Don't be Fooled Again - Paula Carrasquillo - Paula's Pontifications

Don't be Fooled Again - Paula Carrasquillo - Paula's PontificationsHow many times has someone said or inferred, “What were you thinking getting involved with that fool. You’re smarter than that?”

I find this comment about as insulting as asking a cancer patient what they did to get cancer.

It doesn’t matter how smart you are, how many degrees or certifications you earn or how old you are. There are no absolute parameters to protect anyone from being a potential victim.

If you have a conscience and are capable of empathy, you are a potential victim.

Sociopaths don’t announce themselves.

They don’t say, Hey, I’m going to make you think I am smart, intelligent and caring. Once I have you convinced we were born to be together, I’m going to start tearing you down. Why? Because I’m a piece of trash, and I’d like you to feel as worthless as I feel. Misery loves company after all. Your mind is going to become so confused. You will experience cognitive dissonance comparable to that of military combatants. You are going to love me and struggle with hating me. You are going to start thinking you deserve everything I put you through. Everyone is going to tell you to leave me, but you are going to stay because I’ll make you pity me. I’ve lived such a rough life. No one sticks around for long. I need love, too. Unfortunately, everyone leaves and abandons me in the end, because I have no idea what love is. I know how to hate and break down good people with ease. However, I have no interest in making them feel good about themselves (unless, of course, telling them gets me something like money, sex, power or advantage).

Would any of us give a person like this a second glance? No. Why? Because we aren’t stupid. We are smart and intelligent and filled with life experiences. We’ve been hurt in the past by relationships and are on the lookout to not get hurt again.

But even due diligence isn’t enough when dealing with a sociopath. They come to us very needy. That’s how they hook us.

They are depressed or stuck or in need of a person or group of people to lift them up. Good people fall for this victim role every. single. time. Don’t be ashamed that you fell for it. Be ashamed if you didn’t.

Having known and experienced a sociopath makes you and me and her and him stronger. We aren’t weak or foolish. We have experienced and survived the darkest side of humanity. Now we know it exists. Now we know anything is possible, including the existence of people without a conscience.

We may not recognize the sociopath at first in the future. But we will be less likely to allow sociopathic characters to infiltrate our lives the same way we allowed it in the past.

Knowledge really is power when it comes to protecting ourselves against pathology.

What’s that Who song? Won’t Get Fooled Again. Yeah. That’s my mantra.

Good morning! Namaste!

~Paula

Category:
abuse, Cluster B disorders, domestic violence, Emotional Abuse, Family, Forgiveness, Friends, Health, Lessons, Love, Mental Health, mindfulness, Narcissist, Narcissistic Personality Disorder, Narcissistic Sociopath, NPD, Peace, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Psychopaths, PTSD, Recovery, Relationships, Self Improvement, Sociopaths, Spirituality
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Join the conversation! 35 Comments

  1. I was married to a true sociopath, and dated a couple others. I do go to counselling, and have great kids, but me, I thought I should figure out why my life went from happy, upbeat, outgoing, to at home, happy that way, with just a couple close girl friends, til I started reading this information. What is the best way to get back to me? My Faith got me through, I had to stop working, go on ssi, and now am thinking at 62, of working part time. I feel better reading this, and other information. But, it is exhausting, which is one of the symptoms when I was involved. Do you habe upbeat reading information? I use to be nervous, have high blood pressure, and could not talk about it, only when I was drinking, or taking nerve pills. Now I just want to go on, and learn from it, have been in my house for a long time, and they are so good at making it look like tbeir victims are the screw up. I knew different, and some are learning, but I want to just be me again, not feeling scared, wiped out, shame, or blame in my head.

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    • I’m so happy you commented! My wish is for all of us to get to this point where we say, “Screw you!” to everyone else and focus on getting back to our loving, joyful and happy selves. Have you ever tried guided metta meditation? Even if you have never meditated or have struggled to meditate in the past, guided metta (metta means peace in sanskrit) is easy and has an almost instant effect on our psyche. I have a YouTube channel play list For Beginners: Yoga, Breathing, and Meditation. The 4th video on the list is a great place to start if you are willing. https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLd0kSfSRNz364mQjhbOUeUD8OSd8u3U-n XOXO ~Paula

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    • Thank you. I now feel enlightened with this new knowledge, but exhausted, too. I know I am not the crazy one, even if it looked like it. I have never tried meditation, but I will look for hour video. I feel so worn out, from all this chaos, it has been a long time since we lived together, but I dated a sociopath for a while,, and did not kno the damage they do til I read this today. Actually, I think I dated at least two of them. They are so ill, and twisted. I want my strength back. Thanks for listening

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    • Keep reaffirming and telling yourself you want your strength back, and you will get it! 🙂

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  2. OH MY, it’s been 7 years for me, seven years of a living hell and I was so in love and so understanding that it blinded me from what my partner actually was.
    I had made notes on my calendar throughout the years every time something happened, and only until now have I understood what I was going through. It’s a very sad situation when you realize you have wasted years of your life and have shed so many tears & depression over a person who basically just uses you & manipulates your heart, your mind and your life – for nothing but the fact that they have no conscience and they truly do have a psychological problem they cannot fix. Sadly they do not realize how much they hurt others, and that part alone is the scariest thought because they will continue their lives doing this to other pour souls who cross their path.

    I’ve been through it all:

    – lies about his home life, stated he was ‘separated’ only a year later did I find out he was married still living with his wife
    – lied about his job which was non-existant
    – flirted with friends/strangers alike to the point of starting orgies
    – problems with strangers, as he is very blunt and does not care what he says to people
    – problems with police officers, throwing water bottles, hot dogs, whatever he has in his hands after the bar and starts trouble
    – always centre of attention, the joker, the one who goes on stage and entertains everyone
    – very high sex drive / attractive man
    – promiscuous nature, finding out months sometimes a year later of girls he met online/bar which he had one night stands with or a relationship with
    – loving, kind towards me but within a week or two always dealt with verbal abuse over one issue or other which he caused
    – blamed me for problems which arised due to his own actions
    – never met his close friends or buddies or family members to see his other life (he always kept his personal life separate, there was always one reason or another of why it wasn’t possible over the years)
    – puts people against you, alienates you from your family and friends until all you have is him
    – drinking problem, alcohol which made him grab women in bars (breasts, bottom etc) in front of me caught when I wasn’t looking or when he thought i wasn’t around, and there were many times it was done in front of my face & I was told it was just ‘fun’ and drunkeness that made him do it
    – as much as i have a good heart, am shy, very attractive as a woman, it did not matter to him to lie in my face and have no empathy that he was hurting me with other women
    – there were times i had proof of his lies and I wouldn’t let him know what I knew & I watched him casually tell me otherwise like it was second nature, it hurt to see this knowing the truth
    – always stated he was in love with me and wanted to marry me, but constantly cheated and lied nonetheless out of just pure thrill, I believe they unknowingly get some type of high from this to others, the lying & cheating is exciting
    – very intelligent, yet uses this to their advantage to manipulate others

