Plentyoffish dating forums are a place to meet singles and get dating advice or share dating experiences etc. Hopefully you will all have fun meeting singles and try out this online dating thing... Remember that we are the largest free online dating service, so you will never have to pay a dime to meet your soulmate.
     
Show ALL Forums  > Over 45  > gaslighting, has anyone ever experienced this?      Home login  
 AUTHOR
 Rythmn
Joined: 1/21/2006
Msg: 1
view profile
History
gaslighting, has anyone ever experienced this? Page 1 of 12    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12)
a good 25 years ago, i went to marital counseling with my first ex husband. he was very brilliant and we were together day and night as we were in the same profession and owned a business together. 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". i'd give an example or try to explain my position, and wham! that too got added to my list.

the therapist, a male, confronted him and explained the concept of gaslighting. there was a movie that took place before electricity was available. this man was deliberately trying to make this woman think she was crazy. so, would have the lights fade out and then back again. she, in turn, would express dismay about the lighting and he would tell her she was imagining it. over time, someone else also saw the lights go out and sure enough, she was on target all the time.

has this happened to any one of you, where you are going along, thinking you have a great friend, someone you totally admire and trust, and then wham! they start gaslighting you?

i just did a google and apparently this concept has evolved since i first heard it, applying it to abuse and mostly as happening to women. i have a more general approach to this term, as originally explained to me. it basically is about denial and the need or some, often insecure themselves, to project all their fears and frustrations onto someone else, often someone who is close. it's all their fault, you own nothing about how you got to where you are. everything is someone else's fault. even if she or he didn't even know you at the time or wasn't present when it happened! still, as the recipient of all this, it's all your fault and slowly you are very deviously put down or made to feel like you are the one in denial!!!

only often this works on a certain type of person. often this person is deliberately chosen to "play with" like a cat with a mouse. i think, more often, it is also a way to push someone away. kind of like fear of success for the one who is doing the gaslighting and of course, the one who allows him or herself to be gaslighted, is often afraid of failure.

this is a dangerous and depleting game. assuming you are looking for a partner, it can be very depleting and is very devious. on the one hand, you want to be there for someone who may appear to be stressed. also, it comes as a shock when one minute s/he is on your side and then turns on you. then you start to apologize --until you finally realize you have done NOTHING wrong and the other person doesn't want to stop kicking until you are down.

for me, who hasn't experienced this for a very long time, it took a bit to gain back my senses. plus, the situation was very different, as were the details. it feels awful, because you feel like you lost the first person you met. only suddenly there is this "other" person. i remember the words of that therapist long ago, the person is one person and you can't rid yourselves of the half of one person. so, you have to let him or her go. it's very sad. it feels like someone has gone and died on you. one minute s/he is fully there for you and then "not". the first thing you do is ask, what have i done wrong?

fortunately for me, i have some very sensible male friends. for those who are going through something like this, get objective insight fast.

any body else ever experience this in your older years? i thought i was past all this sort of stuff. as another pof'er has wisely said to me, a few months ago, just in talking: we are the one common denominator in all of our relationships. well, glad i caught this one faster then i did when i was younger! still feel the pain of it. but, i will get over it and hopefully learn. what, i am not sure. but the lessons always come.

 Rythmn
Joined: 1/21/2006
Msg: 2
view profile
History
gaslighting, has anyone ever experienced this?
Posted: 3/24/2009 1:40:45 AM
i have too many male friends or platonic "buddies" to give up on this. if this is abuse, it's subtle. i think a lot has to be focused on the receiver. why do we allow this and how long should it take anyone, male or female, to figure it all out? could we have known from the beginning? it's not an obvious thing, when it first starts rearing it's ugly head. yes, that was the movie, i was trying to remember the stars. it was quite a popular movie back then. i had always thought it was fiction.
 lelathecat
Joined: 6/14/2008
Msg: 3
gaslighting, has anyone ever experienced this?
Posted: 3/24/2009 4:45:23 AM
I think this is a very common thing. People get defensive and try to put the blame back on the person to take the focus off of what they did wrong.

The last time this happened I was dating someone who for no reason jut ignored me for nearly a week. First off I felt foolish like I was talking to myself by sending him a text or im each day just being normal. Then I noticed he wasn't replying and I hadn't heard from him for days. So maybe the 6th day I email him asking him what was up.

