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TW: the consequences of bullying and gaslighting/psychological manipulation are underestimated

I've struggled with childhood bullying. I know how much it hurts. It can be a really lonely experience. Pain caused by bullying is often underestimated. People often think it is part of life. But it is not OK. It is never OK. It can cause long term damage. I think it had a role in triggering my mood disorder and anxiety. 

 

Gaslighting is a form of emotional abuse when the victim starts to question their reality. It can cause victims to hit a wall until they don't know what to believe anymore. The abuser/manipulator can make you feel vulnerable, small and ashamed of yourself. They tell you that you are too sensitive. The victim often doubts themselves, often believe something is wrong with them. The victim are accused of being manipulative and lying. The victim is told it is always their fault. The manipulator denies the victim's version of reality. I did not know what was happening, until I walked away and took a step back to understand what had happened. I spent a long time doubting myself, feeling as though I was a manipulative and a horrible person. I thought I didn't deserve to be respected. When I realised what happened I started feeling so stupid, I thought I let myself be too vulnerable. But it is okay to be vulnerable, we are only human, we all get hurt. Worst of all, it was from a health professional. 

 

Remember you are not alone. Bullying and emotional abuse are harmful. Words hurt. It is NOT your fault. You are not crazy. You can get through it. Feel free to share you experiences and thoughts. 

 

 

Re: TW: the consequences of bullying and gaslighting/psychological manipulation are underestimated

hey @beautifullybroken im sorry that you have been through so much but thank you for sharing this with us. im sure many others including myself will be able to relate and feel less alone
**NEVER be afraid to ask for help because you're WORTH it!**

Re: TW: the consequences of bullying and gaslighting/psychological manipulation are underestimated

@scared01 I'm sorry you can also relate. I thought I was over it. But only recently I realised I might be afraid of being vulnerable because I'm afraid of having my vulnerabilities exploited. I don't want others to view me as an easy target. I don't want to be viewed as weak. I do not think this fear developed overnight, but over the years.

Re: TW: the consequences of bullying and gaslighting/psychological manipulation are underestimated

Thank you for this post @Beautifullybroken  - it's so important to remember that you're not crazy or at fault if you've been bullied or manipulated. 

Heart

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Re: TW: the consequences of bullying and gaslighting/psychological manipulation are underestimated

@Beautifullybroken thank you for making this post. 

Being bullied, dismissed or abused can have such a long lasting effect on people..

Many of my mental health issues got their first "roots" from my brother's behavior when we were younger... he basically used me as a punching bag (both emotionally and physically) whenever he got angry. 

It still affects my ability to trust anyone, especially my parents who did nothing when I told them.

 

I'm so sorry to hear it was a health professional who gaslighted you...

That must've been so damaging, especially as they were in an authority position. 

Like you said, it's okay to be vulnerable; that person's actions were their fault, not yours. 

Re: TW: the consequences of bullying and gaslighting/psychological manipulation are underestimated

@Beautifullybroken thank you for sharing this!

I completely agree with you that the long lasting effects of emotional abuse can often be underestimated. That feeling of being afraid to be vulnerable in order to protect yourself from having them exploited by someone again is such a hard one and something I'm also going through at the moment after being emotionally abused by my ex.

The pain that is caused by emotional abuse at the hands of someone we believed to be trustworthy/safe around is indescribable and I think at some level will always stick around with us - but reflecting on these experiences with our peers and fleshing out our feelings and thoughts like we are here is where that healing starts Smiley Happy

Re: TW: the consequences of bullying and gaslighting/psychological manipulation are underestimated

Hi @Beautifullybroken!

I'm sorry you've been going through so much pain. Gaslighting is a really terrible thing to go through and can make you feel like you're going crazy. It's especially awful when it comes from a health professional as we make ourselves vulnerable and open up about our issues to a total stranger only to be treated badly and let down. I think a lot of these health professionals shouldn't be doing that particular job because they seem to be really lacking in compassion. Isn't one of the first things they learn is to first do no harm? No one deserves abuse. Smiley Sad

I also experienced childhood bullying and I believe it also triggered my mental health issues. I'm sorry you struggled with it as well. Smiley Sad

I like how you said that it is never the victim's fault. Some of my family members do a lot of gaslighting and lying. The purpose seems to be making themselves look high and mighty and holier than thou and everyone else look bad. Their versions of events constantly contradict witnesses' versions and other evidence. I have had a lot of arguments with them over it, which had a huge effect on me growing up, and usually take what they say with a grain of salt. It helps me to believe that the problem is with them and not me. They inherited this kind of behaviour from the previous generations of family members so grew up not understanding how wrong it is. But I refuse to do the same thing and end up like them. It really is their problem because with certain physical and cognitive illnesses, one of the signs can often be that the person starts saying untruthful things and confabulating. Unfortunately, these family members never developed a reputation of telling the truth and generally being nice people, and as they get older, it can be hard to tell whether it is a sign of something more serious or just their 'normal' self. They also do a lot of lying about their health so it is their loss when people don't believe them if they are really sick. They have created that issue for themselves.

Re: TW: the consequences of bullying and gaslighting/psychological manipulation are underestimated

@gina-RO @Tiny_leaf @linkinpark13 @WheresMySquishy I think it does help to share experiences and reflect upon it. I hope you all realise how awesome you are, I feel so supported being on RO <3.

Re: TW: the consequences of bullying and gaslighting/psychological manipulation are underestimated

@Beautifullybroken  You're so right! I tend to vent a lot about or write down my experiences. It helps me feel a lot better. You're awesome too, @Beautifullybroken! This is a great thread because not a lot of people are aware of gaslighting. Like you said, many people don't know what's happening or how to respond to it. The perpetrator can easily manipulate the victim into thinking that it's their fault.

giphy

Re: TW: the consequences of bullying and gaslighting/psychological manipulation are underestimated

@WheresMySquishy I think many people don't realise how traumatising it can be, even though it's verbal. I think that's why I've struggled to talk about it. Because I thought I would be judged for being too sensitive.