    My last day was two weeks ago, I waited on him all day for a ‘weekend’ he supposedly wanted to spend with me..
    Friday night excuse was he forgot about a friends husband’s birthday party (i wasn’t able to go as i live an hour away) I later found out he was at a bbq party with friends and women he had associations with.
    Saturday comes along, I received many excuses in the morning as to why I was unable to join him at an ‘antique show’ due to him going early at 8am with family, he ended up not going at all as I later found out he as at this party from the night before and was still enjoying the festivities the next day and was lying to me all along.
    I spend the day cleaning my home, changing my sheets, buying groceries for our weekend, buying his favorite wine.. he finally showed up at 7:30pm, said he was tired and wanted to stay in, he wanted to sit in the car when I sat in to let me know of his day while we were parked, I stated I did not want to sit in a hot car to listen to him tell me about his day, I suggested we could go to a book store if he was tired, sit and have a coffee and he can tell me of his day and then we can go home and hang in if he was tired.
    I was stuck most of my day indoors, waiting on him and doing things for us in preparation, it wasn’t too much to ask to step out.
    Mind you at this time I had already known where he spend Friday night and most of Saturday and I was sad, and because I loved him so much I didn’t bring it up not to upset him.
    Well, as we are driving within 10min he gets angry because he wants to tell me about his day (his lies, not the truth).. I had expressed to him only that I would have liked to join him at the antique show Saturday morning ( I had asked the night prior but he said he was tired and wanted to go to bed) in the morning he just ignored what I said & left without me.. keep in mind you I said this calmly, lovingly and politely, as I do not like seeing his anger. Well within 10min into our ride, after me stating only that I would have liked to join him and wished he would have planned it with me – HE BLOWS UP, starts to get upset hitting & banging at the steering wheel yelling and screaming at me of how much stress he has coming from all angles (as he lives with his parents and has a daughter from previous marriage that only lasted 2yrs) as he is doing this acting like a psychotic maniac, he utters ‘im turning around and going home, i had enough of this sh#t’ WOW

    For the first time, I snapped, I don’t know what happened, with his yelling and telling me he was going home after the day I had I immediately opened the car door as he was driving along the lakeshore, I wanted to get out.

    I have never done that before or acted that way the mere shock of what he had done and how he was treating me in my face, knowing full well he is lying to me, was something I will never forget.

    He was in the center lane and he pulled over within a minute and watched me get out. Now, I know he is lying as I received photo proof of where he was and with whom, he knows he is lying but doesn’t realize I know, and yet he still treated me that way? UNBELIEVABLE

    It took me a little over a half hour to get home walking. Not once did he try to stop me from getting out of the car, he didnt come looking for me, but he did text me in capital letters how I could have caused an accident (we were barely going 20km at the time), and how I could have ruined his career (which he does not have, he is still going to college, his 3rd attempt, failing some courses already) but this is how narcissistic sociopaths are.. this is what they do, this is how they treat you and it was not the first time.

    Sadly this happened once before after waiting on him most of the day, preparing for his arrival, he never showed up & cancelled on me using the excuse that I didn’t want to drive half way and meet him..

    I never responded to any of his texts after he made me walk home in the cold that night, I felt worthless, I realized I had been fooled for 6 years.I was numb on my walk home in disbelief that this has been my life

    He has sent me angry emails and texts since this happened, it’s been 2 weeks – I have not responded to any (as he enjoys the blame game and arguing to the point where he wont make you sleep for a week just from you trying to wrap your brain around all the harsh words and put downs he throws at you).

    I always forgave him, for many many things he has done to me, in front of me and behind my back..

    I guess it took for me to watch him lie to me for days knowing the truth, and it crushed me and devastated me to watch him do this to my face and not have a care in the world of how he was deceiving me and lying to me. It took this last time for me to actually realize the relationship was all a lie – I was faithful and loving and in it wholeheartedly, he wasn’t.

    As hard as it is, and has been, I have not contacted him, I have changed my number and I am having a difficult time because throughout the years he has alienated me from my family and my friends. I am alone more than ever, but I had to do this, my life, my self esteem, my self worth is all gone.

    Sadly, the peace and solace I feel not reading or hearing his harsh words towards me, degrading me & not listening to the constant lies & stories, not being manipulated any longer, and not spending nights and weekends worrying or stressing over issues he brings into my life – has been the first feeling of peace I have felt in a long time.

    It’s a daily struggle trying to forget, trying not to call or text, because I was in love, this was what I believed to be my soulmate, my life. But it was nothing but a lie, I was just one of many, for no other reason but the fact that he cannot control his sociopathic nature.

