You are CRAZY, the source of ALL of the problems, YOU are forgetful, YOU lie, YOU drive me insane, YOU stress me out, YOU are obsessed and jealous, AND all of your friends and family AGREE – ‘Gaslighting’ the Narcissist’s attempt to drive you to the point of insanity – BUT they love you??
From my Book – From Charm to Harm and Everything else in Between with a Narcissist! @Amazon.com
A real perspective and some education on that term ‘Gaslighting’ and how it endangers and DAMAGES a target/victim’s reality over a long period of time. This is the very tool that a Narcissist uses to drive their target/victim straight to the point of dependence, subservience, and insanity AND it all started out with them loving you so they can disable you and take what they can or use YOU.
‘Gaslighting’ is purely the Narcissist’s attempt to literally make you believe that you are going insane! This term comes from the old black/white movie ‘Gaslight’ where a husband sets out to convince his very normal wife that she is insane because he is seeking out a fortune that is hidden in the attic. He secretly removes different things from their home and tells her she did it. He intentionally isolates her from others by convincing her she has issues and needs to be home and away from other people and the public trying to drive her to complete insanity. He uses her growing distress and confusion to prove to OTHERS that she IS unstable. The movie gets its name because the wife keeps noticing the ‘gas lights’ in their home dim and flicker which he is causing from being in the attic searching for this hidden fortune (in modern times it would be like our electric lights flickering), but the husband assures her that this is purely her imagination just like she imagines so many other things reinforcing that she has ISSUES – and thus the birth of the term ‘gaslighting’ to describe this extreme manipulation.
The term ‘gaslighting’ is now used to describe the psychological and emotional abuse that destroys the target/victim’s trust in their own perceptions of reality. People who distrust their perceptions are easier to manipulate and control so the abuser (Narcissist) slowly but surely creates this manipulative and purely deceptive scenario day by day until they have weakened their target/victim and they start to believe that they are going crazy, obsessed, or just not seeing reality correctly.
The classic example of ‘gaslighting is to change or manipulate things in a person’s normal or familiar environment without their knowledge. The ‘gaslighter’ then denies the targets reality by manipulating them into believing they must be imagining things, forgetful, losing it, etc. when the target tries to challenge these perceptions that the Narcissist forces on them. For example the perpetrator will intentionally hide your car keys, phone or any number of things to make you think you are becoming very forgetful or even ‘losing it.’
Another form of ‘gaslighting’ is to deny the existence of the REAL truth through deception or outright lies and then blaming or shaming the person into believing they have lost the use of their normal reasoning as if they are imagining things. Another form is when the perpetrator denies that they said something in the past, or forgets solid plans you made by saying they never suggested this plan or event. Another example of this form of ‘gaslighting’ occurs when a husband/wife, romantic interest, etc., has cheated. The Narcissistic husband/wife or romantic interest will vehemently deny the affair and insist they are not lying and the target is just imagining things, or jealous and making things up. THEN they will turn the argument around and insist that they are hurt over the accusations and insist that you are obsessed and just starting another argument. They (the Narcissist) is sick of it and you better change or else! You end up apologizing and basically having to accept that you have wronged them, even though your perceptions WERE real and true in every situation. Unfortunately you have been completely duped and blamed for being real with your concerns. Nothing is resolved and you are still unsure of the truth so you are only confused and move on with yet another layer of this crazy making being unresolved. Lastly the perpetrator will revert to another tactic and will insist that other people like friends, family, coworkers, etc., reinforce this too by saying that they are worried about you as well and thinking you have issues. The Narcissist will even go as far as telling friends and family that the target DOES have issues working both sides of this HUGE manipulation.
It’s important to note that most psychological and emotional abuse is not always direct and verbal as the examples above. It can be implied with sarcasm, irony, or mumblings and can be communicated with body language, rolling eyes, sighs, grimaces, tone of voice, disgusted looks, cold shoulders, slamming doors, banging things, stonewalling, silencing, cold shoulders, punishing, etc. There are a myriad of ways to be psychologically and emotionally abusive and the Narcissist employs all of them to make you believe that all of the problems are directly related to YOU!
