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











St. Mary’s Hospital, November 1986

I take the pills and go numb.

I drift across the day room and settle on a couch in front of the

Lucy and Ricky slug it out in the gender wars of the 1950’s.

“I juss wan’ choo to be ma wife, Loosy.” Ricky croons; and so she
is, with all the weaponized femininity she can muster.

My doctor arrives.

He’s an arrogant middle class macho who tells me I define
myself by pain; that I just lost two friends to a virus killing
everyone I know is incidental.

No one in his world is grieving the death of fags.

In his world, fags are cautionary tales on the evening news: this is
what happens to perverts.

“You moof from walla pain to walla pain,” he says, with a vaguely
German accent.

I want to shove my fist through his skull, but I widen my eyes and
agree like a good little Lucy about to put the hit on Ricky for a new

I’ll be whatever he says I am; I just want to get out of here.

I will suck up to the staff like a five-year old who’s discovered he’s cute.

The staff will like my mind, it’s smart enough to stop trying to make
them care.

I will swallow their pills and get fat on hetero-sexist sanity.

I will sit here, watch ‘I Love Lucy‘, and let them take my blood.

Animated Gif from the I Love Lucy Show in which Ricky tells Lucy that he's the man and she's the woman and she does what he says
found on GIPHY

In 1986, HIV was spreading quickly;  by the end of that year, 11,932 people, most of them gay and bisexual men, had died from AIDS.  

Rob Goldstein (c) 2018 All Rights Reserved

Still shot from ‘I Love Lucy’ is in the public domain
Animated Gif found on GIPHY


Filters from bethanyk

NOT MY SECRET...the journey towards healing from abuse

Robert Goldstein wrote a blog about recognizing himself. If you aren’t following him I highly recommend it. He is very talented and wise.

I was thinking about his post as I was on my walk today taking pictures of randomness that caught my eye and allowed me to be mindful. A piece of grass still alive in an entire yard that was dead, a tree stump with one leaf and one acorn, a piece of fern coming back to live when everything around it had been frozen in the latest freeze, a camellia bush that was entirely red and one that is just like my 14 year old but at least 10 times it’s size, and a few feathers that I consider a reward for my picking up a few sticks in my yard.

As I looked at these photos on my camera they looked exactly as I saw them…

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I’m sorry, but we need to talk about suicide…

From Greece With Love

From Greece With Love

Earlier this week I found out someone who I had grown up with but had lost touch many years ago had taken his own life. Yesterday was the 10 year anniversary of an amazing human, someone who taught me more than they will ever know, taking their life. In the summer of 2015 I lost one of my dearest and best friends, in the same way, and she will never know that my life will never be the same without her.

This is a subject I have always planned to write about, because as many people who have followed my writing over the years will know, putting some words down and emptying the thoughts in my brain is a kind of personal therapy for me. But on this subject, I have always refrained as I know how deeply and how directly it affects so many of my loved ones.


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