Story #11 – Katherine’s story: Surviving pathological and intimate partner abuse #dvawareness #survival #recovery


October 11, 2014: Katherine’s story: Surviving pathological and intimate partner abuse

BETHESDA, Maryland, October 11, 2014 — Katherine* is a survivor of pathological and intimate partner abuse living, working as a nurse and recovering in The United States.

Before getting together with Scott, I was happy, trusting, confident and joyful. During the relationship, I was confused, distrustful and anxious. Now that it is over, I feel depressed, lonely, violated and still confused. It sucks.

I met Scott at work. He is a doctor; I am a nurse. (I’ve now discovered through research that these professions are quite typical for pathological relationships). I knew him for three years before we started dating. 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.

Faith’s story of abuse: “He told me that we were kindred spirits and that I must have read the instruction manual for him.”


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.

Faith’s story of abuse: “He told me that we were kindred spirits and that I must have read the instruction manual for him.”

BETHESDA, Maryland, October 6, 2014 — Faith* is a survivor of intimate partner abuse living, dancing and recovering in Canada.

Before the relationship I was happy, confident and outgoing. I had grown up in a neglectful, abusive single-parent household but had managed to do alright nonetheless, I believed I was liked by my entourage and had fair self-esteem levels. I was involved in my ethnic community, as a dancer and counted many friends in the band we were all a part. Read more…

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

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


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.

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 today to learn how you can help spread awareness in hopes of ending the abuse.


© 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.


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!



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WTF?: Maryland State’s Attorney’s office protects “intimate” rapists

Dude, WTF?The Washington Times Communities
Maryland State’s Attorney’s office protects “intimate” rapists.

Help Angela and other rape victims receive the justice they deserve. We need to empower ourselves to be heard and not fear speaking out against this evil. There is something wrong with a society that keeps blaming the victim and forcing the victim to change and forcing the victim to prevent crimes against them from happening.

A crime has been committed, and it seems the perpetrator is getting off in more ways than one. WTF is wrong with us?

The Washington Times Communities: Maryland State’s Attorney’s office protects “intimate” rapists.

Teens, senior week, and domestic violence’s not domestic violence awareness month, intimate partner violence awareness month, or date rape awareness month, but it should be. Young teenage females heading off to the beach alone and unchaperoned are entering the perfect environment to become victims of one or all three of the above mentioned crimes.

When I was 18, I graduated from high school on a beautiful Friday night in late May. By the next Friday, I had been beaten, kicked, threatened, and verbally assaulted in Ocean City, Maryland. My abuser was not a stranger. He was a boy who I had been dating for approximately 5 months. He was a boy my mother trusted to treat me with respect and care. He was a boy who many people in the community loved and respected. He was a wolf in sheep’s clothing. He was a preditor 22 years ago and remains a predator today.

Why am I sharing this? Because anyone can be a predator and any young woman could be a victim. It does not matter if your daughter or niece or granddaughter is the valedictorian of her graduating class, homecoming queen, a scholarship recipient, or a basketball star, she could be a victim. And predators come in all shapes and sizes, too. He could be the MVP of the football team, the class president, or the boy who sits with you and your family at church every Sunday. As a parent or guardian, you can’t trust the facade of anyone when it comes to the safety and protection of your young daughter.

So what do you do as a parent or guardian? It’s simple: stay connected. Ask questions. Listen. Get to know the boy’s family. Demand your daughter adheres to her curfew. Use Skype or FaceTime every chance you can. Use GPS on her phone to track her every move. Ask the boy not to go to the beach the same week your daughter goes or go with them. Mom, Dad, Grandma, or Grandpa can be there without ever being seen or without causing too much embarrassment for their children. What’s worse? Temporary embarrassment or being assaulted, kicked and chased on a deserted beach late at night, being smothered in your pillow, and begging for your life?

Stay safe. Have fun during senior week. Protect yourself. Protect your children.


Sharing what is happening to us. Believing us. Why is it so hard to believe?

emotional abuse hurts just as much as a punch to the gutWhy do I need to show you a picture of bruises on my body or a black eye to convince you that I am a victim of domestic violence/intimate partner abuse? If I could show you a picture of my broken spirit, I would show it to you, but the technology necessary to capture THAT doesn’t exist. Even if it did exist, would you be convinced that emotional abuse is just as damaging as a punch to the gut, a kick to the face, or a gun to my head?

Emotional abuse is often a predictor of physical abuse. Before the punches begin, the nasty words, name calling, and put downs come first. In many cases, however, the abuser prefers to stick with the emotional abuse. Why? Because it’s harder to prove (no physical proof) and the results are long-lasting (bruises go away; emotional turmoil grows deeper), and the abuser gets the thrill of seeing his victim suffer longer.

So, instead of physically harming his victims, the emotional abuser chooses to destroy things his victim holds dear: a favorite book gets burned (accidentally in that gorgeous fire burning in the fireplace he slaved to build for her), a favorite lamp gets smashed (because all she had to do was listen to him, dammit), and a favorite pair of earrings suddenly turns up missing (because she needs to be more careful where she leaves things).

But the most precious “thing” an abuser destroys is his victim’s spirit. Losing her spirit results in depression, lack of interest in things she once loved, loss of her job, loss of her friends, loss of her connection to family, and ultimately, loss of her desire to live. THIS is what emotional abuse does to her. Like bullying, emotional abuse of an intimate partner can lead to suicide or murder or both.

And when she does get away from her abuser (if she gets away from her abuser), her fears and insecurities will keep her from EVER sharing her story. But she NEEDS to tell her story, doesn’t she? The abuser’s next victim deserves the chance to know, doesn’t she? Besides, what is the abuser going to do if she does speak out? Come after her? Maybe. Sue her? Not likely. (Look what happened when a lawyer, yes, a lawyer, tried to sue his ex-girlfriends for letting the world know what a jerk he was: The Failed Matthew Couloute Lawsuit.)

Unfortunately, the victim will never talk about it. Instead, she’ll enter counseling, get prescribed some antidepressants, and everyone will tell her to get over it and move on. Future victims never receive her cautionary report (or at least we don’t get the report in time).

I received the following “report” (part of a larger e-mail) from one of the boy’s ex-girlfriends nearly 13 months AFTER I escaped him. In addition to my personal story, I pass along this small snippet for anyone currently dating the boy. Hopefully, this will serve to provide you with additional proof and validation that the boy is a piece of garbage not to be recycled for future use:

“I am sorry you were caught up with Ruben. I hope you didn’t get sucked in for too long and are able to rebuild your relationships. I make it a practice to not meet with Ruben, his family or correspond with any friends we had in common during my time with him. …I do not honestly want to waste any more of my life thinking or talking about him. I look at the that time in my life as a lesson learned. Because of that experience I will cherish even more the blessing in my life now and the ones to come.”

“I used to watch those mystery murder stories on TV where a psycho husband killed his wife for some senseless reason and used to think if I didn’t leave Ruben, I might end up that way.”

The most beautiful part of the failed Matthew Couloute lawsuit is that Matthew Couloute himself has made it VERY easy for all of us to avoid him through his simple arrogant act of filing a public lawsuit in the first place. Genius!!! (Keep THAT in mind, boy.)

Tell your story. Tell it anonymously if you must. But tell your story. We believe you and don’t need to be convinced that words hurt, too.


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