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

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.


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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

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.

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

IIN_friends

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

Sociopaths steal our values to create their mask and gain supply

mask

First thing this morning, I received my weekly newsletter from Donna over at LoveFraud.com. I skimmed the headlines and read the first article listed which succinctly explains that love equals supply for a sociopath. I agreed with the article and moved on with my day.

A few hours passed, and I received a text from a reader and friend (whom I got to meet this past weekend in NYC!). She wanted to know how I was able to find a way to accept all of the sociopath’s lies and manipulations and move forward. The previously mentioned LoveFraud.com article immediately came to mind.

I explained to my friend that I don’t accept the lies or abuse or the shame. However, I do accept that he, the sociopath, needed to lie, abuse and shame me because he was/is too weak to fulfill his own needs and needed me as his supply.

(I don’t think I have ever used the word “need” so many times in a single sentence. Hehe!)

To be his supply, mirroring me and my values and interests was absolutely necessary. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have looked past what I falsely perceived to be his “minor” flaws and stuck around dealing with his shitty character for so long. Instead, because he made it appear like he was so much like me, I subconsciously saw myself in him and used patience to deal with his outbursts, rages, and insults.

(Despite such behavior, he had to be a good person underneath, right?)

The mirroring, which he did/does so well, had me looking past his racism, lack of education, elitism, ugliness, and lack of compassion. All of the good he seemed to have was stolen from those around him (me and a small handful of folks he used as friends). These stolen values allowed him to fit in and be accepted despite all of those flaws that would have been glaring red flags had he not swiped our strongest character traits and worn them as his mask.

These people, sociopaths, can’t survive on their own. They need us; we do not need them. They find us and prey on us when we are at a temporary place of vulnerability. We could have just lost a parent or spouse. We may have lost a job or found ourselves financially burdened due to something unexpected happening to us. Whatever the case, we were weak and in need of support. We were at a place of dependency.

These people, sociopaths, sniff out dependency, get their hooks in us and refuse to let go until we’ve been depleted of all usefulness. And we all eventually become depleted of value, because sociopaths only understand how to take, take, take. They have nothing, absolutely NOTHING, to give to us of value in return.

(Money is not value, by the way. Money does not feed the soul or elevate us to a place of higher consciousness. If you are with someone who seems to be supportive because of their financial support, this financial support is actually a way to make you weaker and more financially dependent upon the sociopath, which makes walking away from the toxic relationship even harder, which prolongs your exposure to the abuse, which causes even greater loss of self and spirit, which makes healing and recovery in the aftermath harder to attain.)

At one point inside the relationship, I wanted to die. I wished to die. I could not take the sight of what was being revealed to me. I couldn’t accept that the person I left my husband and family for was really just a leach and a fraud. I was disgusted with myself for choosing such a grotesque person over the wonderful people he had stolen from me. Death seemed like a better option than leaving this person, and the thought of wading through the shame and humiliation of my flawed choice of life partner scared me.

Somehow I made it through that cesspool. I use my experience as a message, as a gift. It happened to me. I was awakened to it, to the existence of people who feign love, concern and devotion for personal gain, money, and status. Many are not so lucky. Many never escape and become awakened. Many spend their entire lives trying to please and serve people like this who do not deserve their love, adoration, precious time, or energy and resources.

(I send those people metta/peace daily in my meditations and visions. What more can be done?)

Luckily, regardless of how long it takes to escape, everything that was stolen from us–our self-worth, self-love, self-identity, self-devotion, self-confidence–can be rebuilt and replenished. It may take longer for some of us to rebuild our financial security and/or regain relationships with family, friends and even our children, but it can be rebuilt once we discover our inner peace, freedom, and hope.

Every survivor is destined to heal, prosper, and thrive in this life. Begin today by taking inventory of your worth and encouraging another survivor to take inventory of his/hers. We truly are stronger together than divided.

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

From Hurt to Healed – Conversations with Kim and Paula

Hurt to Healed Promo 2

We hope to meet soon for a real side-by-side picture moment!!

It is with great enthusiasm to announce that I will be partnering with Kim Saeed, No Contact coach and writer of the narcissistic abuse survivor blog, Let me Reach, as we come together to launch a BlogTalk Radio show for Narcissist/Sociopath/Psychopath and Domestic abuse survivors. Our show is supported and promoted by Communities Digital News, LLC.

While we both share similar experiences as abuse survivors and have a common outlook as it relates to understanding abuse dynamics, recovery, and healing, our show serves as a symbiotic resource for survivors. Kim shares her expertise as a No Contact coach, how codependency and inner child healing are crucial to the recovery process, and her ongoing education as a spiritual healer. I offer listeners and callers my passion and experience as a published author, adult educator, certified yoga teacher, and integrative health and nutrition coach.

Topics that will be covered on our show will include: No Contact (before, during, and after), the role of nutrition and exercise in recovery, spirituality as the cornerstone of healing, the mind-body-spirit connection, FAQs, recovery from codependency, inner child healing, rewriting our narrative beliefs, and alternative modalities and therapies to healing and recovery. We will also be interviewing niche celebrities and experts, as well as holding Question & Answer sessions with listeners.

However, none of this would be possible without you, our faithful and dedicated readers and followers. We would love to get your input on what you’d like to hear covered on our show, as well as days and times that would work best for listeners who are interested in sharing survival stories and live Q&As. Please take part in our survey below:

Take Our Survey & Share Your Ideas!

Our expected launch date is December 2014/January 2015. Please check back often so you don’t miss out on the fun!

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

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