“You’re crazy” “You are so dramatic” “I never said/did that” “You really need help” “Its your fault” “That never happened/You are imagining things” “You’re being irrational.” “You’re so emotional/sensitive/take things too personally” “It was a joke/I was just kidding/You have no sense of humor” “You don’t believe me/like it, that is on you.” “It’s not my fault”
These are just a few of the many phrases used by gaslighters. What is a gaslighter, you ask. A gaslighter is a person, who, in order to gain more power, makes a victim question their reality and sanity. Anyone is susceptible to gaslighting, and it is a common technique of abusers and narcissists. It is done so slowly that the victim never really knows it is happening.
The Chicks wrote a song and album titled Gaslighter and there other songs such as the one by Snow the Product called Gaslight. If you log on to Tick Tock you are sure to see videos about gaslighting. People are becoming more and more aware of this type of crazy making behavior. It is mental and emotional abuse.
I endured gaslighting for years and questioned my own sanity countless times. It caused me to have horrible anxiety as well as depression. Over the years I have filled countless notebooks and post it notes with reminders to myself. I still have a difficult time trusting myself and write everything down.
If a person calls you “crazy” or is making you think you’re losing your mind, that’s a major red flag of gaslighting. Gaslighting is real. It is abuse that happens gradually. It sneaks up on you one small lie, manipulation, rude/insensitive comment at a time until all of a sudden you wonder if you’re actually losing your mind. I know, I questioned my sanity so many times, I lost count. It has taken years of therapy to undo the damage.
Do not blame yourself. I know I don’t. Look for the signs: If they call you names like crazy. If they lie to you, and deny it. If they get defensive and angry when you disprove a lie they have told. If they use the things that matter to you as emotional ammunition. If they make snide comments and call you ‘oversensitive.” If they accuse you of being forgetful and make you feel “emotional” or unworthy. They are gaslighting you.
You are not crazy.
Do not walk away…run!