Our voices are being heard. Share this!

When I’m not teaching yoga or working with health coach clients, I’m a full-time web content developer for Marriott International. I work at the company’s corporate headquarters in Bethesda, Maryland.

Last September, I wrote an email to the CEO of Marriott, because I wanted the company to end its sponsorship of the NFL due to the mishandling of the Ray Rice incident. I don’t know what got into me, foolishness or bravery, but I sent my lengthy message directly to his corporate e-mail account from my corporate e-mail account. The coworker I told was a little shocked. She said he probably wouldn’t read it, and I might hear from “someone” within a week. 

Well, he responded to my email within hours and asked me to call him. With fear and anxiety in my chest and nausea in my throat, I dialed his extension. His admin assistant answered, “Hi, Paula. Let me get Arne for you.” Within 30 seconds, he was on the other end thanking me for the letter and sharing how moved he was by my words. He asked my permission to share the letter with Roger Goodell, the commissioner of the NFL. 

Wow! I was dumbstruck during the exchange. The CEO of a major corporation, a Fortune 500 company, took the time to read my message AND found it powerful enough to share. All I could say was yes and thank you. 

His support inspired me. If HE took the time to stop and listen, who else could potentially be interested in my message? I found the energy and motivation to finally pull together all of the stories submitted to me by victims and survivors of domestic violence, rape and fraud. A few months later, I published “Unashamed Voices” and am determined to keep spreading the message that this kind of abuse happens everyday and is destroying lives. We must do something to make it stop.

Please help me spread the message. Our stories matter and ending this type of abuse doesn’t have to be an elusive undertaking when we come together with a single, compassionate mission.

Namaste.

Order your copy today! 

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00PUMN6HW

“Unashamed Voices” will expose sociopaths in our midst #ebook #preorder

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The ebook collection of survivor stories is available for pre-order!

Last year, nearly 50 readers and survivors submitted their survivor stories to me. Last month, I edited and published a story a day to my Communities Digital Column. This month, I compiled all of the edited and previously-published stories (plus two previously unpublished stories) into a working draft for an ebook. Yesterday, I designed the cover and uploaded the draft to Kindle Direct Publishing for pre-order status review. Today, the pre-order status was approved, and now everyone can pre-order their copy before the release date of December 31, 2014.

As promised, the book will also be available for FREE upon release next month. The purpose of the pre-order period is to generate interest and profit in hopes of being afforded the opportunity to also make the book available in soft copy.

I thank everyone who visits this blog for giving me the strength, courage and determination I needed to dedicate to this project, which has consumed me for nearly the past 20 months. Our voices would not be able to build the stength and momentum they have without the support we give to eachother. XOXO

Book Description:

“Unashamed Voices: True Stories Written by Survivors of Domestic Violence, Rape and Fraud – Exposing Sociopaths in Our Midst”

Not everyone moves from a place of care and respect for themselves and others, because not everyone has (1) a conscience; (2) the ability to feel remorse; and (3) the ability to tap into affective empathy–the type of empathy that allows one to see and feel a situation from another’s perspective. People lacking these qualities are referred to as sociopaths, psychopaths and narcissists. They exist everywhere in society, including our homes where their toxic and parasitic lifestyles are destroying families, children and communities every single day.

This collection of 33 true stories from across the globe written by survivors of toxic and abusive relationships sets out to expose the unchallenged pathological personalities and behaviors of psychopaths, sociopaths and narcissists. These personal accounts will dispel the myths surrounding domestic violence and intimate partner abuse and have you questioning what you thought you knew about crimes being committed behind closed doors. You will also understand the impact to victims and survivors and start gaining an understanding of why so many remain silent and that most, if not all survivors, are walking around undiagnosed and/or under diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression and other debilitating conditions resulting from the physical, emotional and spiritual abuse they endured and continue to relive in the aftermath.

With greater awareness and education, victims and survivors of pathological abuse at the hands of sociopaths, psychopaths and narcissists will have a greater chance of experiencing justice and a greater chance of protecting potential victims who are the future targets of these manipulative and malignant criminals hiding behind the false and delusional facade of moral righteousness and victimization.

