Cara’s story: “He was diagnosed as a sociopath. I still wanted to help him.”

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October 3, 2014 – Cara’s Story of domestic abuse: “He was diagnosed as a sociopath. I still wanted to help him.”

BETHESDA, Maryland, October 3, 2014 — Cara* is a survivor of domestic violence who lives, works and is training to be a yoga teacher in the United States.

I was just getting out of a marriage when Michael* entered my life. He was giving…giving…giving gifts: sweatshirts, concert tickets, inviting me and my daughter on vacations, giving me money and paying off my car. It seemed, at the time, that he was my knight in shining armor. I loved being showered with what I thought was love. 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.

Amber’s Story: “I hid the knives during fights.” #domesticviolence #shatteringmyths #survivorstories

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Each day during the month of October, I will feature a story in my CDN column written and submitted to me 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.

October 2, 2014: Shattering domestic violence myths — Amber’s Story: “I hid the knives during fights.”

BETHESDA, Maryland, October 2, 2014 — Amber* is a scientist and beekeeper who lives, works and raises her family in the United States.


Before the relationship, I was an independent thinker with strong opinions that I didn’t necessarily share. Everyone has an opinion, and they are entitled to it. I don’t need to argue my point to sway opinions. I had a diverse set of friends with differing opinions from mine as well.

During the relationship, my beliefs were challenged. My political and religious beliefs were thrown at me to shame me. I was told certain people were not my “real” friends, his family didn’t like me, I was a bitch, a cunt and a whore. I gave a lot of leeway to him, because his father left him. I felt he was damaged and felt unloved and lashed out because of it.

Eventually, I was frightened of him. Read more…


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

Betty’s Story: Survivor stories shatter myths #DV #myths #awareness #storyaday

No need to Stoop to Conquer the Sociopath

Each day during the month of October, I will feature a story in my CDN column written and submitted to me 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.

October 1, 2014: Shattering domestic violence myths: Betty’s Story “He never hit me; he didn’t need to.”

The following is the story’s introduction.

BETHESDA, Maryland, October 1, 2014 — Betty* is a domestic abuse victim who lives, works, attends college and raises her son in the United States.


Before the relationship, I was confident, happy, sure of myself and my place in the world.

During the relationship, my priorities changed to everything about him. Keeping him happy. I would even get dressed in the morning and mentally consider if he would “approve of” or like what I was wearing. I became a shell of myself, but I didn’t know it at the time. I only see it now, in retrospect.

After the relationship, I crumbled. Everything that I had “known” and thought for 6 years was a lie and realizing that and accepting it and moving forward was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. It’s hard to wrap your head around such a total mind f*%#. I had a breakdown. Literally. Read more…

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

Freedom is key: Reaching a place of strength and acceptance in order to let go #personalstory #healing #yoga

Nicole opening her heart in Dwi Pada Viparita Dandasana.

Nicole opening her heart in Dwi Pada Viparita Dandasana.

(The following was written by Nicole Polizois and is shared on this blog with her permission.)

FREEDOM IS KEY

This is a story about domestic violence, not the type on the news in recent days, not flashy sexy TMZ worthy blows to the face, and not the COPS version assuring braless hysteria.

This is a story borne out of an early childhood fantasy, one that lingers with me even now– about appearing perfect so I could be rescued by a man.

I found many men, but I married George. An abusive man, in other words, but not just any abusive man. George was the handsome, charming and successful man who declared his love for me on our first date. He always called, sometimes 35 times a day.

A child of Greek immigrants, abandoned at age ten by his abusive father, leaving George and his brother alone with a depressed and helpless mother. His childhood memories blank, too brutal to recollect. He grew up on food stamps and worked as a busboy. He had a paper route. He went to college on a full tennis scholarship.

He didn’t knock me unconscious in an elevator like Ray Rice did to his fiancé. However, he did spit on me in an elevator while I was eight months pregnant with his son on our way to Lamaze class (a waste of his time).

He spat in my face and then came the usual rhetoric:  “You’re a waste product.” You’re a shitty wife.” “You’re a piece of shit.” “Aren’t you embarrassed to go out in public looking like that?” “You look disgusting.”

Nothing I didn’t already feel.

No blow up preceded this incident. No alcohol or drug use. This was just George with no cameras to see, I had no evidence. No one would believe me. George kept his demons for only those who could never leave him. Everyone loved George, including my father.

The story is textbook. It escalated from there as it always does. It doesn’t ever get better. It doesn’t go away.

George would say, “I don’t have to OJ you, I’m going to get you to kill yourself.” I heard this so many times, as if recited out of a manual he carried along with his secret cell phone. His threat, if I voiced thoughts of leaving him.

I know why women “don’t just leave.” He picked me because I needed him like a drunk needs a drink. I needed him to take care of me. I believed him when he said, ”no one else would ever want you.” “You are going to be homeless.” “I’m going to take your son away from you.”

I am a statuesque blonde. I am educated and cultured. I have traveled. I speak languages. I roam with the best breed of cattle.  I have appeared on the cover of magazines.  We lived in a home overlooking the Pacific. I practiced yoga. The Harbor Day room mom. Stella McCartney’s top client. I drove an oversized black Benz. I helped raise millions for Oceana. I attended the lunches and Galas for Human Options. It didn’t matter.

There are few resources available. The law enforcement officers explained, “The Burden of Proof”–so unless the abuser is foolish enough to leave his handprints or is video taped, there is nothing they can or will do. Restraining orders are tough to get, and even when I had one, and he violated it, I was the one who begged the officer not to do anything. The last thing I wanted was to get him in deeper trouble. I still wanted to protect him. Attorneys, even the ones that advertise to be experts on Domestic Violence, will do nothing without a large retainer. They don’t, or won’t understand that the abuser has the financial power. The only accounts my name appeared on were the one checking account I had before our marriage and the $1 Million line of credit he extracted from our house.

His threat to leave me destitute was carried out, and no one could stop him. Forensic Accountants are a joke. The Family Court system is a dog and pony show.

FREEDOM IS KEY.

The moment I let that seep in, I really started to let it all go. I sold my belongings. I ached for the loss of my Mercedes, I still cannot drive by my former home. I remind myself it’s okay. It’s only stuff.

FREEDOM IS KEY.

I have discovered who I am without all of the things that hid or I thought was my identity. I became more than a fancy address and apparel. I stayed on my yoga mat even on the days I thought I couldn’t breathe. I started teaching again.

“Always fall in with what you’re asked to accept. Take what is given, and make it over your way. My aim in life has always been to hold my own with whatever’s going on. Not against: with.” ~ Robert Frost

While I practiced my yoga on a hot September morning two years ago, George lay on a garage floor. He shot himself in the head.

It isn’t the typical ending of a fairy tale, but my son and I are at peace. I am proud of my life now. I have a story I feel obligated to share. I held on in order to let go.

FREEDOM IS KEY.

by Nicole Polizois

“Love bites” of sociopaths #Pistorius #DomesticViolence #SamanthaTaylor

Man biting woman's shoulder

Oscar Pistorius has been found guilty of culpable homicide but not guilty of murder. He could receive a suspended sentence and be free to abuse again, because Judge Masipa claims there wasn’t enough evidence to suggest that Oscar knew Reeva was behind the locked bathroom door of his Pretoria, South African home on the even of Valentine’s Day 2013 when he blindly fired 4 shots through the door, murdering the young and vibrant Reeva.

As I scanned the endless verdict headlines this morning in disbelief, another Pistorius-related headline caught my eye:

My life of hell with Oscar Pistorius: Watch ex-lover reveal how she feared Blade Runner would kill her

In this brief article and video interview footage, Samantha Taylor, former girlfreind of Pistorius, describes incidents in which the paralympic athlete bit her, pinched her, and locked her in his home. She describes being so frightened following one of his rages that she hid his gun from him, the same gun he used to shoot and murder Reeva, out of fear for her life.

To me, this is chilling and reminiscent of my own degrading and fear-inducing treatment.

Although the boy in my story didn’t have a gun (at least not one that I knew existed), he bit and pinched me in public and private whenever it seemed he was losing control of me and/or I was exerting my independence.

In public, I would be sitting at a table of acquaintances talking about this or that, and suddenly he’d squeeze and sting my upper thigh or the back of my arm with an aggressive pinch.

I’d immediately react and jump mid-sentence, and those at the table would look at me like I was crazy and wonder, “What in the world?” But before I could get my bearings straight, the boy would quickly lean over and kiss me to further silence me while biting my lip. Once he released me, he’d whisper in my ear, “You are so beautiful.”

I was left shocked, stunned, frustrated and embarrassed.

In private, I would be sitting quietly reading, and the boy would sneak up behind me and bite my neck or shoulder and/or pinch my arm. I would immediately jump and tell him it hurt and to please not do that again. His reaction to me would be disdain.

He would say, “Oh, that didn’t hurt. You are so sensitive. You don’t like me touching you, do you? You don’t love me, do you?”

And then a rage would ensue.

He argued and tried to convince me that his bites and pinches were “love bites” and “love squeezes.” I didn’t know what to call them, because they hurt and left bruises but were immediately followed by his professions of love and idolization.

I was left so confused and wondering, “Maybe I am too sensitive and just need to lighten up a little.”

Today, I realize that these are tactics abusers use to control, intimidate and induce cognitive dissonance on their victims. It’s akin to training a dog with a shock collar, so they don’t go beyond the boundaries their invisible fence allows.

And, yes, I feared for my life before I left him, sleeping with a butter knife underneath my side of the mattress just in case he’d decide to wake me and fly into a rage. My fears were further validated a year after escaping when an ex-girlfriend of the boy contacted me and wrote, “I always feared that if I had married him, my life would become one of those Lifetime movies where the husband snaps and kills his wife for no apparent reason.”

The injustice of the Pistorius verdict is why we must not be afraid to share what happened to us and why our collective stories will one day be heeded and judges like Masipa presiding over trials like Pistorius’ won’t let killers walk free after an act of cold-blooded murder against one’s own spouse/significant other.

Consider picking up a copy of the recently released book by Samantha Taylor’s mother, Patricia, Oscar: An accident waiting to happen, which speaks to the athlete’s state of mind leading to Reeva’s murder. Chilling.

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

Share to make our voice heard – #Pistorius #narcissist #murderer #sociopath

pistorius

Share and pass along my latest Communities Digital news article: The Pistorius narcissist diagnosis: The experts got it wrong

The murder of Reeva Steenkamp and the Pistorius trial has really affected me, and I believe it has affected many, many of us. It all just feels too close to home — the text messages, the blaming, the shaming, the drama, the crocodile tears, the wrong diagnosis/misdiagnosis, and the frustration surrounding society’s “civil” need to consider this murderer’s defense.

Despite the closed-minded folks who refuse to listen to those of us who have lived this hell and instead rely on the inexperienced and money-driven experts, we need to let the world know how we feel about the conclusions being drawn and bring the focus back to proper awareness and education about pathology and the harm caused.

Does it matter what we call it? Psychopathy, sociopathy, narcissism?

No, because regardless of the source or cause of the individual’s behavior, the behavior harms and continues to harm and re-victimize the victims and everyone within range of the sociopath’s sphere of influence.

In the case of Pistorius, his sphere is the entire world thanks to the media coverage and his Olympic past and notoriety.

And our sphere of positive influence can be global, too.

People don’t go to the news anymore; news must come to them. That’s why it’s important to push any news story with narcissist, sociopath, psychopath in the title to your favorite, go-to social media feeds.

Please share my latest story on Communities Digital News, so it gets picked up by Google News. Tweet, Google+, Pin, Reddit, or whatever you like to do with stories you deem interesting or important.

