caged birds tattoo, PTSD, recovery, psychopath, sociopath, awareness, dating a sociopath, divorcing a narcissist, Paula Carrasquillo, Paula Renee Carrasquillo, Paula Reeves-Carrasquillo

caged birds tattooHow necessary is forgiveness in your journey to finding peace? Many believe being able to forgive yourself and the sociopath is the ONLY path to real healing and peace. And everyone has their opinion about what true forgiveness means and will try imposing their understanding of forgiveness onto you.

I don’t think that is fair, so I’d like to offer some relief:

There is no definitive solution or recipe to reach the peace true forgiveness brings. The moment you feel the relief in your heart, you will know it instinctively. The peace will wash over you. The grudges or resentments you have will simply be gone.

The flood of peace comes naturally and suddenly, but we must work for peace.

You know what they say about a watched pot never boiling? The same is true for peace and forgiveness. If you keep harboring on why you haven’t found peace and wondering why forgiveness is so elusive, they will NEVER arrive. What you must do is “get busy living or get busy dying.” (I love Shawshank Redemption.) Because relying solely on your wishes and hopes for peace and forgiveness won’t bring them to you. There are real actions that you must take also.

Wishing and hoping are beautiful but solve nothing on their own. If all you do is sit around wishing and hoping for peace, you remove yourself from reality. Removing yourself from reality is what you did in the relationship, wishing and hoping things would change. They never changed, did they?

I’m not saying to stop wishing and hoping. I’m recommending that you add action to those thoughts.

Do things that bring you immediate joy and happiness.

Take long walks. Read a great book. Watch a movie. Plant a garden. Learn to Tango.

Go to a concert. Get tickets to see your favorite sports team live. Sign up for a boot-camp workout. Become a vegetarian. Pickup your instrument again.

Do something you have always wanted to do but were either too afraid or too tired to try. Do something you were always discouraged from doing or shamed for attempting while in the toxic relationship.

Doing something new and for you helps to refocus and redirect your mind. When we refocus and redirect our minds, we’re teaching ourselves to think differently about ourselves and the world around us. We naturally begin to reprogram our mind to think mindfully and more positively. We are in charge and in control. Being in charge and in control of ourselves is a path to peace.

Once I stopped shaming and blaming myself for everything that went wrong in the toxic relationship, I found the strength and energy to step outside of myself and my routine. I created a new routine, a new model of me. A better routine, a better model of me. A healthier routine, a healthier model of me.

Taking control of myself and my routine has resulted in becoming a better person, mother, wife, sister, daughter, and friend. And my routine changes all the time! My routine is routinely changing! The one constant, however, is my peace of mind.

The peace I feel knowing I am not hurting anyone.

The peace I feel knowing I am not hurting myself.

The peace I feel knowing no one is hurting me.

But most importantly, the peace I feel knowing that there is no one trying to convince me that I am hurting myself or anyone else while they hurt me.

That’s the best f*cking peace anyone could ask for and that peace is reachable for us all.

Namaste!

(image source: http://pinterest.com/pin/357895501608115854/)

Category:
abuse, Child abuse, Children, Cluster B disorders, domestic violence, Emotional Abuse, Family, Forgiveness, Friends, Health, Journaling, Lessons, Love, Mental Health, mindfulness, Narcissist, Narcissistic Personality Disorder, Narcissistic Sociopath, NPD, Peace, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Psychopaths, PTSD, Rape, Recovery, Relationships, Self Improvement, Sociopaths, Spirituality
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Join the conversation! 33 Comments

  1. Always encouraged by your words. God bless

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  2. Paula , I have missed reading your posts, the double vision is gone and I am feeling better so I am back !! looking forward to catching up on all your words of wisdom and encouragement that i find in your blog. Taking action is half the battle… lately i have been told to just forget about the abuse and move on. I was told by several that I am stuck and can not heal if I keep thinking about the trauma I experienced. Bullshit. I too have stepped outside of myself and then back in with an attitude of healing and finding my way to overcome it. Thanks for being here

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    • I do not think that anyone can dictate that another person is “stuck”. I think stuck is when you can not do anything past the trauma and life does not move forward at all. But if a person is working, meeting new people, setting and achieving new goals that is not stuck. How can anyone say how long it will take for another to heal?!!

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    • Exactly, Ivonne. Healing and recovery is different for everyone, just like anything else we do in life. 🙂

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    • So glad you are feeling better, Becki. And like Ivonne writes, it’s impossible for anyone but yourself to know if you’re stuck or not. I believe I would have remained stuck if I had remained silent about what happened to me. But that’s me and that’s what works for me. Silence works for others. It doesn’t work fro everyone. 🙂

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  3. It came to me as I read your reply about being duped, he’s a man, an older wiser man who has old school beliefs about a mans role of what a good husband and a father should be, and “That Guy” will never be in the same class as my dad, and all the other good men in this world. He GETS “The Boogie Man”, and how he operates. Shames all the good men out there, just good women. He knows how badly I was hurt, he had to watch helpless. How awful to watch your child and know there was nothing you could do, ($$ doesn’t fix everything) . Because in his eyes, I will always be 4 years old with pig tails. With my life and heart going down in flames, because I loved someone who didn’t love me back, who had 2 children with me, publicly, financially, humiliated me with cheating and lord knows what else – he suffered with me. How do thank your parent for unconditional love like that? You pull it together, and make your life work! 😝!

