What is Gaslighting?

Old 08-15-2010, 01:08 AM
  # 21 (permalink)  
Curled up in a good book...
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XAH used to do this to me all the time. Very subtly and not so easy for me to identify. I stopped believing myself. I began to doubt myself so much. I believed my own memories were false and I must be losing it. It kept me unbalanced and in a place of low self esteem. Gaslighting is dangerous! I agree with tenninetysix - it's a despicable method of passive aggressive psychological manipulation & borders on sadistic - it was all part of his methods of emotional abuse and control.
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Old 08-15-2010, 02:06 AM
  # 22 (permalink)  
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Steely Dan has a song called Gaslighting Abbie ... really funny lyrics:

One plush summer you come to me ripe and ready
And bad through and through
With that deep mystical soul synergy pumping steady
Between me and you
Lovin' all the beautiful work we've done, cara mia
And it's barely july
If we keep on boppin' until Labor Day
Li'l miz Abbie - bye bye

What will it be - some soothing herb tea?
That might be just the thing
Let's say we spike it with Deludin
Or else - maybe tonight a hand of solitaire

Flame is the game
The game we call Gaslighting Abbie
It's a luscious invention for three
One summer by the sea

With the long weekend that's comin' up fast
Let's get busy
There's just too much to do
That black mini looks just like the one she's been missin'
Feels good on you
There's a few items we need in town - allez-vous girl
There's no time to waste
Such as fresh cable and fifteen watt bulbs
Couple dozen - it's a big old place
Let's keep it light - we'll do a fright night
With blood and everything
Some punky laughter from the kitchen
And then - a nice relaxing hand of solitaire


You can choose the music
I'll set up my gear
Later on we'll chill and watch the fireworks from here

How can you knock this mighty spitelock
Check out the work itself
A mix of elegance and function
That's right - a tweak or two and then she's out of here

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Old 08-15-2010, 06:28 AM
  # 23 (permalink)  
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It's all about control. People who gaslight have ZERO control over their lives and making someone think they are crazy makes them more powerful.
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Old 08-15-2010, 07:34 AM
  # 24 (permalink)  
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Wow! I always thought it was my AH under the influence, the effects of alcohol/marijuana (memory loss, black outs, etc.) or minimizing his addictions. . .in any case, it was driving me further into insanity! I had to check myself because I started second guessing everything and questioning my reality. I had to remind myself, I am not the one w/ my mind altered w/ substances. Gaslighting? Wow!
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Old 08-15-2010, 04:55 PM
  # 25 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Daybreak View Post
To TenNinetySix: Your mother sounds like a malignant narcissist to me. Mine is. Didn't drive me to drink, but surely drove me to other self-destructive behaviors. No contact is my way of dealing. You have my deepest sympathy.
To Daybreak... I was reading a psychology book this last week loaned to me by my therapist & in it a person whose behaviors fitted my mother's to a tee was, according to the author, a narcissist. I had never ever thought of my mother in that light before~~ I just generically termed her 'crazy'. And whatever role it played~~ I was incredibly self-destructive in pretty much every way possible; accident prone, reckless, addictive personality, a cutter, eating disorder, you name it. And my poor brother, also raised by her, is a paranoid schizophrenic. Go figure. What a mess. When I read an example of the mother's behavior in the book I thought... That's my mother. So THAT'S what's wrong with her!
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Old 08-15-2010, 05:40 PM
  # 26 (permalink)  
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TenNinetySix: It's a relief to know it, isn't it? There's a website which is no longer active, but the archives are there. Very, very helpful. It's Check it out if you've a mind to.
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Old 08-15-2010, 06:59 PM
  # 27 (permalink)  
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From Daybreaks link:

It really can't be over-emphasized that it isn't personal. Again, this is an important thing to grasp because it is essential for you to really know and feel how objectified you are in the narcissist's eyes. You are an object. Not a person.

