Survivor stories 21, 22, and 23: Ursula, Vanessa and Wendy #dvawareness


October 21- Ursula’s story: Know the signs and accept that you are being abused

October 22 – Vanessa’s story: No one can make you leave; you have to do it for yourself 

October 23 – Wendy’s story: “I survived; I did not live. It was hell.”

Each day during the month of October, column author Paula Carrasquillo will feature a story written by a survivor of domestic violence. At the end of October, a compilation of all stories will be available for free as an e-book.

*All names have been changed to protect the survivor and the survivor’s family and friends.

Submit your reflections, because together we CAN change things #dvawareness #recovery


Share your reflections and thoughts on the survivor stories I have been sharing during October.

Complete the Reflections on Survivor Stories Form now!

All 31 stories will be compiled and published as a free ebook in mid-November. The hope is to receive a funding source to make the book available in print for distribution in libraries, shelters, law offices, schools and conferences.

Thoughtful feedback and reflections will speak to interest and need and as supporting data to present to potential funding sources.

Although many of us do not need numbers and statistics to be convinced more must be done to combat the injustices of abuse and its aftermath, numbers and statistics are an unfortunate reality necessary to persuade and convince those in a position of power and influence to care.

Follow the link attached to share your reflections. If you haven’t been keeping up with the stories, a link to the story archive is provided on the submission form.

Complete the Reflections on Survivor Stories Form now!

Thank you!!
~Paula Carrasquillo

Survivor stories 18, 19 and 20 – Rachel, Sofia and Teresa #DVawareness @commdiginews


October 18, 2014 – Rachel’s story: Betrayal, abuse at the hands of a narcissist*

October 19, 2014 – Sofia’s advice on domestic violence: “Take off the blindfold. Knowledge is power.”

October 19, 2014 – Teresa’s story: He was a sociopath, not a good guy with a few bad demons

Each day during the month of October, column author Paula Carrasquillo will feature a story written by a survivor of domestic violence. At the end of October, a compilation of all stories will be available for free as an e-book.

*All names have been changed to protect the survivor and the survivor’s family and friends.

Stories 16 and 17: Patricia and Quinn #survivorstories @commdiginews


BETHESDA, Maryland, October 16, 2014 — Patricia* is a survivor of domestic violence and pathological abuse living and recovering in The United States.

Before the relationship, I was happy and full of life, looking for my one and only to share a happy life. During my relationship, I became sick and mentally ill. I had a nervous breakdown. I started blaming myself for everything and hating myself. Now that the relationship is over, I am starting to recover and heal. My therapist is saving me; that’s for sure. Read more… 

BETHESDA, Maryland, October 17, 2014 — Quinn* is a survivor of domestic violence who is now enjoying living a fulfilled life in The United States.

Unfortunately, I had several relationships that were abusive; I just did not know it and/or could not stop myself from repeating the same behavior with the same type of partners. It took many years of repeated circumstances before I was able to be strong enough to say ‘never again’. Read more… 

Each day during the month of October, column author Paula Carrasquillo will feature a story written by a survivor of domestic violence. At the end of October, a compilation of all stories will be available for free as an e-book.

*All names have been changed to protect the survivor and the survivor’s family and friends.

Your Addiction to the Sociopath – Thank the Abuse Cycle

Toxic Sociopath Abuse Cycle

In addition to the normal addiction properties associated with falling in love with anyone or anything, when we align with a sociopath, the addictive properties of love are exaggerated and one-side and become the driving force behind our desperate behavior, from the relationship’s inception to its disintegration.

The sociopath idolizes you and provides you with so much approval in the beginning of the relationship, that you become hypnotized and brainwashed into believing you are only worthy when the sociopath approves of everything you do even after the relationship ends.

Why would we want this person’s approval after compiling the laundry list of abuses that the sociopath inflicted upon us, our children and our beloved friends and family?

Because we are addicts and require time to detox, abstain and rewire our brains back to a healthy state of self-love and acceptance.

Unfortunately, we are all in denial of our addiction in the immediate aftermath of the abuse and refuse, stubbornly refuse, to accept we were addicts. This denial is what leads us all to break no contact and rush back to the sociopath with questions in hopes we’ll receive the sociopath’s acceptance and approval.

When we do this, we are simply perpetuating the behavior that kept up inside the relationship. We keep imbibing in the drug. We aren’t taking the steps necessary to change our habits, and we continue to remain dependent on the sociopath’s approval.

The birth and perpetuation of this addiction is immediate and sustained across all phases of the toxic relationship cycle: idolization, devaluation and discard phases.

All toxic relationships oscillate and cycle through these phases repeatedly from one phase to the next and back to the other phase and then back again. The oscillation is so slow and insidious in the beginning that victims do not notice.

The idolization phase, the most addictive of the phases, is the dominant phase in the early months and years. Although the idolization phase is often front-and-center in the beginning, the devaluation and discard phases are ever present.  In addition, the idolization phase is present even during intense periods of devaluation and discard. Like a dangling carrot of hope that fades and then comes back into focus and fades and then comes back into focus.

The overlapping and intermingling of the three phases results in extremely high levels of dependency for acceptance and approval from the sociopath.

Idolization Phase

What the sociopath does during the idolization phase…

The sociopath idolizes and praises everything about you and compares you to every past love interest, wife, girlfriend, and even his mother. You are the best, the only one who has ever understood him, the one, his soul mate and he can’t imagine life without you by his side.

What you do during the idolization phase…

You eat up the praise and compliments. Who wouldn’t? This is also the time in which you make excuses for those red flags you see. Instead of seeing him as a loser who can’t keep a girlfriend or fiancee or wife, you see the sociopath as a sympathetic character, a lost and stray dog in need of your TLC. He told you how much he admires your strength, courage and ability to nurture. So your desire to further demonstrate your strength, courage and ability to nurture kicks in, and you are immediately entranced into giving him all of your love and attention. Soon, the sociopath’s needs and desires overshadow your own.

Devalue Phase

What the sociopath does during this devaluation phase…

The sociopath insidiously chips away at all those things for which he originally praised and complimented you.

>>Your cooking was superb; now it needs a little something. (But he hasn’t a clue what it is and instead says something like, “Oh, you’re so smart. You can figure it out.”)

>>Your hair is now suddenly too long or too short or not the best color for you. (He’s only looking out for his amazing GF and wants her to look and feel great about herself, right?)

>> Your clothes, your shampoo, the car you drive, the way you care for your dog, the way you run your business…it could all be improved. (After all, says the sociopath, you are so good at finding solutions and fixing them immediately, right?)

What you do during the devalue phase…

You never question the criticisms. You love the sociopath and will hyper vigilantly stay on task and slave away at improving your skills and abilities, never realizing the sociopath wants you to do this just to make the sociopath look good for being associated with you. The sociopath will take all the credit when you are complimented by others. Behind your back he will make remarks like, “She finally listened to me. I can’t believe she was doing it that way, can you? She’s so smart, isn’t she? Just amazing.”

And those people will only hear the last part of his back-handed compliment and come to you and say, “Wow. You guys make a great team. He loves you so much.” And all the sociopath is doing is barking orders at you, but you’re too distracted by the need for acceptance that you miss the irony in everything the sociopath projects in your direction.

Remarkably, you feel even more idolized and loved while simultaneously being devalued, not realizing you are being drained of your self-will, vitality and naturally zest for life. Every decision you make is unknowingly guided by the sociopath’s subtle devaluation of you, because you desperately NEED the sociopath’s approval.

Discard phase

What the sociopath does during the discard phase…

The sociopath is no longer subtle about his devaluation. The sociopath either stonewalls you, ignores you and/or dismisses everything about you in hopes you’ll get the message and just leave the relationship (he’s got someone else waiting in the wings, you know?) or the sociopath is direct and down-right nasty and tells you how much you suck. He attacks all the things he once praised about you and even goes as far as telling you that you never would have reached the success you reached if not for the sociopath’s influence and encouragement. You’re so ungrateful and hateful. The sociopath can’t believe how much time he wasted trying to make the relationship work.

What you do during the discard phase…

If the sociopath is subtle/passive-aggressive with his “punishment” of you, you will probably approach the sociopath with concern. You might start up a conversation like this:

“I love you, but I’ve noticed you haven’t been happy. I want you to be happy. Is it me? Did I do something wrong? If it’s me, please tell me what it was and I will fix it.”