If you are interested in being a part of the solution to one day see an end to domestic violence, rape and fraud, read this book and pass it on to anyone and everyone you know who has been or is currently being impacted by a sociopath, psychopath or narcissist. With 1 in 25 people estimated to be a sociopath, the chance that you know someone affected by an individual with a pathological personality disorder is extremely high. Allow the many voices of truth in these pages open your eyes to the answers behind the senseless acts committed against you, your loved ones and/or your friends.

Paula Carrasquillo, MA
November 18, 2014

http://www.amazon.com/Unashamed-Voices-Survivors-Domestic-Sociopaths-ebook/dp/B00PUMN6HW/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1416430397&sr=1-2&pebp=1416430399152

Sociopaths steal our values to create their mask and gain supply

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First thing this morning, I received my weekly newsletter from Donna over at LoveFraud.com. I skimmed the headlines and read the first article listed which succinctly explains that love equals supply for a sociopath. I agreed with the article and moved on with my day.

A few hours passed, and I received a text from a reader and friend (whom I got to meet this past weekend in NYC!). She wanted to know how I was able to find a way to accept all of the sociopath’s lies and manipulations and move forward. The previously mentioned LoveFraud.com article immediately came to mind.

I explained to my friend that I don’t accept the lies or abuse or the shame. However, I do accept that he, the sociopath, needed to lie, abuse and shame me because he was/is too weak to fulfill his own needs and needed me as his supply.

(I don’t think I have ever used the word “need” so many times in a single sentence. Hehe!)

To be his supply, mirroring me and my values and interests was absolutely necessary. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have looked past what I falsely perceived to be his “minor” flaws and stuck around dealing with his shitty character for so long. Instead, because he made it appear like he was so much like me, I subconsciously saw myself in him and used patience to deal with his outbursts, rages, and insults.

(Despite such behavior, he had to be a good person underneath, right?)

The mirroring, which he did/does so well, had me looking past his racism, lack of education, elitism, ugliness, and lack of compassion. All of the good he seemed to have was stolen from those around him (me and a small handful of folks he used as friends). These stolen values allowed him to fit in and be accepted despite all of those flaws that would have been glaring red flags had he not swiped our strongest character traits and worn them as his mask.

These people, sociopaths, can’t survive on their own. They need us; we do not need them. They find us and prey on us when we are at a temporary place of vulnerability. We could have just lost a parent or spouse. We may have lost a job or found ourselves financially burdened due to something unexpected happening to us. Whatever the case, we were weak and in need of support. We were at a place of dependency.

These people, sociopaths, sniff out dependency, get their hooks in us and refuse to let go until we’ve been depleted of all usefulness. And we all eventually become depleted of value, because sociopaths only understand how to take, take, take. They have nothing, absolutely NOTHING, to give to us of value in return.

(Money is not value, by the way. Money does not feed the soul or elevate us to a place of higher consciousness. If you are with someone who seems to be supportive because of their financial support, this financial support is actually a way to make you weaker and more financially dependent upon the sociopath, which makes walking away from the toxic relationship even harder, which prolongs your exposure to the abuse, which causes even greater loss of self and spirit, which makes healing and recovery in the aftermath harder to attain.)

At one point inside the relationship, I wanted to die. I wished to die. I could not take the sight of what was being revealed to me. I couldn’t accept that the person I left my husband and family for was really just a leach and a fraud. I was disgusted with myself for choosing such a grotesque person over the wonderful people he had stolen from me. Death seemed like a better option than leaving this person, and the thought of wading through the shame and humiliation of my flawed choice of life partner scared me.

Somehow I made it through that cesspool. I use my experience as a message, as a gift. It happened to me. I was awakened to it, to the existence of people who feign love, concern and devotion for personal gain, money, and status. Many are not so lucky. Many never escape and become awakened. Many spend their entire lives trying to please and serve people like this who do not deserve their love, adoration, precious time, or energy and resources.

(I send those people metta/peace daily in my meditations and visions. What more can be done?)

Luckily, regardless of how long it takes to escape, everything that was stolen from us–our self-worth, self-love, self-identity, self-devotion, self-confidence–can be rebuilt and replenished. It may take longer for some of us to rebuild our financial security and/or regain relationships with family, friends and even our children, but it can be rebuilt once we discover our inner peace, freedom, and hope.

Every survivor is destined to heal, prosper, and thrive in this life. Begin today by taking inventory of your worth and encouraging another survivor to take inventory of his/hers. We truly are stronger together than divided.

