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.
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.