neighbors say

the fountain is

diseased

But that was before

then became now.

At 3 AM

the sophisticates

of the jungle

jabber and howl.

“Who do you love most,” asks God.

“Jayne Mansfield,” says Max.

“And why is that?” God is cleverly
all-knowing.

“She’s dead.” Max replies.


RG

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Smokes

Art by Rob Goldstein

SmokesA concrete picnic enclosure on Venice Beach; abandoned except for a weathered old man on a picnic table rolling cigarettes.

A faded tattoo of a sword wrapped in a ribbon on his forearm, the words on the ribbon merge together in blue curlicues, like the blue veins that criss-cross his swollen nose.

He says his name is Eddie.

Eddie has selectively gathered cigarette butts since dawn.

He has searched in and around the enclosure and is now ready to roll a few butts for the day.

Boys on skateboards zip through.

A photographer wanders in and snaps a picture of Eddie as he teases tobacco into a rusty can.

Eddie flicks away the yellow filters.

Pigeons scurry over to peck them.

He rolls two thin cigarettes and lays them out to dry; I offer him one of mine, and he gently declines, “I have enough” he says.

“What…

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Strange Dream #10

Art by Rob Goldstein

SurrealismIn a frenzy, I calmed

When I found a tree.

I peeled back the bark

And found hot blood.

The tree was wet and

Stank.

When I saw that

the tree was dead;

I returned to my

frenzy.


This post is in honor ofA Spontaneous Day of Peace, August 15th.

To join The Neighborhood and throw up your own sign for peace click here: Peace

(c) Rob Goldstein 2015

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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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A Letter From Home: Dear Sara

A Letter From Home: Dear Sara
A Letter From Home: Dear Sara

Dear Sara,

I’m at the park watching an old guy feed bread crumbs to a flock of pigeons.

He’s like God throwing manna to the Children of Israel.

It’s magical.

Sometimes I think all of life is magical but growd-ups don’t wanna talk about magic.

They say magic is for kids but if you ask them how come they’re alive, they don’t know what to say.

Ok, so I got a question:

Let’s say one-day u meet someone an’ this person sez they got lots a love for you but somethin’ don’t feel right.

But you wanna be loved and the person seems straight up. An’ you love ‘em back.

But there’s shadows you can’t explain, and the shadows look familiar.

But you don’t want to lose the love so u try to pretend like the shadows ain’t there when, bam!

Them shadows gets bigger an’ meaner until everything is black like it was for Robby when the shadows sliced his soul.

So you try to talk about it cuz maybe it’s all in your head so you say, “I’m scared cuz

I think somethin’ ain’t right.”

An’ the person says you don’t know nothin’ an’ you’re too suspicious an’ maybe it’s cuz you don’t know what real love looks like and maybe them shadows is love.

An’ the person says; “Bad people see bad things in good people.”

So you go, OK. Maybe it’s me. Maybe I’m crazy. Maybe I imagine lies and meanness cuz I’m bad.

An I think, “Everything about me is me is wrong….”

An’ then I think, “But this all feels so familiar…”

So one day I come home an’ I see somethin’ terrible…I see this person doin’ bad stuff with a little kid, an’ I say, “Wow! That’s wrong!”

So right away this person says I’m a hater that ain’t got no gratitude an’ I didn’t see what I seen an’ I need to remember that most folks don’t even like me an cuz I’m judgmental an I’m not allowed to be judgmental cuz makin’ judgments it’s wrong.

An’ I think, “This feels so familiar an’ so confusing.

An’ I think, “If everything is good then nothin’s bad and that can’t be right.”

 So now I’m thinkin’ it really is me, cuz maybe I’m full of shadows, cuz maybe I’m a hater an I got no room to judge things cuz I’m the one that’s wrong.

But ain’t it wrong to do sex stuff with a little kid?

 So here’s my question?

Do you got this stuff figured out?

Is it always wrong to judge and ain’t there some things that’s wrong to do?

Love,

Bobby

To “I Am Not a Victim”

Art by Rob Goldstein

Audre Lorde We have nothing to gain from silence.

I Am Not a Victim                            I Am Not a Victim

I see that phrase at least three times during an average session online.

I Am Not a Victim

There is what the wordmeansand what it implies.

Various free online dictionaries define the word victim as: an unfortunate person who suffers from some adverse circumstance: a person who has suffered the effects of violence or illness or badluck: anaccidentvictim She’s just a victim of circumstances beyond her control.

Google Search Results

unfortunate victim

I decided to search Project Gutenbergand found a Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary

VICTIM

Vic”tim, n. Etym: [L. victima: cf. F. victime.]

1. A living being sacrificed to some deity, or in the performance of a religious rite; a creature immolated, or made an offering of. Led like a victim, to…

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So, We Were Right

Art by Rob Goldstein

The Work to Make Life Fair                   The Work to Make Life Fair

I didn’t think I would live to see the 14th Amendment rights of GLBTQ people affirmed by The Supreme Court of the United States.

In the rush to celebrate we also need to remember that this changes nothing for children born into poverty in the United States.

Laws can be reversed and rights taken away,
and nothing will ever silence or stop the haters.

We must to fight to keep what we have earned.

