Rebirth is coming soon! New and improved website and recovery services

You will emerge into the light and discover true peace and joy, and I want to help you on your journey. In the coming weeks, I’ll be launching a completely new website. Essential information will be easier to find, and the posts you’ve come to rely upon will remain. 

Read this week’s newsletter to learn more about new support services designed for your journey toward recovery and transformation.

Read this week’s newsletter now!

Your next stop on The Great Sociopathic Abuse and Recovery Blog Tour!

I was invited by the author of Carnal Abuse by Deceit, Joyce M. Short, to participate in The Great Sociopathic Abuse and Recovery Blog Tour. To participate, I wrote this post in which I answer the following questions Joyce posed:

  1. How does your writing/creative process work?
  2. What are you working on at the moment?
  3. Why do you write or create what you do?
  4. How does your work differ from others in your genre?

1. How does your writing/creative process work?

A desire to write passes over me after I’ve lived through something or an idea lights up my thoughts. When this happens, I’m inspired to release all of the associated emotions, sensations and reflections, so I sit down at my laptop and write, rewrite and write some more. If I can’t figure out exactly how to word a thought or idea, I step away and pick up a book or I practice yoga or meditate. Sometimes it takes a lot of meditation and several iterations before I decide to publish a post/article. Other times, I immediately get it out onto the screen without hesitation or the need to heavily edit. My writing style is organic and flowing. I try not to be too hard on myself or worry about being perfect with each word or sentence. If it feels right, and my thoughts, when read back to myself, feel authentic and 100% honest, I hit the “Publish” button on my dashboard. The fears of being imperfect, which I carried with me for decades, no longer hinder my creative process. Like Yoda says, “Do or do not. There is no try.” Doing keeps my life moving and filled with meaning.

2. What are you working on at the moment?

I am in the middle of writing my 3rd book, “Destined to Heal”.

Who will benefit from this book?

“Destined to Heal” is intended to benefit many, from the victims and survivors to the health care professionals and family members who support the victims and survivors. More specifically, the book will benefit:

>>Everyone who has found themselves lost in the aftermath of abuse and trauma and is desperate to take ownership of their healing and recovery but have no idea where to begin.

>>Everyone who started on their journey but find themselves regressing in thoughts and in need of a more solid foundation of validation, accountability and motivation to move forward.

>>Counselors and healthcare professionals interested in empowering their patients outside of appointments and therapy sessions.

>>Friends and family members of victims and survivors who wish to understand their loved one’s struggles and obstacles to healing.

What is the focus of the book?

The book is designed to be informative, illustrative and minimally didactic. The premise and approach to healing and recovery outlined and illustrated in “Destined to Heal” is heavily modeled from Mezirow’s theory of transformational learning.

The book juxtaposes scientific research with holistic theory and practices, which have proven effective in treating individuals in the aftermath of abuse and trauma.

In addition to citing peer-reviewed research, the book includes interviews with psychotherapists, neurosurgeons, and of course, victims and survivors who have been “there” and done “that”.

How will survivors benefit from the book?

“Destined to Heal” provides easy-to-integrate lifestyle options, tools and practices for survivors interested in designing a recovery plan specific to the needs of their personal and distinct healing journey. A companion workbook will also be available at the time of publication.

When will “Destined to Heal” be published?

“Destined to Heal” will be published only after it’s been properly edited, vetted and reviewed. My hope is to have a final draft available for print by January 2017. It may take longer.

3. Why do you write or create what you do?

The simple answer is that I feel like I have no choice but to write and publish. In the aftermath of my personal abuse and trauma, writing served as an effective and therapeutic healing modality. Simultaneously, a voice inside kept telling me I must share and put myself out there…to be vulnerable and unafraid.

As a result, I became a prolific writer and advocate for health. I also became a certified yoga teacher and integrative nutrition health coach. I write articles on yoga therapy, meditation and nutrition, in addition to the books and articles specifically intended to support victims of domestic violence, rape and fraud. Through my contributions, I hope others will realize they are not alone and that there is hope for true and profound healing and transformation. Since 2012, I’ve self-published two books, Escaping the Boy: My Life with a Sociopath and Unashamed Voices, and written hundreds of online articles for various publications, including Communities Digital News, Places to Yoga, elephant journal, LoveFraud.com and my personal blog.

