The Man Who Forgot He Doesn’t Exist

Dissociative Identity Disorder is a childhood-onset trauma symptom induced by an overwhelming confrontation with human evil before the brain can create a functional mind.

When my psychiatrist diagnosed DID in 2009, I was already too symptomatic to work. I had no interest in social media, but I compulsively staged virtual photoshoots in Second Life and posted those photos to my Flickr stream.

‘The Man Who Forgot He Doesn’t Exist‘ is an example of the images I staged and posted.

I still feel like a man who doesn’t exist.

With therapy, I  eventually understood that I used my avatars the way a child uses dolls when asked to describe an assault for which there are no words.

Most people are unable to comprehend a person whose different emotional states and memories emerge as separate people with different names, genders, and world views.

It’s easy to dismiss these confusing and unsettling expressions of the mind as attention-seeking irresponsibility.

This short film, ‘Inside,’ is a weirdly accurate illustration of how it feels to be an ‘us’– minus the atmospheric asylum.

A primary goal of psychotherapy is getting everyone ‘inside’ to agree.

I’m not there yet.

M. Scott Peck, the psychiatrist who authored ‘The Road Less Traveled,’ described evil as “militant ignorance.”

I wonder if militant denial is a form of evil.

In “People of the Lie: The Hope for Healing Human Evil, ” Peck describes narcissism as a type of evil.

I see no difference between the individual narcissist and the cultist tribal communities that plague American culture.

The most horrific aspect of child abuse is that it often takes place in an institution or a community that doesn’t care or doesn’t want to bother. Hence, the adults blame the child if he reveals the abuse or the abuse becomes too apparent to ignore.

The best recent example of institutional abuse is Donald Trump’s detention camps, where children are separated from their families and treated like criminals.

How does a four-year-old escape the horror of a world that feels like a death trap?

A person with DID was a child whose mind shattered under the stress of life in an all-pervasive culture of evil from which there was no escape.

Recovery from DID and C-PTSD involves a never-ending cycle of accepting the damage, managing the symptoms, and healing what I can.

For me, healing means bearing witness to the evil, naming it, and working for change.

I want us to unite to make our world safe for children.  I want us to protect them from evil.

Children do not choose to live in hunger and pain.

Art by Rob Goldstein

 

According to Peck, an evil person lies to himself to prop up an image of perfection.

They also;

  • Deceive others as a consequence of their lies
  • Project his or her evils and sins onto particular targets (scapegoats) while being reasonable with everyone else.
  • Commonly hates with the pretense of love
  • Abuses political and (emotional) power (“the imposition of one’s will upon others by overt or covert coercion”)
  • Maintains respectability based on lies.
  • Is consistent in his or her sins. Evil persons are characterized not so much by the magnitude of their sins, but by their consistency (of destructiveness)
  • Is unable to think from the viewpoint of their victim (scapegoat)
  • Has a covert intolerance to criticism and other forms of narcissistic injury
  • According to Peck, evil people realize the wickedness deep within themselves, but are unable to tolerate the pain of introspection, or admit to themselves that they are evil.

Evil thrives on denial.

 

I’m revising some of my posts from 2015.

‘The Man Who Forgot He Doesn’t Exist’ was first posted in 2015,

I’ve kept the theme but completely revised the post.

I don’t know if I should make a new post but it seems practical to
keep the original.

What are your thoughts?

(c)Rob Goldstein 2015-revised 2020

 

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Dissociative Identity Disorder: The Monsters Are Back

Some context.

I often write from the perspective of an alternate personality, in this case Peter, a child alternate who thinks he’s a ghost. I first posted this piece in July 2016.

Warning: Content may be triggering.

The Monsters are Back


Today was a week and now is a year.

Grief

Grieve

Grieving

Art by Rob Goldstein
Scissors

It’s 1958; monsters are everywhere.

They hiss faggot as I walk with my
head bowed.

They gather in packs and surround me.

I freeze in horror and shame.

It’s 2018 and the monsters are back.

I know these monsters;

They killed me when I was five.

A black and white screenshot of avatars staged to represent a child alternate named Peter and protector alternate named Bobby.
A screenshot of avatars staged to represent a child alternate named Peter and protector alternate named Bobby.

All material on this page (c) Rob Goldstein 2016-2018

More info: What is an alternate?

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ABBA and Mr. Bear

from The Writer’s Playground

The Writer's Playground

(Note: I wrote this many years ago for the now closed website Gather.com. This is true. It was my life.)

One child hid inside the darkness
One child never said a thing
One child closed his eyes and disappeared
But at night I still can hear him whispering, whispering, whisper…

~Dream Theater, Dead Winter Dead~

Part 1: Mr. Bear and ABBA

Tick tock, tick tock, the long arm of the clock dragged from one number to the next. How I needed the day to end, to escape the classroom, the snickers, and the laughter. Please let that bell ring soon. She was talking to the entire classroom, our 3rd-grade teacher, Mrs. Olgren. The echoing click from the wall drowned out her voice as I counted down the minutes before I could get home.

Melanie, would you please sit still for a few more minutes?” Mrs. Olgren sighed in my…

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Peter: The Little Girl in the Wall

First published as Wild Kingdom on April 14, 2015.

Warning: The content may be triggering.

Lions stalk the plains of Africa, roaring and eating up deer, then the Rock of Gibraltar appears behind a man that lights a cigarette and promises money to people that die.

“That’s the strength of the rock!” he says.

Peter thinks about the little girl with scissors.

Mother says she hides in the walls until she hears a little
boy talking too much.

Then she pops out, holds him down, and cuts out his tongue!

Mother says the little girl has scissors as long as Father’s arms.

But the little girl can’t hear a drawing, Peter thinks.

Mother’s in the kitchen having coffee with Earline.

Earline is the lady that lives next door.

Mother says Earline is PG.

Peter goes into the kitchen to show Earline his pictures of
people with breasts.

Earline blushes and says what a little man Peter’s become.

Mother heaves a burdened sigh and shakes her head, “He’s so difficult Earline! One of his uncle’s gave him a book about the natives of Africa; now he draws tits on everything.”

Mother smiles patiently at Peter: “Go to the living room, sweetheart and we’ll look at your drawings later.”

Peter returns to the living room. where the flies chase each other around his chair: one of them drifts sluggishly to the floor.

Peter snatches it up and rips off it’s wings.

Then he drops it to the floor to see what a fly without wings can do.

A screenshot of VR avatars staged to represent a child alternate named Peter, a protector alternate named Bobby and a storyteller alternate named the Narrator
A screenshot of avatars staged to represent a child alternate named Peter, a protector alternate named Bobby, and a storyteller named the Narrator. Please click this link for an explanation of alternates and their function.
(c) Rob Goldstein 2017 All Rights Reserved