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 rossal
Joined: 12/5/2005
Msg: 26
gaslighting, has anyone ever experienced this? Page 2 of 12    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12)
I experienced verbal (emotional) abuse for 31 years....yes, "gaslighting"...also called "crazy-making" behavior. Literally, brainwashing.

The book that saved my life: The Verbally Abusive Relationship by Patricia Evans

One Ph.D. called it, "The Cornerstone of Civilization." I concur.

Rossal
 CompletelyDone
Joined: 8/12/2007
Msg: 27
gaslighting, has anyone ever experienced this?
Posted: 3/27/2009 6:18:09 AM
Harriet Lerner discusses "Gaslighting" in her book "The Emotionally Abused Woman" and it is a worthy read as well.

Essentially, "gaslighting" is the strategy an abuser uses to make their target doubt their own perceptions. The idea is to shake a person's instinct to believe in what they see or hear the other person doing. When a person believes in their own perceptions, the strategy usually fails but many will attempt to be "reasonable" by attempting to be open-minded.

I knew a lady whose husband was so bound, bent and determined to twist her perceptions, that he'd actually wait until she fell asleep, then get up and start kicking the bed. He'd kick it a few times, climb back into bed and then wake her up by screaming at her about why she was kicking the bed when he was trying to sleep. For a long while, she believed she must have done so for him to be so angry.

When someone is trying to get another person to doubt their own perceptions, it's usually for 2 reasons. One is that he or she wants to know if they have that kind of power in another person's life and the second is because they have every intention of cheating in some way and are setting the other person up not to believe it when it happens.

The times when I have really screwed up in my life were the times when I refused to listen to my own gut instincts. Never again!
 CompletelyDone
Joined: 8/12/2007
Msg: 28
gaslighting, has anyone ever experienced this?
Posted: 3/27/2009 9:48:08 AM

Why do you suppose it doesn't work on some, but does on others. What kind of healthy and foresee able intellect can dectect the manipulator. Why are some of us so spirit strong, like that and others so weak?


Anyone who has been around this old world for much longer than a minute knows that people make mistakes based on their emotions, setbacks and stresses. Those of us who don't think we are perfect or infallible allow that perhaps we DID make some kind of mistake or error in judgment. There are also those who are simply trying to hold a family together on the strength of hope and faith. Love has indeed moved many a mountain so it isn't much of a leap for someone to think that they were mistaken or that once the other person trusts that they're truly loved, that they might become somewhat normal and stop feeling the need to manipulate.

I don't believe it's weakness that makes people love in this way. If anything, I think it takes a great deal of strength and character to allow that we could have been mistaken or to love so generously as to believe in the good in someone. We don't lose our right to be loving and caring human beings just because we have found someone who tries to take advantage of that. As a matter of fact, when we do cease to be that strong, loving person and cave in to becoming more like the manipulator, that he or she truly wins with what they're attempting to do.
 hotcheetos
Joined: 1/28/2009
Msg: 29
gaslighting, has anyone ever experienced this?
Posted: 3/27/2009 9:53:05 AM
@ Suchareallady MSG#40** You are totally right people need to get out of the relationship before it become abusive. I was married for 10 years (1989 to 1999) the first 7 years were great but the last three years all we did was argue. He would blame me for things I new I did not do, tell me that my son (which is not his) would be lying about certain things he seen my ex doing. He was so manipulative that some of the things he would say I thought well maybe it is for real, maybe I did do that, or maybe I forgot what I said!! My whole way of thinking became warped!!

The last draw was when he tried to get physical with me and choke me while the kids where not at home. He made a statement that I did not agree with and we begin to argue about it, then he jumped off the couch and snatched me by the neck and I lost consciousness for a few seconds. After, that point I was totally in a rage for revenge and seen the opportunity a few hours later, he fell asleep on the couch, I went out side into the garage and grabbed my sons metal baseball bat and begin to beat the shyt out of him. I was hitting him so hard he fell from the couch to the floor, I dropped the bat cause I thought I had killed him, so I ran over to a relatives house and explained what had took place. We went back over there and seen that he had left. After a couple of DAYS I new that this needed to end cause we were starting to get physical with each other and that's not something I wanted my kids too see. I stopped communicating with him for years.

Just over a year ago we started back talking. My daughter is in college now( his daughter too) and he she expressed to him that she wanted a car. He told her that he know someone who has a car for sale, my daughter gave him the money for the car and I payed for the insurance and registration. He started driving the car around like it was his car, I told him to park the car at my house please and let her come get it when she finish her driving test (which was in a couple of weeks). He started using the car as if he bought it. My dad wanted him to come and work on his car which he lives a few hours away so I did not put up a fuss regarding the car.

The next couple of days we had a blow on the freeway in my car, my daughter called her dad to come and fix the car but AAA came quicker. As AAA was leaving he showed up and I told him I needed to use my daughter car, he was acting kind of hesitant but I told him we were going out of town and we could not ride on a donut. He gave me the keys to my daughter car and we used that car, I went and got keys made too the car for just in case he tried to act like he didn't want to give it back too her. But keep in mind the only reason I gave it back was so he can finish work on my fathers car.

After he had finish the work on my fathers car he told me that we did not pay for that car we payed for another car, (but good thing I had got a copy of the key made) I went over to his place of residents slipped right into the car and left with it (the car is in my name), yes he was very very irrational and left me several threatening messages. I told him that if he proceeds to act in this manner I would report him too the authorities for leaving me terrorist threats. Too this very day my daughter, son and myself would not talk with him because WE know that he is a damn GASLIGHTER!!!
 Rythmn
Joined: 1/21/2006
Msg: 30
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gaslighting, has anyone ever experienced this?
Posted: 3/27/2009 1:12:33 PM
as mentioned to several private letters, my situation was not abusive in the sense that i did not let that in. but it took me several days to figure out. oddly, he "felt" abused because he laid his experiences onto my words. plus, he did not read them and his phone was out as it was tied to his faulty computer. i tested my words with many other people i knew, all men, and not one saw what he saw. very often reactive people, were abused by their parents, both dads and moms. since i date men, they often come from abusive moms. in turn, they were abused by a mom or dad. society puts different labels on men or women. women get sent to mental hospitals and men to jails. many self medicate. but most children who were abused, know no gender preference.

my point in starting this thread was to share my experience and what i would like to see coming from this is HOW to have the wisdom to know the difference--quickly and not after years of slow degradation and loss of self? it is not apparent that quickly. often i am very wrong or do not understand another person's paradigm. so, i try to learn or apologize for what may have been assumed. i also explain my intentions. when that is not acceptable and the shtick goes on, and then becomes "insane" or mean with no explanation about the person's own behavior that is clear and i can see that s/he "owns" it--i bow out. i can see this happening to a young person. at our ages, we need to be more saavy.

in the workplace, that is a total double whammy! especially in these economic times.

ps i have learned to be slower and more cautious with my words and not to assume i can be "known" via the internet. in this situation, we were destined to meet soon and we talked for hours and hours. i do that with my e-buddies,but never get at all "romantic", except once before and that person just chickened out a few days before meeting. so, 'nuff said. rusty is correct.
 Rythmn
Joined: 1/21/2006
Msg: 31
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gaslighting, has anyone ever experienced this?
Posted: 3/27/2009 11:40:14 PM
kittenwithaquip, if you see a fire that is not where it should be, such as in your hearth burning bright, i would say: "don't fuel it". if someone told me he didn't like my "looks", i'd say move on along and i wish you the best with someone who likes "your looks". i cannot see how that kind of person would make me "feel" badly. now if someone turned on me out of the blue after a long while and i trusted him, man that would sting--but eventually reality would set in. the fact of the matter is some like my looks and some don't. that's what makes the world go round: differences.

however, when my character and intention is suspect and the facts are twisted or the most salient points ignored, that is when i am pierced by an arrow. why? because, i have integrity and i worked hard to develop it and nurture it. i also own a lot of my own "bs" and if not right away, i take a good look first and then i apologize if not "right action". sometimes if i care about someone, i'll even apologize for not making myself clear or not communicating properly. that would be no skin off my back!

but, if the temper tantrums and tirades and accusations continue, i gotta think this person needs adult diapers and i ain't gonna change them. well, now if this person turns out to be a collegue or a boss who indeed has power over me, let alone economic power, well then.....i got me a real problem!

i think that is how the abuse happpens for some. if poor esteem is not already there and especially if it crops up after a long standing, "good relationship" due to a severe personality change (unforseen event, illness or some sort of trigger causing it) , it can be terrifying if the person who is attacked, is dependent upon the attacker as breadwinner. if emotionally dependent, there are twelve step groups and therapists for that.

fortunately, i was raised by both parents to have a profession. i didn't chose the one they planned, but i was never totally financially dependent, except one time. with my 1st ex, i supported him for a good six months after grad school. he was supposed to get the job easier, but then there was some kind of freeze and what he anticipated fell through. i had no problems with that. gave him every other paycheck. but, then came "my turn" when i started my consultancy. he was supposed and had agreed to support me for six months. the games he played, in retrospect, were classic. but, i had no time or patience for it. i called my mon (dad was deceased) , got a business loan at a lesser interest and paid her more than she made from her savings accounts. it was a win-win. however, i did not have children and it was a long time ago, when services for working moms were not like now. so, i can see how people went into denial back then.

as to moms nowadays who continue to leave shelters and go back because they "love" the man who just beat the shit out of them, i have my reservations. my mom had also suffered physical abuse when my dad drank, so i had resentments for her not protecting me. yet, i intellectually understand he was two people and in her day, there was nothing to support her as there is today.

i have also seen some truly nice people totally crack and go in either direction under pressure--victim or victimizer. usually both come from dysfunctional backgrounds. there are some people who learn from this and i've seen victimisers "make ammends", often through twelve step. then there are the ones who just keep on going. they had a saying in "adult children of alcoholics" (acoa or aca) that i used to love with respect to the victims or codependents: some people continue to bang their heads on the wall, instead of opening the door and walking out into the sunshine. some, i guess, don't see the door or think it is locked. still others will claw their way out, until their fingers bleed--just like soldiers under fire during war.

each person has a different story. this society is in total denial about sexual abuse against it's young boys. if a 12 year old boy is molested by mommy's friend while they are drunk or stoned, the boy is supposed to think it was "hot". if it happened to a little girl, the world would be outraged. so, the little boy grows up and acts out his paradigm. until recently he had the physical power. i have one male friend whose abusive wife, waited until he was asleep and then poured scalding water on him, due to her uncontrolled rage. only recently is law enforcement taking spousal abuse against men seriously, let alone sexual abuse against young boys seriously. i've worked with such boys, so i believe i need to honor their pain as well.

we have to stop this and the only way is to "model" it for our children. model the tools to prevent or get out or to reinvent oneself. teach them the "process" of finding the wisdom to know the difference. many kids who had everything material coming to them, are now learning way more in the economic crisis. others are being destroyed by it. it depends on how the family gets together and deals. it also depends on how the employers deal. frankel wrote about surviving auschwitz. some of us cannot even survive dating!

as for me, my latest driving force is that in expressing my own vulnerability, i demonstrate my strength. if someone attempts or misinterprets that i am frail or willing to be "made crazy", well.....that will be a learning experience for him or for her. however, it might be that i could find a way to shift a control issue by a clear expression of my intent and my boundaries. there are way too many contolling people, not to give it a shot! way too much stress nowadays and people, nice people, are cracking under pressure saying things they wish they could take back!

so that is where the deciding period lies and that is the time i seek to gain wisdom as to what the truth is before me. it is not easy and letting go of someone who has a "good half" is very hard indeed. but, for me, HP is there to cover us all. i cannot force it on someone else.
 canyunflyer
Joined: 2/6/2006
Msg: 32
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gaslighting, has anyone ever experienced this?
Posted: 3/28/2009 12:17:29 AM
I would have sworn I had a post on this thread? I see someone (if not more than one) has allready made a reccommendation of (the verbally abusive relationship). I think Everyone... and I mean everyone, should get this book and READ it. We must have this stuff accurately defined. I'm sorry, but very very few of us are much good at this all on our own. Inevitably our definitions will be inaccurate or inadequate to some degree. A lot of us get it so wrong its pathetic. I certainly was one!

Evens has 14 different catagories of verbal abuse. What you are calling gaslighting here (I had never heard the term before) would be among them by some other name. Or, gaslighting might be a combination of verbal abuses .?

For those of you who have apparantly never had the misfortune of experienceing this. I kind of envy you.... in a sort of child-like mysterious way. However, take my word for it..... You are still vulnerable to this if you can't understand what the op was talking about. You should add the book to your personal 'education' too.

Today: I don't give three strikes anymore. If I experience any kind of abusive behavior from someone.... anywhere, anytime, any place...whatever.... its ONE strike and your'e outta there. Be gone with thee! Take a hike! Get lost! Hasta lavista' baby!

Shame on the offender's for what they do. shame on us for lettin' em get away with it.
 Rythmn
Joined: 1/21/2006
Msg: 33
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gaslighting, has anyone ever experienced this?
Posted: 3/28/2009 12:45:19 AM
sensual vixen, you may have found your "match" on this thread. excuse the pun. but, there were a couple of men in the beginning that shared your joy of farting. i suggest you email them and invite us to the wedding.

the 14 categories of verbal abuse sounds interesting pinebreeze. short enough to list?
 *Just Jim*
Joined: 7/6/2007
Msg: 34
gaslighting, has anyone ever experienced this?
Posted: 3/28/2009 6:34:18 AM

It is abuse, pure and simple, as well as control and manipulation. Add to to that, verbal, physical, and emotional abuse.


True, whether it be at home or in the work place can make for a very bad situation.

If I'm out and about and witness this kind of abuse I've been known to defuse the situation if possible.

This cruelty to another is very sad and whats even sadder is when good people see this and do nothing about it.
 *Sanscheyle*
Joined: 3/2/2009
Msg: 35
gaslighting, has anyone ever experienced this?
Posted: 3/28/2009 8:55:56 AM
Yanno, the more I read this thread the more I learn about myself. I also have to look at my own contribution in allowing a toxic relationship into my life and I have to take full responsibility for that. I won't ever blame this person 100% for treating me the way he did because I let him..for awhile. Unfortunately, I'm still tied to this person professionally as I'm certified crew on his dive charter boat (as well as studying to be his divemaster), so we're both treading gently and carefully with each other now in re-building the strong friendship we once had. (The dude never dated a girl with a brain...he never had to with his looks, but it takes a lot more than looks to keep me around.)

He will never,ever put down the US Coast in my presence again because he knows he'll be pushed over the side of his own boat in record time if he does..which is quite embarrassing to his dive customers when I'm only 5'0" and he's 6"2' and he's the dive instuctor on the boat..pffft!!! like I care!.

I guess you have to ask yourself if this person is worth going through the nuttiness it takes in order to forgive them of their bad habits and them yours? (In my case, he's definitely worth it, damnit!! lol.) I realize (in my scenario) his habits of being around brainless women are ingrained in him to the point of putting them down in subtle ways for years. He met his match when he met me and is now slowly coming around with a newly found wide-eyed respect for me and the knowledge I have regarding the water. We'll just have to wait and see what happens, I suppose.

Miss Serenity, it sounds as though this may have been a work situation gone awry with someone you thought you "knew" and you thought "knew" you. Was this also a person you might have had a romantic interest in in the near future? If so, there are many, many reasons why people behave as they do..I've had bosse'es that I've lain awake at night just thinking of ways to kill them due to their insane way of managing people and trying to make me think it was "I" that was crazy.

Regardless Serenity, don't let anyone establish a pattern of abuse with you whether it be verbal or physical. You're much too strong and smart for that. If it's work related then just do your job to the best of your ability and ignore any "digs" that keep coming your way by this person while you're searching for other employment.

Remember babe, I'm always here if you need me, and my friends tell me that this guy and I are a match made in heaven..go figure, eh?

Sans
 Rythmn
Joined: 1/21/2006
Msg: 36
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gaslighting, has anyone ever experienced this?
Posted: 3/28/2009 1:08:33 PM
just jim, if you could "define" or give examples of how to diffuse these situations, that would be helpful. also i think it's easier when i am the observer versus the participant.

sans, no. this has not happened to me lately in the workplace and most of my life i have had my own consultant practice or company. i probably gravitated to that to avoid all this corporate bologna. i did however, enter an organization in distress in a vp position and when i finally figured out some of the games that were being played, it blew my mind. i really get clueless over this stuff. i also saw the pure evil that can come into play when people get threatened. instead of teaming up or everyone taking a pay cut across the board, they devise devious ways to screw the next person. in large corporations or bureaucracies, this can easily lend itself to gaslighting. the gaslighter can hide more easily there. in a smaller place, s/he would have to be way more devious, because people are closer and can see/hear what's going on.

re comment above on self purported psychoanalysis inflicted onto others, for the most part i am not seeing that in this thread. what i am seeing is people who went through this who are sharing the therapeutic insight that they personally received, some 12 step wisdom, some pain still lingering, some confusion still (i think i still have some, which is why i struggle with words) and some who have finally been able to put a "name" to it.

the problem with the answers is that some who have truly experienced extreme levels of abuse, are leading readers to believe that gaslighting is always abusive. or that the gaslighter is always an abuser. although clearly many are and the abuse literature has adopted the term, like i said before, it was around way before that.

to me, gaslighting is a game or a process, sometimes conceived intentionally and other times used/ingrained unconsciously, as a means to deal with one's very limited paradigm of the world and relationships. the person only sees his/her own needs and has no clue or interest in empathy-- or maybe just doesn't have the insights or skills. i think we all do this to a slight degree, nothing is black or white. however, when the person who is subjected to the reaction of a gaslighter and willingly and lovingly explains his/her position or thoughts or feelings--and the game continues with no attention being paid to the other--then we have anywheres from a self absorbed, anxiety ridden, person seeking control and denying their own frailties by making them yours....all the way up to narcissist and/or abuser. the victim has choices, but after awhile, can engage in denial. or, continues to have certain needs being met, while others are being crumbled or spit on. it is best to "bring your bottom up" as is said in AA. some people have way lower "bottoms" than others.

i say, identify or prevent. but, how do we do that, given that it is often slow, insidious, coming from a once trusted friend--however short or however long the duration of that friendship may have been. do we not trust ever again? do we trust slower or in a different way? i tend to give people benefits of the doubt, once i let them into my world. the skill is to take back one's trust, if you can identify the process more easily and not get consumed with your own self doubting.
 WomanInProgress
Joined: 10/16/2005
Msg: 37
gaslighting, has anyone ever experienced this?
Posted: 3/28/2009 7:45:36 PM
oh wow english lass you said a mouthful there.
You described my relationship with my mother.

You can add me to this list. By the time I started dating, I could spot this behavior in another human being 10 miles off. I am a strong personality and it's unlikely it would have been attempted with potential dates, but let's just say no guy could have pulled it off after the childhood I had. Having to live with a relative that does this REALLY makes you an expert at it....
 Rythmn
Joined: 1/21/2006
Msg: 38
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gaslighting, has anyone ever experienced this?
Posted: 3/29/2009 8:43:25 AM
well, pinebreeze's book can be gotten cheaply on amazon dot com, used. with it were grouped a whole batch of others with similar topics. think i will get one or two. another pof thread insists one cannot ask questions or will be viewed as an interrogator. in my dating world, asking questions means you are sincerely interested in someone and care to know/understand him--as well as share differences. for some, experiencing differences means an "assault" ---and lends reason to tear you to pieces. as for me, i celebrate differences.

so, before abuse in communication is established (verbal abuse), it gets very very tricky. that's where cultural similarities or perhaps personality characteristics, such as introvert/extrovert may come into play--as well as body language or getting to know someone a bit more over an extended period of time. the simpler i want my life to be and coming from good "intention", it appears the more "complicated" this world is. add a past with bad experiences to the table and i have in front of me: more eggshells and one heckuva omlette. i feel i just want to be safe with a longstanding friend at times. that is where having good male buddies comes into play. they help me "ground" and sort out what is real and what is illusory. but, i push myself out the door as i write.

last nite, i was going out and got a call that my eldest and grandbaby were in a car accident on their way here to sleep over and go to our new church this morning. i just froze, stopped all plans and i put things in perspective. for those who have established caring with one another, you give a lot of slack. after i first adopted this daughter of mine at age 13, who i call my soulmate, i did not think i could live through the week with all the toxicity. now, i could not live w/o her. time heals. they are okay by the way, but again, e-buddies (now phone buddies), were there for the rescue. if one of them turned on me, just like that, it would make me sick to my stomach. we all need loving support and understanding while we navigate through this often ugly world, which indeed is very beautiful.. ..duality....go figure.

have a great day everyone!
 Brownlady1953
Joined: 12/12/2008
Msg: 39
gaslighting, has anyone ever experienced this?
Posted: 3/29/2009 12:06:51 PM
I hear what you are saying, SerenityCW, about gaslighting in the corporate world!

If you think it's bad there, I could tell you some true stories about gaslighting in the political world....

But I would need to be placed in the Federal Witness Protection Program first.....
 Rythmn
Joined: 1/21/2006
Msg: 40
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gaslighting, has anyone ever experienced this?
Posted: 3/29/2009 3:04:41 PM
brownlady, in my world the corporate world and the political world were the same. ever hear about a large non profit (!) contributing substantially to both parties? and how they fudge it? maybe that's it. we all need to go into witness protection. if it's anything like the victim services they offer kids nowadays, unlike that great tv show, i'm not sure i would feel "secure" there either.

our "rev" has some good analogies and today's thought were levelled to address kids week. she talked about how we see this big gap between us and what we want or who we want to connect with. so, by the time we finish analyzing the whole thing, we are now confronted with a mountain in front of us! she explained that like countries appearing to be seperated by bodies of water, underneath the water, we are all connected. she said when there is a gap or a mountain before us, either create a bridge over it--or go connect yourself in another direction. in other words, "be" what you want. so.......i am willing to be willing. my heart now has a bridge connected to it and if the connection is not made, i am no longer gonna force it either. i am willing also to cease the struggle and let things that are meant to happen, "happen". tired of trying to "fix" people and situations. gonna let that water she spoke about put the gaslight out. and after all that, i'm going dancing!
 canyunflyer
Joined: 2/6/2006
Msg: 41
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gaslighting, has anyone ever experienced this?
Posted: 3/30/2009 1:06:21 AM
According to Evans: Your'e dealing with a whole different animal here with the abusers. They exist in a different reality. There are two basic realities: (reality one: Power over.... I win, you lose.... their power comes from outside of themselves) (Reality two: authentic power.... I win, you win..... Power comes from within) These two types will Never begin to understand each other. It would be like me trying to speak to a russian who knew NO english. The abuser obviously exists in Reality One.

I used to spend countless Hours attempting with every bit of kindness and empathy and understanding I could pull up to get the abuser in my life to "understand". She would just look at me with contempt and pretty much tell me to get 'Fooked' when it was all over. There is no , nor can there ever be, any common ground between the two realities. Its a waste of time and precious energy.

I guess I'm a kind of amature psychologist. I confess. And I know all about "projection" too. I'm not seeing a lot of projection here. But there are also two levels of "getting it'. Just because we have an intellectual knowledge of this stuff in our head, doesn't mean we really get it. Human behavioral change doesn't take place in the brain. It takes place from the Heart. The trick is moving knowledge from the brain to the Heart. Thats where we usually need help and time. But, books like Evans are incredible tools to add to our arsonal to protect ourselves.
 Rythmn
Joined: 1/21/2006
Msg: 42
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gaslighting, has anyone ever experienced this?
Posted: 3/30/2009 10:05:29 PM
well, i got some interesting info today. i met a woman who was investigating the same chemo protocol as my friend had gone through. she explained that the meds given after the chemo, as well as the chemo, had anxiety depression symptoms which included for some, anger and frustration outbursts--exaggerated by limited sleep. see, i knew about the depression while under the chemo and had a deep feeling that the person who made me think of gaslighting, was really coming from a "bad place" due to his meds. which meds or why, i had no clue. but, when mentioned it, once more my head was whammed onto the table (not literally).

so, it's not a reason for me to stick around and get some more of this, but it makes a lot more sense to me. not only was i feeling that i was losing my mind, in the middle of all this, but i began to seriously doubt my ablity to "pick" people. i am nice to as many people as possible, but this man was so different "in the beginning" and after numerous weeks, days and hours of talking, et al.

so, add this to the list. if anyone you know has a big change in personality, not only could this be an inherent mood disorder, but it can also emanate from medication. if i had know this was the chemo and had known the after affects "lingered" , then i would have just referenced the literature instead of going on with the "debate". so yes, this was a hopeless power struggle and certainly any attempts at win-win were knocked down. but..... i don't think he did this all on his own.

in summary: don't want to continue it, but at least more confidence in myself, not only now for "handling it", but also for my ablity to assess a person when they are not suffering from medical aftermath of medications. if anything, i was impressed by his survival skills up to that point in time. plus, he was brilliant and it was great to talk to him "before" all this!

it would be pretty sad to be "coupled" with someone with medication reactions like this --and no say in getting them adjusted or some help. being there for an illness or serious treatment is difficult enough. i've been on both sides of this fence in the past. but, being powereless over someone else's meds who you reside with , without any power of attorney or living will authority, must be hell. it is a key issue for gay couples not allowed to be "married". if i coupled again, w/o marriage, that would be one of my criteria for living together long term, eg written documentation as to what to do in a life threatening situation or unstable medical illness. otherwise, you have the responsibilities, but not any authority. not my situation currently, but certainly one to think about.
 La Gioconda
Joined: 6/27/2008
Msg: 43
gaslighting, has anyone ever experienced this?
Posted: 4/3/2009 10:48:19 PM
I have read some of the responses to the thread. IMO this type of behaviour is most definitely labelled as abusive. Someone has mentioned a book about verbally abusive/emotionally abusive, etc. So, the term was coined 'gaslighting' I have not heard of term itself, thank you for shedding some light. Another term I have heard, and I haven't heard anyone mentioning this thread is called CRAZYMAKING, it's exactly same thing as gaslighting just different term.

There is not very much one can do about it, since you have noticed OP, that suddenly you have been accused of 'wrong doing' without doing anything at all. That's why it is called crazymaking. You can't influence or change the other person, but when you notice this trait, the best thing is to walk away from the situation. My honest advice. Yes, I have seen it at as well.

Has anyone remembers 'Sleeping with enemy' with Julia Roberts, it was very similar concept. When you notice you have to tiptoe and feel like walking on egg shells, - it's abuse.

Abuse starts very subtle, you may say one afternoon - What a beautiful gorgeous day, and the abuser may respond - don't you see the gray clouds in the distance --- simply to contra you, it's his/her way of breaking you down.

Once cannot take responsibility for the society, one can only do a work on himself/herself. When I hear 'our society do this or do that...how come we do something about it'.... who is the society? It's an abstract term . We can only start from point one - ourselves.
 rustytraveler
Joined: 4/30/2007
Msg: 44
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To lelathecat:
Posted: 4/3/2009 11:47:12 PM
Ya know the more I read this thread, the more I think that this is a Very Common Response of fight or flight... or just blame the other person.... cause it couldn't possibly be ME. I've seen it in the workplace, on committees, married one, well and actually had a mother like this. Personally I just find it just plain wimpy, that you're not taking care of your part of getting thru this lifetime of ours present and accounted for.

It fundamentally comes down to OWNERSHIP, you either own who you are and your actions and reactions... or you blame someone else for all your woes, not exactly the sign of an overly reflective conscious person. We're here to live and learn and if your not learning and just passing on woe wherever you go... who wants you?

A lot of people have talked about it being abuse... I say you can only be abused if you allow yourself to be.
I do understand that these people can start hooking you in by acting a certain way and slowly get into their true selves when under stress, but who lives a stress free life? Whether in a work situation or at home, cooperating and evolving as a group or as a couple is stressful business.. all change is stressful.... that's life.

Calling them psychotic or sociopaths, while this could well be applied in some cases.... more commonly I believe is a learned behavior within a family system. Solution? Stressing more logical thinkng skills early on and throughout in schools? Recognizing, emphasizing and acknowledging this is an unproductive way to deal with life, that actually creates more stress than it alleviates.

My advise would be if you've given it your best shot and there is no penetration... then make them be gone and don't regret one more instant.
 La Gioconda
Joined: 6/27/2008
Msg: 45
gaslighting, has anyone ever experienced this?
Posted: 4/4/2009 10:32:49 AM
rustytraveler brought a lot of good points in her last posting, IMO.


