And Now for the Rumors Behind the News

I am taking a blogging break to work on a project.

I’ll be back at the end of September.

In the meantime, enjoy some forgotten greatness.

The Firesign Theater is best known for its biting and complex social commentary.

The group mixed the conventions of radio drama with the recording and writing techniques of The Beatles.

The result was rich multilayered surrealist satire.

“Animals without backbones hid from each other or fell down. Clamasaurs and Oysterettes appeared as appetizers. Then came the sponges which sucked up about ten percent of all life. Hundreds of years later, in the Late Devouring Period, fish became obnoxious.

Trailerbites, chiggerbites, and mosquitoes collided aimlessly in the dense gas. Finally, tiny edible plants sprang up in rows giving birth to generations of insecticides and other small dying creatures. “

An account of evolution from “I Think We’re all Bozos on this Bus” 1971

The group’s most successful album is “Don’t Crush That Dwarf, Hand Me the Pliers.”

Released in 1970, “Don’t Crush That Dwarf, Hand Me The Pliers,” is the story of George Leroy Tirebiter who lives in a world under martial law. Tirebiter is a former child actor who spends his time watching himself on late-night movies, a staple of broadcast television in the 1960’s.

Rolling Stone calls it the greatest comedy record ever made.

‘The Death of Marion Crane’ (c) Rob Goldstein 2014

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Cee’s Flower of the Day: The Iris Flower

In Greek mythology Iris is a messenger goddess who travels on a rainbow to
bring messages from the god’s to mortals.  Wikipedia

The Iris flower blooms in a rainbow of colors, the Purple blossom symbolizes
royalty and wisdom.  FTD

 

The Iris Flower is my eleventh entry for Cee’s FOTD challenge

Twittering Tales: Trina Makes Up Her Mind

Trina Makes Up Her Mind

Trina learned the power of ones and zeros from the
elephant God, Anjana.

Anjana took ones and zeros to make mice.

He taught Trina to use them to make minds.

Trina studied her mind for flaws; she trimmed it to
perfection.

When she finished, she used it to fly to New York.

239 characters

This is an entry for Kat Myrman’s Twittering Tales #152–– 03 September, 2019

Twittering tales Kat Myrman
Twittering Tales Kat Myrman

Rob Goldstein 2019

DID: Chronic Illness and Envy

A few days ago I told my partner I envy people who can live their lives without DID.

He asked how envy made my life better, and I said, ‘It doesn’t. That’s the point.”

No one wants to admit to feeling envy, yet learning to manage envy is crucial to successfully managing a chronic illness.

These days I struggle with an old demon: raised in a culture of disdain for intelligence, intelligent little boys were beaten for ‘showing off’.

The beatings were especially brutal when they came from my Mother.

I’ve spent most of my life avoiding attention and playing second fiddle.

I’m not afraid of succeeding, I’m afraid to be seen succeeding.

I’m most vulnerable to feelings of envy when I’m struggling.

Illness is the night-side of life, a more onerous citizenship. Everyone who is born holds dual citizenship, in the kingdom of the well and in the kingdom of the sick. Although we all prefer to use only the good passport, sooner or later each of us is obliged, at least for a spell, to identify ourselves as citizens of that other place.  Susan Sontag  1978

I’ve always had Dissociative Identity Disorder but I have not always been sick with it.

Prior to my diagnosis in 2009, I had a career, interesting friends, and an active life

One day I woke up and I was permanently too sick to go to work.

I told myself I hated the job, I told myself I’d find another job, I told myself I’d eventually get better, I told myself I brought it on myself, I did not have DID, I was burnt out and needed a rest.

Ten years later, it’s obvious that I’m not going to get well enough to work and I’m getting old, as in elderly.

The difference between fifty-seven and sixty-seven is like the difference between five and fifteen in reverse.

Whose body is this? Whose aches are these?

The problem is acceptance; I know I’m ill and getting old, but I still live in emotional denial.

I still expect myself to be healthy.

Knowing is not accepting and this is at the core of my envy and sense of frustration.

Accepting Envy

Envy is about someone getting ahead of you, someone doing better, someone possessing qualities that you wish you had. You think you are losing the race. You are falling behind. And you are feeling sad, angry, resentful, anxious and you just can’t accept it.  Psychology Today

It’s easier to be angry, or sad, to smother envy with somatic symptoms or to project it onto others.

