13 signs you were raised by an Ecuadorian mother



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1. You were constantly reminded about the sad reality of hunger and poverty in the world.

Every time you disliked mom’s food, she reminded you, “So many kids are starving and here you are, being melindroso.” Feeling terribly sad about those kids, you would then make an effort to swallow the bean soup with way too much cauliflower and cabbage. Truth to be told, many other times you would feel grateful for mom cooking your favorite dish.

2. You are an expert in conflict management.

The best way to end a fight between your siblings and yourself was mom acting as a mediator. “I don’t care who started it, but it ends NOW.” Indeed, it was over.

3. You quickly understood why you have a first and a second name.

If you have ever wondered why you have two names, it’s so you know mom is definitely bravísima. Whenever she uses your two names — “Lorena Fernanda!” or “José Andrés!” — you know it’s time to start praying.

4. You always enter a room and greet people properly.

If you ever dared to run into auntie’s home and go straight to play with your cousins, mom forced you to come back and properly greet everyone. With a KISS.

5. You learned you need a good reason to cry.

Mothers might be a little “morelias” from time to time. However, whenever you cried because the ice-cream ended up on the floor or a toy got broken, mom taught you not everything deserves our tears. The lesson boiled down to: “When I die, then you can cry.”

Let’s not even mention whims and moods. You attempted to cry that time your parents didn’t buy what you wanted or you fell from the tree. But the “Now I might even give you an actual reason to cry” threat was enough to wipe away the tears and acknowledge it was not the end of the world.

6. You learned nothing is lost; everything is transformed.

“Waste” is not a word in mom’s dictionary. Everything can be reused or repaired; nothing is discarded. Yesterday’s leftovers make a wonderful arroz relleno or creamy vegetable soup today.

A needle and thread is all mom needs to work her magic: holes disappear, clothes shrink, and grandma’s old dress turns into the newest fashion in just-about-your size.

7. You realized Jesus learned how to multiply food from his mother.

The Ecuadorian mom might get annoyed when you show up with friends for dinner without previous notice. But in the end, she won’t worry too much. Donde comen dos, comen tres. Miraculously, everyone has a meal of mom’s homemade delicacies and ends up with a full belly.

8. You fear nothing.

We have all been exposed to “espanto,” or the “Evil Eye.” As a baby you carried a red bracelet, you went through a “limpia,” they rolled an egg on you, or they spit alcohol on you. Perhaps you slept with a branch of rue under your pillow.

And whenever you had nightmares and the darkness was scary, mom’s arms were the best shelter in the world. Sleeping by her side was the greatest therapy for fear.

9. Your house was a sort of alternative medicine repository.

There is a combination of natural herbs for each condition and only moms know which is which. An egg’s inner membrane heals scars; a 50-cent coin cures bumps; menthol cream applied to the back and chest alleviates a cough; a cold lock (after leaving it outside at night) will treat a sty; alcohol compresses help fight a fever; plus, thousands of other herbs, teas, and beverages you never managed to identify or name, yet found themselves in your medicine cabinet. All had to be taken without complaints, sin respirar y sin chistar.

10. You discovered no artificial flavoring masks the taste of cod liver oil.

Ecuadorian moms are certain cod liver oil is “everything a child needs to grow up strong and healthy, due to its high vitamins and minerals content.”

Mom tried different tactics for you to drink it without noticing it, including the orange, tropical fruit, and cherry versions. But nothing masked the unmistakable fishy flavor. Of course, there was no room for complaints. Later, mom would make you that smoothie you loved so much to wash away the previous traumatic and unpleasant experience.

11. You know everything has its own rightful place or it ceases to exist.

“Cosa que encuentre en el piso, cosa que boto a la basura” (whatever I find on the floor will be thrown away). So you grew up with the eternal fear of loosing the toys you did not place back on the shelf.

12. Your best memories include carb-rich foods and grandma’s recipes.

Mom has the best recipe for every occasion. She knows what we need when we feel unwell, such as a light noodle-and-potato soup or an angel-hair pasta soup. As grannie used to say, “The sick who eat well do not die” (“enfermo que come, no muere”). She has also taught us ceviche and encebollado are the best treatments for hangovers (chuchaqui). Hot coco with cheese for cold afternoons, or bolones and coffee in the morning guarantee you’ll be smiling.

Mothers know how to make life sweet: cocadas, figs with cheese and the nutritious chapo are always ready — just in time. Add to that delicious recipes prepared on holidays — inherited generation after generation, like the colada morada con guaguas de pan in finados for The Day of the Dead, or fanesca during Easter.

These are the secret formula for a child to grow healthy, handsome and red-cheeked. For you, “full belly, happy heart” (“barriga llena, corazón contento”) is the ultimate truth.

13. You have come to accept mom is clairvoyant, always “told you so,” and “you will only understand things over time.”

Mom always knows how things end —

      “You’ll fall!”
      “It’s going to hurt.”
      “You’ll get burnt!”
      “It bites!”
    “You’ll end up crying.”

And boy did you got sick of hearing “I told you so,” and “Only when you have your own children will you understand me.” In the end, you don’t need to understand it all. You just need to know mom wants the best for you.

