10 Reasons Being Gaslighted Is the Worst

gaslighted is the worst

Ten reasons being gaslighted is the worst –

There’s a reason governments utilize psychological torture techniques on suspected terrorists.

It works.

It’s a way of controlling somebody discretely. Without obvious threats or harm. Simply by controlling their reality and steering their perceptions. Planting seeds of doubt and carefully nurturing them until a dependence upon the manipulator is created.

And you don’t have to be a prisoner suspected of treason to face this torture.

It can happen in your own home.

In your own marriage.

Only there, it’s not called torture (although maybe it should be).

It’s called gaslighting.

And here are the top ten reasons why it’s the worst-

10 Your Protector Becomes Your Persecutor

It’s horrifying when you realize that the person you love, you trust, has been slowly and intentionally lying and manipulating you. It’s like that nightmare you had when you were 5 where Santa Claus suddenly turned into a monster. Only this monster is real and you shared a bed with them.

9 It’s Invisible While It’s Happening

The whole point of gaslighting is to control somebody and distract them from what is really going on. As a result, it’s very difficult to identify when you’re in it. Generally, all you recognize is a sense that something is off and perhaps a sense of generalized anxiety. In some ways I’m glad I never spent time in a “bad” marriage. But then again, it’s scary to only realize after the fact that I was in one.

8 Your Memories Are Tarnished

I have 16 years of good memories with my first husband. And at least part of that history is false. But I have no idea what parts. So it’s all damaged. Ugly water stains on beautiful wedding photos. Was any of it real? I’ll never know.

7 It Doesn’t End When the Relationship Does

Some of this is by design. Often the abuser defames your character to others, leaving you in the position of either trying to convince them of a new truth or cut them out. But even without the character assassination, gaslighting persists. It’s in you, an unwanted tattoo imprinted upon your doubting brain.

6 Impact Is Hard to Recognize Until It Builds

The flood of feelings that led to my emotional hangover the other day was building for some time. But I couldn’t see it. It becomes very difficult to separate the implanted thoughts from your own. And sometimes the false ones take the lead for a time.

5 It’s Difficult to Explain to Others

Because until you’ve been there, you don’t believe that somebody can really have that much influence over your thoughts. Like much abuse, gaslighting starts slowly, ramping up the distortions until your reality is altered. And when you try to explain it, you either get judged or dismissed.


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Thank you for sharing!

18 thoughts on “10 Reasons Being Gaslighted Is the Worst

  1. isra7726 – A full time Chartered Accountant & a full time mother at the same time keeps me on my toes always (a working mother is still a mother, right?). Maybe that's why I am an fitness enthusiast & a runner too. Then, when I am a bit tired, I love to relax by sitting back & reading fiction or watching movies (usually bollywood). Then sometimes I get bitten by the creative bug and end up making handmade items or cooking up interesting recipes. Often I bagpack & travel places or simply party with friends. I love to explore, observe & appreciate every small thing around me. I always see the funny side of things. Maybe that is why life has played its best joke on me :) Living with a stranger who refuses to accept our legal relationship, I use this space to show my true side that I cannot otherwise reveal back home. This space is a pot in which I can pour out all my thoughts & let them evaporate into the vast world. I am no writer, my rejection back home has set me out on a journey to seek acceptance here from the world. If you wish to be a part of it, do follow me, like & comment on my posts. Your feedback will make a difference, always.
    isra7726 says:

    Every word written here is so apt. Can this ever change? I dont like the person I have become.

  2. Mommytimesthree – Hello all, I'm the happy single mom of three beautiful young ladies. After many ups and downs following my divorce in 2010, I am at a place of peace and excitement about life. Living in a home that I own, having a full-filling job that speaks to my passions (social work/helping other) and raising three of the greatest kids on earth makes each day amazing. There is still so much more that I would like to do and that includes sharing this journey with others. I've just started trying to live a more minimalist life for many reasons. Finding joy in "things" only leads to a search for more. Life is about having experiences, not stuff. I've gotten rid of lots of physical things which has created more room for growth. My oldest daughter is about to leave for college soon, so that will be yet another journey. It will be bitter sweet letting go of this sweet young lady since she has been somewhat of a partner through living without a spouse. However, I've raised her to be her own person and I'm looking forward to her flying out into the world. We raise our kids to leave, but we have to get prepared for the void left behind in our own lives. Writing has always allowed me express myself, like all of you. I look forward to sharing my story and reading about yours. Let's do this together!
    Mommytimesthree says:

    This is very well said and correct in description. I’ve been there and experienced it all. Even after being divorced for 6 years, I still trust no one, second guess myself and my ex finds way to spread the worst about me…yet he knows nothing because I do nothing except work, go to church and raise the kids. It’s still like an emotional jail. Days are getting better, but it’s to be seen if I’ll ever trust anyone so deeply. Great article.

  3. EmBe Writes – Atlanta Freelance Creative providing top quality Content writing, website design, Ecommerce store design, branding, logos, SEO, PPC Marketing, and Career services including Resume Writing, Content Writing, and more.
    EmBe Writes says:

    As a former victim of gaslighting I can honestly say that yes, it is the worst. It’s happened in each and every major relationship that I’ve ever been in, and the effects of the last one have left me with a never ending battle of not being able to trust anyone new now for the last year and a half as the gaslighting has continued through it all. I attempt to move on, and public messages are spread across social media about me and whomever I’m attempting to move on with, I move on alone, and suddenly I’m the stalker that cant move on…..nothing I do works except shut down, and move forward very quietly (without any social media interaction at all) – which sucks and is impossible given that I’m a freelance writer, and internet marketing professional that has to keep up a social presence for myself.

  4. Been there. After being divorced from a “gaslighter” for almost 20 years I still over analyze and have trust issues. Fortunately my current husband is amazing and all those things seem a distant, foggy memory.

  5. myworldshattered – I'm the suffering but surviving wife of a sex addict. This does not define me as a person, but it does explain why I am sharing with everyone what I can't share with anyone.
    myworldshattered says:

    Wow, this is an amazing list, thank you for sharing. I had never heard of gas lighting before ‘discovery day’, and as a result I didn’t realise it was happening – not only in relation to my husband’s sex addiction but to anything else in our life. This list is a very apt summary and everybody should read it who has been touched by this phenomenon. Maybe also those who haven’t… I have lost myself in my messed up marriage but I have faith that I can find myself again. It will take a lot of work but it is so worth it. Thank you again for this post!

    1. I was married for over 27 years. It took me 6 years post divorce to realize that I had been married to a man who clearly has Narcissistic Personality Disorder. I accidentally found an online support group for NPD survivors and I was and continue to be blown away by what I read. Gaslighting is just one of the characteristics of this disorder as is so called “sex addiction” I would highly recommend looking in to a Narcissistic Abuse Survivor support group and hope that you will gain as much as I have from the light fellow survivors shed on this disease.

      1. myworldshattered – I'm the suffering but surviving wife of a sex addict. This does not define me as a person, but it does explain why I am sharing with everyone what I can't share with anyone.
        myworldshattered says:

        Thank you for this. I’m slowly also coming to the realisation that sex addiction is ‘just’ a symptom of an underlying personality flaw / disorder. It can be narcissism, but even sociopathy. Scary shit if you ask me. I’m so glad you found support, I’ll definitely look into the group you mentioned.

  6. Lisa I totally relate. My ex was loving one day and cruel the next. Everything was my fault and I was crazy. He was so passive aggressive and hurtful. He manipulated me and my trust and my reality so that I wondered if I was crazy. I searched his clothes, his phone (it had a code, which is bullshit), his drawers, his car. Sometimes I found things and he would just lie even when they were staring him in the face. One thing he used to do that was so manipulative but seemed nice, was he used to come home and tell me he saw something in a store that he thought I would like and he ALMOST bought it for me. So I was excited that he thought of me, but he never bought it. He did this often. That’s fucked up! Since we have a daughter we have to have a relationship and I tread lightly, but sometimes I get sucked in to the idea that he’ll take care of it or he’s going to do what he says…um hello it’s been 25 years you think I got that one by now! lol So now I come from a place of disbelief when he says something. I don’t hang on to it, and I don’t even think it will happen. I have to rely on myself more now than ever. Thank you for sharing. I hope you are better. I never know what I am going to get when I text or he texts or calls. I’m learning to keep the emotions out, but sometimes I get pulled in or still think he might have a better idea than mine. When we were married, I had decided to get elective surgery to make my life better. I had to explain to him for hours why I wanted this surgery and validate my need for it, but then later I have it and he takes care of me and helps me heal. And it had nothing to do with the price. It’s just so beyond dysfunctional. You seem strong and I love your tips. Hang in there!! Nurture yourself back to happiness 🙂

  7. Lisa I just had to come back and tell you I just realized it’s been 29 years of dating, marriage, and now divorce that we know each other. 6 divorced. That’s a long time of being manipulated, emotionally abused, and living on the end of his rainbow rather than creating my own. Damn. I am alive. Living differently and making new decisions is so hard after so many years of being one way with him. But I’m doing it. Sometimes when we are on the phone I find myself falling back to oh he knows best crap. But those times are so much less. Hey thanks for listening! xo

  8. Exactly what happened to me. Little did I know I was being gaslighted. An email came recently concerning the amount of alimony paid for 2015. I should have know better than to respond, but assuring both tax returns had the same amount is preferred. Turned into gaslighting. Last ray of hope is now history, as well as any further communications.

  9. Krystal L. Perez – New Jersey – I'm a freelance writer and stay at home mom. When I'm not conquering the problems of my family, I'm working on putting my thoughts out to the world.
    Krystal L. Perez says:

    I didn’t realize I was being gaslighted until moved into my best friend’s place. I didn’t realize how controlled I had become. Until the day Mike and I were standing in the kitchen and after we stopped hugging I started to apologize for not getting the dishes done. When he replied, “what are you apologizing for?” I realized that I had been conditioned to feel like I was wrong if I didn’t do everything I was told to do. Mike helped me realize a lot of the issues in my marriage. He loved me enough to help me see what I was part of and encouraged me to find myself again and to love the real me. Even after that, I still wanted to work things out with my husband. I thought that I could talk about it in counseling. But when I thought we could work things out, he discarded me. He was building a new life while I was hoping to get the old one back. He started working, but lied and said he wasn’t. He reconnected with his boyfriend, who I knew about because he wanted an open relationship and I agreed. And there’s a girl at work that he apparently spend time with alone, despite the fact that she has a boyfriend. We just officially ended things on February 29th. He’s moved on. And he blames me for all of the problems in the marriage. And I’m sure he’s telling our mutual friends his side of the story, making me sound like a lazy, uncaring person. But because I’m mostly introverted, he knows I don’t have much contact with them to defend myself. And I feel so broken. I tried to go out on a date, but I realized my heart wasn’t in it. I’m not ready to date and time will only tell when I will be.

    1. No rush to date – you’ll know when it’s time. I’m an introvert as well – while the number of friends aren’t as important to us, make sure you put the energy into nurturing a few close friendships. It’s easy for us to isolate, especially during times of stress.

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