The Third Person

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It has been so long since I last drafted a post I had to struggle with logging in and navigating through wordpress menus which have changed. 

With my therapist on a month long vacation and I now coming out of a very bad cold I now attempt to do what was suggested: I am writing a bit about myself as of now. Now is Monday May 14, 2012. I am 45 years of age. I am in a strong relationship with a man I love. I live in San Francisco right near the ocean and am currently encased in a bank of fog. 

Fog both literal and metaphorical. 

Mentally, I am working through a process which will either be a form of adaptation toward functioning with DID — or, more hopefully, functioning without that label. But after a couple of years of working and learning to understand DID and why I have it has spent a great deal of my energy and positive outlook. PTSD used to be called Shell Shock for veterans and survivors of war. But, coming through a childhood like mine is on many levels almost the same. The difference is that the minefields, the bombings and shots fired were hidden. Hidden near the railroad tracks. Hidden near a ditch. A sort of friendly-fire that a child either grows from into a lost soul or a functioning soul with splinters of him/her “self” taking over as need be. 

It is a bit like actually living in The Third Person without knowing it. And, then, when this intellectualized form of survival begins to fail him, the curtain starts to blow apart. Against stage direction the curtain might even lift or close at all the wrong times. 

Leaving him, or me, the actor standing in a situation unknown and unfamiliar. With other characters unknown and dialog off script that tosses our lead actor into a state of confusion. At times, the confusion might be entertaining and strives toward performance art. But, most times, the confusion is just messy and bewildering. The actor is left without any idea of plot or narrative. 

Gaps begin to show. 

The Lighting Director appears to have left the house. The actor scurries to find the light. He searches for the elusive Stage Manager for answers. He stumbles over and with actors with whom he has not rehearsed. All the acting exercises in the world will not prepare him for the challenge of this Theatre Gone Mad. 

So, as he begins to try and sit with the other actors and the other characters he has unwittingly created he finds some pieces match. Some of this puzzle is beginning to form. And, just as he feels he comes to a place almost near to harmony the curtain falls or the set morphs into something all together different. His alliances and friendships sometimes feel alien. And, sometimes they feel so very intimate that he wants to hide behind another character. Imagine the Director’s frustration when it it dawns to the audience that the actor does not even know the name of the character behind whom he attempts to hide or get what he or some other unknown character needs or wants. 

Imagine his dismay. …The actor’s dismay — when all he values and understands about his life and himself begin to crumble into saw dust. 

Sometimes he wishes the curtain would just come down for the season. But, that’s the thing: The show must go on. And, so, he picks up as best he can and tries to form a scene out of the mess that has become his life. Art is not easy. The house is not even half full but the lights have been left on and he has no choice but to carry on — and participate in life. As he works toward finding his plot, his narrative — his purpose. 

He seems stuck. He is waiting for a signal. Stage left or stage right? Where have all of his lines gone? 

He smiles to himself and decides to tell the critics to fuck off and tosses himself into this moment of free wheeling performance art. He pretends to not care, but his vulnerability is showing. 

The Third Person cares. He cares very much. And, he waits…

May 14, 2012. Uncategorized. 5 comments.

BELLFLOWER, 2011

From the very first moment that Evan Glodell’s writing/directorial debut, Bellflower, starts the audience knows that they are about to watch something at once slightly familiar and yet remarkably unique in almost all aspects. Bellflower is not quite any movie you are likely to see. Without giving away any spoilers the film begins as a rather humorous and sad relationship between two late twenty-somethings obsessed with apocalyptic movies and creating weapons in preparation for the end of times.

They fill their days and time day dreaming about the ultimate apocalypse in which they will each play the roles of Mad Max/Road Warrior types playing in the Hell that will be left after the world as we know it ends. All the more interesting is the fact that these two “dudes” do not even have any sense of their own immaturity or the irony that their adult feet are planted so firmly in adolescence.

Even Glodell and Tyler Dawson: Preparing for The End of Days for Fun

The plot takes a turn for the romantic when the main character, Woodrow, played by director/writer, Evan Glodell, meets Milly. Like Woodrow and his close pal, Aiden, Milly seems to be stuck in a rut of narcissistic immaturity. Milly and Woodrow fall in love but both lack the maturity to navigate the wild woods of a relationship. It isn’t long before the relationship quickly takes a dead end turn. At that point Bellflower truly takes the audience into the darkest corners of damaged heartbreak and rage. Bellflower becomes a devastatingly disturbing apocalyptic journey filtered through the eyes of insanity.