Beauty and age will always be relative, because you’ll always be the most wonderful baby on the face of the Earth. As a matter of fact, she will remind you and everyone around her that is the case.

And you, even when you are wearing gray hairs, will call her “mi mamita.”


Are You Being Gaslighted?

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THE BASICS

In my first blog about gaslighting, I talked about the "good news" about gaslighting—that is, that once you identify this destructive pattern in your relationship, you can change it.

A reader asked me, if it is possible over time to get so beaten down and so sure you might be at fault, that you can't identify the dynamic? The answer is YES.

The Gaslight Effect happens over time, gradually. Often, by the time you are deep into the Gaslight Tango (the dance you do with your gaslighting partner, where you allow him to define your reality) you are not the same strong self you used to be. In fact, your ego functioning has been compromised and, no longer being certain of your reality, you are not often able to accurately identify when something is "off" with your partner.

The process of gaslighting happens in stages. Although the stages are not always linear and do overlap at times, they do reflect very different emotional and psychological states of mind.

The First Stage: Disbelief

This is when the first sign of gaslighting occurs. You think of the gaslighting interaction as a strange behavior or an anomalous moment. During this first stage, things happen between you and your partner, or your boss, friend, family member, that seem odd to you.

A young woman I know—let's call her Rhonda—just told me about her second date with Dean. She was shocked when, after a terrific dinner, he left her at the bus stop. He told her she was nuts to wait for a bus, and, if she wanted to travel that way, he was not going to wait with her and would just see her another time.

But, the piece de resistance was that he called her later that night (note that she picked up the call) and, he was insistent that there was nothing wrong with his jumping on the subway, while she took the bus. Further, he told her that he was certain there was something wrong with the way she made choices about traveling. She argued, but, ultimately wrote off his behavior as "really weird." In recounting the story, she says it is "weird," and, that he must have a "thing" about buses—but, she does really want to see him again—they have so much in common and he is really romantic.

Unlikely that this is going to be an isolated incident. Dean sounds like he has to get his own way—and, he has to be right. Rhonda is very attracted to him and wants things to work out, so, she is likely to explain away his behavior, at least for awhile.

The Second Stage: Defense

This is where you are defending yourself against the gaslighter's manipulation. Think about it—you tell your boss, for example, you are unhappy with the assignments you have been getting, you feel you are being wrongly passed over for the best assignments. You ask him why this is happening. Instead of addressing the issue, he tells you that you are way too sensitive and way too stressed.

Okay, well maybe you are sensitive and stressed, but, that doesn't answer the question of why you are being passed over for these better assignments. But, rather than leave it at that, or redirect the conversation, you start defending yourself, telling your boss you are not that sensitive or stressed, or, that the stress doesn't interfere with your ability to work. But, during this stage, you are driven crazy by the conversation, which is going over and over, like an endless tape, in your mind.

What's worse is that these kind of conversations characterize your relationship more and more. You can't stand that your boss sees the situation like that, and you work even harder on the assignments you find boring, even demeaning, just to prove that you are not overly sensitive and stressed out.

The Third Stage: Depression

By the time you get to this stage, you are experiencing a noticeable lack of joy and you hardly recognize yourself anymore. Some of your behavior feels truly alien. You feel more cut off from friends—in fact, you don't talk to people about your relationship very much—none of them like your guy. People may express concern about how you are and you are feeling—they treat you like you really do have a problem.

One of the examples I wrote about in my book The Gaslight Effect: How to Spot and Survive the Hidden Manipulations Other People Use to Control Your Life, concerns a lovely woman, Melanie. In the story told, Melanie was frantic because she couldn't find the "right" kind of salmon (her husband likes wild salmon and the grocery only had farm-raised) to serve at the dinner party for her husband's company. She knew her husband would accuse her of not caring enough about him to go to the store earlier in the day. Incidents like this were happening so much at home, Melanie began to believe he was right. After all, what was more important than her husband? Why wasn't she a more considerate wife?

She was unhappy almost all the time and, she really believed that she could be a better, more considerate wife. She began to look for evidence of her poor behavior. Melanie had lost the ability, over time, to see anything else wrong with the relationship, besides that she was a less than adequate wife.

It took a long time, and a lot of reflection and analysis, reality testing and self-management, for Melanie's view to shift and for her to reclaim her reality and her life.

How to Know If You're Being Gaslighted

If any of the following warning signs ring true, you may be dancing the Gaslight Tango. Take care of yourself by taking another look at your relationship, talking to a trusted friend, and, begin to think about changing the dynamic of your relationship. Here are the signs:

  • You are constantly second-guessing yourself.
  • You ask yourself, "Am I too sensitive?" a dozen times a day.
  • You often feel confused and even crazy at work.
  • You're always apologizing to your mother, father, boyfriend, boss.
  • You can't understand why, with so many apparently good things in your life, you aren't happier.
  • You frequently make excuses for your partner's behavior to friends and family.
  • You find yourself withholding information from friends and family so you don't have to explain or make excuses.
  • You know something is terribly wrong, but you can never quite express what it is, even to yourself.
  • You start lying to avoid the put downs and reality twists.
  • You have trouble making simple decisions.
  • You have the sense that you used to be a very different person — more confident, more fun-loving, more relaxed.
  • You feel hopeless and joyless.
  • You feel as though you can't do anything right.
  • You wonder if you are a "good enough" girlfriend/wife/employee/ friend/daughter.
  • You find yourself withholding information from friends and family so you don't have to explain or make excuses.

