How Covert Narcissists Brainwash Their Victim (SpartanLifeCoach)

The most dangerous thing about covert narcissists is they seem like anything but narcissists, but they are masters of manipulation, deflection, and projection. If you challenge their actions, they will turn the tables on you, and act like YOU are victimizing THEM. You’ll think you are going insane–and you might go insane.

I’m dealing with someone right now who may be a covert narcissist.   The crazy thing is that this person is telling me I’m the abusive one.  They are making me worry all over again that I might in fact be the narcissist.   They’re making me feel guilty by tearfully telling me how hurt they are over something that happened ages ago.   But who’s going to suspect such an “innocent” and “vulnerable” soul of abuse, especially when they are wiping away crocodile tears?

I doubt I’m the abusive one though, because there’s a difference between them and me:  I can admit when I’ve been wrong. I can also feel sorry when I know I’ve been wrong.    In this particular case, even though I know I wasn’t wrong, I apologized anyway to keep the peace.  I just want it to be over already but apparently they do not.   It seems to me that they are still trying to get a rise out of me over something I thought was long-forgotten.  But narcissists never forget and never forgive, and will use old transgressions (or imaginary transgressions) against you until the day they die, if they can.

When a covert narcissist starts acting all butt-hurt and accusing you of abusing them, you start to question your reality (and your sanity).  You feel like you’re living in a hall of funhouse mirrors when they are telling you that up is down and white is black and you are the abuser when in fact they are abusing you.   I’m very glad I’m not that close with this individual or I’d probably be in the psych ward by now.

How They Abuse — Invalidation

 

Here’s a man’s perspective on emotional abuse which elaborates even further on the sneaky tactics abusers often use to get others to see THEM–not the actual abused–as the victim. There’s even an acronym for this I was not aware of: DARVO (Deflect–Attack–Reverse Victim and Offender)

Roll Away My Shame

In various articles and blogs I’ve read about abuse by invalidation. This has been a huge part of my experience, and is ongoing in a big way because I’m unable to leave my abuser at this time. Invalidation is a tactic that hurts the victim by way of frequently rejecting the victim, disallowing even the basic acceptance that people rely on for normal functioning. It involves questioning or denying the truth of their pain, experience, perception, memory, et cetera.

To be clear, I am not talking about having a difference of opinion, or even a heated disagreement. I’m talking about abuse, which entails a pattern of behavior that is injurious.

Invalidation is one of the most insidious ways to abuse a person. It causes a tremendous amount of strain and damage in the victim. I suspect this is largely because it can go on for so long without being detected…

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“Narcissism–Living without Feelings”

narcissus1_caravaggio

I just read one of the most detailed and comprehensive articles about NPD I’ve ever come across, and also one of the scariest. It’s very long so you’ll need to set aside an hour or so to read all of it, but it’s definitely worth your time.

Some (but not all) of the issues discussed are the difference between healthy and unhealthy narcissism; how the borderline differs from the narcissist; childhood origins; the dynamics of narcissistic families (scapegoats, golden children, and bystanders); the 23 characteristics of narcissism (which take into account the less obvious Covert Narcissist); the development of the false self;  the physical characteristics of narcissists (this is new to me); and narcissism in modern society.

Narcissism by Richard Boyd, Perth WA – Energetics Institute, Copyright 2010
Narcissism – Living Without Feelings
http://energeticsinstitute.com.au/narcissism/

The word narcissism is one that has in recent years has been increasingly used in popular press to describe personalities and lifestyles. One form of Narcissism is however a little understood personality disorder which is increasingly showing up in our leaders across political, business, sporting, psychological and spiritual institutions(Behary:2008).

Indeed narcissism and narcissistic is increasingly being used to describe the mass cultural shift to a “self” obsessed culture where there is rampant consumerism, the pursuit of power, excesses, and the abuse of others in the pursuit of these ends, notes Martinez-Lewi(2008).

