long term effects of gaslighting?

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long term effects of gaslighting?
« on: December 14, 2018, 11:32:58 PM »
This is both a story and a question in a way but, I experienced extreme and long term gaslighting by both an ex-boyfriend, family and community combined, during this time I almost had what I'd describe as psychosis? I felt that I was under so much stress and was questioning my reality so much that I would feel always like someone was listening to me or watching me? I'd hallucinate seeing rats run across the floor of dark rooms when I'd turn the lights on etc. It took getting away and out of all those toxic situations, a lot of intensive therapy and moving to a whole new city to recover and feel well again.

I was doing so amazing and making new relationships and then it happened again, and a girlfriend of one of my friends who I considered a close friend gaslighted me and our entire friend group including her boyfriend. She made up awful things that my friends had said about her boyfriend and told him this, sending him into a panic, she made up things my friends had said in general and lied to my face and her boyfriends face about it. The wild thing is that all the stuff she made up I KNOW isn't true, I was there!! I heard everything that was said and I know its false but she insisted my  memory and my friends memory wasn't right and that I just misheard her or didn't understand what she meant and her boyfriend completely believes her (I think he's the victim of abuse and emotional isolation honestly) and I think in him trying to rationalize her story that he's kinda indirectly been gaslighting me too?

Since this I've fallen back to a lot of bad coping, I'm feeling paranoid and anxious and moody again, I've been drinking a lot, I'm always worried that she is gonna make something up about me to my friends and they're gonna leave me. All my friends and me have completely excommunicated her, but her boyfriend who I am very close with still talks to her and they're still together and whenever he mentioned her I feel anxious and shaky and like I wanna break down. Could I be that being gaslighted again flipped a trigger switch and made my symptoms come back? Does anyone else have any experience with long term effects of gaslighting?
« Last Edit: December 15, 2018, 12:47:13 AM by Blueberry »



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Re: long term effects of gaslighting?
« Reply #1 on: December 15, 2018, 01:11:45 AM »
Hello Lamb,

Nice to hear from you again though I'm sorry about the reason for it.

It sounds as if the friend who was making up stories about a whole group of friends including you has, maybe, a few problems? It sounds as if the whole group hasn't turned against you, they haven't believed this one person. Looking at that aspect is the Reality Check. Just her boyfriend seems to have, which isn't completely surprising. They are in a relationship after all. I'd imagine that's like in our messed up FOOs where nobody is 100% healthy or anything like and there's a lot of triangulation etc.

Your symptoms now - that's probably an EF since there was so much gaslighting in your background. It might make sense to spend less time with the boyfriend of this person and try and find other people to spend time with. I noticed recently that people who were triggering me in more subtle ways were a lot less triggering when I simply reduced the amount of time I was spending with them.

You say you were doing amazing and it really sounds like it! Moved to a whole new city and doing well - that takes work and guts - yay you! The good news is: when you've done that step once to feel better, you can do it again.

My experience with gaslighting from childhood and teenage years sounds similar to yours. It was so bad that eventually I questioned my sanity. Either FOO was crazy or me. I find I can't write more. I'm sorry my post is a bit disjointed.

:hug: :hug: Sending strength too.