The hateful and non-empathetic sociopath…detach now!

zenbirthdaycardWhy can’t sociopaths truly empathize with others?

We know they can fake an empathetic stance and act like they care. They do this with brilliant believability in the beginning idolization and repeated grooming phases of the relationship.

But they can’t feel the emotions that empathy naturally necessitates. They can’t demonstrate true empathy in words or actions or in their treatment of us.

If we are feeling hurt emotionally due to insensitive treatment by the sociopath, the sociopath, in turn, succeeds in hurting and crushing us even more by criticizing us for being emotional!

Why? Why do sociopaths not recognize our pain and attempt to alleviate it rather than exacerbate it?

The only explanation is that sociopaths are somehow denied the ability to feel or have emotions of their own and, as a result, are convinced that emotions are a sign of weakness. After all, how can anything the sociopath doesn’t possess or can’t experience have worth?

But the irony is that sociopaths are fueled by our emotions!! They need our emotions. When we cry or get angry, the sociopath perceives our emotions as their cue, their green light, to destroy us.

They hate emotions and love to destroy what they hate.

So what better way to “hurt” a sociopath than by being emotionless in the face of their abuse? What better way to get a sociopath to lose interest in you than by not reacting to them?

This is why no contact is so important! You’ve exhausted yourself in hopes of getting answers. And you know by now that nothing true or real will ever come from any more questions and pleadings on your part. Further questions and pleadings will simply fuel the sociopath and encourage the sociopath to continue the avoidance and projection games.

Nothing will ever be resolved.

So you are left to accept the sociopath for the incomplete person the sociopath is and to detach emotionally from an emotionless being. It’s really simple and very easy once you put it into practice.

Namaste!
~Paula

© 2013 Paula Carrasquillo and Paula’s Pontifications.

Anti-Ode to The Sociopath

brokenwingOh, you despicable sociopath,
Sitting upon your throne of nothingness;
Can you hear their voices echoing in your head?
“You never loved us; you loved the idea of us. There is a difference. And you don’t love the one you’re with now, either.”

You are deaf.

Oh, you pathetic sociopath,
Thinking upon your empty heart;
Can you see each of your “soul mates” running away from you over and over again in your mind?
“You were never our soul mate. A soul mate wouldn’t repel us nor make us feel unworthy of love and understanding.”

You are blind.

Oh, you sad and soulless sociopath,
Resting on a pillow of empty morals;
Can you read the minds of the people who simply tolerate you?
“We call you Darth Vader behind your back. Do you realize that? You’re the butt of our jokes.”

You are dumb.

Oh, you conscienceless and self-righteous sociopath.
The only fool getting in your way is the one staring back at you in the muddy puddle of your reflection you continuously attempt to avoid.

Step in it, Dear Sociopath. You may be surprised by what’s gasping for breath just beneath the surface.

Image and Poem © 2013 Paula Carrasquillo and Paula’s Pontifications

grief

Ambiguous Loss: Grieving the Sociopath

griefOften associated with losing someone due to death or a debilitating disease/condition like Alzheimer’s, ambiguous loss is, well, ambiguous.

It’s not clear when the feelings of ambiguous loss begin to creep into our psyche in relation to our toxic relationship with the sociopath. These feelings more than likely begin while still in the relationship as we slowly, over time, witness the slipping and transformation of the sociopath from a person we once loved into a person we no longer recognize.

Once outside of the relationship, these feelings become even stronger. We realize that although we accept the sociopath for what he/she is, we fail to quickly release ourselves from and let go of the false person we once believed the sociopath to be.

Although we no longer love, honor or respect the sociopath, we still grieve the loss of the person we thought the sociopath was. We fell in love with a fantasy person, someone who we allowed to affect us deeply. And the pain and overwhelming feelings of desperation of losing this fantasy person may cause us to get stuck in our healing and recovery, paralyzing us from moving forward.

So what can we do about it? How can we overcome this loss? I’ll leave that to the experts at The Wendt Center for Loss and Healing to provide possible solutions. The following is taken from their site:

1. Seek out support from others. Surrounding yourself with people who care about you and who understand what you are going through can help validate your feelings.

2. Look for support groups that address the type of loss you are experiencing.

3. Allow yourself to take time to feel and express whatever emotions come up for you. Ignoring your feelings can prolong your feeling of being stuck.

4. Try to create a structure in aspects of your life that you can control, such as dinner and bedtime at the same time they usually occur, regular exercise, and family meetings as necessary.

