Blogging While Dissociated

Stigma is a prefabricated negative assessment of a class of people
based on lies.

Internalized stigma destroys self-confidence and self-esteem.

People who believe they are unworthy expect less and accept less.

Do I feel shame over my illness?

Sure.

But I don’t live there.

I remind myself that my culture has lied about people like me my entire life.

Everything it had to say about gay and bisexual men was a lie.

The only way to deal with institutional bullying is for the target to say no.

But it’s not enough to say no.

Before I move on to the point of this post I need to make the following disclaimers:

I don’t speak for everyone who has a dissociative disorder.

I am not an authority on dissociative disorders.

I don’t speak for everyone who has a mental illness.

I speak my mind without consideration for political affiliation.

I do not adhere to a political party or creed.

I don’t expect people to be perfect, but I do expect them to practice
what they preach.

If you are a Republican or Democrat who places your duty as a citizen above political party and religious dogma you have my complete support.

And to all of the no nothing skeptics who think they have the right to judge me I make the following statement:

You are not required to believe I exist; I do exist and I’m not shy about it.

People Like Me
The Narrator and Mateo

My subjective experience of DID is simply that of losing time and memory.

My first response to any gap in memory is to try to fill it in with what I think may have happened.

This sometimes makes it look like I’m lying, but it’s really trying to fill the
missing time.

This may be more obvious on social networks than in daily life.

The people in my daily life respond to the alters but don’t call them by name.

Bobby had a chat this morning with the landlady.

She enjoys his sense of play.

The alters come and go without being noticed by people who don’t live with me; they never announce themselves and they all think of themselves as the “real” me.

All parts of me are loyal and all parts of me remember people who treat
them well.

I don’t have alternates that secretly troll, hack or seek to hurt other people.

In fact, my alternates will unite out of love for someone.

I recall a set of interesting questions I got when I won a Leibster award in 2014.

Here is how I would answer some of those questions today.

Why did you start blogging?

I started blogging in the fall of 2013. I tried to blog for a few weeks but didn’t have the focus or confidence, so I shut down the blog.

In the fall of 2014 I discovered a network of mental health advocates on WordPress. Reading their blogs  gave me a sense of focus; in September of 2014 I re-opened the blog with The Chat.

I blog as a way to communicate with my therapist, but I know that publicly documenting a process so personal is a political act.

What has surprised you most about blogging?

That people support me and read my blog. I know I’m not a power blogger but I’m pleased that so many people read me so consistently.

What one thing would you change about your current life?

I want to have better symptom management skills.

What is one special thing from your childhood that you treasure?

My memories of my Grandmother.

What is one of your favorite things to do and why?

It depends.

My alternates have their own focus. Mateo likes to build computers, Bobby likes to listen to music, Matthew is interested in religion, and I am interested in politics.

Most of my political stance is based on life experience.

I consider it cowardly to be silent about economic and social policies that are designed to destroy people.

I think of my mind as proof of the human spirit.

It’s a quantum mind with different versions of me living
on separate timelines.

It offends me that HMO’s treat the brain like a second-rate organ.

I am a man of faith but I don’t believe in organized religion.

Our species has the gift of reason and when we use it we can see the mysterious.

Albert Einstein said;

The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science. He to whom the emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand wrapped in awe, is as good as dead —his eyes are closed. The insight into the mystery of life, coupled though it be with fear, has also given rise to religion. To know what is impenetrable to us really exists, manifesting itself as the highest wisdom and the most radiant beauty, which our dull faculties can comprehend only in their most primitive forms—this knowledge, this feeling is at the center of true religiousness.”

Albert Einstein, Living Philosophies

That is one of the most spiritual comments I’ve read.

Look at evidence of the Quantum Universe and understand that what we call God is everywhere.

We may exist only because only because we think we do.

That doesn’t make our lives less sacred or meaningful.

A digital portrait of a dissociative alternate named Bobby. The photo was taken by a different alternate named Mateo
Portrait of Bobby, 2012 – signed by Mateo before we started using a common name.