    I don’t know what the future will hold for me, I don’t know if I will fully recover, I don’t know if I will ever heal from this, but I am going to try – it’s all I have left to save myself from this.

    For those of you who have experienced a relationship with a narcissistic sociopath

    Good Luck to you all & God Bless you all

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    • Debra, Thank you for taking the time to share your story and experience with us. Too bad the narcissistic sociopath doesn’t come right out and say, “I’m cheating and flirting with everyone and anyone because I don’t really love you. I just like stringing you along. It’s a fun game for me and I like being able to see how easy it is to control you and your emotions.” Do you mind if I share your comment as a post on this blog? I won’t use your name. You posted this three times. You seem to want to share. I can help you with that. 🙂

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    • Thank you for your straight forward words on this as it helps to have constant reminders when the sociopath is still trying to convince me otherwise, even though i havent responded since the incident. I appreciate your offer, it is very kind of you to do so, it brings solace in me to have others know so they see the signs early on & know that they are not alone & that we will survive this & better our lives – thank you

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  3. what can be done? luckily there is more and more publicity about it, but the family court seem to be a bunch of narcissists themselves . how do we bring so needed change ? so, if they do not respond to compassion, they get around anything – what is the solution ? it has to be one ! !!!!!

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  4. No one here is using the term “sociopath” too freely. In fact, the term sociopath is used correctly on this blog by the author as well as many of those who comment.

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  5. The problem is using the “sociopath” label too freely. Not everyone who acts obnoxiously is a sociopath. I’m sure there are other unique, and more appropriate lables for them. I think Martha Stout in her book “The Sociopath Next Door” suggested the rule of threes. Three lies, misrepresentations, etc. and they’re out.

    I hope you don’t misunderstand my point. I agree that the first line of defense against a sociopath is to avoid them at all cost. They’re just so damned hard to spot.

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    • When it’s their default behavior and 3+ ex-girlfriends/friends contact you to help validate what your feeling in order to refer to him as a sociopath or psychopath, the label is pretty easy to use. Pathology of any degree is dangerous and reprehensible and should not be tolerated. The label isn’t used enough, in my opinion. Too many people just wave it off as asshole behavior when it’s much more than JUST being an asshole. 🙂

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  6. Paula,
    After 10 years with a narcissist/psychopath and two years recovering I was very cautious when pursued by a man. I kept him at arms length for 4 months getting to know him and insisting I was not into a relationship. I didn’t feel guilty taking all the time I needed to feel comfortable with him. He worked hard at winning my trust and I considered him a friend first before I went to bed with him because I knew sex was not going to be easy for me.
    Within two weeks of having sex my gut instincts kicked in and I surprised him one night by dropping by his place unannounced. I wasn’t really surprised when I walked in and there was another woman there. Hurt yes, angry yes, but not surprised because my gut was telling me.

    I had a moment of self blaming and thinking how cwould I get sucked in again. But I listened to my gut this time instead of sticking around 10 years. This time I will suffer a small set back not be destroyed by the N and for that I am grateful.

    You are so right, no one is immune, if touch have a heart, a soul, a conscience you are a target. They morph into whatever their prospective victim needs, they are such expert actors and have made studying peoples behaviours and how to manipulate people their

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    • Sorry, my phone screwed up. Anyway their survival relies on their ability to read people and manipulate them through guilt etc. They have studied it and are experts who can manipulate professional counsellors, there is no way a normal caring person can fathom the depth of their evil and that is why they get away with it time after time after time. Anyone that says itvwould not happen to them us naive and obviously lucky to have not met one……yet.
      Good post

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  7. We also escaped them which takes a lot of strength!

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  8. Great post! Yes, the socio paths suck us in by making us feel safe and secure and then BAM, they start the criticisms…’knowledge is power’, Amen.

