Helen and Irene’s Stories of Abuse and Recovery*


Helen’s Story – “Nothing I did ever made him happy.”

Irene’s Story – “When I told him I was pregnant with our third baby, he wanted me to abort it.”

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.

Read all the survivor stories published this month to Paula’s column, Living Inside Out Loud

*All names have been changed to protect the survivor and the survivor’s family and friends.


Never Forget the Sociopath’s Rage

bear_cubIn all relationships–intimate, business, familial, platonic–the sociopath MUST be in control.

The moment the sociopath loses control of someone he once controlled, that person will be vilified and torn down by the sociopath.

The sociopath will assassinate the person’s character in subtle and overt ways.

His audience will be a bit shocked by the sociopath’s sudden dislike and criticism of people the sociopath once SEEMED to revere:

“He is suffering from serious depression. What should I do? Should I say something to his family? He’s going to hurt himself!” (feigned concern)

“She is so unattractive. Look at her eyes. They’re so close together. And her body. She really thinks she’s hot and she’s not.” (projection of the sociopath’s body image issues)

“They’re nothing but a family of show offs. They are so arrogant and think they are better than everyone around them.” (more projection revealing how he compares his own family to others leading to deep jealousy)

“He’s dead to me!” (ease of discard regardless of how long a person was part of the sociopath’s life)

And if the sociopath can convince his audience to agree, the sociopath is happy. His supply is replenished, and the sociopath feels fulfilled.

(Imagine being fulfilled and happy at destroying another person’s reputation and convincing others that another person is unworthy of consideration? That’s evil. That’s darkness.)

But if the sociopath’s audience disagrees and questions the sociopath’s opinion and criticism, the sociopath instantly becomes incensed and the explosive rage begins:

“You disagree with me? Get out! Get the f*ck out! You whore. You bastard!”

Then the sociopath either throws you outside or silent treatment commences.

Seriously. What evolved and intelligent and reasonable and prudent person responds to simple questions by a loved one in such a way?

An evolved, intelligent, reasonable and prudent person DOESN’T react in such a way.

Regardless of how calm the sociopath appears when all is going in the sociopath’s favor, don’t ever forget that rage. Don’t underestimate the destructive power of the rage that bubbles and churns beneath the sociopath’s cool exterior. It only takes a simple denial to ignite the sociopath’s rage.

Why poke the bear when you know it’s a bear?


(image source: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/41658365272847383/)

What I Learned from Living Through Hell – The Narcissist Slayer Award and Nominees

Narcissist Slayer Award - Paula's PontificationsI’m a Narcissist Slayer. Narc Slayer for short. I know several other Narc Slayers. I bet you do, too.

Roughly two (2) years ago when I started actively writing on this blog about my experience with the boy in my story, I never imagined that one day I would be awarded with a Narc Slayer Award. But that day has arrived, and I couldn’t be more thrilled.

Kim, the very talented and insightful blogger over at Let me Reach with Kim Saeed, presented me (along with ten (10) other bloggers/Narc Slayers) with this honor on December 13. Thank you, Kim!

Check out her full post and the others she awarded.

Like all blog awards, I have a responsibility as a recipient. I must:

1. Thank the person who nominated me and link back to them. CHECK!

2. Place the award logo on my blog. CHECK!

3. Write a blog post and nominate other blogs for the award – there is no minimum or maximum number of blogs required to nominate. CHECK!

>> Deliberate Donkey

>> My Abandoned Self ©

>> Madeline Scribes

4. Inform my nominees on their site that I have chosen them for the honor. CHECK!

5. Share one positive thing I took away from my relationship with the Narcissist.

Well, crap! I can do 1 – 4 with relative ease. But #5 stings my eyes just reading the words. Something positive? Other than the fact that going through hell has given me a greater appreciation for all of the beautiful people and encounters I experience on a daily basis, the positives are best described as things I have learned as a result of the toxic relationship:

I learned how NOT to live and navigate this world.

I learned that I may make mistakes, but those mistakes do not have to define who I am forever and eternity. I’m allowed to change and be better without constant and repeated shaming.

I learned that love has always been abundantly present in my life. I was just too stupid and blind to recognize and appreciate it. (I love you, George!)

I learned that loving with my whole heart is possible and even more fullfilling when I am with those who also love with their whole hearts.

I learned that change is possible, real change, as long as I remember that falling down doesn’t mean something’s over; it means I get a chance to try again with greater insight and understanding.

I learned that love truly is patient and kind; but in order to receive it, I must really love and value myself first.

I learned that regardless of how alone and powerless I feel when it comes to any and all challenges life throws my way, there is someone, many someones, out here who feel as I feel and desperately do not want to feel alone either.

I learned that there is strength in numbers and anything is possible if I simply have faith…faith in myself…faith in my family…faith in my friends…faith in God.

I learned that I do believe in something greater than myself and that something is with me every day as long as I never stop believing.

I learned that judgment truly is the root of evil, and that judgment of others begins when we judge ourselves. I’m finding peace in just being and not judging.

I learned that stating facts and responses to how I was treated are not judgments and that silence only encourages evil and abuse to perpetuate, grow and fester.

I learned that injustices eventually “get served” and that good truly does triumph over evil. However, unlike the drama-fueled victories depicted in movies, real-world victories are far more subtle and happen unexpectedly. There’s no applause or obnoxious cheering, but there are many silent smiles and feelings of validation and accomplishment.

Above all, I learned that patience is my best friend. (I wish I had met her sooner!)


© 2014 Paula Carrasquillo and Paula’s Pontifications

The End of the Relationship with a Sociopath: Where is the Sense in It?


From the beginning, a relationship with a sociopath make no sense and is unlike any relationship we have ever encountered. And then the end comes, and we’re blown away by how it plays out.

When normal, healthy relationships end, we naturally grieve. We say goodbye to someone with whom we shared ourselves and whom shared themselves with us. It’s sad. It’s painful. But it’s life. People come and go. And just because the person we are saying good-bye to will no longer be a part of our everyday life, we have the beautiful memories of that person and all of the adventures and growth we experienced.

But when a relationship with a sociopath ends, it’s on par with losing someone through death. Why is the grief so intense? Probably because there was never a normal closure when a so-called relationship with a sociopath ends.

When we end romantic relationships with healthy partners, there is usually the final, mutual conversation where one side says, “I love you but it’s just not working” and the other side says “I love you, too, and I agree it’s not working.” You go your separate ways; there is no drama; there is no second-guessing. You move forward and deal every day with the gradual subsiding of the pain and grief of losing a person you once shared a life. And you always remember that person and how he/she shaped you and helped prepare you for the next relationship.

When the toxic relationship with a sociopath ends, we never experience the mutual conversation or the drama-free exit and separation. Instead, what we get from a sociopath is emptiness and lies. If you leave the sociopath, he’ll say, “Thank God I don’t have to endure you any more. I should have realized long ago that I was wasting my energy on you.” If he is the one to leave, he’ll say, “It’s just not working out. I don’t love you and never really loved you the way you wanted me to love you. We would have made each other miserable. Have a great life.”

Both reactions are shocking to a normal, health non-pathological person. How could someone devalue the years you spent together with such dismissive statements and lack of emotion and care?

Well, a sociopath, that’s who!

Once the sociopath no longer needs you or realizes he can’t use you for further supply, you become dead to the sociopath. His memory is wiped clean of you, because he was never able to connect with you on a spiritual level in the first place. You were just a material thing, an acquisition and a conquest; it’s easy to toss away things. In no uncertain terms, you become trash and garbage in the eyes of the sociopath.

You do not exist. You are worthless and so was the relationship. Poof! You’re nothing.

So harsh! You are unable to compute how the sociopath was able to come to such a conclusion about you and your worth. Once you recognize this reality, when you hear it in his tone and learn of it through the smear campaign, you may become desperate to make him see how wrong he is. You may try to delay the end. You may call him and beg and barter with him. You may get down on your hands and knees and say you’re sorry and would do anything to prove to him that you are worthy of his eternal friendship and love.

But, more than likely, by the time you make such a spectacle of yourself, the sociopath has already found a new source of supply. By doing this, you just end up looking like a crazy and desperate fool. The sociopath does not care what you have to say. He does not acknowledge any of the truth you might be speaking. However, the sociopath loves that you keep begging him and pleading with him to be nicer to you. These are the moments that feed the sociopath, and he shares these pleadings with his current victim/girlfriend/fiancee to prove to them how insane you are, “Jesus! This woman is so sick. She just can’t let go and accept I don’t want anything to do with her.”

The boy in my story described several women from his past in this way. (I’m definitely added to that list now. Hehe!) But was it really letting go of him that they were unable to do? Was his teenage lover really desperate to marry him after all these years because she was delusional and couldn’t accept the end of the relationship? Was the ex-girlfriend from Ohio, now married with children, pining for the boy because she still loved him? Did I call him after my stepfather died because I needed him to comfort me?

No. None of us really needed him in our lives. What we needed from him was a glimmer of humanity that we never received when the relationship ended. All we got was drama, hate and lies. We were desperate to be treated as humans.

But expecting to be treated as a human when the relationship with a sociopath ends is hoping in vane. It will never happen. Why? Because the sociopath isn’t human like you and me. He has no conscience. So why on earth would the sociopath treat you like you were human if he doesn’t even know what it feels like to be human with a conscience?

He wouldn’t, because he can’t. The sociopath is not capable of treating you like anything other than a disposable piece of flesh.


(Image source: http://pinterest.com/pin/209206345162866290/)

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/)

Control and the Narcissistic Sociopath AFTER the Relationship Ends

Divorcing a narcissist or sociopath

We know from experience that narcissistic sociopaths feel most powerful when they are in control of us.

And many of us think the solution to beating them is to try controlling them in return.

But we can’t beat them by using the same control tactics they use. Why? Because as good people with the ability to empathize, our consciences will not allow us to follow through with our attempts at control.

When we try to fight them by controlling them in any way, we crack due to the anxiety we experience trying to be evil and controlling.

It’s not in us to be controlling assholes. It just isn’t!

When we seek to treat the sociopaths as they treat us, we’re acting outside of our spiritual core. Acting outside of our spiritual core only hurts us, not the sociopaths.

Trying to be abusive and controlling is why some of us crack and feel crazy. We feel crazy because we aren’t acting as our conscience dictates. When we feel crazy, others perceive our actions as crazy, too.

The sociopath can pretend and act like the rest of us with great success and believability because they lack a spiritual core. When there is no spiritual core to harm and confuse, the sociopath is a prime example of an empty existence unaffected by anything from the outside and especially from the inside.

Healthy, non-pathological folks can’t act or pretend to be heartless and revengeful. Our consciences just won’t allow it. (Feel good about that quality within you even if it seems to put you at a disadvantage when dealing with the sociopath.)

So how do we defeat the narcissistic sociopath?

It’s simple. We let them THINK they have won. We let them THINK they are still in control even after the relationship ends.

Offer the sociopath half the car or half the house in the divorce settlement. Don’t fight for it all no matter how much you know or think you deserve it. Act reasonable and fair. Not revengeful and vindictive. The courts will see you as reasonable and fair, too, not crazy.

Consider opening your marital home to renters. When it comes time to equally divide assets, the sociopath won’t be interested in being bothered with the process. There is work involved in divisions. There is also the annoying responsibility of collecting rent, making repairs, finding tenants and making mortgage payments. They hate making payments. They may end up leaving you with the mortgage because a mortgage is a burden to them and they wish to burden you. But they fail to realize you want them to sign a quit claim deed so you can turn around in a few months and sell the place for a profit.

Don’t ask for full legal and physical custody of your children, either, no matter how much you fear the sociopath’s influence. Ask for a 50/50 split. Again, appear reasonable and fair.

The sociopath will never be able to maintain a 50/50 split due to the time and responsibility associated with making more exchanges on a more frequent basis. They want full custody only because they know it will be most convenient for them, not because it will be better or more stable for the children. A 50/50 agreement will most likely result in them relinquishing time spent with their kids. They’ll think you will be burdened by having more time with your kids because it’s a burden to them. They may even think having your kids more will interfere with your ability to date. (As if dating is the first thing you want to do after being involved with a sociopath!!)

Sociopaths hate responsibility. So, the more they perceive you as being burdened with responsibilities, the more victorious they feel.

They are the winningest losers on the planet!

By giving them what they think they want, we appease them. By convincing them their choices burden us, we appease their need to control us. We did it inside the relationship; we can do it outside the relationship, too.

I know these scenarios won’t work for every situation but it gives you an idea of how you can rethink your situation and your need to fight in hopes of taking it all from them in the beginning of the end of the relationship/marriage.

The sociopath eventually loses everything thinking it was 100% his idea and choice. Some call it karma. I call it purpose-driven patience on our part which requires zero compromise of our core values. It just requires a lot of sacrifices for a bit longer than we’d hoped.


(Image source: Divorced Women Online)

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