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Gaslighting

Discussion in 'General Autism Discussion' started by Suzette, Oct 25, 2021.

  1. Suzette

    Suzette Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Hey everybody! This maybe old stuff for many of you but I think the subject of gaslighting is worth discussion.
    I know that, for myself, I am vulnerable to gaslighting. I can't always recognize when someone is gaslighting me so I revisit this subject often. I want to share this excellent article about gaslighting with you. I hope you will read it.
    If you are like me and your default modus operandi is to take people at face value and doubt yourself before others, you definately need to read this article.
    My purpose is not to instill fear, but to offer tools that might help in navigating the weird world.
    "I’ve counseled hundreds of victims of gaslighting. Here’s how to spot if you’re being gaslighted."
     
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  2. Aneka

    Aneka Well-Known Member

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    I'm vulnerable to it in unfamiliar settings. It's a learning curve, in the past I often didn't know how far people are allowed to go. Whenever I find myself in a new environment with different rules, my intuition fails me. I had a boss who blamed me repeatedly for carrying out the instructions she's given. She turned me into the teams' scapegoat.
     
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  3. tree

    tree Blue/Green Staff Member V.I.P Member

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  4. Aspychata

    Aspychata Serenity waves, beachy vibes

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    I again take the other side and l welcome the gaslighters. I am forced to say the truth , call them on it and emotional disconnect from the GLight senerio. And it does get easier to do.

    I am here at this forum to say you can push out of it but emotionally disconnect is paramount to evolving.
     
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  5. Yeshuasdaughter

    Yeshuasdaughter You know, that one lady we met that one time. V.I.P Member

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    I read that word all the time, but I have no idea what it means. It's a new slang word, and I don't understand it. Will someone please explain what "Gaslighting" is?
     
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  6. Berkana

    Berkana Active Member V.I.P Member

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    It's basically someone manipulating another person by intentionally making the person question their reality. An example may be a couple gets in an argument and the person being gaslighted could say "This is like the time you yelled at me when I dropped that cup of water" and the person doing the gaslighting would mess with the gaslighted person by trying to change the narrative and make them doubt their reality. They may say something like, "That didn't happen at all, what are you crazy? I dropped the water and you yelled at me! How dare you try to change things to make yourself into the victim! You're always doing that!" If someone does things enough like that it can take it's toll...

    It's from an old play or movie I think where a husband and his mistress needed to get the wife out of the way and apparently it was easiest to make the wife think she was mentally ill and not understanding reality so she would go to a sanatarium. They would dim the gas lights and then the wife would mention the dimmed lights and they'd be like ... "No, the lights are normal, it's all in your head."
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2021
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  7. Neonatal RRT

    Neonatal RRT Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Frankly, I too, have heard of the term "gaslighting", but not until @Suzette posted the link, I didn't have a working understanding of the term.

    The only people that I can say has tried to gaslight me was my family,...my father especially. It became quite apparent later as an adult and he would use social media,...for an older guy, he was a master internet troll and had all the manipulative techniques down. I am not sure if any of my family understand the term "gaslighting", per se, but they frequently tried to use it with each other,...it was almost a way of communicating with each other. Very dysfunctional. I never fell for it, but nobody ever stopped trying,...one of the handful of reasons I don't communicate with my family. I never experienced it with my late brother,...and he never used it, nor fell for it either.

    Both my brother and I were bigger, more physical people, with confidence and independence, we are both logical science-based thinkers,...and not really sensitive to emotional manipulation. Mostly, we would recognize it for what it was,... "BS",...and just get angry.

    I can see where it could be a powerful tool of manipulation between two people in a "power dynamic".
     
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  8. Raggamuffin

    Raggamuffin Well-Known Member

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    Is the intention to manipulate someone's own perception of reality? Or is the person who is doing the gaslighting simply a coward who refuses to face reality, and therefor has to lie to avoid the truth, thereby gaslighting themselves and others in the process? As a child I was a compulsive liar and I would often desparately warp reality when I was found out in a bid to stay safe. In truth, the bigger the lie - the more trouble and embaressment you're hit with when the truth of the situation unfolds.

    I encounter a lot of forgetfulness with my parents, and it's frustrating. For instance my main stim is sitting cross legged on the floor and swaying left to right for 5-12+ hours a day. As a child I used to do this in the car, to the point where I wore a hole in the fabric of the car. My parents obviously weren't happy about it. I remember my dad confronting my about it at one point and saying that surely I was old enough to stop doing it.

    Yet, when I spoke of my autism assessment and brought up this stimming example, both parents couldn't remember it happening. Seems utterly bizarre to me because I did it as soon as I got in the car and would do it constantly. How could they not remember years of that? I recall bringing up other examples of behaviour that's clearly on the spectrum and they were either forgetful or dismissive about most of it - quite infuriating. But then when I'm vocally frustrated I get told "there's no need to get angry". Oh dear lord, there's not enough swear words for those moments, and yet I never actually explode, even though I feel I'm about to. Triggered is an understatement.

    I feel like I'd be a mixed bag with regards to how receptive or at risk I'd be of gaslighting. On the one hand I'm very forgetful, and I also replay scenarios and events over in my head again and again. Sometimes to the point where reality and fiction get a little blurred. However, when I do know something as a matter of fact and I get told the contray - it triggers my anger. Now, for most people that's simply another reason to mask and I don't defend myself, let it wash over me etc. whilst I feel unstable and furious inside. If it's around family or people I've dated, then I'm usually very vocal, snappy and my tone of voice and volume will immediately change.

