Recovering from Gaslighting
Can someone recover from gaslighting?
Recovering from gaslighting is not easy it is a form of abuse that leaves long term effects. A person has to deal with trauma, anxiety, low self-esteem and depression for a long time. It has not only been seen in romantic relationships but in other contexts i.e family ,work, etc. To recover from gaslighting, a person must seek professional help, but it will take a long time to recover.
This article is all about recovering from gaslighting. You will be able to know how you can recover from it if you have dealt with it in a relationship, during childhood or at work. So let’s get started:
Recovery from Gaslighting abuse
Before talking about Recovery from Gaslighting abuse, let’s have a look at what it actually means. According to Cynthia Catchings, LCSW-S, Certified therapist:
“Gaslighting is the basic act of manipulating someone by psychological means into questioning their thoughts, beliefs, or actions.”
Gaslighting is a common tactic in physically and emotionally abusive relationships. But you can take back your reality. Recovery from Gaslighting abuse is possible. The first thing you must know is how you can spot if you are being gaslit or not. It is very difficult in some cases, but you can look for some signs. Here they are:
You feel fuzzy, foggy, or like you are going crazy; there is confusion everywhere.
If you have a gut feeling that there is something wrong in your relationship, probably it is true. If you are in a healthy relationship, you will have your head clear of doubts. Being in love with someone does not mean you have to be out of control and confused.
It is very difficult for you to figure out if something actually happened or not.
In case you’ve experienced a terrible period of time or a toxic relationship and think that it is hard to recall the right sequence of events that happened, it very well may be an indication of gaslighting.
Somebody is harming you but says it is for your own sake
Somebody is hurting you and tell you that they are doing this for your own good and because they love you. So you start believing them. When a partner, or a friend, or a colleague abuses you physically or emotionally, it is never for your own good.
Somebody is hurting you but make you feel like an aggressor.
Pay attention to your gut feeling. In case somebody is truly hurting you, controlling you, or utilizing harmful language towards you, it isn’t your issue. A decent way to tell who the aggressor truly is to ask yourself: Whose life has decreased in this scenario? If you have put your pleasure and needs aside for the sake of other person, they are more likely the aggressor.
Somebody is trying to harm you but denying his behaviour
You realized that somebody did something wrong to hurt you, and you tried to confront them, but they totally denied it. It is a sign that you have been gaslit.
Recovering from Gaslighting at work
Working with co-workers or a boss with gaslighting tendencies is the worst as it can terribly affect your confidence and leave you feeling confused and paranoid. And it does not only affect your work-life but your personal life too. Leaving this job is an option but is not the only option. Here is what experts have to say about recovering from gaslighting at work.
Be sure about gaslighting.
A tough manager who is not easy to please is one thing; he might criticize your work but will give you real feedback and some time to get it done. But a gaslighter manager is something else. A gaslighter will never want you to succeed and will try to sabotage your efforts. The manager might change the deadline in the middle of the project etc. etc. He may make you feel that you know nothing about what you are doing. The manager will make inappropriate comments about your work. He will try his best to bend the reality and make you look like a liar. The manager might harass you too, and by portraying you as a liar, the manager can get away with that. Sarkis says
“Gaslighters are going to communicate that they know more, that you don’t know what you’re talking about, and that you’re confused and uninformed.”
If you are facing these issues, it means you are being gaslit at your work, and you should do something about it.
Documenting everything is a must.
Once you are sure that it is actually gaslighting, start documenting every text, memo, email, and other things that can indicate what is going on. Don’t leave everything to your memory. You have to keep a record of every gaslighting event. Sarkis also suggests:
“Do not keep this information on a work-issued device, as your company may have access to that information and will take the device upon you quitting,”
If you keep track of all gaslighting events, it will help you understand how severe the issues is; in some cases, it is possible to live with this kind of behaviour of your supervisor, but in other cases, you may have to involve hr, and in that case, evidence is the most valuable thing.
Still, it is easy for gaslighters to get away with what they have done wrong; they know how to talk and convince you or your boss. So you have to make a strong case and see where it goes.
Talk to your colleagues and ask if they are facing this too.
Sometimes only one employee is their target, but sometimes they seem to be many people in their way to power, so they will gaslight them all. So you have to know if you are their only target or other people are dealing with this too. If other co-workers also have to deal with this attitude, ask if they are willing to document this behaviour. This way, you will not be the only person to be compliant; keep in mind there is strength in numbers.
One-on-one meeting with gaslighter
You have all the evidence in the form of documentation, review it and ask to schedule a meeting with the gaslighter. Be open and direct, share your feelings and ask how you two can improve your relationship at the workplace. You do not have to be confrontational and avoid accusations because negative feedback can set them off. Gatter explains:
“If they truly have gaslighting tendencies, they’re probably not going to hear you and will throw that back at you and state that whatever you tell them is really your fault.”
Document this conversation as well because if their behaviour does not change, you may have to show your seniors or HR that you tried to address the issue on your own.
Go to other higher-ups or HR.
Read about your rights at this company, how can you complain about a manager, is there a policy. If there is not an official policy, reach out to your HR department and share your experience with the gaslighter.
Once you have done that, you are good; now, it is the responsibility of the company to respond. In a perfect case scenario, your gaslighter will back off, and you can work on your mental health. The company may transfer so that you can work under another supervisor. In the worst-case scenario, your company may not support you at all.
Believe in yourself
You have reached here after a lot of hard work. You deserve to be there. You have proof where they were wrong, so you should not feel doubtful about yourself. Recovering from gaslighting at work will not be easy, but you have to be strong.
Recovery from childhood Gaslighting
It may seem weird, but yes, childhood gaslighting is also a thing. You might wonder who would gaslight a child, and it will be really shocking that their own parents do this. It does not take long to make a child feel bad about themself.
For example, a child takes a food platter to the dining room, and it slips out of his hands, the floor is ruined. Mother asks why you would do that; child says in his defence that plate was slippery. But mother replies, you always do this stuff to make me angry. OR a mother may tell her daughter to let her work quietly and says she will take her out for ice cream as a reward. But when the daughter asks when they are going out, and mother says she never promised and adds, “you should not make things up on your own. Nobody likes a liar.”
Gaslighting a child is easy, and it is hard to differentiate specifically for a child. For a child, what his parents think is very important, so their approval matters a lot which facilitates gaslighting.
Recovery from childhood gaslighting is very important; here is what you can do:
Beware of the problem.
If you want to recover from gaslighting, you have to identify and understand that you have been gaslighted by your parents. It would help to work with a therapist; they can educate you about yourself and some signs regarding gaslighting. This can really help in recovering from gaslighting.
Keep a check on facts.
A lot of parents involved in gaslighting try to invalidate or dismiss their child’s stories. But you should give yourself a reality check. Go back to data and facts to make yourself aware of what reality is and what is distorted. You can talk to someone you trust who may have seen your experience and can validate it or just someone to give moral support as this experience can be mentally exhausting.
Set healthy boundaries
Try to identify your needs, what you want from your relationship with your parents and what you expect. So set firm boundaries accordingly. Understand that if your relationship with your parents has been too toxic, you can choose to distance yourself. Your mental health is the first priority.
Recovering from Gaslighting in relationships
Gaslighting is very common in relationships, especially in toxic and abusive ones. If you don’t believe me believe these stats:
“According to ONS statistics, 584 defendants were prosecuted and 293 offenders convicted of, and sentenced for, controlling or coercive behaviour in England and Wales in the year ending December 2019. According to Women’s Aid’s Annual Audit report (2021), Parker points out; almost 90 per cent of women residents in responding refuge services in England had suffered psychological abuse.”
We all know that gaslighting is really dangerous. It can affect your future relationships too. So our focus is on recovery here. Recovering from Gaslighting in relationships is not easy, but if you are ready to invest your time and efforts, you can recover from it and can enjoy healthy relationships in future. Here is how you can recover:
Block any kind of contact
It is essential to obstruct all types of contact with the gaslighter. This implies blocking all contact numbers and email addresses. It likewise implies telling loved ones that you won’t be engaging any messages sent from the gaslighter through them. Gaslighters will, for the most part, attempt to get again into your life. So you have to be careful.
The closure is not needed.
In case you feel like you need closure for moving on, you presumably won’t get it from a gaslighter. If a gaslighter has left you without a trace, you feel the need for closure even more. These are not the kind of individuals with whom you can have a conversation after a breakup to find closure. They will make you feel that everything happened because of you, it was your fault (which isn’t correct), but this is how a Gaslighter works. Understand that if you do not get the closure, it is okay; it is overrated.
This is the ideal opportunity to be extra nice to yourself. They might have told you that you were not important, neither were your needs, or you might have put your needs aside to put your gaslighter first. Right now is an ideal opportunity to entertain yourself with care and attention.
Accomplish something every day only for delight. You can do anything you desire — you presently don’t have to hear that your interests and wishes are worthless. You can have all the fun you want, and you really deserve it.
The first step in enjoying great self-care is to get sufficient rest and sleep. You might be experiencing issues with sleep at this moment. An absence of sleep can cause things to appear to be significantly more unpleasant and inconceivable. It is hard to think clearly when you have a lack of sleep.
Because you were so much involved with your gaslighter, you might have become isolated from your family and friends. This is how a gaslighter works; he/she distances you from your loved ones so that you become dependent on them and they can control you. So reach out to your family and friends you are not in touch with anymore. They really care about you and can help you in recovering from gaslighting.
It is okay to feel bad; grieving is normal. You give your precious time to this person, but it did not work; you are heartbroken, and it is okay. Do not hide your emotions, and do not feel bad about grieving. Take as much time to grieve and deal with your emotions. There is no timetable for this. You are facing multiple emotions right now; give yourself some time.
