If you are a victim of gaslighting, you know how emotionally painful and devastating it is. Gaslighting is a form of manipulation where the gaslighter toys with your mental sanity in such a way that you begin to doubt your own perception of things. You no longer know what’s real and what’s not, since the gaslighter ‘convinces’ you that what you heard, saw, or intuitively know is not true.
That’s why it takes time to recover from this kind of abuse. Here are 5 effective ways you can implement that will help you heal and move on with your life.
1. Don’t ignore what has happened; call it what it is.
Don’t be ashamed to admit you’ve been gaslighted. Use the label ‘gaslighting’ to name your painful experience because many people can’t find words to describe it, yet they feel it. When you admit to yourself and get real with the way you have been manipulated, you are already on the path towards healing.
2. Break free from them.
You can’t recover and heal your heart if you are still in contact with the gaslighter. They know how to entangle you into their web of lies and manipulation again. Therefore, it is vital for you to break any form of contact with them. If the gaslighter is a member of your family and you cannot avoid them, then try to minimize your interactions with them.
3. Be kind to yourself.
Stop being so hard on yourself and blame yourself for allowing the gaslighter to abuse you in that way. Stop thinking that you should have been smart enough to recognize the abuse and leave the abuser sooner and know that it can happen to anyone. The gaslighters are skilled manipulators. The important thing is that you have broken free from it and you decided to take the lesson with you.
4. Surround yourself with love.
Nothing is more devastating and painful than being in a toxic and abusive relationship and nothing can heal you better than surrounding yourself with people who love you and care about you. Spend time with loving and kind people, the ones you can talk for hours and tell them about your experience without them judging you. Tell them about your doubts and fears and let them heal your heart with their loving and accepting nature.
5. Learn from your experience.
After experiencing being gaslighted on your own skin, you can now recognize all the warning signs and protect yourself from happening to you again. You have your own experience, but you can also read some books and articles on the topic to get further informed about it. Plus, reading stories from people who also have gone through it is a very uplifting and communal feeling. You will immediately feel understood and better.
Finally, the process of healing from being gaslighted is not an easy one, but you must do the work and learn how to trust and love yourself again.