Inside Dissociative Identity Disorder: Rich Man Poor Man

I’ve begun to follow the blogs of other people with Dissociative Identity Disorder.

Refractory Ramblings From The Darkside

manyofus1980

Fragments

Life as a Committee

I don’t know what my own DID looks like but I can see the whole person
in the fragments of self-expression on these other blogs.

Where my DID differs is the way my alternates evolved after they
found Second Life.

When the first alternate joined Second Life in 2009 the others quickly followed.

Each of them evolved socially and each wanted time in SL with its own circle of friends.

Some members knew the different alternates but few people believed that I had DID.

That was in part due to the fact that I didn’t believe I had DID either.

When I fully realized in 2011 that my life as a functioning adult was over I became desperate and angry and in my rage I blamed all of Second Life.

In that regard I really am only human: fear makes people behave irrationally.

I was terrified.

I’m five years healthier now and no longer feel like a helpless victim.

My task is to learn how to use SL in ways that enhance my life and to
respect the dangers in VR that are unique to people with DID.

Art by Rob Goldstein
Rich Man

I am of two class groups

The rich man remembers High School in Queens, walks through Forest Hills, classes in art and music and going to the zoo with his Grandmother.

Art by Rob Goldstein
A Day at the Zoo

The poor man calls himself white trash.

He only remembers the poverty of the housing projects, the ignorance of his neighbors and the shame of illiteracy.

Art by Rob Goldstein
Poor Man

All of my alternates are divided by two.

Each alternate in our system has an alternate that looks and behaves as if it has only known poverty.

Art by Rob Goldstein
Alt 7

This division by class means that every period of prosperity is followed by a period of poverty.

In my 20’s I’d find a job that paid well and six months later need to be hospitalized..

It looked like I had bi-polar illness.

As I aged each new self had a little more skill.

Rob studied literature.

Matthew studied computers.

Robert is still learning photography and social media.

The goal of my DID is invisibility.

I become invisible in most social settings by fitting in.

When Matthew emerged in the 1990’s he had better social skills and access to the knowledge we had acquired in New Haven.

He first worked in IT and then shifted to mental health.

He gained access to what we knew about psycho-dynamic treatment principles and he went to work in the mental health system.

Matthew’s identity is organized around the Catholic principles of liberation theology which gives him a sense of passion as an advocate.

Art by Rob Goldstein
Matthew

The alternates in my system are also united in their love for our partner.

We succeeded in building a life worth living and if we had not aged past 50
we might have remained stable.

Some men with DID get worse as they age because they feel more vulnerable.

I’m one of them.

I fell apart again when I turned 58.

People with a mental illness must learn how to cope with the effects of disruptive symptoms, the social stigma induced by the symptoms and the stress of living in a country that seems to have collectively lost its mind.

This is not the first time that the modern civilized world
has gazed into the abyss.

The problem is that we may not survive to get another chance.

I’m a rational man with a mental illness in an irrational world.

I don’t understand why we can’t have a national history lesson and just accept the fact that we made a mistake in 1980.

Unregulated capitalism is a failure and destructive to the common good.

I don’t understand why our nation has to disintegrate to figure out
that we need to re-regulate capitalism.

I don’t understand why people shut themselves off from fact and
make themselves toxic with hate.

I don’t understand repeatedly falling for the same lies decade after decade.

It’s 2016 and we are still investigating bogus Clinton scandals.

In 1992 it was Whitewater.

As an abuse survivor, I look at American politics and see a mob of racist adults hurling stones at black children the day my South Carolina grammar school was desegregated.

I see the man who called me a kike and kicked me in the stomach when my body was five.

So I read these words in Salon today I felt afraid:

For a generation, gun advocates have defended the right to bear arms as a check against tyranny, and for just as long liberals have dismissed this as a melodramatic talking point. But what if we take them at their word, and accept that it is possible we are witnessing the opening phase of a still-inchoate violent uprising by a broad class of Americans, who, ignored politically, bypassed economically, and dismissed socially, are beginning to take matters into their own hands?

