You know when you have a lightbulb moment, when you read something, spit out your coffee and suddenly go WHAT THE FUCK, WHAT, THIS IS EXACTLY LIKE READING ABOUT MYSELF!

Well, I just spat out my coffee as I read about Gaslighting.

And it made me wonder where I’ve been all this time.

How come I didn’t know what Gaslighting was?

How did I ever allow it to happen to me?

And also, that even though my experience happened a long time ago, the scars are still there.

The article took me back to a fairly long term relationship that I had. A not good one. And as I read, all the emotionally abusive things this guy used to say came flooding back to me.  The things that made me feel bad. Things that I knew were not true. But that I somehow started believing and that I allowed to eat away at me, break me up, bit by bit.

Until there was not that much more to break.

Things like:-

You’re selfish, Violet. You make everything about you.

You can’t do anything on our own can you Violet.

And you’re not very bright are you, Violet. Silly. Silly Silly Violet.

He would say these things, I would get upset, he would take them back. And even when he took them back, I was the one left feeling guilty. Ashamed. And stupid. Like I had done something wrong.

He would then make up for his words by saying:-

But you know I’m kidding, Violet.

You’ve done so well, Violet, I’m really proud of you.

You’re gorgeous, bright, sexy, I’m so lucky to have you.

But the damage had already been done. I felt bad. And I felt like I was going mad.

Seeds of self doubt. Planted in me by a master manipulator.

Years later I can see just how manipulated I was. And I think, thank goodness I got out of that relationship. And got help.

Except that as I type I realise I am not totally over it or okay and my self esteem and confidence took a huge knock.

So when I read the article on Gaslighting alarm bells started ringing.

I remembered that I still had a lot of work to do, on me.  And that my journey is far from over.

Also, that there are many women out there who suffer a similar type of emotional abuse.

And I wanted to say this:

Girlfriends. You are not crazy. You are not mad. You are most definitely not stupid.

Trust your feelings. Trust your emotions.

And get out. Now.

It is never too late.


45 thoughts on “Gaslighting

  1. I’m listening to Carol Dweck’s “Mindset” where she talks about the various forms of bullies in life, and why they do such things. We are all as much or as little as we choose to be! I would say you’ve chosen to grow…and no one can ever deny you that😎

    Liked by 4 people

  2. One of my good friends and I talk about this quite a bit – we found the terminology over a year ago, and let me tell you, any woman who has any emotional intelligence will be able to say “me too.” This is one of the ways that covert sexism has been allowed to flourish. Rest assured, I lived with the master of gaslighting, and you are most definitely not alone. I wish I could say I never fell for it.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I’ve written a post about it, too. My father was a professional gaslighter… Sometimes I still find myself letting people put me down like that, but I don’t let it continue for long.


  4. Violet, thank you so much! It took me years to see this abuse. Once I did, I was out. Didn’t know it had a term and it’s refreshing to see that it’s not just me (unfortunately).
    Ps I’m working on a piece about feminine strength and this is lovely support for it.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. “-” is a master at gaslighting too. He used to say to me, “Oh, Lucy! You have some esplaining to do!” Not cute. I have a fucking master’s degree. And that was one of the nicer things he said to me.

    Then there’s the shame. You know, how did I let this happen to me? And people blame you by saying, why didn’t you just leave? If we just talked more, we would see that it happens to many of us — the bright and not so bright alike. Those who use gaslighting should be ashamed, not us. Thanks for the post!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. It isn’t restricted to men “gaslighting” women. Judgemental, belittling, shaming, manipulative behaviour happens on both sides of the fence. I’m not sure about the connections being drawn with sexism and feminine strength. My first encounter with the term was reading that it is commonly done by people with their own emotional problems, to try and project their own issues onto another to “turn the tables”. I too am still working on the self-doubt that years of this kind of abuse fostered in me.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I’m with you. I only comment on the strength of women as it mostly women who have commented here and told their stories too. and I think men are quieter because there is even more stigma attached to having been gaslit (if that is a word) and possibly more shame for men as they are ‘supposed’ to be so strong and macho and manly .

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Violet: I am so glad you got away from that lower than pond scum weasel. I am sorry he did damage and I am sorry that you have suffered. You never deserved that…no one does!


      1. My pleasure. Let me use the opportunity to invite you to the Bloggers brunch that I am hosting over the weekend Saturday – Sunday. I believe it will be fun to mingle with others. The invitation is titled, It’s Brunch Party Time. I will send one out again tomorrow. My regards.

        Liked by 1 person

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