Love means possession to a sociopath

Love to a sociopath is about possession, personal gains, and benefits.

From sex and trophy spouses to community status and financial wealth, sociopaths are involved with others for material benefits, not to establish deep, fulfilling heart connections.

In romance, as long as the sociopath gets what the sociopath expects, needs, and desires, the sociopath will “love” you.

Once the sociopath has drained you of your worth and dignity, the sociopath will get bored and begin plotting an exit plan. Part of that plan is to make you, the one being discarded, look like the crazy and unstable one.

How do sociopaths do this?

Easily…they simply treat you as they’ve always thought of you…like you don’t matter. And you don’t matter as a human being to the sociopath. You never have, and you never will. You were simply a means to an end.

Once you can accept this and stop fighting against this insanity and stop begging to be treated like a human with a heart, you’ll be able to begin to heal and live again.

Reconciling this in our hearts and minds simultaneously seems impossible. But if we repeatedly remind ourselves that when we are dealing with someone who lacks a heart and a conscience, we can’t expect that person to respect our heart and our conscience.

How can we expect the sociopath to respect something in us that they’ve never felt or known in themselves?

Like insightful writers who write what they know, sociopaths behave based on what they know. And their knowledge is limited to what they know of themselves…and they are empty.

Namaste!
~Paula

Practice healthy selfishness and pride despite what the Sociopath thinks of the matter

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One of the hardest things for empathic people to balance is our need to care for ourselves while also caring for the needs of others.

We worry so much about the happiness of others that we often cause ourselves undue stress and anxiety worrying that we haven’t done the best we can to make our loved ones happy.

While in the relationship with the sociopath, it seemed like we never did the best we should have done. Our biggest fear of failing to make sure our loved ones were happy was manifested every day.

Regardless of our planning and our efforts to please the sociopath, there was always a detail we missed. Missing those minor details (like signing off a text or email with “Love” instead of “I love you”) gave the sociopath fodder to call us all sorts of horrific names and to deem us unworthy of love.

(Seriously! For pity sake!! Do you see the absurdity and stupidity that you were sucked into accepting all because of some immature piece of trash?)

I love to love and help people. I love seeing the underdog win and the champion keep winning. I love to see people succeed, and I love to smile with them at their accomplishments.

Unfortunately, I was made aware, by the sociopath, that smiling at my own accomplishments is selfish and a hateful act.

(How ironic to be told by a sociopath that I’m selfish and hateful if I show or feel pride in myself.)

Sociopaths try and often succeed in convincing us we should be ashamed for being prideful. Sociopaths will tell you you’re tasteless and selfish for being so vain in your actions.

(Again, how damn ironic!!)

How often were you excited about a personal success or breakthrough only to be “brought back to earth” by the sociopath?

And how often were you chastised for not making a bigger deal about something the sociopath accomplished?

(I use the word “accomplished” very lightly in relation to all things sociopathic. Sociopaths succeed in destroying, not building.)

What if I told you that you should never feel ashamed about being proud of yourself? You should also stop feel guilty for failing to praise the sociopath on-demand.

You know what I’m talking about, right? All those instances when the sociopath would excitedly tell you some fantastic tale about something he was proud he did, but you interpreted it as something not at all praise-worthy, and the sociopath chastised you for having such a reaction?

(Raged upon you is more like it.)

Even though the sociopath’s rage was intended to shame you (and you WERE ashamed) for being so inconsiderate to his needs, please know today, in this moment now, that you were justified for not applauding his behavior. You were right not to high-five the asshole when he demanded your high-five.

Being an accomplished asshole is not deserving of a high-five. Let’s be real and stop revering the unworthy. Let’s stop being apathetic. There are too many Emperor’s wearing “new clothes” in need of being forced out of their delusions. If not forced out of their delusions, at least pushed out of our lives.

How do we do that?

I believe we start by valuing ourselves and our skills and abilities.

Sociopaths are attracted to shiny and pretty things. We’re shiny and pretty, but we don’t give ourselves enough credit.

We need to start. Now. This minute.

When we value our skills and talents, we end up naturally valuing the skills and talents of others. Self-defeating behaviors end, and we stop the unhealthy practice of envying others and comparing ourselves to others.

(That’s what sociopaths do: envy and compare. We want nothing to do with any kind of activity in which sociopaths participate, right?!?!)

Instead, if we truly value ourselves, we automatically value others and their skills. Competition ceases to exist.

We naturally begin gravitating more and more toward more and more people with healthy egos who are also interested in bettering their lives and the lives of those surrounding them.

