Tag Archives: gas lighting

Gaslighting-How To Deal With It

I happened upon a video this morning done by Matthew Hussey, a “dating guru” I have listened to for years. I love his straight forward, logical and honest approach to dating.

In this video he talks about how to deal with being gas-lighted, something all narcissists do.

Enjoy and tell me what you think.

Let’s Set The Record Straight, Right Now!

There are some misconceptions going around that have the potential to be dangerous to unwitting victims of a narcissist.

Twenty years ago no one had even heard of a narcissist and a psychopath was someone depicted as running the Bates Hotel.

I had heard of Narcissist, the fabled guy who fell in love with his own reflection, but he was a joke, not to be feared.

After leaving my ex I was determined to figure out what happened to me and warn others.

There really wasn’t much information out there about narcissists and what I could find was vague and didn’t seem like my ex. One of the reasons I had fallen in love with my ex was the fact that he wasn’t a braggard. I had dated egomaniacs before and they never lasted long. I could not stand a guy who had to put a price on everything, interrupt people and be the center of attention. You know the guy, the one telling off color jokes at the top of his lungs, the used car salesman stereotype, the sleazeball leaning against the cigarette machine with his shirt undone to his navel with a gold chain and hitting on all the women. I never understood how they got women.

Or the guys in the gym who can’t walk past a mirror without flexing, or the highschool jock who has girls flocking at his feet. No fear of me ever falling for someone like that! As for a guy controlling what I wear, who my friends are, or when I go out; that was downright laughable!!

I was reading a post on a victims of a narcissist support site and some woman was saying she has learned to co-exist with her narcissistic husband. According to her, she knew exactly how to “handle” him. When I hear anyone say they know how to “handle” a narcissist and they can co-exist peacefully, I know one of three things is going on,

1. they are not with a narcissist

2. they are deep in denial

3. The narcissist has not revealed his true colors yet

She was defensive and told me she had done lots of research and knew what she was talking about. She related a story of a friend who’s husband was so selfish he filled the garage with all his “toys” and the wife could not park her car in the garage in winter and said, she would never presume to tell this friend to leave her husband and find someone better.

I would hope the hell not!! If that is the worst the woman has to deal with she should consider herself lucky.

This woman has a very warped definition of a narcissist!! Narcissists are NOT benign!!

It seems to me calling someone a narcissist has become the “in” thing to do. Everyone who has had a bad experience of any kind, been rejected by a man, or been with an inconsiderate man, is quick to label them a narcissist. The self righteous, “I am woman hear me roar” women will tell you they know how to deal with a narcissist. They tell a man what they think, they never let a man walk all over them. They aren’t a doormat.

Let me be very clear, narcissist is NOT the new age term for asshole.

If you sleep with a man even though he refuses to commit, you are making a conscious decision to have sex with a man without a commitment. If a man is honest enough to tell you, “I don’t love you”, “I don’t want a commitment”, “I don’t want to ever get married” believe him! Don’t assume you are going to win his love by being a doormat.

If a man falls out of love with you, it’s gonna hurt, but it happens, deal with it, it does not make him a narcissist.

Now, what does make him a narcissist?

The DSM 5, used to diagnose personality disorders, says at least 5 of these symptoms must exist:

    • A grandiose sense of self-importance

    • A preoccupation with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love

    • A belief that he or she is special and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people or institutions

    • A need for excessive admiration

    • A sense of entitlement

    • Interpersonally exploitive behavior

    • A lack of empathy

    • Envy of others or a belief that others are envious of him or her

  • A demonstration of arrogant and haughty behaviors or attitudes

In a proposed alternative model cited in DSM-5, NPD is characterized by moderate or greater impairment in personality functioning, manifested by characteristic difficulties in 2 or more of the following 4 areas [2] :

    • Identity

    • Self-direction

    • Empathy

  • Intimacy


It still sounds rather obscure and benign if you don’t fully understand how these traits manifest themselves.

Besides, by the time a victim goes looking for answers to “what the hell is happening?” They are in so deep it can be almost impossible to safely leave the relationship.

Any normal halfway intelligent woman wouldn’t date a narcissist if they saw him without his mask on the first date or two. When you meet the narcissist he is nothing like the description above, in fact he probably seems the exact opposite.

