Hindsight can only be 20/20 if you are viewing it through a filter of reality and honesty. But what if your sense of reality was taken away from you? What if you no longer knew what to believe or who to trust? I first experienced gaslighting in relationships with friends and family members when I was a child; I just didn’t know there was a term for it. And as long as you don’t know what gaslighting is, you’ll not only think that *you* are the problem, but you’ll be dependent on whoever is gaslighting you, to be your eyes, ears, and mental health assessor.
Gaslighting is something that I have experienced in romantic relationships, friendships, familial relationships, and in business. I’ve coached thousands of people all over the world who are victims of gaslighting. And even when they are able to take a step back and see the manipulation for what it is, it’s still incredibly hard to accept.
What is Gaslighting and where does the term come from?
Gaslighting is when someone manipulates you into questioning your mental health and reality.
The term originated from the 1938 play, Gas Light (which has two film adaptions). It centers around a husband who attempts to drive his wife crazy by dimming the lights in their home (the lights were powered by gas at the time). When the wife notices and points out the dimmed lights, her husband denies that the lights have changed.
The most horrific example of gaslighting that I have ever seen depicted on-screen was in the movie, Rosemary’s Baby. Rosemary is gaslight from the conception of her child (where she was drugged and raped but led to believe that she got drunk and sexually aggressive with her husband) to the birth… by an entire community (including her husband and neighbors; even her doctor). This doesn’t just happen in the movies. Gaslighting happens everywhere, every day. How does this happen?
Unfortunately, very easily.
I speak from personal experience when I say that once you’ve been gaslight, you start to allow the cynical audience in your own head to gaslight you. This starts an internal war with your intuition, which leaves you feeling completely helpless (and even more of a sitting duck for anyone whose egoic meal ticket is total control over your emotional weather). This is something that I still struggle with every day. I have to remind myself that the proverbial light has actually been dimmed and that I’m not just imagining things – as heartbreaking as it is to remind myself of.
What is Gaslighting in a relationship?
Not all toxic and abusive relationships involve gaslighting, but ALL relationships that involve gaslighting are abusive and toxic relationships.
Gaslighting is the number one manipulative tactic that narcissists and sociopaths use to get you to believe that you are crazy or that you lack common sense.
Gaslighters do anything they can to get you to question your thought patterns so much, you start to question your reality. You then have to over-rely on them to think for you, make decisions for you, tell you how you are feeling, and diagnose you. They will act like they know what/who is best for you.
Nothing makes you more susceptible to gaslighting than low self-esteem, people pleasing, and loneliness rooted in un-dealt with trauma and self-blame.
Gaslighting in relationships is all about gaining power. It’s a form of manipulation in which the perpetrator, very slowly, methodically, and passively, breaks down their victim to the point that the victim starts to question their reality and sanity.
Gaslighting can happen to anyone. It does not discriminate against age, race, wisdom, orientation, or gender. It is obviously, more prevalent and easier to detect in cults, some religions, and dictatorships but it occurs in relationships every day… and can be very hard to detect.
Don’t ever think that the person who gaslighted you thought you were “stupid enough” to be gaslight. That’s not how gaslighters think. They only think about themselves. And if they had the ability to gauge stupidity, they’d be able to address their own.
Gaslighting in relationships is always gradual and s l o w.
It can’t survive in any environment other than slow, steady, and subtle.
And because it’s so gradual, the person being gaslight not only can’t access the bigger picture of what’s really going on (because they are always in the thick of it), but they also can’t realize that they’ve been brainwashed.
It’s the equivalent of finding yourself all alone in an empty room on top of the cold, hard marble floor. You’re so cold and uncomfortable, but no one ever notices. Then one day, someone comes along and seems to understand and empathize with your situation on a level that no one has ever before.
And, as if this person could sense with crystal-ball-ability, exactly what you needed at that exact moment… they place the most perfect warm and fluffy rug right underneath you.
You didn’t realize just how cold and uncomfortable you were until you had the warmth, comfort, and security that this rug provides.
You’re so grateful for the warmth, you don’t realize that every day, inch by inch, the rug is being pulled out from under you until one day…
You’re all alone. Shivering on the cold floor.
You ask your partner, “Where’s the rug that was here? I’m freezing!”
You’re answered with…
“What rug? You’re crazy!… Are you sure?… You don’t have the best memory. There was never a rug! You’re sitting on MARBLE and marble is obviously COLD. You don’t know what you’re talking about. If you’re cold, you should go find a rug instead of being crazy and accusing ME of stealing one that was NEVER there! This is all in your head.”
You start to question whether there even was a rug (but you know that there was; you’re sure of it) and you feel awful for upsetting your partner. So, you defeatedly return to apologize for something that your gut knows isn’t so.
Why do we do this?
Because we would rather be in the presence of our gaslighter than have to be alone and investigate something beyond our perceived defectiveness. The number one symptom of standard-setting (after recognizing manipulation) is loneliness. This is what keeps most people mediocre. The loneliness is too much; their new normal is too painful.
Many people give up after starting a master cleanse for this very reason. The flu-like symptoms are so extreme, they are unable to see them as a symptom of healing and instead, revert back to a bullsh*t diet. Gaslighters are empty relational calories. They make you feel more loved and understood than anyone ever has, but you’re never getting any substantial value (intimacy, honesty, meaning, and connection) because everything they do is based on the selfish tactician that they are.
Before I go into the 7 signs of gaslighting in relationships, I want to first touch on how to know if you’re a victim of gaslighting abuse.
If you think you’re being gaslighted, here are some signs to look for:
- You are always trying to be “good enough” for your partner because you never know if you are.
- You think (and are told) that you are too sensitive.
- It’s hard to pinpoint why you are so unhappy but you aren’t happy like you used to be.
- You always feel like you or your relationship is “in trouble.”
- You have a codependent relationship with your fears, insecurities, and your partner.
- You’ve lost the ability to trust yourself and need others to affirm what your gut already knows.
- You feel confused and crazy, which brings up a great deal of shame. The shame puts you in a state of fear-based, “must-apologize-for-having-a-human-reaction/observation,” paralysis. Before you know it, you’re apologizing to your partner for identifying something that your eyes, ears, and gut have consistently seen, heard, and identified in real-time.
- You’re always making excuses for your partner’s behavior to family and friends.
- You find yourself apologizing to your partner more than ever being heard and empathized with.
- Decision making becomes increasingly difficult for you.
- You experience depression, anxiety, and can’t trust happiness.
- Avoidance has now become a way of life.
- You mourn the death of the person you used to be – the one who had a backbone. The person who was confident, resilient, strong, and able to speak up. You feel like a walking corpse; a shell of your former self.
- You have an inability to implement boundaries because your self-esteem is nonexistent.