(Just think about the wonderful people you’ve met through pages and blogs like this just because you let go of some of your self-defeating behavior and took a chance that someone would understand you and value what you had to share? It’s really simple to be ourselves once we accept ourselves.)

Once surrounded by other creative and good-hearted individuals, an impenetrable force of trust, honesty and respect manifests. This force is a natural deterrent to sociopaths and sociopathic behaviors and thinking.

Practice valuing yourself and your natural gifts. Be selfish to protect those gifts from overly selfish and greedy people. Share sparingly, building greater and greater trust, understanding and respect.

Nothing happens overnight. There are no quick solutions or fixes. Regardless of what the sociopath might say to try steering you away from your path, practice patience with yourself and those who have proven themselves worthy.

You matter, and the people who matter to you know you matter and will fall in love with your independent spirit sprinkled with just the right balance of selfishness, pride and love of life.

Above all, remain aware of how your decisions and actions affect others. Not everyone is going to be happy and agreeable all of the time. We aren’t always going to make the very best choices.

But if we remember to check ourselves against how we don’t want to be (you know, sociopathic), the chances that we hurt another or ourselves greatly diminish.

We can be selfish and prideful and still be caring, empathic and selfless.

Namaste!
~Paula

© 2013 Paula Carrasquillo and Paula’s Pontifications

Becoming Numb to the Sociopath and Opening the Door to Survival

Open door to survival from sociopath abuse

Sociopaths repeatedly and effortlessly find loving and caring people.

Why and how do they do it?

First, Sociopaths need good people to camouflage their shittiness from the world. The more loving, giving, religious, charitable and/or respected their significant other, the more likely the sociopath will succeed in gaining his own reputation for being the same type of good person his significant other spent years establishing.

(Remember, sociopaths are the biggest and most successful cheaters on the planet! They can do it remorselessly and believe they deserve it and earned it honorably.)

Plus, the more people the sociopath’s significant other has surrounding her, the more protected the sociopath feels.

The delusional sociopath automatically considers his significant other’s friends his friends and will use them to cowardly hide behind while getting away with his insidious abuses.

(Think of churches, clubs, community service groups and even yoga studios and gyms where people come together to reach collective goals as a community or team.)

And sociopaths seem to have amazing radar for finding people like this, the absolute opposite of themselves.

Sociopaths hone in on and find the most empathic and forgiving individuals among us. They seek us out, because we serve as safe havens for the sociopath’s diabolical nature.

People who are natural nurturers. People who are good mothers or good fathers. People who take care of the emotional needs of friends and family. People who take on the burdens of the ones they love.

And people like this are not necessarily co-dependent.

Often times, people like this have gone their entire lives without falling prey to sociopaths. We have made friends, loved and lost and experienced the natural highs and lows of love and grief.

Victims of sociopaths aren’t relationship ignorant. We understand what healthy relationships should look like. We know love is about give and take. We also know that relationships take time, effort and work as the relationship grows and evolves.

Knowing this is one of the reasons many of us stuck around longer than we should. We held out hope that the sociopath understood love, too.

We thought the sociopath needed a little nudge and prodding in the right direction. We thought modeling patience and understanding is all the sociopath needed to awaken his sleeping compassion and empathy. So we practiced great patience with the sociopath . After all, we didn’t wish to seem cruel and unreasonable if we walked away abandoning the sociopath after just a few arguments and misunderstandings.

We gave the relationship, not necessarily the sociopath, many chances.

So, no, we were not all co-dependent. Entering the toxic relationship with the sociopath thrust us into behaving in ways characteristic of co-dependency.

We made excuses for the sociopath, and early in the relationship, we agreed with the sociopath when he claimed others didn’t like him because they were jealous of him.

This degree of co-dependency came from being with the sociopath too long. And we stayed too long because our nature dictated us to only look at the good despite the sociopath continuously pushing and destroying our boundaries, while simultaneously giving us empty apologies and false promises that he/she would change.

And because we are highly empathic and understand that love is patient, we gave the sociopath chance after chance to change his/her way of thinking about us. We held out hope that the sociopath’s demands and expectations of how we SHOULD love them would ease and align with reality.

(No one is perfect; we all make mistakes. Shaming and blaming and relentlessly pushing a person to the edge of sanity is not love.)

Unfortunately, the only thing that changed was our faith in ourselves. We interpreted the sociopath’s perpetual lack of understanding as our inability and failure to demonstrate our full capacity to love.

