Gaslighting is one of the most insidious forms of emotional abuse there is. Why? Because it is the Narcissist abuser's desire to drive you crazy. But why is it so dangerous? The term "gaslight" came from the 1944 movie starring Charles Boyer and Ingrid Bergman, which was based on the 1938 stage play of the same name. Boyer's character would purposely dim the gas lights in the home and then pretend not to know about it when Bergman's character asked about it. The main purpose is to make the victims feel like they are losing their mind. So how would that apply to you? Read on.
The best example of gaslighting that I can provide is this:
The victim is looking for her keys, even tears up couch cushions and looks at least 5 times, dumps the contents of her purse and looks not once but half a dozen times, looks in kitchen drawers.....you name it. The abuser then says, "Oh there they are," pointing to them right on top of an overturned couch cushion. The victim protests saying she looked there several times. He says, "Well you obviously didn't look hard enough."
That, my friends, is gaslighting. I know, because this exact incident happened to me.
Narcissists want to make their victims doubt their own mind, their own sanity. They want to drive you crazy, so that they can say, "Haha, see? I told you that you were crazy." The Narc emotional abusers simply denies their victim the confirmation of their reality. They doubt the very existence of their surroundings. The victim must then think the abuser knows better and has superior knowledge and intellect. So, the victims will then defer to the Narc on all decisions because they can't trust their own perceptions or decision making skills.
My NX would pull stunts like that all the time. Before long, he'd say how I'm crazy or I'm losing my mind, or even how forgetful I was. And the sad part? After a while, I really thought I was losing my mind! I became utterly dependent upon my NX to tell me what was real and what wasn't. That's exactly what he wanted, too. Because then, he could pick and choose what to tell me and thereby creating his own reality. He could claim that the abuse never happened. Or, if he did admit it happened, he'd skew the truth to suit his own needs and blame me for the abuse.
I feel that this is one of the most detrimental forms of emotional abuse there is.
Because as a society, we cling to what we feel and know to be true, to be real. When that reality or trueness is pampered with, our whole world becomes a nightmarish place to live in. I couldn't remember the simplest of things, like food shopping items, or something someone said to me only a few days before. My mind became blank, like a sheet of paper. I felt like my reality was being erased, much in the same way that Marty McFly was becoming "erased" in Back to the Future before his parents kissed to seal the deal.
Have you experienced gaslighting in your relationship? Share below. And as always, I appreciate you sharing your stories with me.
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Greetings, my warrior survivor friends! Welcome to my blog. I'm Julianna (my pen name), the owner and creator of this site. Check out the My Story section to read about why I started this blog. Thanks for stopping in. And feel free to comment on any post, share your own thoughts and stories. I would love to hear from you!
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How I Lost My Identity
Why You Should Never Defend Yourself Against The Narcissist's Smear Campaign
Emotionally Abusive Behaviors
An Open Letter To All Survivors Who Just Got Out Of An Abusive Situation
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The content of this site is told from the blog author/owner's personal experience of dealing with a male Narcissist. Narcissists, psychopaths and sociopaths are both male and female, and come from all walks of life. Furthermore, the content contained herein is not intended to be a replacement for medical or legal counsel. This blog's sole purpose is to provide support to those who have endured Narcissistic and Emotional Abuse.