- You feel confused and hopeless.
- Emotional dependency is at an all-time high.
7 signs of gaslighting in relationships:
No matter what – even if you have proof (!) – your partner lies and denies.
When a gaslighter lies, the lies are obvious and blatant.
Your partner is bankrupt when it comes to character and integrity. They can’t match their words with their actions (and subsequent patterns). Ever.
Because of this, it’s imperative that you judge them solely on what they DO. Always listen to their actions and patterns. It’s their words that they rely so heavily on to manipulate and wear you down over time.
Gaslighters project everything onto you. Everything that they accuse you (and others) of, they embody. The level of hypocrisy and contradiction is through the roof.
They do this because they know that you’ll get so defensive and involved in “proving them wrong,” they will have a much easier time propelling their agenda. They want you to be distracted and preoccupied with “trying to be better” at all times.
Gaslighters live for an “us against them” mentality. And that mentality is gold for people with low self-esteem. They will convince you that they are all you need; that you don’t need your friends or loved ones. They will also align people against you that can come in at any time and act as “expert/key witnesses,” to your insanity/incorrectness if need be. They LOVE having “witnesses”/yes people in their back pocket.
This is done to isolate you so that no one who is not emotionally bias can tell you what they’re seeing. And if for some reason they do, you’ll get defensive and recoil even more.
The gaslighter tells you that you are crazy and a liar (and everyone else that you are close with/agrees with you is a crazy liar as well).
Everyone else has to be crazy. The gaslighter is the ambassador of sanity along with anyone else he/she “appoints.” Gaslighters will study what and who matter the most to you and then use the love that you have for these people to attack your integrity, sanity, and make you question your value in their lives.
You are constantly accused of lying and “talking out of your ass.” You may have even been told to “go get checked,” or “get on pills.”
This is nothing more than projection and deflection. Replace “you” with “I” and there’s the truth.
They’ll selectively connect with you, praise you, and “empathize” just to yank your chain and keep you weak.
One day out of the blue, they’ll start (pretend) to connect with you, praise you, and empathize with you over the very things that they broke you down for and accused you of. This is done to give you just enough hope to remain invested (and controllable).
How to Deal with Gaslighting in a Relationship
Don’t ever deal with it. Heal from it by getting OUT.
If someone has the ability to gaslight, there’s a one-hundred percent chance that they’re a narcissist. They may also be a sociopath.
Narcissism and gaslighting in relationships go hand in hand.
Having the kind of relationship that you know you deserve is impossible with a narcissist. Narcissists have an all-about-me agenda and the emotional span of Peter Pan.
The key to putting an end to gaslighting abuse is realizing that at the root of happy/fleeting moments (and the crumbs you’ve become so grateful for), lies abusive and painful MANIPULATION. It is manipulation and abuse that you will be saying goodbye to – not the soulmate that you’re convinced you can’t live without.
How do you stop gaslighting and say goodbye?
By doing the one thing that a gaslighter will NEVER be able to do: speak with your actions and ride off into the sunset on your own white horse.
You are so much more than someone else’s agenda.
+ If you need further and more personalized help with gaslighting in your relationship, please look into working with me here.
I was in a relationship/engaged to a sociopath for three years and this was his favorite tool to use to manipulate me. I felt insane and lost my whole identity. I’m finally on the right track now and getting back to myself, but gaslighting has long lasting effects! Thank you for writing this, and I hope other women can read this and get out before they get destroyed.
Yep, all true. I was with someone for a year and a half and every day I woke up feeling like something was wrong. The worst part is feeling like you’re going insane. Because even after I ended things and I finally told a friend the worst of the details and they told me those things weren’t normal in a relationship, it took me a long time to align my views with my emotions. It was impossible before because he told me I was weird for having those feelings. Most of the time it’s fine but every few weeks, emotions will flare up inside me asking how I could be so stupid to let him do that to me for so long. What was wrong with me that I let it? Maybe I’m just going through a depressive phase right now. I was fine up until a week ago. I don’t want him back but I miss having….just someone. Good luck with your journey! You made the right choice 🙂
I love seeing this love & support <3 xoxo
Hi Chloe! Thank you so much for sharing <3 I'm happy that the post helped. You are loved. XO
Thank you for helping me put a name on my situation. I just spoke to a friend about my fiancé and told her some of the weird sh*t that is going on. She immediately said, he’s gaslighting you!. I had no idea and looked it up when I came home. I just found your article and feel it may have saved me from a lifetime of pain and suffering. I haven’t married this f&cktard yet, afterall. Thank goodness.
Hi Sydney! i’m honored to have helped. You are loved, understood, empathized with, supported, believed in and never, ever alone. Thank you for being a part of this tribe. Sending you love. xoxo
I need help! Omg I can’t believe this! I saw it from day one…and I’m trapped! I’m like a little mouse trapped in a cage! Someone please help me out!
Please seek immediate professional help if you feel trapped. My coaching will open back up soon and we are all here to love and support you.
You are not alone.
Thank you for being my angel and helping me get out of my gas lighting hell. I am 4ever grateful. Xo
Love you XOXO
“Characterize People By Their Actions, And You Will Never Be Fooled By Their Words”. A few months ago I put that post up on my FB page and my narcissist/emotionally unavailable Involvement saw it. OH he was Furious!!!! Why? Only because it applied to him and he knew it!! So he sent a barrage of flirtations suddenly with all the FB women we both knew. It was designed to hurt me for calling him out, because hitting the nail on the head Bothered him!! What it did was make me smile– because I knew I’d gotten it right. And I turned and went my own way, leaving him to his hollow victories with anyone else he could find to string along. Buh-by, Felicia, LOL!!! Hello Natasha! And Thank You again for teaching us to trust the instincts that see us as whole, though we may be temporarily diverted, and need your wisdom!?
Jeanette! Thank YOU so much for sharing 🙂 you’re truly amazing. I’m happy that the post helped. You are loved. XOXO
This part of the article stood out to me, also!!! I’m in a long distance relationship of almost five years. I just keep thinking if we lived together, it would all be different because I thought our problems were stemming from communication. Not so. It ALL makes sense now!
My phone be started acting crazy weeks ago, making it really hard to talk to him for hours on end. Our problems have escalated teemendously. I felt stressed at first, then relief….because now i have more time for me.
I’m about to jump off this f**king rollar coaster.
Thank you so much Natasha. Love you. Xoxox
You don’t know how much you helped me since I found your weblog .God bless you.
