35 thoughts on “as a skin

    1. I drafted this in 1985, AIDS had not yet peaked and would not begin to decline until the early 1990’s. It felt like I was living on the edge of an abyss. Thank you, Erika.

      1. Amazing how you could convey that feeling. I am glad this lies behind you and hope that you are feeling much stronger today, Robert!

      2. I saw too many HIV negative men die from grief, alcohol, and some lost their minds or killed themselves and this is why I’ve learned to view my DID as a half assed blessing. When I learned I was HIV Negative in 1989 I ‘switched’ and ‘forgot’ the trauma of the epidemic which allowed me to return to work, form a loving relationship, make new friends and get on with life. DID is not the perfect adaptation because we must eventually deal with our feelings, and that’why my breakdown in 2010 was inevitable.

      3. You went through so much which is unimaginable for us who never got close to what you had to go through. Unbelievable how much you conquered. I am thankful I got to meet this Robert with all that made/makes him. Thanks for being here with us!!

      4. Thank you for being so generous Erika. I feel obligated to speak for all of the people who are not here to share this story, it’s not always easy to do; comments like this give me encouragement.

      5. And you are an important support and ecouragement for all those who need to see that there is a way (not only people dealing with DID) and that they can overcome so much more than they might think today. Even though obstacles are thrown in their way!

      6. I don’t know if there are more people who cannot see it. But because they are so in opposition to what we choose to see it can appear that way.

      1. I think it does result in a different poem.

        Not having the feeling that prompted the
        poem allows me to sharpen the language.

        The original draft reads:

        Events condense to vague

        I wear reality as if it were skin
        and the slightest break–

        and I would bleed to death.

        RG 1985

        The first line is word play and adds nothing to the poem so I deleted it.

        The second line needed a bit of tightening and the closing line more
        accurately describes what I was trying to get at by ‘bleeding to death’.

        To bleed to death is to slowly lose consciousness and vanish.

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