What if “50 Shades” was never intended to be what it has become?

What if “50 Shades of Grey” was intended to be the very opposite of what society has embraced it to be? Let’s imagine.

The author of “50 Shades of Grey” was in the middle of reading the Twilight series (pre-teen vampire romance series) and thought:

”Oh, this type of thing REALLY happens and it happened to me. It’s not romance; it’s abuse. Vampires are real. They may not suck blood, but they suck the life out of those they prey upon and control. Maybe if I wrote a human version of the vampire character, people will see how ridiculous it is for us to romanticize this type of relationship.”
This is love?
She took pen to paper and poorly wrote (purposefully) her novel filled with overt abuse, contradictions and obvious ironies about love and relationships. She even misrepresented the BDSM community knowing that THAT community is extremely vocal, more vocal than the DV community. (At least at the time she was writing.)

The book was published quickly as an e-book. Unfortunately, the book took off in a direction she never imagined. The book’s intended message was lost. People embraced it as a manual for better sex and improved relationships. It sold and sold and sold. A traditional publisher picked it up followed by an eager film production company. Instead of speaking out against the ignorant masses early, the author thought it best to sit back, collect her royalties and devise a plan.

While accumulating millions of dollars from the entertainment-hungry masses, the author made a wish-list of programs to create, programs and services traditionally not funded for victims and survivors of abuse:

1. Neuroscience and behavioral research studies focusing on the effects and varying classifications of PTSD during and in the aftermath of emotional, psychological, sexual, financial, and physical abuse.

2. Lobbying efforts to influence a change in the laws and penalties for non-stranger intimate partner rape and assault, child abuse, financial fraud, rape by fraud and a myriad of crimes associated with control and torture.

3. Education and awareness programs to assist and inform police officers, advocates, social workers and other service workers to clearly and effectively discern between perpetrator and victim.

4. A foundation dedicated to providing food, clothing, cars, money, hotel rooms and housing, counseling, integrative treatment options and support to victims and survivors and their families, children and friends.

5. Yearly conference of like-minded people and professionals interested in putting an end to the needless suffering of millions struck by abuse – emotional, psychological, financial, sexual and physical.

The book’s film version launched on Valentine’s Day 2015 (another intended irony in hopes of “awakening” those still asleep at the wheel).

On Monday morning, following the release, the author held a press conference revealing the book and film’s intended message. The book was rebranded and marketed as intended. Sales continued to rise and the wish list was made a reality.

…and we all lived happily ever after.

I know — “Wishful thinking, Paula.”

Paula Carrasquillo
Yogi. Author. Advocate.

“The Eagle” – a film about surviving domestic violence through the empowerment of yoga


I was contacted today by Veronica of Odyssey Film, Ltd out of the UK. She found a link to my site as a result of the OM Yoga magazine story “Fighting Back” that featured a blurb about me and my book.

Odyssey Films, Ltd’s first film project, The Eagle, sets out to shine a light on surviving domestic violence through the empowerment of yoga. Odyssey Films is creating this short film to help raise awareness, not to make a profit:

Short films are completely non-profit, no money is made; we are doing this for the experience, we are doing this to lay a foundation to build our company; WE ARE DOING THIS BECAUSE WE LOVE IT.”

Please consider “liking” their page on Facebook and donating to their fund to see this project become a reality!

The internal film of my life


My life frequently passes chronologically through my internal lens like a film, a movie trailer. It seems to start and end the same each time it plays. But the middle always surprises me by what my subconscious chooses to remember and draw to the surface at a specific time of day or during a particular season.

Today, my film is playing out like this:

>> I see myself chasing after lightning bugs as a child with my sister.

>> I see my 2nd grade teacher, Mrs. Newlon, who encouraged me to speak in front of people despite the embarrassing way my “R”s came out sounding like “W”s.

>> I see the town librarian who never smiled and always seemed annoyed that my sister and I would come in on really hot summer days and sit for hours and read Highlights magazines just to cool off.

>> I see myself at sleepovers with my friends Missy and Lissa and their annoying little brothers.

>> I see myself sitting through my high school graduation next to Doug who finally spoke his first words to me after being in the same classes for 4 years.

>> I see myself as a freshman in the dorms and running barefoot in the puddles behind Cumberland Hall with Kristy who loved thunderstorms.

>> I see myself visiting DC for the first time alone to be with my friend Susan and meeting her Korean ballerina roommate who had no shame in telling me that her secret Korean spice was MSG.

>> I see all the interesting patrons I met waiting tables in college.

>> I see my friends and parties and celebrations and vacations and the ocean and the mountains.

>> I see my wedding day and the day I learned I was pregnant.

>> I see myself meeting my son for the first time.

>> I see last night and how my son is growing into a boy who makes me proud.

>> I see the sociopath and how accepting one man’s self-pity nearly destroyed my vision of all the beauty my life has provided.

>> I see the power I had once given that ugly grain of sand.

>> I see how that ugly grain of sand will forever spread his self-pity, and I accept that there is absolutely nothing I can do to stop it.

So I go back to thinking about planning my next party with the people I love and who love me.

I think about being here, now and being completely confident in my next decision to grow and learn and to open my life to more opportunities to meet even more wonderful people I will one day be seeing in future versions of my life’s internal film.


(Image source: http://pinterest.com/pin/401172279277101461/)

Accepting Another Invitation to Talk About Sociopaths on TV

destiny old womanSince becoming aware of and accepting the reality of what struck me when in the relationship with the sociopath, the boy in my story, I try making decisions related to telling more of my story based on what I may or may not regret.

So when I was contacted this week by a researcher interested in interviewing me and learning more about my story for a new show on relationships to run on A&E’s Biography Channel, I hesitated to respond:

A.) I needed to run the idea passed my husband. He is ultimately affected by every decision I make related to telling my story. If he worries it will affect us negatively, I worry too.

B.) On the heals of my HuffPost Live appearance, I was feeling defeated and couldn’t help but ask, “Is continuing to speak out worth the stress and regret when I get it wrong or when I do a half-assed job of trying to express myself?”

C.) Can I really do this? Do I have the resources and the time to dedicate to something like this? Just a few weeks ago I was writing about not writing as much about this subject matter.

I immediately texted my husband. He immediately responded with, “Go for it!”

So I am going for it. I have a phone interview later next week and will be provided with more details. Once I am able to share more, I will.

In the meantime, please let me know some of the major focus areas related to sociopaths and recovery from pathological relationships that you think should be touched upon if the show allows.

If it were not for the support of my family and friends and all of the wonderful people I have had the privilege of meeting through this blog, I wouldn’t have the confidence and motivation I have to keep trying.

One day soon, I wholeheartedly believe, the words sociopath, psychopath, relational harm and pathological love will be understood by the majority and not over-used or misused like they are today.

Namaste! Peace and love!

(image source: http://pinterest.com/pin/46302702388466751/)


Videos and the Sociopath Education Experience


Along with many of you, I am passionate about learning more and continuing to disseminate the information and knowledge I acquire related to relational harm reduction, sociopaths, psychopaths, and healing and recovery.

I believe that the more people who understand this hidden world of abuse, the more people can avoid it, be free from it and find peace.

There are many different ways for us to learn. We can ask an expert, take a class/workshop, read a book, read a website or watch instructional videos.

I am limited in my resources but am always interested in using new technology and solutions in hopes of reaching a wider audience.

A reader recently suggested that I create videos in addition to my written posts. Personally, I would rather read a post than watch a video, but that’s just me. I’d like to know what everyone else thinks.

What is your opinion of instructional/informative videos vs. written content to learn about sociopath/psychopath/pathological awareness?

(Image source: Screen Fab)

A lesson about loving a dark soul


If you’re stuck in a relationship this holiday season with a dark soul who expects more than he/she deserves, don’t give that person anything you feel obligated to give, including your love.

Do you demand love from God? No!

Do you demand love from your children? No!

Do you demand love from anyone you love and cherish? No!

So why do you feel it’s okay for the dark soul in your life to demand it from you? Why do you allow the dark soul to make you feel guilty if you don’t show your love or give your love the way the dark soul demands that you show or give it? You shouldn’t!!

The following is my favorite line from one of my favorite movies, Moulin Rouge.

“The greatest thing you’ll ever learn is to love and be loved in return.” ~Christian

Has the dark soul in your life learned how to love? Of course not! So don’t give him any love in return and don’t waste your time thinking YOU are the one who can finally teach him how to love.

Spend this holiday season pouring yourself with love. Gift yourself with an escape or at least start a plan. By next year this time, you’ll be celebrating with people you really love and love you in return.


He wants to be a teacher (and a ninja) one day

He’s in first grade. He reads and writes and knows how to use an iPod Touch. He doesn’t know my iTunes password (yet) but assures me that one day, when he’s in college, he will have his own iTunes account. He struggles with his homework most nights (because he’d rather be watching Power Rangers or playing XBox 360) but understands that practice is all anyone needs to get better.

A few weeks ago, we spent a rainy weekend viewing instructional videos on YouTube in order to learn some new gimp techniques. He was impressed by the videos created by young kids and declared he wanted to teach “something” and create his own video to share.

Last week he asked for soccer shoes. We explained that he would need to learn to tie a shoe first. (Up to this point, he has always chosen shoes with velcro, zippers, or slip-ons like Crocs.) His dad gave him a lesson followed by many more lessons. Within a day or two, my son was independently tying his shoes without pestering mommy and daddy. I was shocked and relieved. One less thing for me to worry about in the mornings.

Out of the blue, he decides he wants me to record him tying his shoe. He asks, “Mommy, will you video me giving instructions (pronounced in-stwuk-chuns) and put it on YouTube?” Of course, I said, “Of course!”

The first video below is Take One. The second video is a bit more perfected. Enjoy!

%d bloggers like this: