Mental Abuse; Gaslighting
Recently, I have brought up the term "mental abuse" while speaking to two people.
I spoke to them both individually yet both of their responses to me saying "mental abuse" were to just give me a blank stare.
Neither of them seemed to really understand or knew what I was referring to and you could see the look of relief from confusion on their faces as I then said "emotional abuse" to which the response was pretty much "oh ok, now I know what you mean" and then being more accepting and understanding about what I was describing.
One of these people is a person who works in housing for the local authority and the other works at a homeless hostel. Both of them therefore commonly work with people who are mentally ill on a regular basis. I find it shocking that they are oblivious to it.
I couldn't believe they didn't recognize the term "mental abuse" and I seriously doubt they would know what I was talking about if I'd said "psychological abuse"
I can't believe how much I've realized that many, if not most people, don't have a clue what mental abuse is or how it works yet many people are victims of it without even realising they are victims. Although there are many forms of psychological abuse, one lesser well known method is called Gaslighting.
There are numerous ways of carrying out mental/psychological abuse, many of which are not very well known about. Usually the victim doesn't realize that they are being mentally abused. One lesser well known form of mental abuse is Gaslighting.
The term "Gaslighting" comes from the title of a play and a movie of the same name, in which a guy plays mind tricks on his female victim to get her to question her own memory and sanity.
Not just Gaslighting but all forms of mental and psychological abuse can be dangerous and extremely damaging to victims.
One example of Gaslighting is secretly moving items around, such as the victims keys, then claim that the victim is losing the plot when they swear they'd put their keys somewhere else.
Another method is for the perpetrator to make arrangements without telling the victim then when the time comes attempting to convince the victim that they already told them about the arrangements and convince them that they are losing their memory.
Alternatively, they may claim that you said something you know you didn't. Then tell you that you forgot you said it and may at first make a joke of it and say "you need your head checked" or something to that effect.
They may say something subtle but demeaning about you which you know isn't true in front of friends or family members and if you question it they say "you did, you just can't remember" making out that you have memory problems.
The abuse is insidious, it starts off mild then gradually creeps in over time. All the time the victim questioning their own mind more and more while the victim pretending to be caring about you and worried but underneath the facade they've got you exactly where they want you and nobody else can see it
On the face of things, for the victim, the abuse tactics used seem to be harmless at first and are seen as genuine mistakes they made, which the narcissist sees as weaknesses developing in them. Then over time, the abuse continues to escalate and can go as far as telling their victim that the cheating they saw was all in their head, it was imagined! Even if the victim saw it with their own eyes.
The victim can't believe what is happening to them. The person who they love and who is supposed to love them back is not showing any love at all, the opposite in fact. Many victims go into denial at this point, they simply can't handle the truth or the trauma associated with the mental abuse and so they block it all out (repression).
This, however, is a bad move which leads to PTSD side effects such as having nightmares and flashbacks of certain repressed memories forcing the to acknowledge they were real.
What you have just read about mental abuse is not even the tip of the Iceberg, it goes much deeper and harder and can lead a victim into experiencing severe mental health problems.
Over time, this form of abuse leads on to others such as identity theft, financial abuse, character assassination, etc which can potentially ruin the life of the victim.
These types of abuse should not be underestimated and can be fatal in extreme cases.
Theyare invisible and show no physical scars but mentally and emotionally they are deadly and can lead to serious health issues both physically and mentally and in some cases even death.