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  9. I try not to beat myself up for falling prey to his (xnarc) con. He was nothing but a con man who lies to everyone and still does to ruin my repuation and destroy me. I feel like he wanted children and I was his incupator to achieve his goal. Once I had the children I was nuts and had severe post partnum depression (he says). Once I got the courage to leave (fleeing to a SOS rescue center) he did everything to take my children away from me. In the courts he received 50/50 joint custody and we split it right down the middle of course he deserved to have half or it wasn’t fair. My children are now 18 and 16 and have emotional problems ( I wonder why) but he has everyone convinced it is genetics (mine of course). My 18 year old son spends about 2 nights a week with me as his father tangle’s quite a carrot in front of him and right when he takes it the verbal abuse starts. That is when I see him. My 16 year old son doesn’t stay any nights with me as he is scared to show too much affection to me as his father has him brainwashed I am the cause to all his problems. I love my children and I am heartbroken. I have Jesus as my savior and he gets me through the storms. My x narc says I am a reglious freak, no matter what they will use whatever you do no matter how harmless it is against you. Thanks for letting me rant. I miss my kids.

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    • Thank you for sharing your rant, Nancy. Too many of us feel alone in what we have experienced. The more of us who share, the more of us will feel less shameful and able to move ahead. And you are so right about the sociopath/narc using anything and everything against us. I made it easy to take all of the blame due to my abuse of alcohol. I was shamed into believing that all of our relationship issues were a direct result of my drinking. You, on the other hand, are being shamed for accepting Jesus! What kind of person can twist something as pure as a person’s spirituality against them? I despise these people especially for the abuses they perpetuate against our children. Hell is too good of a place for them, in my opinion. 🙂

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  10. Thank you! So many of us feel foolish for having overlooked a million red flags and discarded the advice of many, just to find out we were being played. I’m no exception. I’m a smart, strong, intuitive woman — I fell for it, and had a difficult time forgiving myself.

    But you are so right: good people DO get fooled. We empathize, we try everything to “make it work”, we allow ourselves to be punished, we begin to think we deserve it. We do something a NS will *never* do: we love. And having a heart makes us targets.

    For all of us who needed to read this, thank you!

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    • Thank you, Tamara. Through all of this, I have learned to love myself more deeply and not allow someone to ever shame me into thinking I don’t matter or that my feelings don’t matter. The only person in our lives who shouldn’t matter is the narc/sociopath. XOXO

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    • exactly my experience, Tamara!!!

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  11. This is such a great post Paula!

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  12. besides married to a selfish, man. I married into a family with the most caddie, mean spirited judgmental women I have ever been exposed too. (Never grew out of the Mean Girl error.) Classic Sociopath/Narcissistic family: If they were normal… they would contact you and express concern when they find things out , Not victimize you again, at the expense of the situation. Especially, when a child is involved. A bunch of ENABLERS who think and only care about winning and what others think of them. Instead, they are only proving how inhumane they are.

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    • A narc and his family go hand-in-hand. It’s the true picture of dysfunction. And they will abandon each other as easily as they discard the rest of us if it will benefit them in some way. Very sad and pathetic existence.

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    • So agree with the narc and his family go hand-in-hand.
      His ex-wife lost her daughter and nearly her son to my, nearly, ex-husbands lies from him and his dyfunctional family.
      Unfortunately I did’nt believe her but now
      I too am suffering the same experience –
      The lies and covering up his womanising – all too happy to hand the reins over to me to take care of disfunctional ways when he came out of prision for rape on his ex-wife…..for him to lie and dupe me through 11 years of lying, cheating and scamming.
      I gave him All and he contributed nothing emotionaly in the marriage.
      They “know” what their brother Is?
      The Black-sheep of the Family!
      Couldn’nt believe a family that this actually exsisted..
      They are as pathetic as him and he is a product of their upbringing of him since he lost his mother at 7 years of age.
      He has now gone on to another woman after dupping me on my Birthday last year.
      I wish her all the luck in the World.
      She will need it.

