Gaslighting is a tactic in which a person makes a victim question reality. It is used to gain power and control. It is very effective and can lead someone to question their own sanity. Methods vary, but the goal is to destroy the victim’s sense of self through constant, multi-layered “attacks.”
A disturbed person whose initial needs were generally not met will spend a lifetime trying to diminish and destroy the light of another person. Anywhere the target glows is where the darkness hits. It mocks a strong faith. A clean person will be accused of uncleanness. A small flaw will explode. Trying to recruit co-conspirators is always part of the plan.
Weaken the victim; coerce others to reject them. That is the modus operandi. The attacker becomes strong when the target is sick, dependent, or afflicted. My sister knew that my Achilles heel was a fear of homelessness and a love for my rescued animals. Both were constantly threatened or challenged.
I had never been to a therapist in my life and my sister took me to the psyche room. After a short time experiencing the toxic atmosphere between my mother and my older sister, I was thrown off balance. Soon, I had a drink to block everything out. The constant fighting and backstabbing in our house was disgusting.
Mom needed me there to continue living in her place and the entire camp needed a caretaker. I accepted the project and gave him everything I had, almost my life. I grew up in my faith and we ended up rescuing dozens of animals during our time in the place we call Misfit Island.
The police received calls that he was abusing Mom and appeared in groups of four with weapons in hand. They were told that he had her locked inside and that he was holding her against her will. She was sitting home alone watching Star Trek once. It took two days to calm Mom down after that episode. Sister denied it happened.
The term ‘gaslighting’ comes from an old movie of the same name in which a husband tried to convince his wife that he was crazy. Recently, the term has resurfaced as mental illnesses remain untreated and many remain the target.
Bullies are out of balance and try to get it back through control. The victim provides a sense of dominance over the ailing ego and the perpetrator’s self-worth. Changing the facts to decrease or demote is normal.
It was too bright at my mom’s funeral and my sister was furious. She decided that the day was to honor herself. The next day, I received an anonymous message that if I didn’t leave the property within 72 hours, my animals would disappear one by one until I did. I was terrified. While contemplating a move, the police appeared with an eviction notice.
A judge gave me 5 days to evict and I was identified as an intruder. He had to demonstrate the power he had over my life and even told people that he had “my life in his hands.” I heard she thought about getting a restraining order so she could present herself as a victim.
I start over after helping Mom on the final leg of her journey. There is no safe way to consider interacting with my sister. It’s too toxic and I feel like I’m in danger. His anger has no limit.
Stay away from the gas lighter and maintain strict privacy was my response. Others may need more protection. Share if it happens to you. Isolating the victim is key to a “successful” gas lighter. The worst mistake I made was staying silent and waiting for it to happen.