If you’re thinking about going no contact or are currently struggling to maintain no contact, Kim Saeed’s new book will serve as an invaluable tool for your emotional, physical and spiritual well-being and growth.
“Have patience. Wait until the mud settles and the water is clear. Remain unmoving until right action arises by itself.” ~ Lao-tzu
The sociopaths we escaped were jealous of us. It’s that simple. They saw our strengths and knew we were stronger, which is why they made every attempt to demean and devalue us with words, suggestions and actions. Misery loves company, after all.
They hated us for liking ourselves and wanted to warp our healthy levels of self-love and self-respect into something ugly, grotesque and sinful.
They wanted to convince us that we were narcissistic and selfish. (Ironic, huh?)
So whenever we demonstrated self-respect by saying “no” to them and trying to maintain our boundaries, they’d degrade us, bring us down and convince us we weren’t as great as we thought we were. (Which is sad, because we simply had a healthy degree of self-worth that SEEMED inflated compared to their total lack of self-worth and self-respect.)
They wanted to convince us of what they wanted us to believe was true: that we were no better than them and that we needed them to learn humility and grace.
You can’t learn humility and grace from people who only understand possession and oppression. We are not in need of them. They are not people we want to aspire to be like. And there is no shame in believing you are amazing and have the right to your feelings, beliefs and personal interpretations of your experiences and ideas.
We don’t have to continue apologizing for being “normal” and healthy, a place too few are allowed to reach thanks to the sociopaths in their lives whispering to them repeatedly, “You really shouldn’t think so highly of yourself. It’s tasteless!”
The goal of a sociopath is to find the ultimate victim, someone who will take those whisperings to heart and permit those whisperings to lower their personal standards. Only a person who remains completely lost and oblivious to what the sociopath is doing can remain a victim whom the sociopath can get away with oppressing and possessing their entire life.
Be thrilled you escaped. No matter how long it took, you awakened to your power. Seize it and never forget it’s there and has always been there.
(image by JD Marston)
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.”
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.”
Yogi. Author. Advocate.
Detach, Connect, Reduce
Life is filled with lessons, and most of these lessons reveal a dichotomy we once took for granted. The most powerful dichotomy we’ve uncovered as survivors is that of good vs. evil. Today, we understand the relationship between good and evil beyond the poetic metaphor. Good and evil are real and ever-present. As survivors of sociopath abuse, we appreciate and value this dichotomy. We are not fearful of it. However, we are fearful of the chaos that could result if these forces were to crash into our lives again. This issue of Love. Life. Om. Newsletter touches on actions we can take to prevent future implosions of good and evil at our doorstep.
In this issue…
- Feature: Detaching from Non-romantic Sociopath Relationships
- Recovery Tip: Don’t Ignore Your Spirit Connection
- Self-Care: Reduce Sugar; Increase Recovery Results
Yogi. Author. Advocate.
The 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.
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.
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.
* Note: This also applies to females who are psychopaths.
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?
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.
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.
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
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