4. How does your work differ from others in the genre?

This is a tough one to answer. I’m not really sure what my genre is. Sef-help? Spirituality? Trauma and recovery? What I do know is that I write from a place of experience and a desire to reach others who may have experienced something similar to what I’ve experienced. I don’t want others to make the same mistakes I made. However, if they don’t find my writing until after they’ve already made some of those mistakes, I want them to step away from what I write and realize they’re not alone, it’s not too late and all failures can be overcome when compassion for oneself is ever-present. It’s the readers’ responsibility to take what speaks to them and apply it to their lives. My focus is bent toward a holistic approach along the path of healing and transformation. I weave yoga, meditation and whole-food nutrition into my writing. If it rubs off on some or further validates what others may already be doing, awesome! I certainly do not see myself as an authority on any particular subject. But if a reader can relate to my story and personality, then that reader will, more than likely, get more from my writing than from a writer with whom they can’t relate, regardless of the other writer’s experience or credentials. It’s the nature of being human. We need to find connections, especially in the healing process. Therefore, my responsibility as a writer is to provide as much fact-based, objective data to the reader as possible, while presenting a subjective story with which they will hopefully relate.

Thank you, Joyce, for inviting me to participate in The Great Sociopathic Abuse and Recovery Blog Tour! 

Blog Tour 5/25/15

Sociopathic Abuse and Recovery

Stop Rape by Fraud

Celebrating Truth in Romance Day, June 15th
http://rapebyfraud.com/2015/05/14/announcing-fess-up-day-june-15th/

Better Not Broken

Waffles and Waze: Why Elvis Remains King and It’s Never Too Late For Change
http://betternotbroken.com/2015/05/11/waffles-and-waze-why-elvis-remains-king-and-its-never-too-late-for-change/

Love-Life-Om

Just say “No!” to sociopath oppression and possession
https://paularenee.wordpress.com/2015/03/23/just-say-no-to-sociopath-oppression-and-possession/

 

Immigration Fraud Canada

It All Started With a Divorce and What I Perceived As True Affection and Love….
https://immigrationfraudcanada.wordpress.com/2013/04/12/it-all-started-with-a-divorce-and-what-i-percieved-as-true-affection-and-love/

http://www.care4bullied.com/blog/

Looking for the light

Tell congress to help New Veterans Keep the Mental Health Medications They Need
http://lookingforthelight.me/2015/05/21/tell-congress-to-help-new-veterans-keep-the-mental-health-medications-they-need/

Let Me Reach with Kim Saeed

When he tells you the first time…..
http://letmereach.com/2015/05/25/when-he-tells-you-the-first-time-2/comment-page-1/#comment-68897

Additional blogs of interest:

Psychopaths and Love

Journey of Olivia Rose

Lady with a Truck

Mom’s Heart Unsilenced

Soul Healing Art

Michelle Malon

With sincere thanks,

Paula Carrasquillo
Yogi. Author. Advocate.

Believing in your abilities = a meaningful life + meaningful work

Three years ago, I began actively writing and purging myself of my story (which even I found hard to believe at times) on this blog. My healing journey has brought amazing new friendships and passions into my life, from becoming a yoga teacher and health coach to connecting with men and women across the United States to men and women in the UK, Canada, Australia and other continents. I wouldn’t wish changing anything about my story if it meant losing all of the knowledge and friendships I’ve gained in these few short years.

Today, I find myself at a major crossroads. The Universe has presented me with many, many options – all of which have the potential to fulfill my life. Unfortunately, I am finding it difficult to make a decision about where I best belong and how to get there.

I am connecting with more and more passionate advocates and light workers than ever before. There is so much work we can accomplish in partnership. And now is a pivotal time to speak out, because it seems those in power are listening.

I want to join forces with others and write another book, open a wellness center, facilitate community nutrition workshops, bring more yoga to those in need, host weekend retreats and create educational material we can distribute for free in different languages.

As the collective energy and vision of the awareness movement expands, my career opportunities are also expanding. I’m being called upon to teach more yoga classes (both at the salt cave and at corporate HQ) and to contribute more to my day job as a web content developer.

