HOW TO TELL WHEN SOMEONE YOU LOVE IS GASLIGHTING YOU
Gaslighting is explained in the following links. It is a manipulation “game” played by narcissists and is becoming very popular among young people. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaslighting; https://www.quora.com/What-are-the-earliest-signs-of-gaslighting; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UYmtzaHwCKo. Gaslighting is extremely dangerous and can cause severe mental trauma. People who don’t see the danger in it are almost guaranteed abusers who were probably susceptible and vulnerable victims at one time.
1. You’re afraid that your lover is gaslighting you, and you don’t know how to talk about it with them without sounding crazy, or being accused of doing it yourself. You feel your sense of groundedness in reality is deteriorating. You start to question your own judgement, memories and perception.
2. If you do talk about it with the suspected abuser, the conversation only seems to make sense in private. When other people are included in the conversation, you start to suspect that they must have made an unspoken agreement to assist with the abusive treatment. OR, everyone will agree they’ve all be gaslighting one another.
3. The only way to be truthful with someone you love is to lie to them.
4. You have to make the decision whether to act like you’re going crazy, or make someone else think they are.
5. Every test for reality that your mind is able to construct seems to fail. The result of the failure is that you have to give up everything that you hold most dear.
6. You start having to make conscious choices about things that seem completely trivial; making the wrong choice appears to have enormous consequences.
7. The people that you think are gaslighting you are also worried that you’re gaslighting them, or so they say.
8. Someone might be gaslighting you without knowing that they are; especially if other people are playing a hoax. This is because the newest victim most often does not realize they are the victim until it’s been going on for some time.
9. Common gaslighting tricks:
– making comments that don’t make sense, and then fabricating a whole web of logic (that never really holds true) to justify the comment.
– doing (or saying) something that can’t be verified, and keeping it secret from the victim. (Turning off a lightswitch that was turned on, and then lying about doing it once the person realizes it was done. Hiding a fork, and then acting like it disappeared.
– changing the mood or tone of voice without reason or explanation, then playing it well enough and long enough that the victim thinks it was normal.
– suggesting something completely preposterous, and then denying to the victim that it was ever suggested.
– acting like figuring things out is worth more than the whole friendship or relationship.
10. When you express your fears of someone of gaslighting you long enough, they start to act like you’re the one gaslighting them.
11. People are pretending not to hear what you’re saying to someone (probably in confidence, trying to construct a reality test), but they are eavesdropping on every word. This behavior is an important clue because it produces an important part of the satisfaction the abuser gets from the abuse.
12. Every time you try to explain what’s happening, you become guilty or accused of being out of your mind, or that you are the gaslighting abuser yourself.
13. It might feel like the only way to really explain gaslighting to someone is to make them a victim of it. This only perpetuates the abuse, and eventually turns the victim into an abuser also.
14. A master expert of gaslighting will be extremely reluctant to admit they’ve been gaslighting you. When they do, you get the feeling they’re only saying that to make you feel better. This is one of its toughest paradoxes, because someone who isn’t gaslighting you will act in exactly the same way, so it makes the two behaviors absolutely impossible to distinguish.
15. High levels of intelligence, especially in linguistics and social intelligence, seem to be an indicator or a significant factor in carrying out the abuse successfully.
16. Gaslighting is extremely dangerous and can cause severe mental trauma, and people who don’t see the danger in it are almost guaranteed abusers who were probably susceptible and vulnerable victims at one time.
17. In a group of perpetrators (like “gang-rape” gaslighting) there’s always one person in the group who acts like they are supporting you in maintaining an honest conversation or reality test, while the rest of the members of the group are acting bizarre (speaking incoherently, daydreaming, whispering to each other, etc.).
18. The most painful paradox of all is that the only way to prove you’re not gaslighting someone is to admit that you’re doing it, and you become convinced that you are doing it unintentionally.
19. The most cruel form of this abuse is when the abuser is a close, trusted confidant or life-partner, and convinces you that relationship is suddenly at the brink of disaster over something, and you honestly can’t figure out what it is. This is how I felt several times during the night.
20. The more elaborate and complicated the victim’s reality tests become, the easier it is for the tests to fail, and the closer the victim is to having a serious breakdown. (Turning off a light now, after the reality tests have always been about turning ON the same light. Or, the victim leaving notes hidden for him/herself to find later, that explain the TRUE reality test instead of a “staged” or phony reality test.
21. The goal of a master group-gaslighter is to get one other person in a group to be the only one who believes something that is verifiably untrue.
22. You become hyper-sensitive to the absence/presence of your loved one, where they are and what they are doing … sometimes your heart races in panic when they come in the room because your mind anticipates there will be a huge problem at any moment over something as small as a coin toss.