 

(c) Rob Goldstein (c) 2015 All Rights Reserved.

First posted May, 31, 2015

MRI Scan in the header from Wiki Commons

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Corporate Media and Bias by Omission

First posted July 26, 2016.

I wrote this post after I noticed a discrepancy between the Democratic Convention I was watching and one reported in the media. This was the first time I noticed disinformation in the mainstream press. The post is even more relevant now that we know our media was under the influence of Kremlin propaganda.  Please note, I’m not calling our legitimate press fake news.  Plenty of reasonable people believed the lies peddled by Putin’s web brigades.

I don’t normally watch political conventions but this year I’ve  watched both.

As with most Bernie supporters I’m sick of watching the erosion of my wealth by people who spread hatred and fear in an elitist game of divide and conquer.

These are the kinds of people who thought it was OK to euthanize people
with mental illness.

These are the kinds of people who thought it was OK to use poor kids as cheap labor.

These are the kinds of people who think it’s OK to force 40 million children to go hungry in a nation of people who throw away almost as much as we eat.

Speeches by Democrats are usually a tepid echo of the more fiery
rhetoric
delivered by the true believers on the Right.

These were passionate democrats.

The First Lady was brilliant:

“That is the story of this country, the story that has brought me to this stage tonight, the story of generations of people who felt the lash of bondage, the shame of servitude, the sting of segregation, but who kept on striving and hoping and doing what needed to be done so that today, I wake up every morning in a house that was built by slaves — (applause) — and I watch my daughters –- two beautiful, intelligent, black young women –- playing with their dogs on the White House lawn. (Applause.) And because of Hillary Clinton, my daughters –- and all our sons and daughters -– now take for granted that a woman can be President of the United States.” Michelle Obama 2016

Michelle Obama made me proud as a Citizen of the United States of America.

When we unite around a principled stand for the Rule of Law and human rights we set people free.

Elizabeth Warren delivered a speech from the Occupy Movement:

“And here’s the thing. America isn’t going broke. The stock market is breaking records. Corporate profits are at all time highs… There is lots of wealth in America but it isn’t trickling down to hard-working families like yours. Does anyone here have a problem with that? Well I do, too. People get it. The system is rigged. It’s true. Now, so-called experts claim America’s in trouble because both political parties in Washington refuse to compromise — gridlock. That is just flat wrong. Washington works great for those at the top. When giant companies wanted more tax loopholes, Washington got it done. When huge energy companies wanted to tear up the environment, Washington got it done… Try to do something, anything, for working people and you’ll have a fight on your hand.” Elizabeth Warren 2016

 

Cory Booker gave an impassioned account of our Nation’s struggle with its imperfections:

“Our founding documents were genius. But not because they were perfect. They were saddled with the imperfections and even the bigotry of the past. Native Americans were referred to as savages, black Americans were referred to as fractions of human beings, and women were not mentioned at all.

But those facts and other ugly parts of our history don’t detract from our nation’s greatness. In fact, I believe we are an even greater nation, not because we started perfect, but because every generation has successfully labored to make us a more perfect union. Generations of heroic Americans have made America more inclusive, more expansive, and more just.

Our nation was not founded because we all looked alike, or prayed alike, or descended from the same family tree. But our founders, in their genius, in this, the oldest constitutional democracy, put forth on this earth the idea that all are created equal; that we all have inalienable rights.

And upon this faithful foundation we built a great nation, and today, no matter who you are – rich or poor, Asian or white, man or woman, gay or straight, any religion or none at all – you are entitled to the full rights and responsibilities of citizenship. “Cory Booker 2016

 

Sanders placed principles above personality and described how he leveraged the power of his movement:

It is no secret that Hillary Clinton and I disagree on a number of issues. That’s what this campaign has been about. That’s what democracy is about. But I am happy to tell you that at the Democratic Platform Committee there was a significant coming together between the two campaigns and we produced, by far, the most progressive platform in the history of the Democratic Party. Among many other strong provisions, the Democratic Party now calls for breaking up the major financial institutions on Wall Street and the passage of a 21st Century Glass-Steagall Act.

