How many licks?

How many licks?Sociopaths see all people, especially intimate partners, as possessions and acquisitions.

Remember that Tootsie Roll Pop commercial from decades ago? Well, I can’t help but think about it when I think about the sociopath, the boy in my story. He behaved like a big, fat toddler holding a lollipop, slowly licking away at me and my identity.

And I allowed the sociopath to consume me, penetrate and control my emotions. He judged my emotions daily by shaming, blaming and praising me. And I cared what he thought. Why? Because I thought he really loved me, and don’t we all care what our loved ones think of us?

But now I know nothing the sociopath did or said came from a place of love. His actions came from a place of fear, and his fears were inflicted upon me. I absorbed those fears and took them on. Doing this thrust me into a very dark place. A dark place that slowly and insidiously destroyed my sense of self.

After escaping the sociopath, I was hit hard by a need to go inward and explore what it was inside of me that allowed such evil to penetrate me and use me as its host.

I discovered I wasn’t as confident and as strong as I thought I was. I didn’t have the necessary self-love and self-respect I needed to fight off and deflect sociopaths and sociopathic behavior by others.

So I set out to change that.

I wrote on my blog. I met others with similar experiences. I didn’t feel alone.

I talked to friends and family about how I was feeling. Not everyone understood but enough “got it” and encouraged me to keep talking.

I read books and blogs. Some didn’t fit with how I was feeling. Others did. I took what was valuable and relevant to my situation and left the rest behind.

I continued meeting with my counselor even when I felt like I didn’t need to talk to him anymore. He kept encouraging me while asking the hard questions.

I practiced yoga as often as I could. If I couldn’t find the time to get on the mat, I thought about what I learned on the mat and how I could bring that patience, determination and non-judgment into my daily life, work and play.

I faced my deepest and darkest sides. I turned my entire identity upside down and inside out.

And the work remains; it’s never-ending. But that’s just because life is never-ending (until, of course, it ends). I’m comfortable being an idealist who is forced to push the reality button on occasion.

Thankfully, I now have a solid foundation of self-love and self-worth. I no longer define myself by what I’ve done or what I have left undone. I am always changing and growing, the way we’re supposed to do in life. I’m in an environment and surrounded by friends and loved ones who give me that freedom to grow and reach my potential.

Today, I remain committed to starting, completing and maintaining the hard work I’ve done and continue to do deconstructing and rebuilding what nearly destroyed me due to all of my past toxic relationships and their effects.

I may not be 100% impenetrable. I have no doubt I will be faced with many shitty people in my future. Fortunately, I have more faith and trust in my gut, and I am pretty confident that it would take an infinite number of licks to get to the center of this tootsie roll pop again! 


© 2013 Paula Carrasquillo and Paula’s Pontifications.

abuse, Addiction, Books, Cluster B disorders, domestic violence, Emotional Abuse, Family, Forgiveness, Friends, Health, Journaling, Lessons, Love, Mental Health, mindfulness, Narcissist, Narcissistic Personality Disorder, Narcissistic Sociopath, NPD, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Psychopaths, PTSD, Rape, Recovery, Relationships, Self Improvement, Social Studies, Sociopaths, Spirituality, Writing, Yoga
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Join the conversation! 6 Comments

  1. Hi there! I nominated you for the Narcissist Slayer blog award. Follow the link here:


  2. thank you! I do…I do….I do. I sew gardens of joy, all the time. I just have a panic mode that I need to silence. Maybe that is part of my deep and dark corner. Trust is very hard when you have been deceived by someone you loved. And I do find that I have always felt a huge comfort in strangers….not knowing them, I knew there would be no expectation and therefore minimal chance that they would let me down.
    With intimacy, there is this huge risk. And I am rebuilding. And I do. I build love all the time. I love my daily practice of yoga and my work. I just have these moments of looming unknown fear as my world was so abruptly turned upside down and in the shock of it all, when I was hoping it would all make sense. He somehow managed to get enough consensus to be heard. I was too busy falling apart. And I tend to get lured back there from time to time. It has been two years of clarity, but I lived the lie for 16. And lived it I did. I poured everything I had and then some, I borrowed from others to pour in as well, into this relationship that always seemed to be getting one hard knock after the other. I believed I was doing the right thing, and I was. He was lying and his bad karma was knocking down the things I built up. But know, the things I build are real and very strong. I guess sometimes there is a little snag here and there that takes me back. I love your blog and I am very grateful…..


    • Thank you, anonymous. Snags and slips in our judgment remind us that we’re normal human beings with doubts and fears. You seem to be very solid in your foundation. You just need a little reminder on occasion that you’re on the right path…You’re on the right path! Namaste!


  3. Thank you for this post. I am reeling with incredibly horrible feelings. I surround myself with all things good and supportive. I try all the time to be the “bigger person”. He is still controlling and manipulative and seems to be getting away with it.
    But I want to have my day where I get to tell the sociopath what a horrid human being he is and I want it to stick and I want to feel better! I keep getting sucked into this hatred feeling. i do have friends and a therapist who will listen to me, endlessly, but it is not enough. It seems to appear that the sociopath’s life is getting so amazingly good for him and I am struggling. In all areas. I have no job security. Yet I am building it. I am still under scrutiny as my socio is taking me back to court. We have a divorce that is run by him. My first attorney failed me. It was a perfect storm of a mess for me and my children, but I survived. Everyone tells me how they couldn’t imagine living my life and it is true. I can’t imagine it and it is my life. And I want to just give into the horrid feelings until they go away forever.
    I worry that I am just like him. He will convince the law community that I am, or at least try. He will turn everything onto me and I am so afraid of it going badly. It makes me insane with fear. And I read your blog and it helps. And god knows I have support and there has been time. I just want things to feel better. I want him to get what he deserves. When did this stop for you? I have friends who say “as soon as you let go, the power he has will be nothing” and I say “ok…letting go” and still nothing.


    • Anonymous,

      I probably spent about two years saying, “Okay, just let go.” But nothing. The hate still filled me. I wanted him to know what a creep he was. I wanted him to wake up and see it and offer an apology. I wanted everyone to beware his disturbing and disgusting family and not fall for their pity party and games. I wanted people to wake up to his manipulations. Basically, I wanted him to suffer. Once I realized desiring him to suffer just prolonged my own, that’s when I was able to let go.

      And your friend is correct, once I let go, I no longer worried about when and if he’d ever pay for what he did to me and my son. Him getting his karma is not so important to me anymore. I am convinced it will come to him at the absolute perfect time.

      I am not a Christian. However, I have many Christian friends who have supported me and one who told me: “Paula, we all reap what we sow, good and bad. But we never reap what we sow in the same season.” I took that as her telling me that God provides us with what we deserve in time. We must be patient and never get anxious. Instead, we should be focusing on the here and now and what we have control over.

      What seeds can you sow now, healthy and loving seeds? We’ve sown our fair share of sick seeds, don’t you think? It’s time to get healthy and start thinking healthy. It’s time you stop allowing what he’s done and continues to do (sowing unhealthy seeds) to dictate the seeds you sow. Instead of throwing unhealthy thoughts his way when he throws them at you or someone else, direct your energy to your children and loved ones and do something that speaks to your love and passion instead of your hate and contempt. You’ll be amazed at how a steady practice of doing this eventually becomes your default, and what he does and says rolls past you and into the dark abyss where it belongs!

      🙂 ❤


  4. Reblogged this on Moms' Hearts Unsilenced and commented:
    Paula’s post expresses what I experienced/am experiencing and explains how she has shared her coping & healing practices.


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