You see, it’s like the ending of ‘Psycho’

Art by Rob Goldstein

In therapy today we touched on the weird inner world of the pathological narcissist.

The one that swiped my Flickr group has opened a WordPress account
to fave my  blog entries.

I recognized her face from the Psycho looking selfie she uses as an avatar.

Art by Rob Goldstein You see, It’s like the ending of Psycho

I said to my therapist, “I don’t follow her. In fact, because of my DID, I’ve mostly forgotten her.”

I know who she is and why we don’t speak but those memories are like the memories of a group of snapshots.

If you hurt me, I mostly forget you.

“So why is she doing this?” I asked.  “To get attention?”

You see, it’s like the ending of Psycho,” replied my therapist.  “Norman is gone and what’s left is his malignant narcissist of a Mother who thinks that not killing the fly will…

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We Are Family

Art by Rob Goldstein

The photos in this video are dedicated the men and women of the American Civil Rights Movements.

We are all religions, races and nationalities. We are gay, straight and transgender.

We are everywhere and we will never give up.

I chose “We are Family” by Sister Sledge because it makes me smile. 🙂

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There’s This at Work…

pie_001
My daughter helped me design this board at work.

I was prejudiced.

I prejudged.

I didn’t think that an office of  400+ onsite/offsite employees would support this.

I didn’t think a firm of 10,000+ employees worldwide would support this.

No, endorse this. Embrace this with such open arms.

This month of #mentalhealthawareness.

A good friend of mine (who I’m talking into guest blogging in the near future) organized the activities that make up this month’s Mental Health Awareness Campaign at our firm’s local office.

When she first started out, her goal was to raise $400 by having folks donate money towards the senior leader they wanted to “get pied” for charity. The leader with the most votes/money towards their name will get pied, while the leader with the least “votes” will get to do the “pie-ing”.

She surpassed that goal and employees have donated a little more than $600.00. She had to set a higher goal of $1000.00.

I work at a really wonderful firm.

I am fortunate.

I am blessed.

And I am thankful.

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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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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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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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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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

A Letter from Home: Dear Bobby

 

A Letter from Home: Dear Bobby
A Letter from Home: Dear Bobby

Dear Bobby,

From what I know about your Mother I can understand how you might stumble into relationships that feel deceptive and controlling.

That you have survived to be as loving as you are attests to your strength of will and natural gift for seeing through fakes.

You will have to fight for the stability that many people mistakenly assume is the result of thinking the “right thoughts.”

The compulsion to replicate an abusive relationship is a challenge that adults who were abused as children must understand and overcome.

You want to make it right with your Mother, but she is gone; so you look for her in other people.

The shadows you describe are a good sign, because it means that you can see the replication before it is complete.

Your ability to see that you are in danger means that you are better able to protect yourself.

People yield to each other when they truly accept and love each other.

They yield by mutual consent.

What you are used to is love as warfare and you as hostage.

You look for emotional vampires that call you a hater when you discover that they are dead inside.

You invite them into your life and let them feed on you.

You will always have to guard against the attraction to people who can’t love.

But no one has the right to judge your perception of the difference between right and wrong.

It is true that we must not judge people harshly for being who they are but there are right and wrong actions and not judging people who choose to harm other people places all of us at risk.

You are no better than anyone else is and no one else is better than you are.

This awareness is part of the magic you describe.

When we live in a world in which each of us is respected  as an essential expression of the divine we no longer need to treat each other as enemies and pawns.

Your innate awareness of this fills you with the love that you struggle to express.

This spirit of love makes you seem hateful to the soulless.

But it’s not just you Bobby.

You survived a Mother who in her love for you wanted you dead.

You survived her physically and emotionally, all you need to do now is tell your story because that is how survivors help others to survive.

You must learn to understand how your past affects the present in the past, and the present in the future.

You will have to remember the selfish ignorance that raped your body, it is horrifying, but all of us must do it.

This selfish ignorance tells you that compassion is a failure to mature.

Mistaking parasitic self-interest for maturity is a convenient lie.

With all of our problems and pain, we are lucky because you are our soul and you are intact.

Adults bring the fruit of wisdom into the world.

That is our job and why we must get well.

Know that I love you and that I am here to protect you until you can protect yourself,

Sara

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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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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