My Re-Post from March 2014
I have dealt with a narcissistic misogynist in a previous relationship and it was utter HELL. I don’t know how I got away, got through it…but I did. It took me 8-10 years after to feel even somewhat whole again….but I never thought that I would face this again in the forms of a Bio Mother to my now Husband…and me as a Step-Mother to his children. There are SO many similarities it is unreal…but instead of it just being directed at us, the kids suffer the aftermath. It almost kills me more to deal with this. I don’t understand the psychopathic-narcissist mind-set (if you can call it that)….I know that I never will. Thanks for posting, it has reminded me of a few scenarios that I need to watch out for in our future.
A Few Real Life Examples of Narcissistic Gaslighting
Gas-lighting is a way of confusing reality in the mind of the victim. The narcissist wants you to believe things that will cause you to “Be Their Supply.” They need a constant of supply of people who will do the things that they want done.
You are part of their supply network. It might be for sex, but probably not just that. There are things you are good at and they want you to do them. They want your skills, your heart, your talents, and your submissiveness. People do not generally just submit to another person , at the peice of their own stability and their own needs.
They hate doing the “dirty work.” They have no patience for menial tasks and they want to delegate them to others. They want to delegate them to you and to their other friends.
You cannot say “no” without being shamed or made to feel that they will leave you. I some cases the retaliation is physically violent but it is always mentally violent.
The narcissist will make sure you do what they tell you to do. They will make you fear not obeying them. One method is that they will restrict you from something as a punishment. They may cut you off from sex, money, food, affection or emotional love.
It is not the restriction itself that is the gas-lighting. It is how they get away with it. If someone asks you to do something for them (or not to do something) and then punishes you for not obeying them, then this will naturally open up a conversation about how you feel about that. The first time they attempt this, you will try to discuss it with them
When you tell them that it hurt your feelings to get the cold shoulder from them, just because you did not do what they asked. But when you tell them this, you will be punished. They will begin the storytelling that will twist your mind.
They will turn the blame for the situation back onto you. You will become the one that was emotionally cold to them. They are actually hurt and injured from your abuse. They will make something up and say that you did it. You have been “too busy” for them. You have not been listening to them.
This is so confusing that you do not know what to do with it. They will tell you how they are sensitive to being mistreated and that they are not getting their emotional needs met by you.
They will tell you that they have done nothing wrong. They should not have to apologize. Narcissists have trouble apologizing, no matter how wrong they were, or how much they hurt you.
Their behavior was not because they were trying to manipulate you, but because… they have been injured by your lack of concern and compassion for them.
You can hardly believe that they are accusing you of being emotionally abusive. You are always there for them and always ready to listen to their feelings.
They are the one that did not call you for an entire day because you chose to take care of something for your job, rather than doing something that they asked you to do. You really needed to take care of your job, but somehow this turns into a guilt trip on you.
But when you need something from them, they have no problem telling you that they have things to take care of for their business. Even at odd times of the day, when they have scheduled time to be with you, like at 2am. If they get a call, then that is the priority.
No matter how much you need them, their work is always a priority. But no matter how many times you have rearranged your schedule for them, you have no business telling them no, or being unable to answer the phone.
Their friends are a priority over you also. If their friend calls, they will hang up with you, in order to take the call, They will call you back when they feel like it. God forbid you are already on the phone when they call you. You are supposed to hang up your call, as soon as you see their message.
They will also promise you things, that seem to say that they really love you. You feel like, if you just keep helping them with what they need, then someday they will give you a beautiful life.
They just need you to work for their business for free for 15 hours a week, because they cannot afford to pay someone. But someday they will buy you a house and love you forever.
They give you the impression that you are working as a team. Anytime you do something for them, it is really to benefit both of you.
After all, if they lose their business, or lose their mind, they will not have anything to give you. You must preserve them, in order to preserve yourself.
Every time you want to say “no” to them, it has a consequence. Not a normal consequence. A painful, frightening consequence. If you say “no” they will threaten to commit suicide, threaten to break up with you. tell you their business will fail because of you and then neither of you will have any future.
You are the only one who can save them. They cannot save themselves.
If you do not love them enough to help them, then they will suffer in terrible torment because of you. You and you alone will be responsible for their demise.
They will create stories and lead you on, in order to manipulate you, into doing what they want. Then something about the story will not add up. When you question them about this, you will be met with blame-shifting. The blame for any wrongdoing will land in your plate.
They tell you that they are going to buy you a house in another state. Then they go on a trip with friends to see a property. You are anxiously awaiting their call, to let you know what the house is like and to communicate about it.
They do not call you all day and into the night. When you finally get them on the phone, they tell you that their best friend’s wife saw the property and she says it is just right.
You ask him, “How does she know that it is just right for us? Does she know what I was thinking of?”
He then begins to get cold and tells you “She is a real estate expert and she says it is just right. She knows about properties.”
“But her being a real estate expert is different from her knowing about me, and what I like. How can she look at a house and decide that I will like it, when she has never met me before. Did you tell her that you are planning to move into the house with me?”
This question gets redirected and avoided. “Well, I mentioned it, I think. The point is that it is an investment property and it will pay for itself. How do you expect me to buy a house that I have to pay the entire mortgage on? I am not made of money. Can’t you even be happy for me that she is helping me to find something that I can afford?”
Somehow you have been completely left out of this conversation, and it has turned to focus entirely on him. The talents and helpfulness of his friend’s wife have suddenly become something YOU should be thankful for. She is such a godsend! You should appreciate her instead of being so selfish and jealous.
Not only that, you are now insensitive because you want him to pay too much for a house for you. But where in the course of events, did you say that you wanted him to spend too much? When did you say that you were not open to an investment property? These issues have nothing to do with anything!
You were only concerned that a female that does not know you, was walking through your future house and deciding for you, if you would like it. She was the sole opinion on whether or not this house was going to be a consideration for you to live in. It is disturbing !
She did not talk to you and as far as I can tell, she did not even ask him about anything that you liked or needed. It gets harder and harder to believe that she even knew that you were involved at all. It sounds like he did not tell her about you at all.
No one bothered to take pictures to email to you. You cannot get any details about the property. You are just being selfish and “everything is not about you !”
But the next day, when help is needed, he calls you and asks you to make some phone calls for him and set up contractors to come to the house. He needs an estimate on lead paint removal etc. So, you make the calls and hope that he is happy with you.
No, it is never enough. You have to call them back because the time you scheduled will not work, even though you scheduled it, during the time frame that he told you. Why do you have to reschedule? Because your boyfriend also called another friend to talk to contractors.
The other friend scheduled one of the contractors to come out at 10 am, so now you have to call yours back to tell them to come at noon. As far as you know, you were given the task first.
Your contractor was scheduled first. Why can’t the other person call and reschedule their contractor? And why was someone else making the calls that you were assigned to make, anyway?
Here come the blame shifting. “Can’t you even help me? I came all the way out here to get a house for us. I am working with all these people. I am very stressed and overloaded. All I asked you to do is one little thing. Can’t you just be supportive?”
These are a few examples of gas-lighting that sadly, I know about first hand. I have more that I can share another day. I wish I had realized at this point, that there was a problem. I wish I had not allowed him to make me feel like I was not living up to his “very reasonable” expectations.
I wish someone had told me, like I am telling you. These behaviors are not reasonable or normal. They are confusion tactics to control you.