I love you too Gem! I’m honored to help, truly. XOXO
I’m still trying to recover after that, I still have moments when I can’t believe he didn’t love me. Reading this article sounded so much like what I’ve been through that I don’t think I could deny it anymore. The most damaging effects for me were thinking I’m not worthy and I need to prove my worth to him, putting all my efforts, hopes and dreams in the relationship and becoming a shell of who I truly am, not being able to recognize myself or even like who I had become. I’m on my way towards my true self now, but it’s not easy after being shattered. Thank you for bringing me some clarity!
I’m so glad that the post served you Estelle. You are understood, empathized with, loved, supported and never, ever alone. Sending you so much love. XOXO
Awesome post but so difficult to get out of this gaslighting hell…. Although I decided almost a year ago to walk away, after a three-year relationship with 1,5 year horrible aftermath, I still have moments where my mind becomes shattered with these awfull thoughts of “you will never be good enough and your life will never be as good as with the narc”… I only realized the fact of having been involved with a narcissist a year ago after a psychiatrist faced me with reality… steps afterwards have been so hard but finally feeling I am slowly getting there… This blog helped me so much with trying to find myself back. Thanks, Natasha and big hugs to all xoxo
Hi Petite 🙂 I’m honored to have helped <3 Keep coming back here to the blog and just know that you're loved, supported and never alone. Sending you lots of love and a BIG hug. xx
Content-wise, I love your posts. However, I find the use of so many different font sizes and styles very irritating, I do not know what kind of feedback you have received but I personally find it really uncomfortable too read.
Hi Sopho! Thanks for your input! 🙂
I am a passive aggressive male gaslighter etc
Before we were married, I bowed, against my wife’s wishes, to my my mother’s and sister’s directions to have a “formal” wedding. They invited cousins, aunts, and others to the wedding.Nobody on my wife’s side were able to attend.
We were married in a church that was not of my wife’s choosing. I chose a local church that we had no history of attending. My wife wanted to marry in the church that we attended.
On our honeymoon, I squealed “gotta have room, give me room” in the bed may wife paid for. The item that crowded me turned out to be a pillow.
My wife wanted to go to New York our honeymoon, and I said no. Said it was too hot there. We went to south Florida instead, were the heat was even hotter.
During the honeymoon, my wife wanted to go to a famous water show that she attended when she was young. I did not want to wait one day for the rain to stop so we could see it.
My wife asked me to drive her back from an outpatient surgery. I bailed at the last minute and she had to drive herself.
My wife had another outpatient surgery and I went home to eat during the surgery. I was not there if something happened.
She was there for me when I needed her for medical issues.
We bought a lesser house together, while my wife found a much better home in a different neighborhood that was a better buy financially.
I made the decision to fix the house up nice, when my wife’s idea was to just paint it and move in. Her idea would have been the most prudent.
My wife had separate bank accounts, and I made us consolidate, against her wishes, the multiple accounts. I now have separate accounts for various monies.
My wife wants a regular drive way (like everyone else) into our house, and I insist on a pigtail into the home. We have had the pigtail for years.
My wife wants a cover for our cars, but I say we cannot afford (see below)
I insist we buy a piece of property. My wife tells me how much we should pay. I pay 2 1/2 times as much. In another, I buy a piece of property that she does not want to buy. I insist and purchase anyway.
In the above transactions, she tells me it is time for her turn to make a decision. I say yes it is, but am going to do it anyway because it is a good deal.
Ate with my wife and daughter zero times, but ate with many family members at the table a lot of times.
Daughter baked me my favorite cake, but did not taste it.
Wife baked me a birthday cake, and I did not touch it.
At a local restaurant, I was rude by making out the food was bad. Showing out that I did not want to be there.
I left a 7 year abusive, unhealthy relationship last year in April and I’m STILL struggling every day with self-doubt. I was gaslit and invalidated so bad that even as I write this I am doubting whether or not this is really what was happening to me.
I doubt my reality, whether or not my feelings, opinions, ideas, or reasons I’m upset are valid, I’m constantly confused and frustrated and reaching out to friends and family to try and ground myself again to reassure myself that I’m actually normal. I hear his voice in my head telling me that I’m a liar, that I’m crazy, that I’m too sensitive, that other girls wouldn’t feel the way that I’m feeling about whatever subject, that I’m weird or needy for wanting or needing x,y, or z.
Natasha, you hit the nail right on the head. The scariest part of gaslighting is that it IS extremely subtle. It is either already disguised or easily disguisable when challenged, hiding behind a cloak of caring, honesty, love, rationality, logic, and worst of all, normalness. Gaslighters are able to make whatever reality or idea they want into “the norm” and if what you experience or think is different, they will make you feel weird, abnormal, and crazy for doing so. This causes you to doubt and question who is right. Wait, is my reality right? or is his reality right?
If you try to stick to your guns, it causes or perpetuates a fight. Plus, this is difficult to do. You don’t like fighting or confrontation, you like compromise and are okay with being wrong and don’t mind apologizing or submitting. So in order to keep the peace, you submit, under the notion that “maybe I do have a bad memory” or “maybe I am being overly sensitive”. (Also, in some circumstances, sticking to your guns might equal not trusting your partner fully, which is a slippery slope you don’t want to fall down.) However, when you don’t stick to your guns, yes there’s no fight, but you are left still confused, invalidated, and questioning and these feelings are like a disease, eating away at your self-confidence and spirit. By allowing his reality to be right or normal or acceptable, your reality becomes not right, not normal, and not acceptable, just by default. This is where the confusion stems: constantly surrendering your own reality and opinion, for his.
My advice is this: if you know, think, or even just feel that something is wrong with your partner’s logic or reality, don’t ever stop challenging it. Don’t ever ditch or invalidate your opinion or reality because that will make it so much easier for him to. (And I don’t mean comprimisable tiffs, I mean uncomprimisable times when he hurts you and your feelings). And if he isn’t capable of proper communication, compromise, or non-mindfuckery, then please, please, listen to that little voice within yourself and leave. No one is worth your peace of mind.
Thank you Natasha, I stumbled across your blog a few months ago and I’ve been blown away since. Either you dated my ex lol or you can read my mind, but either way, what you write really speaks to me. Thank you for putting in so much work and heart in your writing to help others around the world!
