‘Vision’ (c) Rob Goldstein 2019
‘Vision’ (c) Rob Goldstein 2019
I say ‘gizmonic’ because it has a computer that monitors heart rate and caloric output.
It also has games.
I brought it home and slipped some batteries into it and
It looked like the computer was broken.
The fix was simple.
The springs that held the batteries in place weren’t making contact
with the batteries.
I stretched them and Bingo!
A fancy exercise bike for the time it took me to stretch
My favorite game is the ‘Calorie Destroyer.‘
The faster I pedal the more ammo and mobility my gun has.
Last week I raised the seat for better leg extension.
As I reached level four I felt a twinge of pain in my lower back.
Did that stop me? Of course not!
I was taught to ignore pain.
The twinge became a sharp pain.
The next day I felt stiff.
Friday I walk across the City to therapy.
I began to dress.
There’s a small chair in front of the door to bedroom closet.
I needed a jacket so I moved the chair and felt something pop; a jolt
of pain raced up my spine and down my legs.
Did I decide not to walk over five miles to my therapist, most of it up hill?
Of course not!
I was in so much pain that when I got home I took two aspirin and a double dose of ‘Clonopin.’ Most docs use benzos to treat severe spasms of the lower back. (I don’t advise anyone else to ever do this without consulting a doctor.)
I laid down and entered the world of pain.
Survival in the world of pain means finding the ‘right’ position: a way to arrange one’s body to cut severe pain.
Finding the ‘right’ position and holding it for as long as possible was the focus of all of my energy and concentration.
I’d find a position only to have to find another position five minutes later.
This meant having more pain to find respite in less pain.
For all my emotional pain I have never had to deal with severe medical pain.
After it was over I had a deeper appreciation for the suffering and courage of
people in chronic pain.
Rob Goldstein 2015-2018
First published November 2015
Revised November 2018
Dissociative identity disorder is a childhood onset, complex-post traumatic disorder in which the child is unable to consolidate a unified sense of self. Detachment from emotional and physical pain during repeated traumatic events results in alterations in the way the brain encodes memory. This leads to fragmentation and gaps in memory. Exposure to repeated abuse in early childhood results in the creation of discrete behavioral states that can persist over later development, and evolve into the alternate identities of dissociative identity disorder. The Mayo Clinic
This morning as my partner left for his weekly visit to his ailing Mother he said, “I love all of you.”
I sat as wave after wave of love, pain, gratitude and fear passed over me, then I said, “We love you to.”
I am not an easy man to live with.
One must be willing to live with constant self-examination and bluntly stated opinions.
This September marks the beginning of my eighth year of psychotherapy.
Eight years later, I am someone new. I accept the DID, I accept the violence
that caused it and I accept that I was gifted with a mind that went to extraordinary lengths to keep itself alive.
I am proof of the existence of the human mind and the will to survive and thrive.
At the long-term psychiatric hospital where I worked in the early 1970’s, we
used the term ‘sealed over’ to describe a patient who is skilled at hiding
Most of us must learn to ‘seal over’ everyday distress and anxiety as a
skill of daily living.
Healthy people don’t often consider the energy and skill it takes to interact
socially and succeed in our careers.
An illness that impairs social skill is crippling.
We don’t think about what it means to lose our health and ability to work
until we must think about it.
I define ‘healthy’ as striving to become an informed citizen, having a balanced sense of humility, respect for the rights of others, a sense of compassion, and respect for life; which means the born, the fundamental right of all children to food, shelter, education, safe cities and schools.
I define healthy as doing my best to pull my weight; which means using my skills to dispel the lies that make it hard for people with DID to get the right treatment.
There are thousands of easier ways to get attention: one can write a good novel, produce a brilliant portfolio of art, write moving poetry, become a skilled surgeon, strive for excellence at any job that affirms your humanity.
If I’m trying to get your attention by destroying my life in public it means I’m sick.
A man who has to shoot schoolchildren to slake his rage is sick.
The question is not why people have mental illnesses, the question is why Americans collectively refuse to recognize mental illness as a set of real and
I cannot ‘think’ my way through DID or Bi-Polar illness.
Mental Illness is not a choice and the ‘well’ make it easy for the ‘sick’ to choose isolation.
I had the worst possible parents in the worst possible neighborhood in one of the most institutionally abusive and violently racist cities of the United States in the 1960’s, and yet I entered adulthood with a fundamental sense of right and wrong, and a fundamental understanding of our political system.
I was broken in a dozen different ways but I knew it was wrong to lie.
I knew it was wrong to hurt people.
I knew it was wrong to abuse the weak and innocent.
In that, I am healthier than 39% of the American people.
Being well with DID means that I’m still in pain, raw and uncertain. I’m still anxious and often panic-stricken. But it also means I’m alive as I am supposed to be and better at managing symptoms. It means always searching for new skills and better ways to be healthy.
It means asking the unwanted questions.
Rob Goldstein 2018
The lad is a wiz with computers
and handy with grass.
Me: How is he today?
Henry: Oh. Quite beside himself.
Me: Lucky you. And the grass?
Henry: Never meaner…
Good boys go bad or die.
Henry still thinks he’s in love
(c) Rob Goldstein 1992-2018
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