Part of their manipulation of us is how they will pretend there is an emotional bond between you and them. You believe that they must love you in "their way". So you hang in there. You swallow more lies. You stick around because you live in vain hope of change. You feel guilty for breaking contact because you believe them when they say they love you. Instead of seeing how they use the word 'love' to keep you stuck, you choose to believe they care in some way because you care about them (being the decent person you are). And because you stay, they continue to have the power to torment you. Yes, it feels personal as they adjust their torments to your reactions. You mustn't be fooled by the customization of their torture of you. It is just how they maximize the amount of amusement they gain at your expense. It is all about their pleasure, their gain, their lusts. It's not about you.

If you have determined that you are in a relationship with a narcissist or psychopath you need to expunge the word love from your expectations of them or your beliefs about their feelings toward you, or anyone. They do not know what love is. They can say the word. That is all it is to them -- a word. They know the power that little word has over you, but they do not experience love on an emotional level. They only use the word because they know it has emotional meaning to you. If you can really absorb the reality that they don't love you, that they never loved you, it will greatly facilitate your ability to walk away. And not only walk away, but to disentangle your own emotions from them. Residual worry on your part that you've 'hurt' them in some way emotionally by leaving will vanish because you will know down to your bone marrow that they were never connected to you emotionally by bonds of love. Or even hate. You were no more a person than your Lazy Boy lounge chair in the living room. When you can really know that, you'll be free both body and soul.

Remember my maxim: when words contradict actions you must believe the actions over the words or you'll end up being someone's meal. Don't believe protestations of love when the actions consistently contradict how love is truly demonstrated. Add to that this truth as it applies to torments dished out by narcissists: it ain't personal. You are only a means to an end to them.
Good stuff!
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Old 08-16-2010, 05:55 AM
  # 28 (permalink)  
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I've been reading about it and thinking about it in my own relationship with my RAH.

I think their are different levels of Gaslighting. And they are determined by the motivation behind it.

In the movie his intention was to drive this woman crazy to get her money.

My RAH would gaslight to get out of situations. But it was so obvious he just looked like he was stupid.

Mind you - even though I realized I knew what was going on, I still spent outrageous amounts of time trying to get him to see the truth. Which made me feel crazy and out of control.

Now in recovery if we have an argument he'll try to gaslight - or say anything to win the fight - however I have gotten pretty good at doing that myself.

It is a relief to have a name for it - however I don't recommend telling your alcoholic they are "gaslighting" - mine got pretty defensive. I guess the thought of having ANOTHER problem that he has to fix - is just too much. I laughed at him - my own form of gaslighting i suppose.

But even if he doesn't admit it - now that I know what it is I can deal with it and be aware of doing it myself. It's like naming the fear or the pain. Very empowering.

But I was thinkin of buying some lamps and gettin' a little pay back
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Old 08-16-2010, 08:15 AM
  # 29 (permalink)  
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Christie said:
But then at times, during an arguement, say about money, he will say things to confuse the situation (me). And my head his spinning.

But sometimes I think he may not even be aware he's doing it, or just trying to end the fight. Or maybe it's just a habit and thinks that's the way it is supposed to be? Or maybe during a time when we are both heated things are just said?

Are these possible reasons?
And if so how to stop it? How do I respond?
Yes, it could be both. He could be doing it on purpose sometimes and he could not be aware sometimes. If your head is spinning, of course his head could be spinning too.

Try not arguing. It's not healthy for ANYONE, alcoholic, sober, recovering, or other. Investigate what part you play in the arguing and fighting, determine where you can mature yourself, then make the changes you need to make to grow some. That's what I do anyway. You could resolve not to start a fight. You could resolve that once a conversation TURNS INTO a fight that you will just walk away and come back to it later.

Of course, it could be entirely him (I have acquaintances who LIKE to tease people, create arguments, and fight.) I disassociate myself from people like that-don't need that $hit in my life.
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Old 08-16-2010, 09:51 AM
  # 30 (permalink)  
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Try not arguing. It's not healthy for ANYONE, alcoholic, sober, recovering, or other. Investigate what part you play in the arguing and fighting, determine where you can mature yourself, then make the changes you need to make to grow some. That's what I do anyway. You could resolve not to start a fight. You could resolve that once a conversation TURNS INTO a fight that you will just walk away and come back to it later
You are so right!

