The narcissist cyclic web

I see…patterns, and cycles which repeat themselves, are likely to continue doing so.

I made a choice not to get spun around in another loop around the track.

In the last year, my confidence took a swan dive, but I found a route back.

It started off mildly enough. They’ll lean in as if they’re listening to you, but really, they’re just intensely studying the myriad of ways they can make you believe that their presence in your life can solve all of your problems. My father is a master manipulator. He knows when to charm, and when to be vulnerable enough for you to drop your guard. Truthfully, he never shares anything that’s truly personal. If you really take stock, you’ll hear the same 5 stories on repeat. They’re on cue, you see. They’re his ‘story’ and he’s sticking to it. This is the Oscar-winning version of his life narrative, that will make you consider him endearing enough to believe the lies scattered amidst the truth.

It helps me to see why I was so prone to believe their tale. It took me years before I could separate myself from the narrative that my father had spun around me, with me inside, as a part of the character that he had carefully pieced together. I was never present for my own sake, but rather to promote the facade that worked along with his self-image.

I have now had every type of narcissist in my life. I asked myself today, what are the odds of this? Quite high, actually. My own psychology was primed for being accessible to theirs. I have only now seen the connection. There has always been a direct line between how my father viewed and treated me, and how I viewed myself, and allowed others to view and treat me. Manipulation had been so normalized that I did not learn how to defend myself against it. Even as I write this, I still doubt myself, saying, no, I am the crazy one. He is fine, but, me, I am the crazy one. I wish I could wish it away so lightly. I can’t. It is a self-serving psychology that will make him twist truth, perform (well, act, really), and invalidate any version of me or the truth that combats his own self-image. This is done with the charm of a genie, alluring and ever so subtle.

I had to come to terms with the fullness of being both genders, so I gave each of them their own moment to shine. As a woman, I had never understood the shame, disdain and discomfort I felt because of what I was called…woman. I had to embrace all that was woman, and get to the root of these feelings. It was at the core of this period of uncertainty, that the first exploitative relationship occurred…my first battle with narcissistic abuse as a self-aware adult. Fortunately, I got out of it within a short enough timeframe, but there were still threads of the pattern quilted to my soul.

Within the last year and half, I experienced another bout, in the valley of my decision to call out the man in me. Instead of continuing to keep him silently skulking in the shadows of my psyche, I chose to free him…to be seen, outside. I thought it would have meant just a few rainy days, but instead it was a torrential downpour of microaggressions, projection, invalidation, and being emotionally sidelined.

At these formative points, where I was the most vulnerable, I was also more receptive to the inroads that manipulators and narcissists often take to latch onto me. It isn’t my fault that people can be deliberately unkind, unempathetic and selfish toward others. However, it IS my fault if I allow them to have access to my mind, body and emotions that they shouldn’t have.

No part of me could survive without disciplined boundaries…neither the man, nor the woman. I had to begin to ACT firmly, decisively and without doubt whenever I was confronted with manipulative tactics from others. I had to believe myself, my experience, and act accordingly.

I want to leave you with some resources if you feel like you have dealt with or are currently dealing with a narcissist. Firstly, let’s get a definition in place. There is a difference between pathological narcissism and people who are self-absorbed. It’s not the same. So, to be clear, I’m referring to someone who has Narcissistic Personality Disorder. This is a mental condition in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance, a deep need for excessive attention and admiration, troubled relationships, and a lack of empathy for others.

If you feel like you are in a relationship with someone like that, these are resources that helped me -> Dr. Ramani on YouTube, and there is this book also, which is a short but brilliant read that works you through and out of it.

#janberry #fruitofdivine #writing #author #creativeprose #hybridhumans #hyxh #selflove #healing #knowthyself #lovingself #peace #joy #soul #spirit #soul #evolve #evolving #sexuality #spirituality #duality #theinsidestory #genderidentity #genderexpression #gender #masculinity #femininity

Discipline amidst the Dysphoria = Dissonance

“Walk on water”, she said, and as I exorcise these demons of distortion, a phrase came to me, ‘Discipline amidst the dysphoria equals Dissonance.”

A client sent me a free ticket to a Virtual Conference on Digital Technologies. She said she had a free ticket and she thought of me because of the newsletters that I send out. As part helpfulness, and part self-promotion, I send my clients newsletters. I usually do them in series, when I want to share a specific theme of information. On the day I decided to start the last series that I did, I was having a day much like this one. A ‘woe-be-me’ day, a ‘nothing-is-going-as-I-hoped’ day.. These are the days when I feel dissonance – when I am working daily, and the fruit is not yet in front of my eye, but I am still toiling, because discipline produces fruit, so the work continues. Her free ticket is a seed, if not a fruit, but I almost declined the free ticket, until I realised that these are the reasons I work. I work to continuously adjust my positioning – this conference will help with that, so why say ‘No’…out of self-pity?