So we kept trying and prooving ourselves worthy. We gave the sociopath more and understanding than we had ever given to another human. Ever. And it still didn’t make a difference. The sociopath remained unchanged.

We exhausted ourselves to the point of losing sight of what real love looked like.

We lost our ability to overcome and mutually work through relationship issues and road blocks. We questioned our ability to love, care and forgive, because the sociopath relentlessly diminished us for reacting emotionally and normally to his hatefulness.

If the sociopath had his way, we would have simply submitted and allowed him to think and act just as he wished to think and act, regardless of the harm and abuse he inflicted.

The irony of the sociopath’s wish for us to stop reacting so emotionally lies in the simple fact that he coveted us in the beginning because we ARE so emotional and caring. If we had been void of emotions, we never would have attracted the sociopath into our lives in the first place.

So the more the sociopath demanded that we become like him and learn to relax and let things roll off our backs, the more we attempted to do that.

And what’s the first thing we started relaxing about? Yup. You guessed it. We started reacting less and less to the sociopath’s negative criticisms of us, and we submitted less and less to the sociopath’s whims.

And when we did this, the rage became even greater. Initially, this caused us great confusion:

“You asked me to stop caring so much, remember? You asked me to stop stressing and being so emotional. So I am trying.”

But we learned quickly that the sociopath is not only hateful, but he is also the biggest hypocrite we’ll ever encounter.

For the sociopath to remain happy and without rage, we must remain detached from our emotions unless those emotions somehow benefit the sociopath.

We must laugh, cry and get frustrated only when the sociopath deems those emotions necessary and just. All other emotions we feel are judged and vilified by the sociopath.

You see, any emotions or reactions we have must be born of the sociopath and only according to his will. The sociopath thrives on our emotional reactions to him. The sociopath feeds on the drama our emotions generate. So if we no longer reacted to him emotionally, he no longer received the drama he thrived; he lost his life source in us!

(The same principles that guide a schoolyard bully’s behaviors.)

In the sociopath’s delusional attempts to force us to become numb to all things that normally illicit emotional reactions in us, we also became numb to the sociopath and his manipulations.

The numbness overtook us one day, more than likely in the middle of one of the sociopath’s rages.

(What an insult to the sociopath’s nature!! How dare we become numb to him?!?!?)

Instead of fighting or running away like we had done so many times in the past, we sat emotionless and quietly “took it” instead.

Becoming numb is essentially the “freeze” mode of our “fight/flight/freeze” response to threatening situations. In our numbness, we fully rejected the drama that drove the sociopath’s behavior and abuses against us.

We didn’t realize it in the moment, but our ability to go numb was a beautifully disguised clue that we could survive without the sociopath’s approval and acceptance. We CAN detach. But we were too numb to understand this fact as it was happening.

Do you remember when you first became numb? It is not a sign of heartlessness. It’s a sign of strength and your ability to self-protect.

Our last resort is becoming numb and detached. It doesn’t feel good or natural to us. That’s why we question it.

But we realize, eventually, that becoming numb is not a heartless act. We finally learn what being heartless really is:

Heartless is cheating and manipulation.

Heartless is behaving and responding to those you claim to love without empathy, compassion or a conscience.

Heartless is driving another to detach from all others except oneself.

Heartless is the sociopath you escaped.

Namaste!
~Paula

(image source: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/185421709627994995/)

© 2013 Paula Carrasquillo and Paula’s Pontifications.

What a difference a year makes!

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After several years of not writing, I returned to my blog last January. Up until then, I had been discouraged from writing for many reasons:

1) Where was my voice? It had been lost for so long.
2) What was I going to write about? So many things were going on in my life and my head; I didn’t know where to begin.
3) What if no one read anything I wrote? My life couldn’t possibly interest anyone or have an impact.
4) How would I find the time to maintain a blog? Being a wife, mother, and working FT takes up a lot of time. I didn’t want to sacrifice any of these things.
5) Why bother? I had zero motivation.

The catalyst to break through those negative barriers came from a collection of life experiences and emotions:

1) January 2012 marked my 40th birthday. If I couldn’t find my voice by 40, when did I expect it to arrive?
2) I had been practicing yoga for 3 months. I was letting go of as much as I could on the mat. I needed to let go in other ways.
3) My stepfather died unexpectedly in December 2011. I was sad. I was filled with sadness. I needed to release it.
4) I was struggling to come to terms with my past. So many things were clouding my view. I couldn’t see past the garbage of my recent past to get to the joy of my future.
5) I needed an outlet. Writing can be done anywhere. Writing is what it would be!

I look back at my posts from earlier last year and compare them with posts from more recently. I believe I have grown a lot and become a lot less angry and confused. I attribute my growth and awareness to many things, the least of which is my writing.

Writing has always been a part of who I am and how I cope. I have been writing letters and notes to myself ever since I was a little girl. The writing never failed me. But I failed my writing.

I wish I hadn’t stopped when I did a few years ago. I wish I had been more confident in my own thoughts and ideas to keep writing. I wish I hadn’t allowed someone else to influence me and make me feel like my writing wasn’t good enough to share. I wish I had loved myself to the degree that I love myself now.

But that’s old news! What a difference a year makes!

Just something I wanted to share:
My sister/best friend and her long-time boyfriend (pictured) are due to have their first child in the coming weeks. A little girl. I’m going to be an aunt again. I am so excited to meet her. Now more than ever, I feel like I can give as much as I receive. Namaste!

Healing through laughter

Laughter is the best medicine.

My son the laughter dummy

In addition to writing and sharing my story of emotional abuse at the hands of a narcissistic sociopath, I want to provide healing options for those who have suffered similarly. On my blog, I write about yoga, Bikram yoga specifically, and how it is healing me every day and with every practice. But one of the most valuable healing tools I have encountered is laughter.

Laughter? Yes, laughter. According to Laughter effects: Humor and Inspiration for victims of sociopaths, laughter is good medicine:

“Laughter reduces stress, strengthens the immune system, and benefits the cardiovascular system. Laughter is the direct pathway to the center of one’s identity. Humor is empowering!” (Martin, 2011).

And what’s the biggest thing that gets taken from us at the hands of sociopaths, narcissists, and other Cluster B predators?…our identities!  I think it is fair to say that most of us choose to be angry at the person who orchestrated our suffering, and the anger is nearly uncontrollable to reel in at times. Unfortunately, being angry wreaks havoc on our bodies and can cause any number of health issues if allowed to seethe. Here is a short list of anger-related conditions I pulled from a Healthmad story on The Physiology of Anger:

  • High blood pressure
  • Decrease in metabolic activity
  • Increased risk of heart attack
  • Increased risk of diabetes
  • Flare-ups of skin diseases (think psoriasis and eczema)
  • Flare-ups of arthritis pain
  • Difficulty battling the common cold
  • Increased risk of asthma attacks

I don’t know about you, but I’d rather put an end to the insanity and not be angry or suffer additional physical and mental anguish. I think we suffered enough, don’t you? Instead, I desperately want to laugh and be happy and healthy with increased vitality and energy and loving relationships. Sounds idyllic, doesn’t it? And we deserve idyllic. So, how do we change anger to laughter? Where do we start? What do we do to keep the laughter flowing?

The answer is pretty simple in my opinion: 1) watch and read humorous movies and books; 2) find the “funny” in everything (even a traffic jam can be funny) and; 3) above all, work on not taking yourself too seriously.  After all, isn’t that the trap the sociopath put us through to begin with?

Below is a link to a website I like visiting occasionally to help transform my anger into laughter. It’s specifically designed for those of us who have had the unfortunate experience of dating douche bags. Hahahaha! Peace.

http://www.idatedthatdouche.com/I Dated that Douche website is filled with funny quotes and images to keep you laughing in spite of it all.

The Lockout (a VERY short play in three acts)

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pregnant with Armando 2005

I was inspired to write this story of friendship when I was 4-months pregnant with my son in April 2005. I hope you enjoy it.

The Lockout
by Paula Reeves-Carrasquillo

Act 1: Scene 1

(Jake and Randall sit next to each other on the front steps of their house. It’s early spring and a gentle breeze is blowing.)

Jake: Let’s get out of here.

Randall: Where should we go, Jake?

Jake: Let’s roll up to Quinn’s and grab something to eat. There’s always good food at Quinn’s.

Randall: Sounds like a plan.

Act 1: Scene 2

(Jake and Randall stand in front of Quinn’s house: a small cape cod-style home with a fence running along the perimeter of the small yard. They are out of breath after running the one mile to Quinn’s house.)

Randall: It doesn’t look like Quinn’s around. Let’s check the backyard.

(The two walk along the side fence to the backyard.)

Jake: He’s not here either. I wonder where he could be; what time is it, Randall?

Randall: It feels like dinner time to me. He should be here.

