Divide and conquer

A womyn with power needs sisters. I learned this along the way.

The first thing a narcissist will do if they want you, is separate you from your friends. Unless they pick you up when you’re alone and vulnerable , then the job has been done for them.

Society had worked it’s own kind of magic and both socially and genetically I was at the mercy of forces that played out a game of divide and conquer that left me, time and again, stranded in a sea of egotistic, competitive men.


My mother had no sisters.

Her mother had no sisters.

From a young age I had to act as mother to my own sister and sister to my mother.

My father’s mother had only sons, to a narcissistic husband.

I had no aunts to turn to and only a younger sister who’s favourite line growing up was, ‘you’re not the boss of me’. Fair call.


This was the fertile ground on which a battle spanning generations was about to come to a head. A young womyn striving to break free of a curse, and tear through the membrane of delusion that had been cloaked around us all.

No more. Years ago I told them, ‘this stops with me’.

I vowed to find a way to breathe through the fire, to keep my head held high and to keep my self moving forward, regardless and because of what they threw at me.

Fully understanding the narrative from this perspective, as a collective, generational trauma, makes so much sense and provides so much meaning to the experiences I’ve had. Regardless of whether you think I actually am a witch, or was in a previous life, or it’s in my bloodline or whatever, the point is, I will not be vilified for who I am and how I live.  Not by my father, yours, or any other person who has been tamed by the patriarchy and literally drugged by consumerism to comply.

I do as little harm as humanly possible to all creatures. I am kind whenever possible, I keep as much negativity  to my self as I can. I try to be generous and when I perceive I have done wrong, when I have made a mistake, I sit with it and I learn.

So if you don’t like the way I spell womyn, or the language I use to describe my newfound confidence and joy, if it confuses you or disorients you or perhaps rubs you up the wrong way, or gods forbid it makes you feel dumb…oh well. That doesn’t give rise to suffering within me. I am not here to please you. No more.

For centuries I have had to kiss the ring of their lords.  Drop to my knees before their misogynistic alter boys. Did they think I had forgotten? Did they think we wouldn’t know? The daughters of the daughters of the womyn you killed… our essence lives on and now, we are pushing through the veil.

I talk to them as if they were here. Play it out in my mind, whispering the words as if to say to them directly, to the ones who had hurt me; No. More.

Releasing. To the passerby, I would look like a mad woman, ranting to herself. To a clinician I’m neurotic, ruminating and hallucinating.  To a sister, I am a wild womyn, processing the words, crafting the narrative, manifesting the future in which I thrive.

To chose dysfunction and pathology is to choose my own torment. To chose the path of pharmaceutical regulation and compliance, is to choose my own imprisonment.

Don’t process.

Don’t let go.

Don’t release it and move on, forward with your life.

Take this pill.

Swallow it down.

Just put one foot in front of the other.

Back on track…

Just where they want me.

Step by step, day after day, until my life was theirs.

So many (not all!) psychological disorders are simply patriarchal control mechanisms. Levers that can be pulled.  Gaslighting you in to thinking you’re unwell, disordered, dysfunctional, chaotic, psychotic.

But maybe you’re not. 

Maybe you’re breaking free.

Maybe you’re breaking from the inconsistencies.

Maybe you’re being crushed by the rules and expectations.

Maybe you’re encapsulated by the demands.

Where is your freedom? 3 hours on a Saturday night?

To do what? Get drunk, high, laid? Sleep?

What if you said how you were feeling? What if you told the truth?

What if you said ‘I’m tired and it’s not ok for you to treat me with such contempt!’

‘I am not anxious, you are a bully.’

‘This is your secret, not mine.’

What if  you let go? What if you stayed in bed and slept? If you allowed your self the free fall of not following the rules. Allowed your self the time and space to rest and heal. What if you weren’t depressed, just overwhelmed and in desperate need of space and time to your self.

Processing family patterns is essential to identity work.  We might start by reading other stories, narratives that help you see the features and characteristics of the patterns, so that you might go back to notice your own. We might start to superimpose other narratives onto our own experiences as a way of making sense of what we’ve been through, give some meaning to it all.

You can work with stories, like the one that I’m a witch, to explore archetypes, or an identity. When you notice something feels right or familiar, that it gives you a buzz,  shivers down your spine, goosebumps over your skin; you’ve found something that is significant to you. You can feel the energy of it and the way you are attracted to it. Explore that.

Energy work is well supported by the empirical evidence surrounding mind-body medicine, the interactions between mental and physical health.  A primary example is the way we can use breath to regulate and overcome the fight/flight response. When we learn to do the narrative/identity work and the body (and breath) work together, we start to process more fully and reintegrate our whole selves. With practice we become the wise, compassionate, complex, multi-dimensional, paradoxical, emergent, perpetually imperfect being we are capable of being.

For my sisters and my daughters, my aunts and my mothers, the champions who stand with us, I scream, ‘I am here, I stand for you and with you. Our time has come’.

The past is a story, the future is ours to craft.

Namaste.

Be well.

S x

The past is a story, the future is ours to craft ~ Simone B’Free


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2 responses to “Divide and conquer”

  1. I get what you did with ‘womyn’ Shari; you removed the ‘man’ from ‘woman’ and replaced it with ‘my’. You have become your own champion!
    Love Dave

  2. everything you write is so powerful Shari but this particular piece is particularly special – thanks for making this pathway clearer for us all – my womyn you!

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