Recovering from emotional abuse and gas lighting

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    Hi all,

    I don’t want to go into much detail with what happened. Frankly, I’m exhausted from talking about it. Rather, I’m looking to see if anybody here can direct me to some good resources on recovering from emotional abuse, perhaps a good read (i.e., book) on rebuilding self-trust. If you aren’t familiar with the term gas lighting, wikipedia does a pretty good job of summing it up. Or, you can check out this article: http://www.thehotline.org/2014/05/what-is-gaslighting/. I’m young and no longer in the toxic relationship that tore me down psychologically and emotionally. I’m dealing with a lot of hurt at the moment, though, as the breakup was recent and the extent of the manipulation and lies was finally revealed. Leading up to this point, the past 5 months in this relationship have been very emotionally tough. I have a lot of support from friends and family. I’m just looking for something to maybe read or do on my own time… I’ve found yoga to be a place of comfort, for example.

    Many thanks <3


    Somewhat off topic but Alice Miller The Drama of the Gifted Child, is about how sometimes even in therapy, people are not supported in healthy ways. I don’t know why but that popped in my mind at your comment. She gives a nice historical context too, In I think it’s called For Your Own Good, explains how one’s parents denial leads to the child’s pain, so we relive the things that scared our grandparents the most. Fascinating. Oh and an old one called Leaving the Enchanted Forest, I always found useful too. People always recommend Beattie, but I haven’t read her. hmm, I think I’ll read these again too. Good luck.

    “Angry is just sad’s bodyguard” Liza Palmer


    Well, the best advice I can give you is to sit down and talk about your feelings with this persons. That’s the problem sometimes, lack of communication, then that’s where assumptions comes along which leads to mis-understandings. I love someone who is so afraid of coming out of the closet, that I paid a heavy price for that. Lies after lies after lies. According to the so called professional counselors & psychologists who are both friends and non-friends, have all said that I have been in love with a sociopath and a woman who has split personalities. They are convinced she is also bi-polar. That was really painful to hear so I stopped going to see a counselor until I sit down with my so called ex and discuss with her what really happened here. The best advice like I said is to sit down and talk to your ex or that you both go see a counselor together to get the results and peace that you need in order to move forward.


    C: If you need to talk, I’m running a live broadcast right now on ivlog.tv – under the username tripsgalore01
    And no this is not Spam. I’m a real person who comes to this site once and while to read and sometimes post a topic and sometimes to help others feel that they are not alone not this journey called life & love.


    Hi there,

    I followed your link and actually found a word for what I went through myself a couple years ago, which quite took me by surprise. I had never considered that he might have done it on purpose, I always thought it was his alcohol addiction…

    What really helped me with the severe sleeping problems I had in the wake of the whole thing was the hypnosis tapes and the videos of Joseph Clough – http://www.josephclough.com – He’s written a book as well, if you prefer reading, but I haven’t read it (yet!). He basically tells you that it is up to you to decide how you see yourself and where you are going in your life, and shows you how to make sure you don’t get side-tracked. His videos and some of his hypnosis audio are free. His work really helped me move on and take charge of my life.

    I’m at a point now where I’m not even angry at my ex-husband anymore. I’ve grown so much from going through this and now appreciate so many things in my life that I didn’t even notice before – I just wish that my kids didn’t have to go through it all too.


    I am so sorry to hear that you went through such a difficult time. I think emotional abuse happens more often than people like to admit. I went through something similar, and there are so many mixed emotions, and it takes awhile to untangle yourself from the deception. My advice would be to just not rush it, you know? It takes awhile to extricate yourself from something like that, and become a pure ‘you’ again. But it’s great that you realize what’s been going on. That’s huge. And everytime you get upset about the past, that’s what you should think about. As far as books, I too am a yogi, and so the Gita for me was a godsend. The one translated by Swami Sivinanda. Every morning I would meditate, do yoga, and read a chapter from the Gita. It was like a diet and it really saved me. Actually it was more like a cleanse. Clearing your mind is very patient work, but if you commit to it every day, it changes your whole life. Best of luck to you! Keep us updated on how you feel!


    Congratulations on escaping! I’ll be out a year in March after 12 years of trying to make an insane situation work. My ex is a narcissist and gaslighting is a specialty of his. Psychotherapy helped me see what he was doing. Reminded me of the cycle of abuse so I would remember what he was doing to me – as he was trying to do it again. It taught me about Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and that there are times when getting myself to eat and sleep were all that was important. I read a lot on the internet – took what I liked and ignored what wasn’t helpful.Yoga is awesome. Journaling is too. Meditation. Hot baths. Whatever makes you feel good and whole. Surround yourself with positive people who understand what you’re going through. Go easy on yourself. It takes time and patience to heal.

    Sending you peace and light. :0)


    Hi, gaslighting is a classic behavior of a social psychopath or narcissist. Check out this site:https://www.facebook.com/HowToSpotASocialPsychopath?ref=aymt_homepage_panel for more links, the work of Robert Hare, and Melanie Tonia Evans. The most important first step with people like this is no contact at all – no phone, no email, no text, no i.m. – nothing:) And being aware of these traits is great so you can heal and, very importantly, be able avoid people like this in the future. Good luck!!


    This is wonderful that you found the courage to get out. I recommend pretty much all books by Beverly Engel, specifically “the Jekyll and Hyde Syndrome” and “The Emotionally-abused woman.” She addresses specific issues with emotional abuse and how to process and work through your experiences and provide tips on self-care. She is able to provide really insightful clarity on emotionally-abusive situations so you don’t feel like your the only one. It is hard thing to talk about so I completely understand not wanting to get into depths of it. I had an abusive relationship (only came to see it was abusive when it was over) 6 years ago and I read her books and still see a therapist to work through things that happened. It gets better. Protect yourself and reclaim your space. Be well!


    Thank you, everyone. I really appreciate your responses and suggestions 🙂 I’m going to take a look at some of the book suggestions, especially.


    I personally was gaslighted by my abusive mother from age 3 until 17. She is still alive and I am estranged from her. Gaslighting in my opinion is the most cruelest form of torture. To make it where the victim can not even find refuge within themselves. They make you question your own sanity, question what you think is normal and what is not, question your innocence. This all occurring in my formative years scarred me for life when my only crime was simply being born.

    First I need to recommend professional therapy. It is expensive, but if you can afford it take advantage of it.

    In your case you need to acknowledge that you are no longer in the abusive relationship. That is now in the past. When healing yourself you need to see the importance of the present moment. The present moment is the only time healing takes place. Realize that the past is over and the furture is not here yet. Your abuser was hard on you. Sometimes we tend to be just as hard on ourselves as our abusers were. Self compassion and self love is going to be very important on your path to healing (and you will heal). You may also utilize cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to deprogram any distorted thinking you may have developed.

    As a grown man in my 30s, I still was struggling from abuse that happened in my childhood until I made a conscious effort to move past it. I am more than confident you will get past this. I will share with you what has helped me. I hope it helps you.
    My regiment:
    -professional therapy (when I have the luxury to afford it)
    -exercise daily
    -daily meditation (I often practice with Buddhist monks and nuns)
    -staying fully present in the moment

    Books that helped me:
    For CBT to retrain negative and distorted thinking, this book is top rated.

    For regaining self esteem and self worth this book helps me.

    For any depression you make have encountered

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