He replies within a couple of hours sending me a lengthy scathing email saying his computer had crashed and so on and so on and then accused me of being needy. So on one hand he was telling me I was nuts for thinking he wanted to end the relationship and he turned around and listed reasons to break up. Just insane. He caught me so off guard that I was crying and upset and I wrote back apologizing to him.

Later on, I found out he lied about his computer crashing.

So it would have been one thing to just lie and make an excuse for not communicating with me but an entirely different thing to deliberately attempt to make it look like there was something wrong with me for wanting normal communication.

Needless to say I'm not with him anymore

It is very sneaky and mean.
 english lass
Joined: 11/14/2007
Msg: 4
gaslighting, has anyone ever experienced this?
Posted: 3/24/2009 6:02:52 AM
yes, being accused of things unjustly and made to second guess everything you know about yourself because of the way things are twisted is very confusing and "crazy-making"... trying to figure out the illogical with logic, because surely, he wouldn't say that or act that way, if it wasn't true... he says he loves me so therefore he must really be telling me these things for my own good... did i really say that? do that? did i forget that, like he said i did?... and then his denying he said or did something and you wonder if you can really be that crazy that you imagined it?

until you don't know if you can believe or trust yourself... because no matter what you do, it's not right, no matter how hard you try it's not what's wanted... and when you approach something the way that's asked for, suddenly that's changed too... always walking on eggshells, always hesitant and fearful when trying to talk about something, 'just in case'... a simple question is responded to as an attack, a happy laugh is taken as a mocking noise, a smile is taken as an affront - then you second guess yourself again - did i phrase the question incorrectly? perhaps if i said it this way.... maybe i laughed too loudly, perhaps if i keep it quieter... but no, it's not right, because it being not right is what he's really after, not a resolution...

it's a part of psychological abuse and another way those doing it try to control and manipulate...

gradually wears you down until you lose yourself in trying to please him and never able to succeed, because the only thing that does please him is seeing you confused and lost and weak

insidiously evil
 Brownlady1953
Joined: 12/12/2008
Msg: 5
gaslighting, has anyone ever experienced this?
Posted: 3/24/2009 6:35:39 AM
Yes I have, and I wouldn't do it to someone I HATED, because it IS abuse!
 justwant2no
Joined: 11/14/2007
Msg: 6
gaslighting, has anyone ever experienced this?
Posted: 3/24/2009 7:19:33 AM

and when you approach something the way that's asked for, suddenly that's changed too... always walking on eggshells, always hesitant and fearful when trying to talk about something, 'just in case'... a simple question is responded to as an attack, a happy laugh is taken as a mocking noise, a smile is taken as an affront - then you second guess yourself again

EXACTLY! My ex was bi-polar - this was him to a T! I was always 'such a horrible person' because I just wouldn't (fill in the blank) - and yet, even if I followed his script perfectly - I'd still have it all wrong. . . It's a powerful manipulation, definitely abuse and it is frightening to be in the grasp. Unfortunately, it's very difficult to identify and even harder to break away from, especially once you begin to doubt yourself. There really needs to be more general education about verbal and emotional abuse. The abusers don't even realize they are being abusive! And by the time they are fully engulfed, the abused don't trust their own judgement enough to make the decision to leave. It's really quite frightening.
 tinkerbellcgy
Joined: 9/17/2005
Msg: 7
view profile
History
gaslighting, has anyone ever experienced this?
Posted: 3/24/2009 7:35:21 AM
I have experienced gaslighting at least twice in the last 15 to 20 years with the second instance currently happening. Although I speak of two different gaslighters, in both instances, the gaslighter was/is an individual in a Human Resources and/or supervisory position and it was/is rapidly increasing during economic recessionary periods. The only difference in "corporate" gaslighting is that it usually involves more than one "target" (employee) as it did/does in both of these cases.

While reading one of many psychology textbooks after the first instance in the 1990's, I discovered the gaslighting technique which until then was completely unknown to me. This discovery answered a lot of unanswered questions. OP, you are absolutely correct in stating


this is a dangerous and depleting game.


It is a game in which only the gaslighter knows the rules and which rules change without notice. It can wreak psychological havoc on the "target".
 kpooks
Joined: 12/23/2008
Msg: 8
view profile
History
gaslighting, has anyone ever experienced this?
Posted: 3/24/2009 9:19:21 AM
Forgive my ignorance--I thought gaslighting meant he lit his odoriforous colon emanations (farts) lol.
 Rythmn
Joined: 1/21/2006
Msg: 9
view profile
History
gaslighting, has anyone ever experienced this?
Posted: 3/24/2009 11:36:26 AM
after coming to grips with my realization and dealing with the loss of what was really an illusion, it took me about 4 days to bow out of this situation that just started to rear its ugly head--wanting to give it some time in case it was just a few really bad days for him. it was hard to think that this was happening for any other reason. how could someone be so great and understanding and then switch just like that after weeks and days and hours of talking and "bonding" on all sorts of levels?

his explanation at first appeared plausible, but it kept getting worse, even when i was not aware of it until the next "outburst". however, there was one small voice that kept saying this is happening way too fast, how could this person really "know me" versus who he wanted me to be. always listen to you inner small voice! if the arguments start becoming more and more irrational, the professionals say, stop arguing to prove your point and bow out, as gracefully as possible. fortunately a friend stepped in to my head and reminded me that this was "nuts". even if the person has some really solid issues for acting out in this manner, it does not give him or her the right to attack someone who is trying to be there and to give them some slack.

i did some more up to date reading on this topic. it appears that the literature is now more for the extreme cases of abuse and absurdity, more for those who hang in too long. i hate to think of the people in marital situations and with children who are way more trapped. i congratulate both the men and women here who have gotten out after such an extended period. i believe that if it turns to chronic abuse, the first phase of that is tearing a person down. although i am extremely nurturing, i have a really feisty side to me that does not take being sh-- or p'd on!!! that is the only way to put it. as for the comment about farting above, that too!!! although not sure it would have been part of the original attraction!

see, it's good to get out fast and laugh at yourself. but still, you are wondering, what did "i" do? was he or she right? so, that is where i go around and ask people who know me. i even plan to ask this therapy consultant who has let me call over the past few years for a "reality check". we've agreed not to explore it in a therapy way, but just give me some pointers as to what the possibilities are here, how to learn from it, clarify if i was off base, and point me to ways of improving my own behavior in situations like this. he has always been very helpful, even in my last relationship to my ex SO.

so, there are two major pointers in the literature. one is about relationships and the other is about the workplace. the most insidious in workplace situations is with a boss, who sabatoges you constantly and then tells the outside world what a wonderful person you are. eg. forgets to tell you about important meetings and then makes lame excuses at that meeting for you, such as "maybe s/he isn't feeling well AGAIN". this is where you have to document and even tape record the person. if it's illegal, then make sure you play it to as many people as possible, keeping a copy of it in a good safe, in case they confiscate it! dire measures i know, but this is about breadwining and basics. still, i would get out asap and if necessary due to pensions, etc. i'd get an attorney fast. often bullies and manipulators don't take well to "right action".

i've seen this sort of behaviour in corporate design where each person set out to slaughter the next one. it gave me in sight into nazi germany and slavery and racisim. some of the "nicest people" became monsters or maybe they always were and you were just getting to know them. as a consultant most of my life, i said ta ta. i could see that the machine was oiled and one person couldn't do much about it. i got a lot of apologies over the next two years and it appears that all of my recommendations and assumptions about what "should" have been done, turned out to be true. only the people who did the horrible stuff were not the only ones who suffered, some good people went down with them. i think when you have to get out, there is always something better waiting for you, but you have to be willing to take the lesser risk and do it! life is not just a series of silver platters, serving you up rewards for "right action". the only reward is knowing that you would do your action again, but not take the botulism, if that should arise!

as to volunteers and employees who pass it "up", i believe there has to be codes of behavior in the workplace and that volunteers can open up an organization to just as much liablity as an employee. if the upper levels chose not to address the volunteer's behavior, then there are plenty of other places to volunteer in these economic times. volunteerism is a large resource and to ignore a situation like this, is like throwing away money. if the person is tied into the finances, such as a large donor, who then procedes to "act out" then the organization as a whole becomes "infected" just like an entire family when the one parent isn't strong enough or feeds into the one doing the "gaslighting".

they say that often the gaslighter does not feel good about him or herself in the first place, even though you thought s/he was great from the getgo! that is where it becomes illogical. how could a great person do this to me? then there is the subtle aspects of your own nature where you assume that you are a winner, so everyone is your life is also a winner and your "nurturing" aspect starts kicking in, to help someone you care about through "rough times" this is where i go wrong. i need to find someone who not only appears to be a nurturer and says he is feeling "strong", but who also has proven his own strength in little ways over longer periods of time. when a person keeps going on and on about how great he is, you've gotta wonder, what is he trying to convince me about? i know he's great. this is where being positive and caring makes you trip over your own two feet.

so, the bottom line is that if you are finding yourself emotionally overdrawn, w/o any true deposits coming into your emotional bank account (not just play deposits or empty words that are not backed up with "right attention") , then get the f out and make sure you have a positive balance and mutuality before going down this road again.

it's hard for me to figure out and assess beforehand who i am faced with, short of the obvious. gaslighters are not "obvious". my situation supposedly evolved from an online friendship, but in retrospect, i'm not going to be that open with someone any more, short of intelligent conversation until we meet and interact on a daily and more boring basis! daily living and puttering around with someone can really reveal quite a bit.

so, we are all bound to find a few "volunteers" in our lives who want to or can't help themselves from bringing us down. we also have to watch our own behaviour. being strong willed, i tend to share too much of me in the beginnning and that can be misinterpretted from somoene who is feeling weak from the start. so, they can feel an imbalance as they are not sure who they are. i can moan and groan about a situation with one foot in the water, because the rest of me is standing on solid land. even if i want to share that solid land, there is only so much i can do for someone else. they have to want to swim onto their own shores and i must not interfere with this to feel better myself knowing they are safe. this is the hardest part for me, not to "share" or to know when to stop "sharing". it has been great in certain instances as with my kids, and not great in others.

so, i need to know my audience better when i share more of myself and find collegues on this journey, not sabotagers of my journey, who want to pull me down with them. will i go forth and not give up? damn straight. however, i do really need a rest from this one, while i refill my own emotional bank account very steadily and selectively.

i never generalize to the "all". that would be like saying i can only have one job in my life, so i must suffer and everyone at the workplace is an a-hole. i figure at least 50 percent of the population cares and practices what they preach--and of that group, i just need to focus my attention on who i want as friends and community--the rest may or may not follow into intimacy, but there is always a potential pool of more and more friendships and many mini communities. being new in this area, i am forging ahead, with things i believe in and meeting slowly but surely, some really great people. i need to put my attention in those arenas. but, i do appreciate the brainstorming and sharing that happens from these forums. i do try to learn from other people.

ps to don below this post, the hard part is getting out way before all that and feeling that you were not crazy in your observations. there are books written for abusive situations that list the signs. for me, it did not go at all that far and not sure if it would. i do know that the tantrums and accusations did not serve my own wellbeing. no matter how it all started in la la land!
 Notdesper8atall
Joined: 6/27/2008
Msg: 10
gaslighting, has anyone ever experienced this?
Posted: 3/24/2009 4:05:59 PM
Op this subject is one I have lived through personally. I found myself at my wits end wondering why everything I was doing was wrong. I found myself appoligising for everything no matter the situation she always managed to convince me it was all my fault. It preyed on me hard for many years. Friends tried to enlighten me to this but I was sure they really didnt understand as she was always the first to point out "They dont live here with you they dont know". I brushed off their ideas and soon lost those friends as she had convinced me they were just looking to make trouble. Finally I was pushed into a state of depression and sought professional help. After a week in a local hospital I was released. She filed for divorce the day I got out. She said I wasnt the man she had fallen in love with. She was right on that point and I now know why. The cat apparently got tired of her toy and was going to find a new one. After sometime of serious counceling I was brought to the realization of what had actually happened to me for those years and how to recognize the symptoms. The thing is she was so good at it that you never even realized it was there. I never had the chance to run until it was almost too late. This is one of the worst forms of manipulation that one human being can do to another.
 *Sanscheyle*
Joined: 3/2/2009
Msg: 11
gaslighting, has anyone ever experienced this?
Posted: 3/24/2009 5:08:31 PM
Hey Sweety..I'm going through something similar myself right now in my current situation. We all see what we want to see in a new relationship..wow! They're attentive to our needs, listen to us and lavish us with praise...for awhile. Then you begin to notice the "digs" about what's important to you (for me, it's the US Coast Guard) simply because he holds a Captain's license. I have many, many hours on the water, a lot of post secondary education and I'm damn proud of my accomplishments however minute it may seem to anyone else. I will never, ever let anyone put me down again because I have more knowlege than they do regarding where a fire extinguisher should be placed on a boat when a fire suddenly breaks out without warning. It's US Coast Guard regulations. Period.

As far as a "cat" playing with a mouse, I'm notorious for turning the tables on a "cat" (since I can predict their every move of course since I have 82 of the furballs..lol) that thinks he can play with me because he found his a$$ kicked to the curb within 15 seconds..I counted. (I just haven't changed my profile..damn, I need relationship counseling, ya think?!?! LOL)

You're a smart lady Serenity..with age comes wisdom for all of us. You saw the twisted way someone can project their issues/insecurites on you and nipped it in the bud. Good for you, honey!

What's strange about this is 10 years ago I had a friend up North. We hadn't spoken for the last 5 years and just recently he got back in touch with me. He is well-grounded and was my best friend for a long, long time. I mentioned my situation to him and he said "Sans, step away from the illusion and stop the pattern of relationship destruction that I saw in you when you lived up here..don't make me fly down there, dudette!!! I always called him "dude." (He's a commercial private pilot now and I'm so proud of him.)

If what I've just gone through is "gaslighting", then you're not alone honey but you know what? You and I are both survivors and can recognize manipulation a lot quicker than we could 10 years ago, eh?

Sans
 *Sanscheyle*
Joined: 3/2/2009
Msg: 12
gaslighting, has anyone ever experienced this?
Posted: 3/24/2009 5:37:44 PM
This thread reinforces my premiss which I described at some length in the Philosophy/Science forum. I suggest you have a look at it


And I suggest you not hijack Serenity's thread. Go ahead and castrate yourself..gotta webcam, dude? {Poppin' Popcorn, now (low fat, of course). I love a good comedy.

Sans
 Gaddflye
Joined: 9/10/2008
Msg: 13
gaslighting, has anyone ever experienced this?
Posted: 3/24/2009 6:08:29 PM
My ex-wife used to do this. I finally discovered she was BPD. Several years after I was divorced I dated another woman who was BPD. Felt the same. It was awful! Run!!!

When I opened this thread I thought it was about lighting farts! We used to do that at the fraternity house. One word of advice, always wear your pants when doing it!
 Rythmn
Joined: 1/21/2006
Msg: 14
view profile
History
gaslighting, has anyone ever experienced this?
Posted: 3/24/2009 6:19:16 PM
a male forum dweller sent me this in response to my cry for help. i find it hit the nail on the head for me.

"I've had those online infatuations, and they can be intense. The anticipation of someone, when you get to know a lot about him/her, combined with the "delayed gratification" can really feel like love.

Then, when you meet, if you DO connect, all of that is great. Once past the initial "shock" of "in person", when part of you knows the other, and part of your brain is saying "stranger", can lead to a very comfortable early relationship..........

.............There are a lot of people, though, with PDs (personality disorders) and bi-polar, or other emotional/mental disorders, and whether you meet in the real world, or online, they will try to hide for awhile. Sooner or later, though, the mood shifts will come out. It sounds like what may have happened here. He "idealized" you, engaged in "magical thinking" that you could "fix" his feelings, and then, when he realized you couldn't, he turned on you.

Of course, who knows? Still, it happens, and it happens in the real world too. I really have had online connections turn out great. I've had them be intense and fizzle out before meeting too. You just never know. It's not "real" until it's real life, but feelings are feelings, so I'm sorry you're going through that. "

this feedback hit the nail on the head for my situation. not sure he had PD, but clearly he was very stressed, in his particular situation. however, life is full of stresses and how someone handles them, let alone how s/he treats you while all this is going on, is key to any future potential.

the prevailing feature in all this, from mild to severe forms of the gaslighting technique , and whether conscious or unintended, is the person's own self absorption and inability to empathasize with another human being-- let alone care, let alone sustain healthy boundaries, let alone not project onto you or literally "dump" on you.

the shift was the real hard part to decipher and the above quote addresses it right on, so i'll repeat the one key sentence: "He "idealized" you, engaged in "magical thinking" that you could "fix" his feelings, and then, when he realized you couldn't, he turned on you."

