If a close friend or relative iterates that you’ve lost your mind, would you trust the claim? What if the seeds of self-doubt are sowed in you gradually until you actually go bonkers? When the senses don’t make sense any more and suspicions grow to stay unresolved, it feels like going through a never-ending walk in hell. You could be sure of your assumptions of a person or event and that’s a better place to be in. But, when the distinguishing lines between reality and fantasy are erased deliberately, you are probably undergoing Gaslighting.
When the senses don’t make sense any more and suspicions grow to stay unresolved, it feels like going through a never-ending walk in hell.
More common in personal relationships yet highly possible at work, the technique is gaining attention. There is an upsurge in awareness because of its slow and subtle application. To pinpoint the strategy, actions or the initiator is a struggle since your vision is hazed due to –
- An established trust
- Respect, love or other forms of attachment
- Lack of experience in identifying subtle manipulation
- Absence of knowledge about the ultimate purpose or gain
The patience with which it is carried out is commendable and they carefully pick someone who is touchy and gullible of course. If, on slight teasing, your mood fluctuates, chances are you are or can be a victim. Your dislikes and insecurities serve as strength to their ideas and become building blocks of the ultimate story. That’s because in your presence they constantly do only what annoys or disturbs you till you explode some day. And the one labeled a criminal is usually who speaks out. The silent instigation goes unnoticed. Tackling the matter face-to-face doesn’t work in such cases. In fact it backfires due to absence of proof, denial of the instigator and a displayed loss of your rationality. Don’t rely on a reputation of integrity; it’s a vague and useless evidence of your innocence. You may be brainstorming a list of solutions by now but I say strike out any hopes of coming to a conclusion. Harsh but true.
Tackling the matter face-to-face doesn’t work in such cases. In fact it backfires due to absence of proof, denial of the instigator and a displayed loss of your rationality.
Remember, when you don’t have control its as bad as being weaponless against your enemy in a war. I never knew there could be a war, but the least I should have done is be prepared. It’s been my greatest lesson from that period.
And then, if you are among those who trust impulsively, that’s it you’re attractive to them and to other similar predators. Sympathy, compassion, praise are some baits used to lure depending on what you are falling short of in life. When someone has the right filling for the empty space inside of you, there’s a temptation to hold on to him or her. And you tend to be vulnerable if a softhearted, mature and experienced person offers to be by your side through thick and thin. An assurance of being the pillar to the weaknesses in you is another card well played.
They do a thorough study of characters and test over time to see how appropriately a person fits the plan. I used to think they are jobless (not literally) to be utilizing or rather wasting effort towards such a complex plot. But when I saw the size of benefits flowing their way, it was only regret and anger towards myself. Weird enough, the rage that caused external devastation became the reason for internal damage for me. I hadn’t learnt because I was looking for answers. And those never came.
When you are left in a delusional state like this after an erosion of your sanity, the first thing to do is create physical distance from the person/s. Cut off interactions and take a breather. Expose your experience gradually with alternate friends or relatives who are not connected closely with the gaslighter/s. Reliving those scenes may evoke mental disturbance but doing this is necessary to get a view from different angles and widening your outlook. Be open to argumentative conversations because they will push you to analyze better. Spread the word and you might land up in a place where the actual picture pops up. Though give it time. Keep patience by your side.
When you are left in a delusional state like this after an erosion of your sanity, the first thing to do is create physical distance from the person/s.
My long lost self-acceptance returned from the multiple self-help methods that I practiced religiously. No other being can do that for you so its a must you research and pick whatever catches your interest. I also got counseling done once in few months until I was confident of being stable. A friend warned me of not getting too dependent on professionals like these and I’m grateful to her for putting that alert since its easy to get addicted. Another daily ritual was to listen to Sadhguru’s videos while taking a shower, having my coffee or driving. He is an Indian yogi and philosopher whose teachings rewired almost every part of my psychology. My connection with his speeches was instant mainly due to the language being English and the sarcasm used towards the most common human behaviors. I give him credit for leading me back home.
There are innumerable options available for you to rebound so don’t just go by the few examples I’ve given. Know that one size does not fit all. Take the initiative and stay consistent with your choice. And most of all do everything that leads you to love yourself without the need to hurt anyone else…..