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

“What the heck does she mean by MINDFUL, anyhow?”

I am in the middle of writing “Embracing Your Light: Mindful Healing and Recovery from Sociopath Abuse” and am defining the idea of mindfulness in hopes of dispelling any misinformation, prejudices, or negative connotations, so you’re not asking, “What in the heck does she mean by mindful, anyhow!?”

Below is mindfulness to me:

Mindfulness doesn’t mean you have to do yoga or meditate or eat tree bark.

Mindfulness simply means you live your life fully aware of yourself, your surroundings, and how you and your surroundings affect and impact each other.

Mindfulness is compassion for yourself and all living things surrounding you.

Mindfulness is not prescribing to any particular religion or faith. The faith required to be mindful is a faith in oneself.

Mindfulness is a state of being and knowing, knowing you are perfect in your imperfections. Mindfulness is accepting your imperfections and understanding that they are not permanent and do not define you.

Mindfulness is knowing that life is in a constant state of change and flux and that you are part of that change and flux.

You are who you are today. Tomorrow, you will be who you are tomorrow.

Accepting this and being patient in knowing is mindfulness.

Namaste!
~Paula

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.

How to Recover from Sociopathic Abuse with a Mindful Approach to Online Pages and Groups

marianne williamson quoteIf you’re reading this, you probably supplement your healing and recovery from sociopathic abuse using Facebook or blogs in some capacity.

Over the last 30 months, the people, pages and private groups I trust, like, follow and learn from have changed and evolved as my healing and outlook changed and evolved. Pages I religiously picked over 12 months ago are no longer the same pages I pick over today.

It’s not that I don’t value those pages or groups anymore. On the contrary. Those pages and groups served me well, and I wouldn’t be where I am today without them.

You see, this journey to find our peace after sociopathc abuse consists of stages. In order to naturally progress in our healing, we must be able to recognize when it’s time to move from one stage to the next stage. Sometimes it happens naturally. But sometimes we stay in one stage longer than another, or we fail to realize we need to move on and end up getting stuck in a certain stage.

The following are the stages I have entered, so far, in my healing journey:

1. Confusion (12 months) Upon escaping the boy in my story, I was desperately confused. I knew that the relationship was toxic while in it, because I suffered great anxiety, depression and self-destructive behaviors. Yet, even after leaving and taking a step back to look at the relationship from the outside in, I struggled with making sense of what happened and dove deeper into depression and self-loathing. I thought exiting the relationship would bring me immediate peace; instead, it just made me more confused and doubtful.

2. Awareness of Sociopaths (3 months) While depressed, drinking to self-soothe on occasion and seeing a counselor regularly, I began independent research and study into personality disorders and bipolar disorder. I didn’t begin this research because I thought my abuser (the boy in my story) was mentally unstable. I began my research because my abuser told me I was mentally unstable, and I needed to understand what it was about me that I needed to change. Within a few short weeks of reading and digesting information and taking online tests and asking my psychiatrist pointed questions about this disorder or that disorder, I came to the conclusion that in my research into personality disorders, I was not learning about myself but about my abuser.

Don’t get me wrong. In this early stage, I was clearly unstable. I was. And I was fully aware of it. I had no trust in my abilities to think or rationalize clearly or with any effectiveness. However, I thankfully realized that I was not as severely broken as the boy in my story would have liked me to believe. And this realization led to the next stage.

3. Anger and Denial (5 months) I was pissed. I was angry at myself and angry at my ex. I oscillated between absolutely believing my ex was a monster to denying that sociopaths really existed. This oscillation caused so much confusion and frustration. I was so angry, but I didn’t want to be angry and sought various outlets for my anger.

My blog writing picked up momentum and so did my yoga practice. I did a 30-day yoga challenge and was determined to dump the anger in anyway I could. It wasn’t a healthy choice, however. I was forcing it when I should have been more gentle and mindful with myself. I was not reaching out for the help I needed. and I was still self-soothing with booze, which resulted in a serious alcohol-related setback. I reached the lowest, yet highest point of my anger and discovered I suffered from post traumatic stress but was too ashamed to talk about it. So I kept writing and trying to purge my anger. It worked to a degree, but I still found myself frustrated and angry at myself for my inability to fix myself. Daily, I found myself wishing and hoping for my ex and his family to die from self-implosion. My anger was not controlled nor was it healthy. But, today, I see that it was necessary to reach the next stage.