    I guess I find it to be a form of someone belittling me, and for some reason it's one of the few times I'll actually stick up for myself, but only around those I'm most comfortable with and who know me well. Even then it's usually a brief eruption and soon enough it's extinguised with the usual guilt, disgust and self loathing that tends to keep me seeming rather docile on the surface so as not to draw too much attention to myself.

    For some reason this quote from Peep Show springs to mind. There's so many moments in that show that capture various sides to my personality:

    "I thought it would look petty and vindictive not to, and as a petty and vindictive individual I have to take extra care not to appear petty or vindictive."

    Ed
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2021
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  9. Suzette

    Suzette Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I suggest you read the linked article. Everythung you need to know is laid out there and much better than I can do it.

    No, no, that's not right. @Berkana stated it very well.

    Gaslighting is paticularly insidious in my opinion simply because it is a form of manipulation specifically designed to make you invalidate yourself. It is supposed to make you not trust yourself and, in some cases, make you dependant on another person to esrablish your self worth.

    Because auststic folk are often pointed out as different or even percieved as "retarded" it can make some of us vulnerable to gaslighting.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2021
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  10. Captain Jigglypuff

    Captain Jigglypuff Leader of the Jigglypuff Army V.I.P Member

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    I was gaslighted for years by the woman that helped my dad raise me and my sister. She convinced everyone that I was so hard to take care of and that I had all of these issues that I never had in the first place. She also became pretty abusive as I got older and it was mostly the drinking she did every night after work that made things worse. I know that she isn’t necessarily a bad person but a lot of things she said and did to me are really damaging and were extremely hurtful and part of me wonders if she really meant some of the things she said. I cut off ties with her years ago but part of me just wants to talk to her and get some answers for some closure. She gaslighted me so much that she even had a couple of therapists I had to be on her side believing that there were more problems with me than what they saw.
     
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  11. Aspychata

    Aspychata Serenity waves, beachy vibes

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    Someone keeps saying l screamed at them after l passed out. I passed out from dehydration and a empty stomach. I didn't have any energy to go on a screaming match but l didn't correct them. But this gaslighting technique is you went totally bonkers because l said so. But l have a person in my life who knows me and doesn't run that on me.

    I tend to think at this point they are extremely insecure, and they just need to just be themselves and l understand and accept them. But gaslighting helps them feel in control perhaps.
     
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  12. Rasputin

    Rasputin ASD / Aspie V.I.P Member

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    I have always been somewhat distrustful of people. Starting at an early age, I shut most people that I went to school with out. Therefore I did not give people the opportunity to gaslight me.
     
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  13. Aspie_With_Attitude

    Aspie_With_Attitude Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I have a video that will give an example of what "Gaslighting" is.

     
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  14. ROR

    ROR New Member

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    So long as one is truly in his rightful area, less bad things happen!
     
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  15. MyEverChangingMoods

    MyEverChangingMoods New Member

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    Thanks for this. I had a fall out with someone a couple of years ago and I think they were gaslighting me. When I asked them why they had an attitude with me they didn't acknowledge it or the way I felt. When I confronted them again they got aggressive and said they were struggling mentally (even though she knew I was struggling mentally and she was still being 'off' with me).

    I've agonised about why she was like this with me ever since. Unfortunately I didn't know her well enough to be able to determine what her motives were, but it was weird.
     
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  16. Matthias

    Matthias Well-Known Member

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    Gaslighting is a term used by overly sensitive people when they wrongly perceive people are mistreating them due to living in a world of their own and thinking with their emotions.
     
  17. Progster

    Progster Gone sideways to the sun V.I.P Member

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    I didn't really understand it that well either, despite someone explaining it to me elsewhere on this forum. The article in the OP helped me understand what it is. Someone trying to deny or trying to change your feelings, thoughts, memories or opinions for their own agenda, making you lose faith in yourself. (edit) making you believe things that aren't true. Brainwashing. A form of manipulation.
    This sounds like gaslighting to me.
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2021
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  18. Suzette

    Suzette Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    That statement is gaslighting. Thank you for the demonstration.
     
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  19. Captain Jigglypuff

    Captain Jigglypuff Leader of the Jigglypuff Army V.I.P Member

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    The gaslighting I was being subjected to was really bad. I was constantly being told by my abuser about how much she hated me for ruining her life (which was basically using me as a scapegoat for her own mistakes and choices in life) and at the same time tell me how much she “loved” me and that I was the only thing that made her want to get out of bed in the morning. She was also working at a school for autistic kids when I cut off ties with her and the messed up thing is she made me meet one of the students at his home to make me “appreciate” my own life because he “couldn’t do anything for himself” which is really messed up on so many levels. First off she basically dehumanized the kid and used him as some teaching tool and he didn’t even understand what was going on around him at the time. Second, she thought I was unappreciative because I couldn’t keep up with doing exactly what she wanted me to do and say and I was already walking on eggshells around her and nervous that I would mess up and have her slap my face or “spank” me as she called it for not being obedient enough. She once punished me because I didn’t call her before going out to check the mail! I think I have some reasons why I didn’t like my life or myself back then. She also would make me clean her entire house and everything had to be perfect and if I missed a spot, she’d scream at me, throw everything down and make me do it over again from the start. And don’t even get me started on the spots the dishwasher kept leaving on her wine glasses or how she would steal my money and use it to buy bottles of wine right 8n front of me.
     
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  20. Aspychata

    Aspychata Serenity waves, beachy vibes

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    Sometimes l think it is used by men to keep a distance from you emotionally. Like you are screwed up and therefore don't ask me to validate your feelings about me and that you care for me.

    I did stand up for myself and said no, what you are saying isn't correct for these reasons. And that shut it done.