Out of the FOG

Coping with Personality Disorders => Dealing with PD Parents => Topic started by: Writingthepain on July 30, 2019, 12:46:47 PM

Title: Everything is now gaslighting
Post by: Writingthepain on July 30, 2019, 12:46:47 PM
My npd mom recently learnt about the concept of gas lighting. Shes not quite grasped it yet but that hasn't stopped her from pointing out any gas lighting she thinks shes spotted. Principally any contradiction of her or anyone else with a different opinion is gas lighting, anyone being nasty at all is gas lighting  as well.
One thing she has failed to pick up on is her own use of it. But she is using this new concept to stop me from criticising her or reminding her of the abuse shes dealt out to me in the past. Cos apparently that's gas lighting too(!)
Title: Re: Everything is now gaslighting
Post by: moglow on July 30, 2019, 02:17:55 PM
Mine has never responded well to any perceived criticism or disagreement. I've learned to bite back the obvious comments that come to my mind and regard her pushing the subject as senseless circular arguments I want no part of. Let's face it, what are the chances your mother would actually admit that she was wrong, or that there are better ways of handling things?
Not knowing the specifics and with the utmost respect, I have a question for you: Is there any useful purpose to bringing up any of her abuses? Does it help or hurt you to talk about it with her, is my question.  Is there any remote likelihood that she'll actually apologize and do things differently going forward? If you're going to get a shit ton of excuses and justifications for the inexcusable and unjustifiable, what good is it for you?

I ask because I tried the face to face confrontation with my mother about our past - and it was an absolute disaster. I had spent days writing and rewriting a multi-page letter, which I intended to read to her. I wouldn't have given her an actual copy of it for love nor money. Mother and her family were notorious for abusing anything in writing [or recordings!], sharing it with all and sundry to tear down the source and absolve herself.

Anyway, mother had a complete meltdown, went from pitiful to full on rage back to pitiful victim, around and around. I wanted an admission that it wasn't all in my mind, that I'd not imagined it or blown it all out of proportion. Her reaction still blindsided me and spun me right back into a childhood of being the scapegoat and being demeaned in every possible way she could come up with. She then went around to every family member about how horrible I was, I attacked her, etc. Unfortunately I still had things to say and work through but that was a very harsh lesson in "you cannot count on that woman to be reasonable!"

My advice - write it out. Keep on writing it out. Burn the writings later [cleansing by fire, don't ya know] if you want, then write some more. It really helped me let go of a lot I'd been holding in. But share those writings with her or any other family member? Nope. Are you or have you considered working with a therapist to let go of her stuff? It may take some doing, but my guess is you need someone who will help you focus on your stuff and away from your mother's. I know I needed the redirection, had some very eye opening conversations with an excellent therapist on the subject.
Title: Re: Everything is now gaslighting
Post by: athene1399 on July 30, 2019, 03:12:19 PM
She probably can never be wrong and trying to explain it will just lead to a circular argument when you are just wrong again anyways. The closest I got with M was talking openly about early onset depression (it started when I was 8). I got the "if we would have known you had depression, we would have gotten you help. I wish you would have told us..." You know, the throw it back at you. It's your fault we didn't help you. And I believed that for three years! I agreed with M and said "i didn't know. It wasn't your fault..." Then I'm like "wait a minute...I clearly remember you saying "You can't act depressed, you're life is perfect... get out of bed. I don't know why you are sleeping al the time... Why do you mope around the house? You have no right to act like this..."" So if telling someone they can't "act depressed" doesn't count as knowing they have depression (on top of scolding me for depressed symptoms), I don't know what counts as "knowing". And I doubt M knowing would have changed anything anyway.

My point is, there will always be an excuse for them. IME anyways.  It sucks, but that's how it is. You want them to say "sorry I treated you like shit and made you hate yourself", but they never will. It will just get spun back on you. It's the sad reality of it.  :bighug: