Ellen’s story: “I was always afraid he would rape me, hit me and be even crueler.”

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October 5, 2014 – Ellen’s story: “I was always afraid he would rape me, hit me and be even crueler.”

BETHESDA, Maryland, October 5, 2014 — Ellen* is a survivor of intimate partner and sociopath abuse who lives and is studying to become a doctor in the United States.


Before I met my boyfriend, I was living in the suburbs of Philadelphia. I was a smart, funny, outgoing and independent girl. I had a car and registered for college. I was working and paying for myself. I had had a few instances of drug and alcohol problems and was actively keeping myself out of trouble.

Just before I met him, my grandmother slipped into a coma from diabetes. I was locked out of my house by a controlling aunt. I found myself needing to live with my mother, who suffered from schizophrenia. 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.

In the Aftermath of Sociopathic Abuse: Discovering Your Healing Plan and Transformational Powers

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You were victimized. You’re tired. You feel damaged. You’d rather sleep than jump out of bed and enjoy your day.

What’s there to enjoy, right?

You feel ashamed. You feel depressed. Some of us even feel bipolar and/or borderline.

You have exhausted all of your inner resources. You can’t seem to snap out of this indifferent state of being.

And because you keep reading websites and books, you’re convinced you suffer from PTSD and are depressed or bipolar or borderline.

So you contemplate visiting a doctor whose job it is to diagnose you in order to fix you.

You think if you get that diagnosis, you can be prescribed that pill that can fix you.

(Really? You think a doctor who doesn’t know you can figure you out in a single session, prescribe you a medication and then you’re magically fixed? Does that ever work?)

For many of us, the diagnosis, the label placed upon us by our doctor, can often be our downfall. We initially think getting labeled will relieve us and that taking that pill will get us through our day.

I think the opposite is true. I think being labeled can destroy our psyche even more. I think in our search for empowerment, we become even more disempowered and dependent, because once the diagnoses hits our ears, fear sets in. Receiving the diagnosis and prescription can act as triggers in many cases.

So what do we do? We need to know what’s keeping us stuck and how we can get unstuck. We desperately want answers and a solution to our pain.

I think it’s as simple as changing our expectations and accepting that the diagnosis, whatever you discover it to be, is temporary.

We must stop relying solely on what that first doctor tells us and what that first doctor prescribed.

We must stop defining ourselves using the diagnosis as a mental crutch:

>>You aren’t anxiety; you suffer from feelings of anxiety.

>>You aren’t depression; you suffer from feelings of depression.

>>You aren’t PTSD; you suffer from symptoms of PTSD.

None of these diagnoses are permanent, and there are many alternatives to taking prescription medicine.

So first and foremost, don’t just go to any psychiatrist or family doctor. If you can, find a doctor or counselor who specialized in trauma as a result of relational harm and/or domestic violence situations.

And unless you absolutely can not perform simple daily tasks, reject the prescription. (You CAN do that!) Instead, ask your doctor for alternatives to medication. Ask your doctor about holistic approaches to treating your depression and your PTSD triggers.

Your doctor may be clueless! If your doctor is clueless, ask for a referral. But great doctors who are being continually educated on treatment methods and approaches will be thrilled that you’re open to something unconventional.

Search for holistic health centers or integrative medicine clinics or programs in your area.

If you take a medication that makes you feel numb, fuzzy and not yourself, talk to your doctor about the possibility of coming off the medication while simultaneously trying something more natural or holistic as a counter balance.

You may discover that simple changes to your diet, cutting out alcohol, experimenting with various forms of exercise or changing jobs can have an enormous, positive effect on your emotional health.

(Yoga and meditation have done wonders for me. Maybe Pilates or running or kayaking is your thing. Experiment!)

We are all very different and require varying degrees of care and attention. Some of us have many, many years of untreated trauma to wade through and medication is often necessary for the short term. It is!! Absolutely, it is.

But remember that this is your body, your mind and your future. When you feel like something isn’t working for you, tell your doctor. Don’t be afraid or intimidated to ask, “What else can I do to regain my emotional health?”

And don’t be afraid or intimidated to shop for a new doctor.

You’re not damaged; you’re temporarily broken. But with an open mind, a conscious effort and doctors and/or counselors you trust, you really can heal and become transformed.

Namaste!
~Paula

(Image source: http://piccsy.com/mobile/2012/06/picc-iqf6yoyt6)

Yoga May Have Taught Me Patience, but I Still Have Zero Tolerance for Abuse

buddhaI began practicing yoga 2 years ago in hopes of relieving myself of the pain associated with a knee injury. Who knew I would also be helping myself heal from a far more sinister pain that went much deeper than I ever imagined.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness month. I am a survivor of Domestic Violence and Intimate Partner Abuse.

Domestic Violence and Intimate Partner Abuse aren’t reserved for certain types of people. Anyone at any age of any gender from any demographic can find themselves a victim of abuse and control at the hands of someone they thought loved them and cared for them.

On my other blog, I write frequently about the abuse I endured in my late 30’s by a man I can only describe as a sociopath. However, I infrequently discuss the abuse I endured at 18, which although was physically more violent and horrific, didn’t compare to the psychological torment and emotional abuse the sociopath inflicted.

When we think of Domestic Violence and Intimate Partner Abuse, it’s important to get the full picture.

Domestic Violence isn’t always about fists flying, black eyes, broken ribs or objects being thrown.

More often than not, perpetrators of Domestic Violence are so evil, conscienceless and manipulative in their torment that being physical and “leaving a mark” would simply give them away too soon and cause their “fun” to end prematurely.

They enjoy wielding control and power. It’s their life’s blood. It’s gotta last.

Perpetrators of Domestic Violence slowly and insidiously chip away at their victims/targets rendering them defenseless in body, mind and spirit.

My abuser took on one of three roles at any given moment within the toxic relationship:

1.) Victim – “I’m so sorry I hurt you. I can’t help myself from doing X,Y and Z. I did it because I have been treated so poorly my entire life. Please have pity on me.”

2.) Savior – “The life you lived before me was filled with sin and misdeeds. I can help you improve and be a better person. Just follow me and do as I say. You’ll be rewarded.”

3.) Persecutor – “You can’t leave me! You’re nothing! You’re a whore. You’re worthless. You disgust me!”

Inside this hell on earth, I wasn’t allowed to be anything other than the sociopath’s toy. I lost my identity. I WAS the relationship. By the time I escaped the sociopath, I was a shell of my former self.

Today, I am nearly 3 years out of the abusive relationship, and I am proud to say that I am able to define myself in many ways:

I am a mother, a wife, a friend, a learner, a skilled writer and most of all, I am a yogini transformed who reserves my patience for those who reciprocate patience, love and understanding.

If you or someone you know is in or has been involved in Domestic Violence or Intimate Partner Abuse, there is hope to escape and even greater hope for finding yourself and overcoming the trauma and abuse inflicted upon you.

Visit No More.org today to learn how you can help spread awareness in hopes of ending the abuse.

Namaste!
Paula

© 2013 Paula Carrasquillo and A Yogini Transformed.


Paula Carrasquillo is an active yogi, author, and advocate who has lived in numerous watersheds throughout the United States, including Colorado, Maine, Maryland and New Mexico. She currently lives in the Washington, D.C. metro area. Paula is passionate about her family, friends and the motivational and brave people she meets daily through her online writing and social media exchanges. To Paula, every person, place, thing, idea and feeling she encounters is significant and meaningful, even those which she most wants to forget. Follow Paula on Twitterand check out her other blog.

Sharing what is happening to us. Believing us. Why is it so hard to believe?

emotional abuse hurts just as much as a punch to the gutWhy do I need to show you a picture of bruises on my body or a black eye to convince you that I am a victim of domestic violence/intimate partner abuse? If I could show you a picture of my broken spirit, I would show it to you, but the technology necessary to capture THAT doesn’t exist. Even if it did exist, would you be convinced that emotional abuse is just as damaging as a punch to the gut, a kick to the face, or a gun to my head?

Emotional abuse is often a predictor of physical abuse. Before the punches begin, the nasty words, name calling, and put downs come first. In many cases, however, the abuser prefers to stick with the emotional abuse. Why? Because it’s harder to prove (no physical proof) and the results are long-lasting (bruises go away; emotional turmoil grows deeper), and the abuser gets the thrill of seeing his victim suffer longer.

So, instead of physically harming his victims, the emotional abuser chooses to destroy things his victim holds dear: a favorite book gets burned (accidentally in that gorgeous fire burning in the fireplace he slaved to build for her), a favorite lamp gets smashed (because all she had to do was listen to him, dammit), and a favorite pair of earrings suddenly turns up missing (because she needs to be more careful where she leaves things).

But the most precious “thing” an abuser destroys is his victim’s spirit. Losing her spirit results in depression, lack of interest in things she once loved, loss of her job, loss of her friends, loss of her connection to family, and ultimately, loss of her desire to live. THIS is what emotional abuse does to her. Like bullying, emotional abuse of an intimate partner can lead to suicide or murder or both.

And when she does get away from her abuser (if she gets away from her abuser), her fears and insecurities will keep her from EVER sharing her story. But she NEEDS to tell her story, doesn’t she? The abuser’s next victim deserves the chance to know, doesn’t she? Besides, what is the abuser going to do if she does speak out? Come after her? Maybe. Sue her? Not likely. (Look what happened when a lawyer, yes, a lawyer, tried to sue his ex-girlfriends for letting the world know what a jerk he was: The Failed Matthew Couloute Lawsuit.)

Unfortunately, the victim will never talk about it. Instead, she’ll enter counseling, get prescribed some antidepressants, and everyone will tell her to get over it and move on. Future victims never receive her cautionary report (or at least we don’t get the report in time).

I received the following “report” (part of a larger e-mail) from one of the boy’s ex-girlfriends nearly 13 months AFTER I escaped him. In addition to my personal story, I pass along this small snippet for anyone currently dating the boy. Hopefully, this will serve to provide you with additional proof and validation that the boy is a piece of garbage not to be recycled for future use:

“I am sorry you were caught up with Ruben. I hope you didn’t get sucked in for too long and are able to rebuild your relationships. I make it a practice to not meet with Ruben, his family or correspond with any friends we had in common during my time with him. …I do not honestly want to waste any more of my life thinking or talking about him. I look at the that time in my life as a lesson learned. Because of that experience I will cherish even more the blessing in my life now and the ones to come.”

“I used to watch those mystery murder stories on TV where a psycho husband killed his wife for some senseless reason and used to think if I didn’t leave Ruben, I might end up that way.”

The most beautiful part of the failed Matthew Couloute lawsuit is that Matthew Couloute himself has made it VERY easy for all of us to avoid him through his simple arrogant act of filing a public lawsuit in the first place. Genius!!! (Keep THAT in mind, boy.)

Tell your story. Tell it anonymously if you must. But tell your story. We believe you and don’t need to be convinced that words hurt, too.

Namaste!

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