Jessie Wiseman and Evan Glodell

Though, filmed on a “shoe string” budget, Glodell, his crew and actors have created a masterful piece of cinema. Certainly there are flaws along the way. Some of Bellflower plays with “Mumblecore-like” approaches that don’t quite work. However, any flaws are hidden by the style of the movie. Brilliantly filmed – the cinematography, lighting, acting, editing and music bring Bellflower an rage filled life of it’s own. The special effects do not seem like special effects. They look and feel all too real and unexpected. Glodell has cleverly created a highly artistic and powerful study of Love Wounded Man Walking and metaphor that when merged almost make a cinematic masterpiece like Coppola’s Apocalypse Now seem like a Disney movie. That in itself is quite a feat.

Just the fact that Evan Glodell’s Bellflower deals with pains that every young adult feels in first loves but literally blows them up and delivers it with a punch that would make the strongest of people bend over or at the very least squirm in their seats.

And, of course, this film is tapping into a current vibe shared by many as we enter the 21st Century. So much is unknown. So much is uncertain. Uncomfortable changes and misadventures seem to be in the air. And, <strong>Bellflower plays with that creepy societal feeling to the an extreme that turns to an almost manic glee of vengeance.

The failure of the characters to have grown into mature/adjusted men and women is presented as a reflection of a generation weaned on TV, bad movies and low expectations grinds into the psyche as a reminder of generation of people largely misplaced and lost.

Bellflower, like the amped up apocalypse car named Medusa — speeds, twists, turns, shoots out the very flames of fury and spins out of control into crashing oblivion. Horrible heartbreak speeds through the veins of Woodrow without the boundaries of emotional understanding to work through it all. Bellflower takes the audience into an apocalypse it will not soon forget and does so without any signal of regret or apology. This is hardcore/punk cinema close to completely unbridled.

Bellflower is a testosterone fueled vision of war resulting from romantic harm. And, it takes no prisoners. No one is spared and no one is innocent as Woodrow’s Medusa takes it fast cruise into Hell.

This is not a film for all tastes but no one can deny it’s raw power and artistic play out and pay off.

Bellflower is, in my opinion, one of the Top 5 Films released in 2011.

It will not leave you feeling good. It refuses to play by the rules. Best to simply get out of Medusa’s way and allow Glodell’s angry vision to wash over your senses.

The film has been assigned a well-deserved R-rating for adult themes, graphic sex, nudity, violence, drug use and foul language. However, it should be noted that all of these elements are crucial for the story that unfolds. It is not for the faint-of-heart.

Off the grid and unhinged, Bellflower is a work of cinematic art that refuses to be ignored. It has been a very long time that a new filmmaker has created a movie this impressive.

Bellflower
Evan Glodell

Matty Stanfield

January 20, 2012. Tags: , , , , , . Blogroll, Uncategorized. 3 comments.

Luis Bunuel’s Belle de Jour, 1967

Peeping Into Fantasy or Reality?

With each viewing of Luis Bunuel’s classic film, Bell de Jour, the power of the film seems to just get stronger. And, as Criterion has just released a pristine version of the film to BluRay I could hardly restrain myself from camping outside Amoeba Records the night before to secure my copy. As if there were going to be 20 other people clamoring to get a copy that morning. But, that’s me. I had pulled several other DVD’s and my DVD of Belle de Jour to trade in so that I could afford the new Criterion BluRay.

I’ve watched it four times in the last week.

As I blog for myself I am not going to indulge my interest.

To discuss a film like Luis Bunuel (I apologize, I don’t have the appropriate grammatical options to write his name correctly – deal with it) — one must, for a moment, consider The Surreal Movement and the era in which Belle de Jour was filmed.

As a Surrealist, Luis Bunuel was not concerned with providing particularly narrative conclusions or logical explanations to his audience. His focus was on capturing both “reality” and “fantasy” and merging the two to create true Surrealism. A state of art where the viewer or reader might not ever be completely sure where “fantasy” begins or ends and where “reality” slips in or out. A quiet discomfort comes with the odd familiarity of Surrealism. When discussing artists like Luis Bunuel I think it is safe to write that the man probably viewed life as surreal. I imagine that Luis Bunuel actually thought on a different plane than most. If there are any film artists who come close to this in the 21st Century it would probably be David Lynch. However, even with Lynch there is a most definite “vocabulary” at play. Metaphor and hidden meanings run throughout the work of David Lynch — or even the late Fellini. They are not Surrealists in the true sense of the word. Surreality must be kept in mind when watching Belle de Jour.

