Unfortunately, I have been gaslighted so many times in my marriage and work life that I can’t understand why many people are this way. In my marriage, it was more on things said and done by my ex that I know to be the opposite, depending on the story he is telling. In my work life, it has manifested in another way.

As a caregiver, I cared for my elderly client, who lived in her home alone. She was almost 91 when I first met her, and halfway through that year, she went from being semi-mobile with being able to transfer to and from a wheelchair to being bedridden. Three independent caregivers split up the responsibilities and time for the whole week as she lived in a city with no close family, and she chose to stay in her home instead of a facility. One of the caregivers always called the client’s daughter to complain about one of the other two caregivers. This not only drove me crazy but also my client’s daughter. She knows a thing or two about narcissists because she was raised by one.

The complainer repeatedly did things throughout the house, and while my client was still mobile, she would say that the client told her to do it, which may have been possible. Once the client became bedridden, it was harder to blame her for it anymore. Some weeks it would be missing plates; the next, it would be missing hand towels in the kitchen. She would throw in moving the broom, mop, and dustpan or hide my client’s brush to make it extra enjoyable. These things don’t stay missing or moved; they show up back in their original place the following week. After over a year of this, there are only so many places she can hide what we use daily, and I am finding them accidentally because I refuse to search; I’ve played this game before.

Crazy making is exhausting to the person it is happening to. I have learned as I’ve healed that they are only looking for a reaction; it is best not to give it to them. However, you should have someone to talk to unwind from all of the nonsense. Have you been gaslighted? How did you handle yourself while it was happening to you?

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