The rain is folding in waves against the windows. I close my eyes into moments of lull. In the intricate weaving of life, a flow emerges. Remain steady. Stand ready. I am swaying on cusps, seeing into futures, and I delight at the hope before me. This choice I have been given, to live a life of noticing the smallest things, is the most precious gem I hold. My gold is woven in possibilities and endless patterns of emerging change. Sunsets have no ends nor sunrise beginnings. It is an infinite timelessness merging days into slow minutes. Everything can change in an instant. Tides turn as I row with the ebb and flow. This sea is more vast than I can see. Endlessness is filled with rhythm and hope. I am home no matter where I roam because life is always surging. I was born with portals for DNA, and so I travel the waves through distance. This is my time.
The other day I was having a conversation with a fellow trauma survivor and writer. She posed a question to me.
“How do you balance everything you want to do and keep your head together?”
There are many blogs about creativity which advise on this subject, and many of them contain very valuable information. So, I had to answer her from my own personal perspective. Instead of repeating what is suggested, I wanted to answer her direct question about my daily process specifically.
You see, I am a free-flow creative. Forcing me to follow a set schedule is a sentence for the death of my creativity and passion. It is the driving force that will push me into emotional flat feel. I will strain against the confined system and begin to have a growing irritation towards the control of a schedule until I wither.
Any rigid type of living, for me, is a recipe for depression as I stare at the screen because it’s 1 PM, this is my scheduled time to write, but I don’t want to be writing at the moment. My soul wants to create art, work on other projects or even rest for a while.
Many branding gurus advise to stick to that strict schedule and don’t vary from it. because that is how successful people happen! So it was that I redefined the meaning of success for myself.
Do I pay attention to the marketing side of my brand? Absolutely. I am a lone wolf with a friend who helps me with computer tasks when she can. I have no expectations of her. She has a family and helps me for free. I bow and kiss her feet for that! 95% of my brand is solely controlled and operated by me.
Do I read branding blogs? Absolutely. Following branding bloggers like BadReadheadMedia, by 30 Day Marketing Challenge author Rachel Thompson, have given me excellent information. Partaking in Twitter hashtags like #MondayBlogs, #SexAbuseChat and #NoMoreShame, have helped me connect with some great trauma survivors who are vulnerably baring their souls. Connecting with creative trauma survivors, like artist Liz Ianelli and podcaster Matt Pappas, keep me inspired.
What I don’t do is allow what I read about suggested success methods to pressure me. I glean what feels fitting for my own life and my brand, and I incorporate it. I don’t change the specific routine I have for my-self care, a routine for which no specific schedule really exists. I make a “to do” list almost every day (because 1/2 of it is usually carry over from the prior day), and if there’s a timeline due, I make note of it. In the end, though, I always do things in a rhythm which matches my own positive flow. If something sinks me, it’s not for me.
Being a trauma survivor and a creative can be daunting. When I put too much pressure on myself, I tend to drop into shutdown. My creativity flow is dependent on the state of my mental health.
I always put my mental health and quest to continue being the healthiest before everything.
If two hours is all I have to give to my creativity on some days, that’s what I give. Some days I don’t create at all. Other days I catch a wind and go for hours. All of this is is unpredictable and unknown for me.
My creativity is flowing water at a pace I currently feel happiest following. I cannot re-carve the banks of its river. Instead, I float its calm stretches and row its rapids, staying with the grain of the waves and enjoying the view along the way. To me, this is balance. For me, this is the best route to reach the vast sea of success.
I hope you stay balanced through your creative journey by putting yourself first. I hope you take walks in the trees or lay in the grass and count the clouds. I hope you free flow with yourself, absent of any painful expectation, and know that if you care for the growing plant of your creative well, you are guaranteed to grow into the tallest tree.
P.S. Today I accomplished vacuuming and this blog post. SUCCESS
‘Hey, V, don’t forget me when you reach the top.”
The top of what? The top of the end of child rape? The top of the Eiffel Tower? The top of the end of mentally ill people creating more and more victims? The top of my bed to get out of it on a Tuesday morning to drag myself to counseling? The top of the next chapter of a book taking years to write? The top of making it to a conference to educate some people on child abuse?
