Gaslighting is one of many tactics used by the narcissists to disarm his/her victim. It is when the narcissists try to make you doubt your sanity. You literally start to question everything. “Did it really happen?” “Maybe I did, but I don’t remember.” “Maybe I am overreacting.”
The question is, what does a narcissist do when gaslighting? According to “10 Signs You Are a Victim of Gaslighting” by David Wolfe, gaslighting will entail one or a combination of the following: withholding, blocking/diverting, trivializing, and forgetting/denying. My ex-narc used most of these methods of gaslighting on me.
Withholding is where the narc refuses to listen to the concerns of his/her victim. My ex-narc was notorious for saying, “Who cares!” whenever I voiced my opinion. The topic did not matter.
My ex-husband was a pro at diverting. He would yell something out mid-argument that was completely unrelated to the topic at hand. Anything to end the confrontation or stop it before it starts. I remember one time he yelled out that his uncle was in the hospital with heart failure. Another time he yelled out something about one of his friends and his wife were homeless because their new house was not ready on time. He then accused me of not being welcoming to them. Again, this did not have anything to do with the topic at hand.
Two particular incidents stand out in my mind when my ex-narc “forgot” something. He forgot the wedding vows and the many trips we had planned.
We decided to do special wedding vows for the wedding. I was the only one who remembered. He told me at the last minute that he forgot them. The minister had to improvise. He did, however, remember the “forgotten” vows at his friend’s wedding and used them in the toast to his friend and his new wife.
I mentioned us only taking one trip together after we were married in a previous post. I asked him repeatedly to take a vacation. He mostly said he didn’t have any money, but he also claimed he forgot or deny that we were taking a trip together so he made other plans. Again, his plans included other people and the money in the joint account.