Dissociative Identity Disorder: When Shame Becomes Pride

Dissociative Identity Disorder looks like a psychosis to people who don’t understand it or who think that all people with DID act like Sybil or
Norman Bates.

Yes, I hear the voices of my alternates but those voices are not hallucinations; they are more like thoughts in another person’s voice.

Each alternate has its own memories and skills.

Virtual reality avatar that depicts an adolescent alternate named Bobby who is 16.
Bobby is 16, he holds ‘faith’.

Some alternates communicate autonomously with each other while
others remain in hiding.

There are memory boundaries between alternates but over time
these boundaries became more permeable.

“Dissociative identities exist in a third reality, an inner world that is visualized, heard, felt and experienced as real. This third reality is often characterized by trance logic. In trance logic, ideas and relationships of ideas about things are not subject to the rules of normal logic. Because (the alternates) are kept in separate compartments (of the brain), contradictory beliefs and ideas can exist together; they do not have to make sense. In the way, the internal world has many alternate selves that experience themselves as separate people. There is a pseudo delusional sense of separateness and independence.”

From Trauma and Dissociation

I don’t experience the inner world of my dissociative system as vividly
as the alternates that use VR do.

I’m Rob Goldstein.

I was born as an adult and I function as an apparently normal self.

That means that I smooth things over, I look and sound like an adult…albeit one that does not know how old he is.

I look at what comes out of VR and try to understand it, but I don’t.

It’s not my job to use Second Life.

My job is processing photographs and writing political essays.

This means is I know very little about the VR members of my strange inner Family.

I don’t feel anger. I don’t experience grief.

I wonder if I am made in the image of  Star Trek’s Spock.

A Screenshot of a male and female vatar on a star trek set in Virtual Reality
Space Madness

I think in terms of logic.

A blogging friend once asked me if I feel proud of the art made by my alternates and I replied that it feels illogical for me to feel proud of work produced by other people.

If one stays with the logic of Dissociative Identity Disorder the alternates are separate people with their own special place on my brain.

I think of my brain as a busy server.

This MRI scan shows an alternate switching to another alternate
This MRI scan shows an alternate switching to another alternate


The little boy who imagined this elaborate coping mechanism was smart enough to create a good Mother.

Each time Sara takes a kid alternates into VR she comforts them and corrects some of the damage done by the real Mother.

Sara gives them what they need.

When she stands up for them she also says that they are worth
fighting for.

I cannot think of a child who does not need a parent or a parent figure who will fight for it.

The child invented a good Mother and gave her a place on his brain.

Advances in Brain Imaging 18 Fig. 2. Example of reduced regional cerebral glucose metabolism in the anterior temporo- frontal cortices in a patient with dissociative amnesia
Reduced regional cerebral glucose metabolism in anterior temporo-frontal cortices in dissociative amnesia

After seven years of intensive psychotherapy I can see that even with DID I am healthy, creative and strong enough to protect myself and survive.

Never Keep Your Head Down


Now I’m ready to thrive.

(c) Rob Goldstein 2015-2016-2017

First posted on September 26, 2016
re-edited 3/08/2018











The Problem with Pictures

I have a problem with pictures.

We don’t recognize the guy in the picture.

He’s not Rob Goldstein or Mateo

or Bobby.

or Sara

or Felicity

or Peter

or Bob.

He might be Matthew.

When I’m asked for a picture of myself all of my alternate neuro-networks light up in confusion.

Whose picture?

Collage Portrait in torn paper

“ You peer into the mirror and have trouble recognizing yourself.

You can’t remember whether you actually did something. . . or only thought you did.

You feel as though you’re just going through the motions of life.”

The Stranger in the Mirror.

When someone shows me a picture of what they say is me I look at it and smile and thank them.

I never say what I see.

Portion of a 3-D Collage on Clarion Alley

That’s how we lose friends.

Rob Goldstein 2015-2018 All Rights Reserved


Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas to my Friends on WordPress

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays
to friends and followers of Art by Rob

Thank you for being here.

Royal Philharmonic Chorus and Orchestra, Sir Thomas Beecham, cond.
RCA/BMG, recorded 1959
The Internet Archives

His Empty Grave Fills Lives, Rob Goldstein 2017

Switching Stations: Wilma Wants an Abortion

Warning: This post discusses adult themes in an admittedly childish way.