Another element that must be remembered is that the viewer is watching a film made in 1966 and released in 1967. Even by today’s standards, Belle de Jour is a bit ahead of the cultural taste curve. It is hard for me to imagine how most viewers responded to this French film when it was first released. A film which bravely explores the mind of a female masochist at a time when the true understanding of such a person was not fully formed. In fact, it largely still isn’t. In 1967, I do not think people had a true understanding of the long term damaging aspects of sexual child abuse or the ways in which religion can further a child’s view of the world after having experienced molestation. The unarticulated and unspeakable guilt, horror, pleasure, self-loathing and desire for order and acceptance were not known. Much less the ability for people to understand the horrors of PTSD other than for male soldiers. Bunuel was charting new territory in a surreal way.

The surreal approach was probably his and his film’s saving grace with audiences. The mixing of a bored, wealthy and overly pampered woman’s fantasies with reality probably gave audiences a sense of appropriateness for finding humor and eroticism within the context of the story. With the lens of the 21st Century Culture, one has to sort of cleanse the collective pallet and accept that we are glimpsing into a surreal world created over 45 years ago.

Even still, I can’t help but imagine how middle class men and women responded to seeing French Beauty, Catherine Deneuve, in all her Yves St. Laurent and blond glory being bound, gagged, horse whipped, whoring herself out, being payed to play dead as a john masturbates below the coffin or being pelted with cow shit as her husband and lover both call her every vulgar name in the book. It is a bit startling now in 2012. What would that have been like in 1967?!?!?!

The sheer masochistic desire of the main character is established in the first scene of the film. Without apology or explanation. It is shocking and Alice’s sexual fantasy merges with reality without warning or clue to the audience.

The “story” is simple. An upperclass young married woman is finding her marriage unsatisfying. Her husband, who looks a bit too perfect — like a Ken doll, obviously holds no erotic connection for her. However, it is clear she is in love with him and he with her. She is distant and cold. She is rather “removed” from her own life. Her day is pointless. And, with very clever editing Bunuel manages to show us that Alice was sexually molested as a little girl and then quickly we discover that she refused to accept her first communion — most likely because she did not feel worthy of accepting the Holy Spirit. She had already been stained and tainted. It is clear that she desires a force of eroticism from her husband that is beyond his understanding and Alice is as lost about her own desires as he would be if he knew them.

Alice hears about the existence of underground Parisian brothels where lower class housewives earn extra money. She ventures to explore that world. And, it is in this brothel that she discovers and has her sexual desires fulfilled. Once she finds the courage to enter the brothel she quite literally lets her hair down but it isn’t until her first john and the madam discover that force is a big part of her sexual appetite. Something the madame quickly sees as ideal for some of her clients. She sternly advises Alice that she needs a firm hand.

As Alice (AKA Belle de Jour — she can only work from between 3pm and never later than 5pm) — she ventures into unknown sexual territory where she begins to learn how to assert her power as a woman. However, she is unable to name it or actually understand that she holds any power. She grabbles through her reality and fantasies as if in the dark and without control.

At the conclusion of Bunuel’s movie the audience is given two endings. The two endings are literally interlaced at the beginning by visual and audio editing. Neither ending provides any resolution or clearly defined answer to our heroine’s situation. In fact, one could easily argue for days about what scenes are “reality” and which are “fantasy” — did Alice even actually work as a prostitute? did anything we see actually happen? How to explain the sounds we sometimes hear or the odd lines stated by the characters which feel so out of sync with the situation as it unfolds.

It is pointless to find any logical explanation for Belle de Jour.  This is clearly not Luis Bunuel’s intention. The merging of the “real” with the “fantasy” is the “surreal” and the perfect way at the time to attempt to explore such a culturally challenging topic as a female masochist.

If one requires a need or point to art – then my suggestion is to look at Belle de Jour as perfect example of an accomplished artist who desires to make his audience think and contemplate what has been seen. A key desire that our culture seems to be losing at a horrifying pace.