5. Continue to strive to find meaning in your life that includes and acknowledges the loss you are experiencing.

6. Seek professional help if you find that the loss controlling your thoughts and behaviors and/or causing marked distress for an extended period of time.

Namaste!
~Paula

(image source: http://pinterest.com/pin/228839224786475459/)

success, Paula Carrasquillo, Paula Renee Carrasquillo, Paula Reeves-Carrasquillo, psychopath, sociopath, awareness, dating a sociopath, divorcing a narcissist

Sociopaths Do Not Understand the Nature of Success

successSuccess to a sociopath is all about them. No one else in their inner circle is allowed to succeed or be recognized for their successes unless the sociopath can somehow take credit for it.

“You got the job promotion? It’s a good thing I was there to push you. I’m sure you would have given up without my help.”

“That meal was fantastic! Glad I found the recipe. I’m sure you would have botched it otherwise.”

And once you’re outside the sociopath’s circle, not only are you “dead to him,” anything and everything you do that garners any positive attention is directly attributed to the fact you once knew him.

“She couldn’t have done that without knowing me first. She got lucky.”

“He’s only ahead because I am no longer working there. What a poser. “

“She’s where she is because I told her what she needed to do to get there. She is so pathetic.”

Haha! These fools crack me up! They will never, ever realize that the reverse is true and that when they judge us with name calling, they’re projecting the truth about themselves out into the ether for the world to see. (Keep talking, idiots!)

But most of all, they will never, ever realize that we have something they don’t which allows us to succeed:

We have the ability to discern good from bad and to listen to our conscience. That’s how and why we end up overcoming all and succeeding and never losing those we love the most and those who love us in return.

You will succeed because you have it inside of you. And that ability has always been there long before the sociopath ever infiltrated your life. Believe in yourself and block out the negative comments and energy the sociopath tosses in your direction. You’re positivity is stronger; tap into it and stick with people who encourage and empower your soul, because they are the ones who really want you to succeed and who know you can succeed all by yourself.

Namaste!
~ Paula

(image source)

intuition, Paula Carrasquillo, Paula Renee Carrasquillo, Paula Reeves-Carrasquillo, psychopath, sociopath, awareness, dating a sociopath, divorcing a narcissist

How can I be sure my ex is a sociopath?

intuitionSo you aren’t certain if your ex was a sociopath or not. You feel something wasn’t quite right, but you’re not feeling at ease about suggesting your ex could possibly be pathological.

You’re not alone. I struggled with the answer to this question too. Contrary to what some may think, I didn’t leave the relationship and then immediately believe he was a sociopath and start writing about it.

The reality is I thought I was the one with the problem; I believed I was the cause of the wedge driven between us which resulted in the relationship’s ultimate deterioration.

Even after months of counseling and study and learning that my normal mental state was simply put off balance by some outside influence,  I continued to struggle with the idea that he was that outside force.

When the thought crossed my mind that he was the major problem, I feared I was being over-reactive and thinking upon events and experiences out of proportion.

It wasn’t until I received validation through his “friends” and a few of his exes that I accepted what my gut had been trying to convince me of all along:

My ex was a dark and twisted sociopath!

I now understand that I really didn’t need the validation; I should have listened to my gut all along.

And this is why:

We learn something about ourselves and about humanity in general with every relationship we enter.

We learn to become better communicators. We learn to love with our whole hearts. We learn to be more patient. We learn that everyone comes from different places than us, geographically and mindfully. We learn to respect each other’s differences. We become more and more aware that with the beginning and ending of each relationship, this world is filled with so many different and wonderful people.

We are able to do this by using our keen ability to empathize and consider the other person’s feelings and understandings of the world. By using our empathy and compassion, we guide each other to the next level of connection, to the next level of a relationship beyond the lust and sex.

But sometimes, for a number of reasons, our romantic relationships don’t work. Our mutual dreams for the future change; they aren’t so mutual any more. We grow apart.

When this happens, we must say good-bye, but the love and connection never fades. This person entered our life and affected us, so we keep that person and the memories of that person tucked away in a private place in our heart. Life goes on. We meet and fall in love with someone new, and the cycle continues.

(And the people who came before the new love remain close to us in our hearts. Those genuine feelings of connection to another person never go away.)

But when we enter into a relationship with a narcissist/sociopath/psychopath, the normal dimensions and expectations of relationship evolution explode!

