Surrealist image of a young man strolling with his hands in his pockets against a fragmented urban background

The Man Who Forgets He Doesn’t Exist

Dissociative Identity Disorder is a childhood onset trauma symptom induced by an overwhelming confrontation with human evil before the brain creates a mind.

When I was diagnosed in 2009 I began posting information about DID to my Flickr stream.

In those early posts about DID I was trying to cling to some sense of worthiness as I began to lose everything I considered “me.”

To be sure, I had no real interest in blogging but I enjoy staging virtual photo shoots in Second Life and eventually I understood that I was using my avatars the way a child might use dolls when asked to describe a assault for which there are no words.

Many of the photos made in 2011 -2012 had to do with feelings of loss, of betrayal, of anger, of confusion, and of a deep and abiding sense of shame.

Most people are unable to comprehend a person whose different emotional states and memories emerge as separate people with different names, genders and world views.

To meet such a person is to see the truth of the human mind and its will to survive.

It’s easy to dismiss these confusing and unsettling expressions of the mind as attention seeking irresponsibility.

M. Scott Peck, the psychiatrist who authored the best-selling selfhelp book,The Road Less Traveled, described human evil as “militant ignorance.”

He addressed human evil in “People of the Lie: The Hope for Healing Human Evil“.

This description of evil as “militant ignorance” is crucial if we are to understand and heal the symptoms of trauma.

The most horrific aspect of child abuse is that it takes place in a community that chooses to ignore it.

The evil in the child’s world is so all-pervasive the adults blame the child if he reveals the abuse or the abuse becomes too obvious to ignore.

How does one cope the knowledge that one’s suffering could have been prevented by a neighbor with a conscience?

According to Peck an evil person is consistently self-deceiving to avoid guilt and to prop up an image of perfection.

They also;

  • Deceive others as a consequence of their own self-deception
  • Project his or her evils and sins onto very specific targets (scapegoats) while being apparently normal with everyone
  • Commonly hates with the pretense of love, for the purposes of self-deception as much as deception of others.
  • Abuses political (emotional) power (“the imposition of one’s will upon others by overt or covert coercion”)
  • Maintains a high level of respectability based on lies.
  • Is consistent in his or her sins. Evil persons are characterized not so much by the magnitude of their sins, but by their consistency (of destructiveness)
  • Is unable to think from the viewpoint of their victim (scapegoat)
  • Has a covert intolerance to criticism and other forms of narcissistic injury
  • According to Peck, evil people realize the evil deep within themselves but are unable to tolerate the pain of introspection, or admit to themselves that they are evil.

Willful cruelty against a person who cannot defend himself is an expression human evil.

A simple example of this kind of evil is refusing to feed a child when there is more than enough food.

To compound the cruelty force the hungry child to watch everyone else eat.

Add more trauma by savagely beating the child for crying because he is hungry and hurt and confused.

Then remove him from the table and lock him in his room for a week while you play computer games.

How would a four-year old escape the fear and loneliness of a situation that would instinctively feel like a death trap?

From “Now we are Six” by Alan Alexander Milne

“Binker–what I call him–is a secret of my own,
And Binker is the reason why I never feel alone.
Playing in the nursery, sitting on the stair,
Whatever I am busy at, Binker will be there.
Oh, Daddy is clever, he’s a clever sort of man,
And Mummy is the best since the world began,
And Nanny is Nanny, and I call her Nan–
But they can’t

Evil instills fear by abusing power.

The difference between someone who abuses power and someone who doesn’t is the disciplined use of reason.

One does not have to empathize with an abused child to deduce by reason that all children deserve loving adult protection.

For most systematically abused children in the 21st Century our conservative state and federal governments are part of the abuse.

Any group of adults who reserve food and resources for themselves at the cost of children is a child abuser.

Any group of adults that place property above the safety and lives of our children are child abusers.

Any adult who scapegoats a child because of racial and intellectual differences is a child abuser.

Any adult who enables other adults to deprive children of the resources they need to thrive is a child abuser.

Therefore the adult who pathologically dissociates was a child whose mind shattered under the stress of a sustained confrontation with an all-pervasive cultural evil from which there was no physical escape.

And as I write this there are children in the United States whose first years of life are defined by relentless hunger, sexual assault and a sadistic political system rigged by abusive men and women who see fit to enrich themselves by cutting funds for public education, healthcare, housing and food.

The only way to protect our children is for every adult in the United States to stop pretending that it’s not their problem and that we don’t know what we must do.

I don’t have to tell you what evil looks like.

I don’t have to tell you how to fix the damage that was done to our nation and its children.

You know how to vote and you know why we expect everyone to pay his fair share of the taxes it takes to fund a large and complex Nation.

You know the difference between the truth and the cheap lies so many of us prefer to believe.

Start by turning off Fox News.

Art by Rob Goldstein

(c)Rob Goldstein 2015-2016





39 thoughts on “The Man Who Forgets He Doesn’t Exist

  1. LIKE this opening piece and the feeling of texture in it. Dropped by from Jackie’s party and will come back to see more. I do art on my blog as well – inspired by the mayan glyphs. Best wishes.

  2. Robert what a tangled mess, how did the parasite get to your Therapist and get her involved in conversations. There are aspects similar to my stalker but nowhere likt this freak of a woman! It’s the second or third reference SL, less than positive. If she’s hanging there, I would run the opposite direction.

    1. I do have an SL stalker — But I didn’t make a reference to her in this…Actually in the way my alternates use the avatars to tell their stories and share their memories.