Find me on Twitter. I follow everyone who follows me, and I also follow as many DV awareness pages and shelters and foundations that I can find in search: https://twitter.com/paulareeves821

We really can get the message out and our voices heard if we work together.

http://www.commdiginews.com/sports/the-pistorius-diagnosis-experts-got-it-wrong-20767/

Namaste!
~Paula

It Works! – Helping me help more victims of domestic violence and abuse

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I have three (3) simple dreams for the near future:

  1. To open an affordable yoga and meditation studio to help women (and men, too) who have been victims of domestic violence and intimate partner abuse;
  2. To create, build and maintain a fund to help domestic violence victims who find themselves financially handicapped; and
  3. To train to become a certified holistic health and nutrition coach, so I can help others in all kinds of profound and life-changing ways.

For months on a quest to figure out how to make these dreams come to fruition, I have been trying in vain to find grants and scholarships from foundations and other non-profits who claim to be interested in changing the face of domestic violence. Like anyone protecting an investment, these organizations require evidence-based proof that the money they give to me will prove successful. They also require that I use the money in certain ways to meet their requirements.

Well, I’m tired of depending on others to help me help others. Even foundations and organization want to hold me hostage and control how I choose to help others.

No more! I’m tired of forever proving myself and being forced to comply with someone else’s idea of change. It’s time to redefine community activism for myself and to do that, I have to work to make my own money for my own damn dreams to come true.

I am hoping that becoming an It Works! distributor will help me earn the money for those dreams. Here’s the rather long story of how It Works! crossed my path and why I could no longer ignore the fact that it kept getting in my field of view:


We all want to change and improve ourselves, but few of us realize that effective change and transformation takes time. If change and transformation were instant, we’d all be perfect and happy, and giving up would be a foreign concept.

So pushing through and persevering is necessary when we want to make monumental changes in our lives. Unfortunately, pushing through and persevering is easier said than done. And because we’re human and humans need the occasional boost and “instant” feeling of accomplishment, we give up too soon when we don’t see results as quickly as we’d like to see them.

Giving up is normal and natural, but wouldn’t it be ideal to discover that thing that could provide the necessary instant gratification the moment you feel like giving up while in the midst of the arduous and daunting challenge of real body and mind transformation?

It Works! proved to be the ideal discovery for me…that necessary instant gratification.

As I set out on my journey a few years ago of healing and recovery from domestic violence/intimate partner abuse at the hands of a sociopath, I became discouraged and angry with myself almost daily.

I was frustrated, anxious and stressed by my body’s inability to more quickly find balance. This imbalance affected my focus, eating habits, and exercise routine. I struggled.

One day, on a visit to my home town to visit my mother, I drove past a business advertising It Works! body wraps. As a former dancer, collegiate athlete and cross-country runner, I have never bought into diet and exercise gimmicks that promise instant and quick results. I have always been aware that hard work is what is needed. Everything else is a Band-Aid.

But in that moment as I read the sign on the outside of that salon, I found myself curious and contemplating getting this wrap thing. I had been practicing yoga for a few months at that point and still wasn’t really feeling the full benefits in my body and mind. I was simply frustrated that my body still felt tired and even looked tired. I was at a healthy weight but my thighs still had that ripple and bumpy look (thanks, cellulite!) despite the fact I was building lots of lean muscle beneath the surface.

I took down the number on the sign and called Barbie, the salon owner, when I arrived at my mother’s home. Barbie was friendly and positive. I figured even if the wrap didn’t work the way the sign promised it would work, at least I’d be in the company of a passionate and cheerful person. So I agreed to an appointment and met Barbie later that day.

Barbie suggested that I first try the wrap on my belly. I didn’t think my belly was where I needed to lose inches, but I agreed. She wrapped my belly, and we talked for 45 minutes about how It Works! was changing her life and the lives of her clients. I don’t like being skeptical, but I can’t help it sometimes; it’s my nature. Despite my skepticism, I couldn’t help but feel Barbie’s energy and the genuine nature of her testimony.

Although I felt instantly rejuvenated and continued to feel and see results in my abdominal area for days after the wrap application, I did not go out and purchase more wraps immediately. Instead, like the analytic skeptic I am, I searched the internet for scam reports and followed other people on FB and Twitter who were touting It Works! as distributors. I wanted to test the longevity and the novelty. I needed to collect data that guided me in one direction or another.

As time passed, my intuition kept telling me to just do it:

“They work. They’re not expensive. Just buy a few and try them on your legs and upper thighs, Paula!”

I continued to resist.

A few months passed, and I attended a party by a friend who sells beauty products. She introduced me to her friend who is an It Works! distributor. Her name is Jaime. Jaime proved to be as equally passionate as Barbie! Jaime gave me a wrap applicator sample to take home and try.

Months passed, but I never tried it. What was I so afraid to discover? I think I was afraid to discover that It Works! really works!

Finally, about a month ago, I was approached by Jaime who wanted to know if I would be interested in helping her promote her It Works! business by taking a 90-day before-and-after photo challenge at her cost for applicators. I agreed! Why not? If they didn’t work, I at least I helped a friend.

The moment I received the four applicators, I took my “before” pictures and then wrapped myself in two applicators, one to each of my upper thighs. While the applicators did their magic, I read and enjoyed some music.

Not expecting much of a change in just 45 minutes, I unwrapped myself and grabbed my camera.

Shock and disbelief is an understatement. I kept changing the lighting thinking I was just experiencing an optical illusion. It turns out, the results were real. The dimples in my upper thighs had magically smoothed out, and I felt this surge of instant gratification.

I immediately texted Jaime my pictures and no sooner did I end the conversation with Jaime, I received an invitation from Barbie asking me if I’d be interested in joining her team as an It Works! distributor. She said that with my blogging and social media skills, I could create a prosperous and growing business.

And that’s where I got stuck again.

I have a good-paying day job. And, yes, I do have lots of loyal readers on my blog. But if I were so reluctant to try It Works!, what makes me think my friends, family and blog readers would instantly give It Works! a try to help me earn money?

Then I realized that whatever money I am able to profit, I can do with it as I wish, right? I found a possible solution to make my dreams come true!

We all deserve to feel good about the way we look. Sometimes it takes longer for our outsides to catch up with our inner light and hope. Nothing is more disheartening than feeling good about our progress only to look in the mirror to see we still look tired and a little worn down.

It Works! wraps can help avoid those moments of self-defeat. It Works! wraps can help keep you on track and remind you that all the inner work you’re doing will soon be evident to everyone who meets you and sees your glow.

So get your wraps and unwrap the layers of shame your body has been storing. Put on your yoga pants, hit the gym, let go of the cover up and allow your body to take in the sunshine.

Namaste!

Paula Carrasquillo
http://paulacarrasq.myitworks.com/
Yogi. Author. Advocate. It Works! distributor.

We Can’t Break the Sociopath’s Cycle, but We Can Break Our Own

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Many of us were pushed by the sociopath into believing we were the one with the serious mental defect. The sociopath would go as far as telling us that we were bi-polar or suffered from borderline personality disorder.

The boy in my story went as far as visiting a counselor, not to figure out himself, but to figure out ME! Here is an actual excerpt from an e-mail the boy sent to me after I left the relationship the second time:

“When was the last time someone went to therapy in order to better understand you, what is happening to you? When is the last time someone in your life went to therapy to Better understand depression and alcoholism to better understand you? Paula, why would anyone want a relationship with someone that has said the things you have? Done the things you have done? Love? Because I want to be in your life? Help you in all this? Be a friend to lean on?”

Keep in mind that this message came to me after I had left the relationship…for the second time…and had not asked for his help on my way out.

Like most sociopaths, the boy was a King at pointing out all of my failings and weakness (some justly so), but most of his finger-pointing tantrums were cowardice displays of his own projections and insecurities.

Not once did I begin arguments by calling him names, telling him he was a loser, telling him he needed counseling or telling him he was not a good person.

