She had a ‘History’ of Mental Illness

Photo of a Homeless woman sleeping on a mattress on Haight Street in San Francisco, November 22, 2016
A Homeless woman sleeps on a mattress on Haight Street in San Francisco, November 22, 2016

In 2005 a woman with a history of mental illness threw her three children into the Bay.

She was a single Mother living in a homeless shelter with her children.

She had chronic debilitating schizophrenia.

She told dozens of care providers that God was commanding her to
throw her baby’s to the sharks and no one intervened.

No one removed those children from her custody and no one saw the connection between her psychiatric decline, her refusal to take medication and the stress of trying to Mother three children without housing.

“Relatives of a mentally troubled woman from Oakland who reported hearing voices before she allegedly threw her three young sons into the bay to die said Thursday they had tried unsuccessfully to persuade Alameda County social service workers to help them gain custody of the children.

Members of the family of La-shuan Ternice Harris said they had argued that the 23-year-old woman was unstable and unfit to care for her boys — 6-year-old Trayshaun Harris, 2-year-old Taronta Greely Jr. and 16-month-old Joshua Greely.

They had given up trying by Wednesday, when Harris went to the home of a cousin and told her she was going to feed her children to the sharks.

The cousin tried frantically to prevent Harris from leaving for San Francisco with her boys, but she failed, relatives said. At 5:30 p.m., police said, Harris took the children to the end of Pier 7 along the Embarcadero, stripped them naked and threw them in the water.”

The San Francisco Gate

Bad law and public apathy murdered three children in San Francisco.

This was written 14 years ago:

San Francisco Chronicle
February 18, 2001

“California’s pathetic patchwork of services and outdated laws mock the magnitude of the problem.

‘We spend billions of dollars dealing with the consequences of mental illness rather than spending that money wisely on adequate services,’ the Little Hoover Commission, an independent state oversight group, concluded in November.

Today, 50,000 or more Californians wander the streets homeless. One-third of them suffer from severe mental illness, according to various studies.


What’s legal is not always what’s moral.

More rom the article about Harris: “Her aunt, Joyce Harris of Oakland, said Thursday that Lashuan Harris’ mother had contacted Alameda County social services officials about three months ago to seek partial custody of the children because Harris had stopped taking medication for schizophrenia and had made threats regarding the boys.

“They said she was sane, that they couldn’t do anything,”

San Francicso Gate

In Californian, you’re sane if you can lie about how sick you are.

The law regarding mandatory treatment is a paradox for people with chronic and severe mental illnesses because it is designed to protect people who are merely eccentric from unnecessary mandatory commitment.

Our laws do not recognize ‘grey” when it comes to mental illness.

It does not make room for people who lose behavioral control even as they know that what they are doing is wrong.

What is the collective delusion that allows the public to continue to deny the utter failure of deinstitutionalization when the evidence of that failure is all around us and has been for nearly thirty years?

California’s Lanterman-Petris Short Act states that a person must be an “imminent” danger to himself or others.

Imminent means that without direct intervention by the state the patient will act on homicidal or suicidal impulses.

Imminent means a situation in which action to impose treatment over a person’s objection is immediately necessary for the preservation of life or the prevention of serious bodily harm to the patient or to others and it is impractical to first gain consent from the patient.”

As long as Lashuan Harris denies that she has an imminent plan to harm herself or her children she is completely sane under the Lanterman-Petris Short Act.

I don’t play politically correct word games when people’s lives are at stake.

I don’t believe that people with mental illnesses are no more violent than other people because reality does not bear that out.

Twice this week I was verbally abused and physically threatened by young men who were homeless, psychotic and in desperate need of treatment.

It’s more accurate to say that people with serious mental illnesses are no more violent than other people when they are in treatment.

The Lanterman-Petris Short Act is a stupid law that only benefits
for profit hospitals.

It’s cheaper for the Behavioral Health System when a ‘chronic’ goes to jail.

Loss of impulse control means just that.

The patient may not even know what she’s doing, or she believes that
because God tells her to do it, it’s right.

Losing one’s sense of reality is what it means to be psychotic.

I Googled the phrase “a history of mental illness’ and here are a few of the results I got, chosen at random:

$500k bond for mom accused of beheading infant daughter: Mar 20, 2015

Bond was set at $500,000 cash Friday for the mother accused of beheading her own 3-month-old baby.

“Less than two months ago, Watkins was diagnosed with postpartum psychosis and prescribed the medication Risperdal, county court records show.  Caseworkers at Hamilton County Job and Family Services said they believe Watkins may not have been taking her medication. That could have led to delusional thinking and hallucinations.”


But they didn’t take away the baby.