Talk to a professional
Recovering from gaslighting in relationships is not a piece of cake; your family and friends can help, you can work hard, but still, you need professional assistance. It is better to have third party guidance who can assess your situation neutrally and can guide you accordingly. You can take help from a mental health service provider, and he or she will help you in learning how to set healthy boundaries for your future relationship. The professional will also help you in bringing back your lost self-esteem and confidence. GET SUPPORT FROM A PROFESSIONAL NOW
Can you recover from Gaslighting?
Can you recover from Gaslighting? Gaslighting makes you forget your reality. You are confused and have no idea what is real. You know distorted facts that make you question yourself. You think am I not good enough? Am I the reason everything wrong is happening in my life? Am I causing trouble in the life of others? And finally, you think of yourself as a bad person. This is not right.
A person who is fallen in this deep can find it really difficult to escape. Can you recover from Gaslighting? This is not the right question to ask. The right thing to ask is, “do you want to recover from gaslighting?” if your answer is “yes”, you surely can. But this is only possible if you accept that you have an issue; if you ignore your emotions, you won’t be able to deal with this.
How long does it take to recover from Gaslighting?
There is no perfect answer to this question. We all are different in so many ways. We have different issues; we deal with our emotions differently. Some of us are more sensitive, some of us are not. There is no such thing as a timeline.
How long does it take to recover from Gaslighting? In my opinion, it can take few months to few years depending on how sensitive you are and the kind of your relationship you had with the gaslighter. Recovery from childhood gaslighting is the toughest. Recovery also depends on how soon you recognize your issues and try to deal with them.
How long to heal from Gaslighting?
I have shared my opinion about “How long to heal from Gaslighting?” but different people have different opinions depending on their experiences. There are plenty of Reddit users who have shared their experiences regarding gaslighting. Let’s have a look at what Reddit users have to say about how long to heal from Gaslighting and what helps:
- “Going to jump on the therapy bandwagon. Don’t be afraid; ptsd from this is real. If you’re not ready to take that step – or even if you are – look up mindful meditation. It works to bring you out of what you’ve been through and into the moment so you can focus on your emotions and the present rather than what you’ve been through. A therapist is really helpful though for you to realize it’s ok to be upset at what you went through. Gaslighting is awful, I’m sorry you experienced it. You’re not alone and having the courage to reach out is a great first step.”
- “I would encourage therapy, there are a few therapy options that are good for people who are victims of trauma. Also, I know I’ve been obsessed with this, but I recommend the book The Gift of Fear. I seriously wish I read this before I started dating.”
- “I write a journal now. I document conversations sometimes, my feelings after events, things I hope or think might happen in the future, etc. It has helped me immensely. I’m still in contact with my Nmom and now I can go back through my journals when she says “I never said that” and look and see that yes, yes she did, i wrote it down. I never show her or try to prove her wrong because that’s impossible. It’s for my own sanity. It’s useful in other areas of my life too. I used to write almost daily during a really hard time in my life, but now I write maybe every 3-4 days. It’s nice to look back through and hear my own voice. I can’t twist things around in my head if I’m the one who documented it. I’m also in therapy and having someone who has no reason to lie to me or manipulate me tell me to trust my own voice has been wonderful.”
- “I’ve learned to trust my suspicions. If I’m feeling manipulated or confused for no reason, I disengage immediately. Walk away or grey rock if I can’t leave. You can’t stop people being awful but you can protect yourself. (I also find it can be a physical feeling, jittery and tense, like I had too much coffee but I don’t drink coffee).”
- “Journal about important events and interactions.
- Say, “That’s not how I remember it,” if people try to alter events.
- Refuse to let other people tell you how you “should have” felt, thought or understood anything.
- Reduce interactions with people who are dishonest with you.”
- “The way to beat gaslighting is to always make records of everything. When they try to convince you that your reality is false, you throw it in their face, and show them that they’re the ones whose reality is false.”
- “Two years of antidepressants helped me recover enough positivity to drag myself to a therapist. I took a recommendation from a friend and it has gone great so far. I was honest about feeling like I did everything wrong and constantly doubted myself. Just hearing her say she didn’t think there was anything really wrong with me was so helpful. Therapy has been basically her getting me diagnosed with ADHD (and treating that has helped my confidence so much), and beating it into my head that I’m a decent person. Learning how to interrupt and reword negative thoughts, recognizing when I’m assuming and when I’m being factual, etc.”
Recovering from gaslighting is not easy. So if you feel like any of your friends or family member is dealing with it, help them out. Educate yourself and them too about gaslighting. Encourage them to seek professional help. GET HELP FOR GASLIGHTING
So this was all about Recovering from gaslighting. I have tried my best to share useful information with you, hope so you will find it helpful. We support people at M.D.D and no matter your issue we have therapists and life coaches with different specialisms.