Yoga heals the body and the mind

Yoga heals the body and the mind.

Yoga heals the body and the mind.

Yoga is not just a passing fad for exercise elitists. Yoga is a safe and highly effective form of therapy for individuals seeking relief from post-traumatic stress, depression and anxiety in the aftermath of abuse and trauma. Do you know how yoga works?

To learn more, read my latest story on CDN:

Yoga therapy for survivors of trauma and abuse

Namaste!
~Paula

Paula Carrasquilo is a certified yoga teacher, health coach and author of Escaping the Boy: My Life with a Sociopath. Follow her on Twitter and on her Love-Life-Om blog.

 

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/)

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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