Christy, thank you SO MUCH for sharing. I’m honored to have played a part in your healing and realizations. You are understood, loved, supported, backed, believed in and never, ever alone. Thank you for being a part of this tribe and for just being the light that you are. All my love to you soul sister. XO
I spent 7 years with a man who treated me poorly, I thought it was my fault. His behaviour started to fully show after 5 years, sadly it took me another 2 to finally find the strength to leave him. I didn’t have any words at the time to describe what he was, a narcissistic gaslighter. You are so right that the lies are blatant. They were clearly obvious but he had worn me down so much that I had just had nothing left to fight with. No strength, no courage, no bravery. I was a mere shell of my former self, completely lost and depressed. I was lucky in that he made a mistake one day, he let a new friend of his come to the house a few times. His new friend could see what was going on behind closed doors, and very very carefully over the next few months helped me finally get away behind his back. I will be forever grateful to that person, and for being so supportive over the next year while my ex continued to attempt manipulation and blackmail! (I ended up going to the Police for help). It took me a long time to rebuild my life after that, I even moved to the other side of the world for a while. I will never EVER let anyone treat me like that again. I hope that anyone reading this who is in the same position remembers that they are worthy, are they important, they are valid and they ARE loved by friends and family. You CAN ask for help. You CAN leave. It is abuse, go to the authorities if you have to. Get away, as far as you have to go so that they can’t hurt you. xx
Thank you so much for sharing Lisa <3 and for the reminder. You are loved, supported, backed, believed in, and looked up to beyond measure. Sending you love. XOXO
I’ve been going through my break up for 3 weeks now, was in the relationsh*t for 6… I’ve been reading your blog all night and day and it is such an eye opener. It’s also scary because you are so spot on about my ex… and it’s tearing down this idolized version I had of him (scary, sad, but amazing at the same time!) I always thought he was trying to make me feel crazy but I felt crazy thinking that. He would say and do things and literally 2 minutes later tell me I was making it up. Incredible! In the end he actually drove me to that point. I’m not proud of the person I became especially when we’d argue. He drove me so mad that I didn’t know how else to communicate except to throw things, break things, push him…. I have never done that ever. I knew he knew what he was doing. He did it on purpose to push me that far so he could prove that I was indeed crazy. Can’t believe there’s actually a term for this. I’m embarrassed of a lot of my behavior but I realize it’s not all my fault. It wasn’t that I’m not good enough… it’s that he is a narcissistic emotionally unavailable a**hole. Your blog has seriously helped me over night. I know I’ll have ups and downs and I have a long journey ahead but I know you are here along with everyone else that’s here too for support. Thank you so much for writing. It has saved me.
Hi Kristin! I’m so glad that the posts have helped and honored to have played a part in your healing and realizations. You are loved, understood, empathized with, backed, believed in and never, ever alone. Thank you for sharing, for being a part of this tribe and for being the inspirational light that you are. XOXO
So there is a name for it! I knew something wasn’t right, but couldn’t put my finger on it. I was in a relationship for about a year. It started out great, but slowly turned into a lot of bickering and me CONSTANTLY defending myself, my “thoughts”, my words. It got to a point where I would see that she was texting me and I would dread looking at and reading the message because I knew it was likely one of two things: either a cutting criticism for something I said or did the day before OR she was breaking or changing plans we had.
She would often call me insecure, selfish, a “player” or liar. I found myself sitting at home, watching the game when she would text. This quickly moved to “what are you doing”, “where are you at”, “who are you with – are you alone?” I found myself taking selfies of me and my dog, on the couch, watching the game or doing whatever I said I was doing to prove to her I was not straying. Yet, I caught her “straying” on a few occasions.
She made a point of pointing out good looking, fit, stylish, well kept men while we were out together. In fact, she often made very overt gestures toward these men – to really get their attention and let them know that she saw them, with me standing right there. I work out a lot and am in pretty good shape. Not a bad looking guy by any stretch. I do clean up well and like to dress nice – based on her comments toward other men, I figured this is what she wanted in a man. Even so, she was always critical of how I dressed and how I looked. “You’re too fancy”, “you dress too nice”, “your hands are too soft”, “you’re working out too much and getting too buff/skinny”, “you should put on some weight and grow a bit of a belly”.
One day she liked a greasy burger, the next day she hated, and never liked, that kind of food. One day she liked a nice white wine, so I bought a bottle for the next time she came over. Well, that day comes and she now hates white wine and only drinks red. Always guessing what she wanted and how I could please her, but it was NEVER enough and NEVER the right thing. Totally beat me down….
Well, I finally stood up and said enough is enough – and now, thanks to you, I have a name for her behavior and know it wasn’t me all this time.
Hi Jeff! I’ve totally been there. So glad that you stopped participating in and enabling the toxicity through getting treated like this. It’s awful. Thank you for sharing, for allowing me to understand that I was never alone in so many of these things I thought I was alone in, and for your support. It means the world to me. It really does help when you can put a name to nonsensical insanity. Happy that the post served you!
This brought me to tears because I have had to endure almost everything you have stated above. It’s difficult because I am now married to this person. He has done things like take screenshots of our arguments to show his entire family how ‘nuts’ and ‘angry’ I am. He has called my ex-husband to confirm all the negative things that he has said about me in the past and then shared it with his family and mutual friends. I feel like there is no way for me to ever explain to anyone what I am going through because I have acted out of character due to his crazy making, manipulative behaviour. It’s difficult not to have a human reaction. I have been so humiliated by him and most of all just want to be understood. I want people to see the real me not the person he portrays me to be. He recently just moved out, saying that it was best for us and of course trying to put it on me. I know that most of my mistakes are because I have reacted when he pushed my buttons. I have to still set an appt. with you, so much to talk about. Thanks for this though. XO
I’m here for you always. Thank you for sharing <3 You are loved, supported and not alone in this. XO
This is a great article. My girlfriend has slowly and subtly been doing this for the past 3 years , I literally thought I was going mad. The snippets of hope they give you is so true. I was treading on egg shells scared of upsetting her , even lying when I had been with my son in fear of upsetting her. All my friends have questioned what I was doing with her which caused me to lie them.
Thanks for a great article … at last I now realise I’m not going mad
You are NOT going mad. Thank you so much for taking the time to share Simon. I’m happy that the post served you.
I’m one week out from abruptly leaving my home with my 8 yr old daughter. We were together for almost 3 years. Subtle lies, tall tales of dramatic heroism, and odd occurrences over the first two years, started becoming comments on my age (I’m 42 he’s 44) which he uses to love, to reminders I’m no spring chicken (Though I look 28). He started questioning my parenting, lie about simple things, and pick fights over ridiculous things. But he’d always remind me that we are family and can get through anything. We were engaged. He also started planting seeds into my daughter’s head that maybe mom was tired, or not able to deal with stress. I woke up one morning and realized I wasn’t exactly sure anymore who this person was and stated not to like who i was with him. And I definitely did not like how he seemed to be trying to win over my daughter at my expense. He also started badmouthing her father, who he doesn’t even know and reminding her how absent her father is and that he is the only man present. So, I packed up so quickly and fought so hard to not return. I still yearn for him, even with many many pieces of evidence of u faithfulness, lies (like his mom is dead but she’s not. Or he is still technically married, or his b.s. hero’s rescue of his small child through Katrina which his family admitted was bs) and his growing aggressive behavior, his growing criticism of me, he’s outrageous lies, his wonky timelines, his increase alcohol. But it’s all me and my ‘making excuses to leave him’. Anyway, I’m not going back. But if he lying if I didn’t admit the power of his charm, his constant declaring that I’m the only thing that matters, that he will fix all his wrongs.. didn’t sound tempting.
