Flickr Wednesday: Poetry and Art from MichaeLynn Borich

MichaeLynn Borich are Michael and Lynn Borich, a couple who live in Springfield, Missouri.  Both are photographers who collaborate on the images they post to their Flickr account. .

Michael Borich is also an accomplished and published poet.

Their work was featured in a June 22nd Flickr Wednesday.

I asked MichaeLynn to let me present this most recent Flickr post as
a special feature and they agreed.

 

Nights in Paris

 

Nights in Paris

perhaps
we were
too young,
two trying to
become one,
to disappear
into shadows
along the quay,
the Pont Neuf,
ripples of light
the water
became, last
two pigeons
that watched
us vanish, hand
in hand where
the path ahead
lay dark, where
city sounds,
night sounds,
everything
stopped.

Michael Borich (c) All rights reserved

Michael’s Book of Poems, Black Hawk Songs
is available on Amazon:

 

The Cover of Black Hawk Songs, a book of poems by Michael Borich
Black Hawk Songs is a 30 poem sequence about the famous chief of the Sauk and Fox tribe. They examine Black Hawk’s transformation from boy to warrior to chief to defeated, embittered old man.

 

 

 

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Dissociative Identity Disorder and Reality Testing

Real life and Virtual collage of avatar and people to represent the identity fragmentation of dissociative identity disorder
The Reality Test

What is REALITY TESTING?

Psychiatry defines reality testing as follows: Any means by which an individual is able to clearly asses his or her limitations as they relate to biological, physiological, social or environmental realities, or the objective evaluation of sensory impressions, thus allowing the person to distinguish between the internal and external world and between fantasy and reality.

I cannot say this with authority but I suspect that all severe mental illnesses affect the ability to correctly assess ones interactions with others.

My reality testing is compromised in two areas.

Though I rarely say this outright; I believe that my alternates are real.

I have to force myself to think of myself as  ‘I’ and I only say “I” when discussing myself as separate from the people we call our ‘alternates’.

When I am “the self”  I initially have vague memories of what happened before
I took over but they quickly fade

My compromised reality testing also compromises my ability to protect myself from exploitation.

I often feel like a child in a world of adults.

Always lost…

Always waiting…

Below is a video clip that best illustrates how
Dissociative Identity Disorder compromises
reality testing.

This is this excerpt from an interview with Kim Noble.

Kim Noble is a British artist and Mother who has over 20 distinct personalities. This is an interview with an alternate that is a 21 Year old Gay Man. On the couch next to Kim is her daughter. The alternate thinks that the daughter is the daughter of a friend.

Meet the Mother with 20 Personalities

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Dissociative Identity Disorder: When Shame Becomes Pride

Portrait of a female avatar made in Virtual Reality. She represents a female alternate in a Dissociative System known as DID.
The Protector Alternate, Sara

 

Dissociative Identity Disorder looks like a psychosis to people who don’t understand it or who think that all people with DID act like Sybil or
Norman Bates.

Yes, I hear the voices of my alternates.

But their voices are not hallucinations.

They are more like thoughts that sound external.

Each alternate has a function.

Some alternates communicate autonomously with each other and though
there are boundaries between alternates these boundaries can be permeable.

“Dissociative identities exist in a third reality, an inner world that is visualized, heard, felt and experienced as real. This third reality is often characterized by trance logic. In trance logic, ideas and relationships of ideas about things are not subject to the rules of normal logic. Because (the alternates) are kept in separate compartments (of the brain), contradictory beliefs and ideas can exist together; they do not have to make sense. In the way, the internal world has many alternate selves that experience themselves as separate people. There is a pseudo delusional sense of separateness and independence.”

From Trauma and Dissociation

I don’t experience the inner world of my dissociative system as vividly
as the alternates that use Second Life do.

I’m Rob Goldstein.

I was born as an adult and I function as an apparently normal self.

That means that I smooth things over, I look and sound like an adult…albeit one that does not know how old he is.

I don’t use Second Life because I think it’s cheesy.

I look at what comes out of Second Life and try to understand it, but I don’t.

It’s not my job to use Second Life.

My job is processing photographs and writing essays.

This means is I know very little about Second Life members of this Family.

I don’t feel anger. I don’t experience grief.

I wonder if I am made in the image of  Star Trek’s Spock.

A Screenshot of a male and female vatar on a star trek set in Virtual Reality
Space Madness

I think in terms of logic.

When asked by someone if I felt proud of the art made by my alternates I replied that it is illogical for me to feel proud of work produced by other people.

If one stays with the logic of Dissociative Identity Disorder than these people who have their own special place on my brain are not me, even if everyone around me thinks they are.

This MRI scan shows an alternate switching to another alternate
This MRI scan shows an alternate switching to another alternate

I don’t hear them often but I can sometimes sense when one of them is going to take over.

Reading that Sara is the internal Mother is new information.

I did not know she used Second Life to recreate a scenes from the past.

I did not know she has a relationships with the child alternates.

I did not know they talk to her.

I did not know the children on’t trust the men in the system.

And I did not know Sara thinks that I and the other men in this system are
useless at protecting us from predators.

The little boy who imagined this elaborate coping mechanism was smart enough to create a good Mother.

Each time Sara takes them into Second Life and comforts them she corrects some of the damage done by the real Mother.

Sara gives them what they need.

When she stands up for them she also says that they are worth fighting for.

I cannot think of a child who does not need a parent or a parent figure who will fight for it.

The child invented a good Mother and gave her a place on his brain.

 

Advances in Brain Imaging 18 Fig. 2. Example of reduced regional cerebral glucose metabolism in the anterior temporo- frontal cortices in a patient with dissociative amnesia
Reduced regional cerebral glucose metabolism in anterior temporo-frontal cortices in dissociative amnesia

Unfortunately, I have a pathological need to understand everyone.

I give the most obvious narcissist every chance to behave decently.

And Mateo lets female narcissists intrude on his virtual space.

He won’t throw them out because he doesn’t want to be cruel.

Do you understand how crazy that is?

Mateo and I don’t want to hurt the feelings of pornographers, pedophiles, con-men, narcissistic abusers, back-biters and female sociopaths who
find sport in sabotaging our mental health.

We don’t want to hurt the feelings of malicious people who gleefully kick
us when we’re down.

This is what happens to a mind that must normalize barbarism.

For me and Mateo, danger is always invisible.

But not for Sara.

Perhaps it’s because Sara is female.

It is possible that Sara lacks an abused boy’s need to please his Mother.

Here is why she finally blew up:

Mateo opened their virtual studio in Second life to a narcissist who
took it over.

This narcissist trashed the Studio and refused to leave.

Then she set out to savage our reputations on Flickr and
had begun to do the same on Word Press.

Mateo was reluctant to remove her from the Second Life studio
because he didn’t want to hurt her feelings.

Adult survivors of abuse don’t trust their own perceptions.

So, Sara emerged and threw everyone out.

It was the right thing to do because that Studio in Second Life
is an extension of our inner world.

Letting other people into it makes us vulnerable.

Sara did what was healthy.

And that is why my shame is now pride.

I can see that even with DID we are healthy and strong enough
to protect ourselves.

Never Keep Your Head Down

(c) RG 2015-2016

 

 

 

 

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Swept Away

Surralist image of a road that ends in sky
Swept Away

Never Tear Us Apart
by INXS

 

Originally published as ‘Vanishing Act’. Revised when I noticed
that the image ‘Vanishing Act‘ is already in use on another post.

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An Autumn Trip With Ravi Shankar

An Autumn Trip With Ravi Shankar

A video made from short clips of Autumn leaves that I shot with my android. I processed the clip on my android and my PC.

I added a clip from a digitized 1967 recording of Ravi Shankar in New York
Found at the Internet Archives.

Ravi Shankar in New York
Community Audio

 

20 Ways to Live with ICD-9-CM: 300.14, 300.15

An abstract street shot that depicts a man who appears to be vanishing
Vanishing Act

What is life like for someone who lives with and loves a man who is symptomatic with severe Dissociative Identity Disorder? (ICD 9 code 300.14,  300.15)?

My partner and I had a frank conversation about the stress of  living with me after a joint session with my therapist.

Kaiser’s refusal to provide a treatment protocol based on the accepted paradigms for the treatment of DID that any layman will find by doing a casual search with Google has made his life with me more difficult and frightening than it has to  be.

My lack of memory and the fear provoked by descriptions of incidents I can’t remember is “triggering ” and causes a switch.

I cannot describe what I cannot remember.

Were Kaiser doing its job my partner would receive a weekly call from my case manager so she could understand the true scope of the illness and make more accurate safety assessments.

The online Merk manual describes Dissociative Identity Disorder as follows:

“…chronic and potentially disabling or fatal, although many people function very well and lead creative and productive lives.”

With proper treatment, many people do go on to lead creative and productive lives.

I intend to be one of them.

For reasons that are entirely cynical, Kaiser has offered to give me an alternative therapist for the two times a year that my therapist goes on vacation.

Very cheap; and ineffective.

I need a treatment team that includes an intensive case manager who understands the importance of sustaining my family system.

When I told my partner to call my Kaiser case manager when concerned the response was, “Why? They do nothing. They blame me!”

I know that I need to file a grievance, if for no other reason than to spare my partner this pain, but I can’t.

It is one of my symptoms.

I cannot file the grievance until all of me understands why it must be filed.

There is a part of me that strongly believes that Kaiser will do what is right when it “understands” what has to happen.

It blocks any attempt I make to file a direct complaint.

Were I a more suspicious man, I would think that Kaiser knows this and is banking on it.

This is a list of points that my partner and I agreed to about his relationship to my DID:

  1. He cannot cure the disorder, but he can take part in the healing.
  2. Getting better sometimes means more symptoms.
  3. When he feel resentment, take a break.
  4. Denial is normal but destructive.
  5. Everyone changes when a family member is engaged in psychotherapy.
  6. Love the person, even as you hate the symptom.
  7. Discrimination against the mentally ill is real — it only seems invisible because it is accepted.
  8. He may find it empowering to become more activist.
  9. He always has the right to say no.
  10. Mental health professionals have varied degrees of competence, integrity, and commitment
  11. He is not responsible for enabling the failures of the Nation’s Behavioral Health System
  12. I am a patient, not a consumer. There is a difference. Never forget that.
  13. It is OK to be angry when it makes you effective.
  14. You and your family member’s case manager should be in weekly contact, especially during a crisis.
  15. It is important to have boundaries and set expectations when speaking with care providers.
  16. The current suicide rate of 20% among people with PTSD related psychiatric illness is based on what’s happening to real people.
  17. A mandated hospitalization is NOT the worst thing that can happen to someone with a mental illness. It’s not the cheapest either.
  18. When it comes to safety, don’t take no for an answer.
  19. Never let your family member go to the hospital alone. Patients receive better care when the staff knows that someone is looking.
  20. Your family members illness is also an emotional trauma for you. If you decide to stay and take part in the treatment, you will need your own supports.

    (c) Rob Goldstein 2014-2016

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The San Francisco War Memorial

The San Francisco War Memorial, October 2012
Night Shot of the San Francisco War Memorial October 18, 2012. The memorial is lit with the colors of the Rainbow Flag. Bob Dylan was in town to give a concert.  When I took this shot I heard Knockin’ On Heavens Door from a passing car.

 

 

Bob DylanKnockin’ On Heavens Door
Community Audio

Did You Know Bill Clinton Got AIDS from Magic Johnson?

 

A graffit sticker of Donald Trump with an anus for a mouth with 'Trump is a Racist' scrawled in pen
This  was once a sticker of Donald Trump with an anus for a mouth. Someone tore the mouth off and scrawled something in pen. I can’t make out what it says, Is Trump a racist or a fascist?

 Daily Show Reporter,  Jordan Klepper interviewed a basket of deplorables at a rally and learned that Bill Clinton got AIDS from Magic Johnson.

Below are a few of the ‘facts’ these people believe and their sources.

Why do so many Americans believe things that aren’t true?

I researched some of the news sources for what I heard in the interview and this is what I found.

President Obama is a Muslim Terrorist. and is funding Iranian terrorism.

