Laughter is the best medicine.

My son the laughter dummy

In addition to writing and sharing my story of emotional abuse at the hands of a narcissistic sociopath, I want to provide healing options for those who have suffered similarly. On my blog, I write about yoga, Bikram yoga specifically, and how it is healing me every day and with every practice. But one of the most valuable healing tools I have encountered is laughter.

Laughter? Yes, laughter. According to Laughter effects: Humor and Inspiration for victims of sociopaths, laughter is good medicine:

“Laughter reduces stress, strengthens the immune system, and benefits the cardiovascular system. Laughter is the direct pathway to the center of one’s identity. Humor is empowering!” (Martin, 2011).

And what’s the biggest thing that gets taken from us at the hands of sociopaths, narcissists, and other Cluster B predators?…our identities!  I think it is fair to say that most of us choose to be angry at the person who orchestrated our suffering, and the anger is nearly uncontrollable to reel in at times. Unfortunately, being angry wreaks havoc on our bodies and can cause any number of health issues if allowed to seethe. Here is a short list of anger-related conditions I pulled from a Healthmad story on The Physiology of Anger:

  • High blood pressure
  • Decrease in metabolic activity
  • Increased risk of heart attack
  • Increased risk of diabetes
  • Flare-ups of skin diseases (think psoriasis and eczema)
  • Flare-ups of arthritis pain
  • Difficulty battling the common cold
  • Increased risk of asthma attacks

I don’t know about you, but I’d rather put an end to the insanity and not be angry or suffer additional physical and mental anguish. I think we suffered enough, don’t you? Instead, I desperately want to laugh and be happy and healthy with increased vitality and energy and loving relationships. Sounds idyllic, doesn’t it? And we deserve idyllic. So, how do we change anger to laughter? Where do we start? What do we do to keep the laughter flowing?

The answer is pretty simple in my opinion: 1) watch and read humorous movies and books; 2) find the “funny” in everything (even a traffic jam can be funny) and; 3) above all, work on not taking yourself too seriously.  After all, isn’t that the trap the sociopath put us through to begin with?

Below is a link to a website I like visiting occasionally to help transform my anger into laughter. It’s specifically designed for those of us who have had the unfortunate experience of dating douche bags. Hahahaha! Peace.

http://www.idatedthatdouche.com/I Dated that Douche website is filled with funny quotes and images to keep you laughing in spite of it all.

Category:
abuse, Bikram Yoga, Cluster B disorders, domestic violence, Emotional Abuse, Family, Health, Humor, Journaling, Lessons, Love, Mental Health, Movies, Narcissist, Psychopaths, Relationships, Self Improvement, Sociopaths, Spirituality, Writing, Yoga
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Join the conversation! 17 Comments

  1. I totally agree with finding the humor in all of this abuse. Honestly what I am finding, having joined a group for women in various stages of abusive relationships with said douche bag men, is that abused women really ROCK in the humor department! It could be why we can take so much of their shit. In some odd way we find them morbidly amusing, and we don’t realize the number they are doing on us until we are sucked in, drinking the Kool-aid. You are very inspirational Paula, you remarried didn’t you? I am not sure I could ever go down that road again. How did you know he was the real deal? Of course, now I am more aware of the textbook antics they shower you with such as love bombing, etc. I think the anger and humor can be blended which is what I try to do in most of my posts. One tempers the other. Love to you Paula. Can Bikram help bulging discs?

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    • Bikram helps with back issues but I would speak to an instructor for specifics. There are modifications for people who have injuries and a trained instructor would know just how you need to proceed.

      I was separated from my husband while in the relationship with the Sociopath X. After leaving the Sociopath X, my estranged husband and I began spending more time together co-parenting and our relationship started to blossom again. He’s actually the person who helped me recover and who gave me the most support. It’s as if I needed to go through what I went through to realize I already had (and married) the perfect man for me. We both changed and grew and learned how to communicate better. I know it sounds strange, but it happened. 🙂

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    • Wow, that is a beautiful story! How fortunate for your son as well, I am very happy for you, cool!

      I will check out Bikram, but probably after the shitbag moves out of the house.

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    • Hehe! I hope he moves out soon. 🙂

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  2. thank you, Paula for the info and background…the picture is lovely and has significant meaning to your journey. You have made great progress in a short time. Yoga, writing, your child, your friends and any other activity that is important to you is what helps to overcome the negatives of the past. Keep up the great work!

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  3. Paula and readers
    It just occurred to me that I ought to say a bit about my background..David whom I just mentioned in a comment…is my late in life love…15 years now…before him I had a relationship that was 10 years old before we both knew it was time to move on…that takes me back 25 years ago…when I moved to a new town, where I live now. Just before, I moved here, 1987, I said to self, I shall NEVER have any domestic violence AGAIN.

    I have had 25 years of violent free life! and it was all due to my conviction 25 years ago that I shall never have it in my life again. When I first moved to Watertown NY I met a fellow who treated me like a lady and I learned to overcome oh so many issues and he taught me so much, but, as sometimes happens, our time together was short and after 10 years we parted and over a year’s time I met David. But, that first gentleman, T…, is still a very good friend to me.

