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As a Nurse Amid COVID-19, How Can I Protect My Parental Rights?

As a Nurse Amid COVID-19, How Can I Protect My Parental Rights?

Question:

As a nurse amid COVID-19, how can I protect my parental rights?

Answer:

Michigan attorney
Jeffrey Worosz

I am only licensed in Michigan, so my answer may vary from the particular state that you reside in.

Until recently, being a nurse would not have much of an effect on custody and did not put a parent at risk for losing custody. The only issue with such a career, would have been the unconventional work hours nurses can have. However, the COVID-19 situation has certainly changed that since some parents will use whatever they can to their advantage in a custody battle. They also may be overly concerned about the safety of their children.

Making matters worse is a recent national news story, where judge in Florida stripped an emergency room doctor of her parenting time due to concerns over COVID-19, which undoubtedly emboldened some parents to seek to do the same. 

The best way to protect yourself and reduce the chance that a judge can do this is with strong evidence to show that your career has not created a danger for your children. Displaying evidence that you are not infected is necessary. It is hard for the court to say you are a danger if you do not have the virus.

Beyond that, it also is helpful to show the court what the realistic risks of contracting the virus are. Obviously, working as a nurse the risks would be higher than a parent that is working from home and not leaving their house, but that does not mean you have a 100 percent chance of contracting COVID-19.

A nurse can show that they are not at risk by noting what kind of safety precautions they use at work, how often they are tested at work, the extent of their possible exposure to COVID-19 at work, and any other measures that are taken to reduce risk. Showing the court that you are more aware than the average parent about exposure and protection will help show them that you are cognizant of the risks and are working to minimize them.

Another issue results from the misinformation and constantly evolving facts about the virus. Nurses and other medical professionals also come into contact with all sorts of illnesses by virtue of their job. Only recently, with the COVID-19 pandemic, has one’s profession become an excuse for parties to try and restrict their parenting time.

Working in the medical field, having access to more accurate information can be beneficial. If your hospital provides updates and information regularly to its employees, you can use that information to your advantage. Most judges and attorneys do not have backgrounds in the medical field and need to be educated as well from solid sources that can be trusted, such as hospitals and medical professionals. That information can allow the court to make a more informed decision regarding parenting time.

To arrange an initial consultation to discuss divorce rights for men with a Cordell & Cordell attorney, including Michigan divorce lawyer Jeffrey Worosz, contact Cordell & Cordell.

The post As a Nurse Amid COVID-19, How Can I Protect My Parental Rights? appeared first on Dads Divorce.

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Co-Parenting: Time to Mutually Agree to Save and Protect Your Children During Coronavirus Pandemic

Co-Parenting: Time to Mutually Agree to Save and Protect Your Children During Coronavirus Pandemic

Originally published by Nacol Law Firm.

Dealing with a worldwide medical pandemic and personally trying to stay alive and healthy is mentally changeling, but for parents who are divorced or have separate custody agreements and co- parent, it can be a disaster for the entire family. Hopefully, this Coronavirus Pandemic will be a short-lived life-threatening situation, but how the Co-parents cope with the problem could deeply impact their children’s emotional life.

In Texas, on March 13, 2020, the Texas Supreme Court issued an emergency order that divorced /single parents should go by the originally published school and visitation schedule in their current decree.  Since the last life-threatening pandemic in the United State was the Spanish Flu Pandemic of 1918, most divorce/ single parent agreements do not include a pandemic clause!

Do not be one of those parents who decides that they “are the decision maker” and drives away with the kids for an extended vacation to Grandma’s in Florida without telling the other parent. Or deciding that the family circle of trust does not include their Other Parent and refuses visitation or joint decision making.  These hasty, irrational decisions may seem reasonable in this time of national panic but consider the legal ramifications of violating an order.  Since all courts, in Texas, are now closed except for emergency litigation matters only, when the courts are fully operational again and the medical danger has passed, how will a violation of your current decree look to the Judge?  Judges always look to the needs of the child versus the unreasonable expectations of the parent. There will be serious ramifications against the violating parent.

