Gaslighting. End. Of


Screen-Shot-2012-07-03-at-3_35_54-PMA week or two ago. I visited with a friend I hadn’t seen in a while. After catching up on our lives, naturally, the topic turned to relationships. I cried with her. For her. At the same time, I was angry. Because I knew she was a beautiful person on the inside. She had her struggles. A lifetime of feeling unwanted. But amidst all the ills. She was trying to get her life together. Until she me her current boyfriend. It wasn’t long before I realized she was being Gaslighted. Don’t know what this means? Read on.

Our conversation reminded me of a similar serious relationship. I was Gaslighted. Only I didn’t know it at the time. I thought I was “nuts”. Felt as if I wasn’t good enough.  In my declining years, I want to be reminded of the pivotal moments in my life. Hence the reason for this post. Please read the article below.  Carefully. Pass it on. With more than 7,000 likes, and 147 comments to date, it says a lot about the life of misery, we so easily fall into. If you recognized yourself in the situations outlined below. Then you my friend, have been Gaslighted.

The article below was written by Kiri Blakely.  I found it on Café Mom.

“Have you ever felt like you were going crazy? And not because anyone has 5150’d you. But because someone — maybe it’s your husband — keeps telling you you’re crazy. “Are you crazy?” you hear over and over. “You are really paranoid. You need to get your head checked!” Hear that enough times and you probably believe it. But are you really crazy or are you being gaslighted?

“Gaslighted” is a psychiatric term that came from a classic movie starring Ingrid Bergman called Gaslight (which was a British play before that). In it, her husband tries to drive her mad. (Netflix it.) But it turns out she’s not crazy after all — her husband is just trying to make her think she is. Gaslighting is a form of emotional abuse wherein your partner manipulates your perception of reality. Here’s 10 signs you’re being gaslighted.

1. You’re told something is normal that you can feel deep in your bones is not. Say your husband (or partner or boyfriend or even friend) does something you find strange. Like ask you to lie for him. You don’t think this is right. You say so. He comes back with something like, “Every wife would do this. We’re a team. I’m in trouble and I need you. I can’t believe you don’t think that this is normal. There is something wrong with you!”

2. You’re told you are paranoid, too sensitive, or stressed out. Again, something strange happens. Your husband is seen out with a woman you don’t know. You ask him about it. He has some vague explanation but then tops it off with, “Really, honey, you are totally paranoid to think I’d be cheating on you. Are you hormonal? Maybe you need to see a therapist.”

3. You start to exhibit “crazy” behavior. You find yourself doing things that you couldn’t imagine doing before you were with your man. Like questioning every time he goes out; accusing him of things that may or may not be true; going through the garbage to find “evidence” that he’s lying to you again. You may find yourself desperately scouring the aisles of a grocery store, determined to get the right kind of pasta sauce so you don’t “disappoint” him again, and end up having a meltdown when you find they’re out of Classico.

4. You mistrust your perceptions. You’re constantly being told that what you’re seeing, hearing, feeling isn’t what you’re seeing, hearing, feeling. You tell a joke at a party and everyone laughs, but your husband later tells you you weren’t funny. You look in the mirror and see someone who is thin, but he tells you you’ve gained weight. You’ve always thought you were smart, but somehow with your husband, you always feel dumb.

5. You begin to accept his perceptions, even though they don’t seem true. You were at a restaurant with your husband and struck up a quick conversation with the waiter. Your husband tells you were being flirtatious. “Was I being flirtatious?” you ask yourself, even though that wasn’t your intention at all. “I must have been and don’t realize it.” You ask what you think is a reasonable question only to be told you are harping. “Am I harping?” you think. “Maybe I am a nag.”

6. You start to feel like your memory is terrible. Your husband is always saying something to the effect of, “I never said that, did that, promised that,” to things you’re pretty certain he said, did, or promised. He might tell you that he “never” gets on Facebook, but when you see him on Facebook and mention it, he says, “I didn’t say I never went on Facebook. I just hardly go on it.” Then you see him on it the next day. And the next.

7. You start to feel like your spouse has a terrible memory. You can have a deep conversation one night about something important to you, only to have your spouse say later, “We never talked about that,” “I definitely never said that,” or “Did you dream this?” You might get tempted to record conversations just so you can keep them straight.

8. You start lying. In order to avoid all the mental abuse you’ll know you’ll get if you say a, b, or c, you start to lie. You were never a liar in the past. You don’t lie to other people.

