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is this gaslighting.

(14 Posts)
carernotasaint Wed 21-Sep-11 00:45:09

so ive just had a disagreement with OH about two hours ago. I made myself some MUG SHot noodles (as im on the Slimming World plan and i brought them back in to living room. i was just about to go back into the kitchen to make him a cup of tea but i diidnt get chance cos as soon as my mug touched the coffee table he started having a go at me,saying oh thanks for the tea then. I was just about to go back into kitchen to do it when he said "oh dont fuckin bother in a very vicious tone. Hes obviously got the hump because my letter from the counsellor came this morning and he is probably worried what im going to say to said counsellor. He was just very vocally vicious and the minute i start standing up for myself he said
Yes You win,ive had to have a spray now. (meaning his GTN spray for his heart and lung condition) i feel like the minute i start standing up for myself he uses his illness against me.
Im fuckin sick and tired of being his and my mothers emotional punchbag all the bloody time. I need to see that counsellor quite badly and am seriously thinking of pulling a disappearing act and only contacting them through the Missing Persons helpline.i am so sick of my bloody family.Sorry for the rant.

OldLadyKnowsNothing Wed 21-Sep-11 00:58:37

It's not gaslighting, but it is emotional abuse. Have you been in contact with Women's Aid?

cecilyparsley Wed 21-Sep-11 01:04:27

Hi Carernotasaint, it sounds very difficult! but it's good that you have an apt with a counsellor lined up, can you hang on until you've had a couple of sessions before you do anything drastic like the disappearing act
(understand why you feel like doing it tho!)

Your OH sounds very defensive and as if he feels threatened by the fact of you having counselling

carernotasaint Wed 21-Sep-11 01:06:35

No but im beginning to think that i need to. Im currently waiting on seeing a counsellor. i filled the forms in earlier tonight. In fact i asked him if that was what the problem was. That i got a letter from the counsellor today. Then he asked why i was accusing him of reading my mail but i said no such thing. He knew it was a counsellor letter cos i told him i had asked to see a counsellor when i went to see a GP last week. I dont get it.

thisishowifeel Wed 21-Sep-11 06:34:58

Hello carer.

If you are their punchbag, they have a massive reason for you to do nothing to change, they may have to start looking at themselves instead of dumping on you. They won't want to do that.

So yes...you are intuitive enough to had the hit the nail absolutely on the head.

You going for counselling changes everything potentially...and they are quite happy with the staus quo. They are not going to be happy.

But you know also that you cannot live in this way. Do your counselling with gusto. If they have to leave your life in some way ay some point, then so be it. That's what happened to me...and I'm still here..happily passing on what I've learnt.

Deep breath...now go and reclaim..YOUR life. xx

garlicnutty Wed 21-Sep-11 10:52:46

Then he asked why i was accusing him of reading my mail but i said no such thing.
- That was gaslighting, because he told you something happened, which didn't. OK, everyone has different recollections of the same event, but when he's telling you what you said, did, saw, heard or thought, it's super-gaslighting.

he started having a go at me,saying oh thanks for the tea then. I was just about to go back into kitchen to do it when he said "oh dont fuckin bother" in a very vicious tone ... the minute i start standing up for myself he uses his illness against me.
- That was accusing, blaming and verbal agression.

I'm very sorry you're everybody's emotional punchbag, as you so accurately put it. From what you've said, I feel sure you'll be better off without any of those people in your life. It's great that you realise this is all wrong; it's hard not to just give in and agree!

Have you heard of projection? When abusers tell you about yourself, they're actually talking about THEM, but can't face the truth so they put it on you. The business about his heart condition was an example of that. Did you set it off by making cup noodles? Of course not. He caused it himself, by choosing to make a song and dance about a cup of tea.

carernotasaint Wed 21-Sep-11 13:30:42

Thankyou for your kind support ladies.I cant believe its taken me so many years to realise whats going on. And thanks for helping me realise what the term gaslighting means cos i wasnt sure. My mum has done this on the odd occasion too.
What i cant understand is that on Monday (our wedding anniversary) he gave me money for a new winter coat. So he did something really nice and then the following evening was really aggressive. its just really confusing at times. My mum has also helped us out financially but i honestly would prefer emotional support instead because thats priceless.

garlicnutty Wed 21-Sep-11 16:55:09

Have you seen the "Cycle of Abuse", carer? The nice stuff makes you think maybe he's not so bad, he does care after all, and keeps you locked in. It also lets him tell himself he's a really good guy, so you must be an ungrateful cow hmm

Mine was brilliant at gifts - especially ones other people would see, so they'd all tell me how lucky I was! Aargh.

beatenbyayellowteacup Wed 21-Sep-11 21:13:02

I think the counsellor is a brilliant move, carer, and I applaud you for taking that step even in the face of others who abuse you. I agree with thisishowifeel that the others in your life will have a vested interest in you not going to counselling, so be prepared for them to get worse.

I suspect it's taken you so long to spot it because you've had it from your mother, so she has climatised you to emotional abuse. But the main thing is that now you are starting to see it, and do something about it.

ThereBeBolloX Wed 21-Sep-11 21:17:15

OP gaslighting is generally describing someone denying someone else's reality. Or doing things to deliberately wind them up, which may look trivial to an outsider - like hiding keys and then insisting that they were there all along, for example.

Whatever, this guy is an out and out emotional abuser. Glad you're getting help to deal with it.

carernotasaint Wed 21-Sep-11 23:28:07

"I suspect its taken you so long to spot it because youve had it from your mother so she has climatised you to emotional abuse"
I never thought of that. Everyone on here has been brilliant to me and made me feel a bit better. Still feel like running away sometimes though.

LittleHousebytheRiver Thu 22-Sep-11 07:55:45

Seriously carer what's stopping you?

You called him OH so is he a partner or a husband? Do you have DC? Could you just leave? Without trying to negotiate, explain, convince or justify to this mean manipulative bully? That sounds like a great idea!

Or if not then start making a plan little by little. Imagine where you could live, find out what you are entitled to, get a bank account for yourself, save a little money from the shopping every week, and slowly but surely extract yourself. When the time comes you will get away.

Oh and come over the the EA thread where we will cheer you on/up/out!

carernotasaint Thu 22-Sep-11 14:24:02

He is my husband and we dont have children. One of the reasons i am going to be seeing a counsellor is to decide what to do next. And recently i have begun to think about slowly extricating myself from the stuation.
Eight years ago when i was having an affair (my marriage has been sexless for fifteen years with no intimacy) my mother screamed and begged and cried for me not to leave him (she is emotionally abusive) i have a thread going about this on the Feminist/womens rights board (Try to lose some weight.That looks horrible) so i know i wouldnt have much support at all.

beatenbyayellowteacup Thu 22-Sep-11 21:52:28

carer what is stopping you from leaving him? Your mother?

I guess there's a lot to work through with regards to both your mum and your H before you'll find the freedom you deserve. Your mother has no part to play in your decision to stay or leave your H. Frankly it is none of her business.

But: she is invested in keeping you in submission to her, she'll hate that you want to change and do things your way - so expect her (and you H) to get worse as you gain strength.

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