Let’s look at some ideas on how co-parenting during this pandemic season can work the best for all family members and by joint agreement will save your both money that would normally go to legal fees.

Just remember that as co-parents your children are most important.  Your child has been told that they can’t see their grandparents because of their age and if infected by the coronavirus, may die. No school, no playing of sports, or playing with friends since they may be infected with a deadly virus and become very ill. Decide to cooperate as responsible co-parents to navigate the child to the new changes in their daily routines without a lot of stress and anxiety on the child.  By keeping the child calm and showing “a united family circle” the child will know that Mom and Dad are there for him/her.

Some areas of agreement should be that the child will have regular email, phone calls, FaceTime, Zoom visits, and texting with the other parent. The child needs to know that both parents are safe and interested in their wellbeing. Regular visitations times must be made available for the child to see each parent. Remember the child’s core circle of trust are his/her parents and siblings.

Another very serious matter is the decision of what will happen to the child if one parent becomes ill and cannot care for the child. The joint decision must be made by both parents and must ultimately be in the best interest for the child.

Custody disputes and circumstances that have totally changed in the last month. Just remember, co-parent cooperation is the best choice. There is no doubt that judges will be happy to hear that parents have worked together to meet their child’s best interest, by taking steps to protect the child’s health and safety.

This is a time for mutual give and take from both parents. No one is always right nor always wrong. In this upside crazy pandemic world, jointly trying to navigate your family to a better place will have its own rewards.

If, however, one parent unilaterally refuses to make fair agreements for the children or violates your custody orders, avoid retaliation and follow your decree orders faithfully. This Pandemic will pass, and most Judges will not treat lightly intense misconduct when the courts reopen.

Mark A. Nacol
The Nacol Law Firm P.C.
Dallas, Texas
(972) 690-3333

Click to open Copy of Texas Supreme Court Emergency Order on Child Custody Schedules during Coronavirus Pandemic. (pdf) 

Curated by Texas Bar Today. Follow us on Twitter @texasbartoday.



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Let’s Talk Divorce: 4 Ways The Family Court Fails To Protect Women During High Conflict Divorce

Let’s Talk Divorce: 4 Ways The Family Court Fails To Protect Women During High Conflict Divorce



 

We hear a lot about how women are favored during divorce but, in my opinion, the opposite is true. No one can hold onto resentment and anger like a man and nothing proves that more than the outrageous behavior by some during a high conflict divorce.

A woman’s only recourse is the protections afforded her by the Family Court and, bless our hearts, there aren’t many protections there.

I know a woman who has been divorced for over 12 years and still has legal issues with her ex. He constantly files a petition or motion with the court. It can be for something as simple as extracurricular activities her children are involved with to not liking the therapist her children are seeing. He makes NO attempt to negotiate and settle issues with the mother of his children. There is no emailing back and forth over a certain situation. He goes straight to the courts.

A woman has no defense against such a man. She is vulnerable to such a man’s whims because the Family Court allows the nonsense to continue year after year.

She has NO protection!

4 Ways The Family Court Fails to Protect Women During High Conflict Divorce

1. Failure to Protect Against Defiant Exes

If a woman is divorced from a man who defies court orders, she has no recourse via the Family Court. She can file a contempt of court motion but that’s like pissing into the wind. She will spend money on an attorney only to get a new order and listen to a judge tell her ex to “get it done or else,” and the or else never happens. The problem with contempt of court is this, a new court order means nothing to a man with a history of defying court orders.

2. No Protection from Crushing Financial Expense of Divorce

Most women going through the divorce process are stay-at-home Moms or the lower income earner in the marriage. They start the divorce process in a one-down position because they don’t have access to the best attorneys and experts to advocate for them. The Family Court takes none of this into consideration during the process and there is an old saying that is true, “the one with the money wins in Family Court.”

3. No Protection for Victims of Domestic Abuse

Victims of domestic violence are especially vulnerable in the Family Court system. Their main concern is naturally protecting their children from a violent man and with the courts’ main focus on not separating a child from a parent, the domestic abuse victim has to have substantial evidence of abuse to protect their children via the court.

