Thanks to many factors and revelations over the course of several years, my life has come full circle, and it’s heading into another orbit as I write.

I feel stronger and more confident today than I’ve ever felt in my life.

I’m no longer the frustrated and fearful person who lacks the confidence to speak up when I initially feel the urge to speak up:

1. If I don’t want to do something, I’ll let you know now. I won’t wait until I’m in the middle of doing it and break down angry and upset for having been “forced” to participate.

2. If I don’t appreciate how someone is speaking/addressing me, I’ll let them know, mid-sentence if necessary.

3. If I sense someone is not being truthful, I’ll ask for clarification on the spot, in the moment.

4. If I like you, I’ll tell you.

5. If I don’t like you, I’ll tell you but only because I don’t want you wasting your time thinking I like you.

6. If you tell me you like me, I’ll let you know how thankful and grateful it makes me feel.

7. If you tell me you don’t like me, I’ll respect your reason and try to learn from any mistake I made that led you to your opinion of me.

Some will recognize this list as an example of how I plan to use and maintain my boundaries. I’d agree.

However, boundaries mean nothing if there isn’t a solid foundation of self-acceptance. My foundation, I must admit, is still wobbly. It’s not as earthquake-proof as I’d like it to be.

I feel like the boundaries I have built are quite vulnerable considering I struggle sometimes accepting who I am and where I’ve been.

This blog and the support I get from it have definitely contributed to a more stable foundation, but I can’t rely on this blog alone to reach a higher level of self-acceptance.

Fortunately, I have devised a plan (sounds good on paper!) that might help me reach the level of self-acceptance that my beloved family and friends deserve for me to have.

The first part of my plan is to say “Good-bye” to JUST writing about sociopaths. I started this blog before I ever believed in sociopaths (hehe!), but I admit my experience with a sociopath definitely propelled the popularity of this space.

(I doubt the growth of my blog traffic had much to do with my grasp of grammar or my writing style as much as it had to do with the morbid curiosity surrounding the subject matter of Sociopaths, Psychopaths and Narcissists…oh my!)

It’s the simple truth: The sociopath writing I publish gets more people to my blog and allows me to interact with more people than if, instead, I wrote a blog with a focus on…yoga!

If you have been following this blog for awhile, you will remember that I tried transforming the focus and attempted to transition away from writing about sociopaths a few months ago. Fulfilling this desire (and letting go) has proven to be one of my greatest challenges, regardless of all the yoga I’ve done.

“Just let it go, Paula. You can do this,” I keep telling myself.

How do I let go of something that has brought me so much cathartic healing? That has introduced me to a world of knowledge I never knew needed to be known or passed along? That has provided me with more love and friendships than I ever dreamed would be a possibility?

Plus, I am human, and I like the attention. I like the interaction. I like the validation.

But I also recognize that trying to increase my blog hits each month, to help everyone who comments and to respond timely and accurately to everyone who contacts me privately was causing me some stress, anxiety and took away from my ability to help myself and continue to grow and succeed.

I was stupidly putting too much pressure on myself to be more than I am capable of being.

What am I capable of?

I can write, and I am willing to share. I write blog posts about my experience with someone I believe is pathological, highly narcissistic and sociopathic. I write about how I’ve fallen flat and how I found the faith and courage to continue despite accepting the ugliness of my past. I can also write on many more interesting topics, too.

What am I not capable of?

I can’t be responsible for guiding everyone in the right direction who asks for my help. I wish I could, but I am not a counselor. I can’t help everyone with just words who privately contacts me. I don’t have a magic pill or solution.

Because I have learned healthy boundaries, I recognized how I was allowing my blog to control and dictate my sense of worth and accomplishment. So I took a healthy break the last few months from writing as prolifically as I had been writing. I took that time to map out some goals and determine how I’d like to challenge myself in the coming months and years.

I don’t want to let anyone down by pulling away from my original subject matter, but I’m antsy to go to new places and explore new possibilities, in my writing, my life and my relationships.

