“Gaslighting: Know It and Identify It to Protect Yourself”

This is an article from Psychology Today  by Stephanie Sarkis, Ph.D titled, Gaslighting: Know It and Identify It to Protect Yourself:



6 thoughts on ““Gaslighting: Know It and Identify It to Protect Yourself”

  1. I think this information that you have been sharing is so important for people to learn about. I had NO idea I was a victim of this in my marriage. I literally thought I was going crazy and over reacting. He made me believe I was to cover his tracks and protect himself and his choices. Now because of it, I’m a “proof seeker” in all situations. I have a very hard time trusting people in general because of this. I think the reason it was so easy for me to fall victim to this as an adult is that it also happened to me as a child. It must have right? Once I finally knew what this was (my therapist taught me), I detected it instantly when I recently confronted my parents on some past events and they immediately side stepped around my words and responded in ways that made no sense to the situation and then eventually called me psychotic and cruel and vehemently denied everything I had brought up. Even though I knew it was happening it STILL made me confused and question my own reality as I was remembering and experiencing it. It is SO hard to deal with this type of person and behavior. People need to know about this BEFORE it happens so they can stop it or walk away to protect themselves before they are hurt.

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    1. Although I had read about gaslighting, it was this list that made me see it clearly in my life as well. Yes, I do believe you have experienced this also as a child. My therapist pointed out to me that I have experienced this my whole life since childhood. Being manipulated like this your whole life does mess with your reality. My husband keeps pointing out to me that one of the reasons why I don’t get the support I need is because I minimize all the things that happened to me to myself and to others. This type of abuse forces you to hide your pain in order to survive. It is a type of conditioning that is hard to overcome. Now that I am in therapy, I understand you even more. I think facing our past is very difficult after such treatment and conditioning. I am left with fear that something very bad is going to happen to me after I share things in therapy. I lose trust in others and want to withdraw. I am struggling with my own reality and the pain I never was able or allowed to feel. Therapy has brought on a whole new struggle. And I don’t know if this is normal or not. In some ways it is making me feel more alone again. This seems crazy because now I do have support, but it doesn’t make me feel safe now that I am beginning to face my past. This type of abuse messes with your sense of self. I do understand how hard this must be for you. It seems outrageous how we can go through life without any awareness of these type of people in the world in order to protect ourselves.

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  2. I think it is totally normal for you to be feeling the way you are since starting therapy. It is so eye opening. And that makes you pause and go inward as you process it and make sense of it all. There are so many things that are coming out for me in therapy that I just can’t get myself to talk about yet. When we face our past, we feel the things we felt then. So it makes sense you feel unsafe again and confused and want to withdraw. I have felt all those same things at different stages with my therapist. It’s part of the process I think. I am finding that I have a lot of fear. I am afraid of what life is like without hurt. Even though it’s the goal and I desperately want this, I am afraid to feel better, because I fear being disappointed or hurt again. This brings on shame and feeling inadequate and self loathing sometimes. So for me, I know I need to ask myself what am I feeling? Is it fear of the real feeling? And since I have a hard time feeling in general (I’ve been so numb for so long!), it can be difficult for me to identify what’s going on for me emotionally. Does that make sense? When we start to connect the dots it gets overwhelming. Be gentle with yourself. You are doing ok. It’s hard to do what we are doing. There is no right or wrong way to feel. It’s just is what it is. I’m glad you have your therapist to talk through all of this now as you look at things. It’s awful to do it alone. The abuse made us think we were alone. But we don’t have to keep believing we are anymore.

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    1. I understand everything you shared here. I did not expect it to be this hard or to feel this vulnerable. Thank you for all of your kind thoughts and words. I do appreciate you very much!!!

      Liked by 1 person

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