What professionals fail to realize is that women in abusive situations don’t call attention to their abuse. Doing so can only lead to more abuse. So, instead of going to the emergency room so they’ve have a record of injuries or filing police reports, they stay quiet out of fear of inviting more abuse upon themselves and their children.

If a woman doesn’t have substantial evidence of abuse and brings up accusations of abuse in court she can be viewed as making false allegations of abuse and attempting to alienate a father from his child. Women all over the country are losing custody rights to violent men due to the lack of protection abuse women received in the Family Court.

4. Failure to Protect Children from Harm

If you’re divorced from a bully hell-bent on using your child as a pawn to punish you, the “best interest” doctrine, flies right out the window. A Family Court judge will NOT hold a man harming his children emotionally, accountable. I think they believe that a bad father is worse than no father so, purposely put children in harm’s way so they can tell themselves “at least the child still has 2 parents.” And, as someone who raised her children alone, with no contact from their father, I can say that, that belief is straight up BS!

The post Let’s Talk Divorce: 4 Ways The Family Court Fails To Protect Women During High Conflict Divorce appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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Gaslighting: How To Demystify And Protect Yourself From The Narcissist’s Smoke-Screen

Gaslighting: How To Demystify And Protect Yourself From The Narcissist’s Smoke-Screen

 

Gaslighting is a term that most abuse communities are very familiar with.

But what does it mean?

How does it affect people?

Why is gaslighting so hard to identify, and so mentally and emotionally damaging?

How can you get clear that you are being gaslit, remove and protect yourself and recover from its insidious effects?

The answers to these questions are very important because if you are being abused, there is every chance that you are being gaslit.

 

The Origins of the Word Gaslighting

If you are not sure what the expression ‘gaslighting’ means, Wikipedia describes it like this – a  form of manipulation that seeks to sow seeds of doubt in a targeted individual or members of a group, hoping to make targets question their own memory, perception, and sanity.

The term owes its origin to a 1938 play called Gas Light and its 1944 film adaptation.

Gaslighting is commonly used by toxic and abusive individuals to diminish others, which often means close intimates or other people who they wish to gain control over, as well as punish.

Let’s examine how this gaslighting plays out.

 

The Main Tactic of Gaslighting – Confusion

If you are feeling confusion regarding what is real and what isn’t real, there is a good chance that you are being gaslit.

An example of this would be that you have a conversation with someone and you know what was actually said. Then this person, as narcissists often do when confronted, flatly denies ever saying it at all, and will tell you that you completely misheard what was said.

You know you didn’t, yet, you start to doubt yourself. You believe there is a possibility you misheard things. Worse still, you might begin to think that you are losing your mind. After all, this person is apparently so convinced that you are wrong.

Confusions of this type are an incredibly common occurrence with an abuser, and this is only the beginning of how far it can go and how devastating gaslighting can be.

The following is a classic example of how gaslighting can take place. Tracy, one of my clients, experienced a situation of confusion and horrific punishment through the use of gaslighting.

This lady’s mother had very recently died, and friends and family gathered at her home in deep commiseration together. Her narcissistic husband was incensed because the attention wasn’t on him.

Tracy had too much to drink in her state of deep grief, and when she woke up the next morning her husband was gone. He went missing for three days with his phone turned off.

When he returned, he told Tracy that she was seen in the kitchen kissing her own male cousin. He said that he wasn’t the only one who caught her out, and there were other family members who were also disgusted by her actions.

Tracy was mortified. She was drunk that night, she couldn’t remember. She was horrified thinking she may have done it, even though she had never felt any attraction or romantic inclination towards her cousin.

In our Quanta Freedom Healing session together, we shifted out not only the grief of losing Tracy’s mother but also the terrible trauma of her husband’s accusation.

Because the terrible feelings had shifted out of her Inner Being, Tracy got very clear about showing up in integrity and confronting these allegations. She contacted people who were present at the house that evening. When Tracy told people what her husband had said, they were shocked. They told her that she had done nothing of the kind, and that her husband’s mood and behaviour towards her that night had been totally unsupportive and horrible.

