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My experience with Gaslighting... by Angeline Babu

Updated: Mar 8, 2022

Trigger warning ⚠️

I wrote down something today… wanted to share it… when a friend mentioned we don't share our distresses, something triggered and I wanted to have a look back… these are things I dare not tell anyone those days for fear they would think me a crazy klutz… what if they think I was a scatterbrain and making stuff up… what if I was imagining it all...

Wearing a spare key around my neck because my main bunch was always lost… would find them in a bag I've not used in over a year or the table drawer, or the freezer, or on the washing machine, or in the pocket of a jeans I haven't worn in 5 years, or in my lingerie drawer, or in the onion basket ... why did I put it there?

The hours spent in looking for it… hating myself for losing them always… I always leave it on the hook behind the door... I do... Really I do… but then where is it now?

My bookmarks from my books always in a different page… I used to wonder how did I reach that page .. ? why can't I remember what I read before…

My daughter's homework activity going missing. I remember printing it and put it on the table… I really did… Her watch lost!

My phone charging cable misplaced… the unit is there… What did I do with the cable? My phone call list deleted… why did I do that… a certain message missing… didn't I reply?... or did they even message me? Was I dreaming it? Oh where are my keys again?

My headphones… they were here right… the tiny decor items at home… I had a tiny elephant figurine didn't I? There was a buddha on that shelf… Where is that glass dome that was there? Was it ever there?

I thought I was getting dementia. I thought it might be early onset Alzheimer's… I thought it was hallucinations... How can you tell anyone this? If you can't trust your own mind, is everything else something made up too? It never occurred to me then that it was the ex- who was doing that… I mean who would actually do such things… perhaps one does… however once I realized the stuff going hidden and missing was actually being done by another, things cleared up… I started photographing stuff… before and after pictures in a way. I recorded conversation to convince myself that this was said or not. I documented the days... The FOG is a manipulated and created one… the feeling lost in the labyrinth is a given… it's hard to grip your sanity… but yes it's possible. I had a good therapist who suggested that I try to remember page numbers instead of a using bookmark… she told me to record days where nothing changes and when stuff goes missing. And later to compare it to the ex's calendar… he was always in town when stuff was lost. I printed out random stuff and said it was for the kid's school and left it on the table. 100 percent it would be misplaced the next day... we made fake keys and put it on the keychain… those were lost. The real keys were stained and left hidden in a box full of pot-pourri… it remained there… once you "see" you don't get played again. Fact remains we ignore many red flags. We are quick to assume it might be us. No sane person would do that, so we assume it's us or our careless selves… but slowly drip- drip- drip, it wears you down, till you can actually see something so horrid and still convince yourself it was a figment of your imagination. That is why sharing our stories and experiences becomes necessary. Our stories become guidebooks for another to walk out of that maze.

From September 2016, my keys have never roamed…ever since we asked the ex- to leave our home. My keys forever live on the hook behind the door. My bookmarks stay. My knick-knacks and figurines have a layer of dust on them. My kid's watch and homework and toys are boring, staying where we leave them. My charger cable and unit are forever plugged into the wall. My headphones are still missing as they were pink and the daughter said she wanted them and promptly lost it… life is brilliantly boring and predictable… we think the ex- was a possible poltergeist, in addition to being a serial philanderer!

My current spouse hardly seems interested in house keys or bookmarks or watches or figurines… or the tv remote even!

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