Although I seem to be juggling everything with relative ease, I’m not. There are never enough hours in the day to do everything I set out to do. Plus, I want to spend more time with my family. I want to spend more time taking care of myself. I also want to spend more time doing meaningful work.

But I understand explicitly how the real world works and doing meaningful work doesn’t exactly pay the mortgage, the insurance and the food tab. At least not immediately. Making a living doing meaningful work sadly seems outside of my grasp today, but that hasn’t stopped me from considering how to make the transition gradually over time.

I can’t just throw caution to the wind and quit my day job today to pursue my dream of creating a wellness center for survivors of abuse and trauma. I must be realistic. This doesn’t mean abandoning my dreams. It simply means slowing down, prioritizing my time and creating an action plan.

Three years ago, I would have been frustrated being faced with such uncertainty and being without immediate solutions and answers. Instead, I feel blessed today, because not knowing the solution or absolute outcome is okay. I’m surrounded by people who love, respect and honor me and who won’t judge me or attempt to sabotage my progress. My mistakes are my mistakes; my success is my success. No one is standing over me waiting to attack me or shame me or tell me my ideas will never work. Does it matter if they might not work? No, of course not. What matters is that I believe in my abilities to make my ideas work…eventually.

Here’s to you believing in your abilities and being okay with not having all of the answers before setting out on your transformational journey of healing and creation.

You are destined to heal. All you have to do is believe.

Namaste!
Paula Carrasquillo
http://www.paulacarrasquillo.com

Letting Go of Perfect

Letting go of perfect ~Paula Carrasquillo

source: Creative Commons by gnuckx

After posting Sociopaths, Approval and Victim Perfectionism yesterday, I thought I’d share how I discovered the root cause of my perfectionism, which I believe primed me for being a perfect target for the sociopath from my past.


Most of my adult life I was a perfectionist. I allowed myself very little wiggle room when it came to making mistakes. My perfectionism led to little mistakes becoming huge mistakes and little victories becoming completely diminished in my mind. I beat myself up over bad stuff and never gave myself any credit for the good stuff I created. Thankfully, I now understand the source of my destructive perfectionist thinking, and it has made all of the difference in finding my path in life.

As a child, I was a carefree and happy person. Despite my parents’ divorce and a few moves in elementary school, I was always able to push through the little and the big things with relative ease. I bounced back from change and disappointments like a spring.

At the age of 12 (puberty actually), my spring broke. One day I had an itchy and flaking scalp; the next I was being dragged to the doctor feeling completely ashamed. Psoriasis! Even the name sounds gross, huh?

I hated being associated with this condition. I hated when my friends would see my scaly elbows and say, “Ooh! What is THAT?! What’s wrong with you?!!” I had never gelt like such an outcast; it was crushing. I hated being preoccupied with hiding my little scaly patches on my knees, elbows, back and hairline. I hated avoiding activities like dancing for fear the costume would fail to cover me “just right.” I hated that my freedom seemed to be taken from me.

Early in my treatment, I knew that there was really nothing the dermatologist could do to help me. Sure, there was always a new lotion or cream to try. But they were just band-aids. And some of this crap stunk! I got so sick of it all. I stopped all prescription lotions and creams sometime in my early 20s. I became a Palmer’s cocoa butter girl. It helped to a degree, but because I felt helpless and like I had zero control over my skin, I pressured myself to expect nothing but the best in every other area of my life.

I had to get the best grades. I had to have the cleanest room. (If you had as many sisters as I do, you’d understand this one.) I had to have the best job. I had to be the perfect weight. I had to be the perfect wife. I had to be the perfect mother. I had to be perfect.

Period.

Being a perfectionist can lead a person to behave self-destructively. Perfectionists can suffer from a multitude of conditions including anorexia, bulimia, drug or alcohol abuse, binge drinking, obsessive compulsive disorder, and/or depression.

In two words: perfectionism sucks!

Why and how did I figure out that my inability to overcome my troubles stemmed from trying to be perfect? Like most people in denial about bad habits and addictions, I had to hit rock bottom. Once I did, I was finally determined to change and to never put my life and future at risk again. To accomplish this, I had to take a good hard look at myself in order to fix myself.

