Rob Goldstein: Featured on Beyond Your Past

I’m proud that I’m this week’s featured podcast on Beyond Your Past.

I have a multiplicity of conflicting opinions about everything including
my diagnosis.

These conflicts manifest as a pattern of symptoms that affect productivity.

Learning to cope with these symptoms is a primary treatment goal.

This is the core of this week’s podcast with Matt Pappas.

Dissociative Identity Disorder: Do Your Alters Agree with the Diagnosis of DID?

2011 Blackerry shot of a graffiti mural in San Francisco's Mission District
Campos

 

The Beyond Your Past Podcast is hosted by Certified Life Coach, NLP Master Practitioner, and Mental Health Advocate, Matthew Pappas. He is also the founder of SurvivingMyPast.net, a blog in support of all who have survived the Trauma of Abuse.

 

Beyond your past is a great resource for people with C-PTSD and other trauma related symptoms.

‘Portrait of Rob Goldstein #25’ and Campos (c) Rob Goldstein 2019

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.

 

 

An Interview with Harold Norse, Part 4: This is going to be Psycho Drama

In this short clip Norse and I are completely relaxed and
in animated conversation.

Norse answers the question I posed at the close of part 3 by
reminding me of a discussion we had before I moved in.

“I said Rob, this is going to be Psycho Drama; not literature class’

My voice in section 4 of the Interview is younger and I detect
a Southern accent.

It’s Bobby’s voice.

It’s odd to hear an alternate’s voice.

It’s also odd  to read an account of an evening I spent
in 1987 with writer, Darell Yates-Rist .

Rist was traveling the United States to write Heartlands,
his book about being gay in America.

I agreed to give him a night tour of San Francisco.

Rist published Heartlands in 1992.

He describes the Cottage I shared with Norse on Albion Street.

Rist died from HIV in 1993.

Part four of the interview with Norse picks up where part three ended.

It’s brief and ends when Norse leaves to feed a parking meter.

An Interview with Harold Norse, Part 4.

An Interview with Harold Norse, Part 1.

An Interview with Harold Norse, Part 2.

(c) Rob Goldstein 2017 All Rights Reserved

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Dissociative Identity Disorder: Different Memories, Different Skills

“…Alters in DID have “their own identities, involving a center of initiative and experience, they have a characteristic self-representation, which may be different from how the patient is generally seen or perceived, have their own autobiographic memory, and distinguish what they understand to be their own actions and experiences from those done and experienced by other alters, and they have a sense of ownership of their own experiences, actions, and thoughts, and may lack a sense of ownership of and a sense of responsibility for the action, experiences, and thoughts of other alters.” NIH

“Uneven learning: the child (with DID) knows how to complete a particular assignment quite well one day, doesn’t know how to do it the next day and then later when it has not been re-taught can successfully complete the task.  Children might also be able to do math one day and the next day they might be totally unable to do the same math with no recollection that they have been able to do it the previous day.” NIH

digital portrait of a young male avatar who represents an alternate naned Bobby
Bobby’s digital self

Rob Goldstein is the alternate working on the interview with Harold Norse and he’s baffled: why does the Rob Goldstein on the tape refer to himself as illiterate?

Rob Goldstein can’t remember being illiterate just as he can’t remember
the interview.

We’ve (I) always thought Rob Goldstein lived with Harold Norse.

I am Matthew, sometimes called, the Host.

I was born in 1992.

I know most of the others and why they were born.

After Bobby came Bob.

Bob was a travel agent and later a Licensed Psychiatric Technician
at a Freudian based long-term facility in New Haven.

Bob had to grasp the complex psycho-dynamics that emerge between staff
and patients in long-term in-patient analyses and report these interactions
in his charting and at staff meetings.

We were in our thirties when we moved to San Francisco and became
Rob Goldstein.

Rob Goldstein was the first openly gay Assistant Director of Physical Education at the Central YMCA in San Francisco.

He was under incredible stress at work and had started having panic attacks when his friends began to sicken and die from AIDS.

As a result, Bobby often came out to run or go dancing.

Bobby also liked to go to the café and write.