9. You begin to think you’re crazy. You have thoughts like, “Maybe he’s right and I’m just totally overreacting. I am always overreacting,” or “There must be something wrong with me that I’m always on him about stupid things.”

10. Depression. The end stage of being gaslighted is that you feel depressed, anxious, unsure, and hopeless. Does he care or not care? Are you oversensitive or do you have a right to complain? You end up getting so confused and disoriented that you check out into depression.

Every couple has miscommunications, and everyone hears or sees things sometimes that they misconstrue, but if you are frequently experiencing the above symptoms, you are likely being gaslighted.

Do you ever feel like this?

Until the next post,

Best,

Juan

You. ARE. Amazing!


Inspirational-Quotes-amazing-krexy“I often find nuggets of treasure on Facebook. Treasures of knowledge. Offering inspiration. Hope. Self help. Things I want to remember for the rest of my life. Like the piece below. I hope you know how truly amazing you are!

You’re an amazing person, I’m not sure how much you believe in that now but that is the greatest truth, now or later you are gonna realize that, and you’re certain to find somebody amazing who deserves someone as wonderful as you. Today, take a moment and think about all the great positive achievements you have made, and are going to make, let it be a simple hug, making someone smile, …picking up litter or donating for a charity, every simple thing matters, believe that you’re evolving into something better everyday – it’s a natural process, everyday process.
Be proud of the compassion you show, even to those who bully and demotivate you, that makes you better than them. You deserve to reach your amazing potential and feel awesome all the time, each and every day and trust me you will. Focus on your inner beauty and personality, because what you are on the outside only matters to those with shallow minds. You’re beautiful inside, and that’s all that matters to real people. Remember that you live to experience the world and make your own choices, not to pressurize into conforming to artificial morals or ideals. Keep that unlimited strength and energy you have inside you and enjoy all positive experiences, because you deserve to”
Until the next post,
Best,
Juan

One More Day!


OneMoreDayOLTwo days. That’s all it took. To change the life of a person I adore. On Thursday, my friend learned her father had terminal cancer. The next day doctors delivered even more grave news. His condition had deteriorated so badly, and he had days to live. My heart ached for her. The journey would take 12 hours. He couldn’t even speak anymore. She left with a heavy heart. Hoping to make it to his bedside. Before he passed away. Like me, she met her father very late in life.

I began thinking about my own personal circumstances. A father I never knew. Until two years ago. To be honest. I think it was too late for us. Perhaps, if we met a decade or two ago, things might be different. The damage has been done. I know there is a lot for me to forgive. And so I shall. It’s a start.

I thought about what I would do. If I only had days to live. Then I remembered, a piece from my first published anthology of poems. One More Day. I hope it offers insight. No matter where you are in life.

If we knew that we had one more day on earth, would we…

Love with more passion?

Listen more attentively?

Hug our loved ones tighter?

Laugh until it hurts?

Smile a tad bit wider?

Touch more gently?

Kiss as if it will be your last?

Talk a lot less and listen more?

Forgive wrongdoings more quickly?

Walk with a spring in our step?

Spend more time with the ones you love?

Leave work at work?

Sweat the small stuff?

Tell them how much you truly love them?

Stop to smell the flowers?

Play in the rain, just once more?

Take a moonlight stroll on the beach?

Turn off the television and read a bedtime story to your child?

Pray together as a family?

Give away all your possessions, just to have one more day?

Appreciate nature?

Give thanks for all that you have?

Yield to someone in traffic?

Give to the beggar on the street?

Volunteer at your favourite charity?

Make someone’s wish come true?

Be a big brother or big sister to an underprivileged child?

Stop by the local food kitchen and ask how you can help?

Handwrite a letter to your mom?

Dance, really, like no one is watching?

Befriend the office outcast?

Pray longer tonight?

Make breakfast in bed for your spouse?

Take the day off work to spend with the family?

Spend a few hours at the local humane society?

Treat this Christmas as if it was your last?

Quit complaining as much?

Say: “I’m sorry,” even though you did nothing wrong?

Drive hours to see a friend who is hospitalized?

Give up your seat on the bus?

Look at your glass as half empty or half full?

Would you…?

In short, make time for the things that really, truly matter. Tomorrow is promised to no one.

Juan Williams (2009)

Until the next post,

Best,

Juan