General Question

Kardamom's avatar

Have you ever been "gaslighted"?

Asked by Kardamom (31346points) August 31st, 2017 from iPhone

Or has anyone you know probably been “gaslighted”? Feel free to share the situations.

For those of you who don’t know, This is the Definition of ‘Gaslighting’

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19 Answers

snowberry's avatar

Yes, by my hubby when he was abusive. That was decades ago. He doesn’t do that anymore, and now he calls out men who abuse. (He’s a rare gem!)

Mimishu1995's avatar

Countless of time, when I was a foolish child who couldn’t think for myself. The manipulators loved me for that. They could just say anything and I would believe immediately. The classic situation would be when they told me to do something and I did it. The next day I did the same thing to them and they got angry. I asked why and they threw all the reasons why it was bad to do it and blame it on me being bad, insensitive, things like that. There were also situations when they did something to me that made me felt uncomfortable, I called them out and they thought of all the excuse and called me too sensitive for being uncomfortable too. I walked on an eggshell without realizing it, always doubting myself. I didn’t believe in boundary either, thinking of it as oversensitivity on my part. Every single problem in my relationships all had its root in gaslighting.

Now that I have learned what healthy relationship is, I realized that the best way to avoid gaslight is to have a firm belief in myself. I won’t argue with toxic people, but it no longer means I agree with them. I just choose to keep my thought for myself to avoid having my words be used against me. After that I will have a safer, non-verbal way to deal with them.

imrainmaker's avatar

No..I haven’t been through such experience and don’t think will treat anyone in that manner.

anniereborn's avatar

Does the perpetrator have to be doing it knowingly and on purpose? If not, I would think anyone living with someone addicted to drugs/alcohol would most certainly fall under this category. I know I do.

Coloma's avatar

Oh yes, my ex husband was quite adept at gaslighting and I didn’t know what it was until the end of the marriage wen I started reading up on malignant narcissism and other character disorders, emotional abuse tactics.
Gaslighting is why the term “crazy making” exists. Great at causing the victim to doubt their perceptions of reality, question if they have misunderstood. Very insidious and covertly abusive and manipulative behavior.

LeavesNoTrace's avatar

Yes, it’s probably the most common manipulation tactic in the world. Make the target feel and look “crazy” so as to discredit them and continue the cycle of abuse.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Yes, by my ex and, to a certain extent, by my now-husband. But I am stronger than both of them.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I remember with my ex one time, we went to marriage counseling. Instead of being honest with the counselor he just presented himself as this calm, cool, rational person who had to deal with a crazy wife.
The counselor (a male) took it, hook line and sinker.
He said, something like, “Well, it sounds like your husband is being reasonable.”
I looked at him for a second, then turned to my ex and deliberately rekindled a heated argument we had had just a few days earlier.
My husband bought right into it, and argued with real anger.
After a minute of back and forth the counselor said, “So, is this how your arguments go?”
I instantly stopped and calmly said, “Yes.”
My husband got the most confused look on his face!! Then he realized he’d been had and he was SO mad!
So the counselor got to see the real side of that jerk.

LeavesNoTrace's avatar

@Dutchess_III That’s brilliant! Did your ex ever gain a modicum of self-awareness or was it still business as usual after?

Dutchess_III's avatar

Still business as usual. Gave him 2 more years then I filed for divorce. We were married 10 years.

tranquilsea's avatar

Very frustratingly and sadly my husband’s mother is a giant gaslighter. It wreaked havok with us until we moved 1200km away. The rough thing is that you start questioning reality. We had to get away because she was trying very hard to turn my kids against me. We have a very strained relationship with her.

jca's avatar

What was she doing, @tranquilsea.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I started question reality too @tranquilsea. I remember standing in the kitchen going, “Maybe he’s right. Maybe I’m the one who is crazy…..” Suddenly I knew I had to GET. OUT.

tranquilsea's avatar

@jca I’ll give you the Cole’s Notes version:

In a nutshell what she tells people is that I trapped her son. When she nearly had me away from him I manipulated him back. That I am a terrible mother and that every thing that is wrong in her life is because I married her son. She has told each of my kids this too.
(there is much MUCH more to this)

In reality her son chased me and not the other way around. After so many interactions like these ones:

After my first was born she would want to take a family picture. I would start to line up with everyone else and she would pull me out and say “Just my family”. Crap like that all.the.time.

When my youngest was 4 months old I invited her over for lunch. After exchanging pleasantries I said that I wanted the two of us to get along better for my son’s sake. I can’t remember exactly what she said in response but I responded by telling her that if we didn’t get along in the long term it would probably push us away. She lost it when I said that. Then she said, “If you try to take him (my son) away from I will sue you for custody”.

Most recently she covertly took pictures of our laundry (just before we needed to DO laundry) so she could have evidence that we are filthy people. We accidentally found out when she mistakenly pulled up those pictures instead of what she meant to pull up.

My kids have each been in therapy because of her and what she says about them and me.

After we moved to different province and limited our contact with her things got easier in the family. It’s sad. I want my kids to have a healthy relationship with her but she’s just not capable of it.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Oh, that’s messed up.

My DIL’s mother gaslights her. She’s a fucking nut case. My DIL brought her oldest son to the marriage, when he was about 3, my son brought his oldest daughter, and they’ve had 2 kids together.
Well, my DIL and her Mom raised the boy together so Mom feels very partial to him, and I actually can understand that.
However, not long ago my DIL’s mother said something to my DIL like, “I don’t even know why you even had more kids. What was wrong with just having one?”
In other words, she isn’t going to treat the other kids as though they are her grand children too. I thought that was the most horrible thing a person could say. Pretty sure the problem is she had control over the boy for those years (and he’s pretty messed up as a result) and she’s resentful that she doesn’t have that control over the rest of the kids.
Or maybe she sees 3 perfectly normal kids and one messed up kid and is putting 2 and 2 together.

My DIL used to be pretty messed up to, but our influence has had quite an effect on her. She just needs to get away from her mother.

tranquilsea's avatar

@Dutchess_III Oh, that is so sad. I know my MIL is a control freak. It is sad that she can’t see that it’s her behaviour that causes so many problems in her life. If she could change that then things would be better. But she is almost 80 now so I don’t think that is going to happen.

Dutchess_III's avatar

When the kids got married I called my DIL’s mother, said I wanted to make my DIL’s veil and I wanted to be sure she didn’t already have something planned, or maybe we could work on it together. She said, “Oh, not. Jenna doesn’t wear hats.”
WTF? Yes, she wore a veil.
And she whined about everything at the wedding.

Also, the woman insists that Scooby and Co were cooking FOOD in the van and that’s where all the smoke comes from! She has every Scooby Doo episode that ever came out in her collection of whatever.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I guess I could go on about the woman forever. One more though, and I’ll quit. When I called her to ask her about her plans for the wedding she said she really wasn’t interested. She said, “The first one didn’t work out, why should I think this one will?”
HOW FUCKING RUDE IS THAT??!! I wanted to say, “Well if her marriage ending was your daughter’s fault, I could understand the sentiment. If it wasn’t her fault, what exactly are you trying to say about my son?”

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