The Terrible Gaslighting Twenty

You are familiar with gas lighting where we twist reality over and over again in order to create doubt. You begin to question yourself, doubt your recollection and feel like you are losing your sanity. It is an insidious tactic and one which we always use in order to destabilise you and maintain our control and the upper hand. We change history, re-write what has happened and we will do so even when faced with what you think is incontrovertible truth and evidence. Our confidence and certainty in the way we approach this, combined with the patronising appearance of caring about your tired and failing mind is especially bewildering. Our aim is to cause you to question your reality so you much more readily accept the false reality that we create and operate in. Here are twenty of our favourite phrases which are used to gas light you.
“It never happened.”
“You are lying.”
“You imagined it.”
“You haven’t remembered it correctly.”
“Yes,you did do it because I remember distinctly.”
“Are you calling me a liar?”
“If I look for it you had better hope I don’t find it. Oh, what’s this? Just where I said it would be.”
“I never told you to do that, why would I ever say that?”
“Your dad wouldn’t do that to you.”
“You are suffering from delusions, I think we need a doctor for you.”
“You like to cause an argument out of nothing don’t you?”
“You twist my words, I did not mean it like that.”
“You never told me that at all,I would have remembered.”
“Nobody likes you, they’ve all told me this.”
“You need help, it is caused by your anger problem.”
“Why are you inventing things again? You are such an attention seeker.”
“That never happened.”
“Dear me, you always make things up, you’ve done it ever since you were a child.”
“We are just friends, you are reading too much into it.”
“That couldn’t possibly have hurt you, why are you saying it did?”

56 thoughts on “The Terrible Gaslighting Twenty

  1. Seeking Inner Freedom says:

    “wow, you have a great imagination”
    “our problems are because of your trust issues”
    “why can’t you have faith in me?”
    “you know what, I’m tired of explaining myself, that’s it”
    “that’s what YOU think”
    Once, ONCE, he admitted that when he lies, he lies to himself first. He said that he changes the truth in his own mind, before he tells me the new ‘truth’. I should have gotten out then. This is a very dangerous individual…one who believes his own lies. Very sick, very sad. I bet a lot of gaslighters do this…they convince themselves that they’re telling the truth, so they feel better. They are completely and utterly lost. There should be an island for these individuals, with no cell phones and no tvs. And a lot of therapists.

    1. windstorm says:

      That brings up an interesting philosophical question: Are they really “gaslighters” if they’ve come to actually believe their own lies?

      I’ve personally always only considered it gaslighting if it was done maliciously and with intent. I’d be more inclined to describe midrangers who believe their own lies as “delusional.”

      1. HG Tudor says:

        Valid observation WS and the appropriate way is to not look at the intent but of the effect. If the behaviour causes you to feel that you are questioning yourself, you are hurt, puzzled, bewildering, questioning ‘your reality’ then it is gaslighting. The Greaters know what we are doing and it is deliberate, Lesser and Mid Range do not do it consciously – it is deliberate because the narcissism deliberately causes it as part of its role as a self-defence mechanism but the narcissist (L or MR) does not think “I know, I will tell a lie now to make her doubt her own reality so she gets upset and confused” the L or MR believes what they are saying (because it is their perspective), but it conflicts with the victim’s perception of reality and thus causes the problems for the victim.

        1. windstorm says:

          Thank you, HG. So a gaslighter can believe his own lies. And while I do acknowledge that “reality” differs from person to person, in my reality they are still delusional.
          To me we are all delusional when we are lying to ourselves. Which unfortunately is all too often. Lol!

      2. K says:

        I was thinking the same thing lately. From our POV it is delusional, however, from their POV it is necessary and normal.

        Because of that, I am not angry about it anymore. They need to survive in their reality and they have to gas light and lie to do it.

        1. windstorm says:

          And if you look at all the rest of us, we’re often delusional, too. How many empaths and normals have you listened too telling their woes to you and silently been thinking that they are irrational or delusional? Sometimes we can’t point it out to them, because it would just be hurtful and counterproductive.
          And to other people, we often appear delusional as well. Being delusional is just a common part of life.

          1. NarcAngel says:

            Ain’t that the truth. Just because we’re empaths doesn’t mean we are not often mean, delusional, and self centred. Often while being completely unaware, but not always.

          2. K says:

            When ET is high, there is no room for logic. When people discuss politics, they let their emotions take over and start babbling nonsense. I don’t bother to interject, point out inconsistencies or even try to talk some sense into them because they are out in left field and they are not coming home anytime soon.

            Narcissists tell us that we are overly sensitive and looking at it from the wrong perspective, we know they are disordered and normals are somewhere in the middle. Now, I just accept it. If you think about, it is almost comical.

          3. windstorm says:

            Very true

        2. NarcAngel says:

          Bit off topic, but do you interact with your twin much or at all now? I was thinking of my brother, and then I thought about your brother being your twin. Twins often state that they have a bond and can feel what each other are thinking or feeling. I had never thought about how it affects twins when you are split in nature like you and your brother are (empath and narc). Did you remember feeling a bond when you were very small? I don’t mean to cause you sadness by reflecting, so if it will, I apologize and disregard the question.

          1. K says:

            He is so violent and anti-social that it wouldn’t be safe to interact with him so I am NC and have been for ten years, before that I was VERY low contact.

            When we were little, we shared a crib, then a bed, we got the flu together and played with each other all the time. I loved him very much and tried to protect him from my parents but I couldn’t, so I remember letting go and then I had to protect myself. Lately, I have been thinking about him and I feel sad and recognize that it wasn’t his fault.

            It really is a profound loss.

          2. NarcAngel says:

            It really is a profound loss. I think it about my brother (who was more like my baby than my brother), so I can’t imagine how it would be for you to be a twin and share and then have that happen. That’s what piqued my curiosity if you shared when younger and then felt the growing apart. Thank you for answering my question. It has raised another if you’re willing or able. Why do you think they treated your brother differently?

          3. K says:

            You are welcome NarcAngel
            We played together and loved each other but, after the age of five, we didn’t have a connection anymore and I remember thinking: I have to hide from my parents so they can’t hurt me like they hurt my brother. We just grew apart.

            I cannot fathom the reason why they treated him so badly. That was just the way it was. They scapegoated and excluded me from the family. My narcissistic siblings were usually golden and, sometimes, my empath sister was golden.

            It would have been wonderful if we could have protected our brothers but we couldn’t so we are compelled to let go.

      3. K says:


        I was really looking forward to getting revenge but, once I realized it isn’t their fault and they are wired to behave a specific way, it took all the wind out of my sails.

      4. Seeking Inner Freedom says:

        You make a good point. Its hard to tell how much he meant to do and how much was “accidental” gaslighting. The affect is still gaslighting, either way.
        What would they be called if they’re unintentionally gaslighting?

  2. cat1520 says:

    How about ….This is for your own good because I love you. Said the spider to the fly.

  3. Leslie says:

    The gaslighting proves your insanity, not ours.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Incorrect, it is all a matter of perspective. You might think our behaviour insane, but from our perspective, your behaviour appears insane.

      1. Original Overthinker says:

        He thought I was insane, because I questioned him and he believed his own lies. He did make me think I was insane or as Narcie as he was … x x

      2. 2SF-> now 3SF ;) says:

        I agree HG, the more I think about it, the more I feel how insane it was to let myself be abused, how insane it is to act out of feelings of guilt, put upon me by my mother and the church, how insane it is to have stayed in a 25 year marriage, with someone who never loved me but only used me as an appliance, how insane it is to go back a dozen times to musician narc to tell him I love and miss him. The emotional thinking is insane, it’s nothing but feelings of unworthiness, guilt, or just fantasy. I needed to wake up and start thinking rationally. Having empathy is good, it’s good to try and see the other person’s perspective, be kind and help people out, but it is insane where it gets to the point where you realize you are taken advantage of and you are being abused. I am over 50 now and I want the second part of my life (if I get to live it) to be MY life and not live to the expectations of others, nor let anyone else cross my new set boundaries.
        I love you for your work HG. Thank you ever so much. xxx

        1. HG Tudor says:

          You are welcome.

      3. Insaneempath says:

        Yeah and that sucks. Wow HG you showed us your hand and phone. Nice. It makes you a little more real. If of course that is your hand and phone and black polo shirt.

  4. Tigerchelle78 says:

    This is very triggering! I hate you….

  5. mommypino says:

    I have experienced a lot of the given examples. So far I haven’t experienced doubting my recollection or reality but I remember getting so upset because I am being lied to repeatedly and my truth was being dismissed. It feels insulting and upsetting when I am gaslighted.

