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What is Gaslighting?

Old 08-19-2010, 09:41 AM
  # 61 (permalink)  
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My bro in law who is a man in every sense of the word, said to me "All men lie, they have to or no girl would ever go out with them"

;-)
With all due respect summerpeach, I can't agree with that. Wouldn't you be annoyed to hear a man say that "all women lie?"

I don't think it is a man or a woman thing in particular to lie or "gaslight", and not every alcoholic is a liar and a gaslighter.

And, I am sure plenty of normies are capable of gaslighting behavior as well.

Actually when I first read the description of gaslighting, I didn't think about an alcoholic right away. I thought about a very cruel man I knew at a workplace. He was not an alcoholic. He worked with a boy who was a little handicapped. He would mess up the boys work while his back was turned, steal things and blame it on the kid and lied to the supervisor time and time again. I saw him doing it.

It's a very bad human trait and I guess when you combine it with alcoholism, it is multiplied by 10....
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Old 08-19-2010, 12:07 PM
  # 62 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by littlefish View Post
With all due respect summerpeach, I can't agree with that. Wouldn't you be annoyed to hear a man say that "all women lie?"

I don't think it is a man or a woman thing in particular to lie or "gaslight", and not every alcoholic is a liar and a gaslighter.

And, I am sure plenty of normies are capable of gaslighting behavior as well.

Actually when I first read the description of gaslighting, I didn't think about an alcoholic right away. I thought about a very cruel man I knew at a workplace. He was not an alcoholic. He worked with a boy who was a little handicapped. He would mess up the boys work while his back was turned, steal things and blame it on the kid and lied to the supervisor time and time again. I saw him doing it.

It's a very bad human trait and I guess when you combine it with alcoholism, it is multiplied by 10....
Don't shoot the messanger ;-)
I'm only tell you what my bro in law told me.

Gaslighting is exclusive to liars, all kinds, not just addicts.
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Old 08-19-2010, 01:28 PM
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One thing I have heard is that the alcoholic's emotion maturity stalls when start drinking.

My RAH started drinking at the ripe old age of 12, so his emotion maturity is around that (great).

I watch and listen to my 11 year old son as he tortures and torments his sisters and it dawns on my he's a little gaslighter. Twisting things around, outright lying... and their reaction is "he's driving us crazy".

But he's being an 11 year old brother - that's his job right now. Eventually as he matures he will learn how to deal with others and learn his job is not to drive people crazy. (hopefully)

But that's IF he matures.

Not in all cases of course, but when someone starts drinking early in life there is so much that is not learned, so much maturing that doesn't happen. In fact there can be damage to a developing brain.

I think that's why most of time we feel like we are dealing with a child or worse (when drinking) like someone who's actually brain damaged. Wackoooo

Sometime I look at my husband and I see that little boy from BIG - ya' know when Tom Hanks turns back into the boy with the big suit and shoes.

"They" say once they stop drinking they can catch up and learn to cope and deal and be adults, but it take times.

That's just one theory...
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Old 08-19-2010, 01:50 PM
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I agree with that Chrris. My AH started quite young also, and his mental and emotional maturity level is pretty young.

I believe that is one issue that is referred to when discussing what an A has to work on after they sober up.
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Old 08-19-2010, 02:28 PM
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I heard that often as well Chrris
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Old 08-19-2010, 03:02 PM
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I want that book!! Thank you for the link.
I agree with what I saw in the preview; that it is emotional abuse.
I find that any type of abuse stems from power andcontrol dynamics.

Good grief, when I was with the xabf.....he would re-write to such an extent that the events he tried to gaslight me with bore so little resemblance to what really happened that I considered it too ridulous to resopond.
I totally ignored thinking...he was there, he knows the truth.
But since then I have learned that a person can tell a lie to the extent that they believe it.
I often wondered what was happening in his head when he was doing this.
I now believe that he meant to confuse me and mess with me, and that it was a challenge to see how I would react. And that underlying it, it was power and control.
Evenso, I felt very confused, and I actually troubled myself considering his warped version of things.
crazy-making!
I don't need it!
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Old 08-19-2010, 05:47 PM
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i think some feel no pain about it at all. i think some are made that way.
narcissists. alcohol just fuels there self righteous indignation that you dont see it their way. my opinion.
sigh.....
and maybe i am trying to make it less personal this way.
I do find it very interesting that not many recovery A's (I think you only you -Wicked) posted (contributed opinions) on this topic.