Remember, there is good news about identifying the Gaslight Effect: It's that knowledge is power. Once you can name this all-too-insidious dynamic, you can work towards changing the dynamic, or getting out. It's time to take back your reality and get more enjoyment from life and your relationship!

Look for my future blogs to learn more about manipulative relationships, gaslighting, power plays, and how to deal effectively and skillfully with these challenging relationships.

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Gaslighting

I am in a relationship with a beautiful intelligent woman that continues to actively stare down men who are strangers to her. She engages in this habit openly and without shame any where we are. It is at the very least - embarrassing. I've brought it to her attention many times and she discounts my comments by telling me I am imagining it or she was looking at the wall, or the painting or the .

I didn't realize this was a form of gaslighting. It is almost solely responsible for a breakdown in our relationship. I stopped being interested in taking her out because of this nasty habit and am about to end the relationship.

What in the world drives someone to blatantly do this knowing it can end an otherwise good relationship?!

Hello, anonymous. Your

Your discomfort is certainly understandable. No one wants to be out on a date with someone who openly stares at others. I wouldn't want my husband to stare at other women while he is with me.

However, you seem to be jumping to conclusions. Is it her behavior that makes you uncomfortable? Or could it be that you are insecure?

Sometimes we project our feelings of insecurity onto other people without realizing it. It sounds like there is a lack of trust and effective communication.

My husband has accused me of staring at other men in his presence when in reality, I was not. My mind tends to wander and it might seem that I'm not completely focused on the person I'm with, but that isn't true. I might be deep in thought or looking at a clock or something.

Maybe this is what happens with her. I doubt that she is flirting with anyone, or intentionally being disrespectful.

I also tend to be a "people watcher". I like to observe the sights and sounds of my environment because it is all very interesting. It's not because I'm bored with my husband. I simply happen to be interested in the world around me.

It is very hurtful to be accused of staring at other men and flirting. Please be aware of that. She might not be doing that at all. With all due respect, it seems as if your insecurities are the problem here. not her actual behavior.

If she is otherwise attentive and loving toward you, then you have no reason to believe that she is flirting with other men. You cannot control her behavior. You can only control your reaction. If you perceive her behavior as inappropriate, then tell her that in a calm, non-accusatory way.

There will always be other men out there. this is a fact. But she is with YOU and it is because she wants to be. Don't allow your issues to ruin a good relationship.

You describe her as beautiful and intelligent. Then you accuse her of "gaslighting" and say that you want to end the relationship because she makes eye contact with other people. Ask yourself: is this fair? Is this real or is it your perception? Has she done anything to make you not trust her?

Simply making innocent eye contact with others doesn't count. Look within. Face your insecurities. Don't blame her for the breakdown in your relationship. You deserve to feel respected and loved, but so does she.

Talk about jumping to

Talk about jumping to conclusions Mindy. Sheesh.

Is there really such a thing as Gaslighting and is this what we need to worry about?

Dr.Stern, if you're writing about manipulative, controlling, selfish people, why not call them that and dispense with terminology like "gaslighting" which has no clear definition. Doesn't this type of terminology create a false image of pathology and even imply malice when that may not be the case?

I'm a southern gentlemen and would never leave my date alone at a bus stop (referring to your case study on Rhonda), but having lived in NYC and Chicago, I know people that would do as Dean did. He wanted to escort her home by subway, she insisted on bus, and so they went their separate ways.

Is this "no big deal", or a sign of incompatibility, or a sign of pathology? How do we tell the difference? Isn't this is what we need to know?

I question the idea of making such a determination based on whether we "feel hopeless and joyless" or "have trouble making simple decisions". Might we feel these things because we have issues (e.g., depression) or unrealistic expectations (e.g., emotional immaturity)? Surely there are better indicators than this.

It seems to me that we need to be teaching each other to get in touch with our personal values and seek compatibility with them - and to learn the major signs of emotional health and maturity and the lack thereof.

Just something to ponder along with all the thoughtful material posted on this blog.

Thanks for providing this venue for discussion.

Agree with above

I totally agree with the above"Submitted by BPDFamily.com on May 3, 2013 - 8:11am." It is very logical,intelligent,and makes sense to me.

Gaslighting

It is VERY important to give this a name. I did not manage to fully grasp what had been done to me until I found this out. I can define "gaslighting". It is any technique used by someone who feels a need to control another by keeping them off balance." That is much harder to identify than behavior that is "manipulative, controlling, selfish". Gaslighting is, by design subtle, and designed to make the subject doubt his or her perceptions.

Kind of like what you are doing.

