feeling very anxious...

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by emotionally_drained, Sep 22, 2014.

  1. emotionally_drained

    emotionally_drained New Member

    I have 3 children 2 daughters and a son, they have all left home, recently in less than a week both daughters have called and asked to come stay with me, my answer was no to both of them, however my oldest who has a mental history got very vicious when I told her no. Well she called today, to gloat I am assuming, that my mother and step-father have allowed her to stay with them, she proceeded to tell me I overreacted and i was just yelling at her for no reason, i felt my blood starting to boil, and it was all i could do to not start defending myself, i told her i could not talk and had to go, and she kept egging it on with me, and i had to hang up!! So i came on home, i made a huge mistake calling my husband to vent, he isn't mad but i can tell he is getting fed up with all this. i can only take my anxiety medicine in the evening because of my job, i drive for a living. so this is once again a little rant hoping to feel a bit better!!!
  2. 2much2recover

    2much2recover Well-Known Member

    See if Gaslighting fits the scenario:
    Gaslighting is a form of emotional abuse where the abuser manipulates situations repeatedly to trick the victim into distrusting his or her own memory and perceptions. Gaslighting is an insidious form of abuse. It makes victims question the very instincts that they have counted on their whole lives, making them unsure of anything. Gaslighting makes it very likely that victims will believe whatever their abusers tell them regardless as to their own experience of the situation. Gaslighting often precedes other types of emotional and physical abuse because the victim of gaslighting is more likely to remain in other abusive situations as well.
    The term "gaslighting" comes from the 1938 British play "Gas Light" wherein a husband attempts to drive his wife crazy using a variety of tricks causing her to question her own perceptions and sanity. Gas Light was made into a movie both in 1940 and 1944.'

    Gaslighting Techniques and Examples
    There are numerous gaslighting techniques which can make gaslighting more difficult to identify. Gaslighting techniques are used to hide truths that the abuser doesn't want the victim to realize. Gaslighting abuse can be perpetrated by either women or men.

    "Withholding" is one gaslighting technique where the abuser feigns a lack of understanding, refuses to listen and declines sharing his emotions. Gaslighting examples of this would be:
    "I'm not listening to that crap again tonight."
    • "You're just trying to confuse me."
    Another gaslighting technique is "countering," where an abuser will vehemently call into question a victim's memory in spite of the victim having remembered things correctly.
    • "Think about when you didn't remember things correctly last time."
    • "You thought that last time and you were wrong."
    These techniques throw the victim off the intended subject matter and make them question their own motivations and perceptions rather than the issue at hand.

    It is then that the abuser will start to question the experiences, thoughts and opinions more globally through statements said in anger like:
    • "You see everything in the most negative way."
    • "Well you obviously never believed in me then."
    • "You have an overactive imagination."
    "Blocking" and "diverting" are gaslighting techniques whereby the abuser again changes the conversation from the subject matter to questioning the victim's thoughts and controlling the conversation. Gaslighting examples of this include:
    • "I'm not going through that again."
    • "Where did you get a crazy idea like that?"
    • "Quit :censored2:ing."
    • "You're hurting me on purpose."
    "Trivializing" is another way of gaslighting. It involves making the victim believe his or her thoughts or needs aren't important, such as:
    • "You're going to let something like that come between us?"
    Abusive "forgetting" and "denial" can also be forms of gaslighting. In this technique, the abuser pretends to forget things that have really occurred; the abuser may also deny things like promises that have been made that are important to the victim. An abuser might say,
    • "What are you talking about?"
    • "I don't have to take this."
    • "You're making that up."
    Some gaslighters will then mock the victim for their "wrongdoings" and "misconceptions."
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  3. emotionally_drained

    emotionally_drained New Member

    yes that pretty much sums it up, its even worse when I am caught off guard and standing in the middle of the store, so I had to leave cut the conversation and just go home, it hadn't even been 11 am and I am already exhausted !!!
  4. 2much2recover

    2much2recover Well-Known Member

    Yes she gaslights you to get her way. The more you can understand the "what" she is doing - hopefully the more you can push it aside. It is so darn hard to get it through our heads - it is not us - because they are so great at playing this game!!!
  5. GuideMe

    GuideMe Active Member

    Thank you for this. I wish someone would make a list of words we can say back to these individuals who try to gaslight us. Having helpful phrases and responses at the ready would be beyond helpful. Like for instance , when the gaslighter says

    ""Think about when you didn't remember things correctly last time."

    Wouldn't be wonderful to have a very clever response for this? A good come back for this could most likely shut the gaslighter down and give us a much needed leg up. Seriously, sometimes it takes things like this to change everything.
  6. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    When my son tries to gaslight me by talking about the past in ways that it didn't happen or tells me I promised something I never did, well, gee, somebody is at the door or I have to go to a meeting.

    This is my opinion only. Other may feel differently. The best way I've found to cut it off is to not throw gas on the fire. They WANT this big response from us, but it's best not to give it attention. That just encourages more of it. You aren't going to get them to admit they are being manipulative, but you can stop listening to it. We don't have to respond to everything that is told to us. If it is patently ridiculous and untrue and spat at us to get us to lose our cool so that they can say, "See? It's YOUR problem. YOU are always angry, not me" well, then, rather than get tangled up in that game of lies, it is ok to not play. I don't see an up side to giving lies a hearing or defending ourselves against them. Those are moments of our lives we can't get back! :)

    2Much, thanks for the info on gaslighting. I didn't know it entailed so much. Although, other than having false memories, my difficult child doesn't use the other gaslighting teachniques, BUT MY SISTER DOES!!! Verrrrrrrrrrry interesting.
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2014
  7. 2much2recover

    2much2recover Well-Known Member

    The most recent "gaslighting" experience is my daughter saying to me "don't talk to me until you are ready to apologize" to her, for her stealing from me!
    Everything in my very being wanted to respond but I did not/have not/will not! In fact had she not questioned me in the way she did, I would not have yet, brought up the whole ugly thieving situation - because I knew this would be the response. I say that in her attempt to gaslight me she through gas all over herself but it doesn't change anything. Things remain hopeless because she is what she is and she does what she does.
  8. emotionally_drained

    emotionally_drained New Member

    oh wow, I needed to hear this, I swear I sometimes think she is grinning on the other end of that phone, and to let me know she is staying with my mother, was a huge blow!! she knows me and my mother do not speak and she had the nerve to tell me I needed to speak to my mother. I simply told her that my relationship with my mother was my business and not hers. She tried to call back today but I didn't answer. I think I will keep it like that for a few days. thank you guys so much for the support, this is the one place I don't feel like everyone is "sick of my problems".
  9. 2much2recover

    2much2recover Well-Known Member

    Don't know what phone system you have but mine allows me to put different tones for different callers so when I hear hers I don't bother - hers: let me call you sweetheart tone LOL