We don’t want to admit to envy. We see it as a petty, selfish, sour-grapes emotion. So we hide it, we harbor it; we disguise it with claims of unfairness or with character assassination. And we may avoid the people about whom we feel envious. You might think, “I don’t want to be around him because it reminds me that they are doing better than I am doing.” Psychology Today

Finally, who wants to admit to wishing ill on the healthy?

Defusing envy is not as simple as not feeling it

Not letting yourself feel or validate envy makes it more toxic; repressed emotions express themselves in passive aggressive ways such as criticizing others, hostile and cynical comments, shaming and chronically feeling unappreciated.

The first step in defusing envy is acknowledging that it really does suck to be sick: life is already hard, and on top of it, you have a painful illness that saps your strength.

It really does suck to have an illness that interferes with your talents and goals.

The illness ends when you die; it’s a fact you have to accept.

In 2009, I could write a six-hour training presentation in less than a week while working full time.

That’s gone.

In 2009, I could walk for miles without panic attacks.

That’s gone.

In 2009, I thought I would be the clinical director of the agency I worked for by 2019.

That’s gone.

In 2009, I was still a young man.

Today I am old.

Acceptance is a daily practice.

Just for today, I can accept my life as it is, and I will let myself feel joy when others succeed.

Just for today, I can focus on my talents and take pleasure in my substantial accomplishments.

Just for today, I can forgive myself for being human and respect myself for having the courage to discuss my envy.

When are you most vulnerable to envy and how do you cope with it?

Rob Goldstein 2019

 

Politics: When Hate is Normal

First posted Jun 17, 2016

 

Political ideologues know what’s going on inside of angry men like Dan White, and they know how to use it.

 

A homophobic Meme showing Donald Trump saying, Get in Faggot, We're Making America Great Again
Homophobic Meme found on Twitter

Dan White grew up a world of normalized homophobia.

Queers were criminals in the eyes of the law, abominations to the Judeo-Christian God, and described as clinically deviant by psychiatry.

White’s political leaders and ministers told him his honor as a man was under attack; they said perverts like Harvey Milk were a threat to everything decent God-fearing patriots like Dan White revered.

Dan White was a straight man.

Dan White was a Viet Nam Vet.

Dan White was a devout Catholic.

Religious and political leaders on the right raged that fags like Harvey Milk and liberals like George Moscone deserved death.

If Dan White was a patriot, he was misguided.

Political leaders who use hate speech to ‘fire up’ their base know that some of those people will act on what they hear.

I assume they want it.

meme of Ted Cruz saying there is no room for athiests and gays in America in a speech at Liberty University.
The cynical use of hate speech to win votes.

Dan White had every reason to think he’d be seen as a hero when he gunned
down Harvey Milk and George Moscone in 1978.

Herb Cain, a columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle, wrote after the trial about the police Department’s support for White, and their “dislike of homosexuals.”

As a former police officer, White must have known he could use some form of the ‘Gay Panic’ defense and get a reduced sentence.

 Historically, in US courts, use of the gay panic defense has not typically resulted in the acquittal of the defendant; instead, the defendant was usually found guilty, but on lesser charges, or judges and juries may have cited homosexual solicitation as a mitigating factor, resulting in reduced culpability and sentences. Wikipedia

That’s what happened.

Whites defense attorney’s argued diminished mental capacity.

On May 21, 1979, a jury found Dan White guilty of voluntary manslaughter and sentenced him to five years in prison; he was paroled in 1984.

“A middle-class jury, not a bunch of kooks by any stretch, had decided one can kill, twice, complete with coup de grace, and get away with it.” Herb Caen, People Magazine, 1985

Dan White killed himself in 1985.

“Nobody knows what’s going on inside of me,” Dan White once said, but he
was wrong.

Political ideologues know what’s going on inside of angry men like Dan White, and they know how to use it.

A meme that depicts a permit to hunt democrata and liberals
Liberal Hunting Permit found on a right wing website in 2016

(c) Rob Goldstein 2015-2016

First posted Jun 17, 2016 as Turn or Burn, When Hate Becomes Normal

 

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Trina: Trina Tells a Story

This is the last entry in a series of stories that began with three prompts from D. Wallace Peach.

In the first story, Trina meets Anjana, the elephant and his family of white mice.

In the second story Trina meets a shadow boy who is separated from his ‘boy’.

In the third story the shadow boy and Trina find a golden android but lose him.

The May #PhotoPrompt from Myths of the Mirror
The May photo prompt from Myths of the Mirror

After that Diana stopped the prompts for personal reasons but the story continued.

Trina decided she needed more adults in her world so she made an adult doll.

An Illustration staged in virtual reality depicting the character of Trina designing an adult doll
Are you terribly grown up or grown up terribly?

Later, Trina and the shadow boy find the golden android on a display stand in Macy’s.

A photograph staged in VR depicting a little girl and a shadow boy standing in front of three robots
Trina and the Shadow Boy find the Android

Trina takes the android to her workshop, scrubs him up, and makes a new skin.

A digital photograph of a little girl and an android in a workshop for dolls
Trina Takes the Android to Her Workshop

In this episode, Trina brings the android and her doll to life.

The character of Trina is loosely based on the character of the Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.

Caution: The story contains what some might consider ‘adult’ material.

People don’t dress like that in the past.

Trina Tells a Story

Trina pulled a picnic table out of her bag and placed it in front of her bench at the duck pond in Central Park.

She added her tea set and Madison, and her new doll, Felicity.

Madison scowled at Felicity’s outfit. “People don’t dress like that in the past.”

“Why not?”

“I’m a doll! How the Hell would I know? They just don’t.”

Trina sighed, opened her bag, pulled out her sewing machine, and set to work.

A few seconds later Trina had a new outfit for Felicity.

Trina dressed Felicity and asked her to stand. “Do you like it?” She asked.

“Very much.” Felicity replied.

“She looks like a tart.” Madison frowned.

Trina stuck her tongue out at Madison.

The shadow boy emerged from the shadows. ‘I think she’s pretty.”

The shadow boy emerged from the shadows. ‘I think she’s pretty.”

“Thank you,” Trina said to the shadow boy: she opened her bag, pulled out the android, and stood him next to Felicity.

Trina stepped back to admire him.

The little shadow boy tugged on the android’s arm, “How do we turn him on?”

Trina reached into her bag and pulled out a button. “With this,” she replied. She aimed the button at the android and pressed it.

The android whirred to life.

“Do you know the Android’s name?” Trina asked the shadow boy.

The little shadow boy thought for a moment. “His name is Roger.”

Trina turned to Madison, “Do you think he’s handsome?”

“He’s a stud.” Madison cackled.

The android, now named Roger, cocked his head.

Felicity silently agreed.

Trina pulled a desk out of her bag and sat to write their story.

Anjana and his mice appeared and everyone quietly gathered to watch.

Arjunda and his mice appeared and everyone quietly gathered to watch.

Somewhere, wrote Trina, by Marcy Bloomingdale of Queens New York

“Who is Marcy Bloomingdale of Queens New York?” asked Madison.

“It’s my pen name. Do- You- Mind?”

Madison scowled; Trina returned to her story.

Somewhere

by Marcy Bloomingdale of Queens New York

Felicity sits in a big red chair on the murky waters of
the Long Island Sound, she sings a song of seduction.

Roger cavorts on the shore, he is a straw man scattering breadcrumbs.

Tonight the moon rises as if this was some kind of night
in Hawaii.

Roger is transfixed.

The End.

“Somewhere” by Marcy Bloomingdale of Queens, New York

Trina stood for applause.

Anjana watched two of his mice play an intense game of tennis.

Madison scowled harder than ever.

The shadow boy cleared his throat. “I thought you said they were gown ups.”

“They are,” replied Trina.

“I think you should make them do ‘it’?”

Trina was baffled. “Why?

“Isn’t that the only thing grownups do?”

Felicity stifled a smile.

The android raised his hand:  “What is ‘it’ and how is it done?”

Trina was lost.

Anjana raised his trunk to whisper what he knew:  ‘Now, I’m no hominid,’ he
began…

A mortified Trina returned to her desk.

Somewhere

By Marcy Bloomingdale of Queens, New York

Roger and Felicity are doing ‘it’ on a big red bed on the murky
waters of the Long Island Sound.

“God!” Roger sighs , as he fills Felicity’s robust aperture.

“God back,” Felicity grins.

At last, unable to restrain his ghastly lust, Roger trumpets and ejects the squirmy substance of his love.

The End

Anjana stood up on his hind legs and gave Trina a standing ovation. “Bravo!”

The shadow boy did a somersault.

Felicity blushed and glanced at Roger.

“That was mighty fine!” said Roger. “That was mighty fine indeed!”

Trina curtsied and said thank you.

She packed everything except Felicity and Roger into her bag.

“Remember to forget you’re not real.” she said.

Then Trina picked up her bag and vanished.

Roger and Felicity

 

(c) Rob Goldstein 2019

The characters are fictional,  anyone resemblance to anyone other than me is
purely coincidental.