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  13. When a narcissistic sociopath wooed my daughter I warned her (being a clinical psychologist specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of Cluster B personality disorders I could see the danger) and even with my gentle warnings, his power of persuasion and protestations of love convinced her of his “genuine” commitment to her and her 5 year old son. Years later after the 5 year old endured beatings, my daughter was emotionally and physically abused and brought figuratively and literally to her knees, the birth of two more children, the separation, the divorce, the custody battle, the 5 false reports of sexual abuse by my daughter and/or her father to the baby girls, etc. she now clearly understands what she is dealing with and so does the court (supervised visitations). Grueling life lesson and the reason I write about it here is because I support the blog article – the power of the sociopath to lure its victim is amazing – don’t blame yourself and realize that this life experience will make it very unlikely that you will ever be so vulnerable again as you will now look at what people DO rather than what they SAY.

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    • Thank you, anonymous. My family warned me in the beginning, too. They said, “There is something OFF about Ruben.” I chalked it up to them not knowing him the way I knew him. Wow! How egotistical of me! My family’s opinion should have been respected and heeded more. But I was stubborn. I wanted to prove to them that I would NEVER choose a monster as a partner. NEVER! My own competitiveness and determination got in the way of the reality of who and what he really is. But now I know. And I understand the struggles of women and men who are where I once was and sometimes find myself again on occasion: the realm of self-blame. It’s my family who helps to reassure me that it’s okay that I was fooled. It’s okay. They love me and want to see me free and at peace. 🙂

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    • I AM a Clinical Psychologist, by all intents, I should have known, and yet, I was that girl…for nearly two decades. His new “victim” is an MD and an author who does television and radio shows…how that must feed his narcissism! I, too, have been besieged by those questions, “How did you not know?,” “How could you let happen?”, “Isn’t this what you DO?” I find it now, mid custody battle, from the psychologist performing the evaluation, the skepticism; because it makes people feel safe. People have believe either THEY would have been able to tell or that it really wasn’t all that bad…

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    • That’s the other part: people thinking it wasn’t all that bad. It’s definitely difficult to present and chronicle the subtlety and insidiousness of the abuses the narc/sociopath perpetrates. Just detailing instances can seem petty to many. It’s almost like we must re-live it and act it out in order for people to get it. That kind of recreation of events is extremely traumatic and triggering. It’s why many of us can’t write about it or talk about for a long time, if ever. 

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    • That must have been so horrific for you to watch all this happen to your child and your grandchildren {{hugs}}. I’m so sorry.

      Narcissistic sociopaths just don’t have one victim at a time, they also have her or his family and friends, co-workers, anyone. Over the course of a N/S’s lifetime, that’s dozens, if not hundreds, of people they adversely affect (at best) or destroy (at worst).

      Thank you Paula for your thoughtful blog posts and to your readers for helping us all to heal.

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  14. I kept thinking, why me? Did he sense my vulnerability? Then I realized that he used my kindness, my empathy and my decency against me. And it’s much better to be me than to be him. I pity him…from afar.

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    • I feel the same way. I was and still am a very compassionate person and he zoomed right in on that and the rest is history.

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    • Don’t forsake those qualities. Don’t try to punish yourself for caring. We all care too much to a degree (except the narcissistic sociopath). The boy in my story liked commenting about the values of the women he dated. He zeroed in on women with values knowing only that type of woman could possibly put up with his crap. They’re losers. They lose people. They lose good people. It is a shame and a pity. 🙂

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  15. I always feel they play our best qualities against us- our love, compassion, and empathy. I

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    • They do! But I honestly do not think they understand that they exploit those qualities in us. They use us without intending to use us until we spell it out to them. But even then it’s not their fault. We should have known better, right? We should just accept it, right? Well, I accept it and I will shout it from the rooftops that these folks are the biggest losers on the planet. 🙂

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