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Debra Wallace

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Ever heard of gaslighting?

The term comes from a 1944 Hollywood movie.

“Gaslighting is a tactic in which a person or entity, in order to gain more power, makes a victim question their reality. It works much better than you may think. Anyone is susceptible to gaslighting, and it is a common technique of abusers, dictators, narcissists, and cult leaders. 

It is done slowly, so the victim doesn’t realize how much they’ve been brainwashed. For example, in the movie Gaslight (1944), a man manipulates his wife to the point where she thinks she is losing her mind.” (Psychology Today, 1/22/2017)

Simply put, it’s when someone covertly sows seeds of doubt, causing you to question your own reality, judgment, and sanity. It’s deceptive. It’s a form of manipulation. 

Have you ever felt so confused you feel like you’re going crazy? But you know you’re NOT crazy?- You may have experienced gaslighting.

A person perfecting gaslighting may trivialize how you feel, tell you that others are talking about you behind your back, saying things only to deny them later, or even hiding objects from you and denying knowing anything about it. They may insist you were at a certain place even if it’s not true.

Symptoms of being gaslighted may include:

*not feeling your normal self

*wondering if you are being too sensitive

*thinking things are your fault when something goes wrong

*apologizing often

*wondering if you’re being too sensitive

*unable to identify what’s wrong

*questioning your responses (Am I not being loving enough or unreasonable?

*making excuses for your partner’s behavior

*avoiding giving information to family or friends concerning your partner

*finding it hard to make decisions

*feeling isolated

If you’re seeing a counselor, discuss ways to confront gaslighting and put an end to it. You are not crazy. Manipulation/gaslighting is abuse.

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