Trauma Purge and the Surprise of Letting Go

It’s Loving Kindness Wednesday!

I took the attached picture last week in Maui. After snapping the shot, I looked at the image and thought, “That’s not what I thought I was taking a picture of. This looks like a flame shooting up through the waves!!”

It was so unexpected and such a wonderful surprise. A lot like how it feels when we’re moving through transformation and out of trauma and into our greatest potential self. The unexpected happens frequently regardless of the tools we use to release our trapped trauma, emotions and pain. 

A tool I use and recommend others to practice is yoga. But yoga isn’t the gentle kind of release one might think it is. It’s powerful and intense. 

Through movements and holdings of the body simultaneously with the breath, yoga loosens trauma in preparation for the ultimate purge, cleansing and letting go of trauma. 

Loosening too much too quickly is not recommended. Otherwise, you run the risk of re-traumatizing yourself and creating an even thicker block of compacted and congested emotional and spiritual “gunk”. 

Preferably, begin or reintroduce yoga by easing into a practice of yin or guided meditation. These types of tools are slower and more focused, allowing for a gentle emergence of accumulated trauma, stress and anxiety. Connected to this accumulation of gunk are your fears partnered with all the self-sabotaging tools the gunk set as your default whenever faced with relationship challenges. So as the gunk surfaces, expect to be swiftly and unexpectedly overcome with even more intense sensations of the following: self-doubt, self-judgment, shame, remorse, regret, lack of self-respect, etc. 

Fortunately and with more practice, instead of cycling through the loop of these destructive emotions, you will recognize and be aware of them. When you are aware of them, they have no power or control over your actions, behaviors and/or treatment of others. When you’re aware of them, you accept them for the tricksters that they are and simultaneously let them go.

The letting go process may happen unexpectedly. You’ll know when it’s happening. No need for me to spoil the surprise.

Paula Carrasquillo, yoga teacher and health coach

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

How to Mindfully Let Go of Mean and Selfish People Without Compromising Yourself

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I am guilty of compromising myself in the past when it came to trying to let go of mean and selfish people.

The injustice of never receiving closure and an explanation of how they could be so cruel simply ate away at me until I exploded.

I always thought their silence and refusal to talk with me was because I had done something that caused that person to behave in a mean and selfish way towards me. I always thought I could just undo that “thing” I did or said, apologize for it and the person acting mean and selfish would open up to me and share their feelings with me, resulting in some sort of mutual understanding.

Unfortunately, I was wrong on many occasions about this.

Probably because I used to think that everyone was good-hearted deep down.

I used to think people who acted in mean and selfish ways just needed a little nudge in the “be nice” direction.

I used to think by practicing patience and hope, those mean and selfish people would stop treating me and others in mean and selfish ways.

Today, I am not as naive as I once was.

Today, I confidently understand and believe that there are some people who just enjoy being mean and selfish. And no matter how much I cry or beg them to be nicer, more understanding and more forgiving, I can’t make them stop being mean and selfish.

Are these people mean and selfish because they don’t have a conscience?

Who knows? They could have been born without one, or they could have been born with one, and their childhood or circumstances conditioned their consciences to go into long-term hibernation or something. Who in the world can know for certain and why should we really care? Let their therapist figure that one out.

What I do know with absolute certainty is that I have a life to live. And I will do what I must do to protect that life from mean and selfish people whose only purpose is to cause destruction in the lives of all they touch.

Moving forward, I have made a promise to remove myself from the line of sight of mean and selfish people.

But there are two things I must NOT do when I make the decision to let go of mean and selfish people:

1. I must resist the urge to lash out and tell the mean and selfish person that he/she sucks. Me telling them that I think they suck just makes me look mean and selfish, too. I don’t need to deal with that unnecessary guilt.

2. I must resist the need to explain to the mean and selfish person why I think she/he is mean and selfish. I don’t owe him/her anything. The mean and selfish person never earned the right to know why I believe he/she is mean and selfish and unable to change.