4. Acceptance and Self-Focused Healing (ongoing) – Being angry just got old, and my body and mind asked me to please stop and to focus on the rest of my life. I took an inventory of my life and the people in it. I deconstructed myself in order to reconstruct and build a new self. I could never go back to who I was before the sociopath. Never. But I also wanted to be better than I was before.

I began to value my skills and abilities and my worth in an amazing and profound way. I journeyed into discovering my faith and spirituality. I let go of many, many material things from my toxic relationship that I recognized were burdening me: photographs, gifts from the boy, clothing worn while in the toxic relationship, emails, texts, voicemails, and letters and cards. I purged myself of the love affair completely. It was difficult, because I still have love letters from boys I dated in high school and early college. Being sentimental has it’s disadvantages when the other half of a love relationship is pathologically disordered. I kept writing on my blog but my writing became more hopeful, less angry and more uplifting. (Well, at least that was my hope.)

These were and continue to be my stages of healing. Yours are surely different but with overlapping similarities.If you are active on Facebook and on pages and in groups, keep in mind that each stage requires us to absorb and focus on different kinds of support and information available across many different kinds of pages and groups.

I had to let go of people and pages and groups as I became more and more aware and progressed in my healing. Unfortunately, I held onto some pages and groups for too long in some cases. But, eventually, I recognized how I was becoming stagnant in my mind, knowledge and everyday life. Removing myself and discovering the next stage of support was not me being fickle. It didn’t go against my ability to be loyal. I was and have continued to be loyal to myself when it comes to moving and growing.

This is YOUR healing. No one else’s. Don’t allow anyone to tell you what you can and can not say, do or think. If you are an active participant in your healing, you are the master of your healing. You are the center of your learning and evolution.

No page, page creator or group facilitator has all of the information you need at exactly the right time and stage that you need it.

The moment you start feeling you’re no longer benefiting from a page (including this page), hide it from your feed and go in search of a page that speaks to where you are now. Don’t even bother saying goodbye. Really. Just silently and gracefully walk away.

Your first priority is to you. Be selfish for a change. If others are actively participating in their healing and recovery, they’ll understand in time if they don’t understand in the moment.

Peace and namaste!
~Paula

© Paula Carrasquillo and Paula’s Pontifications, 2012 – 2013.

5 Tips to Keep Online Support from Being Non-Supportive

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Many of us have turned to online support groups and blogs to help guide us through our understanding, healing and recovery from pathological relationships. They are wonderful places to meet wonderful people. I for one credit the help I have received from virtual strangers as my biggest support tool over the past year.

However, there have been some encounters and hiccups along the way, and I just wanted to share a few tips that have helped me navigate away from pages, sites, groups and even individuals that are counter to progressive healing:

1. Enter private groups with zero expectations.
Even if you were invited by a “real” friend or long-time virtual friend, private groups are not a one-size fits all. Dip your toe in. Be cautious. Feel out and read past posts and comments. If there is something triggering, you may want to remove yourself from the group. No one SHOULD get offended. After all, you know yourself better than anyone else.

2. Never let anyone tell you how you should be feeling.
We spent far too long dealing with a pathological partner telling us how we SHOULD think or feel. We don’t need people or groups devaluing us, too. If you comment about how you feel or what you’re thinking and you immediately receive a response like, “You shouldn’t feel or think X,Y,and Z,” remove yourself from the group or step away from the page. If it’s the administrator of the page who is trying to offer you advice on how you SHOULD be feeling, that’s a red flag that the owner of the page may be stuck or pathological themselves.

3. Never measure your progress and recovery against that of another.
It’s very common to meet someone online who seems exactly like you. That person’s experience mirrors yours almost down to the pet names your exes used to call you. You feel connected (FINALLY!) and understood. You start comparing your progress with her progress. Doing this often results in self-judgment. You might feel inadequate if you think she’s moving forward faster than you. Or you might even start judging your friend and think she’s not moving fast enough. We all have varying and complex coping mechanisms. Some of us cycle through emotions faster than others. A person who seems “stuck” may just be a bit more cautious in moving forward. Someone who appears “healed” may be hiding their doubts. Which leads to #4…

4. Online support should NEVER replace other professional services.
Professional counseling and support outside of the virtual world is often necessary and essential for some one in recovery. No matter how much you think the online group is helping you more than offline professional services, don’t be too hasty in dropping your counselor.