Gaslighting

I think my ex may have been gaslighting me. They convinced me that /I/ was the abusive one whenever I called them out, and twisted around things I said, did, and felt, until I believed my emotions themselves were abusive and manipulative. I got out of the relationship, but I still can't shake the feeling that I'm an abuser. I don't trust my own emotions anymore. Is that gaslighting?

ROGUE

Did all of these people deem them as violent and become violent back or is it Hearsay from spying on people. He said, she said stuff, my word against yours?

At some point they have to admit they are the ones doing all of it. If you do nothing that isnt enough. Ok and a counselor is, what about 35 years of domestic abuse from gaslighting and gang stalking. A counselor isnt all I need from it, a federal court appointed attorney for terrorism over that long of a period is what I needed for alot of grievances. There is no cap on their abuse.

It was in person as well. I can get both but it is too late to have children etc. Which I want to charge them for, rubbing that in my face and sexually abusing me as well, which they always did via watching. They acted like the place was a brothel of which I had no association to it myself. They forced sexually abusive people in my life and are touching me wrong with covert weapons for 8 years. This is to send me to a counselor to say I was in the wrong. I am not a rapist or a sexually promiscuous person and havent had sex for at least 2 years.

The weirdest part about it is them using sexually promiscuous people to drive me to a counselor, its all wrong.

I resisted sexual tempation enough in life, know the rest isnt their business.
Am not a non-conscentual sexual pervert, I was forced into a situation to force me into counseling by some male pervert pig to cover this up that has lived with me my entire life violating me.

I cant talk to the police about it either, because its set up as gas lighting. Its totally rogue.

I was not sexually promiscuous and had the same boyfriend for 2 years. Im 39 and they are trying to force people on me, I tried to get a better boyfriend and they wouldnt actually let me because my jobs were tied down to 4k a year for life! I think they should be charged for it.

I was totally set up to appear that way and am abused on top of that and forced into "counseling" for theraputic abuse on me, with them saying I'm insane!

Exactly

I have or I should say had the exact situation as Cay. Just a few days ago, my girlfriend accused me of "gaslighting". I had to look it up to understand what she meant. After reading this article, I've come to realize that it was actually her who was doing the "gaslighting". How is one to handle a situation like that?

I feel the exact same way

I'm in a completely identical situation. My Fiance claims in our arguments that I'm gas lighting her. I feel when I look back at the situation the fuel yo the fire is always started by her displeasure in what has now become "everything" I do. From the smallest of things to the most important things in life. She has been checked out emotionally and physically for quite some time, and I have taken a noticeable downward spiral from the pain of our relationship. I've never been diagnosed with any mental instabilities. Yet I'm constantly questioning if I'm the "crazy" one. When she has been treated for being bi polar and on medication. Yet as of the day she was pregnet with our now two year old daughter, has not taken any medication to stabilize herself. I look back to locate a beginning of it all and all signs point to that time of her pregnancy witch has carried over into the struggles of raising a new born now toddler together. I have exerted exuberant amounts of energy to provide for our family and keep her happy but her displeasure has broken me to an all time low. She has excluded my family from our daughter, due to petty arguments amongst each other that she( and admittingly my own mother) have held pointless grudges for what's years on end to this point. I've been isolated and my joy of things outside work has been depleted. I work from sun up to sun down m-f and I feel my efforts are so easily swept under the rug. There is no communication, team work or, understanding of the efforts Involved in running a household. She seems to wrapped up in balancing her own schedule. I'm lost at this point. I love her from the depths of my heart. It breaks me our relationship has come to this. What can I do to help her or myself understand the reason for the turbulence and instability, and sheer depression on both sides?

Reply

Get out. As fast as you can. That's all you can do. Things with this woman will not get better.

One of you is retaliating

I have or I should say had the exact situation as Cay. Just a few days ago, my girlfriend accused me of "gaslighting". I had to look it up to understand what she meant. After reading this article, I've come to realize that it was actually her who was doing the "gaslighting". How is one to handle a situation like that?

I'm not sure which one of you it is but the Author talks a lot about the vicious cycle because eventually the gaslightee will also start to gas light in retaliation. Also because the gaslighter is good at creating themselves the victim in the situation they would easily be able to find therselves as the gaslightee. so I just ask you to truly look at the situation and ask yourself which one truly started this mess? I'm not saying it is you because I have no idea what so ever but if it is you it is ok. If you want to fix the situation the first step is to realize if you did start it that you did and then do everything you can to repair it. If it truly is her ask her to get help. If she cant don't continue to allow yourself to be gaslighted. Also realize in both accounts that the gaslightee is now gaslighting because they are trying to defend themselves. That person will have to be shown they will no longer have to protect theirselves.

The term gaslighting is

The term gaslighting is borrowed from the 1944 movie Gaslight, starring Ingrid Bergman. Once you watch the movie (she won the Oscar for her performance) you'll see what it is.

Gaslightin

I can define "gaslighting". It is any technique used by someone who feels a need to control another by keeping them off balance." That is much harder to identify than behavior that is "manipulative, controlling, selfish". Gaslighting is, by design subtle, and designed to make the subject doubt his or her perceptions.