I have to be careful sometimes about being a reverse Hypochondriac in terms of diagnosing others, like my RAH. I'll read something then I'll think HE has that. He's a gaslighter, compulsive liar, narcissist, an alcoholic... well that one was true.

It's probably that we both just need to grow the hell up.

We were going back and forth about something last week, we had to prove our points. But of course I was right - why couldn't he see that!!!!!

He finally said " I am dropping the racket, I will not volley back to you"

I was like - WHAT!! don't you AA me! But he was right and it turned out fine. I'll try to remember that next time.

It is very very difficult to change old behaviors and thoughts. They are so ingrained and it can be so overwhelming. Lobotomy please!
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Old 08-18-2010, 06:19 AM
  # 31 (permalink)  
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This is one of the best explainations on Gaslighting. I actually printed this and put it in my ex's night bag when he was over once and I did see he had it on his desk at home.
He said he never read it, but hopefully one day he does so he can heal from this and stop the abuse.

But in any case, here it is.

What is Gaslighting? The Extremes of Emotional Abuse By Jeanne Sparks-Carreker

Not all abuse involves being hit or being physically abused, but all abuse hurts.

Have you ever wondered if you are insane?

Emotional Abuse, in its extreme forms, can cause the victim insanity. Sometimes, this is the intended result of the abuser!

There is a type of pain a woman experiences when, after years of faithful marriage, she begins to witness changes in her husband that, when confronted, are then said to be the creation of the wife's imagination, a plot to hide her own actions, or the perception of a woman in need of psychiatric help.

To describe the pain endured by victims of emotional abuse with written words is like trying to explain what a person experiences when facing the realization of certain, impending death. It seems quite impossible. There are rips, tears, stabs & agonizing pain within her heart. Sometimes she panics, believing she is losing her soul mate forever.

Sometimes her husband may actually tell her that the suspicion, the digging around for answers, or the accusations involved in the panic are the actual things causing the couple to have distance in the first place.

If a man does this, he is using a manipulative, cruel technique known as Gaslighting.

Emotional abusers who partake in the horrific methods of Gaslighting have an agenda of which society may presently be unaware.

The term "Gaslighting" was introduced to the public in an old movie entitled "The Gas Light" (1940) & its remake of the same title (1944). In these movies, a woman who receives a large inheritance is courted by & marries a man who has a secret agenda. He intends to drive her crazy in order to obtain the hefty estate she has.

"Gaslighting" is so called due to the story unfolding with the husband routinely igniting the gas lamps in the loft of the house, which causes the other lamps in the house to dim. Upon question from the wife as to why the lamps were dimming, the good husband would tell her she was imagining things.

In the movie, it is obvious the man knew he was driving his wife insane. Sometimes, however, this is not the case where intention is concerned. Some emotional abusers do not realize they are Gaslighting.

Whether he intentionally chooses to actually drive his wife crazy or not, the statements & lack of concern a husband displays over them even after they cause pain are forms of emotional abuse. They are normally used to cover up actions for which he does not want his spouse/girlfriend to discover.

A husband or emotional abuser who is Gaslighting may have something like this to say:

**How could you believe I would ever have an affair with your best friend?!

**You must be preoccupied with an affair, yourself!

**You're just being suspicious!

**When you accuse me of things that I pride myself with always upholding, it makes me not want to be around you!

**That's what our distance & unhappiness is all about, right there! You are always thinking I'm having an affair!

**Your disbelief in me is what has come between us!

**If you could just believe in me, everything would be the way it was before.

In the above statements, it is undeniably clear that genuine love does not demand complete trust without inquiry, test, or proof. A healthy relationship produces spouses who are more than happy to comfort & prove the amount of love they hold for their partner until there is complete clarity on whatever subject for which the questioning party needs the explanation & reassurance.

I would be much more concerned with the pain my husband was feeling at the time than I would be with any offensiveness it may cause me over him having doubted my faithfulness. I would try everything within reason to make the uncertainty go away, while most likely blaming myself for having been too busy for him the week prior to that. I would not be overwhelmed with anger over the possibility that he may doubt my faithfulness to him.