5. Above all, listen to Your Gut.
We hear this a lot, because we were so bad at listening to ourselves while in the pathological relationship. Instead of waiting to test your gut in your next romantic relationship, start using it in all of your relationships, especially in online support groups. If a person seems to contradict themselves or you feel a page administrator or group facilitator is hindering you or trying to control you, you’re probably correct. Not everyone who creates a page or group is doing it for good reasons. Some page creators are doing it for selfish and ego-boosting reasons. It’s a harsh reality but a very true one. Don’t feel obligated to continue a relationship or friendship with someone if your gut is telling you to break the ties.

Have a great weekend! Namaste! ~Paula

(Image source: http://pinterest.com/pin/379780181046759496/)

Sociopaths and psychopaths are not fascinating. People who survive them are.

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The behaviors of sociopaths, psychopaths and any pathological persons are not fascinating to me and should be collectively judged as bad by society. Why?

We judge everything. Judgement isn’t as bad as people are led to believe.

Judgment encompasses three categories: good, bad and indifferent.

When we revere something, we are judging it as good. When we are indifferent to something, we are judging it as unimportant.

To me, indifference is the same thing as ignorance, and if we keep perpetuating ignorance about the real harm sociopaths, psychopaths and other pathological individuals are capable of inflicting, the problem just gets bigger and more difficult to manage.

So, I guess, I am not really judging anyone as being bad, am I? I am simply providing awareness based on facts and real-world experience.

The American Psychological Association will soon release the updated and revised 5th edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM). The DSM is basically a glossary of labels and behaviors related to mental health. It’s a glorified dictionary, in my opinion, but a necessary one. The DSM-IV is what I used to determine, once and for all, if the boy in my story was a narcissistic sociopath. That’s where the usefulness of the DSM ended for me.

The DSM stops at the diagnosis, the definition and label. And even the label isn’t easily justified.

Where are the blood tests? What about the standards for reading brain scans of those diagnosed? Are their genetic markers that support whether or not a patient was born that way or nurtured and conditioned to be that way? Or did other societal factors cause the disorder?

And there isn’t much in terms of how to treat the disorders, either.

The DSM does not provide personality disordered individuals with recommendations for healing and recovery. There are no treatment options to cure narcissists or sociopaths and other cluster B disordered individuals.

You laugh at the notion. So do I! We all know from experience that individuals who perpetually and instinctively repeat the behaviors characteristic of having a personality disorder or of being a sociopath or psychopath are, by their very nature, disordered and are not capable of change. Treatment for the personality disordered among us is a moot point.

To make matters worse for us lay persons (and for the inexperienced psychoanalysts and psychiatrists, for that matter), the DSM doesn’t even include a list of measurable effects that personality disordered behavior can have on non-disordered individuals and/or society.

And this is where the lines are blurred and the science behind psychiatry and neuroscience meet:

  1. There are sick people who are born sick and can’t be rewired or fixed. Psychiatry, as it is today, can not help these people. Neuroscience can help strengthen the definitions and classifications of these individuals but also can’t ethically help these people either.
  2. Then there are those individuals born with a healthy and productive mental capacity and balance who are acted upon and broken by individuals born sick and disordered. The people born healthy can be treated with psychiatry and psychoanalysis. Neuroscience can help pinpoint the areas of the brain that need “massaging,” so to say, and allow for complete and full recovery.

Therefore, why do we waste our time studying sociopaths like some newly discovered species of butterfly? The sociopath and the disordered have been around for centuries if not since the beginning of time. Why the fascination and investment?

They harm others. Period. End of story.

Who is going to have the guts to put personality disorders and pathology into a bucket outside of treatable mental health issues and disorders and classify these people instead as the cause of the majority of the harm inflicted upon others?

(Yes. Blame the monsters. Stop blaming the victims!)

Individuals acted upon by pathological people are the real patients who deserve more of our time and efforts. And the way we approach treating the real patients needs to change dramatically.

I don’t think I am alone on this one.

