Gaslighting and the Narc

07 Jul

I just read a post over at One Mom’s Battle that describes what a Socio/Psycho/Narc does to their victim better than I ever could –

Narcissistic Personality Disorder and Gaslighting

This is it, exactly! This quote from Sam Vaknin is the method (one of five that Sam details) that the Narc used most often on me (bold mine):

Shared Psychosis: The abuser creates a fantasy world, inhabited by the victim and himself, and besieged by imaginary enemies. He allocates to the abused the role of defending this invented and unreal Universe. She must swear to secrecy, stand by her abuser no matter what, lie, fight, pretend, obfuscate and do whatever else it takes to preserve this oasis of inanity. Her membership in the abuser’s “kingdom” is cast as a privilege and a prize. It is not to be taken for granted. She has to work hard to earn her continued affiliation. She is constantly being tested and evaluated. Inevitably, this interminable stress reduces the victim’s resistance and her ability to “see straight”.

I was always being tested and always found wanting.

Why couldn’t I take a shower and wash my hair without counting the seconds or asking him if he wanted a shower or making sure he was not getting ready to go into the bathroom? Because he had something nasty to say about every minute I spent in the shower, every drop of water I used, every imagined “delay” that I “caused” him.

I know, it sounds crazy, and that’s what it’s meant to do: convince you all that I’m crazy if I try to tell how it was. There are a million other “rules” that I had to live by, and describing them makes me sound insane, just as he planned.

Today I got in the shower twice, once early this morning, and again this evening to shave my legs (TMI? A nine minute shower does not allow enough time to both wash hair and shave legs, so now you know 🙂 ) and I didn’t feel one second of guilt or anxiety. Fuck him and his rules. It’s all about ME now, and I don’t have any rules.

Maybe one: get enough sleep on school nights 🙂

Now I really am getting offline. The post about my fabulous weekend will have to wait until tomorrow…

No more blog reading tonight! No more blog reading tonight! No more blog reading tonight!



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20 responses to “Gaslighting and the Narc

  1. Bethany

    July 7, 2013 at 11:42 pm

    I know, it sounds crazy, and that’s what it’s meant to do: convince you all that I’m crazy if I try to tell how it was. There are a million other “rules” that I had to live by, and describing them makes me sound insane, just as he planned.
    Exactly!!! I have shared a lot of my stories to a couple of close friends and even they have a heard time seeing me as sane and they know the drill! I look back and think “girl you were crazy!” but we aren’t and weren’t we were trying to survive in a VERY hostile environment and now we are out and even the luxury of two showers in one day is sweet freedom!

    • Sofia Leo

      July 8, 2013 at 1:11 pm

      It’s getting to where I don’t even try to explain anymore. I can’t make it sound even remotely sane, yet this was my daily existence – trying to figure out what fresh hell he was going to put me through so I could head off his rages. People ask why I stayed so long, and I can’t even form a coherent answer to that question. Crazy-making in the extreme – that’s what these monsters are good at!

  2. twindaddy

    July 8, 2013 at 5:28 am

    It doesn’t sound crazy at all. It sounds sadly typical.

    • Sofia Leo

      July 8, 2013 at 1:12 pm

      The saddest thing about finding readers for this blog is that there are so many of us. What if we all banded together? Could we stage a coup? Oust the assholes ruining lives left, right and center and banish them to a desert island somewhere?

      • twindaddy

        July 8, 2013 at 1:54 pm

        I don’t know that there’s a big enough island..

      • Sofia Leo

        July 8, 2013 at 9:56 pm

        How about Antarctica? That seems far enough away. And if supply shipments stop, well, Nature can take her course and the problem will be solved. Wow, I’m a bitch 🙂

      • twindaddy

        July 9, 2013 at 3:54 am

        No, I understand the feeling completely.

  3. Paula

    July 8, 2013 at 5:36 am

    Healthy people don’t deliberately lie, manipulate and violate our core values on a daily basis. This is not normal and if it’s common in anyone’s life, they need to reevaluate their choice of acquaintances and family. Drop the drama-making and crazy-making people in your life! And let them know what you think of them before shutting the door in their face. They can laugh if they’d like, but at least you let them know what you think of them. And THAT is all that matters. You got to speak your truth. No one has to believe it but you and of course, all of the great new friends you meet on your new journey toward peace. 🙂

    • Sofia Leo

      July 8, 2013 at 1:13 pm

      Exactly! I haven’t told the Narc what I think of him because I need to move on and live again, but I so want to. Not that it would do any good – they don’t suffer for what they’ve done, and maybe that’s the biggest injustice of them all.

  4. El Guapo

    July 8, 2013 at 7:06 am

    Glad you’re seeing it from the other side now!
    (And hope you’re using all the hot water. Just because you can.)

    • Sofia Leo

      July 8, 2013 at 1:13 pm

      LOL! All the hot water is belong to ME!

  5. behindthemaskofabuse

    July 8, 2013 at 10:07 am

    I relate, my whole childhood and a big portion of my adulthood was this. The mother is still in it over 40 years now. 😦 Glad you are free!