If the sociopath is overt and direct with his discard tactics, you will try to fight the sociopath verbally and perhaps physically. You will beg and plead with the sociopath to stop hurting you. You will do anything…change everything. You love him so much. You just want the sociopath to be happy with you again. To love you and idolize you again.

And the cycle begins again. You gave the sociopath the supply and green light he needed to stay in the relationship and suck more from you. (You’re such a great lap dog.)

But once the sociopath has a new supply, the last discard WILL come, and you WILL be left desperate for answers:

“You love me, right? You can’t just stop caring about someone even if you have found another love interest, right? You can still value me as a person? You can still see my value right? Please, please, please see my value. Please!! PLEASE!!”

Unfortunately, you’re wasting your breath. The sociopath saw you as a means to an end. You were fun for a while and gave him the ego boost and recognition he desperately needed to feel good about himself. He may have gotten away with your child, your home, your business, your car, or even something as simple as your dignity. Whatever it was he took and now you find yourself crying about, the sociopath doesn’t care. The sociopath now has someone new to manipulate and control and walk through the same phases of toxicity with fresh vigor and vitality, thanks to you. You’re just a bother, and you keep proving how crazy you are with your threats and stalking and desperate attempts to get him to return your emails, texts and calls. (Your actions are incredibly distasteful, you poor, poor thing. You need help. You must be bipolar or something.)

The only help you need is help learning to detach in order to detox and stop relying on that ridiculous approval high that was never fulfilling nor was it worthy of your time and energy pursuing. You were/are addicted. The more you refuse to accept this, the longer it will take before you realize you will never get answers from the sociopath who truly sees his actions as just and good. You were simply too weak to walk by his side, so he had to wipe you off the bottom of his shoe; you were holding him back.



“Raped” by a Female Sociopath

Twenty three years ago when I was 19, I met a female sociopath, but I had no idea she was a sociopath.

It was the summer following my freshman year in college. I had just started dating a local boy who I had met on campus in the spring. I liked him. He was from the same rural, Appalachian area where I was raised. We enjoyed the outdoors, music, books, movies, hiking, biking…you name it, we had it in common.

About a week or two into the “official” start of the romance, he received a call from a girl he had known since high school. She told him she was pregnant, said the unborn child was his, and asked for money because she wanted an abortion.

My gut sank.

He explained that they went to high school together, had never dated, but had been friends for years. He said she had recently ended a tempestuous relationship with an older guy and that he had gotten together with her several weeks prior to talk about her break up, and one thing led to another.

I wasn’t jealous or offended. I mostly felt sorry for her. It seems this older guy had really hurt her and she was devastated. She and my now boyfriend made an unfortunate mistake in judgment and choices had to be made. Besides, up until a few days before receiving the news of her pregnancy, there was not a commitment between him and me.

I supported his decision to give her money for the abortion, but it gave me pause. I thought a lot about what that decision meant. But because I was so young at the time with my own recent history of dating shit to get sorted, I did not spend an extensive amount of energy contemplating her situation nor did I judge her. I actually suggested we all get together sometime in the near future.

A few days after her scheduled abortion, my boyfriend confided that he did not believe that the baby was his, but that he agreed to help her because no one else was stepping in to support her. I was a bit astonished that he would have suggested she lied. I didn’t want to believe someone would be that manipulative and deceitful.

Then I met her.

Wow, I thought to myself, what in the hell was my boyfriend thinking?! She was a total snob, not athletic, not healthy looking, and all she did was talk about everyone! She seemed uncomfortable around me, like she feared I was going to bite her or something. I’d ask her questions about herself, and she’d just stare off behind me. And when I tried to talk to her about me, she’d stare off behind me. I was confused. Couldn’t figure out this girl. Didn’t she realize that I didn’t care that she had had a fling with my boyfriend before he was my boyfriend and that I was genuinely interested in being her friend?

During the few years I dated this boy, we had many “adventures” with this girl.

>> She seduced our friends who happened to be a married couple (yes, she fucked them both); she preferred the male; the marriage ended; she was hot and intense with our friend in the beginning; she got cold and distant; they broke up.

>> We introduced her to a single male friend of ours; they were hot and intense in the beginning; they moved in together; there were lots of intense fights; she got cold and distant; they broke up.

