Art by Rob Goldstein

There are Times When One Must Change One’s Story

This is how life is when you feel weak and helpless: you lay down and die or you puff yourself up until you look so big everyone stays away.

But they stare.

One day the puff goes out and you think maybe you don’t need it: there is no one to blame, there is no one to hate.

Bad things happened to me and they still happen; bad things will happen to other people long after I’ve died.

Weak minds and political opportunists abuse religion; they always have, and they always will.

All political creeds are open to corruption; all economic systems are open to abuse, the poor will always be their own worst enemies because violent poverty breeds intense identification with the oppressor.

How does one think ones way out of the hateful violence inflicted by one’s own people?

Somehow, I’ve thought my way out, but it’s taken most of my life.

My puff is gone.

I don’t need to explain myself, to apologize, to make myself livid with rage.

I don’t need to incite power struggles.

Not today.

Power struggles are about feeling powerless; the need to fight small battles is about the need for distraction.

No puff

No anger

“Am I dead?”

“No, not dead.”

I’ve never felt more certain of my worth as a person, never more secure with myself.


My. Self.

The puff is gone and in its place, I think I see a person; a man whose past no longer defines who he is or how he will live the rest of his life.

I think I can see my self.

Now, everything is new.


(c) Rob Goldstein 2015-2018

First published Sep 25, 2015
Revised June 27, 2019

35 thoughts on “There are Times When One Must Change One’s Story

  1. It is very wearing shouting into the wind, especially as your words and actions get blown away. I never did fit into a round or square hole that seems to be the requirement within society. One day I stopped trying to mould myself into something I was not and now I am my own woman.. Delighted to read the last two lines.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Healing DID is like waking up from a long dream. One never completely shakes DID but with effort and the right treatment, one can undo enough of the damage to carve out a life that feels whole.

      I know what you mean about shouting into the wind. It always makes life worse.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow, Rob. I’m awed. This is a stunning post… elegant in its simplicity, powerfully written, evocative, relatable. I’m so glad you reposted this, because I wasn’t around the first time. Have a beautiful weekend. Hugs on the wing!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I found this post really truthful and spot on for me at present…we do rage when powerless its about frustration but lashing out, blaming achieves little. Often we have to suffer very painful effects of events, things, systems, people out of our control to change. Its a long journey to acceptance that is not just resignation, finding some kind of power and gift in it. Deciding not to check out in hopeless rage or defeated despair, though suffering those may be part of the path of growth.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Hey Robert,

    I am thrilled for you Robert, and left beaming ear-to-ear in the radiance of your happiness and joy. The sense of personal freedom and liberation emergent within the final two lines of your post…’I think I see my self. Now everything becomes new…’ is exhilarating…an extraordinary moment in your life! 😀 What a rush!

    I have heard it said, there is no finer gift we are able to offer the world than to ‘Know Thyself’, and for those who strive towards real understanding of this and come to know it in their heart hold that truth sacredly within and feel no need to change anyone or anything. They have risen a Sovereign of their own being 🙂

    May Love, Peace, and Happiness reside within you always my friend. God Bless you and all that you will achieve.


    DN – 26/09/2015

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you. It’s a good moment. I’ve worked hard for it. This kind of insight is not easy to achieve. It is so much easier to stay numb.

      But my mind wants its freedom. And my spirit will not allow itself to be crushed without a fight.

      This is almost instinctive.

      And today I am glad that this is so.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. What a beautiful uplifting post, Robert. It’s so easy from the outside looking in that you are a brilliant soul. I’m so glad you’re casting aside the shadows and liking what you see. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you. I really do like what I see and I’m not really unhappy with what I’ve done with my life thus far. There are choices I would not have made had I had the choice. But now that I do have more choices I find that I automatically choose to do those things that best serve me and others.

      I like that.

      Thank you for reading and leaving a comment.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It is true what you say.

        But then as someone who converted to Catholicism I follow the way of the wounded healer.

        Four events in the past three years have served as powerful antidotes to the brutality of my childhood in Charleston…

        One was the election and re-election of Obama, the passage of the Affordable Care Act, the Affirming of the Rights of GLBT people to all of the benefits of citizenship in the United States, and the emergence of a Christian leader who practices the teachings of the Gospel.

        To have everything that I believe is just and fair validated in this way tells me that there are decent people on this planet. People who are willing to entertain the possibility that our lives are worth more than consignment to the brutish hell of a life of cheap, disposable labor.

        Evil and deception don’t always win the day.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. “I’ve never felt more certain of my worth as a person, never more secure within myself.”
    Inspiring statement. There are days I can say that too, feels good for a change. I now strive for the time when it’s always true.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I like this paradigm. I do not need to ‘matter’…at least not as a force of control. I finally understand that feeling as if I’m in ‘control’ is huge for me. Whether it is insisting on a seat in a restaurant that gives me a full view of everyone else or making sure that everything is in its ‘proper’ category, I am a control freak.

      I’ve just never seen it before and I have also never seen that it is also an easily exploited vulnerability.

      There are people out there who will use it to drive me crazy and have…

      The real liberation is that this new awareness gives me more control than I’ve ever had.

      I don’t need to be in control of you which means you don’t get to take control of me.

      If that makes sense…:)

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Yeah, it makes sense. I too scan every public place for the seat that will give me the best view of the house, the entry doors, and the emergency exit doors. More than once I’ve had to make a quick disappearance when things got hot. There was a time when others mattered. Now I find that although I can get irked by another’s behavior, and in fact this can give rise to intrusive thoughts, I’m also quite aware of the process, able to say, “oh, right, obsessing again, ho hum.” No reason to donate my precious time and space to some deluded fuck who will either learn it or not, but I don’t have to make it my business. Doesn’t matter.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That’s a big reason I use a service dog. I can trust her to discern who’s dangerous and who isn’t. So I use up much less of my energies being hypervigilant, which frees up more energy for living. Of course right now all my energies are going into caring for my poor sick doggie. Fortunately she hasn’t the slightest idea she’s sick and just wants to work…💖

        Liked by 1 person

      3. The last one, yeah. Since then, I’ve had two Belgian Malinois, one who got himself killed under a horse trailer, and now Atina, who turned out to be sick when I bought her and is now recovering from a kidney biopsy. I’ve been posting about all this! Did you watch Quasi at the Quackadero yet???

        Liked by 1 person

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