Am I A Victim of Gaslighting?

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Are you starting to question your relationship? If this relationship is truly love, then why is this connection ultimately driving you crazy? Do you feel confused because nothing seems to make sense? Then you may very well be a victim of gaslighting.

The Origin of Gaslighting

The origins of the term gaslighting come from the English playwright Patrick Hamilton, who in 1938 wrote the play Gas Light or Angel Street as it was known in the United States. The themes first introduced by Hamilton’s writing were later brought to the masses by Alfred Hitchcock when he combined his other plays and themes to make the film Gaslight in 1944.

21st Century Gaslighting

Gaslighting is a method of manipulation used by narcissists to gain power over another in a relationship, governing them and making the other question their own reality. This manipulation can lead the mind into traumatic patterns, ultimately driving someone into thinking they are going crazy.

Gaslighting Tactics

Gaslighters tend to follow these tactics to wear their victims down over time.

  • You catch them telling blatant lies.
  • They deny they ever said or did something. Even if you have proof to the contrary.
  • Things that you hold near and dear to you are used as ammunition.
  • Their actions don’t match their words.
  • After they are caught in a bad act, they react by complimenting you or using positive reinforcement.
  • They will never admit mistakes.
  • When cornered with facts, they will distract you by magnifying your flaws, putting you down, and making you think you’re a lot worse than them.

If you are experiencing a few or any combination of these, just know you are being subjugated by a narcissist’s calculated attempt to keep you off-kilter. It is a defense mechanism on their part to make you think that they are not that bad after all. But sadly, it never really stops there. They can begin to project their own actions or mode of thinking onto you.

The Web They Weave

In some cases, the web they weave around you never stops. They start aligning people you mutually know against you and can even try to convince the people closest to you that you’re really crazy. Once they accomplish this, it can leave you isolated and make you feel like you don’t know who to trust or who you can even turn to. They will reinforce this separation of those you trust by telling you that everyone else (your friends, family, the media) is really the liar.

Your spouse may use some or all of these schemes during your divorce. Prepare because they will probably continue to lie to you, to attorneys, to child custody evaluators, to judges, to mediators, and even to your children. They will continue to paint a fictional picture to control and keep you trapped. Your spouse may deny conversations or events that you know happened or invent things that everyone knows never occurred. It’s in your best interest to hold your spouse accountable.

A terrific program by Rebecca Zung, a Top 1% divorce attorney helps you take back your power. No more feeling isolated or gaslighted. And no more critical slander! You will feel empowered with S.L.A.Y. Your Negotiation™ with a Narcissist.

What to Do

Document all communications. Never expect a narcissist to follow any agreements unless they are in writing. It is not uncommon for a cornered spouse to say one thing and then deny or try to revoke any oral divorce agreements you previously discussed. For example, your spouse may agree to custody arrangements over the phone, but later claim the phone call never happened. Insist that all divorce-related communications and agreements are in writing.

Make sure you cover all your bases, so there is no surprise or confusion by this conduct. You need to guard yourself and know that your ex-spouse is always capable of these misleading behaviors at every encounter. The more you can mentally prepare and set boundaries for your former spouse’s gaslighting, the less it will affect you.

Does the battle of someone gaslighting you resonate? Can you recognize your ex-spouse’s narcissistic patterns as a puppet master behind the myriad of your problems? Stay strong. Some relationships have to end if the energy and compatibility are not there. Especially if it never was mutually supportive. Don’t isolate yourself within your problems. Know that you can always ask for help in changing your experience. Envision that change within you is possible.

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Essential Resources

If you’re facing legal/custody battles, a mental health crisis, an urgent medical issue, serious emotional problems, including suicidal thoughts, please seek help from the appropriate professionals near you.

Suicide hotline: 1-800-273-8255
Suicide Prevention Lifeline:
Crisis line: 1-800-356-5395
Crisis text line: Text “help” to 741741
The National Domestic Violence Hotline
The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV)

Split.fyi Resources
Split.fyi Marital Life Inventory
Divorce Lifecycle Document
Divorce Process Overview

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