What if, in other words, Donald Trump isn’t an aberration created by the miscalculations of party elite, but the political expression of a much deeper, and more dangerous, frustration among a very large, well-armed segment of our population? What if Trump isn’t a proto-Mussolini, but rather a regrettably short finger in the dike holding back a flood of white violence and anger this country hasn’t seen since the long economic boom of the 1950s and ’60s helped put an end to the Jim Crow era?

One way or another, we’re going to find out soon. Trump made headlines when he suggested his supporters would riot if he were denied the nomination despite his lead in the delegate count. Even if we are spared that spectacle, the Trump era will almost certainly come to an end by November. And then we will be left with the naked fact of his followers, too few in number to effect meaningful change on their own, too numerous for the rest of us to ignore, too angry to sit still for long.

Salon

I know these people.

Part of me was raised by them and Bobby has let me see his memories.

They dehumanize the people they hate.

For people driven by hate and fear killing a Jew or a Gay man or a
Liberal is no different from shooting an animal.

Bobby thinks that their leadership in Congress won’t pass
gun restrictions because they will resort to violence if Hillary
Clinton wins.

Trump has already called for violence should he lose the GOP
nomination.

Why wouldn’t he do the same for the general election?

That’s how Bobby and I see it and I pray that we’re wrong.

But I don’t think we are.

I sometimes think that it’s better to just live in my delusions.

Rg 2016

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People Like Me

I recently met a man who worked as a nurse at a psych hospital at which I was a frequent patient.

This man and I briefly reminisced about our roles as patient and care provider and he said, “I didn’t like the way you were treated.”

I knew what he meant.

As funding for public health vanished my experience as a patient changed.

Chronic doesn’t means that you don’t get better.

Chronic means that the timeline for recovery is longer
and fraught with setbacks.

A serious mental illness can take years to learn to manage.

After privatization people with Chronic Mental Illnesses
were accused of malingering and squeezed out of services.

It didn’t matter that I wasn’t malingering.

It didn’t matter that I was misdiagnosed.

I recall that a nurse looked at me during a treatment group
at the hospital and said,  People like you are the reason, then
she caught herself and stopped.

She was going to say that people like me forced the system to sell itself out.

The worst symptom of the chronic illness is the one that induces counter-transference hate.

The man who had worked at the hospital where I was a patient said the staff hated me because I’m smart.

He said that they didn’t understand how someone so smart can have a chronic mental illness.

I sighed.

Professionals should know better.

Their hate replicated the animosity of my first day of school.

I already knew how to read when I entered the first grade.

Everyone, especially the teacher, hated me for it.

I was that little Jew Boy which meant that I had no right to be
smarter than the real white kids who were Christian.

That was the first day of the daily beatings.

I still don’t understand why being smart is bad.

And I will never understand how people who work in behavioral health
don’t know that intelligence does not prevent mental illness.

(c) Rob Goldstein 2016

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You think you invented a Time Traveling Machine. When in reality, it is a teleporter. Your first stop is the Renaissance…fair.

This is a great little story

I Hate Having a Mental Illness.

Prisoner
Prisoner

I hate having a mental illness.

I hate the stifling everyday management
of it.

The realization that everything I want is mine
but for this stone thrown in my path by fate
or my Mother or that inexplicable genetic
variable that
has nothing to do with either.

I hate having a mental illness.

I hate the fear and shame.

Of knowing that friends leave because of
a quirk that causes me to say things
too personal or too cutting.

Of the cognitive dissonance of an adult body
and a child’s spirit that
doesn’t understand
the limits of time.

Of the shrinks, the bewilderment and
the inability to
know the difference between
ignorance
and malice.

I hate having a mental illness.

I hate it with the passion of this
prayer
that tomorrow I will awaken
and be healed.

RG 2015

mhwgmember2015Blog for Mental Health 2015

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