“Nothin’s gonna be the same.”

At 8:45 AM I was in class to help my teacher get the classroom ready
for the day; I was seven and it was my turn to help with morning chores.

My teacher was in a dither because ‘colored kids’ were coming to school
that day.

Mrs. Sullivan furiously scrubbed the blackboard and muttered under her
breath about ‘niggers’.

I’d never seen any colored kids but heard lots of them lived in
Charleston.

Mrs. Sullivan and I opened the windows so we could clap chalk out the
erasers when through a haze of white dust we saw the first colored kids
arrive at my school.

I smiled and raised my hand to wave but Mrs. Sullivan grabbed my wrist.

Below us, a crowd of white parents formed a barricade with their
kids in front of the entrance; all of them had stones.

The black kids looked scared and paused on the playground, their
parents behind them.

A white man shouted, ‘Go home niggers!’

Then all the parents shouted and threw stones.

A big stone hit a little black girl in the face.

She fell backward and cried.

I felt sad.

I didn’t understand.

White folks said colored people liked their lives.

They said people get along best when they know
their place.

They said colored people want to know their place.

The little black girl’s mother scooped her up and carried her away.

Mrs. Sullivan had tears in her eyes so I asked her why and here is
what she said:

“Nothin’s gonna be the same.”

Rob Goldstein (C) 2018

Rob Goldstein (C) 2018

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

 

 

 

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A Semi-Literate Boy Named Bobby

I was a project kid, pretty but hard to make.

Most of the men I let into my life started in pursuit but stayed as teachers.

I was bright and gave my full attention to any man who was willing to teach me about the world of art.

The music I knew was the music of my parents and the other kids in the projects.

From my Father I got Porter Wagoner, Buck Owens, and Skeeter Davis.

From my Mother I got Dinah Shore and Kitty Wells.

From the other kids in the projects I got Motown.

With the music of Motown I learned I could dance and for me dancing is still spiritual.

Everyone said I moved like a black kid, and it was true.

Black folks were my friends and neighbors.

As far as I was concerned I was a Black kid with pale skin.

I figured that Blackness was as much about class as it is about race.

My friend Paul knew I knew my ‘place’ in Charleston’s antiquated class system and that I wanted out.

Paul lived in the rich part of Charleston; the historic district near Battery Park.

He invited me to lunch one especially bright spring day.

He poured tea and showed me a decorative plate that was inlaid with hundreds of shimmering butterfly wings.

Paul liked exquisite objects.

We stepped onto the patio that overlooked his garden and I brought a branch of wisteria to my nose.

Paul said that he wanted me to hear a record.

He said he wanted my opinion.

Then he placed the Beethoven Violin Concerto in D Minor on the turntable.

I heard the needle drop, and then a timpani followed by woodwinds.

I listened as Beethoven told me a story.

I had never heard a story more complex and profound.

It was more beautiful than anything I had ever seen or touched.

And I never stopped listening….

Beethoven Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 61

by Yehudi Menuhin, violin Wilhelm Furtwangler, cond Philharmonia Orchestra of London Recorded: 1953

  1. Allegro ma non troppo

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Life in the Age of Aquarius

Harmony and understanding
Sympathy and trust abounding
No more falsehoods or derision
Golden living dreams of visions
Mystic crystal revelation
And the mind’s true liberation
Aquarius!
Aquarius!

It’s always good to take a moment to remember our noblest aspirations: