Most people who get depression get on medication to go back to who they were. I am on medication and I am struggling because I don’t know who I am apart from abuse to know what self I am returning to. I think this is what I was trying to express in my last post. I have been struggling to put into words what it is I am feeling.
I have spent a lifetime surrounded by abuse, psychopaths, and those with a narcissistic personality. My husband and I sometimes comment on how hard it is to believe the number of people like this who have been in my life from childhood. My husband just commented that it seems as though each one set me up for the next one. I truly didn’t have a chance in life to escape any of it.
The following list is from a post on gaslighting (see links below).
“Gaslighting or gas-lighting is a form of mental abuse in which a victim is manipulated into doubting their own memory, perception, and sanity. Instances may range from the denial by an abuser that previous abusive incidents ever occurred, up to the staging of bizarre events by the abuser with the intention of disorienting the victim.
Warning Signs of Gaslighting*:
- Second-Guessing: living in fear of doing the wrong thing
- Asking “Am I too sensitive?”: Looking for approval before doing anything
- Apologizing: constantly apologizing for never doing anything right
- Lack joy and happiness in life: Feeling confused, lonely, frightened and unhappy
- Withholding Information from Others: Shame causes you to defend and withdraw
- Knowing something is terribly wrong, but cant figure out what: the more the victim doubts their own reality, the more they depend on the abuser.
- Trouble making simple decisions: losing autonomy, basing decision-making off of the wants and needs of the abuser.
- You have a sense that you used to be a very different person – more confident, fun-loving, and relaxed: losing yourself by placating, complying and appeasing the abuser.
- You feel hopeless and joyless: What once seemed like heaven turned into hell.”
The following link is to the blog post I read the above list on: https://divorcinganarcissistblog.com/2016/06/09/narc-mind-games-gaslighting/
This link is to the original article the above list came from titled, The Effects of Gaslighting in Narcissistic Victim Syndrome, What is “Gaslighting”? http://narcissisticbehavior.net/the-effects-of-gaslighting-in-narcissistic-victim-syndrome/. This article is more in depth and worth reading.
My husband and I see myself in every one of the above warning signs. These are the things that have puzzled my husband about me. And I have had no understanding of any of this to know what was “wrong” with me either to explain it. I don’t think I fully understand all the things that happened to me to know what it is yet that I need to heal from.
I thought these things were a part of my personality, that they were a defect in me. I thought they were there because I am weak, which is what they each wanted me to believe about myself. They are things I try to hide, but I think I instinctively have known something was wrong. But I didn’t know what or why.
Two weeks ago during my therapy session, A. asked me to tell her how I got away from my ex-husband. This is the first time we have started to talk in detail about any part of my past in a specific way. She has been trying to help me with coping skills, waited for me to get on medication, and waiting for it to take effect. She wanted me to find help for the severe depression so that I had at least some buffer in my life before dealing with my past and the CPTSD.
I don’t talk about my ex-husband and what happened to me. I have blocked out so many of the experiences I had with him and other parts of my life. I don’t know if you can imagine what it feels like to not completely know what happened to you, how it has shaped you and your responses to life. This is both comforting and shocking all at the same time.
It makes me understand the fear of the pain inside of me. It does feel like a link, a piece of the puzzle that is my life.