The United States owed that money to Iran. The release of that money was part
of a separate negotiation. Snopes.com

A screenshot of a photo of President Obama with a caption that claims that the president is a terrorist.
Wednesday, August 3, 2016
Washington Times Editorial: The fact the Obama/Hillary/Kerry sent billions in cash to the real Islamic State, Iran, is proof of everything I just said above. Where did he think they would spend that cash? Does he think they are going to strip clubs? No, the cash would be laundered, untraceable, to fund terror around the world from the largest state sponsor of terror, Iran.

Hillary Clinton has AIDS

A December 2015 book review in the political insider that suggests that Bill Clinton has AIDS
A screenshot of the a December 2015 story in Political Insider. It says that: “n their new book, Bill & Hillary: So This is That Thing Called Love, the authors interview Clinton insiders who claim that Bill slept with so many women that Hillary Clinton has repeatedly forced him to get an HIV test from the doctor. This is because the former President “favored unprotected sex.”

Hillary Clinton has a body double:

A screenshot of the search results from Google in response the the query "Does Hillary Clinton have a body double.
Can you believe this?

Obama was born in Kenya

A Newsmax article that implies Obama was born in Kenya
This Screenshot from a 2015 Newsmax article implies that Obama was born in Kenya. The interesting thing is that if you enlarge the image of the birth certificate it says he was born in Hawaii. The words looked fuzzy and Newsmax didn’t link to a full screen view so I enlarged the image so you can read it. Click to see it large then click the image. Even at its largest the words are fuzzy. Do you think Newsmax did that on purpose?

Jordan Klepper’s  interview is humor but there is nothing funny about this many dis-informed Americans.

The segment below is from the Sep 21, 2016 episode of the Daily Show.

 

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Flickr Wednesday: Diana Thorold

Diana writes:

“I have been involved in ‘the arts’ one way or the other all my life.

Born in Kenya, I lived on a farm and made cards and presents for friends and family – In childhood I learned to use and make from what was around me. … now it is ‘fashionable’ to reuse, recycle.

I run workshops to help people find their creativity.

I have a small seasonal shop ‘Blistering Barnacles’ that I run with my partner.
We make almost everything we sell.

My work on Flickr is more for ‘fun’ – I enjoy entering the groups competitions and manipulating and mangling photos.  I Hope my work inspires you”


Evening glow

Evening Glow

Follow ... if you will

Follow if you will

Thinking of you

Thinking of You

Fly Free

Fly Free

Glow

Glow

Which way

Which Way

Remembering Summer Days

Remembering Summer Days

The Truth

The Truth

Essence of Summer

Essence of Summer

Summer slides Away

Summer Slides Away

Peace

Peace

Blistering Barnacles

Diana’s Workshop in Sherringham

There’s a poison in This Court that will Kill us All

GPN-2000-001658

The title of this post comes from “Camelot.”

I was doing research today at the Internet Archives for a project.

I needed a good public domain photo of John Kennedy and ran a search. One of the returns was the 1960 Debate between Kennedy and Nixon.

This was the first televised Presidential debate

An estimated 70 million citizens watched this debate.

I watched the opening and marveled at the complex questions and answers.

Kennedy’s task was to convince his fellow citizens that he understood the separation of church and State and that he would follow the rule of law.

Kennedy stated:

“…because I am a Catholic, and no Catholic has ever been elected President, the real issues in this campaign have been obscured — perhaps deliberately, in some quarters less responsible than this. So it is apparently necessary for me to state once again — not what kind of church I believe in, for that should be important only to me — but what kind of America I believe in.

I believe in an America that is officially neither Catholic, Protestant nor Jewish; where no public official either requests or accept instructions on public policy from the Pope, the National Council of Churches or any other ecclesiastical source; where no religious body seeks to impose its will directly or indirectly upon the general populace or the public acts of its officials, and where religious liberty is so indivisible that an act against one church is treated as an act against all.

I had a moment of cognitive dissonance when I read that Presidential Candidate Ted Cruz paid a visit to a “religious liberty conference” where he was introduced by a pastor who openly calls for the state to execute gays.

Cruz made the following comment: “Cruz: “Any president who doesn’t begin his day on his knees isn’t fit to be commander in chief.”

There’s a poison in our Nation and its killing our Democracy.

