Relationships

Gas lighting in Pictures: My Last

Olivia

Founder of Millennial Girl, Interrupted, a senior in a small Connecticut high school. I've been through many treatments and recoveries and am eager to share the lessons I've learned!

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I’m going to college soon. I’m so happy. I actually got into the college that my ex is going to, and can’t go for financial reasons. A real blessing in disguise. In any case, my chapter of discussing him on this blog is coming to an end. This’ll be the last one, unless something new happens. I’ll probably still mention him in baby snippets, for he was a huge part of my life for the last two years, but nothing mainly about him. So, what’s this one about?

In preparation to delete everything he and I had ever exchanged, I gave our emails, texts, and messages a little read. This was a very tearful, shakily done endeavor, and probably a form of self harm, but I did it. Texts are only kept on the phone for but so long, so I only have limited amounts available to me, but from what I do still have, I was so struck by the obvious degree of gaslighting, the obvious degree to which my therapist is right, it was profound abuse, that I wanted to share what some things he said looked like.

If you see messages like this, it is extremely important that you let those sirens blare in your head. He is hurting you and you need to get out. These will all be captioned.

As you all know, a large part of his deception hinged on the idea that his parents and sister were villains and were trying to keep us apart. He would use this storyline as an excuse for lots of behavior. Early on, it was to pretend that his parents were monitoring his Facebook to explain why his Facebook account was active during supposed “sleep crashes.” As you also know, he had Munchausen’s, and needs people to believe that he has insomnia, so this was a frequent explanation for really any trouble he had; he was crashing or had crashed. Later on this web expanded.

When I called him on everything he’d done, he exploded at me. I’m not going to include some texts for they contain sensitive information, or I will black some bits out, but he turned a corner into his true self, one of cruelty and malice. I’ll let you judge for yourself.

This is a simple example of him villainizing his parents so such an extreme that I could not trust a thing they said, even when they tried to warn me of his behavior

More of the same. I was conditioned to blame his mother for his poor behavior. Notice the plea for sympathy at the end? I immediately tried to quash his supposed self hatred. He doesn’t really believe he’s “turned his mother into a monster” somehow, but if he gets me to believe that he does, I will soothe him.

This is something I sent him during a period of time when I was seriously doubting what he was telling me. Take note of how conflicted I am, the self hatred, the hatred for even deigning to doubt. This could not be any more classic of an abuse victim.

This is me trying to cut ties and call him out once I realized I’d been terribly conned. Notice he admits to extreme lying, but he does that at many points. This is interesting because he admits to “nonexistent” feeling. A bit of a slip.

This is a very telling text. He tries to accuse me of having a psychiatric disorder I don’t have, then lies and says that his parents heard it from my parents. This is an ultimate gaslight attempt; you have a disorder that you don’t know you have and everyone around you knows it. It’s your reality. Also notice how he tries to take away my identity of having attempted suicide. Of course, my various physical symptoms that remain today will tell the story as well as the debt to my local hospital that my father’s still paying off, but he again wants me to question my reality. He knows I’ve had trust issues in the past with my parents and is feeding off of that to hurt me. Take heed of his admitting that being kind isn’t real to him, that being gentle is fake. Finally, notice the word choice of “emasculation.” He cares about dominance and masculine performance. He would often brag about doing push-ups and pull-ups in his room to me, apropos of nothing. There’s nothing more supposedly masculine than total dominance, psychological or physical.

That’s all I have or this article. There’s so much more that I can’t include. I wish I could put the few thousands of you who will read this directly into my head. I often say that I wish I had a projector plugged into my brain, ready to show everyone what I went through. This is what I have for you. Take heed, and from now on take solace in knowing that the liars, the sociopaths, the abusers, and the gaslighters will never win in the end. In my own life I’ll make sure of that, but in your life, you win by taking control of your emotions and your reality. If you start to feel out of control, feel like someone else is controlling you, you always have paths to find a way out. If I, bearing almost every kind of abuse under the sun and a terrible tendency to put up with it, can emerge and live a beautiful life, it’ll be achievable for you. But it won’t be easy. Read and take heed. It’s very important to me.

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