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  4. Beautiful post, and beautifully written. Really uplifting to read as well Paula. You know my view, Forgiving your abuser, you forgive yourself, and set yourself free. Some people are just ‘damaged’….. but they will continue to be damaged. No reason why the victim has to carry that damage with them. that is what they want, and no way would I give that satisfaction 🙂

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    • Forgiveness comes, Positivagirl. And I agree it sets you free. But not linearly. THAT is many a victim’s downfall in trying to forgive first before they forge ahead. You gotta forge ahead, and the forgiveness happens on its own. 🙂

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    • Yes I agree with that, by focusing on you, learning to love yourself, allowing new things into your life…… you can then let go with love. A big part of it is about forgiving yourself. I think 🙂 Focus energy back to you…. then it radiates out….

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  5. I was talking to my dad (greatest man on earth, still) a few weeks ago, about how foolish I feel at times about being duped into falling in love, marrying the monster and believing we would be together until we died. Yet he is still destroying our lives. He looked at me and said, I would of thought something was wrong with you if you didn’t go into marriage thinking it was forever, the shame belongs to him not you, you upheld your end of the bargain. My dad’s been married for 25 years to his 2nd wife, who is awesome. FYI – he refuses to speak his name – calls him “That Guy” 😱

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  6. I loved your post. So many good advices in there. Yes, we have to focus in living our lives. The “get busy living or get busy dying” is a very strong quote, and in order come out of a relationship like this, we have to focus in the things we always wanted to do and act on them, that´s the only way to find peace…

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    • I was so stagnant in the relationship most of the time. The rest of the time I moving in reverse, regressing. It was horrific! No wonder I I’ve been full-steam ahead these last few months. Like I’m making up for lost time. 🙂

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  7. Both forgiveness and acceptance, allow me to deal with my children’s father, (and his selfish moronic need for control). I forgive him for past, present and future, life is too short, anger and resentment age a person (I am to vain to look old)!! I have long since accepted him for the monster he is, and work with around him. At times, I have difficulty with the forgive yourself, but we are all our own worse critics. I have learned through love there is no fear, because you know what is real in your life. Therefore, making you fearless. Now, he fears me. He won’t admit it, but I see it when we are at school or in court (it’s a 6+year battle, ok). He still has his bravado, but his eyes are scared. I almost feel bad, although I am sure its nothing a girlfriend or two can’t comfort.😊!! FYI- he has tons of tattoos – of his last name! Really? Lol. And mine – we’ve been separated for 6 years and he’s almost on his 3rd wife? I wouldn’t want to look at some other women’s name!! Creepy!

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  8. I think the person we need to forgive is ourselves for being a part of the toxic relationship. As for the narc,I agree indifference to them at best. Life does goes on. I do feel for the women who have had children with the s-paths and still have to continue to deal with them–that can not be easy. Seriously, once we identify a narc why can’t we just have narc tatooed across their foreheads to warn the rest of society 🙂 ?!!

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    • I used to think forgiving myself was a good idea. Now I’m not so sure. What did I do that was so wrong and against my morals and better judgment while in the relationship? I was duped. I forgive myself for taking so long to get to where I am today. That’s what I forgive. I forgive my slow-ass brain. 🙂

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    • Not to forgive ourselves for doing anything wrong but just not not to blame ourselves for being dumb enough at the time to believe the lies and go forth with the relationship. To forgive ourselves for however long it took us to realize what was going on and to get out. To forgive ourselves for being human and loving a person who was not worthy of our love……….

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  9. bring it Paula!! I love love Shawshank too!!!

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  10. You’re reading my mind again, Paula 🙂 This is exactly the post I needed to see today. Thank you!

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    • Awesome, Sofia. Sorry for the late response. My notifications are NOT working! Are you have any issues receiving emails or alerts?

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    • Two voicemails, one last night, one today. I have not listened to either of them and don’t plan to. I wish I could erase them without listening. Maybe Awana will do it for me. If I never hear that man’s voice again it will be too soon. I may just change my number, but it means notifying quite a few people that it’s changed.

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    • I think that would be a great “job” for Awana. I remember coming upon images of my ex about 6 months ago. Made me want to vomit. So I had a little fire outside in the middle of winter. It was worth freezing my fingers. 🙂

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    • I don’t think I have any more pictures, maybe on my computer, but I delete them as I find them. I tossed all that shit into the wood stove before I left his house. Just seeing that little icon that said I missed a call from him made my stomach churn. Maybe changing my number would be worth the irritation of updating everyone.

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    • It TOTALLY would be worth it!!

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  11. right on! perfectly articulated!

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  12. Agreed. Insisting that forgiveness is the way to true and complete healing is unfair for a variety of reasons (that you will be blessed to know I won’t get into here!-lol!). I encourage survivors to strive for indifference. This all comes with time and distance from the disordered one. The feeling of peace that you describe, is one I’ve achieved in my own life, yet we can have peace and still think of the disordered one and peace is a thing of the past at that moment. It’s when we think of the disordered one and see it as an experience that was brutal, but that taught us many lessons about ourselves.. I think if a survivor achieves indifference, forgiveness can come with it, because they simply don’t care anymore. And if indifference is all they can do, then they have ‘arrived’. Very nice post, Paula.

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    • Thank you, Kellie. Too many times I have seen and (personally experienced) victims struggling with forgiveness and getting stuck because they feel unworthy of a better life because they haven’t found it in their hearts to forgive these monsters. Indifference is the best place to be. Not sure I am 100% there, but my life certainly isn’t being dictated by my feelings I have for HIM. 🙂

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