In light of hearing recently that 50% of Australian women have experienced emotional abuse in a relationship, heres my knowledge and experience of a particular form that doesn't get spoken of often.
Gaslighting is a form of psychological manipulation that makes you doubt yourself, your perceptions, your intuitions, your physical and emotional realities and this is a common form of abuse in society by those with a need to avoid responsibility.
Heres a few signs to look for to know if you’re being or have been gaslit:
1: You second guess your memory of your experiences as the other person is treating you as it they never happened or have no merit.
2: You feel on edge around this person, you may not be able to pin point why but you always feel as if you’re walking on eggshells.
3: You are made to feel that you always have to apologise for something or that things are your fault.
4: You are always trying to make them happy, even to your own detriment. Not that you shouldn’t do nice things, but you feel that you must do this for them before yourself.
5: Youre made to feel like theres something fundamentally wrong with you, like youre crazy, broken or flawed. Because they know you (or even if they dont know you well) they must be right.
6: You find it hard to trust your own judgement and look to others for attention for your problem, to get their input and to help you make decisions. You dont usually take any action on this advice but at the same time, you no longer trust your own wants or needs.
7: You feel like you’re a much weaker version of who you use to be.
8: You are now afraid to speak up about your wants, needs or preferences for you’re always treated like they dont matter or shouldn’t exist.
I was in a relationship very similar to this for 7 years. Then the majority of my interactions with men in the 9 years since have been very similar.
Ive done alot of the work to understand this behaviour and to not take it personally but it doesn’t make witnessing it or experiencing it any better.
My intention with this post is to plant a seed. I was being emotionally abused - not on purpose, but through conditioning - for many years, everyone tried to tell me but I wouldn’t listen. So I dont expect this to be the catalyst to change your life. But if you resonate with anything in this list and you need a space to come to to unpack your thoughts on the matter - please dont hesitate to get in touch. This offer is to men or women as I know it can go both ways.
Lets be more conscious in our relationships. Lets find ways to move out of abuse and trauma and toward healing and joy. IT IS POSSIBLE if you can finally decide that it is possible for you.
Much love - Kat xx