Gaslighting is a term that has come up in my world lately, I don’t really know why but I can guess it’s because I was meant to learn about it. If I hear a term more than once and don’t know what it means, I gotta research it…especially when I’m hearing it in relation to narcissism.
From what I’ve read, the father was an expert at this particular craft (Can call it that?)
If there are those who read this like me, that aren’t sure what gaslighting is, here’s a bit of an explanation. (It’s abuse)
It is an attempt by one person (the narcissistic abuser) to erode another person’s (the victim) reality. It’s done by convincing the victim that what they feel or believe to be true really isn’t true.
Narcissists are experts at this. (If you are a narcissist reading this, I didn’t say you are an expert, it’s not a compliment). They twist everything to make it the victims fault. They will have the victim believing themselves to be crazy, a control freak, a drama queen…(Etc.) They are so good at it that they can have us believing that we are the abusers, when all the things they’ve managed to convince us of, is really what they are.
It causes one to doubt everything they know to be true; every thought, feeling action, idea and passion. The narcissist could flat-out lie, abuse, cheat, steal… (You name it) and convince you it was all your fault, and have you apologizing by the end. You’re then left wondering what just happened and how it went so wrong…or where you went so wrong.
The father did this often, he refused to take responsibility for his actions. One common theme is tears. I would call the father on his bad behaviour and he would begin to cry, giving me some sob story about why he behaved that way, usually adding in how it was my fault, and I would end up trying to comfort him, while apologizing for my “sins” and having said anything.
It made me feel stupid, because I fell for his lies often, I would come out after, shaking my head, trying to figure out what I did wrong, and how I managed to allow myself to be manipulated again.
Other methods the father used where rage/anger, fear, being an authority figure, intimidation, “sickness”…you name it they come up with it.
In another post I’ll have to share one of my stories of how the father manipulated me with this gaslighting technique.
I’d like to believe that I would never fall for it again, but they are so good at it, (Not something to be proud of narcissists.) I can’t be certain.
Do you have a story in this regard?
There is hope!