Another curious aspect of Belle de Jour as seen through the early 21st Century lens is the way the collective culture views “beauty” “acting” and “filmmaking” : I’ve heard and read that many feel that Denueve had not yet found her footing as an actress. That is rubbish. She is brilliant in this film and delivers exactly what Bunuel wanted. She presents a vacant void of a woman who only seems to spring to life when punished or enraptured. The character is not intended to be fully formed. Alice is a stunted beauty at the mercy of those around her because she does not have the strength to even recognize her psychological challenges.

In addition I often feel ill when I hear or read current perspective on the female body when this film is viewed. The women in Belle de Jour are beyond beautiful. Sadly, the cultural collective has changed the definition of beauty to extreme manner. Beautiful women are now to be painfully thin with fake boobs and little to no body shape/curve. The French actresses in Belle de jour have curves. They are not “fat” — the very idea that someone would think that Catherine Denueve was fat in 1966 so puzzles me. What has happened to us that someone like Angelina Jolie or Madonna is considered beautiful when it looks like they are in dire need of a sandwich.

Anyway, I regard this as one of the most important films ever made. If you’ve not seen it — check it out. The film still carries an R-rating which is deserved and should most likely not be viewed by anyone under the age of 17/18. But, it most certainly should be seen by anyone who has an appreciation for film as art.

Belle de Jour

Luis Bunuel, 1967

Matty Stanfield

1.20.2012

Belle de JourBelle Learning Her Desires...

January 20, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , . Blogroll, Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

THE CRITICS/HOLLYWOOD LIST THEIR CHOICES FOR BEST FILMS OF 2011…

The Descendants is up for all these award and critic honors? Seriously? Really?
I thought it was “ok” but will anyone care about it in 25 years?!?!? I don’t think so.

Michael Fassbender and Carrey Mulligan ignored for SHAME?
Steve McQueen ignored for SHAME? …I suppose it is because that film dared to show a brutally real depiction of sex addiction and loneliness and received an NC-17 rating.

I don’t know. It doesn’t matter. I just roll my eyes.

Makes me think of when I was about to start college in 1986 and BLUE VELVET failed to secure a nomination for Best Film while CHILDREN OF A LESSER GOD and HANNAH AND HER SISTERS did. …I mean give me a break.

whatever.

I’ll stick with my Top 5:

SHAME
HESHER
BEGINNERS
THE FUTURE
BELLFLOWER

…I think these were the most artistically original, interesting, challenging and human films of the year.

WARRIOR and DRIVE also came really close for me.

MIDNIGHT IN PARIS – Woody Allen is unable to write for characters under the age of 50. However, the fantasy sequences were fun. …but just fun. Unlike an artist of Claude Chabrol’s skill — Woody Allen has not been able to stay “current” — in fact, the last movie he made I really enjoyed was well over a decade ago — DECONSTRUCTING HARRY.

And, don’t even get me started on THE ARTIST and HUGO. ugh.

I’d be lying if I said I didn’t care because I hate it when valid art is considered less worthy than things that “sell” best at mall cineplex.

January 12, 2012. Tags: , , , , , . Blogroll, Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

DIM SUM & BIRDS

Robert Altman's Brewster McCloud

After enjoying Dim Sum, we returned home. I decided to watch Robert Altman’s BREWSTER MCCLOUD. A film I had seen on late night TV when I was pretty young. The “story” takes place in Houston — most specifically in the Astrodome which must have been fairly new/cool for 1970. As a child, I did not grasp all of the sociopolitical “jokes” or much of anything other than there was a lady in it who was a sort of bird and a small guy who just wanted to fly.

Watching it today, the movie is so very dated and oddly simplistic for Robert Altman. Blame it on the thudding end to the 1960’s and drugs. But, the idea of watching Bud Cort wanting to be a bird still struck me.

After the DVD was over I walked outside and let the cool San Francisco breeze rush through my hair. The fog had been burned out by the sun. It was beautiful. I could hear the seagulls’ calls coming from the beach down the way. I closed my eyes and imagined that I was flying free and easy. Away and above all the mess that waits down here on the troubled ground.

July 10, 2011. Tags: , , , . Uncategorized. 7 comments.

Getting Back Into Life…

Patti Smith & Sam Sheppard

Therapy has continued onward. 3 times a week and a new psychiatrist who has up’d my anti-depressant. I had a required surgical procedure that went fine but that pulled me further down.

My blues continue, but to trigger my way out I need to get back into the nature of living.

My world has become an isolated bubble. I’ve found myself in a place of inertia. Constantly examining what is going on in my head is the way out of – or at least a way of dealing with DID. However, it can make things that should be “big” become “small” and things that should be viewed as “small” become “gigantic” — So, it is time to break free.

I aired up the tires in my bike which I had not looked at in over two years. I secured a new brain bucket for bike riding. And, I’m going to get myself back into the world. I need to connect. A structure for my day must be created.

This is one of the first steps. Returning to my blog and returning to writing.

So, I push forward. I begin to break the bubble. And, the isolation.

July 7, 2011. Uncategorized. 3 comments.

TRYING TO FIGURE IT OUT

As I continue further into therapy and attempt to get to the point where I can build a bridge to communication to the other aspects of myself who seem to go by different names and each possess different needs or desires, I begin to find myself in a horrific and strange place. This place is somewhere in my psyche, but it feels like a real location.

Hazy and confused, I emerge from this place often left with only a strong lingering scent in my nostrils and an overwhelming sense of dread. I suppose I am one of those folks who emerge from “switching” with temporary head and leg aches. And, I come back feeling so very tired.

I am trying to piece it all together and hold on to the memory of this place. This room. This appears to be the place where “everyone” stays. “Everyone” must be waiting for his chance to come out. And, “everyone” seems to be competing to get out and gain control over the shared body. And, “everyone” seems to feel entitled to this one body as if it is his own.

Currently it is a battle of sorts. A fight for control. The goal is to get “us” all together. To get “us” all on the “same page” — working together toward integration. A shared psyche that will allow me — or “us” to function in life as one. There is a block coming from “me” which is keeping this from happening. So, the exploration continues as my therapist and I work to break down the block (or blocks) and bridge a way toward communication.

But, for now, I’m left with my thoughts, nightmares, and odd discordant memories from that place “we” go when “one of us” breaks out and takes over the real-time action of life. …disconnected from each other and rather lost. A scary exploration of the mind. A mind damaged by years of child abuse. A mind splintered off into odd emotional segments designed to protect. Trying to figure it all out and remember…

first i notice the smells
the scent of vomit, sperm, blood and wet grass
and, then,
i notice the damp feeling
and, then,
the repugnant odor of what must be rotting flesh

the grimly lit room
i can see
or is it “sense” the beds lining down against the cracked wall
how many beds?
ten?
no.
twelve?
not sure.
but, there are more than a couple.

my eyes can only make out the feet
the uncovered dirty feet hanging at the end of each bed.

orphanage beds?
like from some european film?
are those feet blue?
are those the feet of a dead person?

is that a child in the back of the room?
he is trying to hide from me.
wait.
is that child me?
he looks like me.
bowl haircut?

who is speaking?
it sounds a bit like me
in a disguised voice or dialect.

“come in here. take your place.”

i touch behind me.
damp.
caked dirt.
started to gag from the scents
that permeate this place.

i want to leave.
where is the door?
“you can’t leave. why don’t you lay down and rest with us?”

November 12, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , . Uncategorized. 6 comments.

CLAUDE CHABROL R.I.P.

The Great Claude Chabrol (1930 - 2010)

This month the world lost a brilliant artist. One of the original of the French New Wave and easily the most commercial of the bunch. Some might think that a sort of slam, but creating commercial films allowed Chabrol to better bring his political and socio-political points of view to the masses. All of his films radiated a subversive, radical and immediate call for change in society as we know it. And, he did this without ever sacrificing the art of cinema.
Early in his career which is filled with over 70 films, he became known as a sort of French Hitchcock with a twist. The suspense of his films is undeniable, but just when you expect the very worst to happen — Chabrol normally replaces “horror” with the simple shock of truth.
The truth of his work and his admiration for exceptional camera work and respect for truly great actors sear into the viewer’s minds. No matter how old his films might be — they hold a still valid mirror to our world. And, that mirror is cracked. Chabrol always seem to identify with the Communist Ideals, but his films were filled with an obvious mistrust of human nature. His characters (and their stories) are always presented for what they are. Seldom are the actions of these characters fully explained. Unlike most filmmakers, Chabrol challenged his audience to think.

The film that put M. Isabelle Huppert on the map and many collaborations would follow...

