You do not know how to feel but you are sure that you feel like you have been disrespected but you are not too sure. You feel like all of your feelings have been crushed and you do not know what to feel anymore. You are trying to analyze everything that you are feeling.
Perhaps the things that you thought you felt are not true. You are trying to remember the facts because all the details have been twisted inside your brain.
You are trying to fathom if you are going crazy and you cannot help but become sensitive about all the things that are being presented to you.
Can you actually determine what you are going through? There is a possibility that you have spoken with someone who has done a certain technique with you called gaslighting. Remember that through this method, you let another person twist all of the things that you know and weave new ideas that you assume are your actual memories.
You are not going crazy but you have to determine the signs so that you will not become victimized again.
WHAT IS GASLIGHTING ANYWAY?
You have read the introduction and you did not understand anything because you are not familiar with gaslighting at all. The term ‘gaslighting’became popular in the 40’s when the husband of the woman tried to make her feel that she was going crazy.
Unfortunately, this is one method that a lot of people are still doing today. It is not only the significant others who are affected by this. Whether you are a family member or a friend, you can expect to experience this from anyone.
Remember that this is a form of emotional abuse so if you have experienced this from someone countless times, there is a possibility that you need to undergo therapy in order to understand what you have gone through. If you were made to believe that you are paranoid, mentally unstable and even sensitive, then you may be a victim of gaslighting.
People who are good at gaslighting can be any of these three types of people:
Let us say that you still do not believe that you have become a victim of gaslighting. There are some scenarios that will make things clear for you.
Work: Katrina has been working in a company for more than 5 years. In a lot of companies, you will usually get promoted after a couple of years provided that you are good at what you do but she managed to stay with the company for a long time.
Finally a slot opens and she is given a chance to be promoted. She has to be under the supervision of someone else though. The supervisor, Mary, seems to be nice in the beginning but over time, the tasks that she asks Katrina to do have become belittling. Katrina sometimes feels that she does not deserve to be promoted anymore because of all the things that she hears from Mary.
She is constantly told that she is not good enough and she does not deserve to be promoted in any way. She has also been publicly humiliated by Mary by telling the rest of the staff that she has not caught up yet with the needed work.
Due to all the things that has been said about her, she now does everything that she is asked to do even if the work is demeaning or is not supposed to be part of her job.
Family: Samantha a mother who always criticizes her about her body all the time. As much as possible she tries her best to lose weight even though everyone else tells her that her weight is already normal. Her mother also calls her out in front of her friends when they are having snacks in the kitchen.
Once she was forced to eat a tub of ice cream in front of everyone. Then when she tries to question her mother’s ways, her mother tries to let her know that she deserves it.
Relationships: Amethyst has been in a relationship with her boyfriend for three years. She has been trying to open her own bakery but every time she tries to suggest it to her boyfriend, her boyfriend becomes angry at her. He tells her that because of the new business venture, she does not have time for him anymore.
She feels that her baking is causing a lot of problems between herself and her boyfriend and she has decided not to push through with the idea. She has also molded herself in such a way that her boyfriend will be happy with her but despite all of her efforts, she is still called “stupid” for simple reasons such as forgetting to turn the light off.
SIGNS TO WATCH OUT FOR TO KNOW IF YOU ARE BEING GASLIGHTED
Remember that if you suspect that you are being gaslighted, it is very likely that all of your feelings right now are negative. You are often anxious and depressed and you feel like everything is your fault. You have to ask yourself if you are being gaslighted or not.
Here are some of the signs you have to watch out for:
1. You feel that there is something wrong with the person that you care about but you do not know what it is.
2. You sometimes have trouble recalling some of the events that have occurred because when you ask someone else about it, the version of events are entirely different.
3. You are normally disoriented about the things happening around you.
4. You always feel like you are being threatened even though you are not being told off by anyone.
5. You always feel the need to say sorry even when you are not sure if you actually did anything wrong.
6. You feel that you are not good enough for a lot of things that you want to achieve in life and as a result, you lose motivation.
7. You sometimes feel like you are going crazy because you cannot recall a lot of things.
8. You feel that you are reacting sensitively to the things and events that are happening around you but you are not sure if you are actually being sensitive or not.
9. You are depressed because you feel like no one else understands you besides the fact that you have isolated yourself from people.
10. You feel like your judgment is not good enough.
11. You sometimes feel scared for no reason at all. You often feel an impending doom looming on you.
12. You are indecisive.
13. You feel that you are much weaker as compared to before because you have lost all of the things that used to make you feel confident and strong.
14. You are unhappy even though you used to be.
15. You do not want to express your emotions anymore in fear that you will be told off.
A FEW TACTICS THAT GASLIGHTERS USE
You should be familiar with some of the tactics that gaslighters do so that you will feel that you are disturbed. Some of these tactics are the following:
The subject will be changed – If the gaslighter feels that you have a point and he does not want you to realize that your point is valid, the subject will suddenly be changed.
Denial – Even if you try to tell the other person about what you think he is doing, he will tell you that you are imagining things. You may be told that you are making up things.
Twisting the Truth – Even if you know that you have done or said something correct, there will be a few twists that the gaslighter will do so you will become confused with everything that you have experienced.
Discrediting – In front of other people, you will be discredited so you will lose credibility not only with yourself but with other people as well.
Fake Compassion – You will feel like the person is actually being compassionate towards you while telling you that you are wrong in the things that you believe in.
Minimizing – You will begin to feel that you are powerless.
HOW TO COPE AFTER BEING GASLIGHTED
You have finally confirmed that you have been gaslighted. This does not change the fact that you are feeling depressed and emotionally imbalanced. Do remember that you are not the only one who has been gaslighted. In fact, there are a lot of people who are experiencing various levels of gaslighting from time to time. The main thing you have to do is to heal yourself and learn how to recover. It will make a lot of difference with how you feel.
Remember that you have to listen to your intuition. If you feel that there is something wrong, chances are there are actually something that is wrong. Do not try to do everything on your own, you can allow yourself to seek help from a professional or from people who are willing to listen to you.
HERE ARE JUST A FEW OF THE THINGS THAT YOU CAN DO:
- Know who is gaslighting you.
- Know the signs of being gaslighted so you can avoid being gaslighted by anyone else in the future.
- Now that you know who is gaslighting you and you have confirmed that you are being gaslighted, decide if the relationship you have with that person is worth it.
- Talk to people that you trust so you can be given the help that you deserve.
- Remember that you cannot be a victim forever. Now is your time to become a warrior and fight for the things that you believe in. Do not let someone else step over you, your dreams and your integrity.
Through all of the things that are mentioned above, you are recommended to rise above it so that everything will be clearer and you can become a stronger individual than before. If you know someone who is being gaslighted, make the effort to help out that person. The person may already be crying out for help even if he/she does not realize it yet.