Besides, mean and selfish people just try turning our reasoning on its head to make them look good and us look mean and selfish.

So it’s not important to explain to mean and selfish people why we don’t take their calls, reply to their emails, or attend their parties.

It’s not as if doing so will bring some sort of enlightenment to our lives. After all, once we engage in trying to explain ourselves to mean and selfish people, we get sucked into their worlds again. And their worlds are equivalent to being in hell, remember?

Instead, let the mean and selfish people go quietly and with as little drama as possible. You’ll be amazed at how quickly your life joyfully grows and positively changes. And the changes are permanent as long as you don’t let another mean and selfish person infiltrate your peace.

Namaste!
~Paula

P.S. Mean and selfish people never ask themselves, “Am I mean and selfish?”

(They might ask their current victim if the current victim thinks they’re mean and selfish, but that’s just to gauge the new victim’s empathy and ability to be manipulated .)

Mean and selfish people generally know they’re mean and selfish but don’t care if they hurt any one. After all, mean and selfish people think they win in life by being mean and selfish and believe it’s your fault for choosing to be hurt by them.

You’re just a sore loser in the eyes of mean and selfish people.

Isn’t it funny how clear they make it for us when we know how to recognize the smoke screens and blow past them? 🙂

© 2013 Paula Carrasquillo and Paula’s Pontifications

(Image source: http://underachievingdomesticgoddess.blogspot.com/2012/05/if-you-want-to-find-reason-not-to-laugh.html?m=1)

Gaining the Patience of The Count and The Secret to Getting Over Sociopathic Abuse

The Count of Monte Cristo Island EstateOver the weekend, I was e-mailing back and forth with one of the reader’s of this blog. The following is a list of questions she asked me pulled from one of her messages:


Thanks for always responding back. I didn’t want you to think I’m a “whack” or “nut” job, but how in the hell did you move on? How? How do you get it out of your head?

Do you ever think about your ex and get disgusted and annoyed? I think of the movies Count of Monte Cristo the evil villain Fernand Mondego and Iago in Othello. Not sure if you’ve seen these? Or the bad emperor in the Gladiator movie? Lincoln Lawyer (another good movie) the bad guy in it.

What is your secret to moving on and getting it out of your head? So, I can finally get over it? Where does your strength come from?


As I read her questions, I felt like I may be unintentionally deceiving people. Below is my response to her (edited a bit for language and privacy).


I’ve seen all of those films, read Othello and The Count of Monte Cristo. Another one by Poe you should read is The Cask of Amontillado.

These characters may be fictional, but I guarantee the writers experienced someone like them in their real lives. Writers write what they know.

My secret? I have no secret. I get angry if I allow myself to think on him and how he degraded me and my family and drove me to have a serious breakdown. I get really angry if I allow myself to.

But I choose not to be angry because anger just sucks away my life, and I want to live!

I want to watch my son grow and learn. I want to be a part of the lives of my nieces and nephews. I want to learn more about myself and how far I can go with my ideas and desires. I want to do all those things my ex tried to keep me from enjoying and valuing.

I want to help people who can’t let go of their anger and who feel ashamed for their inability to forgive.

We can’t just forget and let go of that anger, because we have the memories that take us back to those feelings. Like watching a movie we love over and over again or reading a book a few times, our memories possess us. We can’t get rid of them.

So what can we do about it? We can learn to become aware of those memories and how they trigger our anger and resentment. Once that anger and resentment starts to take over, we need to recognize it and redirect all that energy to do something good. We’ve got to take that hate and turn it into love. We don’t have to love the memory or even forgive those assholes. What we do is we learn to love ourselves more than any revenge or hate could provide.

I wanted revenge desperately. I wanted him to die. I wanted him to get pushed in front of a city bus and have his limbs go flying in every direction. I wished death upon his family and for his house to burn to the ground. Hehe! I needed to feel that anger and to feel it deeply. I needed to imagine all of those things.