We learn quickly that this person has either never been in a healthy relationship or doesn’t understand how healthy relationships are supposed to work. From being love bombed and put on a pedestal one day to being thrown under the bus the next.

THAT IS NOT NORMAL!

Healthy people with a healthy conscience and the ability to empathize DO NOT hurt the ones they love that way. They don’t demean and threaten loved ones. EVER!

Even if you aren’t able to label a person, your ex-spouse or ex-partner, as a sociopath or narcissist or you have trouble believing they might be pathological, ask yourself the following:

  • “Did the relationship leave me questioning my faith and beliefs in myself and humanity?”
  • “Did I, at any time, start believing that I somehow deserved to be abused, treated disrespectfully and then discarded?”
  • “Do I or did I absolutely hate and despise this person for what he did to me? Was this hatred all-consuming unlike any hate or dislike I have ever felt for anyone before this person?”

If you answer “yes” to these basic questions, you were in a toxic relationship with a toxic person who was making you think toxic thoughts, and there really is no hope for the relationship to move forward because it was never built on love, trust or any mutual understanding of what life and relationships are meant to be.

Why?

Because the other half of the relationship was pathological, a.k.a. TOXIC!

You know in your heart that you deserve better. Tend to your needs and embrace those in your life who have shown you real love and support and ask for nothing, absolutely NOTHING, in return.

Namaste!
~ Paula

(image source: http://pinterest.com/pin/496521927638093506/)

“Learning to Love the Sociopath?”- HuffPost Live at 2:40 p.m. Today!

I’m set to be on air today at 2:40 p.m. EST in support of awareness and education of sociopaths! Just select the image below at or close to that time to watch the video live!

I added the question mark (?) in the title of the segment above. Not certain why we need to learn to love that which is incapable of love, but the show should be interesting.

And for any of my readers who don’t know me personally or have never talked to me, you can at least get a chance to put a face and voice to my name.

HuffPost Live Sociopath Show

http://live.huffingtonpost.com/r/segment/learning-to-love-the-sociopath/51c1ea6a02a7602946000312

tree hugger

The Sociopath as the Rotten, Stinking Limb Even a Tree Hugger Can’t Embrace

tree hugger“Why do you talk about sociopaths as if they aren’t humans?”

That was a question by a commenter left on a blog I frequent. The first thing that came to mind after reading the comment was:

“Is the commenter a sociopath or is the commenter just one of those do-gooders who likes focusing on the positive in people?”

Regardless, I’d like to answer the question:

I don’t think sociopaths are like non-sociopaths. Therefore, I have a hard time referring to them in terms I use for non-sociopaths.

Certainly, many of us behave badly at times in our lives. I know I have! But unlike sociopaths, we are accountable and identify when we need to make a change so we stop behaving badly.

As far as focusing on the negative, I love people! With the exception of the sociopath. I choose to keep them out of my life so I can neither love nor hate them. I’d like to remain indifferent to their presence on planet earth.

I find most of my outlooks on life need an asterisk that states: *with the exception of sociopaths.

For example:

I always look for the good in people.*

Everyone deserves a second chance and sometimes need even more chances.*

There is good in everyone.*

I will go out of my way to help a person in need.*

I admire intelligent people.*

I enjoy meeting new people.*

You get the idea. I’m a tree-hugger type who won’t embrace that one rotten, stinking limb.

Am I ashamed of that? Nope.

Does it make me look like a hypocrite. Probably.

However, unless a person has lived alongside a sociopath or other pathological type, that person will never understand the distinction and the exception. And that’s okay. Bless them, as my sister-in-law would say. 🙂

~Paula

(image source: http://pinterest.com/pin/64598575875873780/)

healing shadow self

The Aftermath of the Sociopath and Identifying Signs of Abuse and Trauma in Yourself

healing shadow selfOnce the toxic relationship with the sociopath or narcissist has ended, we don’t immediately tend to our healing and recovery needs. Why? For starters, we simply fail to recognize our need to heal and recover. Although, we are good at spotting desperation and unhappiness in others, we are either too proud or in deep denial about our personal need for care and attention.

When I escaped the sociopath in January 2011, I was numb. My mind was unable to clearly process what had happened to me during those three (3) short years with the sociopath. I was lost. I struggled to make sense of the chaos of my thoughts. I struggled with shame and blame. I struggled with nightmares and cold sweats. I struggled with discussing what had happened to me, what WAS happening to me.