This Article Pushed the Clouds Back

This article just now ! Literraly freed me from this prison cell. My spouse started saying and doing things that were so vicious and diliberate, then turn sround deny lie and redirect. I thought spouse was having and affair, and after reading this actually I wish that were the case. I have been in a Gaslite Tango for two years, the mom of the spouse also gaslites , I am a very strong willed Leo, I am not broken, I cannot be broken, now that I know, I have employed the services of a really good counselor, I will stay in this to protect my daughter. Truth is a Lion you don't have to defend it, the Lion will defend itself.

My only advice as a 30 year vetrin of gaslighting

I am sorry to hear that you lost your wife and kids. I think that you should move away from them and never ever speak to them without a lawyer again. Make sure that your not blamed or accused with anything without a witness. they can turn on you at will and money grubbing law enforcement will jump on anything. Anything you say can be made to turn against you willfully, I wouldnt speak to them at all. I hate to say it but counseling is good, but your family is no good. Anybody that chooses to that is not worth it. Totally not worth it, and could do it to you again with the same connections and also try to set you up. I would be careful of everybody, ok even your friends. If they are after you for the money, they will set you up with drug abusers or anthing out of straight up fraud to get paid and send you to a counselor, even if you have done absolutely nothing at all. You cannot turn them in without adequate evidence. You will be blamed for absolutely nothing. They dont really need anything to attack you with gaslighting, not even a valid reason ok. They can totally ruin your life so be careful. Use the counselor definitely get a witness that your not the one doing it. I have cameras and they destroyed them already and accused me of stuff that isnt probable at all, ok, they even know nothing happened and dont care. They are absolute shysters. I'd enroll in it before hand even to produce evidence that your not the one doing any of it. Unfortunately they can still attack. SO I dont really know what to tell you. They do back down to evidence in your name though. Id even go to church and try to stick with it, even if they abandon you, just go and shake hands with people. Most of my friends turned out to be unreliable witnesses somehow, and I dont even go out with them except twice in my life, they still blackmailed me! In fact, if they are that bad bet on it, that they arent done yet. Id move away from that jurisdiction and start over again before I ran out of money and jobs. trust me they sneak up on you and dont say anything at all. Go while you can.

Once they start they usually get really into bossing you around, demanding everything from you, saying your always wrong and dont care for you. like a community hate crime. I would do what I could to clear my name with them immediately as well in court.

I was kept trapped with my parents for life like a sex occult for harassment purposes via watching. Dont let on you know about it either, that is probable cause to attack you at any means ie. car accidents and what not.

Reply to Gaslited

Exactly! Being a male gaslighter and gaslight-ee, I realize like "damn this was always toxic" but regarding a very dear marriage to a best friend. Prob never should've bc there were ashtrays comm. issues. I was raised by a Motswana Mom and American Dad, so father figure was this funny goofy clumsy bright pushover type that I kept denying was partly in me. The other part is that he's like the best teacher in the world that changed Botswana forever along with other Peace Corps volunteers. Issue is I unknowingly became this ladies man but not IRL type that gaslighted her instead of accepting that she was more afraid of life than I was yet more strongly protected. So, long story short I can relate to the most likely proverb how the Lion of Truth protects itself. Thanks for sharing, appreciate the bravery n courage to put your situation or there with advice literally free, out there cause you hope it helps somebody.

It is VERY important to give

It is VERY important to give this a name. I did not manage to fully grasp what had been done to me until I found this out. I can define "gaslighting". It is any technique used by someone who feels a need to control another by keeping them off balance." That is much harder to identify than behavior that is "manipulative, controlling, selfish". Gaslighting is, by design subtle, and designed to make the subject doubt his or her perceptions.
Kind of like what you are doing.

"Kind of like what you are doing."

You are kidding, right? People are allowed to have different opinions. The person you are accusing of "gaslighting"(or something similar) has made valid points, and myself & others happen to agree with them. Nobody has a right to put down another person or insinuate that they were doing something wrong when they did no such thing. Right? & anyway.

"Gaslighting" is not an all-encompassing thing for anyone who disagrees with anything. That being said, while you could technically claim /anyone/ is "gaslighting" if they disagree with you(hell, you can claim anyone is anything( welcome to the internet!), but that doesn't mean your accusation carries any weight), particularly since there is no specific criteria to determine whether they are or are not doing such a vague . thing. rather, it's the kind of thing that empirical evidence and a trained professional could pick up on.

In my opinion, the person writing this article is - unfortunately - giving insecure people ammo they don't need(particularly with the (what I believe to be)poor examples provided). While I realize it was meant to be informative and empowering, I find it may well cause excessive victimization from people who actually are not in any sort of struggle to begin with. Which is just, well, annoying(not to mention, insulting to those who actually are victims, sadly).

