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.

In The Eye of The Storm

You know, I sure have never seen the inside of the eye of the storm, but you’ve heard the stories, right? That…in the dead center, if you were to stand there, it is deathly calm, and there is a barricade of wind stopping the destruction from entering that very middle.

I imagine that they call it the eye of the storm because of way that the swirling pattern looks from way up high…birds eye view, way up high where there is no destruction, just a bird looking down at a pattern, swirling forward.

Coming back down to the vantage point of INSIDE the storm, in the eye, there is calm, and there is clarity. Being this eye, and being this calm…seeing your storms clearly, makes a world (or a whirl) of difference.

This month has seen me activate many new levels in my life – moving on to a new season. Rest assured that the season I have just come from is adamant that I must either stay in it, or be so bothered by the moving storm that I shift my focus away from the calm encircling my vision. I see the truth of where I am standing and seeing that, it makes the storm swirl around me BEYOND the barrier of wind.

Let me bring this into focus for you.

My father…not quite the man people think he is..least of all him..is an abusive and manipulative man, who has chosen for all of his life, to plaster on the face of good works, and of being a ‘good’ Samaritan, rather than face himself in the mirror. Deep down he knows that this masquerade will eventually push to the far corners of his world, everything that he has tried to keep close.

The more that I leaned into my own personal healing, was the more that I saw and became strong enough to bear the weight of who he really is, as a man, and as a human being. I was able to really feel the weight of the pain my inner child felt – the defenceless little girl he abandoned to someone else’s care whilst he lived a mere 15 minutes away and neither called, nor visited. I was able to put into proper perspective that whilst he may not admit to himself that he is an angry, wife beater, I am only responsible to myself for telling myself the truth of what I saw in him as a child where there was another story spilling out like blood onto the floor. Every smiling, self-congratulating thing that he has ever said to himself about himself is lost behind the whirling lies that he has created in his own life. He has projected the evil he saw in himself onto my brother, and like the sweet and affable person that I do miss, my brother sapped it up and became the monster that my father pretended that he himself was not. They both could have healed, but my brother trapped himself in his pain whilst assuming my father’s lies.

In the last year, I’ve seen how powerful we humans can be, whether or not we understand that truly, we create each and every circumstance in our own lives. I’ve seen my father, spit lies from his mouth, whilst the truth of his soul creates circumstances that match the weight of his burden – the burden of lies. Rather than manifest healing, by admitting to himself, “Me..I am that monster,” instead, he has never, not even once, acknowledged nor admitted to any of his wrongs. Rather, everything is all everyone else’s fault – his wife LEFT him, the government is terrible, his neighbours are atrocious and all the ‘other’ people are assholes.

For a decade, I chose to remain here and live with him, mostly to stay close to my nephew, but also because I chose during that time to focus on my own healing, rather than activate whatever vengeance I could have harboured for the man. Instead I learned to both love him, flaws and all but also, see him in his whole truth, at the same rate that I saw myself in all my own truth.

The brunt of my healing, now completed, I can move on, and have chosen to. I told him I was moving. The next day he fell and burst his head. I cleaned the bruise, patched it, encouraged him to seek medical attention, but instead he spiritedly walked around the neighbourhood telling everyone how he fell, seeking their pity and lapping up the attention he got over his fall. It was quite convenient that this fall should happen when he learned that finally he would be left alone to face his own demons.

Spiritual Sabotage
Realising that he was continuing to sprout the narrative that I would, as I had done before, go for another long haunting stretch to my other places, Grande Riviere, and Tobago but return for a spell at some point, I reminded him a few days ago, that no, I was leaving, for good. I’m leaving. I’m not returning, not soon, not ever. He had a seizure yesterday morning.

Now, I did the right thing, and called the ambulance, attended to him, made sure he got to the hospital and everything related to his care yesterday. However, in my spirit, where I have chosen to pull truth up every time I am facing the option of lies or truth, I’ve seen how powerfully this man’s manipulative grasp is wanting to extend into me. It was not enough that I was merely a punching bag for his weak ego all my life. Now, that he is losing grasp and he can see in my eyes, that I’ve seen him in the fullness of his true self, and am no longer drinking his Kool-aid, his spirit is now entertaining a slew of antics.

The doctors discovered nothing in his blood, X-Ray, CT-Scan or ECG to confirm that a seizure should have happened, or would happen again. This was entirely manifested by the storm raging around his own denial, about himself.

In clarity and calm, I see his storm raging around me, along with everything else form my past that has tossed itself into the winds in the last two weeks and wanting to hold me bondage to the family and life that I am leaving behind when I move out of my father’s house at the end of this month.

I won’t crash his narrative. I will play along until I am just not there to be a part of the play anymore, and whatever story is left behind will be his to tell, and re-tell.

I live in truth, and in the eye of the storm, I see the storm clearly. The storm will die away if you just, stand still…stand still in truth.

Lies, even the ones that you tell yourself manifest a chaotic life… a loveless life, a frenetic and stressed life as you focus so gingerly each day on preserving the lie, that you don’t realise that you are swirling around and around and going nowhere.

Five years ago, I stepped out of the storm of my own life, and it has increasingly given me the peace and clarity to stay out of storms entirely.

It is as quiet today, as it was the yesterday and the day before that, here in the truthful eye of the storm.

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 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!