Bobby met Harold Norse at the Cafe Flore one day in March of 1984.

A few days later Bobby met with Norse again and showed him some hastily
written poems.

In June they met for coffee and Norse told Bobby about his vacant room
and need for a roommate.

Norse also told him that he would teach him how to write.

So, who moved in with Harold Norse?  Who is the alternate on those tapes?

The only logical answer is Bobby.

Being a poet was Bobby’s dream but finding a parent was dearer.

31 is a bit old for a man to turn himself over to a mentor but not if he
has DID and can wipe out 15 years.

Bobby is always 16 and in the 1980’s he had none of Bob’s or Rob’s
memories or skills.

He was the a semi-illiterate boy named Bobby; the one who had to play
stupid even as he yearned to write poetry.

Norse met and saw a gifted and wounded 16-year-old and decided to
give him the permission that he so desperately needed.

The permission that ‘we’ so desperately needed.

An poem drafted in 1984 with notes from Harold Norse
An early poem drafted in 1984 with notes from Harold Norse

Rob Goldstein (c) 2017

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Lies and Confabulations

I wrote this post in June of 2015 when Rachel Dolezal was in the news.

Rachel Dolezal is the White woman claims that she’s African-American.

When I read Rachel Dolezal’s story I wondered if she dissociates.

If Rachel Dolezal believes she’s African-American she’s not lying.

When is a lie not a lie?

When it is a confabulation.

Confabulation is defined as the spontaneous production of false memories: either memories for events that never occurred, or memories of real events that are displaced in space or time. These memories may be elaborate and detailed. Some may be obviously bizarre, as a memory of a ride in an alien spaceship; others are quite mundane, as a memory of having eggs for breakfast, so that only a close family member can confirm that the memory is in fact false.

Confabulation is not lying and people who confabulate are not deliberately trying to mislead other people. In fact, patients are generally quite unaware that their memories are inaccurate, and they may argue strenuously that they are telling the truth. Neither should confabulation be confused with false memory syndrome, the phenomenon whereby otherwise normal people suddenly “remember” supposedly repressed incidents of childhood abuse or other trauma. Confabulation is a clinical syndrome resulting from injury to the brain.  Memory Loss Online

The primary function of the brain is the survival of the organism.

To that end, the brain will use all of its resources.

I did a Google search for Rachel Dolezal and got pages of outraged commentary along with video of her recent interview with Matt Lauer.

This was the second hit: The Nightly Show Goes in on “Crazypants White Lady” Rachel Dolezal.

Crazypants is a descriptive word that means weird or insane, not insane in the sense that it means cool as in crazy cool or that’s totally insane! Crazypants means insane as in a mental illness.  The Urban Dictionary

Crazypants is an N-Word for people with mental illness

This was the third hit: Rachel Dolezal’s parents: We taught our kids ‘always be honest’

Dolezal’s parents on TODAY denied charges they were abusive parents, calling the claims a “dramatic change” to what they knew of Rachel growing up, who always wanted to introduce them to her friends.

“We still hold out hope that we’ll be able to be reconciled someday,” Lawrence Dolezal said.

His wife added, “And we hope that Rachel will get the help that she needs to deal with her identity issues. Of course we love her, and we hope that she will come to a place where she knows and believes and speaks the truth.”

They say they were not abusive and they hope that she gets help with her identity.

How curious.

I decided to experiment and Googled Rachel Dolezal Abuse.

The first hit: Rachel Dolezal’s brother, author Joshua Dolezal, faces trial for alleged sexual abuse of a black child

Within that story is this nugget: Hours after their daughter told NBC’s “Today” show that she identifies as black, Rachel Dolezal’s white parents went on Fox News to dispute several elements of her interview. For starters, Ruthanne Dolezal told the cable news channel that her 37-year-old daughter’s claim that she self-identified as black starting at a very young age is a “fabrication.”

Rachel Dolezal told “Today’s” Matt Lauer that as a young child, she “was drawing self-portraits with the brown crayon instead of the peach crayon and the black curly hair. That was how I was portraying myself.”

The 37-year-old said she began to identify with the black experience at age five.

Her parents went on Fox News to accuse their daughter of fabricating the way she remembers her childhood drawings.