It also calls for strong opposition to job-killing free trade agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Our job now is to see that platform implemented by a Democratic Senate, a Democratic House and a Hillary Clinton presidency – and I am going to do everything I can to make that happen. Bernie Sanders 2016

Moreover Sanders asserted that he and Clinton were collaborating on a piece of legislation:

“…During the primary campaign, Secretary Clinton and I both focused on this issue but with different approaches. Recently, however, we have come together on a proposal that will revolutionize higher education in America. It will guarantee that the children of any family this country with an annual income of $125,000 a year or less – 83 percent of our population – will be able to go to a public college or university tuition free. That proposal also substantially reduces student debt.” Bernie Sanders 2016

 

I heard a few boos from the crowd.

I heard chants of black lives matter.

I saw fierce loyalty on the faces of Bernie’s supporters but I also
heard Sanders say very clearly that much of what they want is
in the platform.

I don’t agree that this is the most progressive platform in the history
of the Democratic Party but it’s the most progressive I’ve seen in
decades.

But I saw no concessions to the right on first night of this Convention.

I’m hyper vigilant even when watching T.V.

I notice everything.

I saw none of the chaos and rage that I saw at the GOP Convention in Cleveland.

Imagine my surprise when I went to my favorite corner store this morning and read this headline on the San Francisco Chronicle:

Art by Rob Goldstein
Pleas for Unity Fall on deaf ears?

I took a closer look at the story:

Art by Rob Goldstein
The dominant word was Booooooo?

The headline and story are bias by omission

It perpetuates the lie that the Democratic Party is the same
as Republican Party.

That somehow the two political parties are morally
equal with the bar set low.

I heard Democrats calling for national unity.

I did not hear a single Democrat refer to Republicans as the enemy
as I did at the Republican convention
:

“…our enemy is not other Republicans, but is Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party.”

“We are the conservative party under God,” Mark Burns 2016

Republicans are not part of one nation under God.

They are the Conservative Party under God.

I think that makes a big difference but maybe I missed something.

Please describe what you saw if you watched the speeches on the first night of the Democratic Convention.

The only way to correct the corporate bias of our media is for us to report what we saw.

The San Francisco Chronicle is owned by the Hearst Corporation.

Below is a little info about the Hearst Corporation

Hearst Corporation (www.hearst.com) is one of the nation’s largest diversified media and information companies. Its major interests include ownership of 15 daily and 36 weekly newspapers, including the Houston Chronicle, San Francisco Chronicle, San Antonio Express-News and Albany Times Union; hundreds of magazines around the world, including Good Housekeeping, Cosmopolitan, ELLE and O, The Oprah Magazine; 29 television stations, which reach a combined 18 percent of U.S. viewers; ownership in leading cable networks, including Lifetime, A&E, HISTORY and ESPN; significant holdings in automotive, electronic and medical/pharmaceutical business information companies; a 50 percent stake in global ratings agency Fitch Group; Internet and marketing services businesses; television production; newspaper features distribution; and real estate.

(C) Rob Goldstein 2016 all Rights Reserved

 

 

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11 Beautiful Minds of The 20th Century

Eleven of brilliant and courageous men and women who took us forward.

1.

Pablo Neruda
July 12, 1904-September 23, 1973

Art by Rob Goldstein
Pablo Neruda Ricardo Reyes as a young man

I want to eat the sunbeam flaring in your lovely body,
the sovereign nose of your arrogant face,
I want to eat the fleeting shade of your lashes,

and I pace around hungry, sniffing the twilight,
hunting for you, for your hot heart,
like a puma in the barrens of Quitratue.

~ Pablo Neruda

2.

Norma Jeane Mortenson
June 1, 1926-August 5, 1962

Art by Rob Goldstein
Portrait of Norma Jeane Mortenson

I am not a victim of emotional conflicts. I am human.
Norma Jeane Mortenson

3.

