30th April 2021 at 12:14 am #125361
I think I already know the answer having experienced terrible gaslighting in my abusive relationship (free now), but an incident has come up with someone I am close to and I am questioning whether or not they are now attempting to gaslight me too.
I don’t want to give too much detail as it may be moderated, but let’s say topics of conversation have been started by them, behaviour has been initiated by them, and then all of a sudden I get told that it is ME that is bringing out this “side” in them, a side they “didn’t think they had”, which apparently is then confusing them and making them retreat. It has really shocked me as I have plenty evidence to the contrary to show it is THEM who have initiated these things, always, not me. Yes, I have gone along with them, agreed sometimes, chatted about the things etc, but the initial idea is always theirs. Is this gaslighting?
It has made me feel sick this evening that it could be, and that someone else now thinks they can treat me like this. I feel awful, guilty when I know I shouldn’t feel this way… and, bizarrely, worried that I’m going to lose them from my life because they’ve made me feel I’ve done something wrong.
I hope this makes sense! Any advice would be greatly appreciated, thank you ladies x x x
30th April 2021 at 7:21 am #125363DarcyParticipant
Good morning beautiful Angel…3Cats,
Any situation that makes you feel uncomfortable or questions your behaviour or how you are able to speak or conduct yourself is wrong … however you want to label it, and whether that is a romantic relationship, friendship, work colleague, family member etc.
I believe that you know in your heart that this situation is not right for you and that is why you have flagged it. Trust your gut … you know that answer.
Sometimes we invite people into our life after abuse to ”re-enforce” those negative beliefs in us (which are not true by the way) Try and be around people and situations that re-enforce the positive attributes of you instead.
Well done for recognising this, this is your whisper, if you don’t listen to it, it will start shouting at you… so quash whatever this is now.
Sending you continued love and support
1st May 2021 at 10:48 pm #125435
Hi Darcy, thankyou so much for your reply.
I do know in my heart it’s wrong and there have been a couple of other incidents in the last day or so with this person which have left me feeling uncomfortable so I need to take a step away from them. This will be hard but I think I’m actually stronger than I think. As you say, I have noticed the whisper and will act on it.
It’s interesting you mention allowing people into your life who re-enforce the negative, post abuse – this person was very much a champion of me, praising and complimenting initially. But now I seem to be left with very sporadic re-enforcement of my positive aspects, a feeling they’re not listening to me which results in me feeling guilty when I do open up about something (I think because I feel that they aren’t listening must mean I’m boring or uninteresting… both comments I would get constantly from my abusive ex) or outright outrageously hurtful statements which are disguised in a playful/jovial tone but cut deep. A lot of these statements are actually about other women and how beautiful they are etc and it’s quite hurtful considering the “relationship” I have with this person. I can’t work out why they would say them actually, except to hurt or try and make me jealous. I tend not to react as, learned behaviour, the aftermath is not worthwhile, though I then feel upset and think over and over everything after the incidents.
It is very much a learning curve post-abuse, and quite a while down the line of being free, I am very much still making my way along it. Thankyou again x x
2nd May 2021 at 12:59 am #125437Twisted SisterParticipant
It has made me feel sick this evening that it could be, and that someone else now thinks they can treat me like this
I think it matters to you as you move forward that you know there will always be those who do this, and that its unrelated to you. Its them, they will do this to many. When you look around you will notice that those who have these patterns of behaviour practice them on those around them. Its always worth a moment to remember that any person who acts in any way will act that way around everyone. that someone who’s been spiteful, will be spiteful.
so when you feel this sick sensation about someone else who behaves this way remember to separate yourself from their behaviour, that their behaviour is theirs, and your reaction is your own, and can be to comfort yourself whilst you take stock of that person and who they show you they are. You have seen and now know. thats not about you, but them. well done that you can see this now. this is positive steps forward.
2nd May 2021 at 9:05 am #125443
Hi TS, thankyou so much for your reply.
I do struggle with taking behaviour personally. My world became very small during my abusive relationship – so small I could go weeks and weeks not speaking to anyone except for him, but of course that was what suited him as it meant he could control and manipulate me more easily, without outside influence.
I am aware that this person who I am struggling with at the moment has, how can I put it without being too identifying, some “form” of being pushy towards women, if that makes sense? But they also sometimes come across as extremely shy/lacking in self esteem. This confusion, to try and decipher it, is unhealthy for me. What you say rings so true though, those true colours are always there and I’ve seen some of theirs and they don’t suit me.
I do need to separate myself. It’s hard, because my world is still pretty small. But I guess I’d rather deal with some hurt now than a lot more in the future!
Take care, and thankyou again x x
2nd May 2021 at 10:59 am #125448LivinginhopeParticipant
Hello… I found myself in a similar position… couldn’t believe I was with yet another gaslighting abusive man after leaving my ex. It took a long time to for me to see it, complicated by many factors, but I reread my trusty books on abuse, realised what he was (despite being very different to my ex in many ways which gave me a false sense of security)and then I ended it. I’m now spending a lot of time alone to try and give myself space and learn from this all… it feels the right and safest thing for me. It’s completely understandable why we might find these people in our lives again but absolutely trust those feelings you have… you know your truth. You can rise from this x
2nd May 2021 at 12:01 pm #125449
Hi Livinginhope, thankyou so much for your reply.
I honestly just can’t believe this. I’m so angry, on top of everything else, with myself for apparently neglecting all of the lessons I learnt. I have a lot of books and your method sounds a good one, I need to re-read some of them and freshen my mind with what helped me so much in the past.
Similar to your experience, this person is very different on the surface to my ex – chalk and cheese – but more and more little “alarms” have crept in. I think his manner and method are very different to my ex, but I think ultimately that same abuser is there.
I need to be strong, but also kinder to myself, as I have tried pulling away from them previously and they seem to just know the right tactic to get me hooked again… it’s in a way funny because my gut can now almost predict it. I find the method that works best for me is to just go quiet. I don’t want to ever be accused of giving some the ‘silent treatment’ as I know how destructive that is, but when I can’t explain (and I guess there’s no point in explaining to them) what is going on in my head and my heart then just keeping quiet is the safest option. I’m literally going to try and start that when I finish writing this post. I can’t lie though, it feels horrible to admit, but I do like the attention and I struggle to reconcile that with my other feelings.
Thankyou for your support x x
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