    1. Caroline R says:

      Mommypino, is the little girl you in this photo? She’s adorable.

      1. mommypino says:

        Aww thank you! Yup that was me! 😊

    2. K says:

      I just want to make sure I am correct; you are from the Philippines (Phils), yes?

      1. mommypino says:

        Yes I was. This picture was shot in Luneta, our national park.

      2. Caroline R says:

        The Philippines covers such a vast area, and so many islands. Where were you mostly based? Did you have grandparents there or cousins?
        Where did you go for holidays? Just a few thoughts…and how old were you in that photo?

      3. mommypino says:

        Caroline, my matrinarc preferred the city so we lived in a small studio room in Manila. We visited my grandmother and my favorite aunt and uncle in Nueva Ecija, the rice granary of the Phils. It’s basically a big flat area full of rice farms. During the dry season (we only have two seasons: wet or dry), rice still with their hulls are dried on the road and so the roads look golden and vehicles just run on top of the rice. We also have lots of Carabaos (water buffalos) which I love because they are so sweet, docile, and helpful to farmers.
        My mom was the ninth out of ten kids so I had a lot of cousins to play with whenever we visited. We visited during the summer vacations and once a month when there was school so that my mom can get her fuel from them. We were living in a really poor area in Manila but whenever we visited Nueva Ecija she always brought gifts, cigarettes, and gave money to my grandmother and to each relative that we visited. She was a big hero whenever we visited with them.
        I was five yrs old in the picture.

        Where are you in Australia?

      4. K says:

        My father served during WWII so maybe they crossed paths. My dad was married 3x and I was the product of his second marriage. He retired from the navy in the 1960s.

        1. windstorm says:

          I know several career military men and everyone is a narc! My dad was only in the Navy 3 years. He got a tropical disease and was invalided out. He was also just married the one time. He never made any pretense of being sexually faithful, but always maintained plausible deniability. While he was more somatic than the Pretzel, he was still primarily cerebral and his public façade was incredibly important to him.

          One of the Pretzel’s narc uncles was in the Pacific, too. He was just a cook, but he had the distinction of having four battleships shot out from under him! It’s interesting to think that your father may have met my father or Uncle L during the war. 😊

          1. K says:

            Yup, same here. Air force and Navy careers and they were narcs. My dad was eight years younger than your dad and he was the ships electrician. My dad loved Hawaii and wanted to live there but he said it was too expensive. I wouldn’t be surprised if their paths crossed.

            I would love to see Kilauea.

          2. windstorm says:

            It was monumental for me to get to see Kilauea erupting. I remember when it first started this current eruption in 1983. That was the year my oldest was born. I was so worried it would stop before I was able to get there. Who’d have thought it would continuously erupt for more than 30 years!

          3. K says:

            Pele, goddess of fire, has been very busy for the past 30 years. What a beautiful sight that must have been.

          4. windstorm says:

            As practically everything in my life, Kilauea was a surprise from what I had expected. I was amazed at how far away from the caldera that I could feel the heat and hear the crackling sounds.

            I think the most beautiful thing about Hawaii was that there were flowers everywhere. We have very few red flowers in Kentucky, but they were everywhere in Hawaii. Many trees covered in flowers wherever we went. And orchids everywhere! I even saw blooming orchids in a crack of an asphalt parking lot.

          5. K says:

            When I see volcanos, I think of them as mother nature’s heated fury. Explosive, terrifying and beautiful.

            My dad said Hawaii was beautiful and he talked about it quite a bit. He would buy coconuts and pour the milk into glasses for me and my brother and he would cut up the meat for us to eat.

          6. windstorm says:

            My dad did the same thing with coconuts for me, too!

          7. K says:

            How funny, but I am not surprised! I kept the shells and played with them.

          8. NarcAngel says:

            I thought the milk right out of the coconut tasted like hog piss (No! I’ve never tried either). Was it a treat or was he punishing you? I cant decide.

          9. K says:

            Ha ha ha…I was so afraid of my father that I didn’t speak to him very much when I was very young. He seemed “nice” when he gave us the coconut milk so it wasn’t a scary memory.

            My father could fake “nice” but my mother couldn’t fake it at all.

