Photograph of an Aztec Mural in San Francisco's Mission District

Writing: What Would You Do?

On January 1, I boldly announced I would publish a book of poems this year and here it is, the middle of August and I’m stymied.

I see my writer friends spontaneously publish and I think OMG, I’m such a loser.

I suppose I should congratulate myself, this month marks nine years of intensive psychotherapy, though when I watch a trump crowd, I wonder why I bother.

Psychodynamic psychotherapy is hard work.

Why is it crazy to think eight rather nice people live in my body when we have a crazy ass president like trump? But I digress.

This struggle to publish is the current topic of therapy.

How do I publish a collection of poems when I don’t recognize the work as mine.

Some the folks who follow this blog see the DID and others don’t.

I assume most people don’t see it.

One idea is to hire a psychotherapist/writer/editor.

In Friday’s session, my therapist suggested I give the alternates credit
for their work.

When I collaborated with Teagan on Hullaba lulu, I had to tell her which
alternate staged which scene.

Is it as simple as giving the alternates credit for their work?

What if I published the book as an anthology, as if the alternates are different writers?

I stopped letting them use their own names in 2013 because it encouraged fragmentation, but I’m healthier now.

I know it’s difficult for most people to understand DID, but what would you do?

Rob Goldstein 2019

66 thoughts on “Writing: What Would You Do?

  1. My sister, may she rest in peace, had multiple personalities, DID. Instead of therapy, she took mountains of drugs. It didn’t really work, it merely suppressed some personalities sometimes.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Psychotherapy is the only treatment. A mountain of drugs increases fragmentation, but I understand the temptation. There are times when I can’t stand the pain and confusion and just want to numb out. I’m so saddened by your suffering and the suffering of your sister. Our world needs to make it easier for people to get treatments that work.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Rob, I’ve read many of your articles these past few years. I’ve never felt different people were writing them. I feel as though you are a talented writer/artist/poet who is multi-faceted. No matter how many personalities you may feel you harbor, there is one heart inside and I feel different moods in your writing reflect different parts of you. So, with that said, I would totally own it, and perhaps write a prologue or introduction to where your creativity is inspired from. Either that or an anthology could be interesting so long as you explain – again in an intro, that the poems were written by the many pieces of Rob Goldstein?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for an honest answer, Staci. I don’t expect other people to understand DID because I don’t really understand it, though I can explain how it works from a technical perspective. I think people with mental health issues want the same thing as everyone else: respect for our humanity and one or two people who like us enough to cheer us on. That you left a comment to cheer me on made my day. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. What an interesting question, Robert. I don’t think there is a right or wrong answer. There is only the answer that feels right to you. I will caution you to not overthink it. Check in with your internal authors with curiosity, respect, and kindness, and go with your heart. I can’t wait to read it.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Diana, you certainly nailed it with the caution not to over think it. I think about things way too much. Your advice about treating the internal authors with curiosity and respect and kindness is exactly what my therapist tells me to do. I bet you would make a great therapist. BTW, there’s a new Trina story pending, but we miss your prompts. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Publishing is always a leap of faith, so do your best and take the plunge. We’re here to support you. ❤

        I can’t wait for the next Trina story. 🙂 And I used to be a therapist. Lol

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thank you, Diana. The thrust of my treatment is increased collaboration between the alternates. When I stopped working in 2011, it was because the alternates were trying to live separate lives; it was completely disabling. I can’t thank the people who read my blog enough for their support. I’ve drafted two new Trina stories. I’m going to edit the first one this weekend. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi Rob,
    Perhaps you placed an unreasonable objective when you put a time limit on the project. Besides, does it matter who writes/when? All the individual personalities are all still you; right? Let the juices flow and put together something you want to say. With your talent, it’s sure to be brilliant. HUGS.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Hi, Chuck. I think you’re right the time constraint. As soon as I said it, it felt like a weight on my head. DID is as hard to understand as it is to live with. I know the alternates are all me and you know they’re all me, but they don’t know it and that is DID in a nutshell.

      I thank you for your encouragement. The worst part of any struggle is feeling alone with it so I’m glad I opened this up for discussion.

      And yes, I’m gonna let the juices flow.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Rob. I’m glad you presented your question to the gallery here. As you mentioned off-line it’s something I do every now and then. Even if I don’t ultimately go with the group concensus, it is still very helpful to my thought process to get readers’ opinions.

    I can understand how you would feel torn about placing credit where it is due. So I give you two examples from my life.

    1) Illustrator collaborations. I haven’t published Lulu as a novel. I can’t figure out how I should include you, when I’m not using illustrations.
    Yet when “Brother Love” concluded (illustrated by Dan Antion’s photos) I wanted to publish it for people who couldn’t keep up with the serial over the summer.
    So, I added a dedication to Dan in the novella version.

    2) Compilations. This is what I feel really applies to your situation.
    I have a compilation of 1920s slang, a dictionary I’ve collected. When I gave the Pip stories to a coworker — a woman who was finishing a 30 year career as a librarian — She said I should publish it as a companion book. I protested that I didn’t write it. Chris said, “But you compiled it. This is still your work.”
    Remember that opinion is from a career librarian.

    Personally, I would treat the works of all your alternates as a compilation. Write a detailed dedication or a preface describing their individual contributions if you like.
    The point here is that 1 — all the alternates are part of you. 2 –You are the one who has compiled the work. So the book belongs to you as much as to them, in more than one way.

    Whether you go with any of the replies you get here, I hope reading them will help you feel settled on what you want to do.

    Hugs on the wing.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Teagan, this group session on WordPress has relieved my mind and helped me to see past the impasse. I’m definitely going with an anthology. Wouldn’t you know I found an anthology of ‘Outsider’ Poetry on the street today? If you publish Lulu, a dedication is fine with me. I did some research on the Linden TOS and you are free to use images. I’m certainly going to use the images I stage in VR in my own publications. You’re cat’s knees!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I think you should do what makes sense to you and what makes you happy. I also have a number of different writing styles and write in different genres. These are different aspects of my personality. I now have two names I publish under to separate these two very different styles. If you feel it is the right thing to credit your alternatives, then I say do it. I for one, am looking forward to all of their writing.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Robbie, I’ve noticed you publish under different names and wondered how you keep track of it. It probably helps that you remember what each ‘name’ is doing and recognize the work as your own. In today’s therapy session we talked about this idea of doing the book as an anthology. It makes the most sense to me — and it feels right. Thank you for you’re encouragement, I appreciate everyone who has taken the time to read the post and leave a comment. 🙂


  7. Reblogged this on Teagan's Books and commented:

    Remember the Hullaba Lulu serial here? The illustrator and my “partner in crime” was Rob Goldstein. Now, Rob poses a question to those of us in the gallery. Kindly click over and let him know your thoughts.

    Comments are closed here. Hugs on the wing!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. However you publish your book of poetry I’ll be reading it, Rob. I can’t say I fully understand to have an opinion on how you should present it. But an anthology seems like a really good way to introduce it.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I don’t know anything about DID, but it seems right to give your alternate selves credit…
    If that seems to take you down a path you’re trying to walk away from how about something simple and general like, ” by the many voices of …”

    Liked by 2 people

  10. I’m not sure what I’d do, but if giving each a name encourages fragmentation and you feel better after you stopped, then, no, just your name should do. And even if it eels it’s not your writing but you know it is, then go ahead and publish as yours, under one name.

    Liked by 3 people

  11. I’m sorry it’s such a struggle, Rob. It’s mind-boggling for me to try to wrap my head around what you live with daily. I really don’t know what to say about the book other than to encourage you to not to become discouraged. So easier said than done, I know. Your friends will continue to cheer you on!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Dan, thank you for your honesty on the question of DID. It’s even difficult for me to understand which is why it’s so hard to anticipate obstacles. I feel better about the anthology idea and truly appreciate your response to the question.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I don’t know much about DID but from my perspective, writing an anthology and already having multiple contributors on board, very cool! And since they are individual works, probably would be good for them to get credit. Good luck! I would encourage you to keep working on it as you have one of the most unique debuts of a book I’ve read about. You’re not a loser as many writers can tell you sometimes it takes a lot longer than expected to produce a book. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Well done, Robert 🙂
    You could try to ask some of our kind blogging friends, who are also writers, to view and comment at your book. This will help you to promote the book. When you publish, then share it in here, so we can share at other platforms too.

    Liked by 2 people

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