Cops: Knife Wielding Killer Had A History Of Mental Illness Police say the man had a history of mental illness. Oct 29, 2014


Double Killer Sentenced To Death Had A History Of Mental Illness


Suspect in I-71 shooting has history of ‘mental illness and substance abuse,’ records show: Feb 2015

Machete-wielding New Orleans airport attacker dies: March 21st, 2015

“His family has been very cooperative. We have been able to determine that there is a mental illness component here.”

Report: Sandy Hook Shooter Adam Lanza Was Obsessed With Mass Shootings: Nov. 25, 2013.

The opening of the article about Adam Lanza is especially interesting:

“A new report released Monday paints a disturbing portrait of a lone gunman suffering from serious mental illness. The Connecticut State Police report, however, provides few clues about what motivated the 20-year-old shooter.”

A portrait emerges of someone with serious mental illness and the police don’t know why he did it.”


A portrait emerges of someone with a serious mental illness and the police don’t know why he did it?

Does that make sense to you?

This is sometimes called Mental Illness.

From Madness, Deinstitutionalization & Murder

Deinstitutionalization of the mentally ill was one of the truly remarkable public policy decisions of the 1960s and 1970s, and yet its full impact is barely recognized by most of the public. Partly this was because the changes did not happen overnight, but took place state-by-state over two decades, with no single national event. While homelessness received enormous public attention in the early 1980s, the news media’s reluctance to acknowledge the role that deinstitutionalization played in this human tragedy meant that the public safety connection was generally invisible to the public. The solution remains unclear, but recognizing the consequences of deinstitutionalization is the first step.

Madness, Deinstitutionalization & Murder

Deinstitutionalization is a dangerous failure.

While the solution to correcting the mistake of deinstitutionalization may ‘remain unclear’ there are steps we can take to rectify some of its consequences:

1. Loosen commitment requirements so that they reflect the reality of serious mental illness and the impact of untreated mental illness on behavior.

2. Re-open the long-term hospitals a harm reduction measure to protect patients and the public.

3. Provide oversight when hospitals are reopened to prevent the alleged abuses that prompted their closure.


RG 2015



It’s Not about Me

Art by Rob Goldstein

Nothing is                                                Nothing is

A friend sent me an email about a post, “In the South of my Childhood.”
She said kind things about how wrong it was that I had to go through such pain as a child.
When I read the email I realized that I need to clarify the reasons I post this material.
I replied: “There is no difference between adults beating up a frightened child for being a Jew and Congress letting children go  hungry because their parents are poor.
My story means nothing if it doesn’t serve to illustrate that to a child, not eating and not having a house hurts.
It hurts regardless of the source.
I tell the story to illustrate how the bad choices of a community can shatter a child’s sense of safety and its future as an adult.
The damage is different if the abuse is institutional but it is…

View original post 297 more words

Coping with DID and Cyber Stalking

Shadow Play
                           Imagine that you belong to a large family that live in a bath tub

When I first saw the post by Sara this morning I flipped out. I had no memory of writing it and I was uncomfortable with her anger.

I was especially uncomfortable with that part of her writing that seemed to ridicule.

I had a long session with my therapist today and a long chat with a lifelong friend who also has DID.

Both of them pointed out that I am being stalked by at least three people.

Both of them pointed out that the email and comments I’ve received are not only intrusive but designed to provoke me into behaving irrationally.

Both of them pointed out that Sara’s response is proper for a Mother who is protective of her children.

And last, both pointed out that I owe no consideration at all to people who are intrusive, one of them actively engaged in behaviors that she knows will produce a trigger response because I was foolish enough to trust her with information that left my entire system vulnerable.

 Sara is responding to behavior that I was unable to name.

People who show up in private virtual space uninvited and for no other reason than to provoke fear and shame are stalkers.

Sara saw this. I didn’t.

Given that DID is my primary strategy for coping with stress and given the fact that I write so openly about it, anyone who decides to play mind games with me must answer why?

Why are you going out of your way to psychologically stress a man when you know he is struggling with a mental illness?

What kind of person are you?

It is true that I am being stalked.

I logged in to my Second Life account to find that someone had dumped enough virtual material onto my virtual studio that I could barely use it.

I won’t go into the technical details of CPU times but the result was that I had to remove these items to use my studio.

This is a form of stalking; especially when she is running around telling people the lie that I locked her out of my studio for no reason at all.

Why is this woman stalking me and why does she need to create this drama in my life?

I open my email to find photographs of second life avatars having sex, one of them in bondage, and one of which looks like a child.

Why is this woman playing games with my abuse history?

I log into Face book to find myself besieged by guilt tripping apologies from someone I do not remember friending and who I am not so sure I want to friend.

I log into Flickr mail to find a series of nasty accusations that I am stealing public art.

Why does this man who knows that all public art is also public domain and who knows that I have memory problems working to confuse and berate me.

My inability to see these actions as signs of danger to my psyche resulted in a rage response from a Sara.

I can see now that Sara’s response was appropriate.

