Just when I thought I had faced it all when it came to gaslighting, I realized another form of gaslight the other night: Through my very own daughter.
I guess my husband realized that I don’t fall for his gaslight efforts directed to me anymore. Therefore, I’ve noticed that now he uses our daughter as a means to gaslight me.
For instance, she may be jumping on a couch or trying to climb furniture while being with him. If I say something about seeing her do that, he will deny it and tell me that I misinterpreted what she was doing.
He has also tried to make me believe that she has eaten, drunk, and even slept while being with him, only for me to have to spend the night getting out of bed to get her milk, crackers, or something, not once or twice, but a handful of times. Had she eaten or drunk, she would not wake up lile that. Usually, when he returns with her, he makes sure to go out of his way to point out that she ate, drunk, didn’t cry, Etc. But if I ask him after she’s spent a night waking up due to being hungry, thirsty, or both, he will say a completely different thing and tell me (“remind” me) that he had told me that she didn’t eat or drink enough.
Once again, he changes his tune in an effort to make me go crazy and not trust my memory, just like he used to do during the worst period of devaluation and gaslight he subjected me to. What he doesn’t know is that I’ve been writing down everything he says when he comes back, so I have a way to compare notes and stories.
It’s more important for me to take these notes as soon as possible for several reasons,
- The sooner I write them down, the fresher they’re in my mind;
- My daughter can’t speak, yet; therefore, I need to have my antennas up, just in case;
- I can double-check, if need be;
- My attorney asked me to do so.
I’m currently using an application called Journey to record events, schedules, post-visit summaries, accidents, near misses(1), hazards, and anything I consider I might need in the future. It’s a very near application. It allows inserting up to 4 pictures. You can also insert videos. It does not allow inserting audio, something that would have been very handy for me once when I had to record a conversation between my husband and me and another time when he was mistreating our daughter and he didn’t know I could hear. Either way, check it out and I’ll get back to topic, since I got sidetracked.
The point is that since other things don’t work anymore, he’s been using our daughter to gaslight me. Too bad he can’t keep his stories straight. Moreover, now I am familiar with gaslighting and I’m on the lookout for his traps, as well as taking steps to protect myself against it as much as I can.
I wish someone had told me to document, journal, or both, years ago when I started to think that I was going crazy and losing my mind and memory. It would have helped even in those situations when I wasn’t sure what was going on. By documenting even my doubts, I could have gone back to my journal and check. Eventually, I would have picked up the pattern and I would have realized what was going on, even when I had no idea it had a name (gaslight.)
Documenting had also proven to be useful in court. I was about to give up tracking things down when one day my attorney called me to let me know that my husband had filed a complaint against me with the court. I was able to check my Journey journal and found dates, times, and events proving that he was lying. In fact, I was even able to submit pictures proving that I was telling the truth, not him.
In a nutshell, I would advise anybody who is dealing with abuse in the form of gaslight to start writing down things. It can get tedious at times. But believe me, it can really save your livelihood and sanity more than once.
I got to a point where I was even taking pictures of my stuff before leaving for work. Why? Because he used to move my things around and then make me think that I had moved them. I got as far as to take pictures of my glass with water or anything that I would be drinking. We have these 16-ounces glasses. I like to fill them up, even when I know I won’t be drinking it all at once. This allows me to track my water intake. My husband would pour the beverage or water down the sink and either out the glass away, or back where I had left it. Then he would try to make me think that I had drunk all its contents or that I had never taken the glass out at all.
So writing, taking pictures, even using a hidden camera(2) can help you fight this insidious form of abuse that is gaslight. Do whatever it takes and anything you can to help yourself. If you’re concerned about your narcissist or feeling that you’re doing something behind his or her back by documenting, think about it this way: He or she is not taking your own feelings into consideration and he or she is already doing things behind your back in order to control you, manipulate you, diminish you, hurt you, disrespect you, and devalue you. All you are doing is trying to protect yourself and there’s nothing wrong with doing such thing. And ultimately, it is helping you understand what might be going on and make sense of the crazy world you’re living in and that you didn’t create. Your narc did.