There’s Nowhere to be When You’re Being Here Now

28 August 1999 (you got less than a month, right?)

Hey Dude,

Today be Jamie’s birth date day, and we’s havin’ a barbecue
in his honor if he ain’t drunk an’ if he shows up.

Jack be doing the cookin’, I’m on the eatin’ committee.

Maybe we can do it again when you get out, in your honor.

(Oops, I didn’t mean that your honor. No, I won’t reproach the bench.)

I had me one of them birth date days too, 4 days ago.

It was ho-hum, which they get after the first six years.

An I didn’t get no cake… an I didn’t get no party neither…But I turn 38 in 2001 so mark your calendar. (I bet that’s one thing you got good at.)

What did I get, you ask.

Lessee, mmmmm oh yeah! I got a couple of CD’s, an ooh! Ooh! That reminds me–you ain’t seen my stud-o-saurus yet.

He don’t walk softly but he do carry a big stick.

Where was I, oh yeah, the “loot.”

I got myself a couple of pairs of REAL GOOD sunglasses, a DVD, an a

You got me worried with talk of Bactrin and Pentantamine.

Is the prison doing this for prevention or did you come down with AIDS?

Did I mention Jake FINALLLLLLLLLY moved in, lock, stock, and porno?

I gave up but suu-prize, suu-prize, suu-prize.

Jake was in solitary for 8 months.

Eight months!

I hope they named a tile after him.

I guess I better work up an appetite by staring at food for a while.

Them pills my doc gives me don’t work so good.

I hate it when the present is the past and the future is now.

I guess what I mean is there ain’t no place to be when you’re being here now.

Got that?

Laters dude!


9c) Rob Goldstein 1992-2018

I found this on an old hard drive. The file is dated 1999 



A Dream About Robert

Robert sips his cup of green tea;

He traces words in a note-book.

A maniac flips the table and shouts:

“When you’re ready to die let me know!”

His Mother throws books at me and cries:

“Such pretty poems! But all about me!…All about me!”

I wear the chic black trench coat of mourning.

“Ya know,” I say, “I was taught to be more dispassionate.”

Robert lowers his tea-cup and smiles: “And we’re Jewish, too!”

“Yes.” I sigh. “More tea?”

Robert nods and passes me the pot.

(c) Rob Goldsten 2015

Billy Idol
Eyes Without a Face
Community Audio






Sometimes It Hurts When Treatment Works

Psychotherapy is a process of denial, acceptance and change.

I must change my internal perceptions of myself.

I am not stupid.

I am not lazy.

I am not a pervert.

Each word imposed on me before I learned
to understand  ‘I am.”

I’ve had two sessions of EMDR  therapy with plenty
of time between sessions for me to process the

It’s taken five years for me to develop enough trust
in my therapist to go ahead with EMDR.

EMDR opens up communication between
alternates and two of my youngest ones
are sharing their memories with me.

Some of these memories  are terrible.

Who wants to remember the pain and isolation of an
abusive childhood?

Who wants to remember being raped?

To accept is to fully own each memory in its fullness.

I must accept these memories as mine.

Undoing means grieving the loss of who I might
have been had the abuse not happened.

Sometimes it hurts when treatment works.

This is when you must choose not to run.

(C) Rob Goldstein 2016-2017




People Like Me

I recently met a man who worked as a nurse at a psych hospital at which I was a frequent patient.

This man and I briefly reminisced about our roles as patient and care provider and he said, “I didn’t like the way you were treated.”

I knew what he meant.

As funding for public health vanished my experience as a patient changed.

Chronic doesn’t means that you don’t get better.

Chronic means that the timeline for recovery is longer
and fraught with setbacks.

A serious mental illness can take years to learn to manage.

After privatization people with Chronic Mental Illnesses
were accused of malingering and squeezed out of services.

It didn’t matter that I wasn’t malingering.

It didn’t matter that I was misdiagnosed.

I recall that a nurse looked at me during a treatment group
at the hospital and said,  People like you are the reason, then
she caught herself and stopped.

She was going to say that people like me forced the system to sell itself out.

The worst symptom of the chronic illness is the one that induces counter-transference hate.

The man who had worked at the hospital where I was a patient said the staff hated me because I’m smart.

He said that they didn’t understand how someone so smart can have a chronic mental illness.

I sighed.

Professionals should know better.

Their hate replicated the animosity of my first day of school.

I already knew how to read when I entered the first grade.

Everyone, especially the teacher, hated me for it.

I was that little Jew Boy which meant that I had no right to be
smarter than the real white kids who were Christian.

That was the first day of the daily beatings.

I still don’t understand why being smart is bad.

And I will never understand how people who work in behavioral health
don’t know that intelligence does not prevent mental illness.

(c) Rob Goldstein 2016