Honolulu (KHON2)- Abuse can take many forms, including emotional manipulation or “gaslighting.”
Hooko LLC Co-Founders Rhesa Kaulia and Edwina Reyes walked ya through the dynamics of gaslighting in a relationship and now to break the cycle.
According to Kaulia, “Gaslighting is a term that comes from the 1938 stage play Gas Light, in which
a husband dims the lights in the home (which were powered by gas) and denies that there are any changes to the lights, effectively driving his wife crazy. This
term has since morphed into a form of extremely effective emotional abuse, in which the victim questions their own thoughts and feelings, allowing for the abusive partner to gain power and control over the victim.”
Once a victim’s ability to trust their own perceptions has been compromised, the victim is more
likely to remain in the abusive relationship, which is what the abusive partner wants.
“Gaslighting typically happens very gradually,” explains Reyes. “The abusive partner’s actions can equate to a simple misunderstanding and so is not usually seen as anything pernicious. However, over time, the behaviors continue, often in
patterned form, the victim becomes increasingly confused, so much so, that they even rely on the abusive partner to define their reality. This makes is extremely
difficult to leave the relationship.”
There are many techniques used to gas light their victims.
They withhold love or support; they challenge and counter the victim’s
thought processes and perspectives and call the victim crazy, or tell them they
are imagining things; they minimize the victim’s feelings & make them seem unimportant; they pretend to forget or deny what actually occurred; they blatantly lie; they use things the victim cares about to manipulate them; they
project onto you (accuse you of doing the things that they are doing themselves, like cheating), they try to get others to turn against you & support their claims as well. Very insidious and destructive.
Here are signs that your partner may be gaslighting you. You constantly second-guess yourself & have difficulty making & sticking to decisions you’ve made; you feel as if you are going crazy, or are often confused; you make excuses for your partner’s behavior; you feel like you can never do anything right; you feel like you are not a good partner & that your partner
deserves someone better.
Kaulia stresses to get professional help from someone who is trained in relational dynamics, and who can help you determine if what you are experiencing constitutes
gaslighting. Often, talking to family or friends may not provide an objective response, & you may still be left wondering if what you are going through is really a problem.
Gas lighting can occur in non-intimate relationships as well,
but usually occur in intimate relationships, as these types of relationships leave a
person most vulnerable.
Hooko Counseling Center provides services for these
types of situations.
Often people don’t realize that counseling services are covered by most major health insurances.
If you have questions or would like to schedule an appointment, please contact the Hooko office at 808-375-7712 or go
online at www.hookollc.com.