Interestingly, I think it is his later work starting in the 70’s that fully expressed his gifts as an artist. Unlike most artists, old age did not dim his view of humanity or society. In my opinion some of his final films were his most powerful. It is hard to wipe away the images and off-kilter humor and ultimate horror of these two films:

A severe judgement written in stone. This brutal film may be his finest hour...

Despite the lame US poster, this film explored the pathetic traps our society creates for women...


But, my personal favorite Chabrol film is MERCI POUR LE CHOCOLAT. Huppert, who seemed to serve as a sort of muse for Chabrol, has never been better cast. And, it is sheer brilliance of the surprise that this quiet little film’s most powerful scene is played at the very tail end of the movie as the credits roll.

Mysterious, comical, slick, sick and a simply perfect film...


There will never be another talent like that of Claude Chabrol. A vital, valid and valuable artist until the very end. He never lost his bite or twisted sense of humor — nor did he ever lose his youthful struggle against the tide of an unjust society/world. If you’re not familiar with his work, you should be. The posters I selected or just a few exceptional examples of his work, but he seldom misfired.

An examination of marriage and the horror of jealousy...

Claude Chabrol Rest In Peace. He will not be forgotten by those of us who love cinema and the power it can generate.

“I’m not pessimistic about people in general, but only about the way they live.”
“I love mirrors. They let one pass through the surface of things.”
Claude Chabrol

Claude Chabrol: A Cinematic Genius...

“I brought the film like a flower to the world.”
Claude Chabrol


September 22, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

D.I.D. – IF YOU HAVE A TASTE FOR TERROR…

It has been close to a year since three doctors sat down and told me that I have D.I.D. or Dissociative Identity Disorder.

I guess the best definition comes close to the following: DID is a psychiatric diagnosis that describes a condition in which a person displays multiple distinct identities or personalities (known as alter egos or alters), each with its own pattern of perceiving and interacting with the environment. In the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems the name for this diagnosis was Multiple Personality Disorder. In both systems of terminology, the diagnosis requires that at least two (but usually more “personalities” or “aspects of a personality” routinely take control of the individual’s behavior with an associated memory loss that goes beyond normal forgetfulness.

The terms are always changing it seems. It’s not like SYBIL or anything you might have seen displayed in movies or on TV — tho, The United States of Tara comes close to being realistic in the goofiest and silliest way possible. I think only 2% of those diagnosed with DID display the level of personality shifts as shown in that program.

Toni Collette in The United States of Tara...

The goal of this show is to take a very difficult real mental illness and get some laughs out of the situation. My opinion on the show varies from time to time. Everything in life can be funny, but sometimes when you’re working through something there is absolutely nothing funny to be found in it. Still, I do find it somehow uplifting that this show offers hope and humor. And, of course, sometimes all you can do is laugh.

I’ve hinted about this on my blog from time to time, but I think this is the first time I’ve actually written directly about it. I’ve decided to own it. And, I miss blogging. The problem is that the vast amount of my time is spent working through this disorder to over come it. To get my life back.

Of course this always begs the question – have I ever had my life in full or in parts? Over the course of this hardcore therapy which now includes hypno-therapy I’ve discovered that I’ve been losing time (or switching) most of my life. This explains a lot. For years and years I’ve wondered why, with my exceptional memory, I am often “cloudy” on certain spans of time or actions I’ve taken. And, all those torn out pages from my journals over the years. Or things I did at work but couldn’t recall except through the covert gathering of information from others. The funny thing is that I never once questioned these losses of time. I simply plowed forward with little or no thought.

A sort of fuzzy “re-boot” of my mind without owning it.

This all started at the time I was abused as a child. What the psyche can’t handle the brain tries to find ways to distill it so that the psyche survives. Survival is the name of the game. And, oddly, that has always been my motto. …”I am a survivor!” …I can deal. …I can wing it. …I will succeed no matter what. …And, I always have. But, with great costs.

Like most men with DID it wasn’t until my 30’s that things started going haywire and I couldn’t fully deal or hide the confusion. The stress of a big career, relationships, the issue of the abuse I suffered — all of which I do remember–, and the changes of hormones in the body resulted in everything coming to a thudding crash in late 2008.