My business is on a great upswing, but once again, it is because of the work I am putting in and not because of the fruit that I am seeing. There are challenges in this mode of operation – one being that you can feel at odds with the discipline. You can feel so far from where you are walking toward, that you tell yourself that staying in this place might not be so bad. You can’t see the shoreline you left and you can’t see the shoreline you are heading toward.

At the end of our conversation, which was a lot of me explaining all the reasons that I cannot and should not take time out of my day to attend a conference when I am pushing hard to finish work and get paid for it, she simply said, “Thank you for taking the plunge despite how you feel.”

“Walk on water.”

And she left me with that.

The dysphoria comes from my morning glance into the mirror – seeing myself 6 pounds lighter than 3 weeks ago. All the eating and weight gain had pushed me into a softness, a thickness that in a lot of ways still feels very feminine and thus, very uncomfortable. I think subconsciously I rejected the weight gain and pushing through it became scary, because again, I can’t see the shoreline that I left, and I can’t see the one I’m moving toward. In the middle of what seems like nowhere, on the heels of discipline, I am only seeing fog.

I no longer look like the image in the picture. To a body type like mine, 6 pounds is a lot. However, to a business like mine, a free ticket to a virtual digital conference is also a lot.

‘Walk on water,’ she said.

I will.

I will.

Catfish and Transition

Today I took my 3rd testosterone shot, and I’ve had 2 foremost thoughts leading up to today…

Catfish. That’s the word that came to mind when I thought about expressing the first thing… In 2017 and 2018, I spent one year each living through either end of my gender polarities. In 2017, I cleared out my wardrobe and replaced it entirely with men’s clothing and shoes. In 2018, I flipped the script and did the reverse, living in my feminine.. Both years had their own challenges but it helped me face up to the way that the world sees gender and subsequently how the world sees me. This brings me to the way I started off thing 1.. To catfish someone means to lure them in with a false image of yourself. I do that often, in my pictures.. I always turn away from the camera slightly, so that you don’t quite see my curvaceousness. Throughout the years I’ve seen the many other ways that masculine womxn mask themselves so that their figure is not a highlight of their appearance..some get super thin..some get super thick..some over-emphasize, with jeans slung low on hip, and a deep crawl.. But I feel sad for the need to force the point..that some of us feel like we have to put it on display…like, look, see see, I am a man too…

I’ve had to talk myself down in many situations where I am confronted with comments that are made specifically for the purpose of embarassing me into ‘reality’ and the version of reality that the person is proposing is that hey, you look too much like a girl for what you’re saying about yourself to be true..you’re not a man or half a man or none of that shit..just accept it.

The second thing is the idea that making any movement along the gender spectrum is, once expressed, understood as a move toward the other end, completely.

Transition is seen by most as an on and off switch instead of a circular knob tuning in and dialing into the perfect frequency…

..I’m moving toward my own sense of balance – in between places..

Catfish. Transition.. the two words that I’m leaving you with today, in this ongoing story from a hybrid human..

Sidenote: you see my sweet puppernoos, Tessa-Joy? Lol, she’s the sweetest..

The Dream by JanBerry – Excerpt

“Are you feeling for this?”

“Thunder!” She smacked her lips playfully. “Sure.”

She spun around to face me, pushing me back into the bed, and grabbed onto Thunder directing him into the O-ring, with her hands over mine and looking at my eyes.

Melting, I smiled at her, and she smiled back as she stood up on the bed to pull down her slacks.

Whilst she was doing that, I grabbed the lube from the side-table and squeezed some onto Thunder. I wanted to enjoy rubbing the lubricant onto it for a minute, but Zia didn’t waste any time. Before I could properly get Thunder ready for her, she knelt over me and positioned her pussy onto Thunder and slowly slid lower over him and smiling sensually.

I slid my hands under her vest, and she lifted her hands so that I could take her vest o . I could see impatience as it crept across her demeanour. She raised herself o of Thunder and jumped o of the bed, to lay on her back closer to the edge instead, then stretched her hand out to reach for me.
I scooted o of the bed and bent my knees slightly, to lean down into Zia’s mid-section. Our bed was custom-built to be just beneath the height of my waist, for occasions such as these. Pressing into Zia, I guided Thunder back in to her.