& yeah, frankly, you can use an abundance of adjectives to describe a person's issues, shortcomings, or what have you - but this "gaslighting" pathology is not an established condition/complex/whatever. You cannot be a diagnosed /gaslighter/ as you can be a diagnosed /sociopath/, for instance(however, a sociopath may well be guilty of "gaslighting"). That's a fact. It is simply a term to describe a general idea of a kind of malicious behavior, that is, when an abuser tries to control a person's reaction to said abuse through intense personal manipulation and denial. & no, suggesting someone take a different means of transportation, or saying you disagree with someone's article or post somewhere, is /not/ "gaslighting", even by pop-etymology. Stretching it to encompass that or insult people is simply wrong.

So please, consider trying to refrain from it, if not for the sake of yourself and everyone around you, then as a personal favor to a stranger. I'm not trying to be insulting, here. But just, I mean. come /on/!

Gaslighting

"Gaslighting" is a convenient name to describe the enemy here, namely aberrant destructive behavior. Once named, it becomes easier to recognize and deal with. Having watched a destructive "gaslighting" pattern emerge over the past few years between my wife and me, I truly understand and identify with the warning signs.

I could describe her behavior as classic "abusive control freak, passive-aggressive dominance games, compensation for her sense of inferiority" etc., but "gaslighting" is much easier to say.

It began quietly, mainly because of our mix of personalities. She likes to have her way, always, and I have a very wide "zone of indifference". Having it her way wasn't a big deal since my easy going nature didn't mind. But I noticed the few times I had a differing desire, she reacted badly, petulantly. While I may have "gotten my way" (even over such trivial small things, like choosing a restaurant), she made the experience barely tolerable. It was like "payback" for even a minor disagreement.

The more behavioral elements I examined, the more a nasty pattern emerged. Even her two daughters cannot stand her for these behaviors, and have cut off all contact. At the moment I am faced with the choice of simply ignoring her (sort of how things are now) or leaving her. Sadly, leaving her seems to be emerging as the best way to preserve my sanity.

So "gaslighting" does exist, and identifying it helps to deal with it. Through all of this, I constantly ask myself "why is she (and people like her) the way they are?" I think all the clues are there, and even understanding the "why" doesn't help. I have suggested counseling but she adamantly refuses to go. This leaves my with no real choice.

But realizing there is a problem, recognizing and understanding the nature of the problem, and deciding to do something about the problem is essential to understanding alternative ways to solve the problem, and to picking the best solution. Sometimes the solution is painful, but in the long run, it is less painful than being manipulated and denigrated.

I'm not alone!

Everything your saying. I was very laid back in the beginning and just happy to be with her. My rebutle came when I felt tired of figuratively speaking being walked on over and over. She continued to acknowledgment of my feeling when it comes to 99 percent of things. I would continue that same experience of the restaurant situation you speak of over and over from situation A to situation B. Through each situation she would hold these grudges with attitude for sometimes days or weeks at a time. Only to what feels like thrive off watching me suffer trying to right the wrong. IT'S EXHAUSTING.

Perfect response

It is VERY important to give this a name. I did not manage to fully grasp what had been done to me until I found this out. I can define "gaslighting". It is any technique used by someone who feels a need to control another by keeping them off balance." That is much harder to identify than behavior that is "manipulative, controlling, selfish". Gaslighting is, by design subtle, and designed to make the subject doubt his or her perceptions.

Kind of like what you are doing.

Gaslighting

I understand Gaslighting now, sadly it was my friends husband doing it to her no doubt but also to me, he was gaining access to my home while I was at work and would move things, slightly rearrange pillows lock cats in my bedroom, I started thinking I was just not observant enough, and as friends they were always at my place and the Gaslighting prick would always be on hand to explain that I was probably just getting forgetful etc etc etc until I arrived home unexpectedly and caught him in my house!

Spot on!

Friend's husband coming into your uome

Wow. I am stunned! To think that someone would go through all that to get inside your head.

My husband's brother was a sociopath. His wife is a narcissist. How do I know? My sister is a sociopathic narcissist. I finally realized it after being the naive empath all these years. Right before our mother passed away, sis went BS crazy. I went into therapy. Realized she was projecting. And, more importantly, gaslighting.

This time, when in-laws did it, I actually saw it for what it was, and called them on it. Immediately. Got my husband outta there. Pronto. No more abuse. I am not a popular person with the family. My husband loves me, and that's all that matters.

I agree that this behavior needs a name. It's so much more than greedy,selfish behavior. It is undermining the other person's sanity. And when you have encountered it the definition is quite clear.

YES, KIND OF LIKE WHAT HE IS

YES, KIND OF LIKE WHAT HE IS DOING.

This is such a great

This is such a great contribution to the conversation. I also thought about the same thing but wasn't able to put it this eloquently. So thank you for that.

I just want to add that a lot of people that find themselves at the receiving end of this behaviour - myself included - are usually less dominant, perhaps a little more sensitive (not in a bad way) and even naive. Obviously, I can't speak for everyone but I feel this is mostly true.

So what you're saying about how do we know if the issue is one of incompatibility or pathology - is that we don't! I believe we're trying to figure it out and we're trying to understand our experience which is both positive (we like them) and negative (we are being manipulated and treated disrespectfully).

I'd like to think what you're suggesting is that we find more constructive ways to respond to these kinds of interactions instead of pathologizing the other person and then cutting them off all together!