THE TOP OF WHAT?????
I get it. You’ve mystified me because of what I choose to let you see online. Don’t do that. Disappointment guaranteed. GUARANTEED!
If I had cameras 24-7 blasting from my tiny living space to the World Wide Web you’d say, “Oh, gosh. Well, okay then.” It would be akin to stopping to see a wreck.
Alright, maybe not that bad. You’d see me dancing around to BeeGees music, meditating and doing soft yoga, boringly writing (she’s STILL writing?), making art and then binging on crime documentaries and cosmology shows while I relax in my bed and write blogs like this.
You’d have periods of staring at my cat while I escaped to the woods. Then when I returned you’d say, “Babe! Look! Look! She’s talking to herself/her cat again!” You don’t even know and you won’t, nosy ass!
I can tell you one thing I have had to forget. Time. Because there isn’t “enough” of it if you start measuring how damn busy life becomes, the more you choose to keep pushing yourself out there.
That is how people get “forgotten”. Not because they don’t mean anything to us, but because we become stripped of our time. When down time becomes less frequent, it’s often reserved for immediate family. You pop in our heads. We get side tracked.
I hate that stupid saying that if someone cares they’ll make time for you. Not true. If someone cares, they’ll respect someone’s lack of having extra time.
This statement of “don’t forget me” has always baffled me. What does that mean? Send money if I get rich? Remember that most of the people who say this to me never share my work or support me in any way. I won’t forget you. I usually don’t forget the people who tell me not to forget them as if they’re entitled.
I’ve never said this to an aspiring or established creative. Maybe because I am a creative, that I understand the ridiculousness of this statement. Instead I wish them well and may we meet again, and I’ll do my best to explore their work.
I’ll be alone dancing you know it, baby, and I don’t care if you forget about me. Stop putting those expectations on us.
Look, you think Gaga hand writes all those printed letters that get sent to her little monsters? No. She has assistants who do that. Now, I’m not comparing myself with LG, I’m just saying, busy is busy.
So, as you who use this statement, in return I say this. Don’t forget me now, and I’ll be less apt to forget you later.
You are a different kind
Of damaged, chaotic mind
Confused you use words
As projection swords and
I see the hurt behind the eyes
The reflection as your soul dies
Lie by lie by lie; the ones you
Tell yourself are true so you
Have a good enough excuse
To dart the arrows with no regard
Of the blood flown from hearts
Torn apart by your anger and
My mind says danger. Danger.
There is pain too deep to touch,
A hole that one could fall through
To end up in a deep abyss
Of your untethered loneliness.
Such a sunflower shouldn’t die
Drowning inside an inability to cry,
You sip illusion, a savory wine;
Your mirror, a self-made design.
Everything that makes you wince
Tells you what needs love’s attention
As you ignore. Ignore. Ignore;
The parts of you so bruised and sore.
I can only sit and observe,
The winding streets of your hurt
Hovering above the purity
Stolen from your childhood
An inability to develop so you
Scrambled and scratched your
Way through life; numb the wounds
With bottles of booze, laugh away
The moments draining your happy,
Regret and listing what you’re lacking.
I feel slightly stoic and disinterested,
An odd reaction, to not feel sorry
For the churning of your own hurting.
When light floats inside your air
You call the darkness; safer there?
No more minutes can pass me by.
I’m swiftly running out of time; must
Focus forward; head held high
Silently take the podium and speak.
Empowered woman. Empowered me.
I didn’t know they could exist. I had seen signs of what I thought might be a mixture of two states of being which are on opposite ends of the emotional spectrum. So it was that I began to observe what I call the Narcissistic Empath to see if I could find a pattern in this type of human.
As I have observed over the years, a pattern which emerged for me was something new and undefinable. It wavered between Narcissism and Empathy. Yet, it was not completely either of the two.
Being an Empath (highly sensitive person) my intuition is finely tuned. I can go into the multiple ways in which I “see and feel” human beings. The reason I share this part of me is to give you a glimpse of how I see others.
I am a behavior watcher. I listen to words, and then I sit back and deeply observe the individual’s behavior. This behavioral pattern which was emerging in this type of person felt like something slightly different.