This is the thing when we’re not in our power, we recoil in shame and don’t check out the facts. Tracy’s husband had not expected her to do that. When she confronted him about his abusive behaviour he quickly changed to the next gaslighting tactic, ‘Of course people aren’t going to admit what they saw, it’s too disgusting’, and ‘Not only should I leave you for what you did but why would I stay with a wife who believes other people’s lies instead of her own husband?’

Of course, this threw Tracy into an even worse spin. That’s exactly what gaslighting is all about.

Gaslighting truly is an incredibly malicious tactic. It’s used to punish people by stripping their power and getting them to distrust themselves. It’s also about destroying a person’s own character to themselves and anyone else who will listen.

And sadly, many outside people do listen. Most decent people have been conditioned to believe that when another adult looks them in the eyes and says something horrible about another person, that it must be true.

In this case, Tracy’s narcissistic husband told joint friends and work colleagues his twisted version of what she did that night. Most of these people believed him, including him purporting she had cheated on him numerous times previously.

So, what was his motivation for doing this?

Hurting Tracy – pure and simple. Taking out his rage on her because that evening he couldn’t regulate narcissistic supply and be the centre of attention.

It is important to understand that narcissists will use the tactic of gaslighting to fulfil any agenda necessary for him or her to feed the False Self, or punish someone who hasn’t adequately done so.

 

When to Suspect You Are Being Gaslit

Being gaslit is probable if you are facing mind-bending confusion with one specific person in your life.

In other words, if you don’t suffer confusing accusations, information and conversations with other people, this is generally a very strong indication that you are being abused by the person that it is happening with.

If there is no real evidence regarding the information you are being told and if you believe that it was a different version of the events being presented, and especially if the confusing times happen on a regular basis, there is a good possibility that you are being gaslit.

If this person is often unkind, unsupportive, envious, pathologically jealous or prone to try to sabotage your interests and happiness, and takes umbrage when life is not all about him or her, make no mistake – the confusing times are gaslighting episodes.

Gaslighting is cruel – it’s conscienceless – it’s malicious. And it defies what we would like to believe humans are capable of doing.  Truly, only a pathologically disordered person is capable of doing it.

 

The Parts of You Susceptible to Being Gaslit

Your emancipation from being gaslit is to realise first of all that anybody who is hurting you is not healthy for you – regardless of what they are saying or doing.

When situations are confusing, you may not be able to make logical sense of what is going on. This is normal. However, when you go inside and start addressing what is being triggered within your Inner Identity with my Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Program (NARP), you will get to the core of the problem.

These are the unhealed parts of yourself which are susceptible to being lied to, manipulated, twisted and confused.

If you have been susceptible to being scapegoated and blamed when you were little or told that whatever you did was never good enough, or parented with guilt tactics, or told how bad and worthless you were, then all of these original traumas can make you highly susceptible to being gaslit.

If you have struggled to trust yourself and believed that other people have more power, jurisdiction or better skills at organising your life than you do, then you are also highly susceptible to being lied to and manipulated through gaslighting.

Gaslighting is one of the narcissistic tactics that prey on our already existing gaps – the parts of ourselves that haven’t been healed and shored up yet – meaning we hand over our rights and value to another person’s opinion of us.

We can easily fall for this, especially if we have a terror of persecution and being criticised rejected, abandoned or punished by those who don’t believe we are a good person.

If you believe that your love, approval, security and survival depends on a key person’s thoughts and feelings about you, then the more they maliciously gaslight you, the more you will cling to them trying to fix their version of you, and to get safety and clarity from them.

Yet, you can’t create sanity out of insanity. Trying to is a dangerous recipe to potentially go fully insane.

You may even capitulate, apologise and hand your values, rights and boundaries away to retain this person in your life, trying to make them love you. Not only does this not work, it will leave you drastically devastated and diminished, and you will become more and more unwell.

 

How Do You Heal and Become Impervious to Being Gaslit?

I promise you that when you heal your susceptibilities to abuse, you will never be gaslit again.