Jake: Clearly he’s not. Let’s go back home.

(The two walk off in the direction from where they came.)

Act 2: Scene 1

(Jake and Randall come running on stage in front of Quinn’s house again. They are really out of breath this time and keep looking back over their shoulders acting like they just got away with something.)

Jake: [with a chuckle] Did you see the look on that guy’s face? He was boiling! How fast do you think we were running, Randall?

Randall: Fast enough to lose him, I hope. Did you see the gun in his rack? By the looks of it, that thing could fire automatically and hit us both in seconds. Seconds!

Jake: Yeah, but let’s not think about that right now. Right now, we need to figure out how to get back home going a different route. Jane must be worried sick looking for us by now.

Randall: Yeah, you’re right.

(They both turn to walk off in the direction of their house again. A noise is heard coming from the direction of Quinn’s backyard.)

Randall: Hey, I think I heard Quinn in the back. Let’s see.

(Jake and Randall walk along the fence to the backyard. Although Quinn is not in the yard, they can see him through the dining room window of the house.)

Randall: [pointing] Look, Jake, there he is! Should I try to get his attention?

Jake: Not too loud; we want him to come out alone.

(Randall lets out a low and quick bark. Quinn’s alerted ears can be seen through the window. Jake and Randall wait patiently for Quinn to come out through the back door, but he never shows.)

Jake: What’s taking so long? If he doesn’t come out soon, we’ll have to go before the catcher circles back to this street. What do you think, Randall, should we wait or go?

Randall: We gotta go. It’s Friday night. Jane probably has plans.

Jake: Yeah, plans. If we don’t get back soon, we may get locked out for the night. Let’s hurry!

(Jake and Randall scamper off stage toward their house. The day has turned to dusk.)

Act 3: Scene 1

(The setting is a park with large elms and a few benches scattered about. Jake and Randall are sprawled out under one of the trees.)

Jake: What time do you think it is, Randall?

Randall: It’s definitely past dinner time but too soon for Jane to be getting home from her plans. Why on earth did we leave the house in the first place?

Jake: It had something to do with food, I think. Doesn’t it always?

Randall: We get ourselves into more trouble thinking about food than we do thinking about anything else.

Jake: What else is there to think about, Randall? What else do you think about?

Randall: I think about lots of stuff. Like that Pomeranian two doors down. I bet she thinks about me, too. Do you think she thinks about me, Jake?

Jake: No way! We’re just two mangy mutts, and she’s a pristine pedigree. At least that’s what I heard Jane call her. Nope. She doesn’t think about us, not even for a minute.

Randall: I guess you’re right, Jake. [Randall pauses for a second. Then speaks excitedly.] What about Sally? SHE MUST think about us. I mean, we at least smell better than most, and we look pretty good up against Gus. He’s got those funny bottom teeth that…

Jake: [interrupting] He’s a bulldog, an English bulldog, Randall! All the girls think he’s sexy and fierce.

Randall: You mean I’m NOT sexy and fierce? Look at me. I can be fierce, Jake.
(Randall demonstrates by growling as low as he can and squishing his forehead tightly between his ears.)

Jake: [sarcastically] Ooooh! I’m scared! Come on, Randall, get real. We’re two regular dogs without balls, really. Haven’t you heard Jane call us cousin “Its” before? It’s not because our hair hangs in our eyes sometimes, either.

Randall: You mean that’s not a good thing? She’s not being sweet and complimentary when she says that?

Jake: It’s about as sweet and as complimentary as us calling the catcher a tick-infested hairball! Goodness no, Randall, it is NOT a compliment!

(Car lights suddenly light up the tress and benches. Jake and Randall stand hoping it’s Jane’s car pulling up to their house.)

Randall: Is it her? Is she back?

Jake: [stretching to get a better view] I—I—I’m not sure. Uh—no, it’s not her.

(They both slump back onto their bellies and rest their heads on their outstretched legs.)

Randall: Jake. Have I ever told you how much I love you and how glad I am that Jane picked both of us that afternoon at the pound?

Jake: Randal, you tell me everyday. Everyday I listen to you recall that story, because every night we get locked out, and EVERY night you get all wishy-washy, as if it’s going to be our last night, as if we’re going to freeze to death out here before Jane returns home. Relax, Randall. It’s April.

Randall: So, do you think the catcher will ever catch us?

Jake: Randall, you really need to stop worrying so much. [excited] Look! I think I see Jane’s car!

(Jake and Randall hurry off stage in the direction of another set of head lights.)

The End.

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