Awards: The Disability Award

Melinda Sandor at Looking For The Light  blog nominated me for this award; she is a dedicated blogger and activist and was one of my first Featured Bloggers.

Melinda is also the driving force behind the blogging collective, Survivors Blog Here.

When I saw the name of the award my first thought was, ‘an award for being disabled?’ but based on the nominees it’s clearly an award for people who strive to transcend their disabilities and give meaning to the pain. It’s an honor to get this award. Thank you, Melinda.

The rules are to display the award badge, answer the questions, choose your own nominees, and develop your own set of questions. Melinda’s questions are so practical I’m going with hers.

Advances in Brain Imaging
Fig. 2. Example of reduced regional cerebral glucose metabolism in the anterior temporo-frontal cortices in a patient with dissociative amnesia.

Melinda’s Questions:

What was the first sign of your illness?

My first symptoms appeared when I was a child and found the name ‘Antonio’ scrawled in my schoolbooks. I was confused about my age, name and gender, which set me apart from the other children.

What is your worst symptom and how do you cope with it?

The symptoms of depression and dissociation affect memory and concentration, which makes it difficult read and write.

I often go back to a published post to discover typos and glaring gaps in logic. I cope by writing shorter pieces and relying more on photography and abstract designs for creative expression.

I’ve also stopped judging myself when I find mistakes in the work I post, although it’s frustrating to discover a flaw I would definitely have noticed a decade ago.

As for reading, I do a lot of reading I can’t remember.

This is even true of my work.

I often think I’m reading another bloggers post for the first time and discover that I’ve already liked and re-blogged it.

It’s confusing and frustrating.

What one thing about you has changed because of your struggles?

I miss reading and writing longer, more complex, stories, but I’m learning to be patient with myself, and to set more realistic timelines for achieving goals.

I am more compassionate toward other people.

What words of advice or encouragement would you give to someone else suffering?

I’m changing the last word from ‘suffering’ to ‘disabled’, because suffering does not have to define life with a chronic illness.

My advice is set goals and let go of the way you defined success when you were healthy. Give yourself plenty of time to complete those goals.

Never compare your achievements to the achievements of people who aren’t ill.

Learn new skills and practice them.

I knew absolutely nothing about photography when I became permanently disabled. I still know nothing about photography. but I’m better at it.

Name one good thing that has come out of having a chronic illness.

Now that I have the right diagnosis and treatment, I have a better understanding of the forces that shaped me as a child, and a better understanding of why I made certain self destructive decisions as a younger man. I’m forgiving because of it.

The Dissociative

What one thing do you disagree with that is widely accepted as true about your condition?

I obviously disagree with the idea that Dissociative Identify Disorder doesn’t exist. If I go to a shrink and tell her I think I have other personalities and the craziness of it is wrecking my life, I expect her to believe I believe they exist and to treat me accordingly.

I wish the United States had mental health system  that wanted to treat the brain’s mind.

If you could change only one aspect of your illness, what would it be?

Some days I get sick of feeling like I’m running in place. I want the illness to go away.

Name the one thing that works best for you for symptom relief.

I get relief from photography or throwing myself into a project. I also try to eat properly, exercise, and get a solid night’s sleep.

Based on your experience, what is one thing that you would tell someone newly diagnosed with chronic illness?

Learn as much as you can about your illness and become your own advocate.Why did you start blogging?

I started blogging to advocate for better medical treatment for people with mental illnesses.

The blog began to shift focus in 2016 and is now more focused on  art and politics., but I haven’t forgotten my roots.

My nominees

Most of the disability bloggers I know have gotten this award from Melinda.

My two nominees for this award are Dream Big, Dream Often and Jason
at Opinionated Man.

My questions for them are the same as those asked of me.

Check out Stacy Chapman’s award post at Fighting with Fibro

‘The Dissociative’ (c) Rob Goldstein All Rights Reserved


In Conversation With “D.Wallace Peach” from “MythsOfTheMirror🐉” #AuthorInterview

An interview with D.Wallace Peach.

Comments disabled here.

Rob’s Weekly News Wrap-Up – 4/19-4/26: On a Personal Note

Following the news this week was intellectually challenging and emotionally exhausting.

I’m not a lawyer or a trained journalist, I have problems with memory and concentration, but I am determined to decide what I think of The Mueller report by reading it.

The Mueller Report describes a lawless president intent on obstructing the the legitimate investigation of an attack on the people of the United States.

A Page from Robert Mueller's Report to Congress
A section of Robert Mueller’s Report to Congress regarding trump’s attempts to obstruct his investigation.

The Report describes this attack as meticulous and psychological.