But after several months of non-stop hate and anger, I recognized what it was doing to me. It was sucking me dry. Even out of the relationship, I was being sucked dry! And I wasn’t going to allow that to happen.

So I made a promise to myself to never allow my mind to wonder to that dark place of hate and revenge. Instead, I take those moments and ask myself, “What have you wanted to do for a long time but have been just too lazy to do it?” I’ll read a book or watch a movie or learn to cook or bake something special for myself and family. I take that energy and redirect it.

No sociopathic asshole is going to destroy me. You never recover. Ever. You never ever forget. Ever. But you can choose to be more aware and make better decisions.

This healing and recovery shit is for a lifetime, I think. It’s been almost three years since I escaped. But I hate him more now than I did then. I hate the fact that too many like him are out there hurting people. I really hate it.

But I can’t focus on the hate. I make a conscious effort every day to fight that hate and turn it into something positive.

Don’t be fooled by my appearance of being over this. Part of releasing the ugliness is to write with hope. I am hopeful. I don’t know why, but it might have to do with my yoga practice which I started two years ago this month, roughly 11 months after escaping the sociopath.

I have a blog I recently started about my yoga journey if you’re interested:

www.yoginitransformed.wordpress.com

One thing I am certain of is that hate and our need for revenge eats away at our souls and our health and well-being. Just what these sociopathic assholes count on.

I wish we could all see our revenge to the end like The Count. But in reality, we must leave that up to the sociopath’s fate and karma. They’ll get theirs; we just need to be okay with never having the privilege of seeing it with our own eyes. 🙂

Namaste!
~Paula

© 2013 Paula Carrasquillo and Paula’s Pontifications.

balance

Balancing to Hold On by Letting Go

balanceSince I started this blog, I am realizing more and more how much we, the victims and survivors of pathological love relationships, need each other. I’m also realizing how much we need to set each other free.

From the outside looking in, most people who visit this site (and other sites like this one) can easily jump to the conclusion that we’re a bunch of crying, complaining, broken-hearted, love-sick divas who need to move on!

I get it. I really do. I understand why many choose to look at us in that light: it’s easier to see surface emotions and judge them without diving deep into the reasons behind the emotions.

Often when we read or hear of another’s pain, we end up taking on their emotions. It’s draining. That’s called empathy. Being empathetic takes lots of energy and requires an absence of ego.

We know sociopaths can’t do that. They are not able to empathize.

The rest of us can empathize to a high degree, and the beauty of our ability is that we can choose the degree to which we empathize.

What do I mean? Well, think about it. The amount of energy it takes to focus on another’s pain is draining. We know the people in our lives who drain us the most, right? More than likely, the first person that comes to mind is the sociopath with his pseudo-pain.

But there are many non-pathological people who need our attention due to real pain, and we give to them freely. We put our worries and frustrations aside in order to take on the worries and frustrations of others.

And because we are aware of the energy required to do this, we sometimes choose not to empathize. We choose not to get involved. Making that choice is tough and sometimes filled with guilt. But it’s necessary.

I am perfectly content sometimes to not get involved, especially if I have no useful skills or resources that can help someone in great pain. In those circumstances, I end up feeling more helpless and hopeless and sad, in addition to taking on the pain of the person with whom I am empathizing.

So I choose not to get involved.

It’s not easy to turn the switch from “on” to “off.” I have had to do this often over the past months with family, friends and blog followers (I apologize!) in order to protect myself and remain on track to self-awareness and recovery.

Being overly empathetic of others steals our energy needed for ourselves. It’s the catch-22 of being a healthy, non-pathological person who critiques sociopaths and psychopaths daily–I end up looking no better than the sociopaths and psychopaths I analyze and digest.

But that’s just my guilt talking. I know I’m not a sociopath or psychopath. I also know when the time has come for me to be serious about my limitations and think seriously about hanging up my current hat in order to try on a new one.

Now is one of those times.

