Mental Health: Friendship and Dissociative Identity Disorder

This was my post for mental health week.

I think I’m late.

Animated Gif

This post is directed to abuse survivors and their families, but don’t
let that stop you from reading it.

My therapist sent me a copy of 101+ Ways to See DID, by Kathy Brody, a specialist in treating Dissociative Identity Disorder.

Screenshot
101 Ways To See DID by Kathy Broady MSW

These are a few of the symptoms described by Kathy Brody that I experience:

feeling completely blank
the sensation of not having a body
a sense of seeing through the eyes of other people
an inability to recognize myself
confusion about age
and hyper-vigilance.

I have trouble

maintaining relationships
connecting to others
being touched
and physical intimacy

I have numerous perspectives and completely opposing interests.

For every yes, there is a no; for every trigger, a chorus of reactions.

A sense of being alien in a world that makes no sense is one of the most painful and pervasive of my symptoms.

Am Illustration

Life with DID is exhausting.

When I tell people I have DID, I expect them to believe it, but most people don’t, and some of my friendships fail because of it.

Kathy Brody describes recognizing or refusing relationships as one of the symptoms of DID.

People take the sudden loss of connection personally, and I understand why.

I do have close friends in real life, people I’ve known for most of my life, and I have a partner who loves and accepts me; I am blessed.

The worst thing a friend can do to someone with DID is act in ways that make the symptoms worse.

I have a relative who knows the history of my abuse and used that knowledge to trigger me, when I realized it was intentional I cut that
person out of my life.

My rule for family members is if you say you love me but act in ways that make the illness worse; you really don’t love me and need to get out of my life.

It was a struggle to gain the insight to set limits because I was raised to believe that I was responsible for all of the bad things that happened to my Mother.

I was not allowed an opinion or a mind of my own.

An MRI that shows the location of patient's alternate selves on her brain. The patient is diagnosed with Dissociative Identity Disorder
The MRI shows the location of the patient’s alternate selves on her brain.

DID is not invisible, not even online.

Bloggers can’t see my facial expressions and mannerisms, but my blog’s long time followers are familiar with my various writing styles and images.

My skills come and go, such as the ability to write or build computers or make images.

I have different vocabularies and reading interests, and some of me
doesn’t read at all.

The range and intensity of my emotional expression are more than most normal people can understand or tolerate; and I am frequently asked if I  know how old I am.

The answer is no, and why does it matter?

Art by Rob Goldstein

What DID is:

DID is a childhood-onset disorder that begins as a result of extreme
abuse.

DID is a symptom of a broader cluster of symptoms called Complex-Post-Traumatic-Stress-Disorder.

DID is a psychiatric disorder that only improves with psychoanalyses.

What DID is not:

DID is not multiple personality disorder.

DID is not a bid for attention.

DID is not something my therapist is imposing on me.

DID is not borderline personality disorder.

DID is not pathological narcissism.

DID is not hysteria, an excuse for bad behavior, or the result of negative thinking.

DID is not a choice.

DID is not ‘clinging to or refusing to let go’ of the past.

People and governments that sexually and emotionally abuse children are evil.

It is not the past I can’t release; it is the confrontation with evil.

Please vote wisely this year.

(c) Rob Goldstein 2020

I am not a doctor, my experience with DID may not be the same as yours. If you think you have Dissociative Identity Disorder please seek professional
help.


If you or someone you love is feeling suicidal please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255

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?

Save

Save

Save

Save

Trump, Roseanne, and Triggered Abuse Survivors

Tom Arnold was on The Anderson Cooper Show discussing ex-wife, Roseanne Barr.

Distressed and bewildered by her behavior, he blamed Donald Trump, saying,” Trump is triggering people with mental illnesses” and I agreed.

“I generally believe he thinks black people are dangerous and Mexicans are rapists,” Arnold said. “He believes that. As he perpetuates that fear to America, watch out Mueller is lying; he is after me. And so, Americans are sitting home like Roseanne and her fans, are like, oh my God, what is happening out there? And they get anxiety.” Tom Arnold

In 1991, Roseanne Barr came out as an incest survivor with DID.

