To view the other articles in this series, click on the category of Narcissistic Personality Disorder on the right side of my blog. Be sure to read Gaslighting: The Narcissist’s Game. Otherwise, as my friend Jan says, “It’s like coming in after the movie has started…”
I had no idea that when I wrote “Gaslighting: A Narcissist’s Game” that it would strike the ‘nerve’ that it has. “The stories you have heard are true, the names were changed to protect the innocent…..”
There were examples of the “gaslighting madness” inflicted on me that I have had to leave out; the situations were far too identifying. There were many vague and truly odd things that happened while I was ‘friends’ with the N, while I was in the midst of D&D. (Devalue and Discard) I think many of those memories have been blocked by my subconscious.
I wrote the first post on “gaslighting” because I found very little information on this abuse. I felt that if I needed information, maybe other people did too. So I started doing research.
The best article I’ve come across is entitled “Ambient Abuse” written by Dr. Sam Vankin. I found Dr. Vankin’s site when I was researching Narcissistic Personality Disorder after the final D&D…(I have since figured out that there is no “final” where the N is concerned.) Dr. Vankin has probably the best site for information on NPD, for very good reason: Dr. Vankin is a narcissist.
It was after first reading Dr. Vankin’s articles I realized what my ‘friend’ was. I can hear you saying, “only a doctor can diagnose NPD.” Seriously, what are the chances that the N is EVER going to darken the door of a therapist’s office?? Besides, after reading the DSM-IV, the “Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders”, the N has all 9 characteristics. That realization was like “fingernails on a blackboard” for me. If that isn’t scary enough for you, on the MSN groups Narcissistic Personality Disorder forum, there is a list of 20 behaviors/traits of a Narcissist. The N had 18 out of 20. The missing two characteristics? He probably has those too, but I had not experienced those aspects of his personality. Lucky me.
I was looking for specific examples of gaslighting on the Internet. Was this comment or that behavior just a quirk of the N? Or Was he really gaslighting me? Dr. Vankin’s article on “Ambient Abuse” confirmed my fears, the N had been using these techniques to damage me.
It was quite sometime after the N moved on to other, “less drained” sources of supply that his covert operations were confirmed. Friends told me one evening that often they would see the N in my office, after hours. After I had left for the day. They wondered why he was there, but never wanted to confront the N. Can you blame them? Sadly, it never occurred to them to tell me what they had witnessed.
If they had, it would have been validation for me - I wasn’t going crazy; there was a crazy individual in my life.
(Bet you thought I was going to call him a person.)
Bear with me…as I finish my NPD posts. Yes, these posts will eventually come to an end; I still have a few more things to say. It was after I finished the “Mirror, Mirror” post that I felt “cleansed” from the abusive friendship. Victims/targets of a narcissist rarely, excuse me, NEVER get closure; this is mine.
**Footnote…..On “Desperate Housewives” shown on October 26, 2008….one of the male characters had begun “gaslighting” the elderly woman who lives in the neighborhood. What that character did, moving possessions…that is what the N did to me. On the television drama, the male character admits to the elderly woman that yes, he was trying to drive her crazy as she lays in an ambulance, with no witnesses.
We are left not knowing “why” at the end of the evening’s telecast. I know the feeling; I used to occasionally wonder what The N’s real motive was with me. I know now. It was simply to abuse another human being. Try wrapping your mind around that.