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What is gaslighting? How to break the narcissistic abuse cycle

Friday 5th November 2021

Gaslighting is a very insidious form of emotional abuse which involves the denial and invalidation of another individual's reality. When this is used regularly against you as a means to manipulate and coerce you emotionally and mentally, it can make you begin to doubt your sanity and your recollection of the events that took place. When the narcissist constantly does this to you, after a while you may begin to chronically doubt yourself and how you perceive. One of the most common things that narcissists say to their partners is the following:

'You're crazy. You're overreacting. You're so sensitive. That's not how it happened.'

Hearing this over and over again can potentially seriously damage your mental health and it has the effect of dissociating you from your current reality. Some of the effects of being subjected to gaslighting can be anxiety, depression, trauma and low self-esteem and self-worth. It can also increase the risk of codependency in certain situations. It can lead you to second guess your emotions and what you are experiencing which can lead to a decrease in confidence overall.

When your experience of events is denied or trivialised, it can make you feel like you are not perceiving things correctly which is exactly what the narcissist wants and expects from you. The more you call the narcissist out on their toxic behaviour, the more hostility and opposition you will receive in return. The most offensive thing a narcissist can hear is the truth and they will have endeavoured to block you from doing this inevitably by using various gaslighting techniques.

Narcissists, even when presented with incriminating behaviour will STILL DENY that they have engaged in any wrong doing. Even if the evidence is crystal clear to the point that it cannot be denied by anyone, they will respond to it with:

'You made me do it. Your craziness and lack of trust in me pushed me over the edge. Nobody in their right mind could deal with you.'

So - we have now graduated from gaslighting to projection and blame shifting. The narcissist will NEVER be accountable for the behaviour due to the fact that the narcissist is a false self. They cannot and will not take responsibility for the actions due to how fragile this sense of self is. It is like a house of cards that if very gentled touched, it will collapse easily. This core will be protected at all costs and at detriment to you if you do not play the narcissist's game.

Going into battle with a narcissist will ultimately end up in defeat - your defeat sadly as the narcissist has already seen this coming and set you up to fail from the beginning. They have already anticipated how you will react and will have already prepared a convincing smear campaign for the people who are in your circle. When people see how you react, they will naturally agree with the narcissist and the narcissist will say:

'You see? This is what I have to put up with.'

What people haven't seen is how you have been driven to this point of losing it with the narcissist due to the fact that they have constantly been abusing you via gaslighting for a prolonged period of time.

Of course you are going to react like this because they have engineered it that way!

So - how do you deal with it?

Going no contact is the only way to stop this continual cycle of crazy making with the narcissist as whatever you say to defend yourself against the narcissist CAN and WILL be used against you! When you stop adding fuel to the fire, the fire begins to lose energy and and intensity. The less you give them in terms of narcissistic supply, the less they have to work with when it comes to smearing you.

Don't give them the bullets to shoot you with!

For help and support breaking the narcissistic abuse cycle, please get in touch with me to learn more or to schedule a call back from the link on my website or via my social media bio to learn more.

©️ Copyright Christina McDonald 2021