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NOT MY SECRET...the journey towards healing from abuse

Robert Goldstein wrote a blog about recognizing himself. If you aren’t following him I highly recommend it. He is very talented and wise.

I was thinking about his post as I was on my walk today taking pictures of randomness that caught my eye and allowed me to be mindful. A piece of grass still alive in an entire yard that was dead, a tree stump with one leaf and one acorn, a piece of fern coming back to live when everything around it had been frozen in the latest freeze, a camellia bush that was entirely red and one that is just like my 14 year old but at least 10 times it’s size, and a few feathers that I consider a reward for my picking up a few sticks in my yard.

As I looked at these photos on my camera they looked exactly as I saw them…

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The Problem with Pictures

I have a problem with pictures.

We don’t recognize the guy in the picture.

He’s not Rob Goldstein or Mateo

or Bobby.

or Sara

or Felicity

or Peter

or Bob.

He might be Matthew.

When I’m asked for a picture of myself all of my alternate neuro-networks light up in confusion.

Whose picture?

Collage Portrait in torn paper

“ You peer into the mirror and have trouble recognizing yourself.

You can’t remember whether you actually did something. . . or only thought you did.

You feel as though you’re just going through the motions of life.”

The Stranger in the Mirror.

When someone shows me a picture of what they say is me I look at it and smile and thank them.

I never say what I see.

Portion of a 3-D Collage on Clarion Alley

That’s how we lose friends.

Rob Goldstein 2015-2018 All Rights Reserved

 

Prisoners of the Storm

A white kitten

given to me
by an elderly
woman
who always
sat in her
garden;
she stank
of
rose-water
and
wisteria.

That night it
stormed and
the kitten
cried.

It got on Daddy’s
nerves, he said, so
he put the kitten
outside
on the porch
in the storm.

The next
morning
I found it
wet and
shivering
where it
had fallen
through a
hole in

the porch.

I wrapped it
in towels

and sat with it
by a heater

and held it
while it

shivered until
it died.

What can I say
to you Daddy,
now as dead
as my kitten?

I did not give
you the honor
of a Son’s
good-bye.

Somehow, I kept
that storm in my
mind

And locked you
into it


(c) Robert Goldstein 2014-2017 All rights reserved

 

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When it is Time to go to the Hospital: 11 Steps to Take Before and After Admission

I don’t do well in mental health settings.

I don’t look sick.

I don’t act like a ‘mental patient’.

Not all people with mental illness end up homeless and hallucinating
on the street.

I also have expectations.

I expect my treatment providers to be as passionate as I was when I worked in the field of mental health.

If you have Dissociative Identity Disorder and you are you are about to enter treatment at a Behavioral Health facility it’s a good idea to prepare.

(1)

Don’t assume that behavioral health professionals are trained psychotherapists. Psychotherapy treats the mind. Behavioral Health
treats behaviors.


(2)

If your primary treatment provider is an outside therapist, ask him or
her to communicate your treatment status and history to the facility.

(3)

Confirm that the counselors at the treatment facility have spoken to
your primary therapist when you arrive for your first day.

(4)

Ask if the staff knows how to treat trauma symptoms.

(5)

Do not enable staff ignorance; you have every right to expect your treatment providers to know what they’re treating and to know how to treat it. Speak to the attending psychiatrist if you have concerns. If that fails, make use of grievance procedures to get the most out of your treatment.

(6)

Do treat the staff with respect and consideration. Most people want
to do a good job.

(7)

Do tell the staff about suicidal thoughts or self-destructive alternates.

(8)

Discuss your physical health and if one is needed, ask for a physical.

(9)

If you are diabetic or have high blood pressure, ask the staff to check your blood pressure and sugar levels. Diabetes and high blood pressure affect mood.

(10)

Ask for a medication assessment.  Mention all unusual side effects or problems.

(11)

Don’t enter a hospital or day clinic alone. Ask your partner and friends to call and ask about your progress.  Make sure that you sign the releases the clinic needs to discuss your case with friends and family.

(c) Rob Goldstein 2017

This post is specific to people with Dissociative and other Trauma
related disorders.

Some of this information may not apply to you.

More reading:

Advocacy for mental health: roles for consumer and family organizations and governments

The Importance of Self-Advocacy in Mental Health Recovery


The Self Advocacy Toolkit

stand up against stigma, no health without mental health

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