You know, I’ve been watching this trial unfold. Hearing the details of this case has reminded me of my own journey from abusers. There are so many points I could hit but I wanted to talk about one in particular regarding classic narcissistic abuse. I want to talk about gaslighting.
Gaslighting : Attacking the victim, denial of the victims feelings or reality causing self doubt. This creates more control by the abuser. It’s clear to see that Amber was gaslighting Johnny especially as we listen to her in the recording that she didn’t punch him but was “hitting him.” She proceeded to tell him he was fine and the he was making a big deal essentially out of nothing. She said he was being a “baby.” This is classic gaslighting.
My Personal Experience
I experienced the same thing when I would question the unwritten rules of the family. My words of genuine concern or speech of what was hurting me seemed to produce piercing allegations that turned on me as the aggressor, the guilty, and the shameful. This happened so many times that eventually the gaslighting would happen in my own mind even without my abusers present. In order to be safe from their attacks I had to speak, act, and live my life a certain way. My identity was not my own for a long time due to gaslighting. Please pay attention to anyone denying your reality or feelings. Or the feeling of “walking on eggshells” Narcissists often come in the shape of a charismatic friend, a jokester, or a good person. Analyze by long term actions in relationships and even if you’ve known them for years, take into account questionable behavior or phrases that put you down. If someone really loves you, they will find tactful ways to address issues and will have genuine respect that will leave you feeling respect is intact.
I’m going to leave this little anecdote with classic gaslight phrases used by abusers.
- You really need help
- You’re just insecure and jealous
- You are overreacting/You’re too sensitive
- That’s not what I said, you’re putting words in my mouth
- Don’t take this personally but…
- It was just a joke
- You’re making a big deal out of nothing
- No one else will ever do what I’ve done for you
- You’re so desperate
- I need to talk to you about YOUR behavior
- I just don’t understand how you can act like this.
- Everything was fine until YOU Brought this up.
- You’re the one creating this problem
If you recognize any of these signs in a relationship, please seek and professional to help you decide how best to use boundaries for protection or a safe exit away from the abuser.
If you need more help regarding recovery, go ahead and check out this book by Pete Walker. It was so helpful for me in my own recovery. Complex PTSD : From Surviving To Thriving by Pete Walker
Until Next time, Much love Fam.
Creator: EVELYN HOCKSTEIN | Photo Credit: REUTERS