I have been married to my abusive husband for 29 years. I didn’t realize how abusive he is until I confronted him 7 years ago for breaking boundaries with the women he worked with. I have consistently been emotionally, psychologically, spiritually, financially, sexually, and physically abused since then.
He constantly gaslights me… aka belittling, calling me crazy, isolating me, telling me I’m wrong about everything I say, think, feel, see, hear, smell, or even taste. He went so far as to tell me that I’m just flawed.
I know I need to get away from him, but I have trouble trusting people. I’ve tried to leave before, however, the people I thought I could trust turned on me as well. After, 30 years of brainwashing, I think everyone is out to get me or in his little circle.
I hate him and I’m stuck!!
(We have 5 kids our youngest two still at home are 8 & 10 yrs old.)
Renee, I feel your pain. I’ve been with my narc abuser for 20 years, married for 16. It’s hard to explain to others what is hard to explain even to yourself. I was totally blind sided and it took many years for me to start being able to put the pieces together and salvage even a scrap of my sanity. How someone can constantly sh*t all over you, justify it or say it isn’t sh*t you’re just making thing things up because you like to be sad all the time, blame you for it and go on their merry way is a mind f*ckery that I know by heart. Now that I finally have some knowledge about what has happened/ is happening I have some hope at least that one day I will be free of it. For now all I have is the comfort that im really not insane.
The longer you are with someone the harder it is to leave. The first part I hung onto hope that it was just early in the relationship and we had problems that would get worked out. The second part I had 3 kids, one of them special needs and I became so emotionally and physically exhausted it took a toll on my health. I couldn’t physically leave and was too weak to work, trusted no one with my kids etc so that I was trapped. My family just told me to try harder, it was all up to me to fix it. Which I did try my hardest for it only to blow up in my face. The third part ( now ) is I’m still struggling with my health and still raising the kids and having to watch my firstborn son picking up some of the same behavior and use it against me. I don’t want my younger kids to suffer what I suffered in my parents divorce and I have no way to financially provide for them myself, so I’m basically here for 8 more years at least until they are all grown. I would die first before having to hand my kids over for their “ dad time “ week or weekend to be manipulated, neglected or abused in any way. I see the clear picture of who my husband is and what he’s done/ is doing. I now know the answers to the questions “ why have I never truly felt safe or loved?” “ why is enough never enough?”
I am a survivor of all the same abuse that you listed and I, like you, am trapped for now. Some of us don’t have the luxury of being separated from the situation so we can mend our hearts. If you would like someone “ who knows” to talk to for support maybe we could exchange emails. If not, just know that you’re def not alone, Renee.
Natasha, I did not mean to put my last name on my post. Is there a way to remove that?
I needed to hear this thank you. I’m 27 and I am trying to get out now, everything you wrote is exactly what I am going through. Its been two years and I was such a strong and independent woman, career driven, I wanted so much to be in a relationship and I only saw his potential not the abuse. I’ve been so isolated and I realize I need people around me to get out, this is one of the hardest things I will have to do. I still feel like I need him, like an addict but I don’t want the misery anymore, he never cared about my life or goals just pretended to at times. I want to feel strong again and I know I deserve better but I am ashamed I put up with it so long and I allowed myself to be so mistreated, I don’t ever want a man to break me again. Thank you for showing me that I am not alone in this.
Thank you so much for taking the time to share and for being a part of this tribe. I am so glad that the post helped ??? You are supported, understood, and never alone. All my love to you sister. xx
So I recently separated after decades of marriage. Thank God for your piece about gaslighting. Ive had quite a lot of mental health classes and knew about gaslighting, but really couldn’t pinpoint anything to my own relationship. Your article finally turned the lightbulb on in my brain-washed head. I have been bawling for hours, I’m so sad for the past and mad at him. That MFer is still manipulating me. It stops today, I get it. Thank you good lady for helping to see clearly.
YES! 🙂 I’m happy that the post helped. Thanks so much Belle – for your love, support, and for being a part of this tribe. You are never alone. xo
I have been trying to figure out what it is that is happening in my marriage and I believe this might be it. His anger towards everyone is exhausting. Angry to me, our children, salespeople, office staff at the doctor, the list goes on and on. I have had to apologize on his behalf too many times to count. The last time being a week ago….when I came home and told him we nearly were told not to return to our doctor’s office, he was angry with me asking what I was talking about and when would he have acted that way to them.
I don’t know what to do because I can’t physically leave, yet I’m certain I can’t make him either. (He hasn’t been physically abusive with me although through the years I have felt that might be easier, to have bruises for proof)
You are never alone. Thank you so much for sharing and for being a part of this tribe. Please keep yourself and your children safe and report these outbursts if they get to the point of harming others in public and creating a scene.
Hello light, if you are still in your marriage and experiencing the same emotional trauma, you can speak with your doctor- detailing how his behaviour affects you. Emotional abuse is sometimes worse than physical abuse. Text messages, doctors reports, affidavits from others who witness the outburst are all proof.
After visiting a women’s shelter and attending classes, I was able to prove legally, how my ex had harmed me and my children. We received help from police and a specialized domestic violence support team, finally escaping with a restraining order to keep us safe.
Please don’t stay if it is continuing. You need to enjoy your life and be surrounded by happiness and love.
I wish there was more info and write ups about women gaslighting men. I feel like a failure because this is happening. She denies what she does even while she is doing it! I want to leave so so badly but I am afraid of how iy will affect my 13 yo son. I have completely lost all respect for her and really cant even look at her anymore. I hate even being around her. She twists and turns every last little thing and I know its her, but I just cant make the move to leave. I feel helpless.
You are not a failure at all and you’re never alone. Although I write from the perspective of a female, what I write about does not discriminate against gender whatsoever. I have many male readers and clients. This sounds like a very toxic situation that may affect your child more if the toxicity remains but I do not know the details. Take care of yourself and your child and get out of either of you are endangered emotionally. Sending you love.
