Excerpt from the Introduction to “Unashamed Voices” by Paula Carrasquillo

Unashamed Voices by Paula CarrasquiloThe following in an excerpt from the introduction to “Unashamed Voices: True Stories Written by Survivors of Domestic Violence, Rape and Fraud Exposing Sociopaths in Our Midst” set to launch on December 31, 2014.


I was 17 when I met the person who would change me forever. I was a high school senior, sitting on a full academic scholarship. He was 18, a high-school graduate. He chose not to attend college and instead worked at a local pizza parlor while trying to break into semi-professional lacrosse. I was impressed by his passion and truly believed it was a dream he could potentially fulfill, considering the year before he was a member of the 1988 Maryland High School Class 1A State Football Championship team. He seemed trustworthy and kind. He called me on Thanksgiving Day and asked me out on a date. I was excited. He was incredibly cute. Of course I said yes. He became my boyfriend for the next ten months.

The abuse started in subtle ways. He made strange comments about what I wore, about who my friends were and about my family. He judged me for having sex with him “too early” despite the fact he participated in having sex with me “too early.” I wasn’t accustomed to being judged by a person who judged me for doing exactly what he was also “guilty” of doing. His criticisms seemed pointless and circular. If I pointed this out to him, he’d say, “Oh, you think you’re so smart, Little Miss College Girl. You have no idea what real life is about. Your family keeps you inside a protective bubble. You have no idea. Just wait. One day you will find out what life is really about.”

His comments left me confused. They sounded like warnings, but I didn’t understand at the time that he was cautioning me about himself. Soon, these strange comments were paired with physical assaults against me. He poked me on my arm or on my forehead. These unprovoked pokes would come unannounced as I was talking or expressing an opinion or saying anything he didn’t like.

One day, the pokes escalated to full-shoulder grabs. He grabbed, contained and constrained me from speaking further about whatever it was I was trying to say. My shock and confusion grew. I remember saying, “Why are you grabbing me? No one grabs me and touches me like that! My father never even grabbed and touched me like that. What makes you think you can treat me this way?” Instead of standing back and recognizing he was wrong for grabbing me, this 18-year-old boy began to cry. Stories of his childhood abuse at the hands of his father came rushing to the surface, spilling out of him as he sobbed. They seemed never-ending. Being locked in a closet for hours and sometimes days. Witnessing his father beat his mother until she bled. Witnessing his brother being terrorized. Being beaten senselessly with a belt or a bat or a pot or a pan, whatever his father had handy. I cringed. My emotions oscillated between anger and shear disillusionment as I listened attentively to his accounts. I didn’t know how to soothe him outside of hugging him and telling him I was sorry for what he went through. I tried the best I could. One would think he would welcome my attempts to soothe him and return my hugs or say something appreciative like “Thank you” or “I’m glad I can talk to someone about this.” Rather, they were met with contempt, anger and violence. He screamed at me, “You think you’re so special and smart! You’re nothing! You don’t know how easy you’ve had it. You have no idea what I have been through. Don’t pretend to understand!”

The physical violence escalated quickly over a short period of time. He smothered and kicked me. He attempted to break my arm. He even threatened me with a loaded gun. Why? For what purpose? How did hurting me, beating me and shaming me help take is pain and suffering away. An eye for an eye?

I felt shock mixed with fear and pity. I failed to recognize that this person was taking out his painful past on me. I kept thinking maybe I could help him and make some sort of difference in his life. Model love? Prove to him that I cared? I wasn’t able to see that I was his victim. He was the perpetrator of violence against me, an innocent girl who desperately wanted to understand. The abuse continued.

One night in the late hours of a warm summer evening in 1990, my boyfriend and I were sitting on the front steps of his parent’s house. Our conversation unexpectedly evolved into an argument. I tried getting into my car to leave, but he grabbed the car keys from my hands. He held them over his head. I jumped to get them back but missed. He took off running down the street. I chased after him for my keys. I almost caught up to him when he suddenly stopped, turned and started running toward me. Terrified, I ran in the other direction, but he quickly caught up to me and kicked me from behind, knocking me forward onto the ground. I got to my feet and began running. Again, he caught up, kicked me and knocked me down to the road’s surface. I got up. I couldn’t outrun him. I tried. Repeatedly, he chased, kicked and knocked me to the ground for what seemed like hours. I begged and pleaded with him to stop. But he wouldn’t. I screamed, “Please! Just kill me! You’re killing me! Just kill me already!” The porch light of a nearby house switched on. This must have scared him. He hurled the keys at me and ran off in the direction of his parent’s home. After many minutes of searching and digging in the darkness amongst the twigs, leaves and garbage, I finally found my keys. I walked back to my car in a daze of shock, not knowing if, at any moment, he would jump out and beat me one last time.

Once safely inside the car, I locked the doors and briefly pondered my options. Telling my parents was out of the question. I feared what they would do to him in retaliation. I also feared what my boyfriend would do in retaliation to their retaliation. So I drove straight to the police station.

I walked into the reception confused and frightened. Although at 18 I considered myself smart and confident, I didn’t feel the least bit confident at the police station. I had never been to a police station. I had never spoken to a police officer in my life. As I approached the reception window, the officer behind the glass looked up from his paperwork and asked, “What do you want?” His words echoed a few times in my head. What do I want? What do I want? I guess I want help! I said, “I want help. I want you to arrest my boyfriend.” The officer chuckled and laughed at me. I instantly became confused. Why is he laughing at me? This is serious. Doesn’t he believe me? So, I repeated, “Will you please arrest my boyfriend? He tried to kill me!” From behind the glass, the officer asked in a patronizing way, “How did he try to kill you?”

I remember opening my mouth, but the words were hard to find. I started crying hysterically. I couldn’t form a complete sentence to save my life. I vaguely remember mumbling and wiping the tears and snot from my melting face. The officer interrupted me and said, “If you can’t control yourself, I can’t help you. How old are you?” I screamed, “I’m 18, and my boyfriend just tried to kill me!” Condescendingly, the police officer said, “If you expect me to help you, you need to be more respectful, young lady.”

I was so confused. Can’t he see that I have been running in the dark along the streets for hours trying to get away from my boyfriend? Can’t he see that I have dirt and mud all over my knees and the palms of my hands from repeatedly falling after being kicked from behind? Respect? I respect him. What is he talking about? What’s happening? I started crying more. The fluorescent lighting beat down on me. I sat in one of the plastic chairs along the wall putting my hands over my face. From behind the glass, the officer repeated, “If you can’t control yourself, I can’t help you.” Control myself!? What the hell is he talking about? My tears turned to anger and frustration. I dropped my hands from my face and spoke sternly, “I need you to take down my name and the name of my boyfriend.” The officer retorted, “I don’t need to do anything.” In that instant, I knew I was defeated.


 Preorder your copy today!

Cosby is a Psychopath and so is that person you think is ‘just’ a Narcissist

I was duped. I took this picture last February.

I was duped. I took this picture last February.

A person who must lie about who he is, what he believes in, and about his feelings to get you to love him and then manipulate you into thinking your love is only genuine if you see him as superior and that you must never question his superiority is a narcissist and a sociopath and a psychopath.*

We want to make a distinction among these terms: narcissist, sociopath and psychopath. I no longer believe these terms are mutually exclusive; and if given enough time and observation, we will see that those we once thought were “just” narcissists, will prove they were psychopaths all along who simply wore their masks of sanity incredibly well.

I think psychiatry, neuroscience, and other behavioral sciences will one day realize this too and conclude that these terms (which are man-made terms based on limited human observations) all refer to the same type of person: [insert new term to encompass all three].

Today, we determine which label to apply based on the intensity or level of evil one of these types presents to us. What is becoming more and more clear to me is that the behavior of the pathological is purely situational and dependent on how much resistance they face from their chosen victim(s) and what resources they have available to them.

A person we once referred to as “just” a narcissist, does something that convinces us he is a sociopath, and then it’s revealed that he has done something even more diabolical which elevates him to the ultimate status of psychopath.

Narcissists, sociopaths, psychopaths…they are all the same. It’s just that it takes time and a change in their status, resource level, and support level for their behavior to become evident and measurable through observation thus proving that they crossed the imaginary boundaries distinguishing the terms a long, long time ago.

Look at Cosby. If all psychopaths were lucky enough to have his money and connections to create the persona and mask he hid behind for decades, I don’t think we would ever fully understand or comprehend how easy it is for psychopaths to hide in our midst. Or how easy it is for psychopaths to instill fear in their victims forcing victims to remain silent, thus perpetuating the psychopath’s mask and outward persona of goodness and righteousness.

All psychopaths want to have the power Cosby had. The money, the honorary degrees, the celebrity.

In their delusions, like Cosby, they create micro universes where they ARE King. Some even name their cars or their wi-fi networks after themselves. The wealthier ones name yachts and airplanes after themselves. Same disease; different level of resources.

And these people are not geniuses or brilliant. They manipulate the most primitive part of us: our desire and need to be loved by another human being.

And in order to manipulate our primitive brain, all they have to do is tap into their primitive brain filled with trickery, manipulations and emotional blackmail.

Anyone who has to lie, cheat and steal to win people, jobs and status and then bash those same people to con others to gain a fresh supply of people, jobs and status is dangerous.

Period.

The cycle of abuse they follow in romantic relationships is the same cycle they use in all relationships, in organizations and in communities: assess, groom, idolize, devalue and discard.

Their evil behavior curls around and tarnishes and attempts to destroy everything and everyone in its path.