Narcissists frequently use ‘gaslighting’ tactics. Simply put Narcissists are cruel, manipulative, conniving, and convincing liars who consistently deny their wrongdoing and basically project it onto and into you so that they can fulfill their agenda of extorting what they can from you. Are they aware of this? Well it really seems so when they lie to cover up their indiscretions and manipulate to make us think otherwise! They MUST know they have done something wrong to deny the truth. They are cognizant or thinking throughout this entire process to achieve the desired responses they want! Couple this with the fake personal charm or better yet seduction to lure you in that characterizes Narcissists. Any way you look at their actions they are duping you into believing that your perception of love with them is real, THEN they also dupe you into believing you are a horrible person, THEN duping you into believing you may have serious issues around your own mental health, and lastly duping everyone around you into believing these horrendous lies to destroy you so they can move on to yet another unsuspecting target/victim to start up the whole process AGAIN and escaping any exposure of what they are and what they have done! EVERYTHING with them is a lie to support their needs and HIDE their agenda and they constantly repeat this process with every person that they are in a relationship with. They even dupe friends into their lives to use as supporters or minions to support their facade of fake goodness.
A Narcissist means to get into your life and head, get the supply they need so desperately, and disable you at so many levels concerning your mental well-being! This corresponds with cognitive dissonance where you believe the reality that a Narcissist presents through their charm and ‘love bombing’ or the huge and FAKE façade of morality and goodness they create, but intuition and facts rear up with a direct opposite reality or the truth of what they really are. It continually keeps you in a vicious circle of belief and then doubt and constantly back and forth between these two conflicting and confusing realities. This is serious business in understanding the truth around your abuse and just how thoroughly manipulated you were throughout the entire period of time you spent with this person. From the first day they met you this horrible attack on your emotional and psychological well-being started. If this is not understood through educating yourself and left unresolved, you will accept the negative messages, blame, shame or the whole nine yards and remain traumatized for many years and unable to move forward in a healthy manner.
This is NOT something that the target/victim has conscious control over because it is purely born from the lies, manipulation, isolation, and CONTROL. Intuition does come into play but because of the highly manipulative aspect of ‘gaslighting’ it seriously confounds, distorts, and disables a person’s reality. The charm or love bombing has created a strong emotional bond of love, and this is what creates that familiar, NORMAL and real relationship that you believe in – or what we have always understood a relationship should be. We probably weren’t familiar with Narcissists or the manner that they abuse good and loving people with fake empathy and love. Subsequently when the conflict that is created by the Narcissist’s opposite virtue of pure deception enters into the relationship, it works in direct opposition to what the target/victim has bonded with or the strong emotions of love and the normal human belief system. The target/victim reaches out to regain that position of love. That love is what keeps you attached at the hip with this creature because of those strong emotions that locked you into this relationship. Remember that real love has many other components that have been born out of our life lessons or the human condition that we were all raised to believe in. Those values are strong within us and along with them came messages to work at a cohesive relationship when you feel this loving bond with another person!
Within these internal messages we grew up with is respect for the person we love, give and take, integrity, being unconditional, understanding, forgiving, etc., or again what we were raised to believe in as far as committing to a person that we love – BUT that love the Narcissist initiated was just as much a part of the ‘gaslighting’ as were all of the negative and damaging things! A Narcissist knows this and snuggles right up to those values we were raised with to get into our heads, BUT the Narcissist never abides by the same beliefs or rules that we do AND they do not love or care about people as anything more than an object to pursue and use. What a complete and hideous form of emotional and psychological abuse this is to betray a person through one of the most beautiful emotions in life – LOVE! This seems to be more of a well-planned out agenda from a creature that knows exactly what they are doing. Know this very truth completely so that you can purge all of the negative effects of this huge betrayal from your heart and mind to stop blaming yourself and know the truth that it is not YOU with the mental issues but the Narcissist that abused you so you can start out on your journey to healing and recovery. No/minimal contact always. Greg