Emotional abuse victims experience confusion, turmoil, and pain when abusers gaslight.
What is Gaslighting?
Gaslighting is a psychologically abusive tool used to distort another person’s reality.
Gaslighting is generally covert in nature. It is usually easier to discern in the aftermath of an episode. Sometimes, gaslighting can be very overt and aggressive. An example of this would be if a light was off and an abusive male insisted that the light was on. The victim would know that the light was off, and yet the aggressive insistence of the abuser that the light was off would be unsettling and even scary to her. Most of the time, gaslighting is more subtle.
Victims of Narcissistic Abuse Can Protect Themselves From Gaslighting
Narcissistic abusers often bait victims to stay in a conversation at all costs. Even when it is obviously harmful to the victim.
Victims must learn to set and maintain boundaries that will protect them from psychologically abusive behaviors. Boundaries are not requests, statements, or ultimatums. Boundaries are actions that courageous women take to protect themselves and their children from abuse.
Some examples of boundaries that would protect a woman from her partner’s gaslighting would be:
- I get to decide what my reality is. When my partner tells me what I am thinking, I leave the room.
- I only live with people who respect me. Because my partner has chosen to gaslight me continuously over the years, I am moving out, regardless of his promises to change.
- When I wonder if I am crazy, or feel confused, I will reach out to my support people.
BTR.ORG Supports Victims of Narcissistic Abuse
At BTR, we understand the devastation and chaos that gaslighting can cause in a woman’s life.