Continually learning about the world and the people who exist in it, true identity is not entirely recognized until confrontation forces a choice. Through the course of a year, a thick energy of manipulative and narcissistic sorts entered my life and the lives of my family. My brother, Jake, a natural empath and passive personality, allowed his identity, personality, and consciousness to be completely transformed. Individuals that allow this usually have low confidence and inferior self-esteem. The woman was fast moving, irrational, and self-absorbed, but appeared all the opposite. Manipulators act out aggressively when threatened and use other people to elevate their egotism and appear desirable.  Waiting for the right time (approximately 4 months into their relationship), such manipulators use other people's words and actions against them to deviate away from the actual scenario, forcing a victimized image of them self to others.  My sister, mother, and father have been used by this woman and Jake (through her influence) as a thick subject of conversation towards my extended family, as distractions filled with irrelevant information proven to be untruthful.

Continually slandering anyone immediate to Jake's life, she blocks out anyone in his path that seems to be a threat; creating ridiculous rumors, twisting words, and presenting them to the public in a completely false context. The willingness to sever his relationship with his own mother and father and immediate siblings is one layer, and also deviating a heavy line of friction between my mother and her siblings is another in and of itself. He is forcing self-justification on actions that are false and telling his own extended family lies to gain their support by playing the role of the victim, cutting out family members like flipping through pages in a magazine. Running away from his own self, he is living in a complete illusion that he titles as “love.”

On a larger scale, this is a case of what one dangerous person can do to a tight knit family over the course of 365 days.  It also raises questions of loyalty, trust, and a person's true character. Can one trust their own blood? Other interesting factors and character traits of entitlement and arrogance within my extended family have surfaced. Also, where one places their emotional support and why has proven to be unpleasantly surprising. People truly see and rationalize what they want, forming their reality to be one that primarily benefits themselves and actively avoiding “the bigger picture”, self-seeking and carrying out destructive actions to fill the void of unresolved feelings.

The choices you make affect the lives and emotions of everyone around you. Illusions are continually being presented to us but we always have a choice.  

An objective understanding can only be achieved by careful study and observation, especially when lies are rampant and emotions run hot. In these situations, things aren’t always what they seem.