Since late February, I have been struggling with writing about sociopaths/psychopaths. I know deep down that I can’t maintain this momentum. I just can’t. I’ve written exhaustively about my experience and observations over the past 16 months or so. With the submission of each post, I think, “This could be the last one on the subject.”

It never is. There is always something that sparks something inside of me. It could be a conversation with a friend, a question from a reader, a TV commercial I watch, a word I hear, a song I begin to hum…whatever it is, I become inspired to share one more story related to sociopaths and toxic relationships.

But I am serious this time. This really could be the last post on the subject I write, but that’s only because I have so many other wonderful things in my life on which I want to focus.

Other than the obvious need to spend more time with my family, I am also actively planning to begin yoga teacher training in the fall. Once certified in yoga, I can then become certified to teach yoga to trauma patients.

THAT is what I see as my ultimate gift and take away from my toxic relationship and the best use of my empathy and all the energy it consumes. My writing has been a stepping stone to many things: friendships, understanding, job opportunities, vision and purpose.

I’ll continue to write, but probably less and less about sociopaths and psychopaths but more and more on healing techniques and mindful approaches to self-care (which anyone could benefit regardless of past relationship horrors).

I remain dedicated to transforming this blog into a comprehensive book on the aftermath and journey to self-recovery and healing from relational harm. That goal will be primary through the end of this year. As far as writing new material, I want to focus more on writing and editing for Elephant Journal and my Washington Times Communities’ column (which could possibly go into syndication, but I need to hunker down for that to happen).

So I’m not really going anywhere. I could never leave this community. However, I realize I need to let go a little in order to free myself to explore more possibilities for life, love and laughter. The “longing” part is taken care of now, because I feel more free today than I have ever felt in my entire life. I owe a large majority of that to my blog readers and visitors. You’ve made these past months so worth it to me.

The rest is thanks to my loving husband J., my son A. and myself.

Namaste!
~Paula

(image source: http://pinterest.com/pin/147492956518852766/)

unconditional love

The Final Straw (one of many in a short span of time) that led me to finally escape the Sociopath

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(I allude to what finally led to my escape in my book. But I do not detail any particular conversations or confrontations with the sociopath. I purposely keep it vague. My Facebook Page and this blog are where I have disclosed most of the details.)

Two weeks before I left the sociopath, I discovered I was pregnant. I didn’t want to tell him at first and waited a few days before I slapped the pregnancy test on the arm of his chair and walked back to the bedroom.

I was petrified of what his response would be. He had always spoken about how he wanted to have children and to especially have a little girl who looked just like me. But I saw how he treated my son and witnessed his equally sick brother raise his niece. I was torn. I had always wanted a sibling for my son but I couldn’t imagine exposing a child to such a deranged father.

He immediately came back to the bedroom to confront me. I was chastised for the manner in which I informed him. He didn’t think being dropped a stick with a plus sign on it was very tasteful. (Well, fuck you!) And then he proceeded to tell me all of the things I was doing wrong with regards to what I ate and my depression and my drinking (of which I had stopped as soon as I discovered my pregnancy).

It didn’t matter that I was suffering from severe nausea. I could barely sit up. I explained repeatedly that I was not feeling well and could we discuss this later. I was on the verge of vomiting, but he seemed unmoved. He was more pissed because he was out of the loop, perhaps? Hated that I had control, perhaps?

And that’s the issue. I never wanted control. I just wanted to be left alone so I could relax and feel better. Each time I went to put my head on the pillow he grabbed me by the shoulders and forced me to sit up. It took everything inside of me not to vomit. I have no idea how I was able to keep from crying, but I sat there emotionless and just observed his craziness.

And it got worse.

He told me that I would NEVER hold that child, as he pointed to my belly. He said he would convince a judge that I was unfit, depressed and alcoholic. He said the baby would never be in my arms because he would take it right from my hospital bed. (Again, fuck you!)

I remained speechless.