          10. windstorm says:

            I’m in “hog heaven” mood-wise today! It’s a holy day in three major religions – Christian, Jewish and Buddhist. All three celebrate by lighting lights and I’ve got my place lit up inside and out! It’s even a glorious, warm and sunny day for the Pagans among us, and really windy for me!

            May all who read this feel peace and serenity and know that they are loved! ❤️

          11. NarcAngel says:

            It makes me smile that you are so very happy today. Its nice when we hear the happy days and not just the bad. Reminds us what was and what will be again given time and a new focus.

          12. Clarece says:

            I like your Sunday vibes today NA! ❤

          13. K says:

            I am happy to read that you are in “hog heaven”. I did not realize it was a holy day. Enjoy it while it lasts. I put the tree up, it is all lit up and my youngest helped me decorate it. Tis the season to be merry.

    3. K says:

      My dad was in the U.S. navy and spent a lot of time in the Philippines. He had an intimate partner secondary source (IPSS) there.

      1. Windstorm says:

        My father was in the navy and in the Philippines too. Also in Hawaii. Long before yours though, I’m sure. 1941-44.

      2. mommypino says:

        Oh my gosh K, so sorry about that. It happened a lot in the Phils. when the US base was still there. There was so much prostitution and a lot of women try to target these men in hopes of being brought to the US. That was my mom’s ultimate goal. I was getting so much pressure from our relatives for me to bring her over here but I can’t let her ruin my husband’s life. She can get her US citizenship within months if I process it because she’s my mom but I don’t want to.
        Was your father a narcissist also? Do you still communicate with him?

      3. mommypino says:

        Was your father in the Phils. to fight in the WW2? Those were horrible times.

        1. windstorm says:

          I tried sending this once, but don’t think it went thru. Apologies if you get it twice.

          Yes. My father was in the Pacific in WWII. He was a CB (construction battalion). Whenever the Marines landed and pushed the Japanese back on an island, the CBs followed them and threw up the buildings – barracks, command centers, mess halls – that would be needed as they tried to take the island back and hold it.

          Daddy told all types of stories about the peoples, the land, the customs, but never, ever anything about the fighting or the killing. I think he wanted to black that out of his mind.

      4. mommypino says:

        Windstorm, your dad has seen the worst of humanity. I don’t blame him for blocking it out. That is amazing to know about your father. My husband and I went to Corregidor which is basically a WW2 park and we saw all of the destruction feom WW2. Those destroyed buildings in that island were actually built by the Americans when they were still occupying the Phils. but the Japanese used the infrastructure for their operations in WW2 so the Americans had to destroy them. I want to say thank you for your dad’s bravery and service. My Filipino grandmother told me stories about how nice the American soldiers during the WW2 are. They even shared their food with the locals sometimes. Everybody was going hungry those days because if the super inflation and all of the chaos from the war.

        1. windstorm says:

          Thank you, MommyPino. My father was a very brave man. He volunteered for the Navy the day after Pearl Harbor was bombed by the Japanese. He had to argue to convince them to take him, because he was so old (29).

          He didn’t talk as much about his time in the Philippines as he did his time in Hawaii. I’m pretty sure that’s because it was so much more horrific. I’m very sorry your native country had to go thru so much violence and suffering.

      5. K says:

        My dad was in Hawaii too! It is a small word. He loved Hawaii and he was stationed there after the war, I think.

        1. windstorm says:

          My father loved Hawaii, too. He had endless Hawaiian stories when I was a child. That’s one reason I put it on my bucket list, although I didn’t go to the islands where he had been stationed. I hate history. Geology is my main Interest. I went straight to the most geologically active to see an erupting volcano! 😄

    4. K says:

      You don’t have to apologize. He was a very violent lesser narcissist. He told me that he preferred Filipino women over American because they weren’t bossy. He died in 2010.

      I don’t blame you one bit for not wanting to bring your mother over here. They ruin everything.

      1. mommypino says:

        K, I can totally see how narc men woukd like Filipino women. As I learn more about codependency I realize that the traditional culture and values that I was raised in and encouraged there for women are pretty close to codependency behaviors. Wives are expected to be perfectly loyal, submissive and attentive to their husbands. Men have affairs and wives just look the other way because the important thing is he still comes home to you. There’s also no divorce there so your husband owns you for life. So similar to the narcissism dynamics.

        So true, they ruin everything.

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