“Gaslighting is when you don’t remember things the same as they do, and is an attempt to change the truth.”
Deep down you know the following:
- What you truly believe is right
- What your goals and dreams are
- What is morally correct
- Who you truly are in your mind, body and soul
But suddenly out of nowhere you find yourself questioning things that you had never done so before.
You especially doubt and question other people’s motives, in particular those who happen to be the nearest and dearest to you.
You regularly ask yourself the question “who am I?”
You start to feel more neurotic and paranoid.
You may even start to ponder to yourself, “am I going crazy?”
Let me make something abundantly clear:
You’re not crazy!
If you can identify with any of the thoughts or feelings above, you are more than likely a a victim of the modern dating trend: Gaslighting.
Let’s define what Gaslighting means:
“Gaslighting is a manipulative tactic in which a person, to gain power and control, plants seeds of uncertainty in the victim.
The self-doubt and constant scepticism slowly and meticulously cause the individual to question their reality.”
I normally associate Gaslighting with Narcissists, Sociopaths or Psychopaths.
Understand that is NOT normal to be emotionally, or physically abused by anybody.
Too much Gaslighting can lead people to completely lose their minds, and sanity.
They may act out of character, and resort to quick fixes that are incredibly toxic such as gambling, drinking excessively or smoking.
To have a bit more clarity on this, I have highlighted 8 signs that you are suffering from emotional abuse aka Gaslighting, and I have also drawn most of these from my own personal experiences.
I have had Narcissistic friends, family and romantic relationships all of my life, and I have been subject to many forms of Gaslighting, and have wanted to share my thoughts on this topic for a while.
- Blatant Lying
Gaslighters like narcissists, are the worst and most obvious liars.
And the strange thing is deep down you know they are lying too.
You sometimes even catch them red handed and they are speechless.
And the problem with this, is they lie with just so much ease.
As a result of the frequent blatant lies, you begin questioning everything, and become unsure about whether they literally ate what they said they did for lunch.
This self-doubt and panic is what the abusers want.
My narcissistic friends would do the same, they would lie about what they did the night before.
Then I would see they went to a party or an event I wanted to attend too on social media from mutual friends.
Or romantic partners would lie that they are NOT talking or flirting with the opposite sex, only to see it blatantly happen on their social media daily.
You are not neurotic or paranoid, trust your gut.
They are lying to your face, and most likely about everything and anything too.
Along with the frequent lies come the frequent denials.
You have a good memory, and are not stupid, you KNOW what they said, or did.
Gaslighters may push you to unrealistic measures to “prove them wrong.”
You feel like you need to record conversations, or even film them saying what they did or spoke about in the past.
And even if you did all this, they’d still deny it!
As time goes on and the more they deny everything you accuse them off, you deny the truth too.
You will question your own reality frequently and begin accepting theirs more.
A few years back I saw a family friend having an affair and I called him out on it.
He denied it constantly threatened me with violence and so on, only for his now ex-wife finding him in bed with another woman.
I thought I was going mad, as I saw him on the road all the time with a new woman every week!
I knew his licence plate, what he looked like, I wasn’t crazy!
The more you allow the denials, the more you start believing in a false messed up world that doesn’t exist.
- Actions speak louder than words
One of the best pieces of advice I ever heard was “talk is cheap.”
It is so true with gaslighters, as due to the fact they are such huge liars, any promises they make are usually just completely false.
Their words will always mean nothing, and you are often amazed when they actually do something they’ve promised to you in the past.
Always look at what they do, not what they say.
I’ve had friends promise “I’ll meet up with you soon!” and you don’t hear from them for years.
I’ve had exes say “I will quit smoking, I will make more of an effort etc,” only to see them get far worse, and further away from their promises.
Watch what people do, NOT what they say.
- The death of self
A scary consequence of gaslighting is in fact the gradual morph of who you were to what you become.
The more exposure you have to lies, deceit and manipulation, and the more you accept it gives birth to the shadow of your former self.
Even the most extroverted and positive people can become a shell of the person they once were.
There is no fixing that at all.
I remember not acting how I used to be, forgetting what I had believed in or similar.
It’s because you are working against a force of nature that cannot accept you for what you are, or allow you to blossom to be the best version of yourself.
I remember snapping on vacation with an ex narcissist, because I saw how they pigeon holed me into being their puppet and allowing their abuse to take control of me.
I walked away, and took the next flight home, no longer remembering who I was.
That is when it is vital to do the healing and work to rediscover who you are.
This video from the Lion King always helped me in those difficult times:
Usually gaslighters are liars and are cheaters.
But often you find yourself the victim of their projection, and what that means is they often accuse you of the things they are doing.
Here are some personal examples of projection I have been subject to over the years:
“You are cheating on me”
“You are lieing to me!”
“You are worthless!”
“You have never accomplished anything!”
“You are a dreadful friend!”
“You are a useless co-worker!”
Often times with these gaslighters they are often saying how they truly feel about themselves.
The worst is you are constantly feeling the desperate need to defend yourself for something you have NEVER done or even thought of doing!
I am a creature of habit and have often craved as much stability and tranquillity in my life.
I like eating at regular restaurants I like, doing things I enjoy and associating myself with likeminded quality people.
But gaslighters know you crave this and do everything to distrupt this by causing drama and other problems.
Such toxic individuals know you seek clarity, and what ends up happening is that you seek the stability in the gaslighters – not pretty.
I remember being the same, I just wanted a peaceful, simple relationship.
But my narc exes wanted to cause drama, fight, and shout because it made them feel alive.
I just wanted to go for a nice meal and have a chilled evening!
They cannot do that, and over time you become so confused with what is normal and healthy behaviour that you unconsciously allow the madness to spread and continue!
- “You’re crazy!”
Have you ever been told some of the following?
“You are just jealous!”
“You are blowing this out of proportion!”
“You are just insecure!”
“You just don’t get me!”
“You are just naïve and stupid!”
“You are far too sensitive!”
“You don’t like it, do something about it!”
If you have heard any of the following like I had, by that stage the gaslighter knows you are already questioning your sanity, which is exactly where they want you.
They also know your search for clarity and stability lies with them, so when they say any of the above or similar, you believe it!
What is worse is they will tell others close to you that “you are crazy!” in advance, so when you eventually open up to people outside your relationship, you are already tarnished with the crazy brush.
Trust me on this, the people who truly love and care for you know you are associating with a toxic person, and will always back you to the hills.
- Everyone else is a liar and the problem
Gaslighters are so toxic and manipulative that they will turn you against every person close to you.
Say goodbye to your family, friends and colleagues.
You will end up hating them, disliking them or worse accusing them of lieing to you.
The gaslighter is simply manipulated you to the point where you believe everybody else is the issue, or the problem.
Whereas THEY are the toxic person in your life.
They are the cheater.
They are the liars.
The best thing to do if you are being gaslighted or emotionally abused is to work on your exit strategy.
Go quietly, go contact, cut ties, and stick to it.
There are better, healthier and wonderful people out there who will love and cherish you for you are.