All I ever asked from him (and justly deserved) was for my feelings and opinions to be fully considered, not just brushed aside as the ramblings of some “mentally ill” woman who was confused, as he liked to call me.

Confused?

I am convinced that only someone who is disordered and without a conscience or ability to empathize could ever project so much onto a supposed ‘loved one’ as to accuse that ‘loved one’ of being disordered.

Accusing us of being disordered is how the sociopath continues to successfully deflect his/her blame and accountability for the relationship’s high toxicity levels.

The sociopath repeats to him/herself:

“If I can prove to her that she’s sick, I can prove my actions are justified and were only taken to help her come to her senses. My senses are completely and utterly intact and 100% healthy. I do not need to change a thing about myself. She’s the one with the issues. I can convince her of that. Just watch me!”

And in partial defense of the sociopath, I believe we absolutely and without question appear bi-polar or borderline to the sociopath.

The sociopath is a victim, a victim of our desire to remain free and independent in our thoughts and actions.

The sociopath expects us to be his/her puppet, and when we refuse to be manipulated, we are viewed as out-of-control and sick.

We do not think as the sociopath wants us to think so the sociopath concludes: “She MUST be crazy!!”

But there was/is nothing crazy or disordered about us. Most of us never stepped foot into a counselor’s office prior to our dalliances with a sociopath. Before these fools entered our lives, the majority of us had manageable issues. Issues, yes. But relatively minor ones.

The sociopath interpreted us as behaving out-of-control and crazy-like when we were simply reacting normally to the prospect of being caged and enslaved by the sociopath.

Who doesn’t react with passion, emotions, refusal and legs kicking when being pushed, shackled and dragged down a rabbit hole?

Sociopaths can not be bothered with the unpredictability of another’s independence. It’s too messy and complicated for them, and it interferes with their free will and plans.

We must be contained…somehow.

One way is by the sociopath proving to us that we are ill and that the sociopath is the only person who can save us from ourselves. Once convinced, we lose our independence and rely on the sociopath to fix us.

And what does fixing us look like?

>> Punishing us for having independent thoughts.

>> Alienating us from our friends and family.

>> Hospitalizing us or calling the police on us for our “uncontrollable” outbursts.

>> Secretly calling our mothers/fathers/best friends and feigning concern.

>> Secretly calling our counselors or sponsors to “tell on us” or make sure we’re remaining in line.

>> Shaming and belittling us so we lose total and complete confidence to act independent of the sociopath.

>> Sabotaging even small independent efforts by refusing to relinquish control.

This type of “fixing” sends us into a deeper pit of despair and cognitive dissonance. We lose sight of ourselves. Become more depressed. Seek ways to self-medicate. Hide our real issues until those issues are bigger issues, bigger than elephants that could ever possibly find a corner in which to hide!

Suddenly, we find ourselves in real need of anti-depressants, hospitalization and interventions.

Suddenly we find ourselves saying, “OMG!!! The sociopath was right all along. I am crazy. I do need help. Thank goodness he was here to inform me. Thank goodness!”

Unbeknownst to you and at your lowest low, you fail to realize that all of the parts of yourself you sacrificed and shared with the sociopath, the sociopath exploited and used against you to lead you down the dark path you now find yourself. The path of complete dependence and complete despair.

And what happens in the moment that you find yourself in need of real help? The sociopath no longer wants to help you. You are nothing to the sociopath. You’re useless, used up and disposable. The sociopath wonders why he ever bothered caring about you in the first place. What a waste you became!

The sociopath’s only option is to toss you aside, refuse to acknowledge he ever had any type of association with you and to go off and discover someone else to be his host.

You truly become dead to him despite all you sacrificed and gave. The sociopath will even delete/burn/discard all remnants of your pathetic existence from his life, so the next host/victim/supply knows nothing of who you once were.

With each new partner, the sociopath’s slate is magically and effortlessly wiped clean. The next victim becomes the soul mate/the one like no one else the sociopath has ever met.