In the case of Tracy, when her husband started smashing her with continued gaslighting tactics – threatening to abandon her due to her purported adulterous behaviour and betrayal of him – understandably she was hit with further doubt and panic.

Yet, rather than caving in to him, and handing her power over even further, Tracy went inside herself with Quanta Freedom Healing (NARP) and targeted these intense traumas that were activated within her Inner Being.

The belief systems and original traumas that were at the core of Tracy’s susceptibility to believing him, were how she was scapegoated as a child. These were the unhealed traumas of how she was blamed for her father’s dysfunctional and abusive behaviour. As a child she had taken the blame and the shame on for her father.

Thank goodness that with NARP processes, Tracy was able to load up her original childhood traumas, and release and replace them.

It was then that she anchored into her power and truth.

No more was she a broken little scapegoated girl in an adult woman’s body. Rather, Tracy had clarity and knew that her narcissistic husband was abusing her, was unsupportive and pathological, and that this behaviour was no longer a match for what she wanted or deserved in her life.

This was the beginning of the end of the relationship.

She took action to get a solicitor, moved out and her husband was blindsided regarding her newfound power. She was no longer scared of him, tiptoeing around him or handing him her power.

He then switched to love bombing, apologising and trying to win her back. This predictably triggered her feelings of guilt and obligation and wanting to try to fix things. (Which were other unhealed traumas that had taken place between Tracy and her father during her childhood).

The triggered painful feelings meant that there was just more stuff to heal!

Fortunately, when Tracy was close to capitulating, rather than reconnecting with him, she went inside again with the NARP healings and shifted out the parts of her that were triggered. These were the parts of her that had previously given abusive people repeat chances, time and time again. But finally, Tracy felt impervious and unmoved by her husband’s crocodile tears and false promises.

Now, who he was and what he stood for no longer appealed to her in any shape or form.

Because of being unmoved by him, within six months she received her settlement and he was fully out of her life.

The truth was that Tracy’s emotional attachment and trauma symptoms were healed and finished many months before this.

Such is the case for all of us, when we finally heal the original traumas that the narcissist is presenting as the current evidence in our life. This is because we have awakened, healed and reset our Inner Identity and relationship code to one that no longer matches the abuse that the narcissist in our life delivers.

I promise you the same will be true for you.

Tracy, just like so many of us (myself included) who were gaslit, became a confident, solid human, anchored into her own Inner Being with self-value.

When you have released the trauma that has made you susceptible to being gaslit and shift into your True Self on this topic, you will finally be free of this hideous and malicious form of manipulation.

Okay, so … I dearly hope that this article has helped grant you clarity and power. I also hope that it has given you a roadmap to get up and out of the pain and susceptibility to being abused by someone else’s malicious tactics – otherwise known as gaslighting.

If you know it’s time for you to get serious about healing your original traumas so that you can escape abuse and enter a true, healthy life where you are treated with respect, then it may be time for you to take the next step and start my NARP program.

This holiday time could be the perfect opportunity for you to get serious about healing your Inner Identity and getting relief, clarity and your power back very quickly.

You can get this process started today right here.

And as always, I am so looking forward to our discussion on this topic below.

 

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Parents call for reforms to protect families from mistaken child abuse allegations

Parents call for reforms to protect families from mistaken child abuse allegations

Texas lawmakers pledge to “learn from past mistakes” as parents recall the pain of having children taken following disputed doctor reports.

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#MiracelsofFaith

Protect Yourself From An Unreasonable Ex

4 Ways To Protect Yourself From An Unreasonable Ex

Protect Yourself From An Unreasonable Ex

 

You’ve been through the divorce process, the paperwork is signed and it’s final. Time to move forward and put all that behind you, right? Not always! If your ex hasn’t been able to navigate the divorce in an emotionally healthy manner you may see a continuation of conflict long after the divorce is final.

An unreasonable ex-spouse, if intent, can cause life for you and your children to be miserable. Child visitation, child support, and following divorce decree orders are just a few tools at your ex’s disposal when it comes to prolonging conflict after divorce.