Natasha- I do want to sign up for your course, but currently my gaslighter has managed to completely screw up my finances. Bad. I don’t even know where to begin telling my story/ current situation, but one thing bothers me in all the articles I read. They all say to leave. Well its not that easy when you live in a high rent area. I have no car of my own. I work 7 days a week and need use of his car. Which of course he holds over my head even though I spend more a month than he does -when he gets $1000.00 more a month than me from disability pension from getting hurt on the job many years ago. Every month he gets his money and in 2 weeks its gone, and I’m forced to pay for food etc so I’m now in credit card debt and my savings is gone. I was working a lot so I could take time off for knee surgery but now I have to keep working on 2 bum knees. I can barely walk in the morning and I’m in constant pain. Last week he finally got arrested for grabbing me and pushing me but it got dismissed because there was no real evidence and I went ahead and dropped the charges since I now cant afford the rent without him thanks to his bad money management. And no its not gambling or porn etc he does not even drink, although he is on Xanax and Adderal ( obviously contributes to the behavior ) So yeah I broke down and helped get him out and dropped the charges. But it was not because I wanted him back home or missed him. he literally never leaves the apt. I have 15 min here and there alone at home, and he gets to be home alone all day while I work. If he gets up to walk the dog I’m lucky. He does cook ac clean now but I don’t feel its for me, he likes it clean and besides I don’t care about that. It would be clean if I lived alone too! I live in the last affordable housing on Alki beach i Seattle and I can hear the ocean at night and walk to the beach in 1 minute, so if I leave, I will lose my apt, maybe even my dog and possibly even have to go to a shelter. Only one good thing came out of the arrest, he lost all his guns. But of course he’ll throw that in my face next time we fight. He has broken 2 expensive laptops already. Sigh. I haven’t written a decent blog on my website for the 3 years we’ve been together and I have over 6 million views. He is jealous of all the attention I get o social media ( I film bands etc which was the reason he followed me on Facebook and on my website Xanaland to begin with. I will follow you and try to do the course asap. He calls me the meanest stuff, no man in my life has ever called me names or gotten physical with me. It was so nice having the apt 2 days alone…I wish I could have stuck to my guns and kept him out. That was probably my one chance to do so…..Hopeless in Seattle
I am so sorry that you are going through this all. You are not alone <3
I wish that I had the time to comment back as in-depth as I'd like to (thank you for your kindness and understanding).
PLEASE CALL 911 if you are in immediate danger and please contact law enforcement to report abuse and look into local safe houses/sheters.
I wish that there was more that I could do. Sending you so much love. xxoxo
Anytime I am feeling unworthy or can’t get the relationsh*t out of my head – I come back to your posts, and I smile and remember who I am. Thank you so much. Can’t wait to get back into coaching and read your book!
MALISSA!!! THIS MADE MY DAY 🙂 Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I love and miss you too sis. xoxo
And I thought it was old age, I feel so depressed and driverless. Now that I know what is actually going on, I may be able to wither this storm. Going on 25 years. We have 11 years difference. I keep telling myself I should be the strong one in the house but whenever I stand up for my ethics and or morals, I get verbally and physically abused. She even shouted one time as she was hitting me in my sleep, If i lay a hand on her she will call the police. I prayed to God to open my eyes and see what is going on around me and within days of praying I run into this site. Thank you God and thank you for this blog.
I’m so sorry that you’re going through this. I have been there but nowhere near to this level of physical abuse.
I am honored to have helped facilitate these realizations. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for having the courage to share your story. There are many male readers who come here and I wish I could put into words just how many readers – both men and women – will benefit from your words.
You are loved, understood, supported, appreciated, empathized with, and never, ever alone. Thank you for being a part of this tribe. All my love to you my friend.
This post has resonated with me MORE than any other post I have read on your blog, (even though ALL of them are amazing and I can relate to each one of them in so many ways!) I have been stuck in this up and down roller coaster of toxicity with my ex for two years now and after reading this, I can finally say that I have a total understanding of the hell I have been experiencing after never quite being able to put my finger on until now. I have been so caught up in believing that EVERYTHING IS MY FAULT. I am always the one apologizing and trying to right a wrong that I didn’t even commit. My ex has truly brainwashed me into believing he can do no wrong and that if he does, it’s a direct response of something I did causing him to act in such a way. I understand now exactly why I have felt so stuck and thanks to you, I have finally nailed it down.
Thank you SO much for your kind words, for your blog and for you. Sharing your story, being so vulnerable and real. You are truly an inspiration. ?
I finally feel like I am inching closer and closer to that light at the end of the tunnel. That light that I have shined on him way past its expiration date. I am ready to take back MY light and shine it back on where it’s always been meant to be.
Tiffany, this makes me SO HAPPY to hear! 🙂 YES, YES, YESS!!!
So happy for you and honored to have helped. Thanks for being here and for being YOU. xx
Wow, this article helped me so much. I was told last night by my significant other that I gaslight. I found this extremely offensive so I decided to research it a little more and what do you know! I have been dating a narcissist for over a year. I love him very much but its always a “what have you done for me lately scenario. I deal with so much bullsh*t that most wouldn’t entertain. I finally had to pull myself together and pack my things. I left this morning and I am hurt but I don’t know how things will ever improve with this man. It is all about him. Meanwhile, he would tell you I’m the selfish one but I’m not the narcissist in the relationship. I have isolated myself from all my friends because he says they don’t like him. Which is somewhat true, they deal with him but he always causes a scene and embarrasses us. I didn’t want my friends to know what was really going on because I was ashamed. I finally had to make a decision and say if this is going to work, outside interference needs to be avoided. I should have seen the red flags. I love this man, I want to be with him and I’m very hurt. Reality is he probably won’t call or try to mend things. A part of me wants that to be the case and a part of me says this man is not capable of being emotionally there for me. Just needed a moment to vent. Thank you!
Thank you so much for sharing. You are understood, supported, loved, believed in, and appreciated. Thank you for being a part of this tribe and for sharing. I’m so glad that the post was helpful 🙂 xo
I appreciate you helping me learn more about gaslighting and how to deal with the person doing it. I had no idea there was a term for people who manipulate and break down another person. My sister is in a toxic relationship and I think she might be getting gaslighted. I’ll share this article with her and hopefully, she can open her eyes to the situation.
Thanks Megan 🙂 I’m glad that the post served you and hope that it helps your sister. Big love to you both. xox
Sharing y’all my experience. Ex wife yes. Oh yes. I didn’t realize that was “gaslight” meaning till children/friends elaborated after she abandoned all of us. Secondly then with ex gf …. interesting. Differently. On that devalue stage-discard process. She was more professional manipulator therefore lack trueness. I plea to her numerous times to “Show me, show me, show me!?!” Why fear? “Why hide me?” There’s no need to be fear of!? We need reality. There’s lack of it. She knew there’s no hope for us because of her mother religious bullshits. (She had guys lined up and comparing around). Long story short. I was heavily smothered out. Crashed into major depression then revealed she dating around. According to friends collaboration claimed that she tend to pose silent treatment against her ex husband once they get in an argument by leave him and refuse to sort out. I see clearly! It sickens me to realize that during devalue progress, was an “attempt to stage” to ignite an argument (gaslight) as if I get angry AND THEN SHE WILL USE THAT AGAINST ME FOR HER DUMPING ME. There was none whatsoever she can claim against me as I done a lot of good deeds for her. Ghosted out worked on her that crushed me beyond hell. I felt so faulted-blamed. All myself. Over time things get more clearer. Until PMS ghosted article surfaced that released my negative feelings.