I inventoried my entire past, beginning with my childhood. I created a timeline of my happiest years and my most depressed periods. During happy times, my psoriasis flair ups were few. During unhappy times, my psoriasis flair ups could be best described as volcanoes, which left me feeling out-of-control, which led to me trying to fix myself with perfectionist thinking, which always failed, which led to extreme feelings of worthlessness and self-hatred, which led to self-destructive behaviors.

What a vicious cycle.

I soon realized that I had to shift my perception of the disease or continue being controled by it. I had to embrace my psoriasis (I’d be lying if I said I fell in love with psoriasis, but I have gotten as close to “being in love” as possible).  More importantly, I had to become dedicated to learning as much as possible about what psoriasis really is and how flair ups can be prevented in the first place.

While educating myself, I discovered and embraced mindful techniques and approaches to managing my condition. Yoga helps. Meditation and manifestation help. Sticking to a vegan/plant-based diet helps. Eliminating alcohol and sodas helps. Writing  helps. Talking about it helps. And the best part? Although I still have psoriasis (there is no cure), I do not allow the appearance of my skin to control me anymore. Flair ups happen, and that’s okay.

Through practicing simple acts of self-awareness, self-acceptance and self-love, I have been miraculously cured of my perfectionism and all of the distasteful side-effects related to that disease.

If you are a perfectionist and are tired of never reaching the peak of your potential, find out the source of your perfectionist thinking. Taking a good hard look at the source is the best way to eliminate this toxic thinking from your life and to start living more joyfully.

Namaste!
Paula Carrasquillo
yogi. author. advocate.

Undoing Our Fears and Triggers Lying Down

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While exposed to the sociopath’s crazy-making highs and lows, we compromised our intuition and ability to instinctively distinguish right action from wrong action.

One day, the sociopath declared that right action was wrong action, and the next day, the sociopath declared that wrong action was right action.

No amount of logic or deep thought could bring us clarity and focus to the life we were being conned and controlled into living and accepting under the sociopath’s spell.

Many refer to this as cognitive dissonance, living in the fog and/or being emotionally unstable. Much of what we experience in the aftermath through triggers and anxiety was born from this place of uncertainty and fear about ourselves and our surroundings. This fear and uncertainty, which the sociopath manifested in us, rendered us dependent and reliant upon the sociopath for clarity and approval.

Even outside the toxic relationship, we find ourselves frozen and in search of outside validity and approval. The fear of being judged and not accepted and viewed as unworthy is very real and keeps us from expanding and growing.

Regardless of how deep and for how long we were in this state of paralysis, I believe we can repair what was damaged and improve how we relate to ourselves and others moving forward.

It’s no secret that yoga and meditation have helped me find myself these past 3 years. One meditation technique I believe has been most profound for me is Yoga Nidra.

During the practice of Yoga Nidra, you relax in a quiet space either reclined and outstretched on the floor or mat or in a comfortable seated position.

A Yoga Nidra instructor guides you into a quiet and relaxed state in which you are guided through sensing your body to sensing your feelings and emotions to sensing your thoughts and beliefs and finally to sensing your natural state of being.

Yoga Nidra does not require you to move your body or to be flexible. It’s not a religion but is a profound spiritual experience. Many practice Yoga Nidra to release stress and anxiety and to improve sleep patterns and fight restlessness.

The following excerpt taken from the book “Yoga Nidra: A Meditation Practice for Deep Relaxation and Healing” by Richard Miller, PhD, sums up why I practice and teach Yoga Nidra to others:

“You possess an innate intelligence that knows exactly what to do in every situation that life brings to your table. When you are wiling to be with “this” moment “now,” your intrinsic resources are always nearby, ready to acknowledge and engage right action. Fear is always about the future, and reactivity is about the past. Right action resides in the “now.” Yoga Nidra is a practice that reveals and teaches you how to live in the now so that you can access your native intelligence and inborn ability to respond appropriately to every situation.”

If you have questions about Yoga Nidra, please ask in the comment section below.

Namaste!
Paula Carrasquillo
yogi. author. advocate.

Take Back the Love the Sociopath Stole from You

healing-love

Sociopaths have zero sense of identity, which is why they target individuals with strong beliefs, values and a moral compass, all of which sociopaths steal and wear as their own.

