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



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

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.


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

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









11 thoughts on “Inside Dissociative Identity Disorder: Rich Man Poor Man

  1. Indeed! The people – the majority must revolt. We need a massive revolution against the very few elite, in my opinion. I hate war but change needs to happen and corrupt governments East and West need a shake up !

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dear R. I always learn more from reading you. On this subject, I think what you said about your DID being different to the standard is really telling because many times people treat all mental illness in the same way, an umbrella approach and this doesn’t work. It stigmatizes further because it is assumed ‘all bipolars are prone to violence’ etc. There have been some recent mental illness killings in the media lately all pointing to people with bipolar so invariably my bipolar friends have to go into hiding and suppress themselves even further. One was so ashamed to admit it, she didn’t tell her doctor and he gave a medication for seizures which was dangerous to take if you were bipolar but because she hadn’t told him she got sick – this is an example of the shame of mental illness perpetuated by a massive misunderstanding and generalizing of the themes of mental illness. Your blog is a good chance to learn more about things and educate yourself – but society at large still relies on stereotyping and demonizing. And they wonder why mentally ill people have higher suicide rates?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you my friend. Please share the URL of your current blog with me again.
      I looked for it this morning and couldn’t find it.

      That stigma regarding mental illness and violence cuts both ways.

      There are people on death row that wouldn’t be there now if they had been properly assessed and held for treatment.

      There are people who are dead now if the people who killed them had been properly assessed and held for treatment.

      It is true that people with mental illness are no more likely to be violent than other people but there is a caveat to this: they are no more likely to be violent when properly treated.

      The same is true for diabetics.

      When properly treated a diabetic is no more likely to lose limbs or go into coma than other people.

      And you don’t want someone with an untreated seizure disorder behind the wheel of a car.

      But people with epilepsy are no more likely to have car accidents than other people when they are properly treated.

      I am honestly baffled by my culture’s refusal to see the obvious consequences of the
      combined errors of refusing to treat mental illness while legally viewing the management of people with mental illnesses as a civil rights issue.

      in California, If you tell a judge that you won’t hurt yourself and others you can walk away from treatment even if you have a gun stashed in your apartment that’s loaded and ready to use when the voices say the word.

      I walked nearly a mile out of my way today to avoid a man who was in the throes of a raging psychosis.

      People cringed in fear.

      A person with paranoid schizophrenia is no more likely to stand on the street and rage at hallucinations than a person without paranoid schizophrenia: if he is properly treated.

      The proper treatment of a person with paranoid schizophrenia is NOT a midnight discharge from the hospital to the streets without a home, medications or access to food.

      The fact that we live culture of people that NEVER question the sight of acutely psychotic people on the streets of their cities says volumes about the unjust nature of our legal system: a legal system that uses the concept of ‘civil rights’ to discriminate against people with lethal and dangerous illnesses.

      There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t witness scenes of violence in San Francisco because our well swept streets are teeming with people who are having psychotic episodes with no hope of a medical intervention because we don’t want to ‘intrude’ on their rights.

      Many of them eventually do break the law in some violent way and wind up in jail: which is also NOT the recommended treatment for any form of mental illness.

      Give me the right to get well…and if I’m too ill to seek help then give me the right to live in an enlightened community of which people who will compassionately intervene in my illness for the common good.


      1. It is…not all murderers have mental illnesses. I bet most murders are momentary lapses of reason which happens to everyone. Which is another reason that treating firearms so casually is silly.


  3. WOW! So much conflict, Robert. You do prove in this post how much heart you have. I too hate injustice. I deal with my illness differently being Bipolar and Anorexic but I know that when I am passionate about something, I can’t let it drop. I want to save the world. Put everything to right. I guess people with a lot of heart are often torn from this world because we feel so much and we are sensitive and we can’t justify what people do to one another… This really touched me- ore than I thought.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Daisy. I feel more as I get better at communicating with my alternates. I know that the current political scene in the united states is terrifying to my younger alternates because it feels so much like life in the deep south in the early 1960’s. The malice and hateful stupidity and scapegoating. It all feels so familiar…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah I get what you are saying. I have a daughter and with what is happening with eu referendum and Brexit well there is that protective instinct to look out for those you feel responsible. Hope this makes sense. X

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It does make sense . There are people who are better at seeing patterns. I don’t know what I’m seeing…but I do know that what we do now as a species will determine whether we live or die.

        How sad it is to think that we would allow the small minded bigotry of petty little people to destroy our species just as we are about to discover and colonize other worlds.

        If we can get over the idea that only the most vicious have the right to live we have a brilliant future.

        Liked by 1 person

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