He must have worn himself out, because he finally laid his head on his pillow. I was still sitting up! He rolls over and says he was just kidding about taking away the baby.

I thought to myself, “It’s a bit too late for that apology, cocksucker.

I knew better than to believe anything he said at that point, especially when it came to manipulating my emotions with his empty apologies.


His treatment of my son (detailed more in my book) and how he behaved at the news of possibly having one of his own with me makes it hard for me not to hate him and remain bitter. I’m sure with a little more time and work that the last remnants of hate will dissipate.

I am able to let go of his treatment of me, but not of my child. I think that’s why in the beginning, soon after leaving him, I was so adamant about finding his new girlfriends to warn them. I wouldn’t wish the pain of the relationship on anyone.

But now I don’t even bother. They must figure it out the hard way.

As for my pregnancy, it only lasted 12 weeks. I had a miscarriage a few weeks after leaving him. I wouldn’t claim to feel lucky as much as I felt relieved.

Before the miscarriage, I was a wreck worrying if I would be able to protect the child. I had horrible visions of being separated from the child. Nightmares. Cold sweats. Visions of the child hating me because the sociopath had brainwashed the child against me.

So much anxiety filled me after he threatened to keep the child from me. I was on the verge of losing my mind.

I do believe the miscarriage was fate. I’d like to think the child’s soul was in control and chose to move on. I don’t know. It’s how I cope with the loss.

The sociopath would tell everyone I lost the child because I didn’t take care of myself or that I got an abortion. Honestly, so what if I didn’t take care of myself or have an abortion? My child is no longer suffering and either am I.

~Namaste!

(Image source: Elephant Journal)

Perspective – The upside to having lived in hell with a Sociopath

20130426-110343.jpgBefore the sociopath, I always feared criticism. I tried so desperately to be perfect and not to offend people intentionally or otherwise.

(Of course, there were people who got under my skin that I didn’t like. I rarely held back letting those people know I disliked them.)

But I always worried about what my close family and friends and co-workers thought of me. I wanted to be seen as a good person in their eyes. I didn’t want to offend my loved ones. I wanted them to be proud of me.

When any of them criticised me, I would get easily hurt. When I got easily hurt, I would do one of two things: 1) become ashamed and run away or 2) get mad and runaway. Sometimes I became ashamed and mad.

I was not good at accepting healthy criticism from people who loved me. I hated the fact I would get upset with them for pointing out one of my personal failings.

I was never really angry with them, though. I was more angry with myself for having done something against them that would make them ashamed of me.

In walks the sociopath. Within a few months of the relationship starting, everything I did was shameful to him.

From past relationships and old friends I still valued to how I disciplined my son or neglected to discipline my son — these were all areas in which I was shamed by the sociopath.

Needless to say, I felt ashamed of myself the majority of my relationship with him. I felt like I was worthless and that I honestly needed to change everything about myself in order to be worthy of anyone’s love and attention, especially the sociopath’s.

Once I was finally out of the relationship and able to focus on my behavior outside of the sociopath, I recognized more clearly that, yes, I had some work to do, but not nearly as much work as the sociopath had me brainwashed into thinking.

The work I had to do involved letting go of being and trying to be so damn perfect for everyone else. Once I let go of that (which took me over 18 months from the time I left the sociopath), I could relax and not worry so much about what others thought of me.

And you know what? I have discovered that when I am not worried about screwing up, I don’t screw up as much!

When we go from one extreme to the next, we are able to add perspective to our lives and live more gently and carefully.

The sociopath was an EXTREME shamer and blamer. Absolutely nothing I did was or could ever be good enough. There was always shame and blame connected to my actions. EVERY action.

It didn’t matter if I drank too much or quit drinking all together, I would be shamed.

