A hundred times every day I remind myself that my inner and outer lives are based on the labors of other men. living and dead, and that I must exert myself in order to give in the same measure as I have received and am still receiving.
The Beyond Your Past Podcast is hosted by Certified Life Coach, NLP Practitioner, and Mental Health Advocate, Matthew Pappas. He is also the founder of SurvivingMyPast.net, a blog in support of all who have survived the Trauma of Abuse.
Matthew Pappas writes: ‘My guest on this episode of the Beyond Your Past Podcast is Photographer, Digital Artist, Blogger, and Mental Health Rehabilitation Specialist, Rob Goldstein. He is also a former guest blogger on Surviving My Past, where he shared some of his story in a post titled, “Life with DID: When Everything is a Trigger“. That post has been incredibly helpful and validating for so many who live with dissociative identity disorder, or those who have a loved one who lives with DID.
In the Podcast Rob Goldstein shares more of the story of how things finally started to make sense when he began receiving the help he needed.”
If you live long enough you will discover that you are the person you are looking for.
When my adult alternates used Virtual Reality as a social network the other members called them ‘The Family’.
Of course, they did this even as they discussed my DID behind my back as a
fake; albeit a convincing fake.
Making The Family
According to the theory of the Trauma-Related Structural Dissociation of the Personality, a child with DID does not develop an integrated sense of self, thus when children with Dissociative Identity Disorder become adults, they are a fragmented ‘self-state’ of traumatized ‘emotional selves’.
The ‘apparently normal self’, or ‘host’ alternate may have no clear memory of childhood, the trauma, or the family of birth. The ‘host’ compensates for the system’s deficits and attempts to complete the process of integration, but the ‘self state’ has no clear sense of time or reality:
…The ability to differentiate fantasy from reality is critical in achieving the integrative mode of consciousness. “Trance-logic” (i.e., the tolerance and/or rationalization of logical inconsistency while in a hypnotic state) which is a core aspect of the cognition of DID patients (Loewenstein, 1993), allows the patient to adjust to “normal” daily life while maintaining beliefs which are not only inconsistent with external reality but may be contradictory among themselves…”
‘Dissociation allows the existence of several different (subjective) versions of reality within one person. Thus Kluft (1993) once called DID “multiple reality disorder” (and not multiple personality disorder) and referred to “alternating reality states.” Somewhat similarly, Chefetz (2004) refers to identity alteration in DID as “isolated subjectivities.” Paradoxically, distinct or “alter” personality states are not disintegrated structures only but they also represent a striving of re-establishment of the lost unity (Şar and Öztürk, 2005).
If the ‘host’ fails to integrate, the ‘self-system’ or ‘emotional personalities’
replace it with a new host.
The new host must survive the social environment and compensate for
lost time and the ‘failure’ of the previous alternate.
This leads to overwork, perfectionism, exhaustion, hyperactivity and system collapse which results in a new alternate and a new a cycle of mal-adaptive behaviors and relationships and another failure to integrate.
When I was in my early 20’s I moved on impulse from New Haven to Honolulu.
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.
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.
To ‘Seal Over’
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.
What is Healthy?
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.
Mental Illness is Not an Act.
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.
Getting well in a sick world
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.
What does it mean to be well with DID.
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.