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PostPosted: Sat Dec 31, 2011 6:56 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 25, 2010 8:40 pm
Posts: 543
As 2011 draws to a close, I find myself looking back at the last year and all that I have accomplished.

I remember many, many days where I felt like I was going crazy. Days when I just didn't understand it all. I kept looking for answers - always looking. But then I learned about having a vision, about values and setting boundaries. About teaching others how I want to be treated. About filtering "reality" through my values and the vision I have for myself. And I learned that I CAN stand up for myself. And the craziness finally went away.

I feel my greatest accomplishment this past year was learning to trust myself. This is so important to me now that it brings tears to my eyes just writing it here.

I've included the article about "Gaslighting" below, because I have been there and I just wanted to validate all the partners here who are still struggling and to say that "I know how you feel and it can and will get better."

When I think of RN and all that it offers, I think of a toolbox. Our partners workshop, all our wonderful coaches and mentors and the many insightful partners here who share of themselves, are the tools. If you're here, you've opened the toolbox - now, my sisters, it is up to you to use what is inside to begin healing.

My prayer for the coming year is that all here may find their own reality and that it be filled with peace and balance.

Happy New Year -

Hugs to all - itstimeforme!

Quote:
Gaslighting and Reality
Imagine that you got up one morning and everything was different. Suppose that your life partner asked you why you were wearing a blue shirt when you knew you were wearing a white shirt and seemed puzzled when you insisted that you saw it as white. Suppose you got to work and your telephone extension had been changed from 4432 to 4435 but everyone insisted that it had always been 4435. Imagine what you would begin to think if you pointed out a new piece of art in your favorite restaurant only to be told by your lunch partner that it had always hung just where it was. Imagine that you began to notice that you experienced a reality slightly but significantly different from the reality other people experienced. What if these sorts of oddities began happening everyday - day in and day out? Other people perceived, understood, and remembered a world that was different from the world you understood. And now suppose that this condition persisted, not just for days or but for years.

What do you think would begin to happen inside of you? You might get angry with everyone in the world because they saw the world differently from you - you might continue to insist that you are right. But after a while your anger would probably fade. If you have a shred of rationality, you would begin to think, "How likely is it that I alone think my shirt is white, my phone number is 4432, and the painting is new? If everyone I trust thinks the world is different from the way I think the world is, there must be something wrong with me" If you have a shred of rationality, you would begin to think that it was you. Your anger and frustration would begin to shift and include anxiety or even fear, depression, confusion, and self-doubt. If you have a shred of rationality, you would wonder if you might be going crazy.

Watch a baby test the world and learn about her reality detection devices. The baby reaches out her hand, picks up the pretty bobble, raises it over her head, and lets it fall back to the surface. She giggles with glee. She is delighted by her reliable and consistent understanding of the way gravity works in the universe. She couldn't tell you that. But inside, she knows what she is learning. She is learning that reality is consistent and that her senses are reliable devices for detecting reality. Her self-esteem is building. She is thinking (in baby think), "I can, I can, I can..."

Surprise changes in reality are amusing in small, brief doses. This is why we like jokes and are excited by thunder. When reality briefly defies our expectations, we get a rush from the novelty and then quickly restore ourselves to reality. But the story is different if reality is altered in permanent ways. It is a different story if those we trust to help us remain in touch with reality tell us that we are not in touch with reality . We begin to feel odd. "I see dead people".

We check out reality with other people all the time. It is part of how we keep our reality detection devices properly tuned. "Do you see what I see? Is it me or is that ladies hair on fire?" Our self-esteem suffers and our trust in ourselves erodes if our reality detection devices seem unreliable. In the end, we may think we are crazy. This is an essential component of bone fide Brainwashing. If you have complete control over another person and you make reality unpredictable, they have to rely on you for reality. "Today is Tuesday. So is Tomorrow. "The organizing fabric of reality as derived from sensory and perception begins to deteriorate if that reality is not validated by those around us. This is a technique for making other people crazy.

This sort of reality distortion is a principal plot device in the play and movie, Gaslight. A man marries a naive young woman and sets out to drive her crazy so that he can steal her very valuable jewels. Each time he leaves the house the gas lights dim and she hears footsteps on the floor above (he sneaks back in by a secret stairway, dims the light, and walks the floor.) No one else notices and he insists that he was away. She begins to think she is crazy. The more the victim of Gaslighting trusts the person who is bending reality, the more the victim suffers.

Some people claim that the partner of someone who is having an affair always knows. I doubt that. But I do think that partners often know that something is amiss - if they pay attention to their intuition. And that holds for more than affairs. I think most people detect subtle shifts in the conduct and emotion and mood - the aspect if you will - of their partners. When we detect shifts, we check it out by asking questions. Usually, if our intuition is working and our friends are truthful, they validate our intuition.