    • Sofia Leo

      July 8, 2013 at 1:14 pm

      I feel so sorry for your mother. She will never know happiness unless she gets lucky and he dies before she does, and even then it may be too late for her. So sad.

      • behindthemaskofabuse

        July 8, 2013 at 2:30 pm

        me too! you know there was one time where the father went away on a trip for a month. the mother came alive, it was something to see. she immediately made friends and went out with them, she laughed, she took up some hobbies…things she would never dare do if he were there. when he came back all that she was doing was gone. he controls her every move, thought, choice…he’s scary…lots of rage and she’s scared. Hubby and I think if not still she was beaten before i was born and while i was a kid. she’s really scared of him, but has no mind of her own to even see what’s going on.

      • Sofia Leo

        July 8, 2013 at 9:53 pm

        How sad! Tho think that she had a taste of freedom and then had to get back into her cage with him. He has totally taken over her mind and soul and I feel for her.

      • behindthemaskofabuse

        July 8, 2013 at 10:00 pm

        he sure has, she’s been with him since she was 16 she knows nothing different and thinks he’s a good man. (probably because he’s told her he is…lol)

  6. JackieP

    July 8, 2013 at 10:52 am

    Oh man this sounds too damn familiar. Mine had my family convinced that I needed to be commited because I was having some kind of mental breakdown. And they hated him! Shower away girl!

    • Sofia Leo

      July 8, 2013 at 1:15 pm

      My family wouldn’t have bought the “she’s crazy” line, so he wisely kept me away from them.

  7. Nyssa

    July 9, 2013 at 9:21 am

    My exes had a tendency to weave fantasy worlds around me. One hypnotized me twice, with my knowledge, and claimed it set up a mental link between us–and that this showed we were meant to be together. He kept talking about how he wanted to marry me after we graduated; we had it all settled. Then after he broke up with me, I told people about the link, but he told people–even the Dean of Students–that I was making it up. He also complained to people that I talked about marriage all the time. He even tried to change history when talking to *me*. It made me look like the crazy one. I moved on to another guy, only to find that this ex had told the guy, his mother and his brother about how awful I was, that I talked about marriage all the time, etc. The new guy still wanted to be with me, but it caused trouble for me with the mother and brother.

    Then this new guy, almost from the very beginning, pretended to act out his dreams, moving around and talking with his eyes closed. Eventually he got me believing that his subconscious was coming out as he slept, telling me all his deepest secrets. I would scour encyclopedias trying to find out if this phenomenon had ever happened before, and he knew it. The “subconscious” was the nice guy I fell in love with at the beginning of our relationship; his conscious self had turned emotionally and verbally abusive. The “subconscious” knew I preferred him, and told me the conscious had turned so nasty as a test to see if I would stick around. Finally, he confessed the whole thing had been an elaborate hoax. I felt like such a fool. I don’t believe I ever told anybody other than my roommate about this hoax, because it made me feel so ridiculous to have fallen for it. Plus there’s the way he played me, knowing I preferred the nice guy “subconscious” to his current abusive self, showing that he could be nice if he wanted to–but apparently he didn’t want to.

    Now there is an ex-friend (no romantic connection because we were both married) who told me all sorts of crazy things. He said he was a thug in the Mafia for a while, that he knew how to hypnotize people without their knowledge and had hypnotized me, stuff like that which sounds crazy when I write it down. I wonder if people think I’m crazy when reading that part of my story of narcissistic abuse from him and his wife. I started to feel a little crazy myself. But I found printouts of online conversations in which he went into detail about the Mafia stint and the hypnotism. He also told another friend about being a Mafia thug, so I have that in writing as well. Whether or not he actually did these things, I have no way to know. But at least I have proof that he claims to have done them. He also told me about his wife’s abuses of him and the children, but whenever I spoke of what I had seen myself, he would talk like everything was fine and she wasn’t abusing them. She would abuse me, but he would stick up for her. I blogged (changed names etc.) about my experiences; they found it and accused me of “false facts” and tried to make me think I was “not all there” and that she was not abusive. They even threatened to sue me for defamation (hasn’t happened), went to my priest to complain, and have been stalking me online ever since. But I have all sorts of e-mails, including a few from him, which prove that he told me about her abuse, that I’m not imagining it. I also have printouts from a forum for an online game, showing how she also smeared one of the other players. Her lies and viciousness are there in black and white, plain to see, as she tried to turn all the other players–and her husband, who was his close friend in real life–against him. I can also see that she did the same thing to him that she did to me. Same crap, different circumstances.

    But at least I have diaries and e-mails to prove that all these people were doing what I said they did. I recorded everything about the mental link as it was happening. I recorded the “subconscious” hoax in great detail as it was happening. I kept e-mails and online conversations which proved that the ex-friend was claiming to have hypnotized me and to have been a “goomba” in the Mafia, and that he told me his wife was abusive. It helps when fighting the gaslighting.


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