Doubt happens, especially in a world where there is evil, hate & insecurity. As well, we live in a country where many channels on the television are trying to attract consumers to their wide range of products to create a perfect appearance. Although wise people know that they do not need to look like Pamela Anderson Lee or The Rock in order to be desirable, our society is obsessed with "Being Beautiful." When one adds to that the notion that affairs are tolerated & sometimes even encouraged (especially on the Internet at certain "we help you cover up your affair" sites) in our society, anyone, especially the one who adores & loves you, should understand why there is doubt at times.

When no sympathy or support for the hurt feelings are available, more times than not it is due to the Gaslighting abuser not wanting to empathize with their spouse/girlfriend because he would then have to take responsibility as having been the one who caused the hurt.

Gaslighting methods offer no solution to the problems between couples because only genuine love can comfort & understand, an intimacy that is a must in a relationship.

So when can you be sure someone is Gaslighting, whether voluntarily or involuntarily?

I believe the method we will be using here will help: by studying the reported actions & words of those who have tried Gaslighting techniques (for whatever reason), & then comparing those usually quite similar Gaslighting methods against solid, true proofs of intimacy in a healthy relationship.

My sincere hope is that you will not need the invaluable information below to sort out emotional abuse in the form of Gaslighting techniques juxtapose to love within your own relationship. Unfortunately, however, many people do.

Before we bring to light the different implementations of Gaslighting, we must first address a lingering, sometimes constantly thought upon (but absolutely always feared) question being asked within the minds of victims: am I insane?

You are not insane (that is a huge "not"). If you believe you may be a victim of emotional abuse, particularly the manipulative cruelty we now know as Gaslighting, please begin this paragraph once more before proceeding. When you are certain you can be open-minded & not believe another person's cruel "you need help, you are insane" monstrosities that have been damaging your spirit, mind & ego, & ability to rationalize between logic & "true love," please continue.

Gaslighting is more commonly facilitated in an attempt to hide any actions or truths a person does not want brought to light. More often than not, a person does not want their spouse to be driven insane simply because they want to cover up a fling with their secretary. Still, using manipulation & lies to hide truth is always damaging to a loved one because, though they know their spouses' usual behavior, likes, & dislikes, though they know their spouse has changed in some manner where the love relationship toward them is concerned.

They begin to question their very opinions & acquired wisdom through instinct that they had formerly collected about surviving in the world. They may even begin to reassess instinctual wisdom they had formerly relied upon throughout life, of which they need to leave alone & in which they need to continue to trust.

We all know that healthy relationships need two partners who are both willing to listen, understand, share what is inside them. They decide early on what is most important between them. Without true caring for the other person, one cannot relate to the other in honest sympathy or heart-felt sincerity. Gaslighting, however, would involve a denial of these things. When an abuser refuses to listen, appears to misunderstand what he is completely capable of understanding, or declines sharing his emotions, he is "withholding" a part of the essential intimate actions of the relationship. (When a partner really does not understand the other, then at least the intent to understand & compromise should be there, with perhaps a request for the partner to help them understand somehow.)

But when Gaslighting is the main technique & "withholding" is the tool, the abuser feigns confusion or a lack of understanding. A victim may be met with defiant, even accusatory words like:

**I don't know!

**How do you expect me to remember that when I cannot remember this morning! (This & variations of this are familiar phrases for Gaslighting abusers who are using drugs or alcohol.)

**I'm not listening to this confusing crap again tonight.

**You're just trying to confuse me!

When Gaslighting, the abuser will emphatically call into question the memory, thoughts, & ideas of his victim, & even further use that at a later date as a new "countering" point to make:

Think about when you didn't remember things correctly last time!

You thought the same thing the last time & you were wrong.

This is declared even though the victim did remember things correctly, & even despite the fact that he knows she did (except in cases of extreme self-denial in the Gaslighting abuser). Even if it seems the cruelty cannot become worse, the abuser has been effectively "countering" by throwing the victim off the feared subject matter at the time, getting her to instead mull over why in the world her husband would decide for her what her memory should have been instead, & then even declare another circumstance as a relapse of memory confusion.

