Gaslighting

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by BusynMember, Jun 6, 2019.

  1. BusynMember

    BusynMember Member

    Kay sent me an abusive text in response to a first one asking me why no birthday present came for her. I wrote back that she said I wasnt her mother and that she was cutting me out of her life so as somebody not related to her I didnt send anything. Yes, maybe it was childish of me but it hurt so much that she wrote that that i i wasnt in the mood to shop for a gift and I never send her money.

    So I got the expected nasty text back full of gaslighting that made me doubt my sanity. Yes it was the dreaded gaslighting.

    Not verbatim. Much cussing I left out. "I never told you that you werent my mother. You made that up so that you didnt have to buy me a birthday present! What is wrong with you to think I'd write that? Maybe ylou should go for mental healthcare. I just said I needed some space from you so I could spread my messages on vaccinations, healthcare and cancer to the world. I cant be contacting you so much anymore. I am busy!" (Busy. Heh. She doesn't work or clean her house or cook much but she does post anti vaccination and alternative medicine, such as not needing chemo for cancer and how measles is a mild illness videos all over the place. So to her she is busy.) "l educate people!" Thats her job I guess.

    I have her old text saying that I am not her mother, I am toxic to her and we shouldn't talk anymore. Ever.

    She can lie well and doesn't remember what she said.

    I still didnt get her a present. Her birthday was two days ago. I cant motivate myself to do it. I am so depleted by her and tired of the lies.
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2019
  2. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    This serves a useful purpose in that it further reveals her smallness, cruelty, and the extent she both uses you and feels entitled to everything you have and will ever have.

    At some point you will no longer need more evidence of this truth, and you will accept her as she is.

    In my way of thinking the only way to respond to or engage with this kind of bad behavior is dead silence. Anything else will give her the opportunity, the excuse, to further bait you and to blame you and to hurt you. She does not want to understand "your side of things." You are useful to her. No more. I am not saying there is not love somewhere in her. But it has been a long time since she has acted towards you from that love.

    Nothing that you do will change her. Life may change her.. She is who she is. It's like the story of the scorpion who asks the fox for a ride on his back across the river.

    You'll sting me and kill me. Why would I give you a ride?

    Why would I sting you, fox? If I did I would die. That would be foolish.

    The fox carries the scorpion who stings him as they cross.

    Why did you do that? Why do you want to kill me? You will die with me.

    It's my nature, said the scorpion.

    How many times do we need to learn this lesson? As many times as we need.
     
  3. Nomad

    Nomad Well-Known Member

    How awful.
    Some choices:
    1. The silent treatment....probably the best way.
    2. A second thought is to send her a screen shot of what she wrote...then followed by the silent treatment.
    3. A third thought....send her a screen shot of what she wrote...followed by a brief sentence that you will not tolerate unkind and abusive comments. Then, of course, THE SILENT TREATMENT.

    Little to no engagement with her until she can act like a calm, appropriate young woman.

    UGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
  4. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    Or a screen shot of what you would have sent if she wasn't a royal pain.

    Ok, maybe that's a little harsh, but I couldn't help it! Lol! Gotta laugh or we will cry! Ksm
     
    • Funny Funny x 2
    • Winner Winner x 1
    • List
  5. SeekingStrength

    SeekingStrength Well-Known Member

    Kay's behavior sounds so much like my oldest son's---he being the reason I found this wonderful forum several years ago.

    So many, many hateful texts and emails.

    The first birthday we said/did nothing, his (then) girlfriend sent an email wondering how we could ignore our son on his birthday. This was, quite obviously, at his request. I responded that we thought he had quit acknowledging birthdays and proceeded to list all the family birthdays that had happened in the last few months with no word from him.

    It was dispiriting and aggravating that we only heard from him, via his girlfriend, when he was hoping for $$. But, his stance was ridiculously rude.

    I am thinking about you this evening, Busy. He gaslighted us often, by the way.
     
  6. BusynMember

    BusynMember Member

    Thanks all. I opted for dead silence. She blew up my phone and her fathers phone so we both blocked her.

    It will be a long time before my husband and I will interact with Kay again. We have no relationship to offer one another anymore. Zero. Nada.
     
  7. newstart

    newstart Active Member

    I agree with Nomad, send Kay a copy of her hateful email that said you were not her mother anymore and then stay with silence. With my 37 year old wayward daughter silence speaks volumes. I was silent for 3 months one time, it was the only thing that got her attention. Also not getting her a gift speaks volume too.
     
  8. BusynMember

    BusynMember Member

    I just blocked her because she was blowing up the phone. She will not get a gift. Although she is usually nicer to her father than me, he backs me up and this time she threw her abuse at him too.
     
  9. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet

    It all sounds EXHAUSTING.

    She is a narcissist and possibly mentally ill so anything you do rationally will not compute. She is NOT rational. She may always be this way.

    I would not do anything to try to prove her wrong or yourself right. It won't matter.

    I would stay far, far away.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Winner Winner x 1
    • List
  10. Deni D

    Deni D Member

    I think you were right to not get her a gift. I also think if you had given her a gift that would have been wrong in some way in her mind. I’m in a similar situation with my son and his birthday is coming up at the end of the month. Last year I took him out to dinner and gave him a card with money. He was displeased through the dinner and very rude. His attitude toward me is no better this year than it was last year. This year I’m donating to my favorite charity in his name and that’s it. It has nothing to do with him, it has to do with me treating myself right and not trying to please someone who won’t be pleased anymore.

    I would send her a copy of that text and tell her you love her but you’re not going to be mistreated and continue to behave as if it doesn’t matter. And then ignore the blasts and nasty messages, just let the dust settle.

    It’s so sad they don’t see that they have assigned us to rolls so different than what we want with them, so different from who we are as people. I would question the gaslighting description. I’m pretty sure in my son’s case that he believes himself, therefore it’s not gaslighting. Gaslighting is purposeful, probably not really done all that much in reality. And I think someone who actually does that stuff has very good control of themselves, and are calculating with a purposeful intent that gets them what they want. I think we here on this forum are mostly dealing with the ones who have emotional storms and react from their feelings without knowing what their feelings are even about. Then they make up a reality in their heads that suits their feelings. I don’t know, just my thinking….

    I still have hope with my son but not in the short term. I know there will be no big revelation that he’s been way off base and out there. I figure if anything is going to change for the positive it will come with time and with me not accepting and not defending my assigned villain roll in his life.

    For myself when I get nasty emails, tests, and conversations I try to picture it as him lobbing a ball at me and me just letting it drop at my feet. Then I look at it and decide if there’s any little piece of it really for me. That’s the hard part, I used to catch that stuff every time and turn it inside out and scour my memory, the internet, ask people and such to see what I could of, should of, and can do. In my case I’ve figured out that I was desperate and still am at times for some control, control to get him to be in a better place in life, if I could just figure it out. But I don’t have control over other people, and the only people I’m going to have any influence on are those who think positively of me anyway. So I pray that God brings people into his life to help him along to a better life.
     
  11. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I don't know if I agree with the diagnosis of "narcissist," but I do agree with RN in this:
    To me, everything Kay is doing seems to be a means to feel control over herself and in her life. She seems to have this narrow channel on which she is able to engage, with a hyper-focus on illness and vaccinations, and this is the way she structures her thinking, feeling and behavior. She seems to have no flexibility or tolerance at all, beyond this very narrow focus. That is why she goes berserk when you try to engage her outside of it, or challenge her beliefs. This is where she loses control. I don't think this is a choice on her part. She needs that structure. She almost seems to dissolve without it. That is why I believe this is not personal on her part, against you. She would do it to any mother. But of course I realize that this does not make it all easier to bear for you.

    My son is similar in that he is focused on his spiritual ideas that to me seem odd. Before that it was conspiracy theories such as Reptilians and Illuminati. Lots of apocalyptic stuff (It all drives me nuts.) I have refused to engage him on this, and will not speak about it. I do understand.

    I have trouble with it not primarily because he is mean but because it is so weird, and because it makes me afraid because I have to confront how limited he may be.
     
  12. BusynMember

    BusynMember Member

    Good ideas, Copa. All that could be true. She could also ne a Narcicist.

    The reason/label no longer matters. We went the psychiatric route or tried to. All we know is that she is making us sicker because we allowed it. No more I hope.

    Kay had strange ideas all her life, but I just tolerated the other conspiracy stuff. What bothers me about this is the intensity of it, that she refuses to talk about anything but this to me and that my young grandson is being parented without vaccinations, a medical doctor or school. He is being homeschooled to avoid the vaccines. I think homeschooling is fine if the parents understand teaching and make sure the kids join many activities. But Kay and Lee think signing Jaden up for any class is too risky and that they will be forced to vaccinate Jaden against their will. They have no decent family where they live and no friends. Jaden will be isolated. Scares me.

    Even so, I did not tell her that her ideas were wrong or bad as I want a foot in the door to watch Jaden. She cut us off anyway. Not clear reason why. Maybe she fears if we see too much we will call cps.

    I tried to suggest that Kay and us talk about anything EXCEPT her health related ideas but she said no, she has freedom of speech and spreading these truths to everyone, including us, will not ever stop. No agreeing to disagree. Thinking about this and Jaden makes me shake and panic. They literally said that if Jaden stepped on a rusty nail or got bit by a rabid animal that his great body immunity would make any other treatment unnecessary. In other words no doctor, no shot.

    We may call cps once we heal enough in body and mind to do it, but were told that so far nothing bad has happened to Jaden so that may just be dismissed. They do smoke pot and blow it in his face. That MAY have traction. Right now we are not doing anything.

    Sorry this was so long. This is still heavily on my mind.
     
  13. Blindsided

    Blindsided Face the Sun

    Kay's manipulation is not acceptable. I suggest reading Walking on Eggshells. The author talks about being the sponge (been there done that) and being the mirror (reflecting back what you think you heard). I finally decided I had to set stringent boundaries. That's basically how we detached (this time). After one of my daughter's rants, I decided I had to set boundaries on all future communication, (I had periods where I would talk on the phone, then not, because it always ended horribly, so we went to text and that wasn't any better). My next to last response to her was, If you cannot respond kindly, don't. And, I will no longer respond to mean, nasty texts. On Mother's Day she texted me a simple text, I hope you have a nice Mother's Day. Mind you, my daughter was once a very caring person who always said I was the best mom ever. Now I realize a lot of that, not all, but much, was manipulation, a prelude to ask for money. But, this time, she respected the boundaries (I think since I haven't given any more money for over a year, she now believes what I say.) I simply responded with a thank you for the wishes and for respecting my boundaries and that I love her. I haven't heard again. My therapist has told me that I should not initiate a conversation unless I am prepared to deal with the response and it will never be what I expect, so be prepared, and that it's okay not to respond unless it's for me. He is very right about that.

    "You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have."
    Cayla Mills