  • If I drank, I was a poor excuse for a mother and not a good girlfriend.
  • If I didn’t drink, I better think about why I was such a bad mother and poor girlfriend now that I was sober.
  • If I exercised, I was doing it for someone else other than the sociopath.
  • If I didn’t exercise, I was taking time away from my relationship with the sociopath.
  • If I called my mother, I was a whining baby who couldn’t handle my own problems without mommy’s help.
  • If I didn’t call my mother, I was avoiding my responsibilities.

(Where the fuck does a person go when stuck in this mess!?!)

The only place to go is outside of it. Otherwise, you remain stuck, miserable and always wondering why you are such a failure.

You are not a failure! You might not be perfect, but who is?

We each make bad choices and don’t always say the right thing in every situation. Sometimes we hurt people’s feelings without realizing it.

All we can do when these things happen is apologize and recognize that a mistake was made, fix it but move on.

If we allow ourselves to marinate in shame and blame, we never grow from the act or circumstance that caused the shame and blame.

And the only thing worse than self-blame and self-shame, is being subjected to the shame and blame of a pathological person like the sociopath.

You are human. Embrace your humanity. Be gentle with yourself even when you screw up, and good people will be gentle with you, too.

Namaste!

Related articles – Letting Go of Perfect. ~Paula Carrasquillo for Elephant Journal

Acceptance and Feeding the Wolves

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I receive letters and private emails from many readers. You share many of your feelings, stories, and fears with me. For that, I am grateful and feel blessed to have your trust.

A recurring question from many readers is:

“How do I get my abuser out of my head in order to forget and move on?”

Unfortunately, there is no easy answer. There is no definitive solution. We lived through something with someone. We can’t erase it. But I do believe there is a first step we all must take in order to recover from it:

We must accept what happened to us and realize we cannot change it or change the person who hurt us.

As a person who was able to wake up and escape my abuser before it was too late, the hurt I felt was not of having my heart-broken. Not even close. The hurt I felt in the beginning of my healing was in having trusted someone I expected would treat me with love, kindness, patience, and forgiveness. Those are basic and simple building blocks of all healthy relationships and the exact traits narcissistic sociopaths like the boy in my story lack.

My husband has those traits. My son has those traits. My mother, father, and stepfather have those traits. My sisters and brothers have those traits. My life-long friends have those traits. Therefore, my expectations that the boy would have those traits was not unrealistic. I had been conditioned to expect them from everyone, including the boy. And when they failed to flow from him, I wanted to help him grow those traits. How futile and naive! I know that and accept it now.

Acting on my co-dependent tendencies is a thing of the past. It serves no one, especially me. Why would any of us choose to try to fix another when we need to fix ourselves first? Once you accept your abuser for what he/she is, you can finally accept yourself, warts and all!

The beauty of accepting ourselves is the realization that we have complete control and power over changing those things we don’t like about ourselves and our behavior. Most importantly, we are allowed to expect better from ourselves and also expect results from our efforts to change.

I started by writing down all of the things I liked about myself. Then I jotted down all of my failings. I wanted to maintain the good in me but transform my bad habits and behaviors. I couldn’t erase my past failings and personal disappointments and setbacks related to my actions. However, I knew I could begin again. But beginning again required a thorough inventory of EVERYTHING!!

I spent many hours and weeks going back in my past and dissecting the years. I discovered too much I had tried sweeping under the rug. I had many “ah-ha” moments, and my confidence in my ability to relearn how to be myself again slowly started returning. With this confidence, I was energized to do something with my skills and talents I had suppressed for so long. (I, just me myself and I, suppressed them. It was no one’s fault but my own.)

In less than six (6) months from the time I decided to take control of my life, my writing took off. My book was published. I landed my column in The Washington Times Communities. My Facebook pages grew. I was approached by the founder and creator of My Emotional Vampire to help with their ever-increasing following. I read more and more blogs by other survivors. I lent my support to them as best I could. One Mom’s Battle asked me to contribute to the back cover of her book. I participated in fund raisers and walks.

My body and soul were being energized more and more every day thanks to my own efforts (and lots of support from my son and husband). I got myself into the mess I was in, and I was able to get myself out of it. That’s all we can do for ourselves in the end, really. Don’t you think?

