Escaping the Boy: My Life with a Sociopath
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Paula believes that the more real-life examples victims, survivors and advocates read, the better our collective understanding. The better our collective understanding, the easier it will be to increase our support systems and see real change in how divorce, child custody, domestic violence, rape and intimate partner abuse cases are approached, investigated and determined/prosecuted.
By completing and submitting the form below, you agree to have your story shared anonymously.
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You may complete as little or as much of the form/questionnaire as you would like. Keep in mind that writing about your experiences may cause anxieties and a flood of emotions. If you are triggered in any way, stop writing and speak to a trusted counselor or loved one.
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How were you before the relationship, during the relationship and after the relationship ended?
Provide examples of early-stage love bombing in your relationship:
Like any new relationship, pathological love relationships start out seemingly normal. Most of the couple's free time is spent getting to know each other and testing the waters of trust and compatibility.
Unfortunately, a pathological love relationship is built on false trust and false compatibility. The pathological half of the partnership desperately wants to make a connection with the non-pathological half. The pathological half is not patient about establishing this connection and often uses the technique of love bombing characterized by excessive compliments; non-stop sexting, phone calls, or emails; gift-giving for no reason; and declarations that the non-pathological half is the one they have been waiting for their entire life.
How were you devalued, criticized, shamed, blamed and diminished in your pathological love relationship?
What steps did you take to save your relationship from its demise?
Did these steps improve your relationship or did these steps negatively affect your relationship further? Why?
For example, did you seek marriage or couple's counseling or take a temporary break from each other.
Did you experience cognitive dissonance as a direct result of the toxic relationship? Did you find yourself struggling between two or more opposing points of view?
For example, if you enjoy the company of others and meeting new people, you probably spend a lot of time being social. In a toxic relationship, the pathological individual may try convincing you that you don't and shouldn't need to be with anyone outside of the relationship. Your core values tell you otherwise, but you go along with the idea of exclusivity because you want to please your partner.
As a result, you experience cognitive dissonance--when our behavior conflicts with our beliefs. When we experience cognitive dissonance, we suffer from anxiety, stress, depression and feelings of hopelessness.
Did you ever contemplate suicide, homicide or the desire to harm yourself or your partner in the toxic relationship?
To escape the pain, did you distract your mind and/or self-medicate with drugs, alcohol, food, exercise, work, etc.?
What has been your biggest challenge since the end of the toxic relationship?
What are some ways you have tried to heal and recover from your toxic relationship?
What advice would you offer someone who is struggling with leaving their toxic relationship?
Is there anything else you would like to share?
By submitting your story, you give Paula and her editors permission to share your story online and in print. Real names wil not be used or revealed. The only identifiable information shared will be the name of the country you provided above. For increased privacy and safety, Paula and her editors will not contact you. If you wish to contact Paula directly, you may e-mail her at Paula.Carrasquillo@me.com. Thank you for sharing your story.