Thought Catalog

Are You Being Gaslighted?

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on anxiety and what gaslighting mean
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You’re a huge ball of anxiety and fluster. You’re not living life in the present…you’re pretty much sleepwalking through life. Last night, you went to bed at 7pm and still were exhausted at 6:20am when you finally listened to the alarm and got out of bed.

You’ve been in this place before and vowed never live this life again. This NOT LIVING life…just blubbering through like you’re underwater.

It isn’t rocket science to figure it out. Sometimes you just have to throw in the towel that nothing you do or say is going to change anything when it comes down to another person.

We know you can’t change anyone…you can only change yourself. However, what if you do all those things to change for someone else to make them happy and yet…they’re still standing in the mud yelling how miserable they are instead of stepping out of the mud and doing the work to get cleaned up? You’ve already moved on…passed the muddy grounds and can see the strip of warm green grass on the horizon. That’s where you want to be…but they are constantly bringing you back to the muddy pastures.

And you’re starting to sink because you’re exhausted.

Gaslighting is behavior that is inherently manipulative. When you are the person who is being gaslighted you question everything about yourself- from your memories and judgments to your own core values. You are thrown off balance and begin to sleepwalk through life. You’re emotionally beaten down.

There is also this part of you that begins to believe this is what you deserve. You are reminded of this when you point out the manipulation that you yourself are no angel. All of YOUR past mistakes are always thrown back in your face. There is no “moving forward” when it comes to your shortcomings. You are diseased and therefore deserving of this misery.

Are you being dramatic…theatrical…overreacting? This is what you ask yourself constantly. And yes, let’s be honest, you have your moments of being emotional, but this is when you must trust your instincts.

Withholding is another tactic a Gaslighter will use. The Gaslighter will pretend not to understand you and will refuse to listen to you. One of the most common things a Gaslighter will say is, “I don’t want to hear this again.”

All relationships will sometimes suffer from misunderstandings and miscommunications. This is normal. However, when tactics are used like the ones above, chances are you aren’t overreacting and you are being gaslighted.

The changes start with you and it starts with continuing to walk forward to the sunshine and green grass and far away from the muddy pastures, even if it means you’re walking away from someone you love. TC mark

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