I lost my newly found and beloved job here in San Francisco as I attempted to understand exactly what was wrong with me. As my partner helped me cope and we went from one doctor to another — the first great therapist I found recognized the problem almost immediately. However, my condition was a little beyond her experience as a doctor. She slyly referred me to another doctor who had served as her mentor. As it turns out this doctor is a god send for me. She has been working with DID relating to men for over 25 years.

I guess it took me well over six months to fully accept that I was dealing with DID, but I accept it now.

I’ve taken a series of tests and it looks like I have a very good chance of defeating DID and coming to what they call a form of “integration” in which these fragments of my psyche can merge back into one. You see they are not “personalities” — there is only one mind and one personality. These are ways the mind found to deal with the pain and horrors that were too much for me to fully accept on certain levels. They are aspects of me that take over to protect me. As one gets older it catches up with you because these aspects are forever stuck in a limited emotional state the trauma created. They are irrational and unable to react in logical ways to every day challenges of stress. But, the mind is so wired at this point that when certain situations trigger panic — the “appropriate” aspect takes over and I involuntarily take a back seat as the aspect gets through the situation.

Of course I face no danger now. In fact, I haven’t faced any real danger since I was about 9 years old. But, the aspects do not get that. So, now, I spend three to four hours a week with a doctor trying to understand what each aspect is worried about — in addition to my own worries.

Confusion has become my operative mode of conduct.

When B and I went to Manhattan last week I was terrified I would “switch” and do God Knows What — however, luckily, I only “switched” twice. Of course this resulted in a couple of odd situations. Monday, I found myself on a concrete pier of the Hudson River somewhere near W67th Street. And, I had only $10 in my wallet. Guess who got to walk all the way back to W23th and 7th Ave! Fun! My legs are still sore.

But, I try to think of it as a sort of an twist of adventure in my life. And, I like to remind myself that I have not failed in my one quest — which has always been to never lead an ordinary or dull life. Tho, the time away from working is deflating and being dependent upon Social Security Disability and Medicare is so devastating to me — I am quite blessed that the support was so quickly approved. I have a home, a love who cares for me, a family and great friends who support me and I will get through this.

However, that doesn’t make it any less scary when I might be at my computer one minute and then find myself in a place I do not know around people who appear to know me the next. And, then realize that it has been several hours since I was actually at the computer.

I keep coming back to one thought. Once I do beat this — and no one is willing to put a time line to it — but it sounds like I’m looking at a couple years of tough mental work — I figure there must be a book in this some way some how. I’m not the only one dealing with this disorder and there are so many dealing with it who probably do not even realize it or are too afraid to face it.

Maybe in some way I can help them. Maybe. Fingers crossed.

September 16, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Uncategorized. 11 comments.

THINGS I COULD DO (if i wanted)

this picture of Ann-Margret always gives me a smile...

the dog has been walked.

the litter box has been cleaned/re-newed/re-freshed.

the garbage has been taken out.

the house has been cleaned-up a bit.

the kitchen and the dishes are clean.

small lunch has been had.

unmemorable but beautiful visit to the beach has been done twice today.

no therapy this week. therapist is on vacation.

left to stew in all my swirling thoughts.

no money to take in a movie.

too easily distracted to read.

so, i sit at the window cigarette in hand and contemplate the possibilities that today could hold.

what could i do today if i were of a mind to do?

1. run naked down Geary Blvd

2. knock over a store and go on a wild shopping spree.

3. give Little Bagel a punk rock hair cut with the clippers.

4. sell everything i owned before i met Mr. B to see how much i could get for the junk i’ve accumulated.

5. walk from one end of San Francisco to the other and then it would probably be close to the time i need to leave to pick up Mr. B.

6. go to the mall, order a diet coke and watch the people.

7. attempt to shop lift a new hoodie from Nordsroms.

8. …maybe the gap is a better place to attempt shop lifting as i don’t think those employees care.

9. go to an expensive downtown shoe store and try on every shoe in the store and then toss one of the boxes up into the air and go on about the sad fashion of all the shoes and march out in a huff.

10. walk through Golden Gate Park and try to pretend that I love the “natural” beauty of the trees and other green things.

11. dye my hair green.

12. dye Little Bagel’s hair blue.

13. surf the net for nothing in particular.

14. essentially anything to avoid having to get too caught up in this mind of mine.

If Ann-Margret is the ultimate Sex Kitten, what would that make Goldie Hawn?

June 21, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Uncategorized. 8 comments.

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