Did you show everything you drew as a child to your parents?

image of a child with a caption that reads there was no one to tell and no place to hide
There is no safety for children with abusive parents-Image found on Pinterest

This is where the story becomes painfully familiar:

According to reports, Rachel Dolezal’s biological brother raped an adopted sibling:

“In 2013, Joshua was charged with four felony counts of sex abuse of a minor. The incidents, according to an affidavit obtained by the Post, happened at his parents’ home in Colorado “in 2001 or 2002.” The victim “was 6 or 7 years old,” and Joshua Dolezal was “19 years older.” Dolezal allegedly made the victim perform oral sex on him twice and he performed oral sex on the victim “7 or 8” times, allegedly telling the victim “Don’t tell anyone or I’ll hurt you.” The affidavit also lists another allegation of abuse in 1991 of another victim that had a racial element.”

According to a police report obtained by People, the alleged victim told Ruthanne that Josh was abusing her, but Ruthanne “did not believe her and told her to stop telling lies.”

Joshua is an English professor at Central College in Pella, Iowa.

The same article describes the family from Joshua Dolezal’s autobiography, Down from the Mountaintop: from Belief to Belonging:

“Joshua Dolezal watches his mother praying while listening to his father read an entire chapter of the Bible before dinner, “as is customary.”

“Down from the Mountaintop chronicles a quest for belonging. Raised in northwestern Montana by Pentecostal homesteaders whose twenty-year experiment in subsistence living was closely tied to their faith, Joshua Dolezal experienced a childhood marked equally by his parents’ quest for spiritual transcendence and the surrounding Rocky Mountain landscape.” WorldCat

When I read Joshua Dolezal’s author comments, I felt that something terrible must have happened to him as well:

“From my earliest school days, when I wore handmade clothes to kindergarten and carried a fringed leather lunch satchel, I knew that my childhood experience in the mountains of Montana was different from everyone else’s. I write essays as experiments in explanation, efforts to make what was and is foreign in my life comprehensible, maybe even familiar, to a reader. In Down from the Mountaintop, like many memoirists, I try to make sense of my past.” Iowa Center for the Book

“What was and is foreign in my life.”

That’s an odd choice of words.

In an interview, Rachel Dolezal’s Mother states that the sibling that Joshua Dolezal is accused of abusing suffers from Reactive Attachment Disorder:

“… A condition in which a child can’t bond with a parent or caregiver, and “seeks to cause trouble in the family.”

She goes on to say she never left the child alone with her son.

“The aligning with Rachel on this is a very bad combination,” she says. “Our son wasn’t even home a lot of the time it was alleged it was happening,” she says, “and I was a stay-at-home mother and very attentive to the kids because of her disorder. I never left her at home with our son or anything like that.” People.

Why would Ruthanne Dolezal be that specific?

Why insinuate that the child is “disordered” and “out to make trouble”?

She says she was a stay at home Mom and attentive to all the kids because of this one child’s “disorder.”

She never left the child at home with her Son.  Why?

Why does she describe the child as aligning with Rachel?

It all sounds so damned familiar because these were the kind of lies told
in my family.

The strategies survivors use to survive seem normal to us; even the act of becoming a different race is normal and possible for an abused child of five with an active imagination.

“Alters within the same patient may be of different ages, genders, races, and even species, including lobsters, ducks, and gorillas. There have even been reported alters of unicorns, Mr. Spock of Star Trek, God, the bride of Satan, and Madonna. Moreover, some practitioner’s claim that alters can be identified by distinct characteristics, including distinct handwriting, voice patterns, eyeglass prescriptions, and allergies. Proponents of the idea of multiple personalities have also performed controlled studies of biological differences among alters, revealing that they may differ in respiration rate, brain-wave patterns and skin conductance, the last being an accepted measure of arousal.” The Scientific American

If I told you my name is Mateo and I am a Black, would you call me a lying crazypants?

Probably.

It sounds to me as if Rachel and Josh Dolezal are trying to make sense of a past that they can’t fully remember, understand, or escape.

Rob Goldstein 2015-2017

 

 

 

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