The word narcissism comes from the Greek mythological figure, Narcissus, who upon seeing his own reflection in a pond, fell obsessively in love with himself and his own image. As you will see in this article, the true unhealthy narcissist we see today, while maintaining a false self or “mask” of achievement, perfection, and the attainment of all the symbols of success and power, hides underneath a self hating, insecure, fragile real self, which fears being uncovered and exposed at any moment.

The key point here is we all need a healthy dose of Narcissism, as else we would not back ourselves in life, nor have a healthy sense of self. There are healthy forms of narcissism. However unhealthy narcissists do not have a healthy sense of self but instead have learnt to live life from a false self.

narcissus2_andecho

Unhealthy Narcissists are not in touch with their true self, instead becoming a chameleon type of personality who seek to project an idealised image to others, and then seduce and control all others that have some value or utility for them, until that persons utility value is exhausted, and then they are dumped and abandoned without remorse by the narcissist.
In some ways unhealthy Narcissism is seen by some schools of thought as a form of depressive disorder as the narcissist underneath the false mask, moves between depression and aggression. The aggression is most prevalent where there is a threat to being uncovered or exposed as being false, wrong, corrupt, or exploitative(Ransky:1998).

The narcissistic person may be male or female, and is obsessive in their primary pursuit of satisfaction, whether that be power, money and other resources to prop up the false self. Another common term for the narcissist in the business context is the Corporate Psychopath, notes Paul Babiak(2006), a noted specialist on the corporate version of this pathological individual.
According to body-mind researcher and M.D, Alexander Lowen, in his book, Narcissism – Denial of the True Self, narcissists share many common traits with bullies, but due to their ability to project a compelling false, idealised self image, and high intelligence, are more likely to “get away with it”, and escape accountability.

Some narcissistic people are “healthy” in their approach to life and achievement, but they are not of the type to be discussed throughout this article. A healthy and productive narcissistic person goes about their lives in a passionate way, achieve their goals, but retain empathy, consideration for others, and often a mindset of contributing to their community. Healthy Narcissism has more of the following characteristics according to Lewi-Martinez(2008) and Meir(2009):
Life is not all about them;
They are able to have stable and enduring marriages, relationships and business careers;
They are often are involved in charity and community service;
These people make and keep promises to others and to themselves;
They can give and take from a grounded place;
They are usually empathic and engaging;
A determined leader who seeks recognition where due and earnt;
Confrontational and accountable to self and others;
Wisely fearful and knows limits;
Self possessed but not selfish;
Very competitive and likes a challenge;
Vain in their achievements but the achievements are real and earnt;
In contact with own inner needs and wants and the difference of each.

cslewis_quote

This article concerns itself with the unhealthy forms of narcissism. Narcissists are found in all walks of life. After reading this article you may identify your spouse, co-worker, friend, relative, parent, boss, therapist, spiritual mentor, favourite athlete, or local or international political figures as potential unhealthy versions of narcissists. They key aspect of these individuals is their grandiosity, and their overstated sense of self entitlement in life often despite often not working hard to earn any such rewards.

Some unhealthy narcissists will be seen to be hard working and have their own achievements to own. Normally these types of Narcissist will also overstate their own achievements and minimise others and their achievements(Lowen:1986). There is often an arrogance in their personality.
Achieving Narcissistic personalities normally have a strong rigid-perfectionistic streak which gives them the discipline to set goals, focus and achieve, but there is a clinical coldness or unfeeling aspect to their natures(Lowen:1986). Many unhealthy Narcissists appear to achieve but in fact are predators who feed off victims they encounter in life, using their victims’ efforts, skills, and hard work, which get assumed and taken by the narcissist as their own, without remorse, recognition or meaningful reward for those around them(Babiak:2006).

