Posted by: Judy | March 28, 2012

Gaslighting article…

Over at My journey to healing from psychological abuse they posted an article about how to avoid Gaslighting, not stop it but recognize it and keep it from working. I found it interesting and helpful. It wasn’t so much new, as validating.

For me, the most powerful thing I’ve learned is to know what I know, and never betray what I know.

A narcissist will lie, including making up statistics and studies, in order to back up the lie they want to perpetuate. Imagine my horror when I realized I’d picked up the habit.

Now, if I hear about a study or a statistic… well, statistics and polls can be manipulated anyway they want, so I tend to discount them, for the most part, though I am very capable of quoting with the best of them. Anyway, I will do my homework to find out where the information came from and where else it can be found, including whether or not the source itself is reliable.

It has become an honor to me that one of my friends will receive a forwarded email, and will forward it to me because she knows I’ll research it to find how how true it is or isn’t.

For anyone who wonders whether or not gaslighting is real, once it’s happened to you, you never forget how real it is. It’s about manipulation. Every day, I have to fight to remind myself I’m not crazy. I’m really not, especially when people question whether or not I might not bring some of the insanity on myself. Then I have to go through the whole process again of reminding myself I’m not the one who lies even when they don’t have to and tells everyone else one thing while doing something entirely different.

It’s one of the things I’ve been struggling with lately. I’m having to go through the whole miserable process again of reminding myself I’m not the horrible person I’m painted to be; I do not deserve the nasty treatment; I did not do anything, except be born into a severely dysfunctional family, to deserve being treated like a possession and blamed for not making everyone happy. It is not my job to smooth everything over, especially not at the expense of my own sanity. Just because the narcissists needle me and needle me until I push back, and others only see me pushing back, doesn’t mean I shouldn’t have pushed back and doesn’t mean my pushing back was unkind.

Oh yes, the gaslighting has been in full force lately.


Responses

  1. I used to think my mother was so smart and well-read because of the strength of her convictions & the sources she’d quote. But I recently discovered that she cherry picks information and willfully ignores dissenting views as if they do not exist.

    I’ve also become a bit of a research fiend myself. I think the effect of being gaslit made me seek out data to find stable ground. I seldom take one source as the authority. So maybe that can be lemonade out of gas lighting. We seek the truth!

    • I like the idea of having made lemonade out of that bit of insanity making. πŸ™‚

  2. Judy, in much of my research, it wasn’t so much to learn about what I went through as I already knew. I was as I have been, since, looking for validation and (not in the retaliation sense) vindication. I knew what I knew but needed validation…he was so good to manipulate me into questioning my own sanity. This is still an issue, even now… Check out my repost by Doc Bonn… It was a new find for me, and very validating! have a wonderful day!

    • I was so excited to tell you about the article I found (and in coming to your page, saw that you featured one of my entries), that I forgot to tell you THANK YOU! So…thanks πŸ™‚

      • You’re welcome, and thanks for sharing what you’re learning, because I’m learning right along with you. I also understand the gaslighting still being an issue. It’s unsettling when it comes from someone else, who isn’t aware of the real situation or feels the need to spread the blame around. Hoping over to your blog, to check out the article. Thanks for the heads up. πŸ™‚

        • Bah! WordPress signed me out! It’s me!

          • I thought you were playing with other possible pictures :)…I still knew it was you.

            I’m really glad you are learning with me. The more we learn together, the stronger we will be! Nothing worse than learning alone.. you’re awesome, by the way.

            You are my final stop in my procrastination station…Time for work! WAHHHH!! lol!

            • No the other is who I was before I joined WordPress. πŸ™‚

              Amen to learning together. What my sister and I have discovered is that the narcissist specializes in isolating. Neither of us knew what the other was really going through until about ten years ago!

              And yes, I have to get back to work as well! Actually, I just finished doing something really difficult for me, ordering something I needed over the phone. Now, I need a reward… reading. I’ll work in a bit. πŸ™‚

  3. Thank you for continuing to bring articles like this to light. (Pun intended. Groaning is appropriate. πŸ™‚ I think the hardest step is the first one. Recognizing that you are in the forest. Doubting yourself it is sometimes hard to believe at first. You trying experiments encouraged me to try some of my own. I felt disloyal at first then I realized that I was being loyal and true to myself. I have tested a few people to find out that sometimes they genuinely believe misinformation. There is a different response than those that use information and ‘facts’ to confuse. Thanks for a great post.

    • You’re welcome. πŸ™‚

  4. Hey Judy:

    Just checking in and saying “hi”…another great post (I read them but I’ve been so busy setting up the organic coffee business to raise money to help stop human trafficking that I barely sleep, let alone keep up with emails and my own blog.) Hey, guess who drinks too much coffee? 8-D

    Last post I got on Postcards was a really nasty, gaslighting post from a narc man who just went ballistic about my anger and disgust with my mother. I felt a slight heart race and then just hit the delete button and went on with my day. Times past, I would have obsessed for hours and days and weeks. I would have planned and plotted and stressed out over replying to him. I smelled the gaslight and just turned out HIS light by using that magical little delete button.

    Wouldn’t it be great to have a delete button for people??? LOL! But, then again, God does teach us stuff through dealing with them…makes me glad I DON’T have the actual power that God has…I would be sending down waaay too many lightning strikes…

    Reading your post made me SO glad I’ve gone no contact and I just pray for the day where you can have a truly peaceful home of your own again. I know you face challenges (one of these days we will talk on the phone and I will buy your book!) but your grace under pressure is encouraging.

    Gaslighting sucks and narcs suck even worse! Crazy making games are not ones I play anymore and I don’t even care if people think something is wrong with me for just up and disappearing or cutting off contact…my own mental health requires that I stay away from lunatics! I don’t care why they got twisted, how they got twisted or even that they ARE twisted anymore…I just want them to stay far, far away.

    God can deal with them, I personally cannot. For their sake, I hope He raises up people on this planet who have a heart to try to help narcissists see the evil of their ways. Me? I’d rather help free victims and let the perpetrators be dealt with by others.

    • It’s so good to see you!! Good for you hitting the delete button! God bless you in your efforts.


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