Dealing with a Relationship that has Become Toxic (Gaslighting)

Posted by kla1960 @kla1960, Aug 10 7:03am

My relationship which is an engagement has become toxic. He has become officially verbally and emotionally abusive and used gaslighting. I am a trauma survivor as well. I am also new to this group and a retired RN but there are so many red flags here beyond what I just mentioned especially during a pandemic and very unstable geo political situation. I have a plan already. Any advice is appreciated. Thank you.Abuse is never the quote unquote victims fault . Yes I am also a survivor of domestic violence. My ACE score is 4.

Hello @kla1960. I appreciate your posting about this unhealthy relationship. It takes courage to discuss these issues and I applaud you for doing so.

In your post, you write, "I have a plan already." Does this indicate that you have a plan for safely extricating yourself from this toxic relationship? Do you feel that you have enough support in place for this transition (both legal, physical, emotional)? (Also, I'm not sure what ACE score stands for.)

I look forward to hearing from you again.

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Hello hopeful33250. Yes I have a plan to extract myself. Some of it is already in motion. ACE stands for adverse childhood events. Yes- I was raised by a dysfunctional family. It is painful for me to see on a geo political level the effects of denial and abuse coming to a head. But there is no healing without restructuring. I have had my mine safe restructrring plan going on since summer 2014.

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Why are you waiting? I know I have lived through two, yes, two toxic relationships. I stayed because we had children and also, I always thought I could change him. That never happened. I got married at the age 17, one month from my graduation from high school. Married to a very abusive man for 8 1/2 years. He was abusive physically and mentally. He broke my ear drum and to this day I have impaired hearing. I was sleeping when he drug me out of bed to do this. I found out I have/had a twin in this town. People would tell him they saw me–I was home with our three children–he didn't believe me. I, too, was raised in a dysfunctional family. I married again to the same type–different as day and night but still an abuser. You need to get out now! I was afraid and therefore, prolonged it. I pray for you. Please don't procrastinate any longer.

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@kla1960

Hello hopeful33250. Yes I have a plan to extract myself. Some of it is already in motion. ACE stands for adverse childhood events. Yes- I was raised by a dysfunctional family. It is painful for me to see on a geo political level the effects of denial and abuse coming to a head. But there is no healing without restructuring. I have had my mine safe restructrring plan going on since summer 2014.

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@kla1960 I appreciate the insight that you shared. Without insight life can go on in a very unhealthy way, can't it? Yes, denial and abuse are on every level of life, even the world level.

I wish you well during this journey to safety and healing. Will you keep in touch and let me know how you are doing?

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@kla1960 Thank goodness that you're recognizing the red flags and have plan in place to get yourself out and safe. Pray for your prompt action. Blessings!

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@woogie

Why are you waiting? I know I have lived through two, yes, two toxic relationships. I stayed because we had children and also, I always thought I could change him. That never happened. I got married at the age 17, one month from my graduation from high school. Married to a very abusive man for 8 1/2 years. He was abusive physically and mentally. He broke my ear drum and to this day I have impaired hearing. I was sleeping when he drug me out of bed to do this. I found out I have/had a twin in this town. People would tell him they saw me–I was home with our three children–he didn't believe me. I, too, was raised in a dysfunctional family. I married again to the same type–different as day and night but still an abuser. You need to get out now! I was afraid and therefore, prolonged it. I pray for you. Please don't procrastinate any longer.