After having an association with a couple of them for a few years, I now see a definition for this type of human, the Narcissistic Empath.
How can this be? I asked myself this question. How can one be both a Narcissist AND an Empath?
According to psychology, narcissists cannot feel at all. Albeit, I am no scientist with a PhD after my name. I am a self-educated person who has spent hours and years studying psychological subjects out of sheer curiosity and need to understand the workings of the human mind. I began this study to understand my own childhood and journey in life.
When the realization sunk into me that this is what I was observing, I set out to specifically find personality types that fit these exact criteria. Three main patterns emerged in my observation.
1. Narcissistic Empaths are very loving and protective with those they care deeply for. They are softer with the way they communicate with those people. They are less apt to be cruel. They are more sensitive to their loved ones’ needs. It is genuine sensitivity. They are patient and aware of their words.
2. They don’t give a damn about people they do not know or have an interest in only sexually and will often make these types their targets. They target strangers. With strangers there is no emotional connection for them.
3. They are palpable. They change. I watched one associate spend a long period of time in a very positive mindset. They were very dedicated to their creative craft. Their interactions were loving and kind. Then an event happened in their life which hurt them deeply. Enter their Narcissistic state of being, in which they are currently sunk. The projector behavior has been the most disparaging to observe. They teeter from positivity to downright meanness, depending on which way their current state of being has leaned.
The Narcissistic Empath seems to be one who teeter totters from one side to the other depending on who they are dealing with and what their personal situation is. It is natural for all humans to have a change in behavior if things in their life get rough.
However, a Narcissistic Empath will take it to the extreme, projecting in vicious and often very convoluted ideals. Yet, what is the difference between a Narcissist and a Narcissistic Empath? The Narcissistic Empath will still be kind to those they love and actually feel it deeply. This is different from the Narcissist who feels nothing and will, without care, abuse those they love. The full on Narcissist fakes their empathy. A Narcissistic Empath fakes nothing. Their Narcissism is real and so is their empathy.
There are many quotes available from “gurus”, urging humans to rid themselves of ego. Yet, the definition of ego is simply a self-identity. So, in fact, it is necessary to have an ego/self-identify. The inflation of the self-identity into an unrealistic self-view is what creates the definition for being egoistic. There should be balance in the human ego. It is the center of who we are. When there is unbalance in our authentic self-identity, it is akin to a rocking boat on a choppy sea.
My questions regarding the Narcissistic Empath kept me on a path of investigative observation.
Could the Empathic side heal the narcissistic side of these humans? If so, what would it take? Was it possible to have both a cold and unfeeling part and a deeply loving part; to switch back and forth between the two? Oh yes. Humans do it every day. Yet it’s not Bipolar or even Borderline Personality Disorder in what I have observed. Still, these people are different, from bipolar and BPD people.
The Empath sees life deeper and in a completely different way, based often out of cosmology minded DNA. The Empath feels things the that non-Empaths are feeling. The Empath absorbs. They see into others; their pains and passions, and I wondered if part of the Narcissistic Empath was also a shutting down to feeling because of the heaviness it can sometimes carry, to be a highly sensitive person. I know of Empaths who do drugs or drink to numb the influx of emotion, using synthetics as a blocker, unable to create their own sense of balance by getting to know themselves deeply.
I believe that the Narcissistic Empath can heal by making deep positive choices toward self-love and having willingness to do concentrated work on themselves.
If they clean their social environment and the self-deprecating thoughts that they use to both degrade themselves and justify the times they lash out, I am of the belief that eventually, with daily routine, the Narcissistic Empath will heal the “dead” part of themselves and be able to become an Embodied Empath, fully in their power and sight, knowing how to balance it and throw away the un-needed junk.
I am observing a few such individuals to continue studying this state of being. I want to see which paths they each decide to take over the next few years. I want to know which part of them will “win” based on which path they choose.
How do you tell the difference? That is a loaded question since Narcissists are adept at faking empathy. However, one thing I’ve noticed about the Narcissist. If one knows what to look for, they’re not that good at faking empathy at all. The sign of their narcissism will always show its face.