Some insight would be much appreciated
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Old 08-20-2010, 09:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Summerpeach View Post
The anxiety I felt was strange, we would spend every 2nd weekend together and maybe 1 night during the week and it seems like I would start to get sick the day I would see him. Then when we would go out, I would feel like this panic.
He once said "you always seem to get sick around me and feel well when I'm not around"
He was right, I could not admit that, but it was true.
As much as I loved him, cared about him and as much as I loved our weekends together, I was always in fear of something crazy happening.
Though we rarely fought when together, it was mostly on the phone when apart.
Odd!
Oh yes, it's your body telling you to get out. I even convinced myself that I was hypoglycemic at one point. I would wake in the morning and feel all weak and dizzy - so I would force feed myself complex carbs, feel okay almost immediately, and through this I convinced myself I was ill. The mind playing tricks on me.

Went to the doctor, had every test imaginable done on me - and the doc says, "Look, I can't find anything wrong with you - it's all in your head. It's anxiety, you should speak to someone."

Then I was better.

Amazing what an abuser can accomplish with their mind games.

They live in their own little private reality, and they specialise in revisionist history to the point that it is mindboggling for the person on the receiving end who happens to be grounded in reality.
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Old 08-20-2010, 11:07 AM
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Duped, mindbloggling is right.

I spoke to the ex today. He's showing very little sympathy towards the pain I feel about being cheated on.
I tried to explain (my 1st mistake) to get him to understand how devastated I am, telling him I lost 10 lbs in 2 weeks (yes I have), I'm not sleeping and just am sick over this.
I mean, who doesnt' want the person who hurt them make it all ok right?

His reply was "I please, I'm sure you've been doing the same thing behind my back for years" (meaning having on line affairs)" <---YIKES!

Then downplayed the cheating by saying "it was only a few txt's and emails and I met with her once"


MINDBOGGLING is right Duped!
And again, like a lost kitten, I sat there holding the phone in shock!

His cannot accept how he hurt me so it's better to make me the bad guy to say I did it also, and the cheating "meant nothing"

Funny thing, it meant something to me!
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Old 08-20-2010, 01:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Summerpeach View Post
Duped, mindbloggling is right.

I spoke to the ex today. He's showing very little sympathy towards the pain I feel about being cheated on.
I tried to explain (my 1st mistake) to get him to understand how devastated I am, telling him I lost 10 lbs in 2 weeks (yes I have), I'm not sleeping and just am sick over this.
I mean, who doesnt' want the person who hurt them make it all ok right?

His reply was "I please, I'm sure you've been doing the same thing behind my back for years" (meaning having on line affairs)" <---YIKES!

Then downplayed the cheating by saying "it was only a few txt's and emails and I met with her once"


MINDBOGGLING is right Duped!
And again, like a lost kitten, I sat there holding the phone in shock!

His cannot accept how he hurt me so it's better to make me the bad guy to say I did it also, and the cheating "meant nothing"

Funny thing, it meant something to me!
Yep. Mine has done some heinous things in the past year, but the MO is now to try and paint me in as negative light as possible to anyone who will listen, and to make me into the bad guy. She's succeeding, but only to a point. Soon you won't allow him to hurt you anymore.
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Old 08-20-2010, 01:10 PM
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Creepy
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Old 08-20-2010, 02:15 PM
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OH SUMMER GIRRRLLLL

i can't believe you're still talking to him!!!


Ok I'll stop yelling - sorry.

You won't get anything nice from him - not ever.

But you gave him something that's for sure - you stroked his ego, gave him the power over your feelings, you allowed him the opportunity to manipulate and lie to you - oh gosh the list goes on and on. Now he's the man.

lose his number
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Old 08-20-2010, 02:25 PM
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nah, why can't it be a lesson?

SG was honest and direct. She tried to communicate just like one would in a normal relationship ~not saying cheating is normal, but just saying, wow something you did has really, really hurt me. We expect our partners to care and in a loving relationship, they do.