I try not to be prejudice with gaslight as some people do have jesting characters just to enjoy watch your reacting only if you have good facial expressions. All for laughs therefore I sometime jest my peeps in bad mood for a ?. So that said don’t get confuse or mistaken as gaslight. Personally I don’t like to walk on egg shell as we are being educated what is gaslight? That better our awareness. Repeatedly gaslight (devalue/toxic dramas) automatically toxic so don’t ignore! Not to be confuse with “No Contact” (Healthy silent treatment) concept. That apply (toxic) silent treatment too. (As an attempt to mind games, control you to her/his term. No compromises! No common senses! “Come on with your blow out reaction” then devalue/blame all to that (you) not them.) Toxic dramas. That’s gaslighting!
This was such a good post. I think it is so perfect that you relate narcissism to gaslighting. I thought about it the whole time I was reading this.
It’s so sad and ,ales me think someone is just being emotionally abused. I know a person gong through this right now. I am hoping she gets on her white horse soon.
I think this was one of the most valuable pieces you have ever done. I am sure others will agree.
Once again, thank you for sharing a part of you with us.
Love you sister. ?????
Thank you from the bottom of my heart <3 I'm so glad. Love you too sister. xxo
I wasn’t sure my ex boyfriend was gaslighting me until the day I showed him an email where he is clearly cheating in by telling someone he wants them to come over so he can have sex with him. He deleted the email and says “no I didn’t”. This is the moment I asked him to leave. I haven’t missed his company for a moment. Not one. Anyone who is on the fence to giving their gaslighter a boot, it’s liberating. I’d rather live in a cardboard box than with someone so toxic, that type of mind f’ing will slowly kill you.
YES!!! You did the right thing. Alaina, thank you so much for taking the time to share 🙂 xo
Hi Natasha and everyone!
This is a great post. With my ex, it was so easy to see he was a gas lighter. Well easy once I took off the rose colored glasses and started reading this blog/ talking with Natasha. But in my current relationship, I’m struggling to know if he is gas lighting me or if it is just a bad relationship. We’ve been dating a year and a half, long distance for the most part. With my job, I’ve only ever been able to visit him once because I don’t get a ton of PTO. With his, he gets a lot of time off so we will go two months without seeing one another and then he will stay for a month. Up until two months ago, I was still living at home with my parents because after graduating college, I was trying to work my way up in my career to get to a place I could afford to move out. I come from a very different family dynamic than he does, and he butted heads with my parents a lot. Two months ago I moved out of state for a new job and I’m now living alone. A week after moving, I checked my instagram inbox for messages from people I don’t follow. There was one from a month prior that I had never seen and it was from a girl telling me my boyfriend cheated on me with her. He immediately admitted it, then proceeded to tell me he had become so resentful to my situation and my family that that’s why he did it. But that he still wanted to be with me, it was a mistake and a one time thing. Maybe it’s because my self esteem is still so low even though I’m working on it, but I decided to give him a second chance and work on things. Yesterday was his birthday, which we were able to celebrate together. But towards the end of the night when I saw all of the girls that were messaging him about it, I got triggered and very emotional. He immediately flipped out on me for ruining his birthday, telling me he hates my parents and my family for driving him to do what he did. He said some very hurtful things and even now as I type this at work, he’s making me feel horrible for feeling emotional last night. And he’s telling me too much damage has been done to move forward and obviously I’ll never get over what he did. Even though I found out only a little over a month ago. I never used to think he would gaslight me or anything until all of this started happening. Now I’m finding myself apologizing all the time for my feelings, invalidating what my intuition is telling me. I’m distancing myself from my family, and last week when they were in town visiting I barely saw them because my boyfriend is staying with me. I guess I’m stuck on the fact that at least with my ex when I looked back, he was rarely ever good to me. He was always making me feel crazy and it was so obvious once I took off the rose colored glasses. But with my current boyfriend, I haven’t felt like our relationship was toxic AT ALL until the last two months. Now he’s acting like a completely different person than the one I fell in love with. Have I been duped again?? I’m going to schedule a talk with Natasha but would love anyone’s input or advice. My current boyfriend was so loving and kind before, and now he feels so cold and I wasn’t even the one that cheated
I would dump him and then block him on everything. Stay on your white horse; don’t react or explain. Just be done. So sorry you’ve had to go through this. We have all been there and you’re not alone. I wish I had the time to write more. Email me. xxo
Erica, An eye-catch. “Mrs Apologizer”. EXACTLY SIMILAR HAPPEN to me with ex gf. She had high exception that I apology. Regardless right or wrong! Especially no one need to apology for being right. After revealed her dating around then my “Mr Apology” wane out. I fiercely blew her out that I am not going to apology anything I deem right! EVEN she DO NOT APOLOGY FOR HER HURTFUL ACTIONS TO
ME! Nor except one. (Probably).
That “You apology!” tactics is to devalue and guilty you. Making them feel so empower over you. Yes confuse. Weakening esteem. “Psychology” abuses in my opinion. Feel like “I’m dating /fuck my mother? “ Geez. After that I REFUSE to apology that I don’t see any wrong. Stand YOUR ground! You can either formal apology or apology you deem you done wrong or being polite/etiquette at YOUR OWN not other order you to apology! Don’t apology your right. You will feel better. ??
Likewise others suggested DUMP him!
I didn’t even know what gaslighting was until shortly before I left my boyfriend of 6 years. I felt I was nothing, less than nothing actually, and I had stopped doing everything I loved. I felt like I was “crazy”, “overly emotional”, “nasty” and “too sensitive” – all the things he called me when I dared to question him. It’s only when I look back that I realise how many instances there were where he manipulated me and made me feel crazy. After I left him, I panicked and felt like I didn’t know who I was and what my purpose was in life. He had made me so dependent on him. One year later and I am healing. I am colourful, creative and love to craft, and share kindness with others. I am almost back to being my true self. Gaslighting does leave scars, but I’d rather wear my scars with pride and pom poms than spend another day with him!
Thank you for your article ?? You explain gaslighting in such a clear and concise way and I have no doubt that it will help other women like us to stand up and say NO MORE! Thank you! ??