With Cosby, the American public was groomed and charmed into submission thanks to the creation of a character named Dr. Huxtable. Dr. Huxtable was Cosby’s “sheep’s clothing” and protected Cosby from being exposed for decades.

The man who raped those ladies is not a good person. He exemplifies a psychopath.The man who raped you, abused you, tormented your children and then cried to everyone in earshot that you’re a liar and insane is not a good person.

You can call him a sociopath, a narcissist or a psychopath. It doesn’t matter, because those of us who have met the devil know there isn’t a label or term available to use that can encompass the ugliness and insidiousness of what we lived.

Namaste!
Paula Carrasquillo
yogi. author. advocate.

* Note: This also applies to females who are psychopaths.

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.

Sociopaths, Approval and Victim Perfectionism

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Sociopaths openly debase others in order to brainwash their new/current target into absolute and complete compliance.

The new/current target serves as the sociopath’s attentive audience. The new/current target listens with deep interest and awe as the sociopath talks about his disapproval and disgust of those from the sociopath’s past.

“She was so lazy.”

“She never cooked for me.”

“When she did cook, it was terrible.”

“He was so fat.”

“She pretended to work hard.”

“She was so fake. Her friends were fake too.”

“She only had that job because they didn’t know where else to put her in the company.”

“He was so arrogant and really thought he was something special.”

“She was so spoiled. Daddy was always bailing her out.”

“He just used me for my connections.”

“She gained so much weight and left the laundry unfolded for days in the basket.”

“She dressed like a slob.”

“She was so depressed and took pills and drank on top of that!”

“He was so worried about what others thought of him.”

“She stalked me! She’s crazy. She even wrote a book about a sociopath who seems to resemble me.”

“She was a horrible mother. Her family was a bunch of enablers.”

“If I had married her, I would have been miserable. She was just going to get fat and age like her mother.”

The new/current target takes detailed notes and vows never to allow herself to do or be those things for fear of losing the approval of the sociopath.

Being perfect. That’s what the victim makes her goal and purpose in life. To remain the “chosen” one who will never let the sociopath down and who will never be the subject of the sociopath’s diatribes against those who have disappointed him in his past.

Unbeknownst to the victim, all this complaining and criticism of others is part of her grooming and has nothing to do with who those people the sociopath is talking about really are and everything to do with elevating the new/current victim into a higher degree of compliance.

The harder and more vigilant the new/current victim works to maintain that unattainable and false sense of perfection, the weaker and more susceptible to emotional, mental, physical and spiritual injury she will become.

It’s sad and ironic how each victim/survivor is guilty of desperately trying to be perfect for the sociopath, only to lose themselves and became the polar opposite of perfection.

We broke down like an over-used washing machine and found ourselves empty and powerless. That’s what happens when we chase after perfectionism just to hold onto the approval of someone who isn’t worthy of our approval in the first place.

Release the emotional leverage the sociopath has over you. Let go of needing or wanting the sociopath’s approval or friendship or hoping the sociopath will one day appreciate you as a human being. It will never happen.

You’re dead to the sociopath, so why not make the sociopath “dead” to you?

~Paula Carrasquillo

“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

Survivor story #31 – Fawn’s story: Increased sociopath awareness and education helps us all

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Fawn’s story: Increased sociopath awareness and education helps us all

“I thought it was work, stress or that my success was bothering him. I remember becoming an uglier version of myself; I had never yelled or been so angry before. He used a lot of hurtful words, speech and actions. I started to do the same, which was not my personality before him. It was a rollercoaster. The highs were so high; the lows were very low. He was constantly threatening to burn my clothes, listening to my voicemails, reading texts and cell records. He sabotaged my family vacations and any happy moment I had.” 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.

Survivor Story #30 – Eva’s story: Lies, theft and extreme love of material possessions and status

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Eva’s story: Lies, theft and extreme love of material possessions and status

“After being in the new apartment for almost a year he proposed to me. The way he proposed was sick. He is from Iran and claims he came to The United States by himself when he was 17. He also stated that he had criminal charges for possession of marijuana and that he could get deported on his court date. I said that I did not know if I was ready to marry him and then he said that he could just pay someone else to marry him. I thought that it was extremely rude for him to say that, but I did not want to have to live with him getting deported just because I did not marry him.” 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.

Story #29 – Dana’s story: Cognitive dissonance is a measurable sign of abuse

Dana

Dana’s story*: Cognitive dissonance is a measurable sign of abuse

“I was in this relationship from the age of 15 to 50. So before the relationship, I would say that I was an open, enthusiastic and loving person. By the time the relationship ended, I was suffering from chronic depression and needed lots of therapy. In between, I became a loving mother and a freelance writer and newspaper reporter. I often wonder how much more I could have accomplished had I had a supportive spouse.” 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.

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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