I can tell you from experience - that I tried and tried and tried and tried. And the results from my own life is that they have issues with control. So when you come across a person who has serious issues with the need to control you or your perceptions - then you need to be cautious and come to a decision because they aren't really thinking about your best interest - but YOU SHOULD.

I don't think you have to hate them - but I think this is very challenging personality and if they're not related to you by blood then you're not obligated to be a doormat to them.

So in the end, I find this advice very empowering because I know how to protect my emotions now. I know how to respond when this type of things happen. I'm not taken by surprise anymore. I can respect that they are different from me and that I don't want to be that way myself, neither will I allow myself to have loose boundaries to accomodate their behaviours anymore.

I have many people in my life who fit this description - and I love them very much, I pray for them, but ultimately, I won't allow myself for my life and my emotions to be controlled by what they say or do anymore. And that's ultimately what I hope everyone can learn to do after coming into contact with emotional manipulators.

Gaslighting is unbiased

I have lived with this for several years, however, I am a man. The difficult part is a smart and manipulative woman plays "victim" and you appear to be the bad guy. Why? If there are no "witnesses " then their truth is rarely confronted. My peace arrived when I finally had to put it in God's hand and KNOW THE REAL TRUTH. I became FREE within my mind. It's hard being a caring, non confrontational man in today's world. Especially when married to a woman who has been hurt before.

It is called gas lighting

It is called gas lighting based on the first documented case when a husband would dim the gas light in the living room. His wife would ask if the light was dimmer, he would say no and eventually she started doubting her own perception.

Gaslighting

BPDFamily- I agree with your above response. It is well thought out and intelligently conveyed. Too many times in life terminology skews the reality of situations. One of the biggest flaws I find is the use of gender inferences. Nearly all articles I see concerning abuse within relationships frames it in a way that the man is always the abuser. Just like when single parents are discussed it is typically, and nearly always, inferred that it is a single mother. I have to say that I am surprised and disheartened that someone writing for psychology today would do this.… Not that it is uncommon, but still shameful.

Fairness

Yeah I had the same thought as well - the article should have used gender neutral pronouns. It really is quite disrespectful to assume only men gaslight - when from my observations it would be about 80/20 in women's favour. Gaslighting is emotional abuse which females exel at - look at they way they treat each other in cliques at high school. 'Mean Girls' isn't fiction it's a documentary.

Is such thing as gaslighting?

I would love to hear the author of the article's comments as it's a question I've grappled with myself. When I was first told I may be being "emotionally abused" by my then-husband, I was very surprised. The symptoms did match my marriage but I thought these were common couples' spats. The way therapists explained it to me is that the difference is a "pattern of behavior." Going to author's bus example, the guy may be gaslighting, or he may be a nice guy who's not compatible with her, or he may be doing something totally acceptable in his culture (big city). If they continued to date and this pattern of discounting everything she wants to do and blaming her for her own complaints, I'd say it's a sign of gaslighting. If they dated and he treated her as an equal partner and was responsive to her wants/needs, I'd say the bus thing was one isolated incident. The other sign that's been pointed out is when the victim's mood, personality, confidence changes significantly over time. Particularly if the gas-lighter blames the victim for his/her changes, citing his/her craziness. Yes, there are immature people, overly sensitive people, etc. However, when a mature person dates one, they typically say "we're not compatible, it's not working out" and move on. The gaslighter will blame the other person to their face. I'm not a psych professional. I've just been to a lot of therapy so if professionals want to add/correct anything I said, feel free.

Gas Lighting

My X did it constantly , a bold strong stare that was embarrassing to me and sometimes the women he was directing it to. He told me I was crazy for 10 years, we live in a small town, and guess what? This "strong stare" was something I overheard him telling a friend was "first contact". So everyone is not paranoid Mindy. because living in a small town his dumbness didn't realize I knew some of those women. and they commented on it to me later.

Gas Lighting

My former husband was a
master of this. 'Off balance' worked like this:
Whenever our relationship and life was going well, I could rest assured that he would 'pull the rug out' from under me by switching his persona to an abuser. When we were young, I likened him to the 'Incredible Hulk', later 'Jekyll-Hyde' personality. He was empty inside. No interests that normal
people have. It was always 'Someday. '. Abusing me made him feel powerful. Pathetic little man. After we divorced, I asked him where he learned all of his 'manipulative tactics' and he quicky and proudly said 'From my Dad'. What a great father-son relationship!

Gas Lighting

Omg, you couldn't have said it any better.

It all started for me when my Ex got a huge promotion at work, oh dear. power tripping just can't explain it. He started firing people, bullying staff & then started bringing it home to me. I stood up to him initially, but things changed quickly, he threatened to leave me, told me i looked dirty & scruffy all the time, i was hopeless at cooking, even though years earlier i had prepared the same meals & he used to compliment my cooking skills & almost lick his dinner plate clean.

When things were going well, we would book a vacation, be so excited, when he was kind it was awesome, i loved his company, you can quarantee, the minute that flight landed. Mr Gas lighter would appear,

My ex too, had no interests in anything apart from watching horror movies & ghost type tv shows, He had a very dysfunctional upbringing, which involved abuse, starvation, beatings, from both of his parents, I should have seen it earlier when his sister showed her true colors at her husband infront of me. She was relentless with her despicable behaviour toward him, i saw signs then in my ex.

He told people i was drunk, i don't drink due to the volume of medication i've been taking over many years, i was worthless, everything is my fault apparently. He came by to visit me last week for coffee, for one last little attempt to see if he could hurt me one last time. It really didn't work, I looked into his black, hollow eyes & made it quite clear to him, he could never & will never hurt me or try to manipulate me ever again, that i could see what a monster he had become towards me & other people. He sniggered as he walked down the drive.

His employer is becoming aware of his true self & what he has become, one of the women in his office called me about it a few months ago, she said about his lies, & at work he is known as the "Drain Man" . i asked why. She said because he's so full of s**t . i did chuckle at that point. So people are becoming more aware of his behaviour & i really hope it comes back to bite his butt.


5 Things To Know About Kids Who Grew Up With Single Parents

Children of single parents grow up seeing a very different example of romantic love than those who grew up in a "normal" household. Namely, none at all.

Growing up with loving parents can fill you with positive examples of how to handle relationships when you're older. Even having two parents who hate each others' guts can demonstrate what NOT to do. Either way, it's a learning experience.

But children of a single parent are left to gain that experience on their own. It's a lot like taking on a new job with no training: you learn the most in the field, but it's nice to have a heads up of what to expect.

That's not to say that children of single parents are helpless, we just have to learn some things on our own, and overall, we value different qualities in our partner.

1. We value inner strength and perseverance.

Growing up, my mom alternated between working two and three jobs at a time, getting a degree, and raising 3 boys on her own. It was easy to see it wasn't easy.

She could've easily given up at any point but she stuck through it, and my brothers and I only have her to thank for not crumbling under the massive pressure.

In growing up with a strong mother, I greatly admire that trait in others. It shows character and lets you know the other person isn't just going to give up when things get tough.

2. We're more independent, so give us room to breathe.

If you're the child of a single parent and you aren't in the upper class, you're probably a "latchkey kid." That is, you spend a lot of your after-school time unsupervised while your parent is working.

You learn to cook, take care of your things, and otherwise fend for yourself. Years of that independence causes you to grow used to having alone time.

I'll often feel guilty when my girlfriend helps me with something, because I'm so used to taking care of so many things myself -- even though she loves me and is more than happy to lend a hand.

I can't help it, and I imagine it stems from how guilty I'd feel if my mom came home from working her second job and I'd only created more work for her in the meantime while she was doing her best to provide for us.

So don't take it personally if you're dating a child of a single parent. This is just standard-issue emotional baggage that comes with the territory.

3. We're heavily influenced by the parent who raised us.

When you have both parents, I imagine you get a more balanced view on dating and life in general. Growing up with a single mom, I disproportionately received the female perspective on a lot of issues.

I feel like that's caused me to be more keenly aware of women's needs and emotions in relationships. Possibly to the detriment of knowing my own needs and emotions -- it's impossible to know.

I'd wager that someone growing up with only their dad might have a few more "manly" traits, while maybe not understanding or relating to women as easily. And perhaps a guy raised by his mom might get you more, but may lack in other character traits a father would pass on.

Obviously, everyone is different, and the longer you live the more you can make up for these deficits. But don't be surprised if a dude with no dad never learned to be chivalrous, or a guy with no mom doesn't realize "I'm fine" means the polar opposite.

4. We might be a little afraid of commitment.

When you see the effects a broken relationship can have, and live through them, it might make you a little hesitant to commit for fear of making the same mistakes.

If your significant other is a child of a single parent, it should come as no surprise if they aren't gung-ho about marriage or kids. They don't want to cause the same home situation for someone else that they had themselves.

It's not that they're anti-commitment, it's just that it might take them a lot longer to warm up to the idea. Patience is a virtue.

5. We're strong enough to handle it, so you can lean on us.

Having no parent around a lot of the time when you're young means having to grow up a little quicker. It's not easy, but those tribulations give you strength. And what's the point of strength if you don't put it to use?

Don't be afraid to turn to your single parent partner if you need to. They can take it, and you'll have someone you know you can count on when times are tough.

We're all a product of how we grew up. Use that knowledge to better understand your partner, and it can only improve your relationship.

This article originally appeared on YourTango.


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Comments:

  1. Deiphobus

    He is definitely right

  2. Banain

    you, probably, you are mistaken?

  3. Male

    Blog design is still important, and whatever you say, but even from a physiological point of view, it is more pleasant to read text on a white background, surrounded by some kind of nice outline. Of course, brightness is needed, but after all, a person does not come to the site in order to spend 5 seconds here, he wants to read something - who is new, who is to view comments on blogs. I, too, sometimes come back because of the comments. to see what the people poured there. There are times when the topic is developed that the tin turns out. Loose. Sorry. while.

  4. Bahir

    informative article



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