Sunday’s Meditation: If You Want to Achieve Greatness, Stop Asking For Permission

 

 

 

The Blue Sky Tag from D. Wallace Peach

The Blue Sky Tag comes to me from D. Wallace Peach.

The rules are:

Use the Blue Sky banner  (Designed by Rachael Ritchey).

Answer the 11 questions set by your tagger.

Make up 11 original and interesting or funny questions for those you tag.

Tag 11 people.

Thank you for the tag, Diana. 🙂

The questions:

  1. What country have you never visited but would love to, and why?

I would love to visit Spain, my family is Sephardi, and so I’ve always felt an affinity for Spain and for the Spanish language.

 

A Public Domain Photo 1900 photo of a Sephardi couple from Sarajevo
1900 photo of a Sephardi couple from Sarajevo


2. What person in your life (not including family members) has most shaped who you are today?

Gee, that’s a tough one. My first impulse is to say my partner of 27 years; but the person who most shaped who I am today was my literary mentor, Harold Norse.

3. List three things that make you happy?

My Partner, the City of San Francisco, and the spiritual energy I feel when I write or make art.

  1. What’s your favorite genre to read?

I’m re-reading ‘Miss Lonelyhearts‘ by Nathaniel West and and ‘Trout Fishing in America’ by Richard Brautigan, I’m also reading the Physician’s Desk Reference (seriously). The side effects and adverse reactions sections are a hoot.  

 

This is the front cover art for the book Miss Lonelyhearts written by Nathanael West. The book cover art copyright is believed to belong to the publisher, Liveright, or the cover artist.
Miss Lonelyhearts by Nathaniel West.

5. What time period in history most intrigues you, and why?

This period in history is damned intriguing.

Americans face two clear paths. We decide to move forward, to join a global community that uses technology to enlighten and empower the many, or we decide to create a hellish dystopia, a barbaric high-tech dark ages ruled wealthy tyrants who control us with lies and fear. It’s fascinating because we’re still a democracy, so it’s a choice.

6. If you could add a new talent to your repertoire, what would it be, and why?

Animation.  I’d like to use it to perform.

7. Where is your favorite place in the world, and why?

Home. Home is the best place for a time of introspection. 

  1. What animal best describes your personality, and why?

The Cat.

animated gif of a cat batting its owner's face
found on GIPHY

Cats are loving but not servile. 

  1. What’s your favorite recipe (and please share it)?

Oatmeal made with chocolate soy-milk and cinnamon. Pour water and chocolate soy milk into a saucepan, add oatmeal and cinnamon, soak for an hour, add some banana, and bring to a boil while stirring.

  1. Hiking boots, sneakers, heels, or flip-flops?

Hiking boots. 

11. Would you rather have tons of love and little wealth, or tons of wealth and little love?

Tons of love and little wealth is what I chose, so I guess I have what I want. 🙂

I tag you, whoever you are and I like these questions so here you go.

Thanks again, Diana.

Let’s have some Ella!

 

 

Rob Goldstein 2018

I do not own the images in this post

 

Dissociative Identity Disorder: Learning to Trust

The patients’ job in intensive psychotherapy is to ask why.

Why do I seek out women who are devoid of the capacity for love?

Why do I veer from an extreme identification with the middle class to an extreme identification with the poor?

Why do I force myself to fail economically just as I get closest to winning?

Why do I sometimes behave as if I hate myself?

I first grappled with the problem of internalized stigma during the early days of the AIDS epidemic when I wondered if the AIDS was God’s judgment.

None of the intellectual and political constructions that served me as gay activist in the 1970’s could defeat the internalized homophobia unleashed by AIDS.

I watched men die from grief, self-hatred, and fear and I was nearly one of them.

This was when I realized the true function of any ‘ism’ is to convince the target to self-destruct.

This was why any novel written about gays before Stonewall usually ended with suicide or the impoverished death of the gay character.

AIDS was the greatest tragic ending, infused with the dissonant myth of a loving, yet vengeful God.


Internalized homophobia was the least of my problems.

AIDS was trauma on trauma.

I didn’t know I had a dissociative disorder.

I was living in the worst possible place at the worst possible time
for someone with Dissociative Identity Disorder.

Any spot on my arm sent me into panic, so much, so I became a frequent
flyer at the local crisis clinics.

The shrinks eventually gave me a prescription for Xanax.

Xanax
                                 Xanax

The only thing I knew about Xanax was it made the fear go away.

The pharmaceutical industry reported Xanax had an anti-depressant effect.

By 1986 I was on a prescribed dose of eight milligrams a day.

A seizure when I decided to stop the drug was how I learned  Xanax is addictive.

2011 photograph of a mannequin in a shop window on Mission Street taken in 2011 with a Blackberry
Xanax

My DID allows parts of me to form attachments while protecting the parts that are fragile and afraid.

One goal of my treatment is for me to learn to trust a woman.

This process of building trust with a woman who wants what’s best for me and who acts in my interests is a path to becoming whole.

John C. Calhoun Homes
A digitally altered snapshot of one of my childhood homes.

As I enter my 8th year of intensive psychotherapy, the questions I must
ask are less confounding.

When I entered treatment in October of 2011, I felt like a helpless child.

It is now October 2018.

I feel more whole.

(c) Rob Goldstein 2015-2018
The Photo of Xanax found on Google Images

First posted November 1, 2015-updated November 8, 2017 – Rewritten and Updated October 21, 2018

 

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