Perhaps the closeness of the ruling reflects the tenuousness of this fresh legal insight into the rights of same-sex couples to love and marry as they please.

But there it is; proof that we can change the world.

I should feel joy.

I should be on the phone and celebrating with friends.

It took over 40 years and the blackest night of the 1980’s but I’ve lived to…

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Once a Victim Now a survivor

“one must break with one’s past to embrace one’s future. It is never an easy thing to do. It is one of the distinguishing characteristics between survivors and victims. Letting go of what was, to survive what is.” ― Karen Marie Moning, Darkfever

Survivor Award

Robert Goldstein, one of our resident writers, nominated me for the, Once a Victim Now a Survivor Award.  Rob also has a website named, Art by Rob Goldstein.  Rob is a powerful advocate for the rights of the mentally ill and homeless.  He speaks from his personal experience with the mental healthcare bureaucracy in America and the stigma our society still holds.  Please read Rob’s fine work and enjoy his artwork. Continue reading “Once a Victim Now a survivor”

The Once a Victim Now a Survivor Award.

Art by Rob Goldstein

once-a-victim-now-a-survivor-award

I am happy to be nominated for this particular award.

I’ve not seen it before and think it is a wonderful idea.

Thank you to Gentle Kindness for nominating me 🙂

This award is for those who have gone through mental illness of any kind, abuse, trauma, and especially PTSD. Here are the rules:

  1. Thank the blogger that nominated you
  2. Nominate 5 – 10  bloggers to pass the award to
  3. Post 5 questions for your nominees to answer (you may use the same as these below)
  4. Inform your nominees and post a comment in their blog to let them know they’ve been nominated

Here are the questions asked of me.

  1. In what ways do you feel that blogging can help people with psychological trauma  or mental illness?

People with mental illness are the most stigmatized people in the U.S. We cross class and color lines, just as gays do, and just as…

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I’ll Be Seeing You

Art by Rob Goldstein

At Harvey Milk Plaza Harvey Milk and his Partner Scott Smith in a photo at Harvey Milk Plaza


Kit was a bit of a twit before he got sick, but he was brilliant and passionate about gay liberation.

Our friendship was based on mutual geekiness.

Kit tinkered with a Mac or a Tandy while I wrote poetry and listened to Pattie Smith through my headphones.

It was the third year of the AIDS epidemic.

We sat over coffee at the Cafe Flore on a bright Mediterranean day in San Francisco.

Kit opened his backpack and pulled out a small computer.

It looked like a large calculator.

Kit said that HIV was not infecting all gay men.

He suspected that HIV was sexually transmitted, but at that time no one was certain.

We both knew many men who had died and even more who were sick.

Kit wanted to know what they had in common.

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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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Kaiser’s Department of “We Don’t Do That!”

Art by Rob Goldstein

Blog for Mental Health 2015

The latest episode in my ongoing resistance to Kaiser’s efforts to snuff me out with lethal neglect comes courtesy of my stupid belief that Kaiser would actually give me basic psychiatric services without a struggle.

To understand my anger I should explain that I use words for clarity, not obfuscation; therefore,  when I use the words Case Manager I have the following definitions in mind.

“A case manager helps you complete paperwork and get to appointments. Your case manager may meet with you at the mental health agency, in-patient facility, your home, or another community setting. Case management is usually covered by Medicaid or state funding.

Children’s case management is a similar service that works with parents and caregivers to support healthy growth and development for children.”

The National Alliance for the Mentally Ill

Or

“Case managers help patients live as independently as possible by helping them apply for social…

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I am the Government and I am You.

Art by Rob Goldstein

I Beleive I Believe

May is National Mental Health Month
The ongoing sight of our elderly and disabled living their last days in filth on our city streets fill me with shame.
It’s hard to believe that it wasn’t always like this.
Most people aged 60 and over remember when it wasn’t.
For me, the question is not what the government should do about it.
We are the government.
The question is what are we going to do as people to correct a fatal mistake in public policy?
The policy of deinstitutionalization was premised on the idea that human rights and class mobility are a national priority.

“We as a Nation have long neglected the mentally ill and the mentally retarded. This neglect must end, if our nation is to live up to its own standards of compassion and dignity and achieve the maximum use of its manpower. This tradition of…

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I Am not Your Poor Thing

I see a direct relationship between the homelessness as it emerged in the late 20th Century and the American Eugenics Movement which was globally popular before World War 2. Homelessness is described in the Eugenics Handbook as “Lethal Neglect.”

First published on Art by Rob Goldstein

Art by Rob Goldstein

Blog for Mental Health 2015

The man who sits in his own filth on the corner of Height at Webster is by law and species a human being.

What do we mean by human?

This must be a tough question to ask and answer because I haven’t seen it asked of any of our media experts who discuss the poor and disabled as if they are things.

Poor things.

Broken things.

Things that cost too much money to fix.

“If only our country wasn’t so darned poor we could help the poor things!” said  the rich Americans.

“So, Mrs. Clinton, what is your position on the use of “lethal Neglect” on citizens with mental illnesses?

Applied Eugenics, pge 134.

How easy it is to absorb and internalize a lifetime of hateful lies about medical conditions that affect the brain.

I’m mentally ill. I’m stupid and lazy.

I’m mentally ill and disabled. I’m…

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