Keeping this in mind, it’s easy to see that when you fell in love with the sociopath, what you really fell in love with were your best qualities mirrored and reflected back at you.

So the love you thought you lost and wasted on the sociopath is still inside of you. You just need to redirect it back to yourself, the original and intended recipient.

Take back the love the sociopath stole and hoarded as his/her own. It was never meant for the sociopath in the first place. It was always meant for you.

Namaste!
Paula Carrasquillo
yogi. author. advocate.

“Unashamed Voices” will expose sociopaths in our midst #ebook #preorder

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The ebook collection of survivor stories is available for pre-order!

Last year, nearly 50 readers and survivors submitted their survivor stories to me. Last month, I edited and published a story a day to my Communities Digital Column. This month, I compiled all of the edited and previously-published stories (plus two previously unpublished stories) into a working draft for an ebook. Yesterday, I designed the cover and uploaded the draft to Kindle Direct Publishing for pre-order status review. Today, the pre-order status was approved, and now everyone can pre-order their copy before the release date of December 31, 2014.

As promised, the book will also be available for FREE upon release next month. The purpose of the pre-order period is to generate interest and profit in hopes of being afforded the opportunity to also make the book available in soft copy.

I thank everyone who visits this blog for giving me the strength, courage and determination I needed to dedicate to this project, which has consumed me for nearly the past 20 months. Our voices would not be able to build the stength and momentum they have without the support we give to eachother. XOXO

Book Description:

“Unashamed Voices: True Stories Written by Survivors of Domestic Violence, Rape and Fraud – Exposing Sociopaths in Our Midst”

Not everyone moves from a place of care and respect for themselves and others, because not everyone has (1) a conscience; (2) the ability to feel remorse; and (3) the ability to tap into affective empathy–the type of empathy that allows one to see and feel a situation from another’s perspective. People lacking these qualities are referred to as sociopaths, psychopaths and narcissists. They exist everywhere in society, including our homes where their toxic and parasitic lifestyles are destroying families, children and communities every single day.

This collection of 33 true stories from across the globe written by survivors of toxic and abusive relationships sets out to expose the unchallenged pathological personalities and behaviors of psychopaths, sociopaths and narcissists. These personal accounts will dispel the myths surrounding domestic violence and intimate partner abuse and have you questioning what you thought you knew about crimes being committed behind closed doors. You will also understand the impact to victims and survivors and start gaining an understanding of why so many remain silent and that most, if not all survivors, are walking around undiagnosed and/or under diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression and other debilitating conditions resulting from the physical, emotional and spiritual abuse they endured and continue to relive in the aftermath.

With greater awareness and education, victims and survivors of pathological abuse at the hands of sociopaths, psychopaths and narcissists will have a greater chance of experiencing justice and a greater chance of protecting potential victims who are the future targets of these manipulative and malignant criminals hiding behind the false and delusional facade of moral righteousness and victimization.

If you are interested in being a part of the solution to one day see an end to domestic violence, rape and fraud, read this book and pass it on to anyone and everyone you know who has been or is currently being impacted by a sociopath, psychopath or narcissist. With 1 in 25 people estimated to be a sociopath, the chance that you know someone affected by an individual with a pathological personality disorder is extremely high. Allow the many voices of truth in these pages open your eyes to the answers behind the senseless acts committed against you, your loved ones and/or your friends.

Paula Carrasquillo, MA
November 18, 2014

http://www.amazon.com/Unashamed-Voices-Survivors-Domestic-Sociopaths-ebook/dp/B00PUMN6HW/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1416430397&sr=1-2&pebp=1416430399152

Inspired by IIN’s Health Coach conference in NYC #recovery #healing #transformation

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With fellow and future Integrative Nutrition Health Coaches at IIN’s conference in NYC – November 2014

Last weekend, I traveled to New York City to attend a conference held by the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN). The 2-day conference was held at The Jazz at Lincoln Center and attended by over 1000 current students and graduates of IIN. The experience proved to be motivational, inspirational, and educational.

I enrolled in the 12-month IIN health coach certification program in June 2014. As part of the curriculum, I am studying dietary theories and nutrition while learning how to be a better coach and mentor. In addition to my degrees in communication and adult education and my yoga teaching certification, I hope to gain additional and valuable knowledge, skills, and insight through IIN to increase the effectiveness and thoroughness of the support and assistance I offer survivors of abuse.