In a narcissist’s world, It’s all about them, as Narcissists possess no real empathy, they feign or act empathic, while they delude themself that they are entitled to special treatment, and to not having to bother with detail or drudgery(Babiak:2006). These narcissists often gather a following of helpers or “sidekicks” to manipulate into doing any effort based work for them. Instead they spent their time managing their “image”, being a “visionary”, being “strategic”, establishing key “contacts”, that they argue only they are able to successfully do(Lewi-Martinez:2008).

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Some narcissistic personalities have an obsessive base in the personality where they micro-manage their own life, from work tasks to how they groom and dress, as they do not trust others or their standards of work. Other less rigid types are more focussed on positioning themself as indispensable, yet at the same time try to be unaccountable, being hard to track down, hard to get them to put things in writing, and they will avoid team roles where they are not the leader(Meier:2009).

Where possible they will delegate the work to a co-worker or “sidekick”. Narcissists hate mundane jobs and tasks that are “beneath them” and avoid them by manipulating others where possible to do such jobs on their behalf(Babiak:2006). Narcissists necessarily include others in their life so as to get the other person to do what they are unable to do, do not want to do, or what they feel is beneath them to do.

Read the rest of this article here.

What she says…what she really means.

narc_mother_glossary

Here’s a humorous narc-speak dictionary from Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers. This is so true! Of course some of these phrases could be used by any narcissist who has their hooks in you, not just your mother, and can be “translated” the same way.

The Narcissistic Mother Dictionary

1. “I love you.”

Narcissistic-mother-ese:
I want to manipulate you.

You’re showing signs of breaking away and I want to suck you back in.

I’ve heard people say this and it seems to get a good reaction.

I command you to love me.

2. “Don’t ever feel like you HAVE to come see me for my birthday.”

Narcissistic Mother-ese:
If you don’t make the 650 mile pilgrimage to celebrate me, I promise I will do something to make you pay dearly.

3. “Go do something constructive.”

Narcissistic Mother-ese:
Be gone, I have no interest in my own children.

4. “You were an ‘accident.'”

Narcissistic Mother-ese:
You are only here because homicide would get me jail time, and I thought you’d be a better slave, so I didn’t opt for adoption.

5. “You go have yourself a good cry!”

Narcissistic Mother-ese:
I resent your emotions, but at least I can use them to hurt you.

6. “I never said that!”
“I have no idea what you’re talking about!”

Narcissistic Mother-ese:
Damned if I’m going to admit it.

Yes I said that but it doesn’t work in the conversation right now.

I know I said it but it’s so much fun to f*** with your head until you don’t know what is true and you think you really are crazy! Yeah me!!!

7. “It’s been a long time since I talked to you and I just called to see how you were doing.”

Narcissistic Mother-ese:
I am running low on my Narcissistic Supply and need another fix.

I don’t care how you’re doing; I really just want to talk about me.

8. “You just aren’t remembering correctly.”

Narcissistic Mother-ese:
My version of events shows me in a better light, so that’s the official version.

narcissist_mothers_victim

9. “You never do anything for me!”

Narcissistic Mother-ese:
I know you’ve done a lot for me in the past, but that was then and it no longer counts. What have you done for me today?

10. “It’s time this stops.”

Narcissistic Mother-ese:
None of my ploys have worked to pull you back so now I will treat you like a child.

11. “I miss you.”

Narcissistic Mother-ese:
I miss having control over you.

I’m lacking my Narcissistic Supply – please provide it pronto.

12. “Who have you been talking to? Who have you been in therapy with? what book did you read? etc, etc, etc….”

Narcissistic Mother-ese:
I’m not getting the usual emotional response from you and you are too dim-witted to have figured out how to shut me down on your own.

13. “Your brother and sister-in-law took us out to dinner last night. We had such a nice time – I don’t think we have ever been treated that well.”

Narcissistic Mother-ese:
You had better step up your game.

14. “I’m so proud of you”.

Narcissistic Mother-ese:
You have made me feel good and/or *I* feel good because of you.

I can take credit for that accomplishment.

15. “Why are you wasting your time on something so silly and that takes you away from your family?”

