February 21, 2018

N-WMD: Narcissistic Weapon of Mental Destruction

Narcissistic Weapon of Mental Destruction

Gaslighting is the intentional use of manipulative techniques to drive you insane

One of the dysfunctional family members of pathological lying is a form of manipulation often referred to as “Gaslighting”.  The main element of gaslighting is an abusive behavior that implants a sense of doubt in a target that makes them question their perceptions and memories.  The best way to promote these misconceptions and distorted memories is for the gaslighter to use denial.  They will deny that events happened, altogether and if they don’t use denial then history will simply be rewritten.  Memories are then replaced with extensive exaggerations of facts that are used to validate the version of the gas-lighter’s story.  

There is a reason why survivors of narcissistic abuse call their experience nothing less than crazy making because it is difficult to describe the way in which another person distorted their reality to gain control over them.  For instance, gaslighting tends to go hand in hand with blame shifting.  When the gaslighter is caught lying or behaving in a cruel or abusive manner and confronted this behavior becomes your fault.  They will convincingly point out that their outrageous behavior is simply a reaction to YOU and YOUR abusive behavior.  This is a form of psychological discounting that results in the denial of reality.

Another instance of gaslighting is illustrated through an attempt to block or divert the truth from being discussed.  The narcissist will simply say they don’t want to talk about it or that the subject is “off limits” as they refuse to discuss anything that would shed some light on all of the doubts the victim has.  The abuser then closely follows up with trivializing the thoughts and feelings expressed by the victim as another form of invalidation.  This minimization of experience is often done with the use of “jokes” and if all else fails then the narcissistic gaslighter will result to threats and intimidation. 

N-WMD: Narcissistic Weapon of Mental Destruction

In an attempt to verbally express the realities of gaslighting I stumbled upon an article that left me with the realization of why it is so difficult for victims of this type of abuse to get help.  In the article Falsifying Reality, Spawning Evil author David Sasha attempted to discover how one becomes a victim of gaslighting as he dissected the 1944 film ‘gaslight’.  His conclusion was that “those who choose to gaslight others must first choose a target that is easily defeated and manipulated.  Gaslighting works best when one is dealing with individuals whose ability to defend themselves is minimal.  Such an inability might be due to the inherent weakness of the individual, or it may be because of the honesty and integrity of the person, which makes them an easy target.”. 

While I agree that honesty and integrity of the victim is most likely some of their traits this has very little to do with being characterized as easily defeated or manipulated.  Victims of gaslighting are created over time through the whittling away of their being and the minimization of their experiences that slowly evolves into full blown distortion of reality.  It takes very little skill to lie to someone who loves or trusts you and the result is a belief in that lie.  Ultimately, what this argument boils down to is that the ability to love and trust are considered a weakness.  Further, this has more to do with the manipulation and exploitation of trust than it does with how mentally weak a victim is. A clear distinction should be made between weakness and the boundaries of trust/love which is often illogical but still does not equate to being mentally weak.

Gaslighting is the slow journey down the trail of insanity where the truth of your being is plucked away one little morsel at a time and slowly replaced with the reality of a master manipulator.  Narcissists are the black widows of the mind because original thoughts, feelings, and perceptions of yours are injected with narcissistic toxins that necrotizes and putrefies neural connections, of this I’m almost positive.  So unless having your mind cauterized by someone you love and trust is considered a weakness then I guess I’m mistaken and very very mentally weak.

Signs and symptoms that you have been a victim of gaslighting

Victims of Gaslighting can have various reactions but if it is prolonged over the course of months or years then the victims will begin acting out especially if they feel trapped in their situation.  These behaviors include addictions, self-harm, suicide attempts, binging and purging, or anorexia.  There are copious amounts of ways an individual will react while trying to gain a semblance of control over their own minds and bodies due to the psychological violence they have gone through. 

Once a victim of narcissistic manipulation begins the journey of acting out they again find themselves the victim of psychiatric institutionalized gaslighting.  Moreover, the act of seeking help, or being forced into therapy, only perpetuates the gaslighting because the symptoms of the adverse behavior being demonstrated by the traumatized victim is masked by various psychological diagnoses.   These diagnoses suggest the problem is the victim who is unable to deal with life.  For instance, if diagnosed with an eating disorder there is a hyper focus on eating habits and getting to a healthy weight while the reasons that caused the eating disorder are pushed aside. 

The problem is that the traumatized victim of a narcissistic gaslighter has been brainwashed by this point to protect their abusers while at the same time trying to escape them.  The help with the eating disorder then turns to the victim needing help with depression and anxiety.  Treatment then turns into questions of chemical imbalances, which again perpetuates the distortion of the victim’s reality as doctors and psychiatrists begin to label the victim as the problem. 

Even worse is that the abuser is most likely involved with the treatment and manipulating the doctors and psychiatrists while maintaining a presence to further control the victim.  An undertone of maligning and triangulating sources of support or help permeates the very fabric and interactions between the gaslighter and the victim of their manipulation.  

Eventually, it becomes a truth in the victim’s reality that there will be no help for them and they make peace with this fact.   The narcissist first convinces their victims that they are mentally disturbed, then they tell others about how crazy they are.  Oh, and the victim is a “pathological liar” so that if or when they do speak up they will not be believed.  This leads down a darker rabbit hole to acts of intentional self-harm, suicide attempts, or a successful suicide.

Depression or a victim of Gaslighting?

According to the Mayo Clinic the following is a list of symptoms of gaslighting…. I mean depression:
Although depression may occur only once during your life, people typically have multiple episodes. During these episodes, symptoms occur most of the day, nearly every day and may include:
  • Feelings of sadness, tearfulness, emptiness or hopelessness
  • Angry outbursts, irritability or frustration, even over small matters
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in most or all normal activities, such as sex, hobbies or sports
  • Sleep disturbances, including insomnia or sleeping too much
  • Tiredness and lack of energy, so even small tasks take extra effort
  • Reduced appetite and weight loss or increased cravings for food and weight gain
  • Anxiety, agitation or restlessness
  • Slowed thinking, speaking or body movements
  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt, fixating on past failures or self-blame
  • Trouble thinking, concentrating, making decisions and remembering things
  • Frequent or recurrent thoughts of death, suicidal thoughts, suicide attempts or suicide
  • Unexplained physical problems, such as back pain or headaches
For many people with depression, symptoms usually are severe enough to cause noticeable problems in day-to-day activities, such as work, school, social activities or relationships with others. Some people may feel generally miserable or unhappy without really knowing why.

Each of the symptoms and emotions described above are also the symptoms of a victim of gaslighting so where is the line drawn between a normal reaction to bullshit and actual depression?  Society has become so fixated on treating the symptoms that the cause of illness is left untreated, festering, and metastasizing like a cancerous tumor.  The troubling aspect of this slow mental entombment is that the actual problem that created this self-destructive behavior is ignored and the narcissist gets away with murder by suicide.