Today I celebrated another birthday. My husband and son bought me a beautiful cake and two yoga calendars: one for my office and one for wherever else I need reminded of the passing of time. They also got me a dimmer switch for the light above the dining room table. (Mood lighting is VERY important!) Before leaving for work this morning, I wrote in my new journal (Thank you, Janine!) and wished for a peaceful day.

I want to end this post with a Cherokee tale I read many months ago and again last night in the last pages of the memoire Look Me in the Eye: Caryl’s Story by Caryl Wyatt and Anita le Roix:

An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life.

“A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy.

“It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.” He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”

The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”

Namaste!

Keep your heart out of his jar…forever!

Heart outside of his jar - Keep it there!If you succeed or have succeeded in ending your relationship with a narcissist, a sociopath, or anyone with an affliction associated with any Cluster B disorder (antisocial personality disorder, borderline personality disorders, and histrionic personality disorder), there WILL be a time in either the near or distant future that the nutcase will contact you in an attempt to lure you back into his lair.

The sociopath will choose a time in his life that he needs you the most. He might be alone, engaged to someone who is simply driving him crazy, married to a nag, or dealing with a pregnant wife who just won’t put out or give him any attention. Whatever his situation, he’s suffering because the woman in his life doesn’t love him the way he NEEDS to be loved. He’ll be sitting around one day and suddenly you’ll come to mind, and he’ll think:

“Paula. Yeah, Paula. She was easy to manipulate and control; she’ll enjoy some of my flattery and give me some, too, I’m sure. Getting my fix [his narcissistic supply] from a few e-mails or phone calls would really boost me right now.”

And off goes the narcissist to call, write or text Paula with lies, lies, lies about how he’s being mistreated and misunderstood.

He’ll be expecting Paula to soothe his ego and take pity on him immediately. He’ll expert her to say, “You poor thing. You deserve better. You poor, poor, thing.” But he doesn’t realize that Paula has learned her lesson (FINALLY!) and can now recognize the tricks of sociopathic pricks like him even from a distance of several light years.

So, instead of having pity and replying to him with soothing words often reserved for children, she won’t respond at all. She won’t even send him a “Screw off!” note. Instead, she’ll ignore him because that’s the best way to defeat these predators. Ignore them and act like they aren’t even human, because, with all sincerity, they aren’t human like the rest of us.

These song lyrics below (and video here) may help some of you who are on the fence about finally deleting, blocking, or changing your email and phone number, so you don’t have to read his words or hear his disgusting voice again…

“Jar Of Hearts”

No, I can’t take one more step towards you
‘Cause all that’s waiting is regret
Don’t you know I’m not your ghost anymore
You lost the love I loved the most
I learned to live half alive
And now you want me one more time

[Chorus:]
And who do you think you are?
Runnin’ ’round leaving scars
Collecting your jar of hearts
And tearing love apart
You’re gonna catch a cold
From the ice inside your soul
So don’t come back for me
Who do you think you are?

I hear you’re asking all around
If I am anywhere to be found
But I have grown too strong
To ever fall back in your arms
And I’ve learned to live half-alive
And now you want me one more time

[Chorus:]
And who do you think you are?
Runnin’ ’round leaving scars
Collecting your jar of hearts
And tearing love apart
You’re gonna catch a cold
From the ice inside your soul
So don’t come back for me
Who do you think you are?

Dear, It took so long just to feel alright
Remember how to put back the light in my eyes
I wish I had missed the first time that we kissed
‘Cause you broke all your promises
And now you’re back
You don’t get to get me back

[Chorus: x2]
And who do you think you are?
Runnin’ ’round leaving scars
Collecting your jar of hearts
And tearing love apart
You’re gonna catch a cold
From the ice inside your soul

Don’t come back for me
Don’t come back at all

Who do you think you are?
Who do you think you are?
Who do you think you are?

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