Narcissistic Mother-ese:
Why are you wasting your time on something so silly and that takes you away from me?

16. “I want to help you with your kids.”

Narcissistic Mother-ese:
I plan to interfere in the upbringing of your children by spoiling them, disciplining them differently to your way, and ignoring your decisions and wishes regarding them. I will not acknowledge your position and rights as the mother of these children. I may even steal them from you.

17. “Your father and I think …”

Narcissistic Mother-ese:
I think …

18. “So how are you?”

Narcissistic Mother-ese:
I’d better ask, but don’t worry I won’t really be listening. Or as soon as you say a trigger word, which reminds me of something else, I’ll interrupt and be off again!

I’m running out of things to boast to my friends about, so please come up with some accomplishments.

19. “I’m so sorry your beloved 14-year old dog died.”

Narcissistic Mother-ese:
Sigh … I’d better at least mention it, and let you talk for one, maybe two, sentences about your upset and grief, and then I can talk about myself again.

20. “You were very difficult to raise.”
“You were always my problem child.”

Narcissistic Mother-ese:
You resisted my attempts to violate your boundaries, abuse you and humiliate you.

21. “It’s so sad. I feel so sorry for them.”

Narcissistic Mother-ese:
It’s so exciting! I love being this close to tragedies!

22. “I’m sorry.”

Narcissistic Mother-ese:
I will, on rare occasion, say the words but never change my behaviour.

Sigh, I’ll say it if it’ll stop you moaning, but don’t worry, I don’t mean it.

23. “Let’s just let go of the past.”
“Let’s just draw a line under it and get back to normal.”

Narcissistic Mother-ese:
Let’s pretend everything is ok and I’m not a nightmare of a mother so I can continue to torture you and get my Narcissistic Supply.

Let me play my narcissist’s game of never being held accountable for my behaviour.

24. “Your sister-in-law is such a great cook! Simply amazing!”

Narcissistic Mother-ese:
I want to take away any pleasure or pride you have in your own cooking skills.

25. “I just want you to love me.”

Narcissistic Mother-ese:
All I really want is for you give me my Narcissistic Supply.

26. “What’s wrong with you today? What is your problem?”

Narcissistic Mother-ese:
I’m pissed that you are denying me my much needed Narcissistic Supply. Damn you!

27. “Honestly, nothing ever pleases you, does it? Sigh.”

Narcissistic Mother-ese:
You have to let me treat you exactly as I please, without ever complaining.

28. “I was only trying to help!”

Narcissistic Mother-ese:
I demand the freedom to interfere in your life any time I want. That is my right!

joan_crawford

29. “What happened to the nice girl I once knew?”

Narcissistic Mother-ese:
Why are you no longer the easily manipulated and uncomplaining-of-abuse girl I raised you to be?

30. “After all I’ve done for you! You’ve never appreciated me!”

Narcissistic Mother-ese:
Wah wah wah I have violated your boundaries most of your life but even so I resent the hell out of your standing your ground and refusing to allow me to interfere, manipulate and control you.

31. “Why are you treating me so badly? What have I done wrong?”

Narcissistic Mother-ese:
I have the right to interfere in your life and abuse you without any consequences.

32. “Because I’m the Mama, that’s why!”

Narcissistic Mother-ese:
You are really just a child, after all. I’ll never acknowledge that you are now an adult.

33. “I want to give you this because I love you.”

Narcissistic Mother-ese:
It’s really because you will then be beholden to me and this gives me great leverage to milk you for Narcissistic Supply.

34. “You’re always looking for insult.”
“You are so easily offended.”
“I have to walk on eggshells around you.”
“You’re over-sensitive.”

Narcissistic Mother-ese:
I will not be held accountable for my actions and behaviours!

35. “I never want to be a burden to you.”

Narcissistic Mother-ese:
I will over-run your life and suck the life force from you and your children.

36. “Have you lost some weight?”

Narcissistic Mother-ese:
I am so glad that I brought that sticky bun with me on this visit.

37. “You take me the wrong way.”

Narcissistic Mother-ese:
I will invalidate your feelings as I have done your whole life.

38. “You’re such a good cook!”
“You’re such a good mother!”

Narcissistic Mother-ese:
You got that from me!

39. “You don’t respect me!”

Narcissistic Mother-ese:
You won’t let me abuse you.

40. “You won’t forgive me!”

Narcissistic Mother-ese:
You won’t let me away with what I did, nor let me continue to trample all over you.

I expect forgiveness with no apology and no intention of doing differently in future.

41. “You need more time to think about it.”
“Well, have a think about it and get back to me.”

Narcissistic Mother-ese:
I am not accepting your decision/opinion. Keep thinking until you come to the correct conclusion.

42. “I was just joking even if I did say and do that, which I didn’t.”

Narcissistic Mother-ese:
I did say/do it, and I did mean it, but damned if I’m going to acknowledge that.

43. “You just won’t admit when you’re wrong.”

Narcissistic Mother-ese:
You defended yourself from my lies!

44. “Here’s a gift.”

Narcissistic Mother-ese:
Here is something, very likely something I have no more use for, that I am officially giving to you. But it is still mine, and therefore I get to say, forever more, what you do with it. And woebetide you don’t appreciate it enough, over and over.

MENTAL HEALTH – Shared Psychosis

This is a really great article about the way psychopaths can manipulate others by inducing a “shared psychosis” with their victim(s) — otherwise known as trauma bonding or Stockholm Syndrome. Psychopaths are way too far gone to ever be cured. Don’t try to help one; you can’t. This well written article really drives home the evil and creepiness of psychopathy–and most are not even criminals. They achieve their desire to completely destroy another person or group of people (such as the followers of a cult leader) using perfectly legal means. No Contact is the only way to handle a psychopath (NC here could be expanded to to include malignant narcissists who are just under psychopaths on the narcissism spectrum, most garden variety narcissists, and yes, even a few very sick borderlines too).

Narcissists are so %$&# annoying.

annoying_narcs

I can’t deny it anymore. My roommate, a woman I found on Craigslist back in September to share my house with me and help pay the bills, is another G.D. narcissist. She is one of he most annoying people I’ve ever known, outside my ex who was probably a little more so.

At first she seemed very nice. She gave a good impression. She has some health issues, including near-deafness, so she receives disability. She has one cat who gets along well with mine. She seemed almost too helpful and accommodating in the beginning. She actually wanted to pay me more than the rent I was asking, and kept offering to buy me things or do me favors I didn’t need or want.

She’s still paying her rent on time and hasn’t done anything really horrible, like set fires to the curtains or steal my things, so for now I’m allowing her to stay, until I figure out what else I can do to earn enough money to not have to share my home (which I would prefer), or find another roommate (who could be worse than she is, especially if I find them on Craiglist).

But she’s become almost intolerable to live with. Her personality repels me. I’m at the point where I just want to leave the room if she’s in it. Her voice and even looking at her annoys me.

That is precisely the way I felt about my ex husband before I kicked him out a year ago. I couldn’t stand the sight of him and his voice and everything he did was like nails on a chalkboard. Even the sound of his breathing bothered me. And listening to him eat made me want to puke.

I hated him and everything he did so much there were times I could completely understand how someone could be driven to kill. I never entertained that thought of course, but I could understand why some people could. I also realized I no longer even cared what happened to him. In fact, I kind of wanted him to die, if truth be told. I feel like I’m a horrible person for ever feeling that way, but it’s the truth.

It’s a bad sign when you’re having these kinds of ugly thoughts and feelings about someone you’re living with. The thing about narcs is they turn you just as mean as they are eventually. During the last months I lived with my ex, I was downright nasty to him. It wasn’t right, but it felt like some sort of justice before I worked up the courage to make him leave.