You may be unable to control their behavior but you can control your response to the behavior. Taking a proactive stance when dealing with an unreasonable ex will lessen the stress brought on by any irrational manipulations.

How to Protect Yourself From an Unreasonable Ex:

  1. Don’t engage in the conflict.

Engaging in the conflict only feeds the conflict. If demands are made and you defend yourself, you are playing the game and should expect an escalation of the conflict. If you receive nasty emails, threats of “taking the children away,” or anything that causes you concern and stress, don’t respond.

No response from you will stop your ex in their tracks. If they have no one to play with, the game is over.

  1. Don’t give in out of fear.

No one knows you better than your ex. That gives them ammunition to use against you. They know your weaknesses and fears and will push those buttons in an attempt to get what they want. There is no more powerful tool at their disposal when it comes to controlling you than your own fears.

Here is one way to view the situation when they do something that causes you fear. Their manipulations and attempts to control you by causing anxiety in you are a reflection of just how afraid they are of you.

Don’t allow THEIR fear to get the best of you and derail your ability to rebuild your life after divorce.

  1. Don’t concern yourself with what is said.

Words can wound and you can expect an unreasonable ex to use their words. They will tell anyone who will listen negative things about your character and behaviors. It is only human to want to defend yourself when lies are being spread but, it won’t put a stop to the lies. And, lashing out certainly won’t make you look like the reasonable of the two of you.

The most effective response you can give to an ex who vilifies and maligns you to others is compassion. Mean people are hurting people. The anger your ex displays toward you is an indication of how much pain they are in. Showing compassion instead of striking back enables you to rise above THEIR pain and regain power in your life.

  1. Don’t give into guilt.

If the divorce was your idea you may feel quite a bit of guilt and angst over your decision. If, however, your decision to divorce was in your best interest you don’t want to allow those feelings of guilt to hold you back from moving forward.

It isn’t easy to hear how a decision you made hurt another person. Your ex can easily draw you into their pain by expressing the negative impact your decision had on them, how “nothing will ever be OK again.” An ex who brings their pain to you isn’t attempting to gain sympathy, they are attempting to cause you to feel the same pain they feel. You hurt them, they want you to hurt!

Guilt is the result of not doing something instead of doing something wrong. If you put a full-faith attempt in saving your marriage before deciding to divorce, you’ve done nothing wrong. You have nothing to feel guilty about!

Show your ex compassion, once again, but don’t give in to feelings of guilt or shame because you aren’t responsible for their pain.

The main focus of an unreasonable ex is to keep you engaged in a relationship that has legally ended. To disengage and move on with your life you will need to recognize certain behaviors for what they are, attempts to pull you back into a relationship you’ve already decided was not right for you.

The post 4 Ways To Protect Yourself From An Unreasonable Ex appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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gaslighting

Gaslighting: How To Recognize It And Protect Yourself

gaslighting

 

Gaslighting is a form of psychological abuse. It is defined as a way to manipulate someone to make them question their own sanity.  As you can imagine it is a particularly dangerous form of domestic abuse. This article explains a little about its history and what it can look like in relationships. It also gives some ways to stand up it.

Still, from the beginning, I want to stress that If you are being psychologically abused with gaslighting I believe ultimately you will need to leave. If you are in a situation where you can’t leave yet or there are children involved and you must have some interaction, these tips might help you keep your sanity when he is trying to distort is.

Where the word gaslighting comes from

Gaslight is the name of a play that was made into a movie in the 1940s. In its most famous version, Ingrid Bergman played the heroine. I will try not to give the whole story away because I think everyone should see the movie, but I will touch on parts of it to illustrate how gaslighting works.

The basic plot of the story is that a young woman’s husband is systematically making her feel like she is going insane as part of a plot to steal her gems. The title comes from how the gas lamps would dim when he is pretending to be out of the house but secretly in the attic.

When she tells him about the lights, he says she is seeing things and tries to get others to believe she is mentally ill. Other times he takes things from her and then tells her she loses things. Over time, she begins to think she is going crazy. He tells others around her that she is sick, ensuring that she has no outside reality check.

