I mentioned gaslighting in the last post and I think I should talk a bit more about it, for those of you who aren’t familiar with the term.
Gaslighting is a form of manipulation where someone twists events, in order to make someone else think he/she is crazy. If you have a mental condition it’s even easier to do, so we must be aware that this exists.
From the Wikipedia article:
Gaslighting is a form of manipulation that seeks to sow seeds of doubt in a targeted individual or in members of a targeted group, hoping to make them question their own memory, perception, and sanity. Using persistent denial, misdirection, contradiction, and lying, it attempts to destabilize the target and delegitimize the target’s belief.
This technique is mostly used by sociopaths and narcissists. Be aware if someone who hurt you always denies wrong-doing. Whether they realize it or not, it’s psychological abuse and it can affect the abused person greatly. If it happens to you for a long time ( and a long time is subjective) it can cause BPD, anxiety, PTSD, among other things. As you can see it’s a very toxic and harmful behavior.
I had one relationship where this happened constantly. I lost my mind. It is one of the most frustrating things I’ve ever gone through. You want to reach a consensus, a conclusion and the person just keeps hurting you, making you feel insane or too sensitive, twisting facts and offending you. No objective answers to questions. Analyzing you instead of answering properly and then hurting you with a negative perspective of you.
It made me become paranoid and more submissive. I cut all contact with everyone, he had jealousy issues. My life was a nightmare. I was very in love but very miserable. I was controlled and manipulated almost at all times. I was disrespected countless times until I couldn’t take it anymore. I’m not submissive, I speak my mind so I was being completely repressed. That had a huge impact in my mental health. I already had BPD symtpoms and all this abuse and invalidation worsened my self-destructive tendencies. I had major depression immediately after it and tried to commit suicide but, fortunately, I survived.
It left me with very deep scars. For years, my heart was completely broken. As I said before, I engaged in self-destructive behavior more and more. It was like I wanted to die.
My strategy for dealing with this is to stand my ground and quickly end the conversation because it’s foul play, don’t be tempted to play dirty as well.
I’ve been the toxic person many times in my life but I’m trying to change and heal. The best way to heal from this is to be away from it. Avoid people who use this strategy. If it’s your father, move as soon as possible. Don’t second-guess your sanity, stand your ground but don’t pursue arguments. The person will hurt you as much as they can.
I suggest reading this article about the seven signs that you’re a victim of gaslighting. It’s very informative and useful. Also, this article about gaslighting by parents to children and this article about the 10 signs that you are in a relationship with a narcissist.
Share your opinions below, they are greatly appreciated.