My roommate has gradually shed the “nice” act–that was just the love bombing phase. I knew there was something a little fishy about her over the top displays of affection and insistence on doing things for me I didn’t need or want. I should have paid attention to those red flags.

After awhile, she started guilt tripping me if I didn’t profusely thank her for these unasked-for favors. For instance she liked to clean the house, which I appreciated, since she doesn’t work and really doesn’t do anything all day. I’m too tired when I get home to clean anything and just want to write. I certainly wasn’t going to tell her not to do it (and she probably would have been insulted if I had).

gaslighting_poster

She’s very needy and entitled. She accused me of not being appreciative enough: “I spent all day cleaning the house FOR YOU (emphasis mine) even with my bad back. I didn’t have to do this FOR YOU, all I want is a little gratitude.” I’d already THANKED HER about ten times, for the love of God. Every time she does me a favor, no matter how small, or buys me something (which I don’t ask for), she gets all angry and butthurt if I don’t act like she’s Jesus Christ Incarnate for doing it. She keeps repeating herself over and over, announcing all the wonderful and kind things she does, to make sure you notice how perfect and wonderful she is.

Lately she’s been attempting to triangulate and gaslight using my daughter. But my daughter tells me everything, has read this blog (and knows a lot about narcissists now) and she told me what my roommate has been saying to her. The games aren’t working, and my roommmate’s getting mad. My daughter even told me she thought we were dealing with a narcissist. I was proud of her for that.

Two weeks ago my roommate’s car broke down. A couple weeks before that, she had allowed me to drive her car for two days while my transmission was being rebuilt. That was because she was too tired and sick to drive me to work (I never asked to borrow her car, although I preferred that to having to ride with her). Now she’s acting pissy and hateful because I won’t drive her all over town, even at night (I don’t see well on the road at night). A few days ago, she actually had the gall to suggest I call in late to work so I could take her to the doctor. I refused to do it. I don’t let narcs push me around anymore. I told her about the bus lines, but of course she made excuses why she couldn’t take a bus.

She is getting more hateful, telling my daughter how selfish I am. It’s almost funny, how obvious it is that she’s projecting her own narcissism on to me. It really creeps me out that my ex behaved THIS EXACT SAME WAY and said THE VERY SAME THING. She’s gaslighting me and attempting to use my daughter as a flying monkey. It’s really incredible. It’s like they all read from the same script. They probably do.

She whines nonstop about how generous and kind she was to me when she let me drive her car for two days (when she herself didn’t want to drive me), implying that I never do anything for HER.

She’s extremely nosy and butts into conversations I am having with my daughter or other people, as well as asking me constantly what I’m doing online. Like it’s any of her business. She needs constant attention and validation.

narcs_everywhere

If I buy takeout for myself and my daughter, my narc roommate gets upset that we didn’t get anything for HER. She’s 52 years old, but she acts like she’s 3. She also whines constantly that no one likes her here, and we aren’t nice to her, which is a total lie. But it’s becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy. I no longer like this woman, and neither does my daughter.

Last night we finally got into it. She said I wasn’t a nice person. I reminded her that I have only been as nice to her as she’s been to me, and furthermore that she ought to not act so entitled because I was giving her a really good deal with the very cheap rent I am charging. I challenged her to try and find something as cheap as the room I rent to her somewhere else. Asheville and Buncombe County in general is expensive. I guarantee she won’t be able to find as sweet a deal.

She started crying because she thought I was kicking her out. Complete with rubbing her eyes with her fists like a three year old who dropped her lollipop. I tried to be nice and not roll my eyes or sigh in frustration. (It’s getting harder to be nice.) I assured her I was not kicking her out but just letting her know how I felt–how entitled I think she acts, and that her gaslighting, triangulating, projecting, whining, wheedling self pity, negativity, nosiness, and absolute absence of any respect for anyone’s boundaries was annoying and crazymaking.