So, she got to hear how he twisted it around and hurt her worse.
Now she knows what she can expect from him.
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Old 08-20-2010, 10:03 PM
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Chrris, I'm only 2 weeks into the break-up and when I found out, asked him to leave and we have not talked since. It was a 5 yr relationship and there needs to be some closure (for me at least) and he still has things at my house.
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Old 08-20-2010, 10:38 PM
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Ok... maybe I'm a little confused? So is it "gaslighting" if they really did say something but they don't remember? I would have countless repeat convos with my ABF because he wouldn't remember talking to me about it the night before. Or he would promise to do something and I would get upset when I came home the next day and it wasn't done. He said he never remembered telling me whatever it was and I would have to remind him. So if it's true he really said it, then I'm not gaslighting, right??
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Old 08-20-2010, 10:51 PM
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sadpanda,
i think gaslighting is a purposeful attempt to sabotage and manipulate another person. if your addicted boyfriend truly does not remember, then it is not gaslighting, and you are not gaslighting him by reminding him, or talking to him about it the next day.
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Old 08-21-2010, 04:53 AM
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Hi Summer - I understand that - Just protect yourself - if the conversation causes you more pain then there's no closure and no point except for him to get a last dig in.

But than what if he says all the right things, nice, kind things - where will that leave you - more confused - maybe doubting your decision?

Be careful & stay strong
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Old 10-15-2017, 12:05 PM
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I have been on this forum prior, but have yet to register, until this morning. I am well aware that my mother gaslights me, however; this morning's was just too much for me. I needed to read up on gaslighting again, and be reminded of what can happen.

My mother and I run a business, and now it is getting out of control. If I drink (which I should not do, and when I do it's rather epic), no matter how long I can be sober for, she punishes me by telling my guests, my customers, my friends, her friends, people who don't even know me, etc. that I am a horrible alcoholic, etc. She also likes to call me a thief a liar and a cheat. Which I am not. I took $800 from our combined business account, because I had not been paid in over two months, and she considers that thieving.

I am so embarrassed and so frustrated. It is such a sick problem. I have been working with therapists for years, and been in rehab twice, on my own accord. With my life savings, and yet she is the one who needs attentions. Blah. Throwing up face here. Ugh.

Thanks for listening. I needed to rant and add to this thread. I am freaked out by the damage she can do.
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Old 10-15-2017, 05:34 PM
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My STBXAH did this too, almost everything you mentioned, although I have no idea if he snooped. He would yell at me and say he wasn't yelling. He would be controlling and then say I was controlling. He would break things and claim that those things were "always broken" or just "made poorly". He cheated and said it was my fault because I was probably cheating. He said I didn't make him happy enough so he had to use illegal drugs. I had the misfortune of going to couples counseling with him because I thought it would improve his behavior, but it only gave him another way to gaslight me. I even said, "I feel like he's gaslighting me", and the counselor told me that the word "gaslighting" is not "helpful to the relationship". It took the neighbors calling the police before I realized the extent of his abuse. He is still running around lying and has made me the victim of his lies when for the longest time I was protecting him from the consequences of his actions, much to my detriment. So sick of this. Now if anyone starts off a post saying that their addict keeps lying, I tell them to RUN THE HECK AWAY, RUN AWAY. Lying is like another type of addiction. It starts out with small lies and the lies get bigger and bigger over time. Why would you want to live with anyone whom you can't trust?

Originally Posted by Summerpeach View Post
My ex started to gaslight once he stopped drinking.
My ex before him was an addict and he never gaslighted.
I think it's not exclusive to addicts, I think it's a tactic used by people with a weak spirt and ego who cannot even fathom they are wrong.

My ex would yell at me, then I would ask why he's yelling and he would say he wasn't and that I was yelling.
We once apologized after a bad fight and he says I never did
He would tell me I was mistrusting because of my past and not because of what he did to me.
He said I need to stop my snooping (which I only started to do 2 yrs ago)and then I would asked why he snooped (he did it from year one) he said he never did. But yet he would check my pc often, came in my home when I wasn't hear and read my journal.
Did a few drive by's etc. And denied it, then admitted it, then denied it

Trying to have a disagreement with him was like running is a circle and when he knew he was wrong, he would say "You just hate when I disagree with you"
It's NEVER EVER their fault!

Are they evil, forgetful, intentially trying to make us crazy? I think none of the above, I think liars just have a deep DEEEPPPPPPPPPP seated fear of being found out so ego acts out at all costs.
It's nothing personal, they do it to everyone ;-)
It's a mental illness I would guess
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Old 10-15-2017, 05:54 PM
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This. I agree with this. Lose his number. Block him.

Originally Posted by ChrrisT View Post
OH SUMMER GIRRRLLLL

i can't believe you're still talking to him!!!


Ok I'll stop yelling - sorry.

You won't get anything nice from him - not ever.

But you gave him something that's for sure - you stroked his ego, gave him the power over your feelings, you allowed him the opportunity to manipulate and lie to you - oh gosh the list goes on and on. Now he's the man.

lose his number
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