About 5 weeks ago a childhood friend arrived on my doorstep. I had not seen her for 8 years and only rekindled my relationship a year before she decided to come to NZ for a visit after breaking of our relationship as a result of a stupid fight or so I thought.
After three weeks of spending time with her I didn’t know what was up or down or left or right and when she announced she wanted to stay at a party late and would come home the next day and didn’t, I was almost relieved besides being upset she stayed with a friend it had taken me a long time to build a relationship with and was perhaps imposing on her hospitality while leaving me with a house full of vegetarian food and an emotional and chaotic battlefield around the days of Christmas of which I and my husband are still recovering.
Now, I don’t think my friend is in anyway malicious and most definitely not a psychopath. In fact she is trying to be the best person she can be. An incredibly damaging childhood and a vicious mother however saw severe psychological damage done to this otherwise empathic and talented woman.
One of the survival techniques (It is one used in many forms and on many levels by good but damaged people as well as bad and malicious people) she used was what was described in this video. A form of subtle sabotage of our relationship putting me on edge and and beginning to doubt my reality in ways hard to describe but guessing from the things she told me this is what happened to her in her childhood with her mother doing the “gaslighting”, disabling her to form a more secure picture of her reality and condemning her to recreate and relive the horrors of her childhood in perpetuity. Gaslighting really is one of the most insidious and damaging of all survival and manipulation techniques because it destroys the ability of the people being gaslighted to hold on to their reality and induces a huge amount of insecurity and chaos which only slowly dissipates when the person doing it has moved on.
I love my friend but as they say in the video: The only way to stop the damage done to your psyche is to stop relating to the person doing the “gaslighting” and re-find your own reality. I disconnected on all levels but hope she is well as she is staying with a friend while she sorts herself out.
For those of you wanting more information on personality disorders and puzzling people in your life her is a site I found when trawling for answers about what happened. This doesn’t mean either my friend or puzzling people in your environment are suffering from personality disorders. That is not up to us to decide. One should perhaps leave that to professionals if and when people seek help but it might give you an insight as to why some forms of behavior make you scratch your head and leave you floored and wondering what the hell just happened.
It may also educate you as to why the world seems such a puzzling place and things just keep happening that make you wondering if our leaders are the most stupid people in the universe because the damage they do is just so incomprehensible. They’re not. They are gaslighting us.