Gaslighting: How To Protect & Heal Yourself From This

Written by Shayna Moorer, a guest STRUT Contributor

I told you all l I was going to double back on this subject. Let’s review, shall we?! According to Healthline, gaslighting is defined as “a form of emotional abuse that’s seen in abusive relationships. It’s the act of manipulating a person by forcing them to question their thoughts, memories, and the events occurring around them. A victim of gaslighting can be pushed so far that they question their own sanity.”

Gaslighting is an act that grinds my gears so hard. Anyone who takes advantage of you mentally is DANGEROUS.

Gaslighting is more common than we think. It’s not limited to only romantic relationships, and it’s very easy to overlook. Many gaslighters get by due to the lack of boundaries being set by the people who love them. They prey on those who love hard. Normally, the lack of accountability is a direct indication of gaslighting. How many times have you caught yourself in a disagreement saying, “Don’t flip this on me.” Or received an apology that goes something like, “I’m sorry you feel like that way.”

Learning to set clear boundaries is a MUST. I’ve identified my issues of setting and sticking to boundaries as being my need to people-please and abandonment issues. I know you’re probably reading like, WHOA that escalated pretty quickly. But it’s true – just like gaslighting, it’s also very common.

Having abandonment issues or being a people pleaser makes you an easy target because these individuals do not consistently practice self-love, which is not to be confused with self-esteem. Let me explain, self-love is defined as “love of self” or “the regard for one’s own happiness or advantage.” Self-esteem is described as “an attractive psychological construct because it predicts certain outcomes, such as academic achievement, happiness, satisfaction in marriage and relationships.”

I can speak from experience that I’ve taken the happiness and the comfortability of those I love – friends, family, partners, etc. – over my own. Coming from a lot of unresolved childhood trauma, I held on to people and made sure they were good first simply because I didn’t want them to leave. I thought if I showed love, I’d get the love I craved in return. No, I didn’t lack self-esteem. I’ve always thought very highly of myself, but I didn’t put myself first. Self-esteem deals more with the outer self, and self-love is definitely an inner working type of deal. Trust me when I say, you can feel both pretty and unloved simultaneously.

When you couple these insecurities that can easily be spotted and preyed upon by what I like to call “Emotional Terrorist,” you have to protect and heal yourself. I’d like to give a few quick tips in doing so:

  • Be kind to yourself.
    • Negative self-talk is very noticeable and can give a gaslighter the blueprint on how to penetrate and manipulate you.
    • If you suffer from any type of childhood trauma, seek help. Therapy can help, if you are willing to commit to adopting a different mindset. For myself, speaking in full transparency, it was very hard transitioning from the victim to the VICTOR. Present day, it can still be a bit of struggle but everyday is a new day which means you have been granted another chance at getting it right.

So to those so-called friends and lovers who commit these gaslighting crimes, I employ you to STOP NOW. The way karmic energy works is very deep and it never forgets. (Another story for another day but we will discuss.) It can catch you the next day or your loved ones the upcoming next year.

Transform your minds as well. Start the process of being okay with things and people who don’t go your way. What you do will come back on you. Simply put, it cost you nothing to be good to people. When you are living foul and mistreating people, it can most definitely end up costing you everything.

Until next good people,

That’s the Way ShayMo Sees It.

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