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

IMG_7120.JPG

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 This month, I compiled all of the edited and previously-published stories (plus two previously unpublished stories) into a working draft for an ebook.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

mask

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

Survivor stories 25, 26, 27 and 28: Zoe, Alice, Beverly and Christina #SeeDV #abuse

sparkles

October 25, 2014 – Zoe’s story: “The relationship absorbed me; I was hypnotised by it.”*

October 26, 2014- Alice’s story: Leave abuse; it is not worth the anguish and loss of yourself

October 27, 2014 – Beverly’s story: Lies, manipulation and emotional abuse

October 28, 2014 – Christina’s story: Building up after being broken down by abuse


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.

Survivor stories 21, 22, and 23: Ursula, Vanessa and Wendy #dvawareness

vanessa

October 21- Ursula’s story: Know the signs and accept that you are being abused

October 22 – Vanessa’s story: No one can make you leave; you have to do it for yourself 

October 23 – Wendy’s story: “I survived; I did not live. It was hell.”

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.

Survival Stories 12 and 13 – Laura and Mary #domesticviolence #princecharming

charming

October 12, 2014 – Laura’s story: A living hell of domestic violence and pathological abuse

October 13, 2014 – Mary’s story: Stayed with her abuser to protect her children


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.”

alone

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.

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.

letter to a sociopath who thinks he's god

A Letter to the Sociopath So He Can FINALLY Stop Worrying About Me

letter to a sociopath who thinks he's godDear Sociopath,

I feel so silly writing this. Why? Well, I know how much you always worried about me, and no matter how much I told you it was unnecessary to worry, you still worried. So even after you read this letter, you’ll probably continue to have those same worries, but I hope not. What kind of life is it to worry about little old me who isn’t even in your life anymore? I hope this letter, filled with details of my recent happiness, helps to ease your worries.

So here goes:

Remember that love story you kept begging me to write when we were together? Well, I wrote it!! And can you believe I am nearly finished a much longer follow-up book? My second book should be even more enlightening for those who found my first book so helpful. I know you’d be proud of me. After all, you always said I had a lovely way with words and shouldn’t waste my talents and skills. You were even able to talk me into deleting that silly family-related blog I started when my son was first born, explaining to me that I should focus on something more practical and worthy of my talents. Well, guess what? I did that too! Isn’t this a great blog? I even came up with a catchy name for it, too: Paula’s Pontifications. Pretty cool, huh? I thought you’d be impressed.

I’m sure you could never forget my son. You know my son, the gorgeous and lovable little 5-year-old boy you so generously allowed to play with your dog. (That was incredibly selfless of you, by the way, to let my child play with your delicate dog.) Regardless, he is doing incredible! He loves yoga and karate and wants to be a soccer star when he gets older. All those fears you had about me raising him wrong and your worries that I was jeopardizing his well-being, well, you can now rest assured that he’s safe and well-protected. He starts 3rd grade in a few weeks, and although he is the youngest in his class, he keeps up easily, even though he hates writing, but I guess we all can’t be perfect. Thanks for caring so much. Oh, and don’t worry about him being sad because he is missing you. He doesn’t even remember you.  Isn’t that great? No worries there, either. No loss of sleep for my little boy. Kids are so resilient, huh?

Best of all, I never had to sell my car or file for bankruptcy! I know how very concerned you were about me losing everything when I left you. After a few career bumps and obstacles, I was able to land an even better-paying job than I had before. Plus, with my increased writing and editing experience, I get an occasional freelance job. I think I am pretty close to making double what you were making. Isn’t that awesome? If you were still with me you could have definitely become that house boy you always dreamed of becoming. The chances of me ever becoming pathetic and dependent have narrowed considerably! Again, you can let go of all those worries and fears you had about me sabotaging my career. With over 100,000 words published online, I’m sure my marketability will continue to grow. I’ve truly been blessed in many ways over the last 30 months. Thank you so much for worrying that I would fail. You can stop now, because I didn’t fail. Instead, you can celebrate and have a maté for me!!

Oh, and your biggest fear about me self-destructing? You can finally let it go!!  I was able to quit drinking! Remember all those AA meetings you found and wanted me to attend because the ones I was attending were too far away from your house and you felt they took away too much of our time together? Well, I beat my alcohol dependency without AA meetings. I took what I needed from those meetings and worked with my husband who was more than willing to sacrifice some of his days and nights to hold my hand and pick me up when I fell down, real and figuratively. And since I no longer need alcohol to get through my days, I even kicked my depression and am no longer on any type of mood-altering medications!! I know how much you hated that I took medicine. Well, no need to worry about it anymore. I am whole again and better than before.

And remember all those times you tried to get me started with a workout routine? Well, I have one now! I don’t know what got into me, but one day I just went to a yoga studio and haven’t looked back! Maybe it has something to do with doing it on “my” time and not “our” time. It would have been impossible for my husband and me to have scheduled matching workout routines. After all, who would take care of our son if we were both at the gym at the same time? (Flexibility, collaboration and partnership…in case you need to know for the future. You’re welcome!) But anyhow–back to yoga. It has changed my life!! My entire body and mind and spirit have been transformed! I don’t even recognize myself some days. I know you tried to push me when we were together. Sorry our workouts didn’t work out. (I’m so funny now, huh? I even got my humor back!) But be happy for me now. I found something I love, and I begin yoga teacher training next month. My goal is to one day teach yoga to trauma victims, specifically I want to help women who survived and escaped abusive relationships, relationships that compromised their physical, emotional and spiritual well-being. We all deserve to be whole again.

I’m sure you’re dying to let me know how proud you are of me, huh? No worries there. My husband, my son, my sisters, my parents and the wonderful and amazing new friends I have made are repeatedly telling me how proud they are of me.  Don’t worry, I am 100% appreciated, just what you always hoped for me.

So that’s my happiness in a nutshell. I hope you finally found what you’ve been looking for, too. Oh, but you already told me that you had found what you were looking for. I hope that’s still working out for you. I know how much it sucks to lose people you once loved.

Namaste!
Paula (a.k.a. Pumpkin. You might remember me by that name.)

(image source: http://pinterest.com/pin/33284484715793320/)

Women Who Love Psychopaths Cover by Sandra L. Brown

Spotlight: Relational Harm Reduction and Public Psychopathy Education

Women Who Love Psychopaths Cover by Sandra L. BrownWhen I come across another blogger or author or advocate who is actively bringing awareness to others about pathology, psychopaths, relational harm, abuse, recovery and healing on a regular and frequent basis, I share my discovery. I re-blog or re-tweet or write a Facebook status update on my book page dedicated to that person or organization.

For several months, I have been highly influenced and motivated by the work and research of:

The Institute for Relational Harm Reduction and Public Psychopathy Education (The Institute)

Sandra L. BrownThe Institute is lead by CEO and founder, Sandra L. Brown, M.A. Sandra has over 25 years of experience as a psychoanalyst and has written several books, including Women Who Love Psychopaths and How to Spot a Dangerous ManRead Sandra’s full bio...

Sandra’s partner at The Institute is Jennifer Young, LMHC. Jennifer’s career spans more than 19 years. Read Jennifer’s full bio

The following is taken from The Institute’s website:

The Institute is a rapidly growing body of people seeking to impact public education surrounding issues related to pathology, personality disorders, and psychopathy.

This growing body are survivors—women, men and their children who have sustained psychological injury because of someone else’s pathology. The only way to give meaning to the horror they lived is to find a ‘voice’ from which they teach others.

I recommend:

Namaste! ~Paula

%d bloggers like this: