Dissociative Identity Disorder: The Problem with Pictures

Portrait of a Manequin in Red

“ You peer into the mirror and have trouble recognizing yourself. You can’t remember whether you actually did something. . . or only thought you did. You feel as though you’re just going through the motions of life.”

The Stranger in the Mirror.

Collage Portrait in torn paper

When someone shows me a picture of what they say is me I look at it and smile and thank them.

I never tell them what I see.

Portion of a 3-D Collage on Clarion Alley


Rob Goldstein 2015-2018 All Rights Reserved


28 thoughts on “Dissociative Identity Disorder: The Problem with Pictures”

  1. Pingback: San Francisco Graffiti and Mural Art – Br Andrew's Muses

  2. Such an important post! I’m trying to feel it, to “get it” through your words. Can come close, maybe, bec I don’t always see faces…any faces. Well, I see them but they don’t register as individals as well as they should. Everyone can be anyone, unless I pay very close attention to non-facial cues or the faces are so very unusual that they “stick.” Probably that’s why I paint and draw so many faces. Attempting to comquer them? Make peace with them?
    What you describe sounds like it has gut-hit potential over and over again. Thank you for sharing it.

  3. Very poignant, Rob.
    I get it… Partly (though it’s not the same thing) because of how severely I loath pictures of myself, I can understand feeling that way. Hugs.

    1. I’ve always been like this. I do recognize pictures of my alternates which my therapist would quickly point out are me. LOL. I’ve started working on the backdrops for the 20’s shoot. It’s fun.:)

      1. They’re very much like the 60’s which was another decade in which women asserted themselves in new ways. I just finished watching a documentary about the 20’smade in the 1940’s. The 20’s kicks off with women casting their first ballots in a presidential election.

    1. Most of what we think of as ‘abnormal’ behaviors are normal behaviors on overdrive. I bet most people get a bit of cognitive dissonance when they look at pictures of themselves.

  4. I would call this amnesia of self. People might recognize you…take a picture and show it to you….tell you who you are….but you don’t recognize yourself. Amnesia of self.

      1. Not for myself…but I do experience it with Loser, if that makes any sense.
        I know that we were together for more than 41 years but when I look at him, I see somebody I don’t recognize. It’s such a strange phenomena….he’s the father of my four children, yet I almost have amnesia when I look at him. Defense mechanism maybe?

      2. No…it’s like somebody destroys somebody’s life and then settles for a parasite and pretends to be happy….until Karma jumps up and kicks them in the ass. LOLOL

      3. If they’re with another narcissist, it’s perfect. They feed off of each other…and if one needs, say financial support and the other one is loathe to be alone…like I said. It’s perfect! LOL

      4. Right, and make absolutely sure that a NARC isn’t your rep if you’re ever sick and in the hospital. One of the most shocking things I’ve ever dealt with is the NARCS willingness to lie to my doctors.

  5. The book is brilliant! I am glad this information has found it’s way to people and will continue to do this. Friendships can lessen or strengthen. Before they do this, we often imagine or even know. Rob, look into the knowing when speaking about your writing this week. Speak directly to your therapist if you choose to. Soothing the pain our inner selves feel takes time, we don’t want to deepen it, yet we also want to be whole.

    1. Yes. The paradigm has shifted. Psychiatry has shifted to the understanding that DID is an extreme manifestation of a normal response to injury and shock.

      I think that what most people find hard to understand is that dissociating does
      not impair intellect. In fact, in many ways it can enhance intellectual functioning even as it cripples organizational skills.

Comments are closed.