Sometimes there are reasons why we need to remain with the gaslighter. This can be true even if we are self confident and very aware of the abuse.
My gaslighter has been in my adult life for 37 years. I remain in a marriage with him for financial reasons. He is unable to genuinely empathize with me; in fact, the only (very few) people he “empathizes” with are people who agree with him (oh, how little they truly know him!).
My husband is entirely self-centered. He is a control freak. He is mentally and emotionally ill. He refuses treatment on the basis that “God will heal” him of any issues he has. His “God” is one who agrees with him, and who excuses (forgives, loves) him – regardless of what he does.
The problem is that in his 72 years on earth, God has not yet healed him.
The best way to diffuse a gaslighter is to completely – no matter how tempting – avoid exposing your feelings and emotions to him ( or her). As soon as you do you have become the match that lights their fire.
When you are with your pet gaslighter keep the conversation light. Keep it superficial. Bring up an article you’ve read that your gaslighter finds interesting. For my husband and I baseball is a safe topic. Discussing the inventory we have to run our business is an excellent subject for us to discuss.
Talk about the weather.
Don’t be a victim, don’t think of yourself as a victim, because the moment you do your gaslighter is in control. If your gaslighter must be in your life always keep in your mind that s/he is a pathetic person who lives in their tiny, fragile self-created world of (they believe) safety. S/he is a mentally and emotionally disturbed person.
Perhaps most important is this: Have your own network of support. Whatever that means to you, as long as your support people are healthy and care about you, keep them in your life.
Build up your own self-worth. Focus on your own emotional health and well-being as you accept that you cannot change that sicko gaslighter – and never will.
Don’t waste your precious time with trying to figure that person out; whenever you are tempted to do so, ask yourself how you can become a stronger person.
You cannot “expose” a gaslighter. You absolutely cannot prove to the gaslighter that you’re not crazy. You can beat them at their own sick, pitiful, weak little game by knowing, deep inside, that you are not “crazy”.
You can refuse to allow your gaslighter to control you be refusing to be the human fuel they need to keep their pathetic fire burning.