During the course of the movie, we watch her deteriorate, starting to be easily frightened, avoiding going out, and eventually becoming what he tells her she is. The woman doesn’t recognize what is happening until a detective from the Scotland Yard, who had been following the husband, tells her what he was doing.

Most of us will not be helped by Scotland Yard so we will have to learn to be our own detectives. The first step in protecting yourself from gaslighting is to recognize what it can look like.

How do you know if you are being gaslighted?

It is not easy. It is designed to be unnoticed. Fortunately, we all have an inner voice that tells us when something is not right. In the movie, she hears the inner voice the first time he tells her she loses things, but she quickly overrides this voice. She trusts him. She thinks he loves her and she is willing to believe she makes mistakes. So, she accepts the lie.  That is the key to gaslighting.

Here are some examples of what gaslighting might look like off screen.

Covert gaslighting

You get stuck in traffic and are late to meet him.

“Sorry I am late.”

“Oh, don’t worry.  You are always a little late. I have learned to expect your magical sense of time.”

You are confused. You aren’t always late. You make it a point to be on time. But you start to wonder if you are late more often than you realized and maybe you do have no sense of time.

Aggressive gaslighting

He invites you to go to an event with his friends and you greet them happily. Later he says, “I was surprised when you flirted with my friends.”

You weren’t flirting with his friends but now you wonder. ‘Was I wrong to say hello with a hug?’ Maybe I do touch people too much. Again, you question yourself.

Supportive gaslighting

You excitedly tell him about your new job.

He says, “I am so happy for you. I know how much you disliked giving presentations at your last job.”

Again, you are confused. You like public speaking and actually will miss it.  Now you wonder why he said that. Are you more nervous about the presentations than you realized?

As you can see gaslighting can look very benign, even kind and supportive. This is part of how you can be tricked into believing it. Bit by bit, you start to question who you are. If it goes on long enough you can begin, like the woman in Gaslight, to believe his version of who you are.

This is the essence of crazy making. Being conditioned to believe something that isn’t true. It is important to note he doesn’t believe this picture of you either. One of the most disturbing realizations about gaslighting is that his lies about you are made on purpose.

Protecting yourself from gaslighting

Ultimately, I think this is a situation where you have to leave but until that is possible, you can take some steps to protect your sanity.

Get an outside perspective. In the movie, he isolated her from people to prevent others from dispelling his illusion about her. The lie loses its power when you no longer believe it.  This is why if you suspect this is happening to you, it is imperative to get outside help- a counselor, a friend, a family member who can remind you of who you are. If you are self-employed or work at home, consider getting a job with coworkers. This can be a valuable reality check.

Speak your truth. Every time he tells you what you are doing, being, thinking, ask yourself if you agree. If your first thought is no then say ‘No, that is not true, I usually am on time, I was not flirting, I like public speaking’ etc.  There is no need to argue. You are not trying to convince him. Remember, he knows that what he is saying about you is not true. You are reminding yourself of who you are and at the same time drawing a very important boundary. I am the one who defines who I am.

Listen to your inner voice. When I first suspected I was being abused I called a hotline and immediately apologized about calling them because my husband was not hitting me. I said I just feel like I am being abused. She said, “If you feel like you are being abused you are being abused.” From these words, I began my journey to recovery. There was nothing I could see or prove to myself or others. I only knew that it felt wrong. And that is all I needed to know.

In the movie, the woman finally does stand up to him when she realizes what he was doing and still he tries to manipulate her to the end.  Abusers are getting something out of the abuse so they rarely just stop it. Standing up for yourself and your reality is something you do to maintain your sanity as you begin the processes of leaving.

You might spin your wheels as you try to figure out why he does this. In the movie, he was after jewels, but for most of us, there is no logical reason. To control us? To have power? To protect his own reality? I am not sure we will ever know but it doesn’t matter. The goal here is not to change him. It is to protect yourself. And the stakes are high. He might not be stealing jewels but gaslighting can steal your very sense of who you are.

The post Gaslighting: How To Recognize It And Protect Yourself appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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