from now on, no more idealization, please! the pendulum swings are too bizarre for me and are not "sustainable".

sans, i will write you. i am so sorry, but my thinking is you walked out of the dark room into the sunshine. so, you experienced a few showers. from now on, we each bring our rain hats! same for the other men and women who experienced this.

to the man above who spoke of castration: please, get some professional help. whether you choose to efface someone else or your own body or spirit, neither is a good choice. we all do have choices. there are plenty of good people here. we don't need to project our stuff onto others, nor do we have to do it to ourselves. me, i just talk to my mirror (getting a taste of my own medicine) and more often to HP. of course, i get forum feedback and talk to both friends, i am making in my new area, and to e-buddies, from all over the globe. this way, i get a good sample of responses and find that most of my answers are universal, applicable to both sexes, of all political persuasions and all ages. this is what is referred to as the "human condition". we can only address our own roles in it and NOT repeat a bad experience.

part of the serenity prayer that calls to me, is gaining the "wisdom to know the differnence". G-d bless bill and lois! and whoever wrote that prayer!
 Rythmn
Joined: 1/21/2006
Msg: 15
view profile
History
gaslighting, has anyone ever experienced this?
Posted: 3/24/2009 6:45:27 PM
SARL, gaslighting can be used by all sorts of people. at a certain point, it crosses the line. it is not just one little incident. it is insidious and your inner voice screeches stop. the person can have a PD or just be some regular old person who is severely stressed and into exhibiting severe dysfunction. s/he doesn't need a label, as much as the behavior itself. i'm not sticking around long enough to find out the "diagnosis" or the reason. it doesn't matter. what matters is that you tried and it didn't stop. so, you take care of yourself. s/he isn't gonna do that for you. they don't want you to feel good. it doesn't serve their purpose. they want to "dump" . some are more insidious than others. and some of the receivers just keep taking it, which is why i posted this thread. we need to understand the concept and the strategy. i had forgotten it. hasn't reared it's ugly head for a good 25 plus years!
 *Sanscheyle*
Joined: 3/2/2009
Msg: 16
gaslighting, has anyone ever experienced this?
Posted: 3/24/2009 7:29:25 PM
sans, i will write you. i am so sorry, but my thinking is you walked out of the dark room into the sunshine. so, you experienced a few showers. from now on, we each bring our rain hats! same for the other men and women who experienced this.


Don't worry a thought about me, baby. You know I have the uncanny ability to walk away from anything or anyone unscathed if they are hurting me or my animals. And I did. He was hurting me and that's just unacceptable to me on all counts. I'm stronger than the meanest snake in Africa but you already know that, honey.

Don't be sorry for me, babe. I dumped him and I can get another guy, ya think?? LOL So can you..I just wish I were as beautiful as you are right now.

Just open your heart and stop looking..just remember one thing. People do reveal themselves in time and you have to prepare yourself for disappointment or elation. I'm just highly disappointed in myself for making yet again the wrong decision. Obviously, I have a problem and need a therapist in order to break this destructive pattern.

Ah, what the hell do I know?? Look at the basketcase of my life. Don't listen to me, honey...just know that I love you dearly and I'm here if you need me.

Sans
 Rythmn
Joined: 1/21/2006
Msg: 17
view profile
History
gaslighting, has anyone ever experienced this?
Posted: 3/24/2009 9:06:30 PM
did some more reading and apparently it's used quite a bit in corporate redesign! not only need to know your legal rights, you have to have a damn degree in psychiatry in the workplace nowadays. i walked out on a project like that once. just didn't realize until my reading yesterday and today that it was more of the same "game". i suppose you could define it as bullshit mixed with toxic waste. the fumes kind of get to you and you loose your sense of reason and reality, until you go out and get yourself some air. breathe people, breathe! goodnite, i have to switch back to early to bed and early to rise schedule. yik, i am such a natural night owl. take care of this thread and don't let it be hijacked with more bullshit!
 Rythmn
Joined: 1/21/2006
Msg: 18
view profile
History
gaslighting, has anyone ever experienced this?
Posted: 3/25/2009 10:32:29 AM
i would prefer that this thread not be hijacked by the same old stuff, from an entirely different attention getting "agenda". this thread has nothing to do with old men or old women. please stick to the original question. those who insist they "have a life" , would not have time to hijack threads with their personal agenda. both men and women have shared on this thread. the point is to have others aware of this possibility.