      Abused children sometimes use dolls to ‘show’ what happened and I think this is the way the avatars are used by my alternates.

      It is a tangled mess when someone is so sick that she feels perfectly free to try to play gaslight on someone she knows is sick…but these people wouldn’t be criminal if they had a conscience.

      Fortunately I’m not as ill as I was in 2011 — it’s a lot harder to get away with gaming me.

  3. What a horrible disease. When my son had learning issues, I ended up reading way to much about brain disorders. So much can go wrong.

    1. A lot can go wrong, especially with children.

      DID is a childhood onset syndrome.

      It is induced by prolonged episodes of what the child perceives as violent and life threatening abuse.

      If the child survives childhood he will have some form of trauma reaction.

      DID is a symptom of complex post traumatic stress disorder.

      As the child moves through life’s phases he uses the ‘dissociative strategy’ to manufacture ‘acceptable selves’ based on the environment of the moment.

      When a person views the word as always hostile to who he is the only way to survive is to create a self based
      what he can glean from observing the people in that environment.

      Most trauma survivors are hypervigilent to the extent that they can read the most subtle body language.

      Severe and prolonged child abuse can disrupt the normal development of an integrated sense of self based on remembered history.

      Before I knew I had DID I thought of my past ‘selves’ as people who died.

      I didn’t know they were still active.

      I have very few memories of the time before my 40’s.

  4. Fantastic post, Robert! Your deep look beyond the surface and your clear words give such powerful insights. You nail things down in a way I only know it from you!

  5. lol @ Fox news. I used to be involved with media reform, Fox has always been a slant, far right conservative paper. They even donated to the republican party in 2010. Anyhow loved the article, very informative 🙂

  6. Hi Robert I have just come across this one and am pleased to have found it, shall reblog it. I have always liked M. Scott Peck and first read him when my Bipolar was rabid and I like Blinker.

  7. What a fantastic call to action, Robert. As you were describing what is evil in human beings my mind went straight to the self-serving agendas of our political system and how that system is lauded by individuals, special interest groups, and Fox News, all who seem incapable of empathy. Children and vulnerable populations are reduced to statistics, as if their lives are simply hatch marks on a computer print out, as if the suffering and injustice only impacts some vague concept of people and not real lives. The disregard is shameful. It’s disrespectful not only of each individual life and lost potential, but of the future. Change from the bottom up is much harder than from the top down, but it can be done, and it needs to start with every person who has a heart doing their part.

    1. What you are describing is the toxic side effect of unregulated capitalism and a culture that treats consumerism as a function of democracy.

      Not only do we not know that consumerism is not democracy; we also don’t seem to know the difference between verbal abuse and free speech.

      How can we have a civil society when success is defined as taking as much as you can from everyone else. We can’t even have a reasonable public discussion about ways to prevent our children from being gunned down in their schools without having it turned into an us verses them screaming match.

  8. You speak well to the issue. One thing that emerges to me, on a personal note for you, is how sorry I am that you were not properly diagnosed until so recently. How were they describing your condition before DID ? I can’t imagine, the pain and confusion of so many years. So sorry, Robert.

    1. I was diagnosed with ‘bi-polar illness’ but medications don’t affect DID.

      I was tried on dozens of different mood stabilizers and anti-depressants and none of them worked.

      When the AIDS epidemic began it exacerbated my DID so I began to switch more frequently so I was re-diagnosed with ‘rapid cycling’ bi-polar illness and medicated so heavily that I could barely see.

      When those meds didn’t work I was diagnosed as Schizo-affective but I knew that couldn’t be true.

      Eventually, as the epidemic began to wane and I met and fell in love with my partner I had fifteen somewhat symptom free years.

      Some conditions do spontaneously go into remission. I was able to work, to study, to simply be.

      In 2009 the switching began again and I was very confused as to what was happening, especially because I was switching to younger alternates.

      By this time Dissociative Identity Disorder was no longer ‘controversial’ among the professionals at Kaiser and I saw a psychiatrist who knew how to screen for it.

      But you are right. My thirties were especially terrible and I nearly killed myself twice.

      Thank you for asking and for caring.

      1. I’m glad you finally got a diagnosis that made sense, Robert. Even when symptoms recede, that which is not resolved from childhood will come back until it’s addressed, as for you in 2009 perhaps ? But oh…if only they could bottle the kind of healing that comes with a healthy relationship. ❤️ Wishing you well as you move forward.

      2. The term…unfamiliar to me. The concept is not. One spark of light, one soul at a time. Kindness, always. Thanks, Robert.❤️

  9. I found that when I first admitted my own past, then started reaching out to others, refusing to wear blinders, I did a lot of crying. About 50/50 between crying for others under evil’s roof and crying for myself for refusing to see for so long. I guess the answer is buy more kleenex, because I never intend to sit in the dark again. If I can help just one child, my reward is beyond measure.

    1. You wrote: If I can help just one child, my reward is beyond measure.

      My reply: This is the driving force in my life. It’s good to meet a kindred spirit. 🙂

  10. Reblogged this on 3wwwblog and commented:

    Another great post of Robert for me, as It is helping me to understand what is going on in our world. You you read here can well be extrapolated to groups of people or complete societies/countries. Just think of it. Thanks Robert!

      1. Robert, your thoughts are great so the honor goes back to you. My blog is not read by many but I know some of them following are among the most amazing people I have come across in my life.

      2. Thank you. I am learning that blogs grow over time…you will have plenty of readers before long…:) and you are right…the people who read my blog are some of the finest people I’ve met.

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