The following was pulled from an article published by The Guardian on Saturday, May 11, 2013: Psychiatrists under fire in mental health battle: British Psychological Society to launch attack on rival profession, casting doubt on biomedical model of mental illness

“There is no scientific evidence that psychiatric diagnoses such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder are valid or useful, according to the leading body representing Britain’s clinical psychologists.”

“In a groundbreaking move that has already prompted a fierce backlash from psychiatrists, the British Psychological Society’s division of clinical psychology (DCP) will on Monday issue a statement declaring that, given the lack of evidence, it is time for a “paradigm shift” in how the issues of mental health are understood. The statement effectively casts doubt on psychiatry’s predominantly biomedical model of mental distress – the idea that people are suffering from illnesses that are treatable by doctors using drugs. The DCP said its decision to speak out “reflects fundamental concerns about the development, personal impact and core assumptions of the (diagnosis) systems”, used by psychiatry.”

“Dr. Lucy Johnstone, a consultant clinical psychologist who helped draw up the DCP’s statement, said it was unhelpful to see mental health issues as illnesses with biological causes.”

‘On the contrary, there is now overwhelming evidence that people break down as a result of a complex mix of social and psychological circumstances – bereavement and loss, poverty and discrimination, trauma and abuse,’ Johnstone said.”

Although Johnstone’s statement doesn’t specifically list “exposure to disordered people” as one of the circumstances behind another person’s breakdown, I can’t help not making that connection when I read trauma and abuse.

Bad people are born. People who are born bad hurt others. They inflict trauma and pain on others.

We have this false sense of hope that the bad people can be fixed with medication or a 30-day rehab stint. They can’t. Those born sick will stay sick.

Would you send a child born with Down’s syndrome to a hospital hoping upon the child’s return the child will be cured? Of course not. So why do we think people born with the propensity to inflict physical, emotional and spiritual harm on another can be fixed?

Gone should be the days of saying, “Oh, he can’t help it, he was born that way.” Or “His father beat him when he was young and that’s why he beats his wife and kids.”

We need to stop having pity on these disordered individuals. We need to stop dismissing rapists and child molesters and murderesses who claim childhood trauma and severe mental anguish as the reason behind their behavior.

There are many, many people who have been abused, molested and assaulted as children who do not grow into monsters who prey on others. Assuming such things is highly destructive and counter-productive to the healing and recovery process of victimized individuals born healthy and without pathology.

The reason a person repeatedly hurts another and then another and then another is because that person was born to hurt people–emotionally, mentally spiritually and physically. They have no empathy or conscience. They are not able to be rehabilitated.

Society desperately wants to be fair and reasonable with offenders. Why? Because we know we are all fallible and make mistakes and would want mercy if we screwed up, right?

When healthy people screw up, we don’t weasel our way out of punishment. We say, “Yes, I did that. I am sorry. What is my punishment?”

We don’t blame our past or someone else for our bad decisions. We own our mistakes. We are accountable. We assume everyone is like us: good, fair and accountable.

People born without the capacity to empathize and who lack a conscience are not good, fair or accountable. They have nothing positive to contribute to society and have only the ability to destroy–people, families, institutions, organizations and governments.

(You could probably list a few. I could too.)

As a society and community of mindful thinkers and change agents, we need to stop focusing on fixing the unfixable and instead focus on helping those the unfixables have broken. Trauma patients can survive and they can be healed and society should want to help.

We need to stop putting our time and efforts and our money into research, drugs and facilities focused on understanding, medicating and housing the disordered and unfixable. How absurd!

All of those resources should be put into helping and healing the good people who can be fixed and who can be helped and whose temporary imbalance can be adjusted through mindful and natural approaches.

Stop blaming the trauma patients for their trauma and stop trying to help the disordered who inflict the trauma in the first place.

Trauma patients can be fixed. They can recover. But they can’t do it without our collective understanding and encouragement. They can’t do it if the source of their trauma is getting treated with more care, attention and fascination than they are.

Be fascinated with the people who walked away from the sick and disordered. There must be a super power in them that science has overlooked. I’d like to find out what that is and replicate it, wouldn’t you? A vaccine against the effects of pathology perhaps.

Prevention rather than the preservation of the sick and disordered due to society’s constant fascination. After all, when you pay attention to something, it never goes away.

Namaste!

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