It isn’t even possible to describe how to a pick a narcissist out of the crowd or say what kind of woman they are attracted to because they morph into the victim’s perfect partner. They don’t have a “type” of woman, every woman they meet, regardless of age, looks, economic status, or religious beliefs is assessed for their value to the narcissist. Not every woman will fall for them but that is of little consequence to the narcissist because he has so many women in various stages of falling for his act he always has one or two ready to step into the role of his main supply.

He will use women for whatever he sees of benefit to him. One might provide a roof over his head, another could give him prestige, or a desired job, it could be simply a sexual relationship.

The one thing all the women will have in common is they will all think they are special to the narcissist and that he is totally in love with her alone. They will all think they know him better than anyone else and not have a clue who he really is. Most women find out exactly how little they knew about him after the relationship ends.

Before we go any further, let me clarify some misconceptions about narcissist. The mental health professionals can’t even agree on many aspects of narcissism. There is controversy about how dangerous they are, if they can be “healed” and how someone becomes a narcissist.

Some quick facts:

Not all narcissists were abused as children. I believe many of them were simply because they were narcissists and the parents were trying to teach them right from wrong. There can be numerous children in a family raised by the same two parents in the exact same way and one of them will be a narcissist and different from birth, always lying, breaking rules, blaming their siblings, getting in trouble in school etc

Brain scans have been done that prove narcissist and psychopath’s brains never develop the ability to feel empathy or guilt. Consequently, they can not be healed, not with therapy or by your magical love.

People will tell you narcissists aren’t dangerous. But recent research is showing otherwise. All psychopaths are narcissistic. They say narcissists don’t murder people, only psychopaths do that. If they both display the exact same traits how does a lay person distinguish between the two. A narcissist is just a psychopath who hasn’t killed yet.

There are three personality disorders that are considered the most dangerous; psychopathy, sociopathy, and narcissism. The reason they are so dangerous is because they are the only disorders that lack a conscience. Think about it; without a conscience what stops a person from doing whatever they want whenever they want. Most of us have been so angry at someone at some point in our lives that we thought, “I could kill the bastard”; but we don’t! Because we know our conscience wouldn’t allow it. We may see something we like and think, “I really want that”, but we don’t steal it because we would feel too guilty, or we would think Karma would get us, or God, or we know how we would feel if someone stole from us. A narcissist doesn’t have those filters. He wants it, he takes it, without any guilt, in fact he feels entitled to take it.

Therapy doesn’t help a narcissist, except to help him be better at being a narcissist. Counselling only provides the narcissist with more information he can use to manipulate his victims and improve his acting skills.

Narcissists will tell you that they aren’t dangerous or even that evil. I have been told by narcissists that I am describing a psychopath, psychopaths say I am describing a sociopath or narcissist, the sociopath says, “Not ME! You are talking about narcissists!

One of the leading traits of a narcissist is that they are pathological liars. Why would you believe anything they say?

I heard a long time ago,

“If a narcissist’s lips are moving, he’s lying.”

Which is another reason therapy doesn’t help them and why therapists don’t agree on the cause, motives, and severity of narcissism; they never get a straight answer from the narcissist.

They are academy award worthy actors. They knew at a very young age they were different than everyone else, so they learned to imitate the emotions of those around them in order to fit in and go undetected. They learned that acting the way they wanted got them in trouble and worked against them. They are usually highly intelligent so figure out they get much further if they pretend to be like everyone else. That is where upbringing plays a major role in how they present themselves, and some are more sophisticated than others.

Look! I don’t really care what label you put on them, there is a type of person out there in the world destroying lives and they all follow the same m.o. The Diagnostic Manual wants to put narcissists, psychopaths, and sociopaths under the same classification and call them Antisocial Disorder.

People want to break it down even further to Malignant, Covert, Cerebral, and Somatic Narcissist. As far as I am concerned, we give the narcissist far too much attention as it is. A narcissist is a narcissist is a narcissist.

We go looking for answers so we can put our experience, the narcissist in a nice little box and file it away. We think if we can figure out how the narcissist ticks and why he does the things he does, it will help us heal, give us closure.