(Lights up. An Empty stage; enter Fred Flintstone)

Fred: When Wilma got pregnant, I worried. I wondered if we were ready for a kid so soon after Wilma’s ECT. I wondered if it wouldn’t be better to go to Frost Bite Falls for an abortion.

(Laugh Track)

Wilma: (off stage) Fred? Fred? Is that you?

Fred: Here, honey!

(Enter Wilma)

Wilma: Oh Fred! Why are you so late! (Wilma bursts into tears.)

(Laugh Track)

Fred: Gee honey, the boss kept me late.

Wilma: (sobs) I sometimes think I should have an abortion!

Fred: Oh honey; don’t talk like that. What would Betty think?

Wilma: Oh, who cares what Betty thinks! (sobs) She’s not under a
contract to have to have a baby!

(Laugh Track)

(The doorbell rings. Enter Mr. Ed)

Mr. Ed: I was just at a meetin’ wit da Mattel’s an deys wanna know if the kid’ll be baked by Christmas!

(Laugh Track)

Wilma: Who the fuck are you?

(Laugh Track)

Mr. Ed: (To Fred) You gotta live wid this?

(Laugh Track)

(Enter Betty Rubble)

Betty:  Hi Wilma? Fred? Who’s the Horse? Hubba, hubba!

Wilma:  Hi Betty. This horsey works for the Mattel’s!

Mr. Ed: (to Betty) Mr. Ed is my name an makin’ pretty ladies is my game!

Betty: Pleased t’ meetcha! I sure hope you folks can cash in with Bam-Bam!

(Laugh Track)

(Lights Out. We hear the voices of Batman and Robin)

Robin: Holy stegosaurus, Batman! Ya really think you smell trouble?

Batman: Think young friend: does a horse shit in a meadow?

(Lights up: Betty and Wilma are locked in a kiss

Robin: Tsk. I am so OVER gratuitous lesbianism; I mean the way the writers slip it into everything these days!

Batman: Oh, SPLACK!

Mr. Ed: Cool yer chops Batty boy!

Robin: (To Mr. Ed.)  And MUFF!

Mr. Ed: And tell lover bird to stop chirpin!

Batman: (Hands on hips) He’s NOT my lover!

Wilma: Oh, pish-posh!

Betty: That’s telling him, Wilma!

(Laugh Track)

(Enter Eva Gabor; she spots Mr. Ed and points with recognition)

Eva Gabor: I know you!

Batman: I bet you do, lady!

Eva Gabor: That’s precisely what I mean!

(Enter Eddy Albert)

Eddy Albert: What is you mean precisely?

Batman:  Precisely?

Eddy Albert: Precisely!

Eva Gabor: Why precisely do you ask, Olivah?

Betty: (To Wilma) Oh Wilma! Aren’t Heterosexuals the most boring! Let’s get outta here!

Wilma: I’m with you Betty! Let’s have an abortion!

Betty and Wilma in unison: Da-da da da de da! Charrrge it! (They exit)

Batman: Our work here is done, Robin.

Robin: Right, Batman! (They exit with a swish of their capes)

(Enter Fred Ziffel)

Fred Ziffel: Mr. Douglas! Arnold’s feelin’ mighty sick! I’d sure appreciate it if you’d come over and take a look at him!

Eddie Albert: I’m a lawyer, not a doctor.

Eva Gabor: You can help him make out his vill, dahling!

Eddie Albert: Oh, All Right! (Mr. Ziffel and Eva Gabor exit with Eddie Albert)


Fred Flintstone: (Looks at Mr. Ed and shrugs) I guess it’s time for me to take out the cat. (Fred Flintstone exits. Mr. Ed alone on the stage)

(Enter Wilber Post)

Wilber Post: There you are, Ed. I looked all over New York for you! I even called the police!

Mr. Ed: Well ya found me, Wilber. Ya got any of that hay left over from Thanksgiving?

Wilber Post: Sure Do!

(Wilbur post leads Mr. Ed off stage.  As the lights dim to black the laugh track builds to a roar)

An avatar that represents an alternate named the Narrator in front of street murals found on Valencia Street in San Francisco
Switching Stations


(c) Rob Goldstein 12/86 – 12/2017 All Graphics (c) Rob  Goldstein 2017 All Rights Reserved