Weekly updates on sociopath abuse awareness and trauma recovery.
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Paula's Pontification's Newsletter

Volume 1, Issue 2
July 15, 2014

Focus on You

Becoming aware and educating ourselves about sociopath abuse helps prevent us from falling prey to future abuse. In the early phase of our awareness, unfortunately, we spend so much time trying to understand and put together the puzzle pieces of the sociopath that we inevitably lose sight of ourselves. This issue emphasizes the value we must place on understanding ourselves in order to successfully heal and recover. 

In this issue...
~Paula Carrasquillo, author at Paula's Pontifications

I appreciate feedback, constructive criticism, and any insight you can offer to make this newsletter more valuable for all of us. Contact me anytime.


Your Personality Matters

About 20 years ago, I took a break from college in hopes of experiencing the fun side of life before journeying into the real world.

I was living in rural Maine (what part of Maine isn’t, I guess?) and trying to determine what I wanted to study upon my return to school. The small town’s community center offered free vocational skills workshops and career training. The initial assessment and intake process required that I take the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator.

I sat down with the paperwork and forms (long before these tests were available online) and penciled in my responses to each question in each category. It seemed never-ending. When the test administrator “scored” my results, I was disappointed and confused:

The test revealed that I was an introvert and that my best career choice would be teaching.

Really!!?? I did not want to teach nor did I want to be an introvert. I took inventory of my education path up to that point and thought, “I didn’t study and work hard to get good grades to become a teacher! Why didn’t this test tell me I should become a doctor or a lawyer?! And no wonder I don’t have friends! I’m a boring introvert.”

I was determined to prove that test wrong. I was determined to be more sociable and become an extrovert (people only like extroverts, I thought) and to study something other than becoming a teacher. Teacher’s are not respected, I thought. Besides, I was not patient enough to be a teacher. This test was bunk!

How stubborn, immature, and naive was I? The test was not designed to show me what I needed to change about myself. It was designed to inform me of the qualities I should nurture.

The Myers-Briggs system identifies one’s unique personality types by considering which approach in each of 4 paired opposing approaches used to measure and perceive the world best fits the individual.

1. Are you an Introvert (I) or an Extrovert (E)?

2. Do you use your Intuition (N) more or your five Senses (S) to understand the world?

3. Do you make decisions by considering the Feelings (F) of others or based on solid facts acquired from concrete Thinking (T)?

4. Do you feel accomplished when you Perceive (P) things as flexible and adaptive or do you prefer to Judge (J) something as complete when it is in a fixed and organized state?

Depending on how you answer the questions, you could be an ISFP, INTJ or any one of the other 16 possible combinations, each well-defined by the Myers & Briggs Foundation.

Regardless of the test results, no combination is right, wrong, better or worse. Whatever the combination, you will acquire a clearer understanding of how you innately perceive and interact with the world and the types of activities, career options, friendships, and hobbies that best fit your personality.

Above all, when you understand how you see the world and your preferred ways of interacting within it, you have a better understanding of how you perceive and interact with yourself. Once you understand this, you become empowered to dissect and deconstruct those perceptions of yourself (often misconceptions or limited perceptions) and ultimately overcome your past conditionings and move away from pain and isolation and toward peace and fulfillment.

When I took the test almost 20 years ago, my results were INFJ. Not much has changed other than I now accept that it’s okay to be an introvert, and becoming a teacher is a dream.

Learn more about what the results mean, how to take the test, and how to become a test administrator.

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Recovery Tip

Why me? Why did the sociopath pick me?

Sociopaths are predators. Sociopaths do not discriminate when it comes to whom they choose to victimize. Anyone with a conscience, the ability to be remorseful, to love and to empathize and feel deep shame is a potential victim. More often than not, the victims of sociopaths are highly educated and/or skilled, highly compassionate, highly successful and highly accountable. Depending on the resources a particular sociopath covets and desires, anyone with some form of asset is a potential target.

Each and every person that crosses a sociopath’s path is processed by the sociopath according to the following steps:

Assessment – “What does this person have that I need? Status, looks, finances, a business, connections, and fame. I want it all and feel entitled to take it without working hard to get it.”

Idolization – “I will praise and groom this person until she/he is hypnotized by my charm and will feel compelled to give me what I want. Seeking his/her pity will also be very effective.”

Devaluation – “I have what I want and now this person has the audacity to question me and ask for something in return? It’s time for the blaming and shaming. I answer to no one.”

Discard – “Why can’t this person stop thinking for him/herself? I cannot handle non-compliance. This person is dead to me. Next!”

Related CDN article: Identifying and protecting ourselves from sociopaths in our midst

Related blog post: Sociopaths and psychopaths are not fascinating. People who survive them are.

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Easy Self-Care

Get fit holistically

Learning new ways of taking care of ourselves is very, very important throughout the healing and recovery process. 

Most of us begin our journeys from a place of physical weakness, sickness, and pain. We may be depressed, drug/alcohol dependent, overweight, or anxious. In addition, we often have digestive issues, adrenal fatigue syndrome, PTSD, and other complications related to autoimmune conditions and diseases.

In addition to taking our prescribed medication and seeking appropriate counseling/therapy, we must also consider mindful and holistic ways to help ourselves become and remain healthy.

A great way to start is by eating better, incorporating exercise into our daily routine, and actively engaging in a spiritual practice. 

“Blah, blah, blah! We hear this all the time, Paula. Doing this is easier said than done, Paula.”

None of us are stupid, unintelligent, or uninformed. We know what is healthy and what is unhealthy. Unfortunately, we keep putting off getting started with healthy routines, because we either think a healthy routine is too hard or too expensive to maintain or we can not bare the idea of failing at something else.

Unfortunately, we can no longer hold onto those fears or make those excuses anymore. If we expect everyone else to respect us, understand us, and pay attention to our abuse story, we need to start respecting, understanding, and listening to ourselves.

1. Throw the idea of failure out the window. No matter how many times you start and stop, you are allowed to start all over again. Just keep trying until it sticks and becomes natural.

2. Don’t starve yourself.  Instead of focusing on what you can’t or shouldn’t eat, focus on buying and trying new healthy foods instead of consuming the foods you know are not healthy.  This technique is referred to as “crowding out” and is an easy way to break old bad habits by replacing them with new, healthy habits.

3. Listen to your body, not someone else’s. Just as each of our stories is unique, the way our bodies and minds heal and recover is also individual. What worked for your friend may not work for you. So experiment with different foods and activities until you discover the ones that effortlessly become a part of your routine. 

4. Discover your ideal meditation practice. Meditation is not restricted to sitting in silence on a cushion and chanting “OM.” Many of us are more than able to connect with ourselves through everyday activities like preparing and cooking meals for our family, listening to music, hiking, playing with our pets, or praying. Going deep into our thoughts brings us closer to our true selves and our natural hopes and dreams, which leads us to take action and improve our creativity and joy.

Successful healing and recovery requires us to  make serious changes to not only what we put into our bodies, but how we make the connection between our body and mind. With each day that we mindfully and thoughtfully listen to ourselves and nurture ourselves with good food and energetic activities, we gain the necessary awareness that leads us to continue to heal and grow.

It’s a beautiful domino effect that keeps us in the light and moving toward brighter light...the brightest light.

Read about other unconventional meditation practices you can try.

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Plan Ahead

Halloween is just around the corner. Take action and start planning your Red Riding Hood Project costume.

Silent No More

Check out the personal stories shared by survivors on the blog page Identifying a Sociopath.


Fellow survivors make the greatest friends. Stay tuned for future events designed just for us by us!
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