And the grooming begins. The charm is reset. The chameleon once again adapts and changes to match and mirror the lifestyle of his new target. And there will be the temporary envy from those in the sociopath’s new circle.

(But only temporarily. The rabbit hole follows alongside the sociopath, waiting quietly and patiently.)

Soon enough, the new victim will voice an opinion counter to the sociopath’s and the gaslighting and manipulation will commence.

Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

And the new victim will find herself torn between understanding what she had grown to believe about herself and her values and what the sociopath projects as being the fallacy in how she perceives herself and those values.

She’ll begin entrusting the sociopath with her everyday responsibilities, because the sociopath claims he wants to help her relieve artificial stress so she can focus on healing from her deep-seated issues.

(Let me tell you, this new victim is even more crazy that the last one!! Poor girl. It’s like the sociopath was born to help people or something, always finding the most sick among us to heal and help. What a saint that sociopath is!)

Out of the kindness of his heart, the sociopath allows his name to be added to her checking account, just in case deposits or payments need made and she’s not well enough to do it herself.

She’ll allow him to tell her what she should or shouldn’t be eating or where and when or how much exercise she should be doing.

She’ll add him to her emergency contact list and HIPAA release with her doctors and counselors.

(The sociopath does not deserve this much power and control over anyone’s life, but it’s given up freely!)

The sociopath is a con artist that continues to magnify his new victim’s known weaknesses by inflating her microscopic foibles, convincing her that she is one big messed up mass of humanity and only the sociopath understands, only the sociopath has the tools to fix her!

And fix her, he sure as hell will.

The sociopath will use every detail about her health and wellness to destroy her self-love, her self-respect and her independence.

Then she’ll find herself on a page like this trying to make sense of it all.

But you know what?

No matter how much was taken from her, no matter how lost she became, and no matter that she lost all dignity and grace, she will emerge stronger, more beautiful and more in love with life than ever before!

Just as you will. Just as you have.

Don’t take my word for it. Trust in your desire and determination to not be defeated by the most despicable creature that exists: The Sociopath.

When you rise from the ashes of your sociopath experience, you will discover life has limitless possibilities and your skills are too many to count.

Cherish your skills. Nurture your skills. Share your skills.

The one skill you will use and cherish the most is your skill to remain graceful under the pressure from those pesky sociopaths and their pushy determination to convince you that you have no skills.

What a bunch of kooks those silly sociopaths are! The joke is on them, because we’re aware of the one-sided games they play, and we aren’t interested in being duped anymore. ❤

Namaste!
~Paula

(Image source: http://megshouse.org/abuse-recovery-games-program/)

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.

Set yourself free from the cowards in your life!

freedomToday is Independence Day in the United States. Set yourself free from the coward (or cowards) in your life.

The person who shames and blames everyone else and never faces his own shitty-ness is the epitome of a coward.

We are all imperfect, but we are perfect in our willingness to be accountable for all of our imperfections. Cowards are never accountable.

So don’t allow a coward to dictate and tell you who you should be or how you should live. You know better than anyone what you want from life. You don’t need some controlling fool screaming at you and belittling you. Or ignoring you until you feel worthless.

Besides, in truth, anyone who tries to dictate your life has no handle on their own. They want to restrain and contain you because your potential is so obvious, it scares them. They fear you’ll abandon them.

And their fears are justified! Because you do matter and are worth so much more than their treatment. Ironically, in their attempts at containing and controlling you, you begin to realize how free you could be, and you begin to despise and hate them.

But don’t feel guilty about your hate. Don’t try to turn off that hate. You are absolutely allowed to hate someone just as much as you are allowed to love someone.

Why?

Hate is a survival mechanism, an emotion that empowers you to act. Hate gives you the motivation you need to free yourself from the one who oppresses you.

And once detached and free, the hate dissipates, too. It’s actually very simple: eliminate the cause of your hate, and the hate will magically disappear.

Stop over thinking things. Listen to your gut. Walk away and be free!

Namaste!

~Paula

(Image source: http://pinterest.com/pin/121597258662115650/)

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