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Thank you Woogie. I am doing this. I have an apt. He is on the lease. I am looking to move as well. I have a dog too. He saw my dog as a problem too. There is a process to follow. . He only has an RV to his name at a former co workers house who has been targeted by someone . They slashed the tires on the former co workers truck . If necessary I will call the police to have him removed to the location of his rv. Karma is at work. He has made poor decisions. I doubt he even realizes he engaged in gaslighting. He and I had sars cov 2 last month. My infection was mild. I knew how to reduce my viral load. I am got blamed for having a milder Infection. I am a retired RN. I learned how to reduce my viral load. I made suggestions to help him do the same. He would not do it. I had an alternative to the RV. He raised his voice what alternative I have no money you are trying to control. I was going to ask our apt office if he could park it here temporarily until a safe alternative is found. I stopped talking walked away then he said my approach was wrong I pushed his buttons etc. So I will be the problem the scapegoat etc while his world burns. I go to an person support group thursday. I have been through this with a deceased husband with a pornograpgy addiction a father I had to get an order of protection against which my topiramate taper was going on – I had a seizure risk at the time. I got successfully through the taper. Never had a seizure. When will these people learn? His mother gave me a message early in our relationship. If he feels he is being controlled he will run. I am listening now. Clearly. Run from the pain toward healing – me.

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@kla1960 So glad to hear that you have an in-person support group! Keep sharing, it will help you through this time.

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Hello All: As @kla1960 mentioned the term "gaslighting" in her post above, I looked up the term to see if I understood it completely. I found this article from Psychology Today and thought you might find it helpful in understanding this form of emotional abuse. Here are the first two paragraphs of the article,

"How does gaslighting begin? A relationship with a gaslighter may seem to start out quite well. They may praise the victim on a first date and immediately confide in them. Such disclosure, before any intimacy has been established, establishes trust quickly; it’s part of a tactic known as love bombing. The more quickly a victim becomes enamored, the more quickly the next phase of manipulation can begin.

What are a gaslighter’s tactics? A gaslighter will initially lie about simple things, but the volume of misinformation soon grows, and the gaslighter may accuse the victim of lying if he or she questions the narrative. They typically deploy occasional positive reinforcement to confuse the victim, but at the same time, they may attempt to turns others against the victim, even their own friends and family, by telling them that the victim is lying or delusional."

I would encourage you to read the entire article found here, https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/basics/gaslighting

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My fiancee greg who definitely used gaslighting last night has not seen a doctor for anything not even a physical in 20 plus years. He believes in several cognitive distortions or negative core beliefs as they are known. All or nothing black and white thinking overgeneralization. I suspect he has codependency issues and has issues with me when I set strong boundaries to keep myself safe. I survived bacterial meningitis of my brain and nearly dying . Not without work learning great change adherence to medical treatment plans etc.

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Good for you for all the things you have done so far: survivor of difficult childhood, previous abuse, now recognising the many red flags and making a plan and joining a support group. Its refreshing to see somebody who sees things clearly and is not going to get sucked back in. You are obviously a smart, strong lady. As others say, please keep in touch with us. Good Luck from here in New Zealand.

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Thank you so much. Already looking online at apts and making inquiries. My friend and I are looking at apts for me beginning tommorow. I will also open another bank acct. So he is not on it.

Liked by marjou

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Hi @kla1960 As you will see, I added a word to your title in case anyone else on Connect is looking for members to discuss gaslighting or other narcissistic behavioral disorders. I also added your discussion to our Mental Health Group located here https://connect.mayoclinic.org/group/mental-health/ There is no need to reply to both threads as they are "merged" in a sense, so everything posted will show up in both locations. I am very familiar with the term, but I know it's not as widely known as some other terms used within these disorders. I wanted to share these two videos with you and others and applaud you for seeking medical advice/psychiatry for resolution. https://youtu.be/3O3ZQPezglQ and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FISZshe9L3s

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Never stay in abusive relationships

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Thank you so much. I applied for my own bank account today. Moving forward. He is home from work. Unhappy. I am civil but not really talking. It is hitting home with him. I have put other effort in today. If he loses emotional control again I call 911 he goes to his RV now that is it. Sars cov 2 very high here in Mo. The universal god law of cause and effect as I like to say is in motion.

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I'm glad to hear you are getting out and that he doesn't seem violent at the moment. I am concerned though that you are worried enough to mention calling 911 if he loses control again. The bank account is a great start. Is there a way to get him out of the apartment into his RV or is that the 911 call?
I am in the process of getting out of a toxic relationship as well. I told her I was moving out and getting an apartment. It went from F You on Sunday to we're are doing so much better today, why don't you stay? Be safe and take care of yourself.

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