This is where the real struggle within her starts: if she hasn't already started questioning her own opinions & ideas about life before this method, she will at this point. When constantly told that her memory, experience, feeling & instinct is emphatically wrong, chances are, she will eventually start to believe him, if not only to keep peace within what seems like a relationship of love.

**You're jumping to conclusions.

**You see everything in the most negative way!

**You're always nagging me about something all the time.

**You're making things up in your head or blowing things out of proportion.

**Your imagination is working overtime.

**You have an overactive imagination.

**You take everything wrong.

**You see everything wrong.

**You have never believed in me, then!

**You probably never believed in me when we took our vows!

You heard that through a closed door! You cannot hear things correctly through a closed door! You should have come right up in the middle of us if you thought we were saying that! (Though he knows that had she been there, the conversation would not have been the same.)

Normally, the victim is never entirely clear what the abuser's intentions are. Since the abuser responds quickly with anger, the victim starts to believe she may have "taken it all wrong," which is why she was quickly met with his anger, much like the role of a daughter & father (i.e. if he's that angry, I must be wrong.)

After all, isn't believing that better for the victim than believing he intended to make you lie to yourself?

"Blocking" & "diverting" is a method of Gaslighting whereby communication is controlled & manipulated. The abuser refuses to comment or answer (because he has already stated "I'm not going through this again tonight") & closes the discussion on things he "has already discussed."

Also, when withholding information, the Gaslighting abuser prevents all possibility of coming to a fair resolution, or in giving comforting knowledge to his spouse/girlfriend.

By "diverting," the Gaslighting abuser changes the subject, & even accuses her of accusing him wrongly or in the wrong manner in which one is supposed to accuse. He may continue into the lie of how her absolute gaul in accusing him is actually the growing problem between them. Gaslighting in this manner effectively dodges any resolute answer, much less shows a healthy concern for her feelings.

The abuser diverts her attempts to gain clarity or sympathy, & "diverts" her from the actual subject by getting her to forget the topic at hand using irrelevant declarations in order to side-track her:

**You're just trying to have the last word.

**You think you know it all.

**You always have to be right.

**Where did you get a crazy/stupid/weird/dumb idea like that?

**No. Stop, before you say another word,let me say this...

**I shouldn't have to repeat myself.

**Whatever! (sarcastically).

**I don't see where this is going.

**That's just crap.

**Quit bitching.

A Gaslighting abuser often accuses his partner of having done something wrong (to justify his actions or to give misleading ideas as to why he treated her a certain way when she questioned him).

Healthy partners do not want to see their spouse feeling bad or hurt, & instead desires to comfort or heal their pain.

Alternatively, the goal of abusive accusations is to blame the partner for her anger, irritation, or insecurity, thereby proving the anger/abuse she is enduring is justified because she is at fault or in the wrong for the way she accused or reacted to something he did.

**You're just trying to pick a fight.

**You're looking for trouble.

**You're not the woman I thought I married.

**You're attacking me.

**You can't leave well enough alone.

**I've had it with your attacks/bitching/complaining.

"Trivializing" is confusing to her because, if she doesn't recognize Gaslighting by "trivializing" for what it is, she believes she somehow hasn't been able to explain to her mate just how important certain things are to her.

"Trivializing" can be very subtle, so that the partner is left feeling depressed & frustrated but isn't quite sure why.

**That isn't important to us.

**You're going to let something like that come between us?

Abusive "forgetting" is also a method of Gas Lighting.

The abuser conveniently forgets anything pertaining to what the victim has needed closure on. We all forget things sometimes; but this is not genuine oblivion; it's denial that an event (interactions, usually) happened at all.

These forgotten events usually have had great impact on a partner.

Victims of Gaslighting often try to discuss incidents with their abuser to help resolve issues sometimes only in the hopes of avoiding the same hurt, explosion, or confusion in the future, though he will still deny it ever happened, with an accusatory comment like:

**What are you talking about?

**That never happened!

**It wasn't me!

**They've confused me with someone else!

**I've never been there before/known that person before/talked to her before/called that number before!

**I don't have to listen to you about something I didn't do!

Some abusers consistently "forget" making the promises which are most important to their partner, thereby causing her more pain & confusion.

Whether the Gaslighting abuser intends on the lies or not, the result is still the same, leaving the victim in emotional peril.

Finally, the Gas Lighting abuser will also use plain old "denial." The victim is forced to ask herself if she should even try anything as a next step because he listened to her logical, understandable, completely answerable question & simply said

"Nope. Not me. Didn't do it."

The Gaslighting victim is also left to deal with the fact he knowingly denied this, & what else could possibly be unknown to her.

Overall, the victim starts to realize she needs to be careful when relying on her own perceptions of life. Sometimes clarity will filter through the hogwash of her abuser & she feels she may need to stop having sex with him, as a protective means to herself; but sexual moments usually become the only time she is given his attention & what was "love" at one time. It is hard for the victim to let go of, & usually is prompted by the victim simply to have a familiar moment with her "soul mate."

Eventually a Gaslighting abuser wins the ultimate war, the final argument, when she begins to collapse mentally & emotionally. The worst Gaslighting abusers will then mock her, humiliate her by sharing her "wrongdoings" (of searching for a solution) with their mutual friends, hoping to get a response of "I wouldn't listen to all that nagging, Man," from them. Perhaps it better eases his conscious to have others tell him it is all her, or that she's just a bitch, or just a nag.

Hell, she's not worth the effort it takes him to keep on living with her!

**I never said that!

**You're making that up!

**I never told them anything!

**You've got to be crazy!

Though she knows she heard it correctly, has endured the looks on her friend's faces, has been asked strange questions of which she was only able to give a confused look over as the shock riveted through her already weak mind.

If you are a victim of Gaslighting, hang in there. Recognizing that it is emotional abuse is a very big step. Trust your "gut instincts." They have been entrusted by folks since Adam & Eve, & I just don't think it is credible that you could be the only person without credible, solid instincts.
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Old 08-18-2010, 06:26 AM
  # 32 (permalink)  
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These were my ex's common ones he used on me. Along with him saying something, then denying he said it. I never and still dont take it personally, A addict needs to keep his addiction alive in any way he can.

**You're jumping to conclusions.

**You see everything in the most negative way!

**You're always nagging me about something all the time.

**You're making things up in your head or blowing things out of proportion.

**Your imagination is working overtime.

**You have an overactive imagination.

**You take everything wrong.

**You see everything wrong.

**You have never believed in me, then!

**You think you know it all.

**You always have to be right

**You're just trying to pick a fight.

**You're looking for trouble. (he used this one on me when we broke up 11 days ago when he was worried I was going to go his married lovers husband)

**I've had it with your attacks/bitching/complaining
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Old 08-18-2010, 08:44 AM
  # 33 (permalink)  
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Ugh. God. Gaslighting.

So many forms of it....

My ExAGF's latest gaslighting tactics include demanding an apology. She usually only phones me when she is drunk. She demands an apology for the way that I have handled her drinking around my infant daughter in the past. She simply will not let it go. Even though I have not so much as mentioned it in almost a year.

Notice there is absolutely ZERO ownership on her part of anything she has done wrong (namely drinking to intoxication around an infant, even though she does this fairly often) no, no admission of any guilt whatsoever, only the demand of an apology for what I have done wrong. Yes, I know, I am heinous for having been upset about her consumption. Yes, I probably did handle it poorly. Yes, I have admitted it. But still, the demand for a 'heartfelt' apology for my wrongs crops up everytime she is drinking, when she decides to phone me, ironically, whilst drunk.

That is a form of gaslighting IMO.

Presenting false evidence, insisting on my wrongdoing, when all I did was express my disliking of her drinking whilst taking care of an infant (which I believe is my fair right as a father).

Before that, she was on a kick of accusing me of alcoholism. Yes, I go to the pub on the weekend only. During the rest of my week, I am working, so I stay in, and with my daughter, I do not drink, ever. I have drank beer a grand total of twice in the last 2 weeks. I can take it or leave it.

