The Intentionally Emotive Podcast with Shaun Karim
Episode 13 - Were They Gaslighting Me or Was My Narcissistic Ex Right?
In this episode, Shaun goes over some of the most used tactics narcissists use to make you confused about your identity and then make you assume the one they’ve created for you.
It can be difficult to distinguish what is “you” and what isn’t, and this is all by design. Fortunately (or unfortunately? ;-) ), Shaun has experienced this, and goes in detail about his lessons learned and how you can apply them to your situation.
Follow Shaun on social
This podcast is part of the Mental Health News Radio Network!
Write a review here!
Intro and Outro music by Anton_Vlasov from Pixabay
How's it going, everybody? Welcome to the Intentionally Emotive Podcast with Shaun Karim, part of the Mental Health News Radio Network. New episodes are available every Wednesday on your favorite podcast platform.
If you were involved in a romantic relationship with a narcissist, a lot of the pain you’re experiencing is because of the words they used against you. The criticisms that they laid against you were designed to control you. We know all about that.
But what if some, most, or even all of what they said about you was the truth?
That could lead you to the question “Were They Gaslighting Me or Was My Narcissistic Ex Right?”
Your narcissistic ex dished out all kinds of criticisms against you, possibly for years. When you wanted to spend time with them and do things together, and when you asked them where they were or when they’d be available, they accused you of being clingy. When you expressed how you felt about them, about your relationship, they either froze or even told you to stop because it was too much.
When you two went out on dates, they were all into public displays of affection–at first. Then over time, that happened less and less, and that was rightfully concerning. So you’d initiate something, a hug or a kiss on the cheek, and they weren’t really into it. Were they embarrassed? Did you do or say something wrong?
Maybe they put you in a position–or at least tried to–where you’d have to rely on them for survival. Was it because they’re more capable than you? Were you not good enough for them? Why didn’t they ever encourage you to improve yourself however you sought that?
What are your interests? What do you like doing? What do you like watching? What kind of music do you like? What physical activities do you enjoy? What do you do during your down time? Well, whatever those things may be and if you want to continue doing any of those things, put the kibosh on all of it. Why? Because now you have to do all the things they enjoy, watch the shows they watch, eat the foods they eat while no longer eating the foods you like, and do all of the physical activities they like. You have to change everything because what they like is better than anything you enjoy.
But sometimes they’d reel you back in with affection, right? Hugs and kisses. Words of affection and appreciation. Making you feel valued like you did before. They’re smiling and laughing with you. You’re spending quality time together. It almost feels like all of that other stuff doesn’t even matter anymore.
Then you realize, much later down the road, that the reason they were being affectionate again is because they wanted something from you. Money, time, sex, whatever.
And then… all of that bullshit starts all over again. Why? What did you do wrong? Why are you not good enough? What can you do to change things so that everything is good again?
THEN… if they’re really an asshole, they bring SOMETHING about your past, your early childhood, about your parents and how they were right about treating you a certain way. That’s a low blow. Right? Or is it? If they’re right about everything else, then how are they wrong about this?
So all the times you felt like you were being strung along by your ex, was it because THEY were unsure of YOUR character? Is there something wrong with you? Were they right? Were they right about all of the things they said about you?
Do you see what’s going on here? It could be difficult to understand what happened.
Your narcissistic ex not only thrives on controlling you, but it’s almost like their survival depends on it. They need to do every single thing they can to make sure that you’re wrapped around their finger. They need for you to be their puppet to carry out all of their demands despite whatever it is that you might want. If you express your opinion, they shame you for thinking for yourself and essentially force you to see things their way, and if you don’t, then they want you to keep your mouth shut and do whatever they want anyway.
Despite how ever you two got together, one thing is for certain: THEY chose YOU. Why? Because you have the resources they don’t, and they want them. Trophy wife or husband. Cooking food. Providing some type of financial assistance to them if not outright giving them money to use how they want. You’re nurturing. You’re committed. Faithful. And above all, you will give of yourself to them, even to your detriment.
How did they do this? Why did they do this? Will they ever stop?
Well, the only way they’ll stop is if they do some deep and intensive work to understand why they think the way they do, address that trauma, and start changing the way they approach life. That’s a tall order for anyone, but especially for someone whose personality trait depends on lying as much as possible for their life to be the way they think it should.
So I’m going to be very clear here. Don’t fall for their bullshit.
Remember that they manipulated you. They wanted to make sure that if you started to veer off where they wanted you to go, they’d put you in a situation where you were confused so they could bombard you with what they called “facts” to have you turn back. Maybe what you were doing felt unnatural, and that was because you weren’t being you. You were being who they wanted you to be.
The things they said about your behavior, the way you act, the things you say–about you being of poor nature, they weren’t talking about you. They were talking about themselves. They were projecting because that’s how they confuse you and control you, and put you in a space where you obey their every command.
What about those times that you successfully called them out on their shit? When you told them that they needed to help you because, after all, they’re your partner? What about all the times they messed up? Doesn’t matter if it was something small like not cooking dinner or something big like not being your supporter in achieving your goals. What if you have a plan, professional or personal, and they’re seemingly sabotaging it? It doesn’t matter what it is, but one thing is for sure: they rarely, if ever, took responsibility for any of it.
Do you remember those lies they told you? The ones that were subtle? The ones that were blatant? They knew you wouldn’t call them out on them because you’d always think the best of them. Maybe you thought of ways that would make their lies “OK”, that they didn’t mean to disrespect you and your relationship with them. Let’s not forget about them not telling you something or hiding something from you. Don’t let them off the hook and think those aren’t lies–because they are.
Were they contradictory? Not just the things they said, but their actions, too. When things didn’t line up, what did you do? Did you ask them about it? I’m sure they spun it in a way that made sense, at least to them. Or if you didn’t ask them about it? Perfect, because that’s exactly what they wanted–to do what they wanted and get away with it.
How about those times you two would get into a conversation, or especially an argument, and they were so quick to think on their feet about something and that would confuse you, and that would leave you thinking if you’re crazy? They had you questioning your own sanity–and that’s exactly what they wanted. Why? Because they’re an expert at gaslighting.
Are you perfect? No, of course not. But when they twist their words and your words around to fit a narrative that suits them, it can be difficult to know what kind of person you really are. They did absolutely everything they could to convince you that you weren’t worthy of them, weren’t worthy of their love. Maybe they even convinced you that you wouldn’t be loved by anyone else, and that made you want to stay with them even more.
Their warped point of view of the world negatively impacted you. There’s something you need to understand: it’s not your fault. This didn’t happen because of you or who you are. This happened because this is their purpose in life.
I get it. It can be tough to be objective because of how well and for how long they had you under their thumb. If that relationship is over, spend time alone and rediscover who you are. If you’re still in it, then leave; the sooner, the better. Trust me. The chains that you’re carrying are weighing you down, and you can only carry them for so long. You can even carry them after your relationship with them is over. Once you rid yourself of them, there is a world out there waiting for you to finally do what you want and be with the people who care about you.
All right, guys. Thanks for listening to the Intentionally Emotive Podcast with Shaun Karim. Don’t forget to subscribe on your preferred podcast platform and check out www.shaunkarim.com.