The Blind Owl

DID: When Everything is a Trigger

My Mother wasn’t allowed to have a mental illness.

As an infant I was left at the mercy of a woman whose family
knew she was beating me.

The crime of moral exclusion is essentially a crime by consensus.

The perps hide behind the sanitized language of noble sounding

“They are food insecure.”

“We are protecting their rights.”

American Voters say they don’t believe in a country that let’s children starve
but they keep voting for perps who are fine with it.

Bette Davis judging you meme
‘Judging you’ found on GIPHY

If the life of a high school student or migrant child isn’t as sacred as the life of a fetus,  no life is sacred and what you really want is control.

Pro-life gives all kids an equal chance to grow up to be their best.

Marching children into lives of pain and ignorance is child abuse.

For all the joy I’ve had, I’m sorry I was born.

This is no bid for sympathy.

This is no statement of intent.

This is the sadness of a man whose had a profound confrontation with evil.

People who sacrifice children to ideology are evil.

I will never understand how my Mother’s family decided to let to suffer.

I was an infant.

Why was the ‘shame’ of my Mother’s mental illness worse than the murder
of my future?

How I do I forgive this?

In a sense, turning my blog into an account of my life as a person with DID carries the same risk as confessional poetry.

One’s life is open to inspection, misinterpretation, censorship and the out right demand by some people to shut-up.

I often wonder if the people who admire the poetry of Sylvia Plath feel her rage and psychic pain:

from “Daddy”


“In the German tongue, in the Polish town   

Scraped flat by the roller

Of wars, wars, wars.

But the name of the town is common.

My Polack friend

Says there are a dozen or two.   

So I never could tell where you   

Put your foot, your root,

I never could talk to you.

The tongue stuck in my jaw.
It stuck in a barb wire snare.   

Ich, ich, ich, ich,

I could hardly speak.

I thought every German was you.   

And the language obscene
An engine, an engine

Chuffing me off like a Jew.

A Jew to Dachau, Auschwitz, Belsen.   

I began to talk like a Jew.

I think I may well be a Jew.
The snows of the Tyrol, the clear beer of Vienna   

Are not very pure or true.

With my gipsy ancestress and my weird luck   

And my Taroc pack and my Taroc pack

I may be a bit of a Jew.
I have always been scared of you,

With your Luftwaffe, your gobbledygoo.   

And your neat mustache

And your Aryan eye, bright blue.

Panzer-man, panzer-man, O You——
Not God but a swastika

So black no sky could squeak through.   

Every woman adores a Fascist,   

The boot in the face, the brute   

Brute heart of a brute like you.
You stand at the blackboard, daddy,   

In the picture I have of you,

A cleft in your chin instead of your foot   

But no less a devil for that, no not   

Any less the black man who
Bit my pretty red heart in two.

I was ten when they buried you.   

At twenty I tried to die

And get back, back, back to you.

I thought even the bones would do.


Excerpt from Daddy, by Sylvia Plath

A Head Full of Ovens
        A Head Full of Ovens

I saw a guy on Valencia Street last Friday.

He wore a filthy hospital gown; he had a couple of name tags
on each wrist.

I know he was medically cleared for discharge because patients don’t
leave locked psych units without a nurse to open the door.

They just don’t.

A trained physician sent a gravely disabled man to fend for himself on the streets of the Mission.

Just Released -Two-

I am sick with a past I can’t remember, in a present as abusive as the past.

Photograph of graffiti left by homeless people who sleep on Clation Alley in San Francisco
The thoughts of  homeless men and women who sleep on Clarion Alley in San Francisco

My brain is a raging debate:

“That can’t be real.”

“You’re dirty”.

“It didn’t happen.”

I get confused.

The Blind Owl-

from the Blind Owl by Sadegh Hedayat

“All of life is made up of stories and tales.

I must press the cluster of grapes and pour its essence, spoon by spoon, down the dry throat of this old shadow. Because at this moment all my restless thoughts belong to here and now, it is difficult to know where to begin. My thoughts do not recognize any hour, minute or history.