Here is a portion of Kennedy’s opening statement in 1960:

“I don’t want the talents of any American to go to waste. I know that there are those who want to turn everything over to the government. I don’t at all. I want the individuals to meet their responsibilities. And I want the states to meet their responsibilities. But I think there is also a national responsibility. The argument has been used against every piece of social legislation in the last twenty-five years. The people of the United States individually could not have developed the Tennessee Valley; collectively they could have. A cotton farmer in Georgia or a peanut farmer or a dairy farmer in Wisconsin and Minnesota, he cannot protect himself against the forces of supply and demand in the market place; but working together in effective governmental programs he can do so. Seventeen million Americans, who live over sixty-five on an average Social Security check of about seventy-eight dollars a month, they’re not able to sustain themselves individually, but they can sustain themselves through the social security system. I don’t believe in big government, but I believe in effective governmental action.” John Kennedy 1960

Listen to all of it.  Hear the sound of reason and intellect.

King Arthur: Proposition. Right or wrong. They have the might. So, right or wrong. They’re always right. That’s wrong. Right?

Right.

Juxtapose the minds on display at the Kennedy/Nixon debates with this commentary from our contemporary right-wing basket of deplorables:

“Jesus Christ is the king of the president of the United States, whether he admits it or not!”

Gay death penalty advocate Pastor Kevin Swanson

There is a poison loose in this Nation and the only force that can stop it from killing us is us.

RG 2015-2016

 

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Love is a Verb

Love is a Verb
                          Love is a Verb

My conversion to Catholicism required two years of study and meditation.

I was six months into my study when my mentor gave me a crucifix to take
home and hang on a wall..

He asked me to meditate on the crucifix an hour each evening for a week.

At the end of the week we met.

The Vocations Director from the Conventional Order of St. Francis joined us.

I was a deeply committed and my mentor felt I had a vocation.

The exercise was a test of my vocation.

My mentor asked me what I thought the crucifix meant.

I replied that it symbolized the best of human nature, tortured and executed by the worst of human nature: “The crucifix is a symbol of the struggle to transcend the beast, which is not an external force, but a force within each of us. It causes a spiritual death that God wants us to transcend by following the commandment to treat other people as we would want to be treated under their circumstances. It’s not as simple as giving to charity. We must ask ourselves how we want other people to treat us if we are hungry, lonely, grieving or a prisoner. We must love the other as we love ourselves.”

With this answer, I was accepted into the Conventual Order of St Francis of Assisi.

I would enter the friary as a Novitiate upon my baptism to continue the process of discernment.

Twenty years later, we have a Pope whose focus is on the story of how God chose to become flesh and among whom he became flesh.

What kind of Christian rewrites the Gospel so that it comports with a political point of view?

To me, this is  spiritual death.

Wanted Poster by Art Young -
Wanted Poster by Art Young

One does not have to be Christian, or believe that there is a God to grasp the meaning of the story of Christ and to learn from it.

The most powerful force in creation consciously chose a lowly birth among the lowliest people in the Roman Empire.

This story of how God chose to incarnate is the central point of the Gospel, the Good News.

The good news is this: God loves all of His Creation regardless of race, creed, religion, sexual orientation, or class; His Creation belongs to His Creation, all of it.

Lethal Medical Neglect
                    Discharged with Walker

“God’s heart has a special place for the poor, so much so that he himself “became poor” (2 Cor 8:9). The entire history of our redemption is marked by the presence of the poor. Salvation came to us from the “yes” uttered by a lowly maiden from a small town on the fringes of a great empire. The Saviour was born in a manger, in the midst of animals, like children of poor families; he was presented at the Temple along with two turtledoves, the offering made by those who could not afford a lamb (cf. Lk 2:24; Lev 5:7); he was raised in a home of ordinary workers and worked with his own hands to earn his bread.” (Evangelii Gaudium, 197)

 

Lethal Medical Neglect
                         Urban Renewal

“In this context we can understand Jesus’ command to his disciples: “You yourselves give them something to eat!” (Mk 6:37): it means working to eliminate the structural causes of poverty and to promote the integral development of the poor, as well as small daily acts of solidarity in meeting the real needs which we encounter. The word “solidarity” is a little worn and at times poorly understood, but it refers to something more than a few sporadic acts of generosity.”  (Evangelii Gaudium, 187)

 

Lethal Neglect
                              Red Soles

Let no one consider themselves to be the “armour” of God while planning and carrying out acts of violence and oppression! May no one use religion as a pretext for actions against human dignity and against the fundamental rights of every man and woman, above all, the right to life and the right of everyone to religious freedom!

Pope Francis Sunday, 21 September 2014

Un Angelo

Love like a signal you call
Touching my body my soul
Bring to me, you to meet me here
Home be the temple of your heart
Home be the body of your love
Just like Holy water to my lips
Hey

Yes I do know how I survive
Yes I do know why I’m alive
To love and be with you
Day by day by day by day

 

 

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She’s Not There

Digitized and reprocessed vidoe frame
            She’s Not There



She’s Not there – The Zombies
Community Audio

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The Voyeur

The Voyeur Reimagined


Swan Lake: Waltz

Philadelphia Orchestra, Eugene Ormandy, cond.
Columbia/CBS/Sony, recorded 1961
1 – Tchaikovsky: Swan Lake, Op. 20 – Act 1: Valse

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62 Seconds of Soul Murder in San Francisco

Homelsss people leave messages of anguish on the walls of alleys.
Homeless people write on the walls of the alleys in which they sleep.

This November, San Franciscans will vote on a proposition to ban
homeless encampments and to allow police officers to remove
the people and their possessions within 24 hours.

Proposition Q.

The Tent encampments are new.

The homeless used to sleep in doorways.

The tents are provided by nonprofits like Tents-4-Homeless.

Plenty of mentally ill people still sleep in doorways because they’re
too too disorganized or depressed to care.

Surely, the sight of homeless tent encampments against the backdrop
of one of the wealthiest cities in the United States is a vivid example
of the corrupt squalor of our wealthy elites.

“There is “illegal activity of every type” occurring in the encampments and “this
should not be allowed in any civilized city.” 
Jim Lazarus of the San Francisco
Chamber of Commerce
.

A hospital tossing the sick and disabled onto the street is legal, you see.

My solution is to fully fund mental health, restore the option for long-term in-patient
treatment to the mental health system, and revise commitment laws to make it easier
for families to get their loved ones into treatment.

Jim Lazarus went on to say that The City should, “put people into shelter  by our standards
of humane treatment and not the standards that the homeless people may want us to abide by.”
San Francisco Examiner

I don’t know what to make of that statement, I’ll let you decide.

The term Soul Murder describes the effects of child abuse.

I define Soul Murder as the willful hurting of people who are helpless and
relatively innocent.

Soul Murder is always an abuse of power.

It’s all too easy to imagine that the Third Reich was a bizarre aberration, a kind of mass insanity instigated by a small group of deranged ideologues who conspired to seize political power and bend a nation to their will. Alternatively, it’s tempting to imagine that the Germans were (or are) a uniquely cruel and bloodthirsty people. But these diagnoses are dangerously wrong. What’s most disturbing about the Nazi phenomenon is not that the Nazis were madmen or monsters. It’s that they were ordinary human beings.  Less Than  Human, The Psychology of Cruelty

A man at a muni stop at Church and Market Street in San Francisco, Califiornia
A patient recently discharged from a hospital to the Street.
I took a walk to my dentist last Thursday.

My dentist is over on Powell and Sutter Street.

I chose to walk along Market Street.

My Walk to the dentist takes about thirty minutes.

Below is 62 seconds of that walk,.

5 chance encounters with people whose public suffering is palpable
and unnecessary.

I’ve arranged these short videos in order in which they were made.

62 seconds of random soul murders in one short walk in San Francisco.

San Francisco’s wealthy property owners want to banish their sins:
these victims of forty years of tax cuts and privatized medical greed.

But our sins are the sins of our nation.

We know what we have to do…but we choose instead to dehumanize
and scapegoat the  victims.

I’m not a wealthy man.

I don’t travel by limo and plane.

When people have no where to
piss but the street

I have to smell it.

I’m not a wealthy man, I can’t
shit where I eat and jet to the
illusion of a cleaner place at
the table.