>> I want to write more for my Washington Times Communities column on relationships, yoga and health, all from a mindful perspective. I’ve been more fearful to put myself out there, up to this point, on such a public forum as opposed to my personal blog space. It’s safe here. It’s not there.

>> I want to dedicate more time to my anatomy and yoga studies, so I can be fully confident and ready to teach the students who could benefit from my experience at the time I earn my 200-hour yoga teacher training certification later this year. I want to teach yoga to trauma patients and volunteer to teach yoga in community corrections and shelters.

>> I want to dedicate more time to editing all of the personal abuse stories submitted to me last year, so the second book I publish is one we can all be proud to pass on to our family and friends and strangers in need.

>> I want to highlight more success stories on my blog. I think this community reads enough about struggles; we deserve some feel-good pieces with more focus on aftermath success.

>> I want to organize a conference (no matter how small or cramped) that will bring us all together in a room, so we can give each other real hugs and not just virtual ones! (((Hugs)))

All of these things require time, organization and dedication. I believe 2014 is going to be a time of further assessment.

But I also sense 2014 will be the year the global foundation surrounding the importance of narcissist and sociopath awareness becomes more solid, making all of us better positioned, emotionally and mentally, to stand proud and spread awareness about emotional abuse wider than just our blogs, Twitter feeds or Facebook pages.

Regardless of what I write and share on my blog moving forward, whatever it is it’s most certainly related to how I continue to mindfully heal and grow.

My life is consumed and driven by the desire to never stop growing.

And I’m not just talking about healing and growing from the toxic relationship in which I found myself with the sociopath. I’m also referring to healing and growing from years of not thinking I was good enough.

I want to share all of the good stuff I learn with you in hopes you’ll continue sharing your successes and periodic struggles with this community.

I’ve been too fearful to be me in the past. Thanks to this community (which is continuously growing!) I am ready to spread my wings and take a few risks. What do I have to lose?!? What do any of us have to lose!?!?


(Image source: http://blogs.worldbank.org/psd/shifting-gears-capitalism-and-the-logic-of-competitive-industries)

abuse, Child abuse, Children, Cluster B disorders, domestic violence, Emotional Abuse, Forgiveness, Health, Journaling, Lessons, Letter, Love, Mental Health, mindfulness, Narcissist, Narcissistic Personality Disorder, Narcissistic Sociopath, NPD, Peace, Poetry, Poll, Psychopaths, PTSD, Recovery, Relationships, Self Improvement, Sociopaths, Spirituality, The Washington Times, Washington D.C., Work, Writing, Yoga, young love
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Join the conversation! 38 Comments

  1. I woke up thinking about your article, and an interaction with my ex. Like the others here, in the past I would shy away from confrontation, especially with him. That stopped a couple of years ago when I went to the police and filed a report after finding out he’d been cashing cheques payable to me, for 12 years. You have to know the back story about this to fully understand. He is a wealthy multimillionaire, while I faltered after our divorce and over the past five years have been literally fighting for my life, and struggling to survive financially. When I realized what was happening I contacted him by phone after emailing for several days asking for a simple statement of the cheques that had been cashed (so I could clear it all up with the IRS). When I finally got him on the phone, this man who wants for nothing, who has properties all over the place, says in a calm, gentle, eerily peaceful voice, “But ……… you know you signed those cheques over to me years ago.” as though I was somehow the one doing something wrong.

    By the time I hung up the phone I actually was convinced I was at fault somehow.

    I fought for my rights and the bank transferred all the money back into my account (for the cheques I was able to locate).

    It’s been two years since that conversation, but I woke up this morning thinking about it and shuddering over the cruelty it takes for a person to treat another like that and feel they are doing nothing wrong.

    It is difficult to stand up for yourself when your natural tendency is to just let it go, but once you do it once it makes the next time easier, and the next, until it becomes second nature.

    As a Christian I have questioned this in relation to the “turn the other cheek” statement in the Bible. However, I take the Bible as a whole, and I don’t see a pattern of statements saying we are to be doormats and allow others to mistreat us. Act in kindness, yes, but we are not to allow others to misuse or abuse us. (It’s Sunday but I won’t turn this into a sermon) 🙂

    Anyways, I wanted to share this. I feel good that I took a stand to protect myself. Others don’t understand why I did it, but they haven’t seen through his superficial charm, and maybe never will.


    • Anonymous, I’m so glad you no longer feel guilty for speaking out and defending yourself against unjust treatment. I am also glad that you understand he was gaslighting and manipulating you based on what he knew of your capacity to feel shame and take responsibility. It’s one of their most honed qualities: learning how we tick and using it against us. From seeking our pity to seeking our rage. They want us to need them and to look crazy when they no longer need or have use for us. Just despicable creatures. 🙂


  2. Excited to interview you for my blog!!


  3. I will also continue to read and follow your blog. I don’t care if you write about food shopping. I love the way you write.

    You are no longer a lost soul swimming in a fish bowl — none of us are. I feel that anyone who seeks help and guidance is eager to get out of the fish bowl and make changes.

    I hope you print this post and place it in your Mason Jar so you can review come 12/31/2014 to see how much you’ve accomplished.


  4. keep moving forward, faith is only a theory if you don’t start walking it 🙂 so I wish you the best and say go for it, once you step forward the doors will open. everything that has lead up to this moment has been put to good use of preparation for the coming journey. Fresh, crisp, new passion, almost like spring! x


  5. My heart tearfully danced as I read this post…because I’m so, so happy for you…I envisioned the last of those vile perverted chains bursting and disappearing into the air as you raise.your fists high for the final finale towards unshakable freedom…..it’s given me a higher sense of hope than I’d had before…. a vision of the multifaceted levels of success to be had, and to face my fears one at a time, ultimately, to morph into an imperfect rare diamond……this post gave me eyes towards potential long term goals as I plan and organize my short term goals.

    I look forward to contiue reading your blog of whatever the subject matter may be.

    So, there’s this woman…….she wrote about sociopaths . She reached out to me when I thought I was alone…….she shook up my distorted perception……..yeah, she’s pretty amazing…


    • I was happy to read your post, Paula. Like you, I’ve made a conscious decision to move forward in my life, past the hurt to wholeness. You will be equally as helpful to people in demonstrating healthy living as you have been in uncovering the twisted mind of the sociopath. Like the others I applaud you and will continue to read your blog.

      Healed for the most part, somewhere in Canada


    • Thank you, Anonymous! Even being partly healed is better than still being confused and uncertain if it’s even worth trying to find a direction. ❤


    • You are amazing, Jaded_Christian! Don’t ever forget it, either. Thank you for your beautiful and poetic comment. I can’t wait to hear about your plans! ❤


  6. A great post and timely as I too need to assess where I am going with my writing and my life. And your blog is called Paula’s Pontifications–you can pontificate about anything you want and I too will still be here reading as well.


  7. What an awesome post! Glad I found your site!


  8. Paula, growth is never easy; it usually involves leaving something behind or at the very least looking at it from a different perspective. Like when a child grows and breaks away from their parents. It can be hard for the parent and child but so necessary. You helped others and received healing also but at some point you have to move on from that place or stagnate. I don’t think anyone here who has seen your growth and benefited from your writing and grown to love you wants you to hold back from the exciting new opportunities coming your way. That’s what healing is all about. I think you are right 2014 is going to be a powerful year for many people and I believe you are going to succeed at anything you choose to tackle. Your contribution to raising awareness about Narcissists and sociopaths is immeasurable but you can’t let it define you if that is not your passion.
    I am looking forward to healing about your new endeavors and seeing a person move on and succeed, proving that having a relationship with a sociopath does not define you forever more.


    • Hearing not healing but maybe that was a fruedian slip?