For me, something that happened yesterday might be more ancient, or less effectual, than an event that took place a thousand years ago.

Perhaps the reason for the appearance of all these reminiscences is the fact that all my relations with the world of the living are now severed, past, future, hour, day, month, and year all have become the same. These stages make sense to the ordinary people, to the rabble—yes, that is the exact word I was looking for

—rabble with two b’s. These stages apply to the rabble because, like the seasons of the year, their lives have recognized divisions and limits and because they live in the temperate zone of life.

My life, on the other hand, my entire life, has had one season and one state. Even though a constant flame burns in the center of my body and, like a candle, melts me away, my life is in a cold zone, in eternal darkness.

The Blind Owl

 A Cry Of Despair

I try to apply the corrective lens of reason to everything I think and feel.

Is something or someone good or bad?

How do I know?

What is DID?

It is relentless fear and confusion.

It is a longing for respite.

It is a cry of despair in a world that normalizes abuse.


(c) Rob Goldstein 2015-2017-2018 Revised 10/07/2018



62 thoughts on “DID: When Everything is a Trigger

  1. Life is inflicting is so many different ways. Some bury their pain and the roots sprout out in horrors. Sharing can be healing if rays can reach hearts with similar pains and overcomes shared. No lie, we are all in this pain together, “Victims and perpetrators”. )-:

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for the visit and the comment. I post on this topic because so many people suffer in silence and think they’re alone. Sometimes the first step in healing is the realization that one is not alone.


  2. This post speaks to me on so many levels.

    The excerpt from “Daddy” by Sylvia Plath — I have read some of her work, but I have never read that poem before. I am almost in shock right now, after reading it. Because there are strong similarities in her poem, to a poem that I wrote shortly after my father died in 1988.

    When my father died, I had not seen him or spoken with him in 8 1/2 years. I had gone no contact with him, long before I knew the term, because of years of abuse. But deep in my heart, I believed that I would see him again and talk to him again, some day, some way. And then I got the phone call telling me that my 53 year old father was dead of a heart attack. There would be no resolution, no healing, no forgiveness, no happily ever after father-daughter dance.

    I started drinking the night he died. Guzzled an entire bottle of wine in minutes, trying to stop the pain. Then I stopped breathing. I had to keep telling myself to breathe.. breathe.. breathe. I wasn’t used to drinking, you see. One bottle of wine, and I drunk, I was sick. But even drunk, the pain did not stop. Not for a long time. Not for many years.

    My dad wasn’t only an abusive parent, you see. There was a good side to him. A good daddy. The good, loving daddy part of him, was why I could never totally let go of hope. But then he died, taking my hope with him.

    I wrote a poem shortly after my father died. I have never shared it with anyone. 1988 is when I wrote this poem. Thirty years ago.

    I have never shared this poem in all these years because I was afraid that no one would understand it. But thanks to your brave sharing here, Rob, I am going to share it. Because I believe that you might understand. And I am encouraged by your courage!

    A Poem For My Late Father

    Oh let me die
    and lie beside you in the grave
    together brave
    the dread unknown

    For sorrow shared
    is half the pain that sorrow gave —
    How could you die
    and leave me all alone?

    Wow. Writing that was hard, but freeing. Even after all these years.

    I am sorry that your mother abused you, and that no one stopped her from abusing you. My story is similar, in that regard. My mother abused me even worse than my father did. She is 83 years old now, and meaner than ever. I reached out to her earlier this year, after several years of no contact. I was hoping to have some kind of a relationship with her, before one of us is gone from this earth. Our phone conversation was great for about 15 minutes. But then she said the most horrible, abusive, projecting, gaslighting thing that she has ever said to me in my life. Considering the verbal abuse she has dished out to me since I was a little girl in the 1950s, for me to say this was the worst thing she ever said — it was totally off the scale.

    Never again. I will never reach out to her again. I am a grandmother and I feel like an orphaned child.