last night i got some private emails and one person said i finally gave it a "word". it helped bring closure to something that happened a while ago. the 45 plus forum is supposedly where the experience is and where the sharing lies, to be helpful to ourselves in trying to sort things out, as well as to others. if something is not helpful, why "waste time" whining about "age". not only does "gaslighting" apply to sustainability of relationships and the wisdom to determine when to continue and when to bow out, but in these economic times, it is being used in the workplace, apparently BIGTIME, as a tool to force people "out". for those of us, who tend to think the best of people, it comes as a reminder. it is not to be used to excuse ourselves from continuing to "live life".

summary: gaslighting is a tool and a phenomena that occurs in relationships and within organizations. it is subtle via the internet where you cannot employ all five senses. if you are dealing with someone with high intelligence, it can be even more insidious. i was fortunate to recognize it quickly. most people do not.

thank you.
 Rythmn
Joined: 1/21/2006
Msg: 19
view profile
History
gaslighting, has anyone ever experienced this?
Posted: 3/25/2009 12:47:37 PM
i would like to think that the person i recently encountered with this grueling interaction that lasted, out of the blue, several days, was not deliberate or thought out. i think and know there was severe stress going on. although the intent or root cause may be not as ingrained, the result was very toxic. i even questioned the medication as a possiblity. almost got my head torn off.

if this is how someone acts under stress, then s/he will do it again. way back i was given a med for lymes that made me very snappy. i realized it myself and rendered apologies after getting rid of it! if someone had told me about it, i would have been grateful. even now, we have agreements amongst friends to let each other know, if something seems odd or not right.

in this instance, i just could not take any more if it. i explained, i attempted empathy, i drew some boundaries and tried to be a friend as mentioned above. each attempt was more fuel for the fire and suddenly i was the root cause of everything, including a computer failure. i was not allowed to even complete one sentence w/o being yelled at--short of one interaction where i finally thought i was heard, only to receive a vile email about that as well. i really thought i was going "mad" for a few hours there. because he was bright and could almost make it sound like it was i who wasn't "seeing it". eventually, it boiled down to what i needed. i needed to STOP. despite the wonderful and very opposite begining, i needed to get out, it was intolerable and there was no discussing or rationalizing or explaining. it was about sheer dysfunction.

there is no way, i will subject myself to this again. once in my younger years was enough and that was more chronic than acute, and not as intense as this several day ordeal. i only stuck by it, because the person was coming out of something "medical".

i think that is why i had my own consulting practice. to be subjected to this series of tirades in the workplace, must be intolerable. let alone act the opposite while in the presence of others.

what i have learned is to be careful about ever taking "my" own stress out on others. usually if there is a bad day, i tell people who are in my life and that's that. i own my stuff and am responsible for tending to it. if i need someone to help with something, i ask very specifically. i don't take advantage and there is always some sort of exhange. i do the same for my friends in reverse.

i also learned that when someone becomes that out of control (let alone acts as if "in control", due to a brilliant mind), there is simply no communicating. just back out. i have always been told i am an active listener. but, that assumes a healthy and normal flow of things. it is not "logical" and as with a winning debator, you need to be on your toes to find the flaws in the assumptions. so, don't doubt your own plumbing, just because someone else says it's all about "you". just flush the toilet!
 Liven4TheMoment
Joined: 3/23/2009
Msg: 20
gaslighting, has anyone ever experienced this?
Posted: 3/26/2009 2:17:29 PM
I think this is a very common experience no matter what lable you give it.
 ladyc4
Joined: 2/14/2006
Msg: 21
gaslighting, has anyone ever experienced this?
Posted: 3/26/2009 3:11:37 PM

Older broads need to get a life. Can you do it without a man? I don't see an indication of that here. I think I'm gaslighted. Oh, dear.

No, darlin', you are just full of hot air. I mean that affectionately...maybe.