With a Narcissistic Empath, there is a turning which happens. The empathy is consistent, present, and genuine. There seems to always be a major event that swings them to the side of shutting down all emotion. They make it through small bumps, but the larger ones make their empathy disappear. Then the Narcissistic phase will remain until they heal the pain. Once the pain is healed, they move back into their genuine Empath selves.
It’s like a mold which needs to be removed and the only one who can remove it is the homeowner.
This is where the work comes in. This is where humans tend to falter, and understandably so. It hurts to heal.
We must face all the torn parts of ourselves that are triggered when we are hurt. Yet, our self-identity can be that of a torn shirt. We grab our needle and thread and stitch the hole. Sometimes we have to re-stitch it, but we stitch it all the same.
So then, we can also stitch the patterns of our pain into beautiful patch works, covering ourselves with the finished blanket of self induced empathy. This, dear ones, is a path to self-healing.
Babies are born to mothers
Who smother their faces
With kisses so in later years
They can reminisce about
The times they were loved,
Smile at pictures and haircuts
Remember what is; what was.
This distant, unknown feeling,
A Daughter to a host,
I cannot connect my soul,
Never recall the soft
Loving arms of her; she is
Fog wisps blowing distant
Narcissistic and wounded.
Not everything on this terrain
Is born and grown the same.
We were children being hurt,
Seen and not heard,
Dissociated to white clouds,
Horses and song birds but
We never heard the words.
No encouragement, you see
We were the scourge of earth,
Sinners and whores and
The bearer of scars from
Battles and wars with
The worst of humanity.
When you have seen
With the eyes the way
A spirit can die slowly
You never view this place
The same; in a way
The Loved observe.
Soft, the colors speak
In languages, singing,
And suddenly the layers fade
Nothing matters, not the
Tatters of Aftermath or
The worn out Disasters;
Life is lived floating
Inside the hoping like
Plasma and Jasmine
Swaying in the winds.
It’s no secret that I have a tumultuous past. From time in jail to extreme sexual misuse of my body to behavioral problems, I have run the course of self-destruction, projection, being attached to petty dramas and other avenues of self harming, trauma based personality traits.
I am purposefully open about my past. I want people to know they are not alone. I want people to know they do not have to live in shame. I want people to know they don’t have to let anyone reverse them to the skin they have shed through healing. So, there is nothing which can be hurled toward me in regard to my past, nothing rooted in truth anyway, which I will not acknowledge. Part of my healing journey has included learning to stand in my place, not with shame or regret, but with empowerment.
I get to choose what to discuss or not discuss. I get to choose what to accept or not accept. I get to choose, period, and that’s that.
I also used to have a deep need to defend myself, explain my side and try to make everyone see and understand ME. I have associates who could tell you story after story of the times I lamented and recycled the same situations until I crazy-made my own mind. I was often in a negative-based mental space.
I felt owed. I felt people should adjust to me. I sometimes felt discarded, shunned and unaccepted, even by my own friends. Until I realized it wasn’t true. I was literally creating a negative storyline in my head that wasn’t fully rooted in truth and acceptance but instead, in my own self-based perception. There was some behavior from people which made me back away but concerning me, in retrospect, I churned those situations far too long and too much.
When we are in that state of mind or have friends who are in that state of mind, where we are churning instead of growing and learning, we can hold space and listen. I don’t mind listening. If you, the reader, don’t want to listen to others situations or can’t hold space, you also have the right to say, “I don’t have that to give to you right now.”
Sometimes it’s difficult to be in the space holding position. I have had friends tell me how frustrating it was to watch me churn petty problems instead of figure out solutions. So, I get it now. I’m an experiencer of this negative thought patterning.
I have a major boundary when it comes to being in the listening position, and that boundary is enacted when someone’s struggles are thrown at me like darts, and I am suddenly in the scapegoat position.
Writing on this subject was inspired by waking up today to a very long message from a friend explaining a situation that we had already discussed just a day ago and seemed, to me at least, had been lain to rest. Okay. I accepted that some things might still be unresolved for them. So, when I began to read, I was open to listening until I arrived at this phrase:
“you have written a book and working on another about your torment and pain that some may dismiss as drama.”