We think he can give us answers for why he wants to destroy us, the one who loved him unconditionally. Because we do have a conscience, empathy and guilt, we know that for us to treat people that way we would have had to have something truly horrible happen to us. No one acts that way without reason.

You are wrong, narcissists treat people that way without any justification…..because they are narcissists. They know they “hurt” people, but without the ability to feel empathy, hurt, is just a word. Love, is a word they use to manipulate their victims, they have no idea how it feels to truly love someone. In order to truly love someone you have to feel empathy.

Now don’t go crying for the narcissist, feeling sorry for the poor guy who will never know how it feels to love and be loved, doomed to live a lonely loveless life and die alone.

The narcissist actually feels superior to the rest of society. He sees feelings as what makes people weak, it is the thing that enables him to victimize so many people. Why would he want to be like his victims? He thinks his victims are stupid and weak so deserve to be used by him. Every time a victim forgives him he is more disgusted with their gullibility to believe his lies yet again!

So how can you protect yourself? You don’t want to be suspicious all the time. If they are such good actors how on earth can you know until it’s too late? It’s really very simple.

They all seem perfect at first. Not perfect for everyone, but perfect for you.

They think you are perfect, where have you been all their life? They have never known love like the love they have with you.

They push for sex early.

It’s a whirlwind romance. Him rushing to live together or get married. Talking about having kids etc.

He will try to get you to quit your job, move to a new town somehow make you dependent on him.

He usually keeps you away from his family somehow. They are vicious addicts, have always abused his good nature or they don’t like you.

He will point out how disrespectful your kids are to you. How your family doesn’t appreciate you. He just wants to protect you. You are always taking care of everyone else. There probably is a smidgen of truth to it too.

All his ex’s were psycho bitches that are out to get him and destroy him. He will forbid you to talk to them because they will try to turn you against him.

You will discover some lie early on and he will down play it, beg forgiveness and promise it will never happen again.

He will more than likely have money tied up somehow and will try to borrow a bit until the big payoff comes through. He will have money to wine and dine you at first though. He is getting it off some other sucker.

He might have questionable work ethics or credentials.

Often he is new to town so has no long term friends you can meet, he becomes friends with your friends.

Sex is intense and frequent, at first.

Then, all of a sudden, like a switch went off; he is moody, critical, flies into a rage over nothing and you are shocked, don’t understand what you did wrong. He might disappear for days at a time. He will pick a fight and not call or answer your calls for days and then pop back into your life like nothing happened.

If you try to break up with him, he will cry and beg you to give him another chance but things quickly go back to him being moody and angry all the time.

None of this is normal behavior and this is when you exit stage left and cut off all communication. You can NOT talk to him because he will put doubt in your mind. Trust your gut that is telling you something is not right.

I’m Rubber, You Are Glue

trump-glue

Remember back in grade school some smart ass kid that made your life hell and when you told him what you thought of him, he would sing, “I’m rubber and you are glue. Whatever you say bounces off me and sticks to you.” or another favorite was, “I know you are but what am I?”

As a young child you would get angry, perhaps cry,maybe even hit the other child and defend yourself. But no matter what you said nothing fazed the kid, he always had a come back, laugh, and when you tried the same lines, they just didn’t work for you, his words still hurt.

Fortunately most kids grow up and develop empathy and communication skills. We certainly aren’t expecting to have to deal with that kind of childish taunting as an adult but we found ourselves feeling just like we did as a child in the playground, frustrated, helpless to defend ourselves, crying, with our tormentor laughing at us, taunting us.

If you are still with the narcissist you probably haven’t figured out that; trying to reason with a narcissist, defending ourselves, or trying to make a narcissist admit any fault in the relationship is futile and will result in it bouncing off him and sticking to you. You accuse him of cheating, eventually he will accuse you, tell him he is a narcissist and he will research it and accuse you of all the traits of a narcissist; you may not believe it now because you are still thinking he/she is a normal person and eventually you will get through to them.