Such people really are a stain in the cathedral of the mind.

Cyber stalking is the use of electronic communications such as e-mail for harassment, intimidation and psychological abuse.

A cyber-stalker focuses on a specific person, whom the cyber stalker contacts with messages that are often covertly demeaning but can be aggressively hostile.

How do you know when you are being stalked?

“You get email from some one after you have already told that person you don’t want to correspond with  them. The person basically ignores you and repeatedly sends you email.”

I’ve received almost an email a day from one person after I told her that I wanted a break.

“The stalker doesn’t stop . They are constantly at you regardless of what is going on. They can also be super nice to you and offer to help you or demeaning and hostile. The point is that they don’t stop.”

The stalker invites everything I post to Flickr into every Flickr group that she moderates regardless of the theme or quality of the work even though I’ve asked her to stop. It also causes other members to think she is one of my alternates.

“They show an intense interest in you. They ask you personal questions, trying to elicit personal facts about your private life.”

I expect people to ask me about DID and to be curious about it from a clinical perspective, but that is not the same as posing as someone with a mental illness to gain sympathy and trust and then using that trust to try to discover information about my sexuality, my gender identity or to imply that my DID is not real. Sara picked up on this in another communication, again because the ‘little one’s” sensed that something was wrong.

Harassment: Repeatedly sending offensive, rude, and insulting messages.

“In the past two weeks I’ve received three messages from a guy on Flickr that essentially call me names: I’m a jerk, I’m a thief, and I’m a liar. He has made these accusations against me to other Flickr members.

Exhibit A
“Hi Rob. You should know that I think your a Jerk. You put murals, that are created by other SF artists, you put them on your flickr page and pass them off as your own. But what REALLLY infuriates me is that you put photos of these murals on your own website and say that they are your own. Your a FAKE!”

Starting rumors or spreading gossip online.

All three of these people have gone out of their way to spread lies. The person who sends me the porn is upset because I won’t let her Second Life “art” into my art groups — well, because it’s not art. Her lie is that I’m an elitist who is jealous because of my lack of fame in Second Life.

I don’t really understand how being famous in Second Life counts as fame at all but I suppose its is incidental to those who pursue it. I find the culture in Second Life decadent and absurd so this rumor means nothing to me. But I did not know that the sight of her pornographic images affected my child alternates as badly as they do. Especially the images that seem to include avatars that look like children.

The woman who stalks me in SL, Flickr and WordPress leaves off topic statements in the comments section of some of my WordPress posts. This was a comment made to my post of Martin Luther King which I called, ‘This is what a Christian Looks Like”:

exibit b

“Try again, Rob, and if you don’t want to post that comment, scratch it but, to try means to fail, to succeed means you kept trying. Have a good day, Rob and remember it’s not all high prominent Christians, there are many many people out there who speak out. (because you titled the post on Flickr that way) If you need to explain this comment, so be it. Anyone wants me to explain it cuz they take offense so be it, too.”

Try what again? The post is of a picture of Dr. Martin Luther King who was a Christian and laid down his life for his principles. The idea was understood by everyone who read it. The text was nothing more than a biography that I got from wiki. Why leave a comment if you don’t want a discussion? Why should I have to explain her comment? Why assume that people will take offense unless being offensive is your goal? This kind of comment is designed to draw attention to the self. The idea is to subvert the post and make her digression the focus of discussion. To restate the closing line: If my off topic comment pisses people off well so be it because my goal is to hijack your post.

If you don’t know what a ‘prim’ or a ‘scripted’ object is consider yourself lucky. In Second Life too many of these things compromise computer performance by eating up CPU time.  When she dumped 500 prims worth of scripted objects into my virtual studio she essentially made a mess and forced me to clean it up. My therapist thinks that she is behaving provocatively to make me react in a way that looks ‘crazy’ which will make her look like a victim. This is a typical strategy of the narcissist. Lie, react badly when caught in a lie, provoke the target to make the lie real and go back to lying.

Facebook has the worst reputation of all social media sites for trolling and cyber bullies.

I find it telling that I’ve only been a member for a few weeks and I’m all ready dealing with hysterical drama from someone who is both attacking and apologetic.

I think that this was the last straw for my ‘kids’.

The amount of email that I received that contained guilt tripping friend requests combined with the suspicious undertones of hostility was what finally resulted in Sara’s decision to take over and protect.

I started the day in shame over Sara’s post, but thanks to my therapist and one of my best friends I now understand that she did what was best…and that she did it in a way that let me know that I must stay aware of my illness in every decision that I make…especially when it comes to my relationships online.

As it is, it only takes one lie, one rumor, one unprovoked attack to lose my trust forever.

I suppose Sara’s point is that simply ignoring unprovoked attacks still leaves the most vulnerable aspects of me defenseless.

A Note from Sara 2