She invited him in with a squeal, and cut her eyes at me, then stopped moving, to ask, “Did you understand what I meant about the tree?”

“Yep, I got you.”

I stuck my tongue out, content with my retention, then grinned at her. She rolled her eyes and laughed.

I looked down at Thunder rubbing past her pubic hair, listening to the slick sounds, and then stopped..

“Tell me that you want it.” I said to her. She bit her bottom lip. “Yeah.”

“I’ll stop. Tell me. Say, I want it.”

“I want it baby. I want it.”

Thunder was not very thick, but he was long — great for quick thrusts. Of all the colors that this dildo came in, Zia chose the purple. I didn’t care for all these scandalous colors, but for her pleasure, I would go to any length, and Thunder surely had it in him. (Heh!)

……….

– Excerpt from Chapter 2, The Dream by JanBerry

#janberry #thedream #writing #author #genderidentity #genderexpression #gender #masculinity #femininity

Ampersands: a gray area

Black and white are colors we’ve been hearing a lot about lately. Well, if I could pause and be a nerd for just a second, neither of these are colors, but rather, illusions. Black is the presence of all colors and white is the absence of color. Okay, so I really just want to talk about gray today.

I wrote a poem when I was in college titled, Uncertainty. In it, I rendered the somber and mixed feelings of having alternative sexual feelings but also being spiritual. I lived on Seaver Street, and there were two Catholic churches, each a 15-minute walk away. One of them did their service in Spanish and the other did their service in English. I interchangeably went to both. I didn’t know enough Spanish to follow along for the entire service but it felt good. It felt so good knowing that I did not have to know everything to feel what I felt – the awe and softness that reverence brought to my life. In the same breath, as I walked to either church every Sunday, I would always think about my unresolved feelings about who I was prone to love.

In my expression of myself, masculinity defines me. I am more masculine than I am feminine, but these are not genders. I was designated woman at birth and that’s fine. We need something to put in the box, yea? Whether I remove my breasts or not, take the hormones or not, I will still be a woman AND a man. This is MY experience. Even as I write this, I am uncertain, because I wonder to myself if I will want more. Will I want more after I’ve done the things that will push my physical self into a new expression of my spirit self. I also stand the chance of being MORE misunderstood if I press forward. I focus rather, on the fact that I am shining light on an area that we don’t see clearly enough to think of as anything but ‘transient’. It’s seen as transitional, instead of being an actual place. I embrace that gray place. I am a ‘JanBerry’…fruit of my own tree. There is no one like me, and there is no one like you either. Own it. Embrace it.

I feel like the reason most people need to know whether you are a man or a woman is to know how to treat you..which biases to employ. The people that have seen me have felt me with their hearts – and used the eyes that aren’t on their face. I think from those eyes, perhaps everything looks gray, because you can always feel the tension between multiple perspectives of the same truth.

Recently, I told my brother that I was going to be making some changes to my body, and immediately he assumed that I wanted to transition all the way to male. I do not, but this is an expression of that inclination humans have towards seeing something as one or the other, and their being nothing in between. I am ‘in between’. I am gray. I am both/and…but I get it, ampersands are never the focus of a sentence when it’s used. Ampersands are a gray area.

‘Ands’ recognise a sameness that we cannot always express in words, but we lean into it. The ‘ands’ have it? I dunno, I felt like this writing needed a cute ending..but shit, maybe it doesn’t and…

– JanBerry. 26June2020. 6.23am

In between things

A few days ago I made a decision about my gender expression. It so happened that yesterday, I passed by the very same beach where all this brave discovery began 6 years ago. I sat and meditated for a while and then made a video.

The video below is episode 2, from 6 years ago and is truly where I started with a deeper level of self discovery.

The Inside Out Story – ep 2

..and this is the video that I made…episode 5..

The Inside Out Story – ep 5

Since travel bans started, I’ve realised that the main reason I wanted to leave Trinidad so badly is that I didn’t want to face Trinbagonian attitudes and pressures toward the transition I had been deciding upon. This country is an amalgam of homophobia, transphobia, gender misunderstanding, alongside chauvinist and misogynist ideals. The list continues with the sentiments expressed in hypocritical barbershop conversations that don’t bring us, as a country, any closer to loving people outside of the gender and sexuality ‘norms’ that we think legitimize our opinions.