    But, looking on the bright side: Wow. We have the internet, we have blogs, we have this amazing way to reach out and touch other souls with our words, souls who will really hear us, and really understand. For too many of us, our families and our real-life acquaintances, never understood. Which is a lonely kind of hell.

    Thirty years ago I wrote a poem. And now, from the privacy of my home, I stumble across your post, and I know that here is someone who will understand.

    Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for writing this comment. I’m also sorry for the abuse you suffered and the pain it caused. Yes, I do understand. I loved my Mother deeply and still love her. How sad she was never able to let me love her as a Son.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Rob. I’m glad you re-posted this. I didn’t know you when you first ran it. “Noble sounding absurdities” is a perfect description.
    So much of what you said applies to the abuse that I lived through. How my family excused my mother’s behavior, even when my sister died… I really don’t think it is any different all these decades later. I still feel the judgment — of course I do because people still judge it when they find out. You are not alone.
    Some version of this post is worth adding to your book.
    Hugs on butterfly wings.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think my writings on trauma may be the way to introduce the context for my other work. Thank you for sharing a bit of your history. The most frustrating thing about being a target of abuse is watching the abuser play the victim and get away with it. What we saw with the Kavanaugh Hearings was the President as abusive Father triangulating his children (Senate Democrats, Republicans and Kavanaugh) to corrupt the Supreme Court with a nominee who will place him completely above the law. Lindsey Graham is already talking three terms. It’s horrifying to see my government act out scenes of domestic violence. It’s not just horrifying, it’s crazy making.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I agree completely. I bounce back and forth from a surreal feeling to disgust, to terror.
        You’re so right about “watching the abuser play the victim and get away with it.” I’ve experienced that many times.
        Hugs on butterfly wings.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I don’t know where to begin on this post Rob. I want to say it’s spectacular because of not only the poignancy of your words and imagery projected through them, your message is clear. You paint the world around you in your pain. Let me leave you with a positive thought – November 6th you will claim your country back enough to get you through to 2020 where I don’t believe a republican will ever take the house again in our lifetime. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. My partner, who is Nicaraguan and who was marched out of his country at gunpoint, is so fearful right now; he feels helpless and trapped.

      Psychological assault is a weapon of war and psychological abuse is the weapon most used by sociopaths. Survivors of abuse saw the signs in 2016.

      It wasn’t just Trump, it was the storm of gaslighting from the Putin/Trump right wing media. If you go into the political writing
      I did in 2016 you will see that I wrote about the astonishing public abuse of Hillary Clinton

      Almost two years into the most corrupt and openly treasonous administration in American History our press reports Trump’s successful
      attempt to further corrupt the Supreme Court as a ‘win’ for Trump.

      Is the obliviousness a symptom of the insidious efficiency of Putin’s use of social media to wage psychological warfare?


      1. You are bang on with everything here. I believe it is, in answer to your last question. Absolutely horrific what’s happening . I choose to focus on Nov 6th when the ‘babysitters’ take back the house and tie his tiny little hands to prevent further damage while trying to undo his hijacking of America for Putin. With extra luck the rethuglicons will lose the senate and impeachment comes down not just for hair fuhrer but for the dirty russian assets known as the GOP and for the sexual assaulter judge Kavanope!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’m afraid you are right. As the midterms approach the divisive propaganda is alarming. A president condemning his own congress and democratic party is incredibly scary – hitleresque!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. That was appalling. While the Saudi/American journalist’s death in the headlines, alleging the US knew he was in danger and didn’t alert him to his demise, 2 dingbats talking smack in the WH. Lincoln must be rolling in his grave!!!

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Trump masterfully had America talking a dingbat who thinks his maga hat makes him a man instead discussing what it means to have a President so corrupt he can’t express outrage over the political murder of a Saudi/America on U.S. soil.


      5. I think people are suffering and may not know it. Every day is another offense to reason and the human spirit. This latest with the torture and death of a Saudi Journalist is the last straw. I’m a fan of making evidence based survival decisions. The evidence is that trump cheated to ‘win’ the election and criminally conspires with the enemy to subvert the government of the United States. I don’t care that the Constitution doesn’t allow us to arrest a sitting President. The founders didn’t anticipate a President with ties to the Russian mob. I say arrest him. But that’s me.


