Getting on with your life after existing in a day to day, ongoing altered reality, can be extremely challenging. Narcissists and other abusers influence the way you perceive yourself and the world around you .
Their goal is to control your perceptions, your feelings and your thinking process. This conditioning is a kind of brainwashing and uses similar techniques that cults use to control their flock.
Isolation from others that would support you, and give you a different frame of reality than the narcissiat wants you to have, is a go-to technique used by most abusers. It may not be obvious to you that they were doing it, or are doing this to you.
You may notice that you are unable to spend time with your friends or that you no longer have access to people that would spend time with you. The abuser finds ways to prevent you from inviting people to the house or interacting with them socially outside of the house .
Abusers are often jealous, envious, disruptive of your relationships. They create drama and chaos, in order to cause dissention, and discomfort to you and to others that would otherwise help you.
They may tell you they feel threatened by your friends or that you should not trust certain people.
Sleep deprivation is another go-to technique of abusers, to control you. When you are sleep deprived, you don’t think as clearly, and you don’t have the energy needed to combat the gaslighting and other mind control tactics that are being used on you.
You may not notice that they are intentionally sleep depriving you. There are a variety of ways they can do this and be unaccountable for it .
Gaslighting is often difficult to recognize and it is extremely dangerous psychologically to your mental clarity and mental well – being.
It can be out and out lying about things that have happened, or extremely subtle with no words at all. Conflicting realities can be presented with body language, and non – verbal expressions, or by lack of response when there should normally be a response.
You will start to feel like your ability to understand what is going on , has been altered. You might feel like your memory is not as good as you think it is.
The narcissist will mirror something back to you that does not seem like an accurate version of who you are, what your values are, or what your real personality is. You might feel like they seem to be perceiving you as a completely different person than who you believed you were.
This is because they want you to be confused. They want to break down your self esteem and your sense of who you are.
It is psychologically dangerous. Many of my clients experience depression, panic attacks, generalized anxiety disorder, and even suicidal ideations, after long term, on-going gaslighting.
To not be able to hold onto a reality about your own identity is terrifying. The constant interferance with your perception of reality leaves long term effects after you are no longer in the relationship.
If you are still in a relationship with, or have contact with the abuser that was gaslighting you, please be aware that it takes resilience and constant re-orienting yourself back into reality as you know it is.
The longer you are in a gaslighting situation, the more difficult it can be to re-wire your brain and to reduce the panic attacks.
Anytime something is associated with the gaslighting that your abuser did to you, it will cause an emotional flashback to how it felt at the time. Your fight or flight mode will kick in, because your brain recognizes it as a threat to you.
You will run into narcissists sometimes in your day to day life. You don’t have to be in a relationship with them, for something they say to trigger you. It happens to many people who have been in abusive relationships. Try to limit the length of the interaction and amount of contact you have with anyone who does things that reminds you of the gaslighting that you went through in the abusive relationship.
Abusive relationships can be marriages, romatic or sexual partners, family, friends you lived with, or anyone who targeted your mind with cruel or malicious intentions.
All abusers do not appear to be disordered to others. Many of them appear to be good – hearted people or pillars of the community. They are pastors, therapists, social workers,l doctors , and lots of other roles where they can gain the trust of others.
They do not want to be exposed for who they really are, and that they have no real empathy for others. Posing as a humanitarian, an intellectual, a church member, an honest business man or woman, etc. gives them the cover story that they need. It creates a narrative for who they want people to think they are.
Once you have this realization that this person you trusted, was actually scheming against you, it can be a shock.
Even more so, can be the shock of the realization that there are a percentage of people walking among us, that look and seem like everyone else, but they are manipulators that sadistically target people with the intention of destroying them.
The recovery from on-going abuse is a process. You can get your proper perception back about who you really are. You can gradually reduce the emotional flashbacks, and navigate your life in a positive direction.
It takes time to get back on the right path for you. For many people, it takes re-wiring beliefs in your subconscious that go back to your childhood .
You are an independent, soveriegn individual person, with a unique set of gifts, skills and possibilities.
No one has the right to try to mislead or diminish your life. You have the right to mental clarity and to see things for what they are.
Recovery from gaslighting, verbal abuse, and on-going abuse from a psychopath, a narcissist or a narcissistic borderline takes a while.
It is an on-going, day to day process. Your brain will fall back into the narcissists reality because you were conditioned to be in that reality. It is familiar and what is familiar can seem safer to your brain.
But new realities are out there. New ways of perceiving yourself and your place in the world are possible for you.
Never give up on yourself . If you were not special, and if you did not have significant value, then the narcissist would not have bothered targeting you.
They are looking to take something away from their targets. They want to crush out the light that you have, so you cannot share that light with the world.
Annie – gentlekindnesscoaching.com