Gaslighting - abuse, signs and my experience

I've been sat staring at a blank screen for what feels likes hours, unaware of how to start or what to write. 
All I know is I want to talk about my experience, the truth, and help educate other people so that nobody 
has to go through what I went through. I'm not going to be bashing the other person, that is my last 
intention. There is going to be no name dropping or details on them shared. I've wrote a lot of difficult 
posts over the years from my; sexual abuse, depression and mental health journey, but something I never 
anticipated was talking about my experience with being gaslighted; a form of domestic abuse. 

"Gaslighting is a form of domestic and mental abuse and manipulation concentrated on
 making someone doubt their sense of reality and sanity."

There are many different ways that people can be gaslight and in a variety of different situations such as; 
family, friends and relationships. I was being gaslighted in a relationship, by the person I love, and was 
supposed to love me. For so long I remember thinking that it was just normal and I was overreacting, but 
after this continuing and not getting any better I knew I had to get out. It wasn't until I saw a photo 
explaining what gaslighting was that I new I was a victim. Due to the situation and circumstances I was 
in at the time it wasn't so easy to leave. So I had to stay in it for another 5 months. 

Throughout those 5 months there were good times, some really good times and memories, but that doesn't 
excuse the negatives. The times I wanted to die because it was so bad, the times that I thought I was ugly 
and worthless because of the words I was hearing and how I was being treated. I felt so alone and like I 
couldn't talk to anyone. I don't remember, but I did tell my mom. She was the only person who knew what 
was going on this whole time. Confiding in her helped me recognise that I wasn't overreacting and that 
this was really happening. 

A month before I got out, I broke down. I wanted to die so bad. No matter how bad I wanted it, I couldn't 
see myself being happy again. I couldn't get myself out of the mentality that nobody would want me and 
that I was worthless because of how I was being treated. I phoned the doctors and spoke to them, and they 
ended up referring me to the mental health team and a domestic abuse charity for women.

Less than a week later I was single. A month later I was on my own, again. Finally.

- They deny they said or did something even when you have proof
- They accuse you of doing things that you know they themselves have done
- They turn others against your to take away your support system
- You find yourself collecting proof things happened to reassure yourself
- You constantly feel like you have to defend reality
- Your trust in yourself and intuition erodes
- You are not to have feelings
- They tell you that you are crazy 
- You are never right

It can be hard to recognise if you are being gaslighted as it can happen so gradually over time and it seems 
so subtle at first. A huge sign for me was that I wasn't allowed to have feelings. If I was sad or stressed 
about something, it didn't matter because they didn't feel that way. I didn't have a right to be feeling the 
way I did. I was constantly being lied to and made out to feel like I was crazy, and when I did question 
them it turned into arguments and that it was actually me who did those things. I was constantly being 
accused of cheating and having affairs with people. I was also asked to leave my job because it wasn't 
good enough and though I was having an affair with the man I worked with. I downloaded an voice 
recoding app on my phone so I could record things that were being said and lock my phone so they 
didn't know. I did this so I could listen to it back and figure out if it was me. But it wasn't. Comments 
were being made about the way I acted, looked and sometimes in regards to my mental health. 

If you find yourself in a similar situation and believe you are being gaslighted or abused in any way then 
please do not hesitate to contact someone. It will be one of the hardest things to admit and do, but there is 
always a way out. You can always contact me, a friend, family member or a professional. The National 
Domestic Abuse hotline provides free confidential telephone and chat support 24/7.

I am now sat in a place that I couldn't, in the slightest, have begin to imagine a few months ago. I live 
alone, entirely alone, and I love it. Everything is mine and has all been because of my hard work. I now 
also have a full time job that I love and although it's difficult to get into a work mindset, I am so thankful. 
I am also in a better space mentally for the first time in years and am working alongside my doctors to 
come off my medication fully. 

In regards to that relationship, I no longer have contact with that person at all and I wish them nothing but the best and pray that this isn't a reoccurring thing. As traumatic and hard as this was to experience, I hope that I was the only one they did it too, as I cannot stand the thought of them doing it to another person. 

I have built my friendships back with people who I lost during that time or pushed away. I am not scared 
of looking or dressing a certain way for anyone other than myself and I can talk to whoever I want. And I 
am most happy to say that I am single. And I honestly love it. 

My trust has been completely shattered and I find myself constantly doubting what people say to me in 
fear that they are lying. I am so much more insecure about who I am, the way I look and act, and am very 
weary of talking to other people, especially men. As a result of this relationship, I now have so many 
issues regarding other relationships and how I enter a new one. This relationship has broke me into so 
many tiny pieces that I can't even begin to explain, and I'm slowly working on glueing myself back 
together. I am a huge believer in everything happens for a reason, and although I don't know what the 
reason for this is yet, I do know that I learnt a lot from it and it's made me grow so much. 

I have told her this, but as she will be reading (like she does all my other posts), I want to thank my mom. 
Without this women I wouldn't have got through so many scenarios in my life but especially this one. 
Thank you for listening to me and picking up the pieces when no one else would. Answering all the phone 
calls of me having break downs and being there for me. I know it's your job as my mom, but I couldn't 
have done this without you. Thank you for everything and for believing in me when I didn't.



*DISCLAIMER* I am in no way trying to bash or belittle this person. I guarantee there will be plenty 
of assumptions about who this is, but this isn't about them, it's about what happened and sharing my 
experience to help and educate others going through the same thing. As hard as it is, I do not wish ill or 
harm on the other person and hope that everything works out for them in the future. I still get on with 
and talk to people I met through them, such as friends and family, and hope that me speaking out and 
about the truth doesn't jeopardise that. 


  1. Well done you for sharing this so openly and candidly. You've been very brave. I know that this post will help so many people in a similar situation. I actually didn't know the signs of gaslighting until I read this. I definitely experienced some of these things very mildly in a previous relationship. Luckily, things didn't work out and we've all moved on.