What Is Gaslighting?

This term comes from the 1938 stage play Gas Light, in which a husband attempts to drive his wife crazy by dimming the lights (which were powered by gas) in their home, and then he denies that the light changed when his wife points it out. It is an extremely effective form of emotional abuse that causes a victim to question their own feelings, instincts, and sanity, which gives the abusive partner a lot of power (and we know that abuse is about power and control). Once an abusive partner has broken down the victim’s ability to trust their own perceptions, the victim is more likely to stay in the abusive relationship. 

No matter how you look at it, gaslighting is a weapon. It is a malicious act and is aimed at degrading someone's mind in such a way as to make them vulnerable to another control or suggestion (Psychological and Emotional Abuse)

Signs of Gaslighting​

  • You constantly second-guess yourself

  • You often feel crazy and confused 

  • You are always apologizing to your partner 

  • You have trouble making simple decisions 

  • You feel as though you can't do anything right 

  • You have the sense that you used to be a different person- more relaxed 

  • You feel hopeless and worthless 

  • You focus on your character flaws 

  • Your self-esteem is at rock bottom 

  • You second guess yourself all the time

  • You make excuses for the gaslighter's behavior

  • You wonder if you are too sensitive 

  • You tense up around the gaslighter

  • You sense something is wrong but you can not put your finger on it.