Helen and Irene’s Stories of Abuse and Recovery*

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Helen’s Story – “Nothing I did ever made him happy.”

Irene’s Story – “When I told him I was pregnant with our third baby, he wanted me to abort it.”


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.

Read all the survivor stories published this month to Paula’s column, Living Inside Out Loud

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

 

Letting go of the unnatural shame in the aftermath of sociopath abuse

Sociopaths/Psychopaths/Narcissists are not mentally ill. They are not sick. On the contrary, these individuals are disordered. Disorders can’t be treated with therapy, medication, or other treatments. Sociopaths can’t be made non-disordered.

Sociopathy is a disorder, a condition, a state of being. To the sociopath, their state of being is natural–controlling others, manipulating every situation, pretending to be good and just, mirroring the behaviors of those they covet and want to become–these behaviors are their normal.

Their state of normal behavior is abnormal to the rest of us, the non-disordered. We do not seek or find pleasure and satisfaction in controlling others. We do not enjoy manipulating people to like us. We do not like being fake or insincere. We find grandiose gestures of importance in others repulsive. We are always questioning if we are being true to ourselves and if we are being fair to those we love. We are accountable.

Sociopaths are not accountable. Sociopaths do not care how they affect others as long as others do not question them. The sociopath abhors when we, the non-disordered, refuse to be controlled and manipulated and start asking questions like, “Why did you do that? It doesn’t seem right or natural.” When asked these questions, the sociopath’s disordered “balance” becomes imbalanced. When out-of-balance, the sociopath’s mask slips, he rages, he projects, he shames and blames. More importantly, when we start asking our questions, that’s when the sociopath immediately labels us mentally ill and sick. The sociopath’s default is to demean, minimize, and unfairly dismiss all of our questions instead of considering our criticism and looking within themselves for the answers.

(Perhaps sociopaths do peek at the answer inside of them and sharing the answer frightens the sociopath too much. The answer is so base and primordial. Sociopaths do not want that label! The answer to any questions is always, “Because I don’t care. That’s why I say and do those things.” Answering us in such a way would result in exactly what the sociopath fears the most: abandonment and excommunication.)

Remember this. Only a disordered person will have as their default the need to label you as sick or ill just for questioning and refusing to be oppressed.

Non-disordered and non-mentally ill people do not do that.

Instead, when our behavior is questioned, we immediately feel shame and engage our empathy to understand how we hurt someone, how we can fix it so we don’t hurt them again, and then, despite changing, continue to carry around the guilt and shame.

This is a deadly trait when in a relationship with a sociopath. We know this to be true, because we repeatedly adjusted and changed our behavior and personality to fit into the disordered world of the sociopath’s. The longer we stayed, the more we became and behaved like the sociopath and the more our shame grew and festered.

To undo this insidious assault on our natural state of being takes time and the strength to accept that we did what we did and behaved as we behaved while under the sociopath’s spell because we truly believed we were changing in order to please the one we loved. We truly believed we were somehow sick, ill, and disordered.

We weren’t. We aren’t. And we can undo the damage as long as we learn to let go of the shame and blame that keeps us from reaching our joy. Letting go of that unnatural shame and blame is necessary, but it’s a frightening prospect. Once we release it, however, we soon realize that the shame we were holding onto in relationship to the sociopath was misguided shame and blame, and our body, mind, and spirit are not and have never been served by holding onto it.

Let go of the misguided shame. Keep telling yourself it is misguided and is only holding you back and keeping you from experiencing true joy and true happiness.

Namaste!
~Paula

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