I struggled.

In my struggle, I failed to grasp the severity of the abuse and its impact on me. I failed to ask the right internal questions about how I was feeling. I failed to see the signs that I had suffered serious mental and emotional anguish that needed attention.

I ignored my needs, because I was desperate to understand ‘him,’ and I couldn’t bare the additional burden of facing a broken self.

Instead, I read and re-read every blog entry and website page that discussed and detailed sociopathic and narcissistic behaviors. I had many ‘ah-ha’ moments about ‘him’ and the relationship but not about me.

In the aftermath of the toxic relationship, most of us who have left or been discarded by a sociopath or narcissist spend an exorbitant amount of time learning how to recognize the signs, behaviors and red flags of the sociopath and narcissist.  We do this for a couple of reasons:

  1. To make sense ‘the source’ of the mental, emotional, physical and sexual abuse and exploitation we experienced.
  2. To hopefully avoid falling victim to another sociopath, narcissist or Cluster B personality in future romantic relationships.

There is great empowerment in educating ourselves about ‘him,’ but we can’t forget about educating ourselves about us.

Although I was seeing a counselor immediately following my escape, I rarely spoke to my counselor about the toxic relationship or ‘him.’ I stuck to discussions about my current life and mending my broken marriage and re-establishing trust. I spoke to my counselor about my struggles with alcohol but never talked about why I chose to self-soothe, self-medicate with booze. It just didn’t seem important to me, I thought.

Now, I realize that I was in deep denial. I just wanted my hatred for ‘him’ and his behavior to magically disappear, so I didn’t have to talk about it. Little did I know that I was directly ‘damaged’ by the relationship and had to face that ‘damage’ in order to move past the destructive aftermath.

How did I finally see that I had to start paying more attention to myself? Probably because I was becoming a person even I didn’t like to be around. That was tough to admit. I hated who I had become. I hated being angry. I was always such a happy person. I was always dreaming and thinking about the future. I loved being alone with my own thoughts.

Suddenly, I recognized that I was no longer behaving like the ‘me’ I had grown to know. I didn’t like myself and certainly didn’t trust myself. How did I expect anyone else to love or respect or trust me? I couldn’t.

Because I didn’t want to lose my family, I was determined to find myself and to learn how to trust myself again.

If I had been more aware and honest with myself, I would have recognized the following red flags of depression and despair sooner rather than later and would have been equipped to tackle and beat these after effects of pathological love:

  • Feeling depressed.
  • Feeling numb.
  • Loss of friends.
  • Nightmares.
  • Cold sweats.
  • Destructive forms of self-soothing and self-medicating like eating too much, not eating enough, drinking alcohol, abusing pain killers, etc.
  • Loss of enthusiasm for activities that were once a substantial part of your identity and existence.
  • Feelings of inadequacy in your abilities, skills and job performance.
  • Constant rumination; reliving episodes of abuse and trauma.
  • Avoidance of certain people, situations and places.
  • Inability to control anger as a result of a threat, real or perceived.
  • Constant need for validation from others in how you are feeling.

Many who read this will think, “Everyone experiences these types of feelings at some point in their lives.”

That is true, but we aren’t talking about fleeting feelings. We’re talking about constant, chronic, never-ending feelings that just won’t go away, regardless of our efforts to make them vanish. We’re talking about feelings and emotions that lead to self-destruction. No kidding. Self-destruction!

When we recognize the recurrence and insidious nature of our thoughts and emotions, we must realize it’s time to start making a plan to help ourselves by seeking help from others.

  • Reading a book isn’t always enough.
  • Joining an online support group isn’t always enough.
  • Talking to a counselor isn’t always enough.
  • Joining the gym isn’t always enough.
  • Practicing yoga isn’t always enough.
  • Getting out and doing things for the first time isn’t always enough.
  • Taking medication isn’t always enough.

Healing and recovery is a unique and individual path. What works for ‘her’ may not work for you. What worked yesterday, may not work today. Getting to the bottom of ourselves in order to change and better ourselves is a long and sometimes arduous journey. The first thing we must learn to do is to be patient with ourselves. Baby steps are required. Just because you recognize the effects, doesn’t mean they can all be remedied overnight.

What do I recommend?