>> My boyfriend and I moved in with her. She was hot and cold. I couldn’t stand being in what seemed like her lair, her nest. My relationship with my boyfriend experienced serious road blocks and obstacles. My boyfriend and I broke up but remained friends.

And remaining friends was easy. We lived in a small, mountain, college town. He worked at the book store, my favorite place to go, and she remained in the same apartment, her nest above the chocolate shop.

I’d see her occasionally walking or at a local bar. I’d make frequent attempts to communicate with her. She always seemed to be trying really hard to be seductive with me. We’d be sitting at the bar having a beer, and she’d lean in really close, touch my cheek with her hair, rub her thighs close to mine. Her tits seemed to like resting close to my arms.

I was unmoved. I was not interested or attracted to her. Why would she think I was? Because I was friends with women who had been “intimate” with her? Could that be why she thought I was another easy seduction?

After her overt advances failed, she resorted to dismissing my sexuality. She’d make comments about me having no shape, having no breasts, and having no sex appeal. She commented on my clothes and the way I wore my hair or didn’t wear my hair. How I didn’t smell like a woman that men would find attractive.

I listened to her mostly unaffected, but I boiled inside whenever I saw her, because as much as she thought she was sexy and attractive, all I saw was a demon. All I saw was a sad and lonely woman who needed to minimize me to feel better about herself. At the time, I didn’t know about sociopaths or personality disorders. I just knew that I was in the presence of something that was not good. Nothing about her was good to me.

About 6 months after my breakup with my boyfriend, we got together one afternoon and he asked about getting back together. I was thrilled! I loved this guy. He was one of the best people I had ever met in my life up to that point.

I said, “Yes, I’d like to be together again.”

He seemed pleased with my answer but then a look of shame came over him. He said, “Before we go any further, I must confess something to you, Paula. Remember the weekend you went away for your sister’s wedding while we were living with Ruby?”

“Yes,” I said.

“Well, Ruby and I were together,” he confessed.

My heart sank.

“Together? What do you mean?,” I asked knowing full well what he meant.

He shared all of the details and how it happened and where specifically in the apartment it happened.

I wanted to run and throw up. I wanted to understand why he did it and why she did it. Why did they betray me?

He talked; I listened. I cried; he cried. He held me; I held him.

I was finding it hard to forgive him. I decided to confront her and compare stories. So I called her that night and arranged to meet her in her “nest” the next day.

What a mistake. Why did I even bother.

When I asked her if it was true, she matter-of-factly nodded and shrugged. She sat in her sofa with this air of superiority over me, like I shouldn’t have been surprised that my boyfriend would seek satisfaction from a “real” womanly woman outside our relationship.

Not once did she say, “I’m sorry, Paula. I know it was wrong.”

Not once! Not even a spark of regret did I detect.

Instead, she seemed to find joy in my sorrow. She seemed to be gleeful that I had experienced this ugly betrayal.

I left her apartment, her lair, feeling dirty and disgusted. Within 6 months, the relationship with my boyfriend ended again. It could never be healed from the many fissures and cracks created as a result of the influence of the sociopath who slithered in and destroyed the innocence of young love.

Today, the sociopath remains in the same apartment. She continues to nest. She continues to exist. But unlike 20 years ago when her youth disguised the ugliness within, she looks as unattractive as her dark heart and soul, burning just beneath the surface.


(I might receive some serious shit from folks who personally know me for sharing this story, but I really don’t care anymore. It’s time it was told.)

“You come from a good family, Paula. How did you let this happen to you?” #sociopath #abuse

“You come from a good family, Paula. How did you let this happen to you? Why didn’t your family do something to help you?”

I get questions like this occasionally, and appreciate them. I know it’s not easy to understand sociopath/narcissist/emotional abuse, and for someone to actually ask me, to come right out and ask me, takes courage.

Questions like these indicate that people really want to understand. Questions like these should not anger or hurt our feelings. These questions give our voices permission to be heard.

How would you answer these questions? How have you answered these questions?


Share to make our voice heard – #Pistorius #narcissist #murderer #sociopath


Share and pass along my latest Communities Digital news article: The Pistorius narcissist diagnosis: The experts got it wrong

The murder of Reeva Steenkamp and the Pistorius trial has really affected me, and I believe it has affected many, many of us. It all just feels too close to home — the text messages, the blaming, the shaming, the drama, the crocodile tears, the wrong diagnosis/misdiagnosis, and the frustration surrounding society’s “civil” need to consider this murderer’s defense.

