Betrayal
Trauma
Recovery

Gaslighting is notoriously difficult to spot, especially in the middle of an abusive episode. 

Victims of Abuse Are Empowered Through Education

As women learn the tactics that psychological and emotional abusers use to gaslight them, they are empowered to make informed decisions about their own safety. 

Victims of abuse deserve safety in every area of their lives, especially their own minds. When abusers choose to gaslight victims, they are forcing the victim to call her own reality and her own sanity into question. This insidious form of abuse must be stopped.

The Four Secret Tactics of Gaslighting Revealed

Abusers will often use four discreet tacts to make victims question their reality and sanity; these tactics often overlap or are used two or three at a time. 

Tactic # 1: “You Didn’t See What You Just Saw” 

One of the most notorious tactics used by gaslighting abusers is to blatantly discredit the reality of victims. 

“Where did that $500 go that was in our bank account yesterday?”

“What $500? It didn’t go anywhere. You’re wrong.”

OR

“I saw you with that woman from work; she told me that you are sleeping together. Please just tell me the truth.”

“What woman from work? You’re crazy. I’m not seeing anyone.”

Abusers often use this tactics to try to hide substances and behaviors like infidelity, pornography, drug use, and gambling. 

Tactic # 2: Redirect Responsibility 

When abusers can successfully get a victim to look at her own responsibility in the chaos that he has created, the spotlight is off of his abusiveness, and he is able to carry out his abusive behaviors without consequences.

“Where did that $500 go that was in our bank account yesterday?”

“Why can’t you keep track of the money? You’ve been terrible with money since the first day I met you.”

OR

“I saw you with that woman from work; she told me that you are sleeping together. Please just tell me the truth.”

“I’m not… but if I did, it would be because you never have sex with me when I want to.”

Tactic # 3: Saying You Need Mental/Emotional Help AND/OR Dismissing Your Mental/Emotional Help

When an abuser can deflect from his own behavior by pinning the “craziness” on the victim by either

a. telling her that she “needs help” (stigmatizing mental health issues)

and/or

b. criticizing and dismissing the mental/emotional help that she is receiving through counseling, therapy, coaching, or support groups,

he is creating a distorted reality where he is the “sane and healthy” side of the partnership, and she is the one causing the chaos.

“Where did that $500 go that was in our bank account yesterday?”

“You are so paranoid! You need a psychiatrist!”

OR

“I saw you with that woman from work; she told me that you are sleeping together. Please just tell me the truth.”

“Is this more of your man-hating therapist’s garbage coming out? Is she telling you to accuse me of having affairs?”

Tactic # 4: Highlighting and Criticizing Your Character Flaws

This is simply another way for a gaslighting abuser to distort reality and create the illusion that the real chaos is caused by the character flaws of the victim, rather than his own abusive behaviors.

“Where did that $500 go that was in our bank account yesterday?”

“If you weren’t so insecure, you’d be able to see that you’re totally overreacting again. Every other woman out there would be totally calm about this… but not you. You’re freaking out over $500.”

OR

“I saw you with that woman from work; she told me that you are sleeping together. Please just tell me the truth.”

“Why are you always trying to create drama? When I met you I thought you were better than that but I can see that you’re just like your mom. A total drama-queen.”

I’m Being Gaslighted,  Now What?

Women can protect themselves from the devastating pain of gaslighting by setting and maintaining boundaries. Boundaries are not statements, requests, or ultimatums. They are courageous actions that women take to separate themselves and their children from abusive behavior. 

Betrayal Trauma Recovery Supports Victims of Abuse

The Betrayal Trauma Recovery Support Group Meets daily in every time zone; join women from all over the world as you process your trauma and begin your journey to healing.

The free BTR Podcast offers inspirational stories of abuse survivors who have triumphed through trauma. Tune in and find solace in the healing of others. 

Remember, you are not alone. 

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