Harvey Milk
May 22, 1930 – November 27, 1978

 

Art By Rob Goldstein

“All men are created equal. No matter how hard they try, they can never erase those words. That is what America is about.”
Harvey Milk, The Harvey Milk Interviews: In His Own Words

4.

el-Hajj Malik el-Shabazz
May 19, 1925 – February 21, 1965

 

Art by Rob Goldstein
Malcolm X


“I’m for truth, no matter who tells it. I’m for justice, no matter who it is for or against. I’m a human being, first and foremost, and as such I’m for whoever and whatever benefits humanity as a whole.”
Malcolm X

5.

Nina Simone

February 21, 1933 – April 21, 2003

Art by Rob Goldstein
Nina Simone

“I am just one of the people who is sick of the social order, sick of the establishment, sick to my soul of it all. To me, America’s society is nothing but a cancer, and it must be exposed before it can be cured. I am not the doctor to cure it. All I can do is expose the sickness.”
Nina Simone

6.

John Fitzgerald Kennedy
May 29, 1917 – November 22, 1963

Art by Rob Goldstein
John Fitzgerald Kennedy

“If by a “Liberal” they mean someone who looks ahead and not behind, someone who welcomes new ideas without rigid reactions, someone who cares about the welfare of the people-their health, their housing, their schools, their jobs, their civil rights and their civil liberties-someone who believes we can break through the stalemate and suspicions that grip us in our policies abroad, if that is what they mean by a “Liberal”, then I’m proud to say I’m a “Liberal.”
John F. Kennedy, Profiles in Courage

7.

Martin Luther King, Jr.
January 15, 1929- April 4, 1968

Art By Rob Goldstein
Dr. Martin Luther King

There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe nor politic nor popular, but he must take it because his conscience tells him it is right.  Martin Luther King, Jr.

8.

Jean Maurice Eugène Clément Cocteau
July 5, 1889 – 11 October 11, 1963

Art by Rob Goldstein
Jean Cocteau

The poet is a liar who always speaks the truth.
Jean Cocteau

9.

Frank O’Hara
March 27, 1926 – July 25, 1966

 

Art by Rob Goldstein
Frank O’Hara


“I wonder if the course of narcissism through the ages would have been any different had Narcissus first peered into a cesspool. He probably did.”
Frank O’Hara, Early Writing

10.

Simone de Beauvoir
January 9, 1908 – April 14, 1986

 

Art by Rob Goldstein
Simone de Beauvoir


Life is occupied in both perpetuating itself and in surpassing itself; if all it does is maintain itself, then living is only not dying. Simone de Beauvoir

11.

Jean Genet
December 19, 1910-April 15, 1986

 

Art by Rob Goldstein
Jean Genet

What I did not yet know so intensely was the hatred of the white American for the black, a hatred so deep that I wonder if every white man in this country, when he plants a tree, doesn’t see Negroes hanging from its branches.  Jean Genet

 

Disclaimer: To the best of my knowledge the images on this page are in the public domain.

Header photo, Portrait of Malcolm X, by Rob Goldstein (c) 2016

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Thoughts on Recovery

As an adult survivor of physical and psychological abuse, many of my struggles are with internalized negative messages about my worth as a person.

I win more often than not, but mastering the illness takes patience,
energy, skill and a good therapist.

Without a federally funded program like Medicare, I would live at the
mercy of my symptoms.

Access to effective treatment has almost made me well enough to
return to work.

Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness: these three unalienable rights
require equal access to essential services for all citizens.

Healthcare is a human right, not a privilege of the rich.

Citizens of advanced democracies do not live at the mercy of a corrupt élite.

Tell the GOP to vote no on Trumpcare.

The phone number of the congressional switchboard: 202-224-3121
Tell the GOP to vote NO on Trumpcare!

Congressional phone numbers found on Twitter.

Image (c) Rob Goldstein 2016 All Rights Reserved

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