I share my life so that people like me could know that we are real and gain the courage to overcome Caribbean sentiment. Differences in gender and gender expression is not a ‘white people thing’.. For me, “..my whole life I’ve felt like I am in between things.” I think we, myself included, the whole world have been really stuck on a very ‘this’ or ‘that’ way of looking at gender but the more I understand myself, the more I’m able to articulate it. When I say ‘between things’, I don’t mean between genders (male and female). I mean between my ability to express my masculinity and being perceived as being more feminine than I am because of my curvaceousness and other physical female traits.

I don’t want to be a man – I don’t want to switch out my vagina for something else. I don’t want to change my name or write ‘MALE’ on my forms.. what I do want, is to be able to express my masculinity visibly. I tend to overcompensate on feminizing myself because of my body. I want my masculinity to be SEEN but I still want to BE a woman (in terms of my gender assignment but not femininity).

Disclaimer: Please note, this is MY experience of my gender and gender expression, and is not to be applied to everyone you consider to be different in these areas.

In my green

I am extremely grateful for the growth I’ve experienced in the last few months. It has made me more courageous and also more resilient. Best of all, I have become clearer and clearer about my intentions and desires, shaped in knowledge of self.

Carnival is always a milestone for me, particularly J’ouvert. It is a time of expression which is rooted in identity. It is a time of re-birth, which is rooted in growth. It is a time of vibration, the essence of who we are as human beings. At this junction, I give space to allow the oscillation of my spirit to touch others and to be touched – even, in the literal sense, as people lather paint on my body on J’ouvert morning.

Disciplined practices of contemplation, meditation, deliberate rest and a balanced diet have been molding my body, soul and spirit – my character, my expression…ultimately, my identity in this life.It is my experience that in the periods that I have had the most expansion, the paint color in the J’ouvert has also been very symbolic for me. I’ve already written a post about blue in the year 2017 (janberryblog.wordpress.com/2017/02/26/far-from-finished). And now, green. Talk about vibration! Thank you 3 Canal. In the last 3-4 months, I’ve taken to using green hearts a lot. They mean for me, an outflow of natural love – the kind of unbridled showering of love that nature embodies. Love as a force in nature takes many forms, but it is consistent. It is consistently growing.

My writing lays the path that my heart is making and then my soul follows, and as it comes into being, it becomes clearer to me as well as to onlookers.

The book cover of Godcall is deeply meaningful and was a foretelling. I have finally reached the color that I was pressing toward. The black was the soil, the muck which we often think of as base. The black is the beginning – the root – the oil – and without it, we can go nowhere. A seed must be first planted there. This period was dark but beautiful. There was much crying, watering my seed with my own tears There was also much healing. The blue was transitional and liberating – attaining the environment the seed needed to become what it would become.

The green cumulus, as my tears accumulating into them as a mass of tiny droplets.. These clouds have the potential to bring either fair or dread weather. It depends on how they develop…the season..the environment.The pink mist is an unveiling – a sheathing of feminine energy, brought to the surface and removed. All that would remain is that which was mine to begin with, and had not been narrated over my life.

And now, I am at green…standing in my tall, dark beauty…my tall, dark queer beauty.So what is the outflow of all this personal philosophy – it just means, I am more me than I’ve ever been.

1) I fully transitioned my wardrobe to androgynous/male clothing.
2) I’ve been successful in explaining to my male admirers that no, it’s not just a wine or a this or that or whatever they think it is. It’s more like two hyper-masculine straight (non-gay) men rubbing up on each other. Dude, don’t touch me…and especially not like that.
3) But yes, I enjoy the company of effeminate men also because I’m drawn to feminine energy. I prefer female gender and genitalia..important for me to sustain a long-term relationship, but really, it’s feminine energy that I am drawn to. The more of it I feel from someone, the more I find them irresistible.
4) I am in my green. It has pulled my shoulder blades back and lifted my chin, giving me a swagger that comes from deep within.

It’s not easy being green. Kermit was right, but damn, it sure is a happy place!

Love Symbol #2

Love Symbol #2

He sported a falsetto and hairy chest
And danced like the floor was wet
Drenched in rain
that slicked his mane
Full body jumpers and heels
Caressing his guitar like the feminine and phallic symbol
his ‘name’ changed to later on
She’s handsome
Or he’s beautiful
Things are supposed to work a certain way
Unless they don’t
And what then
When we’re running out of labels
To contain the capacity
and band of humanity
When up seems down and down
seems wrong
And left is right
according to Wikipedia
Love symbol #2
Was a middle finger
Because who really needs a descriptor
to refer to
Me or you?

– janberry © 8Apr2019. 9.47am

Photo credit: Slaven Vlasic Entertainment/Getty Images