    • Thank you, Carrie. Your encouragement means more than you’ll ever know. I’m definitely not finished writing about sociopaths and reflecting on more as it comes to me. However, focusing so much on that subject matter doesn’t allow other stuff I want to learn and share blossom. To be honest, I kind of cringe at how much information I have digested about sociopaths. I know enough!! Hehe! I want to learn more about helping people and reaching those who need our help but have no idea we’re here to help!!! I’d like to influence more folks to consider yoga, and I want to create a series of gentle poses any beginner can successfully complete the first time. I just know writing only goes so far, but I love to write! Venturing away is scary but necessary. ❤ ❤


    • Paula, I take great pleasure in watching you grow and branch out, its something I am striving to do with a bit of difficulty. I have started using meditation tapes to get in tune with my inner self and erase some of the negative stuff implanted by the N. I am sure yoga would have the much the same effect.
      My mother who is 75 started doing yoga last year and swears by it, she feels better emotionally and physically. The N leaves us with a lot of negativity that we don’t realize is there when we are dealing with the immense pain, but that negativity imbeds deeply into our subconscience, it can be very debilitating. It will be awesome if you can help people rid themselves of that and reach their full potential.
      I applaud you.


    • That is so exciting about your mother and her yoga practice. I believe a gentle yoga practice can really work toward detaching our subconscious from the negativity as you describe. No longer debilitated or frozen, just ready to enjoy life and live simply. Declutters our minds, I believe. 🙂 ❤


  9. This is a great post! I love your ability to stand outside your process and observe it and then make goals to move forward. So many times I find I get stuck in the crisis where I forget that I can step outside, note where I have been and where I am now. And then if I am feeling really energized, set a goal or two. It is very empowering.
    I also like how you describe your evolving acceptance and confidence. I have experienced this too, not without hiccups, but there is a definite moving forward “thing” going on. Your blog pulled me up and out of a terrible place. In a lot of ways it saved me; it was the first thing that validated how crazed I was feeling from the crazy trauma I had lived through.
    Your blog always brings me insight and peace. Thank you!


    • Thank you so much, Anonymous. Im so glad this blog has helped you. I don’t know where I’d be if not for finding the blogs created before mine that offered me validation and strength, too. And knowing we’re not alone on this journey pushes us to do things and make choices we never dreamed we’d be strong enough to make. It’s a beautiful community! 🙂


  10. What you’re saying makes good sense. We should not tolerate people lying and disrespecting us. It requires a lot of strength but I need to be that way too. It shouldn’t be too difficult to say e.g. ‘I don’t want to waste your time………’ Thanks


    • It’s definitely not easy, Kathleen. I find myself fearing I’ll come across as sounding mean or bitchy. Or that the other person will get very angry and start saying nasty things to try shaming me…kind of how that pesky sociopath behaved, always playing the victim and telling me I was cruel and egotistical. For what? For letting him know I didn’t appreciate how he tried controlling me and debasing and shaming me for liking something outside of what he wanted me to like? I’ve been without boundaries, flailing around trying to make sense of how I found myself so damn lost and confused, even willing to think that the sociopath could help never realizing the sociopath is the one that created the mess in the first place by twisting and ripping down my boundaries. No. I have no plans of ever going back to that flimsy existence again by letting manipulators control my ability to speak up. I’ll take the risk of sounding mean and bitchy. 🙂


    • I feel the same as you. That’s why we’re afraid to stand up for ourselves. We don’t want to appear mean and bitchy. But, if you think about it, if we meet a sociopath and stand up for ourselves we wouldn’t be a target so easily. If we meet a normal person, then we don’t normally need to be so strong as to appear mean and bitchy. We would be firm but polite. All my life I’ve agreed with people and said ‘yes’ to any help they need even if it inconveniences me to the point of suffering. Being a fairly normal person – I would accept you telling me e.g. ‘No, sorry, I’m busy’ etc. Don’t forget, the sociopath has made you think like this. They may have (sort of) done you a slight favour!


    • Definitely did me a favor, I think. I am definitely more conscientious about how I relate and interact. The last thing I want to do is react prematurely or act too late. Learning to trust my gut again and being true to myself has been a true blessing. 🙂


  11. I’m here to read whatever you write! I understand all you have said here and well…you MUST do what is right for you at any given moment!


  12. I will still be right here reading your words because no matter what you write about, you bring a lot of healing thought into my world. Thank you Paula.


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