The trauma in parental gaslighting-

When parents blur reality--- the trauma in Gaslighting......
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"Every time I speak with my parents I leave feeling confused, and crazy, I feel like I pointed something out that was wrong for me, but somehow they make me feel like it never happened and I just imagined it."
My client said.
You can imagine what years of living under a parental relationship like this does to a person's soul- it erodes their very connection to reality.
Saying, "I'm sorry," apologizing and owning up to things we do is a VITAL part of relationships because it is one of our quickest connections to reality-
Something was done, something happened. Recognizing it through an apology is giving it witness and recognition- it happened.
When "it happened" is brushed under the carpet, is twisted around on the person it happened to, we are not in touch with reality.
When a child's parents constantly deny or do not own up to what they have done- say cross a child's boundaries-
Example:
Child (teenager) is in bed ready for sleep.
Parent swings door open violently, turns lights on, searches for something."
Child says, "Mom can you please knock next time, you scared me."
healthy parent response: "Oh you are right sweetie, I am sorry, that must have been scary."
Translation: Your need for personal space is valid, you have boundaries and a need for safety, which even your nevous system needs. I validate your need, I validate you being in touch with reality- something happened which triggered you."
Unhealthy parent response and sadly quite typical : "What are you TALKING ABOUT??? I didn't open the door violently! You are just being irrational and crazy, plus I pay for this house, so I can do anything I want, in any room."
Denial of what happened-----> Gas lighting.
Gas lighting---> " is a tactic in which a person or entity, in order to gain more power, makes a victim question their reality. ."
A person will gain power in avoiding the shame they have in themselves by flipping blame on the person requesting whatever is triggering that shame- to gain power and control in the situation.
So in cases with client's I've worked with- the gas lighting eroded their ability to be in touch with reality leading to---
Addictions and all manner of self violation
Rage (uncontrollable) and all this implies.
Profound distrust in relationships and an inability to relax with someone else.
Flying off the handle when another person doesn't own up to what they did
Flying off the handle when someone else doesn't fully disclose what they are thinking and feeling
A distorted sense of grandiosity where rules do not apply, they are above rules (as reality does not exist.)
A wake of broken relationships
Isolating behavior
Another client of mine had a parent ask her to do something that wasn't exactly legal, and when she said to her parent,
"You are asking me to lie."
The parent immediately said, "Well you said you would help me and I have never asked you to lie." and went on an impressive stretch of the imagination to rationalize that she wasn't asking her to lie, when point blank she was asking her to lie.
My client left this meeting feeling like the crazy person and confused as to whether she was being asked to lie or not---- such is the effect of denial and disowning.
I am a big proponent of owning up to WHAT IS and being VERY grounded in reality, in what happened, in what is REAL. You can gauge a couples long term predictability based on their ability to own their parts- the more owning- the more passion and intimacy and closeness...
the more disowning there is......well the opposite.
If you have endured years of gas lighting by a primary relationship in your life, it may take you a while to be able to get back in touch with reality, to anchor yourself back in your truth and intuition, your gut and your instincts- your common sense and direction, but you can get it back.
So be quick to owning up to things in life, it is living on the side of reality and truth- and freedom, love and intimacy is always on the other side of this--->
You are always loved,
Gio