Actually I'm doing very well with my life. When I find a man that wouldn't be a step DOWN, I'll be more than happy to make room for him in my life.
Cindy O
 IM19554U
Joined: 12/1/2007
Msg: 22
view profile
History
gaslighting, has anyone ever experienced this?
Posted: 3/26/2009 3:36:06 PM
I must say I have not experienced this. I do however have a comment and question. I am widower, after 18 years of a very good marriage.
Why or how does one put up with this sort of "stuff" and why would someone even bother putting the other person thru it? It is hard for me to understand why anyone wants this type of "stuff"! After all isn't the real reason you get married is to enjoy life with another person whom you "love"...it all sound like such a waste of time...I am not putting anyone here down but rather saying, those that do that to another person are sick,twisted, ( insert phrase here_________________!) There is way to much good to be had from a marriage or a relationship! Believe me this I know......... B.
 ladyc4
Joined: 2/14/2006
Msg: 23
gaslighting, has anyone ever experienced this?
Posted: 3/26/2009 3:46:52 PM

and our dates would end with me feeling bad

Why date someone when you find yourself feeling BAD afterward?

I was intent on giving him the benefit of the doubt, retaining a mannerly presence, etc.....

pfft! ladies do not START fights, but they may FINISH them. If he took offense at you standing up for yourself, well that would have been 5 dates worth of time saved. Life is too short to date d*ckheads.
Cindy O
 gatoMI
Joined: 3/22/2009
Msg: 24
gaslighting, has anyone ever experienced this?
Posted: 3/26/2009 11:04:31 PM
Dear IM19554u and Serenity,

These posts really spoke to me. In reply to IM, about why someone would put up with this sort of "stuff"?, in my own case,

We had 20 good years of marriage out of 24, so when my ex started to act strangely, I felt we were getting into "for better or worse" territory. Also, I had children at home and wanted to keep our family together. My ex gave me just enough of the good to keep me going, but boy, it was like carrying the world on my shoulders. So I understand what you went through, Serenity!

On a lighter note, Stephen Colbert was interviewing this guy who had written an article for NEW YORK magazine about how men have a biological imperative to cheat. The author was saying that he, too, was cheating because men are programmed that way.

Stephen broke character and said, "Did you ever think that you may just be an ***hole?"

I LOVE Stephen Colbert!

IM, it is VERY hard for a woman who believes that marriage is for keeps to accept that her husband has become....an ***hole!

GatoMI
 rustytraveler
Joined: 4/30/2007
Msg: 25
view profile
History
gaslighting, has anyone ever experienced this?
Posted: 3/27/2009 12:11:47 AM
Well I completely eliminated written 'relationships' about a year ago.... enough was enough. If I needed to consult the DSVM-IV to find out where I was... it was time to crank up the frogs tongues and newts tails to ward off the bad juju!

Disfunction in real life is hard enough to deal with, but I refuse to feed into someones 'virtual' disfunction... absolutely. If they refuse to meet up within a week to a month and show some serious intent and purpose, its hasta la vista baby. Whether it's gaslighting, NPD or just plain too lazy to deal with real life and get out of the house....I won't play.

I was in an IM on a site last night, where this guy started out the conversation by saying what a nice guy he is and what a horrible, miserable life he had had and proceeded to go down the list from birth to 55....(yeah I know, I drank too much coffee last night and there was nothing on tv ) and actually in the hell or high water department, he did seem to be winning both races! I mean darn tootin,' bad chit does happen to good people....BUT....when I wouldn't play the sympathy card and offered up alternative solutions to a negative existence... he started getting very snippy.... The fact is, that this is where he lives and where he is stuck and where he is most comfortable.... and he is searching for a woman to cluck cluck and 'Oh poor you' him to the grave...... a huge suppurating wound looking for, not a bandage but a blanket for his woe. Was he aware he had issues, yeah I think he was on some level and simply chose not to deal with them or discovered this method to handle it: His choice instead was to dump his stuff on some sympathetic innocent bystander until they sacrificed their lives for his.....not a healthy cowboy. And I'm sure if somewhere along the line the woman asked for something for herself in return..... would be told exactly what a 'selfish' b1tch she really is .

Would you call this gaslighting waiting to happen or NPD or any other semi sociopathic 'need to be me above anyone else'?
Could be.. and may have actually had many good reasons to be that.....but is this something any sane person would want to bring into their lives??? .... I certainly hope not.

So we live and learn... isn't that what we're here on Earth for?
Show ALL Forums  > Over 45  > gaslighting, has anyone ever experienced this?