Thank you for this entire eye opening blog. I was back at my abusive, gaslighting, cheating ex fiancés house last night basically worshipping him while he slept and crying because I felt like he had been so good to me and I had been so crazy, emotional, mean and unfair. Then I found another woman’s underwear in his bed and many more signs of his cheating and I looked up some things and found your blog. I read for hours and it confirmed everything I had that gut feeling, my sweet intuition, my deliberately ignored guidance system had been telling me since day 1. I said goodbye to my dog and I said goodbye to him and he just yawned and said “you’re not leaving, come here!” I said “Yes I’m leaving and I need you to respect that please” to that he replied “Oh I don’t respect anything, I’m an horrible, awful demon!” And I said “Yes, I know” and I snuck out the back door after he got up to use the restroom. I am heavily damaged and I have so much work to do but I blocked him on everything and am in strict no contact. I’ve gone back about 4 times in 3 years and I will not go back again ever. I found a sliver of self love and your amazing words and validation and I’m going to capitalize on that and create my own sense of self and peace and happiness, I’m going to heal and learn to generate my own validation and love from within instead of seeking it outside myself.
I love every single person reading this blog and I wish you all the very best of life and love. Many of us are empathIc and some of us are healers who have yet to discover our gifts and channels for those gifts. May we all! ??????
What an inspiration you are. You’re incredible.
From the bottom of my heart, thank YOU for taking the time to share and for being a part of this tribe. Your beautiful message (and the love I feel behind every word) has me in tears. I hope that one day, we can meet in person.
Until then my soul sister, please know that you are loved, appreciated, supported, understood, and never, ever alone. xx
Thank you for sharing this. You confirmed the way I had felt too “how could I leave him, he’s so wonderful and maybe I ve been overreacting” NO we were not. Good luck to you!
I’m so happy that this served you and helped. You are never alone. Thank you for being a part of this tribe/community ♥️ Thank you for being you. Xo
For as long as my relationship has existed, all signs pointed to “you chose ANOTHER narcissistic boyfriend”. My self esteem was already low after losing my ENTIRE family due to previous partner ganging up with my parents in an attempt to have my daughters taken from me. But, after building a new home and life for my girls and I, Prince Charming appeared! At first he was magical and wonderful, he even told my daughters he would be there as a father…until my daughters recognized his behaviours before I did. They begged me to leave and I told them “oh he’s like that because of his job”. “Oh he’s like that because his ex was so terrible towards him” (so he says) I made excuses and put up with horrible name calling, telling me I was a bad mother, crushing my arm in a door, telling me I should stop hanging out with my friends, demanding I tell him if ANY man spoke to me, Leaving me in a hotel in a different country, making me drive to visit him but him never driving to see me.
When he invited me overnight (“I want to have sex and ravish you come over”) his sons ignored me, told me I was annoying and tested me like I did not exist. In the morning, I sat up and told him, you don’t have my back, your sons and you treat me so poorly, I just don’t want to be here anymore. I explained that I was going to take care of ME and not put myself in the path of those wanting to cause me harm. I left, crying, he tried to bring me back by having his youngest call me asking me to still bake his birthday cake on the weekend. It was that which put me over the edge. I knew it was manipulation not only towards me but towards his sons. When I finally could not function or sleep, I spoke to my doctor who gave me anti anxiety medication and suggested I take some time apart to reflect and relax. After not attending the birthday or Thanksgiving he called me and began telling me his sons were right to treat me the way they did because I keep letting them down. 2 sons are 30 (never a mate and living with dad) the other is 12 and Ive been advocating for him to see a therapist (suicidal words, swearing, poor behaviour). But I explained that my daughters need me and I need me to be in a good headspace. He proceeded to tell me everything he thinks is wrong with me. That I’m judgmental and refusing to understand my true self.
I just ended our relationship TODAY after telling him he has been gaslighting me and abusing me emotionally for too long. To which he replied he was too busy to deal with me during his work week but will have time on the weekend.
After reading this blog and comments, I decided to hold myself accountable by putting this in writing, documenting some of what has happened. I’m not going to let him do this to me anymore. Thank you for this strength in community.
I am so sorry that you were on the receiving end of such terrible treatment. Thank you for having the courage to share. And by doing so, helping COUNTLESS others (who may be too shy to comment/can’t find the words) feel less alone in their situation, circumstances, and pain. This is what giving your pain a purpose is all about. You and never alone, my friend.
“After reading this blog and comments, I decided to hold myself accountable by putting this in writing, documenting some of what has happened. I’m not going to let him do this to me anymore. Thank you for this strength in community.“ – THIS is what I live for. I live to give everything that I wish I would have had. And I am so happy and honored to have helped in any way. This community is here for you. We love and support you. Xx
Truly, I am grateful for your guidance and care. Finally real emotions, connection and a feeling of WORTH! Thank you 🙏 for virtually standing in my corner as I set my boundaries and take this one hour at a time.
I can’t believe how accurate this. I think the key is not feeling shame for becoming entangled in a relationship with a gaslighter. For myself, I first learned that I was “codependent” (hate that term — it’s shame-inducing itself) or an empath. Breaking free completely feels terrifying. There is strength in numbers. I appreciate this article very much. Thanks, Natasha!
I left my (2nd) husband of over 25 years and gaslighting was such a huge part of why I had no option except to leave, or live in his universe of BS gaslighting. He told me that I was a “good girl” or a “bad girl” multiple times a day. He judged everything and ridiculed it. He would deny what he literally just said, routinely! If you persisted, which I finally did the year before I left, you were up for a terrible, in your face, menacing argument that was hard to stand up to for two hours. He would call me crazy, unstable, mean.
He feared any kind of counseling or therapy and forbade me to have it, even though we had great insurance that would have paid for it. If you gave a convincing argument, the next day he would throw that argument at YOU, like it was something new that he thought up. He was a great dad and provider; I am not making him out to be a horrible person. He loved us, he was just so terrified of showing any kind of weakness. He also was 9 years younger than me, but acted older.
Our marriage was good until the last 8 years. I got to the point where I believed that he was the only person that would/could ever love me. I felt like I was the most annoying, unlovable servant/slave. All I did was cook, clean, wait on him hand and foot, provide for the children. Anyway – once my kids graduated HS, it became unbearable. He controlled my life to the point where I couldn’t choose anything for myself or make any decisions without him going ballistic and treating me like I am a dingbat (Edith Bunker). He now is gaslighting and being manipulative with our son and blaming him for our divorce, since he can’t get to me anymore.
But I found your blog, Natasha! The articles have saved me by enlightening me to concepts etc that I needed a long time ago, but it’s okay!! The best time to make a positive change was 20 years ago. The next best time is right now!! XO
There is no better time than the present moment, you are so right! Thank you for taking the time to share (and by doing so, helping countless others feel less alone, inspired, and hopeful)
Thank you for being a part of this tribe/comminuty.
Thank you for YOU!
All my love to you. Xox