Ah. Now I see. Because this person is attached to adult drama, they had the audacity to compare it with my childhood trauma. What I was reading was a projector’s mindset. I was being crazy-made.
I even further realized I was a target when I continued reading and arrived at… “All the times you schemed, planned, and even asked me to be involved. Or carried on without me, I never said a thing. Yes I was angry.”
At that moment I became slightly alarmed. My mistrust meter went up to level red. I began to search my brain. When did I scheme with this person? When did I ask them to be involved with a scheme that made them angry? My brain could find nothing. I attempted to call them to openly discuss it so I could understand more clearly what they were even talking about. They didn’t answer.
Then it hit me. If they were actually really referring to every person who has schemed and planned with them, but they couldn’t aim their anger at the actual person, it was being aimed at me. I was dealing with a deep projection.
This is where I advise not to take everything someone says to us literally as if it refers directly TO us. If we cannot connect it to a specific event, most likely it really is not rooted in us. However, we should not allow anyone to speak to us in ways which disrespect our growth and the ethics we work to maintain.
By that time, I was angry. How dare they speak to me this way. How dare they imply such things to me, that I’d ever schemed or been a petty person with them. How dare fabrications be thrown my way. How dare they not have the respect to answer the phone and actually talk to me about it.
By that time, I knew that I was done. I knew that I needed to separate from the recurring theme of this person’s personal life and being in the projected position. I realized this person was just being plain malicious and mean to me. At least that is how it felt.
I realized how hurt I was in that moment. So many times, I’ve been the only one listening to them; the only one understanding; the only one protecting. I sat on my bed, looking at my phone and realizing this was the crossroad we are at, and I had to choose to turn. That doesn’t always feel good.
I sit back now, writing out this emotion and decision to cut ties. I am hurt, confused and irritated to even have pettiness infused into my day unexpectedly. I also understand this really doesn’t have anything to do with me personally. I am being scapegoated. When I am feeling like that, I take my leave for my own spiritual safety. I always wish well, even as I wield a verbal sword when I slam the gate shut, in my heart, I always hope for healing and eventual accountability.
These are the times it hurts to cut ties with people we have been there for and truly care about in regard to their well being. This decision, for me, is rooted in the fact that this person has no respect for my own mental health, in that they found it alright to disrespect me. This person has now chosen to impede on my peace and mental health. That is a strong boundary for me now.
I write about this to both expel the negative energy that it created in me and to really drive home that we get to choose. I used to HATE when people said that to me. It pissed me off because I wasn’t ready to change my self-defeating behaviors. I had excuse after excuse. Everyone else was the problem. While yes, others had issues too, I needed to learn how to just focus on my own and not allow them to project theirs onto me. I had to also learn how to not project mine onto others.
I could list out the various physical and mental impairments I generally positively live with on a daily basis. I could demand everyone comply to my needs in regard to them. What I’d rather do is tell you that instead, I made the choice to create an environment which is conducive to my own well-being. I created it by building boundaries and standing mostly quiet in them, only raising my voice when it needs to be heard very clearly. It changed my whole life for the better. Any situation or connection which is not contributing to my greater good can be released or even taken a break from.
Once, one of my sons and I took a break from communicating because things were tumultuous between us. As a mom, I felt crushed. I spent many a night crying and lamenting until I finally realized that I was part of the problem. I needed to learn some different parenting skills, became accountable, listen more and stay rooted in my own safety boundaries. I started focusing on how I could do better, and our dynamic grew into a better and more loving space. I needed to lead by example in that situation.
I don’t expect you to compare any situation you may be having to my own. I share these examples because when I chose to own my own life and stand in what felt safe and comfortable for me, it changed everything. When we choose to heal the triggers which once rocked us they aren’t as daunting anymore. We remove the trigger and live from a state of self-care.
Until we choose to put our own peace of mind first, which can also, unfortunately, include pissing people off to do so, we will always be in the negativity zone. Becoming an empowered person means putting our own well being first.
Release unneeded worries. Cease churning negative situations. Create safe boundaries for yourself and adhere to them without fear of backlash. Most of all, accept that we are the only ones who can choose to protect and put ourselves first in our own lives.