    There is, as life will give us, so many interconnected stories…David not only knows my former T…but he also knows my former ex-husband J…whom is also still a good friend of mine…and it all is because….at some point in time…I said, to myself…I SHALL NOT HAVE ABUSE IN MY LIFE AGAIN.

    Of course, no relationship is perfect…I can honestly tell you that in the 10 years I was with T, he only raised his voice to me…maybe 3 times…and David…in the past 15 years…had never raised his voice to me, except to tell me…when I needed to be reminded…that he is who he is and I’m whom I am and we get along because we do not try to control and/or change each other.

    Of course, it does help that we do not live together and we like it that way…we are both very independent and private…we spend the weekends together and see or talk together every day…we each have our own activities…and don’t need 24/7…anyway

    point is.,..positive statement of what you want in your life…and make no compromise to that…I said NO MORE VIOLENCE and therefore I HAVE NO MORE VIOLENCE.

    thanks Gert

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    • Thank you, Gert! I have vowed the same and to be a better person, period, for my husband and son. It’s only been 18 months since my abuse ended, and it’s a struggle some days to be positive, especially reading stories of others. I do yoga to redirect my anger and frustration but knowing you have succeeded the way you have gives me even more hope that I CAN change my life and my thinking. I can keep smiling and laughing without fear someone’s going to ambush my happiness. I’m so glad you shared this with us. So glad. 🙂

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  4. Paula,
    My partner David, just saw your picture, on the bridge, and he wanted and so do I, where is that picture taken? He likes it!
    I’m going to reblog this post on my blog…I think that we all need to know how to access our inner strengths, during all times of difficulties.

    thank you for your well thought out posts
    Gert

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    • The bridge is in Paris, Pont Alexandre III. It spans the Seine connecting the Champs-Élysées quarter to the Invalides and Eiffel Tower quarter. There is a story behind it. My X took the photo. I had been dragged about the city by him all morning and he kept taking pictures of me. I really felt trapped and controlled that day. When we got to this bridge, I was relieved to be able to lean on something and relax. I saw him lift his camera, so I turned my head. I was exhausted from having my picture taken and being treated like an object. I stood there holding back the tears I was feeling over leaving my son behind for 10 days, the longest I had ever been away from him. I thought to myself, “I just want him to go away and let me call my baby.” He traveled with his iPhone but wouldn’t let me use it to call my son. He wouldn’t even lets use it to find a cyber cafe or phone center. 😦

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  5. Hi, Paula, I have found that my husband very often doesn’t like my sense of humor, so I often don’t have any fun when he is around. A little over a week ago, I found a starving kitten on my deck. The kitten is gaining so much weight and now he is full of funny kitten antics, so he is cheering me up by making me laugh and by responding to my care for him. Mostly I just love to watch him because he makes me smile. My daughters, too, often make me laugh. Healing is such an important part of this process — thank you for writing about it.

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    • I read all of your posts and am amazed at your strength and determination in the midst of continued emotional abuse. I’m glad the kitten is recovering and bringing you joy. Animals and children are big sources of laughter and happiness for me, too. 🙂

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    • Wow! Paula! Thank you! I feel like I floundering and sinking and completely failing. I feel so stupid for still being here. I read the blogs of you and other women who have gotten out and I can’t believe I’m still here. Not that I don’t have plans and dreams and desires, but I haven’t been able to act on them yet. I can hardly wait for the day when I can write about being GONE from all of this! Thank you.

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    • If I had been allowed to write, it probably would have seemed like I was here longer, too. I continued to suffer in silence for 12+ months AFTER I left because I had given up my blog while with him and forgot the power behind writing and sharing. I didn’t start seeing a glimmer of hope until I was able to write and “meet” other women in similar situations. Plus, I wasn’t married to my abuser and didn’t have the financial and legal ties that are making it tough for you to change your situation. We are all different in how we cope and “escape.” I don’t know how you can have a blog and him not know and make it difficult for you. You are definitely NOT failing!

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    • good for you and the kitten: ) I look at my little white Chihuahua when we are hill walking and I see him pouncing along the trail and it makes me smile! That is true healing: )

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  6. Hey Paula you’re right, they do steal our identity! i have just begun in the last two years to get to know me! i also have been learning that the things that i love and make me, me are okay and even good! Laughter is great!! I joke a lot with the other bloggers on here! I was actually going to ask you how you recovered from all you went through, or if you feel have have fully recovered? do you find it hard to trust?

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    • My true nature was always: trust first, ask questions later. My experience definitely destroyed my ability to trust for a while. I didn’t even trust myself! But now, after many months of writing, thinking, and laughing, I can trust again but with a bit of caution. I don’t necessarily distrust people, I’m just more aware that blind trust is what makes me vulnerable and open to allow evil and manipulative people to slip in and hurt me. I think my recovery is still happening, because with each passing day, I am finding it easier to like myself again. I’m glad you are learning to love yourself, too. 🙂

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    • it is hard work to recover from something like this. I am glad to hear that step by step you are getting your life back! i’m glad you’re cautious but beginning to be able to trust again! my parents emailed yesterday, i think i may have to have my Hubby say something to them, because apparently ignoring the emails is not working!
      wow learning to love myself, why does that freak me out?

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