Gaslighting is the word on everyone’s lips. Not just about romantic relationships, it can be used to describe any person trying to make another person question their own sense of reality. They do this by denying facts, things that happened, or trivialising the other person’s feelings.
An example is suspecting that the person you’re seeing is cheating on you. You confront them about it, saying you saw some comments on Instagram that made it seem like they were with someone else. They call you ‘delusional’, ‘paranoid,’ or worse.
Maybe they take it even further; the comments are deleted, and you’re left looking like you made it up. They claim you can’t have seen them; maybe you dreamt it, or confused it with another account. They say you have been under a lot of stress lately, maybe that’s why you’re confused.
You end up apologising to them for accusing them, certain you must have got it wrong.
When these sort of things happen a lot, you really start to question what is true and what isn’t. You apologise to them constantly, and make excuses for their behaviour to yourself and others. You think you’re oversensitive, and wonder why they’re still with you when you’re always getting it wrong. They blame you for everything, and never take responsibility.
Remember, it’s not you and it’s not your fault. Gaslighters are master manipulators; they know exactly how to play you.
We asked some of our survivors what things were said to them when their abuser was gaslighting them.
Sound familiar? Find out how to get help here.