Visit the website for The Institute for Relational Harm Reduction and Public Pathology Education for free and low-cost therapy and recovery assistance.  Founder, Sandra L. Brown, has over 25 years of experience as a psychoanalyst with expert knowledge and understanding of helping men and women who have suffered trauma as a result of pathological love.

You are not alone. Don’t be ashamed. There is help and hope for you!

Namaste!
~Paula

(image source: http://pinterest.com/pin/118289927683868545/)

Nurture your intuition, don’t ignore it…

albert-einstein-intuitionIntuition is our natural inclination to make guesses about something or someone without having tangible proof. Simply put, it’s our gut feelings or our hunches about something. We often get hunches when we meet someone for the first time. Our instincts tell us, almost instantly, if someone will or won’t be a friend or an important person in our life. We get hunches about our teachers and co-workers and bosses. Our intuition prepares us and lets us know if we can or can’t trust certain people or certain situations.

On one hand, our intuition is powerful.  (It can protect us from threatening people or events.)  On the other hand, it’s not always accurate. (We may choose to avoid a situation or person that our gut tells us might harm us when they actually could have helped us. We sometimes call that hindsight.) As a result of repeated instances of failed intuition, each of us learns and evolves (as unfortunate as it is fortunate) to use our intuition less and less and rely more and more on our intellect, which we use to deduce and measure EVERYTHING based on proof and evidence.  Lawyers use their intellects. Doctors use their intellects. Peer-reviewed journals are filled with intellectually-based evidence proving or disproving someone’s theories, which is just a fancy word for hunches.  (No wonder hunches are so tiresome: we always need a lot of proof for anyone to take them seriously. Very counter-intuitive, don’t you think?)

But not every hunch can be proven or disproven with supporting evidence, can it? For example, can we prove someone is telling us the truth about their past, their present feelings, and their future dreams? (I’d have to say a big “Hell no!” to that question.)  Building positive personal relationships with people we can trust relies heavily on our intuition, wouldn’t you agree? But because we don’t use our intuition enough, it gets rusty, REALLY rusty, and we trust it less and less. (Ironic, huh? The thing we should trust the most in order to measure our trust in others can’t be trusted.) No wonder we often end up trusting the wrong people. Our intuition sucks!!

So, how do we nurture our intuition and create an intuition we can trust when called upon? How do we create a less-sucky intuition? I think, like most anything we want to improve, we need practice. The next time you get a gut feeling about something or someone, share your gut feeling with yourself by writing it down. (Create a Hunch Journal or some such silliness. No one needs to know.) Then, when your hunch is proven or disproven, return to your journal and reflect on why your intuition worked for you or failed you.

Often, we base our hunches on prejudices or inaccurate information and data created by our minds. Writing stuff down and reflecting on them over time will correct these errors and help fine-tune our intuition. Soon, our intuition will grow more trustworthy as its foundation becomes more stable and based on truths rather than fallacies. (If you have old diaries or journals, you could test this out today. How much of your internal thinking and gut reactions to people and events were correct? How have your feelings about these people changed over time? Have they changed?)

How trust-worthy are your hunches?

Namaste!

My next post: “How a fine-tuned intuition can save us from being victims of abusive relationships and crappy jobs and shitty bosses”

Empathy. It does a human good!

from http://naturalpatriot.org/2011/02/05/empathy-enmity-and-the-future-of-civilization/Empathy. Empathy is a human reaction to another person’s feelings. For example, when a child hurts himself and cries in pain, a mother empathizes and reacts by comforting the child. Even if the child just stubbed his finger or toe, the mother recognized that THIS event hurts the child (it may not be life-threatening, but her child needs some comfort, and she gives it to him.) The mother hugs him. By doing this, she demonstrates her empathy. She is also teaching her child how to empathize with others. This is modeling behavior. Good parents do it every day without a second thought. It happens and children grow to be caring and empathizing adults.

Now, imagine for a moment not having a mother or father who models empathy. Imagine, as a child, getting hurt and being ignored or being told it’s nothing to cry about. What type of person is that child going to become? Would you suspect the child would grow to be uncaring and non-empathetic? Unless the child has other influential adults in his life modeling empathy and hugging him when he needs hugged, the child will more than likely become an adult who lacks empathy and understanding of the afflictions and heartache of others.

How do you identify someone who lacks empathy? Easy. Watch a universally sad movie. If the person next to you isn’t crying right along with you, that’s a HUGE red flag. (And don’t take his/her lack of emotion as strength. It’s actually a weakness and a non-human characteristic.)

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