Coping with DID: A lesson from #TAG

Multiple Selves

This is the first time I’ve agreed to work with other people since my diagnosis.

My last days at work in 2009 were horrible for everyone.

It’s been six years of pain and confusion, and discovery.

I’ve learned new skills, and have a certain degree of acceptance.

A certain degree of acceptance.

#TAG, explores themes of leadership and authority.

I think that entering collaboration when it’s so much easier to remain isolated is an act of leadership.

Whether I succeed or fail is incidental to taking my place as an artist among artists in a collaboration.

Still, there is the everyday confusion of Dissociative Identity Disorder.

My job is to do my job while coping with symptoms.

One symptom is confusion over the narrative of my life.

What is the truth and whose truth is it?

DID distorts the memories that people use in telling their stories.

A Facebook prompt asks: Where did you go to High School?

I don’t remember going to High School.

When was I born?

1962? 1972? 1982?

If it was 1962 then why do some of my alternates describe memories of John Kennedy and Martin Luther King?

How can Bobby have been 16 in 1969?

There’s a California I.D. But it’s not mine. It belongs to a guy named Matthew.

The mind lives in the brain but is not necessarily of this world.

According to the Many Worlds Interpretation of quantum physics what we call self is a bevy of possible instances.

This means that a moment is a possibility among possibilities.

One possibility is that you don’t exist in that moment.

“Any action that has more than one possible result produces a split in the universe. Thus, there are an infinite number of parallel universes and infinite copies of each person.”

Universe Today

The Many Worlds Interpretation of quantum physics asserts that all of us are multiplicities.

Therefore the correct birth date for a self that begins in 1972 is 1972.

Peter lives in 1960 and Bobby was born as a teen in 1968.

Bob was born as a young adult in 1973.

He was still mostly Bobby because it took longer for the dissociative process to create an adult self.


Bobby - January 1973
       Bobby – Bob – January 1973

My partner once speculated that my brain is a step forward in evolution.

Even if that is true, it’s a handicap in a world of people who live in a single timeline with a unified narrative.

For those people reality is as hard as brick and people who don’t have a reality just as solid are either crazy or a liar.

For many of these people I’m a liar.

For them, my age is my body and my birth date is the day my body squeezed through my Mother’s vagina for its first slap.

But was that really my body?

I don’t have an infant’s body so how can that infant be me.

I’m Robert Goldstein.

My body is closer to physical death.

My mind is a multiplicity of selves that live in different time zones

I see moments from some of these time zones on my computer.

Sara made a Second Life photo named “The Blues.

Mateo wrote “14 Brutal Facts of Life.

Bobby wrote a post about meeting his best friend and bantered with some of the bloggers who read it.


The adult alters all have alternates.

Rob Goldstein by Nina Glaser
    Rob Goldstein 1985

Rob Goldstein  has The Narrator.

Matthew has Mateo.

Matthew’s focus is theology and Mateo’s is technology and psychiatry.

According to the theory of the Structural Dissociation of the personality, a person with DID evolves an alternate.

If the alternate is active it matures.

That alternate creates a new alternate to cope with the social and physical stress of an aging body.

What this means is that if one has Dissociative Identity Disorder and survives into maturity one will have an alternate for each stage of life.

This collaboration with the other artists in the #TAG group makes me look at my DID from the perspective of people who expect me to follow through as an artist, however that may express itself.

I don’t know what the other artists of #TAG think of the DID, I haven’t asked.

I certainly welcome questions.

I am cautious when it comes to new communities; I’ve learned that different social media are also different cultures.

Each platform has a group of core users.

Some of these communities are open and generous and others are gloves off games.

The problem is not what they are but who I am and as I evolve I become more myself.

I am learning what my new boundaries and responsibilities are.

There is a thread that unites my multiple selves; we want to be the best self that we can.

Even at our angriest; we struggle to understand the other side.

We don’t always succeed.

I think that the essence of being human is compassion for the self and others.

In relationships with other people I must manage my symptoms and live up to my promises.

That is the authority that comes from accepting one’s weaknesses.

This is my first lesson from this collaboration on #TAG.

RG 2015





Violin Concerto in D, Op. 35: iii. Allegro vivacissimo (Stern, Ormandy)
Isaac Stern, violin; Philadelphia Orchestra, Eugene Ormandy, cond.
Columbia/CBS/Sony, recorded Mar. 23, 1958
Community Audio

Beauty Behind Bars

Beauty Behind Bars

TELEMANN: Suite in A minor for Flute and Strings
William Kincaid, flute
The Philadelphia Orchestra
Eugene Ormandy, conductor
Victor 78rpm Album DM 890 (062546 – 062549)
Recorded March 15, 1941
Digital transfer by F. Reeder
[Improved transfer & Higher bit rate – 10/13]

Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0