A cover of People Magazine, 1991 with Roseanne Barr on the cover with the caption, I am an Incest Survivor B
Roseanne Barr on the cover of People Magazine 1991

I knew she was telling the truth when I read this:

“It’s like living in a maze. It’s like that old woman who keeps adding on to her house … But the parts don’t get along and some of them have some real strange ideas about how to defend ”  ABC News

When Roseanne Barr refers to her alternates as having ‘strange ways to defend’, she is referring to protector alternates and gatekeeper alternates.

Protector Alternates focus on perceived threats, and often find dependence, emotional needs and close relationships (attachment) threatening.

Gatekeeper Alternates control which alters take control of the body, and when.

Trauma and Dissociation

Pathological Narcissists are lethal to people with DID; I’m talking about dishonest and psychologically abusive men and women who invade our lives with chaos and lies and expect us to love them for it.

Animated Gif/Meme reading, "I think I'm adorable
found on GIPHY

Abusers use our trust to inflict damage on us and never apologize for it.

Abusers don’t want friends or lovers; they want hostages.

Found on GIPHY
Tell me you love me

People with DID share certain primary symptoms but each of us forms a
unique system of alternates.

I have two protectors but one of them is also a gatekeeper.

When I’m not on the Internet, I am someone named Matthew.

Matthew is a devout Catholic who has faith in human nature.

Matthew thinks pathological narcissism is an illness.

Matthew forgives the afflicted.

An animated gif of an ascending Jesus
Found on GIPHY

Another part of me has the opposite view.

That part is Bob.

Bob is the gatekeeper-protector.

Bob ‘took Matthew away’ from a ‘friend’ who has a long history
of lying to us.

‘Matthew’ knows she lies but he ignores it because he likes the
‘good’ in her.

‘Bob’ thinks she’s gaslighting, which he considers psychological abuse.

As Bob said in therapy this week, “I’m sick of this shit. Trump’s used up all
my patience for lying bitches and psychopaths.”

Matthew is morally conflicted.

This is Bob’s attitude toward Matthew:

animated gif found on giphy
found of GIPHY

This week Bob decided an apology for lying is a prerequisite for any
friend or president who wants to interact with Matthew.

He won’t let Matthew out to see his friend or answer her calls.

We didn’t know Bob had the power to keep the current host inside.

This is a new thing.

Is it a sign of health or a triggered response to the Psychopath in Chief ?

Animated Gif comparing Donald Trump and Charles Manson
Found on GIPHY

(c) Rob Goldstein 2018

I do not own the images in this post.

Please note: This post is not a defense of Roseann Barr’s behavior or comments.
Mental illness is not an excuse for bad behavior unless a patient is genuinely
out of control and in need of emergency services.

 

 

Dissociative Identity Disorder: Isolation and the Fear of Rejection

The internet truly does free the creative
mind.

I hear that my blog is interesting, creative,
provocative, and sometimes full of shit.

I’m OK with that.

I’m OK with rejections of my disembodied
selves and their ideas.

I like the idea of meeting with other bloggers
but dread the thought of doing it.

I’ve seen video of other patients with DID.

What does my DID look like in real-time?

How young do I act when Bobby is out; and how
feminine is my behavior when Sara is out?

Portrait of an avatar posed to illustrate a dissociative alternate named Sara
Sara, 2017

In real-time, people don’t see the idea.

Before my symptoms worsened in 2011, I enjoyed
giving parties; I had a large circle of friends: people
with whom I shared ideas.

Six years later, I am almost completely isolated;
I see my partner and my therapist.

I discuss the isolation in therapy and my therapist
and I agree that I need to do something about it.

But I don’t.

I stopped going to ‘therapy’ groups at Kaiser because
I felt laughed at and disbelieved.

Rejection is more painful and humiliating when you
see it in someone’s eyes.

Rob Goldstein 2017 All Rights Reserved