Trust me that you are not thinking clearly right now. This kind of gaslighting will drive the most sane person crazy. I can’t say I blame you because there is no way anyone could have convinced me he would turn against me the way my ex did. Deep down, through it all I truly felt there was a deep love for me buried inside him that he was terrified to admit or at the very least he had a conscience and could never lie about me so blatantly. I admit I felt superior to him because I was faithful and honest; he was the one screwing up the relationship, there was no way I could be blamed for the relationship failing.

Then came the day when he told me he’d had enough and it was over.

I said, “YOU’VE had enough??? enough what?”

He looked at me with disgust and said, “This”

I was furious, “You’ve had enough of this????? I have been faithful, I have been honest, you are the one who screwed around, you are the one who didn’t come home at night, who lied…….not me!”

He looked at me over his glasses and sneered when he asked, “And what did you do????”

Looking him right in the eyes, I was indignant, “I stayed.”

He spit out “Exactly” before he went back to reading his magazine and I stood there trying to absorb the enormity of three words. “I stayed” and “Exactly“.

It took a few months before I finally moved out, even though my ex said, “I don’t want you to be homeless so you can stay.” For whatever reason my biggest fear had always been being homeless and of course he knew that but I also knew that if I stayed it would be the death of me.

I had suspected he was cutting me down to his work mates but I had always conducted myself with class, honesty, hard work and wasn’t concerned with what he told his buddies. What I had not counted on and sadly underestimated was his vindictiveness and his ability to lie straight faced and be believed. He knew that all he had to do was put doubt into people’s minds, make a few anonymous phone calls, and act like an unwilling victim. It made me sick how he could play the victim, I had seen him do it with me about other people and now I knew he was doing it about me.

It took me a painfully long time to figure out that any one who decided they were going to “remain neutral” was not a friend of mine. I had never had a relationship where friends had to choose, I had never had a relationship end where I couldn’t remain friendly with my ex and I didn’t want to appear unkind or vindictive but I was constantly being put in the position of defending myself. What worked against me was the fact that I had remained loyal to him and not told people what was going on behind closed doors so when I defended myself to his accusations it all sounded like sour grapes. He had already told everyone I was a liar and crazy and I had stayed for 10 years and not said a word, so of course no one believed me. If it was that bad why did I stay, why didn’t I complain to anyone about him? call the police, go back time after time?

I kept thinking, he stole my identity! he had totally reversed roles and taken mine! He even used my own lines on me! Lines like:

“I can’t just shut off my feelings after we have a fight an pretend nothing happened.”

“Try putting yourself in the new girlfriend’s position, how would you like it if I was seeing an ex girlfriend?”

“She kept saying no one would love me like she did.”

“I am afraid of what you are going to do next.”

“She is trying to ruin my life, get me fired, destroy me.”

“She keeps trying to cause trouble in my life, destroying property, stealing from me etc”

It was infuriating to be accused of exactly what he was doing to me! but I knew the more I denied it the guiltier I looked. It was like entering the twilight zone. I had a couple of “friends” who insisted on telling me how happy he was with his new woman and all the things he was saying about me and what I was doing. It didn’t matter that I told them I didn’t want to hear it, they wanted to hear my explanation or defense against what he was saying, and I did play the game for awhile, until I realized that I didn’t need a friend who doubted my character and would listen to the shit my ex was spreading. I knew he was using them as a pawn to hurt me and to destroy my good reputation. Something I learned from being with my ex is; if a lie is told enough times to the right people, it becomes a fact in people’s minds. It’s a rather interesting phenomenon witnessed during the Trump campaign

That is when I decided the only thing I could control was how I conducted my life, I couldn’t anticipate what he would do next, I could only live honestly and true to my morals and principles AND cut all toxic  people from my life and keep trying to be the best version of me I can be.

When I started looking for answers about 2 years into the relationship there wasn’t a lot of information out there. In fact 6 years ago when I started the blog there still wasn’t much information out there, I did a lot of research and from sharing my own experiences and listening to the stories of thousands of women and men, I consider myself to be a bit of a layman expert and I will continue to spread the word about narcissists, sociopaths, psychopaths, or whatever label you want to give these soul sucking vampires. I am here to tell you that any attempt to make the narcissist admit his mistreatment of you or feel any morsel of guilt or remorse, is not going to happen. In fact, anything you say will bounce off him and stick to you.