What comes to mind when you hear the words "abusive relationship"?
You might picture some Lifetime Original about physical violence but in reality, most abuse that happens in relationships isn't physical abuse.
It's actually a type of mental abuse.
Mental abuse isn't necessary more destructive than physical abuse, but it can be just as damaging to a person's psyche is any other kind of abuse.
Mental, or emotional abuse, is often hard to spot.
Knowing when to leave someone who's physically abusive can be clear as day.
But knowing when to leave an emotional abuser is often quite a bit more subtle.
An emotional abuser will engage in what is known as "gaslighting."
Gaslighting is when an abusive person manipulates you into believing in a reality that simply does not exist.
There are a variety of ways that an abuser will do this to you. Knowing the signs is important, whether or not you're currently in an abusive relationship.
Gaslighting comes in a lot of different forms and can be devastating in friendships, in the workplace - even online.
It's important to know the signs of gaslighting.
Be sure to share this with people you love so they can know how to avoid it too.
Let's kick the gaslighters out of our lives for good!
It is almost impossible to know when you’re being gaslighted.
This is one of the greatest challenges with breaking free from this kind of abusive relationship.
Whether you're a man or a woman, it is a serious challenge to know whether or not you're falling prey to this type of abuse.
This is what makes gaslighting such a dangerous type of abuse.
You start questioning your own memory and knowledge of the world around you, if reality as it is.
Things that aren't your fault you suddenly start believing are.
You start believing everything your abuser tells you.
It is the ultimate method of control and it's pretty much impossible to break out of it.
Truly a terrifying method of control. It slowly destroys your self esteem.
Any time you stand up for yourself, your abuser tells you that you're just overthinking it or overreacting to nothing.
If others in your life try to help you see clearly, who will you believe?
This is what makes gaslighting so hard to spot.
Love makes you stupid. See past it.
It's probably not a popular opinion, but it's true. Love makes you stupid.
It makes you put up with things, with behaviors, you never normally would.
Abuses and neglect that you would reject in family and friends becomes acceptable when you're in love.
But you need to be able to see past it, to remove yourself from it.
When you can start to see critically the world in which you live and honor the true emotions you're experiencing, abusers, gaslighters, are easier to spot.
The path ahead isn't always a clear one but it is present if you're willing to do what you need to do in order to see it, sometimes clear it, and follow it.
Gaslighters want to blind you with love. It's why they're often hot and cold.
Mean to you sometimes, great to you other times.
They want you to remember the good times so they can continue doing the sick work that they do.
See the cyclical patterns of abuse.
When you've managed to move past some more base emotions you have about your abusive partner, you'll start to notice patterns in their abuse.
When your abusive partner sees that you've wised up and plan to leave, they'll take up as they used to, being loving and kind and caring.
They try to lure you back into giving a relationship another chance. I mean, you love them, right?
You want to give them chances to be better.
And once again, it's easy to fall back into patterns of allowing yourself to be gaslighted.
But stand strong.
See the patterns of abuse as they happen.
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