While attending the conference, I was honored to hear talks from several intelligent, successful, and knowledgeable individuals in the fields of integrative medicine, nutrition, yoga, sports, entertainment, and coaching, including:

Dr. William Davis, author of “Wheat Belly”

Nina Planck, author of “Real Food”

Venus Williams, tennis pro and designer

Dr. Andrew Weil, pioneer of Integrative Medicine

Jennifer Esposito, actress and founder of Jennifer’s Way

Daniel Vitalis, author of “Rewild Yourself”

Catherine Collautt, Ph.D., metaphysician and manifesting consultant

I was also honored to meet and be surrounded by other IIN students and graduates interested in helping their current and future clients enhance and increase the energy surrounding their mental, emotional, physical, relational, financial, and spiritual well-being. I found myself  immersed in a sea of people with a collective passion to serve and give back compassionately to their fellow human beings. It was incredibly empowering to experience such energy in one room.

At one point during the conference, students and graduates who recently published books through IIN’s “Launch Your Dream Book” course were asked to come to the stage and introduce themselves and their books. I cannot recall the exact number who packed the stage, but it must have been close to 75.

My curiosity was piqued for two reasons when Jeanine Finelli took the mike: (1) Her name is nearly identical to my step sister’s name; and (2) Her book is titled, “Love Yourself to Health…with Gusto! – ABC Guide for Surviving a Toxic Relationship”.

Once all of the authors left the stage, I ran out to the book display table in the lobby in hopes of meeting her. Despite the dense crowd, I was able to find her and connect. Wow! I this was no coincidence. Jeanine is a 2008 IIN graduate and has been offering her coaching services for several years. I immediately asked her if she would be interested in becoming a guest on the BlogTalk Radio show, From Hurt to Healed: Conversations with Kim and Paula. She is definitely interested.

The next day, I met current student Madeline Eyer during lunch. The first things I noticed about Madeline were her clear blue eyes and her shiny silver hair. Stunning. She shared her book title, “Essential Green Smoothies”, which is filled with recipes that incorporate essential oils. Not coincidentally, I had just purchased a plug-in essential oil diffuser before the NYC trip and was in need of more information. Madeline mentioned that she was a distributor of a particular brand of oils and offered me her card and contact information. Soon I’ll be Skyping with her and learning more about essential oils in preparation for a smoothie party I’d like to have for friends and family. I may even suggest to the owner of Bethesda Salt Cave, where I teach meditation, to carry Madeline’s book. It’s beautifully illustrated and accessible to all, even newbies to essential oils like myself.

While in New York City, I also met a blog reader and survivor with whom I have been corresponding since July. This was our first face-to-face meeting and hope it won’t be our last. She is young, vibrant, and filled with a passion to give back too.

On my return bus trip to DC Sunday night, I sat next to my good friend and fellow IIN student and accountability coach, Ladan. We shared our reflections, ginger gum, and chocolate. Although we both agreed that a printed program would have been nice and that the venue would have been better if we had been allowed to drink water while in the auditorium, overall, we both enjoyed and were energized by our experiences at the conference.

I graduate in June 2015 as a certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach. Upon graduation, I will automatically become a member of the International Association for Health Coaches (IAHC), the world’s largest collection of health coaches. I cannot wait to start putting my newly acquired skills and education to work on my blog and privately with my recovery coach clients and friends. We all deserve authentic, intelligent, and thoughtful support and guidance on this journey of healing and transformation in the aftermath of abuse.

Namaste!
Paula Carrasquillo, author of Escaping the Boy: My Life with a Sociopath

Survivor stories 25, 26, 27 and 28: Zoe, Alice, Beverly and Christina #SeeDV #abuse

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October 25, 2014 – Zoe’s story: “The relationship absorbed me; I was hypnotised by it.”*

October 26, 2014- Alice’s story: Leave abuse; it is not worth the anguish and loss of yourself

October 27, 2014 – Beverly’s story: Lies, manipulation and emotional abuse

October 28, 2014 – Christina’s story: Building up after being broken down by abuse


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.

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