      6. You know I’m with you 1000%. This Saudi murdered journalist case is appalling. The Turks have evidence. why now show all? That hit was ordered from the Saudi top, no way would any Saudi do that without permission fearing their own fate. Fuhrer must protect his investments by once again hiding the truth

        Liked by 1 person

      7. This is why I’m all for pulling trump out of the white house now. As a lifelong democrat I respect the democrats for trying to support democratic norms but Trump and his crony’s are like a flesh eating bacteria. His presence in the white house is killing people. Does anyone think the Saudis would do something like this under a normal Republican or Democratic president?


  5. Great to bring this out in the open, hope, do hope it helps to ‘talk’…I know where you are coming from and this is still going on for children today…Your artwork…masterful.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. You have a gift in painting the larger picture and in revealing your pain, vulnerability and confusion. I wish you well and as others have advised – get a good rest and hang in there. Kudos to you Robert.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. My goal with this is to do what I can to prevent this from happening to other people. Silence and apathy are the friends of child abusers. We must learn to understand that nothing — absolutely nothing justifies depriving a child of a future and the tools it needs to thrive. There is no adult pleasure that is more important that the safety and care of our children.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Brilliant.
    This “I must press the cluster of grapes and pour its essence, spoon by spoon, down the dry throat of this old shadow.” Oh the imagery. Just beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I would say that you wear a lot of hats but that is part of the cause and effect. There are people who skim by without being noticed that wear a lot of hats, I am one but except for general depression based on things I have long been able to control I am stuck in a rut in some instances, yet crash out full throttle with other things. I enjoy your honesty and writing. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for you comment. I think that all of us wear or have worn many hats. I think that sometimes I get impatient with myself…or sometimes I have a week or a month when life somehow feels more acute. Whatever the reason, this past couple of weeks just haven’t been easy. It’s nice to hear what other people have to say.

      Liked by 2 people

  9. Something you said really struck me in this post. That all people disassociate. That hit me, you’re absolutely right, We may not do it with our identities, but in some way or behavior, we protect ourselves by doing so.
    I am very glad I came across your blog, Through helping people to understand DID and your pain, you help us all to understand our own pain and disorders. You also do a great job of humanizing those who are being dehumanized by so many.
    Plus I like your art.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you Josh. I hope that something I do here will wake enough people up before it spreads. We actually debate which children deserve to eat even as our political leaders tell pompous lies about the virtue of their faith. Thank you for reading my blog and leaving comments…:)

      Liked by 2 people

  10. You convey your pain so well. Maye your body just needs a little recovery time after the emotional upheaval caused to you a few days ago. There is nothing wrong with that. I see nothing wrong with taking some time out. Look after yourself, take care xx

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I guess you’re right. I think being disconnected from my body causes me to see it as a thing–also the way I experience time. Sometimes it moves very quickly and sometimes an hour seems to last forever. It feels like it’s been months…but it’s only been a couple of days…that’s probably why I feel so tired.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Yes that makes a lot of sense. You share that with many sufferers I’d say, Time is a massive factor. I think the risk of suicide for a lot of people would be far less severe if time didn’t stretch out and seem infinite and unending. When you are suffering, it makes sense that it gets distorted. If, furthermore, your pain is processed through different parts of you, different identities, then it’s being processed with the energy it would take many individual people to do, all in one go. It makes sense. Rest and look after yourself xxx


      2. Yes. You understand. When I’m ‘triggered” (a word I’m starting to hate) it throws the entire system off. Whatever the trigger, it is processed in distinct ways. It leaves me feeling completely drained. And yes…Time seems to slow down — I don’t feel as if I’ve slept, even if I have…it just makes everything feel hellish. The good news is that I know it will pass, that it actually feels much worse than it is…and that I will eventually begin to feel more focused and creative…but I think that the most compelling reason for being careful about who I let into my life is the the time it takes to recover from a mistake.

        Liked by 1 person

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