Gaslighting & Narcissistic Abuse Series: Introduction

This series will focus on … you guessed it, Gaslighting & Narcissistic Abuse. I had to go to therapy for 8 months after a really emotionally/psychologically abusive relationship. That was one of the first times I really was about to try to kill myself the first time. This guy ruined me. I was not allowed to do anything. He cheated on me constantly, but I always felt it was my fault. I agreed to do things that, thinking back now, I was a brainwashed mess. Getting over gaslighting and narcissistic abuse is one of the hardest things to do because your psyche has been fucked with so much you barely know who you are anymore.

This series will delve into my own personal experiences with the topic as well as additional resources & material.

Psychology Today: Gaslighting

What Is Gaslighting?

Gaslighting is an insidious form of manipulation and control, which derives its name from a 1938 play, Gas Light, and a film adaptation starring Ingrid Bergman. The victims of gaslighting are bombarded with false information that leads them to question what they know to be true, even about themselves. Victims end up doubting their memory, their perception, and even their sanity. Over time, the gaslighter’s manipulations grow more complex and potent, making it increasingly difficult for the victim to see the truth.

Gaslighting can occur in personal or professional relationships, and the victims are targeted where it hurts: their sense of identity and self-worth. Often charming at first in order to lure their victims, gaslighters may have a personality disorder—narcissism is particularly common among them. They also have a tendency to present one face to their prey and another to the rest of the world, leading victims to assume that if they ask for help, no one will believe their story of being manipulated.  

What Is Narcissism?

Psychology Today: Narcissism

Narcissists cut a wide, swashbuckling figure through the world. The most benign type may be the charismatic leader with an excess of charm, whose only vice may be his or her inflated amour-propre. In stark contrast are individuals with narcissistic personality disorder, whose grandiosity soars to such heights that they are manipulative and easily angered, especially when they don’t receive the attention they consider their birthright. As with many characteristics, narcissism can be viewed as a spectrum—some people are lower on the trait and others higher, with out-and-out narcissists exhibiting the highest levels of self-flattery.

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