 

DID: The ACE Study

A new and profoundly important paradigm for understanding overwhelming emotional pain has emerged over the last few years, with the potential to change the way we conceptualize human suffering across the whole spectrum of mental health difficulties. It is an evidence-based synthesis of findings from trauma studies, attachment theory and neuroscience, which offers new hope for recovery. It also presents a powerful challenge to the biomedical model of psychiatry in that it is based on scientific evidence that substantiates and attests to what many individuals with first-hand experience of mental health problems have always known — that the bad things that happen to you can drive you mad.

A New Paradigm for Understanding Severe Mental Distress

The CDC-Kaiser Permanente Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study revolutionizes the way we think about the body and mind.

The ACE Study settles the question of whether we are shaped by genetics or the environment: we are shaped by both.  Nature Versus Nurture: Where We Are in 2017

The ACE study proves that child abuse causes enduring neurological damage that can affect a person’s health and quality of life throughout the lifespan.

The body of a frightened child floods with hormones and prepares to fight, run, or die.

In less than an instant, the amygdala sends an alarm to the hippocampus, which tells the adrenal glands to release adrenaline.

Adrenaline increases heart rate and breathing, oxygen goes to the muscles and brain, which increases hearing and sharpens eyesight.

Adrenaline wears off and cortisol takes over; cortisol is a longer acting stress hormone designed keep the body alert.

Illustration from Harvard Medical School
Understanding The Stress Response, Harvard Medical School

If a child fears for his life, he may freeze and go numb.

For a prey animal in the wild, numbing is a blessing.

For abuse survivors, it means gaps in memory

During the fight, flight or freeze response the brain inhibits the prefrontal cortex.

The prefrontal cortex is responsible for retrieving memories. 

The memory is there but the brain can’t retrieve it.

A chronically abused child lives in fear which damages the structure and
functioning of a the brain. Harvard University

The toll of chronic fear on physical health includes:

  • Immune system dysfunction
  • Endocrine system dysfunction
  • Autonomic nervous system alterations
  • Sleep/wake cycle disruption
  • Eating disorders

The toll of chronic fear on emotional health includes

The Pyramid of effects of abuse on the lifecycle
Abuse Affects the Life-cycle

It takes nine months for the fetus to become a baby that can survive beyond
the womb.

Between birth and the age of two, we have no words; for the first ten years of our  lives, we are helplessly dependent on our parents and communities for our physical and psychological well being.

Child abuse is a betrayal of unconditional trust.

You don’t just ‘get over it’.

People with dissociative disorders report the highest occurrence of abuse and childhood neglect among all psychiatric disorders. This suggests dissociation is the ultimate reaction to significant trauma. Links between Trauma, PTSD, and Dissociative Disorders

A 2018 review found changes in the structure of the brain in people with DID. These changes are complex and  include decreased limbic activity, increased frontal lobe activity, and changes in communication between these two regions.

An illustration depicting a little boy glaring at his drunken mother, passed out on the floor
Child Abuse Lasts a Lifetime

DID is something done to you, like the rapes and daily beatings.

One must accept what happened and make peace with it.

Acceptance means seeing what might have been and grieving the loss.

Acceptance means letting go of the idea that I brought it on myself, that I am shameful and not good enough, and it means not letting the dismissive arrogance I sometimes encounter gnaw at my soul.

Acceptance means holding abusers accountable for the messes they make.

Acceptance means believing the abuse will end.

I am not completely there.

How do I accept the evil of child abuse when the abuse never ends?

For now, broken but better is the best I can do.

DID: When Everything is a Trigger

Get Your ACE Score

(C)Rob Goldstein 2019

‘Child Abuse Lasts Forever” (C) Rob Goldstein 2019

All other graphics were found online and are used here for educational purposes.

Introspection

from Jan Sikes

Writing and Music

As you may know, I’ve had a lot of downtime over the past three weeks and that gave me tons of time to think.

Now, that isn’t always a good thing. Sometimes it can be creative and sometimes it can be depressing. During this slow healing process, I’ve taken a good long look at myself.

Some call this “Shadow work.” I call it being honest with myself about every aspect that makes up my being.

Yes, I have gone through every one of the emotions shown. I’ve gone from telling myself that I’m stumbling through life pretending, to realizing I have a gift that is only mine and I must share it.

Introspection is not always pleasant. I’m not a fan of facing my fears, my insecurities, or my failings. It’s much easier to float through life without much thought.

But, I realized something through these bouts of self-micro inspection…

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