Despite the closed-minded folks who refuse to listen to those of us who have lived this hell and instead rely on the inexperienced and money-driven experts, we need to let the world know how we feel about the conclusions being drawn and bring the focus back to proper awareness and education about pathology and the harm caused.

Does it matter what we call it? Psychopathy, sociopathy, narcissism?

No, because regardless of the source or cause of the individual’s behavior, the behavior harms and continues to harm and re-victimize the victims and everyone within range of the sociopath’s sphere of influence.

In the case of Pistorius, his sphere is the entire world thanks to the media coverage and his Olympic past and notoriety.

And our sphere of positive influence can be global, too.

People don’t go to the news anymore; news must come to them. That’s why it’s important to push any news story with narcissist, sociopath, psychopath in the title to your favorite, go-to social media feeds.

Please share my latest story on Communities Digital News, so it gets picked up by Google News. Tweet, Google+, Pin, Reddit, or whatever you like to do with stories you deem interesting or important.

Find me on Twitter. I follow everyone who follows me, and I also follow as many DV awareness pages and shelters and foundations that I can find in search:

We really can get the message out and our voices heard if we work together.


Why the Sociopath Needs Secondary Supply to Maintain Primary Supply

Not only does the sociopath groom and prep his primary victim in the early idolization phase of the toxic relationship, the sociopath also grooms and preps the victim’s closest family member or best friend as secondary supply.

The sociopath does this to build an illusion of trust between himself and a person who came into the life of his current victim many years before the sociopath.

If the sociopath can establish this false trust with a victim’s best friend or closest family member, then the sociopath is able to successfully triangulate and gain support when his primary victim begins to question the sociopath’s motive.

The secondary supply is only privy to all of the so-called love and respect the sociopath has for the primary victim. The secondary supply, whenever alone with the sociopath, repeatedly is fed lines by the sociopath such as:

“I love her so much. She and I are perfect for each other. She came into my life just when I needed her the most and she needed me. You see that, right? How beautiful is that!?!”

The secondary supply is so happy for her friend, the primary supply, and even repeats the sociopath’s shallow declarations to others in their inner circle. The secondary supply is enveloped in the same fog as the primary victim, but the secondary supply never experiences the reality of the sociopath’s dark side the way the primary supply eventually and insidiously does.

So when the primary supply starts confiding her misgivings and doubts about the sociopath to the secondary supply, the secondary supply is there to immediately counter the concerns with what she thinks is love, support, and reassurance:

“Don’t be silly! He loves you so much. All he tells me is that you saved him and he saved you and that he wants to grow old with you. Other women don’t matter to him any more! He loves you! Give yourself more credit and stop worrying. You need him and he needs you. He tells me all the time. He’s good for you.”

This just perpetuates and deepens the primary supplies confusion and cognitive dissonance.

And if the primary victim doesn’t go to the secondary supply with her concerns and instead starts by confronting the sociopath, the sociopath will direct her to talk to the secondary supply:

“Don’t be silly! You’re imagining things. I love you so much. Just ask Alice.”

In my case, the sociopath found supply from my elderly mother. My sisters were no match for his empty and transparent compliments. All they saw was an arrogant fool who was fooling their sister.

But my mother…she was blindsided by the sociopath’s feigned concern and charm, as are all secondary supplies…at first.

And it wasn’t until my mother, the boy’s only source of secondary supply that could possibly influence me, suddenly dropped her support of the sociopath that I too began to really question his motives and authenticity.

This past Mother’s Day, my mother approached me, because she couldn’t figure out how to delete messages between the boy and my mother through Facebook. She had been too ashamed to ask me for help to delete them sooner. She was ashamed of her part in the perpetuation of the toxic relationship. She also feared I would be triggered and become angry after reading the messages.

The only thing the messages proved were what I have known all along. I assured my mother that she did nothing wrong, that I wasn’t upset with her, and that reading the messages validated me.

Delete!! Poof! My mother is no longer haunted by the King of Cons.

Who was your sociopath’s secondary supply?


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