She makes fun of things I like. She puts down my interests (she has never seen this blog, as far as I know and probably wouldn’t read it, even as nosy as she is). I told her one time I was going out to buy orange juice and for some odd reason she found this extremely funny, and to this day keeps making jokes about my “obsession” with orange juice. It’s not funny. It’s damned annoying. I can’t explain it, but it’s that nails on a chalkboard thing, like the way I felt about my ex’s breathing and eating sounds.

living_with_u

I know this can’t turn out good. I know at some point I will have to ask her to leave, but right now I really need the money and don’t feel like taking out another damn ad in the paper. I’ve had worse roommates than her in the past–at least she pays her rent on time and doesn’t do hard drugs (as far as I know).

I know it must be difficult for her to be disabled and have a car that isn’t running (she can’t afford to have it fixed) and be pretty much housebound. That would drive me crazy too. So I can understand a little grumpiness or depression.

But what I’m seeing isn’t just a bored and stir crazy person taking out their frustrations and anger on me. What I’m seeing is pure, unadulterated, 100% genuine, 200 proof NARC.

This post is intended to open a discussion about narcissists and narcissistic roommates, etc. I don’t want or need advice to get rid of her. I already know that. I’m willing to wait things out for awhile because the extra income is worth it–for the moment.

If I ever feel like she’s starting to have a negative effect on my growth or my healing, then she’s out. If she starts finding reasons not to pay her rent, she’s out. For now, she’s just incredibly annoying. Narcs can irritate the living shit out of you.
But I can live with that, at least for now.

Why do they always find me? They’re only 1% of the population, but it seems like they’re everywhere.

Are you being “gaslighted”?

I found an interesting article on A Healthy Place about the emotional abuse practice of gaslighting. I never knew the various types of gaslighting actually had names!

Here’s everything you need to know about this sinister manipulation tactic used by narcissistic abusers, and how to tell if you’re a victim.

Gaslight-2

Gaslighting Definition, Techniques and Being Gaslighted
Written by Natasha Tracy

Gaslighting is a form of emotional abuse where the abuser manipulates situations repeatedly to trick the victim into distrusting his or her own memory and perceptions. Gaslighting is an insidious form of abuse. It makes victims question the very instincts that they have counted on their whole lives, making them unsure of anything. Gaslighting makes it very likely that victims will believe whatever their abusers tell them regardless as to their own experience of the situation. Gaslighting often precedes other types of emotional and physical abuse because the victim of gaslighting is more likely to remain in other abusive situations as well.

The term “gaslighting” comes from the 1938 British play “Gas Light” wherein a husband attempts to drive his wife crazy using a variety of tricks causing her to question her own perceptions and sanity. Gas Light was made into a movie both in 1940 and 1944.

gaslighting2

Gaslighting Techniques and Examples
Gaslighting is emotional abuse that aims to make victims doubt their own perceptions and memories. Find out if you are being gaslighted in your relationship.There are numerous gaslighting techniques which can make gaslighting more difficult to identify. Gaslighting techniques are used to hide truths that the abuser doesn’t want the victim to realize. Gaslighting abuse can be perpetrated by either women or men.

“Withholding” is one gaslighting technique where the abuser feigns a lack of understanding, refuses to listen and declines sharing his emotions. Gaslighting examples of this would be:

“I’m not listening to that crap again tonight.”
“You’re just trying to confuse me.”

Another gaslighting technique is “countering,” where an abuser will vehemently call into question a victim’s memory in spite of the victim having remembered things correctly.

“Think about when you didn’t remember things correctly last time.”
“You thought that last time and you were wrong.”
These techniques throw the victim off the intended subject matter and make them question their own motivations and perceptions rather than the issue at hand.

It is then that the abuser will start to question the experiences, thoughts and opinions more globally through statements said in anger like:

“You see everything in the most negative way.”
“Well you obviously never believed in me then.”
“You have an overactive imagination.”