Russia used the personal data and psychological profiles of over 87 Million Americans to target specific groups of people with appeals to tribalism and fear.

The Internet Research Agency built Facebook communities across the political spectrum, but targeted Clinton in all of them. Mueller’s report lists conservative groups like “Being Patriotic,” “Stop All Immigrants,” “Secured Borders,” and “Tea Party News”; black social justice groups like “Black Matters,” “Blacktivist,” and “Don’t Shoot Us”; LGBTQ groups like “LGBT United”; and religious groups “United Muslims of America.”

“Main idea: Use any opportunity to criticize Hillary [Clinton] and the rest (except Sanders and Trump — we support them),” IRA operators told specialists. BuzzFeed.News

According to the University of Oxford’s Computational Propaganda Research Project the Russian attack began in 2013:

A page from the University of Oxford’s Computational Propaganda Research Project on the extent of the Russian attack on the United States
The University of Oxford’s Computational Propaganda Research Project

Oxford’s Computational Propaganda Research Project

No lie about Clinton was too absurd:

 

Wikileaks Bombshell: Hillary Clinton is Satanic

No racist attack was too base:

Screenshot of antisemitic propaganda produced by the Russian Internet Research Agenc
Antisemitic propaganda produced by Russia’s Internet Research Agency

In 2016 I saved hundreds of screenshots of the propaganda campaign deployed by the IRA.

What kind of President blocks his government’s investigation of an enemy attack?

Based on the emerging evidence, Trump is an idiot if he genuinely believes he’s a legitimate president with a mandate, and if he’s one of Putin’s useful idiots, my guess is his strategist is the Kremlin’s top handler.

Screenshot of a December 23. 2016 Washington Post Headline in which Vladimir Putin Tells Democrats to lose with dignity
Vladimir Putin Tells America to lose with dignity

The House and Senate GOP know what Trump is, but they’re useful idiots too.

What comes next is up to us, I don’t like it, I’d rather think about and do other things, but I won’t belong to the generation that killed American Democracy.

This moment is not about winning a game.

This is moment is not about our feelings.

This moment is a reckoning with the facts and history will damn those who choose to ignore them.

I believe in a God that expects humanity to use reason and science to nurture and fully inhabit creation.

To do this we need a civilized world order governed by leaders who respect and protect the rule of law regardless of political and religious affiliation.

With Trump as President, Russia is free to continue to attack our minds, and the gaslighting will only get worse as we head into the 2020 campaign.

Here is a link to the Mueller Report, please read it and pass it on.  Below are a few the videos I liked this week.
 

Know your first amendment rights on the internet:

Learn lateral reading, use multiple tabs in your browser to look stuff up and fact check as you read. Real-time fact-checking can help you figure out what’s real and what’s not on the internet.

 

Ageism: Why do we treat old people like babies?

 

A History of LGBT rights at the UN

 

The Creative Process: Leonard Nimoy on developing “Star Trek’s” Spock character

 

Rob Goldstein, 2019

The Mueller Report – Read and Share

The Mueller Report is a frightening page-turner with every line based on physical evidence.

A section of the Mueller Report that describes Trump Junior's contacts with Wikileaks
Trump Junior’s contacts with Wikileaks

Above is a section of the report about an exchange between Don Jr. and WikiLeaks about spreading the lie that Hillary Clinton ordered a drone strike on Julian Assange.

Wikileaks asks Trump Jr. to spread that lie and Trump Jr. replies he already has.

I took screenshots of it in 2016.

The ‘Wikileak’ that Hillary ordered a drone strike on Julian Assange
A second screenshot of the 2016 'Wikileak' that Hillary ordered a drone strike on Julian Assange
A ‘Wikileak’ that Hillary ordered a drone strike on Julian Assange

The Mueller Report is a free must read.

It’s also a cliffhanger.

Will a useful idiot made president by the diabolical Russian oligarch who planned and executed a successful psychological attack on the most powerful nation in history completely destroy the NATO Alliance and a centuries old democracy?

That’s up to us.

We can still use what’s left of our democracy to save it.

Here’s what I’ve learned as a lifelong gay activist: to make a movement.
millions of people must set aside differences and unite for a common
cause.

Those of us in the early gay rights movement risked our lives
and #LGBTQ people still risk their lives by coming out.

Democracy is not for the complacent.

Now is the time for all brave people to come to the aid of their country.

 

You can download the report from me or use the link to the Justice Department.

The Mueller Report

The Mueller Report from the U.S. Department of Justice.

Please read it and share it.

Thanks

Rob Goldstein 2019

The material in this post is for educational purposes.

I do not own the copyrights