Before that her kick was to tell everyone that I am a deadbeat dad, despite the fact that it was her who was giving me a tough time regarding access to my child.

Don't you love that tactic? Deny me access to my child for months on end, then tell everyone that I'm the deadbeat....

ironically, I spoke with her ex husband not too long ago, and he experienced all the gaslighting as well. She tries to paint him as a drug addict, when he is most definitely not. Oh yes, gaslighting is a very effective tool for the addict/alcoholic in blame deflection, but I think it is rooted in something psychological beyond mere addiction. It's also a form of projection to them.

I just agree and/or say, okay, well, I have to go now. Then she leaves me alone for another month or so, until she gets into the vino and decides to give me a call. It's happening less frequently these days though because she can no longer elicit the reaction out of me.
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Old 08-18-2010, 08:54 AM
  # 34 (permalink)  
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this is me now thank u so much now i know im not going mad question is what to do cos i have withdrawn from sex to protect myself but dont know what to do next but ive taken all that in and will think about what it all means
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Old 08-18-2010, 09:23 AM
  # 35 (permalink)  
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"All you ever want to do is talk about my drinking. I am getting better!" ugh.
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Old 08-18-2010, 09:48 AM
  # 36 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by whereisthisgoin View Post
"All you ever want to do is talk about my drinking. I am getting better!" ugh.
My variant on that is, "I had a drug problem and I'm getting better." in the hope no one will notice her drinking (which has never been a problem for her, according to her) even though I have never seen her do drugs, ever, yet I've seen her drink more than a sailor on shore leave.
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Old 08-18-2010, 09:50 AM
  # 37 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by kia View Post
this is me now thank u so much now i know im not going mad question is what to do cos i have withdrawn from sex to protect myself but dont know what to do next but ive taken all that in and will think about what it all means
Next you'll likely have to leave him, as much as you don't want to hear that.....for the sake of your sanity.

Once I realised my sanity was at risk, and my own health, believe me, my love for my ex pretty much vanished.

The longer you stay in a situation like this, the worse your anxiety and depression will become.
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Old 08-18-2010, 10:03 AM
  # 38 (permalink)  
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Wow! I learn something from SR everyday! I am a recovering alcoholic with major codependent issues and when I read this thread about gas-lighting, much about my relationship with one of my brothers came clear like a bolt of lighting.

All the times he said he "never said that". (when of course he did). Or didn't do that, when he did. All the times he tried to recreate history and try to convince me I didn't hear, didn't see, didn't experience something that I actually did hear, did see, did experience. I mean, I was there. Yet he tried over and over again to imply I was befuddled and didn't it wrong, I am a dingbat, etc, etc.
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Old 08-18-2010, 10:18 AM
  # 39 (permalink)  
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Summerpeach, thank you so much for posting this explanation of gaslighting.

I truly thought, and sometimes still do when I think about the last few years and life with STBXAH, that I was losing my mind. Little things like him taking $20 out of my purse and then when I'd ask if he'd borrowed it for gas, he'd convince me that I'd spent it all on a mocha. Or telling me he'd never said he'd work on the car so I could drive it when I'm pretty sure he did. I don't know why I kept believing him - or why it is still so much easier to doubt my memories or beliefs when confronted with his statements.

It's so tiring, the mental gymnastics I put myself through trying to reconcile what I know (and should believe without a doubt because my perceptions can't be off that much, can they?) and what he would try to convince me was the way it really was.

Thanks again, Summerpeach, and every one else who have posted info and experience.

Last edited by theuncertainty; 08-18-2010 at 10:19 AM. Reason: fixed typo
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Old 08-18-2010, 10:33 AM
  # 40 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Duped View Post

The longer you stay in a situation like this, the worse your anxiety and depression will become.
very true, I was always wondering why when I was around him, my anxiety was so high. The last day him and I were together, we took a walk and I was miserable and tried to explain to him why I feel anxiety around him.

It makes you feel like you're crazy. Their "crazy" becomes your "crazy"
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