“Blocking” and “diverting” are gaslighting techniques whereby the abuser again changes the conversation from the subject matter to questioning the victim’s thoughts and controlling the conversation. Gaslighting examples of this include:

“I’m not going through that again.”
“Where did you get a crazy idea like that?”
“Quit bitching.”
“You’re hurting me on purpose.”

“Trivializing” is another way of gaslighting. It involves making the victim believe his or her thoughts or needs aren’t important, such as:

“You’re going to let something like that come between us?”

Abusive “forgetting” and “denial” can also be forms of gaslighting. In this technique, the abuser pretends to forget things that have really occurred; the abuser may also deny things like promises that have been made that are important to the victim. An abuser might say,

“What are you talking about?”
“I don’t have to take this.”
“You’re making that up.”

Some gaslighters will then mock the victim for their “wrongdoings” and “misperceptions.”

Gaslighting Psychology
The gaslighting techniques are used in conjunction to try to make the victim doubt their own thoughts, memories and actions. Soon the victim is scared to bring up any topic at all for fear they are “wrong” about it or don’t remember the situation correctly.

The worst gaslighters will even create situations that allow for the usage of gaslighting techniques. An example of this is taking the victim’s keys from the place where they are always left, making the victim think she has misplaced them. Then “helping” the victim with her “bad memory” find the keys.

gaslighting

Are You a Victim of Gaslighting Emotional Abuse?
According to author and psychoanalyst Robin Stern, Ph.D., the signs of being a victim of gaslighting emotional abuse include:

You are constantly second-guessing yourself.
You ask yourself, “Am I too sensitive?” a dozen times a day.
You often feel confused and even crazy at work.
You’re always apologizing to your mother, father, boyfriend,, boss.
You can’t understand why, with so many apparently good things in your life, you aren’t happier.
You frequently make excuses for your partner’s behavior to friends and family.
You find yourself withholding information from friends and family so you don’t have to explain or make excuses.
You know something is terribly wrong, but you can never quite express what it is, even to yourself.
You start lying to avoid the put downs and reality twists.
You have trouble making simple decisions.
You have the sense that you used to be a very different person – more confident, more fun-loving, more relaxed.
You feel hopeless and joyless.
You feel as though you can’t do anything right.
You wonder if you are a “good enough” girlfriend/ wife/employee/ friend; daughter.

I must be strong.

rosietheriveter

Here’s the latest development in this tragic saga.
Now it seems my daughter is using her MN father to attempt to triangulate against me and gaslight me. She has told him lies about both me and Paul, and now they are both trying to convince me I am an unloving, unsympathetic mother just because I won’t take back my unemployable, narcissistic, pathologically lying, drug addicted drama queen of a daughter. He also told me Paul told him I was a bitch and hated me (I know for a fact this is a lie).

I told that lying MN mooching scumbag I was only going by what I observed while in their home, and that our daughter is in serious need of long term psychiatric care and drug rehab, and there is nothing more I can do to help her. I have seen this pattern in her time and again, and I will not under any circumstances have this unstable young woman with no job or any prospects run off my roommate, who has been nothing but reliable, pays her rent on time, and keeps the house clean. I told the psychopath his daughter has nothing but contempt for any rules or advice I would give her anyway and her staying with me would not help her and only cause a world of trouble for me.

He taught her his games well. She is doing exactly what he always did, and now using HIM as a flying monkey, rather than the other way around. Fine, they can both hate my guts. I must stay strong. This blog is keeping me strong. I won’t back down, no matter what, even if it means I need to get a restraining order against her too.

By the way, she sold the $60.00 bag I bought her in exchange for money to buy drugs. I will never buy her another gift. She appreciates nothing. She has respect for no one’s possessions. She stole Paul’s antique rosary beads to sell for drugs. Like all narcissists, she never learns from her mistakes. Ever.

I love my daughter, but I know enough about malignant narcissism now to know what the red flags are and the evil mind games they play. I’m not going to let them make a fool of me.
She always did love her dad best.

I refuse to be the Cowardly Lion anymore.
cowardlylion