Sex addicts lie to keep their secret lives secret. They lie by omission and commission. They lie to lots of people. Most especially, they lie to their partners. They lie to cover up. They lie when their partners ask questions and express suspicion and doubt. Addicts gaslight their partners. This is one of the wounds that partners suffer. It is one of the wounds that partners must heal.

When addicts get into recovery they are often surprised by the intensity of their partners reactions. But reflect on the little thought experiment that began this essay. When you deceived your partner, you caused her or him to call reality into question. You damaged their relationship with reality. Because your partner trusted you - trusted that you would not distort reality - your partner may have felt quite crazy. There is relief for partners when they know the truth - they begin to know that they are not crazy and so can begin to restore their own relationship with reality. But trust does not restore quickly.

Return to your imagination and think what you would think and feel if your partner and coworkers and friends admitted that they had been deliberately distorting reality to keep secrets and make you crazy. Imagine that they had been doing that for years. Even if those people disclosed their acts, expressed their remorse, and promised never to do that again, how long would it take you to again trust them to validate your reality?


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2012 12:20 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2009 10:49 pm
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Brings tears to my eyes, too. :w:
Quote:
I feel my greatest accomplishment this past year was learning to trust myself. This is so important to me now that it brings tears to my eyes just writing it here
Congratulations! I am astounded by the article on gaslighting, too. Where did you find it? If the author is agreeable, I would like to put it in our up-coming newsletter.

Feeling "gas-lighted" is crazy-making. I had seen the Ingrid Bergman movie years ago and actually ran across the term "gas-lighting" in relationship to marital betrayal. My H is/was passive aggressive, too, which coupled with his SA behaviors made me look crazy to others when I tried to relate my observations and feelings to them. He presented himself as the "good guy" so well to the rest of the world who never saw his other side. A master of disguise and deceit, especially to himself. So for me, this article really hits home.

Thanks for sharing, and again CONGRATULATIONS in learning to trust yourself. :g: :g: :g:

Nellie James


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2012 2:50 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 09, 2011 12:16 pm
Posts: 52
I recently read an article about gaslighting and was amazed at how it is happening in everyday life. What felt best was showing it to my boyfriend and receiving a sincere apology for what was happening...I think he really got it after he read it and so did I. I truly recommend it:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/yashar-hedayat/a-message-to-women-from-a_1_b_958859.html


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2012 3:30 pm 
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VALIDATION FEELS SO GOOD! :g:
Nellie


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2012 6:04 pm 
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Partner's Mentor

Joined: Mon Oct 25, 2010 8:40 pm
Posts: 543
Dear LivingLovingMaid -

Thank you for sharing the article on Gaslighting. I had never thought of it that way before. This was very validating for me. :g:

I have insecurity issues when it comes to expressing my feelings and opinions (even here on RN). Prior to my SA relationship I was married for 20 years to a man who, I now realize, also played the gaslighting game. I was never heard - I was the emotional, crazy one - my ideas/feelings didn't make sense, or were dumb or pie-in-the-sky - I lived in a fantasy world - I didn't now what I was talking about - your always over-reacting etc. etc. etc.

Thank you again. One more piece to the puzzle of "why?" :w:

hugs -

itfm

_________________
"The past has no power to stop you from being present now. Only your grievance about the past can do that. And what is a grievance? The baggage of old thought and emotion." - Eckhart Tolle A New Earth


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 14, 2015 1:03 am 
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Partner's Coach

Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2012 6:19 pm
Posts: 452
This article and thread meant a lot to me back in 2011 and my hope is that it will help others here now.

Coach Sue

_________________
"You are the designer of your destiny. You are the author. You write the story. The pen is in your hand, and the outcome is whatever you choose." Lisa Nichols


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 14, 2015 2:00 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2014 9:48 pm
Posts: 45
Thank you for posting the article.

Am thinking that this whole gaslighting manipulation that so many women are subjected to is another notch on the spectrum of emotional abuse that is part and parcel of the reality of women in general, not just partners of SA's. It is another form of oppression, and is insidiously taught through cultural and gender-based social mores. Our voice is silenced...

To know the process, to call it with its name and to be able to recognize it gives us power, and a voice.

It has been one of the most important healing tool in this whole sickening process...
I weep in anger and also in compassion for myself, and all of the others...

Virtual hugs


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 17, 2015 12:23 am 
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Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2011 4:31 am
Posts: 322
Hi folks I just read an article on manipulation and thought I would share it here, for what it's worth: http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2 ... lated_test

There are just a couple of typos in the article though.

In point number two, it should read: . . . and suck you back into HIS, not THIS. And in point number three, I think it should read: for YOU to be manipulated.

And here's an article that helped me understand boundaries and setting boundaries: http://bishop55.hubpages.com/hub/How-To ... oundaries#


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