Have you ever been told you are crazy over and over again by a significant other, a parent, a family member or a friend? Or ANYONE? Only to realize later that your expectations of how people should treat you or how you live your life doesn’t make you crazy.. Yeah, that is called gaslighting.
When someone is gaslighting you they are manipulating you into thinking you are losing your sanity. It is completely psychologically damaging and controlling.
I have someone in my life that does this constantly. This person shall remain umm..somewhat anonymous. This person feels like it is his right to tell me that I am insane for cutting off certain members of my family. He shouts and screams at me and tells me that he is “worried” about me because I take an antidepressant. This person has tried to control me for years.
When I say “my perception of my adolescence was ____.” He says that my adolescence was great and I made decisions to make it horrible. He says that I was a horrible kid and they all did what was best for me. He says that I am an overly sensitive embarrassment. He says that I am not a victim. He says that I blame everyone else for my problems. He tries to get me to question myself.
The problem is, I know longer let this person to have any control over my life and that drives him into a frenzy. I believe the actual problem is that he doesn’t want to see me doing well or standing up for myself. He wants to see me as if I was still a teenager and upset with how he is treating me. When he starts his rants as if he is a board certified psychiatrist, I don’t listen. When he tries to make me feel like shit for doing what is best for me and my family, I reach out to someone who I know supports me.
Top Tips for Dealing With A Gaslighter:
- Get away from them. Block them. Limit your time with them. Because this person is likely a narcissist, they won’t understand why you are upset by their behavior, but you could try to tell them in a very logical way why you are no longer wanting a friendship/relationship.
- Confide in someone you care about what they are saying to you. You should not keep this behavior a secret. It is not your fault that they act like this. Getting support from a friend will definitely help!
- Move on. Find friends that support you and nurture your wellness. Toxicity is not just a part of life you have to get used to. You get to decide who you spend time with, even if this person is family.
Curious about Part 2 of my boarding school letter? Well..I am working on it. It is taking a bit of editing to get it right! Stay tuned and re-read my post Me at 15, a letter from boarding school
In the mood for something deeply personal and authentic? Check out to of my stories: