We recently read an interesting article about “gaslighting,” which is a term used to identify certain behavior of a person suffering from narcissistic personality disorder. We found it interesting because it was a situation we have come across many times when dealing with our alienating parent.
“Gaslighting involves the abuser to frequently and systematically withhold factual information from the victim, and replacing it with false information. Because of it’s subtly, this cunning Machiavellian behaviour is a deeply insidious set of manipulations that is difficult for anybody to work out, and with time it finally undermines the mental stability of the victim. That is why it is such a dangerous form of abuse. The emotional damage of Gaslighting is huge on the narcissistic victim. When they are exposed to it for long enough, they begin to lose their sense of their own self. Unable to trust their own judgments, they start to question the reality of everything in their life. They begin to find themselves second-guessing themselves, and this makes them become very insecure around their decision making, even around the smallest of choices. The victim becomes depressed and withdrawn, they become totally dependent on the abuser for their sense of reality. In effect the gaslighting turns the victim’s reality on its head.” [Source: narcissisticbehavior.net ]
We know the truth behind our dealings with our alienating parent, who is oftentimes referred to as a pathological liar by many people who have also had dealings with her. One of our frequent questions has been: is this woman even capable of telling the truth?
Unfortunately, there were two young children being raised by this individual.
She had conversations with her children, who were under ten years of age at the time, about her relationship with their father and step-mother. Not only was it harmful to the children — for their mother to be initiating adult conversations with them while they were so young — but many of the stories she told them were not even true.
She not only made up stories about her children’s father and step-mother, she withheld the actual truth from them.
Here we have children who were abused by their mother, in her effort to alienate them from their father, as well as by her “gaslighting” them.
The children are now adults and have had no contact with their father or step-mother for many years, but that doesn’t keep the alienating parent from continuing to lie and withhold the truth from them.