 

A homeless man asleep on Dolores street
A man sleeps on bare concrete on Dolores Street

 

All Content (c) Rob Goldstein  2016

 

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Featured Blogger: Life of an El Paso Woman

Photograph of Lisa Amaya
LIsa Amaya, Life of an El Paso Woman

 

Our Featured Blogger for the last weeks of February is Lisa Amaya from Life of an El Paso
Woman. Thank you for agreeing to the interview.

Tell us a little about your history, where you were born, and your dreams as a child.

I was born and raised in El Paso, Texas. El Paso is a desert border town 45 minutes away from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico and Las Cruces, New Mexico. It’s the sixth largest city in Texas. I’ve wanted to write since I was 6 years old. I won a school writing contest in first grade. This inspired me to keep writing throughout the years. Since then, I’ve written stories, poetry, newspaper and magazine stories. Right now, I’m a freelance writer and blogger who works in media sales. I thought I wanted to quit writing for good in 2010. It turned out I just needed a break. I found out writing is my passion in 2015 so here I am!

How do you define your blog’s purpose?

At first, my blog’s purpose was to only write about things that interest me like movies, music, books, art, etc. I also wanted to start a blog to practice my writing skills and get freelance writing projects. I enjoy using my blog to educate others about the people and places in El Paso and the Hispanic culture. I also like to know what other bloggers are doing with their blog and life so…on Saturdays I feature a different blogger in an interview. I call this the


What other blogs do you write for and how did you find them?

Before starting Life of an El Paso Woman, I wrote for my childhood friend’s (Ryan Loera) blog for a couple of months. He asked me if I wanted start writing in his blog and I said yes. I’ve done guest posts for Roberta Pimentel and Tracy’s A Joyful Process. Roberta featured a Be My Guest guest post project. I asked her if I could take part and she said yes. I ended up participating in it twice. Tracy asked me if I would like to do a post for his blog earlier this year and I said yes.



How long have you been blogging and why did you start? I started my blog on February 25, 2015 so I’ve blogged for about a year and a half now. I started the blog to practice on my writing skills and get freelance writing projects.

How often do you post? Every day except for Thursdays. Things sometimes come up so I’m unable to post on certain days.

What are your top 3-blogging tips for other bloggers? Write about whichever topics you want, don’t ever be someone you’re not and leave sincere comments in other blogs you like. Also, if someone leaves a comment in your blog, at least thank him or her for it or like his or her comment. It’s always a nice gesture when someone takes time out of their day to read your stuff and leave a comment. Why not give them a couple of minutes of your time in return?

Thank you, Lisa.

Life of an El Paso Woman

A Celebration of Small Victories

Art by Rob Goldstein
A Celebration of Small Victories

Today, in honor the memories of those we lost on 9/11 and the men and women
who gave so much of themselves in the days and weeks after the attack I celebrate
the small victories in our lives and the people who make them possible.

I celebrate the mental health and chronic illness bloggers and abuse survivors,
doctors and mental health professionals who use the internet as a force for good
and who blog to comfort and inform people who suffer in silence:

Kitt O’Malley

Looking For The Light Blog

itsgoodtobecrazysometimes

Bi-Polar for Life

Daisy in the Willows

A Spoonie’s Tale

I Am Breann’s Prefrontal Cortex

katiesdream2004

bipolar one, real life two.

All Things Chronic

survivor road

Sheldon Kleeman

Bi-Polar for Life

authenticitee speaks

I celebrate the poets, flash fiction writers, political writers and everyday people
who write and post their work out of love and to do what they can to bring kindness
into the world.

Kendall Person-The Public Blogger

A Momma’s View

Erika Kind

Linda Bethea at Nutstrok

Josh Wrenn

Visionarie kindness

Souldier Girl

sonofabeach96

Adventures of the Madcap Christian Scientist

Br Andrew’s Muses

Buffalo Tom Peabody

jacquelineobyikocha

Mr. Militant Negro

saywhatumean2say

musingsofanoldfart

***

Today I celebrate and share a small victory.

First, some context:

Next month I begin my sixth year of therapy.

It takes a long time to learn how to live with Dissociative Identity Disorder.

It took three years of therapy for me to get well enough to blog.

Two primary symptoms of my DID are Depersonalization and Identity Alteration.

Depersonalization

Depersonalization is a term used to describe the feeling of being outside of one’s own body. This experience is the act of being depersonalized from oneself hence the term: depersonalization. People experiencing depersonalization may describe their experience as an “out of body” experience in which they are not in control of their own body and in extreme cases they may not even recognize themselves in the mirror. Depersonalization can be a very scary experience for those who undergo it.

Identity Alteration

Identity alteration is much more noticeable in that it is outwardly visible in signs from the affected individual. Someone experiencing identity alteration may use different facial expressions, a different type of language, a different accent, or a different tone of voice. People who experience identity alteration may be able to identify that they have experienced identity alteration but this is not always the case. When an individual with a severe form of identity alteration or dissociative identity disorder, experiences an alteration in their identity, they are often completely unaware of what has taken place and are just as confused as those watching the event take place. Frequently identity alteration and identity confusion are paired together when being discussed as to their role and observance in dissociative personality disorder.

Exploring Life Mysteries

The disconnection between my mind and my body is so extreme that
I’m phobic about taking and posting pictures of myself.

In the years I’ve owned a camera and a camera enabled cell phone
I’ve not taken a selfie.

My Therapist and I agree that on some level I think that releasing a
current photo is like losing control of the body.

Control over the body is important to survivors of childhood sexual abuse.

So, posting a current photo, even this crappy one, represents great progress
in therapy.

I give you, a fresh selfie!

Posting this is one of the hardest things I’ve done in a long time.

 

Art by Rob Goldstein
Selfie, September, 10 2016

Dude looks like a garden gnome.🙂

Please share your blog links in the comments section of this post—What small victories
do you celebrate today?

I can think of no better way to honor the lives of the people we’ve lost.

(c) Rob Goldstein September 2016

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Variations On a Theme

Art by Rob Goldstein
Variations on a Theme



Mozart
Marriage of Figaro: Act II, Porgi amor (Soederstroem, Klemperer)
Elisabeth Soederstroem (s), Countess Almaviva (Rosina); New Philharmonia Orchestra, Otto Klemperer, cond.
EMI, recorded January 1970
Community Audio

 

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The Birth of the Princess Phone

the-birth-of-the-princess-phone
The Birth of the Princess Phone

This post is for Br Andrew EFO. I promised him I’d post a photo of me at age 16.

This abstract above is based on the snapshot below:

 

Art by Rob Goldstein
Bobby, Age 16


I sport a Beatles haircut (fiercely lacquered into place) and a
groovy, mod wide lapel shirt with French cuffs.

I am 16 going on 17.

I don’t remember whose apartment that is but I know I was
 ‘out’ and running with the gay street kids of Charleston.

I call the abstract The Birth of the Princess Phone because one of my
nicknames on the street was Miss Bell Telephone.

As you can see, I’m on the phone.

This photo was shot after one my yearly stays in New York with
my Grandparents.

I got that shirt at a boutique in Forest Hills.

I’m dressed for an occasion.

I wonder if it was my 17th birthday?

RG (c) 2016

The Beatles
BirthdayThe Beatles Greatest Hits
Community Audio

 

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A Dream About Robert

Art by Rob Goldstein
A Dream About Robert

Robert sips his cup of green tea;

He traces words in a note-book.

A manic flips the table and shouts:

“When you’re ready to to die let me know!”

His Mother throws books at me and cries:

“Such pretty poems! But all about me!…All about me!”

I wear the chic black trench coat of mourning.

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

Robert lowers his tea-cup and smiles: “And we’re Jewish, too!”

“Yes.” I sigh. “More tea?”

Robert nods and passes me the pot.

(c) RobGoldsten 2015


Billy Idol
Eyes Without a Face
Community Audio

 

 

 

 

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Since the Last Time We Spoke

Art by Rob Goldstein
Since the Last Time We Spoke

 

Since the last time

we spoke, I shrieked

like an ape and pissed

on Park Avenue.

Since the last time

we spoke, recruits

tore through my

bedroom; they raped

me to  submission.

Since the last time

we spoke, I grew all

of the sins of flesh.

The system slipped in

for my own damned

good!

So Doctor, will you love

me?

Is this critical?

Are you my Angel?

(c) Rob Goldstein 1986