In the last post, we examined how to recognize gaslighting. Now we are going to move into how you can deal with gaslighting by establishing your power and flexing your personal sense of power and reality. You can do this by recording evidence to show that they are not imagining things.
People can use the following methods:
Keeping a journal: Document gaslighting by journaling to record incidents. You should store your journal in a safe place where the person cannot find it.
Recording voice memos: Quickly record what just happened somewhere private for future reference...like on your phone.
Taking photographs: If it is safe to do so, you can use a cell phone to take photographs that prove that your memories are accurate. If the abusive person has access to your phone, use a hidden disposable camera.
Email: Rather than keeping the proof on a device at home or on a shared computer, you can email it to a trusted friend or family member.
These tips may help you accept that their perceptions are real, which can help your mental health. Later on, this proof may also help someone pursue legal action against an abusive partner, family member, or employer.
Often, a person struggling with addiction doesn't even know they are gaslighting or manipulating you. They can't understand the impact their actions have had on you in the past. Once they come into recovery it may be something to discuss especially if they are making amends. Not to shame them, but as an example of the pain their addiction has had on you. They can't truly make amends if they don't understand the depth of the pain they have inflicted on you.
You may also benefit from:
Support groups: Gaslighting can affect your mental health. Talking to people who have experienced the same things can reduce feelings of isolation. A person can find online support groups or groups that meet in person.
Therapy: If possible, it may help to speak to a therapist with training in the type of abuse you are or did experience. A therapist can provide someone with a safe space to talk honestly about how you feel.
Trusting their intuition: Once you know you can trust yourself, you can practice listening to your intuition and judgments again. With time, you can regain your sense of self. Reconnecting with your inner self is extremely important....and you can start with the 28-day meditation challenge at ConNEXTion!
Resisting the urge to argue: A person who has evidence of gaslighting might feel tempted to use it to prove that they are not “crazy.” However, this is unlikely to change the abusive person’s behaviour. Sometimes, if you reveal that you have gathered evidence, the abusive person may retaliate or try to erase it.
And as an important note....if you share devices with an abusive person, it is important to remember to delete the search and browser history after reading about gaslighting.