A lot of people have talked about it being abuse... I say you can only be abused if you allow yourself to be.

Especially, when it happens to us as adults. We don't have control over what happens to us during the course of our childhood, but we sure have more control over events in our adulthood. I find so many adults chose to be stuck in less favourable situation. I already know the reasons WHY, the fear of being alone, the financial aspect, and so many more...but one must really be desperate to change, so s/he reaches out for help. No one can help anyone if they choose not to help themselves.

I find that trying to over analyze the psychology of abuser while the abused chooses to stay in a abusive situation is just not good enough. It perpetuates the abuse, and eventually gets worse. Once you realize what is going on, you need to be smart and act now. It's your own responsibility to yourself, and to your children (if you have them)
 gentleplus
Joined: 9/8/2008
Msg: 46
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gaslighting, has anyone ever experienced this?
Posted: 4/4/2009 11:12:59 AM
You might want to *oogle "Borderline Personality Disorder" as well
 La Gioconda
Joined: 6/27/2008
Msg: 47
gaslighting, has anyone ever experienced this?
Posted: 5/11/2009 7:57:05 AM
Also HiIamGinny, apart from literature available in the real world - I recommend Patricia Evans- you may want to investigate other options available to you, which would eventually help you to move into much better emotional space. There is counselling available, support group, and even temporary shelters for women, until they are able to find their own place. Good luck with everything and whatever you decide. La Gioconda
 ColonelIngus
Joined: 9/16/2007
Msg: 48
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gaslighting, has anyone ever experienced this?
Posted: 5/11/2009 10:34:54 AM

slowly but surely, i was feeling like alice with the mad hatter. i'd say something, for example, about myself or my feelings and he'd twist it and twist it and suddenly i was a "terrible person".

That doesn't sound like "gaslighting", that's just arguing like a woman!

Gaslighting involves an increasing frequency of systematically withholding factual information from, and/or providing false information to the subject, having the gradual effect of making the victim anxious, confused, and less able to trust his or her own memory and perception. A variation of gaslighting, used as a form of harassment, is to subtly alter aspects of a victim's physical environment, thereby upsetting his or her peace of mind and sense of security. Numerous Twilight Zone episodes revolve around such themes.

The crucial distinction is between aspect of physical reality versus aspects of psychic reality. A battle of wits, as unpleasant as it can be, isn't the same as distorting physical reality.
 Rythmn
Joined: 1/21/2006
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gaslighting, has anyone ever experienced this?
Posted: 5/18/2009 1:37:42 AM
well, i see that my intial thread has taken some different turns and has solicited a wide array of meanings for different people, in different situations. in the situation that prompted me to write, the person was ill and given his "brilliance" he dealt with his frustrations by playing head games with me. he was pushed into this "persona" from some heavy duty meds he was taking during chemotherapy. nonethless, i was "outta there" within a week in terms of contact and communication. i have very little patience with this sort of thing, even if one is sick. i just am not interested in adding myself to the sick list, if at all possible.

so, i've converted to electric! you know, bottom line is to be able to identify what is really going on. it's often so hard to believe, you do think you are nuts yourself. so, get a second opinion and often the forums are good in giving leads as to what the questions are. then, you have to get back into the "real world" and find the answers and apply what you have learned.

good luck to all of you who are experiencing heavy situations with loved ones. like they say: the door is open, so don't keep banging your head on the wall, trying to get out! if possible, in new situations, don't even venture into that place at all.
 TheNightowl001
Joined: 6/29/2008
Msg: 50
gaslighting, has anyone ever experienced this?
Posted: 5/18/2009 3:18:13 AM
I wrote a MySpace blog some time back that addressed an element of this, where I talked about what a red flag the phrase "made me" is to me.

Now, I'm not talking about someone saying "Some customer spilled some milk and the boss made me go clean it up!" That's just lazy English, relying on trite phraseology to express your point.

And yeah, it's probably due to baggage, but I'm very sensitive to when someone claims other people "made" them react a certain way or in certain situations. It's a refusal to accept responsibility for their actions, and you can bet that if you get very involved with such a person, pretty soon you'll be one of the ones "making" them do things.
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