shadows, psychopath, sociopath, awareness, dating a sociopath, divorcing a narcissist, Paula Carrasquillo, Paula Renee Carrasquillo, Paula Reeves-Carrasquillo

Emerging from the Shadows of the Sociopath

shadowsOnce, I met a boy. He was sweet and caring and fell in love with me, and I with him.

But something happened, something unexpected and unexplainable. I don’t know exactly what happened, when it happened or why it happened. Whatever it was, it sent this boy into a very dark place.

For a time, I accompanied him in that dark place, but not because I wanted to be there. I had an obligation to him and myself, I thought. I had no idea how we got there in the first place. Things happened so fast. I don’t recall entering willfully, but I must have. All I knew for certain was that I didn’t like or enjoy the dark.

For too long it seemed, I endured the darkness and its shadows and fought daily to get us both out of there. But each time I tried to pull us into the light, the boy dragged us deeper into the darkness. The deeper we got, the less light I could see. We got so deep, I forgot what the light looked like and how it felt.

I was resigned to the darkness. I found myself as empty and as hollow as the dark place I desperately wanted to leave. I became a shadow of my former self.

But one night, I had a dream about the light. I felt its warmth and glow and joy. I missed the light so much. I hadn’t felt those things in so long. I needed those things and knew I would die if I didn’t escape the darkness. I didn’t want to die.

So I started climbing out of the darkness, first with small steps. But the boy kept pulling me back. He held tightly to my heels for awhile. But I refused to give up. I kicked long and hard until he finally let go.

Even without him holding on to me physically, I struggled. I had to take larger steps, and I soon found myself clawing and scratching my way to the surface. There were so many times I wanted to give up. My arms grew tired, my back ached, my memory kept going back to the boy I loved. I’d slip in these moments; my focus was compromised. Days and weeks and sometimes months of progress were lost with each little slip. But I kept remembering that dream and how warm and joyful the light was.

I kept moving forward, closer to the light and never looking back. Once the warm glow of the light hit me, my thoughts returned to the boy still in that dark place. I wanted desperately to share the joy I was feeling with him.

But my efforts were in vain.

My voice just echoed and bounced around the darkness driving the boy mad and just confusing him more as to why I chose to leave him behind. The darkness had eroded any inkling of the light inside the boy. He saw me perched above with the light shining on my back as just a shadow, dark and distant. To the boy, I appeared no better than the darkness in which he lived.

So in the end, the boy chose the darkness and its dancing shadows. I accepted his choice and eventually realized that no words, deeds or wishes would have convinced the boy that the wasted life he was living was unnecessary. He chose to hide behind false pride, ego and selfishness. He was a shadow and lacked the necessary trust to follow me and eventually join me as equals in the light.

And the final release, the ripping apart of the last heart string that connected me to him, was bittersweet but much more sweet than bitter, because it’s so lovely in the light.

Never underestimate the power of the darkness and the consuming shadows it casts.

Life is in the light. Death is in the darkness. You have a choice.

Namaste!
~ Paula

(image source: http://pinterest.com/pin/512636370053886530/)

setting boundaries

The Importance of Boundaries and Keeping the Sociopath on the Outside

setting boundariesI never had boundaries before I met the sociopath. I was naive and too open and honest. I wasn’t afraid of sharing my dreams and weaknesses and past mistakes. I believed my history made me the strong person I thought I was, and I just liked sharing.

When I hooked up with the sociopath, he seemed to like and respect me immediately.  This “instant attraction” led me to share too much, too soon. And boy did I share!

I shared without any expectations. I didn’t expect anything in return from the sociopath and figured that if he wanted to share himself with me he could, if not, that’s okay, too.

Although I expected nothing in return for all of my disclosure and sharing, I still became hurt and angered when it became increasingly clear that the sociopath was only interested in rejecting, defiling and dismissing my feelings, my opinions and my worth. Every chance he got.

My hurt and anger at what I perceived to be his change of heart and disinterest in me as a person turned into self-destructive behavior and crazy-making. Now I understand that trying to keep a sociopath in your life is never worth losing your dignity and self-respect. Never. But I allowed his treatment of me to affect me this way. I allowed myself to become invested in a person who I shouldn’t have been invested in.

It’s human nature to desire people to like us, and when someone doesn’t like us or seems to suddenly stop liking us, we want to know why and try to make them like us.

The sociopath fools you by making you think he likes you as soon as you meet him. You become invested in him emotionally and instantly. After all, he seems so interested and concerned and caring, doesn’t he?

But then suddenly, as if you were thrust into a parallel universe, the sociopath starts treating you as if he doesn’t like you and as if you don’t really matter after all. This leaves you confused, and you flail and try to figure out what you did to make him stop liking you.

You might even threaten to leave him.

It’s a no-win battle. No matter how many times the sociopath claims, “I love you. I’m sorry. I’ll change. You’re the love of my life. I’ll die if you leave me,” he’ll continue to degrade you with every opportunity.

You must set boundaries.

Boundaries help you say no to people (like the sociopath) who don’t align with your values. Boundaries keep you healthy, honest and true to your core. Setting and using boundaries is a mindful and beneficial practice.

When with the sociopath, you either need to use your forgotten boundaries or find the strength to create new boundaries.

You must not be so forgiving of the sociopath. Boundaries will help you put yourself first. You must be smarter and more aware of yourself and stop worrying about hurting the sociopath, because after all, the only thing the sociopath is capable of doing with any great success is hurting YOU!

They are masters at inflicting pain.

You should leave. You can leave. You will leave. You do leave.

You don’t have to take it anymore. You utilized your boundaries.

And once outside of the relationship and armed with a full understanding of what struck you, the hardest part is letting go of your need to keep “your” sociopath from hurting anyone else. You must realize that you can’t prevent the inevitable. The sociopath’s harm is inevitable. It can’t be stopped.

Your boundaries are limited. Your boundaries can’t save anyone else but yourself. That’s okay. It’s got to be okay.

You’re safe now. The sociopath is on the other side. The outside. He can no longer hurt you or your family or your friends and all those people you love and deserve your love.

You’re free.

I keep this page going and my blog fresh because I want to help people avoid the prolonged confusion I felt trying to make sense of the mess I found myself in emotionally and spiritually during and immediately after escaping.

I want others to learn from my mistake and to understand the importance of setting healthy boundaries in order to preserve their integrity and worth.

Strong, healthy boundaries can help you avoid being exploited.

I do not wish for anyone to endure the pain and confusion I endured trying to figure out the “other” species living among us that hurts and harms with impunity.

Namaste! ~Paula

(image source: http://pinterest.com/pin/9007267977441132/)

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